Byelaw

 BY-LAW
Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE
SOCIETY REGISTRATION NO. A.455/2010)
(A Society for Orthodox Christian Unity and Faith)
Pan-Orthodox Christian Movement

Introduction
Orthodox Christianity, though known in two orders, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox communities are the torch bearers of the church established by the Apostles after the Synod of Jerusalem. It is the second largest Christian Church spread all over the world.

Though initiatives have been made from time to time for a conciliar unity and a common platform, no tangible results has come out till date.  Apart from the two major families, there also exist a third group of Orthodox churches which include Old Believers, non-canonical, old calendar and new generation Orthodox Churches. Despite their claims to ancient tradition and faith, Orthodox Churches are not organized on a common world platform and fellowship. Three families of churches remain alienated between each other due to various theological, political, ethnic, geographical reasons. Various attempts have made to heal disputes and to achieve inter-communion Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches as well as with the Other Orthodox families. Agreements reached remain in papers within the theological circles and are not practiced at ground level among the faithful. Almost all Orthodox Churches are members of various international and national ecumenical movements. But in reality they have failed to heal conflicts and separations among themselves. Internal schism and conflicts keep on diving Orthodox Christians, along with theological rigidity, conservative outlook, ethnic hate and racism. Conciliarity is very important for Orthodox Churches. The Church believes and decisions re taken based on councils. There is no one man decision making system in Orthodox Church. Synod or the Council is the apex body of any Orthodox Church.

A group of people conscious of this situation intends to inspire the Church leaders and laymen to strive for a global conciliar unity of Orthodox Christians and to maintain inter-orthodox church communion. The promoters intend to educate, foster and spread Pan-Orthodox Christian Conciliar unity, Orthodoxy, nurture Orthodox faith and values among faithful. The Society also promotesand explores the opportunities of dialogue and unity between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Old Believers,Old Calendar, Non-canonical and new generation Orthodox churches. This organization besides, shall engage in social welfare activities and involve in contemporary social and moral issues.

Name

This Society shall be known in the name and title

Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE
(A Society for Orthodox Christian Unity and Faith)

Motto

The United Orthodox Christian Witness

Objectives

  • To undertake all such activities that will promote and strengthen global, natioanl and local Pan-Orthodox Christian (Inter-orthodox) Conciliar Unity.
  • To promote dilaouge of unity among various Orthodox fmaly of churches.
  • To act as an NGO and lobbying agency to promote and strengthen unity between Orthodox Christian Churches.
  • To meet and receive various Orthodox Christian hierarchs, delegation and laymen to have constructive dialogues, exchange of ideas for inter-orthodox unity.
  • To generate global Pan-Orthodox Christian conciliar unity awareness through various activities like new publishing, organising workshops, seminars, conferences, publishing, and other allied activities etc.
  • To engage in such activities which will realize a common universal conciliar platform for all Orthodox Christians. Once such a platform is realised, then engage in
  • To engage in such activities which will enhance cooperation between all Orthodox churches, especially between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches as well as between the main stream Orthodox churches and Non-canonical, Old Calendar, Old believers, traditions and new generation Orthodox Churches.
  • To network and cooperate with similar Pan-Orthodox and Orthodox Christian organization for the full benefit of inter-orthodox unity.
  • To develop academic literature on Pan-Orthodox Christian awareness.
  • To honour Churches, personalities and organizations for their contributions in Pan-Orthodox Christian unity
  • To engage in ecumenical and inter-faith activities to enhance cooperation between Orthodox churches, non-orthodox churches and other religious communities.
  • To organize meetings, seminars, study classes, workshops, retreats, conventions, training programmes to promote Orthodox Christian values, faith and unity and involve in social issues, and to encourage dialogue and cooperation amongst Orthodox Churches globally.
  • To act as Consultants to Orthodox Church management.
  • To print and publish books magazines, pamphlets, news paper and articles on Orthodoxy, Orthodox Church and her history and faith in addition to socially relevant themes.
  • To undertake social welfare and Development activities and projects in rural and urban areas, cooperating with Central and State Government, NGOs, individuals and institutions. To explore possibilities of joint ventures with organizations of similar vision
  • To explore resources and Man Power deployment, imparting required trainings.
  • To provide assistance to socially and financially backward segment of the society in education, medical treatment, shelter etc.
  • To promote reading habits and establish libraries.
  • To install awards and recognition to honour those who have relevant contributions for Orthodox Church as well those who made excellent contributions to the society
  • To run websites, online stores, blogs, Internet magazines, and forums to promote Orthodox Christianity and her mission
  • To establish and run schools, colleges, research centres, boarding centre, hostels, camp centers etc
  • To acquire an office on rent or by purchase for the exclusive use of the society for its effective functioning.
  • To start production centers to produce/manufacture church materials, church consumables, icons, mementos etc.
  • To initiate and run various research projects.

Area of Operation

Universal

Membership

There are two types of membership

(1)    Honorary Membership

(2)    Ordinary Membership

 OCP Members are free to enage and become members of other organizations. Non-Orthodox fiathful can enagge and be part of OCP departments and External Observatory Council with apporval of the Executive Council.

Honorary Membership  

The founders of the Society are entitled for Honorary Membership by default unless executive concil cancels his/her membership. Honrary membership shall be conferred upon people of importance who confirms to the views of the society on recommended by the Executive Council and approval by the Chairman and the Chancellor. Founder members are liable to pay membership fee according to the decision of Executive council.

Death of member will result in automatic cancellation of his/her membership from the Society

If a member cancels his/her membership from the Orthodox Church, his/her membership in the Society will automatically cancelled

Ordinary Membership

  • Any person above the age of 18 who is a practicing Christian and a member of Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Church and committed to the ideology of OCP may apply for a membership in the society.
  • OCP Executive council has the righ to invite qualified perosn to become member of the Society
  • Ordinary members should be have throigh idea on OCP activities
  • Anually 30 USD Membership fee is set for all OCP members
  • The applicant has to apply in prescribed form along with a questionnaire to be answered with his/her willingness to adhere to the ideology of the society.
  • The member has the right to decline the membership at his/her will. Such persons shall never be re admitted.
  • Approval of the membership is at the discretion of the Executive Council. Membership is not transferable.
  • Death of member will result in cesation of his/her membership from the Society
  • If a member cancels his membership from the Orthodox Church, his or her membership in the Society will automatically be cancelled.

Organizational and Administrative Structure

 The General Body

The General Body is conveyed once in a year and it elects the Executive Council members including Chancellor, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasure. It approves all major proposals and decisions concerning the life of OCP Society. It is conveyed once in a year as well at times of extraordinary needs.

  • To elect members of the Executive Council
  • Presentation of annual report and audited account, budget and its approval
  • To discuss and approve course of action for the next year
  • To incorporate any programme beneficial to the society
  • General Body must have an attendance of 1/3 of the total members
  • Prior notice is to be served to the members well in advance regarding general body meeting at least 15 days in advance.
  • If dispute arises or delay occurs in convening the general body, one by fifth of the members shall file a written petition and the Chairman shall convene the General body.
  • The quorum of the General Body shall be one by third of the total members. If the General Body is not met due to the lack of quorum, the subsequent General Body is valid even if the quorum is not available.
  • To make change in the Bylaw of the Society, two third majorities of the members present in the general body is required
  • To liquidate the Society two by third of the members are to be present in the General Body, in which cent percent of the members shall agree.

Executive Council

The Executive council consists minimum of  7 board members. The Executive Council is elected for a period of 3 year. The Executive Council controls the activities of the OCP Society. Executive council shall be convened once in three months to discuss and decide on the following matters. On extra ordinary situation the Executive Council can convene General Body.

  • Executive Council consist of Chancellor, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and the Treasurer.
  • Duration of the Executive Council shall be for three years.
  • The Executive Council shall be elected at the annual General body. A fifteen day prior notice shall be issued to conduct the elections.
  • The quorum of the Executive Council shall be three by fourth
  • Emergency meeting shall be convened by issuing a 24 hour notice
  • If a member of the Society does not attend continuously for three Executive Committee meetings, without providing prior notice to the Chairman, the member shall be removed by the Executive Council.
  • Executive Council is entitled to receive donations and loans for the programmes and projects of the Society as well as buy land, permanent assets, and rent building as per requirment.
  • The Executive Council will have the authority to form different administrative structures like advisory board and departments for the smooth functioning of the Society. The members of the foundation shall be nominated to various structures. It is also entitled to appoint its employees as well as decide the amount of remuneration for them

 Accounts and Auditing

  • The accounting year is from 1st April to the 31st of March
  • The treasurer shall keep cash and accounts and shall be subject to audit.
  • A bank account shall be opened in any of the Nationalized Bank in the name and style OCP to be operated jointly in the name of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer and withdrawal is permitted by the signature of any two persons of the three join holders of the account.

Executive Council Members

Chancellor

  •  Chancellor shall be an eminent person from the ecclesiastic who conform to the OCP perspectives and contributing to the cause of Orthodox Unity.
  • Chancellor is the guide and overseer of the Society whom all proceedings and activities are reported and guidance obtained.

 Chairman

  • Is a member of the OCP
  • Chief volunteer to achieve the organization’s mission
  • Provides leadership to the Director board, who sets policy and to whom the directors are accountable.
  • Chairs meetings of the Board after developing the agenda with the Chancellor.
  • Encourages Board’s role in strategic planning
  • Appoints directors, in consultation with other council members.
  • Serves ex officio in director board meetings when invited.
  • Monitors financial planning and financial reports.
  • Plays a leading role in fundraising activities with relevant director.
  • Formally evaluates the performance and effectiveness of the Board of directors.
  • Evaluates annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mission.
  • Performs other responsibilities assigned by the Council.
  • Sign in all relevant documents along with secretary and treasurer

Vice-Chairman

  • Is a member of OCP
  • Performs Chair responsibilities when the Chair cannot be available (see Chair Job Description)
  • Reports to the Board’s Chair
  • Works closely with the Chair and others
  • Participates closely with the Chair to develop and implement activities.
  • Performs other responsibilities as assigned by the Board.
  • Assigns work to the committee members, sets the agenda and runs the meetings, and ensures distribution of meeting minutes.
  • Initiates and leads the committee’s annual evaluation.

Secretary

  • Is a member of OCP
  • Maintains records of the council and ensures effective management of organization’s records and minutes.
  • Ensures minutes are distributed to members shortly after each meeting
  • Is sufficiently familiar with legal documents (articles, by-laws, IRS letters, etc.) to note applicability during meetings
  • The decisions of the foundation shall be implemented under the leadership of the secretary
  • Shall be co-responsible for all financial aspects of the society along with the treasurer.
  • Discipline and welfare of the employees, administration of the office shall be the responsibility of the secretary

Treasurer

  • Is a member of OCP
  • Overview finances of the organization
  • Administrates fiscal matters of the organization
  • Provides annual budget to the council for members approval
  • Ensures development and board review of financial policies and procedures
  • Responsible for holding cash and assets of society.
  • Responsible for all financial aspects and dealing same along with chairman and Secretary

Final Decision

  • In case of dispute, the decision of the majority of the General Body is final.
  • In the event of liquidation of the Society, all remaining assets and cash shall be transferred to an organisation of similar objective or else to the Government of Kerala. At no cause assets shall be divided among members.

Further Administrative Structure

OCP Foundation

OCP Foundation was created with special interest of the Executive Council approved by the General Body. OCP Foundation aims at promoting Orthodox Christian Faith and Pan-Orthodox Conciliar Unity. It also aims at honouring individuals, churches and organizations who have made outstanding contribution to Orthodox Christianity, Pan-Orthodox Christian Unity and society in general through awards orders and honours. OCP Foundation is under the direct supervision of the Executive Council and all decision shall be finalized by the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary.

The Delegate Council

The delegate council consists of selected representatives from different Orthodox Churches worldwide. The delegate council proposes recommendations and suggestions to OCP Executive Council for betterment of the OCP Society. They act as ambassadors, advisers, correspondents and consultants of OCP Society, promoting the mission through word of mouth, e-media, field work and other relevant activities.

The OCP Representation Council

This Council consists of individual and group representations from different Orthodox Churches, Orthodox organizations, Pan-Orthodox institutions, Seminaries, Academic institutions, Universities to Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE Society.

OCP Associate Council

Associate Council consists of individuals or organizations that associate with activities of the OCP Society. They are divided into global and regional associates, research associates who work closely with the dept. of Church research and studies and Friends of OCP who support all activities of our Pan-Orthodox NGO movement.

Global and Regional Associates

These are individuals who support and associate with OCP Society at global and national levels.

Research Associates

These are research experts from different disciplines who associate with various publication and non-publication works of the Society

 OCP Secretariat

The OCP Secretariat is a composition of all OCP Departments. The Secretariat oversees the activities of the various departments. OCP Secretary along with other department directors functions as the OCP Secretariat and it is responsible and functions according to the directions of the OCP Executive Council.

OCP Departments

Various departments are constituted for the smooth functioning of the Society. OCP Executive council members, OCP delegate council members, and OCP Associates provide their services simultaneously for each department depending upon the need and tiers skills. The Departments may hire external people as employees as per need and requirement.

OCP External Observer Council

The Councilconsists of individuals and organizations from Non-Orthodox Churches and Interfaith communities with observer status in the Society.

Departments

  • All departments under OCP secretariat are headed by Department Directors.
  • All directors are members of OCP.
  • Work hand in hand with executive council to achieve goals and vision on OCP
  • Appointment of director: selected from member of OCP and approved by Executive council.

Various departments are constituted for the smooth functioning of the Society and Media Network. OCP Executive council members, OCP delegate council members, and OCP Associates provide their services simultaneously for each department depending upon the need and tiers skills. The Departments may hire external people as employees as per need and requirement.

OCP departments are namely Department of External Church Relations, Department of Public Relations, Department of Finance, Department of Publications, Department of Church Research and Studies, Department of Charity and Social Welfare, Department of Legal Support and Department of Technical Support.

The members of Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE are Orthodox Christian professionals from different disciplines who contribute their time and resources. The members are distributed worldwide representing different Orthodox Churches, organization, communities and so on.

Department of External Church Relations

The department maintains relationship with Orthodox Churches, pan-orthodox agencies institutions and also relations with non-Orthodox Churches and organizations.

·         Desk for Inter-Orthodox Relations

This Desk maintains relations with Orthodox churches.

·         Desk for Ecumenical Relations

This Desk maintains relations with non-orthodox churches.

·         Desk for Inter-faith relations

This is the desk for maintaining relations with different religious organizations.

Department of Public Relations & Information Services

This department is responsible for promoting the entire website via internet and other sources. The department headed by the OCP Secretary and Spokesperson use email, advertisements, print media, word of mouth and other sources to promote the website. The department is responsible for regularly updating the entire website. The department Operates OCP Media Network and OCP News Service also produces advertisements, brochures and booklets for public relation activities.

·         OCP Media Network

OCP Media Network is the world largest Pan-Orthodox Christian portal since 2007. It provides news articles, information on Orthodox Churches, resources on Orthodox faith and photographs from various Orthodox Churches. It is updated regularly with news, photos, articles, and events from the world of Orthodoxy. OCP Media Network updates news and events from Eastern, Oriental and Other Orthodox Churches with equal importance so that readers get a glimpse of all major events in a single blog. It also broadcast exclusive news and photographs via OCP News Service.

·         OCP News Service

This is the News Service division of OCP Media Network which broadcast exclusive news and events from the world of Orthodoxy.

·         OCP Editorial Board, Global Correspondents and Social Media Panel

This panel consists of editors, correspondents and social media experts who make their valuable contributions as news items, articles, research works, photos, event coverage etc.

Department of Finance

This department is under the supervision of the OCP Treasurer and is responsible for raising funds to implement activities of the Society. The department is also responsible for filing annual accounts, balance sheet and other important financial documents with the concerned government authorities.

Department of Church Research and Studies

This department initiates studies and research on Orthodox Christianity, inter-orthodox policies, ecumenical relations, and inter-faith relations. This department also engages in running various projects, archaeological studies, Orthodox theology, Orthodox excavations, history, art, icons, traditions etc.

Department of Charity and Social Welfare

This Department is also under the supervision of the Vice-Chairman who looks after welfare activities for the poor and needy. It works in special way where deserving persons are provided help from the benefactor and OCP Society act as a mediator. Vice-Chairman personally performs the necessary inquiry to confirm the genuineness of deserving persons.

Department of Publications (OCP Publications)

This department is responsible for publishing articles and other documents in the OCP Media Network. The publication department is responsible for collecting and publishing articles, documents, photographs both religious and non-religious in line with objectives and mission of the Society. It also engages in publishing books, magazines and other useful resources.

Department of Human Resources and Administration

Human resources department caters all types of internal support with regards to human capital management, and day to day administration.

Department of Legal Support

This department provides OCP Society with legal consultations.

Department of Information Technology & Technical Support

Headed by the Project Manager, this department is responsible for maintaining the Society and Media Network website, websites of all institutes and project and the entire technical support for the Society.

Roles of Department Directors

Director of Finance (Treasurer)

  • Oversee the financial operations of the organization and ensure timely and accurate financial reports and practices including cash management, financial disbursements, ledgers etc.
  • Responsible for entering financial information and maintaining all financial records for projects and for the organization.
  • Preparing and maintaining donor agreements and staff contracts.
  • Manage financial control, prepare and analyze budgets, develop financial reports, and make recommendations to the organization on budget
  • Obtain approvals from executive council on all procurements and purchases for the projects and for the organization.
  • Monitor the expenditures to ensure that program funds are utilized appropriately by the close of the fiscal year.
  • Provide orientation and trainingto the organization staff on cost-effective management.
  • Ensure that all financial reporting is completed on time and submitted to council.
  • Oversee the financial audits of all projects of the organization.
  • Provide financial inputs for proposal development, project management, Human Resource Management policies, logistics, travel and other areas of administration.

Director of Admin & HR

  • Make sure all documents are up-to-date.
  • In charge of OCP member database and work hand in hand with director of finance for timely collection of membership fee.
  • Identifies and implements creative solutions for problems.

Director of External Church Relations

  • Initiating and maintaining continuous relation with all orthodox churches and similar organizations around the globe to increase the reach of OCP

Director of Publication

  • Oversee all publication department related projects.
  • Making sure that there are projects ongoing and the status of ongoing projects.
  • Find fresh writers from members / friends of OCP for contents.

Director of Public Relations & Information Services

  • Explore and develop strategies for long-term sustainability of the organization and its interventions
  • Develop business plans in consultation with other staff for possible generation of long-term incomes for the organization.
  • Improve and develop communications material for the organization such as brochure, website, and annual report, DVD, poster etc. and suggest other innovative ideas for effective resource mobilization.

 Director of Charity& Social Welfare

  •  Provide financial help to poor and needy.
  • Proper verifications have to be conducted before allocating the funds to the needy.
  • To conduct visits to old age homes, orphanages and special schools in order to conduct welfare activities.

 Director of Church Research & Studies

  •  To initiates studies and research on Orthodox Christianity, inter-orthodox policies, ecumenical relations, inter-faith relations.
  • To undertake archaeological studies, Orthodox theology, Orthodox excavations, history, art, icons, traditions etc.
  • To organize various projects and to complete these projects within the timeframe.
  • There should be an update on the projects every 6 months.

Director of Technical Support

  • Maintains effectiveness and efficiency by defining, delivering, and supporting strategic plans for implementing information technologies.
  • Verifies application results by conducting system audits of technologies implemented.
  • Preserves assets by implementing disaster recovery and back-up procedures and information security and control structures.
  • To find out ways to run the online portal in a cost effective way.
  • Implement new techniques to protect the portal from hackers and cybercrimes.

Director of the Dept. of Legal Support

  • Providing legal advice and guidance.
  • To provide updates on cyber rules
  • To conduct legal analysis and research on various legal matters
  • To provide advice on different legal issues and assist in drafting legal opinions, memoranda and other briefing documents
  • To be actively involved in preparing and drafting of different acts and legal submissions and draft the authoritative legal opinions as well
  • To conduct legal research by utilizing various resources and selecting the relevant material to analyze the legal information
  • To assist in reviewing the legal material and any other relevant documents and to identify the most important issues that need to be sorted out on a priority basis
  • To draw up formalities regarding the settlement of disputes and monitor the implementation of the legal clauses.

 The Executive Council

 

 

                K C Jacob                                              George Alexander                                  Abraham P Koshy

Chairman                                              Secretary                                                 Treasurer