CONSTITUTION AND CANONS
Constitution and Canons of The Progressive Christian Alliance
These Constitution and Canons are intended to:
1. Preserve and secure the principles upon which the Progressive Christian Alliance was founded.
2. Preserve the liberties of each affiliate congregation.
3. Ensure freedom of action of independence from any religious body or organization.
4. Provide for orderly conduct of internal affairs, in dealing with others, and of governing The Progressive Christian Alliance.
The name of this organization shall be The Progressive Christian Alliance.
The purposes of The Progressive Christian Alliance are:
1. To worship and serve God.
2. To minister to the needs of those to whom we come into contact to the best of our abilities.
3. To do any and all things related to and in connection with the carrying out of the object and purpose herein above set forth.
III. Statement of Faith
We believe in God,
whose love is the source of all life
and the desire of our lives
whose love was given a human face in Jesus of Nazareth
whose love was crucified by the evil that waits to enslave us all
and whose love, defeating even death,
is our glorious promise of freedom.
Therefore, though we are sometimes fearful and full of doubt,
we trust in that love: and in the name of Jesus Christ,
we commit ourselves, in the service of others,
to seek justice and to live in peace, to care for the earth
and to share the commonwealth of God’s goodness,
to live in the freedom of forgiveness
and in the power of the Spirit of love,
and in the company of all the faithful
past, present, and yet to come,
so to be the Church, for the glory of God. Amen.
IV. Core Principles
The Progressive Christian Alliance maintains a focus on Social Justice. We believe that the gospel of Christ calls us to minister to the last, the lost, the least, and the left-out of society.
We respect theological diversity. Faith is not about concrete answers, religious absolutes, creeds, or dogma. Faith is about the search for understanding, the raising of important questions, the open honesty of having doubt, and the realization that no one has it all completely right nor does any human hold all the answers. We seek to follow the advice found in 1st Thessalonians 5:21, which is to “seek truth out in all things and hold firmly onto that which is good.” Religious absolutes of dogma, legalism, and strict doctrine become stumbling blocks and “litmus tests” for who is “in” and who is “out” of the circle of God’s grace. These false tests that Jesus never required get in the way of truly following Jesus and his teachings.
We affirm the dignity of all of God’s children and invite them to participate fully in the life of the church.
The government of The Progressive Christian Alliance is vested in its members. We believe in the autonomy of the local church. The Progressive Christian Alliance shall manage its own affairs and shall not be subject to any other religious body or organization. We recognize the needs for mutual counsel and cooperation, therefore each individual congregation is encouraged to enter into cooperative agreements where they feel led.
VI. Nonprofit Status and Liquidation
This organization is not organized for profit. In the event of liquidation or dissolution of the Progressive Christian Alliance all of its assets and property of every nature and description whatsoever shall be paid over and transferred at the direction of the trustees to the individual congregations.
This Constitution and Canons may be amended provided the proposed amendment shall have been presented to all membership at least 30 days prior to implementation of proposed amendment allowing all membership the opportunity for discussion. No less than three electronic invitations for comment shall be presented during that time. At the end of that period; a majority vote of all those responding shall carry.
I. Progressive Christian Alliance Membership
1. Congregational membership in the Progressive Christian Alliance shall consist of congregations who have expressed agreement with our Core Principles and wish to enter an affiliation with the Progressive Christian Alliance.
2. Clergy affiliation with the Progressive Christian Alliance shall consist of ministers who have expressed agreement with our Core Principles and wish to enter an affiliation with the Progressive Christian Alliance; who have passed a criminal records check, and signed the Clergy Misconduct Policy.
1. Congregational membership in the Progressive Christian Alliance may be attained by majority vote of the leadership council.
2. Clergy affiliation with the Progressive Christian Alliance may be attained by majority vote of the leadership council.
1. Membership in Progressive Christian Alliance shall be terminated at will when a member requests a termination of membership to the leadership council. All assets of the member congregation remain their own, regardless of membership status.
2. Membership in Progressive Christian Alliance shall be terminated at will when a member is dismissed by a majority vote of the Leadership Council due to reasons and circumstances provided in the Disciplinary Policy. The Leadership Council will do all they can to counsel the member for reconciliation prior to action of dismissal.
D. Orientation of Members:
1. Members in good standing shall have the right to a voice and vote in all Alliance transactions and shall have the right and privileges to full participation in the life and work of the Alliance.
2. It shall be the duty of Alliance members to uphold the Articles of Faith and Constitution and Canons of the Progressive Christian Alliance.
3. All Alliance members pledge to maintain and protect the principles of respect for diversity and radical hospitality as stated in our Core Principles.
II. Leadership Council Officers
A. Leadership council chair:
(a) The Leadership Council Chair shall in consultation with the Leadership Council; administer, plan, and guide the Progressive Christian Alliance to grow and fulfill its stated purposes.
(b) Shall act to preserve the autonomy of the individual conferences wherever possible, while maintaining a focus on the stated goals and Core Principles of the Progressive Christian Alliance as a whole.
(a) The Leadership Council Chair shall be chosen and called whenever a vacancy occurs.
(b) Nominations for Leadership Council Chair shall be received by the Leadership Council from among the serving council members.
(c) The Leadership Council Chair shall be elected by a majority of the Leadership Council, in consultation with their respective conferences.
3. Terms of Service:
(a) The chosen Leadership Council Chair shall serve a term of 3 years or until the relationship is terminated by either his/her request or that of a majority of the Leadership Council. In either case, at least sixty (60) days’ notice shall be given unless otherwise mutually agreed. Successive terms are allowed.
B. Leadership Council:
(a) Council member shall, in consultation with their assigned conference or responsibility; administer, plan, and guide the conference to grow and fulfill its stated purposes.
(b) Shall act to preserve the autonomy of the individual congregations wherever possible, while maintaining a focus on the stated goals of the conference and the Core Principles of the Progressive Christian Alliance as a whole.
(a) The Council Member shall be chosen and called whenever a vacancy occurs.
(b) Nominations for Council Member shall be received by the Leadership Council and presented to the membership in accordance with the procedures detailed in Constitution para. VII.
(c) Council Members shall be elected by a majority of the membership.
3. Terms of Service:
(a) The elected Leadership Council member shall serve a term of 3 years or until the relationship is terminated by either his/her request or that of a majority of the Leadership Council. In either case, at least sixty (60) days’ notice shall be given unless otherwise mutually agreed. Successive terms are allowed.
(b) Founding members of the Leadership Council shall serve until the relationship is terminated by either his/her request or that of a majority of the Leadership Council.
III. Licensing and Ordaining
Any member of a church who has shown by his life and has felt the call to the gospel ministry may by vote of the membership of the congregation may be licensed by the church to the Christian ministry; provided that he or she passes a criminal record check.
1. When a congregation shall have called as its pastor or deacon a member of the congregation who possesses qualifications as defined by the congregation, and as demonstrated by his or her skills and training for ordination to the work of the gospel ministry, and shall request to the Leadership Council that he or she be ordained, the Leadership Council shall consider such request and by a vote of majority affirm such request; as affirmation of God’s calling upon the applicant.
2. When an individual, having acknowledged God’s calling upon his or her life to the gospel ministry shall make request to the Leadership Council that he or she be ordained, The Leadership council shall consider such request and by a vote of majority may affirm such a request or agree to a plan of formation, as affirmation of God’s calling upon the applicant.
3. Wherever possible, this ordination shall be observed in the symbolic laying on of hands, in accordance with the long-standing traditions of the church. When such a public gathering is not readily feasible, the applicant and leadership council may avail themselves of available technologies in order to affirm God’s call in community, in a forum containing at least 2 members of the Leadership Council along with family and friends.
A. Should any unhappy difference arise among members, the aggrieved member shall follow in a tender spirit, the rules given by our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17.
B. Should any case of gross breach of covenant, or of public scandal occur, the Leadership Council shall endeavor to resolve the conflict; and if this effort fails shall be empowered to act in the best interest of the Progressive Christian Alliance.
C. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance, but should an adverse decision be reached, the Alliance may proceed to admonish or declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the Progressive Christian Alliance.
D. Any whose membership has been terminated for any offense may be restored by majority vote of the Leadership Council, upon evidence of their repentance and reformation.