Article I. Name
    The name of this church shall be Samuel’s Church, located in Decatur Township, Mifflin
    County, Pennsylvania.

Article II. Purpose
    The avowed purpose of this church shall be to worship God, to preach the gospel of
    Jesus Christ and to celebrate the sacraments; to realize Christian fellowship and unity
    within this church and the Church Universal; to render loving service toward mankind;
    and to strive for righteousness.

Article III. Polity
    The government of this church is vested in its members, who exercise the right of
    control in all its affairs, subject, however, to laws of the state of Pennsylvania relating to
    religious corporations.

Article IV. Faith and Covenant
    FAITH - This church acknowledges as its sole head, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and
    the Savior of man. It acknowledges as brothers in Christ all who share in this confession.
    It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures and to the presence and power of the Holy
    Spirit to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the
    faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic
    insights of the Protestant Reformers. It affirms the responsibility of the Church in each
    generation to make this faith its own. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and
    the practices prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two sacraments:
    Believer's Baptism and the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion. This faith may be
    expressed in the accepted Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and in the Statement of Faith.

Statement of Faith
    1.  We believe the Scripture of both the Old and New Testaments is the Word of God,
    given by verbal inspiration without error, and that it is the final authority in faith and
    practice. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
    2.  We believe in a Triune God, eternally existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
    (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22)
    3.  We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary
    and is true God and true man. (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-35, John
    1:1-18)
    4.  We believe man was created in the image of God, that he sinned and thereby
    incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death; that all human beings are
    born with a sinful nature and are incapable of pleasing God, and that only through
    regeneration through the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
    (Genesis 1:26, 27; Romans 3:10-12; 5:1:2, John 3:1-21)
    5.  We believe that God so loved this world that He gave His only begotten Son, the
    Lord Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of all; and that all who believe in and receive
    Him are justified through His shed blood, are born again by the Holy Spirit, and thus
    become children of God. (John 3:3, 6; Romans 3:24-26; 5:8; 8:16; Ephesians 1:7;
    Hebrews 9:12, 22; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 1:7)
    6.  We believe that all believers are reproved of sin and are sealed by the Holy Spirit,
    causing them to rest on Christ for salvation, and are kept by the power of God through
    faith unto the redemption of the body. (Ephesians 1:13, 14; 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; 2
    Timothy 1:12; Ephesians 4:30)
    7.  We believe in the bodily resurrection, the ascension and the present High
    Priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 4:14-16)
    8.  We believe in the imminent, bodily return of our glorified Lord and Savior, Jesus
    Christ. (Acts 1:11, John 14:3, Titus 2:13, 1Thessalonians 4:13-17)
    9.  We believe that at death all men continue in conscious existence awaiting the
    bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust; the saved to everlasting blessedness and
    the lost to everlasting torment. (Luke 16;19-31, 2 Corinthians 5:1, 1 Corinthians
    15:42-57, Luke 23:42, Matthew 25:46, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9)
    10.  We believe that the true church is composed of all such persons (regardless of
    their denominational affiliation) who through faith in Jesus Christ have been
    regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are thus united together in the body of Christ, of
    which He is the Head. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:41; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; Ephesians
    1:3-6; 22, 23; 5:23-32; Colossians 1:18-29)

COVENANT - We covenant one with another to seek and respond to the Word and the Will
of God. We purpose to walk together in the ways of the Lord made known and to be made
known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the church to witness to the gospel of Jesus
Christ in all the world, while worshipping God and striving for truth. As did our fathers, we
depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and empower us. We pray for the coming of the Kingdom
of God, and we look toward the triumph of righteousness and eternal life.

Article V. Membership
    1.  Membership in this church shall be open to any person who has had believer's
    baptism, has been confirmed, or made public confession of faith in Jesus Christ as
    Lord an Savior.
    2.  Members shall pledge themselves to attend the regular worship of the church and
    the celebration of the Lord’s Supper; to live the Christian life, to share in the life and
    work of the church, to contribute to its support and benevolences, and to seek diligently
    the spiritual welfare of the membership and the community.
    3.  Any member may, on his own written request, be granted a letter of transfer. If
    wishing to join a body not in fellowship with this church, he may be dismissed with a
    certificate of church membership. If because of change of faith or for other reasons
    not involving unchristian conduct, a member requests in writing to be released from his
    membership obligations, the church shall patiently endeavor to secure his continuance
    in its fellowship, but failing in such efforts the church may grant the written request and
    terminate his membership. Written requests for letters of transfer and written requests
    for termination of membership shall be considered by the council and, when approved,
    the appropriate letter of release shall be issued.
    4.  Members who have moved from this community shall be encouraged to affiliate with
    a church in their new community.
    5.  If any member of this church shall unite with another church without a letter of transfer,
    the council shall erase his name from the church register.

Article VI. Governing Body
    The governing body of this church shall be the membership assembled in church
    meeting. The vote of a majority of members present at the meeting shall be the action
    of the church. A quorum shall consist of 10% of the members.

Article VII. Council
    1.  The council shall be the executive body of this church. It shall be composed of the
    pastor, six elders, six deacons and four trustees. One-third of its members shall
    constitute a quorum.
    2.  Three elders, three deacons and two trustees shall be elected by majority vote cast
    at a church meeting. They shall be elected for two years and shall be limited to a
    maximum of two consecutive terms or four years as a member of the Council. Having
    served two terms (4 years) no one shall be eligible for re-election to the council until a
    period of one year has elapsed. To be eligible for the office of elder, the candidate
    shall have served as Deacon for at least one term.
    3.  Nominations shall be made for the offices of elder, deacon and trustee by a
    nominating committee appointed each year by the Council. The nominating committee
    shall consist of one active elder, one active deacon and one nonmember of the Council.
    The elder shall be the chairman of the committee. Acceptance or rejection of the
    nominations for the offices of elder and deacon shall be made by the Council. The
    nominating committee is charged with the responsibility of having a personal interview
    with all prospective nominees to receive their consent to the nomination.  Public notice
    of such nominations shall be given from the pulpit or by bulletin or letter at least two
    weeks before the election. Additional nominations may be made from the floor at the
    time of the congregational meeting held for the purpose of the election.
    4.  Elections shall be held annually on a Sunday in December, and the term of office
    shall begin on the first day of January in the following year.
    5.  When elected, the elders and deacons shall be publicly ordained to or installed in
    their respective offices. The trustees shall be installed at the same service .
    6.  Vacancies on the Council shall be filled by the Council for any unexpired terms.
    7.  The Council shall be the policy-making body, and shall transact the business of the
    church, make provision for the determining an raising of the current expense budget as
    for our Christian world mission and benevolence, and to provide for the auditing of
    financial accounts and for adequate support of the staff. It shall keep a complete and
    accurate record of its proceedings, be the custodian of all church records including
    baptisms, confirmations, church memberships, marriages and deaths, and report to
    the church at its regular and special meetings, or by means of the bulletin published by
    the church.
    8.  Matters dealing with the auxiliaries, including the Church School, Youth Fellowship
    groups, and men's and women's organizations shall be the concern of the Council. All
    acts and deliberations of the Council are subject to the will of and revision by the
    governing body.
    9.  The Council shall organize itself each year at the first meeting of the new year,
    electing a president, vice president, recording secretary and treasurer.
    a.  The duties of the president shall be to preside over all meetings of the
    Council and Church, and to abide by and uphold all requirements of this
    Constitution. He is empowered with the Treasurer to sign all contracts loans,
    bonds, mortgages or deeds of conveyance in the name of the Church.
    b.  The duties of the vice president shall be to assume the duties of the president
    in the latter's absence, or in the event of his inability to serve.
    c.  The duties of the financial secretaries shall be to receive all monies from the
    offering plates and envelopes and other contributions, pay them to the treasurer,
    and take a receipt for the same. They shall also maintain an accurate account of
    all monies received each Sunday.
    d.  The duties of the recording secretary shall be to keep a record of all Council
    and church meetings and attend to all correspondence to him.
    e.  The duties of the treasurer shall be to have charge of all monies received from
    the financial secretaries, give them a receipt therefore, and make payment of all
    bills by check signed by the treasurer. He shall prepare a quarterly report to the
    Council and an annual report to the Church.
    10  The Council shall appoint such committees or boards as will serve to further the
    purpose of the Church. The Pastor and the President of the Council shall be ex-officio
    members of all committees.
    11.  The Council shall instruct the proper officers on all fiscal matters including the
    payment of bills and the support of the general synod, the conference and association
    within whose boundaries this church is located, and the instrumentalities established
    by the general synod to accomplish the mission of the church.
    12.  Should the Council plan to use or borrow more than $1000.00 for anything other
    than ordinary expenses of the church, the matter must be brought before the church for
    its approval at a duly called meeting.
    13.  The Council shall meet at least once every two months, except in the summer, for
    the transaction of such business as may properly come before it. Special meetings are
    subject to the call of the President or Pastor.
    14.  The Office of Elder
    a.  An elder is a member of the church who is chosen by the church and ordained
    and installed to his office.
    b.  An elder shall assist and support the Pastor in the spiritual affairs of the church.
    He shall take heed to himself that he may be an example unto others. He shall
    watch faithfully over the spiritual interests of the church, maintain order in the
    house of God, aid in visiting the sick, and minister according his ability to the
    edification and comfort of all members.
    15. The Office of Deacon
    a.  A deacon is a member of the church who is chosen by the church and ordained
    and installed to his office.
    b.  A deacon shall aid in securing the funds necessary for the support of the
    church in its various activities, foster the principles of stewardship, and dispense
    the charity of the church.
    16. Trustees
    a.  Trustees are members of the church elected by the church and installed in
    their office.
    b.  They shall have the care and custody of the property of the church as a sacred
    trust, whether real or personal, in accordance with the provisions of the articles of
    Incorporation and the Constitution of this church.

Article VIII. Pastor
    1.  It shall be the responsibility of a Pulpit Committee appointed by the Council to seek a
    candidate for a vacancy in the office of Pastor.
    2.  As soon as a pastoral vacancy occurs, it may be reported to the Conference
    Executive.
    3.  In filling a vacancy or in securing supply ministers for the period of vacancy, the
    Pulpit Committee may seek the counsel of the Conference Placement Committee.
    4.  The Pulpit Committee may request the Conference Executive to secure relevant
    information about any minister whom it wishes to consider for the vacancy.
    5.  Any minister may confer with the Conference Executive concerning a pastoral
    vacancy. At the minister's request, his name shall be submitted by the Conference
    Executive for consideration by the local church committee.
    6.  The Pulpit Committee shall present to the church the candidate it recommends to fill
    the vacancy. A favorable vote of the church constitutes a call.
    7.  In the call, the terms of the relationship shall be stated, including the agreement of
    the church to participate in a pension fund, a health insurance program, and other terms
    agreed to between the candidate and the Committee. The minister, the church, the
    Association, and the Conference Executive shall each receive a copy of the call.
    8.  When a minister accepts a call to this church, the church and he may join in
    requesting the Association to arrange for a service of installation or recognition. A
    report of this service shall be signed by the proper officer of the Association and by
    the Conference Executive, and copies shall be sent to the Secretary of the United
    Church of Christ and to the Council for Church and Ministry.
    9.  The Pastor shall be elected for an indefinite period. In order to terminate this
    relationship, three months' notice shall be given by either party, unless both parties
    agree upon a shorter period.
    10.  When either party decides to terminate the relationship, the termination shall be
    by action of the Church Council, and notice of such termination may be sent by the
    President of the Council to the Conference Executive and to the Association for
    appropriate action.
    11.  Brotherly discipline of the Pastor shall be in conformity with the Word of God.
    12.  The church may at its discretion choose an Associate or Assistant Pastor.

Article IX. Property
    1.  The church may in its corporate name sue or be sued, acquire by purchase, gift,
    devise, bequest or otherwise and own, hold, invest, reinvest or dispose of property
    both real and personal for such work as the church may undertake; and may purchase,
    own, receive, hold, manage, care for and transfer rent, lease, mortgage or otherwise
    encumber, sell, assign, transfer and convey such property for the general purpose of
    the church; it may receive and hold in trust both real and personal property and invest
    and reinvest the same and make any contracts for promoting the objects and
    purposes of the church.
    2.  Upon dissolution of the church and congregation, no member of the congregation
    shall receive directly or indirectly, any benefit or reward from the dispersal of the
    assets and interests of the church. All assets shall be given to missionary
    organizations as determined by the congregation at the time of dissolution.

Article X. Church Meetings
    1.  The Annual Meeting of the church shall be held in the month of December. At this
    meeting the officers of the Council, the Pastor, and all church organizations shall
    submit their annual reports in writing or otherwise.
    2.  Special church meetings may be called by the Council or by a petition to the
    Council singed by not less than ten percent of the members. The Council shall call
    such a meeting within three weeks receipt of the petition, and adequate notice of
    such meeting shall be sent to the membership by the Recording Secretary or by
    bulletin.

Article XI. Rules of Order
    The latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority for
    all matters of procedure not specifically covered by this Constitution.

Article XII. Amendments
    Amendments to this Constitution and/or By-laws may be made at any duly called
    church meeting by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present, a public
    announcement or announcement in the bulletin of the text of the proposed
    amendments having been made two weeks prior to the meeting.

    Amendment 1.
    Amendment to Article VII, Section 2 passed December 1989 with 31 yes votes and
    9 no votes: "Council members may be re-elected after serving two 2 year terms."


NOTE: Wherever the pronoun "he" has been used in the foregoing Constitution, it shall be
understood that it refers to both sexes.
Samuel's Church Constitution
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