Bylaws of the Groton Interfaith Council

Article One: Name

  1. The name of this organization shall be “Groton Interfaith Council; hereafter it shall be referred to as the “GIC”, “Interfaith Council” or the “Council.”

Article Two: Mission & Vision

MISSION: The Groton Interfaith Council is an association of religious organizations and individual community members in Groton, Massachusetts. The mission of the Groton Interfaith Council is to foster understanding, respect, justice and peace among people of a variety of religious traditions through worship, fellowship, education, and service.

VISION: Inspired by our different faiths and our common values, we thus bind ourselves together in association for mutual enrichment and community service and agree to honor the differences among us in theology, polity, worship, and practice. Together we will seek ways to create more understanding and acceptance of people of diverse religions and cultures.

Article Three: Membership

  1. ELIGIBILITY:The Interfaith Council shall embrace all religious organizations and individual supporters in Groton, MA, that indicate their desire to be so associated.
    1. A Religious Organization is defined as a formally organized worshipping community.
    2. An individual supporter may be a member of a religious organization or independent of a religious organization.
    3. Existing members of the Groton Council of Churches will maintain their membership status in the GIC effective January 1, 2010
  2. MEMBERSHIP: An eligible religious organization or individual may become a member upon written request for membership, upon a meeting with the council to describe their mission, vision and values, how that matches the GIC Mission and Vision, and how they relate to people with different beliefs, and upon the approval of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the representatives of the constituent members present and voting at any assembly meeting. In assuming membership in the GIC, members accept responsibility for supporting the Council’s mission and vision.
  3. ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP: In order for members to maintain active membership status, members must attend at least one of every 6 quarterly assembly meetings and pay annual dues. Annual dues for religious organizations are $50 and dues for individual members are $10, due April 15th of every year.
  4. INACTIVE MEMBERSHIP: If a member does not pay annual dues and does not meet attendance requirements, the member automatically becomes inactive, meaning that the member cannot vote until membership is reactivated by paying annual dues and attending an assembly meeting.
  5. REPRESENTATION: Each member organization may be represented at assembly meetings by one leader and two delegates elected by its own constituency. Leader and delegates of active member religious organizations each receive one vote. Delegates shall serve a one (1) year term and may be re-elected. Active individual members are member for life and each receive one vote.
    1. Any member organization may withdraw from membership in the Council by written notice.
    2. Full voting Membership is conditional on payment of annual dues by April 15th. In May, the Treasurer shall contact members whose dues have not been paid, and voting privileges shall be suspended on June 30th of that year for those members whose dues have not been paid.
    3. Mailings to and voting privileges may be terminated by the approval of a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the assembly at a quarterly meeting if the annual dues have not been paid and the individual member or delegate of the member organization has not attended any of the last six assembly meetings.
    4. Membership shall be terminated for actions contrary to the purposes of the GIC as stated in Article II of these By-Laws by the approval of a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the representatives present at an assembly meeting, provided written notice of such proposed action is given to member organization or individual member two (2) weeks prior to the date of the assembly.

Article Four: Governing Structure & Meetings

  1. ASSEMBLY:Consists of individual members and representatives from organizations (one leader and two delegates). The work of the assembly includes:
    1. Meeting regularly to plan and vote on policies and procedures, bylaw changes, and activities.
    2. Establishing and continuing committees and functions in accordance with the mission of the Council
    3. Electing the officers from among the representatives of the membership
  2. ASSEMBLY MEETING:Quarterly meetings are the foundation of the Interfaith Council’s governing structure, and most of the decisions, activities, communication and work of the Council will take place during these meetings. The President, elected by the assembly, will serve as moderator of the Meetings.
    1. Elections will be held at the 1st quarter assembly meeting.
  3. COMMITTEE MEETING: Committees may be formed to form on special tasks and they are to meet separately from the assembly and report back to the assembly on any new business.
  4. Notice, Representation and Quorum:
    1. Notice of meetings will be given electronically or in writing to all member organizations and individual members thirty days prior to the scheduled meeting date. Notification of changes to meeting dates must be send electronically or in writing to all member organizations and individual members as soon as the change is made.
    2. A simple majority vote of the assembly present will decide all issues unless otherwise stated in these bylaws.

Article Five: Officers and The Executive Committee

  1. OFFICERS: The Officers of the Interfaith Council will be: President, Vice President, Scribe, and Treasurer elected annually by majority of members present at the 1st quarter assembly meeting. Officers will have one-year terms, but can reelected each year during elections at the 1st quarter assembly meeting.
  2. Roles and Responsibilities:
    1. President:
      1. Develops the agenda.
      2. Moderates meetings.
      3. Appoints members to and encourages committees and task forces.
      4. Communicates with the community, members and individual supporters
      5. Serves as the spokesperson for the Interfaith Council at community events.
      6. Represents the Council in correspondence and documents
    2. Vice President:
      1. Moderates meetings in absence of the President.
    3. Scribe:
      1. Takes minutes of meetings.
      2. Sends out electronic, written and/or verbal announcements of meetings.
      3. Takes attendance and confirms quorums at meetings.
      4. Maintains active and inactive membership list with assistance of treasurer.
      5. Maintains historical records of meetings, including minutes and hand-outs
    4. Treasurer:
      1. Collects and records membership dues and report as requested.
      2. Works with scribe to maintain active and inactive membership lists.
      3. Records all collections and expenditures.
      4. Collects receipts and distribute funds as requested.
      5. Provides a financial report at every assembly meeting.
    5. Members:
      1. Attend and vote at meetings.
      2. Participate as able and willing in Interfaith Council meetings and activities.

Article Six: Fiscal Year

  1. The Fiscal Year shall begin on January 1st and end on December 31st of the following year.

Article Seven: Amendments

  1. These bylaws may be amended by two-thirds vote of the governing body present at a Quarterly Meeting. All proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to all member organizations at least thirty days prior to the Quarterly Meeting.