609 East Cumberland,  Cowan, Tennessee  37318     Tel:931-563-3796 

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Policies and Guidelines adopted 2014



Policies and Guidelines



Governing Council


Chairperson: pastor.

Vice-Chairperson: to be elected by the Governing Council at January meeting.

Secretary: to be elected by the Governing Council in January.


The Governing Council provides for the general administration of the church by regularly

reviewing and acting on matters of finance, mission,education and other programs of the church. The Governing Council sets the monthly day and time for stated meetings for each new year at its January meeting.


Vice-Chairperson of Governing Council*

This person is designated to moderate meetings in the absence of the pastor.


Secretary of Governing Council

This person will:

  • record the minutes of each meeting

  • provide copies of draft minutes of previous meetings for correction and approval

  • maintain a book of minutes of the Governing Council in which all approved minutes are archived.



Chairperson normally elected at annual Charge Conference for United Methodist reporting purposes


Secretary elected by the trustees at their first meeting of the year.


Legal title to properties is held by trustees on behalf of the congregation. Trustees are also

regarded as stewards of these properties, planning for the maintenance and development of the

church building, its grounds and the parsonage/manse in keeping with the objectives of the Governing Council.


Pastor—Parish Relations Committee

Chairperson elected at the annual Charge Conference.

Recording Secretary elected by the committee at the first meeting of the year.


The Pastor-parish Relations Committee is a United Methodist entity, and is a requirement of a local church. When the pastor is a United Methodist, the committee is the liaison between the congregation and the cabinet of the annual conference charged with making yearly appointments. This function does not apply when the pastor is Presbyterian, except when a pastoral change is anticipated. In that case, the cabinet, through the district superintendent, should be informed of the need of a United Methodist appointment in the coming year, since the church normally alternates between Presbyterian and United Methodist pastors. This would normally be communicate at the annual Charge Conference, but possibly at a later time prior to the next pastoral appointment cycle.


This committee shall meet at least annually to provide a setting wherein the pastor and the church can review the state and nature of the congregation's mission and ascertain how the pastor's gifts and priorities of leadership match the needs and focus of the congregation's mission. On this basis:

  • the committee makes a recommendation to the congregation at the annual Congregational meeting, held in December of each year regarding the relationship between the pastor and the congregation for the coming calendar year;

  • the committee and pastor review the current pastor job description and make any changes to reflect changes in the current mission and needs of the church. The job description should be included in the report to the congregation in December.



Guidelines for Use of Monetary Gifts to the Memorial Fund

Restricted (named) endowments in honor/memory of a person(s) will be accepted by church

trustees in aggregate amounts of $5,000 or more.


Gifts for designated items in honor/memory of a person(s) will be accepted by church

trustees and used for purchase of those items, provided they cover the costs.


Gifts in honor/memory of a person(s), totaling less than $1,000 in the aggregate after six

months, will be used by church trustees in the best interest of the Cowan Fellowship Church

although the chairman of the trustees or his/her designate may consult with the person(s)

honored or the family(s) of the person(s) memorialized when it seems appropriate.


Gifts in honor/memory of a person(s), totaling more than $1,000 in the aggregate after six

months, will be used by church trustees in the best interest of the Cowan Fellowship Church

after consultation by the chairman of the trustees or his/her designate with the person(s)

honored or the family(s) of the person(s) memorialized about appropriate use.


Special Offerings

At the January meeting of the Governing Council, the council designates the special offerings of the new calendar year. There shall be no overlap, resulting in multiple offerings in the same time period.


Presbyterian Session

The Session is responsible for overseeing the Presbyterian ministries of the congregation

and upholding the relationship to the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee and other denominational bodies. The Session ministers to the needs of Presbyterian members and examines candidates for membership. The Nominating Committee elected by the congregation serves as a Nominating Committee for the Presbyterian and United Methodist portions of the congregation for assuring the denominational representation on the Governing Council, Pastor-parish Relations Committee, and Trustees. (See “United Methodist Administrative Council” on the role of the Charge Conference for United Methodists)


United Methodist Administrative Council

The Administrative Council is responsible for reviewing United Methodist ministries of the congregation, upholding the relationship to the Tennessee Conference and other denominational bodies and promoting connectional concerns. The Administrative Council, meeting as a Charge Conference with the District Superintendent chairing the meeting, elects representatives to the Governing Council, Trustees and Pastor-Parish Relations Committee.


Worship Support

Altar Committees

Monthly altar committees are responsible for providing altar flowers and/ or decorations for

services and preparing Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month and other occasions.


The first-named person is the coordinator for the month and should contact other members

of the committee to reach agreement about responsibilities.


Altar committees are in charge of caring for and polishing the altar brass-ware. Artificial flowers are available for those who would like to avoid the expense of floral shop purchases. Ferns and other non-flowering plants sometimes make an attractive altar and enhance worship. When in season, or available, persons may choose to use native flowers or other media. Following services, the committees may want to distribute altar flowers to shut-ins, the sick, etc. The pastor should be furnished with information for the bulletin concerning memorial flowers.



Ushers are responsible for receiving the offering during worship, assisting worshipers at

Holy Communion and responding to special needs or emergencies.


Ushers unable to serve on a designated Sunday should contact the Usher Coordinator, to arrange for a substitute. Anyone not listed is invited to volunteer their service.




Greeters should arrive at church early and warmly welcome and provide bulletins for all

worshipers as they enter the sanctuary. They should keep on the lookout for strangers and make

certain all visitors feel welcome and comfortable. They should introduce them to others and

inform the pastor. Visitors may be greeted again after worship, asked to sign the guest

register or fill out the pew cards that can be placed in the offering and invited to come back.



Acolytes are responsible for lighting and extinguishing the altar candles at worship and giving other assistance to the minister as requested. Children in grades four through six are eligible to serve.

* * *



The church treasurer performs the following functions:

  1. Collections

    1. Count collections with the assistance of at least one other person at the time and place that the collection is taken;

    2. Deposit collections in the bank;

  2. Bookkeeping

    1. Keep the financial records of the church;

    2. Use an appropriate tool for doing this. It is recommended that the treasurer be familiar enough with operating a computer to use the Quickbooks software that the church has used for decades in order to maintain the financial database, and so the outgoing treasurer can train the new treasurer in its usage;

    3. Mail out giving records to givers annually;

  3. Train incoming treasurer;

  4. Provide the tools necessary for the Governing Council, in its November meeting, to prepare a church budget for the coming year; if the Governing Council does not employ a Finance Committee to work with the treasurer in preparing for this meeting, then the treasurer, in consultation with others as necessary, will prepare a draft budget for that meeting;

  5. Publish and distribute copies of the church budget for the coming year to the congregation at it's annual congregational meeting of December;

  6. Be authorized and appointed to write checks and pay the expenses of the budgeted church operation;

    7. In the event that a volunteer is unavailable to fill the treasurer's position, that a

    bookkeeper or bookkeeping service be employed to handle the bookkeeping;

    8. Invoices for over $100 must be okayed for payment by the responsible party.



*Mandated by church constitution.

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