BY-LAW

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

Registered under the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955.

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.

Even though several initiatives have made from time to time for a conciliar unity and a common platform, no tangible results have 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 practised 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 retaken based on councils. There is no one-man decision-making system in the 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 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 promotes and 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 involvement 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, national and local Pan-Orthodox Christian (Inter-orthodox) Conciliar Unity.
  • To promote the dialogue of unity among various Orthodox family 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, organizing 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 realized, 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 mainstream 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, newspaper 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 training.
  • To provide assistance to socially and the 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 the 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 centres etc
  • To acquire an office on rent or by purchase for the exclusive use of the society for its effective functioning.
  • To start production centres to produce/manufacture church materials, church consumables, icons, mementoes 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 engage and become members of other organizations. Non-Orthodox faithful can engage and be part of OCP departments and External Observatory Council with approval of the Executive Council.

Honorary Membership  

The founders of the Society are entitled to Honorary Membership by default unless the executive council cancels his/her membership. Honorary membership shall be conferred upon people of importance who confirms to the views of the society 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 the 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 be cancelled

Ordinary Membership

  • Any person above the age of 18 who is a practising Christian and a member of the Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Church and committed to the ideology of OCP may apply for membership in the society.
  • OCP Executive council has the right to invite the qualified person to become a member of the Society
  • Ordinary members should have through the idea of OCP activities
  • Annually 30 USD Membership fee is set for all OCP members
  • The applicant has to apply in the 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 readmitted.
  • Approval of the membership is at the discretion of the Executive Council. Membership is not transferable.
  • Death of member will result in cessation 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 Treasurer. 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 the annual report and audited account, budget and its approval
  • To discuss and approve the 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 a dispute arises or delay occurs in convening the general body, one by a 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 a 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 a 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 per cent of the members shall agree.

Executive Council

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

  • Executive Council consists 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
  • An 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 to buy land, permanent assets, and rent building as per requirement.
  • 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 for 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 contributes 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the society.
  • Responsible for all financial aspects and dealing the 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 organization of similar objective or else to the Government of Kerala. At no cause, assets shall be divided among members.

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