The Board of Trustees (BoT) is responsible for the administrative and financial programs of the parish. The Board of Trustees helps implement the decisions made by the NRA, conducts parish general membership meetings, and works hand-in-hand with the pastor to develop programs that enhance the spiritual, national, educational, and social life of the parish.
Being elected to serve on the Board of Trustees carries great responsibilities. Board members must perform their duties with diligence and dignity and they must set a good example for the parishioners to follow. When our Lord’s disciples led the growth of the early church, they realized the need for good leadership within the Christian communities, and counseled them to select persons of “good standing, full of the Spirit and wisdom,” from within their own communities to serve the church. (Acts 6:1-6)
Board of Trustees Responsibilities and Best Practices
As an integral and vitally important part of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Board members should understand that they have not been given just a “job” to perform but a mission of service to God’s people within the church. Thus, Trustees must, first and foremost be “… good, full of the Spirit and full of wisdom” (Acts 6:3). This was the criteria by which the first church administrators, the deacons, were elected. It should also serve as a goal to strive for in life so that members of the laity who are chosen to govern the church will do so with compassion, intelligence, wisdom, love, and faith.
- The primary duties and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees are to meet the administrative, religious, national, and human needs of the faithful of its parish in accordance with the bylaws of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. It is suggested that each Board of Trustee member become familiar with the bylaws.
- They should be familiar with the Holy Bible, especially the New Testament and live according to Gospel principles.
- They should attend a bible study class for the faithful if one is offered.
- They should attend any lecture series for the choir, Sunday School teachers, and the faithful, if offered.
- The pastor and trustees should encourage the youth to participate in the annual Saint Gregory of Datev Institute, LinkedIn seminar and other spiritual/educational activities organized by the Prelacy.
- They should help maintain the traditions, values, history, and dreams of the Armenian Apostolic Church and people.
- They should pay visits to the bereaved to encourage and console them spiritually on behalf of the parish. This is an important duty for trustees to perform with the parish priest.
Board of Trustees Composition and Organization
- According to the bylaws, the duty of the Board of Trustees is to supervise all of the financial and administrative activities of the church and all other related institutions.
- Soorp Khatch has 11 Trustees, in accordance with the resolution of the membership meeting.
- The Parish Priest is ex-officio president of the membership meeting and of the Board of Trustees, and presides over both. The Parish Priest is also ex-officio president of affiliated bodies.
- Board of Trustee members are elected by majority vote of the Annual Parish General Assembly. After ratification of the election by the Prelate and the Executive Council, newly elected or re-elected members serve a two-year term. A Trustee can serve a maximum of three terms before he or she must take at least two years off before being eligible for re-election.
- According to the requirements as set forth in the bylaws, a person who wishes to be a candidate for election to the Board of Trustees must:
- a. Be christened in the Armenian Apostolic Church.
b. Be at least eighteen years of age.
c. Be willing to discharge the traditional obligations of the church.
d. Accept all the provisions of the By-laws.
e. Be registered as a member in his/her church at least six months prior to election.
f. Be up to date in payment of membership dues.
- After approval of its newly-elected members by the Executive Council, the Board at its first meeting must elect an executive as follows: Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and any other officers that are deemed necessary for the operation of the local church.
- According to the Canons and the National Constitution of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, and our bylaws, the Parish Priest is by virtue of his office, the ex-officio president of the Board of Trustees and the parish membership meeting (as well as the various bodies and committees affiliated with the church) and must be present at all Board of Trustees meetings.
- Along with the election of officers, boards should also designate a trustee or other suitable person to be the board’s liaison with other organizations or committees within the church such as Sunday and Armenian schools, ladies’ guild, church choir, men’s club, couples’ organization, investment committee, building committee, etc. If the board designates persons other than a BOT member, the designee(s) shall report to the Board regularly.
- The board should also designate various committees to oversee the general administration of the church. At no time should a non-Board member have the right to sign Church checks. These committees could include:
- a. Investment
b. Strategic Planning
c. Building and Grounds/Maintenance
f. Christian Education
g. Social Activities
- The Trustees and the Pastor should organize quarterly meetings with the executive bodies of all church organizations and committees as well as the principals of the Sunday and Armenian Schools, in order to preserve the vitality and focus of the parish community.
- Board of Trustees and the Pastor should welcome new members and encourage them to become members of the parish.
- Trustees and Pastor should Implement all resolutions and consider the recommendations passed by the parish’s General Membership Meeting and the NRA Convention.
- Trustees and Pastor should carry on the duties of the parish by fostering cordial and meaningful relationship with the NRA delegates. Meet with NRA delegates as necessary, specifically before and after the NRA Convention.
Board of Trustees Meetings
Regular Board of Trustees meetings are held at least once a month. The schedule for the meetings is determined by the Trustees and Pastor. A majority of Board members must be present for a quorum.Board of Trustees meetings are held behind closed doors. However a member can request, in writing, to be on the agenda. BOT Chair with the Pastor will consider the request and notify the member in writing.Only the Parish Priest or members of the Executive Body may call a meeting to order.
NRA delegates and honorary board members are notified and invited to attend Board of Trustees meetings when necessary, determined by BOT Chair and Pastor. They have voice but no vote.
Delegates should report the outcome of the NRA to the Board immediately following the Assembly. Their report should be published in the parish newsletter.
The Executive Body of the Board of Trustees may call special and emergency meetings between the regular meetings if needed.
General Membership Meetings are conducted according to the bylaws of the Prelacy of the Eastern United States, Section VI, Membership Meeting. The winter/spring meeting should be held no less than ninety (90) days prior to the NRA meeting.