ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY
UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this religious corporation shall be ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH in NORTHAMPTON, PENNSYLVANIA.
ARTICLE II. CHARTER
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Northampton, Pennsylvania, was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and recorded on August 1, 1920, under the said name of Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
ARTICLE III. LOCATION
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church is located at 1301 Newport Avenue, Northampton, Pennsylvania 18067.
ARTICLE IV. SEAL
The seal of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church is round in form and bears the inscription: ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, NORTHAMPTON, PA. The seal is maintained in the Parish Rectory Office and used at the discretion of the Pastor and the Parish Council. The seal is the property of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
ARTICLE V. AFFILIATION
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Northampton, Pennsylvania, is affiliated with and is part of the one Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America, and confesses her Dogmas, Canons and religious rites, abides by her laws instituted by the Executive Council of the Sobor, and fulfills the obligations passed by the Sobor, the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America, and the Council of Bishops.
In all Church Services, the Books used are approved by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America.
As part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America, this Parish elects and sends its delegates to the Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America.
The governing Bishop shall be recognized by the Parish only if he is a Ukrainian Orthodox Bishop elected lawfully at the Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America, and Canonically consecrated.
ARTICLE VI. PURPOSES
The aims and purposes of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church shall be:
1. To preach the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to follow and uphold the Dogmas, Canons, Structures and Worship of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America.
2. To conduct and direct its life with the following:
a. The Holy Scriptures.
b. The Sacred Tradition (the Eighty-five Rules) of the Holy Apostles; the Canons of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and those of the Ten Local Councils, recognized by the Holy Ecumenical Orthodox Church; the Canonical Rules of the Holy Fathers approved of by the Ecumenical Councils; and the Church Orders regarding worship and monastic life.
c. The articles of the present Constitution and By-laws.
d. Decisions of its Sobors, conforming to the Scriptures and to the Sacred Tradition.
3. To carry on the affairs pertaining to religion, religious education, charity, and the temporal economy of the Parish, as well as the other affairs connected with the life of the Parish.
4. To develop among its members a better knowledge and understanding of our Church, her history, policies, beliefs, and mode of operation.
5. To encourage interest and participation in Parish affairs and in the Parish as a whole; prepare Parish members for its organizational responsibilities and duties in our Parish life.
6. To promote greater religious consciousness of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Eastern Orthodox Faith.
7. To promote knowledge of our Ukrainian national heritage.
8. To promote, by every means possible, the growth and development of our entire Parish organization.
ARTICLE VII. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Definition of a Parish Member
All persons of the Eastern Orthodox Faith, not less than eighteen (18) years of age, admitted upon the recommendation of the Pastor of the Parish, and by the decision of the Parish Council, or whose names are on the Parish Register, shall be considered members of the parish.
Section 2. Qualifications of a Member in Good Standing
A Parish member to be considered in good standing must fulfill the following:
1. Conduct his/her life and activity in accordance with the Eastern Orthodox Faith.
2. Attend the Divine Liturgy and the other Church Services.
3. Observe the rules of the Eastern Orthodox Church concerning the fasts.
4. Go to Confession and partake of Holy Communion frequently, but not less than once each year.
5. Rear children, and instruct them, in the Eastern Orthodox Faith, and in the spirit of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, by encouraging one’s children to attend Divine Liturgy, Church Services, Church School, and other religious education classes.
6. Paying membership dues and the additional contributions established within the Parish in accordance with the decision of a General Meeting of the Parish Members, and paying the dues to the central fund of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America.
7. Showing respect of the Hierarchy, for the Clergy, and for the Church authorities.
8. Showing humility with regard to the questions of our Eastern Orthodox Faith and with regard to those of the Church Order.
9. Promoting the success of the Parish and its development.
Section 3. Parish Registers
The Parish Registers shall be maintained and on which shall be recorded the Baptismal name and the family name of a Parish Member; his/her family status; the composition of his/her family; dates of birth, Baptism, and Marriage; the instances of his/her joining the Parish and the withdrawal from it; and the date of death. The Registers shall be kept in the Parish Rectory Office.
Section 4. New Member
A. Persons who are not of the Eastern Orthodox Faith, but have, through marriage, become espoused to a member of the Parish and who wish to become members themselves, may do so by confessing the Orthodox Faith and subscribing to the Dogmas, Canons, and religious rights of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., by satisfying such religious instruction as prescribed by the Pastor; and by assuming the duties and obligations of a Parish Member as stipulated in this article and in the By-laws.
B. Persons and their families who are not of the Eastern Orthodox Faith or who have not been previously affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., may petition for membership by declaring in writing his/her intention of joining the Parish. The petitioner shall be recommended for full membership by the Pastor and the decision of the Parish Council after it is determined that he/she meets the qualifications of this Constitution and By-laws. The petitioner shall be admitted to full membership and entitled to all privileges and Sacraments of the Church upon fulfillment of the following obligations:
1. Intention of joining shall be presented in writing with the full name and address of interested party to the Parish Council.
2. Agrees in writing to abide by the Articles of the Constitution and By-laws of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
3. Confess the Orthodox Faith.
4. Completion of religious instruction/orientation which shall include the teachings of the history of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
5. Payment of financial assessments as stipulated by the Parish Council.
6. Payment of the parish dues for the calendar year.
7. Payment of the Diocesan Fund dues for the calendar year.
8. Showing respect of the Hierarchy, for the Clergy, and for the Church authorities.
9. Showing humility with regard to the questions of our Eastern Orthodox Faith and with regard to those of the Church Order.
10. Promoting the success of the Parish, and its development.
Section 5. Privileges of the Parish Member
A. Members of the Parish shall have the right to benefit of the services of the Pastor and the Sacraments of the Church.
B. Members of the Parish in good standing (reference ARTICLE VII: MEMBERSHIP, Section 2 - Qualifications of a Member in Good Standing), shall have the right to take part in all meetings of the Parish Members, and to elect officers of the Parish, after having been a member recorded on the parish Register for two (2) consecutive years.
C. Members of the Parish, in good standing, shall have the right to be elected to the Parish Council, after having been members recorded on the Parish Register for two (2) consecutive years.
D. Members of the Parish, in good standing, shall have the right to take part in all religious and cultural classes offered.
Section 6. Regulations of the Parish Member
Any member that fails to conform to the Constitution and By-laws of our
Parish, may have his/her membership suspended or revoked, or may otherwise be disciplined, by a two-thirds vote of a Special Parish Meeting, provided that a copy of the charges with a notice of the hearing thereon shall be sent by the Secretary to the member thirty (30) days before said hearing.
Section 7. Parish Member Financial Obligations
A. Any member in arrears for any indebtedness to our Parish for any previous years shall be considered not in good standing. Notice of said indebtedness shall be duly sent to the member by the Financial Secretary. The Parish Council may restore such member to membership in our Parish upon payment of his/her indebtedness.
B. A Parish Member must satisfy all financial obligations as stated in the By-laws, ARTICLE I.
Section 8. Transfer of Membership
A. The intention to transfer to another parish must be made known to the Pastor thirty (30) days in advance.
B. Notifications of transfers of members between our parishes must be made in writing by the respective Pastors.
C. A previous member, in good standing, transferring back to our Parish from a fifty (50) mile radius, shall be assessed dues and assessments for that year.
Section 9. Loss of Membership
In accordance with a special decision of a Special Parish Meeting, a member of the Parish may be deprived of his/her membership in it, either permanently or for a temporary period of time, for the following causes:
A. Ignoring, or failing to comply with, the provisions of the general Constitution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., those of the Parish Constitution and By-laws and the decisions of the meetings of the Parish (Annual or Special).
B. Breaking of decorum and order in the Church or during a Parish meeting.
C. Dishonoring of the Orthodox Faith by his/her behavior or words.
D. Inflicting damage, secretly or openly, to the well-being of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church or to that of the Parish.
E. Affiliating with anti-ecclesiastical organizations.
F. Dishonoring the good name, or undermining the prestige of the Pastor of the Parish, of the members of the Clergy, of the Hierarchy, or of the organs of the Parish.
G. Failure to pay parish dues and assessments for a period of two (2) years, unless determined exempt after a hearing by the Parish Council, shall result in a member being considered a MEMBER IN ARREARS.
1. A member in arrears wishing to continue membership in the Parish shall be granted ninety (90) days in which to meet his/her financial obligations.
2. At the end of two (2) years, a member in arrears will be personally contacted by the Financial Secretary to ascertain what his/her intentions are concerning parish membership. If severance of affiliation is elected, a written statement to this effect must be signed by the member involved.
3. Should the member decline to sign such a statement, a registered letter, filing a notice of termination of membership, shall be forwarded to the member in arrears by the Financial Secretary.
Section 10. Reinstatement of Terminated Membership
A. Terminated membership under ARTICLE VII, Section 9. Loss of Membership, Subsection A through G, shall be judged in each case as it arises by a Special Parish meeting.
B. An individual wishing to become reinstated as a parish member in good standing after two (2) years of absence shall be obligated to pay all back dues and assessments within ninety (90) days of such notice.
Section 11. Right of Appeal
Complaints against and dissatisfaction with the decision of a Special Parish Meeting concerning the expulsion from among the members of the Parish may be lodged by said parties before the Annual meeting of the Parish membership within a period of one (1) month from the day of the rendering of such decision, and if deemed necessary, they may be lodged before the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., which may consider the case itself, or transfer it to the General Church Court.
ARTICLE VIII. PARISH GOVERNMENT
The Annual Meeting of the Parish Members shall be the supreme body of government as regards to the activity of the parish involving matters pertaining to property, to finances, and to the temporal economy; to the administrative, cultural and educational, as well as other parochial activities, with the exception of those within the competence of the Clergy and that of the spiritual leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
The Annual Meeting of the Parish shall be charged with the following:
1. To elect the Parish Council for the purpose of providing daily direction of life of the Parish, and for that of exercising care for, and managing, its property.
2. To endeavor, through the Parish Council, to approach the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A. to appoint a Pastor to a vacancy of the Parish.
3. To consider and to approve of the Parish Constitution and By-laws and the Constitution and By-laws of the various affiliated organizations.
4. To consider and to approve annual reports of the Parish Council and affiliated organizations.
5. To establish rates of the annual membership dues of the Parish Members.
6. To investigate, and to provide for, the material resources for the needs of the Parish; namely, additional assessments, voluntary offerings, the organization of funds (special fund drives), and the like.
7. To consider and to decide questions in the acquisition and sale of real property of the parish in accordance with the State laws and with the Parish Constitution and By-laws.
8. To organize and to be responsible for, the activity of various cultural and educational programs of the Parish, for the purpose of fostering the Ukrainian national culture, and deepening the national consciousness of Parish Members and that of their children.
9. To consider other matters originating from the ecclesiastical and national life of the Parish.
ARTICLE IX. PARISH COUNCIL
Section 1. Responsibilities of Parish Council
A. The members of the Parish Council shall execute the decisions of the Parish Meetings. It shall, during the time between the Annual meetings be the governing body of the Parish and shall consider, promote, and transact its business.
B. The Parish Council shall have the power to authorize expenditures and disbursements reasonably implied by the decisions, instructions, or approved projects issued at Parish meetings or for the transactions of business necessary for the proper functioning of the Parish.
Section 2. Vacancies
Vacancies occurring among the members of the Parish Council Members shall be filled by this body, and such Parish Council Members shall serve only until the next Annual Meeting or Special Meeting of the Parish called for the purpose of filling such vacancy.
ARTICLE X. MEMBERS OF PARISH COUNCIL
A. The membership of the Parish Council shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President, a minimum of four (4) to a maximum of six (6) Councilmen, three (3) Auditors, and the Spiritual Advisor.
B. The Parish Council, except for the Immediate Past President, shall be elected by the Parish membership at the Annual Meeting and shall hold office for a period of one (1) year, or until their successors are chosen.
1. The Immediate Past President shall serve on the Parish Council for a period of one (1) year past his/her tenure of office.
C. No person may hold two (2) or more offices at the same time.
D. Only an American-born, or naturalized citizen and member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America in good standing can be elected to Parish Council.
E. Members of the Parish, in good standing, shall have the right to be elected to Parish Council after having been active members recorded on the Parish Register for at least two (2) consecutive years.
F. Members of Parish Council shall not hold office until time that each has participated in the Holy Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion, and taken the oath of office.
G. At the expiration of any term of office, or resignation, removal, or the termination of office, all shall be duly bound to turn over to the successor all keys, books, papers, vouchers, documents, and all items belonging to the Church Corporation that may come into their custody.
H. Members of Parish Council shall be required to attend all meetings. Whenever a Parish Council Member absents himself/herself from three (3) consecutive meetings without presenting a valid reason, the Parish President may declare a vacancy after having satisfied Item #2 below, and proceed to fill the vacancy in the manner provided in ARTICLE IX, Section 1.
1. Notification of absences shall be given to the Parish President or Secretary prior to the meeting. A record of attendance at the meetings shall be kept by the Secretary.
2. The Secretary shall be responsible for notifying the Parish President when a Parish Council is absent for two (2) consecutive meetings. After the third absence, the parish President shall PERSONALLY contact the Parish Council Member to ascertain the problem concerning his/her non-attendance.
I. Each Parish Council Member shall accept an assignment or specific responsibility; e.g. committee chairmanship, special assignment, or parish project.
ARTICLE XI. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERS
Section 1. President
A. Serves as the chief administrative officer of the Parish and shall have the general and active control of Parish affairs, and business, and general supervision over all Parish Council Members.
B. Presides at all meetings of the Parish membership and Parish Council at which he/she is present.
C. Is required to endorse all checks issued by the Parish Treasurer.
D. Maintains custody of the financial officers bond.
E. Has the power to appoint committees.
F. Serves as member ex-officio on all standing committees.
G. Serves as Immediate Past President on Parish council for a period of one (1) year from the time he/she leaves the office of President.
H. Performs such other duties as shall be assigned to him/her.
Section 2. Vice-President
A. The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President during his/her absence or incapacity and shall then have all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of that office. Otherwise, he/she shall assist the President in the performance of all presidential duties.
B. Performs such other duties as shall be assigned to him/her.
Section 3. Secretary
A. Records all proceedings of the meetings of the Parish in a book or electronic record which shall be the property of the Parish.
B. Serves as custodian of all Parish Council minutes and correspondence, unless a special office shall be appointed for the purpose.
C. Reads the minutes of the previous Parish Council meeting at the monthly Parish Council meeting.
D. Prepares and maintains copies of all Parish Council correspondence.
E. Records attendance of members at all Parish Council meetings.
F. Maintains a current version of the Constitution and By-laws, and Rules of Order which shall be present at all meetings.
G. Performs such other duties as shall be assigned him/her.
Section 4. Financial Secretary
A. Maintains accurate books of accounts which will be the property of the Parish.
B. Prepares and distributes all correspondence pertaining to the solicitation and collection of funds in a timely fashion.
C. Maintains accurate account of all financial transactions of the Parish.
D. Accepts income and records all financial transactions.
E. Co-signs all Parish checks and other financial documents with the Treasurer and the President.
F. Transfers all monies to the Parish Treasurer.
G. Reports all income received each month at the Parish Council meetings.
H. Prepares the income and expense report for audit and presentation at the Annual Parish Meeting for approval.
I. Cooperates with the Treasurer to implement the approved financial program of the Parish and has custody, with the Treasurer, of all valuable papers and securities of the Parish.
J. Performs such other duties as shall be assigned to him/her.
Section 5. Treasurer
A. Has custody of and is responsible for all monies, valuable papers, and securities of the Parish.
B. Has the authority to endorse and deposit all notes, checks, drafts, and other obligations for payment to the Parish.
C. Pays out money as may be necessary in the transaction of Parish business, either by special or general direction of the Parish Council, on checks signed by the President, Financial Secretary, and the Treasurer.
D. Prepares the expense report for audit and presentation at the Annual Parish meeting.
E. Reports all expenses at the monthly Parish Council meetings.
F. Ensures that accurate books of account are maintained which shall be the property of the Parish.
G. Cooperates with the Financial Secretary to implement the approved financial program of the Parish.
H. Receives income from Parish properties and makes deposits to the Parish accounts.
I. Performs such other duties as shall be assigned to him/her.
Section 6. Auditors
A. Examine the financial records of the Financial Secretary and Treasurer of the Parish not later than seven days prior to the Annual meeting of the Parish membership.
B. Sign all financial records upon completion of an audit, indicating approval.
C. Certify and report the correctness of all financial reports/records to the Parish membership at each Annual Parish Meeting.
D. Performs such other duties as shall be assigned to him/her.
Section 7. Councilmen
A. A minimum of four (4) to a maximum of six (6) Councilmen shall be elected from the voting membership of the Parish at the Annual Parish Meeting.
B. A candidate for Councilmen must have been a voting member of the Parish for a period of not less than two (2) years, and have fulfilled the canonical requirements of the Eastern Orthodox Faith by receiving the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion.
C. The Councilmen, with the other Parish Council Members, shall have general supervision over all policies of the Parish.
D. Performs such other duties as shall be assigned him/her.
Section 8. Immediate Past President
A. The Immediate Past President shall serve on the Parish Council for a period of one (1) year after he/she leaves the office President, provided the reason for leaving the position was honorable.
B. This does not preclude him/her from serving in another elected position.
C. The Immediate Past President shall provide advice and continuity as a result of his/her past experience as Parish President.
ARTICLE XII. PASTOR
A. Instructs the faithful in the principles of the Eastern Orthodox Faith.
B. Promotes the morality, and supervises the religious education of the faithful.
C. Determines the time and order of Divine Liturgy.
D. Promotes the religious life of the Parish in general.
E. Matters of liturgical character and those pertaining to the Ritual, shall be exclusively within the competence of the Pastor who shall be governed in this area by the decision and instructions of the Council of Bishops.
F. The Pastor shall bear all responsibility for the spiritual condition of the Parish entrusted to him.
G. The Pastor shall be appointed or removed by the Consistory upon the recommendation of the Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America, with the approval and acceptance of the Parish membership.
H. In all matters pertaining to canon law, spiritual function, priestly rights and duties, the Parish Priest shall be under the canonical supervision of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America.
I. The Pastor of this Parish shall keep the Parish Register of Marriages, Baptisms, and Funerals and the Official Parish Seal.
J. The Pastor of this Parish shall have the right and duty to participate in all conferences and meetings of the Parish Membership and in the sessions of its Parish Council. He shall be entitled to one (1) vote when present at the meeting.
K. No member of the clergy has or shall claim any individual rights of ownership to the properties of the Parish.
L. The Pastor shall receive such other compensation, medical insurance, vacation pay, and other benefits as shall be fixed by the Parish Council or upon the advice and recommendation of the Parish at an Annual or Special Meeting, or the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America.
M. Dismissal or removal of the Parish Priest requires a formal petition to be prepared by the Parish Council setting forth fully the reason(s) for said removal/dismissal. This petition must have the approval of the Parish Membership and then is sent to the President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America.
ARTICLE XIII. MEETINGS
Section 1. Annual Meetings
A meeting of the Parish membership shall be held once each year for the election of Parish Council, and for the transaction of such other business as may properly come before it. Such a meeting will be known as the ANNUAL MEETING and will be held by the last Sunday in January.
Section 2. Special Meeting
A SPECIAL MEETING may be held at such time and place as shall be specified in the announcement. A Special Meeting may be called by resolution of the Parish Council or by a written petition filed with the Secretary and signed by a majority of the Parish Membership. Business transacted at any Special Meeting shall include topics as stated in the resolution of the Parish Council or in the written petition.
Section 3. Announcement of Meetings
The Parish President and the Parish Council shall be responsible for announcing all meetings in a timely and efficient fashion.
1. Annual Meeting - Written notice to all Parish Members and public announcement at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting
2. Special Meeting - Written notice to all Parish members by mail and public announcement which shall include a statement of the purpose of the meeting at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting.
Section 4. Parish Council Meetings
The Parish Council shall hold a meeting at least once during the months of January, March, May, July, September, and November. The scheduled time and place will be designated by the Parish President and subject to the approval of the Parish Council.
a. A Special Meeting of the Parish Council may be held at such time and place as designated by the Parish President. Notice of such meeting accompanied by a statement of its purpose shall be given all Parish Council Members at least one (1) week in advance of the date of the Special Meeting unless the absolute urgency of the matter dictates immediate action.
b. All Parish Council members must be notified by telephone or email by the President in the event of a Special meeting or change of meeting date.
A quorum of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the total Parish Council membership must be present.
ARTICLE XIV. VOTING
Section 1. Annual and Special Meetings
All Parish members in good standing and present at the meetings shall be entitled to one (1) vote. A list of members in good standing will be compiled and roll call will be taken if necessary at the Annual Meeting.
Section 2. Parish Council Meetings
Only members of the Parish Council who are present at the meeting shall be entitled to one (1) vote.
Section 3. Elections
A. All Parish Council Members shall be elected by a vote of majority as set forth in ARTICLE XVII. QUORUM.
B. Voting for elections shall be by secret ballot.
ARTICLE XV. PARISH PROPERTY
A. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church shall have title to, and shall dispose of its personal and real property in accordance with the provisions of the present Constitution and with those of its Charter.
B. The Parish Council, in accordance with the decisions and upon the instruction of the Parish membership, shall have the power to borrow money, to mortgage property, and to give and to accept guarantees, and in general to dispose of the funds of the Parish.
ARTICLE XVI. SPECIAL SERVICES
Section 1. Funerals of Non-Affiliated Persons
A. Non-Christians will not be considered.
B. The Parastas and funeral services of non-Eastern Orthodox persons shall not be held in the Church proper.
C. Requests for funerals for non-affiliated persons must satisfy all requirements as stated in the By-laws.
ARTICLE XVII. QUORUM
Section 1. Parish Meetings
At Annual or Special Meetings that have been properly called, no less than thirty-five (35) Parish Members in good standing shall constitute a quorum.
Section 2. Parish Council Meetings
At any meeting of the Parish Council, a majority of the members entitled to vote and present at the meeting shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE XVIII. REMOVAL OF ELECTED PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERS
A. The proceedings for the removal of Parish Council Member shall be instituted only by the majority vote of the Parish Council.
B. The Parish Council Member whose removal is sought shall receive notice of such a meeting with a statement of cause not less than ten (10) days prior to the meeting.
C. Any matter not included in the statement of cause for removal shall not be introduced at the meeting deciding the case.
D. The Parish membership may, at any Parish meeting called for the purpose, by a vote of the majority, as set forth in ARTICLE XVII. QUORUM, remove any Parish Council Member from office.
ARTICLE XIX. EXECUTION OF PAPERS
Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, all deeds, leases, transfers, contracts, bonds, notes, checks, drafts, and other obligations made, accepted, or endorsed by the Parish Membership or the Parish Council shall be signed by the President and/or other appropriate Parish Council Member.
ARTICLE XX. PARISH RECORDS
All Parish Council Members and appointed committees shall turn over at the end of their term of office all official records in their possession.
ARTICLE XXI. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
Roberts’ Rules of Order, Revised shall be the Parliamentary Authority for this organization where it does not conflict with any of the Articles of this Constitution.
ARTICLE XXII. AMENDMENTS
Except as otherwise expressly provided in these articles, this Constitution may be altered, amended, or repealed at the Annual or Special Meeting of the Parish Membership called for that purpose.
A. Proposed amendments to this Constitution may be submitted in writing by any member of the Parish in good standing. The amendment must be submitted to the Constitution Committee (or the Parish Council).
1. The proposed amendment must be submitted one (1) month prior to the Annual or Special Meeting.
B. The Constitution Committee (or the Parish Council) must send out notification of the proposed change or addition to all Parish Members at least two (2) weeks in advance of the Annual or Special Meeting.
C. Any amendment to this Constitution must be proposed at an Annual or Special Meeting and adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting Parish Membership present.
D. Alterations to this Constitution adopted at an Annual or Special Meeting shall take effect on the day of their approval.
ARTICLE I. PARISH MEMBER FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS
A. Assessment for parish membership shall be approved by the Parish Body at the Annual Meeting. All Parish Members will be duly notified in writing of said financial obligations following the Annual Meeting.
B. The financial obligations of unemployed individuals and other special cases will be considered on an individual basis by the Parish Council.
C. Financial assessments are due and payable to the Parish Financial Secretary on or before December 31.
ARTICLE II. PARISH EXPENDITURES
A. Decisions of the Parish Council pertaining to the expenditure of $3,000.00 or more shall require prior approval of the Parish Membership at a Special or Annual Meeting.
B. The Parish President, with the approval of the Parish Council, has the authority to implement maintenance, repair, or the like, which may incur expenses of less than $3,000.00, upon obtaining at least three (3) estimates.
C. In emergency situations, the number of estimates required will be at the discretion of the Parish President
D. All bills pertaining to the Parish will be reviewed by the Parish Council for approval and payment.
ARTICLE III. PARISH FINANCIAL OFFICERS BONDING
The Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and the President of the Parish will be bonded according to prevailing statutes.
ARTICLE IV. FISCAL YEAR FOR PARISH OPERATION
The fiscal year for the purpose of audit and fiscal operation shall be January 1 to December 31.
ARTICLE V. PASTOR’S VACATION BENEFITS
A. Years of service - vacation benefit
1 - 4 years of service - 2 weeks of paid vacation
5 - 14 years of service - 3 weeks of paid vacation
15 - 24 years of service - 4 weeks of paid vacation
25+ years of service - 5 weeks of paid vacation
Vacation time cannot be accrued from year to year.
B. The Pastor of the Parish shall submit a schedule of his vacation plans to
the Parish Council for approval.
C. During regularly scheduled vacation periods, the Pastor must assist the
Parish Council in acquiring a Priest to serve Liturgies and to provide
other needed pastoral services during his absence.
ARTICLE VI. ELECTION OF PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERS
A. All Parish Council Members shall be elected by a vote of majority of the Parish Members as set forth in ARTICLE XIV of the Parish Constitution.
B. Voting for elections shall be by secret ballot.
C. A Parish Member in good standing who is unable to attend the Annual Meeting with reasonable excuse may be elected to an office provided he/she has indicated an interest and has submitted such in writing to the Nominations Committee (ARTICLE XIII. Section G. of the By-laws).
ARTICLE VII. Funeral Service Assessments - Non-affiliated Individuals
A. Non-affiliated individuals who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Faith shall be allowed funeral services in the church at the discretion of the Parish Council and including a fee which represents the current annual Parish Member’s financial assessments times five (5) and must be paid to the Parish treasurer prior to the funeral. This fee does not include any additional expenses associated with church services or burial expenses.
B. Individuals who are not members of the Eastern Orthodox Faith will not be permitted a funeral service in the church.
ARTICLE VIII. CEMETERY
Section 1. Name and Location
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church Cemetery is located at Third and Main Streets, Northampton, Pennsylvania.
Section 2. Interment Deed
A Parish Member in good standing shall be granted an interment deed of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church Cemetery, Third and Main Streets, Northampton, Pennsylvania, for the privilege of burial in the named cemetery.
1. Owners of deeds shall be subject to the rules and regulations that are established/adopted from time to time by the Parish.
2. Owners of deeds shall be subject to the laws, usages, and discipline of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America relating to sepulcher (burial/interment) as well as the rights and ceremonies to be observed at funerals.
3. Owners of deeds shall be subject to the consent and approval of said Church for erecting grave markers/stone, decorations, and other construction thereon.
4. Owners of deeds shall be subject to understand that no deed or conveyance of any title or interest in the Church Cemetery is to be executed, but that the complete title thereto, and the legal possession thereof, remain in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Northampton, Pennsylvania.
5. Owners of deeds shall be subject to understand that the Interment Deed is NOT transferable and assignable by act of law or otherwise without the written consent of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Northampton, Pennsylvania.
Section 3. Transfer of Interment Deed
Any Parish member in good standing wishing to transfer or assign his/her Interment Deed in any way shall be subject to the following:
1. Such notification must be made to the Parish Council for issuance of a new Interment Deed to the party (or parties) involved. The original deed will be retained by the Parish Council and filed in the Parish files.
2. The transfer of an Interment Deed will only be approved when it involves transfer to a Parish Member in good standing.
Section 4. Burial Vaults
It shall be mandatory that all interments in said Cemetery including those of cremated remains shall be in burial vaults.
Section 5. Burial Privileges - Parish Members in Arrears
A. A Parish Member whose financial obligations are in arrears and is a family member of an Interment Deed owner may be buried in said Cemetery upon payment of a fee which represents the current annual Parish Member’s financial assessments times five (5), or must satisfy all outstanding assessments, whichever is the lesser amount.
This fee does not include and may be in addition to funeral
assessments, church service expenses, and stipulated financial
fees as stated in ARTICLE VIII, Section 8 of these By-laws.
B. Hardship cases will be considered on an individual basis by the Parish Council upon receipt of a written request.
C. This fee may not be pre-paid in the event of pre-arranged funeral arrangements.
Section 6. Burial Privileges - Non-affiliated Persons
A. Non-affiliated individuals who are members of a Parish Member’s (living or deceased) immediate family may be buried in said Cemetery upon payment of a fee that represents the current annual Parish Members’ financial assessments times five (5), and satisfaction of the stipulated financial obligations as stated in ARTICLE VIII, Section 8 of these By-laws.
B. This fee does not include and may be in addition to funeral assessments, church service expenses, and stipulated financial fees as stated in ARTICLE VII, Section 8 of these By-laws.
C. This fee may not be pre-paid in the event of pre-arranged funeral arrangements.
Section 7. Sealing of Graves
The sealing of all graves must be performed by the Pastor of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Northampton, Pennsylvania, or an authorized clergyman of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A
Section 8. Fees (Grave Sites/Perpetual Care/Grave Opening Fee)
A sum of $200.00 will be charged by the Parish for the acquisition of a new gravesite. At that time an interment deed will be issued.
A one-time $100.00 (one hundred) non-refundable fee shall be charged for perpetual care for each grave site, payable upon purchase of the grave site.
At the time of interment, a grave opening fee of $500.00 (five hundred) will be charged by the Parish.
Section 9. Specifications of Grave Sites
A. Size of Plots
1. The size of plots in Lots Nos. 1 through 93 shall be four (4) feet by eight (8) feet.
2. The size of plots Nos. 94 through 303 shall be four (4) feet by ten (10) feet.
B. Tiered Burials
No tiered burials, i.e. more than one individual in a single grave site, will be permitted.
C. Size of Grave Markers and/or Memorial Stones (effective January 26, 1986)
1. The height of grave stones and/or markers, including the base, may not exceed four (4) feet in height.
2. The width of grave stones and/or markers, including the base, on a single plot shall not exceed two (2) feet, four (4) inches [28 inches].
3. The width of grave stones and/or markers, including the base, on multiple plots shall not exceed six (6) feet [72 inches].
4. Grave stones or markers which exceed this limitation or are offensive to Orthodox Christian aesthetics or teachings will not be permitted to be installed. If such markers or stones are installed, they will be removed at the discretion of the parish and at the expense of the family possessing the Deed to the plot.
Section 10. Care and Maintenance of Grave Sites
A. Plants and Shrubbery
1. The care and maintenance of all plants, shrubbery, and all forms of decoration shall be the complete responsibility of the family who possesses the Deed to the particular plot.
2. Existing plants, shrubs, etc., may not exceed the height of three (3) feet. Those plants or shrubs which do not comply with this limitation will be removed at the discretion of the Parish Council.
3. Grave sites which are not properly maintained will be cared for under the supervision of the Parish Council and at the expense of the owner (s) or relatives.
4. The planting of new shrubs or trees is hereby prohibited on all grave sites (effective January 26, 1986).
5. Artificial plants and flowers are prohibited on grave sites during the period May 1st through October 1st.
B. Grave Markers and/or Memorial Stones
1. The proper placement (installation) of a memorial stone or grave marker is the complete responsibility of the family in possession of the Deed.
2. At the time of burial, a fee which reflects the current market value of a permanent grave marker (pillow style) and its installation will be charged. This fee will be used by the Parish Council to erect a permanent grave marker if the family in possession of the Deed fails to do so within one (1) year of burial. Should the family erect a permanent marker within one (1) year, the fee will be refunded. In the event a permanent grave marker is located at the time of burial, this fee does not apply.
3. Prior to placement (installation) of a permanent grave marker, the party involved must notify the Pastor or Parish Council President in order to confirm that the marker will comply with size restrictions
4. Installation of a permanent grave marker shall not be completed before six (6) months following time of burial nor to exceed one (1) year following time of burial, pending proof of order of said grave marker.
5. The proper maintenance or replacement of a damage or deteriorated memorial stone is the responsibility located, or if it is established that there are no surviving family members, the Parish Council will assume the responsibility of replacing, repairing, and or maintaining a damaged or deteriorated stone or marker. Monies for this purpose will be taken from the Perpetual Care Fund.
ARTICLE IX. PROPOSED CHANGES, ADDITIONS, AND/OR DONATIONS TO THE PARISH
A. All proposed changes to the Parish structure, including the Parish house, adjoining properties and structures (painting, remodeling, furniture, or furnishings) must have prior official approval of the Parish Council.
B. An individual or organization wishing to offer assistance or service, or provide furniture, furnishings, or liturgical items, must contact the Parish Council President or the pastor who will submit the proposal to the Parish Council at a regularly scheduled meeting, for approval.
C. All gifts and donations to the Parish shall become the sole property of the Parish.
D. When an item must be replaced, an announcement to the effect will be made. The individual or family who originally purchased the item which needs replacing will be given the courtesy/opportunity of replacing the item if he/she/they so desire.
Section 2. Church Memorial Fund
All monies collected by the Parish in memory of the deceased will be placed in a MEMORIAL FUND.
A. Within thirty (30) days following the funeral, the family of the deceased (or the persons responsible for the funeral) will be advised of the monies which have been collected for the Church memorial fund. They will be asked if they care to designate how the money should be used for Parish purposes.
B. If no decision is made by the family within sixty (60) days following the date of the funeral as to how the monies should be used, the money will be maintained in a Church Memorial Fund and will be used solely for Parish needs. The Parish Council will have the authority to purchase items for the Parish from the Church Memorial Fund.
ARTICLE X. COUNTING OF MONETARY COLLECTIONS
A. It is the assigned responsibility of the Treasurer and Financial Secretary, with the President or a designated Auditor, to count all monies collected from all offertories. When an Auditor is not available, another member of the Parish Council may serve in this capacity.
B. The counting of all collections will be done in a private location on the church premises.
ARTICLE XI. PRESIDENTS OF PARISH ORGANIZATIONS
A. The Presidents (or his/her official designate) of each official organization of the Parish will have honorary status on the Parish Council.
B. The honorary members will be invited to all Parish Council meetings, will have speaking privileges, but will not have the right to vote on issues coming before the Council.
ARTICLE XII. PARISH MEMBER CONCERNS
A. Any Parish Member who has a churchly concern or perceives that a problem exists, may submit such concern or problem to any Parish Council member.
B. Problems or concerns given to a Parish Council member must be presented to the full Parish Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
ARTICLE XIII. STANDING COMMITTEES
Section 1. Constitution and By-laws
This Committee receives and considers proposed changes to the Constitution and By-laws and submits changes to the Parish Council for adoption at a regularly scheduled Parish Meeting
Section 2. Budget
A. This committee reviews income and expenses of the Parish and establishes an annual budget. Thereafter the Budget Committee monitors the budget to ensure that it is complied with.
B. The Budget Committee is authorized to make financial transactions regarding Certificates of Deposit in the best interest of the Parish, with advisement to the Parish Council.
C. The Budget Committee must maintain a close working relationship with the Parish financial officers.
Section 3. Census
A. This Committee acquires accurate demographic statistics of the Parish membership and maintains records of the same.
B. The Census Committee must maintain a close working relationship with the Parish financial officers.
Section 4. Purchasing
A. This Committee is assigned the responsibility of purchasing items for the Parish and all Parish properties as assigned by the Parish Council.
B. This Committee must acquire an appropriate number of bids or estimates prior to making purchases of substantial value.
C. All purchases must be approved by the Parish Council in compliance with the Parish Constitution.
Section 5. Cemetery Administration
A. This Committee implements policies and procedures for the transaction of interment deeds, assessment fees, and maintains all records and documents of the Cemetery.
B. This Committee shall consist of the Pastor, President, and Vice-President.
Section 6. Property Management
This Committee is assigned the responsibility for overseeing the care and maintenance of all Church properties.
Section 7. Nominating
A. This Committee prepares a slate of officers prior to the Annual Meeting.
B. The official slate shall contain only one (1) nomination per opening for each office.
C. Individuals placed on the nomination slate must have given their consent to the nomination prior to the Meeting
D. The chairman of the Nominating Committee presents the official slate at the Annual Meeting.
Section 8. Action by Standing Committees
A. Each Standing Committee must be chaired by a member of the Parish Council.
B. All decisions and actions of the Standing Committees are subject to approval of the Parish Council.
ARTICLE XIV. FORMULATION OF CHURCH AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS
Any group or individual who desires to form an organization must petition the Parish Council by:
1. Submitting a written statement of the purpose and objectives with signatures of all charter members.
2. Submitting a copy of a proposed Constitution and By-laws to the Parish Council for approval.
ARTICLE XV. PARISH STAFF
Remuneration shall be given to the Pastor, Cantor, Choir Director, and Janitor.
ARTICLE XVI. FEE FOR RENTAL OF PARISH HALL
Section 1. Funerals (Parish Members)
A rental fee of $25.00 will be charged. Any set-up, breakdown, or clean-up is the responsibility of the renter. This permits the renter to use the hall and the kitchen facilities.
Section 2. Private Functions (Parish Members)
A rental fee of $50.00 will be charged for all private functions. Any set-up, breakdown, or clean-up is the responsibility of the renter. This permits the renter to use the hall and the kitchen facilities.
Section 3. Parish Functions
No rental fee will be charged for Parish functions. This will include functions of Parish-related organizations or Church-sponsored organizations. Parish-related organizations and Church-sponsored organizations will be responsible for any set-up, breakdown, or clean-up.
Section 4. Damage to Parish Property
Any damage to any Parish property shall be the sole responsibility of the renter.
ARTICLE XVII. AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS
Any amendment to the By-laws must be presented to the Constitution and By-laws Committee who will then present such amendment at a Parish Annual or Special Meeting and adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting Parish Membership present.
Proposed amendments and notification to the Parish Members must comply with the Parish Constitution.