The Constitution of the Evangelical Church Of Maraland, India
CONFESSION OF FAITH
The evangelical church of Maraland (India) adopting the following as its confession of faith to be subscribed by its Ministers and elders. It does not hereby reject any of the doctrinal standards of the parent’s churches.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, and the only infallible rule of faith and duty.
There is but one God, and He alone is to be worshipped. He is a spirit self – existent, Omnipresent, Omniscience, omnipotent forever and ever, yet distinct from all other spirits and from all material things; infinite, external, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power ,holiness, justice, goodness, truth and love.
In the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
All things invisible and visible were created by God through the word of His power, and are so preserved and governed by Him, that while He is in no way the author of sin, He worked all things according to the counsel of His wise and good and holy purpose.
Article-V, Human being
God created human being, male and female, after His own Image in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with dominion over the creatures. All persons have the same origin, and are brethren and sisters.
Article-VI, Fallen in Sin.
Our first parents, being free to choose between good and evil, and being tempted, sinned against God; and all mankind descending by ordinary generation from Adam, the head of the race, sinned in him and fell with him. To their original guilt and corruption, those capable of so doing have added actual transgression. All justice deserves His wrath and punishment in this present life and in that which is to come.
To save human beings from guilt, corruption and penalty of sin, and to give them eternal life, God the Father in His infinite love sent into the world His eternal and only- begotten Son; the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom alone human can be saved. The eternal Son became true man and so was and continues to be true God and true man, in two distinct natures and one person forever. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, yet without sin. For sinful humankind He perfectly obeyed the law of God and offered Himself a true and perfect sacrifice to satisfy divine justice and reconcile persons to God. He died on the cross, was buried and rose again from the death on the third day. He ascended to the right hand of God where He makes intersession for His people, and whence He shall come again to raise the death and to judge the world.
The Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the father and the son, maketh man and woman partakers of salvation, convincing them of their sin and misery, enlightening their minds in the knowledge of Christ, renewing their wills. Persuading and enabling them to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to them in the Gospel, and working in them all the fruits of righteousness.
It is the duty of all believers to unite in church fellowship to observe the sacrament and other ordinances of Christ, to obey His laws, to continue in prayer, to keep holy the Lord’s Day, to meet together for His worship, to wait upon the preaching of His Word, to give as God many prosper from them, to manifest a Christ-like spirit among themselves and towards all human beings, to labour of the extension of Christ’s Kingdom throughout the world, and to wait for His glorious appearing.
Article-IX, Duties of Believers.
While God chose people in Christ before the foundation of the world, that should be holy and without blemish before Him in love; having fore-ordained them unto adoption as children through Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise and of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on them in the Beloved; He maketh a full and free offer of salvation to all humankind, and commandeth them to repent of their sins, to behave in the Lord Jesus Christ as their saviour, and to live a humble and holy life after His example and in obedience to God’s revealed will. Those who believed in Christ and obey Him are saved, the chief benefit which they receive being justification, adoption into the number of the children of God, sanctification through the indwelling of the spirit, and eternal glory. Believer may also in this life enjoy assurance of their salvation. In His gracious work, the Holy Spirit useth the means of grace, especially the word, sacraments and prayer.
The Sacraments instituted by Christ are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the washing with the water in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy-Spirit and is a sign and seal of our union to Christ, of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit and of our giving ourselves to the Lord. It is to be administered to those who profess their faith in Christ, and to their children.
The Lord’s Supper is the partaking of the bread and of the cup as a memorial of Christ’s death and is a sign and seal of the benefits thereof to believers. It is to be observed by His people till He comes, in token of their faith in Him and His sacrifice, of their appropriation of its benefits of their further engagement to Him, and of their communion with Him and with one another. The benefits of the sacraments are not from any virtue in them or in him that doth administer them, but only from the blessing of Christ and the working of His spirit in them that by faith receive the Sacraments.
Article-XI, Church and State
The state is the structure of some common concern or interest which provides a well ordered life for the people. The government is the instrument for implementing the mandates and programmes of the state. As such the government of the state is the institution ordained by God. The duty of every believer is to be subject to the authority of the state and to intercede for those in authority. But if the authority is against the word of God, there will be resistance to it. The authority of the state shall not interfere in the affairs of the church but the church at anytime shall interfere and mould in the affairs for the betterment of the government.
At the last day the dead shall be raised, and all shall appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall receive according to their deeds done in this present life whether good or bad. Those who have believed in Christ and obeyed Him shall be openly acquitted and received into glory, but the unbelieving being condemned, shall suffer punishment due to their sins.
EMBLEM AND BANNER OF THE CHURCH
4:1. Emblem of the Church :
The Emblem of the Church consist of the globe, and the cross, the opening Bible and a flying dove inside the globe.
4:2. Banner of the Church :
The Banner (Flag) of the Church is make up of three distinct colour of equal size.Sky-blue colour on the top, white in the middle and green colour at the bottom with the logo (emblem) of the Church at the centre.
THE LOCAL CHURCH
A Local Church is a company or fellowship of believers in a particular village or locality, regularly organized and assembling at stated times for worship of God under one roof of the Church building.
5:1 Members of the Church:
5:1.1 Communicant Member
Those who have been baptized and received into Holy Communion. They are entitled to vote and are responsible to do the works of the Church according to the Constitution and Rules of the Assembly which amended from time to time.
5:1:2 Non-Communicant Member:
Those who have not been baptized and those who have not been received into communion, but their names included in the Church’s roll.
5:1.3 Formation of Local Church:
- a) If the Local Church Committee felt the need to form a new Local Church in its locality, the matter shall be front at the Pastorate Committee i.e. Bia Ryureina
b) The Pastorate Committee shall deside the formation of a new Local Church.
c) If the Pastorate Committee agreed to form the new Local Church, in charge Pastor and Local Church Office Bearer, shall be deputed to form the new Local Church.
d) The new Local Church having below 200 members shall have 4 elders, between 200-300 Members shall have 5 elders.
e) Those having 301-400 members shall have 7 elders and above that there shall be one elder for per 100 members (in addition).
f) IN the Local Church so formed, the deacons should not out numbered the number of elders.
g) The Local Church shall have the following Office Bearer elcted from the elders :
1) Leader of the Church
5) Assistant Secretary
6) Finance Secretary
The Functions and Power of the Local Church
6:1 Each Local Church shall have a Committee Consisting of Ministers, Pro. Pastors, Elders and Deacons. Its main powers and functions are the followings:
- a) The Local Church Committee shall meet once in a month. An urgent or special meeting can be conducted if the need arises before the end of the month.
b) If has the power to select one or more persons to be deacons to help the leaders in the Local Church.
c) The Local Church Committee shall arrange all Church services including pulpit Ministrations and shall take care of all the Church buildings and property.
d) It shall have general supervision of the Church’s funds. Viz. titles, Local Mission funds, Handful of Rice Collection (Beipari), Building funds and other fund collected so far.
e) To the Local Church Committee belongs the care and government of the Church including the exercise of Church discipline in accordance with the Constitution and Rules of the Assembly.
f) In each Local Church a regular and permanent register of child dedication, baptism, marriage, statistical record of the Local Church, minutes Book, shall be maintained.
g) The Local Church Committee shall take care of the poor and the needy in its locality, and maintains furtive in the society as a whole.
h) The Local Church Committee shall elect its Office Bearers at the interval of three years.
i) The Local Church Committee shall he trustee of any property of congregation, such as lands, permanent buildings, machineries, etc and shall be he held by it in the name of the Assembly of the Evangelical Church of Maraland.
j) The Local Church Committee shall make provisions for the spiritual needs of its members and shall devote its worship services to address on spiritual subjects.
k) The Local Church Committee shall send to the Pastorate Committee any business they may wish to bring before the Pastorate Committee.
The Pastorate Committee
Pastorate Committee is an association of two or more Local Churches belonging to the Assembly of the Evangelical Church of Maraland for mutual help and general furtherance of the wok of the Church.
7:1 Membership :
The members of the Pastorate Committee are Pastors, Pro. Pastors, Elders and Deacons from each Local Churches.
7:2 Office Bearers:
The Pastoral Committee shall have the following Office Bearers:
1) The Chairman
2) The Chairman-Elect
3) The Secretary
4) The Assistant Secretary
5) The Finance Secretary-cum Treasurer
7:3 Meeting of the Pastorate Committee:
The Pastorate Committee shall meet annually at a time and place fixed by the Committee at its previous meeting or fixed by the standing Committee on behalf of Pastorate Committee.
7:4. The Functions of the Pastorate Committee:
1) To receive reports, requests and overseers from the Local Churches within its Pastorate.
2) It shall decide the formation of new Local Church and deputed two elders to help the Pastor or Minister to form the new Church.
3) It shall deal to fill the vacant seat of the elders, retiring of elders, put the matters to the Presbytery Meeting.
4) The Pastorate Meeting shall depute members for the various Assembly Committee for one year re represents the Pastorate.
5) It shall elect the Office Bearers of the Pastorate Committee and members of the Standing Committee.
6) It shall appoint member of the Pastorate Sunday School Committee. The Pastorate Committee shall send to the Presbytery Meeting any business they may waist to bring before the General Assembly and before the Presbytery Meeting itself.
7:5. Pastorate Standing Committee:
Pastorate Committee shall appoint members of Standing Committee consists of not more then 10 members. The Ministers, Pro. Pastors and Office Bearers shall be ex-officio members. The Standing Committee shall deal with any urgent business a rising between the regular meetings of the Pastorate.
The Presbytery Meeting or Committee is an association of two or more Pastorates belonging to the Assembly of the Evangelical Church of Maraland for furtherance of the Mission and work of the Church.
8:1 Membership :
1) Ex-Officio members are all Ministers, Pastors, Pro. Pastors within its area.
2) All the Elders in the Local Churches within its jurisdiction.
3) Assembly Officers and Church Officers.
4) Office Bearers of the Presbytery.
8:2. Meeting of the Presbytery:
Each Presbytery shall meeting once in a year at a time and date fixed by the previous meeting.
8:3. Functions of the Presbytery Meeting:
1) The Meeting shall receive reports, requests and overtures from the Pastorate Meeting of it’s our area.
2) It shall send to the general Assembly any business it may wish to bring before the Assembly.
3) The Meeting shall deal matters relating to Pastoral care within the Presbytery and submit recommendations or suggestions through its meeting to the General Assembly.
4) It shall elect representatives to the General Assembly -50% of Elders from every Local Church in its jurisdiction.
5) It shall ordain Elders according to the Constitution and Rules of the Assembly.
8:4. Office Bearers of the Presbytery:
The Presbytery shall be government by its Office Bearers elected by its Meeting at the interval if here years as follows:
4) Assistant Secretary
There shall he one supreme authority our Presbyteries. The Pastorates and Local Churches called the Assembly of the “Evangelical Church of Maraland”
9:2 Members of the General Assembly:
1) The Assembly Officers and Church Officers.
2) Presbytery Officer Bearers.
3) Assembly Executive Committee Members (existing)
4) Assembly Nomination Committee Members (existing)
5) Assembly Planning & Finance Committee Members.
6) Pay Commission Committee Members.
7) Ministers, Pastor, Pro. Pastors, Pensioners of Ministers.
8) Head of Constitutions (Minister or Elder if any).
9) KTP & KNP Presidents and Secretaries.
10) 50% from Elders from the Presbyteries representatives.
11) The fractural delegates from the Churches whom the Assembly approves.
9:3. Powers and Functions of the General Assembly:
1) The General Assembly shall exercise its functions in relation to matters which cannot be postponed until the next regular meeting of the Assembly.
2) It shall prepare the Assembly Budget for the following year.
3) The Assembly shall receive reports, requests and overtures fro the Presbytery.
4) It shall deal matters desiring to effect any change in the Constitution and existing Rules. Any changes in the Constitution shall be effected by the Assembly.
5) The General Assembly shall have the power to organize, unite divide, disbands of Pastorates and Presbyteries, and shall fix their boundaries.
6) It shall receive Financial reports of the Assembly Funds,- Income and Expenditure Statements, Audit Reports and Analysis of Accounts, etc.
7) It ordains transfers, admits, retires, disciplines and dismisses Ministers, installs and releases Pastors.
8) It elects the Church Officers- the Executive Secretaries for a period of three years. The Members of executive shall be decided by the Assembly.
9) It shall appointments the members of Assembly Nomination Committee for one year.
10) It shall decide the sources of income allocation of funds, appropriation of funds for each head of Expenditures.
11) It shall make provisions for the spiritual needs of its member’s future.
9:4. Officers of the Assembly:
The General Assembly through its Nomination Committee shall appoint its Officers for one year from the Ministers or Elders.
1) The Moderator
2) The Moderator-Elect
3) The Secretary (Senior)
4) The Secretary (Junior)
9:5. Officers of the Church:
The general Assembly elects the Church Officers, called the Executive Secretaries for a period of three years.
1) The Senior Executive Secretary
2) The Executive Secretary (Education)
3) The Executive Secretary (Missions)
9:6. Assembly Committees:
The General Assembly shall lane its Committee as under:
1) The Assembly Nomination Committee
2) The Assembly executive Committee
3) The Assembly Central Working Committee.
9:7. Departmental Committees:
The following are the Departmental Committee:
1) The Planning & Finance Committee.
2) The Pastoral Committee
3) The Service Committee
4) The Christian Education Committee
5) The Mission Committee
6) The Medical & Health Committee
7) The Social Mission Committee
8) The Communication Committee
9) The School Managing Board Committee
10) Any other Sub-Committee.
AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
The Constitution of the Assembly so framed shall effect at least ten years from the date of its approval to come into force. If any desiring to effect any change in the Constitution shall submit its proposal through the Presbytery to the General Assembly with who vests the final authority in all such matters.
Election: The Executive secretaries shall be elected by a secret ballot papers at the Assembly from among the ordained ministers who have completed fifteen years of service. The person who gets the highest vote shall be declared elected.
The Moderator, Secretaries, Finance Officer and others Committee subject to the Assembly’s shall be nominates by the Assembly’s approval.
Local Church Committee Office Bearers, Pastorate Committee Office Bearers and Presbytery Committee Office Bearers shall be elected at their representative Committees by secret ballot paper. The person who gets the highest vote shall be declared elected.
Registration: The Evangelical Church of Maraland, shall be a registered church under the societies Registration Act prevalent in the North East India and Mizoram State. The ECM shall also be a registered body under the foreign contribution regulation Act (FCRA) of 1976.
For the main ministries of the church the ECM should be financially a self supporting church.
All the local contribution shall make through the local churches and the local churches shall pay their targeted amounts to the Assembly.
The Assembly also raises funds for some of its work and projected by asking donations, grants, contributions and special collections.
The Assembly of ECM shall have moveable and immoveable properties. Moveable properties are vehicles, printing machines, Furniture etc.
Immoveable Properties: are lands and buildings.
The Assembly shall have the final authority over all its properties.
To take care of the properties, the Assembly shall have a small committee called THE PROPERTY THRUST COMMITTEE. There shall be six members in the committee, the three churches officers (executive secretaries) shall be ex officio members and the other shall be appointed by the Assembly.