2019 Model Constitution for Congregations is now available

The English version of the newly amended Model Constitution for Congregations is now available at https://www.elca.org/About/Churchwide/Office-of-the-Secretary/Constitutions.

It is recommended that ELCA congregations and synods review the adopted amendments for their constitutions as soon as possible after each churchwide assembly to incorporate the required changes and to consider the recommended changes.

Guide for Use of the Model Constitution for Congregations is a helpful reference for congregations reviewing their constitutions.

Most changes relate to the merging of diaconal ministers, associates in ministry, and deacons into a roster of Ministers of Word and Service, and references to an ordained minister are changed to that of a Minister of Word and Sacrament.  These provisions should be added even if a congregation does not currently have a person on one of the lay rosters under call. 

Every congregation is to make these changes in your constitution to be in sync with the ELCA constitution. The procedure is simple: your Congregation Council passes a motion to send the proposed changes to your next Congregation Meeting (which in most cases is in January). The congregation must be notified of the proposed changes at least 30 days in advance of the meeting at which the vote will be taken. Upon a majority vote of members at the Congregation Meeting, the amendments will take effect. They do not require review and approval by the synod.