Red Maple Grove Bylaws

(As unanimously approved on Samhain 2004 C. E.)

Article 1: Grove Purpose

A. Aware of humanity’s harmonious interconnection with the great web of life upon this planet, conscious of the ideals of our ancient ancestors, of those who abode in this land in the Elder Days, and of those who in the Twentieth Century C.E. planted the seeds of the Neopagan revival, we herein affirm our intent to strive to live as our generation’s harvest of that triadic ideal, to serve in this National Capital area as a congregation of Ar nDraiocht Fein, A Druid Fellowship, providing a focus here, along the ADF path, for Neopagan druidic study, fellowship, community service and open worship.

Article 2: Affiliation and Compliance with Secular Regulations

A. As a congregation of ADF, Red Maple seeks to demonstrate here the living example of that organization’s loftiest spirit and to embody the effective blending of this spirit and of ADF’s practical regulations.

B. Red Maple Grove shall strive to comply with the regulations of secular government and where the legislation of various levels of such governments conflict shall accord higher priority to the United Nations, the Canadian Federal Government, Canadian Provincial Government and local governments, in that order.

Article 3: Membership

While participation in Red Maple Grove’s activities shall be very open, in accordance with the general philosophy and by-laws of ADF, and while, in general, an effort shall be made to function harmoniously in accordance with the expressed consensus of all those interested in participating in our activieties, officially the members of this grove are those who are members of ADF.

Non-voting members are welcome to attend all rituals, gatherings and all meetings not specifically called to deal with ADF policy making, electoral procedures, or organizational control issues.

No amendment of this article can remove the current requirement that the the three following officers (Senior Druid, Scribe and Pursewarden) be members of ADF eighteen years of age or older, and that the election of these officers be by the Grove’s ADF members who are eighteen years of age or older.

Article 4: Meetings

While members of the Red Maple Grove’s congregation are encouraged to gather informally, and while official meetings of Red Maple Grove and its components may be held for social, studious, organizational, community outreach, prayerful and other purposes may occur whenever appropriately called, we pledge ourselves to strive to ensure one grove meeting per month, in addition to conducting open worship for the eight standard Neopagan Holy Days (Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Vernal Equinox, Bealtaine, Midsummer, Lughnasad and Autumnal Equinox), plus ADF specific meetings when necessary to carry on the private business of the Grove. The official meeting held on or about Samhain (the traditional Celtic, a common Neopagan and Red Maple Grove’s New Year’s Day) shall be the Annual General Meeting.

The Annual General Meeting shall be the occasion for the election of Red Maple Grove’s officers, for the presentation of annual reports by officers, committees and guilds and for general consultation on these reports, on the state of Red Maple Grove and on any other matters deemed by those assembled to merit consideration.

Article 5: Election of Officers

No later than two weeks after the Autumnal Equinox, the Executive Triad shall appoint an Electoral Triad consisting of three individuals who may not be candidates, or have a conflict of interest in the election. Those appointed to the electoral triad are required to be participants in Red Maple Grove activities, and although the leader of the triad must be an ADF member, the other two may also, but do not have to be.

The Electoral Triad is responsible for compiling a slate of those nominated, communicate (including by means of the Grove’s e-mail list, if this is then functioning) this slate to the membership, and conduct the election, which shall be by secret ballot. Only votes cast in person shall be valid, neither mail in ballots nor proxies being counted.

In each election the winning candidate will be determined by a plurality. In the event of a tie, another round of voting will be held with only those who have received that tied highest number of votes being on the ballot.

The term for newly elected officers shall begin at Samhain.

Article 6: Administration and Officers

As a spiritual organization whose members are conscious of the ideals of our ancestors, the highest aspirations of the early inhabitants of this land and the loftiest motives of the most outstanding examples in the rich harvest of human history, our administration is based on spiritual, ethical and practical principles, including: openness, transparency, accountability, unanimity where attainable, majority vote where unanimity is unattained, the effectiveness of triadic function (governance by threes), co-operation, humility, simplicity, responsibility, service, respect for others, patience, moderation, prayerful deliberation and the recognition that there is great benefit in general principles, in accumulated practical experience and in the realization that not all situations are necessarily recurring or foreseeable, and that wisdom advises being receptive to dealing with each situation on its own basis.

The administration of Red Maple Grove is sustained, inspired and protected by the three orders of spirits (ancestral, natural and deific), established on appreciation for the sacred nature of service to the ideals of Ar nDraiocht Fein, conscious of the traditional understanding that a true leader is both worthy of respect and possessing a skin seven spans thick so as not to be adversely impacted by anything that may be said about her or him.

Red Maple Grove is governed by triads, committees of three members or participants. The Executive Committee (Senior Druid, Scribe and Pursewarden) must be current members of Ar nDraiocht Fein. Among the other triads administering the affairs of Red Maple Grove may be: the mediative, liturgical, praeceptoral, budget, communications, and community outreach triads. The head of each triad must be a member in good standing of ADF.

The Executive Triad is responsible for oversight of all Grove affairs, for sustaining the general welfare of the Grove and the harmonious functioning of the other grove triads. The Executive Triad, with the consultation of Grove members at the monthly meetings, shall arrange by election replacements in the event of a vacant office, and will set, again through consultation with Red Maple Grove’s members and participants, the precise timing for the marking of the eight Holy Days and other grove events. Each member of the Executive Triad, as at least a contact for the other triads, shall be reachable for members seeking to communicate.

The Executive Triad consists of the following officers:

Senior Druid – The Senior Druid (SD) shares in the responsibility for the maintainance of the spiritual harmony, vitality and well being of Red Maple Grove, ensures that general and triadic meetings are held, that an agenda is ready in advance of such meetings, and this agenda is in the hands of the Scribe, chairs such meetings in a spiritual manner, seeking to obtain the unfettered and unforced participation of each person at such meetings, reviews the reports of the other triads and of the Scribe and pursewarden, is the primary representative of Red Maple Grove to other bodies within Ar nDraiocht Fein, the general NeoPagan community and all other bodies, organizations and publics outside of Red Maple Grove, oversees all liturgical activities within Red Maple Grove, as well as any Red Maple Grove educational endeavour and in general to perform in a spiritual, moral and ethical manner the duties consistent with the post of president. The term of the office of Senior Druid shall be two years.

Pursewarden – The Pursewarden is responsible for keeping Red Maple Grove’s financial records according to generally accepted accounting principles for non-profit organizations, for handling the monies of Red Maple Grove, for maintaining the bank account(s) of Red Maple Grove, for providing written financial reports to the Executive Triad and at each monthly Red Maple Grove general meeting, for compiling a quarterly financial report to be sent to the Mother Grove of Ar nDraiocht Fein after review by the members and participants of Red Maple Grove, including by means of Red Maple Grove’s e-list, if such is functioning at the time. The Pursewarden is also required to complete an annual report, including financial statements, for submission to the Executive Triad, ADF, and such government agencies as have reason to request it, and in general to perform in a spiritual, moral and ethical manner the duties consistent with the post of treasurer. The term of the office for the Pursewarden shall be two years.

The Scribe shall be responsible for recording minutes of all general meetings and of all Executive Triad meetings, for maintaining records of the proceedings of other triads (to be submitted by each triad), for compiling, through consultation with the members and participants of Red Maple Grove (including by means of Red Maple Grove’s e-list if functioning, a quarterly report of grove events to be sent to the Mother Grove of Ar nDraiocht Fein, and, in general to perform in a spiritual, moral and ethical manner the duties consistent with the post of secretary. The term of the office of Scribe shall be two years.

If one of the Executive Triad steps down, or must be replaced for any reason, an election must be called immediately, providing that the term remaining is more than two months.

Elections for the Executive Triad slall be held annually, with the office of Senior Druid being elected in even years, and the offices of Scribe and Pursewarden being up for election in odd years. With this single exception, the first annual election shall elect all three seats of the Executive Triad, with the Senior Druid being elected to a post of two years, and the Scribe and Pursewarden to terms of one year.

The quorum required for the purposes of voting within the Executive Triad shall be two of the three members. All decisions of the council shall be carried by a majority vote. Each member of the Executive Triad may only cast one vote in any decision, regardless of the number of offices they hold.

Article 7: Other Triads

Triads may be as ongoing committees for ongoing concerns, such as the Outreach Triad. These triads may spin off temporary triads for specific projects, such as a Pastoral Triad to arrange prison visits. Each temporary triad must be overseen by a member of the original triad and is responsible to both the originating triad and to the Executive Triad. At least one member of each triad must be a member in good standing of Ar nDraiocht Fein.

Article 8: Financial Records

As a non-profit organization, the Grove accounting records are to be made available by the Pursewarden for review with reasonable notice. Quarterly Grove financial reports must be compiled and published to the membership, to the Mother Grove, and to interested government departments, after the close of each quarter. Annual financial statements, including a balance sheet, statement of profit and loss, and an income statement, must be compiled and ratified by the Executive Triad, before being sent to the Mother Grove, Red Maple Grove members and such government departments as request it.

Article 9 Resolution of Personal and Other Difficulties

Conscious of the normal human tendency for a clash of personalities, for a natural presence of contending ambitions, for the ease of misunderstandings, for a variety of dissatisfactions with the imperfections of those charged to perform functions and serve on offices, we outline the following preventative and remedial measures to maintain, preserve and enhance the internal harmony of Red Maple Grove:

The encouragement of daily personal meditation including a balancing perspective of our individual worth, honour owed to other humans, and respect merrited by other life forms;

The encouragement of continued, constant and effective communication within the grove, including the conscious realization that a first step in responding to displeasing reports is to verify the accuracy of such reports and seek the complete context for any seemingly disagreeable actions or omissions;

Include in any Red Maple’s Dedicants’ instruction or study sessions the advice that the virtue of moderation also applies to leadership ambitions and that the virtue of fertility in this age includes both recognition of individual contributions and advances towards community co-operation;

Maintain a triad of mediators specifically charged to ensure through preventitive measures and through spiritually based dispute resolution the harmony of Red Maple Grove;

Encourage our mediators to remind us that ADF has a motto, “With the speed of a growing oak,” allowing those aroused to step back, take a long view, meditate at the Tree Ring or other sacred space, including the human heart, and refrain from hasty action;

Attempting as a grove not to demand of anyone what may be too difficult to accomplish, and encouraging each member to be enough in tune with her/his own situation, feelings, capacity to recognize what is too difficult to do and to have the feeling of acceptance to be able to communicate that to the grove.

Article 10: Sanctions

Although Red Maple Grove greatly endeavours to promote the harmony of various personalities, interests and functions within the grove, we recognize that human frailty may require sanctions, including possibly the suspension, expulsion and/or banning of members and participants at our activities.

Effort shall be taken to ensure that all understand from the beginning of their entrance into Red Maple Grove’s activities which actions (including murder, rape, theft, discrimination on the grounds of race, ancestry, gender and sexual orientation) we consider call for sanctions and an attempt shall be made to provide clear warnings before sanctioning.

The process of sanctioning, including expulsion and/or banning shall be: Firstly, the parties involved in the dispute shall be encouraged to work it out between themselves. Secondly, if this is untenable, the Mediative Triad may be requested to intervene by either party to the dispute, or by any other participant or member who feels strongly about the issue. The Mediative Triad shall begin by attempting to resolve the dispute in an informal and friendly atmosphere. At this point, whether the mediation is formal or informal, the Mediative Triad must keep a log of complaints for recording purposes. Thirdly, should the issue fail to be resolved informally, formal mediation cannot begin until either the Executive triad or the Mediative Triad receives a letter of complaint. This complaint may be written by either party to the dispute, or by any member who feels sufficiently justified in doing so. Upon receipt of the written complaint, the Mediative Triad will start an investigation into the validity of the complaint, with the exact process of the investigation being decided upon by the Mediative Triad, depending upon the circumstances of the complaint. Fourthly, an expulsion or ban must be ratified by the whole grove before being enforced. The Executive Triad must ratify lesser sanctions imposed.

On the issuance of an expulsion or ban, an attempt shall be made to communicate what specifically would be required for the lifting of the imposed sanction, such requirements including the admission by the one sanctioned that s/he recognizes the prohibited action is not permitted by Red Maple Grove, and a sincere vow not to confront Red Maple Grove with it in the future.

Article 11: Resignation

Officers may resign their offices, and members may resign from Red Maple Grove at any time they so wish, though such resignations shall not necessarily prevent Red Maple Grove from deciding on the discipline, suspension, or expulsion of any such individual assessed as warranting such action. Resignations, properly submitted in writing or by e-mail to the Executive Triad, may be accepted promptly, or may initiate a fact-finding and/or mediative process.

Article 12: Amendments

These bylaws may be amended by two thirds of the voting membership voting to do so, after a thirty-day period of notice informing members of such proposed amendment. Amendments may be initiated by the Executive Triad, or may be submitted to the Executive Triad by petition of any twenty-five per cent of the membership. Of course, as is consistent with Red Maple Grove’s general policy of openness, any individual member or participant in Red Maple Grove’s activities is welcome to proffer any recommendation to the Executive Triad or any other committee of Red Maple Grove, and the Executive Triad or any such committee receiving such a recommendation retains full authority to act on such an
individual suggestion as the Executive Triad or such committee receiving such an individual suggestion as they deem appropriate.

The preceding by-laws are herein adopted by unanimous approval of the members of Red Maple Grove as have signed below and by the following participants in Red Maple Grove’s activities as have signed below on or before this Samhain 2004 C. E.