THE NORTHWESTERN ASSOCIATION OF
THE CANADIAN BAPTISTS OF ATLANTIC CANADA
Adopted: April 20, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Officers and Executive
Suggested Rules of Order
Conference Team Leader
Licensing Team Leader
Shiktehawk Bible Camp
Constitution of The Northwestern Association of The Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC)
Article I: Name
A. This body shall be known as the Northwestern Association Of The Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada, hereafter referred to as the Northwestern Association or simply "the Association."
B. It is made up of Churches already members of the Association or later received into this continuing Association upon written application and by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates at a regularly called meeting.
C. Such Churches should affirm their agreement with Article II of the Constitution.
Article II: Doctrine
The doctrinal beliefs of this Association shall be those expressed in the Basis of Union 1905-06 of the CBAC (see Appendix A).
Article Ill: Purpose
The purpose of the Northwestern Association shall be to promote cooperation and partnership among the churches of our Association to more effectively fulfill our shared mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The following will be recognized as accredited delegates to the Association Council, being in every instance a member of one of the Churches ofAssociation, a believer who has been baptized by immersion.
A. Each Church of the Association shall be entitled to send one delegate for their first seventy-five members or fraction thereof, one further delegate for each additional seventy-five members or fraction thereof to a maximum of five delegates. This figure shall be derived from the membership statistics reported for each Church in the current addition of the CBAC Year Book. Other members or adherents of the Churcheswill be welcomed as visitors, who may,although without vote, participate fully in the program and discussion.
B. Every ordained Minister, approved for ministry by the CBAC, either in active service or in retirement, living within the bounds of the Association.
C. Each Church or Association Licentiate, serving a Church within the Association.
D. Association Officers and Executive members shall be recognized as delegates.
Article V: Officers and Executive
A. The Officers of the Association shall be: Moderator, Vice-Moderator, Clerk and Treasurer.
B. The Executive of the Association shall be comprised of the above-noted Officers, and the following additional members: Communications Director, Camp Director or Camp Board Chairperson, Conference Team Leader, and Licensing Team Leader.
C. If at any time an Executive position, aside from the Officers, becomes irrelevant to the work of the Association, it may be dissolved. If at any time, a new Executive position becomes necessary, it may be created. Any such changes must be approved by the Association Council by a two-thirds vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council (see Article XIX).
D. The Executive may fill vacancies in their membership to be ratified at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council following the acceptance of the nomination by the nominee.
E. The Executive shall present nominations for Executive vacancies at the annual meeting of the Council.
F. Each member of the Executive must be an active member of one of the Churches ofthe Association, in good standing, a believer who has been baptized by immersion.
G. The duties shall be the general duties of any Executive which include the ultimate accountability and responsibility of an organized, effective Association as outlined in the Constitution.
H. Also, the Executive shall be:
(1) responsible to communicate to the Churches of the Association all relevant information regarding Association activities and decisions.
(2) responsible to prepare an annual budget, to be approved by the Association Council by a majority vote.
(3) responsible for the drafting of a Constitution and any revisions that may, from time to time, be necessary.
I. The Executive quorum shall be fifty percent of its membership.
Article VI: Association Council
A. TheAssociationCouncil shallbecomprisedoftheExecutive(SeeArticle V) and the delegates of the Churches(See Article IV).
B. The Council shall meet at least annually.
C. The Council Quorum shall be at least one-third of its membership and shall be administered by the Chair according to Robert's Rules Of Order.
D. The Council shall be responsible for
(1) the election of the Executive.
i. Should the Executive present nominations with a remaining vacancy, nominations may be made from the floor of the Association with the consent of the nominee.
(2) the adoption of the Annual Budget.
(3) discussing and deciding matters of Association business.
E. The Moderator of the Association shall be the Chairperson of the Council. In case of his/her absence the Vice-Moderator shall assume the Chair. In the rare instance when both Officers may be absent the Council may appoint a chairperson 'pro tem' from within its midst for that meeting only.
F. Suggested Rules Of Order
(1) Every Meeting shall be opened and closed with prayer
(2) All members and adherents of Association Churches may speak on all subjects under debate but only delegates may vote.
(3) No person shall speak more than twice on any motion, unless by permission of the Body.
(4) Motions made and lost shall not be recorded in the minutes unless so ordered at the time.
(5) The government of the Body and the regulation of its proceedings shall be in accordance with parliamentary usage so called. "Robert's Rules Of Order" shall be the guide.
(6) Immediately after the opening of each Council Meeting, these rules shall be distinctly read from the Chair.
Article VII: Moderator
A. Serves as Chairperson of Executive and Council Meetings and therefore should make him/herself familiar with Rules of Parliamentary procedure as put forth in "Robert's Rules Of Order."
B. Responsible for calling regular meetings of the Executive.
C. By virtue of the office, to serve as a member of the CBAC Regional Nominating Committee.
D. Upon invitation from an Association Church, The Moderator is normally expected to participate in Services of Induction and Ordination. The format for these events is usually found in A Manual For Worship AndService published by All-Canada Baptist Publications. He/she may also represent the Association at other events or services of an Association Church or Camp, participating at the invitation of the Church or Camp.
E. The Moderator shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office (renewable). When possible, the position shall alternate between Pastor and Lay Person.
F. In the event that the Moderator is unable to fulfill his/her term, the Vice-Moderator will become the Moderator and complete the term. Completion of the Moderator’s term will present no restrictions on a future term of office for the Vice-Moderator.
Article IX: Vice-Moderator
A. This person shall assist and act in place of the Moderator when required.
B. The Vice-Moderator shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office (renewable). When possible, the position shall alternate between Pastor and Lay Person.
C. If the position of Moderator should become vacant at the end of a three-year term, the Vice-Moderator should normally be nominated for the position.
Article X: Clerk
A. The Clerk shall keep an accurate record of proceedings of all Association Council and Executive Meetings.
B. Minutes of all meetings shall be circulated within two weeks of the meeting as follows:
(1) Council Minutes to all Association Executive Members, Council Members, and Pastors.
(2) Executive minutes to all Association Executive Members.
C. The Clerk shall complete and submit the Association Information Sheet*to theCBAC Head Office annually. *This document is updated annually and made available on the CBAC website.
D. The Clerk shall ensure that all records and information, includingthis Constitution,aretransferredtohis/hersuccessorintheOfficeofClerk.
E. The Clerk shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office (renewable).
Article XI: Treasurer
A. The Treasurer will receive, record, and bank all Association Funds.
B. The Treasurer shall distribute funds within the Budget in coordination with the Executive. Other funds shall be dispersed as directed by Association Council.
C. The Treasurer will provide accurate printed reports of the income and expenditures of Association at Council and Executive Meetings.
D. All records are the property of the Association and must be handed over to the successor in the Office of Treasurer.
E. The Treasurer shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office (renewable).
Article XII: Communications Director
A. The Communications Director will be responsible for keeping the Churches of the Northwestern Baptist Association informed of Association activities and interests.
B. When requested, and at his/her discretion or direction of the Executive, the Communications Director shall also be responsible for communicating information from: The CBAC, Camp Shiktehawk, or local churches.
C. The normal method for communication shall be by e-mail. Other means of communication, as available, may be utilized.
D. The Communications Director shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office (renewable).
Article XIII: Conference Team Leader
A. The Conference Team Leader will be responsible for overseeing the successful implementation of an annual Association conference.
B. This person shall recruit and lead a team, consisting of members of Association Churches, who will work alongside him/her in this endeavor. In developing a team, the Leader should be preparing a future leader for nomination to the position should it become vacant upon completion of his/her term.
C. The Conference Team Leader shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office (renewable).
Article XIV: Licensing Team Leader
A. The Licensing Team Leader shall oversee the process of the granting of Association Licenses and Lay Licenses to Minister.
B. He/she shall be well-informed of the Ordination Process as set forth by the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada, and especially the role of the Association License in that process.
C. He/she shall ensure that an application form is up to date and easily available to prospective applicants.
D. The Licensing Team Leader shall be elected to a three (3) year term of office (renewable).
E. The Licensing Team Leader shall recruit and lead a team, consisting of three (3) members of Association Churches including himself/herself. At least two (2) of the team members must be ordained ministers.
F. The process for granting or renewing an Association License or Association Lay License in the Northwestern Association is as follows:
(1) An eligible applicant completes and submits an application form.
(2) The Licensing Team Leader receives and reviews the completed application, and distributes the completed application to Team Members for review.
(3) The applicant is invited to appear before the Licensing Team prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council.
(4) If the Licensing Team wishes to grant / renew a license, being satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements, the Licensing Team Leader recommends the name(s) to the Council for a vote.
(5) If the Licensing Team is not satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements, or the Council should not vote in favour of the recommendation, the application is rejected and a license is not granted. The Licensing Team Leader shall notify the applicant in writing of the rejection with explanation.
(6) If the applicant is successful, the Licensing Team Leader ensures that each Licentiate receives the appropriate certificate from the CBAC or has his/her existing certificate updated for renewal.
(7) An applicant holding a license from a previous Association in which they ministered must apply for a new license from the Northwestern Association. On occasion, the license from the previous Association may expire before the usual time for interviews in the Northwestern Association. So as not to interrupt the applicant’s Ordination process, The Licensing Team shall hold the authority to grant a temporary stopgap Association License, without interviewing the applicant. This temporary License will expire at the time of a new License being granted or rejected or after a period of twelve (12) months.
(8) All Association Licenses must be renewed annually, following the above stated process.
Article XV: Shiktehawk Bible Camp
A. Shiktehawk Bible Camp is owned and operated by the Churches of the Northwestern Baptist Association (by vote of their Association at the East Florenceville United Baptist Church on January 23. 1962) and (by vote of the Association at Jacksonville on October 29. 1964). Title to the property is vested in a Body Corporate known as "Shiktehawk Bible Camp Inc.*; (Date of Incorporation December 28. 1964). The membership of which Corporation shall consist of such Officers and Council Members as shall be ratified by the Northwestern Baptist Association
B. Final authority in all matters pertaining to the Camp shall rest with the council of the Northwestern Association.
C. Camp shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any property without the specific vote of the council of the Northwestern Association.
D. The Northwestern Association has the sole authority to call / hire the Executive Director of Camp Shiktehawk on recommendation from Camp Council.
Article XVI: Other Appointments
A. Other appointments shall be nominated by the Executive as appropriate.
B. Included shall be positions that result from our Association's involvement with The Canadian Baptists Of Atlantic Canada such as member of the Examining Council For Ordination (and alternate), delegates to Oasis, and others that may arise.
C. These appointments shall be made by annual election unless otherwise stated in the Constitution of the CBAC as it applies to the positions noted in Section A above.
D. Notwithstanding Section B above, the Representative on the Examining Council For Ordination and the Alternate shall be elected for a three year term, and shall not be eligible for re-election at the close of that period until the lapse of one year.
Article XVII: Voting
All questions before the Association Council shall be decided by a majority vote, except in the instance of changing the Constitution, and admitting or dissolving the connection with member Churches, when a two-thirds majority of delegates present shall be required. ·
Article XVIII: Auditor
A. The Executive shall appoint an Auditor eachyear.
B. He/she shall make a yearly auditing of the Financial Recordsandpresenta written statement of his/her findings to the Annual Meeting of the Association Council.
Article XIX: Amendments
This Constitution may be altered or amended at any meeting of the Association Council by a two-thirds vote of the Delegates present, providing notice of such intended alteration or amendment has been given and distributed by the Communications Director at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
Article XX: Dissolution Clause
In the event of dissolution of the Association, the members present at a meeting of the Association Council shall determine the disposal of all assets including property.
The Basis of Union
The Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC) was formed in 1905-06 with the union of the Regular Baptists and the Free Baptists. Sharing many of the same concerns, the two bodies were brought together by their common interests.
The basis of union was a statement of agreed doctrine and church polity. Each church within the two bodies voted on the statement. All supported it with the exception of six churches, and none of the six voted negatively.
Thus the CBAC was brought into being upon an agreed statement of faith, which was approved by the churches themselves. Today, it remains the basis upon which we work together.
The Scriptures— The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments have their authority from God alone, and are given to us by divine inspiration. They are the only perfect, supreme, infallible and sufficient standard of faith and practice.
God — There is one true and living God; He is an infinite Spirit; self-existent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, good, wise, just and merciful. He is the creator, preserver, and sovereign of the universe; He is inexpressively glorious in holiness, and worthy of all honour, confidence and love. In the Godhead there are three persons in one: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are equal in every divine perfection, and who execute distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Jesus Christ— Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the person of the trinity who, by virtue of His sacrificial work, is the world's redeemer and the savior of all who believe. He is at present the intercessor of all His people at the right hand of the Father, and is to be the judge of all men.
The Holy Spirit— The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity, by whom all saving, com- forting and sanctifying power is exerted upon human hearts.
State and Fall of Man— Man was created sinless. By his own disobedience he fell into sin. Through his fall into sin, an evil nature was transmitted to the whole race, revealing itself in actual transgression, and bringing all under the reign of condemnation and death.
Atonement— The perfect life, vicarious death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, have removed the obstacles in the way of the Holy Spirit's regenerating power and of the Father's forgiving grace being extended to the sinner, and constitute for every believing soul an all prevailing plea and sufficient ground for righteousness before God.
Regeneration— In regeneration a new life principle is begotten in the soul of man by the Holy Spirit through the word of truth, producing a disposition to joyful obedience to Christ and to holy conduct in life.
Repentance— In repentance the sinner, having seen his sin, being moved by the energy of the Holy Spirit, is led to grieve for and hate it as an offence against God, and apprehending the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, he lovingly returns to God to walk in the way of His commandments.
Faith— Faith is a conviction of the intellect that God will perform all that He has promised and an implicit trust of the heart in Christ as a personal savior. It includes a hearty concurrence of the will and affections with the whole plan of salvation as revealed in the gospel, and is a condition of justification and of cleansing from the pollution of sin and of all subsequent gospel blessings.
Justification— Justification is an act of God wherein He accepts as righteous the sinner, to whom is imputed the perfect righteousness of Christ, on the condition of faith alone.
Sanctification— The Scriptures teach that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, Christians are made partakers of His holiness; that it has its beginning in regeneration, and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, in the continual use of the appointed means: the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.
The Christian Sabbath— We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's day or Christian Sabbath and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes by abstaining from all secular labour and sinful recreations, by the devout observance of all means of grace, both private and public, and by preparation of that rest that remaineth for the people of God.
A Gospel Church— We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word. In the more general sense, the word church is used to designate all whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. The only scriptural officers are bishops (pastors), and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the epistles of Timothy and Titus.
Baptism— This is the immersion of believers in water into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in which are represented their death to the world, the washing of their souls from the pollution of sin, their resurrection to newness of life, the burial and resurrection of Christ, their resurrection at the last day, and their engagement to serve God.
The Lord's Supper— The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Christ, to be observed by the churches in the manner indicated by Him in Matt. 26:26-30.
Death— At death our bodies return to dust, our souls to God who gave them. The righteous being then perfected in happiness are received to dwell with God, awaiting the full redemption of their bodies. The wicked are cast into Hades reserved unto the judgement of the great day.
Resurrection— There will be a general resurrection of the bodies of the just and of the unjust; the righteous in the likeness of Christ, but the wicked to shame and everlasting contempt.
General Judgement— There will be a judgement of quick and dead, of the just and unjust, on the principles of righteousness, by the Lord Jesus Christ, at His second coming. The wicked will be condemned to eternal punishment, and the righteous received into fullness of eternal life and joy.
Article I— The voluntary principle underlies the whole church polity of the New Testament. Each church is independent, but the churches are interdependent. All the power the more general bodies have over the less general and the individual churches, is to advise and to enforce advice with the strongest moral motives. In case a church, or the churches composing a less general body, depart from the belief and practice of the denomination, it shall be the right of the more general body to withdraw fellowship.
Article II— Each church, as occasion may require, shall have the right to appeal to the more general body for the help of their advice and moral influence, or to call a council from other churches. If a church, torn by dissensions and heresy, declines to seek assistance of this kind, it is the right of the more general body to send a delegation to assist the church as far as this may be possible.
Article III— Any church should be careful in granting a license to preach. Every license, to be valid, must be signed by the pastor and clerk of the church granting it, and countersigned by at least two neighbouring pastors after an examination of the candidate's qualifications.
Note with regard to Article III— The local church license to preach has been replaced with the License to Minister. Also, neighbouring pastors are no longer required to countersign and examine candidates. This process has been replaced by the association License to Minister.
Article IV— When a church desires the ordination of a brother, a council from as many of the nearest churches as will secure the attendance of at least five ordained pastors, with a suitable number of laymen may be called; or the more general body may be requested to attend to the matter.
Note with regard to Article IV— In 1922, this policy was replaced by the current practice of having a convention examining council consisting predominately of association representatives. Nevertheless, ordination still continues to be the responsibility of the local church.