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LWML Glossary

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

Definition of LWML Terms

ADVISORY PERSONNEL
Non-voting members of boards or committees, such as pastoral counselors, parliamentarian, etc.

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
The document which establishes LWML’s legal status.

ASSEMBLY OF LEADERS (AOL)
An LWML workshop for LWML leaders. The goals of the workshop are to develop leadership skills, present new programs and service projects, and to aid, inspire, and encourage leaders.

BIENNIUM
The period of two years between conventions.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BOD)
Elected officers, district presidents, standing committee chairmen, and appointed officers; special appointed personnel and pastoral counselors serve as advisory members. The Board meets at least once a year and immediately preceding LWML conventions to conduct the business of the LWML between conventions.

BYLAWS
The rules by which an organization functions.

CERTIFIED DELEGATE
A delegate whose membership qualifications and eligibility to serve have been verified by her district president to vote at an LWML convention, or by her zone president for a district convention.

CHRISTIAN LIFE DEPARTMENT
One of five LWML departments; it includes the Christian Life Committee and the Christian Resources Committee. The Vice President of Christian Life is the Department Coordinator.

CIRCLE
A small sub-group within some LWML local groups which meets regularly to meet a specific need.

COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
One of five LWML departments; it includes the Information Technology Committee, the Official Publication Staff, and the Graphics Team. The Vice President of Communication is the Department Coordinator.

CONVENTION MANUAL
A booklet that contains the convention program and reports of officers and committees.

DEPARTMENT COORDINATOR
A Vice President assigned by the Bylaws to a specific department to coordinate activities of committees in that department. She reports to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors regarding the program of her department.

DISTRICT
The LWML is divided into districts. Some districts encompass more than one state, others only a section of a state. (Two LWML Districts are non-geographic: the English District and the SELC District.)

EDITORIAL STAFF
The Editor-in-Chief and other editors of the official LWML publication.

eQUARTERLY
An electronic version of the Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly, the official publication of the LWML. Available at www.lwml.org.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (EC)
The elected officers are voting members of the EC; appointed officers and pastoral counselors attend as advisory members. The EC conducts the necessary business of the LWML between meetings of the Board of Directors.

facebook.com/TheLWML
The address of the LWML Facebook page.

FISCAL YEAR
The twelve-month period at the end of which financial accounts are balanced. The LWML fiscal year is April 1 through March 31.

GIFTS OF LOVE
An official LWML ministry whose purpose is to help LWML women understand the benefits of remembering the Lord’s work through well-planned, prayerfully-considered lifetime charitable gifts and Christian estate plans.

GOSPEL OUTREACH DEPARTMENT
One of five LWML departments; it includes the Gospel Outreach Committee and the Mission Grants Committee. The Vice President of Gospel Outreach is the Department Coordinator.

HANDBOOK
A document of information to assist leaders and members of the LWML, now available at www.lwml.org.

HEART TO HEART SISTERS (H2H)
A group of women and their mentors who have completed the LWML H2H Sisters training program. They are led by the LWML Heart to Heart Sisters Committee which helps to identify, develop, support, and encourage women of diverse ethnic groups to serve the Lord through the LWML and their church.

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP
LWML membership which is available to women who are members of an LCMS congregation with or without a group affiliated with the LWML.

instagram.com/lwmlnational
The address of the LWML Instagram page.

INTERDEPARTMENTAL MEETING (ID)
The planning and working session of LWML committees and other personnel; usually held at least once a biennium.

JOYFUL RESPONSE®
A free, electronic mite-giving opportunity provided by the Lutheran Church Extension Fund for individuals and districts of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.

LCMS
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. (The acronym “LCMS” should be written without a hyphen or periods.)

LEADERS MANUAL
A document for LWML leaders containing job descriptions for officers and other personnel.

LOCAL LWML GROUP
An LWML group within a congregation, on a campus, in a resident home, a care facility, a neighborhood, condo complex, or in similar settings. (See also “Virtual Group, LWML.”)

LUTHERAN WOMANS QUARTERLY (LWQ)
Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly, the official publication of the LWML, contains topical studies, inspirational and informative articles and features, and LWML news. May be referred to simply as LWQ or Quarterly. Also available as an electronic subscription. (See eQuarterly.)

LUTHERAN WOMENS MISSIONARY LEAGUE (LWML)
One of two auxiliaries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. [Lutheran Laymen’s League (Lutheran Hour Ministries) is also an LCMS auxiliary.] “Lutheran Women in Mission” may be used to describe the LWML, but its official, legal name is “Lutheran Women’s Missionary League” and is to be used in all official documents.

LWML
The acronym “LWML” is used when referring to the national Lutheran Women’s Missionary League organization; however, the word “national” is not placed before it. District LWML entities are referred to as “LWML district.”

LWML OFFICE
LWML Office staff personnel are located in St. Louis, Missouri. The mailing address is P.O. Box 411993, St. Louis, MO 63141-1993. LWML materials may be ordered from the office by using the toll-free phone number, 800-252-LWML (5965) or by fax at 314-268-1532. The website address is www.lwml.org; email address is lwml@lwml.org.

LWML.ORG
The address of the LWML website.

LWML SUNDAY
Traditionally, the first Sunday in October, set aside by LCMS to give recognition to the LWML; however, it may be observed on any Sunday in October. Promotional materials and a special worship service may be downloaded from the LWML website or ordered from the LWML Office.

MARKETING TEAM
The Marketing Team provides support through intentional programs, products, and services of the LWML. It seeks to engage LWML women in innovative ways to promote the LWML.

MEETING MANAGER
An appointed officer who develops and administers meeting service support for all LWML events as directed by the President; she also serves as chairman of the Convention Site Committee.

MISSION GOAL
A financial goal, adopted at each LWML convention and each LWML district convention, to fund mission grants and administrative expenses.

MISSION GRANTS
A portion of mite funds, designated by delegates to district and LWML conventions, that supports mission needs around the world.

MISSION GRANTS BANK
A list of approved mission grant proposals not adopted for funding at an LWML convention. This list is distributed to district presidents and Gospel Outreach Vice Presidents or Chairmen for consideration as district grants.

MISSION STATEMENT
A statement of purpose. The LWML mission statement is: The mission of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League is to assist each woman of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in affirming her relationship with the Triune God so that she is enabled to use her gifts in ministry to the people of the world.

MITE BOX
A small box designed to hold offerings to support the mission grants and the program of the LWML.

MITES
Monetary funds donated to the LWML to support the mission grants and the program of the LWML. The term “mites” comes from the biblical story of the widow’s mite, found in Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4. Mites are gathered regularly and prayerfully.

ORGANIZATIONAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT
One of five LWML departments; it includes the Growth and Development Committee, the Leadership Development Committee, and the Structure Committee. The Vice President of Organizational Resources is the Department Coordinator.

PAST DISTRICT PRESIDENT (PDP)
A woman who has served as an LWML District President.

PAST LWML PRESIDENT
A woman who has served as an LWML President.

PASTORAL COUNSELOR
An LCMS parish pastor serving in an advisory capacity to the LWML.

PINTEREST.COM/THELWML
The address of the LWML Pinterest account.

PRAYER SERVICE
A special worship service provided annually and available on the LWML website and from the LWML Office.

PRIMARY TARGETS
LWML organizational goals for each biennium. They may be found on the LWML website.

PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR) DIRECTOR
An appointed officer who interacts with LCMS entities to inform them of the mission and ministry of the LWML and to develop partner relationships. She leads the process of disseminating information regarding the full scope of the LWML’s work through accurate and effective communication.

QUARTERLY
See Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly and eQuarterly.

RALLY
A gathering of members in a zone, hosted by a unit or local group, for the purpose of spiritual growth, sharing objectives and programs of the LWML, and for fellowship, inspiration, encouragement, and training. A rally may be called by other names, such as “Spring Fling,” “Fall Festival,” or other creative and inviting titles.

RETREAT
A planned opportunity to withdraw from normal routines for fellowship, as well as spiritual and physical renewal. Retreats vary in length from a few hours to several days.

SPECIAL FOCUS MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT
One of five LWML departments; it includes the Committee on Young Women and the Heart to Heart Sisters Committee. The Vice President of Special Focus Ministries is the Department Coordinator

STANDING RULES
Rules related to the details of the administration of the organization rather than to parliamentary procedure. Standing Rules do not need approval from the Structure Committee or the voting delegates at LWML conventions.

STRATEGIC PLAN FACILITATOR (SPF)
An appointed officer who is responsible for focusing the LWML vision through the planning process.

STYLE SHEET, LWML
The LWML supplement to The Official Stylebook of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and The Associated Press Stylebook. It includes exceptions and organization- specific additions and supersedes any with which they are in conflict. The styles are to be used in all LWML publications and communications. The LWML Style Sheet may be found on the LWML website.

twitter.com/TheLWML
The address of the LWML Twitter account.

UNIT
All groups within one congregation, campus, resident home, or other setting that are affiliated with the LWML.

YOUNG WOMAN REPRESENTATIVE (YWR)
A young woman chosen to attend an LWML convention as a non-voting guest. The intent is that the experience will strengthen her relationship with God, educate her about LWML, and motivate her to become an active participant and promoter of the LWML among her peers. Districts send YWRs to LWML conventions. Some LWML districts host a similar program within their district.

youtube.com/TheLWML
The address of the LWML YouTube account.

VIRTUAL GROUP, LWML
An LWML group that conducts its regular meetings over the Internet.

VOTING MEMBERS
Members of an LWML group who have voting privileges at LWML meetings or conventions, as defined by that group’s bylaws.

ZONE
Several local LWML groups that are grouped together in the same general geographic area within an LWML district. Zones may or may not cover the same geographical area as do LCMS circuits.
 

View printable PDF of this article, LWML Glossary

Mite Box Resources

Below are various Mite Box resources.

Devotions

Bible Studies

Sketches

Mite Boxes

  • Mite Label Wrap — These free colorful downloadable labels can be attached to a small Pringles™ potato chip or similar container and used in the cup holder of your vehicle and other places as one more way to collect mites for missions.
     
  • Children's Mite Label Wrap
     
  • Order Mite Box resouces — including Individual Mite Boxes, Children's Mite Boxes, and Medium Mite Boxes

Mission Grant Resources

Program Planning

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

PLANNING A PROGRAM

At each level of LWML, program planners should follow these guidelines:

  1. Schedule the event well in advance, at least one year ahead. This helps everyone, including the group who will host, the officers, the speaker(s), the pastoral counselor, and the publicity chairman to make their plans.
     
  2. Include pertinent information in the speaker’s letter of invitation:
    • date, time, and place;
    • theme of the event;
    • approximate hour when the person is expected to speak;
    • amount of time allotted;
    • other guest speakers and the topic of their talk (if applicable);
    • ask about an honorarium (or, if guidelines are specific about fees, state that fact);
    • amount allowed for mileage and meal expenses; and
    • offer to cover overnight expenses (if guidelines allow this expense).
       
  3. In a letter following the speaker’s acceptance:
    • ask about properties needed;
    • include directions to the meeting place;
    • enclose a complimentary meal ticket;
    • request a photo (high resolution color digital often used) for publicity; and
    • request a short biography to help the person who will introduce the speaker.
       
  4. On the day of the event:
    • assign someone to meet the speaker at the door and look after his/her welfare;
    • begin introducing the speaker to various members;
    • provide a copy of the program to the speaker;
    • show the layout of the room where the program will take place; and
    • as much as possible, put the speaker at ease.
       
  5. After the presentation:
    • be aware of time limits the speaker may have;
    • arrange to have the check for the speaker’s honorarium (and possibly any reimbursements that have been agreed upon) in an envelope ready to hand to the speaker away from the crowd; and
    • follow up with a letter of appreciation the next day.
       
  6. For more detailed information on planning a program, go to the LWML website www.lwml.org.
 

PROGRAM IDEAS

A good place to look for program ideas is the LWML website www.lwml.org or the LWML Catalog:

  • Bible studies;
  • devotions;
  • leader training material;
  • servant event ideas;
  • mission service opportunities;
  • videos/DVDs;
  • sketches; and
  • retreat programs with various themes.

Browse Program Helps (including devotions, Bible studies, litanies, retreats, workshops, sketches, and crafts) by type

View printable PDF of this article, Program Planning

Meeting Minutes Helps

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

HELPS FOR THE SECRETARY — RELATED TO THE BUSINESS MEETING

The secretary is the keeper of the records. Minutes are permanent legal documents and must be an accurate record of what occurred and the decisions that were made at meetings. Minutes should be comprehensive, yet as brief as is consistent with accuracy. Minutes of various organizations may differ in their details, but should contain the following facts:

  1. Basic meeting information:
    • the kind of meeting — regular, special, adjourned;
    • the name of the organization;
    • the date and time of the meeting, and the place, if it isn’t always the same;
    • a notation of the presence of the regular presiding officer and the secretary, or the names of their substitutes; and
    • action taken on the minutes of the previous meeting, approved as read (or distributed), or as corrected.
       
  2. The body of the minutes contains (separate paragraph for each subject):
    • reports of officers, board or executive committee, standing committees, and special committees and actions taken.
    • motions:
      • final wording of all main motions (with any amendments incorporated) and any motion to reconsider; also whether each was adopted or temporarily disposed of (generally motions withdrawn are not recorded);
      • all notices of motions;
      • all points of order and appeals, noting whether sustained or lost, and giving the chair’s reasons for the ruling;
      • the name of the maker of important motions, but not of the person seconding (for motions of little importance, names of persons making the motions are not necessary); and
    • announcements.
       
  3. Conclusion:
    • the hour of adjournment;
    • signature and title of the person writing the minutes (the words “Respectfully Submitted” are no longer used before the signature); and
    • the signature of the president, if the organization prefers both signatures.

MORE HELPFUL HINTS

  • Minutes should include what was done by the assembly, not what was said by the members. Personal opinions and details of debate or discussion are not included.
  • When a count has been ordered or a ballot vote taken, the number of votes on each side should be recorded unless a motion is adopted dispensing with this requirement.
  • The names of those elected or appointed to committees should be listed.
     

View printable PDF of this article, Meeting Minutes Helps

Parliamentary Procedures and Terms

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

PARLIAMENTARY PHRASES TO USE WHEN PRESIDING

  1. “The meeting will come to order” (one tap of the gavel). (The president stands to say this so that members will become quiet and attentive.)
     
  2.                                 will lead us in opening devotions (or Bible study).”
     
  3. “Thank you,                   . The secretary will call the roll” (optional).
     
  4. “The secretary will read the minutes of the previous meeting.” (Often copies of the minutes are sent to members ahead of the meeting. If this is done, minutes need not be read, but corrections must be called for.)
    • “Are there corrections to the minutes?” (pause)
      “If not, they stand approved as read (or as distributed).”
      (If there are corrections to the minutes, the chairman repeats the corrections for the secretary and for the assembly to hear, in case there might be an objection to the correction); then the chair continues
       
    • “Are there any further corrections to the minutes? If not, they stand approved as corrected.” [Under her signature, the secretary adds “Approved (or approved as corrected) and the date.”]
       
  5. “The treasurer will now read the financial (or treasurer’s) report.”
    • “Are there any questions for the treasurer?” (Any questions are answered.)
       
    • “The treasurer’s report will be placed on file (or will be filed).” (The chair does not say, “Will be filed for audit” because it is the books that are audited, not the reports.)
       
  6. “The next item of business is officers’ reports, followed by the reports from standing committees.” (Officers and committee chairmen usually report in the order they are listed in the bylaws.)
     
  7. “The next item of business is the reports of special committees.”
     
  8. “The next item is special orders.” (Special orders can be matters required by the bylaws to be considered at a particular meetings, such as nominations, elections, and/or reporting of the audit/review committee. To begin consideration of special orders, the chair asks the secretary to read the provision in the bylaws describing the order.)
     
  9. “The next item listed on the agenda is unfinished business.” (“Unfinished” business is the correct term; it’s never called “old” business. The chair does not ask if there is unfinished business, but rather just brings before the group subjects discussed but not resolved in the previous meeting.)
     
  10. The chairman then introduces new items of business, having been apprised of any new business before the meeting. She also may ask, “Is there any new business?”
     
  11. The chair makes any announcements she has prepared and invites members for others. (If desired, before announcements are given, an “open forum” could be introduced where members offer informal observations on the work of the organization.)
     
  12. Present the program. (Some groups host the program before the meeting, which encourages guests to attend and be uplifted and informed by the speaker or presentation. Then a few minutes are usually scheduled between the end of the program and the beginning of the meeting to allow time for guests to leave if they wish. However, if the program occurs after the meeting, adjournment is usually delayed until the program is finished in the event the program prompts a desire on the part of the assembly to take action.)
     
  13. The chair states: “If there is no objection, the meeting will adjourn.” (pause)
    • “Since there is no objection, the meeting is adjourned”; or
       
    • “Is there any further business?” (pause)

      Since there is no further business, the meeting is adjourned (one tap of gavel).
  1. Closing prayer/hymn (led by someone appointed ahead of time.)

DEFINITIONS OF PARLIAMENTARY TERMS

Agenda — outline of business to be covered at a meeting.

Assembly — refers to the members of an organization who have gathered together for the purpose of a meeting.

Ex Officio — by virtue of the office. A president is a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee by virtue of the office held.

Meeting — gathering of persons of an organization usually for the purpose of conducting business.

Minutes — the official records of the proceedings of a deliberative assembly. The secretary records what is done (not what is said) in the meeting.

Motion — formal proposal that the assembly take certain action.

  • Main Motion — introduces a new subject to the assembly when no business is pending.
  • Secondary Motion — is used when a main motion is pending and then takes precedence for the time being over the main motion. There are three (3) classes of secondary motions:
    • Subsidiary Motions — those that can be applied to other motions to aid in perfecting or disposing of the main motion (to postpone, to amend, to commit).
    • Privileged Motions — apply to the immediate needs of the assembly, do not relate to the pending business and may interrupt consideration of other questions (to raise a question of privilege).
    • Incidental Motions — rise out of the pending motion, rather than the business itself, usually must be decided immediately (point of order, division of a question).

Parliamentary Law — consistent set of rules that govern the procedure of all deliberative assemblies.

Pending — refers to business before the assembly. The question is said to be pending from the time it is stated by the chair until it is disposed of. The immediately-pending question is the last question stated by the chair.

Pro tem — for the time being.

Question — motion made by a member, seconded by another, and then stated by the chair after which it is the business of the assembly.

Quorum — refers to number of members who must be present in order to transact business legally.

Resolution — main motion, usually of such importance and length that it is written and distributed ahead of time. It may contain a preamble that sets forth the reason for the resolution.

Rules — the laws governing the transaction of business, the structure of the organization, and its purposes. The various kinds of rules of an organization include the following:

  • Articles of Incorporation — the organization’s legal instrument.
  • Bylaws— the basic rules of the group, so important that they cannot be easily changed or suspended.
  • Rules of Order — written rules of parliamentary procedure widely accepted by ordinary LWML groups. (LWML has adopted the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised as its parliamentary authority.)
  • Standing Rules — rules related to details of administration that can be adopted or changed as easily as an ordinary motion.

Session — series of meetings. A convention is usually a session with a series of meetings.

Special Orders — usually matters that are required by the bylaws to be considered at a particular meeting, such as nominations, elections, report of the auditing committee, etc.

Unfinished Business — business that is carried over from the previous meeting. Unfinished business is never referred to as “old business.”

Voting Terms:

  • Aye and No — voice votes and the type of vote most often used in deliberative assemblies. In LWML a show of hands is called for also.
  • Division of the Assembly — always means a standing vote. “Division!” may be called out without obtaining the floor when there is any doubt about the result of a voice vote that has just been taken. The vote does not have to be counted, but the chair may direct that this be done.
  • Majority Vote — a vote count amounting to more than half of the votes cast.
  • Plurality Vote — the largest number of votes given one candidate when three or more choices are available. It is used in elections where there are several names or items to be chosen, such as grant proposals or the nominating committee. To decide an election of one person by plurality vote is not in the best interests of a group.
  • Rising Vote – a vote where the members of the assembly stand to have their vote counted.
  • Two-Thirds Vote — two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast. For the motion to pass, the affirmative vote must be at least twice as large as the negative vote. A two-thirds vote should be taken by a rising vote. (Don’t combine terms by saying “two-thirds majority” It confuses the issue.)

Yield — give way to. A pending motion may yield to one of higher rank.

PARLIAMENTARY SEQUENCE OF MOTIONS AND SECONDS

Motion — a formal proposal by a member in a meeting that the assembly take certain action. The purpose is to bring business before an assembly.
Second — ensures that more than one person wishes the matter brought to the floor.

  • The requirement of a second or “support” prevents an assembly having to spend time disposing of a matter that only one person wants to discuss.
  • It therefore follows that a motion made by direction of a board or duly appointed committee needs no second since its very source indicates that more than one person favors discussion of this business.

Three steps in bringing a motion to the floor:

  1. A member makes the motion.
  2. Another member seconds the motion.
  3. The chair states the question of the motion (places it before the assembly) and it is then open to debate.
    • Until the chair states the question, the maker has the right to modify it or to withdraw it completely.
    • However, once a motion has been made (seconded or not) and before the chair has stated the question, any member can rise, and without recognition, say “Madam President, I would like to ask the maker of the motion if she will accept the following modification…”
      • The maker can accept, not accept, or offer different wording.
      • If the maker modifies a question before it is stated, the person who has seconded it may withdraw the second.
      • If another member’s suggested change is accepted (either before or after it has been seconded) the person suggesting the change has, in effect, seconded the modified version and no other second is necessary.

After the chair states the question, three other steps follow:

  1. Members debate the question with the maker of the motion speaking first, if she wishes.
    • Other speakers follow as recognized by the chair.
    • All remarks are addressed to the chair (not to other members) in a courteous and impersonal tone.
  1. The chair puts the question (puts it to a vote).
  2. The chair announces the result of the vote.

No motion is necessary to accept officers’ reports — they are for informational purposes.

  • If a recommendation arises from an officer’s report, a motion on the proposal should come from a member of the assembly and not the officer giving the report.
  • However, the chairman of a committee can make a motion on behalf of her committee and no second is needed before the president states the question.
  • A motion arising from the report of an officer, board, or committee is taken up immediately since the object of the order of business is to give priority to the classes of business in the order listed.

Motions are not necessary for accepting minutes and financial reports.

  • After the reading of the minutes, the president asks for corrections, then says, “If there are no corrections (or further corrections), the minutes stand approved as read (or as corrected).”
  • While questions may be asked of the financial officer, the financial report requires no action by the assembly.
  • However, if the financial report has been audited or reviewed (as at the end of the fiscal year), the chair (without motion or second) states the question on adopting the audit or financial review and the vote is taken immediately.
  • The reason for action on the audit or financial review is that its adoption has the effect of relieving the treasurer of responsibility for the period covered, except in the case of fraud.
(Authority: Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, current edition)

PARLIAMENTARY PHRASING TIPS FOR THE PRESIDENT

THE PRESIDENT ALWAYS REFERS TO HERSELF AS “THE CHAIR” OR “YOUR PRESIDENT.”

In a group of 30 or more, the president should stand:

  • To call the meeting to order (one tap of the gavel);
  • To declare the meeting adjourned; and
  • To state a motion, put it to a vote, and announce the result.

When a member offers a motion, the president:

  • states the motion word for word (never “You have heard the motion,” as some may not have heard); and
  • may courteously suggest a motion or the wording of a motion (to help a member who is having difficulty putting thoughts into words).
THE PRESIDENT RULES AN IMPROPER MOTION OUT OF ORDER (OR OUT OF ORDER AT THE TIME) — A MEMBER IS NEVER OUT OF ORDER FOR HAVING MADE THE MOTION.

When a motion requiring a second is not seconded promptly, the president says: “Is there a second to the motion?” (Never “Do I hear a second?”)

When no second is offered, the President says: “There being no second, it is not before the assembly.” (Never “The motion is lost;” it is not lost, as there was no vote.)

Unless the assembly has ordered it, the president never closes debate herself.

When debate appears to have come to an end, the chair may ask: “Are you ready for the question?”

If no one asks for recognition, the chair then puts the question to a vote.

If discussion of a certain question seems to be getting repetitious, a member may “move the previous question (a motion to close debate). But the member must not interrupt another speaker and must be recognized by the chair.

THE PRESIDENT WILL IGNORE A PERSON RUDELY CALLING OUT,“QUESTION!”

The motion to close debate must be voted on immediately. If it receives a two-thirds affirmative vote, the chair then puts the pending question to a vote at once.

Although the affirmative vote may seem overwhelming, the chairman always asks for the negative vote on all motions requiring a vote. Even a small negative minority has the right to be part of the vote. (An exception is a courtesy resolution.)

DETERMINING THE WILL OF THE ASSEMBLY BY GENERAL CONSENT CAN SAVE TIME IF ALL SEEM TO BE IN FAVOR OF A GIVEN PROPOSAL.

Often the will of the assembly can be determined by general consent. The chair says, “If there is no objection, we will vote by general consent.” She then pauses to hear any objection. If no objections are heard, she announces: “Since there is no objection,” and then states what seems to be the group consensus. If there is objection, a motion must be offered and voted on.

When a two-thirds (2/3) vote is required for adoption of a motion, a rising vote is taken.

The president must always declare the result of every vote and state what the action will (or will not) be as a result of the vote.

The vote count is based not on the number eligible to vote, but on the number of members voting.

THE CHAIR SHOULD NOT CALL FOR ABSTENTIONS.

A person who abstains is giving up the vote and thus has no influence in the results.

Order of Precedence of Motions

1

2

3

4

5

Motion

 

-

x

a

x

-

Fix the Time to which to Adjourn.

12

-

x

b

-

-

Adjourn.

11

-

x

c

x

-

Take a Recess.

10

-

x

-

-

-

Raise a Question of Privilege.

9

-

x

-

-

-

Call for the Orders of the Day.

8

-

-

-

-

-

Lay on the Table.

7

-

-

-

-

x

Previous Question.

6

-

-

-

-

x

Limit or Extend Limits of Debate.

5

x

-

-

x

-

Postpone to a Certain Time.

4

x

-

-

x

-

Commit or Refer.

3

x

-

-

x

-

Amend.

2

x

-

-

-

-

Postpone Indefinitely.

1

x

-

-

x

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A Main Motion.

 

Columns:

  1. Debatable
  2. Usually privileged
  3. Not always privileged:
    1. privileged only when made while another question is pending, and in an assembly that has made not provision for another meeting on the same or the next day;
    2. loses its privileged character and its main motion if in any way qualified, or if its effect, if adopted, is to dissolve the assembly without any provision for it meeting again;
    3. privileged only when made while other business is pending;
       
  4. Can be amended; and
  5. Require a two-thirds (2/3) vote for their adoption; the others require only a majority.

HOW TO USE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE OF MOTIONS

  • The motion at the top takes precedence over all motions below it on the ladder.
  • Any other motion takes precedence over those below it.
  • A main motion is in order only when no other motion (above it) is pending.
  • Generally, on any given motion, motions above the motion are in order; and those listed below the given motion, which are not already pending, are out of order (except for “Amend” or “Previous Question”).

TYPES OF MOTIONS DEFINED

Adjourn — to close the meeting. Adoption of a motion to adjourn closes the meeting immediately unless the motion specifies a later time for adjourning (in which case it is not a privileged motion).

Amend — modifies the wording of a pending motion before a vote is taken on the pending question. Adoption of the amendment is not a vote to adopt the pending question. If the amendment is not adopted, the pending question stands as originally worded.

Call for Orders of the Day — a privileged motion requiring the assembly to conform to its agenda, program, or order of business, or to take up a general or special order that is due to come up at the time [unless two-thirds (2/3) of those voting wish not to].

Commit or Refer — sends a pending question to committee or task force for further study before being presented to the assembly again in a better format. (This motion can also be used to “go into a committee of the whole” or to “consider informally,” giving the assembly the privilege of discussing the issue more informally as a committee is permitted to do.)

Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn — to set the time, and sometimes the place, for another meeting to continue business before the assembly, with no effect on when the present meeting will adjourn.

Lay on the Table — permits the assembly to temporarily put aside pending business for good reason without specifying a time for taking up the matter again, but allowing for the topic to be reintroduced at the will of the majority. (Often improperly interchanged with Postpone Indefinitely or Postpone to a Certain Time.)

Limit or Extend Limits of Debate — a motion used to:

  1. reduce the number or length of speeches without specific provision for closing debate;
  2. specify that at a set time, or after a certain length of time, debate will be closed and the question put to a vote; or
  3. extend the length of time for debate, or increase the number of speeches permitted, under the regular rules.

Main Motion — introduces business to the assembly for possible action; can be brought to the floor only when no other question is pending.

Postpone Indefinitely — kills a main motion during the session in which it is adopted. It has the effect of relieving the assembly of making a decision on a poorly presented main motion that could have undesirable consequences if either adopted or rejected.

Postpone to a Certain Time — puts off action on a pending question until a specified day, meeting, hour, or after a certain event.

Previous Question — a motion to bring the assembly to an immediate vote on one or more pending questions.

Raise a Question of Privilege — a request concerning the rights and privileges of the assembly or its members, permitting immediate consideration because of its urgency, while business is pending. Examples affecting the assembly: Outside noise makes hearing difficult and a member asks that the meeting be paused while the windows are closed, or guests are present during discussion of a sensitive topic and a member suggests the assembly go into closed session to discuss the issue. Example of questions of personal privilege: a member feels that her position on a certain issue was misrepresented in minutes adopted in her absence, or that unfair charges have been lodged against her.

Recess — a break in the business meeting that does not adjourn the meeting. At end of the recess, business will be taken up at the point where it was interrupted.

CHECK LIST FOR MEMBERS

  1. Even if the vote is unanimous, the bylaws cannot be amended or suspended at a meeting without previous notice (a protection for absent members), unless the bylaws, themselves, set forth a process for amendment without previous notice.
     
  2. It is courteous to inform the president prior to the meeting of a motion you will offer.
     
  3. The larger the meeting, the more important it is to avoid walking between the chair and the assembly. Walk to the back of the room and then cross to the other side.
     
  4. To get the attention of the chair (to obtain the floor), say “Madame President;” however, do not interrupt a member who is speaking unless it is an emergency.
     
  5. The maker of a motion has the right to speak first, but must wait until a second is called and the president has stated the motion.
     
  6. It is up to members to keep a meeting running smoothly. Pay close attention to the business at hand. Be alert to respond with a motion or second when in agreement.
     
  7. Even remarks outside the meeting should further the group’s objectives.
     
  8. Parliamentary law is built on fundamental rights of:
    • the majority;
    • the minority;
    • the individual; and
    • the absentee.

      Specific rights of members are stated in the bylaws. That is why “ownership” of the bylaws is in each member’s best interest.
       

View printable PDF of this article, Parliamentary Procedures and Terms

Meeting Basics

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

INTRODUCTION

IF A MEETING IS HELD, THE EXPECTATION IS THAT IT WILL BE WELL PLANNED AND FOCUSED ON THE GOALS OF THE GROUP.

In recent years a common plea is for “less meeting” and “more mission.” However, when meetings are necessary, members want time to be spent wisely — including time spent working for the Lord. Expectations are that a meeting will:

  • be well-planned, focused on the groups goals, and begin promptly;
  • begin with prayer and inspiring devotions based on God’s Word;
  • be led effectively so that business is transacted smoothly;
  • be stimulating, with worthwhile programs;
  • provide encouragement through unity and fellowship; and
  • adjourn at the time promised.

HOW CAN THESE AIMS BE ACCOMPLISHED?

On this and the following pages are tools that are designed to help local LWML groups, zones, and districts conduct meetings effectively in the shortest time possible.

SCHEDULE REGULAR MEETINGS

Generally, a schedule of meetings is written into the bylaws so that members know the date of the next meeting (monthly, quarterly, etc.) even though they may not attend regularly. The hour at which meetings are to be held should not be specified in the bylaws, but should be established by a standing rule.

ESTABLISH A QUORUM

WITHOUT THE REQUIREMENT OF A QUORUM, ACTION COULD BE TAKEN IN THE NAME OF THE ORGANIZATION BY A VERY SMALL NUMBER OF MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE.

Organizations should decide the minimum number of members who must be present at a meeting to legally transact business. This number is called a quorum. A quorum protects the group from unrepresentative action. The quorum should not be any larger than the number of members who could ordinarily be expected to attend. It should be written as a provision in the bylaws.

CHOOSE EFFECTIVE LEADERS

A meeting needs a person who will preside and a person who will keep a record of action. While the word "preside" may sound formal and forbidding, parliamentary language is practical and concise. The presiding officer can effectively use parliamentary phrases to move business along quickly, while giving each member a chance to express an opinion and smooth the process of group decision-making. The secretary, or recorder, will keep minutes of what is done (see LWML Handbook, Meeting Minutes Helps).

DEVELOP EFFECTIVE BYLAWS

NO GROUP THAT IS SERIOUS ABOUT ITS OBJECT AND PURPOSE WILL LONG SURVIVE WITHOUT A WRITTEN AGREEMENT ABOUT ITS STRUCTURE AND THE RULES IT WILL OBSERVE.

Bylaws should reflect the group's current thinking and present practice. If the bylaws have not been revised or amended for a year or two, they should be examined and steps taken to bring them up-to-date. It's a good idea for organizations to appoint a Structure Committee who will serve as a standing committee and carry out this function on a continuing basis.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PRESIDENT

KINDNESS AND COURTESY ARE NATURAL CHARACTERISTICS OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE.

In conducting meetings, the president strives to:

  • be fair and impartial;
  • be diplomatic;
  • give each member the opportunity to speak; and
  • maintain order and expedite business efficiently.

An LWML president (local group, zone, district, or national) should try to foster an atmosphere of Christian love, grace, tact, and thoughtful personal consideration to all in attendance.

AT MEETING TIME, THE PRESIDENT WILL:

BEING CONSISTENT IN PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE WILL ENSURE THAT THE PRESIDENT ALSO CONSIDERS AND PROTECTS THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO ARE ABSENT.
  • Arrive early enough to check on arrangements for the room (tables, chairs, microphone, comfort level, lighting), allowing enough time to take care of the unexpected. (She may have delegated these responsibilities to someone else.)
     
  • Welcome guests with warm hospitality. (She will speak their names clearly or if they are unknown to her, ask someone else to introduce them to the assembly.)
     
  • Establish a quorum. It is the duty of the person who will preside to determine whether there is a quorum before calling the meeting to order. The presiding officer may wait until the required number of members arrives. If a quorum is not reached, the chair calls the meeting to order and declares the lack of a quorum.
     
    IF MEMBERS TAKE ACTION WITHOUT A QUORUM (OTHER THAN TAKING ACTION TO SEEK A QUORUM OR FIXING THE TIME TO WHICH TO ADJOURN), THEY DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK AND HOPE THAT THEIR DECISIONS WILL BE RATIFIED AT A LATER MEETING.
    Then the chair has five options:
    • call for a motion to adjourn;
    • call for a motion to take measures to obtain a quorum;
    • call absent members;
    • call for a motion to continue the meeting at another time; or
    • motion to Fix the Time to which to Adjourn.
       
  • Open the meeting at the scheduled time (if a quorum is present), knowing that this is only being fair to those who have arrived on time. (Sound a note of joy from the opening tap of the gavel! Serving the Lord with gladness makes each meeting another opportunity for joyful service for all.)
     
  • Work from a prepared, written agenda, giving copies to the secretary, other officers, and possibly the members. (Knowing the order of business helps everyone to be alert to matters that will be discussed.)
     
  • Lead the assembly confidently as she moves through the agenda if she has at each meeting:
    • a copy of the group's bylaws;
    • Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (the parliamentary authority adopted by LWML);
    • the organization's handbook; and
    • a gavel.

MEETING AGENDA

I delight to see how orderly you are, and how firm your faith in Christ is (Colossians 2:5).

Place the date and location of the meeting on the agenda.

  1. Call to order
  2. Opening devotion and/or Bible study
  3. Roll call (optional)
  4. Reading of the minutes (if they have not been provided to the assembly before the meeting) and approval of the minutes
  5. Financial statement or report
  6. Reports of:
    • officers
    • boards
    • standing committees
  7. Reports of special committees
  8. Special orders (such as elections or business prescribed by the bylaws)
  9. Unfinished business and general orders
  10. New business
  11. Announcements (placed here or after the program)
  12. Program (if not presented before the meeting)
  13. Adjournment
  14. Closing prayer/hymn

Related Resources on the LWML Website

Parliamentary Basics for Everyone
President Guidelines
Secretary Guidelines
Structure Committee Guidelines: Enabling You to Build Better Bylaws

View printable PDF of this article, Meeting Basics

LWML Bylaws

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

BYLAWS

LUTHERAN WOMEN’S MISSIONARY LEAGUE

 

ARTICLE I—STRUCTURE

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (hereinafter referred to as LWML) is composed of individual women and women’s societies within congregations of The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod (hereinafter referred to as LCMS), on campuses, in resident homes, or in other settings.

The LWML is organized into districts which are organized into zones which consist of individual women and women’s societies from LCMS congregations in their geographical areas. Districts and zones shall conform to LCMS district and circuit lines where possible.

ARTICLE II—MEMBERS

Section 1

  1. A woman who is a communicant member of an LCMS congregation is eligible for membership as an individual or in a society.
     
  2. Women’s organizations within congregations of the LCMS, on campuses, in resident homes, or in other settings shall be eligible for membership as societies.
     
  3. One (1) or more societies affiliated with the LWML from the same congregation, campus, resident home, or other single setting shall be considered one (1) unit.
     
  4. Societies formed in a setting other than a congregation, a campus, or a resident home by women who hold membership in an LCMS congregation shall be eligible for membership upon acceptance by the respective LWML district.
     
  5. Individual membership is available to a woman in an LCMS congregation with or without a society affiliated with the LWML. Individual membership is not considered a society or a unit, nor does it confer voting privileges at the national level.
     
  6. Requests for recognition of membership shall be processed by the LWML district in which the individual or society resides.

Section 2

Application for membership as a district shall be made to the LWML Executive Committee for approval and is subject to ratification by the LWML Board of Directors.

Section 3

  1. Women’s organizations in a church body that is in a partner relationship* with the LCMS shall have partner status with the LWML upon fulfillment of the following:
    1. The women of the organization shall be members of a church in current partner relationship with the LCMS.
       
    2. Application shall be made to the LWML Executive Committee for approval and is subject to ratification by the LWML Board of Directors.
       
    3. The governing rules of the organization shall be in harmony with the object and the basic principles of the LWML, and a copy of these rules shall be submitted to the LWML Executive Committee for approval.

      *A partner church designates a church body that is (i) in confession with the LCMS and (ii) has achieved independent status.
       
  2. Representation at LWML conventions shall be at the discretion and the expense of the partner women’s organization and shall include the privilege of voice.

ARTICLE III—DISTRICT ORGANIZATION

Section 1

Each district shall organize into zones its member societies within congregations of the LCMS, on campuses, in resident homes, and those formed in settings other than these. The zones shall:

  1. promote the object of the LWML: Mission Education, Mission Inspiration, and Mission Service;
     
  2. have their bylaw article on Name (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League            District              Zone) conform to the respective article in the district bylaws and in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the LWML;
     
  3. elect delegates for the purpose of representation at the biennial convention of the LWML.

Section 2

Each LWML district shall be under the guidance of its respective LCMS district(s).

Section 3

  1. Each district shall write its own bylaws.
     
  2. The articles on Name (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League              District), Object, Members, Representation (at national conventions), and Parliamentary Authority shall conform to the respective articles in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the LWML.
     
  3. When reference is made in district bylaws to national officers, personnel, committees, and programs, the correct official title shall be used.
     
  4. The bylaws and any subsequent proposed amendments shall be submitted in the required number of copies to the LWML Structure Committee chairman for approval by the LWML Structure Committee before being presented to the district LWML membership for adoption.

Section 4

The request for LWML representation at district conventions shall be made through the LWML President. Any member of the Executive Committee may serve as the representative.

ARTICLE IV—CONVENTIONS AND REPRESENTATION

Section 1

  1. A convention for the purpose of transacting the business of the LWML shall be held biennially in the odd-numbered years at a place determined by the LWML Board of Directors.
     
  2. Districts shall extend invitations for hosting LWML conventions. Invitations shall be sent to the LWML President by October 15 in the even-numbered years, the number of years prior to the proposed date of the convention designated in the Standing Policies of the LWML Board of Directors.
     
  3. The Convention Site Committee shall review the invitations from districts and make recommendations to the LWML Executive Committee (Article XIV, Section 2), no later than March 1 of odd-numbered years.
     
  4. The LWML Executive Committee shall approve the invitations from districts with adequate facilities and personnel to host the convention based upon the recommendations of the Convention Site Committee as set forth in Article XIV, Section 2, “Special Committees.”
     
  5. The LWML Executive Committee shall present no more than three (3) invitations of approved host sites for the LWML convention to the pre-convention Board of Directors meeting for selection, the number of years prior to the proposed date of the convention designated in the Standing Policies of the LWML Board of Directors. A majority vote shall elect. In the event a majority vote has not been reached after two (2) ballots have been cast, the site receiving the lowest number of votes shall be removed from each successive ballot.
     
  6. The LWML Executive Committee shall determine the dates of the convention.
     
  7. The official call to convention shall appear in the winter issue of the official publication prior to convention.
     
  8. In the event that the convention site selected by the Board of Directors becomes unfeasible, the Executive Committee shall have the authority to select another site within the same region. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Committee shall decide, and vote may be taken by mail or electronic messaging.

Section 2

The voting assembly of the convention shall be:

  1. one (1) certified delegate from each zone having ten (10) or fewer units and one (1) certified delegate for each additional ten (10) units or major fraction thereof,* as of January 1 preceding the convention;
     
  2. voting members of the Board of Directors;
     
  3. chairmen of standing committees;
     
  4. past presidents of the LWML who are currently members of LWML.

    *A major fraction of ten (10) is defined as six (6) or more.

Section 3

A member of the voting assembly shall vote in one (1) capacity only. Proxy votes are prohibited.

Section 4

  1. Each certified delegate shall have a certified alternate.
     
  2. The names of the delegates and the alternates shall be presented to their respective district president for certification.
     
  3. The names of the certified delegates and alternates shall be received by the LWML Recording Secretary prior to the convention.
     
  4. In the event neither the delegate nor the alternate is able to serve, a member of the same zone may serve as delegate upon certification in writing by her LWML district president and presentation to the LWML Recording Secretary.

Section 5

A majority of the registered voting assembly shall constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE V—OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS

Section 1

The elected officers shall be as follows:

  • President
  • Vice President of Christian Life
  • Vice President of Communication
  • Vice President of Gospel Outreach
  • Vice President of Organizational Resources
  • Vice President of Special Focus Ministries
  • Recording Secretary
  • Treasurer

Section 2

  1. The elected officers shall be elected by ballot at the convention to serve a term of four (4) years or until their successors are elected and shall not be eligible for reelection to the same office. Newly elected officers shall assume their duties at the close of the convention in which they are elected.
     
  2. The election of officers shall be as follows:
    1. The President, the Vice President of Organizational Resources, the Vice President of Special Focus Ministries, and the Treasurer shall be elected in one convention.
       
    2. The Vice President of Christian Life, the Vice President of Communication, the Vice President of Gospel Outreach, and the Recording Secretary shall be elected in the following convention.
       
    3. A majority vote shall elect.
       
    4. In the event that there are three (3) or more candidates for office and a majority vote has not been reached after two (2) ballots have been cast, the candidate with the lowest number of votes shall be removed from each successive ballot.
       
  3. The retiring Treasurer shall, within sixty (60) days following the election, transfer to her successor all materials pertaining to the office. All other retiring officers shall, within thirty (30) days following the election, transfer to their successors all material pertaining to their offices.

Section 3

  1. In the event of incapacity or other situation creating a vacancy in the office of President, the Vice President of Organizational Resources shall fill the temporary vacancy until the President is able to resume her duties or until the Board of Directors meets to elect a new President (see Article VI, Section 5a).
     
  2. The Board of Directors shall fill any permanent vacancy occurring in the office of President (see Article X, Section 4c).
    1. The election shall be by ballot vote.
       
    2. The candidates eligible to fill the vacancy shall be the Vice Presidents who are serving in the third or fourth year of their terms of office.
       
  3. If there is no regularly scheduled meeting of the Board within thirty (30) days of a permanent vacancy in the office of President, a special meeting shall be called by the Vice President of Organizational Resources within thirty (30) days of such vacancy for the express purpose of electing a new President.
     
  4. In the event a vacancy occurs in any other elective position, such vacancy shall be filled by the Executive Committee (see Article XI, Section 3i).

Section 4

Any officer may be removed from office prior to the expiration of her term of office by the Board of Directors by a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of all members of the Board; provided that the members of the Board (including the individual officer involved) shall be notified at least two (2) days prior to the Board meeting in the event any such action is contemplated and the individual officer involved shall be afforded the opportunity to be heard at such meeting.*

*Missouri law requires that this statement be included in the LWML Bylaws.

ARTICLE VI—DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 1

The President shall:

  1. preside at conventions of the LWML and at all meetings of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee;
     
  2. be responsible for appointing standing committees, appointed officers, special appointed personnel, and special committees, with the approval of the Executive Committee;
     
  3. be responsible for supervising the Director of Finance & Administration;
     
  4. receive and approve vouchers for payment of legitimately incurred expenditures and forward vouchers to the Accounting Department for issuance of checks;
     
  5. be an ex officio member of all departments and committees except the Nominating Committee;
     
  6. be responsible for the execution of resolutions passed by the convention body, Board of Directors, and Executive Committee;
     
  7. provide a résumé of Executive Committee meetings to members of the Board of Directors, including cost and source of funding for new programs;
     
  8. report to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors;
     
  9. prepare a report for the convention, including activities of the Board of Directors;
     
  10. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual.

Section 2

The Vice President of Christian Life may perform the duties of the office of the President in the absence of, or at the request of, the President and shall:

  1. be coordinator of the Christian Life Department;
     
  2. report to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors;
     
  3. prepare a report for the convention, including department activities;
     
  4. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

Section 3

The Vice President of Communication may perform the duties of the office of the President in the absence of, or at the request of, the President and shall:

  1. be coordinator of the Communication Department;
     
  2. report to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors;
     
  3. prepare a report for the convention, including department activities;
     
  4. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

Section 4

The Vice President of Gospel Outreach may perform the duties of the office of the President in the absence of, or at the request of, the President and shall:

  1. be coordinator of the Gospel Outreach Department;
     
  2. receive mission grant proposals;
     
  3. chair the Mission Grants Selection Committee;
     
  4. present to the Executive Committee for consideration and approval the proposals selected for the mission grants ballot;
     
  5. prepare the mission grants ballot for the convention;
     
  6. prepare an impartial presentation of the approved proposed grants for the convention;
     
  7. requisition and disburse mission grant funds and monitor the progress of each recipient until completion;
     
  8. report to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, including a report on the progress of each adopted mission grant until its completion;
     
  9. prepare a report for the convention, including department activities;
     
  10. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

Section 5

The Vice President of Organizational Resources may perform the duties of the office of the President in the absence of, or at the request of, the President and shall:

  1. in the event of an emergency or unexpected vacancy in the office of the President, fill the temporary vacancy until an election is held by the Board of Directors (see Article V, Section 3a);
     
  2. be coordinator of the Organizational Resources Department;
     
  3. report to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors;
     
  4. prepare a report for the convention, including department activities;
     
  5. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

Section 6

The Vice President of Special Focus Ministries may perform the duties of the office of the President in the absence of, or at the request of, the President and shall:

  1. be coordinator of the Special Focus Ministries Department;
     
  2. report to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors;
     
  3. prepare a report for the convention, including department activities;
     
  4. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

Section 7

The Recording Secretary shall:

  1. record the convention proceedings and meetings of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee;
     
  2. provide each member of the Board of Directors with a copy of the minutes of its meetings;
     
  3. provide each member of the Executive Committee with a copy of the minutes of its meetings;
     
  4. report to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors;
     
  5. receive credentials of certified delegates and alternates prior to the convention;
     
  6. compile the convention manual;
     
  7. provide a copy of the convention minutes to each member of the Board of Directors and to the LWML Office for distribution upon request;
     
  8. prepare a report for the convention;
     
  9. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

Section 8

The Treasurer shall:

  1. chair the Finance Committee;
     
  2. review with the Finance Committee the proposed budgets of the organization as prepared by the Director of Finance & Administration;
     
  3. review with the Finance Committee the proposed convention budget as prepared by the Convention Manager;
     
  4. supervise convention finances;
     
  5. be authorized to sign checks in an emergency;
     
  6. report to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors;
     
  7. prepare a report for the convention;
     
  8. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

ARTICLE VII—NOMINATIONS

Section 1

  1. A Nominating Committee of five (5) members shall be elected by ballot at each convention from a slate of nine (9) candidates from as many districts. A member is not eligible to serve consecutive terms. Plurality vote shall elect.
     
  2. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be the chairman.
     
  3. The chairman shall attend Board of Directors meetings at the request of the President.
     
  4. A vacancy on the committee shall be filled by the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes.

Section 2

The Nominating Committee shall:

  1. submit the names of at least two (2) candidates, if possible, for each elective office to be filled;
     
  2. with the exception of Pastoral Counselors, select candidates who are members of the LWML and have served on an LWML district Board of Directors;
     
  3. select candidates for President who have served as a district president or a member of the LWML Executive Committee;
     
  4. submit nine (9) candidates for the Nominating Committee;
     
  5. submit two (2) candidates for Pastoral Counselor from the nominees selected by the Board of Directors (see Article XII, Section 2);
     
  6. obtain written consent of all nominees to serve if elected;
     
  7. submit report to be published in the official publication prior to convention;
     
  8. submit for publication in the convention manual a résumé of each nominee;
     
  9. prepare ballots with the names listed in alphabetical order for each office.

Section 3

  1. Suggestions for nominations for elective office shall be made by submitting completed nomination and consent forms to the chairman of the Nominating Committee by August 15 in the even-numbered years.
     
  2. Nominations for elected officers may be made from the floor of the convention provided written consent of the nominee has been secured and she meets the stipulated qualifications for office.

Section 4

The Nominating Committee shall present to the President names of qualified persons for appointment.

ARTICLE VIII—APPOINTED OFFICERS

Section 1

The appointed officers shall be Meeting Manager, Strategic Plan Facilitator, and Public Relations Director, appointed by the President, and shall:

  1. be members of the LWML;
     
  2. serve a term of two (2) years or until their successors are appointed, and be eligible for reappointment;
     
  3. be advisory members of the Executive Committee;
     
  4. be voting members of the Board of Directors;
     
  5. be responsible to the President;
     
  6. report to each regular meeting of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors;
     
  7. report to the convention;
     
  8. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

Section 2

The Meeting Manager shall:

  1. develop and administer meeting service support for all LWML events as directed by the President;
     
  2. serve as chairman of the Convention Site Committee (see Article XIV, Section 2).

Section 3

The Strategic Plan Facilitator shall be responsible for focusing the LWML vision through the planning process.

Section 4

The Public Relations Director shall:

  1. interact with LCMS entities to inform them of the mission and ministry of the LWML and to develop partner relationships;
     
  2. interact with the church and the world-at-large to influence perceptions and attitudes toward Lutheran women in mission;
     
  3. be coordinator of convention publicity.

ARTICLE IX—SPECIAL APPOINTED PERSONNEL

Section 1

The special appointed personnel shall be Archivist-Historian, Contracts Administrator, Convention Manager, and Parliamentarian, appointed by the President, and shall:

  1. be members of the LWML;
     
  2. serve a term of two (2) years or until their successors are appointed, and be eligible for reappointment;
     
  3. attend meetings as advisory members at the request of the President;
     
  4. be responsible to the President;
     
  5. report to the Board of Directors and to the convention;
     
  6. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

Section 2

The Archivist-Historian shall:

  1. write a history of the activities of the LWML for the biennium;
     
  2. gather and preserve records and other materials of historical significance to the LWML.

Section 3

The Contracts Administrator shall review and negotiate all contracts as requested by the President.

Section 4

The Convention Manager shall:

  1. serve as liaison between the Convention Programming Committee and Convention Host Committee;
     
  2. assist in the preparation of and review the convention budget with the Director of Finance & Administration.

Section 5

The Parliamentarian shall:

  1. serve as adviser on parliamentary procedure upon request;
     
  2. be an ex officio member of the Structure Committee (see Article XIII, Section 5c).

ARTICLE X—BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1

  1. The Board of Directors shall be composed of the elected officers, appointed officers, and district presidents. A member of the Board shall vote in only one capacity on the Board of Directors. The Pastoral Counselors, special appointed personnel, and Director of Finance & Administration shall be advisory members.
     
  2. When a district president is unable to attend a Board of Directors meeting or a convention, any elected district officer shall be authorized to attend as the district’s representative and shall have voice but not a vote. Such substitutes shall not be considered when determining whether a quorum exists. Notification of the substitute’s name and address shall be given to the LWML President.*

    * Missouri law requires that this statement be included in the LWML Bylaws.

Section 2

  1. Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held annually.
     
  2. A preconvention meeting shall be held in the convention city.
     
  3. Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by written request of nine (9) voting members of the Board of Directors. Time and place for holding such meetings shall be determined by the President with the approval of the Executive Committee.
     
  4. In case of emergency (as defined in the Missouri Nonprofit Corporation Law), action may be taken by mail, by telephone, or by electronic messaging.**

    ** Missouri law permits a board of directors to act other than in person only (i) by unanimous written consent or (ii) by telephonic means by which all participants can hear each other.

Section 3

Representation consisting of district presidents from a majority of LWML districts shall constitute a quorum.

Section 4

The Board of Directors shall:

  1. transact the business of the LWML between conventions;
     
  2. approve the budget of the LWML;
     
  3. elect a President in the event a permanent vacancy occurs in that office;
     
  4. consider and approve proposed bylaw amendments before presentation to the convention;
     
  5. receive and take action on recommendations, resolutions, and special appeals presented by the Executive Committee, members of the Board of Directors, or the membership for possible presentation to the convention;
     
  6. carry out the business of the LWML approved in convention;
     
  7. select convention site;
     
  8. select six (6) nominees for Pastoral Counselor, if possible, to be submitted to the Nominating Committee (see Article XII, Section 2);
     
  9. determine the subscription rate of the official publication;
     
  10. consider and approve programs that require financial support from the districts;
     
  11. consider and take action on recommendations and resolutions of the Executive Committee;
     
  12. consider and ratify the membership of new LWML districts and approve partner status with women’s organizations of church bodies in partner relationship with the LCMS;
     
  13. consider and approve the mission goal for presentation to the convention voting body for consideration and adoption;
     
  14. approve mission grant proposals for the convention ballot;
     
  15. consider and approve, either in session or by other means in accord with Missouri law,** changes that occur in mission grant plans after the recipients have been selected in convention (see Article XVII, Section 3b).

    ** Missouri law permits a board of directors to act other than in person only (i) by unanimous written consent or (ii) by telephonic means by which all participants can hear each other.

Section 5

Any Board member who is present at a meeting of the Board of Directors at which action on any corporate matter is taken shall be presumed to have assented to the action taken unless her/his dissent shall be entered in the minutes of the meeting or unless she/he shall file her/his written dissent to such action with the person acting as the Secretary of the meeting before the adjournment thereof or shall forward such dissent by registered mail to the Secretary immediately after the adjournment of the meeting. Such right to dissent shall not apply to a Board member who voted in favor of such action.*

*Missouri law requires that this statement be included in the LWML Bylaws.

Section 6

Any action required by the Revised Statutes of Missouri, with respect to nonprofit corporations, to be taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors, or any action which may be taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors, may be taken without a meeting if consents in writing, setting forth the action so taken, shall be signed by all the Board members. Such consents shall have the same force and effect as a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors at a meeting duly held and may be stated as such in any certificate or document filed under the Revised Statutes of Missouri. The Secretary shall file such consents with the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors.*

*Missouri law requires that this statement be included in the LWML Bylaws.

ARTICLE XI—EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the elected officers. The Pastoral Counselors and the appointed officers shall be advisory members. The Director of Finance & Administration shall attend meetings in an advisory capacity at the request of the President.

Section 2

  1. The Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the President. In case of an emergency, the Executive Committee may take action by mail or electronic messaging.
     
  2. Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by written request of five (5) voting members of the committee.
     
  3. Five (5) voting members shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Committee.

Section 3

The Executive Committee shall:

  1. transact necessary business between meetings of the Board of Directors;
     
  2. evaluate, promote, and coordinate the activities of the LWML in relation to its object and initiate programs to meet the needs of the membership;
     
  3. present to the Board of Directors for consideration and approval all programs requiring financial support from the districts;
     
  4. plan and supervise the program of the convention and approve the convention budget;
     
  5. consider and approve the job descriptions of and employ the LWML Office staff;
     
  6. determine the amounts of bonds of those who are authorized to receive or disburse funds;
     
  7. approve financial institutions for deposit of funds;
     
  8. arrange for insurance coverage for the benefit of the organization in such amount as the Executive Committee deems advisable;
     
  9. fill vacancies occurring in elective offices, except the office of President (see Article V, Section 3b);
     
  10. approve appointed officers, committee members, and special appointed personnel;
     
  11. receive and take appropriate action on applications for partner status from women’s organizations of church bodies that are in partnership with the LCMS (see Article II, Section 3);
     
  12. consider and approve mission grant proposals subsequent to approval by the Mission Grants Selection Committee.

ARTICLE XII—PASTORAL COUNSELORS

Section 1

The Pastoral Counselors shall be two (2) pastors of the LCMS who are serving in the parish ministry and have served as district pastoral counselors. They shall serve a term of four (4) years and be ineligible for reelection. One (1) counselor shall be elected at each convention. A newly elected counselor shall assume his duties at the close of the convention in which he is elected.

Section 2

The Nominating Committee shall:

  1. obtain nominations for pastoral counselors from LWML district presidents by October 31 in the odd-numbered years;
     
  2. submit names of these nominees to the LCMS President for review;
     
  3. submit names of approved nominees to the Board of Directors, who shall select six (6), if possible, by plurality vote;
     
  4. obtain the written consent of the nominees to serve if elected;
     
  5. select two (2) candidates from the six (6) selected nominees.

Section 3

Pastoral Counselors shall:

  1. serve the LWML in an advisory capacity;
     
  2. serve as spiritual leaders to the officers and members of LWML;
     
  3. prepare devotions and worship services as requested;
     
  4. serve as doctrinal advisers to committees as assigned by the President;
     
  5. attend LWML conventions and meetings of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee as advisory members;
     
  6. perform other duties as set forth in the Procedures section of the Leaders Manual, and as requested by the President.

ARTICLE XIII—DEPARTMENTS AND STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1

  1. The departments shall include Christian Life, Communication, Gospel Outreach, Organizational Resources, and Special Focus Ministries, with a Vice President serving as coordinator of each department. The coordinator shall be an ex officio member of the committees in the department.
     
  2. The standing committees may include Christian Life, Christian Resources Editors, Information Technology, Official Publication Staff, Gospel Outreach, Mission Grants, Mission Servants, Helping Organizations Participate Effectively (hereinafter referred to as the HOPE Committee), Leader Development, Structure, Young Women, and Heart to Heart Sisters. The President shall assign a Pastoral Counselor to each committee.
     
  3. Committees shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Committee.
     
  4. Standing committee members shall serve a term of two (2) years or until their successors are appointed, and shall be eligible for one (1) reappointment. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Executive Committee if special expertise is required.
     
  5. Standing committee chairmen shall have voice and vote at convention.
     
  6. The Editor-in-Chief shall serve a term of two (2) years or until her successor is appointed, and shall be eligible for reappointment.

Section 2

The Christian Life Department may include the Christian Life Committee and the Christian Resources Editors. The Vice President of Christian Life shall be coordinator of the department.

  1. The Christian Life Committee, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. develop programs and materials to nurture women’s spiritual lives;
    2. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.
       
  2. The Christian Resources Editors, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. solicit, edit, and provide for publication a variety of resources suitable for individual members and for use at women’s activities and events;
    2. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.

Section 3

The Communication Department may include the Information Technology Committee and the Official Publication Staff. The Vice President of Communication shall be coordinator of the department.

  1. The Information Technology Committee, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. encourage use of the LWML website;
    2. maintain the LWML website;
    3. assist with other technical needs of the organization;
    4. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.
       
  2. The Official Publication Staff shall consist of the Editor-in-Chief and additional editors as needs of the publication and organization may determine. The Editor-in-Chief shall be the chairman. The Staff shall:
    1. edit and produce the official LWML publication;
    2. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.

Section 4

The Gospel Outreach Department may include the Gospel Outreach Committee, the Mission Grants Committee, and the Mission Servants Committee. The Vice President of Gospel Outreach shall be coordinator of the department.

  1. The Gospel Outreach Committee, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. encourage and equip women to share the Gospel with all people;
    2. provide materials that will help Christians proclaim the Good News;
    3. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.
       
  2. The Mission Grants Committee, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. promote mission awareness, participation, and support, especially for LWML mission grants;
    2. evaluate and select proposed mission grants for the national convention ballot (see Article XVII, Section 2b);
    3. develop and compile a list of worthy grant proposals from which districts may make selections for their convention ballots;
    4. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.
       
  3. The Mission Servants Committee, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. encourage sensitivity in women toward those who are hurting and in need;
    2. provide resources and encouragement to enable knowledgeable and biblical comfort to themselves and others;
    3. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.

Section 5

The Organizational Resources Department may include the HOPE Committee, the Leader Development Committee, and the Structure Committee. The Vice President of Organizational Resources shall be coordinator of the department.

  1. The HOPE Committee, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. promote programs and consultation resources to help develop new LWML organizations;
    2. develop resources and training to assist existing societies in designing viable LWML organizations;
    3. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.
       
  2. The Leader Development Committee, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. identify women with special abilities and talents to serve in leadership positions in the LWML;
    2. create and develop ideas, techniques, and resources that will equip and encourage women to serve in leadership positions where God has placed them;
    3. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.
  1. The Structure Committee, consisting of three (3) or more members, plus the Parliamentarian as ex officio member, shall:
    1. examine and evaluate the Bylaws of the LWML;
    2. submit to the Board of Directors for consideration and approval such amendments as it deems advisable;
    3. submit approved proposed amendments to the convention;
    4. receive and examine district bylaws and proposed amendments and approve those not in conflict with the Bylaws of the LWML;
    5. be responsible for keeping the LWML Handbook current;
    6. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.

Section 6

The Special Focus Ministries Department may include the Committee on Young Women and the Heart to Heart Sisters Committee. The Vice President of Special Focus Ministries shall be coordinator of the department.

  1. The Committee on Young Women, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. intentionally identify, encourage, and provide opportunities for young women to affirm their faith and develop their gifts in service to the Lord through learning about and participating in the mission of LWML at every level;
    2. seek, develop, and support young women leaders in the LWML;
    3. direct and promote the Young Woman Representative program;
    4. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.
       
  2. The Heart to Heart Sisters Committee, consisting of three (3) or more members, shall:
    1. identify, develop, support, and encourage women leaders in ethnic ministries, thus celebrating the gifts God has given the church;
    2. be intentional about giving these women, through networking, training, support, and resources the opportunity to learn about and participate in the mission of LWML at every level – society, zone, district, national;
    3. identify and encourage cross-cultural opportunities within LWML, thus emphasizing the church’s rich diversity;
    4. have its chairman report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and to the convention.

Section 7

  1. At least one (1) Interdepartmental Meeting shall be held during a biennium.
     
  2. Department meetings may be called by the coordinator with the approval of the Executive Committee.
     
  3. Committee meetings may be called by the chairman with the approval of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE XIV—SPECIAL COMMITTEES

Section 1

The Special Committees shall be Convention Site, Finance, and Mission Grants Selection.

Section 2

The Convention Site Committee, consisting of the Meeting Manager as chairman, the Convention Manager, and one (1) additional member, with a Pastoral Counselor as adviser, shall:

  1. evaluate the facilities and personnel of each district extending an invitation to host LWML convention;
     
  2. make recommendations to the Executive Committee by March 1 of odd-numbered years.

Section 3

The Finance Committee, consisting of the Treasurer as chairman and three (3) or more additional members, with a Pastoral Counselor and the Director of Finance & Administration as advisers, shall:

  1. review and evaluate the financial practices of the organization;
     
  2. review and recommend the proposed organizational budgets;
     
  3. review and recommend the proposed convention budget as prepared by the Director of Finance & Administration;
     
  4. prepare job descriptions for the LWML Office staff for approval by the Executive Committee.

Section 4

The Mission Grants Selection Committee, consisting of the Vice President of Gospel Outreach as chairman, the members of the Mission Grants Committee, the two Pastoral Counselors, and the President shall select the mission grant proposals, which will appear on the convention ballot subsequent to approval by the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.

Section 5

There may be additional committees as the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, or the convention deem necessary to carry on the work of the LWML. The assembly authorizing the committee shall determine the authority and responsibility of the committee.

ARTICLE XV—OFFICIAL PUBLICATION

Section 1

The official publication of the LWML shall be edited and produced by the Official Publication Staff, a standing committee.

Section 2

The purpose of the official publication shall be to:

  1. promote the object of the LWML;
     
  2. provide information about the programs and activities of the LWML;
     
  3. provide topics for study and discussion.

Section 3

The Official Publication Staff shall have editorial privileges.

Section 4

The subscription rate shall be determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 5

Districts shall order the desired number of copies of the official publication from the LWML Office. Payment for same shall be remitted to the LWML Office.

Section 6

Individual subscriptions shall be ordered directly from the LWML Office.

ARTICLE XVI—LWML OFFICE

Section 1

A Director of Finance & Administration shall be employed to oversee the business operations of the organization. The job description for the Director of Finance & Administration shall be prepared by the Finance Committee and approved by the Executive Committee. The Director of Finance & Administration shall:

  1. be an employee of the LWML;
     
  2. be responsible to the President;
     
  3. prepare monthly reports for the President and submit reports to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors at each of their called meetings;
     
  4. prepare the budgets of the organization, with assistance from the Treasurer, Convention Manager, and Finance Committee;
     
  5. attend meetings of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors in an advisory capacity at the request of the President.

Section 2

The LWML Office staff shall be employed by the LWML and be responsible to the Director of Finance & Administration. Job descriptions for the Office staff shall be prepared by the Finance Committee for approval by the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE XVII—MISSION GRANTS

Section 1

  1. Mission grant proposals may be submitted by LWML members, societies, zones, districts, and LCMS boards.
     
  2. The required number of copies of proposals must be submitted.
     
  3. Proposals for all mission grants shall be submitted to the Vice President of Gospel Outreach by September 30 in the even-numbered years.
     
  4. Proposals for all mission grants, except those submitted by LCMS boards, shall:
    1. have the approval of the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors of the LWML district in which they originate;
       
    2. have the approval of the President of the LCMS district or partner church in which the proposed grant recipient is located.

Section 2

  1. The Vice President of Gospel Outreach shall present the mission grant proposals to the President of the LCMS or his representative and to the Executive Directors of LCMS boards for evaluation.
     
  2. After consultation with LCMS International Center staff, the Mission Grants Selection Committee shall select the mission grant proposals which will appear on the convention ballot subsequent to approval by the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.

Section 3

  1. Funds voted for a mission grant must be disbursed or put into use within two (2) fiscal biennia— the biennium in which they were voted upon and the one following—or be reallocated. The convention may extend the time for one (1) biennium in case of extenuating circumstances.
     
  2. In the event that changes in mission grant plans occur after the recipients have been selected in convention, the Board of Directors shall be authorized to approve the amended grant or reallocate the funds, either in session or by other means in accord with Missouri law.*

    * Missouri law permits a board of directors to act other than in person only (i) by unanimous written consent or (ii) by telephonic means by which all participants can hear each other.

ARTICLE XVIII—RESOLUTIONS

Section 1

Miscellaneous resolutions and appeals by societies, zones, or districts, other than for mission grants, may be presented to a convention upon approval by the Board of Directors. Such resolutions shall be in triplicate form and sent to the LWML President by January 1 of the convention year.

Section 2

Resolutions not received in the prescribed time may, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors, be presented to the convention for consideration.

ARTICLE XIX—FINANCES

Section 1

  1. Mite offerings shall be gathered using Mite Boxes or other means.
     
  2. Mite offerings shall be remitted to the designated district financial officer.
     
  3. The district financial officer shall remit twenty-five (25) percent or more of the mite offerings to the LWML at least quarterly for funding mission grants and administration of the LWML.
     
  4. The district shall retain seventy-five (75) percent or less of the mite offerings in its treasury for funding district mission grants and administration of the district LWML.

Section 2

Expenses of meetings of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and departments, and other routine administration expenses incurred in the management of the LWML shall be paid from the LWML treasury.

Section 3

  1. The financial records shall be kept in accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) standards.
     
  2. An audit of the financial statements shall be conducted by a certified public accountant at the end of each biennium.

ARTICLE XX—FISCAL YEAR

The fiscal year of the LWML shall be from April 1 to March 31 inclusive. The LWML shall adhere to these dates in closing its books.

ARTICLE XXI—EMERGENCY ACTION

In the event of any great emergency such as war, epidemic, disaster, or other prevailing conditions making the holding of a convention inadvisable, the Executive Committee shall have the authority to determine whether the convention shall or shall not be held; a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Committee shall decide, and vote may be taken by mail or electronic messaging. In the event the convention is not held, the Executive Committee shall have the authority to plan procedure for conducting the routine convention business. Such procedure shall have the approval of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE XXII—PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the proceedings of the LWML in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the LWML Bylaws, applicable law, or Christian principles.

ARTICLE XXIII—AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote at the convention. The proposed amendments shall have been presented for approval to the Board of Directors and published in the official publication in an issue previous to the convention or in a mailing to the delegates postmarked no later than forty-five (45) days prior to the convention. By unanimous vote a proposed amendment may be presented to the convention without prior notice. A three-fourths (3⁄4) vote shall be required for adoption.

Adopted July 1999
Amended July 2001
Amended June 2007
Amended June 2009
Amended June 2011
Amended June 2013
Amended June 2015
Amended June 2017

 

Standing Rules

  1. Since the English and SELC Districts operate within structures different from other districts, it is permissible for the English and SELC Districts to continue with zone grants.
     
  2. The offering received at the convention Communion Service shall be designated as a contribution to the mission goal of the LWML.
     
  3. The LWML shall have a Procedures Manual that is maintained by the Vice President of Organizational Resources and reviewed each biennium. The Manual shall include guidelines and policies pertaining to the administration of the LWML through its officers and committees.
     
  4. The LWML shall hold its biennial convention on a rotation basis of four (4) geographical regions.
     
  5. If there is a tie vote for the last chosen grant at a convention, the tie shall be broken by the voting assembly of the convention.
     
  6. The LWML shall have a mission statement and related goals and objectives. These goals and objectives shall be frequently measured and evaluated.
     
  7. The meeting to remove any officer from office shall be a closed meeting (see Article V, Section 4).
     
  8. The list of certified delegates and alternates shall be submitted to the LWML Recording Secretary by March 1 of the convention year (see Article IV, Section 4c).

 

View printable PDF of this article, LWML Bylaws (2017)

LWML Articles of Incorporation

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

Articles of Incorporation

ARTICLE I: NAME, DURATION, REGISTERED OFFICE, AND AGENT

  1. The name of this corporation shall be LUTHERAN WOMEN’S MISSIONARY LEAGUE (hereinafter referred to as LWML).
  2. The period of duration of the corporation is perpetual.
  3. The address of the registered office of the corporation is 3558 South Jefferson Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63118-3910.
  4. The name of the registered agent of this corporation is the president of this corporation.

ARTICLE II: OBJECT

The object of this corporation, an auxiliary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, shall be:

  1. to develop and to maintain a greater mission consciousness among the women of the Synod through MISSION EDUCATION, MISSION INSPIRATION, and MISSION SERVICE;
  2. to gather funds for mission grants either directly sponsored or approved by LCMS boards or LCMS district presidents, especially those for which no adequate provision has been made in LCMS or LCMS district budgets;
  3. to take charge of, hold, and manage all property, personal and real, that may at any time or in any manner come to or vest in this corporation for any purpose within the powers granted by the constitution and statutes of the State of Missouri.

ARTICLE III: MEMBERS

The membership of the corporation shall be composed of individual women and women’s groups within congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, on campuses, in resident homes, or in other settings, who have expressed their desire to join, have followed the procedure set forth in the Bylaws, and have made the object of the LWML their own.

ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS

The corporation shall have general LWML meetings once every two (2) years or as often as may be determined by resolution of the corporation. Special meetings may be called in such manner as may be provided by the Bylaws of this corporation. The meetings shall consist of delegates, the number and qualifications of which are to be provided for in the Bylaws.

ARTICLE V: OFFICERS

The officers of the LWML shall be as provided in the Bylaws, and shall be elected by ballot at the convention. The corporation shall have power to create or abolish such offices, boards, and committees from time to time as its Bylaws will direct.

ARTICLE VI: DISSOLUTION

It is expressly declared that this corporation is not organized for business purposes and that no dividend or pecuniary profits shall ever be shared by its members.

In the event of this corporation’s dissolution, its assets shall be conveyed to an organization exempt from federal tax under the provisions of Section 501(c) (3) Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

 

ARTICLE VII: AMENDMENTS

These Articles of Incorporation may be amended at any time by the voting members at any duly called regular meeting of the members, upon resolution adopted by the Board of Directors.

MRS. WILLIAM E. (HELEN) MORRIS, President
MRS. THEO. (ELEANORE) ZEILE, Secretary
MRS. ALBERT (LILY) THINGSTAD, Treasurer

Approved by
The Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis
State of Missouri
Wednesday, December 17, 1975
Amended 1999

 

View printable PDF of this article, LWML Articles of Incorporation

National Mission Grants

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

A primary object of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League is to gather funds for mission grants, including those directly sponsored or approved by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).

FUNDING

  • Mite offerings fund the grants.

  • Districts retain seventy-five (75) percent or less of the mite offerings received; twenty-five (25) percent or more is sent to the LWML.

  • Major portions of these funds are allocated for district and national mission grants.

SELECTING GRANT RECIPIENTS

  • The Mission Grants Committee reviews and evaluates grant applications before they are placed on the convention ballot, with input from representatives of the LCMS.

  • LWML members, through their certified delegates to LWML Conventions, choose the mission grants to be funded.

CRITERIA FOR LWML GRANT PROPOSALS

Ministries should:

  • be mission in emphasis, extending the ministry of the Word;

  • fit into plans and projections of the LCMS;

  • be current and ready for implementation; and

  • be ongoing in nature, with assurance of continuing after the grant moneys have been expended.

Ministries situated in an LCMS district should be approved by that district. Ministries involving a national or partner church should be approved by that body.

SUBMITTING GRANT PROPOSALS

Proposals may be submitted by LWML members, societies, zones, districts, and LCMS boards, according to guidelines prepared by the Vice President of Gospel Outreach. Please check the LWML website, www.lwml.org (“Missions” tab), for current updates and specifics on submitting proposals each biennium. Current procedures are generally posted in the spring of even-numbered years. All proposals are to be submitted electronically. General steps for submitting grant proposals can be found in the LWML Bylaws, Article XVII – Mission Grants, found in Section E of the LWML Handbook.

For grants submitted by LWML districts, it is necessary to submit the grant proposal to the respective LWML district president no later than August 15th of even-numbered years, so that the LWML district executive committee or board of directors has ample time to review and approve the grant before it is signed by the LWML district president and the LCMS district president.

For any grants for missions outside of the United States, grant submitters must contact the office of the LCMS Office of International Mission to share the scope of the grant proposal. This consultation must be documented on the Directory of Grant Personnel, by listing the date of the contact and the name of the person with whom the submitter spoke.

It is imperative that grant writers plan ahead before attempting to fill in the electronic forms on the website. Please check the LWML website for current, specific instructions, as the procedure may vary slightly from biennium to biennium.

In addition to the electronic copy produced by filling out the online form, nine printed copies of the grant with the required signatures must also be submitted. The hard copies must be mailed to the current LWML Vice President of Gospel Outreach; her mailing address can be obtained through LWML district presidents or by sending a request to depgo@lwml.org All printed copies must be postmarked no later than September 30 of the even-numbered years. For questions or additional information, please send an email to depgo@lwml.org

View printable PDF of this article, National Mission Grants

To learn more about current mission grants, click here.

To view national mission grant history, click here.

National Structure

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

Organization/Structure

The structure of LWML and duties of its officers and committees are detailed in the LWML Bylaws section of the LWML Handbook.

  • The biennial convention, held in odd-numbered years, is the governing body of the organization. Voting delegates are the elected and appointed officers, district presidents, chairmen of standing committees, zone delegates, and past national presidents. Special appointed personnel and Pastoral Counselors serve in an advisory capacity.
     
  • The Board of Directors transacts the business of the organization between conventions. The board is comprised of the elected officers, district presidents, appointed officers, and standing committee chairmen, with the Pastoral Counselors and special appointed personnel serving as advisory members.
     
  • The Executive Committee conducts the routine business of LWML between meetings of the Board of Directors and implements the program of work. The Executive Committee is composed of the elected officers (who have voting privileges) and the appointed officers and Pastoral Counselors (who serve in an advisory capacity).
     
  • 2017–2019 LWML Organizational Chart

Members

  • Women who are communicant members of an LCMS congregation are eligible for membership as an individual or in a group. Application for either type of membership is processed according to the requirements of the respective district.
     
  • The traditional unit of LWML membership is one or more groups within a congregation of the LCMS. However, women who hold membership in an LCMS congregation may form a group in a setting other than a congregation such as a campus or resident home upon acceptance by the respective district (see LWML Bylaws, Article II, Section 1).
     
  • Individual membership is available to a woman in an LCMS congregation with or without a group affiliated with the LWML (see LWML Bylaws, Article II, Section 1 e).
     
  • LWML groups are members of zones with geographic boundaries corresponding to district circuits as much as possible. Zones form the LWML district which correspond to the LCMS districts as much as possible.

Officers

  • Officers, elected in alternate conventions to serve a term of four years, are President, five Vice Presidents, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer.
     
  • Two Pastoral Counselors are elected in alternate conventions to serve a term of four years.
     
  • Appointed officers, appointed by the President to serve a term of two years and eligible for reappointment, are Meeting Manager, Strategic Plan Facilitator, and Public Relations Director.
     
  • Special appointed personnel are the Archivist-Historian, Contracts Administrator, Convention Chairman, Convention Manager, and Parliamentarian, appointed by the President for a term of two (2) years and eligible for reappointment.

Departments and Committees

Executive Committee

  • The purpose of the Executive Committee is to focus the vision of the organization and energize its membership to carry out the mission statement.

Nominating Committee

  • The purpose of the Nominating Committee is to seek out qualified, gifted members to be candidates for elected positions.

Christian Life Department

  • Christian Life Committee
    • Provides materials and programs for spiritual growth to enable women to find guidance and encouragement to be nurtured in their faith in Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit as each woman discovers her unique gifts and value in God’s family.
  • Christian Resources Editors
    • reviews and updates current program helps;
    • solicits authors to produce additional program helps; and
    • produces a two-year meeting guide that provides programming ideas and helps promote growth in faith and relationships with sisters in Christ.

Communication Department

  • Information Technology Committee
    • encourages the use of the website and social media platforms as resources for being in mission, service, and fellowship with other women;
    • updates and maintains the LWML website;
    • facilitates LWML presence and branding in social networking; and
    • provides resources and suggestions for technical support and education.
  • Official Publication Staff
    • produces the official publication of the LWML;
    • is a dynamic witness tool for all women;
    • connects women with the mission of LWML;
    • provides relevant and timely topics for study and discussion; and
    • informs women of LWML news at home and throughout the world.
  • Graphics Team
    • provides graphic design support for the work of the LWML; and
    • promotes the creative and professional look of the LWML.

Gospel Outreach Department

    Mission Grants Committee
    • reviews and selects mission grant proposals for the mission grants ballot; and
    • informs, encourages, challenges, and motivates women to support mission grant recipients.
  • Gospel Outreach Committee
    • engages, encourages, and equips women to share their faith in Jesus Christ, their loving Savior, with people of their communities and the world;
    • encourages sensitivity in women toward those who are hurting and in need; and
    • provides ideas, resources, and encouragement to empower women to serve God through globally serving others.

Organizational Resources Department

  • Growth and Development Committee
    • engages groups so they grow in faith and in relationships as sisters in Christ;
    • engages all LCMS church workers and build relationships as we partner in spreading the Gospel;
    • encourages participation in LWML events and activities, involving women and church workers, and spreading awareness of LWML missions and service;
    • equips groups by providing resources that connect women with the mission and ministry of the LWML; and
    • enjoys the benefits of Serving the Lord with Gladness!
  • Leadership Development Committee
    • supports and encourages present and future leaders as they discover their unique God-given gifts and so participate in a meaningful and encouraging servant leadership role.
  • Structure Committee
    • keeps the Bylaws and related resources flexible while maintaining the legal status of the organization.

Special Focus Ministries Department

  • Committee on Young Women
    • produces and facilitates the Young Woman Representatives (YWR) program for the LWML Convention;
    • energizes and mentors younger women to connect and grow in relationships as sisters in Christ; and
    • equips and encourages young women to become more involved in their congregation and the mission of the LWML.
  • Heart to Heart Sisters Committee
    • motivates, equips, challenges, and provides mentoring opportunities within the LWML for women of diverse ethnic groups to serve the church, participate in LWML, witness to the world, and grow in relationships;
    • produces and facilitates the Heart to Heart Sisters District Leaders program for the LWML Convention; and
    • provides resources to facilitate the Heart to Heart Sisters District program.

Personnel not in a Department

  • Archivist-Historian
    • writes history of LWML activities; and
    • gathers, receives, and preserves records and historical materials of the LWML.
  • Convention Chairman
    • leads the convention Host Committee to supply on-site assistance.
  • Convention Coordinators
    • assist the convention manager by focusing on specific aspects of convention.
  • Convention Manager
    • serves as liaison between the Convention Programming Committee and Convention Host Committee; and
    • reports to the Board of Directors as requested by the President.
  • Business Manager
    • oversees the business operations of the organization, including the LWML Office.
  • Marketing Team
    • provides support through intentional promotion of the programs, products, and services of the LWML.
  • Meeting Manager
    • develops and administers meeting service support for all LWML events as directed by the President; and
    • seeks out and arranges for quality services to meet the personal and meeting needs of the LWML.
  • Nominating Committee
    • submits names of at least two (2) candidates, if possible, for each office to be filled at national LWML conventions.
  • Parliamentarian
    • advises regarding parliamentary procedure to the president, officers, and members upon request; and
    • is an ex officio member of the Structure Committee.
  • Strategic Plan Facilitator
    • assists the organization to review the past, assess the present, and prepare for the future; and
    • focuses the vision of the organization through the use of a planning process.
  • Public Relations Director
    • informs LCMS entities of the mission and ministry of LWML.
    • interacts with the church and the world at large to influence perceptions and attitudes toward Lutheran Women in Mission.
    • coordinates convention publicity.
  • Public Relations Team
    • creates a consistent message and heighten the awareness of LWML’s mission; and
    • enhances our visibility to all women of the LCMS.

View the map of the LWML Districts here.

View printable PDF of this article, National Structure

Resources for Districts

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

RESOURCES AND FORMS

Resources are available online (many as free downloads) or from the LWML Store. These and other resources are found in the secure area of the LWML website and available to the District President:

  • Bible studies and devotions;
  • Retreat programs and PowerPoint presentations;
  • Leader training materials;
  • Servant event suggestions and mission service opportunities;
  • Audio/video materials;
  • How to set up a new LWML group;
  • Process for making bylaws changes;
  • Sketches and skits;
  • Ethnic resources;
  • LWML Convention inviting procedure;
  • Personnel Directory (secure document.)
  • Order of Procession (Suggestion for order of processions during district conventions);
  • New LWML Group Report Form (Used by a district president to report a new group in the district);
  • District Convention Information Form (Used by a district president to supply the LWML President with all necessary information about a district convention);
  • District Convention Information Form for the LWML Representative (Used by a district president to provide information about a district convention to the convention’s LWML representative);
  • Statistical Report of District Mission Grants Form (Used by a district president to provide information about district mission grants);
  • Sample Welcome Letter (District presidents may use this form as a template for a welcome letter to new local groups or individual members);
  • Participant Acknowledgment and Release Form (Template to be used for district events);
  • Personnel Resource Profile Form (Used by all LWML members interested in serving on a national committee. Must be submitted to the LWML President)
  • LWML Code of Ethics (A statement of the LWML’s code of ethics for the Board of Directors, employees, and volunteer leaders);
  • LWML Conflict of Interest Policy (A statement of the LWML’s conflict of interest policy);
  • LWML Group Disbandment Form (A form for district presidents to use when a group in their district disbands.)

 

View printable PDF of this article, Resources for Districts

Bylaws — Districts

BYLAWS

Districts have different structures, and each district should draft bylaws that best describe its organization and method of transacting business. The person responsible for drafting the district bylaws should study the LWML Bylaws to determine the parameters set by the LWML and use the LWML Bylaws as a guideline. The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised may also be used as a source for general information regarding bylaws. If further help is needed, the bylaws chairman should contact the LWML Structure Committee Chairman for guidance. Her name and contact information can be found by contacting the LWML District President.

Articles and sections on name, object, members, representation at LWML conventions, and parliamentary authority must conform to LWML Bylaws. Also, when referencing LWML officers, committees, or programs in district bylaws, the correct nomenclature should be used. Likewise, when referring to dates and deadlines required by LWML, care should be taken that these references are correct.

SEQUENTIAL STEPS FOR DISTRICT BYLAWS CHANGES

Extensive amendments or revisions of bylaws should not be rushed. The district Structure Committee should expect major change approvals to take at least one year from starting the process until the changes are presented for approval to district convention delegates. The Committee, working with the district officers, should give members plenty of time to review the changes and involve the membership as much as possible. The following steps should be taken when making proposed changes to the bylaws:

  1. District Structure Committee drafts revisions or amendments.
     
  2. The Committee presents the proposed changes to members of the district EC and/or the district BOD for input and preliminary approval.
     
  3. The district Structure Committee Chairman sends one (1) copy (in Microsoft Word via email attachment) of proposed changes as approved by the district EC and/or BOD (including cover letter listing date by which response is needed) to the chairman of the LWML Structure Committee for review. (The Structure Committee Chairman’s address can be found by contacting the District President.) Allow at least three (3) months for the LWML Structure Committee members to complete their review and report before the district’s convention.
     
  4. The LWML Structure Committee members review changes:
    1. making sure that articles on Name (of LWML organization), Object, Members, Representation at LWML conventions, and Parliamentary Authority conform to the respective articles in the LWML Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws;
    2. checking that the proper names and titles of LWML officers, departments, committees, and programs are used when referenced in the district’s bylaws; and
    3. offering suggestions for changes to enhance the finished product.
       
  5. The LWML Structure Committee Chairman sends the Committee’s comments to the district Structure Committee’s Chairman and the District President.
     
  6. District Structure Committee makes necessary changes.
     
  7. District EC and/or BOD gives approval to the proposed bylaws changes.
     
  8. Delegates to district convention vote to adopt, not to adopt, or amend proposed bylaw changes (in their entirety or in part).
     
  9. District Structure Committee Chairman sends one (1) copy (in Microsoft Word via email attachment) of the adopted bylaw changes to the LWML Structure Committee Chairman as soon as the bylaws are ready for distribution. (If the convention does not approve the changes, the district Structure Committee Chairman sends a courtesy letter to the LWML Structure Committee Chairman apprising her of this fact.).

All district bylaws and amendments must be sent to the LWML Structure Committee at least three (3) months before the district’s convention date for approval before presentation to the voting assembly for adoption. Following is an outline of articles and sections that may be used as a guideline when drafting district bylaws. The articles and sections that must comply with LWML Bylaws are written in detail.

 

SAMPLE DISTRICT BYLAWS

Lutheran Women’s Missionary League

(Name of the district) District Bylaws
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

ARTICLE I — NAME
The name of this organization shall be Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (district name) District (hereinafter referred to as (short name) ), a subordinate organization of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary league (hereinafter referred to as LWML), which is an integrated auxiliary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (hereinafter referred to as LCMS).

ARTICLE II — OBJECT
The object of this organization shall be:

  1. to develop and to maintain a greater mission consciousness among the women of the district through mission education, mission inspiration, and mission service;
  2. to gather funds for mission grants either directly sponsored or approved by LCMS boards or LCMS district presidents, especially those for which no adequate provision has been made in LCMS or LCMS district budgets;
  3. to foster and support the program of LWML; and
  4. to take charge of, hold, and manage all property, personal and real, that may at any time or in any manner come to or vest in this organization. (Note: This wording is important if the district has an endowment fund.)

ARTICLE III — STRUCTURE

Section 1

The district is composed of individual women and women’s LWML groups within congregations of the LCMS (LCMS district name) District, on campuses, in resident homes, or in other settings.

Section 2

The district is organized into zones which consist of individual women and women’s LWML groups from LCMS congregations in their geographical areas. Zones shall conform to LCMS circuit lines where possible.

Section 3

(In this section outline the district’s guidelines for zone bylaws.)

Section 4

(In this section delineate the district’s requirements for the zones.)

ARTICLE IV — MEMBERS

  1. A woman who is a communicant member of an LCMS congregation is eligible for membership as an individual or in a local group.
  2. Women’s organizations within congregations of the LCMS, on campuses, in resident homes, or in other settings shall be eligible for membership as LWML groups.
  3. One (1) or more LWML groups affiliated with the district from the same congregation, campus, resident home, or other single setting shall be considered one (1) unit for the purpose of representation at LWML conventions.
  4. LWML groups formed in a setting other than a congregation, a campus, or a resident home by women who hold membership in an LCMS congregation shall make application to the district for recognition as groups.
  5. Individual membership is available to a woman in an LCMS congregation with or without a group affiliated with LWML. Individual membership is not considered an LWML group or a unit, nor does it confer voting privileges at the district or LWML level.
  6. Request for recognition of membership shall be processed by the district (Insert name of district officer responsible for membership records) with approval of the district Executive Committee and/or the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE V — CONVENTIONS

Section 1

(In this section, delineate guidelines for district convention site selection, dates, and official call to convention.)

Section 2

(In this section, outline the makeup of the voting assembly and information about voting such as voting in only one capacity, proxy votes, etc.)

Section 3

(Outline how delegates are certified. Delegates should be certified by the ranking officer at the next highest level of the organization. For example: District Presidents certify zone delegates to the LWML convention, Zone Presidents certify local group delegates to district conventions.)

Section 4

A convention for the purpose of transacting the business of the LWML shall be held biennially in the odd-numbered years at a place determined in a prior convention. District representation shall be as follows:

  1. Districts may authorize one (1) certified delegate from each zone having ten (10) or fewer units and one (1) certified delegate for each additional ten (10) units or major fraction thereof as of January 1 preceding the convention.
  2. Delegates may vote in only one (1) capacity and proxy votes are prohibited.
  3. Each certified delegate shall have a certified alternate when possible.
  4. The District President shall send the names of the certified delegates and alternates to the LWML Recording Secretary by the requested date in odd-numbered years.
  5. In the event neither the delegate nor the alternate is able to serve, a member of the same zone may serve as delegate upon certification in writing by the District President and presentation to the LWML Recording Secretary.

ARTICLE VI — OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS

Section 1

The elected officers shall be: (List all elected officers here and in the following sentence. The officers should be listed in this order: President, Vice Presidents in alphabetical order by position, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Financial Secretary, and Treasurer; this order should be followed throughout the document.)

Section 2

(Describe terms of office, when officers assume their duties, which officers are elected in which conventions, and time limitations for transfer of records.)

Section 3

(Describe method of filling vacancies, especially a vacancy occurring in the office of President.)

ARTICLE VII — DUTIES OF OFFICERS

(Outlines the responsibilities of each officer, giving each officer its own section as in the following example.)

Section 1

The President shall: (Outline the responsibilities of the District President.)

Section 2

The Vice President of (VP Title) may perform the duties of the office of the President in the absence of, or at the request of, the President and shall: (Note: Please consult the LCMS Official Stylebook for the correct punctuation of “may” sentences followed by “and shall:” This style should be used to introduce each Vice President’s responsibilities in subsequent sections. Remember to list Vice Presidents in alphabetical order by position. After the sections on Vice Presidents, provide a section for each of the remaining officers in the order they are listed in Article VI.)

ARTICLE VIII — NOMINATIONS

Section 1

(Outline the method of selecting the Nominating Committee. A Nominating Committee is independent of the President and Executive Committee and should not be appointed.)

Section 2

(Outline the responsibilities of the Nominating Committee.)

Section 3

(Insert information about nominations from the floor.)

ARTICLE IX – APPOINTED OFFICERS

Section 1

(List alphabetically the titles of all appointed officers in the opening sentence; then outline the characteristics and duties that are common to all appointed officers.)

Section 2

(In this and following sections, list alphabetically by position each appointed officer’s responsibilities.)

ARTICLE X – SPECIAL APPOINTED PERSONNEL

Section 1

(Special appointed personnel are persons whose office requires certain skills that are not common to the group as a whole, such as Archivist-Historian and Parliamentarian. This section should list the special appointed personnel in alphabetical order by position and describe the characteristics that are common to all of them.)

Section 2

(In this and subsequent sections, list the special appointed personnel in alphabetical order by position and describe each one’s responsibilities.)

ARTICLE XI – BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1

(Describe the makeup of the board and who has voting privileges and who does not. Also state whether or not substitutes are allowed to attend for absent board members and whether or not the substitutes have a vote.)

Section 2

(Insert information regarding meetings.)

Section 3

(Insert information about a quorum.)

Section 4

(Outline the responsibilities of the board.)

ARTICLE XII — EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

(Use the same outline as for the Board of Directors.)

ARTICLE XIII – PASTORAL COUNSELOR

Section 1

(Describe the requirements for pastoral counselors.)

Section 2

(Describe the selection procedure.)

Section 3

(Outline the responsibilities of the counselors.)

ARTICLE XIV – STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1

(In Paragraph a, list names of standing committees in alphabetical order, ending with who serves as chairman with wording such as “with a Vice President serving as chairman of each committee.”)

(In paragraph b, list duties that are common to each committee member as in the following example.)

  1. Standing committee members shall:
    1. be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Committee;
    2. serve as coordinators of continuing programs and activities of the district and correlate to standing committees of the LWML;
    3. serve as non-voting members of the board;
    4. prepare a written report for regular meetings of the board;
    5. present an oral report to the board when requested to do so by the President;
    6. prepare a written report for the convention manual; and
    7. serve a term of two (2) years or until their successors are appointed, and shall be eligible for one (1) reappointment.

Section 2

(In this and following sections, with a separate section for each committee, list the responsibilities of each committee and coordinator as in the following example.)

The Christian Life Committee shall include the Vice President of Christian Life as chairman, the Christian Events Coordinator, and the Christian Materials Coordinator. The committee shall provide materials and opportunities that nurture members’ spiritual lives.

  1. The Christian Events Coordinator shall:
    1. work with Zone Presidents to prepare and present devotions at board meetings;
    2. serve as a resource person for zone and group Christian Life chairmen in planning Christian nurturing events; and
    3. maintain and publicize materials for society and group activities, promoting use of the products found in the LWML Catalog and on the LWML website.
       
  2. The Christian Materials Coordinator shall:
    1. inform members of a variety of resources suitable for use by individual members and for use at women’s activities and events;
    2. maintain a table display of materials available from the LWML Catalog; and
    3. maintain the audio/visual library for the district and be responsible for its circulation.

ARTICLE XV – SPECIAL COMMITTEES

Section 1

(In this section list alphabetically all special committees such as Convention, Endowment Gift Fund, Finance, etc.)

Section 2

(In this and following sections, list the makeup and responsibilities of each committee with a separate section for each committee.)

ARTICLE XVI – OFFICIAL PUBLICATION

Section 1

[Designate the official publication for the district. If possible, this should be a publication (printed and/or available online) which the LWML district controls, not one published by the LCMS district. This is desirable for times when the district needs to have a special publication to inform members of important items of business such as bylaw amendments, special elections, etc.]

Section 2

(List the purpose of the official publication.)

Section 3

(Should include wording like the following.)

The (name of publication) shall be provided to all members of the Board of Directors and to all LWML groups within the district in the second and fourth quarters of the calendar year.

ARTICLE XVII – MISSION GRANTS

Section 1

(Outline who may submit mission grant proposals and guidelines for accepting the proposals, including dates. For example, you may want to set a “must be postmarked by (date) date or set a specific date for electronic submissions.)

Section 2

(Outlines the procedure for approving mission grants. Note that proposals for all mission grants, except those submitted by LCMS boards, shall have the approval of the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors of the LWML district in which they originate; and have the approval of the President of the LCMS district or partner church in which the proposed grant recipient is located.)

Section 3

(List any restrictions and method of handling changes in mission grants with wording like the following example.)

  1. Funds voted for a mission grant must be disbursed or put into use within a two (2) year period from the time of the vote or be returned to the treasury for reallocation. The Board shall have the authority to extend the time for two (2) additional years in case of extenuating circumstances.
  2. In the event that changes in mission grant plans occur after the recipients have been selected in convention, the Board shall be authorized to approve the amended grant or reallocate the funds either in session, by mail, or by electronic messaging.

ARTICLE XVIII – RESOLUTIONS AND APPEALS

Section 1

(Outline the procedure for members to bring resolutions to the floor of the convention.)

Section 2

(Outline the procedure for receiving resolutions not received in the proper time so that the district can be flexible in listening to the needs of its constituency.)

ARTICLE XIX — FINANCES

Section 1

(List the title of the officer to whom mites and other offerings are sent. Include wording about sending twenty-five (25) percent of mite offerings to the LWML.)

Section 2

(Outline the district’s other financial policies such as society assessments, percentage of zone rally registrations to be remitted to district, etc.)

Section 3

(List any financial restrictions such as “No disbursements shall be made that necessitate a permanent subsidy from the treasury,” etc.)

Section 4

(Outline allowable expenses for district leaders and functions or include wording similar to the following example.)

Expenses of meetings of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, committees and other routine administration expenses incurred in the management of the district shall be paid from the treasury of said district.

Section 5

(Include wording similar to the following example.)

The financial records shall be submitted for financial review at the end of each biennium.

ARTICLE XX — FISCAL YEAR
(List the parameters of the fiscal year.)

ARTICLE XXI – EMERGENCY ACTION

Section 1

(List the method the district uses to determine whether or not a state of emergency exists that would prohibit the holding of a convention.)

Section 2

(Outline the procedure for conducting the business of the district in the event a convention cannot be held.)

ARTICLE XXII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
(Parliamentary authority is one of the areas in which district bylaws must conform to LWML Bylaws.)

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the proceedings of the district in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws, applicable law, or Christian principles.

ARTICLE XXIII — AMENDMENTS

Section 1

(Outline the procedure for amending the district bylaws.)

Section 2

(The following wording may be included in this section.)

  1. The required number of copies of these bylaws and all amendments or revisions shall be submitted to the LWML Structure Committee for review [at least three (3) months prior to the district convention] before being presented to the district membership for adoption.
  2. Upon adoption by the convention, the required number of copies shall be submitted to the LWML Structure Committee for filing.

Date district became a member of LWML (date)
Date of original bylaws (date)
Date of last amendments to bylaws (date)

 

View printable PDF of this article, Bylaws — Districts

District Relationship to Other Levels of LWML

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

THE DISTRICT AND THE LWML

The districts have a part in transacting the business of LWML through their zone delegates to LWML conventions (see LWML Bylaws, Article IV, Section 2-4). The District President is a member of the LWML Board of Directors that transacts the business of the LWML between conventions.

  • The Board of Directors meets annually and also immediately prior to the biennial LWML convention.
     
  • If the District President cannot attend an LWML board meeting or convention, an elected officer from the district may attend in her stead and have voice but not vote (see LWML Bylaws, Article X, Section 1b).
     
  • Notification of the substitute’s name and address shall be given to the LWML President.

 

View printable PDF of this article, District Relationship to Other Levels of LWML

Tax Exemption

A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

Tax Exemption

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League is incorporated with the State of Missouri as a general not-for-profit corporation. A copy of the Articles of Incorporation is in the LWML Bylaws (Section E of the LWML Handbook). The LWML Office is not required to pay state sales taxes. In many cases, districts, zones, and societies may be exempt from sales taxes. State laws vary in this regard. United States federal tax exemption rulings are applicable only to societies organized and operating in the United States of America.

District Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The Internal Revenue Code requires that each subordinate unit of an exempt central organization must have its own Employer Identification Number (EIN) even if it has no employees. In accordance with this ruling, each LWML district has its own assigned number. This number is to be used by each district LWML and its zones for any and all bank and investment accounts or any reports they may be called upon to complete. It may also be used by local LWML groups within the district. Local LWML groups may, with permission, use their church’s identification number. No unit is ever to use the personal Social Security number of a member. Each LWML district’s EIN Number may be obtained from the LWML District President.

If needed, the LWML tax exemption number and the LWML Employer Identification Number are available from the LWML Treasurer. These numbers are also available in the secure portion of the LWML website to those with access. The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League is exempt from federal income tax and, as an integrated auxiliary of The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod, is not required to file annual income tax returns. Districts, as subordinate units of the LWML, are also tax exempt. The group ruling letter from the IRS, dated 1965, is filed in the LWML Office. Each district should have a copy in its files; copies are also available from the LWML Office upon request. If any district LWML has further questions, please contact the LWML Treasurer for clarification.
 

View printable PDF of this article, LWML Tax Exemption

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