Section 1 - Reception of Members
The membership of this congregation shall consist of persons who profess faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to the Scriptures, who have experienced believer's baptism, who have declared their loyalty to the faith and practice of Grace Point Church of Paradise, and who have been affirmed by the congregation at their reception into the fellowship of the congregation, upon baptism, confession of faith, or church letter.
Section 2 – Designation of Membership
In an effort to reflect the membership of the church properly, three membership designations will be kept:
1. Active Members: All those who have completed the necessary requirements for membership, have been received as members by the membership and are able to exercise fully the duties of membership.
2. Associate Members: Those who find themselves in a life stage transition (i.e. – relocation due to education, employment, marriage, missions, etc.) or are not regularly involved in the life and witness of Grace Point Church. This designation can be changed to “active” upon satisfactory communication with a representative of the Elder board and the unanimous consent of the Elder Board. All those desiring membership under the age of 16 will be Associate members. Upon reaching their 16th birthday, contact will be made with these members to determine their desires to change their status to "Active."
3. Retired: Those in this category are former members of Grace Point Church. Notations shall be made in the member's file concerning the nature of the retired membership.
Section 3 - Privileges of Membership
1. Active Members: Every person who is an active member of Grace Point Church is entitled and encouraged to participate in all the activities of the church, is eligible to vote on all questions brought before the church, and is eligible to hold office in the church and share in the congregational discussions.
2. Associate Members: Every person who is an associate member of Grace Point Church is entitled and encouraged to participate in all the activities of the church. However, they are not eligible to vote and their eligibility to hold office or volunteer in the ministry of the church will be determined on a case by case basis through the unanimous action of the Elder Board.
Any member withdrawing from or in any other way losing membership in the congregation thereby forfeits all rights and privileges in the congregation.
Section 4 - Duties of Members
It shall be the duty and responsibility of each member, active or associate, to live a holy life, separated from the sins and evils of the world, and to be consecrated unto God. He shall seek to glorify God in his conduct and preserve the good name of the church.
Active members shall attend the services of the church as regularly as possible, reporting the reasons for any long absence; support the work of the church with their time, talents, and money, and share in witnessing to the unsaved about Him. Active members should be willing, to the best of their ability, to serve in any capacity to which the church may call them. We liken active members to missionaries in that active members daily carry out the mission of the church in the setting that God has placed them, seeking regular opportunities to make Jesus Christ known to those around them.
All members, active or associate, will be asked to sign an annual membership recommitment form to show their continued agreement with the duties and privileges of membership. Those living locally, but physically unable to attend services will not be required to sign an annual membership recommitment form, but shall be considered active members indefinitely, or until such time as they request a change in status.
Section 5 - Termination of Membership
Members shall be removed from the Church roll for the following reasons:
2. Transfer of membership to another church
3. By personal request of the member
4. Dismissal by the Elders according to the following conditions:
a. The Member's life and conduct is not in accordance with the duties of members with the result that the member hinders the ministry influence of the Church in the community.
b. The Member does not respond to the annual membership recommitment following reasonable contact with the Church office.
The current membership list will be updated at least annually and made available to all members.
Section 6 - Restoration of Membership
Following appropriate communication with the Elders, and unanimous Elder consent, dismissed members shall be restored by the Elders in accord with the spirit of 2 Corinthians 2:7-8.
Section 1 – Purpose
The purpose of the Elder Board at Grace Point Church is to shepherd God’s flock here in Paradise in a manner consistent with Christ’s servant leadership.
The Elder Board is to exercise this shepherding purpose by carrying out the following functions as outlined in the Scriptures:
- Ruling (taking care of, managing) the church of God (I Timothy 3:4-5, 5:17)
- Teaching (I Timothy 5:17)
- Leading by being an example to the flock (I Peter 5:3)
- Guarding the body of truth from unsound doctrine and error (Titus 1:9)
- Overseeing the church as a shepherd of His flock (John 21:16 “Tend my sheep”; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 5:1-3).
Section 2 – Responsibilities
The Elders at Grace Point Church have the following responsibilities:
To discharge the duty of Elder to the best of their ability
To live a consistent life in witness of Christ
To serve Christ’s church by leading her in the pursuit of the Great Commission & Great Commandment
To the Congregation:
To serve and direct in the ministry of caring for the body
To be in constant evaluation of the goals of the Congregation
To monitor the needs in the body & arrange for fulfillment of those needs
To lead the Congregation in working through church-wide issues
To make decisions for the betterment of the church’s mission
To exercise church discipline when the witness of the body of Christ is suffering
To endeavor to keep peace and unity in the Congregation
To model authentic community and servant leadership to the Congregation
To oversee the ministry of the Pastoral staff
To one another:
Provide accountability for the discharging of Elder duties
To foster the values of the Elder board
To be in accountability to the leadership of the Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations
Section 3 – Qualifications
In addition to being a member of Grace Point Church for at least one year, each Elder candidate must reflect the following Biblical characteristics in his life. Titus and I Timothy reveal the qualifications of an Elder in order to provide guidance for churches as they make such appointments. Elder candidates are not expected to be perfect, but are expected to be held to high standards.
- Above reproach—Elders must be blameless, presenting no patterns of Scriptural disobedience or grounds for accusation.
- Husband of one wife—An Elder must be a “one woman kind of man”, not that a spouse is required, but that a quality of fidelity in relationships with the opposite sex is.
- Temperate—Elders must be self-controlled, enslaved to nothing, free from excesses.
- Prudent—Elders must be sober, sensible, wise, balanced in judgment, not given to quick superficial decisions based on immature thinking.
- Respectable—Elders must demonstrate a well-ordered life and good behavior.
- Hospitable—Elders must be unselfish with their personal resources. They must be willing to share blessings with others.
- Able to teach—Elders must be able to communicate the truth of God and exhort sound doctrine in a non-argumentative way (II Timothy 4:2, 2:24).
- Not addicted to wine—Elders must be free from addictions and be willing to limit their liberty for the sake of others.
- Not pugnacious—Elders must be gentle and characterized by forbearance and tenderness—not have a quick temper.
- Uncontentious—Elders must not be given to quarreling or selfish argumentation.
- Free from the love of money—Elders must not be stingy, greedy or out for sordid gain. They should not be preoccupied with money or with amassing material goods, but rather should be a model of giving.
- Manage own household—Elders must have a well-ordered household, a healthy family life and faithful children (those under the authority of the parents).
- Not a new convert—Elders must not be new believers. They must have been Christians for long enough to demonstrate the reality of their conversion and the depth of their spirituality.
- Good reputation with outsiders—Elders must be well respected by unbelievers and must be free from hypocrisy.
- Not self-willed—Elders must not be stubborn, insensitive or prone to force their will on others. They must be more interested in service than in self-pleasure.
- Not quick-tempered—Elders must be able to exercise self-control and patience in difficult situations.
- Loves what is good—Elders must desire the will of God in every situation.
- Just—Elders must be fair and impartial. Their judgment must be based on Scriptural principle.
- Devout—Elders must be reverent, continually desiring to be separated from sin. They must be devoted to prayer, the study of Scripture and the guarding of their own spiritual walk (Acts 20:28).
Section 4 – Organization
Composition – The Elder Board shall be composed of not less than three and no more than seven laymen who exemplify the qualities of Elders as listed above. Additionally, the Senior and Associate Pastor shall be considered full members of the Elder Board.
Terms – The lay-elders shall serve three year terms. At the end of the initial term, his appointment may be extended for another three year term by mutual agreement of the Elder and the remaining members of the Elder Board and if affirmed by the Congregation. A mandatory year off shall be taken after an Elder serves two consecutive terms. The Pastors do not have term limits.
Nomination process – Prospective Elders shall first be nominated by the Congregation in the fall of each year or on an as needed basis. The current Elder Board will receive all signed nominations from the Congregation and shall oversee the process of Elder selection. The Elders will contact qualified candidates gauging their interest in the position. At the point of contact, the candidate is given full access to the Pastors and current Elders for the purpose of learning more of the vision and values of Grace Point Church.
If a nominee chooses to enter into the process of Elder candidacy, the Congregation will be given the opportunity to affirm his candidacy by a minimum two-thirds majority vote of the active members present at a previously announced time. He will then be brought onto the Elder Board as an Elder candidate for three months. This will allow him to overlap with the Elder that is rotating off the Elder Board. Should the candidate choose to continue to serve as an Elder after this three month period is complete, and his willingness to serve is affirmed by the current Elder Board, he will be welcomed as a full member of the Board and commissioned as such. Elders shall affirm and commit themselves to the Constitution and its doctrinal statement.
Termination – An Elder’s term can be terminated in one of three ways: 1) Death; 2) Resignation or 3) Disqualification.
Grounds for disqualification include a failure to fulfill the responsibilities of an Elder or failure to live in harmony with the qualifications of Elders as outlined above. If it is determined by the Elder Board that an Elder(s) has become spiritually or doctrinally disqualified, or if they fail to heed the admonition of the Elder Board, they shall be removed from office by a unanimous vote of the remaining Board members. This action will follow after a legitimate process of attempting to correct and if possible, to restore the situation for the good of the church’s ministry has failed.
If a member of the congregation has a grievance against an Elder, he or she should remember that accusations against an Elder should be brought on the basis of two or three witnesses (1 Tim. 5:19). This does not give a member license to “drum up support” for his or her cause. Rather, we encourage any member with a grievance to go directly to the offending party and seek reconciliation (Mt. 18:15).
Meetings – The Elder Board shall meet as often as necessary to accomplish the responsibilities assigned to them. The Elder Board is a self-organizing Board and will select a Chairman and Secretary on an annual basis. Elders may serve as Chairman or Secretary as long as affirmed by the current Board annually.
Decision making scope – The Elder Board shall make decisions for the betterment of the church’s mission in all areas appropriate to their responsibilities. The following items require congregational vote: 1) Amending the Constitution or By-Laws; 2) Purchasing or selling property or building new buildings; 3) The approval of the annual budget; 4) The hiring of a Senior Pastor; 5) The affirmation of Elder candidates.
All other items shall be decided upon by the consensus of the Elder Board or when the Elders deem it appropriate in consultation with the Deacon Board and/or the Congregation.
Section 1 – Purpose
The purpose of the Deacon Board at Grace Point Church is to assist the Elders in the work of the ministry. Consequently, they are accountable to and serve under the direction of the Elder Board. The biblical precedent in Acts 6:1-4 pictures them serving the church in a supporting role, especially by tending to the physical, material, and practical needs both of the congregation, and in the community.
At Grace Point, we identify five focused areas which are to be managed by deacons, persons chosen according to the qualifications outlined in I Timothy 3:8-13.
Section 2 – Responsibilities
The Deacon Board at Grace Point Church has the following responsibilities:
A. Administration – A deacon shall be chosen to manage and conduct the business activities of the congregation. Responsibilities include finances, budget, record keeping, reporting, legal concerns, and business meetings.
B. Property – A Deacon shall be chosen to manage and maintain the physical buildings and surrounding grounds. Responsibilities include maintenance, shrubbery, lawn, snow removal, parking and lighting.
C. Support – A Deacon shall be chosen to provide and supervise technical and physical support resources necessary to carrying out the ministry of the congregation. Responsibilities include audio & video, computer, copier, musical instruments, furnishings, climate control and housekeeping needs.
D. Hospitality – A Deacon shall be chosen to manage and arrange support for the accommodation and movement of people whenever the people gather to use the church facilities. Responsibilities include ushering, preparing for communion, weddings, funerals, fellowship meals, nursery services, space utilization and signage.
E. Caregiving – A Deacon shall be chosen to identify and lead in addressing the physical and material needs first within the congregation, and then in the community. Responsibilities include benevolence, and any other relief or mutual aid efforts.
Section 3 – Qualifications
In addition to being a member of Grace Point Church for at least one year, each Deacon candidate must reflect the following Biblical characteristics in his life. I Timothy 3 & Acts 6 reveal the qualifications of a Deacon in order to provide guidance for churches as they make such appointments. In keeping with the example of Phoebe (Rom. 16:1), women as well as men may serve as Deacons. We consider Deacons & Deaconesses interchangeable terms and for the sake of expediency will use only the term Deacon in the bylaws from this point forward. Deacon candidates are not expected to be perfect, but are expected to be held to high standards.
- People of dignity, reverent, worthy of respect—A Deacon must be known and respected by the congregation (I Tim 3:8). Stephen, one of “The Seven”, is described in Acts 6 as full of faith and the Holy Spirit. Paul’s qualification, worthy of respect, corresponds with the Apostles’ qualification in Acts 6:3, “of good reputation.”
- Not double-tongued—Does not display any type of manipulative, deceitful, or insincere speech. The term emphasizes sincerity, truthfulness, and honesty (I Tim. 3:8).
- Not given to much wine— Deacons must be free from addictions and be willing to limit their liberty for the sake of others. (I Tim. 3:8).
- Not greedy for money; not fond of sordid gain—Deacons should not be preoccupied with money or with amassing material goods, but rather should be a model of giving (I Tim. 3:8). They should have a reputation for honest dealings in financial matters.
- Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience—”The Mystery of the Faith” refers to “the revealed truths of the Christian faith” (I Tim. 3:9). A Deacon must hold steadfastly to the Christian faith and live consistently with its beliefs. These “revealed truths” are not to be theological abstractions but are to be a blueprint for daily Christian living.
- Let Deacons be the husbands of one wife ruling their children and their own houses well—Not that Deacons are required to be married, or to have children, but that they are to have demonstrated that they have exercised fidelity, responsibility , and orderliness first at home, before exercising it in the church. Nor do we interpret it as requiring the deacon to be male since service, not ruling, is the focus of their ministry. (I Tim. 3:12).
- Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things—A Deacon’s wife must be a dignified woman of respect. She must not be a malicious gossip, but a woman who controls her tongue and speaks wisely and lovingly. She must also be temperate, possessing a stable character, balanced judgment, and self control. A Deacon’s wife must be a faithful Christian woman. We believe this passage is descriptive, not prescriptive and the spirit of the passage should be applied to the spouses of Deacons and Deaconesses alike. (I Tim. 3:11).
- Then let them serve as Deacons, being found blameless—Deacons must be above reproach, presenting no patterns of Scriptural disobedience and no grounds for accusation (I Tim. 3:10).
- But let these also be tested—(I Tim. 3:10). Paul tells us that these (Deacon candidates), also (like Elder candidates), be tested.
Section 4 – Organization
Composition – The Deacon Board shall be composed of five persons chosen to manage the five areas of focus listed above.
Terms – They shall serve for a term of 3 years, with terms staggered in such a way that no more than two deacons are chosen in any given year.
Nomination process – Prospective Deacons shall first be nominated by the Congregation or identified by the current Elder Board in the fall of each year or on an as needed basis. The current Elder Board will receive all signed nominations from the Congregation and shall oversee the process of Deacon selection. Deacons are to be chosen by the Elders and commissioned by the congregation for these works of service in a process directed by the Elders. Deacons shall affirm and commit themselves to the Constitution and its doctrinal statement.
Termination – A Deacon’s term can be terminated in one of three ways: 1) Death; 2) Resignation or 3) Disqualification.
Grounds for disqualification include a failure to fulfill the responsibilities of a Deacon or failure to live in harmony with the qualifications of Deacons as outlined above. If it is determined by the Elder Board that a Deacon has become spiritually or doctrinally disqualified, or if he or she fails to heed the admonition of the Elder Board, they shall be removed from office by a unanimous vote of the Elder Board. This action will follow after a legitimate process of attempting to correct and if possible, to restore the situation for the good of the church’s ministry has failed.
Meetings – The Deacon Board shall meet at least quarterly to review, evaluate, and organize their joint works of service and of those for which they have been given oversight. Each Deacon shall endeavor to stay in regular contact with those persons and ministries of which they have been given oversight. (See Article 4 for specific accountability of various officers and committees). An Elder representative shall attend each Deacon Board meeting, not as a voting member, but for the purpose of maintaining communication and preventing duplication or conflict between the two boards. The Deacon of Administration (or someone he temporarily designates) shall call and serve as chairman of these meetings. A Secretary shall also be chosen from among the Deacons for the purpose of recording minutes.
Decision making scope – The Deacon Board shall make decisions for the betterment of the church’s mission in all areas appropriate to their responsibilities. The Board of Deacons may authorize non-budgeted expenditures with a combined annual total of $10,000 annually without consulting the Elder Board. Each Deacon may authorize non-budgeted expenditures of up to $1000 annually with the approval of the Deacon of Administration, with the exception of emergency expenditures as authorized by the board of trustees under the Deacon of Property.
Officers and Committees
The following officers or committees are organized according to whom they are accountable for supervision. Current job descriptions for each position or committee will be made available as needed. Note: Pastoral Staff refers to employees with Pastor or Minister in their title.
Section 1 – Elder Oversight
1. Worship Team Leaders
The worship team leaders shall seek to aid the congregation in worship through music and other creative means. The worship team leaders shall be selected by the Elders for indefinite terms. The worship team leaders may select members from the congregation to assist them in the worship ministry.
2. Missions Committee The purpose of the missions committee is to promote mission interest which has a strong biblical base, and to plan for missions related events as affirmed by the congregation. The missions committee shall consist of six representatives serving terms of three years, and up to three co-opted members serving indefinite terms. New committee members shall be appointed jointly by the missions committee and Elder Board.
B. Christian Education Department
1. Sunday School An effective Sunday school shall be planned under the oversight of the Elders. The selection of Sunday school curriculum and/or materials and the organization of special electives shall take place under the oversight of a member of the Pastoral Staff.
2. Wednesday Night BLAST Wednesday Night BLAST seeks to provide a meaningful mid-week children’s program aimed at sharing the gospel message and training children in the basics of the faith. The oversight of BLAST, including its leadership and volunteers, will be directed by a member of the Pastoral Staff.
3. VBS Vacation Bible School purposes to be an effective outreach and teaching program. The VBS Director shall be appointed by a member of the Pastoral Staff.
4. Grace Groups
Grace Groups strive to be safe places for people to experience a deeper level of friendship and to connect with others. Grace Group oversight, including its structure, leadership and ongoing coaching, will be directed by a member of the Pastoral Staff.
5. Library The Library exists to provide a place for families and individuals to grow in their relationship with the Lord and others through a variety of up-to-date resources. A head librarian shall be appointed by a member of the Pastoral Staff for a term of three years. The librarian shall serve as chairman of the library committee. The Commissioning Committee shall choose one member for this committee each year.
C. Student Ministries
Student ministries exist to assist parents in raising their children as they strive to develop them into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Student ministries include grades 6-12. Junior high ministry includes grades 6-8. Senior High includes grades 9-12. The Pastor of Student Ministries shall provide oversight to the ministry as is appropriate.
D. Young Adults
The Young Adults ministry exists to encourage our young adults to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Oversight to Young Adult ministries, including its leadership structure, will be provided by the Pastor of Student Ministries.
Section 2 – Deacon Oversight
A. Deacon of Administration
1. Treasurer A church treasurer shall be chosen for a five-year term by the Deacon board. The church treasurer shall perform his or her duties in a conscientious manner, striving to do so with integrity and without any appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest. The assistant treasurer shall be chosen for an indefinite term of office from a slate prepared by the Deacon Board. He will serve as treasurer on an emergency basis when the treasurer for any reason is unable to serve.
2. Budget Committee
This committee shall be responsible to promote within the congregation, a sense of stewardship of all of life and plan for and make recommendations regarding these things. A stewardship committee shall consist of the Deacon of Administration, an Elder appointed by the Elder Board, and three additional members. These three members shall be named jointly by the Deacon of Administration and the Elders to a three year term. They may serve two consecutive terms. The Church Treasurer shall not be named to this committee. The Deacon of Administration shall serve as chairman for the purpose of calling and leading the meetings of the committee.
3. Commissioning Committee The Commissioning committee shall be formed to fill certain offices as outlined in the bylaws. A Commissioning Committee shall be established each year consisting of a Pastor, the Deacon of Administration and a representative from each Sunday school class from youth up. The committee shall be chaired by one of the Pastors. Each Sunday school class will choose its representative. The Commissioning Committee shall be called for and assembled by the Deacon of Administration.
B. Deacon of Property
1. Trustees A board of trustees shall serve on behalf of the congregation as custodian of all church property. The board of trustees shall consist of three members chosen for a six-year term. One shall be chosen every two years.
In any additional expenditures, the trustees may not expend more than $1,000 for any one item without consulting the Deacon of Property and not over $10,000 without the approval of the Deacon Board. Any individual contributions for improvements to the building or facilities shall be given through the congregation and the project first approved by the congregation.
2. Cemetery Committee The committee shall manage the business of the cemetery, including buying and selling grave lots, working with funeral homes and hiring people for the maintenance of the cemetery. The cemetery committee shall consist of three members, serving indefinite terms. They shall operate under their own by-laws. New members shall be nominated as necessary by the Deacon Board.
C. Deacon of Support
1. Audio/visual Operators Audio/visual operators shall work to support the worship ministry of the church. They shall be appointed by the Deacon of Support for indefinite terms.
D. Deacon of Hospitality
1. Ushers Ushers shall organize themselves to fulfill basic ushering duties, including greeting, receiving offerings, etc. There shall be six ushers. Each year two ushers shall be chosen for a three-year term. The Commissioning Committee shall name a head usher from the four ushers already serving. Both men and women may serve as ushers.
2. Funeral Ushers There shall be additional ushers whose schedules are adaptable to serving at funerals or other such services. They shall be appointed by the Deacon board for an indefinite term.
3. Food Service Committee The food service committee shall provide food for fellowship meals, funerals and other food on an as needed basis. A food service committee shall consist of eight persons, 6 volunteers and 2 kitchen co-managers. Each year two persons shall be chosen by the Commissioning Committee to serve on the Food Service Committee for a three year term. Kitchen co-managers will serve a 4 year term with a new person appointed every 2 years by the Deacon Board.
4. Flower Committee The committee shall take care of all flower needs in the congregation, including birthday flower purchases for those 80 years of age and over (and securing for their delivery), securing Christmas and Easter decorations at least two weeks ahead of these holidays, and when in season encouraging fresh cut bouquets for Sunday morning services. A flower committee shall consist of two persons, each serving two year terms. The commissioning committee shall nominate new members to the flower committee on an as needed basis.
E. Deacon of Caregiving
Everence Stewardship Advocate - The Deacon of Caregiving will be the representative to Everence and will work to secure reimbursement for benevolent funds.
The Deacon of Caregiving manages the benevolence fund in coordination with the Pastoral Staff.
The fiscal year shall be from January 1 through December 31.
Affirmation of nominees shall occur at the Fall members’ meeting. Those chosen shall take office on January 1. Appointment to all offices and positions not specifically covered by the By-Laws shall be processed under the supervision of the Pastors, Elders or Deacons.
Members’ meeting shall normally be held in October or whenever it is deemed necessary by the Elders and Deacons.
The quorum for all members’ meetings shall be the members present. An agenda shall be announced two Sundays in advance listing items requiring action. *Members who are unable to be present may send a signed proxy vote in advance. Any new items proposed during this meeting may be decided providing 3/4 of the quorum authorizes action. *(If Elders and Deacons agree, an emergency meeting may be called following an announcement during a Sunday morning worship service.)
The preferred method of voting shall be by ballot. A 2/3 affirmative vote of those voting shall be required for a matter to be considered passed. When fewer than 1/2 of those present vote, the action is considered lost.
This congregation is a member of the Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations and affirms its adopted Bylaws, Statement of Doctrine, Purpose, and Affirmations of Scripture. We look to the Alliance to provide ministerial credentialing authority and doctrinal accountability and will partner with its member congregations to support and promote its purpose.
Section 1 – Mandatory Indemnification
If a legal claim or criminal allegation is made against a person because he or she is or was an officer, employee, or agent of the church, the church shall provide indemnification against liability and costs incurred in defending against the claim if the Elders determine that the person acted (a) in good faith, (b) with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a similar position would exercise under similar circumstances, and (c) in a manner the person reasonably believed to be in the best interest of the church, and the person had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful.
Section 2 – Permissive Indemnification
At the discretion of the Elders, the church also may indemnify any person who acted in good faith and reasonably believed that his or her conduct was in the church’s best interest and not unlawful.
Section 3 – Procedure
If a quorum of the Elders is not available for an indemnification determination because of the number of Elders seeking indemnification, the requisite determination may be made by the membership or by special legal counsel appointed by the membership.
These by-laws may be amended by a 66.66% vote of the church membership present at a previously announced members’ meeting. All amendments shall be first recommended by the Elder & Deacon Board and shall be given in writing to all members at least two Sundays in advance of voting.