Harbor Church

A Washington Non-­Profit Religious Organization

 819 Olympia Avenue Olympia, Wa 98506 

Church By-­Laws 

Adopted Effective:                          _  

 

PREAMBLE

We are a body of believers in Jesus Christ, organized for the purpose of spreading the gospel of our Lord and Savior and the teaching and practices of His church. As a living organism, we are to be earnestly urging others to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, to be leading them toward love and good works, and to be mutually equipping one another for the work of the ministry. As a local body, we deem it vital to have a defined framework so that all may be done decently and in good order. We resolve, as members of this body, that we shall govern ourselves according to these bylaws. 

 

CONTENTS

ARTICLE 1: NAME
ARTICLE 2: PRINCIPAL OFFICE
ARTICLE 3: MISSION STATEMENT
ARTICLE 4: NONPROFIT STATUS

ARTICLE 5: AFFILIATIONS
ARTICLE 6: MEETINGS
ARTICLE 7: ARTICLES OF FAITH
ARTICLE 8: MEMBERSHIP
ARTICLE 9: GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP, AND ORGANIZATION
ARTICLE 10: ORDINANCES
ARTICLE 11: FACILITY USE

ARTICLE 12: PROPERTY AND FINANCES

ARTICLE 13: STANDING TEAMS

ARTICLE 14: AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS

ARTICLE 15; MISCELLANEOUS

ARTICLE 16: AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS

ARTICLE 17: INDEMNIFICATION

ARTICLE 18: DISOLUTION 

 

ARTICLE 1: NAME

These bylaws govern the affairs of Harbor Church, a religious, non-profit organization located in Washington State.

 

ARTICLE 2: PRINCIPAL OFFICE

The principal office for business transactions of Harbor Church is 819 Olympia Avenue NE, Olympia, WA 98506. This office is located in Thurston County.

The Board of Directors shall have full power and authority to change the principal office from one location to another. The secretary of the Board of Directors shall record any change in location of the principal office. 

 

ARTICLE 3: MISSION STATEMENT

Harbor Church exists to lead people into a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ that transforms every area and aspect of life. 

 

ARTICLE 4: NONPROFIT STATUS

Harbor Church is a nonprofit organization recognized under the laws of the State of Washington and is organized under the Washington Business Organization Code. Federal tax exemption is granted under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3).

 

ARTICLE 5: AFFILIATION

Believing in the independence of the local church as a fully autonomous body of believers, we have the right, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the direction of the Full Council of Elders (FCE), to govern our affairs independent of any denominational control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other churches and Christian organizations, the FCE has the right to affiliate the church with various missions, training, education, and networking associations as deemed appropriate for the good of the people of this church and the fulfillment of our mission and purpose. 

 

ARTICLE 6: MEETINGS

6.1 Public Worship

Meetings for public worship shall be held at such times and places as may be provided under the direction of the Board of Directors.

6.2 Church Business Meetings

The Board of Directors shall have the authority to call the Harbor Church annual business meeting and special meetings as needed. 

 

ARTICLE 7: ARTICLES OF FAITH

7.1 Statement of Biblical Authority

At the center of Christian faith and practice stands the belief that God has spoken to the world in the person and work of Jesus Christ, which is accurately and authoritatively revealed in the Christian Bible (“the Bible,” “Scripture” or “the Scriptures”). The Bible is the inspired, inerrant and sufficient Word of God and is thus the ultimate authority for life, faith and morals. Though the various theological statements of the Church reflect succinct summaries of biblical boundaries, it is the Bible itself to which we are in ultimate submission.

Members have the responsibility and opportunity to engage the Elders and Church Staff on areas of theological disagreement. However, membership carries with it the implicit understanding that the Full Council of Elders shall function as the interpretive authority on biblical meaning and application for the purpose of church doctrine, practice, policy and discipline.

7.2 Statement of Faith

The following Statement of Faith represents the core orthodox beliefs of the Church from a biblical and historical perspective. While Church Members are not required to fully understand or articulate all aspects of the Statement of Faith, the explicit rejection of any part of it disqualifies one from membership in Harbor Church. Revisions to the Statement of Faith in order to more clearly align to Scripture shall be at the sole discretion of the Full Council of Elders, with the understanding that such changes will be communicated to the Members of the Church.

The Trinity 

There is one true and living God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each member of the Trinity share the divine attributes as they infinitely know, love, and glorify one another in unity and holiness. Immortal and eternal, God perfectly and exhaustively knows everything from the beginning to the end and works all things for his redemptive purposes and glory. 

(Genesis 1:1, 1:26-27, 3:22 • Psalm 90:2 • Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19 • 1 Peter 1:2 • 2 Corinthians 13:14)

God the Father

Head among the persons of the Trinity, God the Father is the grand architect and infinitely wise designer of creation, redemption, and consummation. He sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and he providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation. As the giver of every good and perfect gift, he exercises his care and compassion by disciplining, correcting, and loving his adopted children.

(Exodus 3:6 • Psalm 68:5 • Isaiah 63:16 • Malachi 2:10 • Matthew 23:9 • 1 Corinthians 8:6 •        2 Corinthians 1:3-4 • Ephesians 1:3, 4:6 • James 1:17)

God the Son

The second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, is the creator and sustainer of all things, both visible and invisible. He added human nature to his divine nature and became both fully God and fully man, as Jesus Christ, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary so that he might reveal God to humankind and redeem sinful people. As Lord and Christ, Jesus accomplished salvation through his sinless life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection. After his witnessed resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven. He is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, he fulfills the ministry of Intercessor, Mediator, and Advocate for those who belong to him until he returns. 

(Matthew 1:21-23 • Isaiah 9:6-7 • John 1:1-5; 14:10-31 • Hebrews 4:14-15 • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 • Romans 1:2-4 • Acts 1:9-11 • Colossians 1:15 • 1 Timothy 6:14-15 • Titus 2:11-14)

God the Holy Spirit

The third person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit was sent by God the Father and God the Son to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. As the Spirit of Life, he gives people faith to be born again in Jesus. Likewise, he baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, indwells them, and seals them unto the day of redemption. As the Spirit of truth, he works sanctification in believers by teaching us about Jesus, illuminating his Word, and empowering us to live for Jesus in loving obedience, doing the works he prepared in advance for us to do.

(John 14:15-17, 16:7-13 • Acts 1:8 • Romans 8:1-2 • 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16 • 2 Corinthians 3:17 • Galatians 5:22-25 • Ephesians 1:13-14, 5:18) 

Revelation & Scripture

God has graciously shown his existence and power in creation and has supremely revealed himselfin the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously made himself known through human words in the Bible, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is without error in the original writings and must not be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition, extra-­biblical revelation, or worldly wisdom. 

The Bible is complete in its revelation of God’s will for salvation, sufficient for all that he requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. God’s Word guides Christian life, practice, and doctrine. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture. 

The Bible is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the Gospel. 

(2 Timothy 3:16-17 • 2 Peter 1:20-21 • Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6 • Proverbs 30:5 • Deuteronomy 6:6-9 )

About Human Beings

God created human beings, male and female, in his own image; therefore, all people, regardless of culture, race, gender, ability level, age, or social status, have dignity, value, and worth. 

Adam and Eve, our first parents, belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good. Each of them imaged God fully and completely and were loved and valued by God equally. They lived in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker and served as stewards to care for, manage, and govern creation. 

As part of God’s design to fill the earth and demonstrate the relationship between Christ and his church, Adam and Eve were also made to complement each other in a one-­flesh union.
This covenantal union between one man and one woman establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations and marriage for men and women. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles that reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. 

(Genesis 1:26-28, 2:24 • Psalm 8:3-6 • Ephesians 5:22-32)

The Fallenness of Humankind

Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original blessedness—for himself and all his offspring after him—by choosing to sin against God. As a result, all human beings are hostile to and alienated from God, yet we are responsible to him and subject to his divine wrath. 

Humankind’s depravity is radical and pervasive, extending to every aspect of our being (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) and bringing us under the dominion of darkness. As fallen and sinful people, no matter our character or accomplishments, we are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ. 

The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself. 

(Isaiah 53:6a, 59:1-2 • John 1:12, 14:6 • Romans 3:23, 5:1, 6:23, 10:9 • Ephesians 2:8-9 •  Titus 3:5 • Galatians 3:25-26)

Election

From all eternity, God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end, he foreknew them and chose them. God justifies and sanctifies those who, by grace, have faith in Jesus and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love, God commands and implores all people to turn from sin and rebellion and believe in Jesus, having set his saving grace on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer. 

(Matthew 24:31 • Romans 9:11 • Ephesians 1:3-10 • 2 Timothy 2:10 • 2 Peter 1:10)

The Gospel

The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ and that his kingdom has come to earth. The message of the Gospel declares that Jesus, who is God, came in fulfillment of the Scriptures to be the King and Savior of this world. Jesus lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary death for our sins, and rose from the grave on the third day in order that the power of God might be revealed. It is through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection that we receive salvation, are reconciled to God, and are given eternal life. 

The truth of the gospel is exclusive (one can be saved by no other means), biblical (his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures), historical (if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more than all others), apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses to the risen Lord Jesus), and intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved). 

(John 1:14, 3:16-17, 14:6 • Romans 6:23, 8:16-18 • 1 Corinthians 2:7-9, 15:12-19 • Revelation 20:15)

Redemption & Salvation

According to the plan of God to adopt us into His family, the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption. By his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative, substitute, and mediator. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As our representative, Jesus lived a perfect sinless life for us. As our substitute, Jesus canceled our record of sin, satisfied the wrath of God, and made reconciliation with God possible. By his resurrection, Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the bondage of sin, defeated the power of death, conquered Satan and all demonic forces, and brought everlasting life to all his people. As our mediator, Jesus, who ascended to heaven, sits on his heavenly throne interceding for us in prayer and preparing a place for us to be with him. 

Salvation is a free gift of God that is not earned but rather given by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. God the Father ordains the plan of salvation, God the Son accomplishes the work of salvation, and God the Spirit applies salvation in the life of a believer by making them born again. 

(John 14:6 • Romans 5:1; 6:23; 10:9-10 • Galatians 3:26 • Ephesians 2:8 • Titus 3:5)

Empowerment of the Holy Spirit

Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ and is present with and in believers. He convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work, he regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, and in him they are baptized into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

By the Spirit’s agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, adopted into God’s family, and given spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit is himself the down payment of the promised inheritance of eternal life, and, in this age, he indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, liberates, and empowers believers for Christ-­like living and service. 

The Holy Spirit empowers our sanctification and seeks to produce his fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though indwelling sin remains a reality, as we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord and obedience to him. Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we are free from the bondage of sin to worship Jesus. In freedom, we strive to live in the world in such a way that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. 

The Holy Spirit indwells the believer at the moment of conversion, not as a separate event, and he continually fills each believer with increased power for Christian life, witness, and service. He imparts his supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and for various works of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the first century church are available today and should be earnestly desired and practiced. The work of the Holy Spirit through believers is vital for the mission of God. 

(Psalm 51:11 • Matthew 3:11, 28:19 • John 14:26 • Acts 1:8, 2:4, 2:38 • 1 Corinthians 6:19 • Ephesians 1:13, 4:30 • Galatians 5:22-23 • 2 Timothy 1:14 • Titus 3:5)

The Kingdom of God

Those who have been saved by the grace of God enter into the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of new covenant relationship with God. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it; rather, we are to do good in the world for the glory of God. As citizens of God’s kingdom, Christians are to love our neighbors as ourselves and do good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. The kingdom of God is an invasive power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates through repentance and faith the lives of individuals rescued from that kingdom. It therefore inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God. 

(Matthew 5:13-16, 6:33 • Mark 1:14-15, 10:15 • Luke 4:43, 6:20, 17:20-21 • 1 Corinthians 15:50)

The Church

The universal Church is not a religious institution but rather the community of all Christians throughout history and the world. It is comprised of local churches; thus, each “local church” is, in fact, the church and the household of God. As the head of the church, Jesus leads and rules his body. As the bridegroom of his church, Jesus loves and cherishes his bride. As the Chief Shepherd of his church, Jesus cares for and protects the flock of God. 

God’s mission to spread his glory through all the earth and reconcile all things to himself is accomplished through his church, worshipping him in spirit and truth and faithfully serving as his ambassadors to the unbelieving world. He makes his appeal through us when the gospel is preached, disciples are made, and new churches are planted. Ultimately, God’s mission through his Church is to make disciples of Jesus who make disciples. 

The church is a people—sinners made saints who have been adopted as God’s children and live together in unity, love, and community as family, the household of God. God’s people are devoted to the teaching of God’s word, fellowship with each other, practicing the sacraments, prayer, and mission. Jesus established human leadership within the church who the Bible calls elders and deacons. Elders are the pastors of the church who minister the word of God and who oversee, protect, and care for the people. Deacons are servants who help the elders and serve the greater body. 

All leaders must meet biblical qualifications and set an example in love, humility, and discipleship in Jesus. As an extension of God’s created order, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role of the office of elder is given to qualified men and is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be changed by appeals to culture. 

Every Christian is part of the body of Christ and is expected to participate in the life of the body by being a member of a local church. Members of the local church build up the body of Christ by loving each other and contributing to the mission of God. 

(Matthew 16:18 • Acts 14:23, 14:27, 16:5, 20:28 • 1 Corinthians 11:18 • Ephesians 5:23-32 • Romans 12:5 • 1 Corinthians • Ephesians 3:6, 4:11-12)

Stewardship

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He gives to all people life and breath and all things. All that we have and all that we are, we owe to Him, because all things belong to him and we belong to him. 

As our Creator, God made humankind to live and serve as stewards to care for, manage, and govern creation under his dominion. Because of the fall, our stewardship became distorted and broken. We were rescued by Christ by a great act of infinite generosity. Jesus Christ laid aside his wealth in glory and became poor in order to redeem us. He gave himself for us. He bought us. He is the example and model for generosity and stewardship. It is because of his great generosity to us, we can be generous in return. As redeemed stewards we can now willingly, sacrificially, cheerfully, and generously invest the God-­given time, talent, and treasure entrusted to us for God’s glory and the expansion of his kingdom. 

(Matthew 7:11, 25:14-30• 1 Corinthians 9:17 • Colossians 1:25 • James 1:17 • 1 Peter 4:10)

Baptism & Communion 

There are two ordained sacraments given by the Lord Jesus himself: baptism and communion. 

After conversion, baptism happens once in a believer’s life. Our practice of baptism is full immersion of a professing believer in water. Baptism symbolizes the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. As the believer goes into the water, it represents death to sin and burial of the old life. As the believer comes out of the water, it represents new life in Christ and the freedom to walk in newness of life. 

Communion is an ongoing practice throughout the believer’s life. As with water baptism, communion (or the Lord’s Supper) is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of his blood on our behalf. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of faith and self- ­examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body. 

These sacraments are simultaneously a reminder of God’s grace to Christians and a Christian’s public declaration of union with Christ in his life, death, and resurrection. They are done in obedience to nourish and sustain our faith as we anticipate Jesus’ return and the consummation of all things. 

(Matthews 28:19-20 • Acts 2:41 • Ephesians 2:8-9 • Colossians 2:12 • Matthew 26:26-30 • Mark 14:22-26 • Luke 22:19-20 • 1 Corinthians 11:23-29)

Consummation

Along with all creation, the Bride of Christ eagerly awaits the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus and the complete consummation of his kingdom on earth. God alone knows the timing of Christ’s return. The consummation includes: the resurrection of the dead and the transformation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and Christ’s renewal of creation, including establishing a new heavens, new earth, and New Jerusalem. 

Satan, demons, and all those who do not trust in Christ for salvation will be finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal conscious punishment. The righteous, in glorious resurrected bodies, shall live and reign with him forever. On that day, because of the obedience, suffering, and triumph of Christ, the Church will be presented pure and spotless, free and rid of all the effects of sin. 

Afterward, God will dwell with this people, face to face, where they will enjoy the presence of God forever, serving him and giving him unending praise and glory. 

(Philippians 1:6 • 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, 42, 50-58 • Revelation 21:1-8)

MARRIAGE AND SEXUALITY 

It is the biblical position that marriage involves the union of one man and one woman in permanent sacred fidelity. Though various cultures and customs have evolving definitions of marriage, it is God alone who has ultimate authority to prescribe and describe the marital relationship (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-­9, Mark 10:1-­12). 

Furthermore, sexual intimacy is only properly exercised and pursued within the confines of this marital relationship. Sexual immorality, defined as any sexual activity outside of the boundaries of the sacred marital relationship between one man and one woman, is clearly and expressly prohibited by the Lord (Matthew 15:19; 1 Corinthians 6:9-­11; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:4). 

As a consequence, the church regards any and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or even lustful intent toward such, as sinful and ultimately unsatisfying. Moreover, the church also regards as sinful the intent or desire to surgically alter one’s biological sex to a different sex. Because the body is a creation of God, the church holds sexual identity to be biologically determined, and associated gender norms are to be observed as appropriate to biblical standards. Disagreement with one’s biological sex only leads to spiritual confusion and emotional chaos (Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:26-­32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-­11). 

In order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ and to provide a biblical example to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity or united to the church in membership should abide by and agree to this “Statement on Marriage and Sexuality” and conduct themselves accordingly. 

Though sinful sexual expression is egregious (as is all sin), the gospel provides redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-­11; Ephesians 2:1-­10; Titus 3:3-­7). 

Furthermore, there is a difference between temptation and unrepented sin. Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, yet he never sinned. Members, employees, volunteers, and attendees of the church wrestling with all manner of sexual temptation will find a church that is ready to point them to Jesus and join with them to fight for their obedience to Christ. Jesus called the weary and heavy-­laden to himself. As a church desiring to follow Christ fully, the church will be a safe place for men and women fighting sexual temptations of all kinds. For those fighting temptation and repenting of sin, the church will provide love, care, and direction (Matthew 11:28-­30; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 2:17-­18; Hebrews 4:14-­16). 

The church’s “Statement on Marriage and Sexuality” must be expressed through compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity and does not provide grounds for bigotry, bullying, or hate, as we fully believe that every person has been created in the image of God. Hateful and harassing behavior directed toward any individual are to be repudiated as sinful and are not in accordance with the Scriptures nor the doctrines of the church. 

The church’s “Statement on Marriage and Sexuality” is based on God’s will for human life as conveyed to us through the Scriptures, upon which this church has been founded and anchored, and this shall not be subject to change through popular vote; referendum; prevailing opinion of members or the general public; influence of or interpretation by any government authority, agency, or official action; or legal developments on the local, state, or federal level.

 

ARTICLE 8: MEMBERSHIP

Overview

As Christians, we are members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19) which means we are a family. We are called to function, participate, and minister in a particular place as the Body of Christ. A healthy body requires healthy members of the body. In the same way, a healthy church requires healthy members of the church. Our desire is for each member of our church to be thriving in their relationship with Jesus, to be sacrificially committed to one another in Christian love and relationship, and to be fully devoted to the mission of God. 

We are disciples of Jesus and function together in unity and diversity by doing the works of service that God has prepared in advance for us to do (Romans 12:9-­13; Ephesians 2:10, 4:12). We are diverse in ethnicity, cultural perspectives, social status, gender, and age, yet unified by our identity in Christ (Ephesians 4:3). This diversity is expressed by different parts of the body having different spiritual gifts and this unity is expressed in what we believe and the way we collaborate in loving God, loving fellow Christians, and loving non-­Christians. 

At Harbor Church, we hold one another in high regard; as such, we desire to inwardly build up the Body of Christ together and outwardly lead as missionaries of the gospel to the world. By joining our church, members demonstrate in a concrete way their desire to unite with us to advance Christ’s mission in the world. 

 

Membership Covenant

Having been led by the Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as the Lord, Savior, and supreme treasure of our lives, and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we joyfully enter into covenant with one another as members of one body in Christ. By the grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and as an act of worship, we engage in these following commitments.


Commitment to the Flourishing of the Body

For the flourishing of Christ’s body, we commit, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the growth of this church in knowledge, holiness,
peace, and grace; to promote its spiritual devotion and fruitfulness; and to sustain its worship, ordinances, and discipline. We submit to the final authority of the word of God and welcome the biblical instruction from the elders of the church (which accords with historical creeds and the Harbor Church Statement of Faith), seeking to maintain the unity of the Spirit. We will contribute cheerfully, regularly, and sacrificially to the service and financial support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. 

 

Commitment to Holiness and Christian Witness

We commit, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to maintain personal devotions through bible study and prayer; to educate our children in the Christian faith; to seek the salvation of our family and friends; and to neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it. Rather, we endeavor to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven: to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our behavior and in our speech to avoid all gossip, slander, and unrighteous anger. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we will abstain from all sexual practices outside of fidelity in heterosexual marriage, consuming illegal drugs, intoxication or drunkenness, and anything that would substitute our joy in Christ for the fleeting pleasures of this world. 

 

Commitment to Christian Relationship

We further commit, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to watch over one another in brotherly love; to outdo one another in showing honor; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and grace in speech; to submit to one another and our leaders in church discipline, knowing that our Father in heaven disciplines those whom he loves; to settle our disputes with other members in the body, without legal action whenever possible; and to be slow to take offense, but always ready for forgiveness and reconciliation, as Christ has commanded and granted for us. 

 

Summary 

This is our exclusive covenant commitment to the local body of believers as members of Harbor Church. This covenant is an acknowledgment of our submission to the oversight, shepherding, and care of the elders of this church. If at any time we can no longer commit to this covenant, we will notify the Elders of Harbor Church.

 

Qualifications for Membership

Membership in Harbor Church shall be open to anyone who meets the following: 

        ●  Is a Christian and gives testimony to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior 

        ●  Demonstrates evidence of regeneration by living a life that is consistent with their
        profession of faith and submits to the authority of Scripture 

        ●  Regularly participates in the life of the church by attending worship services, serving,
        giving financially, and living in community 

        ●  Has been baptized as a professing Christian

        ●  Affirms the Statement of Faith of Harbor Church and agrees to abide by the membership covenant and bylaws of this church 

        ●  Agrees not to participate as a leader or member of another church

Membership Process
Anyone who meets the above qualifications and completes the membership process instituted by the Full Council of Elders will be eligible for membership.

Membership Responsibilities
Participate in the life of the body as per the membership covenant. 

Membership Renewal and Removal

Membership is reviewed and renewed on a periodic basis. Members can be removed through (a) failure to renew their membership, (b) voluntary resignation of membership by one in good standing, (c) absenteeism, (d) death, or (e) a decision by the Full Council of Elders as a result of the disciplinary process. Members are prohibited from voluntarily resigning their membership while subject to the formal disciplinary process.

Cancellation, Discipline, and Restoration of Members

 

Cancellation by Absenteeism
The elders shall make reasonable efforts to contact any member of the church who has been absent from church services and community life for three or more months. Where infrequent attendance is determined to be the result of spiritual neglect or indifference of the member, loving restoration will be attempted by the elders. Where such an attempt is not successful, membership may be canceled by the elders. 

 

Cancellation by Member in Good Standing
Members who request that their membership be canceled or who unite with another church shall inform the elders in writing so that their names may be removed from the membership roster. 

 

Discipline of Members
Discipline is an exercise of scriptural authority for which the church is responsible.

(Matthew 16:19, 18:15-­20; Luke 17:3; John 20:23; Acts 16:4; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Timothy 5:20; 2 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 13:17)

Members of the church are expected to conduct their lives in accordance with biblical standards as they grow to be more like Christ. When a member knowingly ignores the direct commands and prohibitions of scripture and continues in persistent sin, he or she shall be cared for in accordance to the principles of discipline and restoration found in the scriptures. 

(Matthew 7:1-­5, 18:15-­17; Galatians 6; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-­15; 1 Corinthians 5:1-­13;
1 Timothy 1:20; and 2 Timothy 2:17-­18)

The purpose of discipline is to promote repentance, reconciliation, and restoration. It is to be redemptive in nature as well as corrective. Any member of this church and any non-­member who voluntarily participates in the fellowship of this church is subject to discipline on the basis of unrepentant sinful conduct or departure from the core doctrines of the Bible as outlined in our statement of faith, as determined by the sole discretion of the Full Council of Elders. 

 

Discipline Procedure

Harbor Church will follow the disciplinary procedure set forth in Matthew 18:15-­20. This procedure consists generally of the following steps: 

    1.    The person who feels a brother/sister is in sin or has sinned against them should go to that person to resolve the matter. 

    2.    If the two parties are unsuccessful in resolving the matter, the aggrieved party may ask an elder to discuss the matter with both parties to gain understanding and help bring reconciliation. 

    3.    If the matter is still unresolved and an elder determines there is sin on the part of one party (or both parties), the offending person/s shall again meet with the elders or with a designated committee of elders and deacons in an effort to resolve the matter privately. 

    4.    A person found to be hardhearted and unrepentant may have their membership cancelled from the church (Matthew 18:17) or be subject to other appropriate discipline as determined by a majority of the Full Council of Elders. 

If discipline results in cancellation of membership by the Full Council of Elders, the elders may notify the church if they deem it necessary. Members and regular attenders of this church are not guaranteed confidentiality regarding issues of church discipline. According to Scripture, the elders may share issues of a sensitive or personal nature for the good and protection of the body (1 Corinthians 5; Matthew 18:17). 

 

Restoration of Cancelled Members

All discipline is intended to be restorative after its purpose is accomplished. Restoration to membership shall occur only after confession, repentance, and reconciliation is witnessed as determined by the Full Council of Elders. 

 

Membership Governance

Member Meetings: This church will have a minimum of one member meeting each year. The purpose of this meeting will be established by the Board of Directors and may include but is not limited to the following: 

        ●  Affirming elder candidates as elders 

        ●  Presenting financial reports and other reports pertaining to the health of the church 

        ●  Testifying to the evidences of God’s grace in the church.

In a spirit of Christian love and fellowship, the latest version of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be recognized as the general pattern for the conduct of the business portion of church member meetings. The lead pastor will chair the meetings; in his absence, the chair will be designated by the Board of Directors. 


Notice: Notice will be given in the church announcements two weeks ahead of the meeting and may also be given electronically. 


Voting: Membership in this church shall entitle the member to vote at member meetings on those matters submitted to the church membership by the Board of Directors (BOD). Voting privileges are restricted to members who have passed their eighteenth (18) birthday. Proxy or absentee voting is not permitted. 

Quorum: At all meetings, whether regular or special, a majority of the voting members must be present to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. 

 

Restrictions: Membership is an ecclesiastical concept and members of this church are not statutory members under the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act. Those admitted to the church membership do not constitute a legislative body, nor can they vote on or pass resolutions binding upon the church as a corporation. The church is an elder governed church and the members vote only on those items submitted to them by the Board of Directors. 

 

ARTICLE 9: GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP, AND ORGANIZATION 

Jesus is the Chief Shepherd

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is the sole Head of Harbor Church and we submit ourselves to him (Ephesians 1:22, 23; Matthew 23: 8-­11; 1 Peter 5:4). He communicates His will for the church through His Word and gives guidance through the Holy Spirit. He also shepherds the flock by gifting the church with godly leaders who are commissioned under His leadership with the task of equipping the flock (Ephesians 4:7-­16). 

 

Officers of the Church

The Bible specifies only two offices in the church: Elder (also known as pastor, overseer, or bishop) and deacon. Each is referred to as being a plurality in a local body of believers. 

 

Elders (Vocational and Volunteer) 

Harbor Church will strive to have a plurality of elders (the Full Council of Elders) who love and lead the church through biblical wisdom, vision, and theology. In the Full Council of Elders (FCE), there will be equal authority among the elders but different roles and responsibilities based on individual gifting. One elder will function as the lead pastor. The lead pastor will be responsible for leading the FCE, casting vision, preaching and overseeing the day to day affairs of the church and its staff.

 

The FCE will be comprised of vocational elders and volunteer elders. Vocational elders are ordained elders of the church who, in response to God's call, have devoted their vocational lives to the service of Jesus’ church. Vocational elders will receive reasonable compensation for fulfilling their vocational responsibilities as employees of the church. Volunteer elders are ordained elders who, in response to God's call, serve Jesus’ church in a volunteer capacity without receiving compensation or salaries for their service. 

 

Qualifications of an Elder

Elders must be men who are above reproach in relation to the qualities of character and competency given in 1 Timothy 3:1-­7, Titus 1:6-­9, and 1 Peter 5:1-­4 and are an example to the flock of God. 

        ●  Husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6) 

        ●  Sober-­minded (1 Timothy 3:2) 

        ●  Self-­controlled (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8) 

        ●  Respectable (1 Timothy 3:2) 

        ●  Hospitable (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8) 

        ●  Able to teach and defend sound doctrine (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9) 

        ●  Hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught (Titus 1:9) 

        ●  Not a drunkard (1 Timothy 3:3) 

        ●  Not quarrelsome (1 Timothy 3:3)
        ●  Not-­quick tempered (Titus 1:7)
        ●  Not violent (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)

        ●  Not domineering (1 Peter 5:3)

        ●  Gentle (1 Timothy 3:3) 

        ●  Not a lover of money or greedy for gain (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 5:2) 

        ●  Managing his own children and household well (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6) 

        ●  Well thought of by outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7) 

        ●  A lover of good (Titus 1:8) 

        ●  Upright (Titus 1:8) 

        ●  Not arrogant (1 Timothy 3:6; Titus 1:7) 

        ●  Not a recent convert (1 Timothy 3:6) 

        ●  Holy and disciplined (Titus 1:8)

Duties and Responsibilities
The duties of the elders will be, in general, to equip all believers for for the work of ministry, so that the whole flock may be built up toward Christ-­likeness and unity (Ephesians 4:11-­16). In their responsibility for equipping the church, the elders will fulfill the following by the power and authority of Christ: 


EQUIPPING BY MINISTERING THE WORD

        ●  In exposition (teaching) 1 Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:7 

        ●  In exhortation (preaching) Titus 1:9 

        ●  In admonition (counseling) 1 Thessalonians 5:12 

        ●  In humble example (life) 1 Timothy 3:1-­7; Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 5:3-­5

EQUIPPING BY DIRECTION

            ●  In leading and guiding into new things (decision-­making) Acts 16:4; 1 Timothy 3:5, 5:17; Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24 

            ●  In overseeing the existing life of the church (evaluation and administration) - Acts 11:30, 20: 28; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; Hebrews 13:7 

        

EQUIPPING BY PROTECTION 

            ●  In guarding the flock from false teaching - Acts 20:28-­31 

            ●  In refuting false teachers and scoffers - Titus 1:9 


EQUIPPING BY WILLING SERVICE

        ●  In working hard at personal Bible study - 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:9 

        ●  In opening his home in loving hospitality - 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8 

        ●  In helping the weak according to their needs - Acts 20:35

        ●  In anointing and praying for the sick - James 5:14

 

EQUIPPING BY RECOGNIZING NEW ELDERS IN THE CHURCH (1 Timothy 4:14)

Each elder will have a specific role within the ministry of the church. The arrangement of ministries among the various elders in the church will be determined according to the mutual submission of the elders to one another under the Lord, for His glory and for the good of the whole church. The Full Council of Elders (FCE) will have sufficient time together in prayer and mutual exhortation in order that their unity may be preserved under the leadership of Christ. 

Further responsibilities of the FCE will include but are not limited to the following: 

        ●  Fulfilling the role of elder as outlined in the Harbor Church elder covenant 

        ●  Approving changes to the church bylaws (Two-thirds vote)
●  Approving changes to the church doctrinal statement (Unanimous vote) 

        ●  Canceling membership in cases of absenteeism or discipline (Majority vote) 

        ●  Interviewing and approving men to become elder candidates (Unanimous vote) 

        ●  Training, equipping, and testing elder candidates 

        ●  Approving elder candidates to be presented to the body for affirmation as new elders
(Unanimous vote) 

        ●  Reviewing and affirming existing elders annually (Two-thirds vote) 

        ●  Planting new churches (Unanimous vote) 

        ●  Overseeing discipline of elders, deacons, and members 

        ●  Providing frequent and clear communication to the body about the finances, health, and direction of the church 

 

Identification and Preparation
A man who demonstrates the qualifications of an elder can enter the eldership process by one of the following: 

        ●  Approaching the elders and nominating himself 

        ●  Being nominated by one of the elders 

 

After nomination, the FCE interviews the potential candidate and, if married, his wife to affirm calling and determine if it is the right season for him to pursue eldership. The FCE will determine through prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit if it is appropriate for a man to pursue eldership and enter into the elder candidate training process. The FCE will vote to approve the potential elder candidate. After approval, the man will become an elder candidate and enter a training, equipping, and qualifying process as determined by the FCE.

Affirmation, Election, and Installation
After a candidate completes the eldership process, the Full Council of Elders (FCE) will vote again to affirm him as ready take on the role and duties of eldership and confirm that he is ready to be presented to the church members. 

 

After he is affirmed by the elders, the candidate will be presented to the members at all worship gatherings on a designated Sunday. All Harbor Church attenders (members and non-­members) will have three weeks to bring concerns about the candidate to the FCE. Concerns cannot be anonymous and must be expressed in writing. It will be up to the FCE to investigate concerns and determine if there is reason to withhold the candidate from being affirmed by the members of the church. 

 

After the minimum three-week period for input from the body, the members will affirm the candidate at a member meeting. If the elder candidate does not receive a clear majority (as determined by the FCE), the FCE should endeavor to find out the basis for concern about the candidate and vote on the decision to install him as an elder. After he has been affirmed by the members and voted on unanimously by the Full Council of Elders, he will be installed during all worship gatherings on a designated Sunday. Elders will be ordained at the time of installation by the laying on of hands and prayer by the other elders. 

 

Licensing and Ordination of Elders

Vocational and volunteer elders have the right to administer ordinances and minister the word of God for Jesus’ church. In the event a man is released from eldership, his ordination shall be revoked. 

 

Elder Covenant and Accountability

Each elder will abide by the guidelines of the Elder Covenant (separate document) to maintain a trusting and committed brotherhood among the FCE. 

 

Eldership Term

We believe eldership is not necessarily a lifetime calling and should be regularly reevaluated by each man himself and by the FCE to determine what is best for the individual, the FCE, and the church.

An elder may be released from the office for three reasons: 

    1.    Season of life (new life stage, career, ongoing illness, or tragedy in family, etc.) 

    2.    Sharp disagreement on doctrine or philosophy of ministry (similar to Paul and Barnabas
parting ways in Acts 15) 

    3.    Disqualifying sin (failure to meet qualifications of an elder in Scripture)

In matters where sin is not a reason, an elder will be released only when the FCE deems necessary in adherence to the elder covenant. In matters of alleged disqualifying sin, the FCE will determine next steps. If the elder in question admits to persistent or disqualifying sin, the FCE may vote to remove the elder from office. A two-thirds or greater vote (with the elder in question abstaining) will result in removal from office and further discipline if necessary. If the elder in question denies having persistent or disqualifying sin then the FCE will follow the formal charges process. 

 

Terms for Volunteer Elders

Volunteer elders will serve a two-year term. A volunteer elder may serve consecutive terms contingent upon agreement between the elder in question and the FCE that he should continue. A two-thirds affirmative vote of the FCE constitutes “agreement”. 

 

Formal Charges Against an Elder

If a member or fellow elder has witnessed an offense committed by an elder and wants to press formal charges against him, the following process will be used. (This process assumes that reconciliation attempts have been made using the principles given in Matthew 18:15-­16.) 

    1.    The offended party presents the offense to the FCE in writing (1 Timothy 5:19). 

    2.    The FCE (minus the elder in question) will review the charge(s) to determine the severity and nature of the offense (e.g., doctrinal issue, personal issue, sin issue). If the issue is limited to a personal conflict or misunderstanding, the FCE will facilitate discussions and seek reconciliation. 

    3.    If the charges are determined by the FCE to be substantive, the FCE will investigate. The investigation will involve separate interviews with the offender, the offended, and all identified witnesses. Each party will be encouraged to have an advocate present with them in the interview. If, at this point the elder in question admits to persistent or disqualifying sin, the FCE will determine next steps. 

    4.    The FCE will review the investigation with the elder in question. The charged elder will be given an opportunity to agree or disagree with the findings. 

    5.    If agreement about the grievance between the FCE and the charged elder is reached, the FCE will institute a plan for correction and restoration. 

    6.    If the charged elder does not agree that there is an issue, is unrepentant, or does not want to submit to the rest of the FCE in the matter, the FCE may, but need not, bring in a third-­party to aid in counseling or a reconciliation process. 

    7.    The FCE will vote on whether to remove the elder from office. A two-thirds or greater vote (with the elder in question abstaining) will result in removal from office and further discipline if necessary. If an elder persists in sin, the FCE may rebuke him publicly per 1 Timothy 5:20.

Meetings and Voting

The Full Council of Elders shall meet regularly and as often as necessary to faithfully perform their duties as elders. Meetings may be called by the lead pastor or any two elders provided electronic notice is given to all elders at least 24 hours in advance. Quorum will be two thirds of the elders. Decisions that require a vote from the elders will be approved by a simple majority unless the bylaws require otherwise, and in all cases, giving due heed and respect to the voice and concerns of the minority. The lead pastor will set the agenda and lead the meetings but any elder is able to add to the agenda. In the absence of the lead pastor, the elders present will appoint a chair for the meeting. 

Elders may participate remotely via available technologies in a meeting.

 

Deacons (Vocational and Volunteer) 

Harbor Church will have qualified men and women serve within the church as deacons; a word that literally translates as “servants”. In Acts 6, as the burden of ministry grew in the early church, the elders established deacons to assist them by taking on large aspects of leadership within the body so that the elders could focus on the ministry of the word and prayer. Under the oversight of the elders, deacons minister with delegated authority as an extension of the love and care of the elders.

Deacons who are paid staff will be considered vocational deacons and deacons who are not paid staff will be considered volunteer deacons. 

 

Qualifications of a Deacon

Deacons must be men or women who are above reproach in relation to the qualities of character and competency given in 1 Timothy 3:8-­12 and Acts 6:3. To discern the character and gifting of a potential deacon requires relationship in context of ministry. For someone to be considered as a potential deacon, they must first be serving as a faithful member of the church. 

        ●  Dignified (1 Tim. 3:8) 

        ●  Not double-­tongued (1 Timothy 3:8) 

        ●  Not addicted to wine or drugs (1 Timothy 3:8) 

        ●  Not greedy (1 Timothy 3:8) 

        ●  Hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience (1 Timothy 3:9) 

        ●  Tested and blameless (1 Timothy 3:9) 

        ●  For female deacons (1 Timothy 3:11) 

        ○  dignified 

        ○  not slanderers 

        ○  sober-­minded 

        ○  faithful in all things 

        ●  For male deacons (1 Timothy 3:12) 

        ○  husband of one wife 

        ○  managing their children and their own households well 

        ●  Good reputation (Acts 6:3) 

        ●  Full of the Spirit and of wisdom (Acts 6:3)

Duties and Responsibilities
Each deacon will have a specific role within the ministry as determined by the elders. As the ministry grows some deacons will oversee other deacons as necessary.

Appointment and Removal

Prospective deacons may nominate themselves or be nominated by an elder, deacon or church member. All deacon nominations will be directed to the Full Council of Elders for consideration. After a nomination for deacon is accepted by the Full Council of Elders (FCE), the potential deacon will enter a process for training and approval as a deacon as determined by the FCE. Deacons will be approved by the FCE and after approval may occupy the spiritual office of deacon indefinitely or for a limited season, depending on the nature of the deacon’s role and the guidance of the elders. Vocational deacons may be terminated as employees by their supervisor with approval of the lead pastor. 

 

Board of Directors

To comply with requirements from the state and lending institutions, a Board of Directors (BOD) will be appointed by the Full Council of Elders of Harbor Church. The board will consist of the lead pastor, and vocational/non-vocational elders and deacons as determined by the FCE. The BOD will have a minimum of five members, but will not exceed seven members in total. The BOD will be responsible for financial and legal oversight of the church. A separate committee will be created by the Board of Directors to oversee and approve all staff compensation, which will consist of a majority of non-vocational elders and/or deacons. 

 

Election 

The lead pastor is a voting board member ex officio. The rest of the board members will be appointed by the FCE. The loss of a board member because of death, resignation, or removal shall be deemed a vacancy that need be filled by the FCE at its earliest convenience, specifically if this loss results in the BOD consisting of less than five members. 

 

Removal or Resignation

Removal: Any discipline that results in removal from eldership or deaconship will automatically result in removal from the Board of Directors. 

 

Resignation: Any resignation will result in the Full Council of Elders appointing a new member to the Board of Directors.

 

Terms for BOD Members

Members of the Board of Directors (except the President) will serve a one-year term. BOD members may serve multiple terms as determined by the Full Council of Elders. 

 

Officers of the Board

In General: The lead pastor is the president of the corporation. The Board of Directors will appoint a secretary and treasurer and, if desired, a vice-president.

 

President: The President shall perform such duties as are incumbent upon such officer, including making certain that all orders and resolutions of the Board of Directors (BOD) are carried into effect. He shall have general supervision and direction of the activities and officers of the Corporation. He shall set the agenda for meetings and preside at all meetings when he is available, which are to be conducted according to scriptural principles such as set forth in Philippians 2:2-­8. He shall also have such powers and duties as may be prescribed by the FCE or the bylaws. 

 

Vice President: Vice President shall, in the absence of the President, or in the event of the President’s inability or refusal to act, perform the duties and exercises of the powers of the President and shall perform other duties as needed in the absence of the President. The Vice- President shall be an elder, if possible. (This board position is optional and not required.)

 

Secretary: The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, a book of minutes of all meetings of the BOD and all votes taken at such meetings. He shall have charge of the official records of the church, and he shall perform such other duties as are incident to the office of Secretary and as may be assigned by the BOD or President. Likewise, the Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, at the principal office in the State of Washington the original and a copy of the Corporation’s articles and bylaws, as amended to date. 

 

Treasurer: The Treasurer shall serve as the overseer of the financial operations of the Church. Paid church staff members shall be accountable to the Treasurer for management of the financial aspects of the church. The Treasurer shall perform such other duties and have other responsibilities as may be assigned to him from time to time by the BOD. 

 

Resignation, Removal, and Vacancies

Any officer other than the president may be removed from office by the BOD in its discretion even if not subject to discipline as a member, elder, or deacon, by majority vote. An officer may resign. Any vacancies other than the office of president will be filled by the FCE. 

 

ARTICLE 10: ORDINANCES 

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two sacraments to the local church, baptism and communion. 

Baptism

The ordinance of baptism by immersion in water is commanded in the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47, 48; Romans 6:4). 

Communion

The Lord's Supper, consisting of the elements-­-­bread and the fruit of the vine-­-­is the symbol expressing our public declaration of union with Christ (2 Peter 1:4); a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:23); and an anticipation of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26). 

 

ARTICLE 11: FACILITY USE

Weddings, Funerals, Memorial Services, and other Events

In general, only members will be allowed to hold weddings, funerals, memorial services and other events in the church building or on the church property. These services will be performed or sponsored by an elder of Harbor Church. However, the Full Council of Elders (FCE) has the sole discretion to make exceptions. Those wanting to have a wedding in this church must agree to the statement of faith of this church and abide by the guidelines documented in this church’s Wedding Agreement. All other events must align with Harbor Church’s mission statement as decided by the Full Council of Elders. 

 

ARTICLE 12: PROPERTY AND FINANCES

Purchase, Sale, or Encumbrance of Property

All purchases, acquisitions, mortgage, pledge, or disposition of real property shall require an affirmative two-­thirds vote of the Board of Directors (BOD). 

Contributions

It is understood that membership in this church involves financial obligations to support the church and its causes with regular and proportionate giving. Each member shall be encouraged in scriptural giving, with tithing as the ideal minimum. The identity of individual givers will not be made public. 

Special offerings may be sought by the church, or by any of its organizations, with the approval of the FCE. This shall not preclude individuals from making special offerings or designated gifts at any time as the Spirit of God may move them, provided, however, the church will not accept any restricted gift unless the restriction is approved by the BOD. The BOD will establish a gift acceptance policy prior to the church accepting any non-cash gifts other than publicly traded securities or small tangible items of nominal value. 

Financial Management

The management and operational expenses of this church shall be provided for by the tithes, offerings, and gifts of the members and friends of this church and administered under the BOD. 

The church shall operate from an annual budget that is created and approved by the Board of Directors (BOD) and given final approval by the Full Council of Elders (FCE) prior to the close of the fiscal year. The BOD will review monthly financial statements within 30 days of the end of each month and present financial statements to the FCE quarterly. Appropriate internal controls and separation of duties will be implemented, especially with regards to the handling of cash, payment of invoices, payment requests, and budget limits. Non-­budgeted expenses exceeding ten-percent of the monthly income budget shall be referred to the BOD for consideration and disposition in a timely manner. 

Compensation of Staff

All staff salaries and other allowances or benefits will be determined by the BOD. A committee led by a volunteer elder or deacon and consisting of a majority of volunteer members (elders and deacons) will set compensation for all staff. The committee will have no fewer than three members. Ordained vocational elders are eligible for housing allowances, which shall be designated prior to the beginning of each calendar year. 

Financial Clarity and Communication

The approved budget will be presented to the members at the annual members meeting. A financial statement will be available to any member upon written request to the Full Council of Elders. The financial statements will also be submitted to the FCE quarterly. The books of account shall be open to inspection by any elder. An end of fiscal year report will be given to the members of the church communicating a summary of the annual budget and expenditures. 

 

ARTICLE 13: STANDING TEAMS

The FCE shall establish or dissolve leadership teams as it deems necessary to properly manage the affairs of the church. Leadership teams shall be responsible for various programs of the church that require decision and or policy making. Members in good standing will be invited to participate on the teams as deemed necessary by the elders. All official ministries will be sanctioned by the FCE and will be in line with the doctrine and mission of the church. 

 

ARTICLE 14: AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS

All auxiliary organizations of the ministry shall be considered as under the general oversight and leadership of the elders. All such organizations shall serve as expressions of the most efficient means to realize the church’s vision and goals in obedience to Scripture, but none shall be started without prior approval of the elders. All officers and teachers in the auxiliary organizations must be members in good standing, with the exception that a member of another church of like faith and practice may be permitted to have a role in an auxiliary organization of this church provided there is prior approval by the FCE. 

 

ARTICLE 15: MISCELLANEOUS

Execution of documents: The Board of Directors (BOD) may authorize by majority vote and written delegation of authority any officer or officers, agent or agents to enter into any contract or execute any instrument on behalf of the church; such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized, no officer agent or other such person shall have any power or authority to bind the church by any contract or engagement, to pledge its credit, or to render it liable for any purpose or to any amount. 

Inspection of documents: The church shall keep in its principal office the original or a copy of its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, as amended to date and certified by the secretary.
These documents shall be made available to members upon written request to the FCE.

 

ARTICLE 16: AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS

New bylaws may be adopted or existing bylaws may be amended or repealed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Full Council of Elders (FCE). Any changes to the bylaws will be communicated to the members of the church before the annual members meeting. 

 

ARTICLE 17: INDEMNIFICATION

Powers

Power to Indemnify and Hold Harmless

The corporation may indemnify and hold harmless to the full extent permitted by applicable law each person who was or is made a party to or is threatened to be made a party to or is involved (including, without limitation, as a witness) in any actual or threatened action, suit or other proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative, and whether formal or informal (hereinafter a “proceeding”), by reason of the fact that he or she is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation or, being or having been such a director, officer, employee or agent, he or she is or was serving at the request of the corporation as a director, officer, employee, agent, trustee, or in any other capacity of another corporation or of a partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, including service with respect to employee benefit plans, whether the basis of such proceeding is alleged action or omission in an official capacity or in any other capacity while serving as a director, officer, employee, agent, trustee or in any other capacity, against all expense, liability and loss (including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines, ERISA excise taxes or penalties and amounts to be paid in settlement) actually or reasonably incurred or suffered by such person in connection therewith. Such indemnification may continue as to a person who has ceased to be a director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation and shall inure to the benefit of his or her heirs and personal representatives. 

 

Power to Pay Expenses in Advance of Final Disposition

The corporation may pay expenses incurred in defending any proceeding in advance of its final disposition (hereinafter “advancement of expenses”); provided, however, that any advancement of expenses shall be made to or on behalf of a director, officer, employee or agent only upon delivery to the corporation of: (a) a written affirmation of the director’s, officer’s, employee’s or agent’s good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct described in RCW 23B.08.510; and (b) a written undertaking, by or on behalf of such director, officer, employee or agent, to repay all amounts so advanced if it shall ultimately be determined by final judicial decision from which there is no further right to appeal that such director, officer, employee or agent is not entitled to be indemnified under this Article or otherwise, which undertaking may be unsecured and may be accepted without reference to financial ability to make repayment. 

 

Power to Enter Into Contracts

The corporation may enter into contracts with any person who is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation in furtherance of the provisions of this Article and may create a trust fund, grant a security interest in property of the corporation, or use other means (including, without limitation, a letter of credit) to ensure the payment of such amounts as may be necessary to effect indemnification as provided in this Article. 

 

Expansion of Powers

If the Washington Business Corporation Act or the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act is amended in the future to expand or increase the power of the corporation to indemnify, to pay expenses in advance of final disposition, to enter into contracts, or to expand or increase any similar or related power, then, without any further requirement of action by the directors of this corporation, the powers described in this Article shall be expanded and increased to the fullest extent permitted by the Washington Business Corporation Act and the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act, as so amended. 

 

Limitation of Powers

No indemnification shall be provided under this Article to any such person if the corporation is prohibited by the Washington Business Corporation Act or other applicable law as then in effect from paying such indemnification. For example, no indemnification shall be provided to any person in respect of any proceeding, whether or not involving action in his or her official capacity, in which he or she shall have been finally adjudged to be liable on the basis of intentional misconduct or knowing violation of law by the person, or from conduct of a director in violation of RCW 23B.08.310, or that the person personally received a benefit in money, property or services to which the person was not legally entitled. 

 

Indemnification of Directors, Officers, Employees and Agents

Directors 

The corporation shall indemnify and hold harmless any person who is or was a director of this corporation, and pay expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding, to the full extent to which the corporation is empowered. 

Officers, Employees, and Agents

The corporation, by action of its Board of Directors (BOD), may indemnify and hold harmless any person who is or was an officer, employee or agent of the corporation, and provide advancement of expenses to the full extent to which the corporation is empowered, or to any lesser extent which the BOD may determine. 

Character of Rights

To the extent the rights of indemnification and advancement of expenses have been conferred by or pursuant to this Article, such rights shall be contract rights. 

Enforcement

A director (“Claimant”) shall be presumed to be entitled to indemnification and/or advancement of expenses under this Article upon submission of a written claim (and, in an action brought to enforce a claim for an advancement of expenses, where the undertaking described above has been delivered to the corporation) and thereafter the corporation shall have the burden of proof to overcome the presumption that the Claimant is so entitled. 

If a claim under this Article is not paid in full by the corporation within sixty days after a written claim has been received by the corporation, except in the case of a claim for advancement of expenses, in which case the applicable period shall be twenty days, the Claimant may at any time hereafter bring suit against the corporation to recover the unpaid amount of the claim. If successful in whole or in part, the Claimant shall also be entitled to be paid the expense of prosecuting such claim. Neither the failure of the corporation (including its Board of Directors or independent legal counsel) to have made a determination prior to the commencement of such action that indemnification of or advancement of expenses to the Claimant is proper in the circumstances nor an actual determination by the corporation (including its Board of Directors or independent legal counsel) that the Claimant is not entitled to indemnification or advancement of expenses shall be a defense to the action or create a presumption that the Claimant is not so entitled. 

If the corporation elects to indemnify and hold harmless or advance expenses to its officers, employees or agents, it may, in its sole discretion, provide the enforcement rights set forth in this section. 

Rights Not Exclusive

The right to indemnification and advancement of expenses conferred in this Article shall not be exclusive of any other right which any person may have or hereafter acquire under any statute, provision of the Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws of the corporation, agreement, vote of disinterested directors, or otherwise. 

Insurance

The corporation may purchase and maintain insurance, at its expense, to protect itself and any director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation or any person who, while a director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation, is or was a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise against any expense, liability or loss, whether or not the corporation would have the power to indemnify such person against such expense, liability or loss under the Washington Business Corporation Act. 

Survival of Benefits

Any repeal or modification of this Article shall not adversely affect any right of any person existing at the time of such repeal or modification. 

Severability

If any provision of this Article or any application thereof shall be invalid, unenforceable or contrary to applicable law, the remainder of this Article, or the application of such provision to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid, unenforceable or contrary to applicable law, shall not be affected thereby and shall continue in full force and effect. 

Applicable Law

For purposes of this Article, “applicable law” shall at all times be construed as the applicable law in effect at the date indemnification may be sought, or the law in effect at the date of the action, omission or other event giving rise to the situation for which indemnification may be sought, whichever is selected by the person seeking indemnification.