THE CONSTITUTION
of the CANTON CHRISTADELPHIAN ECCLESIA

 


1 Name
The name of the ecclesia is the Canton Christadelphian Ecclesia, Christadelphian signifying Brethren in Christ.

MEMBERSHIP
 

2 Conditions of Membership
Membership of the ecclesia is open to all who accept the doctrines and precepts of Christ, as taught in the apostolic writings, and defined (positively and negatively) in the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith and Epitome of the Commandments of Christ, and who have been baptized (by whomsoever) after the acceptance of those doctrines and precepts.

3 Fellowship
Members of the ecclesia are in fellowship with one another and with all who satisfy the conditions of clause 2.

4 All ecclesia's which accept the principles of clauses 2 and 3 are recognized in fellowship.

5 Application for Baptism
All applications for baptism shall be made to the recording brother, who shall announce them to the ecclesia at the first Sunday morning meeting thereafter and arrange for the applicant to be interviewed.  Unless special circumstances otherwise require, the result of the interview shall be announced to the ecclesia on the following Sunday, after which, in the absence of objection, baptism shall take place.

6 Transfer of Membership
A transfer of membership from an ecclesia in fellowship shall, in the absence of objection, be effected by letter of commendation from the recording brother of that ecclesia.

7 All other applications for admission to fellowship shall be made through the recording brother to the arranging brethren, who shall arrange an interview with the applicant and take such other steps as the may consider necessary. 

8 Any brother or sister wishing to transfer membership to an ecclesia in fellowship shall make application to the recording brother for a letter of commendation to that ecclesia.

9 Termination of Membership
Any member or members of the ecclesia wishing to terminate membership otherwise than by transfer as described in clause 8 shall notify the recording brother, following which the arranging brethren shall consider the matter in conjunction with the member or members concerned.

10 Withdrawal of Fellowship
If any member departs from any element of the Statement of Faith or is continually absent without cause from the assembly for breaking bread or behave in a manner unworthy of the name of Christ, the ecclesia may,  at a business or special meeting, on the recommendation of the arranging brethren after full consideration, resolve that the fellowship of such member shall be withdrawn.

11 Marriage
Marriage of a brother or sister out of the faith is contrary to the teaching of Christ and the Apostles.  In the case of any member so acting, his or her attention shall be drawn to the principle involved and a place at the table of the Lord shall only be retained on acknowledgement of such principle.  If any member maintains that it is right for a brother or sister to marry outside the faith, the procedure prescribed in clause 10 shall be followed.

12 Military Service
The commandments of Christ forbid resisting evil or doing violence.  Service in any branch of the army, navy or air force; service in the police force; or in any other force which may involve the breach of these commandments, is therefore incompatible with the position of a brother or sister: as a consequence his or her fellowship shall cease.  If any member maintains the contrary, the procedure prescribed in clause 10 shall be followed.

13 Accusations
No accusation or complaint against any member of this ecclesia shall be listened to in public or in private unless the brother or sister making it shall first have taken all possible steps to fulfill both the letter and spirit of the principle enunciated in Mathew 18:15-18.  Failure to do so shall itself be considered behavior unworthy of the name of Christ.

14 Interecclesial Relationships
No brother or sister, whose fellowship has ceased with an ecclesia in fellowship, shall be received until the cause has been investigated and opportunity given to that ecclesia to join in the investigation.

15 If an ecclesia in fellowship receives a brother or sister whose fellowship has ceased for any reason, we shall not consider it a cause for separation from that ecclesia, regarding the case as one of an honest difference of judgment of the facts.  We shall be content in that case to maintain our own withdrawal from the brother or sister in question.  Should the other ecclesia, on the other hand receive such, without reinvestigation or without asking our concurrence in any reinvestigation that may take place, we ourselves shall apply to the said ecclesia for reinvestigation in the form defined in the previous paragraph, and only in case of the refusal, shall we consider that their action in the case has furnished a cause for separation from that ecclesia.

 

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