Alton Baptist Church
ALTON BAPTIST CHURCH
Revised June 2015
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour; and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; we do now, in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality in sustaining its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, and the spread of the Gospel throughout all nations.
We also engage to cultivate the devotional life; to rear our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk carefully in the world; to be just in our dealings, to be faithful in our responsibilities, and to be an example by our conduct; to avoid all idle talk, backbiting and unrighteous anger; to practice moderation in all things and to abstain from things harmful to our physical or spiritual well-being; and to be zealous in all our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offence, always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Saviour, to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that if we remove from this place we will as soon as possible unite with some other Church, where we can carry out the spirit of the Covenant, and the principles of God’s Word.
ALTON BAPTIST CHURCH
1. Alton Baptist Church, comprising the congregations at North Alton and South Alton, is incorporated under the Nova Scotia Societies Act.
The main objects are, in affiliation with the Eastern Valley Baptist Association and the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches, to support:
(a) the maintenance of public worship and the preaching of the Gospel;
(b) the study of the Bible;
(c) the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom through evangelism;
(d) Christian education;
(e) the missionary enterprises of the Convention; and
(f) such causes as God makes the Church’s concern.
2. In these by-laws unless there is something in the subject or context that is inconsistent with these definitions:
(a) “The Church” means Alton Baptist Church.
(b) “Baptism” means believer’s baptism by immersion.
(c) “Registrar” means the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies appointed under the Nova Scotia Companies Act.
(d) “Special Resolution” means a resolution passed by not less than three-fourths of such members entitled to vote as are present in person at a general meeting of which notice specifying the intention to propose the resolution as a Special Resolution has been duly given.
(e) Words importing the singular number only include the plural number and vice versa.
(f) Words importing the masculine gender include the feminine gender.
(g) “Chairman” means either masculine or feminine Chairperson.
ADMISSION OF MEMBERS
3. Any person who gives evidence of regeneration by acceptance of Jesus Christ as both Saviour and Lord, and who desires to confess Him publicly and accepts the obligations of the Church Covenant may by vote of the Church become a member:
(a) upon Baptism, or
(b) upon recommendation of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons, if any person who gives evidence of regeneration by acceptance of Jesus Christ as both Saviour and Lord, and who desires to confess Him publicly and accepts the obligations of the Church Covenant, yet who for reasons of health is unable to submit to the ordinance of Baptism, or
(c) upon letter of transfer, from another Baptist church, or
(d) upon experience, if the candidate has been baptized and gives satisfactory evidence of a Christian character, although unable to obtain a letter of transfer from another Baptist church, or
(e) upon restoration, with evidence of repentance when membership has been lost by withdrawal of fellowship.
4. The following procedure shall be used in dealing with new candidates who offer themselves for membership in the Church:
(a) The candidate shall first come before the Pastor and the Board of Deacons and give a satisfactory statement of personal conversion and religious experience.
(b) The Pastor and the Board of Deacons shall be responsible to share the Church’s Covenant and by-laws with the candidate and to answer any questions the candidate may have about either.
(c) The Pastor and the Board of Deacons shall then present their recommendations to the Church.
(d) The candidate will be required to attend baptism classes administered by the Pastor prior to baptism.
(e) Baptism will be administered according to Biblical standards, at the discretion of the Pastor and Deacons’ Board, for any person requesting baptism only.
5. There shall be an associate membership which shall be composed of those persons who may unite with the Church on a statement of membership from a church of any other denomination or by presentation of some other evidence of membership. (It is understood that immersion is the only form of baptism to be practiced by this church. Baptism is recommended to all wishing to unite with the Church; it is required of all those who have held no previous church affiliation.) All persons who are present are known as associate members shall continue to be associate members until they separate from the Church or until such time that they might choose to be baptized by immersion and enter into the regular membership of the Church.
VOTE OF MEMBERS
6. The members of the Church shall constitute the final authority for all matters pertaining to the Church.
(a) All active members in good standing are entitled to one vote and no more on any question presented at a business meeting, and with the exception of matters requiring a Special Resolution vote, a simple majority shall decide a question.
NOTE: Active being those who show an interest in the church through attendance and/or financial support.
(b) Because Church business is important and because children may easily be swayed, all members must be eighteen years of age to be eligible to vote.
(c) Associate members shall enjoy all the rights and privileges of regular members, except on any question affecting the status of the Church within the Convention or the denomination. It shall be the right of the regular members to decide by simple majority whether a question affects the status of the Church within the Convention or denomination.
(d) There shall be no proxy voting.
DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS
7. The object of discipline shall be to keep the Church pure and to reclaim erring members.
(a) In case of difference between members, the offended member shall act according to the rules found in Matthew 18: 15-17, and if possible settle the difficulty without publicity.
(b) No case of personal difference shall be brought before the Church, unless by the recommendation of the Board of Deacons.
(c) In case of habitual unchristian conduct, it shall be the duty of the Board of Deacons first with two representatives, then if necessary, as a whole Board, to counsel and admonish. If this proves ineffectual, they shall then report the facts to the Church.
(d) In case of crime or gross impropriety committed or alleged by common report, it shall be the duty of the Board of Deacons to investigate and, if proved to their satisfaction, they shall report this fact to the Church with their recommendation.
(e) Fellowship may be withdrawn by Church vote:
(1) From any member against whom charges of crime or gross impropriety are sustained.
(2) From any member who after faithful counsel persists in habitual unchristian conduct.
(f) Any accused person shall have the right to be furnished with a copy of the charges against him and to appear in his own defense.
(g) The Church shall seek the restoration of those from whom fellowship has been withdrawn as soon after as it is convinced genuine repentance has taken place.
SEPARATION FROM MEMBERSHIP
8. Membership in the Church shall cease:
(a) Upon death, or
(b) Upon receipt of a request for letter of transfer of church membership, or
(c) Upon withdrawal of fellowship, which shall only be by a Special Resolution, or
(d) At the member’s request by written notice to the Church.
GENERAL BUSINESS MEETINGS
9. (a) There shall be an annual business meeting of the Church on the third Sunday of February every year, the hour and place to be decided by common consent. In case of inclement weather, the annual business meeting shall be held on the next available Sunday.
(b) Directors, boards, committees, and organizations of the Church will hold regular meetings and shall give a concise report in writing of their activities for the previous year at the annual business meeting.
(c) A special business meeting of the Church may be called by the Pastor, the Clerk, any one of the boards or by the Clerk at the written request of five or more members. The items of business to be discussed must be announced in the call for the meeting. Only items of business contained in the request for the meeting will be considered.
(d) The annual and all special business meetings shall be announced, specifying place, day and hour, on the two Sunday mornings preceding the time of the meeting. Notice shall be given from the pulpit or, alternatively, in writing by means of the weekly Church bulletin distributed to members at the Church service. The non-receipt of any notice by any member shall not invalidate the proceedings at any general business meeting.
10. No business shall be transacted at any general meeting of the Church unless a quorum of members is present at the start of the business meeting. A quorum shall consist of ten percent of the active members of the Church at the time of the meeting.
11. If within one-half hour from the time appointed for the meeting, a quorum of members is not present, the meeting, if called by request of the members, shall be dissolved. In any other case, it shall stand adjourned to such time and place as a majority of the members then present shall decide. If at such adjourned meeting a quorum of members is not present, it shall be adjourned indefinitely.
AGENDA OF ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
12. At the annual business meeting, the order of business shall be as follows:
(a) Call to order.
(c) Appointment of a chairman.
(d) Presentation of the minutes.
(e) Report of the Pastor.
(f) Report of the Clerk.
(g) Reports of Boards, Committees, Sunday School and Organizations.
(h) Report of the Treasurer.
(i) Report of the Nominating Committee.
(j) Election of Directors, Boards and Committees.
(k) Appointment of the Examiners.
(l) Approval of the budget.
(m) Business arising out of the minutes.
(n) New business.
RULES OF ORDER
13. All business meetings shall be called to order by the Pastor, or in his absence by the Clerk or a Deacon. The meeting shall then appoint a chairman.
14. All business shall be presented by a motion, made by a member and seconded by another, and presented in writing by the mover, if so required. No discussion can properly be had until the motion is made, seconded and stated by the Chairman.
15. A motion, once it has been discussed, shall be put to vote, unless withdrawn or postponed. A motion cannot be withdrawn after it has been discussed, except by the unanimous consent of the meeting.
16. A motion lost shall not be recorded, unless so ordered by the meeting at the time.
A motion lost shall not be reconsidered at the same meeting except by unanimous consent.
17. A second motion shall not be allowed to interrupt one already under debate, except a motion to amend, to postpone, or to adjourn.
18. Amendments may be made to motions in three ways: by omitting, by adding, or by substituting words or sentences. The amendment must first be discussed and decided, and then the original motion or the original motion as amended.
19. A member desiring to speak should rise in his place, address the chairman and confine his remarks to the motion under discussion. A speaker using improper language, introducing improper subjects, or otherwise out of order, shall be called to order by the chairman. He must either conform to the rules of order governing the meeting or take his seat. A member should be limited to speaking only twice on each motion.
20. A motion shall be put to vote by the chairman who shall first distinctly restate it. First, the affirmative, then the negative, shall be called. He shall then distinctly announce whether the motion is carried or lost. Voting may be done by calling for “ayes” and “nays”, by holding up the hand, by standing to be counted or by ballot [as a reference to the percent for a vote refer to page 2(d)].
21. Unless a vote is by ballot, a declaration by the chairman that a motion has been carried and an entry to that effect in the minutes of the Church shall be sufficient evidence of the fact, without proof of the number or proportion of the members recorded in favor of or against the motion.
22. When a vote by ballot is demanded, it must be requested by at least three members present and entitled to vote. It shall be taken in such manner as the chairman directs, and either at once, or after an interval or adjournment. The result of a vote by ballot shall be deemed the final decision of the meeting at which the ballot was demanded. The demand of a vote by ballot may be withdrawn.
23. The demand of a vote by ballot shall not prevent the meeting from continuing or the transaction of any business other than the question on which a ballot has been demanded.
24. The chairman shall have no vote except when there is an equality of votes, which case he/she shall have the deciding vote. The chairman shall vote by ballot at the same time as the vote to be counted only in the event of a tie.
25. The chairman shall announce the results of all votes, and decide all questions as to rules of order and debate. Any member, however, who is dissatisfied with a decision of the chair, may appeal. The chairman shall then ask the meeting, “Shall the decision of the chair be sustained?” The vote of the body, whether negative or affirmative, is final. The right to appeal should not be used in matters of slight importance.
26. The chairman may, with the consent of the meeting, adjourn any meeting to another time or place. However, no business shall be transacted at any adjourned meeting, other than the business left unfinished at the meeting from which the adjournment took place, unless specific notice of such new business is given to the members.
27. The usual agenda or rules of order may be suspended for the time being by unanimous consent.
DIRECTORS AND CHURCH ORGANIZATION
28. The Directors of the Church shall be the members of the Board of Finance and the Board of Trustees. These Boards shall consist of not more than eight members each.
29. With the exception of the Pastor and Deacons, as noted below, all directors, boards and committees as well as persons filling all other positions shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee or from the floor and elected at the annual business meeting. Any positions vacated because of a member moving away or resigning may be filled at the next annual business meeting or at a special business meeting called for that purpose.
30. Directors, Board and Committee members shall retire from office at the end of each annual general meeting at which their successors are elected.
31. The members may, by special resolution, remove any director, board or committee member and appoint another person to complete the term of office.
32. Directors, Board and Committee members who have, or could reasonably be seen to have, a conflict of interest have a duty to declare this interest. The declaration should be made to the members
(a) upon nomination, and
(b) if while serving, when the possibility of a conflict is realized.
A conflict of interest does not prevent a member from serving as a director, board or committee member, provided that he/she withdraws from the decision making on matters pertaining to that interest. The withdrawal should be recorded in the minutes.
33. Directors, Board and Committee members shall serve without remuneration and shall not receive any profit from their positions. However, a director or officer may be paid reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of his/her duties.
34. In addition to the Board of Finance, and Board of Trustees there may be a Board of Christian Education and a Board of Deacons, consisting of not more than eight members each. These four boards make up the Church Council which shall meet quarterly. The purpose of the Council is to aid communication between the boards. The Council has no powers for making decisions other than those the Church has already granted to the boards. The Council shall appoint a chairman and secretary for the year and a report of council meetings, including reports from each of the boards, be given to the congregation following the quarterly meetings. Persons having a concern are invited to present it to the relevant committee or board prior to the meeting.
35. The Church may delegate certain duties and responsibilities to committees. For the efficient functioning of the Church, members of the following committees shall be elected at the annual business meeting: the Decoration Committee, Music Committee, Nominating Committee, Social Committee, Visitation Committee, Ushers Committee, and other committees as deemed necessary.
36. All members shall attend church regularly and if absent for a period of three months without valid reason shall be considered inactive and the concern shall be referred to the Pastor and Deacons for appropriate action.
37. All directors, boards and committees as well as persons filling all other positions shall serve a term of one year and be eligible for re-election annually with the following exceptions:
(a) Trustees shall be elected for a term of three years, ideally, one each from North Alton and South Alton. Individuals can be re-elected at the end of their term, to a maximum of two (2) terms. After one (1) year they may re-offer or be re-elected. Two members of the board shall be elected each year.
(b) The Nominating Committee shall consist of six members, each elected for a term of three years. Two members shall be nominated from the floor and elected at each annual business meeting. The Nominating Committee shall, at its last meeting, prior to the annual business meeting, appoint a chairman for the upcoming year.
(c) Deacons shall be nominated by a committee consisting of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons and elected at the annual business meeting. The Nominating Committee may make recommendation on selection of members to the Board of Deacons. A deacon will be elected for a term of three (3) years, and a maximum of two (2) terms. After one (1) year they may re-offer or be re-elected. An Honorary Deacon may be elected for life.
THE CALLING OF A PASTOR
38. A Pulpit Committee of eight members (consisting of two members nominated by the Deacons’ Board, the Treasurer, the Clerk, one each from Trustees and Christian Education, and two others from membership) shall be appointed by a general business meeting of the Church to select a prospective pastor and to recommend his name to the Church.
(a) Only one name shall be presented to the Church for consideration at any one time.
(b) If the first recommendation is rejected, further recommendations may be made until the Church is satisfied to extend a call.
(c) The call is to be extended only after it is authorized by a Special Resolution of the Church.
(d) The Church shall make clear the financial support it shall afford a prospective pastor at the time it extends a call to him.
39. The Pastor shall:
(a) Provide a ministry which will best equip the Church for service within the Church family and to the world outside.
(b) Preach and teach the Word of God.
(c) Be responsible for the regular services of public worship and prayer.
(d) Together with the Deacons, administer the ordinances and provide pastoral and spiritual care for the members and adherents of the Church.
(e) By virtue of his office, be a member of all boards and committees with the exception of those committees that may be appointed from time to time to consider matters related to him.
(f) Consult with the congregation prior to bringing in outside mediation.
40. Either the Pastor or the Church may terminate the pastoral relationship by giving two months’ notice in writing or by some mutual arrangement agreeable to both parties. Such notice by the Church shall be given only upon the authorization of such notice by Special Resolution.
41. The Clerk shall:
(a) Keep the minutes of all general business meetings of the Church.
(b) Receive and dispatch all letters of transfer of Church membership.
(c) Act in other ways as corresponding secretary of the Church.
(d) Call to the attention of the Pastor and Church matters of business which require attention.
(e) Supply denominational bodies with such data as they require.
(f) Take charge of all records and papers belonging to the Church.
(g) Report on the state of the Church membership at each annual business meeting.
(h) Maintain the register of members by recording the full name, address and occupation of every member, the date on which each person was admitted as a member, the type of membership whether regular or associate, and the date on which any person ceases to be a member.
(i) Have custody of the seal of the Church.
42. In the absence of the Clerk at any general business meeting, a temporary substitute may be appointed to take minutes of the proceedings.
43. The Treasurer shall:
(a) Be a member of the Board of Finance.
(b) Keep an accurate account of all receipts and expenditures of the Church for which the Board of Finance is responsible.
(c) Make such expenditures as authorized by the Church in passing its annual budget, as well as those of a property maintenance nature out of the Alton General Funds when authorized by the Board of Trustees.
(d) Make expenditures not provided in the budget only when properly authorized by the Board of Finance.
(e) Present an examined written financial report containing a balance sheet and operating account to the annual business meeting.
(f) Open the financial records to inspection by any member of the Church at a convenient time and place.
44. There shall be an Assistant Treasurer in each congregation to whom the Treasurer may delegate such responsibilities as are required to handle effectively all monies received.
45. The Assistant Treasurer shall:
(a) Count and deposit in the bank account monies received in the offerings at regular and special services of the Church.
(b) Keep accurate record of monies received from the offering envelopes and other donations.
(c) Issue receipts for income tax purposes where applicable.
SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
46. The Sunday School Superintendent shall:
(a) Administer the work of the Sunday school for all ages.
(b) Carry out the policy of the Board of Christian Education.
(c) Be responsible for the program for the opening session of the Sunday school, but may delegate this task to other qualified persons from time to time.
(d) Preside at teachers’ meetings.
(e) Be the disciplinary officer of the Sunday school.
(f) Act under the Pastor and in closest cooperation with him.
47. There shall be an Assistant Sunday School Superintendent to whom the Superintendent may delegate such responsibilities as may be necessary to administer the Sunday school effectively. In the absence of the Superintendent, the Assistance Superintendent shall assume all the Superintendent’s responsibilities.
BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
48. The Board of Christian Education shall elect for itself a chairman and a secretary, and shall organize itself so that it may effectively communicate with and represent the interests of the Alton Sunday School, the Christian youth groups, the Vacation Bible School and all other Christian education activities of the Church. The Board shall:
(a) Establish objectives in keeping with the overall policy of the Church.
(b) Supply the Sunday school with a complete staff and provide leadership for other Christian education programs.
(c) Provide consistent and integrated programs.
(d) Choose curriculum and materials in consultation with the Pastor and Deacons.
(e) Coordinate continuing Christian education activities.
BOARD OF DEACONS
49. The Board of Deacons shall elect for itself a chairman and a secretary, and shall organize itself so that it may effectively keep contact with and oversee the Church’s worship, outreach, involvement in missions, special events, and all other spiritual ministries of the Church. The Board shall:
(a) Give their leadership and cooperation in all spiritual activities of the Church.
(b) Advise, assist and support the Pastor in the promotion of the moral and spiritual welfare and advancement of the Church.
(c) Arrange for and assist in the administration of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
(d) In the absence of the Pastor, or if the Church is without a Pastor, provide leadership for the Bible studies, prayer meetings and worship services of the Church.
(e) Be responsible for prayerfully selecting members to serve on the Board of Deacons, in consultation with the Pastor and the Nominating Committee.
BOARD OF FINANCE
50. The Board of Finance shall elect for itself a chairman and a secretary, and shall include among its members the Treasurer, and Assistant Treasurers. The Board shall:
(a) Be responsible for the collection, tabulation and expenditure of all Church funds, excepting those raised and used for their own purposes by separate organizations within the Church.
(b) Prepare an annual budget for submission to the Church at the annual meeting, indicating all proposed expenditures for the coming year.
(c) Receive, consider and authorize or reject proposals for financial expenditures not provided in the budget and not exceeding $500.00.
(d) Authorize expenditures not provided in the budget and exceeding $500.00 only after the Church has given its approval at a general business meeting.
(e) Authorize three per cent (3%) of the budget for emergency repairs to church properties without a general meeting of the Church, providing that the funds are available and upon recommendation of the Trustees.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
51. The Board of Trustees shall elect for itself a chairman and a secretary, and shall organize itself so that it may effectively examine the need for and carry out maintenance and improvements to the Church buildings in North Alton, and South Alton, and to the parsonage. The Board shall:
(a) Have general oversight of the Church property and keep the same in good repair and insured.
(b) Have authority to contract bills for expenditures for property maintenance only, not exceeding the money available in the appropriate fund, and to order payment of same by the Treasurer.
(c) At least once a year thoroughly inspect all property owned by the Church and report to the Church such repairs and renovations as may be needed.
(d) Cooperate with the Fellowship Club and Baptist Women’s Auxiliary to coordinate plans for improvements on buildings.
(e) Act as the Church’s agents for borrowing money, or buying, selling or mortgaging the Church’s property, subject to the Church’s approval by Special Resolution at a general business meeting.
(f) All memorial gifts and donations, excluding money, become the property of the church and may be disposed of as deemed necessary by the Trustees.
DUTIES OF COMMITTEES
52. Each committee shall meet as soon as possible following the annual general business meeting to elect a chairman, to familiarize its members with the duties of the committee, and if necessary to plan the year’s activities.
53. The Decoration Committee shall keep the sanctuary suitably decorated with plants and flowers for various meetings. Special attention shall be given to Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas services.
54. The Music Committee shall sponsor the ministry of music in the Church. It shall bring before the Church the financial needs of this ministry, such as those for renovating and buying equipment and music. It shall speak for the choir and its leaders to the Church and for the Church to them.
55. The Nominating Committee shall meet at least three months before the annual business meeting to prayerfully prepare slate of directors, boards, committees and other positions to be nominated at that meeting. At the request of a general business meeting of the Church, this committee may nominate persons to fill such vacancies as may occur during the year. It shall consult its nominees before it brings their names before the Church. At no time are its nominations binding.
56. The Social Committee shall arrange for light refreshments to be served following a service or special event when asked in advance by the Pastor or Board of Deacons. Generally refreshments will be served at the time of fellowship following services or events where guests from outside the Church have been invited to participate.
57. The Visitation Committee, cooperating with the Pastor and Deacons, shall visit the sick, the shut-ins, the aged, newcomers to the community and any others in special need of Christian fellowship.
58. The Ushers Committee shall be responsible for the seating of people at all Church services and shall take up the offering. Its duties shall include the supervision of lighting, temperature and ventilation during services. The Ushers shall also direct parking and usher at a funeral held in a Church building, if required.
59. The Church may from time to time borrow on the security of its real and personal property, or either of them, or any other security, or without security whatsoever, any sum or sums of money that it deems necessary by a Special Resolution of the members.
60. Contracts, deeds, and bills for expenditures for property maintenance may be executed on behalf of the Church by any two Trustees or as otherwise directed by Special Resolution of the Church in a general meeting.
61. Signing authority for the church bank account, bonds, debentures or other securities may be executed on behalf of the Church by any two of the Treasurer or Assistant Treasurers.
62. The power to execute mortgages of the Church’s real or personal property, and the power to issue bonds or debentures secured by mortgage or otherwise shall not be exercised except with the sanction of a Special Resolution of the Church.
EXAMINATION OF ACCOUNTS
63. The examiners of the Church shall be appointed annually by the members at the annual business meeting and, on failure of the members to appoint examiners, the Board of Finance may do so.
64. The examiners shall make a written report to the members upon the balance sheet and income statement and, in every such report, they shall state whether, in their opinion, the balance sheet is a full and fair balance sheet containing the particulars required by the Church and properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and correct view of the Church’s affairs, and such report shall be presented at the annual business meeting.
SUBMISSIONS TO THE REGISTRAR
65. A signed copy of the financial report shall be filed with the Registrar within fourteen (14) days after each annual meeting.
66. The Church shall notify the Registrar of a change of Directors within fourteen days of the change.
67. The Church shall file with the Registrar a copy of every Special Resolution affecting these by-laws within fourteen days after the Special Resolution is passed.
68. Every submission to the Registrar shall be authenticated by the Clerk or other authorized officer of the Church.
69. Delegates to both the Eastern Valley Baptist Association and the Convention of the Atlantic Baptist Churches shall be elected at the annual business meeting and be subject to the Association and Convention regulations. If upon short notice alternate delegates are required, they may be appointed by the Deacons in consultation with the Pastor.
70. For the purposes of certification of documents or proceedings, the Clerk or any officer appointed by the Church may affix the seal of the Church.
71. All books, papers and records relating to the Church and its transactions shall be the property of the Church.
72. The fiscal year of the Church shall be the period from January 1 to December 31 in any year.
73. These by-laws may be amended at any regularly called business meeting of the Church by Special Resolution, provided notice of the proposed amendment has been given in the call for the meeting, or at a previous business meeting of the Church. No by-law or amendment to by-laws shall take effect until the Registrar approves of it.
74. A by-law committee shall be appointed by the Church every five years, whose job shall be to study the by-laws and to recommend any revisions which it deems necessary.
75. All individuals who interact with youth at any level (i.e., Nursery duty, Sunday School, Awana, Daily Vacation Bible School and all youth programs, as well as transportation of youth) are required to be screened by the RCMP Criminal Investigation and the Family and Children’s Services Sexual Abuse Registry, the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy as adopted by the Alton Baptist Church as attached. Any new people who apply to work in youth ministry of our Church are required to:
a) complete the sexual abuse application;
b) regularly attend a recognized Christian Church for six months prior to becoming involved with our youth;
c) give name and address and church attended;
d) demonstrate ability to work with youth.
Passed by Membership at Annual Meeting on January 28, 2001:
ALTON BAPTIST CHURCH
BYLAW ADDITION TO CONSTITUTION
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE PREVENTION POLICY
It is the intent of this church congregation to provide a secure and trustworthy environment for all who attend this facility. To that end, we recognize the need for a “Child Abuse Prevention Program” to protect children and leaders. Therefore a policy has been developed and this awareness and prevention program must be used annually (early September) and for any new youth leaders who may join in training young people, staff or volunteer.
This policy is made up of an awareness seminar and selection process which contains:
1. “Understanding the Problem of Child Sexual Abuse”
2. “The Churches Need to Respond”
3. “Worker Selection, Supervision, and Incident Reporting”
4. the video, “Reducing the Risk” or alternate training aids as approved by Board of Deacons
5. and selection forms: (as used by an interview committee to be established on an ad hoc basis as needed)
a) Ministry/Leadership Volunteer Application Form.
b) Ministry/Leadership Volunteer Interview Form
c) Telephone Follow-Up Format for Screening Applicants Form
d) Record of Church Contact with a reference or church identified by an applicant form.
6. If an allegation is made, we will follow Sections 23 and 24 of the Children and Family Services Act.
AS PER CONVENTION OF ATLANTIC BAPTIST CHURCHES, THE ALTON BAPTIST CHURCH POLICY FOR PUBLIC WITNESS AND SAME-SEX UNIONS:
We adopt the following:
“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Section 15) guarantees all Canadian citizens both individual rights and freedoms (civil liberties) as well as freedom of conscience and religion, and we voluntarily acknowledge the Holy Scriptures as the basis upon which we order our lives in all matters of faith and practice, and our interpretation of Scripture prohibits homosexual practice, and we believe that marriage, as historically and currently defined in Canadian society as the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, is consistent with God’s plan for sexual bonding and the only appropriate context for sexual intimacy. We believe that this definition, while distinguishing between types of social relationships, does not discriminate against those of homosexual orientation, and our interpretation of Scripture also challenges us to respect civil authority while living out our faith in the presence of the broader society. We will strive, at all times and in all places, to speak the truth as we understand it, in love and with humility. We will strive to develop and implement policies which celebrate and affirm marriage as a covenant union between a man and a woman in the presence of God, and the Christian wedding service as a fundamentally religious ceremony, and will continue to develop positive and proactive ministries aimed at teaching biblical principles for marriage so that the marriages of those who attend will be strengthened.”
Public Statement Concerning the Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Unions
• We affirm the worth and dignity of all people.
• We support the separation of Church and State in Canadian society.
• We value the principles of freedom and democracy by which our country is governed.
• We respect the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of Canadian society.
• We cherish the freedom we have to live according to our faith and to hold beliefs which are sometimes at odds with secular society.
• On the matter of the legal recognition of same-sex unions, we believe that:
1. Marriage is a unique institution, based on the union of one man and one woman;
2. Marriage is the fundamental social unit of society;
3. The institution of marriage should be upheld in Canadian law and public policy because it encourages social stability;
4. The marriage relationship is the preferred context within which society reproduces itself;
5. Marriage is more than simply a relationship of love and commitment between two people - it is also a social institution and, in our view, a religious covenant between two people in the presence of God;
6. In Christian theology, marriage is not only endorsed by God but the marriage relationship is used to depict the union of Christ and His church;
7. The opposite-sex definition of marriage, while it makes a distinction, does not discriminate against gays and lesbians;
8. Insofar as it is necessary to recognize same-sex unions in law and public policy, Parliament should create a new category for these unions which recognizes their distinctiveness;
9. In law and public policy, the opposite-sex requirement for marriage should be maintained; and
10. These views are consistent with The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They reflect principles that affirm “the supremacy of God and the rule of law” while also respecting the protections guaranteed in Section 15.