Policy on Addressing Issues and Concerns in the Congregation
“But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” Ephesians 4: 15-16
In order to fulfill its responsibility to “promote congregational unity and good will (and) foster mutual understanding in times of conflict” 1, the Congregational Council has adopted this policy for addressing issues and concerns regarding the life and ministry of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Stratford, Ontario:
- All members affirm their right to express their opinion about the life and ministry of the
- The congregation operates with a direct democracy that supports members in sharing their opinions openly with the Pastor, congregational council and at congregational meetings.
- When a member of the congregation expresses an opinion to a council member, the council member shall ask – “what action would you like congregational council to take with this information?”
- When the member desires to have the information taken to the congregational council, the member shall be invited to bring the information/opinion/issue to the next council meeting and the date and time will be given to the member. The concern, presentation and action taken will be recorded as part of the Minutes.
- When the member does not wish to appear in person, the council member in question may present the information/opinion/issue on behalf of the member at the next council meeting. The member will be required to review the prepared submission by the council member and make any corrections, if necessary, to ensure the accuracy of the submission. Once agreed upon, the member will sign the submission. The concern, presentation and action taken will be recorded as part of the Minutes.
- If the member desires that the council member present the information/opinion/issue at the next council meeting, the member must give permission to the council member to share the member’s name as part of the presentation. If the member desires to remain anonymous, the information/opinion/issue will not be addressed by the congregational council.
- A member also has the option to put in writing, signed and addressed to the Chairperson of the Congregational Council, the information/opinion/issue the member wants addressed.
- In this case, the Chairperson will acknowledge receipt of the correspondence and will share this correspondence with the Congregational Council Executive, who will assess the issue or concern and take appropriate action, or refer it to the Congregational Council.
Amended and adopted by the Congregational Council of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church on December 12, 2018.
The Constitution and Bylaws of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, amended February 1, 2015, Article X, Section 7E.