THE STATUTES OF THE EUROPEAN DEAF CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE (EDCA)

1 NAME, HISTORY, STATEMENT OF FAITH, AIMS

1.1 INTRODUCTION

The European Deaf Christian Alliance (EDCA) is an umbrella of representatives from Deaf Christian
Denominational and Non-Denominational Churches and organisations in Europe.

These representatives are born-again, Spirit-indwel t believers who have submitted themselves to God
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and to the fulfilment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-
20; Mark 16:16-20; Acts 1: 8).

1.2 NAME AND HISTORY

Deaf Christian Fellowship-Europe was formed in Holland in April 1998, comprised of five member
nations: Holland, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, and England.

This organization changed its name in November 2000 to the European Deaf Christian Alliance,
hereafter EDCA.

EDCA member nations are as follows , with their year of initial membership:

Country Year Country Year

1. Holland 1998

2. Estonia 1998

3. Denmark 1998

4. Sweden 1998

5. England 1998

6. Russia 2001

7. Finland 2005

8. Ukraine 2008

9. Spain 2008

10. Italy 2009

11. Northern Ireland 2011

12. Norway 2012

13. Switzerland 2013

14. Austria 2014

15. Romania 2015

16. Moldova 2015

17. Bulgaria 2015

18. Germany 2016

19. Belarus 2017

20. France 2017

21. Israel 2017

22. Poland 2017                

23. Hungary 2017

24. Czech Republic 2018

25. Belgium 2018

1.3 STATEMENT OF FAITH

The statement of faith is Evangelical and Interdenominational. This fellowship accepts the Holy
Scriptures as the all -sufficient rule of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son and
    Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His
    miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection,
    His ascension to the right hand of the Father and His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe in the salvation of the sinner by faith in the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • We believe in baptism by immersion in water, entered into by all who have really repented and have truly believed with all their hearts in Christ as Saviour and Lord.
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit and His work necessary for conversion, regeneration, sanctification, ministry and worship.

We believe in the resurrection of the body, the judgement of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ with the eternal blessedness of the righteous and the eternal punishment of the wicked.

1.4 THE PURPOSE OF EDCA

  • To glorify the Lord, to help and build the unity of the Body of Jesus Christ in Europe.
  • To discuss and consider doctrinal, ethical, moral, social and other matters.
  • To develop a forum for fellowship, exchange of experience, edification, inspiration and empowerment to fulfil the Great Commission.
  • To work together and to build a necessary network to achieve God-given duties and goals in Europe.

1.5 THE AIM OF EDCA

The aim is to reach deaf people of every nation (in co-operation with other evangelical groups), to lead them to the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ and to build them up in the Christian life in fellowship with other deaf believers.

1.6 STATEMENT OF NON-PROFIT

EDCA has no commercial purpose and seeks no profit.

2 NATION MEMBERSHIP AND FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD

2.1 NATION MEMBERS

Nations are eligible for membership if:

  • There is an active Deaf Christian community
  • More than one church or organization from the country cooperate together to seek membership

Applications for membership should be addressed to the Secretary of EDCA, who will present it to the Board. The Board will decide approval of membership status based on God’s guidance and consensus of the Board.

2.2 THE BOARD

The Board consists of Nation representatives and officers.
The Board shall meet at least once a year to go through the official business of EDCA.

2.2.1 NATION REPRESENTATIVES TO THE BOARD

  • Each member nation will appoint a maximum of two representatives to serve on the Board as nation representatives.
  • The nominees must be leaders in the Deaf Christian community and agree with the Statement of Faith.
  • The nominees will be presented to the current Board for approval.
  • Each member nation will receive only one vote.
  • Nation representatives are expected to attend the yearly Board meetings

2.2.2 OFFICERS OF THE BOARD

  • The Officers are: President, Vice-President, Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer and two general Board Members.
  • The Officers are elected for a term (typically four years), and may be reelected to serve more than one term.
  • Officers shall, during their term of office, be neutral and independent of their own home country.
  • If an officer wants to resign, he needs to write a letter of resignation to the President of EDCA or the Board.
  • Officers have a vote independent from their country of residence.
  • The powers of the Officers shall be as delegated by the Board. The Officers can make decisions in an emergency situation but must report back in full to the Board at the next meeting about the decisions taken. The Board shall confirm these decisions or initiate further action at the next meeting.

2.3 ROLES AND DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS

2.3.1 PRESIDENT

  • The President shall preside over the Board of EDCA.
  • If the President is unable to attend the meeting, then the Vice President shall assume responsibility.
  • In matters pertaining directly to the EDCA President, the existing EDCA Vice President shall preside.
  • The key role of the President is to run meetings, manage EDCA business, and set, with the Secretary, the agenda for meetings of the Board.

2.3.2 COORDINATOR

  • The role of the coordinator is to cooperate with the organisers of EDCA events.

2.3.3 SECRETARY

  • In consultation with the President, prepare the agenda and make and keep records of all Conference proceedings and all sessions of the Board.
  • Prepare and edit the minutes for distribution.
  • Maintain a system of files, keeping all records accurately.
  • Answer all communication with copies to the President and Vice President.
  • Carry out any duties as directed by the President and/or the Board.
  • Assist the President with the preparations for the EDCA Board meetings.

2.3.4 TREASURER

  • The Treasurer shall look after EDCA’s funds with approval of the Board and take care of all financial matters according to the decisions of the Board.

2.3.5 GENERAL BOARD MEMBERS

  • Two Board Members are elected and participate in EDCA Board activities.
  • If one of the other officers cannot fulfill his/her duties, one of these Board Members may be assigned to fulfill the absent officer’s duties.
  • As with the other officers, these members have a vote separate from their country of residence, remaining neutral and not representing their country.

2.4 WITHDRAWAL AND DISMISSAL

If a National representative or officer wants to withdraw from the EDCA Board, she/he can send a letter of resignation to Secretary or President of EDCA.

If a member National representative or officer changes his or her actions or beliefs so as to no longer reflect the EDCA Statement of Faith or Biblical values, the EDCA Board may make a prayerful and unified decision to dismiss him/her.

2.5 ANNULMENT OF MEMBERSHIP

If a member has not attended the EDCA Board meetings for three consecutive times, then the EDCA Board reserves the right to suspend his or her membership.

If a member country has not attended the EDCA Board meetings for three consecutive times, then the Board reserves the right to suspend the nation’s membership in EDCA.

A member or nation may be reinstated upon the approval of the EDCA Board.

3 AREAS OF ACTIVITIES OF EDCA

3.1 EDCA BOARD MEETINGS

These will be focused on EDCA’s strategy, its business and future, according to the decision of the EDCA Board. These meetings are attended by the Officers of the Board and the National Representatives. The Board may grant permission for a limited number of guests to observe the Board meetings.

During the board programme, there may be separate meetings such as:

  • Sessions focusing on the areas of activities within EDCA.
  • Special topic sessions where a topic or issue may be presented followed by discussion and possible action.

3.2 EUROPEAN DEAF CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE (EDCC)

EDCC is to be held every four years immediately after the formal EDCA Board meeting.

These Conferences are to be planned by the EDCA Board in co-operation with the national host country’s committee. This conference is open to all and is focused on Biblical teaching, evangelism, and spiritual growth for the Deaf communities throughout Europe. This conference, as well as the other areas of activities, seeks to draw together the European Deaf communities in unity as part of a single Body of Christ.

3.3 OTHER AREAS OF ACTIVITIES

The areas of activities that EDCA is involved in include, but are not limited to the following:

EDC Pastors and Leaders: Focused on equipping, empowering and encouraging Deaf pastors and leaders; typically held every year.

EDC Youth: Focused on evangelism and spiritual growth and encouragement for youth ages 18 – 35; typically held every two years.

EDC Evangelism: Focused on Evangelism and outreach to Deaf communities throughout Europe.

EDC Worship Training: Focused on practice and training for praise and worship within Deaf communities; typically held every year.

EDC Family: Focused on Biblical training and encouragement for families and married couples; typically held every three years.

EDC Deafblind and Visually Impaired: Focused on spiritual growth, empowerment and encouragement of Deaf-Blind persons.

EDC Bible Translation: Focused on bringing together a network of churches and organizations involved in Deaf Bible translation and Bible use throughout Europe.

EDC Women’s Ministry: Focused on bringing together Deaf women, to encourage and strengthen their capacity for ministry as well as personal spiritual growth and fellowship.

EDC Children: Focused on bringing together Deaf people who are involved in Deaf Children’s ministry, developing ministry tools and methods for effectively engaging and ministering to Deaf children.

3.4 HOST COUNTRY COMMITTEE’S DUTIES

For many of these areas of activities, there will be a local host country committee that will co-operate with the EDCA Board in the organisation of an EDCA activity in their country. The membership of the host committee shall be determined by the EDCA representatives from the country where the Conference is to be, in consultation with the Board. If appropriate, the Board will nominate person(s) to the host committee.

The host committee shall be responsible for all the local practical matters relating to the organising of the Conference and for carrying out the decisions of the EDCA Board in full.

The host committee will bear full responsibility with regard to the Conference’s finances.

4 FINANCES

Member Nations are requested to make an annual contribution to EDCA funds. The amount of the contribution by each member nation is to be determined by the Board, and may vary according to the level of development of the Christian Deaf community and financial capabilities of each country. The current rates are as follows, but EDCA reserves the right to revise these rates at any time, and any such revision will be reflected in the next revision of these statutes.

Member status:

Developed countries 100€
Eastern European countries 50€
Developing European countries 10€

Associate status:

Non-European Developed countries 20€
Non-European Developing countries 10€

Countries outside of Europe may become associate members to encourage global relations and communication, and may participate but without vote.

The EDCA Board may allow non-members to observe meetings, without voice or vote, before deciding whether or not to seek membership and pay membership fees.
EDCA finances shall be conducted in accordance with the laws of the country where the treasurer resides. Likewise audits will be carried out from that same country.

For ease of accounting and finances, it is recommended that all transactions be carried out in Euros.

Funds are to be used solely to fulfil the purposes and aims of the organisation as set out in section 1.4 and 1.5 above.
The Board Members are volunteers and can only claim compensation for actual expenses and cash expenditure.

EDCA is a non-profit organisation. The liabilities of EDCA are limited to the assets of the organisation. Neither the Board Members nor the Representatives are personally liable.

5 MISCELLANEOUS

If at some future point the Board agrees that EDCA should be dissolved, the EDCA Board will appoint a committee to guide the organization through the actions and legalities involved.

The constitution may be amended at any time with the full knowledge and approval of the Board.

(Amended by Raymond Abernethy, 2019)

Raymond Abernethy

EDCA President Ireland