Articles of Incorporation
Representation of Members’ Interests
Board of Directors
Modification of Bylaws
ARTICLES OF THE WORLD PANTHEIST MOVEMENT
ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OF A COLORADO NONPROFIT CORPORATION
The undersigned persons, acting as incorporators of a nonprofit corporation under the Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act execute the following Articles of Incorporation for such corporation. FIRST: The name of the nonprofit corporation is: World Pantheist Movement. SECOND: The address of the initial registered office of the nonprofit corporation in Colorado is: 1366 South Drew Way, Lakewood, Colorado 80232, and the name of its initial registered agent at such address is: Registered Agency Services, Inc. THIRD: Such nonprofit corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and/or scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Specifically, the nonprofit corporation’s purposes consist of the following: 1. To inform and educate its members and the public about the principles and practice of scientific pantheism, an earth-honoring religion for which the universe is the supreme object of reverence; and which holds that there is only one type of substance in the universe, energy/matter; 2. To organize and fund local, regional, national, international, professional, university and special interest organizations of people who share the basic beliefs of scientific pantheism; 3. To publish and disseminate literature and other materials in writing and other media related to scientific pantheism; 4. To provide for the education and licensing of pantheist ministers, who may perform religious and ceremonial functions on behalf of pantheists as provided by law, including but not limited to funerals and the solemnization of marriages; 5. To promote the development of scientific pantheist ideas and practices in ceremony, philosophy, ethics, environment, education, arts, therapy and other fields; and 6. To develop cooperative links with sympathetic organizations in order to further these aims. FOURTH: No part of the net earnings of the nonprofit corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, delegates, directors, officers, or other private persons, except that the nonprofit corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article Third hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the nonprofit corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the nonprofit corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Nothwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the nonprofit corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. FIFTH: The nonprofit corporation will have members. The qualifications of members, if any, the application process, the property, voting and other rights and privileges of members and their liability for dues and assessments, and the method of collection thereof, shall be set forth in the Bylaws. SIXTH: Provisions regarding the distribution of assets on dissolution of the nonprofit corporation are as follows: Upon the dissolution of the nonprofit corporation, its assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the nonprofit corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes, or to such organization or organziations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes. SEVENTH: The nonprofit corporation shall have twelve (12) directors who shall serve as the initial board of directors. The name of each director is: Paul Harrison Hilary Caws-Elwitt Heather Cunningham Ezella Edwards William Garrett Ron Hooft Jan Edward Garrett Jocelyn Lee Markey Tor Myrvang Jeff Pitcher Sue Williams Charles Adam Yonce EIGHTH: Bylaws of the Corporation may be adopted by the Board of Directors at any regular meeting or special meeting for that purpose, so long as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of these Articles. NINTH: A director shall have no liability to the nonprofit corporation for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a director, except for acts or omissions that involve breach of his duty of loyalty to the nonprofit corporation or its members, acts or omissions not in good faith which involve intentional misconduct by the director or a knowing violation of law, acts involved in assenting to or participating in the making of a loan from the nonprofit corporation to its directors or officers, or transactions from which the director will personally receive a benefit in money, property or services to which the director is not legally entitled. TENTH: The name of each of the incorporators is: Paul Harrison Jocelyn Lee Markey Henry Gibbard
BY-LAWS OF THE WORLD PANTHEIST MOVEMENT
The World Pantheist Movement is a non-profit organization dedicated to the fostering of scientific pantheism. In order to achieve this purpose, the World Pantheist Movement has incorporated itself as World Pantheist Movement, a Colorado Corporation (hereinafter referred to as the Corporation). The directors of the Corporation hereby adopt the following bylaws to govern its affairs:
Article 1. AIMS
The Corporation is organized exclusively for religious, educational, charitable and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Specifically, the Corporation’s purposes consist of the following: 1.1 To inform and educate its members and the public about the principles and practice of scientific pantheism, a religion for which the universe is the only real divinity and nature is sacred, which holds that there is only one type of substance in the universe, energy/matter. The fundamental unifying beliefs of Scientific Pantheism are presented in the belief statement of December 1997 (known as the Founding Credo), as appended to these by-laws. 1.2. To organize and fund local, regional, national, international, professional, university and special-interest organizations of people who share the basic beliefs of scientific pantheism. 1.3. To publish and disseminate literature and other materials in writing and other media related to scientific pantheism, and to hold conferences, exhibitions and other gatherings to promote scientific pantheism. 1.4. To provide for the education and licensing of pantheist ministers, who may perform religious and ceremonial functions on behalf of pantheists as provided by law, including but not limited to funerals and the solemnization of marriages. 1.5. To promote the development of scientific pantheist ideas and practices in ceremony, philosophy, ethics, environment, education, the arts, therapy, and other fields. 1.6. To develop cooperative links with sympathetic organizations, to be agreed by the Board of Directors, in order to further these aims. Eligible organizations shall be decided by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE 2. OFFICE
The Corporation’s principal office will be located at its principal place of business. This location may be changed by a majority vote of the Board of Directors (Board). The Corporation may have such other offices, within or without the State of Colorado, as the Board may designate.
ARTICLE 3. MEMBERS
3.1 Qualifications for Membership
Members of the Corporation shall consist of those persons who have paid subscriptions to become members of the Corporation, or who have been accepted as members with a waiver of subscription. Full membership in the World Pantheist Movement is open to all persons aged 16 and over, regardless of sex, race or nationality, who have an interest in disseminating, or participating in the development and religious expression of scientific pantheism. Persons under 16 are eligible for junior membership but may have reduced privileges, as the Board shall decide.
3.2 Membership dues and benefits
The Board will establish a scale of membership dues, provided dues may be reduced or waived in specific instances to be decided by the Board. The Board may specify membership benefits to be enjoyed by members, provided that all such benefits shall be intangible religious benefits or benefits of such nature that they do not constitute a non-deductible quid pro quo for the donor/member.
3.3 Termination or suspension of membership
A member may resign at any time. Membership privileges will lapse in the case of failure to pay annual membership fees within three months of the due date. A member’s membership may be terminated or suspended only for conduct clearly inimical to the purposes of the World Pantheist Movement, or for conduct clearly tending to bring the World Pantheist Movement into public disrepute. The Board shall establish a procedure to be followed in the event of termination or suspension of membership, which shall provide the member with notice of the proceedings against him or her, and an opportunity to be heard.
3.4 Donations and bequests
The Board may authorize the acceptance of donations and bequests to benefit the tax-exempt purposes and aims of the Corporation.
3.5 Meetings of Members
An annual meeting of members shall not be required. Special meetings of members may be held upon a vote by a majority of the Board. The Board shall develop procedures for providing notice to members of special meetings, and shall fix the time and place of such meetings by resolution. Members may participate in such meetings through the use of any means of communication by which all persons participating in the meeting may hear each other during the meeting. Any action that may be taken at such a special meeting may be taken without a meeting by means of written ballot.
ARTICLE 4. Representation of Members Interests
4.1 Regular polls of members
The World Pantheist Movement is committed to the principle of democracy which is one of its core values, and is also committed to ongoing responsiveness to its members’ concerns. For the time being, the primary method of democracy will be by means of polls of subscribing members.
4.2 Annual polling
At least once per year, the Directors will submit a poll on WPM services, issues or policies for full WPM members to vote on, to give the leadership a sense of the concerns and wishes of the members at large.
4.3 Poll questions
Poll questions will be approved by the board of Directors on the basis of recommendations of the Membership Committee. They will deal with issues raised in WPM forums or member complaints, and with matters where members’ input or a sense of members’ preferences is essential. An issue may be included in the poll if agreed by a vote of directors, or by a petition of at least 20% of full members. For the time being issues related to WPM governance structure, core goals and principles will not be subject to polls.
4.4 Polling process
Polls will be conducted by way of a reputable Internet polling service. At the close of member polling the results or member voting will be tallied and announced. After this polls about beliefs, practices or issues may be opened to non-subscribing pantheists, members of our forums, and visitors to our websites, to get an idea of wider pantheist opinion.
4.5 Open-ended consultation
The Board of Directors will also have a duty to keep in permanent touch with members’ wishes and views on an ongoing basis through the WPM’s various mailing lists and fora and complaints. These shall be taken into consideration in all deliberations of the Membership Committee and the Board of Directors.
4.6 Resulting Duties of the Board
The Board of Directors will retain ultimate power of decision on all matters, but will always be cognizant of member opinions and poll results. In matters relevant to member services the board shall be obliged to give dominant weight to the views of subscribing members as expressed in polls.
ARTICLE 5. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
5.1 General Powers and Duties of Board
The administration of the affairs and funds of the Corporation shall vest in a Board of Directors. The Board shall determine all matters of policy and broad strategy in the development of the World Pantheist Movement. Among other things, the Board appoints directors, officers and committee chairs; votes on expense items above the discretionary limit in force at the time; decides on membership levels, dues and benefits; oversees and decides changes in the belief statement.
5.2 Number of Directors
The Board shall consist of not less than nine nor more than thirteen Directors. The number of Directors may be changed from time to time by amendment to these Bylaws, provided that no decrease in the number shall have the effect of shortening the term of any incumbent Director.
5.3 Election of Directors
a. Initial Board The initial Board of Directors shall consist of those named in the articles of incorporation. b. Successor Directors When a Director dies, resigns or is removed, successor Directors shall be elected by a vote of the Directors. A 75% majority of sitting directors is required to appoint a new director. c: Cooption Directors may co-opt additional directors who fulfil the qualifications of para. 5.4, provided this does not bring the total number to more than 20, or than the maximum that the Board may have decided under clause 5.2.
Directors must agree to sign the Credo in force at the time of their joining the board. They will be required to resign if it is later discovered that they disagree with the fundamental principles of the founding Credo of December 1997 on the universe as the only real divinity, on nature, on matter, and on death, unless these teachings have been modified because they no longer concur with the overwhelming weight of current scientific opinion. If they do not agree to resign, a vote of the directors shall be taken and a 75% majority shall be required to remove a director. Disagreement with the credo must be of an obvious and unambiguous nature. Clear expression of any of the following beliefs shall be considered as prima facie evidence of disagreement with the fundamental principles: i. Belief that spirit and energy/matter are two separate substances. ii. Belief in personal survival of the human soul after death. iii. Belief in a personal creator divinity, cosmic mind or cosmic soul. iv. Disagreement with clause three of the founding credo beginning “We are an inseparable part of Nature.”
5.5.A. Executive Committee
The standing Executive Committee will consist of officers of the WPM (President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership secretary) and chairs of permanent committees. The EC will review and deal with non-policy and non-structural matters from a WPM-wide perspective; initiate and/or approve structural initiatives and changes on a small-scale; prepare proposals and nominations for the Board. And related matters.
5.5.B. Other Committees and Taskforces
The Board of Directors may create and appoint such standing or special and advisory committees and taskforces as it may consider necessary for the promotion and proper conduct of the purposes of the Corporation. Members of the Corporation who confirm agreement in writing to the credo and aims (or a summary thereof) shall be eligible to be considered for membership upon all committees so created. Committees shall perform the tasks allocated to them and the chairs will consult with and report to the Executive Committee on matters that go beyond practical day-to-day operation. Ultimate policy oversight will rest with the Board. Except for the Executive Committee, members of committees shall be selected by committee chairs in consultation with relevant WPM officers. [See operational guidelines for 5.5.B]
Directors shall generally serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for expenses reasonably incurred and authorized by the Board to further the purposes of the Corporation.
5.7 Special and Annual Meetings
The Board of Directors shall meet as and when needed. A special meeting may be convened on the request of any member of the Board. Notice of the meeting may be provided by means of electronic mail, and shall be given at least five days prior to the scheduled meeting. Directors may be present in person, or by any electronic or other means through which all directors participating may hear each other during the meeting. There shall be one full annual meeting, the date to be fixed by the Board, plus at least one other full board meeting approximately six months apart from the annual meeting.
5.8 Quorum and Voting
A majority of the Board of Directors in office immediately before the meeting begins shall constitute a quorum, except in the special cases outlined in clause 10 below. Votes shall be decided by a 51% majority of those voting except in the specific cases detailed in other clauses. [See operational guidelines for 5.8]
5.9 Resignation and suspension
Directors may resign at any time. A director may be suspended from the board for persistent non-payment of dues, for prolonged non-involvement in discussions without good reason, for bringing the World Pantheist Movement into disrepute, or if it is discovered that they disagree with the basic tenets of the credo as defined above. The director shall have the right to present a defence. A 75% majority shall decide. Directors who resign or who are suspended shall be replaced according to a vote of the remaining directors.
5.10 Directors’ responsibility for Credo
The belief statement in use at any time will be known as the Active Credo. This will be reviewed by the Board of Directors if a majority vote to do so. This shall occur not more than once in every two calendar years, starting in December 1999, unless a 75% majority of directors decide that the credo should be reviewed as a matter of urgency. A review need not result in any change to the Credo. The Active Credo shall always remain a short text that can fit on one page, written in powerful and accessible language. Individuals may produce their own commentaries which shall not have any official status. i. Any modification to the Active Credo must be passed with a 75% majority of all Board members in place at the time of the revision. ii No modification to the Active Credo shall normally be allowed if it contradicts the four fundamental teachings of the Founding Credo of December 1997 on the universe as supreme object of reverence, on nature, on matter, and on death. iii. However, modifications of this fundamental type will be allowed if the relevant statement in the Founding Credo is found to be in contradiction with the overwhelming weight of current scientific opinion at any time in the future. Whether this is the case or not shall be judged by a high-level committee of natural scientists to be created at a later date. The criterion shall be, not whether the members of the committee believe this to be so, but whether it is so regarded by the overwhelming weight of scientific opinion. iv. The Founding Credo of December 1997 is part of these by-laws. It has historical status as the founding credo of the World Pantheist Movement. It shall be known as the Founding Credo and may not be altered under any circumstances and shall always be attached as an appendix to this constitution.
Directors shall not divert members from the World Pantheist Movement by actively promoting any directly competing religious membership movement, unless explicitly authorized by the Board.
ARTICLE 6. OFFICERS
Officers shall conduct the day to day business of the World Pantheist Movement according to the policies decided by the Board of Directors.
Officers will be directly elected by directors from among the directors. If no director candidates are available for an officer position then qualified persons may be coopted from the membership, provided they fulfil the criteria for directors; such persons will then become directors. In the election, each director will have as many votes as there are offices to be filled, and can cast only one vote for each office. Candidates for office must gain more than 50% of the votes cast. If no candidate achieves this, there shall be a run-off election between the leading two candidates. Elections will be held every two years with the first election in October 2000.
Candidates for office must be nominated and seconded by directors.
Officers must be fully paid up members of at least one year’s standing in the World Pantheist Movement or the scientific pantheism mailing list. Exceptions to this requirement may be agreed by the board in specific cases. Officers must agree to sign the active credo.
6.5 Term of office
Officers are elected for one year and the president for three years. Officers may stand for re-election.
. Meetings shall be held whenever there is pressing business to discuss.
Officers may be suspended for non-payment of dues, for neglect of duties or malfeasance in relation to their duties, for bringing the World Pantheist Movement into disrepute, or if it is discovered that they disagree with the basic tenets of the credo as defined above. Cases of neglect, malfeasance or non-performance of duties or bringing into disrepute will be on the basis of a complaint plus evidence from another director, which shall be submitted to all the directors. The person complained against will have the right to present a defence. A 66% majority of directors shall decide.
6.8 Filling of vacancies
When an officer resigns or is suspended, the vacancy will be filled by an election among the directors.
6.9. POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICERS
Officers shall have the powers related to their offices:
The president shall: 18.104.22.168 Preside over meetings of the board, coordinate agenda. 22.214.171.124 Make reports to the board, council and members. 126.96.36.199 Sign contracts and deeds, mortgages, bonds, contracts or other instruments, under the Board’s specific or standing instructions. 188.8.131.52 In general, exercise the duties and functions incident to the office of President and such other duties as may be assigned to him or her by the Board.
184.108.40.206. There shall be regional Vice-presidents for the major continents, depending on the numbers of members and the availability of suitable candidates. The geographical allocation of VPs will be designated in operational guidelines. 220.127.116.11 In addition, the regional VPs shall have particular responsibility to encourage initiatives for promotion and for membership in their respective areas. 18.104.22.168 In the president’s absence, or by delegation, one or more of the VPs will exercise or delegate any or all of the functions of President. The distribution of functions at such times shall be decided by an operational guideline, and any functions not covered by the guideline, or any extra-constitutional functions, will be distributed or delegated by agreement or by decision of the board of directors. [See operational guidelines for 6.9.2]
The Secretary shall: 22.214.171.124 Prepare and maintain minutes of directors’ and members’ meetings and other records and information required by law to be kept by the Corporation; 126.96.36.199 Authenticate records of the nonprofit corporation; 188.8.131.52 Respond to requests for information concerning the records of the corporation from members, government agencies, and the general public; 184.108.40.206 See that notices are duly given as required by these Bylaws or by law; 220.127.116.11 Keep a copy of records concerning each current or former member and his or her status as a member of the Corporation; 18.104.22.168 Sign with the President or the Board, deeds, mortgages, bonds, contracts or other instruments; 22.214.171.124 Assist the President or designated Vice President in filing such reports as are required by the Colorado Secretary of State; and 126.96.36.199 In general perform all duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him or her by the President or the Board.
188.8.131.52 The Treasurer shall have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds and securities of the Corporation; receive and give receipts for moneys due and payable to the Corporation from any source whatsoever, and deposit all such moneys in the name of the Corporation in banks, trust companies or other depositories selected by the Board in accordance with the provisions of these Bylaws; and in general perform all of the duties incident to the office of Treasurer and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him or her by the President or the Board. 184.108.40.206 The treasurer shall have the following, additional duties: a. The Treasurer shall assist the President or a designated Vice President in filing such forms or reports as may be required of a non-profit corporation by the Internal Revenue Service or the State of Colorado. b. The Treasurer will provide a summary financial status report on liabilities and assets when requested by the board, being given at least one month’s notice before the report is due c. The Treasurer shall render an annual report to the Directors for each fiscal year and his reports shall be audited at such time and in such manner as the directors may direct and according to the requirements of the laws of the State of Colorado, federal US laws, and the IRS. d. The Corporate books shall be reviewed biannually to ensure completeness by at least one other board member or by some other official method deemed appropriate by the Board. Safeguards 220.127.116.11. In engaging in transactions for the World Pantheist Movement, the treasurer shall follow the following procedures: a. The following items must be photocopied in duplicate: All checks, whether incoming or outgoing. All deposit slips or withdrawal slips. All bills must be photocopied b. All transactions must be dated, itemized, with the payees’ named and addresses c. The Treasurer shall provide the board biannually with an itemized report that includes a detail of all deposits and withdrawals; d. All originals and one set of copies are to be maintained by the Treasurer e. Full sets of copies of the above information are to be sent biannually to the Secretary to be filed with the corporate records. f. A monthly report consisting of all transactions, complete with dates paid and payees’ names and addresses is to be sent to the Secretary to be filed with the corporate records. 18.104.22.168 Approval of the Board or the designated finance committee is required for expenditure of sums exceeding $100. 22.214.171.124. Two signatures shall be required for checks or other forms of payment exceeding $100. The Treasurer plus one other officer may sign.
6.9.5 The Membership Secretary shall be the contact person for all members regarding membership of the Corporation. He or She shall also coordinate a membership committee (if one is formed). The duties for this position shall be, to receive dues in coordination with the Corporation’s treasurer, to keep records of member information and dues paid, and to oversee the distribution of benefits of membership. 126.96.36.199 The Membership Secretary shall obtain a secure Post Office Box to receive incoming subscriptions and all pertinent material. The PO Box shall be checked regularly to ensure prompt processing of all incoming monies and information. 188.8.131.52 The Membership Secretary will make 2 photocopies of all incoming checks. One copy will be sent with a batch of checks to the Treasurer for deposit on a predetermined regular occasion. The second copy will be sent to the Secretary biannually. 184.108.40.206 All subscriptions to the Corporation shall be recorded by the Membership Secretary in an electronic database capable of transferring data to commonly accessible spreadsheets or word processor files, easily transmittable as attachments through common email software. 220.127.116.11 All distribution of benefits, gifts or gift premiums accruing to members at their respective level of membership paid shall be the responsibility of the Membership Secretary or the Membership Committee (upon the organization of such). A record of said distributions shall be recorded in the Corporation’s database including a date of distribution. 18.104.22.168 It shall be the responsibility of the Membership Secretary to keep and provide a hard copy of the aforementioned records for provision to the officers and members of the board bi-annually. The posting of such records or hard copies shall be postmarked at least one week prior to the biannual meeting of the board.
ARTICLE 7. MINISTERS AND RITUAL
7.1. The Board or Directors may authorize individual members of the Corporation to officiate at ceremonies such as weddings, funerals and so on. The titles, qualifications, responsibilities and remunerations of such ministers shall be decided by the Board. 7.2 Ministers may be suspended for bringing the World Pantheist Movement into disrepute, or if it is discovered that they are teaching doctrines or practices incompatible with the aims and Active Credo of the World Pantheist Movement. The method of appeal against such suspension shall be decided by the Board. 7.3. The World Pantheist Movement may from time to time produce advice or literature on ceremony, ritual, songs, formats of meetings, and so on but these shall be for guidance and shall not be binding on individuals or local groups.
Any two or more members of the Corporation may form a local, university, professional or special-interest group [hereafter known as local groups]. Such groups wishing formal recognition as part of the World Pantheist Movement must be so designated by the Board.
Local, university, professional and special interest groups shall be free to choose their own constitutions subject to the approval of the Board of the World Pantheist Movement, and provided nothing in their constitutions conflicts with the World Pantheist Movement constitution. Certain basic elements including the aims, credo and safeguards and other elements, as the Board shall determine, must be part of every local group constitution if the group wishes formal recognition as part of the World Pantheist Movement.
Local groups shall be free to choose their own activities provided these do not bring World Pantheist Movement into disrepute or spread doctrines or practices which are incompatible with the aims and credo of the World Pantheist Movement.
Where the Board is satisfied that adequate financial safeguards are in place, local groups shall be free to raise their own funds separate from members’ dues payable to the World Pantheist Movement. They may use these funds in any way they wish consistent with the aims of the World Pantheist Movement, but they must account for their use to their members.
A local group may be suspended or removed from affiliation with the World Pantheist Movement if it is bringing the World Pantheist Movement into disrepute or spreading doctrines or practices which are incompatible with the aims and the credo. The method of appeal against such suspension shall be decided by the Board. [See operational guidelines for 8.8.4]
ARTICLE 9. NATIONAL CHAPTERS
9.1 Formation of national chapters:
The members of the World Pantheist Movement in one country may, if there are more than five members, agree to form a national chapter. National chapters wishing formal recognition as national chapters of the World Pantheist Movement must be so designated by the Board. National chapters will be encouraged to incorporate as religious charities in their respective countries.
National chapters will be free to choose their own constitution subject to the approval of the Board of the World Pantheist Movement, and provided nothing in this conflicts with the World Pantheist Movement constitution. Certain basic elements including the aims, credo and safeguards and any other elements the Board shall determine must be part of every national chapter constitution.
9.3. Membership dues.
Where a national chapter does not yet exist, members shall pay their dues directly to the Corporation Headquarters. To reduce foreign exchange losses from countries other than the USA, the directors may designate a trusted national agent to collect dues in local currency and transfer them to headquarters, or to hold them pending spending decisions by the panel and its committees.
9.4 Retention of membership dues
Where a national chapter does exist, and where the Board is satisfied with its constitution and financial safeguards, it may act as agent for the Corporation in collecting dues aid by members within that country, and may retain a proportion of dues paid by members within that country for spending on promotion and other approved expenses related to the WPM within that country. The proportion will be agreed by the board of directors. The directo-rs of the national chapter will account for any such use to the Board at intervals to be agreed with the Board.
9.5 Financial assistance.
National chapters whose constitution and financial safeguards have been approved by the board may be eligible to receive funds from the World Pantheist Movement for specific purposes in promoting Scientific Pantheism in their countries. This shall be at the discretion of the Board.
9.6. Members’ benefits.
Members of national chapters shall enjoy all benefits available to members of the World Pantheist Movement. Printed material may be sent in electronic form to people who have access to the Internet.
A national chapter may be suspended or removed from the World Pantheist Movement if it is bringing the World Pantheist Movement into disrepute or spreading doctrines or practices in contradiction to the basic tenets or failing to report legitimate use of funds. The method of appeal against such suspension shall be decided by the Board.
9.8 Responsibility for local chapters
National chapters shall further the aims of the WPM within their country and shall encourage the formation of local groups. Once a national group is formed in any country it will take over responsibility for supvervision of local groups in that country.
ARTICLE 10. MODIFICATION OF BYLAWS
10.1 The following sections may be modified only with unanimous vote of all directors on the Board. 1. Aims. 5.4 Qualifications of directors. 5.9 Directors’ responsibility for Credo. 8.2 Constitutions of local groups to include 1, 5.4 and 5.9. 9.2 Constitutions of national groups to include 1, 5.4 and 5.9. 10 Modification of bylaws 10.2 The rest of the bylaws may be amended by a majority of 75% of all members of the Board of Directors.
Section 5.5.B Additional Committees
This board authorizes the creation of extra committees as and when needed to cover the areas listed below. The functions are provisionally as follows. The Board or the Executive Committee may reassign functions between committees to achieve optimum coordination. Publications Committee: Production and publication of Pan magazine, leaflets, and other materials designed for PDF and ultimate hard copy use. And related matters. Technical Committee: Maintenance and improvement of the membership system, including programming, so that the system can efficiently handle membership data, benefits and subscriptions and future changes in these. And related matters. Webmaster Committee: Updating and improving of the Website so that it meets the needs of members, complies with modern technical and design standards, is accessible across platforms, and is easily indexed by search robots. And related matters. Member Services Committee Dedicated to improving the quality and reliability of benefits and services to our members and friends. Benefits incl Landsaving. Archiving. Response to requests. Welcoming. Delivery of introductory membership materials. Polls. And related matters. Promotion & publicity: advertizing, publicity, press releases. Products: design of gift and apparel items, promotion of these to members, maintenance of shop front. And related matters. Social Networking Committee Development of and WPM-wide moderation issues for Facebook, Ning, Youtube, Twitter and other major social networking activities. And related matters. [See Bylaw 5.5.B]
Section 5.8 Quorum and Voting
A period of 72 hours will be allowed for voting, plus as much additional time as is needed to reach a decisive result in view of the quorum and majority rules applicable to the type of motion. If the voting result is clear by the end of 72 hours, the poll will be closed at that time. Otherwise it will be closed as soon thereafter as a clear result is achieved. This guideline will not apply in the case of credo revisions. [See Bylaw 5.8]
Section 6.9.2 Vice Presidents
There shall initially be Vice-presidents for the Americas, Europe, and Africa/Asia. VPs for Latin America, Asia and Oceania will be added by vote of the board of directors as and when the number of members and the availability of suitable candidates makes this appropriate. During absences of the President lasting for two weeks or longer, the Vice President for the Americas shall take over any constitutional functions of the President that need to be exercised during that period, in consultation with the other VPs and the board of directors. [See Bylaw 6.9.2]
Section 8.8.4 Dues Sharing for Local Groups
[This does not apply to non-US national groups where different guidelines may be adopted]. Where a member from the area of an officially recognized local group managing its own funds joins the WPM, the member will be asked if they wish a share of their funds to go to a local group. In these cases dues shall be divided as follows: 1. One third of the dues shall, if the member wishes, go to the local group of his or her choice. The rest will go to the WPM. 2. In the case of life members, if the member wishes, $50 of the dues will go to the local group of his or her choice. The rest will go to the WPM. The member will fill in a normal joining form. Upon joining the individual would be informed: According to our database the closest local group to you is X. However if another group is more convenient for you to attend you may do so. If you prefer not to be affiliated with any local group that is your right too. Unless you specify otherwise, 1/3 of your dues will be rebated to local group X. If for any reason you prefer to attend a different local group, please specify which one and the money be earmarked for that group instead of local group X. If you prefer to belong to no local group at all you may so indicate and 100% of your dues will be retained by the WPM. In order that we can do what you wish, please check off which option you prefer (if you do not return this form it will be assumed that you wish to endorse option a.) a. Send 1/3 of my dues to local group X b. Instead of sending 1/3 of my dues to local group X, send it to the following local group ________________ c. Retain all my dues at the WPM for the WPM’s overall purposes. [See Bylaw 8.8.4]
APPENDIX TO THE BY-LAWS
ACTIVE CREDO OF THE WORLD PANTHEIST MOVEMENT
|1. We revere and celebrate the Universe as the totality of being, past, present and future. It is self-organizing, ever-evolving and inexhaustibly diverse. Its overwhelming power, beauty and fundamental mystery compel the deepest human reverence and wonder.|
|2. All matter, energy, and life are an interconnected unity of which we are an inseparable part. We rejoice in our existence and seek to participate ever more deeply in this unity through knowledge, celebration, meditation, empathy, love, ethical action and art.|
|3. We are an integral part of Nature, which we should cherish, revere and preserve in all its magnificent beauty and diversity. We should strive to live in harmony with Nature locally and globally. We acknowledge the inherent value of all life, human and non-human, and strive to treat all living beings with compassion and respect.|
|4. All humans are equal centers of awareness of the Universe and nature, and all deserve a life of equal dignity and mutual respect. To this end we support and work towards freedom, democracy, justice, and non-discrimination, and a world community based on peace, sustainable ways of life, full respect for human rights and an end to poverty.|
|5. There is a single kind of substance, energy/matter, which is vibrant and infinitely creative in all its forms. Body and mind are indivisibly united.|
|6. We see death as the return to nature of our elements, and the end of our existence as individuals. The forms of “afterlife” available to humans are natural ones, in the natural world. Our actions, our ideas and memories of us live on, according to what we do in our lives. Our genes live on in our families, and our elements are endlessly recycled in nature.|
|7. We honor reality, and keep our minds open to the evidence of the senses and of science’s unending quest for deeper understanding. These are our best means of coming to know the Universe, and on them we base our aesthetic and religious feelings about reality.|
|8. Every individual has direct access through perception, emotion and meditation to ultimate reality, which is the Universe and Nature. There is no need for mediation by priests, gurus or revealed scriptures.|
|9. We uphold the separation of religion and state, and the universal human right of freedom of religion. We recognize the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them.|
FOUNDING CREDO OF THE WORLD PANTHEIST MOVEMENT
- We revere and celebrate the Universe as the ever-changing totality of being, past, present and future. It is self-creating, self-organizing, and inexhaustibly diverse. Its overwhelming power and fundamental mystery establish it as the only real divinity.
- All matter, energy, and life are an interconnected unity of which we are an inseparable part. We rejoice in our existence and seek to participate ever more deeply in this unity through knowledge, art, celebration, meditation, empathy, love and ethical action.
- We are an inseparable part of Nature, which we should cherish, revere and preserve in all its magnificent beauty and diversity. We should strive to live in harmony with Nature locally and globally. We believe in treating all living creatures with compassion, empathy, and respect. We believe in the inherent value of all life, human and non-human.
- We believe in freedom, democracy, justice, equity, and non-discrimination, and in a world community based on peace, an end to poverty, sustainable ways of life, and full respect for human rights.
- We believe there is only one kind of substance, matter/energy, which is not base or inferior, but wonderfully vibrant and creative in all its forms. Body, mind, and spirit are not separate, but all inseparably united.
- We respect reality and keep our minds open to the evidence of the senses and of evolving science. These are our best means of obtaining and refining our knowledge of the Universe, and on them we base our aesthetic and religious feelings about reality.
- We see death as a return to nature of our elements. Our actions, our ideas and memories of us live on in the world, according to what we do in our lives.
- We believe that every individual can have direct access through perception and emotion to ultimate reality, which is the Universe and Nature. There is no secret wisdom accessible only through gurus or revealed scriptures.
- We respect the general freedom of religion, and the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual or symbolic form that is meaningful to them.