Apple Valley, Minnesota

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Proposed Bylaws, Leadership Structure, and Constitution

Thank you to the incredible, diligent work of our Governance Task Force as they have held countless meetings, conversations, and reviews of all it takes to make this community of faith thrive.

Dear Members of Grace, 

This letter is to inform you that the Council has recommended that the revised Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions for Grace Lutheran Church be approved by the congregation at the Annual Meeting on January 23, 2022. 

This revision to the Bylaws brings significant changes to the governance structure of Grace. The current structure has been in place for many years and has become outdated. The expected outcome of the changes is to create more flexibility, and to optimize people’s passions within the governing structure to better carry out our mission and vision. The Governance Documents Task Force worked with an advisor from the Synod Constitution Review Committee, our pastors, and our Church Council. It also reviewed documents from several other congregations who had previously updated their governance structures. 

Rather than Commissions, the proposed structure is comprised of Committees, Ministry Teams, and Task Forces aligned with and reporting to members of the staff and/or council. These are the definitions of these three groups: 

  • Committees are for the management of necessary church functions. They are ongoing, sustain the church, and have a narrow scope. Committees have defined membership with term limits. Members are recruited by the Nominating Committee. 
  • Ministry Teams are formed by members compelled by a common cause that is ongoing, such as Outreach and Racial Justice. These teams have a broad scope that may change over time. Its members are motivated by their cause and consistently recruit and nurture other members. 
  • Task Forces are formed to achieve a specified outcome, such as the Altar Guild. They have a narrow scope and provide necessary delivery of services or impact. New members are recruited as needed. 

Based on these definitions, some groups currently titled “commissions” are now committees and some are ministry teams. There is a list of proposed committees, ministry teams, and task forces on the back page and also available for review at 

The structure of the Grace Church Council is changing from 13 members to 9. Also, the Council members will not be representing a committee or team, but will be recruited directly to serve on the Council. The goal is to establish the Council as a leadership group with fiduciary, strategic, and generative responsibilities, focused on our vision and mission. 

We encourage you to download and review the constitution with the proposed bylaws and continuing resolutions below. For those without computer access, printed copies are available in the church office. You will see that the bylaws are no longer a separate document but rather are embedded in the constitution. The bylaws are designed to support, clarify, or further explain provisions in the constitution and are placed directly in the section to which they pertain. In the proposed document, the bylaws are in blue print. Continuing resolutions are included in our governance documents for the first time. These support the bylaws and are in green print. 

Two information sessions have been scheduled to provide more detail and to respond to questions or concerns. You may attend these sessions in person or via Zoom at (password: grace). 

  • Sunday, January 16, 2022 at 10:30 am 
  • Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 6:45 pm 

We look forward to hearing your question and sharing more at these sessions and to your participation during our Annual Meeting in January. 

Grace and peace, 

Your Grace Council & Governance Documents Task Force

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