Sample Parish Constitution

Articles of Incorporation

Article I:

The name of this Non-Profit organization, by permission of the Primate of The Evangelical Catholic Church, shall be: (Name of Parish or Mission) Evangelical Catholic Church.

Article II:

This Non-Profit corporation is organized exclusively:

A. For religious, charitable, and educational purposes and as a tax exempt organization under Section 501(a) and Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provisions of any future federal tax law), including the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code;

B. To hold property in common for such exclusive purpose, acquiring, holding and utilizing such property and other assets as a subordinate membership unit of and in trust for the central organization, The Evangelical Catholic Church (an Arizona Non-Profit Corporation), which central organization shall have the power and authority of general oversight, supervision and ownership over the property, funds and assets of this organization.

C. To constitute a lawful congregation of believers adhering to the Symbolical Writings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as received and defined by The Evangelical Catholic Church, and to engage in worship services and other activities toward the greater glory and honor of God in Holy Trinity within the liturgical and sacramental discipline of worship and service and in such text and form as approved by the Primate of The Evangelical Catholic Church.

D. To serve as a subordinate membership unit of The Evangelical Catholic Church in training the members affiliated with this corporation to grow in their understanding and appreciation of the principles, attitudes, traditions and doctrine of our Holy Religion by especially promoting the systematic study of The Holy Bible and the Lutheran Confessions and a continual growth in Christian knowledge and grace through the establishment, construction, and maintenance of confraternities, soldalities, worship facilities, schools, publishing houses, multi-media centers, libraries, and radio and television broadcasting systems.

E. To proclaim and propagate the Evangelical Catholic Faith, especially through the Means of Grace, and to assist, guide, direct, and promote the spiritual growth and development of all members of the corporation;

F. To print, publish, purchase, sell, and otherwise disseminate Bibles, books, periodicals, literature, music, and other supplies for The Church and Her institutions and members.

G. To establish and conduct all such enterprises and endeavors and to exercise such further powers as may be necessary or expedient to carry out the lawful objects and purposes for which the corporation is organized.

Article III:

A. The corporation shall have two classes of members:

B. Congregational Members

Article IV:

A. This corporation and ecclesiastical organization is to exist perpetually, and within the subordinate membership and under the general oversight and ownership of  The Evangelical Catholic Church, a Non-Profit Corporation registered in the State of Arizona, and none of the funds, property, assets or population of this organization may be alienated therefrom without the prior written permission of The Primate of The Evangelical Catholic Church.

B. No part of the net earnings of this corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that this corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payment and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II above. No substantial part of the activities of this corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by (a) a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any corresponding provision of any future federal revenue law or (b) a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or the corresponding provision of any future federal revenue law.

D. The private property of the incorporators, members, trustees and officers of the corporation shall be forever exempt from and not liable for, the debts and obligations of the corporation of any kind whatsoever. The corporation shall indemnify each person who is or was an incorporator, member, trustee or officer of the corporation against all expenses incurred by them, and each of them, including but not limited to legal fees, judgments and penalties which may be incurred, rendered or levied in any legal action brought against any of them for or on account of any action or omission alleged to have been committed while acting within the scope of employment of the corporation.

E. In all instances the Board of Trustees of this corporation shall strive to protect the lawful interests of the central organization, The Evangelical Catholic Church, which central organization through its Primate shall exercise at all times a reasonable supervision and control of the affairs ecclesiastical and temporal of this corporation.

© 1993, The Evangelical Catholic Church, All Rights Reserved

B y - L a w s :

(Name of Parish/Mission) Evangelical Catholic Church

In the Name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit. Amen.

Desiring to associate with The Evangelical Catholic Church, an Arizona Non-Profit Corporation, as a subordinate membership unit, under the spiritual and ecclesiastical direction and government of the Most Reverend Primate of      The Evangelical Catholic Church; to be bound to and exist perpetually as a subordinate membership unit of the same, both in civil law and ecclesiastical law; accepting and adhering to the Constitution, Canons, Administrative, Legislative and Ecclesiastical Norms and By-Laws, the faith, doctrine and order of The Evangelical Catholic Church, we the undersigned adopt the following Articles as the By-Laws of this organization, (Name of Parish/Mission) Evangelical Catholic Church.

Article I: Name & Incorporation

The name of this non-profit organization, by permission of the Primate of The Evangelical Catholic Church, shall be (Name of Parish/Mission) Evangelical Catholic Church. The principal office of this non-profit corporation, incorporated under the laws of the State of _____________, is to be located in the City of _______________, in the County of ______________, in the State of _____________.

Article II: Purpose

The purpose of this congregation shall be to proclaim and propagate the Evangelical Catholic Faith, especially through the Means of Grace, to provide pastoral care to its members, to teach the Word of God, to provide for the Christian training of all members, to extend the kingdom of God, and to coöperate in the programs and missions approved by The Evangelical Catholic Church.

Article III: Confession of Faith

(Name of Parish/Mission) Evangelical Catholic Church, and every member, believes and accepts without reservation:

Section 1: The teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, His Apostles, and the first Öcumenical Councils of the undivided Church;

Section 2: The prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of The Old and of The New Testaments as the sole rule and standard according to which all dogma together with all teachers should be estimated and judged (F.C., Ep. 1, Trig. pg. 777);

Section 3: The three Catholic and Öcumenical Creeds as correct expressionsof  the unanimous, universal Christian Faith and confession of the Orthodox and  True Church, namely, The Apostles' Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed (F.C., Ep. 2, Trig. pg. 777);

Section 4: The Symbolical Writings of The Evangelical Catholic Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of The Word of God, namely, The Unaltered Augsburg Confession, The Apology of The Augsburg Confession, The Smalcald Articles, The Small and Large Catechisms of Dr. Martin Luther, and The Formula of Concord.

Article IV: Parish Organization

Section 1: The business and affairs of this parish, a non-profit organization, shall be managed by the clergyman assigned this function by the Ordinary (the Bishop under whose supervision and control  this parish is placed), who shall serve under the guidance and direct supervision of the Bishop to whom he is incardinated.

Section 2: The Pastoral Office

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