Bylaws

ARTICLE I. NAME

This organization shall be known as the Humanist Community. It shall exist as a chapter of the American Humanist Association (AHA); but shall act in its own name in accordance with these bylaws and the bylaws and objectives of the parent organization.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE, AIMS, POSITION

Section 1. Purpose The primary purpose is to establish a church based on the religion of Humanism in order to promote humanistic values in everyday life, to develop wider knowledge of and support for Humanism, and to ordain and record qualified ministers and invest them with authority to carry on their work of ministrations. We concur with John Dewey that religion is “that which introduces perspective into life” and with Julian Huxley’s definition as “the organ of humanity concerned with human destiny.”

Section 2. Aims The Humanist Community aims to support its purposes through public meetings, study and human-potential development groups, dissemination of Humanist literature, social action and service, and other ways consistent with these bylaws. We do not identify with any political party or economic ideology. Individual members, however, are encouraged to develop their moral concepts and to act on their convictions. We aim to facilitate application of the scientific method of evaluation to all aspects of living — to avoid binding dogmas and static creeds, to search for facts and logical conclusions rather than authorities, and to concern ourselves with discovering and encouraging a good life.

Section 3. Position Humanism affirms the inherent dignity and worth of every human being, asserts that we are responsible for the realization of our aspirations, and maintains that we have within ourselves the power to achieve them. Humanism is free from belief in the supernatural and is dedicated to the search for meaning and values for individuals on this earth through reliance on intelligence, the scientific method, democracy, and empathy with other living things. Humanism contends that human beings are a part of nature, that they have emerged as a result of continuous evolutionary process, and that all their values — religious, ethical, political, and social — have their sources in human experience and are the product of their culture.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Eligibility Any person who pays and remains current on payment of annual dues to the Humanist Community and who is in general accord with the above aims, purposes, and positions may join the Humanist Community.

Section 2. Membership Dues Membership dues shall be paid annually. The Board of Directors shall set conditions for dues.

Section 3. Membership Rights A member may vote for candidates for the Board of Directors and may be a candidate.

Section 4. Suspension of Membership The Humanist Community by action of the Board of Directors or 3/4 vote of the members voting at a membership meeting, shall have the right to withdraw the membership of any person whose conduct may be deemed inimical to the best interests of Humanism or to the aims and purposes of this Chapter.

ARTICLE IV. BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS

Section 1. Officers The officers of the Humanist Community, who are also the officers of the Board of Directors, shall consist of a President, Vice President, Recorder, and Treasurer. The President and Vice President must be members of the Board of Directors; the Recorder and Treasurer must be members of the Humanist Community.

Section 2. Board of Directors The Board of Directors shall consist of a maximum of nine voting members, plus the Executive Director when there is one. The Executive Director shall be a nonvoting member. The Board shall choose the officers for a one year term as their first duty after a Board election. If the Recorder or Treasurer is not chosen from the Board of Directors, that person shall not become a voting member of the Board. The new officers must be announced to the membership at the next general meeting. The Board of Directors shall have general responsibility for the business affairs of the Humanist Community and shall act by majority vote. They shall establish membership dues, levels of membership, voting privileges, and requirements for holding office.

Section 3. President The President shall be the principal officer of the Humanist Community and shall supervise its business affairs, preside at meetings, act as Chairperson of the Board of Directors, and perform other duties as prescribed by the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Vice President In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall assume the duties of the President.

Section 5. Recorder The Recorder shall keep the minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors and the business meetings. The Recorder shall keep any lists and records not the responsibility of other officers, and shall perform other duties as prescribed by the Board of Directors.

Section 6. Treasurer The Treasurer shall be responsible for all funds and securities which the Humanist Community may hold in a fiduciary capacity, shall deposit all funds in the name of the Humanist Community in banks, trust companies or other depositories selected by the Board of Directors; and shall perform all duties incident to the office of Treasurer.

Section 7. Executive Director The Board of Directors may appoint an Executive Director to act as the principal administrator of the Humanist Community and to perform duties as specified in these bylaws or prescribed by the Board of Directors. In the absence of a legal contract, the Executive Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.

Section 8. Removal of a Board Member The Board of Directors shall have the right to remove a Member of the Board whose conduct may be deemed to inimical to the aims and purposes of the Community. Such removal shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board.

ARTICLE V. MEETINGS

Section 1. Meetings of the Board of Directors The Board of Directors shall meet at times set by the President or the Board as necessary to carry out its work. A majority of the voting Board members shall constitute a quorum of any properly announced Board meeting If voting members leave after a meeting has begun, the meeting may continue to do business provided a majority of the voting members who were present when the meeting began remain.

Section 2. Public and Business Meetings Public and business meetings shall be held at least once each year at times set by the Board of Directors. Fifteen percent of the total number of qualified members constitutes a quorum at any announced membership meeting, except that meetings on bylaws shall be governed as indicated in the article on Amendments.

ARTICLE VI. ELECTIONS

Section 1. Nomination and Election Procedures Elections for the Humanist Community Board of Directors shall be held every February. Members may vote in person, or may request a mail-in ballot. Members that request mail-in ballots may not vote in person. Mail-in ballots must be returned prior to the general election meeting. Board members shall assume their duties at the adjournment of the meeting at which the election was held. Candidates for the Humanist Community Board of Directors must be members of the AHA and of the Humanist Community who have not served on the Board for more than three consecutive two year elected terms plus any part of a shorter appointed or elected term. After completing elected service on the Board, Humanist Community members will be ineligible for election to the Board for one calendar year. Candidates can be nominated by: a) a nominating committee; b) a petition signed by fifteen Humanist Community members. The ballot shall include all candidates named by the above methods.

Section 2. Consent No person shall be selected for any office without that person’s consent to serve.

Section 3. Term of Office Voting members of the Board of Directors shall be elected for a term of two years, five being elected in odd-numbered years and four being elected in even-numbered years. A board member may serve for a maximum of three two year elected terms plus the balance of any appointed term, and will be ineligible for the Board for the following year.

Section 4. Vacancies A vacancy among the Board of Directors shall be filled for the unexpired term by election of the membership or by appointment by the Board of Directors.

Section 5. Nominating Committee The Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. It shall start work no later than thirteen weeks before the election. It shall present its list of candidates to the Humanist Community membership, in writing, at least nine weeks before the election. The Nominating Committee shall notify the membership, at the time it presents its list, that members may add names to the ballot by petition. Petitions must be submitted to the Nominating Committee by five weeks before the election. The list of candidates, including those nominated by both methods listed above, shall be submitted to the membership in writing at least two weeks prior to the election.

ARTICLE VII. COMMITTEES

Section 1. Chairperson and Vice Chairperson The chairperson and vice chairperson of each committee shall be selected by the members of the committee from its members.

Section 2. Committee Members All members of the Humanist Community’s standing committees shall be members of the Humanist Community, and shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. Committees may form subcommittees and/or ad hoc committees for special assignments, and shall be responsible for their work. All committees serve at the pleasure of the Board.

ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS

These bylaws or any portion thereof may be amended or repealed, or new bylaws adopted at any time, by a two-thirds vote of those qualified members voting at a regular chapter meeting, provided all Humanist Community members have been advised in writing of the proposed changes at least fifteen days prior to the meeting at which the vote is to take place.

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