The Constitution of the Epiphany District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC)
Revised April 19, 2015
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
As members of the priesthood of all believers in the conviction that God has called us through the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit to confess faith in Christ alone as the source of our salvation, we form this fellowship of individuals and congregations to serve God faithfully by adhering to His Word in the Holy Scriptures and their correct interpretation in the Lutheran Confessions. By the adoption of this constitution, we form this fellowship and association in order to proclaim the gospel and make disciples of all nations.
Article 1: Name and Incorporation
1.01 The name of this fellowship shall be the Epiphany District, a non-geographical District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).
1.02 The Epiphany District is to be incorporated and have its Articles of Incorporation filed under the laws of the State of Minnesota as soon as mandated by its membership.
Article 2: Statement of Faith
2.01 We believe, teach, and confess the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2.02 We believe, teach, and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe Him.
a. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate through whom all things were made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God has defeated the powers of sin, death, and the power of the devil.
b. The proclamation of God’s message to us and all people as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy in the person and work of Jesus Christ through whom God has reconciled the world and all things to Himself.
c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God. Inspired by the Holy Spirit through their authors, they proclaim God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. They are the sole authoritative source and norm of our proclamation, faith, and life. Through them, God speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.
2.03. We accept the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the scriptural faith we believe, teach, and confess.
2.04 We believe, teach, and confess the Unaltered Augsburg Confession and the Small Catechism as true witnesses to the Word of God, as normative for our preaching, teaching, and practice.
2.05 We believe, teach, and confess the other confessional writings contained within the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, The Smalcald Articles, Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, The Large Catechism, and Formula of Concord, that is, Epitome and Solid Declaration with condemnations, as further dependable explanations of the Holy Scriptures.
2.06 We believe, teach, and confess the gospel, proclaimed by the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create, sustain and nurture justifying faith among the priesthood of all believers for God’s mission in the world.
Article 3: Ministry
3.01 The Epiphany District affirms the priesthood of all believers. All baptized believers are called by God as ministers of the Word who minister to others in their daily lives. Some are called by God’s people to the office of public ministry for the duties of Word and Sacrament in a church serving the Holy Spirit by equipping the saints for the work of ministry.
3.02 Pastors who serve the Epiphany District in the office of public ministry of Word and Sacrament, will subscribe to the confession of faith as founded in the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.
3.03 Pastors called for the positions of public ministry must meet the credential standards of the congregations and/or agencies they are endorsed to serve, as well as the credential requirements of LCMC and this Epiphany District.
Article 4: Statement of Purpose
4.01 The purpose of the Epiphany District is to offer to the people of God educational resources for Christian learning, renewal, and outreach that are founded in the Word of God as contained in the Holy Scriptures and rightly interpreted through Lutheran Confessions. These materials will be dedicated to the revelations and truth of God’s Word which is our absolute authority in all matters and they will affirm the sole source of our salvation – Christ alone.
4.02 As the Epiphany District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, we will make available a wide variety of educational resources that proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the fundamental teaching of the Christian/Lutheran Church.
a. Preparing and distributing printed materials that truthfully and boldly declare Christian values and understandings upon which our faith is founded.
b. Take every opportunity to publicly speak out to instruct and inform the people of the church about the theological and doctrinal position expressed in Scripture.
c. Members within the District will develop educational materials. The District will seek out and solicit resources from outside its membership, whether from other Districts of LCMC or individuals and congregations that have created their own materials, thus providing them an outlet to the benefit of all involved.
d. These Christian educational resources will feature materials for Sunday School, catechetical instruction, Vacation Bible School, new member instruction and adult education. They will be designed to be economically affordable, infinitely reusable following initial purchase, and applied practically without the necessity of unlimited requirements in space and personnel.
Article 5: Membership
5.01 The Epiphany District is made up of individuals and congregations of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), that stand solely on the authority of God’s Word in the Holy Scriptures and their rightful interpretation in the Lutheran Confessions as contained with the Book of Concord.
Article 6: Governance
6.01 The Epiphany District shall have a Board of Directors made up of Executive Officers, Members-at-large, and the elected assisting pastor.
6.02 The Epiphany District shall meet regularly in addition to its annual meeting.
6.03 The Epiphany District shall elect President, Secretary, and Treasurer and two Members-at-Large at its annual convention for two year terms. The offices of Secretary and Treasurer will be elected on alternating years. The three Members-at-Large will be elected on alternate years also. If a vacancy occurs, the President shall appoint someone to finish the term.
6.04 The Epiphany District shall elect a pastor to assist in matters of spiritual concern.
6.05 Committees shall be formed at the discretion of the Board of Directors with the approval of the membership at a regular meeting of the District. The chairman of each functioning committee shall report to the Board of Directors of the Epiphany District.
Article 7: Amendments and By-Laws
7.01 Following the adoption of this constitution at the Epiphany District convening convention, this constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote by the members present at a succeeding convention. Thereafter, this constitution may be amended only through procedures set forth in the following sections.
7.02 Amendments may be proposed in writing by any membership, individual or congregation. At least four months prior to the next annual convention, the proposed amendment shall be referred to the Board of Directors for review, comment, and recommendation and shall be submitted in writing to the membership of the District. Regardless of the position taken by the Board of Directors on the proposed amendment, such proposed amendment shall be presented to the membership at the annual convention. The adoption of any amendment shall require a two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting at the next annual convention.
7.03 The District shall adopt such by-laws as may from time to time be found necessary. No by-law may conflict with this constitution.
7.04 By-laws may be adopted or amended at any legally called meeting of the District by a two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting. The proposed by-law must be read at a scheduled meeting of the District or mailed to the members at least two weeks prior to the meeting
7.05 Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised will be the official book of reference for Epiphany District.
Article 8: Funds and Accounts
8.01 The Epiphany District will take regular offerings at regularly scheduled meeting which shall be deposited in the District’s accounts and maintained under the direction of the District Treasurer.
8.02 The Treasurer shall pay all bills encountered by the District out of the account and provide regular reports to the District at scheduled meetings. At the end of the fiscal year, the Treasurer will prepare a report for the annual meeting of the District for consideration and approval by those in attendance.
a. When determined by the officers and board of the Epiphany District, as need demands, an audit of the District accounts will be done on an annual basis and presented to the District at its annual meeting.
b. An auditing committee will be elected at the annual meeting when it is determined necessary by the officers and board and voted on by the District.
8.03 In the event that the District dissolves or ceases to function as a District within Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), all funds in its accounts will be designated by a vote of two-thirds of the membership present at a regularly scheduled meeting of the District after all bills and debts are paid.