The Constitution of Trinity Memorial United Church
Abbotsford, BC

Statement of Faith:

We are not alone,
we live in God’s World.

We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.

Board – Congregation Relations
Trinity Memorial United Church seeks to be a genuine expression of the Body of Christ.
The Congregation is ultimately responsible for making decisions that affect congregational life as laid out in The Manual of the United Church of Canada. Decisions are made at annual meetings and at other duly constituted meetings of the Congregation.

Every year, the Congregation elects a Church Board that is given the responsibility of making many decisions of behalf of the whole Congregation. Decisions requiring congregational approval include those affecting the disposition of property, those affecting the Pastoral Relationship, revisions to the constitution, and other decisions having significant congregation-wide implications.

The Board is a body that works on behalf of the Congregation to discern the direction that God is leading, and makes policy to embody those directions. The Board consults regularly with the congregation as it seeks to discern God’s leading.

Within this context, the Board’s primary purpose is to define the “ends” to be achieved in our various ministries. The “means” to achieve those ends are primarily developed and carried out by the Small Group Ministries, staff and other ministries within the church.

The Church Board

Seeks to reflect the Mission, Identity, Purpose and Vision of the congregation with a commitment to build discipleship.

The function of the Board is to listen to the church membership (including adherents), to seek to discern the leading of God for this Congregation, and to provide spiritually based leadership and direction to the Congregation in order that mission becomes action, word becomes flesh. It lives its mission now, and responds to God’s call into the future.

The Board will be free to pursue the mission of the church using whatever means it sees fit as long as it ensures the following:

a) Attention to its personal and communal spiritual life of prayer, listening, reflection

b) A primary focus on the future

c) Congregational participation in the naming of visions and future directions

d) Development and maintenance of effective communication among the Board, the Congregation and Small Group Ministries

e) Effective, responsible administration, including financial management

f) A written and current church policy manual

g) Empowerment, accountability and support for all recognized ministries within the Congregation

h) Attention to the requirements of the Presbytery and the United Church Manual.



a) Structure for mission, not control.
b) Governance system authorized with the intention of “building disciples.”
c) Encourage the development of “ministry teams” to get things done (when the task is done the group dissolves).
d) Move from Committee-based to Team-based ministry.
e) Open every group’s sessions with scripture and prayer.
f) Take risks, not afraid to fail.
g) Seek out, identify and develop potential leaders (on the job training).
h) Give thanks for what we have learned through failure.
i) Disciples train to serve the needs of our community and our world.
j) Work to develop trust and respect amongst members.
k) Have all functions of the congregation informed and guided by our Mission Statement and Purpose (on the walls).
l) Encourage the “Marks of Discipling” by all church members.



Will include all those attributed to the “Official Board” in The Manual (Section 200-215).

a) The Board will meet at least every second month with Board Executive meetings in the interim as necessary. Normally there will be no Board meetings in July and August.
b) Employ staff. Ensure that job descriptions are created, reviewed and amended (Note that clergy are ‘settled’ by Presbytery and are therefore members of Presbytery, not congregational staff. They are “ex-officio” members of all Boards or Committees of the congregation with the exception of the Ministry and Personnel Committee).
c) A Nominations Committee will be elected each year in April by the Board. The purpose of the committee will be to prayerfully discern the needs of the congregation in the area of leadership. The main function is to recruit potential leaders for vacancy positions according to the perceived gifts and abilities that each may have to offer.

Board Membership
The Church Board will consist of eight to twelve members elected by and accountable to the congregation. The Church Board will have varying terms from one to two years. The Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Presbytery Representative will be elected to these positions by the congregation. Board members may be re-elected for consecutive terms to a maximum of four years, and may stand for subsequent re-election after a one-year break.

The Executive Board

a) To process matters arising between meetings of the Full Board
b) To process matters that go beyond the authority and terms of reference of any other standing committee
c) The Executive shall meet when called or at regular set meeting times
d) Members of the Executive Board shall include:

o Chair of Board
o Vice-Chair of Board
o Secretary of Board
o Treasurer
o Past Chair of Board


a) Deal with urgent matters that occur between meetings of the Full Board that cannot be resolved by one of the standing committees
b) Review organization structure and make recommendations to the Full Board

Small Group Ministries

Small Group Ministries are groups, bodies or committees that are deemed central to the achievement of the Congregation’s mission. This Constitution establishes the mission to be achieved and parameters (limitations) within which each ministry must operate. These may be revised by the Board or by a Congregational meeting after prayerful consultation with the Small Group Ministries involved. The mission and parameters must always be consistent with the Mission of the Congregation and not violate the requirements of The Manual of the United Church of Canada.

The Small Group Ministries are empowered to carry out their mission using whatever means they see fit, without seeking Board permission, as long as they stay within the specified parameters. The Board, however, will use its authority when necessary to insure that the interests and goals of the whole congregation are represented and considered e.g. worship matters. This arrangement is intended to provide maximum opportunity for creativity and innovation as our church faces the challenges of ministry in changing times. Small Group Ministries may take different forms and names from time to time but will continue to cover the following areas of responsibility. Items marked with an asterisk (*) are legally required by The Manual of the United Church of Canada.


· Worship
· Pastoral Care
· Outreach & Global Concerns
· Faith Formation for all ages
· *Ministry & Personnel
· Finance
· *Stewardship
· Maintenance
· *Board of Trustees


The UCW is an important ministry in the life of the church. It has its own governing structure that is relatively independent of the Board, yet would still be expected to operate within the overall mission and core values of the Congregation.

Constitutional Amendments

The Constitution may be amended through motion of the Congregation and confirmation by Fraser Presbytery.
The Appendix may be amended by motion of the Church Board or by a Congregational meeting.
The Appendix includes the Mission and Parameters for Small Group Ministries, Staff and other ministries.

Chair of Board

General Description
Chair of Board will prayerfully provide leadership according to the mission of Trinity Memorial United Church. Seeks to preserve order and decorum essential to calm deliberation. Insures effective use of time with fair and equitable processes to lead to final conclusions.

a) Prior to meetings have all preparations ready and all papers or reports available and distributed
b) Prepares agenda in consultation with the Secretary of the Board
c) Calls the meeting to order
d) Announces the items of business in the order they appear on the agenda
e) Read the motions
f) Submit motions of other proposals for final decision by vote
g) Announce whether motion is carried or lost
h) Adjourn meeting

General Responsibilities:
a) Chair must decide questions of order and procedure
b) Customarily is signing officer for official papers
c) Sometimes called upon to be representative or spokesperson
d) Remain objective and impartial
e) Act as umpire of proceedings
f) Regulate the conduct of the gathering and ensure conflicting opinions receive equal expression
g) Chair has no vote but may exercise deciding vote if vote is tied
h) If chair wishes to propose a motion they should step down in favour of vice-chair and should not resume chair until motion has been resolved

All persons assuming a Chair’s duties should:
a) Have reasonable assurance that they have the time and inclination for the role
b) Have sufficient working knowledge of the rules of procedure to permit them to carry out their duties with confidence and to the satisfaction of the Board
c) Be familiar with the constitution, by-laws, rules and usages of the church they serve
d) Be able to be tactful and decisive in ensuring effective and orderly progress
e) Embodies the Mission Statement and goals of the congregation to the best of his/her ability

Vice-Chair of Board

General Description
Assumes the role of Chair in their absence should the need arise. Supports the Board in all matters and represents the congregational needs of the Board. Shares in the vision of the congregation and works with the Board to fulfill the vision and mission.

Duties and General Responsibilities:
a) Assumes the role of Chair in their absence should the need arise
b) Is a member of the Executive Board as well as the Full Board
c) Represents the congregation and maintains the vision

Personal Attributes of the Vice-Chair:
a) Have ability to vision with and for the congregation
b) Be objective and fair
c) Be organized and dedicated
d) Have firm faith in God and be able to share that faith in a constructive manner

The Secretary is elected by the congregation to keep records of the Board proceedings, preserve all relevant documents, and to conduct the Board’s correspondence.

The secretary will:
a) Prepare and keep the minutes of the Annual General Congregational meeting, all special congregational meetings and all meetings of the Board
b) Sign each page of the minutes
c) Record the time, date and the place of the Board meetings
d) State on whose authority the meeting has been called
e) Record the name of the Presiding Officer and all those attending the Board meeting
f) Record items of business with paragraph heading for each reference
g) Take care to record all numbers correctly
h) Take care to include all committee reports and other documents as an appendix or they will be embodied in the minutes
i) Ensure that all extraneous and irrelevant material is not included in the minutes
j) Minutes will be distributed to all members, the office and any members requesting them as soon as possible
k) Keep policies
l) Embody the Mission Statement and goals of the congregation to the best of his/her ability


General Description
The Treasurer is elected by the congregation to report the Financial Situation of Trinity Memorial United Church and share the vision of the congregation, and works with the Board to fulfill the missions of this church.

Duties and General Responsibilities:
a) Ensure financial accounts are maintained according to generally accepted accounting principles and practice
b) Ensure the payroll for the church employees is properly administered
c) Submit and interpret financial statements to the Stewardship/Finance Committee and the Board
d) Provide leadership in the budget preparation process
e) Act as one of the signing officers
f) Assist with fund-raising as appropriate

Personal Attributes:
a) Willingness to work with a team
b) Have ability to vision with and for the congregation
c) Be organized and dedicated
d) Have knowledge of finances and financial procedures
e) Willingness and time to attend seminars and workshops pertaining to this position

Board of Trustees

To be accountable for the property of Trinity Memorial United Church.

At least five members.

Duties and Powers:
The Board of Trustees shall discharge such duties and exercise such powers as are set out in The Manual, Appendix II.


Faith Formation Coordinator

General Description
Board position for the purpose of addressing the faith formation and Christian education needs of the congregation which will insure:

a) Encouragement of life-long learning, growth and active engagement with the Christian story, intentional reflection upon God’s presence in a renewing creation, and transforming relationships with the community of faith, the world, and with God.
b) Discovery and celebration of individual and community gifts and relationships, and equipping persons for tasks and endeavors that are mutual, cross-generational, holistic and justice-seeking.

Areas of Responsibility:
a) Being an active member of the church Board, attending meetings as deemed appropriate, bringing forth concerns and problems from small groups, and sharing responsibility for decisions made
b) Making an inventory of all small group activities currently present (both youth and adult) in the church and seeking input on other groups that might be needed or desired
c) Visiting, encouraging and motivating existing groups relating to worship, pastoral care, Christian education, and Bible studies, issues of justice and mission, social fellowship and deepening spirituality to be more mutual, holistic and justice-seeking
d) Working and liaising closely with youth group, Sunday School, and young families
e) Working with the members of the church, the community and other faiths to foster, promote, and occasionally to facilitate new groups, programs and workshops to encourage learning, growth in education and spirituality, and to promote justice
f) Discerning and encouraging members to use their gifts and leadership skills within small group ministries in the church, and in inter-faith and secular communities
g) Assist and encourage the librarian to promote learning through books currently available, and to purchase and seek donations of books that foster faith formation.

Accountable to the Board and to the general church community to further the expectations outlined as responsibilities in the job description. Support will include the minister, other Board members, and leaders of existing small groups and persons desiring to set-up other groups, programs or workshops.

Personal Attributes:
Person acting as faith formation coordinator should be an active member of Trinity Memorial United Church with a strong interest in, faith formation and spiritual development. He/she should have skills in leadership, cooperation, learning and facilitation. He/she should desire to help members to develop their individual gifts and faith, and to encourage life-long learning and spiritual growth.

Presbyterial Delegate(s)

The Presbyterial Delegate is a member of the Board of Trinity Memorial United Church.

Elected by the congregation
Shall be a member of Trinity Memorial United Church

Duration of Office: the same as the rest of the Board

a) Represent the congregation at Presbytery and Conference meetings
b) Take part in Presbytery activities
c) Make reports to the congregation (either written or verbally at Sunday worship)
d) Keep the Board informed of presbytery policy, events and decisions

Ministry and Personnel Committee

To be a consultative and supportive agency to church staff, ministry personnel and the congregation.

Members are recommended by staff and ministry personnel, in conjunction with the nominating committee to the Board or congregation for approval. Each staff person and ministry personnel will have a liaison on the committee.

a) Follow section 24 of the United Church Manual
b) Follow the (updated) Ministry and Personnel Committee Handbook provided by the denomination
c) Consult with Fraser Presbytery Pastoral Relations Committee and/or the Conference Personnel Officer as necessary
d) Will make recommendations to the Church Board as required
e) Other responsibilities as requested by the Church Board

Pastoral Care Ministry

The purpose of this ministry is to be the “compassionate” and “encouraging” witness that builds up the congregation. It recognizes Christ’s ministry as the ministry of TMUC and seeks to identify and call forth the gifts of the people of the congregation in discipleship.

a) Hospital and long-term care visitation
b) Phone calls and visits to shut-ins
c) Attention to those who are visually or hearing impaired
d) Organizing transportation
e) Leading worship in nursing homes
f) Remembering those who are homebound as extended family (in prayer, visitation and pictures in the sanctuary)
g) Celebration of Life Ministry
h) Encouraging membership commitment and organizing workshops for purposes of baptism and membership
i) Assembling and distributing newsletters
j) Preparation for Sunday worship: unlocking and locking building, providing ushers and greeters, tidying the sanctuary, replacing reading material, putting hymn numbers on boards
k) Updating the Historic Roll and mailing lists
l) Identifying and welcoming newcomers

Gifts needed for this ministry: Prayer, healing, faith, evangelism, compassion, hospitality, assisting and mentoring.

Maintenance Committee

The purpose of the Maintenance Committee is to maintain and repair the building and grounds of Trinity Memorial United Church as required. This committee will communicate with the Custodian to insure that goals are accomplished.

Stewardship/Finance Committee

To manage the congregation’s financial affairs and to promote an attitude of grateful Christian stewardship among the congregation.

The committee will consist of:

  • Convenor or co-convenors
  • The Treasurer
  • The Envelope Steward
  • The Mission and Service Enthusiast
  • At least two additional members

The committee will select a Secretary from its members.

a) Disburse funds in accordance with recognized budget procedures
b) Establish procedures for recording and banking offerings and other donations received
c) Recommend a person to act as Auditor of the church accounts
d) Assemble and present the Annual Budget to the Board and congregation
e) Recommend financial policies and procedures as appropriate
f) Promote the Mission and Service Fund and inform the congregation of its work
g) Prepare an annual plan for encouraging stewardship of time, talent and money among the congregation
h) Recommend to the Board a response to requests for special contributions from the church
i) Encourage the use of offering envelopes and/or Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR) to support regular giving
j) Inform the congregation of the financial state of the church
k) Become familiar with and recommend stewardship resources to other committees and programs of the church
l) Provide support for and encourage people to attend special stewardship events i.e. Kananaskis

Duties of the Envelope Steward:
a) Keep a record of and distribute offering envelopes to members and adherents
b) Record regular and special donations and issue year-end receipts
c) Maintain confidentiality regarding individual donations
d) Ensure a secure process is in place for counting and transferring the offering to the bank
e) Keep the Stewardship/Finance Committee informed of the number of envelope users and any changes or trends in giving.



The Board will practice the disciplines necessary to govern with excellence according to the mission of Trinity Memorial United Church and within the guidelines of the United Church manual.

Board members will:
a) Educate themselves about the ownership, appropriate ends, adopted board policies and good governance practice
b) Listen to and be available to the members of the congregation between meetings
c) Prepare for each meeting and follow through on work commitments made at each meeting
d) Commit themselves to seeking God’s guidance for decision-making, especially in times of conflict

Board meetings are for the primary purpose of doing the Board’s work in an efficient and effective manner:
a) Notices of meetings will be made to all members at least two weeks in advance
b) Meeting agendas and supporting documentation will be distributed to all members at least one week in advance of meeting
c) Members will show respect to one another at all meetings
d) Members will together monitor their adherence to the Board’s policies and practices

When a Board member has missed two of the previous Board meetings the Board Chair will:
a) Contact that person to ascertain the level of participation to which the member can realistically commit
b) Report to the Board the results of this consultation

All significant decisions made by the Board will be by motion duly made and seconded and carried with a majority vote:
a) Board members will voice their opinions on issues to ensure a diversity of views is heard. Consensus seeking may be used but will not be allowed to quiet divergent voices
b) The Board Chair will determine the appropriate time in a conversation that a motion will be made