Bylaws of the Desert Interfaith Council

Adopted September 1, 2020

ARTICLE I. NAME

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Desert Interfaith Council, from now on in these bylaws referred to as the Interfaith Council, an association of people of faith and spiritual practice.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

Section 1. Mission. The Desert Interfaith Council welcomes all faith/spiritual traditions in the pursuit of mutual understanding and cooperation. It serves as the conduit to the community for education, service, and celebration by taking responsibility to address the human and spiritual needs of the Coachella, Morongo, and Yucca valleys of southern California.

Section 2. Vision. A world where all faiths come together to further the spiritual well-being of humankind and to exercise our power to achieve a more loving and just society.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Membership. Voting Membership is open to faith-based, spiritual non-profit institutions and individuals residing in the Coachella, Morongo, and Yucca valleys. Members must be willing to take on responsibilities in support of the Council's mission and vision. An eligible faith organization or individual may become a Member upon written request. A follow-up meeting will be held with a representative of the Leadership Team to determine if the applicant is willing to devote the time and energy to help carry out the Interfaith Council's mission and vision.

Section 2. Active Members. For Members to maintain active Membership status, they must regularly attend monthly meetings and pay annual dues. Annual dues rates shall be set by the Council. All Members currently listed on the Interfaith Council's rolls, at the time of the adoption of these bylaws, shall be accorded voting Membership as defined in Section 1 of this Article.


Section 3. Representation. Each Institutional Member shall be represented at Council meetings by one voting Member and up to two additional non-voting representatives consisting of its clergy and/or laypersons. No person shall be both an individual voting Member and a voting representative of an institution.


Section 4. Termination. If a Member does not pay annual dues and does not meet attendance requirements, the Member automatically becomes inactive. The Member cannot vote until Membership is reactivated by paying yearly dues and attending Council meetings. Members wishing to resign shall do so by submitting a letter of resignation to the Secretary or President.

ARTICLE IV. POWERS

Section 1. The Interfaith Council is a grassroots organization of people of faith who share the vision and mission of the Interfaith Council. As such, it is autonomous and free to carry on its programs and meetings. It shall maintain relationships with houses of worship in the Coachella, Morongo, and Yucca valleys. The Council may establish relationships with other organizations as appropriate.


Section 2. The Interfaith Council seeks to be a voice in the wider community for justice and peace. The Council will continue to be a space where people of differing faith backgrounds can work together in furtherance of the organization's mission and vision.


Section 3. The Interfaith Council shall promote mutual understanding, appreciation, and respect among the region's diverse faiths, religions, and cultures through communication within the Membership and to the general public through media outlets and events.


Section 4. The Interfaith Council shall, as a situation demands, initiate calls to action. These calls may be issued as special observances, endorsement of local, state, national or international pronouncements or bringing the area's attention to special human needs whereby a communal response on behalf of the Members is deemed appropriate.


Section 5. Members are encouraged to learn about each other's religions, beliefs, and practices. However, there shall be no attempts made to convert any person to a differing belief.


Section 6. The Interfaith Council shall sponsor special faith programs or endeavors throughout the year. The public shall be invited to participate and delegate planning to such committees or Members wishing to organize these special programs or endeavors. It may also endorse special faith programs, religious festivals and related events hosted by any of its Members.

ARTICLE V. LEADERSHIP TEAM

Section 1. Leadership Team. The Leadership Team shall serve the Council by researching and organizing information required for efficient consideration and strategic planning by the Council and making recommendations or proposals based on such information. The Leadership Team does not take significant action in lieu of the Council, nor does it filter information available to the Council. This shall not exclude adding the Council's name as an endorser of events or actions of a timely nature and the issuing of press statements on behalf of the Council on such matters. The Leadership Team should use their best judgment to determine if a decision or action might be controversial, in which case, the decision/action should be deferred to a regular meeting of the Council. It shall make expenditures based on an annual budget approved at the Annual Meeting. Unauthorized expenditures outside of budgeted line items, of $100 or more, must be approved by a vote of the Council. The Leadership Team shall appoint special committees as needed.


Section 2. The Leadership Team shall consist of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and one Member-at-large referred hereafter as Officers. They shall be elected at the Annual Meeting of the Council.


Section 3. Whenever possible, the Interfaith Council will endeavor to make sure the Members of the Leadership Team come from at least three different faith traditions and from different genders. Vacancies on the Leadership Team shall be filled by election at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council.


Section 4. President. The President shall set the agenda for and preside over regular meetings of the Interfaith Council, chair the Leadership Team, and be the official spokesperson for the Interfaith Council. If the President is unavailable to lead a regularly scheduled meeting of the Interfaith Council, the Vice President shall preside.


Section 5. Vice President. The Vice President shall (with input and assistance of the Leadership Team) schedule locations and programing for regular meetings. Should the President need to resign or becomes unable to complete her/his/their term, the Vice President will assume the position of President until the next Annual Meeting.


Section 6. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of these monies; deposit them in a bank designated by the Council; and disburse same only upon order of the Council. He/she/they shall make a quarterly report to the Council, assist in the preparation of the budget, file all appropriate public documents required by law, and report at least quarterly on the financial status of the Interfaith Council. The Treasurer works with the Secretary to keep an accurate record of Members and Affiliated Organizations.


Section 7. Secretary. The Secretary is responsible for writing and distributing minutes of the Interfaith Council's regular and Annual meetings, maintaining meeting attendance records, and keeping an accurate Membership roster (with the assistance of the Treasurer). The Secretary will also maintain a file of the official correspondence of the Interfaith Council.


Section 8. Member-at-Large. The Member-at-large will be an active Member of the leadership team and may work on communications, website maintenance, rapid-response, social and news media work, etc.


Section 9. The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Member-at-Large shall each serve up to two, three-year terms. A lapse of one year must occur before being eligible to serve a new term. These terms shall be staggered.


Section 10. Any vacancy in an office shall be filled by the Council for the remainder of the term.

ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS

Section 1. The Interfaith Council shall hold monthly Council meetings at which organizational discussions, informative presentations, and decisions are made. A call for meetings shall be delivered ten (10) days in advance of said meeting. An agenda and minutes of the previous meeting shall be distributed before the meeting.


Section 2. Business shall include ratification of events and actions recommended by the Leadership Team and the appointment of such committees, as necessary. Council Meetings shall also include the election of all Members to the Interfaith Council.

Section 3. The public may attend all meetings of the Council.


Section 4. Special or emergency meetings may be called at the determination of the Leadership Team.


Section 5. A quorum of thirty percent (30%) of the Membership of the Council shall be required to conduct any business.


Section 6. Members may vote by Proxy on matters that require a Council vote. A voting Member may authorize another Member to cast his/her/their vote according to instructions made to the authorized Member.


Section 7. As necessary, meetings may be conducted by video conferencing.

ARTICLE VII. ANNUAL MEETING

Section 1. The Interfaith Council shall hold its Annual Meeting during the regularly scheduled meeting during December each year. The agenda of this meeting shall include a financial report from the Treasurer, the adoption of a budget for the following 12 months, the election of officers (see Article V), and any other business as may be necessary. A quorum for the Annual Meeting shall be one-half (50%) of the Membership at the time of the meeting.


Section 2. A Nominating Committee shall be appointed each year.


Section 3. An interim Leadership Team shall be established to serve until the first Annual Meeting, following the Bylaws' adoption.

ARTICLE VIII. NOMINATING (GOVERNANCE) COMMITTEE

Section 1. There shall be a Nominating Committee of the Council consisting of not less than three nor more than five Members. The committee Members shall be elected by the Council at the Annual Meeting each year and shall serve at the pleasure of the Council. The chair of the committee shall be elected by the Council at the Annual Meeting. A vacancy in the committee may be filled by the Council at any meeting.


Section 2. No elected Member of the committee shall be eligible for re-election after serving on the committee for five consecutive years without interruption of at least one year.


Section 3. The report of the Nominating Committee shall be submitted to the Membership ten (10) days prior to the Annual Meeting.

ARTICLE IX. DISSOLUTION

If the Desert Interfaith Council is dissolved, assets shall be distributed to each of the faith organizations having active Membership at the time.

ARTICLE X. AMENDMENTS

These Bylaws were initially adopted by the Interfaith Council at a regular meeting held September 1 , 2020. These Bylaws shall remain in full force and effect until such time as they are properly repealed or amended or otherwise validly superseded according to law. Repeal or amendment of these Bylaws may be conducted and accomplished at the Annual Meeting or at a duly called Special Meeting of the Interfaith Council Members. The proposed repeal or amendment must be published and distributed to the Membership at least one month before the meeting. One-half (50%) of the Membership must be present at the meeting. At least two-thirds of those present must vote in favor of the proposed repeal or amendment.