Bethany Baptist Church Ottawa is a member of the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec. Like all Baptist congregations we encourage our church family to play an active role in the work of Christ’s kingdom. To help organize and facilitate this work, our fellowship has a church council along with several commissions, committees, and special missions.

Church Council

Purpose:

The Council shall ensure that all of the church’s programs are pursued and coordinated effectively in order to enhance the spiritual life of the church.

Composition:

The Council shall consist of 9 members, who are called Deacons, elected from the church membership, and the Moderator. Three of these elected members shall be Deacons-at-Large. Each of the remaining 6 elected members shall be asked at the time of nomination to serve also on a specific Commission. Members of the Council must be members of the church. The Pastor(s) and the Clerk shall be ex officio members.

Meetings:

The Council shall meet about four weeks prior to each scheduled Congregational Meeting, and at other times as it shall consider necessary. The dates and times of the Council meetings shall be announced in the Sunday bulletin at least one week in advance. The Moderator shall chair meetings of the Council, and the Clerk shall be the recording secretary. Five members shall constitute a quorum. Except when matters involving privacy or confidentiality are being discussed, any member of the congregation may attend meetings of the Council and may speak but not vote.

Responsibilities:

  • provide overall coordination of the ministries and other functions of the church;
  • review, and discuss, recommendations from commissions, groups and individuals before they are brought to the church;
  • make recommendations to the congregation on matters of church policy;
  • review annually and recommend overall vision and objectives for ministry in consultation with the commissions, groups and individuals;
  • oversee the affairs of the church between congregational meetings and act on behalf of the congregation as necessary;
  • address matters that are not within the mandates of other groups or individuals;
  • assume the responsibilities of any non-functioning group until a functioning group is in place;
  • review the annual church budget with the Administration Commission prior to its submission to the church membership for approval;
  • authorize unbudgeted expenditures of up to 5% of the annual budget of Local Church Ministry, and of up to $5000.00 from the Capital Reserve Fund;
  • review proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws before they are presented at a congregational meeting;
  • appoint a Staff Relations Committee consisting of one member from each commission, to administer the personnel policy, to review annually the performance of all those who are under employment contract to the church, and to recommend salary and benefits;
  • review all employment contracts negotiated by the commissions before they are signed by the Trustees;
  • approve recommendations for reception of new members and assist in their formal welcome;
  • assist at communion services at church, and elsewhere for shut-ins;
  • administer the Benevolent and the Scholarship Fund;
  • nominate the Nominating Committee;
  • nominate the Pastoral Search Committee.
Administration Commission

Purpose:

The Commission shall be responsible for the stewardship of the church’s property and finances.

Composition:

The Commission shall consist of two members from the Church Council, four members elected from the congregation for three-year terms with one retiring each year, the Treasurer and the Envelope Secretary and a representative from the Trustees. The Commission may add ad hoc members from the congregation as needed. An ad hoc member may serve for a maximum of three years. The Commission may also create ad hoc committees or task forces, not necessarily composed of members of the Commission, that report to the Commission.

Meetings:

The Commission normally shall meet at least monthly.

Responsibilities:

  • prepare the annual budget of the church, in consultation with the other commissions, for presentation;
  • find ways to raise money to meet the financial commitments of the church, in consultation with the Congregational Life Commission;
  • negotiate the borrowing or lending of church monies;
  • make recommendations to the Church Council, and implement the decisions of the church, in regard to financial matters;
  • receive reports regularly from the Treasurer and Envelope Secretary;
  • monitor all expenditures of church funds, except those raised and used by separate church organizations for their own purposes;
  • include in the financial statement of the Annual Report all approved motions currently in effect regarding how funds are allocated or disbursed;
  • manage funds designated as “Capital Reserve,” “Memorial,” “Bequest” and “In Trust;”
  • maintain a Memorial Recognition Book to contain the names of persons in whose memory donations have been made for use by the church;
  • advise the church annually of any funds or real property given to the church under (h) above and specify any conditions attached;
  • select annually, and maintain a roster of, twelve members of the Congregation, with at least 6 members being church members to be Tellers who shall be responsible for the custody and handling of church offerings by:
    • counting all monies received through envelope and plate offerings;
    • taking every reasonable step to ensure the confidentiality of envelope users and other persons who provide financial contributions;
    • preparing a balance statement of contributions for the Envelope Secretary and the Treasurer;
    • placing the monies received in the bank depository;
  • nominate the auditor(s) annually;
  • authorize annually, if necessary, additional expenditures up to 5% of any budgeted item, with a cumulative change up to 2% of the annual Local Church Ministry budget, and up to $1,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund;
  • be responsible for the care, maintenance, supervision and security of the church buildings, church property, furnishings, supplies and equipment except as otherwise noted under Congregational Life Commission (By-Laws Article IV, Section 7.4 (d));
  • select annually members of the congregation who shall operate the sound equipment during church services;
  • be responsible for adequate fire precautions as laid down by the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office;
  • inspect all church property at least twice yearly;
  • ensure that church properties and contents are adequately insured;
  • maintain a schedule of building usage in consultation with the Church Council and the church office;
  • establish policies and rates for the use of the church building; and
  • prepare the baptistry when required.
Christian Education, Missions and Outreach Commission

Purpose:

The Commission shall develop, coordinate and maintain Christian education, missions and outreach programs to meet the needs of the entire congregation, foster the spiritual growth of individuals in the church community, promote and emphasize the living out of the gospel to meet the spiritual, physical and social needs of the community and the world, bring the gospel to bear on current local and world issues.

Composition:

The Commission shall consist of two members from the Church Council, the Church School Superintendent, and four members elected from the congregation for three-year terms, with at least one retiring each year. Membership on the Commission shall reflect the interests of children, youth and adults. The Commission may add ad hoc members from the congregation as needed. An ad hoc member may serve a maximum of three years. The Commission may also create ad hoc committees or task forces not necessarily composed of members of the Commission, that report to the Commission. The Director of Christian Development.

Meetings:

The Commission normally shall meet at least monthly.

Responsibilities:

  • continually review the Christian education needs of the church;
  • plan and implement a balanced Christian education program emphasizing Bible instruction, family life education and a program of activities for all ages;
  • recruit leaders for Christian education activities, advise on the recruitment of teachers, and provide for training and enrichment of leaders and teachers;
  • appoint annually from the members of the church a Church School Superintendent who shall, in consultation with the Commission: recruit teachers and officers for the Church School, including replacement teachers as required; choose and obtain curriculum material; hold teachers’ meetings regularly for planning, organization, discussion and information; and participate in the organization of Rally Sunday, the Christmas concert, church school mission projects, the church family picnic and any other activities that may involve the Church School;
  • appoint annually a Librarian who shall be responsible for maintaining and promoting the church library and for recommending acquisitions;
  • arrange for accommodation, equipment and supplies for the Christian education and outreach programs;
  • prepare, recommend and administer the Christian education and outreach budget;
  • identify social and spiritual needs outside the congregation, keep the congregation informed of them, and demonstrate the concern of the church for these needs by appropriate recommendations and action, possibly by cooperating with other churches and social agencies;
  • identify social justice and human rights issues and, in cooperation with other churches and organizations, urge local, national and international governments and agencies to redress these issues;
  • promote visitation and other activities that inform the community of the gospel and the programs and activities of the church; 
  • coordinate a program of mission education and support with particular emphasis on the ministry of Canadian Baptist Ministries;
  • appoint annually a Nursery Coordinator who shall recruit nursery workers, maintain a nursery schedule and be responsible for nursery requirements.Section 7, Congregational Life Commission.
Congregational Life Commission

Purpose:

The Commission shall be responsible for developing and enhancing the life of the congregation through worship and music, stewardship education, publicity, pastoral care and fellowship opportunities.

Composition:

The Commission shall consist of two members from the Church Council, and four members elected from the congregation for three-year terms, one of the latter retiring each year. In addition, the Director of Music will relate to this Commission on the musical aspects of worship and the life of the congregation. The Commission may add ad hoc members from the congregation as needed. An ad hoc member may serve a maximum of three years. The Commission may also create ad hoc committees or task forces not necessarily composed of members of the Commission, that report to the Commission.

Meetings:

The Commission normally shall meet at least monthly.

Responsibilities:

  • plan and ensure the preparation of the annual programs of regular and special church worship services;
  • arrange for speakers in the absence of the pastor;
  • arrange for the decoration of the sanctuary for regular and special worship occasions;
  • select and recommend to the church a Director of Music (and any other music staff), who shall:
    • maintain the musical instruments, music copyright licensing and the music library using funds provided in the annual budget;
    • provide an appropriate and varied program of music for the church;
  • arrange for interim pianists as required;
  • encourage the work of the Pastoral Care Team;
  • provide for pastoral care educational opportunities for the congregation;
  • provide opportunities for complete stewardship education involving finances, time, talents and care of the earth in consultation with the other commissions;
  • promote a rich program of whole church events throughout the year in cooperation with the other commissions;
  • consult the congregation periodically concerning its individual and collective views as to the needs and opportunities within the church as a whole;
  • arrange for ushers from within the congregation to assist people as they arrive at worship and to receive the offering during the worship service;
  • arrange for greeters to welcome people on Sunday mornings;
  • appoint annually a Newsletter Editor who will be responsible for preparing and distributing the church newsletter, and compiling and distributing the reports prepared for the Annual Meeting;
  • be responsible for advertising the regular programs and special events of the church in newspapers and other media.
Deacons-at-Large

Purpose:

To be personal advocates for the Pastor, to develop a close relationship of support and reciprocal encouragement, to develop mutual goals and spiritual gifts for both Pastor and the Congregation, to develop respect for each other’s opinions and ensure a “good fit” for both pastor and congregation, and to address conflicts or criticisms before they escalate.

Responsibilities:

  • maintain and monitor a Guest Book, make follow-up contact with visitors and encourage the integration of newcomers into the life of the church;
  • recommend candidates for membership;
  • review the membership roll annually, in consultation with the Pastor and the Clerk (By-Laws, Article III, Section 3);
  • divide the congregation among the three Deacons-at-Large or others willing to take responsibility for congregational list, each being responsible for maintaining contact with and passing information to their group, and also being in contact with congregational members to voice concerns or express appreciation regarding the life of the church;
  • mediate disputes within the congregation, and issues of alleged improper conduct not within the mandate of the Abuse Review Committee;
  • appoint one Deacon-at-Large to be the coordinator of the three Deacons-at-Large.