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Constitution of the Foreign Mission Committee

  1. Definition

    Foreign mission work is that work of God through His church whereby He sends forth His gospel unto the ends of the world and gathers into His church those who in their generations have not belonged to the covenant.

  2. Constituency

    This committee shall consist of nine members chosen by synod from the western branch of our churches. As much as possible a balance of three ministers and six elders shall be maintained. Each member shall be elected for a term of three years, with three members retiring each year. Retiring members shall be eligible for reelection.

  3. Officers

    The committee shall elect its own functionaries, who shall serve for one year and shall be eligible for reelection.

  4. Meetings

    Meetings of the committee shall take place at least three times a year and as occasion demands, and a report of the work transacted at these meetings shall be presented annually to the synod.

  5. Duties of the Committee
    1. The committee shall carry on such investigation, study, correspondence, and propaganda as may prove beneficial in locating a field of labor.
    2. Once a field of labor has been located, the committee shall present to synod a concrete plan, along with an estimation of expenses, whereby this field may be opened and a missionary called to labor within it.
    3. The committee shall be responsible to see that all plans and instructions authorized by synod shall be carried out in the field of labor.
  6. The Calling of a Missionary
    1. After a suitable field of labor has been determined, the committee shall have power to:
      1. designate a calling church.
      2. determine the missionary's salary and expense allowance.
      3. make any other provisions necessary to the maintaining of the designated field.

        Such arrangement shall be subject to the final approval of synod.

    2. The committee shall provide the calling church with a list of suitable candidates from which a nomination may be made and a missionary called.
    3. The committee shall work in conjunction with the consistory of the calling church so that the letter of calling may contain:
      1. a listing of financial provisions.
      2. a statement of duties expected in the field of labor.
      3. provisions for vacations or leaves in accord with the place and manner of labors.
      4. A statement of tenure of service in which the missionary is to labor in the field to which he is called. After he has served his tenure of service, he shall be given another tenure, and if he refuses he shall be declared eligible for a call in the churches.
  7. Relation Between the Committee and the Missionary
    1. The committee, in conjunction with the consistory of the calling church, shall determine all matters concerning place, extent, and method of labor within the field stipulated by synod, and the missionary shall be bound to abide by these decisions unless they are changed by the synod.
      1. In cases of disagreement the missionary has the right of appeal to synod after giving due notice to the bodies under which he labors.
      2. Until such a time as the synod has supported his position, the missionary shall labor in accord with the decisions of these bodies.
    2. The committee shall have final authority in dispensing of synodical mission funds, subject to the provisions made by the synod.
    3. The committee shall receive a monthly report from the missionary concerning the details of his labors and the expenses incurred. The committee shall authorize all payment of expenses.
  8. Relation Between the Committee and the Calling Church
    1. All details concerning place, extent, and method of labor within the field stipulated by the synod shall be determined by the committee in conjunction with the consistory of the calling church.
      1. A delegation from the consistory shall be present at all committee meetings, or the committee shall meet with the consistory when matters are treated pertaining to the missionary and his activities.
      2. All decisions made by the committee relating to the missionary shall be approved by the consistory of the calling church.
    2. The consistory of the calling church shall receive a copy of the monthly report of the missionary.
  9. The Missionary’s Status
    1. The missionary and his family shall have their membership in the calling church.
    2. The missionary shall retain his ministerial status by virtue of being a minister sent out by the calling church.
    3. When present at synod, the missionary holds exofficio an advisory vote at all meetings dealing with the work in which he is engaged, or in all matters that affect him and his work.
  10. Changes in the Constitution

    This constitution may be altered, amended, and revised as synod determines.

(Cf. Acts of Synod, 1966, Arts. 114-122, Suppl. XIII; Acts of Synod, 1982, Art. 33; Acts of Synod, 2004, Art. 53.)