Dartmouth Faculty/Staff Christian Fellowship

Constitution

This group will be known as the Dartmouth Faculty and Staff Christian Fellowship (hereafter referred to as the "Fellowship." It is intended to be a ministry of and to the faculty and staff of Dartmouth College(including the Dartmouth/Hitchcock Hospital).


Vision

The purpose of this group is to cooperate with God in the advancement of His Kingdom, both in our personal lives and at the college as a whole.

We would like this group to be a visible expression of our unity and common commitment to Jesus Christ. We believe that such unity expresses the heart of God. Jesus said that "If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." We will pray with and for each other, and we will also pray for the direction of the college. In our fellowship we will encourage each other to be good faculty and staff members, and in particular to be good Christian faculty and staff members.

This group will not be a substitute church. Rather it will help us deal with the issues we face at the college and help us to be together a light at the college.

One of the goals of the Fellowship is to make us better faculty and staff members. Furthermore, we believe that the group will minister to the spiritual needs of its members, at least as regards the part of their life which is at Dartmouth College. Furthermore, we believe that the love
which God calls us to will be of general benefit to the college. Furthermore, our vision specifically attempts to bring together Christians from a broad spectrum of traditions. For all these reasons, we believe that the Vision of this Fellowship is consistent with the aims of Dartmouth College.

The Fellowship will not support partisan political issues or candidates and no purpose or objective of the organization shall be in conflict with applicable local, state, or federal laws.


Statement of Faith

This group will represent and promote Christianity which is Biblical and includes common traditional tenets of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant churches.

More specifically, we affirm that the Bible is inspired by God, that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation, and that God has called us to live by the moral principles of the New Testament. We also affirm the Nicene creed (with the understanding that views may differ on baptism and the meaning of the word "catholic;" a translation of the Nicene creed follows at the end of this document).

 

Organization

A member of the Fellowship is defined as a Dartmouth Faculty or staff member (or staff member of the Dartmouth/Hitchcock Hospital), or spouse, who assents to the Vision and Statement of Faith of the Fellowship and informs one of the steering group members (in writing or by email) that he or she would like to be a member of the Fellowship. Other than the restrictions listed above, the only basis on which membership would be denied is if a person is disruptive of the activities of the Fellowship. In accordance with Dartmouth College requirements for recognition of religious organizations, membership will not be denied on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, physical or mental ability, or sexual or affectional orientation. Members of the group are entitled to participate in all the activities of the group except for steering group meetings (if they are closed). A list of names of members will be submitted to the Tucker Foundation each year (the Fellowship must have at least ten members to be recognized); otherwise, member's names will not be publicized without further permission.

The Fellowship must have at least 10 members in order that it be recognized by the College as a religious organization. If at any time the membership should decrease to less then 10 members (because current members decide that they no longer wish to be affiliated with the group), the representative of the Fellowship shall inform the Tucker Foundation.

The Dartmouth Christian Faculty and Staff Fellowship will be led by a steering committee composed of at least three persons. The steering group members must be men or women who are faculty or staff of Dartmouth College or the Dartmouth/Hitchcock Hospital. They must assent to the Vision and Statement of Faith of the Fellowship and be willing to work with the other steering committee members to make decisions for the group.

New steering group members may be added to the steering group if they wish to join, if they meet the conditions listed above, and if the other members of the group agree. Potential steering group members should ascribe to and strive to live by moral principles of the New Testament, including those relating to leaders (see, for instance, Matthew 22:36-40, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Galatians 5:16-26, Ephesians 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:6-9, 1 Peter 5:1-3; these passages are expanded at the end of this document). A new steering group member must have been an active Fellowship member for at least one year and should be known by at least one current member of the steering group so that a current steering group member can testify that the prospective steering group member has a vision for the group which is consistent with the Vision and Statement of Faith of the Fellowship.

Current steering group members may voluntarily step down from the steering committee by informing all the other members. Otherwise, steering group members may be removed by two possible procedures. If it appears that one of the steering group members has developed values or practices that are inconsistent with the Vision, Statement of Faith, and guidelines for steering group leaders listed above, and only after the members who are aware of the issues have tried to no avail to make correction by discussing these issues with the steering group member privately, then at least two members can petition the steering group for removal of the accused steering group member. If the steering group has been petitioned in this way, it must investigate the allegations. There will then be a discussion first among all the steering group members (with the accused steering group member present, unless he or she refuses to participate), and then among all the steering group members other than the accused steering group member. If all the other steering group members vote for removal, the offending steering group member will be removed. After the matter is decided, the steering group will report back to the people who petitioned for removal. If the accused steering was removed, the general membership will be notified that there is a change of leadership. Alternately, at least three members can petition for a referendum of the general membership (again, only after discussing the issues with the steering group member privately). If two thirds of the membership votes for removal of the steering group member, he or she will be removed.

All decisions for the Fellowship will be made by the steering committee, including decisions about meetings, program for meetings, and any other activities in which the Fellowship may participate. The decisions of the steering group will be made by consensus, including any changes to this constitution.

If the number of steering group members decreases to 2 (because current members decide to step down from leadership), the two remaining members may not make any decisions for the group until they approve another member(bringing the leadership group size to 3). If the number of steering group members decreases to 1, this Fellowship will be immediately dissolved.

At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Fellowship will submit to the Office of the College Chaplain the name and contact information for the primary contact person of the organization. This contact person will respond to requests for budgets or other information concerning the status of the organization and keep the Tucker Foundation informed as to any changes in the steering group or any other developments that might affect the status of the Fellowship as a recognized religious organization.

The steering group will submit an annual report to the College Chaplain or Dean of the Tucker Foundation at the end of each calendar year (no later than July 1). This report will include a summary of activities, financial activities, and any changes in purpose, officers, representatives, membership size, or membership criteria.


Appendix A: The Nicene Creed (fourth century)

We [I] believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We [I] believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We [I] believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen

Appendix B: Bible Passages Relating to Qualifications of Leaders (New International Version)

(Matthew 22:36-40) "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" {37} Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' {38} This is the first and greatest commandment. {39} And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' {40} All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders {10} nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. {11} And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

(1 Corinthians 13:4-7) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. {5} It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. {6} Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. {7} It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

(Galatians 5:16-26) So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. {17} For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. {18} But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. {19} The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; {20} idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions {21} and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. {22} But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. {24} Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. {25} Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. {26} Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

(Ephesians 4) As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. {2} Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. {3} Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. {4} There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- {5} one Lord, one faith, one baptism; {6} one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. {7} But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. {8} This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." {9} (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? {10} He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) {11} It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, {12} to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up {13} until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. {14} Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. {15} Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. {16} From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. {17} So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. {18} They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. {19} Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. {20} You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. {21} Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. {22} You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; {23} to be made new in the attitude of your minds; {24} and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. {25} Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. {26} "In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, {27} and do not give the devil a foothold. {28} He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. {29} Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. {30} And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. {31} Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. {32} Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

(Ephesians 5:1-20) Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children {2} and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. {3} But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. {4} Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. {5} For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. {6} Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. {7} Therefore do not be partners with them. {8} For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light {9} (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) {10} and find out what pleases the Lord. {11} Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. {12} For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. {13} But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, {14} for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." {15} Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, {16} making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. {17} Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. {18} Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. {19} Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, {20} always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(1 Timothy 3:1-13) Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. {2} Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, {3} not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. {4} He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. {5} (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) {6} He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. {7} He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap. {8} Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. {9} They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. {10} They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. {11} In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. {12} A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. {13} Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

(Titus 1:6-9) An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. {7} Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. {8} Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. {9} He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

(1 Peter 5:1-3) To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: {2} Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; {3} not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.