Church administrators, parish secretaries, and church council members often have very broad skill sets and a very broad set of tasks on their plates. The Minneapolis Area Synod and the ELCA support administrators and councils by providing useful templates, a model constitution, and basic forms, which can be found on this page, and should help with concerns that might arise.
Congregation Constitution Resources
Each of the church’s expressions – congregations, synods, and the churchwide organization – has a constitution. Constitutions help to ensure consistency of governance and doctrine among the various expressions of our church. Constitutions are updated at every Churchwide Assembly. It is recommended that ELCA congregations and synods review the adopted amendments as soon as possible to incorporate required changes and to consider recommended changes.
Amending a congregation’s constitution is important work. Because the process can be challenging, the ELCA and the Minneapolis Area Synod have prepared resources to assist congregations in this process. These resources should help with concerns that might arise. If you still have questions, contact Dee Cole Vodicka.
Resources from the ELCA, Office of the Secretary
- ELCA 2016 Model Constitution for Congregations This is a template, and must be used by each congregation.
- Guide for Use of the Model This provides definitions and explanations for the process recommended by the ELCA.
- Overview of Changes to Model Constitution This document shows the changes to the 2013 Model in yellow. Additions are underlined, deletions are struck through in the text.
Resources from the Minneapolis Area Synod
- Amending Your Congregation’s Constitution This provides general information (similar to the ELCA Guide), and a step by step process recommended as congregations prepare constitutions for Synod Council approval.
Policy and Procedures Regarding Sexual Misconduct
Bishop’s Annual Report to Congregations, January 2017
Minneapolis Area Synod Audit for Year Ending January 31, 2016
Other ELCA Resources for Congregations
The ELCA Office of the Secretary has many resources for congregations that may be useful to you from recommendations for a congregation secretary to managing congregation records.
See all the resources >