In places where the consistory is to be constituted for the first time or anew, this shall not take place except with the advice of the classis.
Decisions pertaining to Article 38
- A letter of request is directed to the classis, expressing the desire to organize a congregation in a certain named locality, and signed by the heads of families or by adult single persons who live in that locality. In the case of a group formed by the mission work of the churches in common, this request shall come to classis by way of a favorable decision of the local calling church with the advice of the Mission Committee.
- The classis shall thereupon deliberate whether such organization is possible or desirable, observing whether there be, among the signators, persons suitable for consistory members, at the same time taking into account the neighboring churches. In case classis, with the concurrence of the delegates ad examina, decides to grant the request, it appoints a committee to carry out the organization.
- In order to organize the congregation the committee of the local church meets with the persons concerned, who have meanwhile requested their certificates of membership, or if it be impossible to have their certificates transferred, those present shall give testimony one of another that they were members in full communion and of good report in the congregation from which they are now separating. After a service of worship shall have been conducted under the guidance of the committee, the latter shall request those present to tender their certificates, in as far as possible. The committee having found the certificates in good order and having accepted them, they shall proceed to election of officebearers, who shall immediately upon their election be installed in their respective offices.
- The election of officebearers shall be from a nomination made by the local calling church council (or by the church council appointed by a classis to supervise the organization of a new congregation). The church council shall make a nomination from the male membership of those who signed the letter requesting organization. This election shall take place in harmony with Articles 22 and 24 of the Church Order. Those chosen by majority vote at the organizational meeting shall be considered elected.
- It is recommended that at this same meeting, in the presence of a notary public, the documents pertaining to the incorporation of the new congregation be brought in order.
(Adopted by the Classis of June 6, 7, 1934; Synod of 1944, Arts. 66, 67; amended by Synod of 1977, Art. 74; Synod of 1994, Art. 54.)