Legal Issues for Congregations
Information provided for congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The general counsel of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is an attorney, recommended by the presiding bishop, and employed full-time in the Office of the Secretary. As the in-house lawyer for the churchwide organization, the general counsel provides legal advice and services to the officers, the Church Council, the Churchwide Assembly, and the programmatic units in the churchwide office. The general counsel is not the attorney for the whole church, its congregations, members or clergy.
This Web site is part of the general counsel's effort to make general legal information concerning the church more widely available to members, pastors, congregations, synods and affiliated ministries. Through the ELCA Attorneys Association, the general counsel helps synods, congregations, and other affiliates to find qualified attorneys who can represent their legal interests.
Model Constitution for Congregations
Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Fisher's Net offers a free online distributive learning course in Congregation Administration, which includes legal issues among other useful topics.
Legal Issues for Synods