Church Order

Article 37

In all churches there shall be a consistory composed of the ministers of the Word and the elders, who shall, as a rule, meet once a month, or more frequently as the need arises. The minister of the Word (or the ministers, if there be more than one, in turn) shall preside and regulate the proceedings. Whenever the number of the elders is small, the deacons may be added to the consistory by local regulation; this shall invariably be the rule where the number is less than three.

(Revision of Article 37: Synod of 2000, Art. 28, D.)

Decisions pertaining to Article 37

  1. The president and the secretary of the consistory shall function as such on the congregational meeting; the minutes shall be entered in the consistory’s minute book and confirmed by the consistory.
  2. No matters shall be treated on the congregational meeting which are not brought there by the consistory.
  3. When members desire to have a matter treated on the congregational meeting, they shall previously have requested of the consistory the right thereto, and it shall be the prerogative of the consistory to determine the extent and the manner in which their request shall be granted.
  4. Consistories shall every year furnish the exact count of the families comprising their membership to classis. The following shall be counted as families:
    1. When the husband or wife is a confessing member.
    2. Where either widower or widow functions as head of the family.
    3. Further, three individual members shall be counted as one family. Confessing members residing at home are not tallied as separate individuals for determining number of families.
    4. Financial ability to pay does not enter into the picture when determining number of families.

(Adopted by Classis of June 6, 7, 1934; Synod of 1944, Arts. 66, 67; clarified by Synod of 1970, Art. 107, Suppl. XXVI.)

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