The Agora
Bible Articles and Lessons: C

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Constitution of the Christadelphians (South Austin)

1. We are a Christadelphian ecclesia (Greek ekklesia: congregation, assembly, "church").

2. We believe the One Faith, as taught in the Bible, and defined in our Statement of Faith. For interecclesial fellowship purposes, we consider our Statement of Faith to be equivalent to the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith.

3. We recognize as brethren, and welcome to our fellowship, all who have been baptized after belief of the same doctrines.

4. We meet every Sunday morning for worship, exhortation, and the partaking of bread and wine, and at other times during the week as may be decided upon for Bible study and preaching activities.

5. In matters not affecting essential doctrines, we mutually agree to submit to the arrangements preferred by the majority.

6. The arranging committee of the ecclesia shall consist of seven arranging brothers, who are responsible for all ecclesial business. This committee has been appointed initially by the ecclesia. The committee may remove any committee member by the decision of five arranging brothers. The committee shall perpetuate itself by appointment of suitable replacements in the cases of resignation or removal. Such appointments will be agreed upon by simple majority vote of the arranging brothers.

7. In the appointment of arranging brothers, we shall follow the directions of Paul as to the qualifications they ought to possess (1Ti 3; Tit 1). No brother shall be eligible for appointment to the arranging committee for the first two years after baptism or admission to fellowship, except by unanimous consent of the arranging brothers.

8. The arranging committee shall meet as often as necessary to arrange the conduct of the meetings, and to decide all matters concerning the working of the ecclesia. A special meeting of the arranging committee may be convened at the request of three brothers, who must state the nature of the business.

9. Decisions of the arranging committee shall have immediate effect, but they may be reversed by the ecclesia acting as a body at its annual business meeting.

10. Special meetings of the ecclesia may be convened by the secretary at the request of the arranging committee. At all such special meetings it shall require a majority of the membership of the ecclesia to form a quorum.

11. All applications for baptism or admission to fellowship must be reported to the secretary, who shall make arrangements with the arranging committee for the interview and baptism if necessary.

12. The arranging committee will appoint brothers (from their own number or from the other brothers in the ecclesia) or sisters, in the following positions:

  1. Secretary, or recording brother
  2. Treasurer, or finance brother
  3. Sunday School supervisor (brother or sister)
  4. Preaching committee chairman
  5. Visiting committee chairman
  6. Welfare committee
  7. Presiding brothers
  8. Speaking brothers
  9. Serving brothers
  10. Interviewing brothers/sisters
  11. Any other necessary positions, as the arranging brothers may determine.
13. The secretary, or recording brother, shall (a) keep a record of all the proceedings of the ecclesia, including all business meetings; (b) handle all ecclesial correspondence and other communications, and report these at his discretion to the arranging committee or ecclesia as a body; (c) remind the ecclesia of meetings to be held or other matters affecting them; (d) arrange all schedules for presiding, speaking, and serving; (e) keep an attendance record for the memorial meeting; and (f) generally oversee the affairs of the ecclesia.

14. The treasurer, or finance brother, shall receive, maintain, and disburse all funds of the ecclesia, and shall report periodically to the arranging committee for approval. All funds and property belonging to the ecclesia shall legally vest in the arranging committee, as trustees for the entire body.

15. The Sunday School established in connection with the ecclesia shall be under its official control. The Sunday School supervisor shall appoint the teachers, report to the arranging committee, and, along with them, manage the school.

16. The preaching committee chairman shall organize and supervise all preaching activities, and arrange for all advertising and preaching expense to be paid by the treasurer. He shall appoint other brothers and sisters to assist him.

17. The visiting committee chairman shall communicate with brothers or sisters absent from the memorial meeting to determine the cause of absence, and to arrange a supplementary memorial meeting. He shall also arrange transportation to ecclesial meetings when necessary and reasonable. He shall report to the welfare committee anything coming to his attention which may require assistance, and to the secretary any matters which may require the attention of the arranging committee.

18. The welfare committee shall, along with the treasurer, who serves as chairman, inquire as to needs and provide financial assistance to brothers and sisters and their families, or to those otherwise connected with the ecclesia.

19. The following order shall be observed at our Sunday morning memorial meeting:

  1. Hymn
  2. Bible reading, as chosen by speaking brother
  3. Announcements by the secretary
  4. Collection
  5. Prayer by the presiding brother
  6. Exhortation
  7. Memorial hymn
  8. Thanks for, and partaking of, bread
  9. Thanks for, and partaking of, wine
  10. Closing hymn
  11. Closing prayer
20. No accusation against any brother or sister shall be listened to in public or private, until the brother or sister making the accusation shall have taken the course prescribed in Mat 18:15-18. Any brother or sister refusing to take this course while persisting in his/her accusation shall himself/herself be considered and dealt with as an offender against the law of Christ.

21. Any brother or sister departing from any element of the One Faith, as defined in our Statement of Faith, shall, by majority decision of the arranging brothers, cease to be in fellowship.

22. Absence from the established assembly of the brothers and sisters for the breaking of bread, except for illness or other lawful reason, is an offence against the law of Christ.

23. None shall, even for a legitimate cause, separate themselves from the assembly, without first stating, in writing to the secretary, the cause of impending separation; and asking such to be considered at a special arranging meeting, at which they consent to be present and take part.

24. No brother or sister withdrawn from by another ecclesia shall be received into fellowship until the cause shall have been investigated. This investigation shall not take place without first asking the other ecclesia to take part. If the other ecclesia shall refuse cooperation, the matters in question shall be investigated and final decision made without them.

25. In case of another ecclesia, after this process, receiving into their fellowship any brother or sister from whom we have withdrawn, we shall not consider it a cause of separation from them. Instead, we shall regard the matter as one of difference of judgment as to facts merely, and we shall be content in that case to maintain our own withdrawal from the brother or sister in question.

26. None of the foregoing rules may be altered, and no new rules added, except by the two-thirds majority vote of the ecclesia in its annual business meeting.

27. The foregoing Statement of Faith, including the Commandments of Christ, shall be considered a part of the Constitution of the ecclesia.

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