THE REGULATIONS

CONTENTS

Preliminary                                                          

The Synod                                                          

The Administration                                             

The Ministry                                                        

Leaves                                                                 

Department                                                         

Congregations                                                    

Pastoral Care and Discipline                                

Ritual and Worship                                              

Education                                                             

Finance                                                                  

Pensions                                                                

CHAPTER I

PRELIMINARY

  1. This regulation may be cited as the Regulations of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

CHAPTER II

THE SYNOD

Voting Procedures

  •   (a)      Matters shall be put to vote by the Chair:
  • stating every question properly presented to Synod; and
  • before putting  it to the vote asking. “Is Synod ready for the question?”

(b)      The Chair proceeds to put the question, that is, he/she puts it to a vote after once more making clear the exact question the assembly is called upon to decide.

(c)      Where there is any possibility of confusion, the Chair, before calling for the vote, shall make sure that the members understand the effect of an “aye” vote and of a ‘nay” vote.

(d)      In putting the question, the Chair should especially project his/her voice to be sure that all are aware that the vote is being taken.

(e)      The Chair announces the results of voting.

(f)       If he/she is a delegate, the Chair may vote on any motion or in any election.

(g)      When the Chair wishes to speak for or against a motion, he/she shall leave the chair and the Vice-Chair shall take the chair.

Delegates to Synod

  •   (a)      Delegates to Synod shall submit to the P.E.C. the following:
  • Name in full
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Congregation
  • Synod Committee interested in serving on.

Procedure for Handling Proposals

  • (a)    Synod shall determine before it sends proposals to Synodal Committees whether:
  • proposals have met the time requirement
  • proposals have been duly moved and seconded
  • what the proposal is asking for, such policies and regulations do not currently exist
  • the debate and discussion on such proposals will bring the Church into disrepute and/or puts the Church in a position to be liable for a lawsuit, for example, defaming someone’s character
  • an ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ from the Synod could resolve the matter

Proposal and Amendments

  •    (a)      Every proposal and amendment must be put in writing, signed by the mover and the seconder, and handed to the Chair, if it does not already appear on the Agenda Paper. A motion, once moved and seconded, may only be withdrawn with the consent of Synod.

      (b)      When an amendment has been moved, no other amendment may be moved, until the one under discussion has been disposed of.  Notice of a further amendment to be moved may be given to the Chair, while an amendment is under discussion. The Clerk will read the proposed amendment to Synod, after which it lies on the Table, until it is formally moved and seconded. When an amendment is carried, it displaces the original proposal, and further amendments may be moved. If there are no further amendments, the amendment which has become the substantive proposal must be voted on again.

      (c)      A proposal or a long or complicated motion should be prepared in advance of the meeting, if possible, and should be put in writing before it is offered. The mover then passes it to the Chair as soon as he/her has offered it. If conditions make it impractical for a member offering a written proposal to read it himself/herself, he/she should sign it and pass or send it to the Chair ahead of time, or he/she can deliver it to the Clerk before the meeting. In such a case the member offers his/her resolution by saying, “I move the adoption of the proposal relating to… which I have sent to the Chair (or “Have delivered to the Clerk”). The Chair then says, “The proposal offered by Brother/Sister A is as follows: … (or, “The Clerk will read the proposal offered by Brother/Sister A”).

      (d)      As soon as a member has made a motion, he/her resumes his/her seat. He/she will have the right to speak first in debate, if he/she wishes, after the Chair has stated the question. If the motion has not been heard or is not clear, another member can ask that it be repeated, which the Chair can request the mover or the Clerk to do, or can do himself/herself.

Voting

  •   (a)    Before a vote is taken by ballots, the Chair shall appoint tellers, who shall hand out and collect the voting papers. For votes taken by show of hands, the teller shall count those and indicate the results to the Chair who shall announce the result to Synod.

      (b)  The taking of a vote on any motion may be postponed until such time as Synod may determine, provided the majority of the voting members present at Synod are in agreement with the postponement.

Agenda Paper

  •   (a)  The Agenda paper shall contain:
  • a statement of Synod arrangements, times of sessions and other meetings;
  • the full text of all proposals received; and
  • reports to be presented to Synod.

Discussion or Debate (Plenary Session)

  •   (a)   The right to debate is implied by the word ‘deliberative’.

(b)    A member wishing to speak signifies his/her intention by rising and addresses the Chair.

(c)    When two or more members rise together, the Chair decides who is to have precedence.

(d)   No member should interrupt a speaker who has the floor, except the Chair, who may do so for the purpose of enforcing order and the correct procedure of Synod or someone intending to raise a point of order.

(e)    A debate is characteristic of all main motions and of certain other motions, depending on the parliamentary function they serve.

(f)    The Mover of a proposal, but not of an amendment, has the right to reply before the proposal is voted upon.

(g)    No member may speak more than once on the same proposal or the same amendment.

(h)    The Mover of a proposal is entitled to speak for no more than five minutes in introducing the motion.

(i)     All other members are allowed no more than three minutes each.

(j)     A speaker may, with the consent of Synod, be given extra time of not more than one minute.

The Inter-Synodal Committees

  •   (a)   The Inter-Synodal committees shall:
  • consist of at least five members elected by the Synod and the District Conferences.
  • co-opt members from any District as deemed necessary.
  • fulfil such duties as may be mandated by the Synod.
  • collaborate with District Committees with related names and responsibilities.
  • meet from time to time to review the work in the respective Districts and to co-ordinate activities.
  • consist of a Chair who shall be appointed by Synod or by the P.E.C.
  • provide timely reports to the P.E.C. on the status of their mandates.

Inter-Synodal Committees, Board or Commissions

  1. (a)  The committees/boards/commissions may include:
  2. Finance and Property
  3. Education Commission
  4. Stewardship and Projects
  5. Family Life
  6. Mass Communication
  7. Archives
  8. Faith and Order
  9. Morris Knibb Board
  10. MCDC
  11. Moravian Institute
  12. Camp Hope Development
  13. Ministerial Formation
  14. Department of Education Mission and Youth (DEMY)
  15. Constitution and Review
  16. Any other Committee/Commission that Synod may decide to set up.

CHAPTER III

ADMINISTRATION

Functions of the President

11.  The President of the P.E.C. shall:

  • chair the meetings of the P.E.C.
  • be the Chief Executive and Operations Officer on Provincial matters.
  •  chair or be a member of the Board of Management of the Bethlehem Moravian College.
  •  have overall accountability for the administration of the Province.
  • be ex-officio on all District Executive Boards.
  •  liaise with District Executive Boards regarding District matters.

(vii) be a Director of the Board of the MCDC.

(viii) carry out such other duties as may be assigned by the Synod and the P.E.C.

Functions of the Vice-President of the P.E.C.

12.       The Vice President of the P.E.C. shall perform the duties of the Presidency in the absence of the incumbent, and such other duties as may be determined by the P.E.C. from time to time.

Functions of the Provincial Treasurer

13.   The Provincial Treasurer shall:

  • co-ordinate the financial programmes and undertakings of the Province.
  • liaise with Congregations and District Treasurers regarding Congregation, District, and Provincial financial matters.
  •  chair the Provincial Finance Committee.

Functions of the Secretary of the P.E.C.

14.       The Secretary of the P.E.C. shall:

  • be responsible for maintaining the minutes of P.E.C meetings.
  • receive and tabulate the Provincial statistics for presentation at Synod.
  •  ensure the proper maintenance of the minutes of the Synod.
  •  receive a copy of the confirmed minutes from each District Conference and from  District Executive meetings;
  • liaise with District Secretaries for the effective co-ordination and maintenance of minutes and statistics.

Division of the Province and List of Congregations & Fellowships

15 (a)   The Province is divided into four District Conferences namely:

  1. Western District
    1. Central District
    1. Eastern District and
    1. Surrey District
CENTRAL EASTERN SURREY WESTERN
Ballards Valley Bath Covenant Albion
Bethlehem Bethabara Four Paths Ashton
Carisbrook Bethany Harbour View Beaufort
Dober Bethpage Portmore Beersheba
Dublin Bohemia Redeemer Cairn Curran
Faith Broadleaf Trinity Carmel
Goshen Fairfield   Claremount
Grace Hill Fairmount   Content
Holy Cross Mile Gully   Covenant (C.I.)
Lacovia Mizpah   Gracefield
Langton Montpellier   Kilmarnock
Lititz Moravia   Mount Olivet
Merrywood Nazareth   New Hope
Middle Quarters New Beulah   New Irwin
New Eden Patrick Town   New Works
New Fulneck Prince of Peace   Petersville
Ockbrook Ritchies   Rosemount Gardens
White Hill Sharon   Salem
  Top Hill   Springfield
  Zorn   Tatewood

The District Conference

16. (a)    The District Conference shall:

  1.    consist of all Bishops resident in the Conference; all Clergy resident in or assigned to congregation/s in the Conference; all Non-Clergy staff resident in the Conference, all Lay Pastors in the Conference; the District Youth Coordinator; an Elder, a Steward, a Youth Representative, a Sunday School Teacher representative, and one other member from each congregation in the Conference.
    1.  nominate no more than three Lay Persons to serve on the P.E.C and to inform the P.E.C. by January 31 of the year of the general Synod.
    1. nominate Lay Members for the position of President of the P.E.C and inform the P.E.C. by January 31 of the year of the general Synod.
    1. meet four times each year to deliberate on the work in the District.
    1. elect their own District Executive Board at the first meeting after the Provincial Synod.
    1.  name one member to each Provincial Committee as requested by Synod.
    1. sponsor the Provincial radio programme for two months per year.
    1. elect committees to carry out functions at the District level that complement the work of the Provincial Committees. Such committees shall meet four times each year and must report to the District Executive Board.
    1.  receive an annual report from the District Executive Board, the District Committees and Congregations.
    1.  establish an office and recruit and remunerate the requisite staff.
    1.  monitor the work and programme of each Circuit or Congregation.
    1. elect a Youth Board, the Chair of which shall be the District Youth Coordinator.
    1. elect a DEMY District Committee (DEMYDC), the Chair of which shall be a member of the DEMY Board.
    1. submit biennial report to Synod by January 31 of the Synod year.

The District Executive Board

17 (a) The District Executive Board shall:

  • consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, the Treasurer, the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary/Assistant Treasurer, the Superintendent, all ministers of the Conference and may include other  co-opted members. The election of the Officers shall take place at the first District Conference after the general Synod.
    • meet bi-monthly to deliberate on District matters.
    • be responsible for ensuring that the assessments and other payments due are remitted to the central office on a monthly basis.
    • ensure, through the Superintendent, that all books and records are maintained in each congregation.
    • be accountable to the P.E.C. for the work mandated by the Synod.
    • submit to the P.E.C., through the District Secretary, copies of the confirmed minutes of District Executive meetings.
    • submit to the P.E.C. Secretary, through the District Secretary, the statistics for each District.
    • receive quarterly reports from the D.E.M.Y.D.C and other District Committees.
    • plan retreats and conventions for the spiritual enrichment of the members.
    • recommend persons for training for the ministry.
    • consist of members elected to serve for a two-year term and no one may serve for more than three consecutive terms.

18. (a) The Chair, in the case of a Minister, shall chair the District staff meeting. In the case
            of a Lay Member, the staff shall elect one from among themselves as Chair.   

The Superintendent

  1. (a)        The Superintendent shall:
  2. be appointed by the P.E.C. to the respective District Conference.
  3. ensure that the Ministers in the District Conference keep the books and records as stipulated in the Church Order.
  4. be the P.E.C’s link with the Ministers in the District Conference.
  5. function as a motivator and inspirer for the Ministers in the District Conference.
  6. keep the P.E.C. informed of the morale of the Ministers and the state of the Ministry in the District Conference.
  7. carry out such other functions as determined by the P.E.C.

Bishop’s Eligibility to Participate in P.E.C. Meetings

  • (a)  Bishops resident in the Province, who are not members of the P.E.C., shall be

        invited to attend P.E.C. meetings from time to time.

CHAPTER IV

THE MINISTRY

Recruitment of Ministers

  • (a)     The Minister is recruited in one of the following ways:
    • from Moravian Brothers and Sisters appointed by the P.E.C. after a course of training especially suited for the ministry.
    • from Ministers called from overseas who, with clearly defined relationships with their Home Province, become Ministers of this Province and are governed by the regulations of the Province.
    • from Ministers of other denominations accepted by the P.E.C. or Synod.

Duties of the Minister

  • (a)        The duties of the Moravian Minister shall include, but not be limited to, the

            following:

  1. presiding at Congregational Council Meetings.
    1. presiding at Elders’ and Joint Boards Meetings.
    1. keeping or ensuring that all Church records are kept.
    1. attending the biennial or Special Synod of the Province.
    1. attending all District Conferences.
    1. attending meetings of ministerial staff at district and provincial levels.

           vii.        doing the Pastoral work of the congregation, visiting, counselling, etc:

           viii.       presiding at members’ funerals.

ix.        attending or conducting weddings when asked.

  •      normally being Chair of the Board of Management of any schools attached to the

     Congregation/Circuit.

xi.         conducting or preaching at Public Worship Services.

xii.        being the Celebrant of Sacraments and presiding at other Moravian special

             services.

xiii.       preparing candidates for communicant membership and conducting the

             confirmation/reception/baptism.

            xiv.       attending Provincial Functions or Services.

Candidates for the Ministry

  • (a)        All candidates for the ministry:
    •    must be medically examined and, if  approved, must be required to sign a Bond to serve the Province for at least three years for every single year of training; or to refund the appropriate cost of their training, if they withdraw before the end of the time set in the Bond.
    •   must be a Communicant Member of the Church, and should have a definite experience of personal salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The candidate must have given acceptable voluntary service in his/her congregation.
    •  must apply to P.E.C. and the application must be accompanied by a recommendation from the Minister and Board of Elders of his/her congregation, showing the person’s standing in the Church, character, fitness for the work of ministry and his/her educational attainments.
    •  must pursue a course of study at an approved Theological College as arranged by the P.E.C.  The expenses for board and tuition, and also the cost of the necessary text books and other approved expenses shall be paid by the Province. The P.E.C. shall not be responsible for any other further outlay such as clothing, personal expenses and maintenance.
    •   shall do a course of study in Moravian Church History, Polity and Doctrine.
    •   must be ready to help with Church work in any of the Congregations during study and the holidays. He/she shall be paid travel to the Congregation, and receive some remuneration. The P.E.C. shall make arrangements with the Congregations for suitable maintenance during his/her service.
    • shall be appointed, at the end of his/her Theological Course, as Probationer, after a satisfactory report has been received from the College at which he/she has been studying. The Period of Probation shall normally last one year.
    • shall be called by the P.E.C. as a Probationer as soon as he/she has finished Theological Training.
    •  shall be ordained as a Deacon at the end of the probationary period.

Orders of the Ministry

  1.   The constituted orders of the ministry in the Moravian Church are those of Deacons,

   Presbyters and Bishops. Those ordained have authority to administer the Sacraments in

   the Moravian Church.

Protocol for Consecration of Presbyters

25. (a)    A Deacon should be considered for consecration as a Presbyter once he/she has served
              five (5) years.  

     (b)    Supplementary Ministers who opt to serve full-time after having served for this same
             period or more in supplementary service should be considered after the first year of their
             placement.

     (c)    A minister coming to join the ministry of the Moravian Church from another
             denomination with more than seven (7) years should be considered for consecration to
             the Order of Presbyter after five years of service.

    (d)  An individual, who upon entrance is of mature years (50 and over) and has shown
            maturity in leadership and management in his/her congregation or has demonstrated these
           skills in a career similar to that of the ministry of the Moravian Church, may be  

           considered for consecration once he/she has served five (5) years in full-time service.

    (e)    The P.E.C. should evaluate the candidate’s performance over the duration of his/her ministry and at the end of five years shall appoint a Ministerial Review Committee whose names shall be submitted to the Minister’s Council for ratification.    

    (f)  In furtherance of 25(e), the Ministerial Review Committee shall be comprised of the
           following persons:

i. The District Superintendent 

ii. Two lay members from congregations which the candidate has served or is serving, one of whom shall be selected by the candidate

iii. One other member of the Clergy who shall be selected by the candidate 

    (g)   The life of the Ministerial Review Committee shall be two years.

    (h)   This Committee shall evaluate the candidate’s performance over the duration of his/her           
            ministry. This should include standardized evaluation reports by congregation(s) and          
            written reports of District Superintendents to include the following considerations:

i. Management of the congregation evidenced in planning and implementation

ii. Evidence of effective leadership

iii. Effective time management

iv. Good inter-personal relationship in his/her family, congregation and among     
         colleagues

v. Participation in ministerial retreats, training and seminars for professional and         
       personal development etc.

vi. Adherence to the principles in the Code of Ethics

vii. Level of loyalty to the Province

    (i)    In furtherance of 25 (h), at the end of the evaluation, a recommendation shall be made to
             the P.E.C. on the suitability of the candidate. 

    (j)   If after examination, a person is considered not yet ready for consecration, the P.E.C. is to decide on the best course of action to assist such a person to achieve readiness, and the individual shall be re-examined, within a year, in the area [s] of weakness.

Supplementary Ministry

26. (a)    Applicants for this office shall be made to the P.E.C. with the following:

  1.  Recommendation from the Minister and the Board of Elders of the Congregation to which the Applicant is attached.
    1. A letter from the Joint Board of Officers of the applicant’s congregation stating the Board’s acceptance of the candidate to the Ministry and willingness to offer support/allowances after ordination to fulfil Ministry requirements.

       (b)  The candidate must be a Moravian for at least 5 years and must be active in the life of the congregation.

         (c)   After successfully completing the training, the candidate shall be ordained if   
       recommended by the P.E.C.

         (d)   After training he/she may be attached to his/her home congregation or assigned

                 otherwise by  the P.E.C.     

(e)   The Supplementary Minister shall perform all the rites that a full-time Minister performs.

(f)    A Supplementary Minister is not on call but may be asked by colleagues or the P.E.C. to do services elsewhere on a temporary basis. 

(g)   When the P.E.C. asks a Supplementary Ministry to assume any assignment, the duration and remuneration shall be set between the P.E.C and the Minister.

(h)   A Supplementary Minister must attend District Conferences, District and Provincial meetings, where possible. Failure to attend District /Provincial meetings/events could render one ineligible to attend Synod.

(i)    A Supplementary Minister must be assigned duties by the Minister in charge of the Congregation.

(j)    The Supplementary Minister is a member of the Boards of Elders and Stewarts.

(k)   A Supplementary Minister cannot be a Member of Parliament or Parish Councillor.

(l)    A Supplementary Minister can be District Superintendent after three years of being ordained.

(m)  A Supplementary Minister cannot be a Presbyter.

(n)   An annual assessment of the duties of the Supplementary Minister shall be done by his/her supervising Minister.        

(o)   No pension shall be paid to a Supplementary Minister by the Province.

Exemption from Government Service

27.    (a)  A Minister shall not be a Member of Parliament or a member of the Parish Council, but

               may accept appointment to the Senate.

Dismissal of Ministers

28.    (a)  Where the hearing of a Minister’s appeal is pending, the P.E.C. is authorized, if it   

   deems fit, to make a Financial Allowance.

          (b) After dismissal or resignation, a former employee shall no longer continue to live in the

                Manse, unless authorized to do so by the P.E.C.

Ministers and Congregation Boards and Council

  • A Minister is the Chair of the Elders’ Board, Joint Board, the Congregation Council and may be elected Chair of the Stewards’ Board.  Where he/she is the Chair, he/she has a casting vote where the voting results in a tie. If the Chair and Vice-Chair are unavoidably absent, a suitable person shall be deputized to act.

Ministers from other Denominations

  • (a) Ministers accepted from other denominations or Provinces shall be placed under the

     supervision of experienced Ministers before being put in full charge of a congregation.

Marriage Officers

  • (a)   Only ordained ministers are eligible for appointment as Marriage Officers.

  (b)   An application for appointment as a Marriage Officer must be made by the Minister.

  (c)   The application form must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from the  

          P.E.C.

  (d)   A fee for the marriage shall be charged, which includes the legal payment of the Marriage Officer and payment for the use of the Church.

(e)     Ministers and Officers shall use every means to encourage men and women to enter into marriage as early as possible. Weddings should be celebrated in the simplest manner.

(f)      Ministers shall use every opportunity to speak of the Christian ideals and practice of marriage, according to the teaching of Scripture. In this way we shall be doing our best to raise the standard of our humanity.

Ministerial Staff Intending to get Married

32.         All members of the ministerial staff, including ministerial students, shall inform the

              P.E.C. and the Bishops, in writing, of intent to get married no less than four months

              before marriage.

Meetings of Ministers

33. (a)     The Ministers of the Province shall meet at least once a year in retreat for discussion, for fellowship and renewal.

      (b)     The Ministers of the Province shall convene at least one Ministers’ Council annually to deal with matters relating to the ministry.

Wearing of Surplice

34. (a)     A Moravian Minister shall wear a Surplice on the following occasions:

  1. For the ministration of the Sacraments
    1. Ordination and Consecration
    1. At such other times as may be indicated by the P.E.C.

Lay Pastor

  • (a)     A Lay Pastor shall:
    • be a member of the Moravian Church for at least five years in good standing, before his/her appointment.
    •  be a lay member of the congregation who is recommended by the Minister and Boards of Elders and Stewards to hold office in that congregation.
    •   be appointed and Commissioned by the P.E.C.
    •  be responsible to the Minister, the Boards of Elders and Stewards of the congregation and the P.E.C.
    •  have his/her appointment terminated by the P.E.C. after due cause has been shown by the Minister, Boards of Elders and Stewards and/or the P.E.C.
    •  cease to be a Lay Pastor having attained the age of seventy-five (75).

Duties of the Lay Pastor

  • (a)     The duties are decided by the Minister and the Boards of Elders and Stewards.

(b)     A Lay Pastor shall:

  1.    be responsible, together with the Minister and the Boards of Elders, for the regular preaching at public worship each Sunday, when the Minister is absent. That is, he/she shall either preach himself/herself, or see that proper arrangements are made.
  2.  arrange for regular visits to sick and aged members.
  3. undertake the instruction of Candidates for communicant membership, when asked by the Minister. For this instruction, he/she must use the authorized Longer Catechism.
  4.  study, earnestly and conscientiously, the Word of God, and the beliefs and practices of the Christian Faith.

        (c)     Synod decides on the emoluments to be given the Lay Pastor.

        (d)    A service of recognition should be held, when a Lay Pastor is appointed.

Lay Pastors with Special Dispensation

  • (a)   Lay Pastors may be assigned Special Dispensation which gives the authority to administer the sacraments in the specific congregation.

        (b)   Such assignment occurs on the recommendation of the congregation and at the discretion of the P.E.C.

CHAPTER V

LEAVES

Recreational/Vacation Leave

  • (a)   Ministers in the Province are eligible for 4 months’ furlough after a minimum service of 5 years. It is recommended that ministerial staff use the furlough to do refresher courses or for the P.E.C. to arrange for refresher course in consultation with the ministerial staff member. The P.E.C. may also make arrangement with other Provinces for the furlough to be done or for the furlough to be deputation work.

        (b)   Ministerial staff shall be eligible for the following vacation leave:

               i. 1-5 years of service – two (2) weeks

               ii. 6-10 years of service – three (3) weeks

               iii. 11 and above – four (4) weeks

(c)   Vacation leave is non-accumulative and will not normally be granted during the year

        when furlough is due except in special circumstances allowed by the P.E.C. after

        consultation with the circuit/congregation where necessary.

Maternity Leave

  • (a)   A member of staff who is pregnant is entitled to three months’ maternity leave in accordance with the provisions of the Maternity Leave Act of Jamaica.

        (b)   In furtherance of subsection 39(a), the member of staff is eligible for two months’ full pay and benefits and one month without.

Study Leave

  • (a)   Ministers assigned or appointed by the P.E.C. are eligible for the grant of study leave, after a minimum of four (4) years of service from the date of employment. The leave shall be for a maximum period of three (3) years.

        (b)   Consideration of an application for the grant of study leave is given on the basis of:

  1.    the current manpower situation in the Province.
  2.  the first-to-apply principle.
  3.  seniority.
  4.  evidence of the acceptance of the applicant at an approved institution for an appropriate course of study beneficial to the ministry of the Church.
  5.   evidence of provision of necessary financial resources to cover all costs of the courses.

        (c)   Application for leave must be submitted not less than of six (6) months before commencement of the programme.

        (d)   Study Leave may be granted to Ministers of the Province as follows:

  1.   1st year:      Full Pay
  2.  2nd year:     Half Pay
  3. 3rd year:     Quarter Pay

        (e)   If extension of leave is required to complete an approved course of study, a new leave application must be made, and consideration may be given on the merit of the new application.

        (f)    Where vacation leave coincides with study leave, the vacation leave period may be taken in addition to the study leave, but must not lengthen the leave period to more than a maximum of three(3) years, nor deprive the applicant of full salary during the study leave.

        (g)   It is not incumbent on the P.E.C. to secure placement for an applicant in any institution or for the provision of funding.

        (h)   The family of a Minister to whom study leave has been granted has the option to remain in “the manse” for the duration of the leave period.

        (i)    The Minister and his\her family is required to make provision for the accommodation of the family if the leave will exceed three years.

        (j)    The P.E.C. may call a Minister to the Circuit/Congregation if the study leave extends for more than three years.

Sick Leave

  • (a)   Sick Leave shall be as stipulated for teachers in paragraph 66 of the Education Code (1980).

        (b)   A member of staff may be granted sick leave as follows:

Length of Service Amount of Sick Leave
Those who have continuous service of not less than three months. Five days with full pay.
Those who have continuous service exceeding six months but not exceeding twelve months. Five days with full pay and five days with half pay.
Those who have continuous service exceeding twelve months but not exceeding two years. Ten days with full pay and ten days with half pay.
Those who have continuous service exceeding two years but not exceeding five years. Twenty days with full pay and twenty days with half pay.
Those who have continuous service exceeding five years. Forty days with full pay and forty days with half pay.

  (c)   An application for sick leave for a period exceeding a total of three consecutive                                         working days must be supported by a medical certificate.

(d)   A member of staff who has exhausted all the sick leave with full pay and half pay for which he/she is eligible and who requires further leave on the grounds of ill health may be allowed such special sick leave whether on full pay or half pay as the P.E.C. may deem fit.

(e)   Subject to paragraph (d), the P.E.C. may require any member of staff who has been on sick leave for a continuous period exceeding one hundred and eighty days to be examined by a medical board to determine whether he/she is fit for further service as an employee of the Church.

(f)    If, having regard to special circumstances, the P.E.C. thinks fit, the P.E.C. may also  require a member of staff who has been on sick leave for any period less than the period granted in paragraph (e) to be examined by a medical board for the purposes specified in that paragraph.

Special Leave

  • Special leave may be granted for a period not exceeding one month and shall be at the discretion of the P.E.C.

No-Pay Leave

  • (a)     A member of staff can be granted “no- pay leave” for a period not exceeding one year.
  • In furtherance of subsection 43 (a),”no-pay leave” shall be granted at the discretion of

     the  P.E.C.

        (c)     A member of staff who has not re-entered the service of the Province at the end of his/her  “no-pay leave” or who is no longer an employee of the Province shall be required to formally reapply to the P.E.C. for entry into the employ of the Church.

        (d)    The P.E.C. shall treat all persons who have been given “no-pay leave”, and whose “no-pay leave” hasbeen completed without any formal communication of intent to resume, as being no longer in the employ of the Province from the date of the expiration of the “no-pay leave”.

        (e)     A member of staff who requires an extension of his/her “no-pay leave” shall request such in writing. No extension shall be considered for a period that is longer than the original “no-pay leave”.

Procedure for Leave

  • (a)     An application for leave shall be in writing to the P.E.C.

        (b)     In furtherance to subsection (a), notice shall be given:

  1. Six (6) months in advance for study leave.
  2. Three (3) months in advance for maternity leave.
  3. Four (4) months in advance for no pay leave.
  4. As soon as possible for special leave.

Resignation

  • (a)     A member of the ministerial staff shall give at least three (3) clear months’ written notice to the P.E.C.       

        (b)     A member of the P.E.C. shall give at least four (4) clear months’ written notice to the

                P.E.C.

        (c)     Any exception to the above must be mutually agreed on by the parties.

CHAPTER VI

DEPARTMENTS

Department of Education, Mission and Youth

  • (a)     Each congregation is expected to support the work of the Department to ten per cent of its     annual assessment.

        (b)     This contribution shall be made monthly.

        (c)     The funds of the Department shall come under the oversight of the Board.

        (d)    The funds shall be deposited in an account at a reputable financial institution.

        (e)     The finances of the Department shall be audited and a report made to Synod.

        (f)     The Board’s Treasurer may be one of the co-opted members of the Board.

General Objectives of D.E.M.Y.

  • (a)     The General Objectives of the Department shall largely be to:
    • train laity and pastoral leadership to promote the spiritual well-being of individuals thus empowering them to actively and enthusiastically spread the holistic gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • provide resources to enhance the spiritual development of individuals and congregations.
    • promote the physical, emotional, moral and mental wellbeing of members and the wider community utilizing appropriate entities within the Province and farther afield.  This may be achieved through satisfying needs such as health, education, counseling, social, shelter, nutrition and clothing.

Board

  • (a)     The DEMY shall be governed by a Board comprising two members of the P.E.C. one of whom will be the Chairman, a representative from each District who shall not be a member of the P.E.C. one representative from the Moravian Women’s Fellowship, one from the Moravian Men’s Association and the Director.    
  •      The Board may co-opt no more than three other members, as deemed necessary.
  •      The Board shall oversee the operations of committees as are necessary to the smooth operation of its work.
  •     The Board shall meet quarterly to take reports from the Director, Treasurer, District and auxiliary representatives.  In addition, the Board shall make decisions on matters of policy and procedure as deemed necessary.
  •     The Board quorum shall be six.
  •      At least fourteen days’ notice is required for a Board Meeting.
  •     A minimum of four days’ notice is needed for a Special meeting of the Board.
  •     The Chair presides at Board meetings and in his/her absence the Vice Chair shall do so.
  •     The Board elects its Vice Chair and Secretary for its duration.

CHAPTER VII

CONGREGATIONS

Membership

  • (a)     Candidates for membership may be all applicants for Church membership, whether by Candidates’ Class or otherwise.

        (b)     Candidates must be given a copy of “Declarations and Rules” as contained in the Longer Catechism.

        (c)     Adults who desire to become communicant members must have either:

  1.    enrolled as Candidates for Confirmation or Baptism,
  2.   applied for membership by transfer from other congregations and recognized denominations, or
  3.  been those who wish to make this step by first speaking directly to the Minister or to the Elder of the District and have been presented to the Board of Elders for approval.

        (d)    All young people under the spiritual care of the Congregation shall be encouraged to enrol as Candidates as early as possible.

Members’ Obligations

  • (a)     All members must regularly attend the celebrations of the Lord’s Supper and prepare themselves by prayer and reflection.

Membership Transfers

  • (a)     Members transferring from one congregation to another recognized denomination shall obtain and present a standard Transfer Membership Certificate of the province, reading somewhat as follows:  “This certifies that A.B. is a recognized member of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in the congregation of … and is a Communicant member in good standing” signed by the Minister.

        (b)     Members coming from other recognized denominations should present a letter of transfer signed by the minister.

Circuit/Congregation Duties

  • (a)     The circuit or congregation shall:
    • contribute to the provincial budget as stipulated by the Synod.
    • be initially accountable to the District Executive Board and the District Conference for the work carried out.
    • encourage and recommend persons for the ministries of the church.
    • recommend to the P.E.C. such persons for specialized ministries as deemed necessary at the Circuit/Congregation level, e.g. Youth Pastors for Circuit or Congregation.
    • The Circuit or Congregation may remunerate such persons for specialized ministries.

Tithes and Offerings

  • (a)     The claims of Christian Stewardship and Evangelism should be repeatedly impressed upon all members, so that all may realize that the strength of the Church depends upon their wholehearted freewill support.

        (b)     All persons connected with the Congregation are expected to make regular offerings for the support of the Lord’s work, unless excused by the Stewards.

        (c)     In furtherance to 53 (b), Congregations shall encourage their members to do this mainly by means of the Tithing Envelope.

        (d)    Stewards should remind members of their financial responsibility, if and when they become neglectful:

  1.    At the end of each year, the Board should review the position of all members.
  2.   When a member has neglected to support his/her Church for more than a year, appropriate action should be taken.
  3.  Acknowledgment should be made at the end of each year to all members who use weekly envelopes.

        (e)     When a negligent member fails to respond to the appeal of a steward, the matter should be referred to the Board.

        (f)     Any member who wishes to be relieved of the duty to support his/her Church financially, must apply to the Board.

        (g)     Candidates for communicant membership should be encouraged to begin their Freewill offering at an early meeting of the Class.

Repairs

  • (a)     In all cases where major repairs, or construction of new buildings, or purchase of lands, is to be undertaken by any Minister or Congregation, with regard to Church buildings, Manses, Schools, Teachers’ Cottages, Training Colleges and the like, building plans must first be submitted to, and permission for the building obtained from the P.E.C., before construction work begins.

        (b)     One quarter of the estimated costs of the proposed scheme must be in hand, and no debt is to be incurred beyond one-third of the total cost.

        (c)     Plans must be submitted to the P.E.C. for the raising of the balance of the money

                needed.

        (d)    No debts shall be contracted with any outside party or merchant without the permission of the P.E.C. Any indebtedness on Church, School or College fund shall appear in the accounts as submitted to the Provincial Treasurer, after permission has been received from the P.E.C. in writing, and after proper agreements have been drawn up and signed by the P.E.C. and the local Church Board, with respect to both the amount of debt to be incurred and the interest to be paid.

        (e)     In cases where the names of members of the Board appear on the agreement with the P.E.C., it is understood that the members of the Board sign on behalf of their congregation, and not on behalf of the ones signing personally. A change in the membership of the Board does not in any way affect the responsibility of the Congregation regarding the debt incurred.

        (f)     All gates, walls, roads and enclosures on Church property are to be kept in order by the Board.

Ownership of Church Property and Glebe Rental

  • (a)     The Church glebe, if rented, shall be rented only on a yearly basis, and a written agreement must be drawn up and signed by the Minister and the tenant.       

        (b)     The annual crops on the un-rented glebe belong to the Minister in charge. Lumber trees belong to the congregation. All government or other compensation for minerals or oils found below the ground of Church property belongs to the Province.

Congregation Council

  • (a)     All matters of special interest to the Congregation, the District and the Province shall be discussed by the Council and appropriate action recommended.  The Boards of Stewards and Elders are responsible for carrying out the decisions of the Council.

        (b)     Notice of a Council Meeting should normally be given on each of the two Sundays preceding the meeting together with the announcement of any special item on the agenda.

Congregation Records

  • (a)     The following books are to be regularly kept and carefully preserved at each station:
    • Register of Admissions of Communicant members to the congregation.
    • Register of Baptisms.
    • Register of Marriages.
    • Register of Deaths and Burials.
    • A Book containing copies of Annual Reports and Statistics.
    • Register of members.
    • An account Book or Books, with a copy of the Quarterly and Annual Financial Statements.
    • A Duty Book and Diary.

        (b)     Each congregation is responsible for the safe keeping of its own official books.

Reports

  • (a)     The Annual Reports of the Congregation are to be sent to the President of the P.E.C., the statistics to the Secretary of the P.E.C., and the Financial reportsto the Treasurer of the P.E.C. by January 31st each year.

        (b)     The audit report of the congregation finances are to be sent to the Treasurer of the P.E.C. by the 30th of June each year.

        (c)     The Provincial Treasurer shall have oversight of the financial records and accounts of all congregations, with authority to examine all financial documents.

Use of Church Property

59. (a)       There shall be no event, on Church premises, that involves unwholesome music, dancing and behaviour inconsistent with the Church’s principles.

        (b)     Teachers who live in cottages provided by the Church must pay rent, as laid down by Synod. Where land or property is used by the Government for School or Cottage purposes, an agreed rent must be paid for such use.

CHAPTER VIII

PASTORAL CARE AND DISCIPLINE

Pastoral Care

  • (a)      The care of souls is an essential part of the work of a Christian Congregation.

        (b)     Every member of the Church, whatever his/her office or status, should gladly accept responsibility for his/her share of this work, not leaving it to the Minister, whose special care and duty it is.

        (c)     An ordained Minister is charged by the Lord Jesus Christ to feed His sheep. He/she must exercise this pastoral care with the greatest faithfulness and conscientiousness, with love, justice, impartiality and tact, without fear or favour or the desire to please persons.

        (d)    Each member, for his/her part, will welcome this spiritual oversight, whether it is demonstrated in encouragement or reproof, and will thankfully and loyally accept this God-given means of deepening and enriching the life of faith.

        (e)     For pastoral care, however, the Minister needs to seek opportunities for individual counselling.

        (f)     The Minister’s visits in districts and homes afford means of pastoral care, and these visits should be made as often as possible.

Discipline

  • (a)     We have three degrees of Church Discipline:
  •    Reproof, administered to the erring, by the Minister, either alone or with the help of other Officers/Members.
  •   Suspension from the privileges of the Church.
  •  Exclusion from the privileges of the Church.

        (b)     Should it be necessary to prove the truth of a report in any accusation brought against a member, the name of the person making the report must be revealed to the Board of Elders, who will then deal with the matter.

        (c)     An excluded member who wishes to apply for re-admission must show repentance and contrition, and must be willing to accept the decision of the Board.

        (d)    Each member or congregation has the right to memorialize the Provincial Synod or the P.E.C.

Penalties for offences

  • (a)     In cases of fault, error, or sin, those guilty of the offence are to be reproved, suspended or excluded, according to the gravity of the case.

Appeals

  • (a)     Members of the ministerial staff, subject to the disciplinary and grievance procedure, have the right of appeal.

          (b)     Aggrieved members have the right of appeal.

Complaints and Appeals Tribunal

  • (a)     Synod shall have power to appoint a Complaints and Appeals Tribunal of not more than nine (9) and not less than seven (7) persons to adjudicate on complaints against the P.E.C. and appeals. The hearing of the complaint/appeal shall be at a date and time convenient to all parties.

          (b)     The composition of the Tribunal may be selected as follows:

  1. A Minister or Lay Pastor from the Moravian Church;
  2. A representative from each District;
  3. One representative from the Moravian Women’s Fellowship;
  4. One representative from the Moravian Men’s Association;
  5. One person with legal experience; and
  6. One other person as the Synod deems appropriate.

          (c)     The following persons shall not be eligible to be elected to the Tribunal:

i)       A member of the P.E.C.;

ii)      The Bishop(s)

          (d)     Procedure for Selection, Election and Appointment

  1. Members of the P.E.C. and any person who is a Complainant/Appellant at the time of the selection or election of any Complaints and Appeals Tribunal shall not be permitted to participate in the selection and election processes.
  1. The Synod shall appoint the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Tribunal from among the elected members immediately after the election and appointment of the members of the Tribunal.
  1. The Tribunal members shall be elected at each meeting of the Synod and shall have tenure of two (2) years or until the next meeting of the Synod, whichever is later in time and shall be empowered to deal with all complaints and appeals during the Inter-Synodal period.
  1. Should, for any reason, a member of the Tribunal be unable to complete his/her term, the Chairman may appoint another person of similar category in accordance with these Regulations to serve the remainder of that member’s term.
  • Should the Chairman be unable to complete his/her term, the Vice Chairman shall serve in his/her place.

(e)     Preparation and submission of Witness Statements to the Tribunal

  1. Witness statements are to be prepared by the Complainant/Appellantand transmitted to the Chairman of the Tribunal and to the Respondentnot less than twenty-one(21) working days before the date of the hearing.
  1. Witness statements are to be prepared by the Respondent and transmitted to the Chairman of the Tribunal and to the Complainant/Appellant not less than fourteen (14) working days before the date of the hearing.
  1. All statements are to be bundled, indexed and paginated and must contain copies of all the documents relevant to the hearing of the complaint/appeal including any documents submitted by the Respondent in response to the complaint/appeal.
  1. The Complainant/Appellant must state in his/her witness statements:-
    1. The nature of the complaint or the decision against which the appeal is made;
    1. The facts found by the Respondent, if any;
    1. The grounds of complaint/appeal; and
    1. The remedy being sought.

(f)      Effect of Appeal

  1. The making of an appeal does not operate as a stay of proceedings on the decision against which the appeal is brought.

(g)     The Powers of the Tribunal

  1. The Tribunal shall have the power to request the presence of parties and witnesses.
  1. The Synod may make rules for regulating the presentation, hearing and determination of matters by the Tribunal.
  1. The Tribunal may make rules pertaining to its administrative functions.

(h)     Practice and Course of Procedure of the Tribunal

  1. Only the Complainant/Appellant and Respondent, in person, or their representatives shall be entitled to address the Tribunal unless otherwise directed by the Tribunal.
  1. The Complainant/Appellant shall present his/her case first and shall produce his/her witnesses or evidence. At the close of the Complainant/Appellant’s case, the Respondent shall commence his/her case and shall call witnesses or produce evidence in response to the Complainant/Appellant.
  1. The Tribunal may, at the close of all parties’ cases, request or permit the presentation of closing arguments and shall direct whether said arguments shall be made orally or in writing. If the Respondent called evidence or witnesses, he/she shall present oral arguments first and the Complainant/Appellant shall present last. If no evidence or witness was called by the Respondent, oral arguments should be presented by the Complainant/Appellant first followed by the Respondent.
  1. At least five (5) members of the Tribunal must be present for the hearing of any complaint/appeal.
  • Where a member of the Tribunal has a financial or personal interest in any matter coming before the Tribunal, the affected person shall;

a)     Fully disclose the nature of his interest; and

b)     Withdraw from the hearing and determination of the matter.

  • Once a hearing has commenced, the same Tribunal members present at the time of commencement must hear the entire matter.

(i)      Proceedings in the Complaints and Appeals Tribunal

  1. The Tribunal shall hear and determine the issues arising on any matter transmitted to it as a complaint against the P.E.C. or an appeal to the Synod.
  1. Upon hearing the complaint/appeal, the Tribunal shall have the power to dismiss or allow the complaint/appeal.
  1. The determination of the Tribunal shall be final.
  1. Once a complaint/appeal is lodged, it must be heard and determined and a decision made and communicated in accordance with regulation 64. (j) i) within 9 months of it being so lodged.
  • Should the complaint/appeal not be heard and determined and a decision made and communicated in accordance with regulation 64. (j) i) within 9 months and it is due to delay primarily on the part of the Complaiant/Appellant, the complaint/appeal shall be dismissed once and for all.
  • Should the complaint/appeal not be heard and determined and a decision made and communicated in accordance with regulation 64. (j) i) within 9 months and it is due to delay primarily on the part of the Tribunal then the complaint/appeal shall be referred to the Synod.
  • Should there be any undue delay, which is primarily on the part of the Respondent, this shall not prevent the Tribunal from conducting the hearing and making a determination on the complaint/appeal.

(j)      Reporting Procedure

  1. The decision of the Tribunal shall be communicated to the Complainant/Appellant through the Chairman of the Tribunal within forty-five (45) days after hearing of the appeal.
  1. The final decision of the Tribunal must be a majority decision.
  1. It shall be the duty of the Chairman of the Tribunal to transmit to the Respondent, the Synod, and the Complainant/Appellant, a report detailing the findings, decisions and reasons for the decisions arrived at by the Tribunal.
  1. The report containing the decision must be signed by the majority of the members of the Tribunal who adjudicated at the hearing of the matter.

(k)     Delays or Cancellations

  1. Notice of a delay or cancellation on the part of the Complainant/Appellant must be given in writing to the Chairman and at least two other members of the Tribunal at least two (2) clear weeks before the date set for hearing.
  1. A Notice of delay or cancellation must include—
  2. The date the matter was scheduled to be heard;
  3. A brief description of the matter to be heard;
  4. The name(s) of the person(s) requesting the delay or cancellation;
  5. The reason for the delay or cancellation; and
  6. Any relevant supporting evidence.
  1. A notice of delay must also include three or more proposed dates to which the hearing may be rescheduled.
  1. Should the Complainant/Appellant not appear on the original or new date, the Tribunal shall have the power to:
  2. Dismiss the complaint/appeal once and for all; or
  3. Set a further date for hearing.

CHAPTER IX

RITUAL AND WORSHIP

Manner of Worship

  • (a)      The manner of worship in all essential points shall be uniform throughout the Provinces of the Moravian Unity.  

        (b)     The proper use of our Liturgies exemplifies the inmost spirit of the living Church of Christ. When members reverently use our Liturgies and ponder their meaning, they become a true means of grace for daily Christian living.

        (c)     In points of lesser importance, such as the introduction of an extra hymn or portion of Scripture, every Minister has complete liberty of choice.  But in the more important points, such as the use of Moravian Liturgies, the manner of conducting service and in choosing times for worship, a Minister must always consult his/her congregation.

        (d)    Essential changes in the ordering of services must be sanctioned by the Church as a whole, and can therefore, only be brought about by a resolution of Synod.

        (e)     In Public Worship on the Lord’s Day, the Word of God is read from the Holy Scriptures; the Litany, according to the authorized usage of the Province, is used as the means of corporate and united prayer; the Apostles’ Creed or other accepted creeds and one or more of the Psalms may be recited by the congregation; the hymns of the Moravian Hymn Book should be sung with understanding and sincerity; other hymns and other additions should always be set in the framework of the authorized form of service of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. The Liturgies appointed for special occasions should always be used on the appropriate days.

The Lord’s Day

  • (a)     The observance of the Lord’s Day as a day of rest and worship is absolutely binding. It is particularly, but not exclusively, set apart for the ministration of the Word and the Sacraments.  It is the duty of all members of the Church to observe the sanctity of the day.     

        (b)     Members are urged to do all in their power to promote the sanctity of the Lord’s Day in the Province.

        (c)     In this Province, the First Sunday after Trinity is observed in our Churches as a day on which the need for regular worship and dedicated observance of the Lord’s Day is specially brought home to our members.

Seasons and Festivals

  • (a)     While we do not lay undue stress upon the observance of the Christian Year, we do observe the more important seasons and festivals and also our own particular Memorial Days as for instance:
  • Advent
  • Christmas
  • Epiphany
  • Lent
  • Palm Sunday
  • Passion Week
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Day
  • Ascension Day
  • Whitsunday
  • Trinity Sunday

        (b)     also:

  1. The Founding of the Brethren’s Church, March 1, 1457
  2. The Renewal of the Brethren’s Church, May 12, 1722
  3. The Martyrdom of John Hus, July 6, 1415          
  4. The Manifestation of the Unity of the Spirit, August 13, 1727
  5. The Beginning of Moravian Missions, August 21, 1732
  6. The Great Reformation, October 31, 1517
  7. The Realization of the Headship of Christ, November 13, 1741
  8. The Arrival of the First Missionaries in Jamaica, December 9, 1754

The Sacraments

  • (a)     The only Sacraments acknowledged by the Moravian Church are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  These are given to us as a means of grace for the establishing and strengthening of our Christian life and witness in faith, hope and love.

Rite of Sacraments

        (b)     In the Moravian Church, it is the privilege of parents to present their children for Baptism at an early age. The solemn responsibility of bringing up the child in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” lies both with the parents and with the congregation.  It is desirable that the father and mother should be regular worshippers and should always be invited to come forward as candidates for membership.  Godparents must be Christians in good standing of the Moravian Church or some other recognized denomination.  In the latter case, they should be known to an Officer of the Church, or bring a certificate given by their own minister for the occasion.  At least one Godparent must be a Moravian.  Godparents must accept it as a solemn duty of Christian love to make the child a special subject of their prayers.  If the child is left an orphan, they should take every step possible to see that their godchild is brought up in the Christian faith, and well cared for in general.  Children of unmarried parents may be baptized when there is a real prospect of their receiving a Christian education and upbringing.

        (c)     The Sacrament of Baptism must always be administered in a service of worship, after parents and godparents have been duly instructed and counselled in the meaning of the Sacrament, and in the essential truths of the Christian faith.  The Cradle Roll System should be instituted and sponsored by the Sunday School.

        (d)    The Lord’s Supper is a blessed means of grace for establishing and strengthening the Christian life.  All members should conscientiously accept the frequently recurring opportunities to prepare themselves for partaking of the Sacrament by sincere self-examination, repentance and the renewal of the inner union with the Lord Jesus Christ, and for enriching the fellowship of all members with each other.

        (e)     Our liturgical form for the Sacrament of Holy Communion is beautifully solemn in its impressive simplicity.  It is our deepest act of worship.  It gives to each one who partakes a true sense of fellowship at its deepest level, and is a true act of confession and repentance for the whole congregation.  The giving of the right hand of fellowship at the end of the Sacrament represents the promise of each member to continue in the fellowship and doctrine of the Apostles.

        (f)     A communicant member who persistently absents himself or herself from the Sacrament must be admonished, and, if necessary, removed from the list of members.

Rite of Confirmation

  • (a)     The rite of Confirmation follows as the ratification (or confirmation) of the Baptismal Covenant, and confers the right to partake of the Lord’s Supper, and the privileges and responsibilities of Church membership.

Blessings of Infants

  • (a)     Ministers have the flexibility to practice Infant Baptism or the Blessing of Infants and proper guidance is to be given to parents and godparents, duly explaining the difference between both.

Reaffirmation of Baptism

  • (a)     Members who have received the sacrament of Infant Baptism and upon their acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, require baptism instead of confirmation, for the sake of their consciences, should be granted the opportunity to reaffirm their baptism with the use of water.

Funeral

  • (a)     At funerals, Ministers shall bring home to all who attend, the true way of life, leading to our eternal home. Funerals shall never be regarded merely as social occasions.

        (b)     Members have a right to the services of their Minister or Elder at the time of death, but Ministers and Elders should be willing to conduct funeral services for members and non-members alike.       

        (c)     Sunday Funerals shall be restricted and be confined to emergency cases only.  This shall be left to the discretion of the Minister.

Youth Work

  • (a)     Each Congregation shall, through its own members, instruct the young people every Sunday, and on other occasions, in Sunday School and Bible Classes.

        (b)     Where possible, leaders should be appointed to teach the Christian way of life and faith in the practical work of The Upward and Onward Society, The Juno’s, The Girls’ Brigade, The Boys’ Brigade, The Scouts, The Youth Fellowship and other similar organizations.

        (c)     The Provincial youth organizations are supervised by DEMY.

  • (a)     Ministers shall accept the careful and conscientious instruction of Candidates for adult Baptism and Confirmation as one of their most important responsibilities.  If the Minister is unable to undertake his/her duty, a faithful and loyal member of the Church should be deputed for the duty.

Worship Leader

  • (a)     The utmost care should be taken in choosing those who conduct services in our Churches in the absence of the Minister or recognized assistant in charge.

CHAPTER X

EDUCATION

  • (a)     The Moravian Church has supported the cause of education from the beginning of her work in Jamaica.  Her labours in this respect have been abundantly blessed by God.  The first Day Schools were built at such places as Rowes Corner, Fairfield, New Eden, Irwin Hill, in the years 1823 onwards.  Since those early days, a keen interest in education has been maintained up to the present time.
  • (a)     Moravian Educational Institutions are administered in accordance with the Education Act and the Education Regulations.  These regulations state that the Chairman and a specified number of members of the Board of Management of each denominational school shall be nominated by the P.E.C.  In the case of a Leased School, the P.E.C. shall nominate the chairman and the number of members specified by the Education Regulations.

        (b)     The P.E.C. normally nominates the Minister of the Congregation to be Chairman of the School Board.  Such Minister shall carry out his duties, not only in accordance with the Regulations laid out by the Ministry of Education, but also in accordance with the ideals and educational policy of the Church.  He/She shall exercise the greatest care in the selection of teachers, and recommend only men and women of true Christian character.

        (c)     Where it is impracticable for a Minister to serve as Chairman or member of the School Board, the P.E.C. shall nominate another Minister or a suitable lay person to serve.

        (d)    When a new principal is to be appointed to any Moravian institution, the P.E.C. must give approval before the names of nominees are submitted to the Ministry of Education.

        (e)     Where a difficult situation concerning schools or teachers arises, the Chairman shall seek the advice of the P.E.C.

        (f)     The Province owns and/or operates education institutions such as Morris-Knibb Preparatory School and others which may be added from time to time.

Moravian Education Commission

  • (a)     There shall be a Moravian Education Commission that is appointed by Synod to administer the Education affairs of the Province by giving advice, visiting institutions and enhancing the Church’s interest in education.

        (b)    The Moravian Education Commission shall:

  1. report to Synod
  2. consist of nine (9) Members
  3. have a Chair who shall be appointed by Synod
  • (a)     The Moravian Education Commission shall:
  •  set its own organization procedure.
  • advise the P.E.C. on Educational Matters/Practices.
  • enhance Moravian interest and participation in Education.
  • arrange visits to Educational Institutions.
  • function as the P.E.C./Synod requests.

Bethlehem Moravian College

  • (a)     The Moravian Church, in co-operation with the Ministry of Education, operates a multi-disciplinary institution at Bethlehem, Malvern, St. Elizabeth.  This institution trains teachers for the national education system and other personnel for the Jamaican and global economy.

        (b)     The institution is managed in accordance with the Education Regulations.

        (c)     The Chairman of the Board of Management and other Moravian members, as specified by the Education Regulations, shall be nominated by the P.E.C. for appointment by the Minister of Education.

        (d)    The Board, through the Principal, reports to Synod.

Morris-Knibb Preparatory School

  • (a)      Morris-Knibb Board shall consist of members as follows:
  • Principal of the School
  • P.T.A. Representative
  • Staff Representative
  • Representative of P.E.C.
  • Minister of Covenant Moravian Church
  • Three members including the Chair appointed by Synod (if the Chair is not listed at v).
  • Two members co-opted by the Board for their interest and experience.

        (b)     The Board, through the principal, shall report to Synod.

Functions of the Morris Knibb Board

  • (a)      The functions of the Board are to:
  • appoint Staff – Academic, Administrative and Auxiliary.
  • appoint a Principal in consultation with the P.E.C.
  • set salaries for staff.
  • decide on student fees.
  • administer the School in accordance with Regulations concerning Independent Schools.
  •  administer the School in accordance with the Moravian Education Policy and General Education Practices.

        (b)     The Board shall meet at least once per term.

        (c)     The Boards’ Sub-Committees shall meet as the Board stipulates.

The School Fund

  • (a)     Into this Fund, Teachers occupying Moravian Cottages pay a monthly rent, as fixed by agreement with the Minister of Education.  Out of this Fund, which may be increased by local efforts, the School Buildings and the Teachers Cottages are kept in good repair.

        (b)     Each year, 50% of the rent paid by the Teachers is sent to the P.E.C.

CHAPTER XI

FINANCE

Salary and Allowances

  • (a)     The salary and allowance of all staff shall be as determined from time to time by Synod.

Payment of Salaries

  • (a)     The Province shall phase the payment of salaries by congregation or circuit which shall eventually be instituted throughout the entire Province.

Assessment

  • (a)     The monthly assessment is to be sent to the Provincial Treasurer before the end of each month.

Temporary Assignments

  • (a)     When a Minister has temporary charge of a Congregation other than his/her own, he/she receives an allowance, cost of travel and any other expenses in connection with the oversight of the Church, as arranged between the Minister and the P.E.C. in each case.

Supervising Minister

  • (a)     When a Circuit/Congregation is served by a Probationer or a student, the supervising Minister is paid a monthly allowance from Provincial Funds.

Resting Allowance

  • (a)     Whenever it becomes necessary to place any of our Ministers on resting allowance, the allowance shall be paid at a rate equal to the current rate of pension.

Quarterly Statements

  • (a)     The Quarterly Statements must be sent to the Provincial Treasurer before the twenty-first day of the month following the end of each of the first three-quarters.

        (b)     The Financial Statement for the last Quarter, duly signed, together with all monies due must be sent to the Provincial Treasurer before the 31st of January of the next year.

Assessments

  • (a)     The Church Assessments shall continue each year at the same rate as the year before, unless otherwise determined by Synod.  A Congregation may write to the P.E.C., if it is felt that the Assessment is too high. The P.E.C. is authorized to lower it, if they are in agreement. The P.E.C. must inform all congregations when a change is made in the Assessments.

        (b)     A Congregation without a resident Minister is required to raise its Assessments in full.

The Building Fund

  • (a)     This Fund is raised by tithes and offerings given at Public Worship, and by special efforts, such as Harvest Festivals and from donations and gifts.  It is under the control of the Board of Stewards.

The Benevolent Fund

  • (a)     This Fund is raised from contributions given by the communicant members.  It is used to help aged and sick members in their need, and other cases as approved by the Board of Elders.  It is under the control of the Board of Stewards or Board of Elders, as decided by each congregation.

Debts

  • (a)     The Board of Stewards must not allow any Church Funds to fall into debt without the written permission of the P.E.C.

Congregation Treasurer

  • (a)     In general, the Treasurer’s duties are to be responsible for the receipt and expenditure of all church funds, to keep an accurate record of all accounts, and to see that all funds are counted, recorded and safely deposited in a bank so designated by the Board of Stewards or the Joint Board, in accordance with the established policies and guidelines of the Congregation Council and Synod.  The Treasurer shall ensure that expenditure is in accordance with the Budget approved by the Congregation or has been separately authorized by, or pursuant to authority granted by, the Board of Stewards or the Joint Board and submit reports to all meetings of the Board, giving account of all financial transactions.

        (b)     The responsibilities of the Treasurer of a Congregation include but are not limited to the following:

  1.       Serving as financial officer of the Congregation.
  2.      Ensuring that the assessment is paid on a timely basis.
  3.     Being responsible for payment of all bills, invoices and charges.
  4.     Performing or overseeing all of the book keeping functions.
  5.       Preparing the monthly financial reports for the Board of Stewards and quarterly for the Congregation Council.
  6.     Monitoring the cash position of the Congregation and investing available funds as directed by the Board or Congregation.
  7.    Preparing, together with the designated members of the Board, the annual congregation budget for the review of the Board and approval of the Congregation Council.
  8.   Submitting to the Provincial Treasurer the annual financial statements of the previous year, together with the approved Budget of the current year by January 31 each year.
  9.     Providing the congregation with any requested financial information.
  10.      Making available the financial records and accounts of the Congregation for examination by the Auditor and/or the Provincial Treasurer, having being formally notified.

CHAPTER XII

PENSIONS

Retirement Age

  • (a)     All Ministers in Provincial Service shall retire at the age of seventy (70) years.

        (b)     A member of the administrative staff shall retire at the age of sixty five (65) years. 

Pension Entitlements

  • (a)     A Minister (employee) of the Province, who has been in active service in the Province receives a pension on retirement, if the P.E.C. or Synod has granted him/her permission to retire.

        (b)     The shortest period of service that will entitle an individual to a pension shall be five

                 years.

        (c)     The maximum pension shall be paid after thirty five (35) years of service.  This shall be at an annual rate of 2/3 of the salary currently paid at the level where the Minister (employee) would have been had he/she been in active service.

        (d)    On the death of a Minister (employee), his/her spouse is entitled to receive a pension.  If a brother/sister enters Church service, and is in receipt of a pension from other sources, the P.E.C. may arrange with him/her not to pay him/her a Church pension.

        (e)     The pension shall be paid monthly.

        (f)     The years of service entitling a Minister (church employee) to a pension in the Moravian Church, are counted from the time of his/her call to service or permanent employment.

        (g)     When a minister from another Church enters the service of the Moravian Church, the pension is calculated from the time of their call to service in the Moravian Church.

Entitlements of Family Members of Deceased Pensioners

  • (a)     Subject to subsection 97(d), a widow(er) is entitled to two-thirds of the amount that would have been payable to his/her spouse.

        (b)     If a Minister dies in active service, the children’s allowance shall be paid according to

                 the normal rules, and the widow(er) shall receive his/her spouse’s salary for a further

                 twelve months, before going on pension.

        (d)    If a pensioned brother/sister dies and leaves a widow(er) or children who are not yet of age, they will have the right to the full pension of the deceased for twelve months after his/her death. This also applies, when a pensioned widow(er) dies.

  • If a Minister dies in active service, his/her family shall be allowed to occupy the manse for not more than 12 months after the death of the Minister. The congregation shall take responsibility for the utilities of the manse for the period of the occupancy.

        (f)     In furtherance of 98(e),any extension to this agreement shall be by mutual consent between the P.E.C. and the Congregation/Circuit.

Forfeiture of Rights to Pension

  • (a)     If a Minister enters the service of another Church, or is guilty of a moral offense or is asked by the P.E.C. to resign from Church Service, he/she forfeits all rights to a pension.

        (b)     If a person, who is drawing a pension, causes a scandal or acts in contravention of the rules of the Church, the P.E.C. is authorized to suspend, curtail, or entirely withdraw his/her pension.

(c)     A widow(er) shall forfeit his/her right to a pension if he/she re-marries.

THE CONSTITUTION

CONTENTS

Ground of the Unity                                                  

Preliminary                                                                 

The Establishment and Governance of the Church     

The Synod                                                                 

The Administration                                                    

The Ministry                                                               

Departments                                                              

Congregations                                                           

Finance                                                                       

 CHAPTER I

GROUND OF UNITY

1.      The Lord Jesus Christ calls His Church into being so that it may serve Him here on earth until He comes.  The Unitas Fratrum is, therefore, aware of its being called in faith to serve mankind by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It recognizes this call to be the source of its being and the inspiration of its service.  As is the source, so is the aim and end of its being, based upon the will of its Lord.

2.   The place of the Unitas Fratrum in Christendom

With the whole of Christendom we share faith in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We believe and confess that God has revealed Himself once and for all in His Son Jesus Christ; that our Lord has redeemed us with the whole of mankind by His death and His resurrection; and that there is no salvation apart from Him.  We believe that He is present with us in the Word and the Sacrament; that He directs and unites us through His Spirit and thus forms us into a Church.  We hear Him summoning us to follow Him, and pray Him to use us in His service.  He joins us together mutually so that, knowing ourselves to be members of His body, we become willing to serve each other.

3.   A Church of Sinners Saved by Grace

In the light of divine grace, we recognize ourselves to be a Church of sinners.  We require forgiveness daily, and live only through the mercy of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  He redeems us from our isolation and unites us into a living Church of Jesus Christ.

4.   God’s Word and Doctrine

         The Holy Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments are and abide the only source and rule of the faith, doctrine, and life of the Unitas Fratrum. The Unitas Fratrum realizes that the mystery of Jesus Christ to which the Bible bears witness cannot be fully comprehended in any human statement.  Yet the Holy Spirit makes God’s purpose of salvation sufficiently plain in the Old and New Testaments.  The Unitas Fratrum recognizes the Word of the Cross to be the centre of the Holy Scriptures and of evangelical preaching.  Its main commission and its reason for existence is to witness unfailingly to these glad tidings.  We pray to our Lord for strength never to desist from doing so.

5.   Creeds and Confessions

The Unitas Fratrum recognizes in the creeds of the Church the thankful acclaim of the Body of Christ.  These creeds aid the Church in formulating a Scriptural confession, in marking the boundary of heresies, and in exhorting believers to an obedient and fearless testimony in every age.  The Unitas Fratrum maintains that all creeds formulated by the Christian Church stand in need of constant testing in the light of the Holy Scriptures.  It acknowledges as such true professions of faith the early Christian witness: “Jesus Christ is Lord!” and also especially the ancient Christian creeds and the fundamental creeds of the Reformation.*

*Note – In the various Provinces of the Renewed Unitas Fratrum the following creeds in particular gained special importance, because in them the main doctrines of the Christian faith find clear and simple expression:

            The Apostles’ Creed

            The Athanasian Creed

            The Nicene Creed

            The Confession of the Unity of the Bohemian Brethren of 1662

            The Twenty-One Articles of the unaltered Augsburg Confession

            The Shorter Catechism of Martin Luther

            The Synod of Berne of 1532

            The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England

            The Theological Declaration of Barmen in 1934

            The Heidelberg Catechism

6.   The Unitas Fratrum as a Unity

We believe in and confess the Unity of the Church, given in the one Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour.  He died that He might unite the scattered children of God.  As the living Lord and Shepherd, He is leading His flock toward such unity. The Unitas Fratrum espoused such unity when it took over the name of the Old Bohemian Brethren’s Church, “Unitas Fratrum” (Unity of the Brethren).  Nor can we ever forget the powerful unifying experience granted by the crucified and risen Lord to our fathers in Herrnhut on the occasion of the Holy Communion of August 13, 1727, in Berthelsdorf.

It is the Lord’s will that Christendom should give evidence of and seek unity in Him with zeal and love.  In our own midst we see how such unity has been promised us and has laid upon us a charge.  We recognize that through the grace of Christ different churches have received many gifts.  It is our desire that we may learn from one another and rejoice together in the riches of the love of Christ and the manifold wisdom of God. We confess our share in the guilt which is manifest in the severed and divided state of Christendom.  By means of such divisions we ourselves hinder the message and power of the Gospel. We recognize the danger of self-righteousness and judging others without love.

Since we together with all Christendom are pilgrims on the way to meet our coming Lord, we welcome every step that brings us nearer the goal of unity in Him.  He himself invites us to communion in His supper.  Through it He leads the Church toward that union which He has promised.  By means of His presence in the Holy Communion, He makes our unity in Him evident and certain even today.

7.  The Church as a Fellowship

The Church of Jesus Christ, despite all the distinctions between male and female, poor and rich and people of different ethnic origin, is one in the Lord.  The Unitas Fratrum recognizes no distinction between those who are one in the Lord Jesus.  We are called to testify that God in Jesus Christ brings His people out of every ethnic origin and language into one body, pardons sinners beneath the Cross and brings them together.  We oppose any discrimination in our midst because of ethnic origin, sex or social standing, and we regard it as a commandment of the Lord to bear public witness to this and to demonstrate by word and deed that we are brothers and sisters in Christ.

8.  The Church as a Community of Service

Jesus Christ came not to be served but to serve.  From this, His Church receives its mission and its power for its service to which each of its members is called. We believe that the Lord has called us particularly to mission service among the peoples of the world.  In this, and in other forms of service both at home and abroad to which the Lord commits us, He expects us to confess Him and witness to His love in unselfish service.

       Serving our Neighbour

Our Lord Jesus entered into this world’s misery to bear it and to overcome it.  We seek to follow Him in serving His brothers and sisters.  Like the love of Jesus, this service knows no bounds.  Therefore, we pray the Lord ever anew to point out to us the way to reach our neighbours, opening our hearts and hands to them in their needs.

      Serving the World

Jesus Christ maintains in love and faithfulness His commitment to this fallen world.  Therefore, we must remain concerned for this world.  We may not withdraw from it through indifference, pride or fear.  Together with the universal Christian Church, the Unitas Fratrum challenges humanity with the message of the love of God, striving to promote the peace of the world and seeking to attain what is best for all.  For the sake of this world, the Unitas Fratrum hopes for and looks to the day when the victory of Christ will be manifest over sin and death and the new world will appear.

      Conclusion

Jesus Christ is the one Lord and Head of His body, the Church.  Because of this, the Church owes no allegiance to any authority whatsoever which opposes His dominion.  The Unitas Fratrum treasures in its history the vital experience of the Headship of Christ of September 16 and November 13, 1741.

The Unitas Fratrum recognizes that it is called into being and has been sustained hitherto only by the incomprehensible grace of God.  Thanksgiving and praise for this grace remains the keynote of its life and ministry. In this spirit, it awaits the appearing of Jesus Christ, goes forward to meet its Lord with joy, and prays to be found ready when He comes.

ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF THE UNITY

50. The Unitas Fratrum and its Congregations

The Unitas Fratrum was called into being by God as a Church which stresses fellowship.  After its apparent destruction in the land of its origin, it was renewed in Herrnhut, Germany.

51.  We recognize that it is the Lord’s will to confront and call to Himself each individual through His Spirit and that formal membership in a congregation is for no one a substitute for a personal encounter with his Saviour, nor does it relieve any from making a personal decision to accept Him.  We learn from the Scriptures, however, that it has pleased God to make the Church the place where God’s fellowship with men and woman become a reality.  A living Church is the clearest witness for its Lord to the world.

52. A church is and remains a living one when it: 

  • is attentive to God’s Word,
  • confesses its sins and accepts forgiveness for them,
  • seeks and maintains fellowship with its Lord and Redeemer by means of the Sacraments,
  • places its whole life under His rule and daily leading,
  • ministers to its neighbour and seeks fellowship with all who confess Christ,
  • proclaims to the world the tidings concerning the Saviour, – awaits whole-heartedly the coming of its Lord as King.

53.    Within each congregation the various groups may become aware of, and participate in, the    special gifts and tasks which can be drawn from the pattern of Jesus’ life on earth.

54.    Such congregations are “living stones” out of which the Lord will build His Church on earth.

55.    Wherever such congregations exist in the various parts of the Unitas Fratrum they form a living Church – a member of the body of Christ on earth.

56.    Communicant members of the Unitas Fratrum are those who have been received in one of the following ways:

            (a) Baptized and received into communicant membership by confirmation,

            (b) Received by adult baptism,

            (c) Received from other Christian churches by Letter of Transfer and by the Right                               Hand of Fellowship,

            (d) Received by reaffirmation of faith.

THE VOCATION OF THE UNITAS FRATRUM AND ITS CONGREGATIONS

100.

a.      The Unitas Fratrum lives by the gifts which the Lord has given His Church on earth, His Word, and the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.  Its vocation is to proclaim His Word to its congregations and to the world and to administer the Sacraments aright.

b.   The Unitas Fratrum considers its mission to be especially the following truths from the fullness of the Word of God:

  • The word of the cross as the testimony of the Lord who was crucified for us and who rose again (1 Cor. 1:18, 30),
  • The word of reconciliation as God making peace with His whole creation (1 John 2:2),
  • The word of personal union with the Saviour as the vitalising and moulding power of the believer’s life (John 15:5),
  • The word of love between one another as the fellowship of members, brought about by Jesus Christ, the Head of His Church (Eph. 4: 15, 16).

Baptism into the death of Jesus is administered in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in the presence of the congregation.  Customarily, in the Unitas Fratrum, children are baptized and later received by confirmation into the communicant membership.

In the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the congregations of the Unitas Fratrum have the assurance of being united with their Lord, enjoy the fruits of His sufferings and death for the forgiveness of sins, unite with each other anew as members of His body and rejoice in the hope of His return in glory.

101.

a.      From its beginning, the Unitas Fratrum has emphasized fellowship among its members.  It recognizes its calling to preserve this gift both by united adoration, self humiliation and intercession, and by ordering its Life and service:

  • as a fellowship within the congregation and with the Unitas Fratrum,
  • as a fellowship with the Universal Church of Christ on earth,
  • as a fellowship with the Church triumphant before the Throne.

As a fellowship of the redeemed, it extols the Lamb with joyful song.  As a fellowship looking to the future, it proclaims to the world the victory of Him who is to come.  In the liturgical form of its services, the Unitas Fratrum gives expression to its union with the whole Church of Christ on earth, and as a living fellowship, it will create ever new forms within the framework of its own tradition.

102.

In this fellowship, the Unitas Fratrum has received a new and transformed congregation life in which:

  • Jesus Christ is Lord of every phase of life,
  • we live no longer unto ourselves but unto Him who died for us and rose again,
  • the congregation and its members are willing to share the sufferings of Christ.

We recognize our responsibility to the civil authorities in so far as human law does not contradict the “government of the Saviour”. The life in the Unitas Fratrum is not the fruit of its own piety but of the love of Christ which constrains those who are His to love one another. The life in the congregations of the Unitas Fratrum is not the fruit of its own piety but of the love of Christ which constrains those who are His to love one another.

103.

a.      The new life of the congregation is nourished by the cure and care of souls and the exercise of congregation discipline.

b.      Though the cure and care of souls is the special task of ministers and their fellow-labourers, every member who has experienced the saving love of the Redeemer is called to undertake this service.

c.      In Church discipline, the sins and error of the individual are considered and borne as the burden of the whole congregation. The congregation stands beside the erring one understanding of the cross, ever mindful of its own need of forgiveness, and brings the fault before the only One who can redeem us from our guilt.

d.      Church discipline is exercised in the confident faith that it is not the Lord’s will that a single member should be lost, nor that the clear witness of the congregation should be hindered. This discipline is especially necessary when, by word or deed, the Gospel is falsified and the Lord denied. Therefore, the main object of Church discipline is the prevention of offences and not the punishment of the individual.

e.      In the exercise of corrective discipline the following aspects are recognised:

  1. Admonition by the Minister either alone or in fellowship with other members (Church Council, Elders, etc.) in private, in a spirit of love,
  2. Further admonition with temporary suspension from the fellowship of the congregation,
  3. Exclusion from the membership of the congregation,
  4. Persons who are excluded shall be welcomed back into the membership of the congregation after a profession of repentance on their part.

104

a.      The Unitas Fratrum recognizes the priesthood of all believers but also has specially appointed ministers who receive commission and authority for their service from the hands of Jesus Christ, whom the Church acknowledges as its Chief Elder.  All members may gladly and confidently carry on their work in and for the congregation and, by their devotion and faithfulness, all can render service to the whole Church.

b.      At the same time the Unitas Fratrum gratefully acknowledges the gift of the offices of the ministry which it has received from the Lord.  It recognizes and confesses that, in reality, it is its Lord and Head, Jesus Christ, who calls and ordains, whether in the case of the reception as an acolyte, or the ordination to the office of Deacon, or the consecration as a Presbyter or Bishop.

c.      The same is true for the brothers and sisters who are called or elected to service in any official capacity.  They can render their service well only through the grace of their Chief Elder.

THE WITNESS OF THE UNITAS FRATRUM

150.  The Unitas Fratrum is committed to the unity of the children of God as a reality created by God in Jesus Christ.  This unity has been granted and preserved within it as a Church formed out of various peoples, languages and denominations.  Its very life, therefore, is to be of service to the Church Universal.

151.

a.      The Unitas Fratrum is committed to the victory of the Lamb of God that was slain as the hope of the world.  It accepts as its central commission the proclamation of His message in every place where the Lord Himself opens the door.

b.        The Unitas Fratrum acknowledges its vocation to service in the homelands:

  • to bring the gospel to those who are far from God;
  • to serve the youth by means of schools, camps and other agencies;
  • to serve in caring for the sick, for the aged, and for those in special homes; and
  • to serve by means of the printed word, especially the “Daily Texts of the Moravian Church”

c.      The Unitas Fratrum experiences, in its missionary enterprise, active help from wide circles throughout all evangelical Christendom through prayer, gifts, and individuals ready to serve.  In this way also the unity of the children of God becomes visible.

d.       The Unitas Fratrum appreciates the inestimable value of each human being for whom Jesus Christ gave His life, and counts no sacrifice too great to “win souls for the Lamb”.

e.       The Unitas Fratrum recognizes that its members are united by their Lord in Congregations and are called to be pilgrims and messengers to carry the gospel to all human beings and into all human relationships.  The “first fruits” of their witness are the pledge of the whole harvest.

f.       The Unitas Fratrum recognizes its duty to grant the young churches full freedom concerning the future.  God’s Spirit must and will show them whether to remain a part of the Unitas Fratrum as a province of the Unity, or to become a self-dependent church, or to unite with some other indigenous church or church group. The Unitas Fratrum looks beyond this earthly witness of the Church to the great consummation when the Lord will “draw all men unto Himself” and His Kingdom be fully established.

N.B.:       The Foregoing Sections entitled: “Ground of The Unity” and Essential Features of The Unity” have been extracted from The Church Order of The Unitas Fratrum or World Wide Moravian Church.  The numbers beside each paragraph is the number used in the church order mentioned above.

CHAPTER II

PRELIMINARY

  1. In this constitution:
  2. “P.E.C.” means Provincial Elders’ Conference;
  3. “Superintendents” mean the persons appointed by the P.E.C. to each District Conference to serve as liaison and give administrative oversight;
  4. “D.E.M.Y.” means Department of Education, Mission and Youth;
  5. “MCDC” means Moravian Church Development Company;
  6. “Ministers’ Council” means the meeting of members of the ministerial staff, comprising those ordained, Lay Pastors with Special Dispensation and full-time commissioned staff;
  7. “Are called” means assigned or appointed by the P.E.C.;
  8. “Guests of Synod” are those invited to the Synod by the P.E.C. e.g. Fraternal delegates;
  9. “Advisory members of Synod” are those invited by the requisite authority;
  10. “Inter-synodal period” means the period between the closing and convening of a regular Synod;
  11. “Delegates” means those with voting rights;
  12. “Debate” applies to the discussion in a deliberative assembly on the merits of a pending matter;
  13. “Quorum” means the minimum number of members of a deliberative committee that is required to conduct the business of that group.  The quorum for Synod shall be three-fourths (3/4) of the Members with full voting rights in attendance irrespective of whether some may have departed;
  14. “Point of Order” is a matter raised during consideration of a motion concerning the rules of parliamentary procedure. It may be raised if the rules appear to have been broken. This may interrupt a speaker during debate, or anything else if the breach of the rules warrants it. The point is resolved before business continues.

The point of order calls upon the chair to make a ruling.  The chairperson may rule on the point of order or submit it to the judgment of the Synod. If the chair accepts the point of order, it is said to be ”sustained” or ruled ”well-taken”. If not, it is said to be ”overruled” or ruled ”not well-taken”.

The motion is sometimes erroneously used to ask a question of information or a question of parliamentary procedure.

  • “Majority” means ‘more than half’ of the votes cast by persons legally entitled to vote excluding absentees or abstentions, at a regular or properly called meeting with a quorum;
  • “Absolute majority” is also referred to as “majority of the entire membership”. It is a voting basis which usually requires that more than half (½) of all the members of a group (including those absent and those present but not voting) must vote in favour of a proposition in order for it to be passed. Absolute Majority is most often used to pass significant changes to constitutions or by-laws in order to ensure that there is substantial support for the proposal.

“Absolute Majority” is the term used to indicate more than fifty (50%) of the vote. This means that a polling of the votes will be taken using the full voting strength of Synod irrespective of whether persons have left or are present but abstained.  It is, therefore, important to remain in attendance and vote for the desired outcome. For the avoidance of doubt the winning proposal or vote will not be determined by the number of yes votes over no votes but by the number of yes votes as a percentage of the number of persons who are entitled to vote even if they have not voted;

  • “Relative Majority” is important in the context of those decisions that require absolute majority. Relative Majority is the excess of votes cast in favour of a proposal or issue when that proposal or issue garners less than fifty per cent (50%) of the vote cast. In other words, it is the greater number of votes for a proposal or motion but less than half of the votes. It is the “winning” vote only because it has more votes “for” than “against”. However, the “for” votes are less than 50% of the number of votes cast and also less than the required majority to “carry” the proposal;
  • “Simple majority” is contrasted with “Absolute Majority” as it only requires a majority (more than half of the group) of those actually voting to approve a proposal for it to be enacted. Simple Majority does not include those absent or those who abstained as “abstentions” and “non-voters” do not affect a simple majority process, since they neither support nor oppose;
  • “Simple Two-Thirds Majority” requires the number of votes “for” to be at least twice the number of votes “against”. For clarity, the phrase two-thirds majority of those present and voting is used;

A “Two-thirds majority” is described as an ambiguous requirement in some elections. There are two (2) types of Two-thirds Majority – simple and absolute.  Abstention (or neutral) votes are not considered;

  • “Abstention” is a term used in the election procedure for when an eligible participant does not exercise the franchise (vote) on election day. Abstention is contrasted with “blank vote” in which a voter casts a ballot wilfully made invalid by marking it wrongly or by not marking it at all. A “blank” voter has voted although the ballot may be considered a spoilt vote, while an abstaining voter has not voted. A person may choose to abstain for various reasons. Some of which include not feeling adequately informed about the issue at hand, or due to a case of a real or perceived conflict of interest. Abstentions DO NOT COUNT in tallying the vote negatively or positively. When persons abstain, they are in effect attending only to contribute to a quorum. On the other hand, a “blank vote” is counted in the total votes.
  • “Tellers” are persons authorized by Synod and charged with the responsibility of issuing and collecting ballots and counting those votes by show of hands as directed by the Chairman of Synod;
  • “Proposal” is a motion formally submitted to the Synod for debate, voting and possible adoption as a resolution, following the established procedures;
  • “Financial Matters” refer to the financial items that directly relate to and impact the Provincial budget.

CHAPTER III

THE ESTABLISHMENT AND GOVERNANCE OF THE CHURCH

Incorporation of the Church

 2.      The Moravian Church in Jamaica has been incorporated by an Act of the Legislative Council of Jamaica, known as Law 10, 1884, entitled, “The Moravian Church Incorporation and Vesting Law.”  This law provides that the real estate and property of the Province is held by the Trustees of the Corporation of the Unity of the Brethren in Jamaica, (commonly called Moravians) and by the Trustees of The British Mission Board.  The British Mission Board is empowered by this Law to appoint an attorney in Jamaica, to act for and on its behalf.

Governance of the Church

3.      The Moravian Church in Jamaica is governed in accordance with the principles of Unity Synod. It is under the control and management of the Provincial Synod, and the Provincial Elders’ Conference (P.E.C.). The Provincial Elders’ Conference is elected, as per the standing regulation at the time, to be the Executive Board and to carry out the decisions of Synod.

Legislation

4.    (a)  The Provincial Synod is the supreme legislative body of The Province.

(b) Every enactment of Synod, unless specifically stated otherwise in the enactment, takes effect immediately.

(c) The enactments of the Provisional Synod are binding on all boards, congregations, ministers and individual members in the Province.

CHAPTER IV

THE SYNOD

Functions of Synod

5.    (a) The functions of Synod are to:

  • Control or direct the affairs of the Province in accordance with the principles of the Unitas Fratrum as laid down in statements authorized by the Unity Synod or the Unity Board, and to take such steps as may be deemed requisite to ensure that the practices of the Congregations of the Province are in conformity with these principles;
  •    Control and direct the finances of the Province;
  • Direct the maintenance of a Roster of Congregation to and from which names may be added or removed;
  •   Control and direct the educational work of the Province;
  •    Control and direct all Church publications in the Province;
  •      Elect Bishops according to the existing provisions or at such other time that the

      Synod may decide;

  • Elect the President and the other members of the P.E.C. according to the existing provisions or at such other time that the Synod may decide;
  •   Receive reports from all boards, inter-synodal committees, commissions and other groups or entities of the Provincial Synod, including financial reports, where appropriate;
  • Name the members of the DEMY Board;
  • Elect representatives to the Unity Synod and Unity Conferences;
  • Elect the members of the Special Complaints and Appeals Tribunal in accordance with the existing Regulations;
  • Determine the Constitution of Synod and its mode of procedure and organization;
  • Approve matters from the Province for Unity Synod and other Ecumenical bodies;
  • Enunciate the Province’s stance on National and International Issues;
  • Deal with all matters referred to it by the P.E.C., Congregations, Members and other bodies;
  • Oversee the undertakings carried on in the name of the Province as a whole;
  • Appoint a Minute Committee.

(b)      Synod shall appoint Committees, Boards and Commissions as it deems necessary.

(c)      Inter-Synodal Committees become effective when Synod rises.

(d)      The Provincial Synod is responsible to Unity Synod for the Principles on which it adopts resolutions and supervises its Executive Board and undertakings.

(e)      Synod shall, when it decides, resolve itself into committees that shall make reports to plenary sessions for decision making.

6.  (a)     Synod shall be convened once every two (2) years unless otherwise determined by Synod, and at such place and time as arranged by the P.E.C. or the Synod.

     (b)   Notice for the calling of Synod shall be given by the P.E.C. by circular to each minister, specialized staff, congregations and auxiliaries six months prior to the convening of Synod.

Complaints and Appeals

7.  (a)   If anyone has a complaint to make against any Board, commission or committee, this must be lodged with the P.E.C. and the P.E.C. shall deal with the matter accordingly.

     (b)   The Synod shall elect:

            i)   A Complaints and Appeals Tribunal of not more than nine (9) and not less than seven (7) persons; and

            ii)  The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Tribunal.

     (c)   If anyone has:

            i)   A complaint against the P.E.C.; or

            ii)  An appeal, as defined in the Regulations,

            he/she may refer it to the Chairman of the Complaints and Appeals Tribunal, which shall hear and adjudicate on the complaint/appeal.

     (d)  The Tribunal shall convene the hearing of the complaint/appeal at a date and time convenient to all parties.

     (e)   Decisions made by the Tribunal shall be communicated to the Complainant/Appellant and the Respondent through the Chairman of the Tribunal.

Officers of Synod

8. (a)   The Officers of Synod shall be:

  • President,
  • Vice-President,
  • Chairman,
  • Vice-Chairman,
  • Clerk of Sessions,
  • Deputy Clerk of Sessions.

      (b)  Subject to confirmation by the Synod, the Officers of Synod shall be named by the

            P.E.C. prior to Synod and shall adequately prepare for Synod.

(c)  The President is the Representative and Spiritual Leader of Synod. He/she presides over its common worship at the opening and close of each day’s sessions and at the close of Synod, or deputizes the Vice President or some other member of Synod to do so.  He/she also presides at official functions of Synod.  In general he/she acts as the representative of Synod in all matters not expressly assigned to other members of Synod.  He/she is the official of Synod, authorized to reply to letters of greeting or other communications received by Synod as a body.

(d)   The Vice President shall perform all duties of the President in his/her absence, or when requested to do so by the President.

(e)   The Chairman presides over Synod as a Deliberative Assembly, ensuring that the discussions and voting are conducted in a proper manner, and in accordance with the rules of procedure.  He/she presides over all elections, except the election of the Officers of Synod.  He/she decides all questions of order, in accordance with the manual, subject on appeal to the decision of Synod as to whether the ruling of the Chair shall stand as a judgment of Synod.

(f)    The Vice Chairman assists the Chairman in carrying out his/her duties, and takes the place of the Chairman in his/her absence or when called upon to do so by the Chairman.

(g)   The Clerk of Sessions is in charge of the Secretariat. The Synod Secretariat is responsible for recording the proceedings of the Synod, save Committee Sittings.

(h)   The Deputy Clerk of Sessions shall assist the Clerk in carrying out duties.

(i)    In the event that Synod does not confirm the Officers as indicated in 8 (b), the Officers of Synod shall be elected by show of hands.  A simple majority of the voting members is sufficient to secure election.  The members of the P.E.C. are eligible for election as President or Vice President, but not for the offices of Chairman and Vice Chairman.

Delegates to Synod

9.  (a)      There shall be a body known as ‘delegates to Synod’.

     (b)   Delegates to the Synod are:

(i) All bishops of the Unity residing in the Province.

(ii) All ordained ministers in the full time service of the Province.

(iii) Ministers in charge of Educational Institutions attached to the Province.

(iv) Probationers.

(v)  Lay members on the P.E.C.

(vi) The Accounting Officer of the Province.

(vii) Officially appointed full-time specialists e.g. The Youth Organizer, the Christian

Education Coordinator and Director of the Department of Education Mission and

Youth (DEMY), if not listed already.

(viii) All Supplementary Ministers in active service in the Province.

(ix) Retired Ministers on contract.

(x) Delegates from congregations.

(xi) One Representative from each District Conference elected at a duly constituted

       meeting of the District Conference. 

(xii) One Representative from the MMA and the MWF elected by their representatives.

          (xiii) Lay Pastors Commissioned with Special Dispensation.

(xiv) Lay Pastors recognized as having tenure at the congregation level.

(xv) District Youth Coordinators.

(xvi) The Jamaican Theological Student representing the students of the Jamaican    

   Province.

(xvii) Congregations with less than thirty members and are within their period of grace

    in accordance with section 9(h).

(c)  Subject to subsection 9(e), the delegates from congregations shall be elected by a simple majority at the Congregational Council (CC).

(d)   Where the person or persons elected by the Congregational Council (CC) find it impossible to attend, alternate delegate(s) may be deputized. Where such deputized person or persons find it impossible to attend, the Joint Boards of Elders and Stewards shall then select a delegate or delegates to represent the congregation.

(e)   Delegates must have been communicant members of that Moravian Congregation for at least two (2) years and must be eighteen years of age or older.

(f)    A Congregation must have at least thirty (30) members to qualify for the right to send a delegate to Synod.

(g)   In furtherance of subsection 9(c), where

  • a congregation has under two hundred members, it shall have the right to send one (1) delegate;
  • a congregation has two hundred and one (201) to four hundred (400) members, it shall have the right to send two (2) delegates;

(iii) a congregation has four hundred and one (401) plus, it shall have the right to

       send three (3) delegates.

(h)   In furtherance of 9(f), when a Congregation falls below thirty members, a period of grace lasting two Inter-Synodal years shall be granted before that congregation loses its right to send a delegate to Synod.

Special Synods

10.   (a)   Special Synods may be convened by the PEC for the purpose of considering one or more items of business specified in the call of the Synod.

       (b)   Special Synods are called to deal with important matters that may arise between regular

               Synods and that urgently require action by the Synod before the next scheduled sitting.         

(c)   The Special Synod is normally concluded in a single sitting unless otherwise desired by the members.

(d)   Notice of the time, place and exact purpose for a Special Synod must be sent to every minister, specialized staff and congregations at least one clear month prior to the date fixed for convening such a Special Synod.

(e)   If at a Special Synod it becomes urgent to take action for which no notice was given, that action must be ratified by the members at a regular Synod or at another Special Synod properly convened for that purpose.

Cost of Synod

11. (a)     The expenses of Synod in general are met from the account for the Administration of the Province.

      (b)     The expenses of delegates elected to Synod and Ministers are met by their congregations.

Agenda paper

12. (a)     Proposals for the Agenda Paper must be sent to the P.E.C., duly signed by the Proposer and Seconder, not later than two clear months before the opening of Synod. Proposals thus notified have precedence. Proposals not notified beforehand may be included on the Agenda Paper with the consent of Synod, when Synod has organized itself and decided the order of business.

 (b)  Notice of Constitutional Changes affecting the Synod or the administration of the Province must be given to the P.E.C. at least four months prior to the date of the Synod at which they are to be discussed and voted upon.

13.  (a) Once the Chairman takes the Chair, Synod adopts the Agenda.

  • Matters not appearing on the Agenda Paper may only be added thereto with the express consent of Synod.
  • At the Opening Plenary, Synod shall appoint a Minute Committee, the duties of which shall be to read the minutes of Synod at regular intervals and to confirm them on behalf of Synod.

14.           Proposals and amendments shall be made in accordance with the rules set out in “The Regulations of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands”.

Discussion or Debate (Plenary Session)

15.  (a)    Subject only to general limitations established by Synod, every member of the Synod has the right to speak to every debatable motion before it is finally determined.

(b)   A member may rise while another is speaking to call the attention of the Chairman to a ‘point of order’.

Attendance at Plenary Session

16.  (a)      Members of Synod are required to attend all the Sessions.

 (b)     Leave of absence must be obtained from the President of Synod, who shall announce when and to whom such leave of absence has been granted.

(c)     Any member of Synod who is unable to attend must send an explanation of his/her absence to the P.E.C. before Synod meets.

(d)    Seventy-five per cent of the members of Synod with full voting powers constitute a quorum for business to commence at each Plenary Session.

(e)     Members of the Province who are not members of Synod may be present at the Plenary Sessions of Synod, and may be allowed to speak.

(f)     Synod may declare any Session to be a Closed Session, in which case only delegates to Synod and persons specially called by Synod may be present.

(g)  Synod may decide by vote that any particular member of Synod be absent during some special discussion.

Voting

17.     (a)    Each member of Synod has one vote.

(b)   The basic requirement for approval of an action or choice by a deliberative assembly or Synod, except where the rule provides otherwise, is a majority vote.

(c)   Except in case of elections, which are to be by ballot, or in special cases where Synod expresses its desire that voting shall be by ballot, voting shall be by show of hands.

(d)   In furtherance of subsection 17 (c), the Chairman shall announce the result of the voting.

(e)   A motion for the reconsideration of a resolution already passed may only be made by a member of Synod who is eligible to vote.

(f)    Any member of Synod has the right to demand that the votes on a motion be polled and recorded.

(g)   In the election of a Bishop, voting must be by ballot, and a two-thirds majority of the voting members at Synod is necessary to secure election.

(h)   In the election of a member of the P.E.C., voting must be by ballot, and a two-thirds majority of those with full voting rights is required to secure election.

            (i) Seventy five per cent of all voting members at Synod shall be required to amend the

                 Constitution and for Doctrinal matters.

            (j) Two-thirds majority of those with voting rights is required to pass financial

                  matters.

18. Members with full voting rights shall be:

  • All bishops of the Unity residing in the Province.
  • All ordained ministers in the full time service of the Province.
  • Ministers in charge of Educational Institutions attached to the Province.
  • Probationers.
  • Lay members on the P.E.C.
  • The Accounting Officer of the Province.
  • Officially appointed full-time specialists e.g. The Youth Organizer, the Christian Education Coordinator and Director of the Department of Education Mission and Youth (DEMY), if not listed already.
  • All Supplementary Ministers in active service in the Province.
  • Retired Ministers on contract.
  • Delegate/s from congregations.
  • Four Lay Pastors: One per District, elected from among all Lay Pastors in their District at a duly constituted meeting.
  • One Representative from each District Conference elected at a duly constituted meeting of the District Conference. 
  • One Representative from the MMA and the MWF elected by their representatives.
  • Lay Pastors Commissioned with Special Dispensation.
  • District Youth Coordinators.
  • The Jamaican Theological Student representing the students of the Jamaican    

      Province.

  • Congregations with less than thirty members and are within their period of grace

      in accordance with section 9(h).

 19. Members with limited voting rights include:

  • Lay Pastors recognized as having tenure at the congregation level.

 20. A delegate with limited voting rights is not allowed to vote for the election of the P.E.C.

21. Non-voting members of Synod include:

  • Theological students at the United Theological College of the West Indies and other such recognized institutions, except 18(xvi).

(ii) A representative from UNITAS, The Moravian Tertiary Students’ Association

       (MTSA) and any other auxiliary of the church. These shall send one person each.

            (iii) Observers from congregations and Fellowships.

            (iv) Officers of Synod not elected as delegates

            (v) Fraternal members

22.       Non-voting members shall only participate in discussions.

Journal

23.  (a) After the close of Synod, the P.E.C. shall issue a journal entitled, “The Journal of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands”.

      (b) The Journal shall state where and when Synod was held, and shall also contain

            data as set out below:

  • A Listing of Reports, and other Matters presented at Synod.
  • The wording of Resolutions and other decisions of Synod, in two sections, viz. those which are to be incorporated into the Church Order and those which do not affect the Church Order.
  • A listing of those brothers and sisters elected to hold office in the Inter-Synodal period, Members of P.E.C., Members of Committees, etc.

CHAPTER V

ADMINISTRATION

Constitution of the P.E.C.

24.  (a)    The P.E.C. shall comprise seven persons, one of whom shall be the President; and at least two of whom shall be Members of the Laity.

        (b)   The President of the P.E.C. shall be elected by Synod from among the Presbyters who are in the service of the Church or Lay Members nominated by at least one District Conference.

(c) The Clergy members shall be elected from the list of Ordained Ministers who have been

      in the service of the Church for no fewer than three consecutive years.

(d) The election of members of the P.E.C. is every two years, or as the Synod may determine.

(e)   After the members of P.E.C. have been elected, they shall, from among themselves, appoint Office bearers not elected by Synod.

(f)    A quorum of the P. E.C. shall be three (3), and meetings shall only be held after all members have been duly informed.  Any decision taken by telephone conversation or otherwise shall be ratified at a meeting and recorded.

(g)   No member of the P.E.C., including the President, occupies an independent position, but each is accountable to the others for his/her actions.

(h)     (i) Should a vacancy arise on the P.E.C. during the Inter-Synodal period, an election shall be held to fill the office left vacant if there will be six (6) or more months remaining before the next Biennial Synod.

  • The P.E.C. shall notify the Province within thirty (30) days that the vacancy exists.
  • In the case of the Laity, the District Executive Boards shall consult with the congregations in each District and submit to the P.E.C. no more than two names, having consulted with those persons and received their willingness to serve, from which the P.E.C. shall compile a final list and submit to the Chairman of each Conference.
  • In the case of the Clergy, the P.E.C. shall consult with all eligible persons regarding their willingness to serve and compile the final list and submit to the Chairman of each Conference.
  • An election to fill a vacancy for the purposes set out hereinbefore shall be held in each District Conference on the same day.
  • Eligible voters in each District shall be in accordance with the existing rules and voting procedures which obtain for a regular Synod.
  • A Director of Elections shall be appointed by the P.E.C. and the elections shall be conducted by a non-voting person duly named by the Conference as Presiding Officer.
  • The record of the vote shall be certified true by the Chair of the District and sent by the Presiding Officer to the Director of Elections within seven (7) days of the vote and the Director of Elections shall communicate the results of the vote to the P.E.C. within seven (7) days.
  • For the purposes of a vote to fill a vacancy created on the P.E.C. during the Inter-Synodal period, a simple majority shall be sufficient to secure election.

25.       The Transition period from one P.E.C. to another, whether in full or for a member, shall be no more than four months.

Duties of the P.E.C.

26.  (a)    During the Inter-Synodal period, the control and administration of all matters which concern the Province are committed to the P.E.C.

(b)   Duties of the P.E.C. Include:

  • convening the Provincial Synod and, in case of emergency, a Special Synod.
  •       administering the government of the Church in the Province generally, under the regulations laid down by the Synod, and in accordance with the general usages of the Unity.
  •       conducting official visits to congregations.
  •       appointing one if its members as Superintendent for each District Conference.
  •       enquiring into the spiritual and financial condition of the congregations    visited, and the physical state of the buildings.
  •       recruitment and training of Ministers.
  • sending out notices concerning appointments, calls, removals and other items of general interest for the information of all the ministers and congregations.
  • meeting monthly to deliberate on Provincial issues.
  • being ultimately responsible for the deployment of staff in the Province, ensuring that each District is staffed with at least two Presbyters at any given point in time.
  • appointing, suspending or dismissing, if necessary, and to have general oversight of all Ministers and other servants of the Province.
  • honouring statutory obligations.
  • creating specialized ministries and the attendant remuneration packages for the advancement of the ministry.
  • ensuring that Provincial Ministers’ Councils and Retreats are held.
  • recommending principals for Moravian schools, consistent with Education Regulations.
  • naming chairmen and members of boards of management of Moravian educational institutions.
  • appointing the Director and Deputy Director of DEMY and other personnel as may be deemed necessary.
  • appointing the Provincial Youth Organizer.
  • receiving, in writing, from all District Conferences the nominations of Lay Members for the position of President of the P.E.C. by January 31 of the year of the general Synod and informing the Province of the names of these persons.
  • receiving, in writing, from all District Conferences the nominations of Lay Members to the P.E.C. by January 31 of the year of the general Synod and informing the Province of the names of these persons.
  • assuming temporary responsibility of vacant congregations or circuits, until some definite and permanent arrangement can be made.
  • being responsible, together with the Finance Committee, for the financial affairs of the Province in accordance with the will of Synod.
  • dealing with applications for retirement, leave of absence, notices of marriage and other matters concerning the ministry.
  • having responsibility for Moravian archives deposited with the Government Archivist.
  • informing the local congregation when land is to be sold and keeping in touch with the congregation throughout the negotiations.
  • ensuring that the enactments of the Synod are faithfully executed.
  • receiving and addressing complaints or allegations brought by members.

(c)   The P.E.C is accountable to the Synod for its actions and decisions.

CHAPTER VI

THE MINISTRY

Ministers of the Province

27.       Minsters of the Province are those who are ordained and appointed by P.E.C. to the:

  • exercise of the spiritual oversight of a congregation or circuit,
  • specialized ministry,
  • Supplementary ministry.

Ministers in the Service of the Moravian Church

28.       Ministers in the service of the Moravian Church do not occupy an independent position, but are accountable for the execution of their trust to the P.E.C. and to the Synod, to which they owe loyalty and accountability.

Orders of the Ministry

29.  (a)    The constituted orders of the ministry in the Moravian Church are those of Deacons,

               Presbyters and Bishops. Those ordained have authority to administer the Sacraments in

               the Moravian Church. This ministry of the ordained is an expression of the ministry of

               the whole people of God and a response to the call and gifts of Christ, who is Chief

               Elder of the Church and its ministry. The orders are expressions of service rather than

               rank. Only One is recognized as having authority in Himself: Jesus the Christ who also

               served. Persons feeling a call to ordained ministry shall be given equal consideration

               without reference to their sex.

(b)   Authority to Commission Ordination is vested in the Provincial Synod and the P.E.C exclusively. In extending such a commission they are guided by careful consideration of the spiritual, mental and physical qualifications of the candidate. The P.E.C. also designates the officiating Bishop. In the event that an ordained minister is received from another denomination, the P.E.C. is free to receive him/her as a Deacon or Presbyter as it deems appropriate.

(c) The ordained Minister remains a servant of Christ and the Church as a whole, not merely of the Congregation to which he/she is called. Even as Jesus Christ came not to be ministered unto but to minister, so His servants should be willing to minister wherever the Church calls them under the leading of the Holy Spirit. The minister is a brother/sister who is called to the ordained service and to whom the Church has certain expectations concerning conduct and lifestyle.

Deacons

30.       The Office of Deacon shall constitute the first Order of Ministry. A Deacon has authority

            to serve in that pastoral office and to administer the sacraments under the Rules and

            Regulations of the Church in effect for such an office. The ordination as a Deacon

            embodies the understanding of ministry as service, which underlies all the orders. The

            newly ordained minister is normally guided and nurtured in establishing his/her work in

            the ministry by a Presbyter who lives nearby or by someone appointed for this purpose by

            the Provincial Board.

Presbyters

31. (a) Presbyters shall constitute the second Order of Ministry.

  • Deacons are consecrated to the office of Presbyter after a number of years in the ordained ministry. In the service of consecration, the Church spiritually encourages the Deacon, recognizes his/her professional and spiritual maturity, affirms his/her ministry since ordination and renews its own commitment to serve.
  • For the individual, the service should be an occasion to give witness to the Christian faith and to rededicate him/herself to the ordained ministry.
  • The consecration of a Presbyter is also a celebration of the whole Church, calling all to renew their commitment to serve Christ.
  • The P.E.C. may assign a particular duty to Presbyters in order to share leadership responsibilities and/or provide support for Deacons. 

Office of the Bishop

32.  (a)    The Office of Bishop shall constitute the third Order of Ministry.

      (b)     The Office of Bishop represents the vital unity of the Church and the continuity of the

               Church’s Ministry, although the Unity does not place emphasis on any mechanical

               transmission of the apostolic succession.

      (c )   A Bishop of the Moravian Church is consecrated to a special priestly-pastoral ministry

   in the name of and for the whole Unity.

     (d)     The Renewed Unity received the Episcopacy as an inheritance from the Ancient Unitas Fratrum. Today we regard the Episcopacy in the Renewed Unity in a different way from that of the Ancient Unitas Fratrum. Formerly, a Bishop had a Church governmental and administrative function. In our day, this function is not necessarily linked to the Episcopal office.

(e)   The Office and function of a Bishop is valid throughout the Unity as a whole.

(f)   Before consecration, a Bishop-elect shall receive appropriate orientation regarding the role and function of the office from at least one other Bishop of the Unity. The P.E.C. appoints a Bishop to give the orientation, with the affirmation of the Unity Executive Committee.

(g)   Bishops serve under the authority of the P.E.C. and Synod. Once decisions have been   

        reached by the P.E.C. or Synod, Bishops are not to interfere with such decisions.

(h)   A Bishop is not by virtue of his/her office a member of the P.E.C., but can be elected on the P.E.C. However, the Bishop cannot serve as President of the P.E.C.

Duties of Bishops

33.     Duties of Bishops include:-

  • having primary responsibility for providing pastoral care to pastors and the Church and assisting the Church in its faithfulness to Christ and the Gospel;
  • being available to all Provincial and District Boards for consultation in respect of all matters concerning the work in the Province or District;
  • performing a special duty of intercession for the Unity and also for the Church of Christ as a whole;
  • visiting Congregations for the deepening of their spiritual life;
  • making himself/herself available so that his/her opinion shall customarily be sought and given due consideration and weight in matters of doctrine and practice.
  • representing the Church in the act of Ordination.

(i)    Only a Bishop has the right to ordain or to consecrate persons to the various orders of the Ministry.

(ii)  In exceptional cases, the ordination of a Deacon may be performed by a                        Presbyter on behalf of the Church, commissioned by the P.E.C.

(iii)   The Bishop may decline a commission to ordain.

  • sharing in the decisions regarding the training of candidates for the ministry and to maintain a special pastoral relationship with such candidates throughout their training.

Election of Bishops

34.   (a)     A Bishop shall be elected by secret ballot from among the Presbyters at a Synod.

(b)   Wherever possible, at least two Bishops shall be resident in the Province.

(c)   On the occasion of the consecration of a Bishop, at least two Bishops of the

      Unity shall officiate. Whenever possible, at least one of the officiating Bishops shall

       come from another Unity Province. The P.E.C. designates two or more Bishops.

       Authorization for these Bishops to officiate the consecration is sought from the Unity

       Executive Committee’s office.

  •   The President of the Unity Board or his/her designate, on behalf of the Unity, shall 

   attend the consecration of a Bishop.

        (e)   All Provinces entitled under the Constitution of the Unitas Fratrum to elect and  

               consecrate Bishops shall, on the occasion of the consecration of a Bishop, send to the   

               office of the President of the Unity Board notification of such consecration, giving the

               name of the brother/sister so consecrated, the names of the officiating Bishops and the

               date and place of the consecration, and the office of the President of the Unity Board

               shall transmit this information to all Provinces of the Unity and to the Archivist at

               Herrnhut.

A Minister Being Deprived of the Rights Connected with Ordination

35.  A Minister is deprived of the rights connected with his/her ordination if:

       (a) In the opinion of the P.E.C. he/she misuses these rights;

       (b) He/she grossly violates the Church Order of the Moravian Church; or

       (c) He/she leads a life that is contrary to the principles of the Christian faith

36. A Minister deprived of the rights connected with his/her ordination, is deprived the said

      rights whether being a Deacon, Presbyter or a Bishop.

CHAPTER VII

DEPARTMENTS

Department of Education, Mission & Youth (DEMY)

37.  The Department is charged by Synod to administer the activities of Provincial life dealing with Education (content and training), Missions and Youth.

38.  (a)    The Department shall be staffed as determined by the P.E.C. and headed by a Director with the following duties: To

  • ensure that the general policy directives of the Board are implemented.
  • be the chief corresponding officer of the Board.
  • report quarterly to the Board on the activities of the Department.
  • submit the minutes of each Staff meeting to the P.E.C.
  • coordinate the various activities of the Department.
  • report to the Provincial Synod on the activities of the Department.

      (b) Staff members shall:

         (i) give attention to coordinating activities relating to youth, education and

               mission work across the Province.

  • be employed using regulations in chapters dealing with Ministry/Synod/ Pension.

DEMY Board

39. The Board shall be appointed, according to the regulations, and have oversight of the Department and shall be accountable to Synod and the PEC for its actions and decisions.

CHAPTER VIII

CONGREGATIONS

Congregation in the Jamaican Province

40.  (a)    A congregation in the Jamaica Province comprises:

  • children of the Sunday School, not otherwise listed,
  • candidates attending instruction,
  • communicant members,
  • members of Uniformed groups,
  • adherents.

(b)   Each congregation is subject to the authority of the Provincial Synod.

(c)   During inter-synodal periods, a congregation is subject to the authority of the P.E.C.

(d)   The administration of the congregation is vested in:-

  • The Congregation Council
    • The Board of Elders
    • The Board of Stewards
    • Joint Board

(e)   The Congregation Council comprises all the communicant members of the Congregation who, at the time of the meeting, are not under discipline and are not negligent in their financial support of the Church.

(f)    The Congregation Council is the highest decision-making body of the Congregation. The highest authority in the Province is the Provincial Synod, the decisions of which shall be loyally obeyed.

(g)   A Congregation Council meeting shall be held at least quarterly for the deepening of spiritual life, for Pastoral Instruction, for Doctrinal Teaching and for the transaction of business affecting the life of the Congregation.

(h)   The Congregation Council elects the members of the Board of Stewards by ballot or by show of hands, an absolute majority of members present being necessary for election.

(i)    The Congregation Council shall elect the Congregation Treasurer who shall be a member of the Board of Stewards and answerable to the Board of Stewards and the Congregation Council.

      (j) The Congregation Council elects the delegates to the Provincial Synod.  The delegate(s) shall make an official report to the Council at the end of each Synod.

The Board of Elders

41.  (a)    There shall be a Board of Elders.

(b)   Brothers and Sisters shall be appointed as Elders to represent each district/zone of the Congregation. They shall assist the minister in the pastoral oversight of the congregation.

(c)   An Elder is appointed by the minister, after consultation with those already in office, and serves for a period of three years. The Elder may then be re-appointed to serve another similar term.

  • The Board of Elders meets once every month.
  • Eligibility for appointment to this office is restricted to those who have been in membership for at least three years, and have shown zeal and loyalty in various aspects of Church life.
  • The Board shall elect its Vice Chairman, leaders of uniformed groups, and advisors to Youth Fellowship.

Duties of the Elders

42.    (a)  The Board of Elders must make every effort to bring back erring members to the fold of Christ.

  (b) The special duties of the Elders are to:

  • visit the members in their Districts.
  • hold Cottage Meetings, Cell Meetings and Open Air services when possible.
  • arrange District Sunday Schools, where needed.
  • conduct funerals in the absence of the minister.
  • encourage and recommend those ready for Church membership.
  • settle disputes between members in the District, with the help of other Officers or the Minister.

(vii) report all cases of breach of discipline, which are then dealt with by the whole

        Board.

(viii) supervise the general cleanliness of the Church buildings for worship.

The Board of Stewards

43. (a)   There shall be a Board of Stewards.

  •   Elections for the Board of Stewards are held by the Congregation Council. The Board comprises at least six members. A member may be re-elected at the end of his/her term of office.
  •   The Stewards have responsibility for and authority over all the temporal affairs of the Congregation.
  •   The Board of Stewards is, first and foremost, responsible for giving leadership to the congregation in raising the Church’s Assessment.

(e)   Each Steward should take notice of the giving of every member in his/her district, and encourage all to give regular financial support to the Church.

  •  (i) The Stewards must furnish and keep the Manse, its contents and general premises in    good repair. Out-stations shall give helpful assistance to the upkeep of the Manse.

(ii) An inventory of furniture and utensils in the Manse must be made and checked annually by the Minister and a member of the board. A copy of the inventory must be sent to P.E.C. with the Annual returns.

(g)   The Stewards are responsible for raising funds for local needs and these funds are under their control. They shall provide the Minister’s allowance and any other obligation mandated by P.E.C. or Synod.

(h)   The Stewards are responsible for the upkeep of the Church and all buildings connected with the Congregation, but the titles to the land and ownership of all buildings are vested in the Corporate Body.

(i)    The Board shall elect its own chairman, vice chairman and other officers, except the office of treasurer.

(j)    Eligibility for election to this board is conferred on members with two years’ faithful communicant membership, the attainment of the age of majority in Jamaica (for the time being eighteen years of age) who are deemed to be in good standing with their Church and their Lord.

(k)   The Board of Stewards shall meet at least once per month. A statement of the Congregation Funds must be laid before the Board at each meeting by the Congregation treasurer.

(l)    It is the duty of the Minister and Stewards to see that all accounts and monies are properly managed.

(m)  The minister of a Congregation is an agent of the P.E.C. with regard to debts, and in all other matters. It is his/her responsibility to lead the congregation in the payment of all such debts.

(n)   The minister and the Board are responsible for carrying out all the requirements that the P.E.C. makes of the congregation from time to time.

 Joint Board

44.  (a)    While it is expected that there will be separate boards, there may be a joining of the Elders and Stewards to constitute a “Joint Board”.

(b)   Where there are separate Boards, the Boards of Elders and Stewards shall meet from time to time to arrive at a consensus on specific matters and where a consensus is not derived, the Congregation Council shall decide.

CHAPTER IX

FINANCE

45.     The Province shall derive its income from the following sources:

(i)  Congregation Assessments, fixed by Synod,

(ii)  interest from capital invested,

(iii) income-generating ventures,

(iv)  other contributions or donations recorded locally or overseas.

46.  The P.E.C. is answerable to Synod for the administration of all Provincial Funds.

Congregation Funds

47.     Each Congregation is responsible for raising its own Assessments, as fixed by Synod.

Payments to the Province

48.     The Congregation Treasurer shall send to the Provincial Treasurer at the end of each month of the year, the amount raised for Church Subscriptions or Assessments, and other amounts raised for provincial expenses such as church insurance.

Salaries

49.  (a)    The salaries and allowances of the Staff of this Province shall be the amount approved by Synod and salaries are paid from Church Assessments and Circuit/Congregation Funds.

  •    Allowances, as decided by Synod, are made for the children of Ministers up to their  

   eighteenth birthday.

Provincial Finance Statements

50.  (a)    The Provincial Treasurer shall present a detailed Financial Statement to

                     Synod for each inter-synodal period.

  • The detailed Financial Statement shall show the sums standing to the credit of each separate Fund and the amount to which each Fund is in debt.

Auditing of Congregation Accounts

51.  (a)    P.E.C. shall arrange for the Provincial Accounts to be audited before each   

                    Synod by a qualified Accountant either Chartered or Certified.

(b) (i) Each congregation shall be responsible for the auditing of their Accounts on an

            annual basis.

           (ii)  This exercise shall be undertaken by a professional or para-professional personnel.

        (iii) Copies of the Audited report shall be sent to the PEC by June 30th of each year.