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Department of Archives and History of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Guidelines for Congregational Minutes

Service Bulletin #2e

Guidelines for Congregational Minutes

The following are some guidelines for recording, processing and preserving the minutes of the voters assembly, boards, committees and organizations of the congregation.

  1. To provide the official record of the transactions or proceedings of a congregation, as well as a source of valuable information for future years, the secretary or a substitute shall keep a clear, accurate, adequate and objective account of the transactions of all regular and special meetings, including the number of members present at such meetings.
  2. To insure accuracy, it is essential that a copy of all recommendations or proposals by congregational boards or committees be given to the voters assembly at the time of their presentation and so entered by the secretary into the minutes with whatever changes the congregation may see fit to make at their adoption.
  3. In important business matters, especially those having legal significance, it is essential that the secretary record the names of the individuals moving and seconding the adoption of the recommendations.
  4. In order to provide for permanent legibility, the minutes shall be recorded by the secretary in typewritten form in a durable loose-leaf binder or transcribed in a legible hand into a permanent ledger. The binder or ledger shall be furnished and owned by the congregation. After the minutes have been adopted in a subsequent meeting, they shall be signed by the chairman and the secretary before they are filed. Post binders are recommended for permanent loose-leaf files. At certain intervals, such as five or ten years, loose-leaf minutes shall be permanently bound.
  5. All letters and documents that come to the secretary in an official capacity are considered the property of the congregation and shall be surrendered by the outgoing secretary to the successor.
  6. In the interest of safekeeping, the congregation will do well to have the minutes and records reproduced on microfilm and have additional copies of the minutes made and stored in a separate place, such as the district or synodical archives.

The congregational archivist should present these guidelines to the voters assembly and all boards, committees and organizations of the congregation so that they might be carefully followed. In this way an accurate record of the activities and policies of the congregation will be preserved.

Copyright © 1998 Concordia Historical Institute, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, 63105
These bulletins may be freely reproduced & distributed, as long as the copyright, name, and address of the Institute are properly displayed.

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