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Spiral Grove: An Interpath Community of Nature Spirituality 

 

Article I.  Purpose. The Spiral Grove has been organized to fulfill the following purpose:

 

To co-create community that facilitates and implements holistic, interpath, nature-based spirituality in order to improve the quality of life in the community and the world by promoting an appreciation of diversity and providing for the arts, education, outreach, and ecologically sustainable living.

 

Article II.  Goals.  To co-create community that:

 

1.         Gathers to celebrate (i.e. conduct religious services) together at the Nature Holidays and to perform rites of passage.                      

                  (a)  At least one open celebration will be organized and advertised for each Solstice, Equinox, and Cross-quarter day.

                  (b) An “open celebration” means that any person including non-members who    harms none (see also policies and procedures) is welcome and that there will be an intention to create an atmosphere of acceptance of diversity by the circle facilitator(s). There will be no discrimination based on race, age, sex, sexual orientation (whether gay, lesbian, straight, bi-sexual or transgender), physical appearance, religion, class, or physical or mental disabilities. As an expression of our intention to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness, it is recommended that all enter each ritual saying, “In perfect love and perfect trust.”

 

2.         To provide a framework and safe place to allow us to live, practice, and incorporate our beliefs into daily life.  

 

3.         To facilitate interfaith dialogue and understanding.

 

4.         To encourage various expressions of creativity.

 

5.         To educate ourselves and the community at large.

 

6.         To provide charitable services including ordination of clergy and spiritual healing.

 

7.         To become a thriving, sustainable community offering a wide range of programs meeting the needs of children, youth, and adults.

 

8.         To create and foster nature preserves.     

 

9.         To create an effective, transparent, democratic, and inclusive organizational structure in order to fulfill our purpose and provide for the community.

 

Article III. Membership.

 

            There shall be two main classes of memberships: Class I. Community Membership and Class II. Leadership Membership

 

Section 1. Class I. Community Membership

 

            Community Members are welcome to participate in all Spiral Grove events and to receive  the Spiral Grove’s newsletter. They are welcome to speak at Quarterly Councils and to vote in the planning of events. Membership dues are $15 yearly, payment plans possible. If a person cannot afford the $15 dues they may request sponsorship through the Spiral Grove.

 

Section 2. Class II. Leadership Membership

 

            Adult Leadership Members are eligible to vote in the election for Board of Directors, in the making of amendments to the bylaws, as well as in the planning of Grove events. Class II members are required to either work 8 community service hours per year or pay $80 in dues per year, or to provide an equivalent combination of money and work hours, as decided by the member during the last month of the membership year (see below).  Adult Leadership Members must be 18 years or older or a legally emancipated minor.  If   they were not Grandfathered in with the initial membership (see Section 6 below) nor initiated into the Spiral Grove, they must follow the following Introduction to Leadership:

 

            Introduction to Leadership: First, the candidate for Leadership Membership states her or his intention for Class II membership at a Spiral Grove Council and as soon as possible acquires a Spiral Grove Sponsor (see policies and procedures) or connects with a member of the Membership Committee. Over the course of the year, the candidate must have  contact with their Sponsor or  membership committee member; attend and help at 5  Grove events; attend 2 councils and  learning circle/class; and finally, attend a Welcoming Ceremony at the Grove Council at the end of that year. If there are extenuating circumstances, an applicant can make up missed work.

 

Teen Leadership Members. (13-17 years of age) are eligible to participate in the planning of Spiral Grove events and to vote for teen delegate to the Board of Directors, if they  fulfill the following:

 

Have parental or guardian permission. After the Introduction to Leadership year (as for adults above), Teen Class II Members must have the recommendation of their Sponsor and work 5 hours a year in a task that supports the Grove (see policies and procedures  manual).

           

Section 3. Revocation of Membership (See Policies and Procedures)

 

Section 4. Group Membership. (i.e., Spiral Grove Circles)

 

              

            A spiritual group can have membership in Spiral Grove as a “circle” if they act in  accordance with the stated goals and purposes of the Grove and will send at least one  representative to Spiral Grove Council Meetings. Individuals within the circle can  choose to participate in any of the above categories of membership. If the circle desires,  it can be listed in the Spiral Grove’s newsletter and on the website as a Spiral Grove Circle. Individual Grove circles are permitted to limit their membership (e.g. to women only, men only, or a certain number of participants). They are also welcome to focus on   one spiritual tradition.

 

Section 5. Initial Membership.

 

The initial membership of the Spiral Grove shall consist of all persons 18 or older who have indicated by Candlemas/Imbolc ceremony 2008 that they wished to be considered members, had attended at least one Grove event, and had shown support for the Grove in some way. These members will have full  Class II Leadership Member voting rights in subsequent years, if they so choose and if they pay dues or work the required hours as delineated above.

 

Article IV Corporate Officers

 

Section 1.

 

The officers of the Corporation shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a  Treasurer, and such other officers as the Board of Directors may designate.

 

Section 2. Officer Qualifications:

 

All Officers must be Class II. Leadership Members; the treasurer and anyone who can  sign corporation checks must be willing to be bonded.

 

Section 3. Election and Officers’ Terms

 

Each elected officer shall serve a term of two years, with the election being held at a Board  meeting at the start of the fiscal year.

 

Section 4. Officers Duties

 

The duties of the officers are defined below and will also include such additional duties as may be required by the Board of Directors (BOD).

 

(a) President: The president shall oversee and lead the affairs of the corporation and will  coordinate and attend all the meetings of the BOD.

(b) Vice President: In the absence of the President or at the request of the President, the  VP shall perform the duties of the president.

           

(c) Secretary: The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all the meetings of the BOD in the  books proper to that purpose, shall give or cause to be given all notices of meetings of  BOD, and all other notices required by law or by these bylaws, be the custodian of all  minute books, correspondence, and paper relating to the business of the corporation  and BOD meetings, and provide copies of previous minutes to Officers and BOD for  review in determining agenda for impending meetings.

(d) Treasurer: The treasurer shall report to the regular meetings of the BOD and the Grove Quarterly Councils on the status of the Grove’s finances. The treasurer shall work closely with any executive staff of the Corporation to ascertain that appropriate procedures are being followed in the financial affairs of the Corporation and shall          perform such other duties as occasionally may be assigned by the Board of Directors.

 

Section 5. Resignations/Removals of Officers (see policies and procedures)

 

Article V: Board of Directors

 

Section 1.Definition.

 

The Board of Directors (BOD) shall consist of 3 to 9 Class 2 members of the Spiral Grove,  elected by the Spiral Grove voting membership, plus one teen delegate if one is elected. The BOD acts as a governing trustee of the organization on behalf of the Spiral Grove community and its contributors, while carrying out the organizations   missions and goals. 

 

Section 2. Duties of the Board of Directors

 

a.  Act in accordance with the Grove’s articles of incorporation, bylaws, and other governing documents, as well as all-applicable laws and regulations.

b.   Insure the legality, integrity, ethicality, and accountability of the corporation.

c.   Ensure effective organizational planning.

d.   Recruit and orient new Board members and assess Board performance.

e.   Ensure adequate resources.

f.    Plan annual budgets with the input from quarterly community councils and paid staff.

g.   Select the chief executive (paid staff).

h.   Support the chief executive and assess her/his performance.

i.    Enhance the organization’s public standing.

j.    Determine, monitor and strengthen the corporation’s programs and services.

 

Section 3. Elections, Terms, Removal, Individual Board Member Duties.

 

(a)  Election Eligibility; Any Class II member of the Spiral Grove is eligible to apply to run for election to the board of directors.

 

            Responses to the “Board Functioning” and “Self-Assessment” questionnaire(s) (see  policies and procedures) are reviewed by the Board Recruiting Committee (refer to P&P manual for Board Recruiting Committee)  Those whom the committee feels qualify can run for election.

 

(b) Election Eligibility of Teen Delegate

A candidate for Teen Delegate must be nominated by at least one other teen in the community,  pass a review by the Board Recruitment Committee, and is then run for  election by the teen  members of the community at the quarterly Council when the BOD election is held.

 

            (c) Terms.

Board Members shall have two year terms with elections held bi-annually at the first Grove Council of the fiscal year.

 

            (d)  Removal.

If a member of the Grove community feels that board members are not living up to it’s charge, he or she can bring up this complaint at a Quarterly Council and, if necessary, can initiate an Inquiry (see policies and procedures manual.)

 

(e)      Duties and Responsibilities of Individual Board Members:

 1. Know the Grove’s mission, purpose, values, goals, policies, programs, services,  strengths, and needs.

2. Perform the duties of Board membership responsibly.

3. Chair an Ongoing Committee and/or at least one project a year.

4. Continue education 8 hours per year with any of the following activities:

Attendance at a relevant conference, workshop, or course; researching &  writing an article for publication in the Grove newsletter or other publication;  independently studying books, articles, Board Manuals and submitting an outline plus a summary of the material; teach a workshop for the Grove or a  larger community.

5. Maintain confidentiality of Board Meetings.

            6.  Suggest agenda items.

7.  Avoid negligence, fraud, conflicts of interest and appearances of conflicts of  interest.

8.  Disclose conflicts of interest to the Board in a timely manner.

9.  Read and understand financial statements.

10. Prepare for and participate in meetings.

11. Take turn facilitating Board Meetings.

12. Support Board decisions.

13. Assist in implementing fundraising strategies.

14. Oversee committees.

 

     (f) Duties of Teen Delegate

A teen delegate works under the supervision of a board sponsor as an apprentice, learning all of the above duties.

 

Section 4. Board Meetings.

           

      (a)   At least 2 BOD meetings are required per year, but it is recommended the BOD meet   quarterly, before each Council. Minutes are available upon request.

            When calling a special meeting, use phone tree and email (see p&p for reasons for special meeting).  If it is impossible for a Board member to attend a meeting, they can vote by proxy. (see p&p)

 

(b)      Quorum (necessary for all board meetings) -- A majority of the members of the board constitutes a quorum.

 

(c)      Meeting Process -- Rotate the job of facilitation; appoint next facilitator at end of meeting. Utilize talking stick rounds and Robert’s Rules of Order as much as possible (see also policies and procedures manual).

 

(d)  Decision Making – The goal is to find 100% agreement, i.e. consensus. If no consensus is possible, a 2/3rd majority vote will decide. If after one round of talking stick there is not a consensus, conduct a discussion with the goal of crafting a compromise for no more than 30 minutes. If no consensus is possible, then take a vote until a 2/3rd majority agrees.

 

Section 5.

Filling Vacancies (that occur before terms expire).The BOD will appoint with majority  agreement a temporary member until the next election.

 

Article VI Quarterly Community Councils

 

Section 1. Announcement Procedure.

 

Post the date of upcoming Council in the Grove newsletter, on the Grove website, and over the Grove email list.

 

Section 2. Schedule and Purpose.

 

            The community is encouraged to attend the quarterly council that occurs just before newsletter publication deadlines, in order to carry on the work of Spiral Grove Community, to provide for the exchange of ideas and information, and to develop community.

 

Section 3. Quorum.

 

            At least 4 Grove members including one Board member must be present to conduct a Council.

 

Section 4. Procedure for conducting meetings.

           

Anyone can speak at Council, including children under 18. Facilitation of the Council’s group process should be rotated among all who are willing and who read the policies and  procedures.  Decisions are made as in Board meetings (see above). If it is impossible for              a member to attend, they can vote by proxy. Utilize talking stick rounds and Robert’s Rules of Order as much as possible.

 

Article VII: Committees

 

Section 1.

 

            Committees can be created as needed by the community at large after a proposal is  presented to and approved by the Board. The chair of the committee must report the  committee’s progress as required by the board.  Committee budgets must be proposed to the Board by October 31st.  Committees created after the beginning of the fiscal year will   be approved on a case by case basis by the board.

 

Section 2. Standing committees.

 

1.   Membership

 

2.   Visioning/Manifesting

 

3.   Policies and Procedures (Grievance Committee as needed)

 

4.   Ordination Training

 

5.   Education Committee

 

6.   Newsletter

 

7.   Events

 

8.   Youth

 

9.   Security

 

Article VIII: Amendments to the By Laws

 

Section 1. Procedure to Amend By-laws.

 

An amendment must be passed by a consensus of class II members at a Grove council where at least a majority of the BOD is in attendance.

            The amendment must be discussed and initially proposed at a Council, then it must be published in the newsletter and sent out over email, announcing the vote will take place, then voted on at a subsequent Council.

 

Article IX: Remuneration

 

No salaries shall be paid to Board Members or Officers of the Corporation because the Grove is non-profit.

 

Article X: Books and Records

 

Section 1.

 

Complete books and records of account as well as minutes of Board of Directors and Grove Councils shall be available for Community review.

 

Section 2. Fiscal Year.

 

The fiscal year shall run from January 1-December 31.

 

 

 

By Laws Adopted: January 6, 2008

 

Board of Directors:

1.         Terry Eller (Willow).

2.         Antoinette White (Maya).

3.         Carolyn Hearn (Phenix).

4.         Gretchen Comer (Cellina).

5.         Alex Comer (Glasshawk).

6.         Elisa Schwartz (Arlia).

7.         Mary Kupper (Ruby).

 

Amendment History:

January 4, 2009 ~ Spiral Grove Council voted to delete the following from the Bylaws:

 

"Article III Section 3. Membership Year begins and ends Oct. 31. Balance of dues and written commitment to work must be submitted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31."

 

Copyright 2010. The Spiral Grove.