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Koinonia Constitution

February 19, 2019

ARTICLE I. NAME AND AFFILIATION

Koinonia Church is a self-governed and autonomous Colorado Corporation, hereinafter referred to as Koinonia.  Koinonia is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of the USA and The Church of the Brethren denominations.  The Koinonia building and property are located at 730 25 Road, Grand Junction, Colorado. 

 

ARTICLE II. STATEMENTS OF PURPOSE AND VALUES

Statements of Purpose: We exist to offer opportunities for seeking, learning, fellowship, service, worship and community gatherings for inspiration and reflection. We find inspiration from Jesus and other current and historical spiritual leaders and wisdom seekers, acknowledging the diverse spiritual practices and traditions of our pluralistic community and world.  Many of our values come from the American Baptist Church and the Church of the Brethren denominations, where we find our heritage.

At Koinonia we:

  • Create community where we live simply and peacefully

  • Support individuals' spiritual journeys, while being connected to the Source

  • Welcome and affirm people of all ages, sexual orientations, race, ethnicity, and backgrounds

  • Advocate for human and earth justice—locally and globally

  • Live with curiosity and compassion

The name Koinonia (Koy-na-nee-ah) comes from the Greek, koinos, meaning fellowship or a gathering for a common purpose and a spirit of generous sharing.

 

ARTICLE III. [Koinonia] COMMUNITY MEMBERS

A Koinonia Community Member is an individual who chooses to contribute in a variety of ways, including time, talents, or resources to Koinonia.  A person may choose to become a Community Member by notifying the pastor, a council member, or the church office.  Individuals may also request celebrations and/or blessings of their commitment to Koinonia.  Individuals requesting such shall be recognized in a community gathering.  The Koinonia list of Community Members will be maintained by the Council.  The Community Members constitute the decision-making body of Koinonia.

 

ARTICLE IV. PERSONNEL, OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES

A. Pastor

  1. The Pastor will be called by the congregation and be accountable to the Church Council and advised by the Pastoral Relations Team.

  2. The Pastor will be guided by a contract, job description, the Competency Framework for Pastoral Leadership and other duties as assigned by Council, as agreed upon by Pastor and Council.  The Pastor will serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Koinonia Council.

  3. The Pastor called to serve at Koinonia will be in alignment with the Koinonia Community and its Core Values and be licensed, ordained, or have experience/training through relevant organizational structures.

  4. The length of the term will be specified in the Pastoral Leadership contract at the time of hiring.

  5. The relationship between Pastor and Koinonia may be terminated by a 30-day notice of the congregation at the recommendation of the council, the Pastor, or by mutual agreement.

B. Koinonia Council

The Koinonia Council is the official governing body of Koinonia.  Council is encouraged to delegate and/or appoint task teams to carry out its duties and responsibilities where appropriate and should keep the Koinonia Community's best interest in mind in fulfilling its duties.  These task teams shall be appointed for specific purposes, time periods, and outcomes.

The Duties and Responsibilities of Council include, but are not limited to:

  1. Set Koinonia Policy

  2. Appoint Search Team when requested by the Community

  3. Develop employment contract with the Pastor

  4. Engage in the envisioning process of Koinonia and oversee the implementation of Koinonia’s programs

  5. Carry out an evaluation of Koinonia's programs at least once every three years

  6. Conduct a stewardship campaign and develop a budget proposal to be approved by Koinonia's Community Members by the end of the fiscal year

  7. Oversee administration of approved budget

  8. Safeguard the financial assets of Koinonia and ensure the maintenance and protection of Koinonia's physical assets

  9. Conduct annual reviews of the Pastor

  10. Oversee annual reviews of other personnel

Procedures of Council

  1. Council will meet at least nine times a year.  Effort will be made to have every member present; however, three voting members will constitute a quorum.

  2. Decisions will be made through "consensus" as defined by Article VI.

  3. Decisions by council may be made via electronic communication, provided consensus is reached by all available council members (at least a quorum) on the question being discussed.  Such decisions are as binding as those made at council meetings and shall be recorded by the Clerk/Secretary in the council’s monthly minutes.

  4. Council meetings are open to Koinonia members for observation, questions, or suggestions, except in extenuating circumstances when council feels the matters to be discussed are highly sensitive and/or relating to personnel issues and should not be made public and shall be considered executive session.

Membership of the Council

  1. Council consists of no fewer than five and no more than seven Community Members who are approved by the congregation to serve a term of two years.

  2. Members of Council may serve no more than three terms or six continuous years.

  3. Vacancies on council due to the resignation of a council member will be filled by a decision of the Council and approved by the Community Members.

The Roles of Council Officers

Officers will be chosen by the Koinonia Council

  1. Chairperson(s): presides over and leads Council and Community Meetings.  In the event the chair is absent, he/she appoints another Council Member to preside over and lead Council and Community Meetings.

  2. Clerk/Secretary(s): keeps minutes of Council and Community meetings and makes them available for the Koinonia Community.

  3. Treasurer(s): oversees Koinonia’s financial records

 ARTICLE V. COMMUNITY BUSINESS MEETINGS

Koinonia's fiscal year will be January 1 to December 31, with at least semi-annual meetings or more at the discretion of the council.  Notice of such meetings and the proposed agenda will be given at least two weeks in advance.  A budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be presented by council at the December Business Meeting.  An annual budget must be approved by the Community Members.  Approval of Council members may be held at a properly noticed community meeting throughout the year.

 

ARTICLE VI. DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

Consensus will be the process of decision making used by Koinonia to ensure that input of everyone is carefully considered and an outcome is crafted that best meets the needs of the community and achieves a sense of unity and commitment.  To encourage participation, methods such as a talking stick may be used.

Process:

  1. A proposal may come directly from Council or Community member(s) may submit a proposal to Council for consideration.

  2. The Council decides whether to proceed with the proposal, to act on it without input from the Community, or to ask a task team to make a recommendation on the proposal after input from the Community.

  3. After reviewing the recommendation of the task team, if such is appointed, Council decides on a specific proposal and recommendation to be presented to the Community.

  4. At a Community meeting, the chair of Council (or facilitator chosen by the Council) presents the proposal, the thought process behind the proposal, and the Council's recommendation.

  5. A safe space will be created where everyone's feelings and ideas are solicited. The chair or facilitator guides the discussion to determine what differences of opinion exist, to explore the nature of objections, to assure objections are addressed and alternative viewpoints are explored, and to seek the changes of wording which will render the proposal more acceptable.  Informal straw polls may be used to assess progress.

  6. Discussion on the proposal at the initial Community meeting shall not last more than two hours unless continued by agreement.

  7. Community Members may voice three options:  Agreement with the proposal, Discomfort with the proposal and would like to discuss further, Disagreement with the proposal and will not support the proposal.

The matter of the proposal may be resolved in a timely manner in one of the following ways, in the following order of preference:

  1. Unanimous agreement with the proposal

  2. Unanimous agreement to drop the proposal.

  3. Unanimous agreement to conduct a vote, agreement on the required percentage for passage, and agreement to abide by the results. The concerns of those who have difficulty supporting the proposal may be noted verbally in the meeting or, upon request, may be formally recorded in the proposal itself.

  4. Failing to accomplish unity via one of the above, the matter is postponed to a second meeting. If progress is clearly not being made, or if there is a special time constraint, the Community may choose postponement before the two hours are up by a voice vote. The Community chooses a group, including one or more of those on each side of the issue, to rework the proposal in good faith before the second meeting. The use of a neutral mediator (agreeable to all group members) is encouraged, if appropriate. The group may arrange for additional education about the issue for the group or the Community as a whole prior to the second meeting.

  5. If this is already the second meeting on the proposal, and unity has not been accomplished using 1, 2, or 3 above by the end of the meeting, then the meeting proceeds to a final vote where 80% of those in attendance is the required result for passage. The concerns of those who have difficulty supporting the proposal may be noted verbally in the meeting or, upon request, may be formally recorded in the proposal itself.

 ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENTS

 

This constitution may be revised or amended according to the decision-making process in Article Vl.

 

ARTICLE VIII. DISSOLUTION

In the event of dissolution of the Church, all assets as of the date of dissolution will be donated to: Grand Valley entity/entities, as determined by the Koinonia Community, to further the peace and social justice mission; the Church of the Brethren; and/or the American Baptist Churches.  The decision-making process described in Article VI will be used for this determination.

 

As Revised June 1, 2018

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