Revised February 9, 2003



The Name of this Church is the First Congregational Church of Monroe, Washington.

ARTICLE II: Incorporation

This Church has been incorporated as a religious organization, November 12, 1905 according to the laws of the State of Washington. The Church recognizes as its corporate seal the words, "The First Congregational Church of Monroe, Washington." This is the official seal, the same to be written, printed, or impressed.

ARTICLE III: Fellowship

The government and ownership of this Church is vested in its members, who, exercise the right of control in all its affairs. It is amenable to no other ecclesiastical body, but it accepts the obligations of mutual counsel, comity, and cooperation involved in the free fellowship of the United Church of Christ, and pledges itself to share their common aims and work.


We believe in the freedom and responsibility of the individual soul, and the right of private judgment. We join with the fellowship of United Congregational Churches of Christ in the Statement of Faith adopted in 1982.
"We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God and to your deeds we gladly testify. You call the worlds into being, create us in your own image, and set before each one the ways of life and death. You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin. You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles. In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself. You call us into your Church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory. You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end, Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you. Amen."

ARTICLE V: Covenant

The Covenant by which the Church exists as a distinct body, and which every member accepts, is as follows:
Acknowledging Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord, accepting the Holy Scriptures as our rule of faith and practice, and recognizing the privilege and duty of uniting ourselves for Christian Fellowship, the enjoyment of Christian ordinances, the public worship of God, and the advancement of His Kingdom in the world, we do now, in the sight of God and invoking His blessing, solemnly covenant and agree with each other to associate ourselves to be a Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, as warranted by the Word of God.

We agree to maintain the institutions of the Gospel, to submit ourselves to the orderly administrations of the affairs of the Church, and to walk together in Christian love, mutually endeavoring to aid one another in the needs of life and the ways of Christian living.

ARTICLE VI: Membership

Section 1. Qualifications
This Church will welcome into its membership any person who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and who purposes to live according to His Law of Love.

Section 2. Conditions
The members of this Church shall be persons who publicly accept its covenant: (a) on presentation of satisfactory letters of transfer from other churches; or (b) if letters are not available, by reaffirmation of faith; or (c) on confession of faith and baptism.

Section 3. Membership
Members are expected to be faithful to all duties, essential to the Christian Life, to attend services of the Church, to give systematically to the support of the Church and its benevolence, and to share in its organized work.

Section 4. Termination

A. By letter of Withdrawal.
A member in good standing, on his/her request, or by that of a church minister or church officer to the requesting church, may be granted a letter of transfer to any specified Christian Church, or be released from membership.
B. By exclusion.
Should a member become an offense to the Church and its good name by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct, or by persistent breach of his/her covenant vows, the Church membership on recommendation of the Diaconate may censure such member, suspend him/her or terminate his/her membership by a two-thirds vote at a duly called meeting; but only after due notice and hearing, and according to the law of Christ.

The membership of no person shall be terminated at the meeting in which the recommendation for such action is first made.

Section 5. Restoration
Any person whose membership has been terminated, may, for good and sufficient reasons, be restored to membership by vote of the Church membership.

ARTICLE VII: Officers, Boards, and Committees

Section 1. Officers
The officers of the Church shall be: the Pastor, the Moderator, the Moderator-elect, the Clerk, the Treasurer, the Church School Facilitator, and the Historian, to be elected as provided by the By-laws.

Section 2. Boards and Committees
The Boards of this Church shall be the Trustees and the Board of the Diaconate. The committees of this Church shall be the Church Cabinet, the Committee of Christian Education, the Nominating Committee, the Picnic Committee, Out Reach Committee and Pastor/Parish Committee. Members of the Boards and Committees are to be elected or selected as provided in the Bylaws, and members of such other committees as appointed by the Moderator.


A. Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of the Church members shall be held on an agreed upon Sunday in February, or at such time as may be voted by the Church membership.
1. Yearly reports shall be presented by all officers, organizations, and committees at the Annual Meeting, with recommendations for the ensuing year.
2. Officers and Committees shall be elected for the ensuing year.
B. Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the Pastor and/or Moderator. Notice for such meetings shall be given to the Church members on the Sunday preceding the date set for the meeting.
C. Matters of business
The following matters of business shall be handled by meetings of the Church membership:
1. Call of the pastor.
2. Purchase, sale, mortgage, or transfer of real property.
3. Adoption or Amendment of the budget if in excess of $3,500.00.
4. Election of officers, Boards, Committee Heads, and other representatives.
5. Action on cases of offense of members.
D. Quorum
Twenty adult members shall constitute a quorum at meetings of Church members.

ARTICLE IX: Amendments

The Constitution and By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at any Annual Meeting of the Church, or at a meeting specially called for that purpose, the proposed amendment(s) being inserted in the call.


ARTICLE I: Election and Duties of Officers

Section 1. Pastor

A. Calling a Pastor.
The Pastor shall be called for an indefinite term by a two-thirds vote at a regular or special Church Meeting.

The nomination of a Pastor shall be made by the Cabinet and presented to the Church meeting upon recommendation of the Pastoral committee appointed by the Cabinet. Notice of the meeting for the election of a Pastor shall be given from the pulpit and by direct mail at least two weeks before the meeting.

B. Termination of the Pastorate.
Either the Pastor or the Church may dissolve the Pastoral relationship by giving two months' notice of such termination.
C. Duties.
The Pastor shall have a central place of leadership in all the affairs of the Church. S/He shall have in charge the spiritual welfare of the Church, in cooperation with the Cabinet, the Boards, and the Committees. It shall be his/her duty to preach the Word, to care for the stated services of Public Worship, to administer the sacraments, to teach, to visit the sick, the sorrowing, and the stranger, and to promote in all ways, within his/her power, the spiritual interest of the Church and those whom it serves. The Pastor shall be an ex-officio and advisory member of all Boards and Committees. S/He shall make a report of his/her year's work at the Annual Meeting of the Church.

Section 2. Moderator.
The Moderator shall be a lay member and the elected representative of the congregation. The Moderator will work with the Pastor and with the members of the Congregation, to provide leadership within the law of the Constitution. The Moderator will chair Cabinet meetings and be the presiding officer at all business meetings of the Church. The Moderator will serve a one year term. The Moderator may appoint those committees or task forces as he/she deems necessary with the consent of the cabinet. It shall be the Moderator's duty to prepare the agenda for Cabinet and Church meetings.

Section 3. Moderator-elect

The Moderator-elect shall be a lay member elected to a one year term.

S/He will work closely with the Moderator, Pastor and members of the congregation to assist the Moderator in his/her duties.

S/He shall serve one year as the Moderator-elect followed by one year as the Moderator. In the absence of the Moderator, the Moderator-elect shall assume the duties of the Moderator.

Section 4. Clerk.
The Clerk shall keep a complete record of the business meetings of the Church and the Church Cabinet. S/He shall cooperate closely with the Historian. The clerk shall keep a register of the members of the Church, recording all admissions, dismissals, baptisms, deaths, and marriages. S/He shall issue letters of transfer, notifying the Church to which they are addressed. S/He shall preserve on file in the Church office all communications, documents, and written reports.

The Clerk shall keep a complete record of the business meetings of the Church and the Church Cabinet. S/He shall cooperate closely with the Historian. The Clerk shall keep a register of the members of the Church, recording all admissions, dismissals, baptisms, deaths, and marriages. S/He shall preserve on file in the Church office all communications, documents, and written reports. The Clerk shall report all communications intended for the Church and conduct, as may be necessary, its correspondence. The Clerk shall give notice of all Church and Cabinet meetings when such notice is required and shall make a full report to the Church at the Annual Meeting and shall be a voting member at all such meetings. The Clerk shall be elected at the Annual Meeting to serve a term of three years.

Section 5. Treasurer.
The Treasurer shall keep separate accounts of all monies received by him/her for the support of the Church, for its benevolence, and any other funds placed in his/her care. S/He shall make payments on order of the Board of Trustees. S/He shall give bonds if requested by the Church for the faithful discharge of his/her duties. S/He shall make a monthly report to the Trustees and Cabinet. At the Annual Meeting, s/he shall present a complete itemized report of his/her treasurership which shall be properly audited every two years by two auditors appointed by the Moderator. The Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual Meeting to serve a term of three years.

Section 6. Church School Facilitator.
The Facilitator of the Church School shall be in general charge of the management of the Church School and in cooperation with the Pastor shall carry out the policies determined by the Committee of Christian Education. The Facilitator shall be an ex-officio member of the Committee of Christian Education.

Section 7. Historian.
An historian shall be elected at an Annual Meeting for a term of three years. S/He shall be in charge and control of the old records of the Church and shall keep a file of all current Church publications and photographs of Church activities.


Section 1. Composition
The Cabinet shall be composed of representatives of each Board, Committee and Organization of the Church as follows:

Officers: Moderator, Moderator-elect, Clerk, Treasurer, Church School Facilitator, Historian, to be elected as provided by the By-Laws. Representatives of Organizations:
Women's Fellowship, Men's Spirituality Group, Quilters and Choir.
Representatives of Boards and Committees: Trustees, Board of Diaconate, Christian Education, Pastor/Parish Committee, and Out Reach Committee.
Members at large:
Three members at large may be elected for a three year term at the discretion of the Moderator.

Section 2. Duties.
The Cabinet shall be an executive body which shall act on behalf of the Church Membership on all matters of policy not assigned specifically to other Committees, Boards, and Organizations. It shall be the function of the Cabinet to visualize the entire task of the Church, to advise the Pastor and Officers on the general direction of the Church's activities, and to cooperate with them in the formation of a well-rounded program. The Cabinet shall be empowered to create, as needed, ad-hoc committees, or task force groups, to fulfill the Church's role in the world and its membership. The Cabinet shall set the guidelines for each ad-hoc committee, select its membership, and discharge the group upon the completion of its assigned task.

The Cabinet shall submit to the Annual Meeting of the Church members a comprehensive program involving the chief objectives of the Church for the coming year.

Section 3. Meetings.
The Cabinet shall meet monthly. Special meetings may be called by the Moderator or Pastor. At the meetings of the Cabinet, a quorum of five members from the Officers, Representatives and Members at large, shall be required for action on duties.

ARTICLE III: Boards and Committees

Section 1. Board of Diaconate.
The Board shall consist of 6-12 members, elected for terms of three years, or less, one third of the Board Trustees, Board of Diaconate, Christian Education, Pastor/Parish Committee, and Out Reach Committee. to be elected each year. After six years of service Board members shall be ineligible for re-election until the lapse of one year.

They shall assist in the preparation and ministration of the sacraments. The Board shall see that the pulpit is supplied in the absence of the Pastor, provide ushers for weekly and other services of worship, provide new visitor information to the Outreach Committee, ensure that worship materials are provided for services, and assist in determining order of worship and liturgy, if needed.

Section 2. Board of Trustees
This Board shall consist of six or more members, elected for a term of three years, or less, one-third each year, and shall be ineligible for re-election after a service of six years, until the lapse of one year.

They shall have charge of the financial affairs of the Church, including the leasing of the parsonage, and the administration of funds from the Memorial Fund. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, or transfer property without specific authority by vote of the Church members. The shall have the care and custody of the property of the Church and make improvements and repairs as necessary. They shall supervise the care and improvement of the yards and shall submit an annual budget to the Church Cabinet for ratification.

The Board of Trustees shall have the authority to amend any approved budget by an amount of $3,500.00 or less. This specifically means that a Budget item may be increased or added to the budget in an amount of $3,500.00 or less.

Any question arising in the Church community pertaining to financial matters or Real or fixed property shall be the exclusive domain of the Trustees.

Section 3. Committee of Christian Education
The Committee of Christian Education shall consist of five or more members, to be elected at the Annual Meeting of the Church. The Committee shall have supervision and direction of the educational work of the Church.

It shall be its duty to provide a system of religious education covering, if possible, all ages and classes in the Church School; correlate courses of instruction; to appoint officers and Teachers; and in every way to meet the needs of the Church in Christian Education. It shall represent the Church in its educational relations with denominational, interdenominational, and public school systems, and shall seek to enlist and train volunteers for Christian Education service.

It shall coordinate the youth program of the Church with the Church School.

All questions arising from the Church community pertaining to Christian Education for all ages, shall be the domain of the Committee of Christian Education.

Section 4. Committee on Christian Concern
The Committee on Christian Concern shall be an ad hoc committee created by the Cabinet, as needed, to fulfill its assigned task in the general areas of missionary outreach, social action and progress.

Section 5. Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee shall consist of three persons, elected at the Annual Meeting for three year terms, one being elected each year. The members are not eligible for re-election. The duty of this committee shall be to prepare a list of nominations for officers, committee and board members for the ensuing years. Nominations shall be posted two weeks in advance of the Annual Meeting. The committee will recommend to the Cabinet persons to fill vacancies that occur during the year.

Section 6. Picnic Committee
The Picnic Committee shall consist of three people appointed by the Nominating Committee to plan a Church picnic during the summer months.

Section 7. The Pastor/Parish Committee
The Pastor/Parish Committee shall consist of five members: the Past Moderator who shall be acting chair of the Committee, the Moderator and the Moderator-elect and one member chosen every 3 years by the Moderator and one member chosen every three years by the Pastor. The Committee shall meet regularly (at least quarterly) with the Pastor. Extra meetings shall be at the discretion of the chairperson. Due to sensitive issues that may be discussed, the meetings may be closed. Vacancies shall be filled by consensus of the committee and pastor.

It is the purpose of the Pastor/Parish Committee to support and maintain an open and healthy relationship between the pastor and members of the congregation. The Committee shall serve in two ways. First, it shall be an advisory group to share ideas, dreams, hopes, expectations and concerns of the Congregation with the Pastor. Committee members shall also be available to help members of the Congregation with concerns and to help improve communication and resolve conflict. Second, the committee shall be a support for the pastor by interpreting roles, functions and needs of the Pastor to the Congregation. When appropriate, the Committee may advise the Board or Committees as to a suggested course of action.

The Pastor/Parish Committee shall make a report to the Congregation at the annual meeting.

Section 8. Outreach Committee
The Outreach Committee shall consist of up to six members elected at the Annual Meeting. The Cabinet shall set the length of terms. The Outreach Committee shall assume an important role in presenting the basic beliefs of our church to the community. It shall encourage and/or initiate united church efforts to invite, welcome, and nurture new attendees, as well as support existing church members it may assist any church committee, but primarily the Diaconate, with outreach efforts as needed. The goal of this committee is to foster growth in faith and to build membership.