Constitution and Bylaws of the Lutheran Churches of the Reformation
The name of this federation of congregations shall be "Lutheran Churches of the Reformation."
Its purpose shall be:
1. To maintain the pure teaching of God's Word and to function as a uniting service organization for Lutheran congregations which accept without reservation the confessional standards of Article III.
2. To train laborers in the Word for the ministries of the Lutheran Churches of the Reformation.
3. To aid and counsel congregations, pastors, and teachers associated or affiliated with this organization and to exercise supervision over doctrine and practice of such pastors and teachers.
4. To establish, build, maintain, and supervise theological seminaries, colleges and universities and other institutions of learning.
5. To aid and counsel congregations in the establishment of Lutheran missions and congregations.
6. To print and publish literature, books, and all such matters as may be necessary for the promotion, furtherance, and maintenance of Lutheran congregations, schools, and missions.
7. To do all things necessary for the furtherance of the Lord's work among men.
This organization accepts, holds, confesses and teaches that:
1. Holy Scripture, both Old and New Testament, is the very Word of God, His infallible revelation given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in all parts and words recorded without error in the original manuscripts by the Prophets, Apostles, and Evangelists.
2. The Confessions contained in the Book of Concord of 1580, namely,
The Apostles' Creed
The Nicene Creed
The Athanasian Creed
The Unaltered Augsburg Confession
The Apology of the same
The Smalcald Articles
The Small and Large Catechisms of Martin Luther
The Formula of Concord
and "A Brief Statemenf" of 1932 are true and correct expositions of the doctrines taught in the Scriptures.
3. All teaching of this organization or within the member congregations and schools shall at all times be substantiated by the Holy Scriptures.
MEMBERSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP.
1. Congregations who accept without reservation the confessional standard set forth in Article III and agree with the purposes as enumerated in Article II shall be eligible for membership in this organization.
2. Congregations shall hold membership only as long as they are bound by Article III.
3. Congregations who without reservation accept and practice according to Article III shall be considered as being in fellowship with this organization.
4. A minister or teacher in the direct service of the federation in a mission field and a pastor or teacher who fully subscribes to the Constitution while in the service of an independent congregation may hold associate membership without the right to vote or hold elective office.
5. A local church, or congregation, is a group of professing Christians who regularly assemble for worship at one place around the Word and Sacraments and establish the office of the public ministry in their midst.
1. Meetings shall be held as prescribed in the By-Laws.
2. Every member congregation shall be represented by two voting delegates who are the pastor(s) or male members of that congregation, preferably a pastor and a layman.
ADMINISTRATION AND OFFICERS.
1. A Council of nine or more male members shall be elected at the annual meeting.
2. One-third of said Council must be regularly called pastors of member congregations.
3. Each Councilor shall serve for a term of three years, provided his congregation holds membership in this organization.
4. The Council shall annually elect from its membership an Administrator, a Coadjutor, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
OTHER OFFICERS, COMMITTEES, ETC.
Such additional officers, committees, commissions, and other subordinate agencies may be created as found necessary.
This organization shall have the power and authority to acquire, own, hold, and dispose of property of every kind, nature, and description, real personal or mixed, deemed necessary to carry out its purposes, as allowed by law.
By-laws shall be adopted as may be necessary to accomplish the purposes of this organization.
Changes or amendments to this constitution may be proposed at a regularly called meeting by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present and voting; however, Article III shall not be subject to change or amendment.
Proposed changes or amendments shall be submitted, in writing, by the secretary to member congregations for their approval, before adoption. At least two-thirds of the member congregations must signify their approval by a duly written notification sent to the secretary before an amendment or change shall become effective.
RELATION TO MEMBER CONGREGATIONS.
By membership in this organization a congregation forfeits: a. None of its Scriptural rights, b. None of its property rights.
This federation may exercise only such powers as are specifically delegated to it by the member congregations.
In its relation to member congregations this organization shall be advisory only and without coercive power.
The principal office shall be located in the State of Michigan. Such other offices, either within or without the State of Michigan, may be established from time to time as may be required.
1. ANNUAL MEETING. The annual meeting of the members shall be held on the second Friday and Saturday in July in each year, beginning with the year 1989, at the hour of 9:00 A.M. or at such other time as the Council may determine, for the purpose of electing members of the Council and for the transaction of such other business as may come before the meeting.
2. SPECIAL MEETINGS. Special meetings of the members may be called by the Administrator, by the Council, or by ten percent (10%) of the members. The Administrator is permitted to conduct special Council meetings by conference telephone call, or to poll the Council membership by e-mail and/or telephone. If any two members of the Council insist, the Council shall assemble for a special meeting to conduct the business at hand. If any three members of the Council insist, the business shall be held over to be decided by the next regular Convention. If a majority of the Council agree, a special Convention shall be called to decide the business at hand.
3. PLACE OF MEETING. The Council may designate any place, either within or without the State of Michigan, as the place of meeting for any annual meeting or for any special meeting as herein above provided.
4. NOTICE OF MEETINGS. The Secretary shall issue notice of every meeting at least thirty days prior to the meeting.
5. MEMBER LIST. The Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator, shall maintain a current list of the membership.
6. QUORUM. One-third of the eligible voting delegates shall constitute a quorum.
1. GENERAL POWERS. The business and affairs of the organization shall be managed by its Council.
2. NUMBER, TENURE, AND QUALIFICATIONS. The number of members of the Council of this organization shall be nine (9). Each member of the Council shall hold office for three years or until his successor shall have been elected and qualified.
3. REGULAR MEETINGS. A regular meeting of the Council shall be held without other notice than this by-law, immediately after, and at the same place as, the annual meeting of the members. The Council may provide by resolution the time and place, either within or without the State of Michigan, for the holding of additional regular meetings.
4. SPECIAL MEETINGS. Special meetings of the Council may be called by the Administrator or by any three members of the Council.
5. NOTICE. The Secretary shall issue a notice of every meeting at least fifteen days prior to the meeting.
6. QUORUM. A majority of the Council shall constitute a quorum.
7. MANNER OF ACTING. The act of the majority of the members of the Council present at the meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Council.
8. VACANCIES. Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Council may be filled by election at an annual meeting or at a special meeting of the members called for that purpose.
1. NUMBER. The officers of this organization shall be an Administrator, a Coadjutor, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, and such assistants as may be elected or appointed by the Council.
2. ELECTION AND TERM OF OFFICE. The officers of this organization shall be elected annually by the Council. Vacancies may be filled at any meeting of the Council. Each officer shall hold office until a successor shall have been duly elected and shall have qualified. Election or appointment of an officer or agent sha' not of itself create contract rights.
3. REMOVAL. The Council may remove any officer or assistant for failure or inability to perform the duties assigned to him.
4. VACANCIES. A vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification, or otherwise, may be filled by the Council for the un-expired portion of the term.
5. THE ADMINISTRATOR. The Administrator shall be the principal executive officer of this organization and shall in general supervise and control all of the business and affairs of the organization. The Administrator shall be the chief supervisor of doctrine and practice of the members of the L.C.R. according to the standard of Article III of this Constitution in consultation with the Council. He shall preside at all meetings of the Council. As authorized by the delegate body he may sign, with the Secretary or any other proper officer of this organization, any deeds, mortgages, bonds, contracts, or other instruments which the Council has been authorized to execute; and in general shall perform all duties incident to the office of Administrator and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Council from time to time. He shall make official announcements in our periodicals regarding a change in the fellowship status of any member in the federation.
6. THE COADJUTOR. In the absence of the Administrator, or in the event of his inability or refusal to act, as determined by the Council, the Coadjutor shall perform the duties of the Administrator, and when so acting shall have all the powers of and be subject to all the restrictions upon the Administrator; and shall perform such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him by the Administrator or by the Council.
7. THE TREASURER. If required by the Council, the Treasurer shall give a bond for the faithful discharge of his duties in such sum and with such surety or sureties as the Council shall determine. He shall: (a) have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds of this organization; receive and give receipts for moneys due and payable to this organization from any source whatsoever, and deposit all such moneys in the name of this organization in such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as shall be selected in accordance with the provisions of Article V of these By-laws; (b) in general perform all the duties incident to the office of Treasurer and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him by the Administrator or by the Council.
8. THE SECRETARY. The Secretary shall: (a) keep the minutes of the members' and of the Council's meetings in one or more books provided for that purpose; (b) be custodian of such records as may be delegated to him; (c) keep a record of the post-office address of each member which shall be furnished to the Secretary by such member; (d) in general perform all duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him by the Administrator or by the Council.
9. THE MODERATOR. For each meeting of the federation a moderator, not a member of the Council, shall be appointed by the Council.
CONTRACTS, LOANS, CHECKS, AND DEPOSITS
1. CONTRACTS. The Council, subject to the approval of the delegate body, may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of or on behalf of this organization, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.
2. LOANS. No loans shall be contracted on behalf of this organization and no evidence of indebtedness shall be issued in its name unless authorized by the delegate body and supported by a resolution of the Council. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.
3. CHECKS, DRAFTS, ETC. All checks, drafts, or other order for the payment of money, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of this organization, shall be signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents of this organization and in such manner as shall from time to time be determined by resolution of the Council or approved by the delegate body, where such approval is mandatory, prior to the action of the Council.
4. DEPOSITS. All funds of the organization not otherwise employed shall be deposited from time to time to the credit of this organization in such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as the Council may select.
The fiscal year of this organization shall begin on the first day of July in each year and end on the last day of June in each year.
AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS
Any amendment proposed by a member or the Council shall be filed with the Secretary at least 90 days prior to a delegate meeting, whereupon the Secretary shall within 30 days thereafter submit the proposal to the members for consideration.
The member congregations shall file their recommendations with the Resolutions Committee of the delegate meeting.
A two-thirds vote of the delegate body shall be required for adoption.
Congregations seeking membership in this organization shall submit a copy of their Constitution to the Commission on Constitutions not less than ninety (90) days preceding the Annual Meeting. Congregations desiring to be in fellowship with the LCR shall inform the Administrator in writing of their agreement with our doctrinal position and constitution and their pastor shall be colloquized. Fellowship with said congregations shall be formally recognized at the next convention.
OVERSIGHT OF DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE
Those in church fellowship are required to know the doctrine and practice of one another. Every congregation is required to heed Scriptural admonition offered by acknowledged brethren. I Tim. 1:3,1 Cor. 5:1-5, 2 Cor. 2:1-8, Rev. 2-3, Acts 15:1-35.
A church body has no jurisdiction over the discipline in its member congregations, but is in an advisory relationship to them. Matt. 18:15-18, 1 Cor. 3:21, Matt. 23:8-10.
A congregation may be expected (in a fraternal way) to show that it has followed Scriptural procedure. Acts 8:14-17; 15.
In all dealings with a Christian congregation one may never ignore nor interfere with the rights and duties of the divinely called pastor of the congregation and his congregation. 1Pet. 4:15, Acts 20:28, Matt. 18:17,1 Cor. 3:21
1. In event of a schism within a congregation in fellowship with the L.C.R. the L.C.R. will adjudicate the matter when requested to do so by both sides.
2. If called upon to adjudicate, the Administrator of the L.C.R., with the consent of the Council, will appoint an impartial fiduciary committee to investigate the procedure followed in the particular case according to the Word of God.
The L.C.R. Clergy Roster is a listing which represents all those men who have either been graduated from Martin Luther Institute of Sacred Studies or have been colloquized by the L.C.R. Commission on Colloquies (and thus approved to be orthodox) and are communicant members of congregations in fellowship with the L.C.R. Such men shall be formally received by the Delegate Convention of the L.C.R.
Incorporating revisions adopted by the L.C.R. Convention
on July 16,1988 and July 10, 1993 and ratified by the member congregations.