THE NATURE AND PURPOSE OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
- The Parish Council is an advisory body, which works with the pastor and staff to promote the religious welfare of all within in the parish.
- The Parish Council is to be concerned with the needs of the parish as a Christian community dedicated to the worship of God and the service of His people. It seeks to provide opportunities for all in the parish to grow in holiness, unity and service.
- The four broad areas of concern to which the Parish Council directs its attention are Liturgy, Religious Education, Social Activities & Concerns, and Finance Council.
- The Parish Council will also have concern for other churches of the diocese and the world, especially those in need.
MEMBERSHIP ON THE PARISH COUNCIL
- The Parish Council shall include elected, appointed and ex-officio members. Each member has both voice and vote in deliberations.
- Elected members shall constitute a majority. They shall include nine adults (above high school age) elected by adult parishioners, and one youth member (high school age). The youth member will be selected by the Youth Group under the direction of the Youth Group coordinator.
- Appointed members include those nominated by the Executive Committee and appointed by the Pastor to provide for a particular need of the Council.
- Associate Pastors are ex-officio members.
- Elected and appointed members serve a term of three years, with the exception of youth members, who serve a one-year term. Members may complete a second consecutive term after which they must retire for a least one-year before serving again.
- In the event of resignation, departure from the parish or death, the Parish Council shall select a successor to complete the term. The policy for elected members shall be to select, in succession, the candidate who received the highest number of votes in the most recent election.
- If a member fails to attend 50% of the meetings in any twelve-month period, the Chairperson shall declare that position vacant and a successor shall be selected.
- Parish Council elections are held annually on the first or second Sunday of March.
- Any adult parishioner may become a candidate either by self-declaration or by nomination of the Parish Council. An opportunity for self-nomination is given during January. At the February meeting of the Council the slate of candidates is filled out by additional nominations. A maximum of nine candidates will be nominated.
- A brief biographical sketch of the candidates shall be presented to the parishioners at least one week before the scheduled election.
- An election committee named by the Chairperson, will organize and supervise the election process.
OFFICERS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
- The Pastor, as spiritual leader of the parish, is President of the Parish Council. He seeks the advice and recommendations of the Parish Council and also acts as teacher, counselor and guide to the Council. The Pastor does not chair the meetings; nor does he enter into debate lest he inhibit free discussion; nor does he vote since all resolutions of the Council are referred to him for final decision.
- The Parish Council will have as additional officers a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and a Secretary.
- Officers are elected at the first meeting following the March elections and serve for a term of one year. Officers may be elected to succeed themselves during their term of membership on the Council.
- Together with the Pastor, the Officers make up the Executive Committee, whose principle duties are:
- To set the agenda for meetings
- To announce to the parish actions taken and approved by the Pastor.
- To implement the decisions of the Parish Council
- Duties of the Officers:
- The Chairperson presides at all meetings of the Parish Council. In doing so, he or she should set a spiritual tone to the meetings, cultivate fraternity among the members, encourage freedom of discussion, and moderate debate with charity and firmness. The Chairperson names committees and assigns responsibilities to the members.
- The Vice-Chairperson carries out the responsibilities of the Chairperson in his or her absence and assists the Chairperson as needed.
- The Secretary notifies the members of meetings, keeps minutes of each meeting in a permanent record, makes minutes available to all Council members, receives reports from committees and responds to correspondence.
- To facilitate its work the Council has the following Commissions, which are to work in harmony and cooperation with one another under the guidance of the Pastor.
- The Liturgy Commission: This Commission’s responsibility is the development of the public worship of the parish community. Together with the Pastor, the members plan and coordinate the liturgy, sacramental rites, and other programs of parish worship.
- The Religious Education Commission: This Commission’s responsibility is to assist with all the religious education programs of the parish, from preschool through adult education.
- The Social Concerns Commission: This Commission’s responsibility is to develop the corporal works of mercy in the parish. Members take special interest in the sick, the elderly, the poor, the suffering, the dying, the bereaved and the handicapped.
- The Finance Commission: This Commission’s responsibility is for the temporal affairs of the parish. Members provide for the maintenance of the parish properties, prepare the annual budget, and make financial reports to the Council and to the parish.
- The Cemetery Commission: The care and development of the parish cemetery is the responsibility of this Commission. The Chairperson will report to Parish Council as needed or requested.
- The Social Activities Commission: This Commission’s responsibility is to plan dinners, picnics, and other social events in order to promote the parish as “family”.
- The Parish Council determines the number of members on each Commission.
- Chairpersons of each of these commissions are named by the members of such commissions for a term of one year, and may be re-appointed annually provided the term of the commission member has not expired.
- The Commissions meet at least eight times a year.
- The Pastor acts as teacher, counselor and guide for each of the Commissions as he does for the Parish Council as a whole.
- The Parish Council meets at least eight times a year and at such other times as called for by the Pastor and/or the Chairperson.
- A quorum shall exist when the majority of voting members are present.
- Robert’s Rule of Order will regulate all meetings.
- Parishioners are welcome to attend all Council Meetings. They have the right to speak when recognized by the Chairperson but they have no vote.
- The general format of meetings shall be as follows: a period of prayer, minutes of the previous meeting, Commission reports, old business, new business and a closing prayer.
- Proposed amendments to this constitution must be presented in writing to the Council members at lease one month prior to the meeting at which they will be voted on.
- A two-thirds majority of the Council is required to amend this Constitution.