Model Constitution for Congregations

The 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly approved several amendments to the Model Constitution for Congregations. These amendments need to be added to your constitution and approved by a simple majority vote of those voting members present and voting at any legally called meeting of the congregation, provided the congregation council has submitted by mail notice to the congregation of such amendments, together with the council’s recommendations, at least 30 days prior to the meeting. (For information, refer to *C17.04 in your congregation’s constitution.)

To assist you in adding these provisions to your congregation’s constitution, two documents are available on the ELCA website:

  • Use the Model Constitution for Congregations 2013.pdf | .doc )
    if you’re undertaking a major revision of your constitution and bylaws.
  • Use the 2013 Amendments to the Model Constitution ( .pdf | .doc )
    if you update your constitution and bylaws regularly after each churchwide assembly.

Remember—in their care for the oversight and health of the congregation, elected officers and members of the congregation council are responsible for making sure these amendments are included in your congregation’s constitution.

If you have any questions about this please contact Shirleen Wyland at