Odinsvin Kindred

Michigan Asatru
Heathens in Metro-Detroit

Bylaws

Bylaws of
Odinsvin Kindred
An Independent Asatru Kindred


Article I    - Name    
Article II    - Corporate Purpose
Article III    - Pecuniary Gain
Article IV    - Duration
Article V    - Calendar
Article VI    - Personal Liability
Article VII    - Capital Stock
Article VIII    - Council of Elders
Article IX    - Officers
Article X    - Individual Membership
Article XI    - Meetings
Article XII    - Elections
Article XIII    - Amendments
Article XIV    - Committees and Projects
Article XV    - Ethics

© 2007 Todd Keyser

 

ARTICLE I – NAME

1.1    The name of this corporation shall be Odinsvin Kindred.
1.2    The principle address of the corporation shall be

13337 Butler Drive
Sterling Heights, MI 48313

Or such location as the Council of Elders may, from time to time, establish by resolution and place on file with the Secretary of State of Michigan.

ARTICLE II – CORPORATE PURPOSES

2.1     This organization is formed exclusively as a religious corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person or persons.
2.2     The corporation has a specific and primary purpose to foster and practice the spiritual and cultural teachings of the Asatru religion, to facilitate communication with and between different cultural based religions.
2.3     The corporation should have the power to publicize, promote, celebrate, teach, research and explore any and all material which may bear upon its beliefs, philosophies, theology and religious history, ancient and modern.
2.4     The corporation shall have the power to apply for and receive grants, accept bequests and to establish and maintain an endowment fund.
2.5     The corporation shall have the power to own property for the purpose of carrying out the above.
2.6     Not withstanding the above statements of purpose and powers the corporation shall not engage in activities that in themselves are not a furtherance of the purposes set forth in this article.
2.7     No substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation.
2.7.1    The corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
2.7.2    Intervention includes the publication or distribution of statements.
2.8    The corporation shall conduct its activities in accordance with Section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

ARTICLE III – PECUNIARY GAINS

3.1     No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, Elders, 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 II here of.  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 publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
3.2     Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

ARTICLE IV - DURATION

4.1     The period of duration of this corporation shall be perpetual.

ARTICLE V - CALENDAR

5.1     The fiscal year of the corporation shall begin on the first day of January and end on the thirty-first day of December in each civil year.

ARTICLE VI – PERSONAL LIABILITY

6.1     Upon the dissolution of the corporation, the Council of Elders, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all the liabilities of the corporation. The remaining corporation properties and assets shall be distributed for one or all more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding sections of any future federal tax code. Said distribution shall be in keeping with a basic harmony of the corporations’ beliefs.
6.1.1    Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the county which the principal office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are operated exclusively for such purpose.
6.2    The members, officers, trustees and Elders of the corporation shall have no personal liability for the debts of the corporation.

ARTICLE VII – CAPITAL STOCK

7.1    The corporation shall have no capital stock and shall have no authority to issue shares.

ARTICLE VIII – COUNCIL OF ELDERS

8.1    The Council of Elders will also be known as the Board of Directors.
8.2    The number of members on the Council of Elders shall at all time number at a minimum of 3.
8.3    The Council of Elders shall be composed of the following individuals:
8.3.1    The founding members of ODINSVIN KINDRED will have permanent seats on the council. If a time comes when a founder leaves the corporation that seat will be permanently left vacant.
8.3.2    The Kindred Secretary and Treasurer will maintain a seat on the council for the duration of their term. The Chieftain will chair all proceedings.
8.3.3    The Kindred Chieftain and Gothi/Gythia will hold a seat on the council for as long as he/she remains in that capacity.
8.3.4    One member from the ODINSVIN KINDRED will be elected by the membership of the Kindred to a one year term, with a maximum of 3 terms, on the council. Council of Elder members will abstain from taking place in this election.
8.4    The Council of Elders is the ruling body of ODINSVIN KINDRED and as such has the right to make and enact any and all decisions that it deems in the best interest of ODINSVIN KINDRED. All actions made by the Council of Elders must meet a majority vote within the council.
8.4.1    It is the job of the Council of Elders to give the ODINSVIN KINDRED guidance and direction; to organize and plan ODINSVIN KINDRED gatherings and determine the agenda for such; to facilitate communication between the members of ODINSVIN KINDRED; to be the public face of the ODINSVIN KINDRED; to meet with perspective new members and to be the link between the ODINSVIN KINDRED and the public. The council is also responsible for the development of the ODINSVIN KINDRED’s long range plans and doing what is necessary to put these plans into action.
8.5    As a corporation that falls under Section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, the Council of Elders will act as the Board of Directors to meet the requirements of this section.

ARTICLE IX – OFFICERS

9.1    The officers of ODINSVIN KINDRED shall consist of the Kindred Chieftain, Secretary, Treasurer, Garmen, and Gothi/Gythia.  Though it is discouraged an individual can hold more than one officer position.
9.2    The length of terms for the position of Secretary, Treasurer and Garmen is 3 years and the manner in which an individual assumes the duties of the position is by a majority vote of the members of ODINSVIN KINDRED. The various officer posts are described below along with a brief job description. The Positions of Chieftain and Gothi have no term limit and are held for as long as the Kindred membership wishes.
9.2.1    Officers can be removed from said office if a member files a petition with the Council of Elders that can show cause why said officer should be removed and a three-fourths vote can be gathered from among the membership of ODINSVIN KINDRED.
9.3    Kindred Chieftain - the Chieftain is the Founder of the Kindred. If the founder is no longer involved or no longer wishes to remain in this position than the Chieftain is chosen by the Founder as his replacement.
9.3.1    The Kindred Chieftain must have a sound knowledge of the Asatru Religion, its ritual and worship.
9.3.2    The Kindred Chieftain must ensure that the ODINSVIN KINDRED operates in a disciplined and positive manner and that Blots are conducted properly.
9.3.3    The Kindred Chieftain (or he may designate the Historian or Secretary) must submit a report every 3 months to the Council of Elders describing the various Kindred activities, progress, etc.
9.3.5    It will be the Chieftains duty to store and safeguard the Kindreds Ritual Regalia between blots and that the regalia have been properly prepared for whichever festival is being celebrated.
9.3.6    The Kindred Chieftain shall preside over all meetings of the Kindred.
9.3.7    In the event that the Chieftain is no longer able to perform the duties required of the office the Council of Elders will temporarily assign someone to act in the capacity of Chieftain until a vote of the membership can be arranged to elect a new Chieftain.
9.4    The Office of the Kindred Secretary is elected by the membership to a three year term with no limits on the number of terms one can serve.  
9.4.1    The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings. The secretary shall also keep a roll of the members including contact information and shall be responsible for notifying members of expiration of membership.  The secretary shall also conduct the correspondence of the Kindred.
9.4.2    The Secretary must work closely with the Office of the Treasurer to maintain accurate and up to date membership rolls.  
9.4.3    The Secretary must be capable of handling and organizing a large amount of paperwork. The Secretary should be proficient in all clerical skills necessary to fulfill the position.  The Secretary should be well spoken and should have the skills to talk to people from all walks of life on a daily basis.
9.4.4     The Secretary takes the minutes at all Kindred meetings as well as reviewing the minutes from the last meeting.
9.4.5    The Secretary shall keep and file copies of all corporate minutes, correspondence and other paperwork.
9.5    The Office of the Kindred Treasurer is elected by the membership to a three year term with no limits on the number of terms one can serve.  
9.5.1    The Treasurer shall collect the dues of members and all donations and allocations of money to the Kindred. The Treasurer shall work closely with the Office of the secretary in maintaining accurate, up to the date membership rolls.
9.5.2    All ODINSVIN KINDRED money is to be kept in a Kindred bank account. The Treasurer shall pay out money under the directions that he/she was given by the Council of Elders.
9.5.3    The Treasurer shall have to seek approval from the Council on all expenditures over $100.
9.5.4    The Treasurer must be capable of handling the financial aspects of the Kindred and provide oversight of any contracted accounting services.
9.5.5    The Treasurer must keep a clear and accurate record of all ODINSVIN KINDRED finances and provide regular reports on the financial condition of ODINSVIN KINDRED at all ODINSVIN KINDRED gatherings and provide a copy of the report to the Secretary for inclusion in the minutes.
9.5.6    At the close of each fiscal year the books should be audited and a report submitted to the membership.
9.5.7    The Treasurer must prepare and complete all required reports to the Internal Revenue Service, as set forth by IRS guidelines and requirements.
9.5.8    The Treasurer must renew the annual registration of Odinsvin Kindred with the Secretary of State of Michigan.
9.5.9    The Office of the Treasurer will act as the Kindred Publishing Office for any pamphlets, journals, etc that ODINSVIN KINDRED may wish to distribute.
9.6    The Garmen is responsible for the security at all ODINSVIN KINDRED activities
9.6.1    In addition to the Kindred security the Garmen is responsible for the physical well-being of the membership. The Garmen may initiate self-defenses courses, nature walks or other activities of that manner.
9.7    The role of the Gothi/Gythia carries great responsibilities and requires total dedication and a great deal of self sacrifice.  The Gothi/Gythia is the Clergy of the Kindred
9.7.1    The Gothi/Gythia must constantly strive for advancement and remember, above all others, that their behavior reflects that they are the Clergy of Asatru, a member of ODINSVIN KINDRED and of the Asatru religion.
9.7.2    The Gothi/Gythia must be a student of the religion and lore and be able to answer questions raised by the membership.  If the Gothi/Gythia has not already completed a Gothi/Gythia course offered by one of the National Organization they should try do so as soon as possible.
9.7.3     The Gothi/Gythia will lead the Kindred in Blot, Symbel and in any organized group discussions that may be scheduled to take place after Blot.
9.7.4    The Gothi/Gythia will obtain all ritual regalia for the Blot from the Kindred Chieftain and with the Chieftain assure that the alter has been prepared properly. If a discussion has been arranged to be held after Blot it is the Gothi/Gythia responsibility to properly plan it; choosing the topic to be discussed, choosing an opening speaker, limiting the amount of time each speaker has to talk, controlling the debate if it becomes heated, etc.
9.7.5    If they so choose the Gothi/Gythia may select and assistant Gothi/Gythia from within the membership.
9.7.6    If the Gothi/Gythia chooses to deviate from the Kindred Blot as written in the Book of Blotar it his his/her responsibility to manufacture and distribute copies to those members of ODINSVIN KINDRED attending the Blot, he may seek assistance from the Kindred Publishing Office within the Office of the Treasurer

ARTICLE X – INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP

10.1    Membership shall consist of those persons who reside in the the Detroit Metro are of Vinland and have accepted Asatru.
10.1.1    Membership in ODINSVIN KINDRED follows the fiscal year and runs from January 1 to December 31. New members in their first year will have their membership expire on December 31.
10.2    Applicants must submit a written or electronic application to the Secretary of ODINSVIN KINDRED for consideration, the matter will then be brought before the membership of ODINSVIN KINDRED were the applicant must receive a majority vote for admittance into ODINSVIN KINDRED.
10.3    Applicants waiting for Kindred approval will be referred to as seekers and may attend all open ODINSVIN KINDRED activities, and it is recommended that they do so.
10.4    Membership into ODINSVIN KINDRED shall fall into these categories:
10.4.1    Active Members – Individuals voted into the Kindred and whose annual dues are paid.  Active members have full voting rights and may attend ODINSVIN KINDRED gatherings.
10.4.2    Inactive Members – Individuals who have failed to pay their dues for more than 60 days since they became payable. As such, inactive members shall have no voting privileges, will be ineligible to attend ODINSVIN KINDRED functions and shall not receive any ODINSVIN KINDRED mailings or any other benefits of membership until such time as they renew their membership with the payment of their annual dues and such payment is processed as normal.
10.4.3    Honorary Members – Individuals of importance who do not reside in the Great Lake Region or who otherwise would not meet requirements for Active Membership but who otherwise give their support and council to ODINSVIN KINDRED.  Examples of Honorary members would be the OR Court of Gothar, a member of another OR Kindred, wives or husbands who are not Odinist, Odinist prisoners in the Great Lakes Region who have expressed an interest in becoming a member upon their release, etc.  Honorary Members may attend all open ODINSVIN KINDRED activities but have no voting rights and pay no dues.
10.4.4    Youth Member – Minor children under the age of 18 may become Kindred Youth Members upon filling out a Youth Membership Application which must include the signature of a parent or Chieftain. Youth members become active members upon their 18th birthday if they so wish.  Youth members may attend any open ODINSVIN KINDRED activity but have no voting rights and pay no dues.
10.5    Membership dues for the upcoming year must be paid before January 31st. New member dues become payable 30 days after the individual has been voted into ODINSVIN KINDRED. Policies for prorating of dues for the first year of membership are at the discretion of the Office of the Treasurer.
10.5.1    Change of dues for membership must be approved by a vote of the Council of Elders, if approved the motion will become effective immediately. Increase in dues can not be put before a vote more than once a fiscal year.
10.6    Members are to have read and understood the Bylaws, the Articles of Incorporation and any other such documents, manuals or handbook delineating policy or procedure and the member agrees to abide by the same. To obtain copies of these documents contact the Secretary’s or Treasurers office.
10.7    Rights and privileges of members are set forth in these bylaws.  Membership fees cover basic administrative costs and entitle the member to any informational or emergency mailings made in that year.
10.7.1    If two adult members of ODINSVIN KINDRED reside at the same residence that household will only receive one set of mailings, unless notice is given to the Secretaries office that individual mailings are desired.
10.8    Any member of ODINSVIN KINDRED is subject to suspension by a three-fourths vote of the Council of Elders.  If a Kindred member believes another to be in violation of Articles 10.8.1 and/or 10.8.2 they are to take the charge to the Kindred Chieftain who will convene a board to investigate if the charge can be substantiated and if so will put a vote before the Council of Elders.
10.8.1    Any member who violates the Code of Ethics of Odinsvin Kindred (Article XV of these Bylaws) or otherwise puts the Kindred, its members or the Odinic Rite at large in a disreputable light may be removed under Article 10.8 of these bylaws.
10.8.2    Any member who engages in disruptive or abusive conduct which works directly against the aims, activities or welfare of ODINSVIN KINDRED or its members may be removed under Article 10.8 of these bylaws. Disruptive or Abusive conduct includes, but is not limited to: slander or libel against the ODINSVIN KINDRED, its leadership or its members.  Using the names of the ODINSVIN KINDRED or its leadership in the promotion of political matters without the prior authorization of the Council of Elders. Active Efforts to persuade members to resign or discourage non-members from joining.
10.8.3    Any member who is suspended has 30 days to appeal in writing to the Council of Elders. All suspensions will remain in place until the Council has reached a decision.
 

ARTICLE XI – MEETINGS

11.1    ODINSVIN KINDRED will at the minimum schedule 4 sanctioned gatherings per year.  The Council of Elders will set the dates and locations of each meeting, with input from the membership. Six weeks notice will be given so that all members will have the opportunity to arrange to attend.
11.1.1    Kindred members are required to attend a minimum of 2 of the sanctioned gatherings.  
11.2    The Council of Elders will schedule sanctioned gatherings at various locations across the area as not to place an unnecessary burden on certain members.
11.3    At times it may be needed for the Council to call for an emergency meeting.  In this event the Council will attempt to notify the members as soon as possible
11.4    All members of ODINSVIN KINDRED are encouraged to meet one another as often as possible for Blot, Action Projects, discussions and other informal gatherings.  Members are also encouraged to visit other Kindreds and solitary practioners.
11.5    Members are encouraged to bring guests to ODINSVIN KINDRED gatherings, unless the gathering has been declared members only.
11.6    All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Revised Rules of Order or accepted future standards of rules of order for a non-profit corporation.


ARTICLE XII – ELECTIONS
12.1    Election for Kindred members shall occur at regular intervals as specified in these bylaws.  Officer elections will be done by every third year 2007, 2010, 2013, etc.  The Office of Secretary will assign an impartial Kindred member to conduct officer elections.
12.2    All elections that take place at a gathering will be conducted by ballot. Voting that needs to be conducted between gatherings, such as new members, will be handled by the Secretary by whatever means are most convenient; internet, phone or postal service.
12.3    All eligible members receive and may cast one vote.  No member may cast a vote for another, if a member is unable to physically cast their vote they will be contacted by the Secretary for their vote.  
12.4    Except in the case of an officer being removed from office or member suspensions which both require a three-fourths vote all other matters shall be decided by a simple majority.
12.5    It will be the duty of the Office of Secretary to organize all elections and to retain the results for posterity.

ARTICLE XIII – AMENDMENTS

13.1    Any member of ODINSVIN KINDRED can propose an Amendment to these bylaws.
13.1.1    The proposed Amendment must be submitted in writing and filed with the Secretary by January 31 to be considered for the current fiscal year.
13.1.2    The proposed Amendment must be supported in writing by the member proposing said Amendment and any other two active voting members.
13.2    The Secretary will forward the proposed Amendment to the Council of Elders within 10 days of receiving it.
13.2.1    The Council will examine and judge the proposed Amendment to ensure that its passage would not weaken the theological foundations of ODINSVIN KINDRED.
13.2.2    The Council shall have 30 days to contact the member who made the proposal of its decision. The Council has 3 choices it can make when handling a proposed change of Amendment. The Council can veto the proposal outright if they feel that it would weaken the foundations of the Kindred or that it goes against the principles of the OR, it can recommend necessary changes to the proposal (if the Council recommends changes the member has 30 days to make the changes and resubmit the proposal and the process shall start again) or it can approve the Amendment as written.
13.3     If and when the proposal is accepted for a vote the Office of the Secretary will distribute the proposal to the Council of Elders and schedule a vote in the Council a minimum of 15 days later to give the council members an opportunity to consider the proposal.
13.4    If the proposed Amendment passes it will take affect at the beginning of the next fiscal year.
ARTICLE XIV – COMMITTEES AND PROJECTS
14.1    There could come a time when the Council of Elders deems it necessary for the efficient operation of ODINSVIN KINDRED to form a committee to work on a given project.
14.1.1    The Council may form a standing committee which will become a permanent entity of ODINSVIN KINDRED. As an example ODINSVIN KINDRED’s Prisoner Outreach program would be considered a standing committee.  Or the Council may appoint the committee to serve only until a particular project is complete.
14.2    The Council will ask for volunteers but it may become necessary to appoint members to a committee.
14.2.1    A member will only be appointed if the Council feels that the member has a certain skill or knowledge beneficial to the project.
14.2.2    If a project does not have the support from the Kindred membership the Council will not appoint a member to participate for the sole reason being that without that person we would not be able to work on that project.
14.3    The members who form the committee will select among themselves someone to be the committee chairperson.
14.3.1    The chairperson will guide the project to its completion, maintain order within the committee and report the committee’s progress to the Council and to the general membership.

ARTICLE XV – ETHICS

Members of Odinsvin Kindred will adhere to the following:
15.1    Every Kindred member shall keep confidential the names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail and places of employment of the other members of the Kindred to anyone outside of ODINSVIN KINDRED except where expressed permission has been given to publicize said information; or in such a case as a person is deemed to be a public threat (in which case confidential information may only be revealed to those authorities under whose jurisdiction the matter of conduct falls).
15.2    Kindred members who have taken the Kindred Oath shall abide by their oaths.
15.3    We will not tolerate bigotry, slander, perjury or other forms of harassment leveled against our members or against other members of the Asatru community.  We will also respect the religious choices made by others.
15.4    Knowing that Asatru is often misunderstood by the general public we will strive to live our lives in accordance with the Nine Noble Virtues; Courage, Fidelity, Industriousness, Truth, Discipline, Self-Reliance, Honor, Hospitality and Perseverance and in doing so we will show Asatru and Odinist in the best possible light.
15.5    To follow the moral code of Asatru which is codified in excerpts from the Havamal which we know as the Nine Charges.
15.5.1    To maintain candour and fidelity in love and devotion to the tried friend: though he strikes me I will do him no scathe.
15.5.2    Never to make wrongsome oath: for great and grim is the reward for breaking of plighted troth.
15.5.3    To deal not hardly with the humble and lowly.
15.5.4    To remember to respect that is due to great age.
15.5.5    To suffer no evil to go unremedied and to fight against the enemies of family, nation, race and faith: my foes I will fight in field nor be burnt in my house.
15.5.6    To succour the friendless but put no faith in the pledged word of a stranger people.
15.5.7    If I hear the fools word of a drunken man I will strive not: for many a grief and the very death growth from out such things.
15.5.8    To give kind heed to dead men: straw dead, sea dead or sword dead.
15.5.9    To abide by the enactments of lawful authority and to bear with courage the decrees of the Norns.
15.6    To promote the tenets of Asatru through my words and my deeds all my life.
15.7    The acts and deeds that we accomplish today must not only strengthen Asatru for us but for our children and their children and all future generations.

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