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Recording Who Has Signed the Covenant for Office Bearers

Since we now keep all minutes electronically, there is no obvious existing option for storing hard-copy signatures. How have other churches handled this?

Council Clerks
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From DeMoor's book

The Church Order specifically gives you the right, at the local level to select whomever you wish as officers of the council, the consistory and the diaconate (Article 36). Typically, these are officebearers. Selecting a deacon to be clerk of council is certainly possible. Most councils prefer to have the clerk serve for both council and consistory. That would make selection of a deacon bit mote problematic since deacons don’t serve on the consistory. But it is entirely your prerogative.

My other suggestion would be to indicate that it is also possible to appoint a capable person not serving in office to do the actual work of recording and correspondence under the guidance of the selected elder clerk. For example, I have seen retired persons who once served as elders now serve in this capacity with great joy and enthusiasm. You could ask such a person to make a “vow of confidentiality,” and use their time and energy to everyone’s benefit.

To supplement the comment of Bill Via re possible legal rules, I know of no US state where non-profit laws would prohibit this.  And If the church's bylaws do, they are easily changed, by simple action of the council, unless the bylaws themselves required additional (e.g., vote of congregation).  If there is a prohibition in the articles of incorporation (which I frankly have never seen), then congregational action (and a filing with the state) would also likely be required, but again, I've never seen such in a CRC's articles and wouldn't expect to.

Henry's article basically gives my answer. Deacon can be clerk of council, though that raises the question of who will be clerk of the consistory (elders). A non-council member may serve as minute taker, and and be asked to take a vow of confidentiality.

Why not share here since you are posting here?

Pieter,

In my book entitled Christian Reformed Church Order Commentary I answer this question directly on page 196.  Members can access this on the web library of the CRC.

While the Church Order may not address this, it is probable that either your congregation's by-laws or state or provincial non-profit by-laws do. It is common to require that the council (or non-profit board) have certain officers who must be members. That said, there is nothing to prevent the treasurer having a bookkeeper who does the actual financial entries or the clerk having a scribe to assist with the minutes.

Peter,

Article 35 of the Church Order states that the council shall be "composed of the minister(s), the elders, and the deacons." Other than that I am not aware of synod having addressed this question. There would appear to be nothing against having someone who is not an officebearer be present to take minutes. Care should be taken about confidentiality and when sensitive matters are discussed, council would need to ask the clerk who is not an officebearer to leave the meeting.

Planning Center's "PEOPLE" online database is a fantastic way to keep track of all the pertinent information on your congregants.  From the very basic contact information, to marriage and baptism info... it's very customizable too to track things that might be unique to the CRC. Added bonus if you use any of their other programs - everything syncs beautifully!

We maintain a separate binder that goes back many years.  Even though our minutes are kept electronically, we still have that "special" binder just for those signatures. 

Big job with little or no training. It is the clerk who captures the intent of each motion from the floor and it is also his interpretation.

Our council agendas include much the same topics/information as the description given by James. Our President of Council sets the agenda and runs the meeting. Meeting agendas and other relevant information are distributed by email and hard copy on the Friday before the meeting (most people pick up their printouts on Sunday.) The Clerk records the meeting minutes and distributes those. Our Clerk also has an archive of minutes and decisions and is often the person called on to research questions about past events/decisions. We also have an office of "Vice-All". In the absence of either Council President or Clerk, the Vice-All will fill in.

Vern, as President of the Council, I always prepared the agenda and distributed it to the council members on the Sunday preceeding the meeting with all reports attached. The expectation was that all members came prepared to act, having read all the information. I followed a simple agenda:
Welcome and opening remarks
Devotions
Opening prayer (by Pastor)
Minutes of last meeting
Clerk reads all correspondence
Pastor's activity report
Staff reports - sometimes oral, typically written
Deacon's report
Elder's report
Treasurer's report
Committee reports
Any new business
Closing prayer by a member
Adjourn

Regarding "new business", immediately after the opening prayer I request ANY mattsr that is not on the agenda that any member woukd like to discuss. This enables all members to give some mental thought in advance to these matters).

Sorry, no job descriptions...
Blessings!

One of the thingsa clerk is responsible for is records management.  See the following link for what you need to save and for how long. http://www.calvin.edu/hh/Records_Management.pdf

Our council is trying a new council structure where there is an administrative team and a pastoral team and we went through the process of creating job descriptions for clerk... Our description included minutes, membership records and transfers, correspondence and emailing, and other stuff. hope that helps.