2.2 The Consistory

SECTION 2. The Consistory

ARTICLE 61. The Consistory is composed of the pastor or pastors and the elders and deacons, and has oversight and government of the congregation and of all its organizations.

ARTICLE 62. The pastor shall be President of the Consistory, unless the existing charter provides otherwise. When a charge is without a pastor, or the pastor is unable to attend, one of the elders shall be chosen to preside. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum, unless otherwise provided in the charter or constitution of the congregation.

ARTICLE 63. The Joint Consistory, as provided in Article 13 of this Constitution, is composed of the members of the Consistories included in the charge. It has jurisdiction over the common interests of the congregations represented, such as the calling of a pastor, the provision for his salary, and the erection and maintenance of a parsonage for the charge. The pastor shall be President; in the event of his absence or inability to preside, one of the elders may be chosen to preside.

ARTICLE 64. The Consistory shall hold stated monthly or quarterly meetings, and may hold such special meetings as are called by the President, or, in the event of his absence, or inability or unwillingness to act, by the Secretary when requested to do so by a majority of the members. Previous notice of special meetings of the Consistory or Joint Consistory shall be given to its members.

ARTICLE 65. The Consistory or the Joint Consistory shall annually elect delegates, a primariusand a secundus, to represent the charge in Classis, who shall also be the delegates to Synod whenever Synod meets in general convention. At least ten days before the annual meeting of the judicatory to which these delegates have been elected, their credentials shall be sent to its Stated Clerk by the President or the Secretary of the Consistory. Within ninety days after the annual meeting of the Classis, the Consistory or Joint Consistory shall meet and act upon all matters referred to it by the Classis, and immediately thereafter said action shall be reported to the Stated Clerk of Classis.

ARTICLE 66. In managing the general affairs of the congregation the Consistory shall call congregational meetings, order collections for the apportionments of Classis and for other benevolent purposes, distribute alms through the deacons, provide for the audit of the treasurer’s account, and make due provision for the support of the pastor. It shall keep a full an accurate record of its own proceedings, be the custodian of all congregational records, and submit any or all records to the Classis when occasion requires it and the Classis requests it.

ARTICLE 67. In all matters of a general nature, as specified in Article 12 of the Constitution, including the calling of a minister, the Consistory shall determine nothing conclusively without the consent of a majority of those voting members of the congregation present at a meeting duly called for the purpose, of which at least two weeks public notice shall be given.

ARTICLE 68. In the election of a minister, the Consistory or Joint Consistory shall, as soon as possible, present to the congregation or congregations constituting the charge, the name of one candidate for the pastorate, to be voted upon at a meeting called for the purpose, of which public notice shall be given at least two weeks previously. The voting members shall vote by ballot for or against the candidate. He is elected if a majority of the members of the charge present and voting cast their vote in his favor, unless a larger portion is required by the charter. The Consistory or Joint Consistory shall then tender him a call according to the form prescribed by the Synod. If a pastoral charge consists of two or more congregations, the election shall be held, if possible, in each congregation on the same day. The ballots cast by each congregation shall be sealed, and when all the congregations have voted a committee of tellers, appointed by the Joint Consistory, shall count the ballots as the vote of the charge. In no circumstances shall a congregation or charge vote on more than one candidate at one and the same meeting.

ARTICLE 69. When a charge is without a pastor the Consistory or Joint Consistory shall invite the Executive Committee of Classis or the officers of Classis to consult with them, and assist them in filling the vacancy and to make provision for the temporary supply of the pulpit. This consultation shall be held within a month after the pulpit has been declared vacant by Classis. The supply shall be either a minister, a licentiate, or a student for the ministry of the Reformed Church in the United States, in good and regular standing. In exceptional cases, at the discretion of Classis, permission to supply a vacant charge may be granted to a duly qualified minister of another denomination. A temporary supply shall not continue longer than one year unless by action of Classis.

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