March 25th, 1996
Revised March 6th, 2000
Revised July 15th, 2002
Revised February 25th, 2004
Revised May 4th, 2005
Revised May 14th, 2009
Revised May 1st, 2011
Summerland Grove is a Pagan Church dedicated to the practice of the Old Religion. We wish to provide a network of groups and individuals, who seek companionship with others of like mind. We strive for a never-ending period of spiritual growth, Communication with our Gods, development of our higher selves, letting us be the best that we can possibly be, a renewed respect for this Planet for which we consider our Holy Mother Earth, and a continued strengthening for the reemergence of the Old Ways.
Our mission as a Church is to make available resources to the practitioners of Paganism and Wicca, for the purposes of teaching, living, developing, learning, growing, uniting and sharing in the Rites and Ways of the Old Religion.
We feel every individual has the right to view and worship Deity in their own way, so long as such practice does not impede, infringe or in any way hinder the basic rights and freedoms bestowed upon on all living things by their creators. Because of this belief, we feel that their conception of their God or Gods can never be wrong, only different. We recognize and respect that, it is this Diversity which makes us unique as individuals, and that only through diversity are we able to grow.
With this in mind, we hereby adopt and enact the following Articles:
1.1: The name of the corporation shall be Summerland Grove and it is a non-profit religious organization, incorporated in the United States under the laws of the State of Tennessee.
2.1: The purpose of this Corporation shall be as outlined in the Articles of Incorporation and the Preamble; specifically the following:
2.1.1: To promote the rites and practices of Paganism, otherwise known as the Old Ways, in a manner which encourages personal freedom, personal responsibility, self-actualization and the ability to become the best person you can be;
2.1.2: To provide the resources and training needed for the leadership, consultation, and organization of Pagan practitioners and groups.
2.1.3: To engage in the continued communication and socialization of other Pagan entities for the purpose of community, spiritual and personal growth, unity, sharing of information and formulation of a standard form of understanding amongst the diverse universe of Paganism.
2.1.4: To collect, receive, accept, and otherwise take into possession, money, property and other assets of any and every kind, for the benefit and promotion of this religious body.
3.1: There shall be two distinct forms of the Church - Secular and Spiritual.
3.1.1: Secular Structure. This structure of the Church, operated by the Board of Directors and Corporate Officers, will maintain all the business and legal affairs of the Church. This includes, but not limited to, maintaining records, bookkeeping, submitting paperwork to the appropriate authorities, and overseeing the general direction of the Church.
3.1.2: Spiritual Structure: This structure of the Church, operated by the Clergy Council and their advisors, will see to all the Spiritual needs of the Church and its members. This includes, but not limited to, performing Rites of Passages and other rituals, training members and ordaining Clergy.
3.2: There is a necessary overlap in the duties and responsibilities of several of the offices in these two structures. This overlap shall be limited to the position of President and Vice-President if there are available non-clergy members to fill the remaining roles.
4.1: Membership. Membership shall consist of those who have made written application, paid annual dues and have been accepted by the Board of Directors or its delegated authority.
4.1.1: Dues. The Board of Directors shall determine the annual membership dues and amounts. The treasurer shall collect all membership funds and administer them in accordance with established policy as determined by the Board of Directors.
126.96.36.199: Overview: The acceptance of new members by the Board of Directors is for the express purpose of the protection of Summerland Grove and its membership. Rejection or denial of membership shall only be considered in extraordinary circumstances; such as, but not necessarily limited to: violent felons and registered sex offenders.
4.1.2: Work trades and Scholarships may be considered in place of dues on a case by case basis upon the approval of the Board of Directors or its delegated authority.
188.8.131.52: Members of Clergy and Elders, and members actively serving on the Board of Directors are exempt from annual dues during their period of service.
4.2: Youth Membership. Minor children under the age of 18 may join the Church as Youth Members upon filing a Youth Membership Application, which includes a signature of a parent or legal guardian granting permission and approval.
4.3: Active Membership. Members whose annual dues are current shall be referred to as Active Members, with full voting privileges, subscriptions to Church publications.
4.4: Inactive Membership. Members whose annual dues are in arrears shall be regarded as inactive members, and their voting privileges, subscriptions to Church publications shall be suspended until such time as they renew their memberships with the payment of the annual dues.
4.5: Expired Membership. Members whose annual dues are in arrears for more than twenty-four (24) months and no other arrangements nor contact with Clergy regarding their membership have been made, will no longer be considered members of Summerland Grove.
4.6: Five Realms. Training shall be organized in degrees of progression, as follows:
4.6.1: First Realm. Identified with the Element of Earth and its symbols, and its color being Green, shall consist of members known as Seekers. Instruction in this realm will consist of and be limited to an introduction to paganism and an introduction to SG and it's traditions.
4.6.2: Second Realm. Identified with the Element of Air and its symbols, and its color being Yellow, shall consist of members known as Students. Instruction in this realm will consist of and be limited to the history and development of Wicca and modern paganism as well as other traditions, guided self-discovery to include any necessary counseling and shadow-work, and an exploration of personal ethics and responsibility.
4.6.3: Third Realm. Identified with the Element of Fire and its symbols, and its color being Red, shall consist of members known as Dedicants. Instruction in this realm will include critical thinking skills, an exploration of mythos, and all needed skills to allow the Dedicant to pursue the spiritual path they have chosen.
4.6.4: Fourth Realm. Identified with the Element of Water and its symbols, and its color being Blue, shall consist of members known as Minion Ministers. Upon graduation they shall be fully ordained Clergy, and shall be known as Ministers. Instruction in this realm will include counseling, ritual, comparative traditions, leadership, ministry and essentials of teaching.
4.6.5: Fifth Realm. Identified with the Element of Spirit and its symbols, and its color being White, shall consist of members known as Elders. There is no definitive instruction in this Realm.
184.108.40.206: Elders are chosen from the Clergy and Leadership by the Members of the Community, and when called to serve, they shall be known as Elders of the Pagan Community.
220.127.116.11: Being an Elder within the SG community does not necessarily equate to being an Elder in other communities as each community must chose its own Elders.
4.6.6: Each member may be referred to by their respective Realm.
4.7: Dismissal. Any member of the Church has the right to leave without hard feelings or negative recourse, for any or no reason whatsoever.
4.7.1: If the member left by their own choice, they may return at any time, under the stipulation that they may not hold any office for a term set forth by the Board of Directors, yet lasting no less than 3 months from the time of their return.
4.7.2: A proposal for dismissal and/or banishment from the church may come from any member, in response to violations of the Members Code of Conduct and/or Membership Standards. The Board of Directors investigates the claims of violation, and if sufficient merit is found, the dismissal/banishment may only be approved by a unanimous vote of the Clergy Council.
18.104.22.168: Dismissals shall be for a term set forth by the CLERGY COUNCIL with a minimum of six months. Banishments are permanent and may only be lifted by documented completion of tasks as set forth by the Clergy Council and Board of Directors, and a majority vote of the CLERGY COUNCIL for reinstatement.
4.8: Any member with a history of repeated dismissals (minimum of four)and returns may or may not return depending on a review of the case by the Board of Directors.
4.9: Redress of Grievances between individual members of the Church
4.9.1: Any member of SG who has a grievance which cannot be either set aside or resolved and which interferes in their participation in SG's rituals and events may request that the grievance be resolved in the following manner:
22.214.171.124: Any grievance shall be dealt with in a timely manner, to not exceed 60 days.
126.96.36.199: Until such time as the grievance is resolved, parties shall agree to maintain civil standards of behavior at events and rituals. If civil behavior cannot be maintained, the parties are expected to refrain from attendance.
188.8.131.52: All attempts should be made by the individuals involved to resolve the issue prior to the following steps being taken:
184.108.40.206.1: The member with the grievance shall schedule a meeting with the person with whom they have the grievance to reach a final resolution. The meeting will be held on neutral ground, with a member of Clergy present who has no conflict of interest with either party.
220.127.116.11.2: If the above step does not resolve the grievance, the member(s) with the grievance shall schedule a meeting with the Clergy Council in an attempt to find resolution.
18.104.22.168.3: If no resolution can be obtained between the members, then a judgment shall be formulated and voted on by the Clergy Council, up to and including dismissal of one or both members.
22.214.171.124.4: If the resolution or judgment of the Clergy council is unsatisfactory to either member involved, they may appeal to the combined Clergy Council and Board of Directors.
126.96.36.199.5: Throughout this process, members maintain their right of Dismissal.
188.8.131.52.6: All records kept of any of these meetings shall be under the strictest Clergy Confidentiality.
4.9.2: If a member has a grievance to address with a Clergy member, the Clergy Member shall be held to the Clergy Standards, but the process of addressing the grievance will be the same.
4.10: Redress of Grievances between individuals and/or groups and the Church
4.10.1: Redress of grievances between individuals and the Church will be
handled by a process of mediation.
184.108.40.206: The mediator will be an individual who is a Clergy Member in one of the other pagan communities in the wider Memphis area. This clergy member should be one that both Summerland Grove and the aggrieved individual/party agree to respect and follow the recommendations of this mediator. The mediators decision will be considered binding by both parties.
5.1: This item has been repealed
5.2: This item has been repealed
5.3: This item has been repealed
5.4: As of September 21, 2008, the position of Archpriest is hereby discontinued and stricken from the registry of viable positions within the structure of Summerland Grove Pagan Church. Neither this position, nor any other single occupant position like it, shall be reinstated.
6.1: Management of the Corporation shall be vested in a Board of Directors, consisting of a minimum of four corporate officers (President, Vice-President, Scribe, and Treasurer) and at Large Members
6.1.1: Members of the Clergy may, as conscience dictates, advise the Board of Directors on matters touching upon concerns of the Church, and participate in such decisions of the Board as a member thereof.
6.1.2: No member of the Board shall vote on a matter from which they would derive personal gain.
6.2: Officers of the Board of Directors shall be elected by a vote of the Clergy Council. The President, Vice-President, Scribe and Treasurer shall serve as officers both for the Board of Directors and for the Corporation. All members of the Board of Directors must be active members in good standing and qualified to perform the duties of their office.
6.2.1: There shall be a number of "at large" members of the Board of Directors that shall be elected by the membership as a whole. The number of "at large" seats on the Board of Directors shall be determined by the Clergy Council based upon the size of the general membership of Summerland Grove. There shall be at least 2 "at large" positions on the Board of Directors at all times. Additional seats may be added at any time by a majority vote of the Clergy Council to be filled by general election. The Clergy Council may reduce the number of "at large" positions (to a minimum of 2) only when there is a vacant seat among the "at large" members of the Board of Directors.
6.2.2: "At large" members of the Board of Directors must be members of Summerland Grove in good standing with attendance at a minimum of 2/3 (two-thirds) of scheduled Summerland Grove Functions over 1 (one) year. It is NOT, nor shall it ever be a requirement for "at large" members of the Board of Directors to have participation with the Realm System beyond basic eligibility for Second Realm.
220.127.116.11: The specific procedures for nominating and electing "at large" members of the Board of Directors shall be detailed within Summerland Grove's policies and procedures.
6.2.3: An "at large" seat shall be created upon the successful creation, implementation and governance of any satellite church of Summerland Grove by an ordained Minister of Summerland Grove outside of Memphis, TN. This position shall be filled by a member of that proto/sister church and elected by their local members. This position, like the "sister" church, shall be subject to Summerland Grove's Bylaws as well as Summerland Grove's Clergy Code of Conduct.
6.2.4: The length of term of service for "at large" members of the Board of Directors shall be 1 year, with a maximum of two consecutive terms. They may be reelected after at least one term has been served by someone else. Length of term and term limits may be adjusted by the Clergy Council and detailed within Summerland Grove's policies and procedures as needed in service to the community.
6.3: The powers of the Board of Directors shall be those usually assigned to such Directors. They are subject to limitation or specification at any meeting of the Board. They shall specifically include the following powers:
6.3.1: To call regular or special meetings of the Directors, the Councils, or of the membership, on initiative of the President, or by mutual agreement of two or more of the Directors;
6.3.2: To make rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of the State of Tennessee or the Bylaws of this Corporation, for the guidance of officers, Directors, and members;
6.3.3: To make rules and regulations for the use and management of all Church property, whether real or personal, and to change such rules and regulations at such time and in such manner as to said Board of Directors, or Directors of subordinate organizations, shall seem right and proper;
6.3.4: To issue certificates of Charter to members in other areas when they wish to establish a local Grove, or to establish Subordinate Organizations, upon conditions to be determined by the Board or its delegated authority;
6.3.5: To determine what shall be due and reasonable compensation to be paid any member of the Corporation for services rendered to or for the Corporation, affecting one or more of its purposes; and
6.3.6: To maintain, at the Central Office, confidential files on all members, active and inactive, and such other records as may be deemed necessary adequately to carry out the purposes of the Corporation.
6.4: The Board of Directors shall have full power and authority to borrow money on behalf of the Corporation, including the power and authority to borrow money from any of the members, Directors, or officers of the Corporation, and to otherwise incur indebtedness on behalf of the Corporation, and to authorize the execution of promissory notes, or other evidences of indebtedness of the Corporation, and to agree to pay interest thereon to sell, convey, alienate, transfer, assign, exchange, lease, and otherwise dispose of, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate, and otherwise encumber the property, real or personal, and the franchises of the Corporation to purchase, lease and otherwise acquire property, real and personal, on behalf of the Corporation; and generally to do and perform, or cause to be done and performed, every act which the Corporation may lawfully do and perform.
6.5: This section has been repealed
7.1: The Officers of the Corporation shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Scribe and a Treasurer
7.1.1: If at all possible, the only overlap between the Board of Directors and the Clergy Council shall be the positions of President and Vice-President.
7.2: Each Officer shall hold their position for a long as he or she can adequately demonstrate his or her capability to perform its duties and functions, or for as long as he or she desire to hold position, up to but not exceeding a length of five (5) years from the date of their official inception at the Annual Meeting held every Beltane, unless re-elected by the Clergy Council for another term of service. Any of the foregoing conditions may serve to limit the term of office for the three Corporate Officers.
7.3: The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the corporation and shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors. The President shall make decisions for the Church (on the advice of the Clergy Council and Board of Directors), delegate authority and tasks, ensure projects are completed on schedule. S/he shall have general charge of the business of the corporation, and shall execute, with the Scribe, in the name of the Corporation all deeds, bond, contracts, and other obligations and instruments authorized by the Board of Directors. The President shall also have such other powers and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors.
7.3.1: The President shall be a member of the Circle of Elders. If no Elder is willing or able to serve as President a Minister who has been approved by the Clergy Council and is of at least 1 year standing may serve in this capacity.
7.4: The Vice President shall be vested with all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the President in the case of the absence or disability of the President. In the case of the resignation, permanent disability, or death of the President the Vice-President may serve as Acting President until the next regular Clergy Council meeting at which time the Council shall appoint a new President. The Vice President shall be the Head of the Clergy council and will preside over meetings thereof. The Vice President shall establish projects for the spiritual growth of our members and ensures these projects are completed in the allotted time. The Vice President will report to the President. The Vice President shall also have such other powers and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors and President.
7.4.1: The Vice-President shall be, at minimum, a member who is a 4th realm student of at least one year standing, and be familiar with the administrative procedures of the corporation.
7.5: The Scribe shall keep records of all regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors, and forward these records to the members of the Board and the Clergy. The Scribe shall also notify the members of the Clergy and the Board of the time, place, and planned agenda of the regular Board by the Corporation. Notices should be sent at least two weeks prior to each regular meeting, and as early as possible before a special meeting. Subordinate Organization representatives are asked to send the Scribe a record of the quarterly business of each Subordinate Organization three weeks prior to the regular meeting, for inclusion in the quarterly meeting notes. The Scribe shall also serve as the correspondent of the Corporation with outside secular bodies and government officials, and file whatever reports and forms may be required by the State of Tennessee and/or US government on an annual or ongoing basis. The Scribe shall be responsible for developing and maintaining all official forms and application blanks used as may be designated by the Board of Directors. The Scribe shall monitor and ensure all communication via the Scribe email address. The Scribe will report to the President.
7.5.1: The Scribe shall be, at minimum, a member who is a 3rd realm student.
7.6: The Treasurer shall control the keeping of the books and accounts of the Corporation, and is responsible for the filing and payment of any monies required by the State of Tennessee and United States government and for filing any tax documents with governing bodies. Subordinate Organization representatives are responsible for the forwarding of quarterly financial records of each Subordinate Organization to the Treasurer in advance of each regular Board of Directors meeting.
Treasurer will work with the Board of Directors to put financial controls on purchasing in place and will present to Board on a quarterly basis financial statements including but not limited to income statement, statement of cash flows, and balance sheet. Treasurer should maintain the budget set by the Board of Directors at the beginning of the fiscal year and present at meetings the positive and negative budget variances.
Treasurer will present to members at large during the Church business meeting the financial condition of the church, including potential large and long term purchases.
7.6.1: The Treasurer reports to President.
7.6.2: Treasurer shall be, at minimum, a member in good standing with the Church with experience in accounting and/or financial management
7.7: Duties of the Bard shall include all appropriate duties of a general spokesperson, integration of the changing awareness of society into the vision of the Church, and coordination of relationships with other groups within the larger Pagan community. It shall be the responsibility of the Bard to keep well informed enough on all phases of both Summerland Grove and Paganism as a whole that such duties may always be competently and effectively performed.
7.7.1: This is an honorific position awarded by the membership in respect for a person's years of service to Summerland Grove.
7.7.2: The minimum requirements for this position are that they must be a 3rd Realm Student, and a functioning Priest/ess in their own right.
7.7.3: Multiple individuals can hold this position simultaneously.
8.1: The Clergy Council shall consist only of those members in good standing according to the current SG Clergy Duties & Standards, who have completed the Fourth or Fifth Realm in their training.
8.2: All members of the Clergy will be members of the Clergy Council for their specific region as per SG Clergy Standards & Duties, unless otherwise stated by that Clergy member.
8.3: Duties of the Clergy are documented in the current SG Clergy Standards and Duties document and any other such duties as may be determined by Clergy Council or the Board of Directors.
8.4: A Circle of Elders, consisting of members in good standing as defined in the current SG Clergy Standards and Duties document, shall provide the necessary guidance and spiritual advice to the Clergy Council and Board of Directors, and to perform other duties as may be determined by the Clergy Council, Circle of Elders or the Board of Directors.
8.5: Clergy is allowed to periodically take "time off" from Church responsibilities. The extent and reasons are as follows:
8.5.1: Limited Duty:
Not to exceed six (6) months.
One cannot hold office while on limited duty
Cannot exceed one year without an application for extension.
Extension by application only and may be extended for up to six months.
All duties and privileges are suspended until Sabbatical is over.
8.5.3: Leave of Absence:
Permanent until such time as minister re-applies to the position of clergy.
8.5.4: All ministerial duties are suspended until minister is re-instated as full clergy. A minister on Sabbatical or on Leave of absence may apply for special permission to perform a wedding or hand-fasting. Such permission must come and be approved by the Clergy Council.
8.5.5: Acceptable reasons for Limited Duty, Sabbatical or Leave of Absence:
18.104.22.168: Spiritual Renewal
22.214.171.124: Family Issues
126.96.36.199: Personal Mundane Growth
188.8.131.52: Prolonged Personal Illness
8.5.6: In order to request Limited Duty, Sabbatical or Leave of Absence, a minister must give the Board Of Directors 30 (thirty) days notice and reason for Limited Duty, Sabbatical or Leave of Absence, unless there are special circumstances. Such notice must be approved by the Clergy Council.
8.5.7: Clergy members are expected to request time off starting with Limited Duty, and after using the full 6 (six) months, may then request Sabbatical time. At the end of a total 24 (twenty-four) months, if a return to full Clergy Duties is not possible, a leave of absence may be requested. Exceptional situations will be addressed on a case by case basis.
8.6: Summerland Grove has an established Code of Conduct for Board Members, Clergy Members, Ministers and Officers of any associated sub-group.
8.6.1: Violations of the Code of Conduct will result in the following actions:
184.108.40.206: First violation will result in a formal written reprimand from the highest-ranking Board member not committing the violation and possible suspension of duties and privileges for a minimum of thirty (30) days.
220.127.116.11: Second violation will result in a formal reprimand and possible suspension of duties for a minimum of thirty (30) days.
18.104.22.168: Third violation will result in an automatic suspension of duties. The Board and Clergy council will conduct a meeting to determine the length of the suspension or permanent removal from ministerial duties and any other positions held in the church.
22.214.171.124: All current ministers and officers have signed a copy of the Code of Conduct. Future Ministers and officers are also required to sign a copy.
FORMATION OF SATELLITE ORGANIZATIONS
9.1: As Summerland Grove, by design, has no set tradition, and by design is a resource for the entire pagan community, the following are the guidelines that shall be followed for the founding of satellite Summerland Grove organizations outside of the wider Memphis area.
9.2: Satellite organizations must be founded by a Minister in good standing who is currently active in their local pagan community.
9.3: Prior to the founding of a satellite organization, the following steps must be taken
9.3.1: A proposal of expansion must be submitted to both the primary Board of Directors and the primary Clergy Council.
126.96.36.199: This proposal shall include:
1: Proposed plans for integrating into the local pagan community
2: Gaps and needs within the local pagan community that the satellite organization plans to fulfill.
3: Signatures of at least ten individuals in the local community who are willing and able to act as the core founders and members of the satellite organization.
3a: Of these ten individuals, a minimum of three must be interested in pursuing clergy status within Summerland Grove in order to properly stand as founders and clergy in this satellite organization.
3b: One member of clergy in the satellite organization must be willing and able to attend at least one clergy council meeting of the primary Summerland Grove Clergy Council per month.
3c: One of these ten individuals must be willing and elected to act as the At-Large member who will attend Board of Directors meetings as a representative of the satellite organizations.
4: An outline on how the satellite organization intends to handle teaching the Realm System.
9.3.2: The approval and ratification process of a satellite organization shall proceed as follows:
188.8.131.52: Proposal must be approved by a majority vote in both the primary clergy council and the primary Board of Directors
9.4: All satellite organizations must adhere to Summerland Groves Bylaws, and to the standards of conduct, duties and privileges expected of Clergy and Members.
9.4.1: Satellite organizations shall have a local Clergy Council as outlined in the Summerland Grove bylaws which shall not be subordinate to the primary Clergy Council
184.108.40.206: If the satellite organization does not have at least three clergy members to form a clergy council, the primary clergy council shall act as their clergy council until such time as there are three clergy members to act as a local and independent clergy council.
9.5: If the satellite organization is outside of the state of Tennessee, the founding members are responsible for all registration, incorporation and taxation requirements according to the laws of the location they are in.
9.5.1: They shall not have, nor form a local Board of Directors unless required by local law.
220.127.116.11: If required by local law, the satellite Board of Directors is subordinate to the primary Board of Directors.
9:6: After a satellite church has been founded, the following guidelines will apply:
9.6.1: All membership dues will be retained by the satellite organization
9.6.2: The satellite organization is responsible for submitting an annual report to the primary Board of Directors to be reviewed at the Annual Church Meeting.
9.6.3: Members are allowed to join and participate in the primary Summerland Grove's electronic networks, and are encouraged to create local electronic networks of their own.
9:7: The primary organization reserves the right to revoke the satellite status of any subordinate organization if cause is determined.
10.1: Amendments or changes in these Bylaws may be made by recommendation of the Board of Directors at any regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting.
10.2: The Board of Directors shall vote on all proposed amendments to these bylaws at any regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting.
10.3: The Board shall provide reasonable opportunities for all interested members to propose amendments to the Board for recommendations, and to study recommendations passed by the Board prior to their presentation for approval at a regular Board Meeting.
And no others.