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Bylaws of St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church

Revised, voted and accepted at Annual Meeting on January 21, 2001
Final approval granted by Bishop Job June 5, 2001

The Saint Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church, located in Palos Hills, Illinois, is a Parish of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America, and incorporated as a religious (not-for-profit) corporation in the State of Illinois on 30 September 1986.

As the local community of the Church, this parish exists for the purpose of worshiping God according to the Holy Scriptures and Tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church, to encourage union with God among the members of the parish, to seek out the lost, the searching, and the unchurched and to strive to bring them into union with the Church , to provide religious education and charitable aid for its members and potential members, and to defend, promote, and witness to the Orthodox Christian Faith in America.

This parish is part of the Orthodox Church in America and, therefore, its organization and administration are subject to the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, adopted by the Second All-American Council of October 19-21, 1971 and amended by subsequent All-American Councils, and to the decisions of the diocesan assemblies of the Diocese of the Midwest.

This parish is, in essence, a spiritual body recognized by the canons, traditions, disciplines and regulations of the Orthodox Church in America. Its adoption of a civil corporate existence is done to allow it recognition in the secular world. If a discrepancy exists between the civil Certificate of Incorporation or civil bylaws and ecclesiastical canons, traditions, disciplines, regulations of the then current Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, such discrepancy shall be eliminated. Until the Certificate of Incorporation or these bylaws actually may be amended the parish shall be bound to the canons, traditions, discipline, regulations of the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America with the same force and effect as if the same were fully recited therein. All other provisions of the Certificate of Incorporation or bylaws not in conflict shall remain in effect as written.

This parish shall be regulated by the following bylaws which are intended to express the spirit of the Holy Orthodox Tradition, as interpreted by the Orthodox Church in America, on a practical level in the life of this parish as a whole, so that this parish might fulfill its divinely appointed mission in a peaceful and orderly way.

Article I - Parish Membership


A voting member, also referred to as communicant member, of this parish shall fulfill the following requirements:

  1. be a baptized and chrismated Orthodox Christian, or one who has accepted the Orthodox faith;
  2. be at least 18 years of age;
  3. partake of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion at Saint Luke Church regularly, but at least once a year;
  4. has been a member of this parish for a prior consecutive six month period;
  5. participates in the parish's financial stewardship program by offering an annual pledge for the maintenance and growth of the parish, the Diocese of the Midwest, and the Orthodox Church in America; and
  6. No one can be a member of the parish if he betrays the teachings of the Orthodox Church or if he leads a life, or acts in a manner condemned by the Holy Canons as incompatible with the name of Orthodox Christian.


A person who was a "voting member" in another parish of the Orthodox Church in America and who has transferred into this parish, in accordance with the authorized transfer form, shall have full voting member status, provided he or she fulfills all requirements as stated in Section 1 hereof.


Voting membership in two or more Orthodox parishes is not permitted.


Each year this parish shall remit to the diocesan treasurer its financial obligation to the diocese and to the Orthodox Church in America, as stipulated by the diocesan assemblies and the All-American Councils.


This parish, through its rector, parish council and secretary, is responsible for submitting annually the census and membership information to the office of the diocesan bishop, in accordance with the form as determined in current diocesan directives.


The rector and the parish council, in consultation with the diocesan bishop, shall initiate action to remove from voting membership that person who:

  1. directly or indirectly defies the dogma or canons of the Orthodox Church, and/or
  2. directly or indirectly obstructs those decisions rendered by the majority of the members of this parish or by the diocesan bishop, and/or
  3. directly or indirectly causes such disruption so as to affect adversely the spiritual life of this parish.

Action to remove rights of membership shall be referred to higher diocesan authority in the manner set forth in the current diocesan directives.

Article II - The Parish Clergy

Section 1 - VACANCY

Upon the death, retirement, or transfer of the rector, the vacancy in the office of rector shall be filled on a temporary basis by the diocesan bishop until the office is filled on a permanent basis.


The rector is assigned, transferred or removed by the diocesan bishop by virtue of the authority of his office and in accordance with the canons, ecclesiastical procedure and the needs of the parish and the diocese. The rector cannot be removed or leave his assignment without the specific permission of the diocesan bishop. This parish shall be responsible for the support and welfare of its rector until such time as he is removed from his position by the diocesan bishop.


The rector of the parish shall

  1. serve the liturgical and sacramental needs according to the Typikon of the Orthodox Church in America;
  2. instruct members and potential members of the parish in the tenets of the Orthodox Faith and piety;
  3. implement and supervise the parish's various ministries, stimulate Orthodox witness and evangelization, oversee the religious and moral education of the parish, and stimulate Church growth;
  4. strive to raise the level of spirituality and morality of the members of the parish and to nurture potential members of the parish;
  5. preside at all parish meetings and parish council meetings;
  6. keep the parish records of baptisms, chrismations, receptions into the faith, confessions, marriages, and burials, issue copies of the same, and report the statistics annually to the diocesan bishop;
  7. register marriages with civil authorities as may be required by law;
  8. be the intermediary between the parish, the dean, and the diocesan bishop;
  9. keep the parish seal;
  10. be responsible for the well-being of the parish;
  11. oversee implementation of the decisions of the All-American Councils, of the diocesan assemblies, of the diocesan bishop of the district dean, of the annual and special meetings of the parish, and of the parish council;
  12. approve the agendas for all regular annual and special meetings of the parish and of the parish council, and review and sign the minutes of same;
  13. be responsible for the supervision of additional clergy who may be appointed or assigned by the diocesan bishop; and
  14. be a member of the parish council and an ex officio member of all other committees.


To be free from material preoccupations and wholly committed to his sacred ministry, the rector must be compensated by this parish. The amount and terms of such compensation shall be determined prior to the time of his assignment and shall conform to the then current diocesan guidelines concerning compensation and benefits for the clergy. Amount and terms of such compensation shall be reviewed on an annual basis.


Additional clergy, as appointed by the diocesan bishop, shall assist the rector. The provisions of Article II, Sections 1, 2, and 4, shall be applicable to them. In addition to the general pastoral duties, such additional clergy shall be responsible for those specific duties as specified at the time of his assignment, in concurrence with the rector and the parish council and as approved by the diocesan bishop.

Go to Article III