Article 1 - Name
The name of this
church shall be Maranatha Evangelical Free Church. Pursuant to
Sec. 6(1) of the Religious Societies' Lands Act our corporate
name is The Trustees of Maranatha Evangelical Free Church, a
religious society in the City of Winnipeg, in the Province of
Article 2 -
Statement of Belief
The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired
Word of God, without error in the original writings, the
complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men and the
Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life.
2. In one
God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in
three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. That Jesus
Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived by the Holy
Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross a sacrifice for
our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the
dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on
High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate.
4. That the
ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and
during this age to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner,
indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and
5. That man
was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost
and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and
spiritual life be obtained.
6. That the
shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground
for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as
receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become
children of God.
7. That water
baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances to be observed by the
Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as
means of salvation.
8. That the
true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in
Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united
together in the body of Christ of which He is the head.
9. That only
those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for
membership in the local church.
Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local
church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.
11. In the
personal premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and
that this "Blessed Hope" has a vital bearing on the personal life and
service of the believer.
12. In the
bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting
blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and
everlasting conscious punishment.
Article 3 - Mission Statement
Maranatha is to be a family of believers which glorifies God
through Christ-centred teaching and application of His Word.
The Core Values of this church are:
1. To preach
and teach the Word of God for the edification, encouragement,
instruction and discipline of our family of believers.
2. To provide
opportunity for Christian worship, service and prayer.
3. To promote
and support world-wide evangelism, discipleship and social
justice by word and deed.
4. To create
and promote a welcoming atmosphere where individuals can grow in
their knowledge of God and His Word.
Article 4 -
shall be carried on without purpose of gain for its members and
any profits or other accretions to the organization shall be
used in promoting its objectives.
Article 5 - Membership
This church shall
receive as members those of any age who profess to have accepted
Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and who in their lives manifest
the evidences of a true faith in God, and who are willing
according to their ability to support the church by their
personal participation, prayers and contributions.
Article 6 -
The government of
the church is vested in the members eligible to vote in business
sessions. The church shall hold business sessions at least
semi-annually (usually in April for election of officers and
other business, and usually in October for the establishment of
the annual budget and other business). Special meetings may be
called by recommendation of the Board of Directors or the formal
request to the Board by 10% of the voting membership.
The church shall be
administered through appointed or elected officers who shall
constitute the Board of Directors. This Board shall include at
least the Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and the
Chairpersons of Standing Committees of the Board, and the
Committee shall consist of the Chairman, Vice-chairman,
Secretary, and Treasurer, with special responsibility of the
legal documents and shall oversee the administration of the
entire church program.
Although the church
is autonomous, it is formally affiliated with the Evangelical
Free Church of Canada and shall seek to co-operate with the
denomination in the fellowship of the Gospel.
Article 7 -
The church shall
have the power to acquire and own, by purchase, gifts, lease or
otherwise, such real and personal property as is deemed
necessary for the realization of the objectives of the church.
If division occurs in this church, the names and property shall
belong to those who abide by its Constitution and Bylaws. If the
church ceases to function and its organization is dissolved, the
property shall be assigned to the Central District of the
Evangelical Free Church of Canada to enable that District to
renew the work or use the value thereof for further Gospel
Article 8 -
Amendments to this
Constitution shall be made at a business session of the church,
by a two-thirds vote, when the proposed amendments have been
submitted in writing and introduced at a business session of the
members at least three months prior to taking action on it.
Quorum bylaws apply.
Article 9 -
Provisions for Bylaws
A supplement to
this Constitution, known as Bylaws, shall embody decisions of
the membership such as the conditions of various categories of
membership, terms of office of Directors, and other such rules
and regulations governing the activities of the church. Bylaws
include matters that should not be subject to suspension or
modification at any one business session.
Section 1 -
Procedures for membership application: Request for membership
shall be made to a Director, usually the Pastor. Attendance and
completion of membership classes encouraged before the
application is presented to the Board. Membership classes will
usually be run in February and September. The Board shall then
consider the applicant's faith and life, including letters of
recommendation from outside this congregation. Upon the Board’s
unanimous approval, the name of the applicant will be presented
to the congregation to be considered for at least fourteen days.
Any objection to the acceptance of an applicant must be given to
a Director who shall inquire into the matter and confer if
necessary with the Board for reassessment. If no objections
stand, the applicant will be declared accepted and shall
immediately possess the rights and responsibilities of
1.2. Any member who
has withdrawn or has been discharged has no right in any
business session of the church or in its property.
1.3. A request
should be made to a Director, usually the Pastor, when a member
wishes to withdraw membership. Members in good standing will
receive a letter of recommendation upon request when moving to
other congregations of comparable Christian faith.
Any member habitually negligent
in activities of this church or found to live or teach contrary
to the Word of God and the statement of belief of this church,
shall be admonished by a member of the Deacons Committee. If
correction is not made, the Deacons Committee will bring a
recommendation to the Board of Directors and the Board of
Directors shall initiate
appropriate action, which may involve suspension of privileges
or removal from membership.
1.5. Members are
expected to attend congregational business sessions.
Members who are of the age of majority and in good standing are
eligible to vote on business procedures, and are eligible to
hold positions on the Board of Directors, Deacons Committee, and
the Nominating Committee.
Section 2 -
Qualification and Duties of Officers
Officers shall be selected from the eligible members of the
church. Men and women alike are eligible for election to the
Board, but the traditional roles of male leadership shall be
maintained for the positions of Chairman, Vice-chairman, and
2.2. Leaders in the
church shall seek to be exemplary in the characteristics set
forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. All leaders need to be
18 years of age or older and be willing to sign and live
according to the Covenant of Ethics for Maranatha. Those
serving with children must be trained and follow the Plan to
Terms of office: Paid and appointed officers shall serve for a
term of four years which is renewable with a two-thirds majority
vote. Elected officers shall serve terms of a maximum of two
years (renewable) and elections shall be held in such a manner
that a good proportion of terms would not expire at the same
time. Interim appointments may be made by the Board.
2.4. Duties of
Directors are responsible for the appointment of responsible
persons to their committees, to attempt to coordinate their
portfolios with others, and to be responsible to the rest of the
Board Chairman is responsible to preside at church business
sessions, set the agenda, chair the Administrative Committee,
and shall have signing authority as a Trustee.
Vice-chairman is a member of the Administrative Committee and
assumes responsibilities delegated by the Chairman, and, in the
absence of the Chairman, performs the duties of Chairman and
shall have signing authority as a Trustee.
Secretary is a member of the Administrative Committee, has
signing authority as a Trustee, and shall oversee the accurate
record keeping of proceedings and decisions of all business of
Treasurer is a member of the Administrative Committee, shall
have signing authority as a Trustee, shall chair the Finance
Committee, and be responsible for the fiscal management of the
2.4.6. The Pastor(s) - The senior Pastor shall have primary
responsibilities in prayer and proclamation of the Word of God.
The senior Pastor shall be responsible for membership, marriage,
and baptism registers. By virtue of office he shall have power
of address in all committees of the church. Associate Pastors
shall have responsibilities specified upon appointment and
recorded in the minutes.
Pastor is eligible to take a sabbatical every 7 years. The sabbatical
terms will be agreed upon by the Sabbatical Committee and the Pastor
with Board approval.
- the Pastor(s), Board Chairman, and Board Vice-chairman shall
be Deacons by virtue of those offices. Other Deacons may be
elected to the Deacons Committee as deemed appropriate by the
Board of Directors and Congregation.
Section 3 -
Committees: The following shall comprise the usual standing
committees of the Board of Directors:
3.1.1. Administration: to oversee the administrative
functions of the church, to evaluate public attitudes concerning
the church and to communicate favourably the strengths of
Maranatha, to maintain a positive physical environment, to plan Board of Directors' meetings,
to oversee the smooth operation of portfolios, and to encourage
those in leadership positions.
Christian Education: to encourage acceptance of God as personal Saviour,
to promote growth in knowledge of and relationship with God through
example and study of Scripture, in people of all ages, and in various
Deacons: to provide leadership in spiritual direction for the church and
its members by prayer and counsel, publicly and privately. They will
also develop and coordinate the pastoral care done by the laity.
of offices with Board positions is intended to assure that in matters of
church polity the rights of members individually and as a congregation
are upheld in keeping with the Evangelical Free Church Distinctives.
Deacons who do not serve on the Board of Directors will usually also emphasize the
Evangelical Free Church Distinctives of inclusiveness, spiritual
ecumenicity and outreach.
Fellowship Ministries: to provide free and friendly social interaction
to enhance the programs of the church where required, and to provide
high quality spiritual and practical ministry for the people in the
church and to channel their resources back into the church body.
Finance: to provide effective and responsible leadership in the area of
financial responsibility for the administrative needs and ministerial
commitments with proper recognition of spiritual and available financial
Missions: to educate and raise an awareness within our congregation for
missions; to raise up and support outreach to our local community; to
raise up and support the global expansion of the church of Jesus Christ.
Services: to see people
welcomed and made to feel “at home”, and to identify, locate and welcome
new people; to co-ordinate and facilitate high quality worship (enhanced
through areas of sound, lighting and visual display in a manner that is
supportive yet not distracting) and sharing of spiritual gifts/resources
and communications with provisions for a balance of instruction in
growing in the understanding and experience of a healthy relationship
with God and one another appropriate to a multi-generational group venue
on Sunday mornings and in specific group venues or alternative times,
involving compassionate leadership seeking an environment conducive to
celebration, reconciliation, and contrition.
3.1.8. Youth: to minister to students and young adults
through the Word and example, to promote growth in Christ as a group and
as individuals through group activities, Bible studies and personal
3.2. Ad hoc
3.2.1. Ad hoc
committees and sub-committees shall be given specific terms of
reference including time frame, leadership, and reporting
Official delegations shall also co-ordinate their work with the
Section 4 -
sessions shall conform as much as appropriate to generally
acknowledged parliamentary procedures and Christian values.
4.2. The following
general steps usually constitute the process of a business
matter (including any appeal or complaint) is brought to the
attention of a Director.
The Director shall study the matter, and in the case of a
personal complaint, in keeping with Biblical instructions such
as those in Matthew 18:15-35, Galatians 6:1-3, and 1 Timothy
5:17-21. If deemed appropriate to place the matter on the Board
agenda, it shall be communicated to the Board Chairman.
Board discusses the matter and determines the level of
ratification required. Any two Directors may have a matter
referred to the congregation for a decision.
deemed necessary, the Board makes a recommendation and places
the matter on a congregational agenda.
congregational business meeting shall usually be announced at
least four consecutive Sundays in advance. The agenda will be
posted at least two Sundays in advance.
4.2.6. After a
decision, the Board instructs responsible persons to implement
the decision or makes further recommendations for its
implementation (e.g. selection of committees in the case of
4.3. A quorum for
business meetings of the Congregation
shall consist of a majority of eligible voting members.
attendance for a Congregational meeting is
insufficient, and the provisions of Article 6 of the
Constitution are not applicable, urgent matters will be
presented to the Board for a vote and those issues must
receive a two-thirds majority to pass.
whose voting privileges are suspended through discipline or by
their own request (e.g. when in transition between churches) are
placed on an inactive list and are not counted in the quorum.
Members who simply decline to vote on a specific item do not
affect the quorum, but members who are deemed ineligible to vote
on a specific item (see 6.5.) do affect the quorum.
4.4. All matters
shall be determined by a majority (not plurality) vote except
when otherwise specified in the Bylaws, or by decision of the
session not in contradiction of the intent of the Constitution
and Bylaws (e.g. such measures as consensus, unanimity,
negotiation, and arbitration may by used when appropriate). A
tie vote in usual business (unless broken by the chair) results
in a lost motion.
otherwise announced, Board meetings are open to members and
guests who may address the Board at the Board's request or by
application in advance to the Chairman. Voting on issues by the
Board shall be done in closed session or by secret ballot.
4.6. Records of
Board meetings (excluding confidential matters) are available to
members upon written request to the Board. Access to
confidential files may be provided at the Board's discretion.
Section 5 -
5.1. Voting for
officers shall be by secret ballot and as individuals. Any
eligible voting member shall be granted the privilege of decisions by secret
ballot upon request on any issue before the session. Lack of an
alternate candidate shall not usually constitute grounds for
waiver of a ballot.
5.2. If more than
two candidates are considered at any election and none of them
receives the required majority, a new vote shall be taken with
the candidate who receives the lowest number of votes excluded
as a candidate in this voting. This shall be done until either
one candidate received the required number of votes or only two
candidates remain to be voted upon. If a tie should develop
between these two candidates, a ballot shall then be taken out
after the next balloting and laid aside by the Chairman before
the ballots are counted. If the ballots when counted decide the
election, the unopened ballot which has been taken out shall be
destroyed. However, if the ballots cause a tie between the
candidates, the unopened ballot shall decide which candidate is
5.3. A nominating
committee shall usually be selected at the October semi-annual
congregational meeting, to present a slate of all eligible and
available candidates for the positions open on the Board. The
committee shall consist of two Directors appointed by the Board
and two eligible members elected by the congregation. The committee
shall bring a final report with biographical information on the candidates,
to the Board of Directors in time for inclusion on the
congregational meeting agenda.
5.4. At least two
members shall be selected from the congregation to serve as
scrutineers in a meeting involving secret ballots. They shall
be under the supervision of the recording secretary or another
officially designated member.
5.5. Election and
calling of a Pastor shall require a two-thirds majority, voting
"yes" or "no" on one candidate. Likewise, a two-thirds majority
is required to retain the pastor when the issue is before the
session. Other terms of employment are subject to existing
labour laws and to at least annual review by the Administrative
Committee, Board, or Congregation, and shall be recorded in
appropriate minutes. Certification procedures (including
licensing and ordination of lay leaders) will follow the usual
procedures for business.
Section 6 -
Officers and Financial Accountability
6.1. The signing
officers shall be the Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary and the Treasurer or
their lawful attorneys. These four shall constitute the
Trustee Committee. (See Sec.2 par.4)
6.2. Two Auditors
shall be appointed by the church no later than the first
semi-annual business meeting held in the calendar year. The
audit shall examine the financial records of the church and such
related transactions as will enable them to express an opinion
on the fairness of the church's financial statement as at the
end of its previous fiscal year. The auditors will ensure that
the maintaining of financial records is in accordance with
government regulations and that all matters related to such
regulations as found recorded in the minutes of business
meetings corresponding to the period have been adhered to. The
auditors shall present their report with any recommendations in
the second semi-annual business meeting.
6.3. Books and
records (except recorded financial contributions of other
individuals) may be examined by any member at a time and place
as the Board may determine.
6.4. The Board
shall establish an annual balanced budget based on
congregational financial support. Expenditures outside the
approved budget shall require the decision of the Board and
shall only be authorized if funding of same is principally
assured not to impact on the church's ability to service its
6.5. The Board
shall establish conflict of interest guidelines when involving
members' services for the church.
member supplying services for a fee shall not be eligible to
vote on any decision bearing on that provision of services.
who are employees of the church are not considered to be in a
position of conflict of interest in the ordinary business of the
church. Employee members may decline to vote in some
circumstances and the question of privilege to vote on a
specific matter may be raised by any eligible voting member.