Community Church Constitution


The name of this organization shall be the ‘Deep River Community Church’ (DRCC), hereinafter called “this church”.  
The purpose of this church is to bring together Christians from the community to worship and serve God.   As this church, we will be an open, welcoming and diverse fellowship exploring and striving to live the all-encompassing love of Jesus.  We will seek to grow through study, sharing and fellowship, to share the gifts that God has given us, to be good stewards of God’s creation, and to minister as God’s light to the larger community.  
This church shall be operated exclusively for charitable purposes and shall be operated without profit or gain to its members.
This church shall be self-governing with the members and adherents having the final authority at properly constituted congregational meetings.

2.         MEMBERSHIP

Membership in this church shall be open to all those who have publicly:

  • affirmed that they understand the essential elements of the Christian  faith,
  • subscribed to the Core Values and Principles listed in Appendix A, and
  • committed to participate in and support this church and its ministry through a portion of their time, talents and income, as they are able.  

Through appropriate means, the Minister shall ensure that those aspiring to membership understand the essential elements of the Christian faith in a modern world and understand the Core Values and Principles of this church.
Each person joining shall be present at the church service at which new members are to be received and shall be welcomed into membership by the right hand of fellowship, unless excused by Council.
Adherents are non-members who support this church with a portion of their time, talents and income.  They are encouraged to become members.
Adherents have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as members.
Hereinafter members and adherents are collectively referred to as “members”.


3.1.  Affiliations and Support

While remaining autonomous, this church shall promote friendly relations with all denominations.  
This church shall foster a special relationship with the United Church of Canada and the Presbyterian Church in Canada.  

These two bodies shall each be granted:

  • contribution to their local association (Upper Valley Presbytery of the United Church of Canada and the Lanark and Renfrew Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in Canada).
  • seven percent of the total mission offering, except for an offering designated as a special mission by the congregation.

Assistance for ministerial training is recognized as a continuing responsibility of this church.

This church shall have a mission program that reflects concern for the physical and spiritual needs of others.  The mission program and budget shall be approved by the congregation.

3.2       Ministry

Ministers of this church shall be ordained clergy of member churches of the World or Canadian Council of Churches.  They shall remain under the local judicatory of their church in matters of faith and doctrine.  
The ministry of this church shall be denominationally varied.  Ministers shall be called at congregational meetings by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present.  A search committee elected by the congregation shall present one minister or ministerial team for the call.
4.1       Congregational Meetings

The financial year for this church shall be the calendar year.  An annual congregational meeting shall be held on a Sunday in February as determined by Council.  Special congregational meetings may be called by Council or at the written request of twenty-five members.  Normally the time and place for a congregational meeting shall be announced at all worship services held by this church in the two-week period immediately before the meeting.  A quorum shall consist of thirty-five members.
Where quick action is imperative, the chair of Council and three committee chairs may jointly call a special congregational meeting, with or without the normal notice procedure.  
The chair or vice-chair of Council shall conduct congregational meetings.  Matters before a congregational meeting shall be decided by a simple majority of the eligible votes cast unless otherwise stated herein.

4.2       Council.

Council acts on behalf of the congregation between congregational meetings.  
Council shall consist of the chair and vice-chair of Council and of each program committee, the treasurer and assistant treasurer, envelope secretary, Council secretary, Personnel chair, Leading with Care chair, and the immediate past chair of Council.  The minister(s) are ex-officio voting members of Council.   
Council shall meet at least four times each year.  Prime responsibility for calling meetings and preparing agenda rests with the chair of Council.  A quorum shall consist of nine Council members.  On matters before Council each member shall have one vote, a simple majority being required.  The Chair does not vote except in the case of a tie when the Chair may cast a deciding vote.  
Council is responsible for providing support to the minister(s), coordinating committees, appointing people to positions when necessary, establishing policies, forming special committees, presenting budgets to the congregation and doing long-range planning.
Council members are elected for a one-year term.  If vacancies exist at any time, appointments may be made by Council to complete the term until the next election.
4.3       Program Committees

The bulk of the work of the church is carried out through program committees with other committees of Council providing support.  
Each program committee has a chair, vice-chair, and members of the congregation.  The chair or vice-chair of Council and the minister are ex-officio members of each program committee.  Members of the congregation are encouraged to attend committee meetings and participate in the work of the committees.
Each committee is responsible for allocating expenditures within its budget, proposing its program and budget for the following year to Council and submitting an annual report to the congregation.  
The key program responsibilities for each committee are defined below; these duties may be augmented or adjusted by Council as the need arises.


This committee

  • shares in planning and providing resources for worship services
  • prepares the sanctuary for worship
  • oversees the music program & musicians
  • organizes and trains ushering teams
  • assigns people for reading, flowers, communion and welcoming duties
  • obtains and entertains anniversary speakers and arranges anniversary events
  • finds and assists pulpit supply when necessary.

Members of this committee include the music director, musicians, and the minister (participation required).

Christian Education

This committee

  • plans and administers a Christian education program for people of all ages
  • sets policy regarding use of Christian education resources and facilities
  • assumes responsibility for audio-visual equipment and the library.

Members of this committee include the Sunday School teachers, the librarian, and the minister.


This committee

  • plans and administers the mission program of this church
  • recommends missions for support
  • seeks and publicizes information on how our donations are used 
  • obtains and entertains guest speakers for missions.

Pastoral Care

This committee coordinates ministerial visits (with the minister(s))

  • coordinates ministerial visits (with the minister(s))
  • organizes lay visitors (home, hospital, LTC)
  • operates a telephone contact group
  • delivers sermons to those unable to attend services


This committee

  • uses a variety of methods to communicate with all people in the congregation and the local community
  • offers assistance to those with special needs
  • assists with baptisms and reception of new members 
  • keeps records of church membership and updates congregational lists regularly
  • coordinates memorial funds
  • Men’s Ministry


This committee

  • manages the physical operation, maintenance and improvements of buildings, grounds, manse, equipment & furnishings (routine & projects)
  • oversees the Church Officer


This committee

  • organizes ongoing stewardship information and education programs
  • organizes campaigns for money, time and talents at least once per year

4.4       Leadership and Administration

Council Chair and Vice-Chair 

In addition to duties listed in sections 4.1 & 4.2 above, the Council Chair and Vice-Chair are responsible for:

  • Council leadership, 
  • overall administration, office oversight, and the Church Secretary
  • budget planning & review, 
  • long range planning, and 
  • DRCC records.


The Secretary shall:

  • prepare, distribute and file minutes of council meetings, and of Annual and Special Meetings of the congregation.
  • manage the day to day administrative aspects of the church office.

Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer

The Treasurer shall

  • pay bills as directed by the various committees within their approved budgets.  
  • submit and interpret regular financial statements to Council, the program committees and the congregation
  • present an audited statement at the annual congregational meeting
  • prepare an annual budget for submission to the congregation.

Signing Officers

The signing officers are the treasurer, the assistant treasurer and the chair and vice-chair of Council, two signatures being required.
Envelope Secretary and Assistant Envelope Secretary

The envelope secretary and assistant envelope secretary are appointed by Council and shall

  • distribute offering envelopes
  • oversee bank deposits
  • keep records of offerings and distribute regular statements to contributors
  • give the treasurer weekly summaries of amounts contributed to the various accounts
  • organize and train counting teams and draw up the counters’ schedule.
  • appoint counting captains.

Personnel Committee 

This committee shall

  • oversee the relationship, responsibility, and authority of church staff members (employee & contract)
  • manage agreements with staff concerning salary, benefits, and working conditions
  • review and evaluate the effectiveness of staff annually, and
  • report annually to Council.

The chair shall be appointed by Council.  The other members are the chair and vice-chair of Council, chairs of the property and worship committees and the treasurer.

The Leading-with-Care committee shall:

  • oversee and coordinate DRCC policies and practices with respect to the protection of potentially vulnerable people.
  • oversee and coordinate DRCC policies and practices with respect to health, safety and accessibility in the facilities.

The Chair shall be appointed by Council.  The other members are the Chair of Council, Christian Education Chair, Personnel Chair and Pastoral Care Chair.  
4.5       Other Committees

Staff Selection

This committee shall be appointed by Council when necessary to hire non-ministerial staff.
Nominating Committee

The chair shall be elected by the congregation at its annual congregational meeting and is normally the immediate past chair of council.  The committee shall nominate at least one candidate for each position on Council and a chair for the nominating committee.
The committee shall also nominate an auditor for appointment by Council when approved by the congregation.  Names of the nominees shall be published at least one week before the annual congregational meeting and the chair shall call for additional nominations at that meeting.
Ad Hoc Committees

Ad hoc committees may be appointed by Council from time to time with terms and mandates determined by resolution of Council.  
4.6       Trustees

This church shall have three trustees elected by the congregation from the membership.  
All real property owned by this church shall be vested in their name and the trustees shall act only as directed by the congregation.  The management and all transactions with respect to real property shall conform to the requirements of the Religious Organizations’ Lands Act of Ontario.  
On behalf of the congregation, the trustees shall oversee the use, care and protection of all church property including essential records.
Trustees shall receive all minutes of Council meetings and regular financial statements.
When a vacancy occurs, the remaining trustees may exercise all trustee functions until a new trustee is elected.

4.7       Auditor 

At each Annual congregational meeting, Council shall recommend the appointment of an auditor to be approved by the congregation for the current fiscal year.  The Auditor shall

  • be independent of all financial activities of this church
  • independently review all financial records and procedures
  • review authorization for expenditures
  • identify potential weaknesses and opportunities for improvements in financial procedures
  • report annually to the congregation 

The auditor shall receive all minutes of Council meetings and all regular financial statements.

5.         DISSOLUTION
If this church ceases to exist, all of its assets shall be distributed to the affiliated churches or to other registered charities.

This constitution may be amended at a congregational meeting by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the eligible votes cast.  When the congregational meeting is called, it shall be clearly stated that the intent is to amend the constitution.  Copies of the proposed amendments shall be made available at least one week before the meeting.  
This constitution dated 2013 February 17 supersedes all previous constitutions and revisions of constitutions of the Deep River Community Church.

Deep River Community Church
(the following was approved by the congregation 2012 February 12)

Compassionate, Engaging, Progressive

Identity Statement
We are an open, welcoming and diverse fellowship exploring and striving to live
the all-encompassing love of Jesus

Core Values and Principles

  1. Worship needs to explore and celebrate life within the mystery we name God and motivate us to live the all-encompassing love of Jesus.  Therefore, we worship in a variety of ways that explore and celebrate this mystery.
  2. Music is essential to worship and needs to be creative and engaging.  Therefore, our music supports and compliments our worship and theology through a variety of styles.
  3. Faith needs to be progressive and relevant.  Therefore, we challenge ourselves to think deeply about our culture, traditions and the implications for life now and in the future.
  4. Scripture bears witness to our ancestors’ faith and their perception of God’s intentions for their time and place as well as for our own.  Therefore, we engage scripture progressively seeking God’s intention for our own time and place.
  5. Our missions strive to effect positive changes in people’s lives.  Therefore, we support and encourage congregational involvement in projects both within and beyond our community.
  6. Through education we seek to expand our understanding of and ability to live the all-encompassing love of Jesus.  Therefore, our educational activities use creative and practical ways to learn about and share that love.
  7. We are called to a life-style that expresses the all-encompassing love of Jesus. Therefore, we use our many talents and resources to reach out to our communities, striving to be flexible, open-minded and progressive.  We will challenge the status-quo if we believe it is contrary to Jesus’ vision of the Kingdom of God.
  8. We are a Community Church.  Therefore, we seek to provide services and facilities to our community.
  9. The presence of all generations provides a balance and richness to our church community.  Therefore, we will nurture and care for all people in all stages of life.
  10. An affirming God is the God of all creation.  Therefore, we will welcome, accept and affirm all.
  11. Diversity is a reality and one of God’s gifts.  Therefore, we celebrate and respect the differences that exist among us.
  12. Leadership at all levels in our congregational life needs to be intentional and discerning, reflective of our core values and principles.  Therefore, we support experimentation and risk-taking.
  13. Wonder and delight is our response to God’s generous love and acceptance.  Therefore, we will have fun in our life together as the Community Church.
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