Bylaws of The Ring of *Ghosti-

Adopted 23 Feb, 2020

  1. Name
    1. The name of the organization shall be The Ring Of Ghosti.
  2. Purpose
    1. To serve the spiritual needs of the members and community through public ritual & religious support of the community.
    2. Ring of Ghosti is committed to providing an outlet for its members to worship a diversity of Indo-European pantheons.
    3. Undue pressure on any person to participate or donate funds clearly falls outside the purpose and goals of The Ring of Ghosti.
    4. Local congregations must provide open worship at all of the high days.
  3. Calendar
    1. The Ring of Ghosti honors the eight modern Neopagan celebrations that occur on the solstices, equinoxes, and halfway between each. These are:
      1. February Cross Quarter - February 1
      2. Spring Equinox - March 21
      3. May Cross Quarter - May 1
      4. Summer Solstice - June 21
      5. August Cross Quarter - August 1
      6. Fall Equinox - September 21
      7. November Cross Quarter - November 1
      8. Winter Solstice - December 21.
    2. For ceremonial purposes, each high day may be celebrated upon either the legal date, the astronomical date, or upon a date mutually convenient to the participants of the particular celebration involved.
    3. In addition, local congregations may honor traditional ethnic holidays as agreed upon by their members.
  4. Categories of Membership
    1. The Ring of Ghosti is open to all persons interested in Indo-European religions. Discrimination based on race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability will not be tolerated among the members. Reasonable accommodations are expected to be taken so that all members may participate.
    2. Persons under the age of 18 must have written permission from a parent or legal guardian to participate, or be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
    3. Types of membership
      1. There shall be four types of membership.
      2. Full Members

        Full members are members who are in good standing within the organization. Full members have access to all networking tools and the members only areas of the website. Full members are expected to vote in all elections. If a full member’s membership lapses for more than three months, they will lose any time based rank or privileges if they re-join.

      3. Lifetime Members

        Lifetime members are full members that have donated a significant amount of time or money to the organization, and have been determined by the board of directors that they should be awarded this status. Lifetime membership shall never expire unless revoked by a super-majority vote of the board of directors. As with full members, lifetime members are expected to vote in all elections, and they will have full access to all networking tools and the members only areas of the website.

      4. Incarcerated Member

        Incarcerated members are full members who are currently incarcerated. They will have access to all the networking tools and the members only area of the website as allowed by their institution. They will also be allowed to vote, and ballots for elections will be mailed to them to facilitate voting. Incarcerated members shall not have access to any other member’s personal information. Incarcerated members may not serve as officers while incarcerated or for 1 full year after their release.

      5. Complimentary Member

        Complimentary members are full members that are unable to pay for their membership and have had their membership approved by the board of directors. The board of directors may only approve complimentary membership if funds are available to cover the costs of membership. Complimentary membership may not be for more than one year in length. Those who have a complimentary membership will be kept confidential between the board of directors and the member

        Complimentary members will have access to all networking tools and members only areas of the website. They are also expected to vote in all elections, but they will not be allowed to run for any office.

    4. All members will be held to the standards of the code of conduct as maintained on the website.
    5. Any complaints against a member or officer will be handled as described in the complaints Standard Operating Procedure.
  5. Corporate Structure
    1. The corporate structure of the Ring of Ghosti will be a Board of Directors consisting at minimum of an elected President, Vice President, and Secretary and an appointed Treasurer. The board of directors may be increased in size to a maximum of nine members as determined by the needs of the overall membership.
    2. The board of directors shall be responsible for:
      1. General management of the business of the corporation
      2. Appointment of executive and operational officers
      3. Exercising any powers that may be exercised or performed by the corporation under the statues, Articles of Incorporation, and Bylaws
      4. Final decision making for the Corporation, and may overrule decisions, policies, and practices of all other groups that fall under the corporation’s name.
    3. Directors and Officers
      1. Term Limits
        1. All directors are limited to serving no more than ten (10) of the last fifteen (15) years in any Director office.
        2. Director Offices are:
          1. President
          2. Vice President
          3. Secretary
          4. Ombuds
          5. Treasurer
          6. Other officers with a vote on the BoD as created by the BoD.
        3. The BoD may appoint for a term of one (1) year someone that would be disqualified by these term limits to an elected Director office in the event that:
          1. No other qualified candidate has run for office.
          2. The office has been vacated as described in Article 10.
      2. No more than 1/3 of the Board of directors shall be ordained clergy with the Ring of Ghosti.
      3. President
        1. The term of office for the President is three (3) years with a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms.
        2. Presides over all BOD meetings
        3. Is a member of all committees organized by the BOD
        4. Has executive control over the Corporation and may perform all duties normally performed by the President of a non-profit corporation.
      4. Vice President
        1. The term of office for the Vice President is two (2) years with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.
        2. The Vice President shall exercise all the functions of the President in their absence.
        3. The Vice President shall replace the President in the event of their recall, death, retirement, or permanent incapacitation.
        4. The Vice President may perform all the duties that would otherwise be performed by a nonprofit corporation Vice President.
      5. Secretary
        1. The term of office for the Secretary is two (2) years with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.
        2. The Secretary shall keep voting records and minutes of all meetings of the BOD, Executive Committee and voting members.
        3. The Secretary shall periodically, and upon request, distribute summaries of these records to the members.
        4. The Secretary may perform all those duties that would otherwise be performed by a non-profit corporation Secretary.
      6. Treasurer
        1. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the BOD for a term of two (2) years with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.
        2. The Treasurer shall be responsible for overseeing the finances of the corporation.
        3. The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping the Corporation's financial records according to generally accepted accounting principles for non-profit corporations.
        4. The Treasurer shall create quarterly financial reports for the BOD.
        5. The Treasurer shall propose budgets to the BOD.
        6. The Treasurer may perform all those duties that would otherwise be performed by a non-profit corporation Treasurer.
      7. Ombuds
        1. The term of office for the Ombuds is One (1) year with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.
        2. The Ombuds will be the officer responsible for all complaints within the organization, following policies and procedures in the SOP.
        3. The Ombods shall be a non-voting member of the BOD.
        4. The Ombods may propose motions to the BOD for approval.
        5. The Ombods is entitled to participate in any committee or subgroup meeting.
        6. The Ombods may participate as an elections official if no other officer without a conflict of interest is available.
      8. Elections Officer
        1. The Elections Officer shall be appointed by the BOD to a one (1) year term in the quarterly meeting prior to the annual corporate elections.
        2. The Elections Officer is not a Director, and does not have a vote on the BoD.
        3. The Elections Officer may hold another officer or director position.
        4. The Elections Officer shall be responsible for running all corporate elections.
        5. The Elections Officer shall be an impartial arbitrator of all corporate elections.
        6. The Elections Officer shall not run in any election they are officiating.
      9. Other Officers
        1. Other officer positions may be created by the BOD as the need arises by a two thirds (2/3) majority vote.
        2. Officer terms shall be no more than two (2) years for a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.
        3. The maximum number of voting officers on the BOD shall be nine (9) total.
    4. Quarterly and Special Meetings
      1. Frequency
        1. The BOD shall hold quarterly meetings during the first month of each financial quarter.
        2. The President may call a special meeting with a minimum of twenty four (24) hours notice.
      2. Meetings may be held
        1. In person
        2. By tele-conference or video-conference
      3. Transparency
        1. All meetings shall be open to the entirety of the membership for observation
        2. If possible, meetings shall be recorded and shared with the membership within forty eight (48) hours of the end of the meeting, and shared for a minimum of thirty (30) days.
        3. Written minutes of the meeting shall be released to the membership within thirty (30) days of the end of the meeting.
        4. Some topics may be deemed confidential and better suited for executive session. Executive sessions will not be open to membership, but summaries of the results of executive sessions will be made available to membership within thirty (30) days of the end of the session.
      4. Agenda
        1. The agenda shall be created by the President in consultation with the BOD.
        2. Members may request topics to be added to the agenda through the Secretary.
        3. The agenda shall be communicated to the membership no less than two (2) weeks prior to the meeting.
      5. Quorum
        1. Two thirds (2/3) of the BOD, less any Directors who have been suspended or who are incapable of communicating a vote by proxy, shall constitute a quorum.
      6. Voting
        1. Directors shall have one vote each.
        2. Directors may give their proxy for motions to any other Director at the meeting.
        3. Unless stated otherwise, all votes shall be determined by a simple majority.
        4. If the vote is a tie, the Ombuds shall cast the tie breaking vote.
        5. The President may veto any vote
        6. The BOD my override a veto with a two thirds (2/3) majority vote.
    5. Annual Meeting
      1. The Annual Meeting of the organization shall be held during the first quarter of the year.
      2. The Annual Meeting shall be open to all members.
      3. The Annual Meeting shall be held at a location that can accommodate all members that desire to attend.
        1. Local congregations can make proposals to host the Annual Meeting.
        2. The BOD shall determine the dates and location of the Annual Meeting at least six (6) months prior to the meeting.
        3. The BOD shall make every effort to move the meeting to a different state or country to allow all members to attend a meeting in person every few years.
        4. The Annual Meeting shall have a video livestream for all members if technologically possible.
      4. The Annual Meeting shall include:
        1. Reports of all officers, including outgoing officers
        2. Oaths of office for all newly elected or re-elected officers
        3. Discussion and approval of the annual budget
        4. Appointment of any appointed officers.
    6. Committees
      1. The BOD may create committees as they deem necessary
      2. Committees that are not designated standing committees shall have a deadline to complete their work
      3. All committees shall be headed by a Director or designee chosen by the BOD
      4. All committees shall furnish a report to the BOD in time for the quarterly meeting.
      5. Executive Committee
        1. Shall consist of the President, Vice President, and Secretary
        2. Shall handle the day to day running of the organization
  6. Annual Elections
    1. Ballot Items
      1. Open Director positions
      2. Any referenda as determined by
        1. A vote of the BOD
        2. A petition by at least twenty five (25) percent of the membership
    2. Nominations
      1. Candidates shall be nominated by themselves or any other member unless specified in these Bylaws
      2. Candidates must be seconded by another member.
      3. Candidates must accept their nomination by the deadline given under the Elections Timeline section of this Article.
    3. Qualifications
      1. Any member in good standing that meets the following criteria may run for office:
        1. Candidate shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age
        2. Candidate shall have access to Email
        3. Candidate shall have their legal name and one form of contact (Phone, Email, or Mailing Address) publishable to the world.
        4. Candidate shall practice Indo-European based Neopagan religion as their primary path.
        5. Candidate it not currently incarcerated.
        6. Candidate is not currently under inditement for, or have been convicted of a violent felonly, Sex related felony, or Financial felony.
        7. Candidate does not have a spouse, partner, or significant other on the BOD after the election is concluded.
        8. Starting two (2) years after incorporation, all candidates must have been a member for over one (1) year.
      2. Candidates may only run for one Director position at any time.
      3. Candidates shall hold only one Director position at the end of the election.
      4. Candidates for President shall have served on the BOD within the last five (5) years
    4. Methods
      1. All members in good standing shall have one (1) vote.
        1. Starting two (2) years after incorporation, all members in good standing that have been a member for over one (1) year shall have one (1) vote.
      2. Candidates for President must receive a majority (over 50%) of the votes cast
        1. If no candidate receives a majority, a runoff election shall be held between the top two (2) vote getters.
        2. The current President shall serve until runoff election is completed.
        3. In the event of a tie vote in the runoff election, the winner will be chosen by the drawing of lots.
      3. All other officers will be elected with a plurality of the votes cast.
        1. If no candidate receives a plurality, or there is a tie and more than 2 candidates, a runoff election shall be held between the top two (2) vote getters.
        2. The current officer shall serve until runoff election is completed.
        3. In the event of a tie vote between two candidates or in the runoff election, the winner will be chosen by the drawing of lots.
    5. Elections Timeline
      1. The call for nominations shall be sent to the members on or before September 1.
      2. Nominations close on October 1.
      3. Nominations must be accepted by October 7.
      4. The Elections Officer shall hold one or more open forums for the membership to meet the candidates between October 7 and November 7.
        1. These forums may be in person, through tele-conference or video-conference.
        2. Members shall be allowed to ask questions of the candidates
        3. Forums shall be recorded if possible and shared with the membership.
      5. Biographical statements shall be provided to the Elections officer by November 7.
      6. Candidates for BOD positions shall provide a background check waiver to the Secretary by November 7.
      7. The Elections Officer shall verify the candidates have fulfilled all requirements to run for office by November 7.
      8. Voting will start on or before November 14 and end at midnight November 30 Pacific time.
      9. Results shall be published by December 7.
      10. Newly elected officers shall take office on January 1.
  7. Financial Records
    1. All members of the Ring of Ghosti are entitled to see the accounting records. The Treasurer shall make these available.
    2. Profit and loss statements and other similar records shall be regularly available.
    3. An Annual Report must be compiled at the end of every year, as well as quarterly reports and made available
  8. Discrimination
    1. Membership and rank in the Ring of Ghosti, attendance at public or semipublic activities, and participation in any study programs, shall not be denied to any person on the basis of race, ancestry, color, physical disability (except as mentioned elsewhere in this article), age, gender, affectional orientation, or gender identity, but may be denied to individuals practicing creeds inimical to Indo-European Neopagan Religions.
    2. Membership within the Ring of Ghosti, positions of office and clergy, and other such positions of responsibility and trust as the organization may determine, shall be granted only to practicing Neopagans who are not simultaneously practicing a creed inimical to Indo-European Neopagan Religions.
    3. As used herein, "inimical creeds" shall include varieties of conservative monotheism, atheism, demonism, racialism, or other such faiths, as determined by the BOD.
    4. Proven communication of behavior of a virulently racist, sexist, homophobic, heterophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, or otherwise bigoted manner, shall be grounds for expulsion from the Ring of Ghosti as described in Article 10 of these by-laws. This does not include strong verbal statements about the theology, history, or psychological characteristics of other religions.
    5. All organizers of any the Ring of Ghosti activities shall make strenuous efforts to facilitate the participation of differently-abled individuals. Nonetheless, all aspirants to any given rank or position must be able to meet all the relevant qualifications previously determined for said rank or position, unless waived by the BOD.
  9. Consent Culture
    1. The Ring of Ghosti is committed to a positive, yes mean yes, consent culture at all events.
    2. Training on consent culture shall be offered at minimum to the BOD either through in house resources or through a reputable outside training source.
    3. The BOD will be required to go through such training within 1 year of their election to the position, if they have not already gone through the training.
    4. At any festivals or gatherings run by the Ring of Ghosti or any of its subgroups, a workshop to discuss consent culture and yes means yes ideals will be held by members trained in consent culture.
  10. Expulsion, Suspension, Resignation or Impeachment of Members and Officers
    1. If a member under consideration for suspension or expulsion is an Officer, they may be suspended or expelled only by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the remaining Officers.
    2. "Disruptive or abusive conduct" does not include: the temperate expression of disagreement, such as public or private written or verbal criticism of the Ring of Ghosti and its leadership; vigorous debate over matters of scholarship, art, spirituality, or politics; the circulation of petitions to the BOD; the organizing of other members into voting blocks; nor mere rudeness, thoughtlessness, or lack of social skills.
    3. "Disruptive or abusive conduct" does include: the spreading of slander or libel against the Ring of Ghosti and its leadership; bigoted communication or behavior as described elsewhere in these bylaws; or active efforts to persuade members to quit or dissuade non-members from joining.
    4. In the case of a person who was declared temporarily or permanently incapacitated at the time of their resignation or removal from a position of responsibility, the BOD shall require a re-evaluation of their competency similar to the process which has declared incapacity, before they may seek election or appointment.
    5. Members may resign from membership at any time for personal reasons, and will be eligible to rejoin the Ring of Ghosti at a later date.
    6. Any officer, who is deemed to be not fulfilling the requirements as stated in Article 5 of these bylaws, shall be formally notified by the remaining officers and, if efforts are not taken to continue the function of said office, then the BOD shall, by a 2/3 vote shall relieve said officer of their office and the BOD shall appoint a replacement for that office until the next election. Similarly, if any officer, for personal or other reasons, believes that they must resign from the office a letter must be sent to the BOD and the BOD shall appoint a replacement for that office until the next election.
    7. The President, who for personal or other reasons, must resign from office, must submit in writing, a formal resignation from their position to the BOD with a minimum of 30 days notice. Upon such resignation, the Vice President shall assume all duties of the President and a replacement for the Vice President shall be appointed until the next election.
    8. Suspended or expelled members may not hold office or act in any way as representatives of the Ring of Ghosti and have no right to receive any publications, and may not continue to participate in any study programs by the Ring of Ghosti. Impeached officers may remain as regular members, but may not run for any office unless the BOD deems otherwise.
  11. Non-profit Nature of the Corporation
    1. The Ring of Ghosti is organized exclusively for charitable religious, educational 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 a corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
    2. No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, directors, officers, or other private persons, except that the 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 2 of these by-laws.
    3. No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation, and the Corporation 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.
    4. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these by-laws, this Corporation 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 Corporation.
    5. Upon the dissolution of this Corporation, the officers shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the Corporation, dispose of all the assets of the Corporation exclusively for the purposes of the Corporation 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 officers shall determine.
    6. 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 Corporation 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.
  12. Amendments
    1. Amendments to these bylaws may be made at any annual or special meeting or referendum, by a 2/3 vote of the BOD. Amendments shall be incorporated into the bylaws at the Annual Meeting and revised copies of the bylaws shall be made available to all members.
    2. The bylaws will be reviewed each year at the annual meeting.