Sunday, May 22, 2022
Annual Congregational Meeting
Sunday, May 22, 7 PM | Brader Way
Our annual congregational meeting will take place on Sunday, May 22 at 7 PM at Brader Way. At this meeting, we’ll be voting on the following:
- Constitution and Bylaws Revision | The proposed revisions to the Constitution and Bylaws are available for review below.
- Elders | Elder candidates on the ballot are Tom Crenshaw and Ella Mae Matsumura; Mike Anderson is on the ballot for Elder Chair. Scott Sager will leave the Elder Board, as his term is expiring. For more information on the Elder candidates, click here. To learn about our current Elder Board, click here. If you have a concern about a candidate, please contact current Elder Chair Scott Sager at [email protected]
- Budget | The 2022-23 budget will be emailed to members for review in May.
- Budget Q&A Session: Thursday, May 19, 7 PM | Fireside Room, Brader Way
This meeting will be in-person only without an online component. Childcare will be available with prior registration using the link below. All are invited to attend the meeting, but only members can vote. Learn more about membership here.
Constitution & Bylaws Revision
The Constitution is the statement of the fundamental principles of Blackhawk Church. The substantive change to the Constitution is to amend the Statement of Faith to ensure it remains consistent with the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), the denomination to which Blackhawk belongs. The EFCA has revised its Statement of Faith twice since Blackhawk’s Constitution was first adopted in 1979.
Blackhawk’s teaching series, Rooted, is a great explanation of each of the EFCA statements of faith.
The Bylaws are the more detailed internal rules that govern how Blackhawk Church operates. These rules were originally adopted in 1998 and have been amended twice, once in 2003 and again in 2018.
The proposed amendments would accomplish four objectives:
- ensure our Bylaws clearly and accurately reflect our governance practices;
- ensure our Bylaws are compliant with applicable state laws;
- provide flexibility in how or when meetings of the Elder Board and the congregation can occur; and
- protect the church from unwarranted intervention by a court of law on issues of religious doctrine or internal organization.
Proposed Amendments to Article II
Article II of the Bylaws governs the leadership of the church.
Section 1 includes:
- a requirement for the Elder Board to create, regularly review, and revise as appropriate an Ends Statement that describes the desired results that God is leading Blackhawk to pursue, and a list of Executive Limitations that identifies impermissible ways of attaining the desired Ends. While this is something the Elder Board already does, making this change ensures that the current and all future boards would carry out this important oversight function.
- a provision that would prohibit a court of law from attempting to interpret or enforce Blackhawk’s Constitution or Bylaws. Government courts may not interfere with intra-church disputes relating to religious doctrine, discipline, faith, or internal organization. Nothing in this change would prevent the involvement of law enforcement or the courts from intervening in questions or allegations of criminal misconduct.
Revisions to Section 2 would allow the Elder Board to conduct its meetings in person or online, and include provisions that describe the actions the Board can take without meeting, such as conducting certain business via email, when notice must be provided of meetings of the Elder Board, and quorum and voting rules for the Elder Board.
Proposed Amendments to Article III
Section 1, which would allow the annual business meeting to occur any time prior to the close of the current fiscal year.
Section 3, which would allow members to vote both in person and online at any business meeting, and changes the number of members necessary for a quorum as allowed by Wisconsin state statute.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we proposing amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws?
The Elder Board of Blackhawk Church has periodically recommended amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws to ensure that we can “carry out more effectively the commission given by Jesus Christ to His Church,” to quote the Preamble to Blackhawk’s Constitution. Amendments to these documents from time to time is a hallmark of a healthy and effective organization.
In part, our proposed changes are in response to the unprecedented way COVID-19 has affected how we gather to worship and how we conduct business. The past two years required us to include new ways to reach a community for Christ with services and group life moving online. Under emergency resolutions, we were able to conduct our annual business meetings online and allow electronic voting.
As we continue to adapt to our current circumstances, the Elder Board believes that revisions were necessary to allow us to operate both in person and online. The Board also took this opportunity to make additional necessary updates to ensure our bylaws are compliant and provide clear, transparent, and effective guidance.
Who was involved in creating the proposed amendments?
Members of Blackhawk’s Elder Board and staff were responsible for creating and reviewing the proposed amendments. The core working group included:
- Scott Sager, Elder Chair
- Mike Anderson, Elder
- Matt Metzger, Senior Pastor
- Ashley Moore, Executive Team & Office Coordinator
- Melissa Moser, Senior Pastor Assistant
The working group was greatly aided by the contribution of many others in drafting these changes, including all members of the current Elder Board, several former Elders, the Senior Leadership Team of Blackhawk Church and key management staff, and Chris Dolson.