Article 1. PURPOSES
Grove of the Rising Phoenix, A.D.F. (herein after referred to as “the Grove”) is a nonprofit Neopagan Druidic religious, educational, scholarly, artistic, and charitable association, organized to practice the full spectrum of legal activities appropriate for a religious congregation.The Grove provides public Druidic ritual and worship, to serve the spiritual and educational needs of the metropolitan Phoenix, AZ area and neighboring communities, through classes and discussion groups in Druidic arts and lore, opportunities to enhance and deepen the spiritual development of our membership, service to enhance and sustain our local communities and environments, and religious support of the community in the Druidic way (e.g., counseling, blessing, advising, environmental work, etc.). The Grove was formed in part to provide opportunities for worship of Deities of the land and our folk within the context of Pan-Indo-European tradition with a Celtic focus. It was formed to serve all these needs at Samhain, 2003, applying for recognition as a local congregation of Ár nDraíocht Féin, A Druid Fellowship, Inc. (ADF).
As a local congregation of ADF, the Grove shall comply with the By-laws of Ár nDraíocht Féin, A Druid Fellowship, Inc. (henceforth “ADF by-laws”).
Article 2. CALENDAR
In the Druidic way, we honor the eight High Days (quarter and cross-quarter days), as established by ADF and set forth in the ADF by-laws. For legal purposes in this document, dates and names of these High Days refer to those established in the ADF by-laws.For ceremonial purposes each High Day may be celebrated upon any of the legal date, the astronomical date, or upon a date mutually convenient to the participants of the particular celebrations involved.
Other rituals and grove events may be scheduled at the convenience of the Grove membership, subject to such other requirements or restrictions as are set forth in these by-laws of the Grove of the Rising Phoenix. A least two open full-grove events (potentially including classes, meetings, rituals, etc.) per month will be scheduled. In addition, events restricted to members may be scheduled for the purposes of enhancing and deepening the spiritual development of our members. The overwhelming majority of local grove activities will be open and inclusionary. Committees, Guilds, Study Groups, or Other Subgroups may also schedule meetings or events that are not full-grove events.
Article 3. MEMBERSHIP
Age requirements for membership in the Grove, and special requirements for minors, are as set forth in the by-laws of ADF.
Full Grove Member — is defined as a person who is a member of ADF and a Local Grove Member as defined in Article 3 of these by-laws. Full Grove Members may vote in all grove elections and referenda. Only Full Grove Members may hold those grove offices that are required of the grove by ADF (Senior Druid, Pursewarden, and Scribe).
Local Grove Member — is defined as a person who has been invited and agreed to join the Grove and who sustains participation in grove activities. Grove officers will issue invitations to persons who exhibit commitment to the Grove and its purposes. Persons eligible for ADF membership, who attend the majority of scheduled open full-grove events within one-quarter year, participate in at least one High Day celebration, and who by their actions contribute rather than detract from the purposes of the Grove, will normally be issued an invitation to join the grove on a 90-day trial period. After the 90- day trial period, the Local Grove member’s status will be assessed and voted upon by the Grove, and if approved, made a member in good standing. Because Local Grove Members must also be ADF members to vote in ADF elections and to fully participate in the governance of the Grove, they are encouraged to join ADF. Nonetheless, all Local Grove Members have the right to participate in grove decision making process by voicing their opinions and will be welcome at all meetings and full-grove events. Local Grove Members also receive all regular publications of the grove. Local members are expected to remain active in the grove and to further the purposes of the grove through their religious, educational, scholarly, artistic, and/or charitable activities. Active membership in the Grove shall be defined in the Grove’s Standard Operating Procedures.
ADF Member — is defined as a person who is recognized as a current member of ADF. ADF members who are not also members of the Grove may not vote in grove elections or referenda.
Article 4. VOTING
All Full Grove Members shall be considered voting members of the grove.
Except as otherwise noted in these by-laws, a quorum for voting purposes shall consist of those voting members representing 50% of the Full Grove membership, including proxy and absentee ballots.
In decisions of the general membership and the Executive Committee that do not involve the election of an officer or modification of the these by-laws, a consensus will be sought, followed by a majority rule vote if a consensus cannot be obtained following discussion. The Full Grove Members may agree to be guided by a consensus of all Local Grove Members represented or a majority vote of the Local Grove Members represented.
In elections or referenda open to the full membership where absentee ballots or proxies are used, the ballots and proxies shall be received by the Scribe before the election or vote is cast.
Absentee ballots and/or proxies must be available in elections of officers and formal referenda concerning the modification of these by-laws. The use of absentee ballots and/or proxies in all other referenda shall be at the discretion of the Executive Committee of the Grove.
Article 5. ANNUAL MEETING
The annual meeting of the Grove shall be scheduled between the High Days of Lughnasadh and Samhain.
The purpose of the annual meeting shall be the election of officers and to review the state of the grove, its near-term goals, and its activities. The election of officers shall be conducted as defined in Article 6 of these by-laws. The annual officers’ reports will include a summary of activities relevant to each officer’s position, followed by discussion among the membership.
Article 6. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
To elect officers, a slate of nominees will be compiled by a Nominating Committee and shall be presented prior to the annual meeting for the consideration of the grove. The Nominating Committee shall be comprised of three Local Grove Members nominated by the Senior Druid, and subject to grove majority approval.
Elections will be held at the annual meeting. If there is not a clear consensus of the membership, election will be by the majority of a written ballot; except in the case of Appointed Officers (see Article 7 of these by-laws). If no candidate receives a majority of votes, a runoff election will be held between the two candidates who received the largest number of votes. In the event of an election where no candidates receive a majority and there is a tie for second place, the second candidate in the runoff will be chosen among these two by lot or a similar omen. In the event of a tie in the runoff election or a tie between the only two candidates in the initial election, the victor will be chosen from among these two by lot or a similar omen.
The term for newly elected officers shall begin at Samhain.
Non-elected officers (see Article 7 of these by-laws) shall be appointed by the Senior Druid.
Article 7. OFFICERS
The officers of the Grove of the Rising Phoenix are responsible to the membership of the grove and the Board of Directors of ADF (henceforth “ADF Mother Grove”).
Executive Committee — Elections for officers of the Grove will be held as described in Article 6 of these by-laws. The Executive Committee will consist of all elected officers. Full Grove Members at least 18 years of age are eligible for elective office.
Senior Druid — administrative and spiritual leader; calls meetings; sets meeting agendas and provides leadership for the Grove. Has the right to be an ex officio member of all committees. Shall appoint replacements in the event that offices become vacant. The Senior Druid is responsible for compiling a quarterly report on the state of the grove to be sent to the Archdruid and the ADF Scribe and is responsible for reviewing all other officer’s quarterly reports. The term of office of the Senior Druid shall be one (1) year.
Vice Senior Druid —— shall fill in for the Senior Druid, and take on some of the leadership tasks as assigned by the Senior Druid. If the Senior Druid resigns or is removed from office, the Vice Senior Druid shall be appointed Senior Druid until formal elections for a new Senior Druid can be held.
Pursewarden — shall sign all checks, drafts, and other instruments for the grove; shall have custody of all moneys of the grove received or disbursed; shall deposit all moneys and valuables in the name of and to the credit of Grove of the Rising Phoenix, ADF in such banks or other financial institutions as designated. Shall be responsible for keeping the grove’s financial records according to generally accepted accounting principles for nonprofit organizations, and for reviewing these records with the Executive Committee. The Pursewarden is responsible for compiling a quarterly report of financial records to be sent to the ADF Mother Grove after review by the Senior Druid. The Pursewarden is also required to compile an annual report (see Article 8). The term of the office of Pursewarden shall be one (1) year.
Scribe — shall record minutes of all general and Executive Committee meetings (either directly or through a designated assistant) and keep records of the proceedings of all committees (to be submitted by each committee head); shall send proxy & absentee statements and/or mail ballots to voting members and shall be responsible for collecting proxies and absentee ballots; shall organize incoming correspondence and reply as necessary; and may perform other duties that would otherwise by performed by the secretary of a voluntary association. Candidates for the office of the Scribe shall have the ability to take minutes and have typing skills. Officers will make the Scribe aware of all official grove correspondence. The Scribe is responsible for compiling a quarterly report of events and minutes of meetings to be sent to the ADF Mother Grove after being reviewed by the Senior Druid. The term of the office of Scribe shall be one (1) year.
The Executive Committee shall appoint members-at-large to the Board of Directors, as needed. Members-at-large shall become part of the Executive Committee. The term of office shall be one (1) year.
Other offices may be established or disestablished by the Senior Druid, subject to approval of the Executive Committee and the grove membership. The Senior Druid may appoint Local Grove Members to these offices. Their terms should continue at the pleasure of the Senior Druid. These offices may include: a Chronicler, an Outreach Coordinator, a Webmaster, a Registrar, a Youth Activities Coordinator, a Public Service Coordinator, an Archivist, a Liturgist, a Bard, a Minstrel, a Diviner, or other offices designated by the Senior Druid and duly approved. Appointment to these offices does not include membership on the Executive Committee or fiduciary responsibility, and hence they are not among the “local grove officers” that are restricted to Full Grove Members by the ADF by-laws. Note: these by-laws may be amended to convert particular offices to elected posts with membership on the grove Executive Committee.
Article 8. FINANCIAL RECORDS
All members of Grove of the Rising Phoenix, ADF and of the ADF Mother Grove are entitled to see the grove accounting records, to be made available by the Pursewarden. The Pursewarden will also provide such access to grove financial records by government officials as required under applicable law. The Pursewarden will respect the confidentiality of individual donors and donations, as permitted under applicable law. Summary statements of receipts and disbursements will be regularly available. An annual report must be compiled at the end of each year.
Article 9. MEMBERSHIP DUES AND ALLOCATIONS
An amount specified by the Executive Committee and approved by the membership shall serve as the membership dues to the Grove, thus entitling members to rights and privileges stated in Articles 3 and 4 of these by-laws, and other services/publications not stated in these by-laws. Dues represent a requested contribution and may be waived for individuals with cause, at the discretion of the Executive Committee. The amount of the suggested membership dues, and the dispersion thereof, shall be reviewed/revised at the annual meeting and approved by a majority of the voting members. All amounts will be published at least annually.
The Executive Committee shall allocate funds for grove events and activities. The Pursewarden shall disperse these funds
Article 10. CREATION OF STUDY GROUPS AND/OR GUILDS, COMMITTEES, and OTHER SUBGROUPS
Grove members may form study groups, guilds, committees, or other subgroups with the approval of the Executive Committee. Closed subgroups shall consist of no more than one half of the grove membership. Appropriate topics for these study groups can be found within the Preamble of Ár nDraíocht Féin and/or the ADF study guide. Meetings of these subgroups do not count in attendance guidelines for offering the initial invitation to local grove membership, however work with study groups, guilds, committees, or other subgroups can fulfill the obligations of Local Grove Members to remain active in the grove and to further the purposes of the grove.
The formation of a guild shall be presented to the Executive Committee for review. All guilds must file quarterly reports on the state of the guild to the Executive Committee. Examples of appropriate guilds can be found within the Preamble of Ár nDraíocht Féin and/or the ADF study guide.
May be formed during any business meeting but must have a purpose and defined objectives. At least three persons must be on each committee and a report on progress must be made at each business meeting, or a brief report may be sent to the Scribe for recording in the minutes. The Senior Druid has the right to be an ex officio member of all committees.
STUDY GROUPS AND OTHER SUBGROUPS
May be formed during any business meeting but must have a purpose and defined objectives. At least two persons must be in a study group. Study groups and subgroups may be closed groups, but if closed cannot consist of more than half of the grove membership, and are not required to submit reports.
All of these groups must not breach any provision within these by-laws and must adhere to the ADF by-laws.
Article 11. EXPULSION, SUSPENSION, RESIGNATION OR IMPEACHMENT OF MEMBERS AND OFFICERS
Grounds for suspension or expulsion are stated in the ADF by-laws. Local Grove Members may be suspended or expelled by a 2/3 vote of the voting membership, under those grounds. If a member under consideration for suspension or expulsion is a grove officer, he/she may be suspended or expelled only by a two-thirds vote of the remaining officers, and only after review by the ADF Mother Grove or the Archdruid.
Full Grove Members who resign from ADF may remain Local Grove Members.
Full Grove Members who are suspended or expelled from ADF must show cause why they should be allowed to remain Local Grove Members. Members who have been banned temporarily or permanently from attending ADF activities, by the ADF Mother Grove in accordance with the ADF by-laws, will not be permitted to remain Local Grove Members or to attend grove rituals. Such bans must be announced in ADF publications.
Members may resign from membership at any time for personal reasons, and will be eligible to rejoin the Grove at a later date. Any member who fails to renew their dues within three months of membership expiration shall be deemed to have resigned and will no longer receive grove literature. Local grove members who have failed to renew their membership shall forfeit the right to all grove publications, as determined on an individual basis by the Executive Committee. If otherwise remaining active, they may rejoin the Grove by payment or waiver of dues.
Members who fail to attend scheduled grove events for six consecutive months, and who cease to contribute to the activities and purposes of the Grove over that time, ordinarily will be considered to have resigned their membership in the grove. They will no longer receive grove literature after their dues renewal date. Special circumstances, e.g., illness, military service, participation in intensive training programs, or extended travel, may be considered in interpreting this requirement or in issuing an invitation to rejoin the grove.
Any officer, who is deemed to be not fulfilling the requirements as stated in Article 7 of these by-laws, shall be formally notified by the remaining officers and, if efforts are not taken to continue the function of said office, then the grove voting membership shall, by a 2/3 vote, relieve said officer of his/her office and the Senior Druid shall appoint a replacement of that office. If there is no suitable replacement for a vacated office the Senior Druid will assume responsibility of fulfilling that office and its functions. Similarly, if any officer, for personal or other reasons, believes that he/she must resign from the office a letter of resignation must be sent to the Senior Druid and the Senior Druid shall appoint a replacement for that office. If there is no suitable replacement for a vacated office the Senior Druid will assume responsibility of fulfilling that office and its functions. In the event of the resignation of a Non-elected Officer, the Senior Druid may appoint a suitable replacement for the vacancy.
The Senior Druid, who for personal or other reasons, must resign from office, MUST submit, in writing, a formal resignation from this position to the Archdruid and to ALL grove Officers. Upon the resignation, the Vice Senior Druid shall be appointed Senior Druid until formal elections for Senior Druid can be held.
In the case of a person who was declared temporarily or permanently incapacitated at the time of his/her resignation or removal from a position of responsibility, the Executive Committee shall require a reevaluation of his/her competency similar to the process which has declared incapacity, before s/he may seek election or appointment.
Suspended or expelled members may not hold office or act in any way as representatives of the Grove of the Rising Phoenix, ADF and have no right to receive any publications, and may not continue to participate in Druidic study programs offered by the Grove. Impeached officers may remain as regular members, but may not run for any office unless the Executive Committee deems otherwise.
Article 12. AMENDMENTS
Upon approval by the Executive Committee and membership of the Grove of the Rising Phoenix, these by-laws are to become effective on March 21, 2004 c.e. Thereafter, Amendments to these by-laws may be made at any annual or special meeting or referendum, by a 2/3 vote of the entire Full Grove Members membership or 100% consensus of the 50% quorum votes. Amendments shall be incorporated into the by-laws at the annual meeting and revised copies of the by-laws shall be sent to all Grove members and the ADF Mother Grove.
Upon approval by the Executive Committee and membership of the Grove of the Rising Phoenix, these by-laws are to become effective on March 21, 2004 c.e.
Article 13. NON-PROFIT NATURE OF THE ASSOCIATION
The Grove of the Rising Phoenix, ADF is organized exclusively for charitable religious, educational and scholarly purposes including for such purposes the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)3 of the Interval Revenue Code or a corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
No part of the net earnings of the association shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, directors, officers, or other private persons, except that the association 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 I of these by-laws.
No substantial part of the activities of the association shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation, and the association shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of these by-laws, this association shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the purposes of this association.
Upon the dissolution of this association, the Executive Committee shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the association, dispose of all the assets of the association exclusively for the purposes of the association in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for Neopagan religious, educational or charitable purposes as shall at that time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as revised (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Executive Committee shall determine.
Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the association is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such Neopagan organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
Article 14. AFFILIATION OF THE GROVE
The affiliation of the Grove of the Rising Phoenix with ADF constitutes a voluntary association and may be terminated by a vote of 2/3 of the membership of the Grove. Upon the occasion of any such disaffiliation with ADF, the Grove of the Rising Phoenix may affiliate with any other organization or may remain an independent Druid Grove, as the membership shall direct by a 2/3 vote. All assets of the Grove of the Rising Phoenix are and shall remain the sole property of the Grove of the Rising Phoenix, regardless of affiliation with ADF or any other organization. As necessary, the Executive Committee of the Grove will maintain tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, either through application for such status under the provisions of IRC section 501(c)(3) or through affiliation as a subordinate group with another organization holding such an exemption.
As approved by the Executive Committee, February 4, 2004, and amended by full grove vote as of October 6, 2005.