Constitution of Canberra Austral-asian Christian Church

CONSTITUTION OF CANBERRA AUSTRAL-ASIAN CHRISTIAN CHURCH

(Amended 21 November 2010)

SECTION (A)

  1. Name—Canberra Austral-Asian Christian Church Incorporated.
  2. Main Objectives

(1) To reach out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who still do not know Christ especially those who live in Canberra.

(2) To glorify God by fulfilling His love through a caring and sharing fellowship and building up one another to be His disciples and witness in the world

 

SECTION (B)

PART I—PRELIMINARY

1. Interpretation

(1) In these rules, unless a contrary intention appears—

“financial year” means the year ending on 30 June;

“member” means a member, however described, of the association;

“association” means the church;

“secretary” means the person holding office under these rules as secretary of the association or, where no such person holds that office, the public officer of the association;

“the Act” means the Associations Incorporation Act 1991;

“the Regulations” means the Associations Incorporation Regulations.

(2) In these rules—

(a) a reference to a function includes a reference to a power, authority and duty; and

(b) a reference to the exercise of a function includes, where the function is a power authority or duty, a reference to the exercise of the power or authority or the performance of the duty.

(3) The provisions of the Interpretation Act 1967 apply to and in respect of these rules in the same manner as those provisions would so apply if these rules were an instrument made under the Act.

PART II—MEMBERSHIP

2. Membership qualifications

A person is qualified to be a member if the person—

(1) is a baptised born again Christian;

(2) subscribes fully to the doctrinal basis of the church;

(3) is in full sympathy with the principles and objectives of the church by participating and contributing to her work;

(4) has applied for membership in accordance with subrule 3 (1); and

(5) has been approved for membership of the church by the Board of Elders.

3. Application for membership

(1) An application for membership of the church—

(a) shall be made by a person in writing in the form prescribed from time to time by the church; and

(b) shall be lodged with the secretary of the church.

(2) Within 7 days after receiving an application for membership, the secretary shall refer the application to the Board of Elders which shall determine whether to approve or to reject the application in the next Board of Elders meeting.

(3) Where the Board of Elders determines to approve an application for membership, the secretary shall within 7 days after that determination notify the applicant of that approval.

(4) Upon the approval of the Board of Elders, the applicant shall become a member of the church.

4. Membership entitlements not transferable

A right, privilege or obligation which a person has by reason of being a member of the church—

(1) is not capable of being transferred or transmitted to another person; and

(2) terminates upon cessation of the person’s membership.

5. Cessation of membership

A person ceases to be a member of the church if the person—

(1) dies;

(2) resigns from membership of the church;

(3) is expelled from the church;

(4) is absent for six months from all church services and shows no interest in the work of the church and gives no response to letters of enquires or to visit; or

(5) leaves Canberra permanently.

6. Fee, subscriptions etc.

There shall be no entrance fee and no annual membership fee to the church.

7. Members’ liabilities

Members of the church are not liable to contribute towards payment of the debts and liabilities of the church or the costs, charges and expenses of winding up the church.

8. Disciplining of members

(1) Where the Board of Elders is of the opinion that a member—

(a) has persistently refused or neglected to comply with a provision of these rules;

(b) has persistently and wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the church; or

(c) is against the teaching of the Bible or the objectives and doctrines of the church, the Board of Elders may, by resolution—

(i) expel the member from the church; or

(ii) suspend the member from such rights and privileges of membership of the church as the Board may determine for a specified period.

(2) A resolution of the Board of Elders under subrule (1) is of no effect unless the Board of Elders, at a meeting held not earlier than 14 days and not later than 28 days after service on the member of a notice under subrule (3), confirms the resolution in accordance with this rule.

(3) Where the Board of Elders passes a resolution under subrule (1), the secretary shall, as soon as practicable, cause a notice in writing to be served on the member—

(a) setting out the resolution of the Board of Elders and the grounds on which it is based;

(b) stating that the member may address the Board of Elders at a meeting to be held not earlier than 14 days and not later than 28 days after service of the notice;

(c) stating the date, place and time of that meeting; and

(d) informing the member that the member may do either or both of the following:

(i) attend and speak at that meeting;

(ii) submit to the Board of Elders at or prior to the date of that meeting written representations relating to the resolution.

(4) The Board of Elders shall—

(a) give to the member mentioned in subrule (1) an opportunity to make oral representations;

(b) give due consideration to any written representations submitted to the Board of Elders by that member at or prior to the meeting; and

(c) by resolution determine whether to confirm or to revoke the resolution of the Board of Elders made under subrule(1).

(5) Where the Board of Elders confirms a resolution under subrule (4), the secretary shall, within 7 days after that confirmation, by notice in writing inform the member of that confirmation and of the member’s right of appeal under rule 10.

9. Right of appeal of disciplined member

(1) A member may appeal to the church in general meeting against a resolution of the Board of Elders which is confirmed under subrule 8 (4), within 7 days after notice of the resolution is served on the member, by lodging with the secretary a notice to that effect.

(2) Upon receipt of a notice under subrule (1), the secretary shall notify the Board of Elders which shall convene a general meeting of the church to be held within 21 days after the date on which the secretary received the notice or as soon as possible after that date.

(3) At a general meeting of the church convened under subrule (2) —

(a) no business other than the question of the appeal shall be transacted;

(b) the Board of Elders and the member shall be given the opportunity to make representations in relation to the appeal orally or in writing, or both; and

(c) the members present shall vote by secret ballot on the question of whether the resolution made under subrule 8 (4) should be confirmed or revoked.

(4) If the meeting passes a special resolution in favour of the confirmation of the resolution made under subrule 8 (4), that resolution is confirmed.

PART III—THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT AND BOARD OF ELDERS

10. Powers of the Board of Management

The Board of Management, subject to the Act, the Regulations, these rules, and to any resolution passed by the church in general meeting—

(1) shall control and manage the temporal affairs of the church;

(2) may exercise all such functions as may be exercised by the church other than those functions that are required by these rules to be exercised by the church in general meeting; and

(3) has power to perform all such acts and do all such things as appear to the Board of Management to be necessary or desirable for the proper management of the temporal affairs of the church.

11. Constitution and membership

(1) The Board of Management shall consist of—

(a) the pastor;

(b) assistant pastor/associate pastor;

(c) elders; and

(d) deacons.

(2)

(a) One of the elders or deacons shall be the secretary of the church, as nominated by the Board of Management.

(b) One of the elders shall be the chairman of the Board of Management as elected by the Board of Management.

(3) A person is not eligible to simultaneously hold more than 1 position on the committee.

(4) The term of office of members of the Board of Management shall be as followings:

(a) In the case of the pastor/assistant pastor/associate pastor is as set out in a written contract;

(b) In the case of elders, shall be for a period of five years, but is eligible for re-election; and

(c) In the case of deacons, shall be for a period of two years, but is eligible for re-election.

12. Appointment/Election of members of Board of Management

(1) Pastor

The call to a Pastor shall be recommended by Board of Elders and Board of Management, and accepted by not less than two-thirds of votes, including proxy votes, taken in a general meeting.

(2) Assistant Pastor/Associate Pastor

The call to an Assistant/Associate Pastor shall be recommended by the Pastor, Board of Elders and Board of Management, and accepted by not less than two-thirds of votes, including proxy votes, taken in a general meeting.

(3) Elders

Elders must be members who fulfil qualifications set out in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 of the Bible, nominated by Pastor, or Board of Elders or Board of Management, and accepted by not less than half of the votes, including proxy votes, taken in a general meeting.

(4) Deacons

(a) Deacons must be members who fulfil qualifications set out in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 of the Bible.

(b) Nominations of candidates for election as deacons—

(i) shall be made in writing, signed by 2 members of the church and accompanied by the written consent of the candidate (which may be endorsed on the application form); and

(ii) shall be delivered to the secretary of the church not less than 14 days before the date fixed for the annual general meeting at which the election is to take place.

(c) The appointment of deacons must be accepted by not less than half of votes, including proxy votes, taken in a general meeting.

(5) The ballot for the election of Board of Management members shall be conducted at the annual general meeting in such manner as the Board of Management may direct.

13. Vacancies

(1) For the purposes of these rules, a vacancy in the office of a member of the Board of Management occurs if the member—

(a) dies;

(b) ceases to be a member of the church;

(c) resigns the office;

(d) is removed from office pursuant to rule 18;

(e) suffers from mental incapacity; or

(f) is absent without the consent of the Board of Management from all meetings of the Board of Management held during a period of 6 months.

14. Board of Management meetings and quorum

(1) 50 per cent of the Board of Management constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of a meeting of the Board of Management.

(2) No business shall be transacted by the Board of Management unless a quorum is present and if within half an hour after the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present the meeting stands adjourned to a place, hour and day in the following week, as agreed by those who are present.

(3) If at the adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within half an hour after the time appointed for the meeting, the members present shall constitute a quorum.

(4) At meetings of the Board of Management—

The Board of Management shall elect an elder to be its chairman.

15. Voting and decisions

(1) Questions arising at a meeting of the Board of Management shall be determined by a majority of the votes of members of the Board of Management present at the meeting.

(2) Each member present at a meeting of the Board of Management (including the person presiding at the meeting) is entitled to 1 vote but, in the event of an equality of votes on any question, the person presiding may exercise a second or casting vote.

(3) Any act or thing done or suffered, or purporting to have been done or suffered, by the Board of Management is valid and effectual notwithstanding any defect that may afterwards be discovered in the appointment or qualification of any member of the Board of Management.

16. Board of Elders

(1) The Board of Elders shall consist of—

(a) the Pastor;

(b) assistant pastor/associate pastor; and

(c) elders.

(2) The Board of Elders assists the Pastor in the promotion and supervision of the spiritual life of the church in regard to worship, pastoral care, education and evangelism and the spiritual oversight of all the groups and organisations within the church, and provides guidance and directions to the Board of Management.

(3) The tenure of office of the Board of Elders is the same as that in rule 11.

17. Meetings of the Board of Elders and quorum

(1) The pastor shall preside at each meeting of the Board of Elders. If the pastor is absent, the members present shall elect 1 of their number to preside at the meeting.

(2) The presiding member is bound to convene a meeting of the Board when requested in writing to do so by two of the elders.

(3) 50 per cent of the Board of Elders is necessary to form a quorum.

18. Removal of Members of Board of Management and Board of Elders

The church in general meeting may by resolution of two-third majority, including proxy votes, remove any member of the Board of Management or Board of Elders from the its office before the expiration of the member’s term of office.

PART IV—GENERAL MEETINGS

19. Annual general meetings—holding of

The church shall, at least once in each calendar year and within the period of three six months after the expiration of each financial year of the church, convene an annual general meeting of its members.

20. Annual general meetings—calling of and business at

(1) The annual general meeting of the church shall, subject to the Act. be convened on such date and at such place and time as the Board of Management thinks fit.

(2) In addition to any other business which may be transacted at an annual general meeting, the business of an annual general meeting shall be—

(a) to confirm the minutes of the last preceding annual general meeting and of any general meeting held since that meeting;

(b) to receive from the Board of Management and Board of Elders reports on the activities of the church during the last preceding financial year;

(c) to elect or confirm members of the Board of Management and Board of Elders; and

(d) to receive and consider the statement of accounts and the reports that are required to be submitted to members pursuant to the Act.

(3) An annual general meeting shall be specified as such in the notice convening it in accordance with rule 20.

(4) An annual general meeting shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

21. General meetings—calling of

(1) The Board of Management may, whenever it thinks fit, convene a general meeting of the church.

(2) The Board of Management shall, on the requisition in writing of not less than one-third of the total number of members, convene a general meeting of the church.

(3) A requisition of members for a general meeting—

(a) shall state the purpose or purposes of the meeting;

(b) shall be signed by the members making the requisition;

(c) shall be lodged with the secretary; and

(d) may consist of several documents in a similar form, each signed by 1 or more of the members making the requisition.

(4) If the Board of Management fails to convene a general meeting within 1 month after the date on which a requisition of members for the meeting is lodged with the secretary, any 1 or more of the members who made the requisition may convene a general meeting to be held not later than 3 months after that date.

(5) A general meeting convened by a member or members referred to in subrule (4) shall be convened as nearly as is practicable in the same manner as general meetings are convened by the Board of Management and any member who thereby incurs expense is entitled to be reimbursed by the church for any reasonable expense so incurred.

22. Notice

(1) Where the nature of the business proposed to be dealt with at a general meeting requires a resolution of the church, the secretary shall, at least 14 days before the date fixed for the holding of the general meeting, cause to be sent, either personally or, by pre-paid post to each member at the member’s address appearing in the register of members, a notice specifying the place, date and time of the meeting and the nature of the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting.

(2) No business other than that specified in the notice convening a general meeting shall be transacted at the meeting except, in the case of an annual general meeting, business which may be transacted pursuant to subrule 20 (2).

23. General meetings—procedure and quorum

(1) No item of business shall be transacted at a general meeting unless a quorum of members entitled under these rules to vote is present during the time the meeting is considering that item.

(2) Not less than forty per cent of members present in person (being members entitled under these rules to vote at a general meeting) constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of a general meeting.

(3) If within half an hour after the appointed time for the commencement of a general meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting if convened upon the requisition of members shall be dissolved and in any other case shall stand adjourned to the same day in the following week at the same time and (unless another place is specified at the time of adjournment by the person presiding at the meeting or communicated by written notice to members given before the day to which the meeting is adjourned) at the same place.

(4) If at the adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within half an hour after the time appointed for the commencement of the meeting, the members present (being not less than 20 per cent of total membership) shall constitute a quorum.

24. Presiding member

(1) The chairman of the Board of Management shall preside at each general meeting of the church.

(2) If the chairman of the Board of Management is absent from a general meeting, the members present shall elect 1 of their number to preside at the meeting.

25. Adjournment

(1) The person presiding at a general meeting at which a quorum is present may, with the consent of the majority of members present at the meeting, adjourn the meeting from time to time and place to place, but no business shall be transacted at an adjourned meeting other than the business left unfinished at the meeting at which the adjournment took place.

(2) Where a general meeting is adjourned for 14 days or more, the secretary shall give written or oral notice of the adjourned meeting to each member of the church stating the place, date and time of the meeting and the nature of the business to be transacted at the meeting.

(3) Except as provided in subrules (1) and (2), notice of an adjournment of a general meeting or of the business to be transacted at an adjourned meeting is not required to be given.

26. Making of decisions

(1) A question arising at a general meeting of the church shall be determined on a show of hands, unless a poll is demanded.

(2) At a general meeting of the church, a poll may be demanded by the person presiding or by not less than 10 members present in person or by proxy at the meeting.

27. Voting

(1) Subject to subrule (3), upon any question arising at a general meeting of the church a member has 1 vote only.

(2) All votes shall be given personally or by proxy but no member may hold more than 5 proxies.

(3) In the case of an equality of votes on a question at a general meeting, the person presiding is entitled to exercise a second or casting vote.

28. Appointment of proxies

(1) Each member shall be entitled to appoint another member as proxy by notice given to the secretary no later than 24 hours before the time of the meeting in respect of which the proxy is appointed.

(2) The notice appointing the proxy shall be in the form set out by the Board of Management from time to time.

PART V—MISCELLANEOUS

29. Funds—source

(1) The funds of the church shall be derived from offerings and such other sources as the Board of Management determines.

(2) All money received by the church shall be deposited as soon as practicable and without deduction to the credit of the church’s bank account.

30. Funds—management

(1) Subject to any resolution passed by the church in general meeting, the funds of the church shall be used in pursuance of the objects of the church in such manner as the Board of Management determines.

(2) All cheques, drafts, bills of exchange, promissory notes and other negotiable instruments shall be signed by any 2 members of the Board of Management or employees of the church or any such persons authorised by the Board of Management.

31. Alteration of constitution

(1) Sections (A) and (B) of the constitution shall only be amended upon not less than two-thirds of votes taken at a general meeting.

(2) Section © of the constitution shall only be amended upon a unanimous vote taken at a general meeting.

(3) Proposed amendments shall be seconded and put in writing to be submitted to the Board of Management no less than 14 days before the date of the said general meeting and distributed to all members 7 days before the general meeting.

32. Common seal

(1) The common seal of the church shall be kept in the custody of the secretary.

(2) The common seal shall not be affixed to any instrument except by the authority of the Board of Management and the affixing of the common seal shall be attested by the signatures any two members of the Board of Management.

33. Custody of books

Subject to the Act, the Regulations and these rules, the secretary shall keep in his or her custody or under his or her control all records, books, and other documents relating to the church.

34. Inspection of books

The records, books and other documents of the church shall be open to inspection at a place in the Territory, free of charge, by a member of the church at any reasonable hour.

35. Service of notices

(1) For the purpose of these rules, a notice may be served by or on behalf of the church upon any member either personally or by sending it by post to the member at the member’s address shown in the register of members.

(2) Where a document is sent to a person by properly addressing, prepaying and posting to the person a letter containing the document, the document shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed for the purposes of these rules to have been served on the person at the time at which the letter would have been delivered in the ordinary course of post.

36. Surplus property

If on the winding up or dissolution of the Church there remains after satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, such property shall be given or transferred to evangelical organisations or churches, especially those devoted to the work among Asian people, both in Australia and overseas, or in the absence of such organisation shall be disposed to any Christian organisation as may be determined by the members present at the winding up meeting.

SECTION (C)

Doctrinal basis

1. The Bible is inspired by God, inerrant in the original documents and is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.

2. There is one God, revealed in 3 persons who are co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

3. The Lord Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary. Although he was sinless, he died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose bodily from the dead, and ascended to His Father’s right hand. We believe in the return of Jesus Christ, ushering in the ultimate rule of God and His judgement on mankind.

4. All mankind is sinful and of corrupt nature since the Fall, rendering them subject to God’s wrath and condemnation. Christ alone offers redemption through His death. The redemption becomes effective through repentance of sin and acceptance of Christ as Lord and Saviour by faith. Its reality is manifested by the subsequent growth of a believer.

5. The Holy Spirit lives in every believer and effects his/her regeneration.

6. The Universal Church consists of all true believers who have experienced God’s redemption through Jesus Christ.

7. Christ is the head of the Universal Church and this church.