Pebble Creek Community Church
[Amended as of December 13, 2016]
Pebble Creek Community Church is a non-profit corporation formed under the civil law of the State of Arizona. Only members on the active roll of the church are members of the corporation.
The officers of the corporation are elected by the Board of Elders, which serves as the Board of Directors. The Board of Elders shall elect a Chair and Vice Chair, who will be the President and Vice-President of the corporation. The officers of the corporation are President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The corporation has the following powers: to receive, hold, encumber, manage, and transfer property, real or personal, for the church; to accept and execute deeds of title to such property; to hold and defend title to such property; to manage any permanent special funds for the furtherance of the purposes of the church; and such other powers as are consistent with the non-profit corporation law of the State of Arizona, subject to the approval of the congregation.
Where civil law requires that corporate business be conducted in a separate corporate meeting of the congregation, the provisions under Article IV, Congregational Meetings will apply. The minutes of each meeting will be entered into the records of the corporation.
One becomes an active member of the universal Church through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. Baptism and a public profession of faith in Jesus as Lord are the visible signs of willingness to enter into the active membership of Pebble Creek Community Church. Persons may enter into active church membership in the following ways: by profession of faith, letter of transfer from some other church, or reaffirmation of faith in Jesus Christ.
Profession of faith: When persons who have not been baptized desire to profess their faith in Christ and be accepted into the fellowship of the church as believers, they shall do so by making public their profession of faith and after appropriate instruction and examination they will be encouraged to follow the Lord in baptism.
Letter of transfer: Persons who have made a profession of faith and have been received into membership in a particular church may be received by the Elders upon receipt of a letter of transfer from the church in which they have been most recently members.
Reaffirmation of faith: When persons who previously made a profession of faith and became active members in a particular church are unable to secure a letter of transfer or other evidence of church membership, they will then follow the preparation for membership procedure provided in these By-Laws.
Active Membership: An active member of the church is a person who has made a profession of faith in Christ, has been received into membership of the church, has voluntarily submitted to the government of the church, and participates in the church's work and worship. An active member assumes the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of the church, including participating in the Lord's Supper, taking part in meetings of the congregation, voting, and holding office.
Affiliate Membership: An affiliate member is an active member of another church, denomination, or Christian body who has presented a certificate of good standing from the appropriate governing body of that church, and has been received by the Elders as an affiliate member. An affiliate member is entitled to all the rights and privileges of an active member.
Nonmember Privileges: Persons not members of the church are welcome to participate in the life and worship of the church and are entitled to pastoral care, participation in the Lord's Supper, and all the other spiritual benefits the church has to offer.
Preparation for Membership: Applicants for membership shall fill out an application and attend a membership class where they are instructed in the practical philosophy and ministry of the church. Following this process, the applicants for membership shall meet with the Pastor and/or an Elder prior to being introduced to and received by the congregation.
Certificate of Transfer: When requested by a member, the Secretary shall issue a letter of transfer to a particular church setting forth the membership status of the member. A report of such action will be promptly made by the Secretary to the Chair of the Board of Elders.
Inactive Member: Any member who has not attended the regular church services and supported work of the church (unless providentially hindered) with some degree of regularity for a period of one year shall be contacted by an Elder or Deacon, and then may be placed on inactive membership status for a period of one year. If at the conclusion of that time, the member has not responded to the encouragement of the church body to resume active participation, the person’s membership will be removed. All removals from membership will be by decision of the Board of Elders.
Removal of Membership: Membership in the church may be terminated in any of the following ways:
1. Death of the member. No church action is needed.
2. Request of the member. Requests must be in writing.
3. Request from another church. An active member in good standing may obtain a letter of transfer.
4. Inactivity. See “Inactive Member” above.
Discipline: The discipline of the Church shall be carried out by the Board of Elders in accordance with Biblical principles and guidelines outlined in Matthew 18.
III. GROUPS WITHIN PEBBLE CREEK COMMUNITY CHURCH
As a non-denominational Protestant church, Pebble Creek Community Church meets every Sunday and on other Holy days to worship. In addition, a number of groups are involved in the life of the church. These groups play an important role and will meet independently in homes and in available spaces at various facilities within the PebbleCreek community, all reporting periodically as appropriate to the Board of Elders. At present the following represent most of the groups involved within the church:
Board of Elders
Board of Trustees
Board of Deacons
Bible Study Groups
Since new groups are formed from time to time, a letter can be provided by the Secretary for identity for the purposes of scheduling space within the PebbleCreek community. A group or committee that meets regularly will be approved by the Board of Elders.
IV. CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
Annual Meeting: The congregation will hold an annual meeting during the first two months of each fiscal year. The business of the annual meeting is electing Elders, Deacons, and Trustees; receiving reports from the Board of Elders and committees of the church; adopting a budget for the fiscal year; and transacting other business as appropriate. Only members who are present at the annual congregational meeting are entitled to vote. Public notice of the meeting shall be given on three successive Sundays. The meeting shall be convened following the notice given on the third Sunday.
Other Congregational Meetings: Special meetings of the congregation may be called by the Pastor, by the Board of Elders, or by written request signed by 25% of the active membership of the congregation. Public notice of the meeting will be given at least one week in advance. The business to be transacted is limited to items specifically listed in the call for the meeting. Once a quorum is established, a simple majority vote of the members present is required for approval of these items except as otherwise provided in these By-Laws.
Business to be transacted at meetings of the congregation shall include items such as the following:
1. Approve an annual budget as presented by the Board of Elders. The proposed budget shall be made available to the congregation at least two weeks before the annual meeting.
2. Matters related to the electing of Elders, Trustees, and Deacons.
3. Matters related to the pastoral relationship with the congregation, including such matters as calling of a Pastor, changing the call, or removal of the Pastor pursuant to Article V of these By-Laws.
4. Matters related to buying, mortgaging, or selling real property in excess of 2% of the annual budget.
5. Dissolution of the corporation.
Whenever permitted by civil law, both ecclesiastical and corporate business may be conducted at the same congregational meeting. The quorum of a meeting of the congregation shall be not less than one-fourth of the members of the congregation. The Chair of the Board of Elders, or his or her designee, will preside at all meetings of the congregation. Decisions will be made by a simple majority of those present at congregational meetings except as otherwise provided in these By-Laws.
A minister of the Gospel, who is called as Pastor, is to be responsible for a quality of life and relationship that commends the Gospel to all persons and that communicates its joy and justice. The Pastor’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following: studying, teaching, and preaching the Word; administering Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; and praying with and for the congregation. With the Elders, the Pastor is to encourage the people in the worship and service of God to equip and enable them for their tasks within the church and their mission in the world. The Pastor will also exercise pastoral care, devoting special attention to the poor, the sick, the troubled, and the dying. The Pastor will oversee the administrative responsibilities of the church, and will advise the leadership of the church in its decision-making and its task of reaching out in concern and service to the life of the human community as a whole. With the Elders and Deacons, the Pastor will share in the ministries of sympathy, witness, and service.
The Pastor will, by virtue of his position as Pastor, be a permanent member of the Board of Elders, and an ex officio member of all other Boards, committees, and other organizations within the church.
When the position of Pastor is vacant or the Pastor announces an intention to retire or resign, a Pastor Search Committee of members of the church will be formed. The committee will be composed as follows: two members from the Board of Elders, one member from the Board of Deacons, one member from the Board of Trustees, and at least three members from the congregation who are not current serving as an Elder, Deacon, or Trustee. The Pastor Search Committee will be approved first by the Board of Elders and then by the congregation at an annual or special meeting. The Board of Elders will select the chair of the committee. The committee will select a secretary who is responsible for maintaining all the records of the committee. The committee will report its progress at every meeting of the Board of Elders, and will present a final candidate or candidates. Upon approval of the Board of Elders, the final candidate or candidates will be presented to the congregation.
The election and calling of a Pastor shall take place at the annual meeting or a special meeting of the congregation called for that purpose. Voting shall be done by a secret ballot. Absentee voting is permitted for members unable to attend in person. A Pastor will be called for an indefinite period of time and must receive at least a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all votes cast. Two months written notice shall be given by the Pastor in the event of resignation. The Church shall also give the Pastor two months written notice of termination of office. In either case, the Board of Elders may relieve the Pastor of all duties at any time prior to the expiration of the two-month period. The Pastor is entitled to receive full financial compensation for the duration of the two-month period. The Pastor may be removed from office by the congregation only upon recommendation of 75% of the Board of Elders and a ratifying vote of at least 75% of the members present at an annual or special meeting of the congregation. Any complaint against the Pastor leading to possible removal must be made in writing by at least ten active members. A complaint must be directed to the Board of Elders first by letter and then by personal appearance of the complainants. If further action is needed, the Board of Elders shall take up deliberation with the Pastor.
VI. BOARD OF ELDERS
Elders are elected by the congregation at the annual meeting. An Elder must be a member of the church. An Elder serves for a term of three years. An Elder may be re-elected for a second consecutive term. An Elder who has served two consecutive full or partial terms is not eligible for re-election, and must be off the Board for one year before being eligible to serve on the Board again. The Board has a minimum of 7 Elders, including the Pastor. This number may be increased by the Board as needed for the work of the church, but not to exceed 11 Elders. An unexpired vacancy on the Board of Elders may be filled by majority vote of the remaining Elders. Together with the Pastor, Elders exercise leadership, governance, discipline, and responsibility for the life of the church.The Board of Elders will elect a Chair from the Elders for a one-year term. The Chair may be re-elected for successive terms not to exceed three years. In addition to chairing the meetings of the Board of Elders, the Chair will preside at congregational meetings, and will serve as a liaison between the Board of Elders and the congregation, with primary concern for keeping the congregation informed about the decisions and activities of the Board of Elders.
The Board of Elders functions as the Board of Directors of the non-profit corporation.
Elders should be persons of faith, dedication, and good judgment. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel, both within the church and in the world.
The duty of Elders, individually and jointly, is to strengthen and nurture the faith and life of the congregation and its members. Together with the Pastor, Elders should encourage the people in the worship and service of God, equip and renew the people for their tasks within the church and for their mission in the world, and visit, comfort, and care for the people. Special attention should be given to the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the oppressed.
Specific duties of the Board of Elders include the following:
1. Receive members into the church upon profession of faith, reaffirmation of faith in Jesus Christ, or letter of transfer of church membership.
2. Provide for the worship of the people of God, including the preaching of the Word, the sharing of the Ordinances, and the music program.
3. Provide for the spiritual growth of members and equip them for ministry through personal and pastoral care, educational programs, sharing in fellowship, and mutual support.
4. Challenge the people of God with the privilege of responsible Christian stewardship of money, time, and talents. Develop effective methods to encourage and gather the tithes and offerings of the people, and assure all offerings are distributed to the activity and mission toward which they were contributed.
5. Instruct, examine, ordain, install, and welcome into common ministry Elders, Deacons, and Trustees on their election by the congregation. Continue to ensure their faithfulness in fulfilling their responsibilities.
6. Delegate and supervise the work of the Board of Deacons, the Board of Trustees, and all other committees and other organizations within the congregation.
7. Provide for administration of the programs of the church, including employment of staff, with concern for equal employment opportunity, fair employment practices, consistent personnel policies, and annual review of compensation .
8. Oversee the preparation and adoption of the annual budget, determine the distribution of the church’s benevolences, and provide full information to the congregation of its decisions in such matters. Arrange for annual audit of the financial records of the church.
9. Receive, hold, encumber, manage, and transfer property, real or personal, for the church.
10. Accept and execute deeds of title to such property.
11. Hold and defend title to such property.
12. Manage any permanent special funds for the furtherance of the purposes of the church.
13. Buy, sell, and mortgage real property, acting only after the approval of the congregation granted in a duly constituted meeting as provided in Article IV of these By-Laws.
Committees and other organizations from the congregation will work with the Elders in carrying out their responsibilities.
The Board of Elders shall hold regular meetings. These meetings shall be monthly during the winter months and may be called only when needed during the summer months. The Chair of the Board may call a special meeting of the Board at any time and must do so when requested in writing by any two members of the Board. Reasonable notice of all special meetings must be given when other than routine business is to be transacted. The Board of Elders may invite members of the congregation to attend and observe its meetings, without restricting its right to meet in executive session whenever it deems necessary. A quorum of the Board of Elders is a majority of the serving Elders. Decisions will be made by a majority of those present. Attendance may be by telephone where all discussion is heard and all may speak, and by proxy given in writing by way of email or other means copied to all members of the Board after the meeting agenda has been published.
The Board of Elders may form an Executive Committee. The members of the Executive Committee will be the Pastor, the Chair, the Vice Chair, and the financial Elder, or such other membership as the Board determines. The purposes of the Executive Committee are to make meetings of the Board of Elders more efficient and to take emergency action as required. Decisions of the Executive Committee are subject to later approval of the Board.
VII. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Trustees are elected by the congregation at the annual meeting. A Trustee may serve for a term of three years and may serve consecutive terms. A Trustee must be a member of the church. The Board of Trustees will be a minimum of four members. An unexpired vacancy on the Board of Trustees may be filled by the Board of Elders.
The Trustees shall have the following powers, all subject to the authority of the Board of Elders:
1. To see that the worship facility is adequately prepared prior to worship (chairs, hymnbooks, fellowship pads, cross, flags, banners, silk plants, communion table, etc.) and return these materials to their proper storage areas following worship.
2. To set up all sound equipment and microphones as needed, and provide people to run the sound equipment for all services and special events.
3. To recruit greeters, people to pass out the bulletins, people to set up the coffee table, and people to do such tasks as are needed to make those attending feel welcome.
4. To select and train ushers to seat people at services and to take up the collection.
5. To maintain an inventory of church property such as office equipment, hymnals, offering plates, sound equipment, worship accessories, etc.
6. Solicit contracts or pricing arrangements from vendors for office supplies, copying services, , and other materials and services regularly needed in the operation of the church. Bring all vendor contracts or pricing arrangements to the Board of Elders along with a recommendation for a particular vendor.
VIII. SECRETARY AND TREASURER
The Secretary, who must be a church member, is elected by the Board of Elders for such term as it may determine. The Secretary shall hold no other elected church office. The Secretary shall record the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Elders, keep the rolls of membership and attendance, and preserve all of these church records. The Secretary shall also record all the business that is transacted at annual and special congregational meetings.
The Treasurer, who must be a church member, is elected by the Board of Elders for such term as it may determine. The Treasurer shall hold no other elected church office. The Treasurer’s work shall be supervised by the finance committee and the Board of Elders.
The following minimum standards of financial procedure shall be observed:
1. Assisting in the counting and recording of all offerings, preserving the confidentiality of the giver.
2. Keeping adequate books and records to reflect all of the church’s financial transactions, which shall be open to inspection by authorized church officers at reasonable times.
3. Periodic reporting of the financial activities of the church to the Board of Elders as often as the Board of Elders deems necessary.
4. Providing information for the audit of all books and records relating to finances once each year by a committee of members versed in accounting procedures.
5. Filing of the corporation’s annual report and any related documents with the State of Arizona.
IX. BOARD OF DEACONS
Deacons are elected by the congregation at the annual meeting. A Deacon serves for a term of three years and may serve consecutive terms. The Board of Deacons will be a minimum of six Deacons. The Board of Elders may increase the number of Deacons as needed. An unexpired vacancy on the Board of Deacons may be filled by the Board of Elders.
Deacons, first of all, minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress. Deacons will assume other duties as may be delegated to them from time to time by the Elders. The Deacons shall be under the supervision and authority of the Elders. The Elders may select and appoint other members of the congregation to assist the Deacons in their ministry of compassion.
X. ELECTING ELDERS, DEACONS AND TRUSTEES
The congregation shall elect Elders, Deacons, and Trustees at the annual meeting. An unexpired term for one of these offices may be filled by the Board of Elders for the remainder of that three-year term. There shall be three classes of Elders and three classes of Deacons. The classes shall be as nearly equal in number as possible, so that the terms of one-third of the Elders and one-third of the Deacons expire each year. Terms of Elders, Deacons and Trustees expire when their successors have been installed.
Nominations shall be made by a representative Nominating Committee of members of the church. The committee will be composed as follows: one member from the Board of Elders, one member from either the Board of Trustees or the Board of Deacons, and a majority of three members from the congregation who are not currently serving as an Elder, Deacon, or Trustee. The Pastor may be a member of this committee, serving ex-officio and without vote. The Nominating Committee will be chosen annually by the Board of Elders. No member of the committee shall serve more than three years consecutively. The Nominating Committee shall present the name of a potential nominee to the Board of Elders for approval prior to asking the nominee to serve. The election of Elders, Deacons, and Trustees will be at the annual meeting of the congregation. The Chair of the Board of Elders or designee will explain the purpose of the meeting to members and then proceed to election of Elders, Deacons, and Trustees. Nominations from the floor by any member present must be allowed. When the number of nominees proposed by the Nominating Committee equals the number of Elders, Deacons, and Trustees to be elected, and no nominations are made from the floor, the congregation may vote by voice vote or show of hands. When the number of nominees is greater than the number of Elders, Deacons, or Trustees to be elected, the congregation shall vote by secret ballot.
XI. MINUTES AND RECORDS
The Board of Elders, by the Secretary, shall keep a full and accurate record of its proceedings. Minutes and other official records of the Board of Elders, which shall include minutes of annual and special meetings of the congregation, records of the Board of Deacons, and records of the Board of Trustees are the property of the church. The Secretary is responsible for their preservation. Monthly financial statements of the church shall be available from the Treasurer on request to any member of the congregation, but personal information, including records of individual giving, will not be disclosed absent prior approval of the Board of Elders.
XII. FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the corporation is the calendar year.
XIII. AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS
Amendments to the By-Laws will be considered and proposed by the Board of Elders. Notice of proposed amendments shall be given to the congregation at least two weeks before the annual meeting or a special meeting called for the purpose of adopting amendments to the By-Laws.
Approved: Congregational Meeting on April 10, 2016
Hal Merwald Marsha Lyons
Chair, Board of Elders Secretary