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.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *