2022 CPC Bylaws
BYLAWS FOR CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA
Name and location: This congregation is known as CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (CPC) and is located at 12410 Lee-Jackson Highway, Fairfax County, Virginia. The name of the incorporated church is Christ Presbyterian Church of Fairfax, Inc.
Relationship: Christ Presbyterian Church, being a congregation of the National Capital Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recognizes that the Constitution of said Church is, in all its provisions, obligatory upon it and its members. Hence all matters not specifically set forth herein shall be governed as required by the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
– Composition: The CPC Session shall have a minimum of three (3) elders designated to serve on Session at any given time. Normally the CPC Session will be comprised of six (6) elders with two 3 person classes. (“Class” refers to the year that the service ends for that elder, e.g., for an elder who began service in 2020, her/his class is 2022 (two year term)).
– Term: An elder is elected to serve a minimum of a two (2) year term, with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.
– Quorum: A quorum for the purpose of session decisions shall be the pastor or moderator and half of the elders (rounded up).
– Meeting in person or by electronic means: In keeping with the General Assembly advisory “Church in an Emergency/Pandemic March 12, 2020,” the session may meet by electronic means if all active elders have reasonable notice of and access to the electronic meeting; the ability to discuss, deliberate, and discern the will of God and vote on business items; and a quorum is present.
Book of Order, 2019-21, G-2.0202, Under Authority of the Session
Deacons may be individually commissioned or organized as a board of deacons. In either case, their ministry is under the supervision and authority of the session. Deacons may also be given special assignments in the congregation, such as caring for members in need, handling educational tasks, cultivating liberality in giving, collecting and disbursing monies to specific persons or causes, or overseeing the buildings and property of the congregation. Deacons shall assume other duties as may be delegated to them by the session, including assisting with the Lord’s Supper. (W-3.0414). A congregation by a majority vote may choose not to utilize the ordered ministry of deacons. If the congregation has neither a board of deacons nor individually commissioned deacons, the functio of this ordered ministry shall be the responsibility of the ruling elders and the session.
– Composition: Effective November 30, 2020, CPC will not have an organized board of deacons, but Session will individually commission deacons. The number of deacons will be determined by the session as needed over time, with no minimum and no maximum.
– Term: Deacons will serve a minimum of a one (1) year term, with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.
– Quorum: CPC has elected not to have a board of deacons per se, so a quorum is not a requirement. The current diaconate will manage decisions internally, as they deem appropriate. The CPC Diaconate will report to Session at least twice per year in the months of January and July.
Meetings of the Congregation:
Meetings of the congregation may be called by the session or the Presbytery whenever necessary. Further, the session shall call a congregational meeting without delay when requested in writing by one-fourth of the voting members of the congregation. The call for a meeting shall clearly state the purpose of such a meeting, and no other matter save that specified in the call may be considered.
– Notification of the call: Public notice of the time, place, and purpose of all meetings of the congregation shall be given from the pulpit (be the pulpit in the sanctuary or virtual (online media)) on the two Sundays immediately preceding the meeting.
– Moderator of the meeting: The pastor shall moderate meetings of the congregation. If the position of pastor is vacant, or if the pastor and the session agree that the subjects to be discussed require it, or if the pastor is ill or is unable to be present, or if the subject under discussion involves and/or demands pastor exclusion, a minister of the National Capital Presbytery shall be invited by the session to preside. This invitation shall be cleared through the Committee on Ministry of the National Capital Presbytery.
– Secretary of the meeting: The clerk of the session shall be secretary of the meetings of the congregation. If unable to attend, the session shall designate a secretary in his or her stead.
– Membership: The voting members of the Church shall be active members in good standing as defined by the usages and rules of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), regardless of age. Only such members who are present at a congregational meeting are entitled to vote. Voting by proxy is not allowed.
– Quorum for congregational meetings: A quorum for a congregational meeting shall consist of the moderator, secretary, and one-tenth of eligible voters.
– Congregational meetings may occur in person or by electronic means: Under normal circumstances, congregational meetings will occur in person. In accordance with National Capital Presbytery Special Rules 1 and 2 (adopted May 20, 2020), the congregation may meet by electronic means when public safety precludes in-person gatherings, provided reasonable notice of the electronic meeting is given, and a quorum and at least one moderator are present. Congregations may take action required to address the emergency or public health order, or, in case of an extended emergency, congregations may take action necessary to the governance of the church. Reasonable notice may vary according to the emergency and the needs of the community.
– Conduct of meetings: Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of “ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER.” All meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer.
– President: When a position of president is required by organizations outside CPC, the Clerk of Session shall serve as the President of Christ Presbyterian Church of Fairfax, Inc. Decisions, however, will be made by Session in all cases.
– Moderator: Congregational meetings and meetings of Session shall be moderated by the Pastor. Exceptions include discussions about the Pastor’s pay and allowances and meetings deemed critical when the pastor is absent. When the position of pastor at CPC is vacant, congregational meetings and meetings of Session will be moderated by an ordained minister of the Presbytery.
– Clerk of Session: The CPC Clerk of Session is appointed by Session without congregational vote for a one (1) year term. Consecutive terms are at the will of Session and the Clerk of Session. The Clerk of Session shall be a former CPC elder and shall be a non-voting member of the session.
– Trustees: Trustee positions shall be fulfilled by current members of Session.
Book of Order, 2019-21, G-2.0401, Election of Ruling Elders and Deacons Ruling elders and deacons are men and women elected by the congregation from among its members. The nomination and election of ruling elders and deacons shall express the rich diversity of the congregation’s membership and shall guarantee participation and inclusiveness (F-1.0403). Ruling elders and deacons shall be nominated by a committee elected by the congregation, drawn from and representative of its membership. Congregations may provide by their own rule for a congregational nominating committee. The
rule shall meet the following criteria: (1) the minimum size of the committee as specified in the rule shall be at least three persons; (2) at least one member of the committee shall be an elder currently serving on session; and (3) a majority of those persons on the committee who are eligible to vote shall consist of persons not currently serving on session. The pastor shall serve ex officio and without vote. When elections are held, full opportunity shall always be given to the congregation for nomination from the floor of the congregational meeting by any active member of the congregation. A majority of all the active members present and voting shall be required to elect.
– Composition of the Nominating Committee: For the purpose of nominating elders for CPC, there shall be a representative nominating committee of at least three members of the church. For this committee the pastor shall serve as moderator, ex-officio and without vote. At least one (1) member of this committee shall be nominated by and from the session and other members of the committee shall be nominated by Session from the congregation at-large (not members of Session). A congregational meeting will then be held in which additional nominations of qualified persons for the nominating committee may be made from the floor by any eligible voter, with prior approval of the nominee. The congregation will then elect up to five (5) persons from the nominated list. The number of elected members at large (not of Session) will always be greater than the number of sitting elders.
The nominating committee shall be chosen in this manner annually.
– Election of Elders: The nominating committee shall then bring to a meeting of the congregation nominations of at least one eligible person for each office to be filled within Session. Additional nominations of qualified persons may be made from the floor by any eligible voter, with prior approval of the nominee. The congregation will then elect the new Session from the nominations list.
– Barring extenuating circumstances elections will normally be held between May 1ˢᵗ and July 31ˢᵗ of each year. If not held before August 1ˢᵗ, then the election will be held as soon as practicable.
– Amendments: These BYLAWS may be amended subject to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at any meeting of the congregation by two-thirds vote of the voters present provided that a full reading of the proposed changes or a printed distribution of the same shall have been made in connection with the call of the meeting.
– Prohibition on amendments: These BYLAWS may not be amended contrary to or so as not to include the provisions of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
– Adopted 11/19/78
– Amended 1/21/79
– Amended 1/10/88
– Amended 10/19/03
– Amended 11/12/06
– Amended 12/13/09
– Amended 12/6/20
– Amended month/day/2022