Church Constitution

Article One

Covenant

Having been led, as we believe, by the Holy Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, we do most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

With the Holy Spirit as our Guide, we propose to walk together in Christian love, to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offense but always ready to be reconciled.

We further commit ourselves to the ministry of Rabat International Church; to sustain worship, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of its ministry and to obey the “Great Commission of our Lord” (Matthew 28:19,20).

Article Two

RIC Statement of Faith

  1. We believe in God, who reveals Himself in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  2. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, and that all believers stand before God on an equal basis.
  3. We believe in the complete deity and the complete humanity of Jesus Christ.
  4. We believe that we are all sinners needing a Savior, and that salvation is only and altogether through simple faith in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, arose and intercedes for us.
  5. We believe that good works, while not necessary for salvation, naturally result from the lordship of Christ in our lives.
  6. We believe that a Christian is one who has experienced the new birth or spiritual regeneration, accepting Christ as Lord and Savior.
  7. We believe in the resurrection of the body and the personal second coming of Christ to judge the world.
  8. We believe in the Bible as God’s Holy Word, which is our guide and final authority in all matters relating to the Christian faith and life.
  9. We accept the Apostle’s Creed as being a correct summary of Biblical teaching.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,

And in Jesus Christ, His only son, our Lord,

Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,

Was crucified, dead and buried; he descended into hell;

The third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty,

From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Universal Church,

The communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

The resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Amen

Article Three

Statement of Purpose & Goals

I. Preamble: Ephesians 4:11-16

Some of us have been given special ability as apostles; to others he has given the gift of being able to preach well, some have special ability in winning people to Christ, helping them to trust him as their Savior, still others have a gift of caring for God’s people as a shepherd does his sheep, leading and teaching them in the ways of God. Why is it that he gives us these special abilities to do certain things best? It is that God’s people will be equipped to do better work for him, building up the church, the body of Christ to a position of strength and maturity. Until finally we all believe alike about our salvation and about our savior, God’s son, and all become full-grown in the Lord- yes, to the point of being filled full with Christ. Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone told us something different, or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times – speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly – and becoming more and more in every way like Christ who is the head of his body, the Church.

Under his direction the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

II. Statement of Purpose:

We are an international, multi-denominational, multi-cultural fellowship of Christian believers meeting in Rabat, Morocco for the purpose of Christian worship, fellowship and education, and sharing the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

III. Goals:

In order to provide an environment where God is worshiped and proclaimed in the message of salvation through Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Spirit, the goals of Rabat International Church are:

  1. Develop a spirit of unity, fellowship, and support within the international, multi-denominational and multi-cultural Christian community.
  2. Provide programs of worship, preaching, Christian education, and music to encourage and promote spiritual growth for all age groups.
  3. Display a physical presence in the community through tangible programs ministering to those with special human and spiritual needs.

Article Four

Organization

I. Governance:

  1. Rabat International Church is an autonomous self-governing church under the headship of Jesus Christ. The governance and decision making authority for Rabat International Church and all of its activities rests with the affiliate members participating in the Semi-annual General Meetings (SAGM) of the congregation and the boards, committees or individuals in whom the congregation chooses to vest given powers.
  2. The Constitution of Rabat International Church and its accompanying by-laws shall be considered as the written documents governing the actions and functions of the body. The answers for any questions of procedure or methodology of the church body shall normally be drawn from these documents.

II. Affiliation to other organisations

  1. Affiliate members participating in the Semi-annual General Meetings (SAGM) of the congregation may vote by a two thirds majority for RIC to be affiliated to other exterior organizations or associations on condition that such membership or affiliation in no way compromises the independence or autonomy of RIC as set out in Paragraph I 1 of Article 4.
  2. In the same way, affiliate members participating in the Semi-annual General Meetings (SAGM) of the congregation may vote by a two thirds majority for RIC to withdraw affiliation or membership from any such exterior organization or association
  3. The means of representation of RIC in any such association or organization is set out in the by laws governing the procedures and day-to-day operation of RIC.

III. Affiliate Membership

This is not an official membership and one need not change membership from an existing church to be an affiliate member of RIC.

  1. Affiliate members are in agreement with RIC’s Statement of Faith
  2. Affiliate members are legal residents or visitors of Morocco who intend to live here for at least one year.
  3. Affiliate members will enter into this covenant with RIC by
    1. filling out a form requesting affiliate membership in RIC
    2. having their application accepted by the pastor
    3. reading RIC’s Covenant at one of our worship services.
  4. Only affiliate members will be eligible to hold office (board members and pastors) and vote at church meetings.

IV. Semi- annual General Meetings

  1. Semi-annual General Meetings of the church will be held in May and November each year. The dates of these meetings shall be published and/or announced during the worship hour at least two Sundays prior to the meeting dates. Although non-members are encouraged to attend, only affiliate members will be permitted to vote at an SAGM.
  2. Special general meetings of the church can be called as needed, but require the same two Sunday notice as SAGM’s. Emergency meetings involving security, health or welfare may be called at any time by the Chairman of the Church Board.
  3. The Pastor will normally act as chair for an SAGM and the meetings will be conducted in a spirit reflecting the goals of the church.

V. Church Board

  1. RIC will be served by a Church Board consisting of from seven to nine members. Each Board member shall normally serve a term of one year. In order to maintain a reasonable degree of continuity on the Board, approximately half of the members shall be elected in May and the other half in November each year. (Procedures for elections are set forth in the by-laws of this constitution.) Board members may be re-elected. Unexpired terms may be filled by special election. The Pastor shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Church Board.
  2. In between each SAGM the Church Board shall, in full cooperation with the church fellowship and in consultation with the Pastor, plan and oversee the total program of the church. To do this, the Church Board will meet each month. Regular meetings of the Church Board will be open for any member of RIC congregation to attend.

VI. The Pastor & Church Staff

  1. The church shall appoint an individual to serve as Pastor of RIC. The Pastor shall act as overseer of all church ministries on a day to day basis and be directly accountable to the Church Board and to the congregation at the SAGM for his conduct and decisions made in conjunction with RIC programs and ministries.
  2. A new Pastor shall be selected as the need arises. The Pastor will be nominated by the Board and approved by a two- thirds vote of the members present at an SAGM or specially called meeting. The Pastor of RIC should be sensitive to the autonomous, international and multi-denominational constituency of the fellowship. Regardless of his own denominational background, he should strive to be accommodating to the various liturgical traditions of the membership. In the case of a Pastor being funded by an outside agency, RIC recognizes that he or she will be additionally accountable to said agency for the use of his or her time and energies.
  3. The Pastor and Church Board shall work together to see that necessary Church Staff shall be involved in ministry at RIC. Staff members shall be requested by the Pastor and appointed by the Church Board. Church Staff (Associate Pastors, Minister of Music, Minister of Education etc.,) shall perform their duties in accordance with the spirit of this constitution. Church staff members shall be directly responsible to the Pastor as overseer of church ministries.
  4. Any Church Staff having recognition as an official representative of RIC shall be approved by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present at a SAGM or special general meeting of the congregation prior to their receiving the said benefit.

VII. Constitution

  1. The Constitution is the governing document of RIC. Each member of the church, especially the Pastor, members of the Church Board and those serving on various committees, shall strive to comply with the intent of the Constitution. Only affiliate members may vote and hold an official position in the church.
  2. Any proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be presented in writing to the Board at least one month prior to a SAGM. Proposed amendments will be available to the church for review, through Board Members, at least two Sundays prior to being voted upon at the SAGM. A proposed change in Constitution requires a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present at a SAGM in order to be accepted. The Board can make editorial corrections, i.e. spelling, format, style and other clarifications to the Constitution during regularly scheduled Board Meetings. These changes will not be used to alter the scope and overall content of the Constitution.

VIII. Official Records and Procedures

  1. Rabat International Church shall maintain a historical file to include a copy of:
    1. The minutes of each SAGM or special general meeting for 5 years
    2. The minutes of each Board Meeting for 5 years
    3. All financial statements and treasurer’s reports for 5 years
    4. Committee reports as appropriate
  2. Rabat International Church shall maintain sound accounting practices to including:
    1. The accurate recording of all income and expenditures
    2. Maintenance of prior financial audits
    3. Preparation of an annual budget each fall
    4. Conducting an equipment inventory each spring
    5. A yearly internal audit of all accounts

IX. Dismissal of Staff

The Pastor and / or Church Staff may be dismissed at the recommendation of the Church Board by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present at an SAGM or special general meeting of the church when it has been determined by the congregation that their presence is detrimental to the spiritual and physical life of the church.

X. Dissolution of the Church

In the event of disbandment of Rabat International Church, any funds or physical items remaining after satisfaction of all outstanding financial obligations will be disbursed at the discretion of the existing Church Board.

This Constitution was revised and approved by the congregation at the Semi-annual General Meeting, November 19 , 2006.


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