Governing Documents

Preamble

In the church of God all things are to be done decently and in order. This pertains to the government of the church as much as to the corporate worship. Convinced that Jesus Christ, the Head of the church, will protect and guide her, we seek to obey Scripture through the following standards for the orderly and scriptural government of our church, Trinity Church. These standards do not supplant Scripture, but rather are an expression of biblical church government under God. While biblical, these standards are primarily procedural; the doctrinal position of the church may be found in the Statement of Faith.

In submission to Scripture, we confess the purpose of our church is to glorify God through reverent worship, building up our members through preaching the whole counsel of God, observing Christ.s sacraments, and proclaiming Christ to the world.

Our intention is to submit to all those principles regarding church order which are clearly required by Scripture, or required by deductions from Scripture which can be understood through good and necessary consequence. For the rest, we desire to operate in terms of a sanctified Christian prudence, with all things done in good order and biblical decency. At all times, we seek to submit to the Scriptures and to reflect the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ps. 133; Eph. 4:3,13).

Article I. Governing Statements

A. Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith

The following statement of faith is not intended to define our boundaries of fellowship. Some Christians will certainly differ with some of what is set forth here. Such Christians are nevertheless welcome to fellowship together with us. Our basis for fellowship is a biblical confession of the lordship of Jesus Christ, and the absence of a scandalous lifestyle.

This statement of faith does represent the doctrinal understanding of the leadership of Trinity Church and it is our intention that the teaching and preaching at Trinity Church reflect this understanding. Procedural standards for our church government can be found in our Constitution.

1. Creedal Statements (The Reformed Evangelical Confession)

a. The Apostle's Creed (2nd century)
b. Nicene Creed, Constantinople (381 AD)
c. Definition of Chalcedon (451 AD)
d. A Westminster Creed (a modern selection from the 17th centry Shorter Catechism)
e. An Evangelical Statement (adapted from the National Association of Evangelicals)
2. Governments

a. Introduction
b. Self-government
c. Family Government
d. Church Government
e. Civil Government
B. CREC Constitution

Article II. Members and Electors

A. Members

1. Legal Status of Membership

Legal Status of Membership

The reference to “Member” or “Elector” in these bylaws is a spiritual and theological term that does not have any civil effect for purposes of state law. Consistent with the biblical concept of Member and this section, Members and Electors do not have voting rights. Trinity Church does not have Members for purposes of the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act.

2. Membership Process
3. Release or Transfer of Membership
4. Communicant Members
B. Electors
C. Discipline of Members

1. Subjects of Discipline
2. Informal Discipline
3. Censure & Suspension
4. Rejection
5. Judicial Discipline

a. Formal Judicial Discipline
b. Formal Judicial Discipline Resulting From Egregious Sin
c. Discipline
d. Penalty
e. Restoration

Article III. Directors and Officers

A. General

General

Trinity Church shall be governed by the Elders. The entire session of Elders shall also be the Board of Directors for purposes of the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act (the “Act”). Except when performing duties specifically ascribed to directors under the Act or required for civil contract (e.g. amendments to bylaws, selection of officers, purchase of real property, etc.), or otherwise indicated by the circumstances, the Elders shall be deemed to be functioning as an ecclesiastical body and not as a Board of Directors for purposes of the Act.

B. Elders

1. Number
2. Candidates
3. Qualifications
4. Appointment
5. Term of Service
6. Ecclesiastical Responsibilities
7. Ecclesiastical Meetings
8. Compensation
9. Loans
10. Corporate Responsibilities
11. Corporate Officers
12. Director Meetings
C. Deacons

1. Number
2. Candidates
3. Qualifications
4. Testing
5. Appointment
6. Term
7. Ecclesiastical Responsibilities
8. Ecclesiastical Meetings
9. Corporate Responsibilities
10. Corporate Meetings

Article IV. Denominational Affiliations

By unanimous vote of the Elders on November 6, 1997, Trinity Church became a member of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches. We hereby amplify the stated intention of this confederation as found in the preamble to its constitution which “…is not intended as a separation from other orthodox believers who confess the name of Christ, but rather as a gathering within that broader church, in order to work together effectively for reformation.”

Withdrawal from the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches may only occur by unanimous vote of the Elders of Trinity Church. As a member of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, Trinity Church accepts all the constitutional requirements that come with this affiliation. The CREC Constitution can be found at www.crechurches.org and is deemed to be included in this document by this reference.

Article V. Indemnification

A. Powers

1. Power to Indemnify

Power to Indemnify

The corporation may indemnify and hold harmless to the full extent permitted by applicable law each person who was or is made a party to or is threatened to be made a party to or is involved (including, without limitation, as a witness) in any actual or threatened action, suit or other proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative, and whether formal or informal (hereinafter a “proceeding”), by reason of the fact that he or she is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation or, being or having been such a director, officer, employee or agent, he or she is or was serving at the request of the corporation as a director, officer, employee, agent, trustee, or in any other capacity of another corporation or of a partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, including service with respect to employee benefit plans, whether the basis of such proceeding is alleged action or omission in an official capacity or in any other capacity while serving as a director, officer, employee, agent, trustee or in any other capacity, against all expense, liability and loss (including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines, ERISA excise taxes or penalties and amounts to be paid in settlement) actually or reasonably incurred or suffered by such person in connection therewith. Such indemnification may continue as to a person who has ceased to be a director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation and shall inure to the benefit of his or her heirs and personal representatives.

2. Power to Pay Expenses in Advance of Final Disposition
3. Power to Enter Into Contracts
4. Expansion of Powers
5. Limitation of Powers
B. Indemnification of Directors, Officers, Employees and Agents

1. Directors
2. Officers, Employees, and Agents
3. Character of Rights
4. Enforcement
5. Rights Not Exclusive
C. Insurance
D. Survival of Benefits
E. Severability
F. Applicable Law

Article VI. Administrative and Financial Provisions

A. Loans

Loans

No loans shall be contracted on behalf of the corporation and no evidences of indebtedness shall be issued in its name unless authorized by a resolution of the Board. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.

B. Checks, Drafts, Etc.
C. Deposits
D. Books and Records
E. Fiscal Policy
F. Rules of Procedure
G. Definitions
H. Electronic Notice

Article VII. Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended by a three quarters vote of the Elders present at any meeting of the Elders, provided that the Elders were notified before the meeting that an amendment or amendments would be considered at the meeting and which shall ordinarily only occur after consultation with the Electors of the church.

  • Adopted December 2, 1993
  • Amended November 6, 1997
  • Amended April 16, 1998
  • Amended May 13, 1999
  • Amended October21, 1999
  • Amended April 10, 2001
  • Amended December 18, 2002
  • Amended August 23, 2007
  • Amended March 28, 2012
  • Amended October 24, 2018
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