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regarding the Christian work of the churches and persons to prepare and present papers thereon; shall do any work referred to them by the Council ; shall name a place for the next triennal Council ; may fill any vacancy occurring in any committee or office in the intervals of sessions, the persons so appointed to serve until the next session ; shall consult the interests of the Council, and act for it in said intervals, subject to the revision of the Council; and shall make a full report of all their doings, the consideration of which shall be first in order of business after organization.
VI. The sessions shall ordinarily be held in the latter part of October, or the early part of November.
VII. The call for any session shall be signed by the chairman of the provisional committee and the secretary of the Council, and it shall contain a list of topics proposed by the committee; and the secretary shall seasonably furnish blank credentials, and other needful papers, to the scribes of the several local organizations of churches.
VIII. Immediately after the organization of the Council the committee of nominations shall name to the body the following committees :
1. A committee on credentials, who shall prepare a roll of members.
2. A business committee, to propose a docket for the use of the members. Except by special vote of the Council, no business shall be introduced which has not thus passed through the hands of this committee.
3. And at their convenience they shall name to the Council a publishing committee of five, including the secretary, registrar, and treasurer, who shall contract for and distribute all publications ordered by the Council.
4. A finance committee.
Committees shall be composed of three persons each, except otherwise ordered. The first named member of each standing or ad interim committee shall be chairman thereof, and shall so continue unless the committee shall otherwise provide at a meeting of which every member shall have been especially informed. Honorary members shall be eligible to serve on special committees at the session; and any member of any Congregational church connected with the Council shall be eligible to appointment upon any committee to serve after the close of the session.
IX. In the sessions of the National Council, half an hour shall every morning be given to devotional services, and the daily sessions shall be opened with prayer, and closed with prayer or singing. Every evening shall ordinarily be given to meetings of a specifically religious rather than business character, and the Council will join in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper at some convenient season.
X. No person shall occupy more than three quarters of an hour in reading any paper or report, and, no speaker upon any motion, or resolution, or any paper read, shall occupy more than ten minutes, without the unaminous consent of the Council.
XI. An auditor of accounts shall be appointed at every session.
XII. The Council approves of an annual compilation of the statistics of the churches, and of a list of such ministers as are reported by the several State organizations. And the secretary is directed to present at each triennial session comprehensive and comparative summaries for the three years preceding.
XIII. The Council, as occasion may arise, will hold communication with the general Congregational bodies of other lands, and with the general ecclesiastical organizations of other churches of evangelical faith in our own land, by delegates appointed by the Council or by the provisional committee.
XIV. The presiding officers shall retain their offices until their successors are chosen, and the presiding moderator at the opening of the session shall take the chair, and the secretary shall at once collect the credentials of delegates present, and shall report the names of persons representing bodies already in affiliation with the Council, who shall prima facie be the constituency of the same, for immediate organization and business. The moderator shall then name the committee of nominations, and the council shall at once proceed to the election of its presiding officers.
XV. Such reports from committees, and statements from societies or theological seminaries as may be furnished to the secretary seasonably in advance of the session, may be printed at the discretion of the publishing committee, and sent to the members elect together with the program prepared by the provisional committee.
XVI. The provisional committee shall lay out a definite programme for the Council, assigning a distinct time, not to be changed except in special emergencies, to
(1) The papers appointed to be read before the Council.
(2) The standing and ad interim committees appointed by one Council to report at the next, who may present the topics referred to them for discussion or action.
(3) The benevolent societies and theological seminaries, when each society and seminary may be heard for a specified time, not exceeding twenty minutes, by its delegate to the Council.
All other business shall be set for other specified hours, and shall not displace the regular order, except by special vote of the Council.
XVII. Reports and statements shall not be referred to committees except by vote of the Council.
RULES OF ORDER.
The rules of order shall be those found in common parliamentary use, not modified by local legislative practice, with the following explicit modifications : –
1. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received, except the following, namely: to amend, to commit, to postpone to a time certain, to postpone indefinitely, to lay on the table, and to adjourn, - which shall have precedence in the reverse order of this list, the motions to lay on the table and to adjourn alone being not debatable. But the Council at any time, on the motion of one member, seconded by five other members, and by a two thirds vote of those present and voting, may order a vote to be taken upon
the pending question ; after this is so ordered, the debate shall not be cut off for one half hour, provided any member desires to speak; but during that time, no speaker shall speak more than five minutes.
2. No member shall speak more than twice to the merits of any question in debate, except by special permission of the body; nor more than once, until every member desiring to speak shall have spoken.
3. Ordinarily, voting shall be viva voce, or by show of hands; but any member may call for a division, in which case the number voting on each side shall be counted, announced by the chair, entered in the minutes, and published in the printed reports of the proceedings.
4. If the report of committee contains nothing, more than matters of fact for information, or matters of argument for the consideration of the Council, the question is : Shall the report be accepted? and that question, unless superseded by a motion to reject, to recommit, to postpone, or to lay upon the table, shall be taken without debate. Such a report, if accepted, is placed upon the files of the Council, but, not being an act of the Council, is not entered on the minutes.
(a.) If the report is in the form of a vote or resolution, or of a declaration expressing the judgment or testimony of the Council, the additional question arises : Shall the report be adopted? and motions for amendment are in order. Such a report, if adopted, with or without amendment, is the act of the Council, and is entered on the minutes.
(6.) If a report gives the views of the committee on the matter referred to them, and terminates with the form of a resolution or declaration in the name of the Council, the questions are : Shall the report be accepted? and Shall the resolution or declaration be adopted? and while the report at large, if accepted, is placed on file, that part of it which has become the act of the Council is entered on the minutes.
TRUSTEES OF NATIONAL COUNCIL.
The following was adopted [by the Nat. Council, 1886.]':
Whereas, The General Assembly of Connecticut, at its session, January, 1885, passed the following act of incorporation :
" Resolution incorporating the Trustees of the National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY, JANUARY SESSION, A. D. 1885. Resolved by this Assembly:
SECTION 1. That Julius H. Seelye, Frederick A. Noble, Henry Fairbanks, William M. Taylor, George F. Magoun, E. S. Jones, Samuel B. Capen, Henry A. Hazen, William H. Moore, Lavalette Perrin, and such other persons as may be associated with them, and their successors, be, and they hereby are, constituted a body politic and corporate, under the name of The Trustees of the
"Minutes, page 18.
National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States.
SEC. 2. The object of the corporation is to do and promote charitable and Christian work for the advancement of the general interests of the Congregational churches of this country, in accordance with resolutions and declarations made from time to time by the National Council of the Congregational churches of the United States; and said corporation may co-operate with any other societies under the charge and control of churches of the Congregational order in the United States.
Sec. 3. Said corporation may acquire, by purchase, gift, devise, or otherwise, and hold and dispose of real and personal property for the purpose of its creation, not exceeding sixty thousand dollars in value, and may make any contracts for promoting its objects and purposes not inconsistent with law.
Sec. 4. The said National Council may make rules, orders, and regulations for the government of said board of Trustees, and said board shall, at all times, be subject to the direction and control of said Council.
Sec. 5. The persons named in the first section of this resolution shall be the corporators under this charter, until the appointment of Trustees by said National Council at its next regular meeting, which Trustees, when so appointed, shall be the successors of said corporators, with all the powers conferred upon
corporation, and said Council may fix the number of said Trustees and their terms of office, and may provide for filling vacancies in their number.
Sec. 6. This act of incorporation shall take effect when accepted by a majority of the persons mentioned in Sec. 1 hereof, and by said National Council at its next regular meeting.”
And whereas, The persons named as corporators have unanimously accepted the aforesaid act;
Resolved, that the same be, and it is hereby, accepted by this Council.
Resolved, That this National Council, by this act, constitutes and empowers its provisional committee for the time being as the Trustees incorporated by the foregoing act, who shall have in charge and administer all moneys and other values belonging to it, or which may be contributed, bequeathed, or intrusted to it, limited only by their charter, the acts of this Council, or the expressed will of the donors.