Article I Name
The name of this congregation shall be “Shalom Mennonite Church of Newton, Kansas,” also referred to as “Shalom Mennonite Church”.
Article II Mission Statement and Membership Covenant
Purpose: Shalom Mennonite Church seeks to be an Anabaptist Christian community that embraces all God’s people, grows in the Spirit and gives itself to service.
Vision: God is calling us to radical justice, transformational worship and joyful work.
Mission: Following Jesus, we risk love.
Membership Covenant: As members of Shalom Mennonite Church, gathering regularly for worship, study and fellowship, we commit ourselves under the authority of the Scriptures
- to acknowledge God as creator and sustainer of all life,
- to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and grow in our relationship to him, and
- to be open to the Holy Spirit as enabler and guide.
Article III Relationships
We commit ourselves to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
We find our particular identity in the Anabaptist Mennonite witness dating from the sixteenth century and carried forward to the present by faithful servants of Jesus Christ. We seek to carry out our ministry as a member congregation of the Mennonite Church USA and its Western District Conference.
We commit ourselves to work cooperatively, whenever possible, with all of God’s people.
Article IV Membership
Membership in Shalom Mennonite Church is open to all baptized adults who accept the congregation’s membership covenant and mission. Persons requesting membership who have been baptized earlier and are members of another congregation shall present a letter of recommendation from that congregation.
Persons requesting membership but wishing to retain membership in another congregation shall be designated as associate members and shall have all the rights and privileges of membership.
Active members and associate members may participate in the decision-making process of the congregation by voting during congregational meetings. They may also serve on the Congregational Board and Trustees, and serve as conference delegates.
Active members and associate members live in the Newton area and participate regularly in various aspects of congregational life. Members and associate members who have not actively participated in various aspects of congregational life for at least 12 months will be considered inactive.
Article V The Congregation
In keeping with a long Mennonite tradition of congregational autonomy and responsibility, the congregation as a body shall be the source of major decisions, including but not limited to the church program, leadership, staff, policies, and budget. In periodic business meetings the congregation shall set the course of the church’s life, review work in progress, assign major responsibilities and commit resources.
The congregation grants authority to the Congregational Board and Trustees, as the congregation sees fit, to conduct certain business affairs of the congregation on an ongoing basis.
Official decisions of the congregation shall be made by a simple majority vote of those members and associate members present at an officially-called meeting of the congregation with notice of the meeting being communicated to the congregation at least 30 days in advance. Only active members and associate members shall have the right to vote, unless exceptions are designated by the Congregational Board.
Article VI Amendments
This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the active members and associate members present at a regular or special meeting of the congregation, provided the proposed amendment has been shared with the congregation twice, the first time being at least 30 days in advance of the meeting.
Bylaws of Shalom Mennonite Church
Officers and Their Duties
- Board Chair
The board chair conducts the meetings of the congregation and the Congregational Board. It is the board chair’s responsibility to consult with the pastors and treasurer in making up the agendas for Congregational Board meetings.
The board chair is elected by the congregation and must be a member of the congregation. The board chair is a member of the Congregational Board and serves a three-year term. The number of terms a person may serve as board chair is unlimited, but there shall be an interval of at least one year after two consecutive full terms.
The treasurer shall keep financial records of income and of expenditures. The treasurer is authorized to sign checks on behalf of the congregation. All deposits made and all checks written by the treasurer shall be in the name of the church. Expenditures are to be authorized by the approved budget or the Congregational Board.
The treasurer shall give annual detailed reports to the congregation and more general reports as requested by the Congregational Board. The treasurer shall oversee the safekeeping of valuable papers and legal documents belonging to the church.
The treasurer may delegate, but must monitor, certain financial tasks to the office manager, such as bookkeeping, preparing reports, making deposits, etc.
The treasurer is appointed by the Congregational Board and must be a member/associate member of the congregation. The treasurer is a member of the Trustees, and serves a three-year term. At the completion of the term of service all books and records are to be turned over to the succeeding treasurer. The number of terms a person may serve as treasure is unlimited, but there shall be an interval of at least one-year after two consecutive full terms.
The secretary shall keep a written record of meetings of the Congregational Board and congregational business meetings and shall see that records of historical value are preserved and given to the office manager for safe keeping. The secretary is a duly-elected board member, appointed to the role of secretary by the Congregational Board.
- Board Chair-Elect
If the current board chair has served two consecutive full terms, or has chosen not to accept a second term, a board chair-elect shall be elected six months before the end of the current board chair’s term. The board chair-elect shall attend Congregational Board meetings and confer with the pastors and board chair about church business. The board chair-elect shall become board chair following the end of the current board chair’s term. This is an ex officio position.
Assembly and Duties of the Congregational Board, Trustees and Staff
- Congregational Board:
The Congregational Board shall be made up of seven members/associate members of the congregation:
- Five members elected by the congregation.
- A board chair elected by the congregation.
- One member of the Trustees, selected by the Trustees.
- Congregational Board members shall serve staggered, three-year terms. The number of terms a person may serve in unlimited, but there shall be an interval of at least one year after two consecutive terms.
- The Congregational Board is accountable to the congregation. The board shall oversee the business work of the church
- Establish congregational policies
- Present an annual budget to the congregation
- Supervise and provide for the regular evaluation of the pastor
- Schedule and prepare agendas for congregational meetings
- Create special committees and task forces as needed
- Approve candidates for baptism, membership and withdrawal upon the recommendation of pastoral staff
- Ensure the congregation is adhering to its mission and vision
- Maintain regular, open communication with the congregation
The Trustees are made up of a minimum of four members/associate members of the congregation, all selected by the Congregational Board and affirmed by the congregation. One of those members will be designated by the Congregational Board as the treasurer.
Trustees serve staggered, three-year terms. The number of terms a person may serve is unlimited, but there shall be an interval of at least one year after two consecutive terms.
The Trustees are accountable to the Congregational Board. The Trustees shall:
- Oversee financial matters of the congregation, including handling receipts, payments and cash flow
- Have check-writing authority
- Oversee bookkeeping work done on behalf of the congregation
- Maintain congregational finances according to a budget approved by the congregation
- Outline financial and property procedures and ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place
- Oversee insurance coverage, claims and tax-related issues
- Oversee the church building, grounds and other physical assets
- Provide for regular building maintenance, custodial services and grounds maintenance
- Hire or delegate specific maintenance, repair and grounds-keeping tasks as appropriate
- Regularly report to the Congregational Board and the congregation
The congregation is responsible to approve pastoral job descriptions and call pastors to ministry. The Congregational Board, on behalf of the congregation, has the authority to establish salaries and benefits, and to hire and release support staff in consultation with the congregation.
Amendments to the bylaws shall be made by two-thirds vote of the active members and associate members present at a regular or special meeting of the congregation, provided that the proposed amendment has been shared with the congregation twice, the first time being at least 30 days in advance of the meeting.
Approved on February 12, 2017