NAME:1. The name of the Church shall be:
Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church hereinafter referred to as 'the Church'.
OBJECTS:2. The objects of the Church shall be:
2.1 To proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2.2 To maintain centres for worship and Bible study.
2.3 To encourage an active interest in missions world-wide.
2.4 To maintain a continuing Methodist Church for those who wish to retain the opportunity to worship as Methodists.
2.5 To promote mutual fellowship with and encourage other continuing Methodists.
DOCTRINAL STATEMENT:3. We believe and maintain the following:
3.1 The full Inspiration of the Canonical Scriptures, their authority, sufficiency, and inerrancy, as not only containing but being in themselves the Word of God; the reliability of the New Testament in its testimony to the character and authority of the Old Testament; and the need of the teaching of the Holy Spirit for the true and spiritual understanding of the whole.
3.2 The unity of the Godhead and the divine co-equality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The sovereignty of God in creation, providence, and redemption.
3.3 In the sight of God, the utter depravity of human nature in consequence of the Fall; and the necessity for repentance and regeneration.
3.4 The true and proper Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Virgin Birth, His real and perfect Manhood, the authority of His teaching, and the infallibility of His utterances. His work of atonement for sinners of mankind by His vicarious sufferings and death. His bodily resurrection, and His ascension into heaven and His present priestly intercession for His people at the right hand of the Father.
3.5 The justification of the sinner solely by faith, through the shed blood and imputed righteousness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
3.6 The necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, conversion, and sanctification, and in service and worship. This work enables the believer to grow in grace and in the knowledge and assurance of his salvation.
3.7 The universal church is the body of which Christ is the Head. It embraces all the redeemed called by God through the Gospel, born of the Spirit, and justified by faith. The local church comprises such believers as the visible expression of the universal church; and fellowship between such churches manifests the unity of the body of Christ.
3.8 The ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper as being instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ. But Baptism conveys no regenerating grace. Neither is the Lord's Supper a sacrifice for sin, nor is there any change in the substance of the bread and wine.
3.9 The personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ in Glory.
3.10 The resurrection of the body, and judgment of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, with the eternal blessedness of the righteous and the eternal punishment of the wicked.
MEMBERSHIP:4. The following categories of membership shall apply:
4.1 Members are those who, being 16 years of age and over fulfil all the following obligations:
a. Confess Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord;
b. Accept the Doctrinal Statement of the Church;
c. Endeavour to regularly attend Church functions;
d. Contribute to the work of the Church, and
e. Accept responsibility to witness for Christ in the community.
4.1.1 Those Members who were present at, or tendered an apology to, the Inaugural General Meeting of the Church, held on 7th June, 1977, shall be entitled to be referred to as "Foundation Members".
4.2 Junior Members are those who being under 16 years of age fulfil all the following obligations:
a. Confess Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord;
b. Commit themselves to daily prayer and Bible Study, and
c. Attend Church and Sunday School regularly.
4.3 Associates are those who fulfil one or more of the following conditions:
a. Attend the Church regularly;
b. Accept the Fellowship of the Church members;
c. Show an interest in the Church activities;
d. Apply for recognition as an Associate of the Church.
CONDITIONS OF MEMBERSHIP:5. The following conditions of Membership shall apply:
5.1 Regular attendance at worship services for 3 months is required prior to making application for membership, for Members and Junior Members only.
5.2 Voting rights at meetings of the Church are reserved for Members only.
5.3 A Membership Sub-Committee of the General Meeting of the Church shall have final authority on membership, and may waive attendance requirements on a unanimous vote of the Membership Committee.
5.4 All Members and Junior Members shall acknowledge their obligations as set out in Para 4.1 or 4.2 respectively, at a worship service.
5.5 Acceptance into Membership shall be indicated by the issuing of a Membership Ticket signed by the Minister or Pastor and Chairman of the Church.
TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP:6. Membership can be terminated upon request of the member, or upon failure to fulfil membership obligations as determined by a unanimous vote of the Membership Committee.
7. Any member shall upon ceasing to be a member of the Church forfeit all rights to and claims upon the Church and the property and funds thereof.
CHURCH PRACTICE:8. The following Church Practices shall be observed:
8.1 The Church recognises that there are various convictions among evangelical Christians regarding the subjects and modes of baptism. Parents who are believers and Members of the Church may present their infant children for baptism. Persons who profess faith in Christ may be baptised by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. Provision shall also be made for parents who are believers and Members of the Church to bring their children to a service to present them to the Lord.
8.2 The Church recognises that there may be legitimate differences of opinion even by those who believe the Bible to be God's Word written. However each member is to strive to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Teaching or practice which divides believers, who are united on essential matters such as those in the Doctrinal Statement, is to be discouraged.
8.3 Advocating or practising speaking in tongues is not permitted in any gathering or activity of the Church.
MANAGEMENT AND COMMITTEE:9. The business and affairs of the Church shall be managed by a Committee to be known as the "Leaders' Meeting" which shall consist of a chairman, a secretary, a treasurer and the Minister or Pastor (if a Member), and not more than twelve other Members of the Church. The minimum membership will be three persons.
10. The members of the Leaders Meeting shall be appointed by the Membership of the Church. At each Annual General Meeting of the Church all the members of the Leaders Meeting for the time being shall retire from office but shall be eligible for re-appointment.
11. The office of a member of the Leaders Meeting shall ipso facto be vacated:
11.1 If by notice in writing to the Secretary, he or she resigns his or her office.
11.2 If he or she ceases to be a Member of the Church.
11.3 If he or she is absent from two consecutive meetings of the Leaders Meeting without special leave of absence from the Leaders Meeting and the Leaders Meeting resolves that his or her office be vacated.
11.4 If he or she is requested in writing by not less than three fourths of the members for the time being of the Leaders Meeting to resign his or her office.
11.5 If he or she is removed from office by the majority decision of a General Meeting of the Church.
12. The Leaders Meeting shall have the power to appoint a Member (who may or may not be a member of the Leaders Meeting) to fill any casual vacancy in the office of chairman, secretary or treasurer until the next Annual General Meeting of the Church. The Leaders Meeting shall also have the power to appoint a Member who is not a member of the Leaders Meeting to fill any casual vacancy in the Leaders Meeting (whether caused by an appointment under the earlier provision of this clause or otherwise) until the next Annual General Meeting of the Church.
13. The Leaders Meeting may exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things as the Church is authorised to exercise and do and are not by this Constitution or otherwise directed or required to be exercised or done by an Annual or other General Meeting of the Church but subject nevertheless to any resolutions (not being inconsistent with this Constitution) from time to time passed by a General Meeting of the Church provided that no such resolution shall invalidate any prior act of the Leaders Meeting which would have been valid if such resolution had not been passed.
14. The Leaders Meeting may delegate any of its powers to sub-committees consisting of such member or members of the Leaders Meeting as the Leaders Meeting thinks fit and may from time to time revoke such delegation. Any sub-committee so formed shall in the exercise of the powers so delegated, conform to any regulations that may from time to time be imposed upon it by the Leaders Meeting. The meetings and proceedings of any such sub-committee consisting of two or more persons shall be governed by the provisions herein contained regulating the meetings and proceedings of the Leaders Meeting so far as the same are applicable thereto and are not superseded by any regulations made by the Leaders Meeting under this clause.
REGISTER OF MEMBERS:15. The Leaders Meeting shall keep a Register of Members in which shall be entered the names and residential addresses of all members of the Church and the dates on which they became members.
16. There shall also be entered in the Register of Members details of all terminations of membership and of all changes of addresses notified to the Leaders Meeting and such other particulars as the Leaders Meeting may from time to time determine.
MEETINGS OF THE LEADERS MEETING:17. The Leaders Meeting shall meet at least four times in each year.
18. A special meeting of the Leaders Meeting shall be convened by the Secretary on the requisition in writing of not less than three members of the Leaders Meeting which requisition shall state clearly the business to be transacted at such special meeting.
19. At every meeting of the Leaders Meeting, three members of the Leaders Meeting shall constitute a quorum.
20. Subject as provided in clause 17 hereof, the Leaders Meeting may meet together and regulate its proceedings as it thinks fit. Questions arising at any meeting of the Leaders Meeting shall be decided by a majority of votes and in the case of an equality of votes on any question at any meeting of the Leaders Meeting, the chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.
21. Not less than seven days notice shall be given to the members of the Leaders Meeting of any meeting of the Leaders Meeting.
GENERAL MEETINGS:22. The Annual General Meeting of the Church shall be held in the month of July of each year.
23. The business to be transacted at every Annual General Meeting shall be:
23.1 The receiving of the Leaders Meeting's report and the statement of receipts and payments for the preceding financial year and the balance sheet as at the close of that financial year.
23.2 The receiving of the auditor's report upon the books and accounts for the preceding financial year.
23.3 The appointment of an auditor who may be a member of the Church but shall not be a member of the Leaders Meeting.
23.4 The appointment of members of the Leaders Meeting including a chairman, a secretary, a treasurer and the Minister or Pastor (if a Member), and not more than twelve other Members of the Church. The Chairman and Secretary so appointed shall ipso facto also be the Chairman and Secretary respectively of General Meetings.
23.5 Any other general business which the meeting may think fit.
24. At any General Meeting of the Church three members entitled to vote thereat shall constitute a quorum.
25. Only Members of the Church shall be entitled to vote upon any motion at any General Meeting of the Church.
26. The Secretary shall:
a. When directed to do so by the Leaders Meeting, or
b. Upon being given a requisition in writing signed by not less than four Members
convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Members of the Church.
27. The Secretary shall convene all General Meetings of the Church by giving not less than seven days notice of such meetings.
28. At every General Meeting of the Church:
28.1 The Chairman shall take the chair and in the absence of the Chairman, a chairman shall be elected by resolution of a majority of Members present at the meeting and entitled to vote.
28.2 Every question matter and resolution shall be decided by a majority of votes of the Members present and entitled to vote.
28.3 Every Member of the Church present shall be entitled to one vote and in the case of an equality of votes the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
28.4 Voting shall be by show of hands unless not less than four members present and entitled to vote demand a ballot in which event there shall be a secret ballot. The Chairman of the meeting shall appoint two members to conduct the secret ballot in such manner as he shall determine and the result of the ballot as declared by such Chairman shall be deemed to be the resolution of the meeting at which the ballot was demanded.
MINUTES:29. The Secretary shall maintain full and accurate minutes of all questions, matters, resolutions and other proceedings of every General Meeting of the Church and of every Leaders Meeting. These minutes are to be entered in a book to be provided for that purpose.
FINANCIAL YEAR:30. A financial year of the Church shall be the period of twelve calendar months ending on any thirtieth day of June.
FUNDS:31. The following requirements concerning funds shall apply:
31.1 The income and property of the Church shall be applied in promotion of its objects and for no other purpose.
31.2 The funds of the Church shall be banked in the name of the Church in such Bank as the Leaders Meeting may direct.
31.3 Proper books and accounts shall be kept and maintained showing correctly the financial affairs of the Church and the particulars usually shown in books of a like nature.
31.4 All moneys shall be banked as soon as practicable after receipt thereof.
31.5 All amounts of ten dollars or over shall be paid by cheque signed by any two of the Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer or by such persons (being not less than two) as the Leaders Meeting may from time to time determine.
31.6 Cheques shall be crossed 'not negotiable'.
31.7 The Leaders Meeting shall determine the amount of petty cash which shall be kept on the imprest system.
31.8 Accounts for payment shall be presented and passed at a meeting of the Leaders Meeting.
31.9 As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year of the Church, the Treasurer shall cause to be prepared a Statement of receipts and payments for the financial year just ended and a Balance Sheet as at the close of that financial year. Such Statement and Balance Sheet shall be examined by the Auditor who shall present his report upon such audit to the Secretary.
CHURCH PROPERTY:32. The title to all real estate and personal property acquired by purchase, deed, gift, transfer, or any other conveyance shall be held, maintained, and administered by Trustees in the name of the Church. For the purposes of the Religious and Successory Trusts Act of the State of Victoria, no less than three and not more than five current members of the Leaders Meeting including the Chairman shall be elected by a General Meeting to be the sole Trustees of the Church and provision shall be made within the agendas of the Leaders Meetings for adequate consideration of matters for which the Trustees are responsible.
DISSOLUTION:33. The Church shall be dissolved:
33.1 If the number of Members of the Church is less than three, or
33.2 If a resolution to that effect is passed by a majority of not less than three fourths of the members present at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Church convened to consider the question and entitled to vote thereat.
33.3 On any such dissolution, the property and other assets of the Church remaining after the payment of all expenses and other liabilities shall be disposed of in a manner decided by the Leaders Meeting.
AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION:34. This Constitution may be added to, amended or repealed by a resolution to that effect passed by a minimum of a three-fourths majority of Members present at any General Meeting of the Church and provided that one month's notice of such change is given in writing to each Member of the Church.