ARTICLE I: LEGAL NAME
The Assembly Bill of the Province of Quebec No. 137, (18 George V, chapter 123) sanctioned March 15, 1928, incorporated the congregation of Christians known as Baptists under the name of "The Quebec Baptist Church".
ARTICLE II: MISSION AND PURPOSE
Quebec Baptist Church is a congregation of individuals united in their loyalty and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, and called by God to become a community that reflects his character and teaching.
The purpose of this English language Church is to enhance meaningful and passionate relationships with Jesus Christ among those who participate in the Church. The congregation will strive to respond to the needs of people in a loving and accepting community context, while upholding the Church's Statement of Faith. The congregation will promote a deeper understanding of the Bible and how God would have us live our lives, as well as celebrate and share our joy found in God's love and forgiveness.
ARTICLE III: STATEMENT OF FAITH AND CHURCH COVENANT
1. Statement of Faith
1.1 God: We believe in one God, creator of all things both visible and invisible, who has revealed Himself in three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
1.2 The Word of God is the Authoritative Rule of Faith and Practice: We believe in a conservative and traditional interpretation of the Bible. We believe that God communicates His will through the inspired Word found in the Bible which is the final authority in matters of faith and practice. However, this requires that a Believer must temper his/her doctrinal interpretation to satisfy the greater needs and unity of the community of believers.
1.3 Jesus is Lord: We believe that Jesus Christ, being eternally God, the only begotten Son, and the visible expression of the invisible God, effectively procured salvation for all creation through His death, burial and resurrection. He is the one assigned by God the Father to rule with authority over all of creation. Every area of the believer's life and the life of the Church is to be subject to the Lord.
1.4 A Believers' Church: We believe that Jesus Christ chooses to form his Church by bringing together believers for the purpose of worship, witness, fellowship, and ministry (both spiritual and social). We recognize the Church Universal as all who truly profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. They also profess their understanding of the Church as being visibly expressed in local congregations. Each local Church must thus be made up of believers who profess their faith and are baptized.
1.5 Congregational Government: Government in a local Church is controlled by the principles of the Lordship of Christ, the authority of the Scriptures, the priesthood of all believers and the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Christ, present in the lives of congregational members, leads them corporately to discover and obey his mind and will.
1.6 Christ Will Return: We believe that one day in the future Jesus will return in a bodily form to gather those whose faith is in Him. We believe that everyone will arise from the dead: some to everlasting life and others to everlasting condemnation.
1.7 Institution of Marriage: We believe in the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. All other intimate relationships, either temporary or long-lasting, will not be acknowledged by the Church.
2. Church Covenant
Humbly looking to God our Father for His grace and assistance, we do hereby covenant and pledge ourselves to walk together as Christians, to love as brothers and sisters and to have fervent care among ourselves.
We will worship God in private and with our families. We will individually and unitedly labour to promote and preserve the spirituality of the Church and the purity of its worship and morals; and as none of us lives to himself, we will hold our own persons, talents, and worldly substance at the disposal of Christ for the maintenance of public worship, the spread of the Gospel and the glory of God.
ARTICLE IV: ORDINANCES
1.The Lord's Day: The Church shall meet for Divine Worship every Lord's Day. It was on the first day of the week that the Lord arose from the dead. In the book of Acts the disciples began meeting on the first day of the week. Today we meet on the first day of the week to celebrate the Lord's resurrection. 2.Baptism: Baptism is intended to represent Jesus` death, burial and resurrection; baptism by completely immersing the candidate in water is seen as the only adequate outward expression for the spiritual faith-union with Jesus Christ. Baptism should be administered only to believers. It is one of the first significant acts through which the believer proclaims personal faith in Christ and is initiated into Church life and ministry.
3. Communion: The ordinance of the Lord's Supper should be observed on the first Lord's Day morning of each month or at such other times as may be decided on by the Pastor and Elders.
The celebration of Communion is a proclamation. We are declaring that Jesus died for us and that one day He will return.
The Pastor, or in his absence, another person appointed by the Board of Elders, shall preside over the service.
All fellow Christians are welcome to share in the Table of the Lord with us.
ARTICLE V: MEMBERSHIP
1. Commitment: Members shall wholeheartedly accept the obligations of the Church Covenant, Constitution, and Statement of Faith. All members will sign a Membership Statement by which a member would agree to comply with the Church Constitution and its Statement of Faith. Everyone active in a ministry, as defined by the Church through the Board of Elders, will be required to be a member, adherent member, a leader-in-training, or if invited as a guest to participate in a ministry role, be required to sign a Statement of Faith. All invited guests must be approved by the Board of Elders. Volunteers involved in non-ministry roles, as defined by the Church, will not be required to sign a statement of faith.
2. Weekly Meetings: Members are encouraged to meet as often as possible for praise, prayer and Bible study. Members shall endeavour to make all gatherings attractive to visitors.
3. Constitution: A copy of the Constitution shall be made available to each member and to all applicants for membership.
4. Active Members: Only active members shall be eligible to hold offices, vote at business meetings or represent the Church in an official capacity.
5. Receiving into Membership: Any person who professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and gives evidence of His rule in their lives, and who accepts the constitution of this Church may be received into membership upon their request, after satisfactory interview with two representatives of the Board of Elders (the Pastor is considered a Elder) and upon endorsement by a vote of the membership.
Such members may be received by:
- baptism by immersion upon profession of faith
- letter of transfer from a Church of similar polity
- on experience, where no letter is available
- restoration of membership
6. Discipline: In cases of private offence between members, it is incumbent that the rule laid down by our Lord (Matthew 18:15 17) be faithfully observed. In cases of open backsliding or doctrinal error, it is the duty of the Church to exercise discipline (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14, 15; Titus 3:10 11). All members agree to be subject to the authority of the Church, as exercised through the Board of Elders. Cases involving inquiry into the character or conduct of a member of the Church shall be investigated by the Pastor and Elders and members of the Church whose assistance may be invited by them. Such cases shall be mentioned to the Church only when, after such investigation, there shall appear to be grounds for discipline. Once a person is under investigation, that person may not request his or her removal from membership until the investigation is complete and a decision regarding discipline has been made.
7. Inactive Membership List: When any person has manifested a lack of interest in the life of the Church for a year by failure to attend service, to communicate with the Church, or to contribute to its support, his / her name may be placed on an inactive list on recommendation of the Board of Elders and vote of the membership. Any person whose name is on the inactive membership list may be reinstated to active membership on recommendation of the Board of Elders and by vote of the membership.
8. Dismissal: Members may be dismissed upon approval of the Elders and vote of the Church by any of the following means:
- letter of transfer to a Church of similar polity
- request in writing to have their name removed
- direct evidence of membership in another Church
- as the result of discipline (as described above)
- as the result of prolonged absence (2 years)
Upon notification of death, the congregation will recognize the removal of the person's name from the membership roll; however, no vote is required.
9.Adherent Members: People who regularly attend the Church and do not wish to become members, may become adherent members. All adherent members will sign a statement by which they agree to comply with the Church Constitution and its Statement of Faith. Such adherent members may be received upon profession of faith and believer's baptism. Adherent members are welcome to attend and participate in any and all ministries and business meetings, but will not have the right to vote. 10. Leaders-in-Training: In an effort to develop the youth (ages 13-18) of our
congregation, they are encouraged to assist in various ministries. These youth shall be approved by the Board of Elders as leaders-in-training and will be required to sign a statement by which they agree to comply with the Church constitution and its Statement of Faith. As such, they shall be provided with opportunities to develop their unique gifts, abilities and interests. Leaders-in-training must be paired up with an adult member or adherent member, who can assist in the development of their gifts.
ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS
1. Annual Business Meeting
1. The Annual Church Business meeting shall be held within ninety (90) days of the calendar year-end.
2. The Clerk shall submit minutes of previous meetings and a report on the Membership Roll for adoption.
3. The Pastor shall give a brief report.
4. Reports of all Church departments (ministry leaders) shall be presented.
5. The following Church Officers shall be elected annually unless stated otherwise:
a) Elders, who shall hold office for three years
c) Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer of the General Fund
d) Treasurer(s) and Assistant Treasurer(s) of other Funds
e) Church Clerk
f) Christian Education Director
g) Greeter / Usher Coordinator
i) Such other officers as may be deemed necessary
6. All Officers shall be first nominated and then elected by secret ballot.
7. Resolution of legal authority required for Church affairs are to be presented to the congregation for approval.
2. Ordinary Business Meetings
Ordinary Church Business meetings shall be held twice yearly to hear a statement of Church finances, to consult about Church work, and to confirm important Church business as deemed appropriate by the Church Officers or ministry leaders.
3. Special Business Meetings
A Special Business Meeting may be held at any time at the call of the Pastor and/or Elders, or upon the signed requisition of seven members in good standing.
4. Rules of Conduct
4.1 At least two (2) weeks prior notice must be given before any Church
Business Meeting may be held.
4.2 For the purpose of all Business Meetings whether Ordinary, Special or
Annual, a quorum shall consist of not less than ten (10) active members present.
4.3 All Church Business Meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer.
4.4 Only those active members eighteen (18) years of age or over shall be
entitled to vote on Church Business.
4.5 Any significant controversial issues (upon consultation with the members
present) will be decided with 2/3 majority.
4.6 At least an eighty-five percent (85 %) majority of votes will be necessary for the call of a Pastor. However, a general consensus shall be aimed for.
4.7 At least a 2/3 majority of votes will be necessary for the election of
Elders, Trustees, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and Church Clerk. However, a general consensus shall be aimed for.
The names of the candidates for these positions will be formally presented to the membership at least one month prior to the business meeting for their prayerful consideration.
4.8 Proxy voting of absentees will not be a regular procedure. In unusual
cases, the Chair of the meeting may allow such votes on specific issues if a request in writing is received.
4.9 All Business Meetings shall be conducted according to Parliamentary
rules, at the same time recognizing that when the spirit of Christian love and courtesy prevails, very few rules are necessary.
ARTICLE VII: CONGREGATIONAL STRUCTURE:
1. This Christian Church is congregational in its polity. It recognises the Lord Jesus Christ as its supreme Head, believing in His presence. The affairs of the Church shall be the responsibility of the membership as a body, and the members in properly constituted assembly are its highest court of appeal on all matters of faith and conduct.
2. The Pastor(s):
2.1 The Pastor shall be required to subscribe to Church membership, and as a result, shall wholeheartedly accept the obligations of the Church Covenant, Constitution and its Statement of Faith.
2.2 The duties of the Pastor shall be to minister the Gospel, expound the Word of God, administer the ordinances and actively participate and coordinate pastoral care among the people. The Pastor shall also serve as a resource in matters of belief and practice, and assist wherever possible in maintaining good order in the Church's affairs. It is understood that the Pastor is an ex-officio member of all committees.
2.3 The Pastor shall be called to office by the Church guided by a Pastoral Search Committee chosen from among the membership. This process may include consultation with the leadership of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec. The call should include clear understanding of what the current needs and expectations within the congregation are at the time.
2.4 The Pastor shall be held accountable: If any member has good reason to suspect any improper behaviour on the part of the Pastor, they should record it in writing and submit it to the Board of Elders. They may in turn seek advice and counsel from the leadership of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec. If these accusations are of a moral, legal or ethical nature, or anything that might affect accreditation, a written submission outlining the concern and the reasons for the concern shall be sent to the Executive Minister of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec.
2.5 The Pastor shall report to the Board of Elders, and share with them spiritual oversight of the congregation. They shall work together to ensure the implementation of objectives and policies of the Church. The Pastor and Elders will be expected to formally evaluate the overall ministry each year.
2.6 It is understood that the Pastor may resign, giving the Church adequate notice (three (3) months, usually) of intention to do so. If there is to be any 'forced' termination of the relationship, or even the threat of the same, the Elders may contact the leadership of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec for assistance and counsel.
. Board of Elders
3.1 The Board of Elders shall individually strive to model their lives on the teaching of 1 Timothy 3. They shall be responsible to stimulate the spiritual development of the Church, offer counsel to the Pastor, interview all candidates for baptism and Church membership, serve at the table of the Lord and seek to develop long-range vision and mission goals.
3.2 The Board of Elders shall prepare a slate of officers for each year's annual meeting, first having received the consent of the nominee. They shall also work with Church groups to develop and maintain basic job descriptions for the various offices and roles in the Church.
4. Church Clerk
The Church Clerk shall maintain minutes of meetings and an updated Church roll, and shall arrange for all official Church correspondence and preparation of reports to the membership of the Church as well as to the Association and Convention. It shall be the Clerk's responsibility to see to the safe preservation of the Church's important records.
5. Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer
The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall receipt and disburse funds as authorized by the Trustees and in reference to the Annual budget, and shall maintain accurate, up-to-date financial accounts and provide intermediate and annual financial reports.
The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer will complete and submit, on a timely basis, to governments and financial supporters, information for registered charities as required by law.
6.1 The Church will strive to maintain between five (5) to nine (9) members on this committee. In the Act of Incorporation this group is called Trustees and it is there that the number of members is stipulated.
6.2 The Trustees will manage all possessions of the Church, maintain a schedule of building usage in consultation with the Elders (as deemed appropriate) and arrange for cleaning, maintenance, etc. They shall track all monies spent in these pursuits.
6.3 The Trustees shall present the annual budget and supervise receipts and expenditures. They shall also arrange for auditors to review the Church's finances, and ensure that an audited financial statement is available for each annual meeting. It is understood that no person may incur debt in the name of the Church without approval of the membership, either through budget commitments or through due process at regular Church meetings. The Trustees shall see to it that the offerings are tallied from all Church services and / or events and bank deposits are made.
6.4 The Trustees shall manage the legal affairs of the church corporation, especially regarding subscription to contracts relative to the management, transfer or purchase of property title(s), the whole as provided for in Section 3 of the Act of Incorporation.
The Trustees, however, may not act without specific instruction from the membership with a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the active members present at a business meeting of the church, the whole as provided for in section 1 of the Act of Incorporation.
7. Christian Education Director
7.1 The Christian Education Director shall ensure that appropriate group ministries are planned and provided for all ages.
7.2 The Board of Elders reserves the right to examine and approve any who will be teaching.
8. Other Committees
Other Committees, such as Social, Music and Special events may be established and leaders or members elected or appointed either on a permanent or temporary basis as deemed necessary.
9. Other Staff
Staff under salary, other than the Pastor shall be assigned job descriptions. They will report to different bodies and will be expected to consult with the Pastor.
ARTICLE VIII: CHURCH FACILITIES
1. Any marriage ceremony to be held within the Church building is to be solemnized either by the Pastor of the local Church or by another person approved by the Church who subscribes to this Constitution and Statement of Faith.
2. The person solemnizing the marriage retains the right not to proceed with the ceremony.
3. The Church facilities are restricted to activities that are consistent with the Church's Constitution and Statement of Faith. Any group requesting the use of the building will be subject to the approval of the Trustees and Elders.
ARTICLE IX: AFFILIATION
This Church will maintain fellowship with the Quebec Association of Baptist Churches and the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec. This formal affiliation shall extend to support of the programs and ministries of these Baptist bodies, naming delegates to their regular meetings where possible, submission to common standards for training and accrediting ministerial personnel (in accordance with the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec) and submission to other common guidelines.
ARTICLE X: GENERAL PROVISIONS
No alteration can be made to this Constitution except by vote of 2/3 of the members present at a Church meeting called for the purpose by special invitation, on two preceding Sundays, and provided that no less then fifty percent (50 %) of the members entitled to vote be present.