Proposed Constitution and Bylaws
April 1, 2023
Dear Voters’ Assembly Members,
The Ascension Constitution Committee (Arvin Michel, Ed Geisler, Tim McClaren, and Pastor Larson) has completed its work for suggested revisions to our Constitution and Bylaws. The revised document has been presented to and reviewed with the Council. The Council, by unanimous vote, has approved that the revised Constitution and Bylaws be presented to the Voters’ Assembly at our regular April 23 meeting.
The Committee work to arrive at this point has taken several years due to various delays because of the Covid pandemic and other reasons. Your time and efforts to review and approve this document are greatly appreciated.
The revisions to the document are minor in some areas and extensive in others. The typical means for showing revisions such as highlighted additions and strike-throughs would have been extensive and incomprehensible and thus were not used. We suggest the document be read and studied in its entirety to get an overall understanding of its completeness and continuity.
Some of the revisions are requirements of Synod as outlined in their Guidelines for Constitutions and Bylaws of Lutheran Congregations. Some revisions were suggested at our recent congregational planning meetings. Other revisions, some of which are major, are recommendations of the Constitution Committee.
The basic system of governance of the congregation is not being changed, only some details of how our work here at Ascension is accomplished.
Some of the most significant changes are:
- Constitution Article 2 – Mission. This Article was expanded to better reflect all that transpires within our congregation and in its outreach.
- Constitution Article 5 – Membership. Voting membership is granted to all communicant members without regard to age.
- Bylaws Section 5 – Terms of Office and Elections. The length of a term of office is changed to two years for all elected positions. The number of consecutive terms that can be served has been removed.
- Bylaws Section 5 – Officers and Elected Boards and Section 8 – Duties of the Boards. A new Board for Congregational Life has been added and some of the other Boards were combined or better defined.
Two Voters’ Assembly meetings are required to finalize this document. At the first meeting, which is our regular April meeting, the revised document will be presented, discussed, and declared open for modification. At the second meeting which cannot be held within fourteen days of the first meeting, proposed amendments may be presented in writing. After these are processed, implemented, or denied, the document will be voted on and must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the quorum present at the meeting.
The document is then sent to the Rocky Mountain District for review by their Constitution Committee which, after their approval, will forward it to the District Board of Directors for final approval.
The new Constitution and Bylaws can then be approved by the Voters’ Assembly and implemented in a timely manner.
Council and the Constitution & Bylaws Committee