Charter and by laws
ANZURA's Charter and Bylaws
ANZURA became a Chartered National Association of Urantia Association International (UAI) on March 6, 1994. The Charter for UAI has been adopted by ANZURA. (Scroll down for UAI's Charter and Bylaws). ANZURA is designed to encourage the study of The Urantia Book and to assist in the dissemination of its teachings by non-invasive, moderate, evolutionary growth. It supports Urantia Foundation's aims and objectives for the dissemination of The Urantia Book and its teachings. It has a simple organisational structure of readers dedicated to serving this purpose, without seeking recognition. ANZURA is not a religious association, is not associated with any religion and is not a competitor of any religion. We welcome people of all faiths, races and cultural backgrounds where individuals are free to express their own views as their own views. ANZURA as a group, has no opinions to express on religious, political, economical or social issues. It is made up of individuals who have come to recognise the significance of The Urantia Book and the integrated beauty of its teachings, individuals who have a natural desire to help in the dissemination of The Urantia Book. The Urantia Book encourages us to develop our own philosophy through study, experience decisions and actions. We hold the view and recognise that, collectively there are certain things we can support and achieve together.
CHARTER OF URANTIA ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL
Adopted by the Representative Council of the UAI 10th of March 2007
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Mission: To foster study of The Urantia Book and to disseminate its teachings.
1.1 The Urantia Association International (UAI) is a nonprofit, service organization formed to disseminate the teachings of The Urantia Book in order to promote, improve, and expand comprehension and appreciation among the peoples of the world of cosmology, of the relationship of the planet on which we live to the universe, of the genesis and destiny of man and his relation to God, and of the true teachings of Jesus. In so doing, UAI shall endeavor to increase and enhance the comfort, happiness, and well-being of man, as an individual and as a member of society, through the fostering of a personal religion, a philosophy, and a cosmology commensurate with man's intellectual and cultural development.
1.2 UAI shall foster in-depth study of the complete text of The Urantia Book through the development of activities such as study groups, seminars, conferences, periodicals, derivative works, study aids, and other dissemination activities. UAI shall create opportunities for the development of teachers and leaders through the natural evolution of learning through doing, and shall encourage forums for the exchange of ideas and experiences pertaining to The Urantia Book.
1.3 The watchwords of UAI are teamwork and service:
1.4 All activities of UAI and its constituent Associations shall be guided by the teachings of The Urantia Book. The efforts of UAI to disseminate these teachings shall be based on principles of service and attraction, including the efforts of the members of UAI, as individuals, to incorporate the teachings of The Urantia Book into their own lives on progressively higher levels.
1.5 Although a separate entity, UAI supports the Principal and Concordant Objects of the Declaration of Trust Creating Urantia Foundation and considers itself to be interdependent with Urantia Foundation.
To ensure UAI remains focused on its mission UAI has adopted the following limitations on its activities:
1.6 UAI shall not express opinions, form policies, or otherwise take positions on political, social, or economic issues and shall not identify itself with any nation, race, or religion. However, nothing in this Charter, the UAI Bylaws, or the Bylaws of any constituent Association of UAI is intended to prevent or discourage members of UAI, as individuals, from expressing their personal opinions on these matters or from personally participating in such activities. In addition UAI shall not be nor shall it form a church or an organized religion.
1.7 Understanding and interpretation of The Urantia Book is an individual matter. Therefore, UAI shall not present any official interpretations of The Urantia Book.
1.8 UAI welcomes people of all faiths, races, and nationalities and shall foster spiritual fellowship among all the peoples of the world. However, UAI should not be confused with the spiritual Brotherhood of Mankind under the Fatherhood of God.
UAI is composed of five interdependent organizational service components: an International Service Board (ISB), a Representative Council (RC), a Judicial Commission (JC), National Associations, and Local Associations.
The International Service Board, the Representative Council, and the Judicial Commission shall constitute the Central Administration of UAI and shall be responsible for the international affairs of UAI by integrating and coordinating the functions of the Associations of UAI worldwide. The internal affairs of the National and Local Associations shall be administered by their respective Governing Boards.
2.1 The UAI International Service Board (ISB)
2.1.1 The ISB, which is the executive branch of UAI, executes resolutions made by, and is accountable to, the RC. The ISB may initiate budgets, strategic plans, policies, and resolutions which, if passed by the ISB, shall be referred to the RC for their consideration. The ISB shall not execute any decision that has not been previously approved through budgets, policies, or resolutions passed by the RC, except as specifically authorized in the UAI Charter and Bylaws. It shall be responsible for managing the international activities of UAI and the international administrative, financial, and legal affairs of UAI, and shall exercise the legal powers and authority of UAI, subject to the limitations set forth in this Charter and the UAI Bylaws.
2.1.2 All members of the ISB shall be elected by a sixty percent majority of the votes cast by the RC.
2.1.3 The ISB shall have a minimum of seven and a maximum of seventeen members. The officers of UAI shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, Chief Financial Officer, Membership Chair, Education Chair, and Communications Chair, all of whom shall be members of the ISB. The UAI officers shall constitute the Executive Committee of the ISB.
Members of the Executive Committee may be present as observers at the meetings of the RC but they may not participate unless invited to do so and they may not vote. The duties of the officers, the Executive Committee, and committee chairs shall be set forth in the UAI Bylaws.
2.1.4 The terms of office for all ISB members shall be four years; no member may serve for more than two consecutive terms, after which the member must be off the ISB for at least two years. In order to allow continuity on the ISB, terms shall be staggered and elections shall be held every two years.
2.1.5 Any full member of the UAI who meets the necessary qualifications for the position shall be eligible for election to the ISB. An ISB member may not simultaneously hold any other office in the Central Administration or on any Governing Board of any National Association.
2.1.6 The RC may, by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, add additional ISB members up to the maximum of seventeen.
2.1.7 All ISB committees shall be chaired by an ISB member. Committee members shall be appointed by each Committee Chair subject to confirmation by the ISB.
2.1.8 Voting: Unless otherwise specified in the UAI Charter and Bylaws, all ISB decisions shall be made by a sixty percent majority of the votes cast by ISB members.
2.1.9 The ISB shall have responsibility for all personnel decisions, subject to policy and budget decisions by the RC.
2.2 The Representative Council (RC)
2.2.1 The Representative Council is the legislative branch of UAI. The purpose of the RC shall be to represent the members of UAI in the Central Administration. The RC shall legislate, by resolution, regarding policies, international level projects and programs, and any other matters not inconsistent with this Charter or the UAI Bylaws.
2.2.2 The sitting President and Vice President of each National Association shall, by virtue of the office, be a voting member of the RC. The term of each member shall be contemporaneous with his term of office as President or Vice President of his National Association.
2.2.3 The President of the ISB shall call the RC into a formal session at least once a year. Sessions may be held by any means that reasonably allows all members equitable participation, but the RC must provide for continuous sessions by email or other available technology. It would be preferable that a face-to-face meeting of the Central Administration is held at the time of an UAI conference. This meeting would count as the annual meeting for that year. Advance notice of all sessions is required in the manner prescribed in the UAI Bylaws.
2.2.4 Votes. The sitting Presidents and Vice Presidents of the National Associations shall be entitled to cast one vote each. Unless otherwise specified in the UAI Charter or Bylaws, all elections and resolutions shall be passed by a sixty-percent majority of the votes cast by the RC.
2.2.5 Resolutions. All matters submitted to the RC for a decision shall be in the form of a resolution.
2.2.6 If any resolution fails to pass it may be submitted at a later date, with the exception of the budget, which, if not passed within sixty days of its submission, shall be sent to an ad hoc budget committee.
2.2.7 All duly passed resolutions shall be binding on all constituent Local and National Associations unless the resolution violates the laws of the Association's country, in which case the Executive Committee may authorize a partial or total exemption. If a resolution appears to conflict with the laws of a country of a particular National or Local Association, that Association may apply to the Executive Committee for review of the conflict and, if necessary, an exemption.
2.3 The UAI Judicial Commission (JC)
2.3.1 The UAI Judicial Commission (JC) shall be the judicial branch of UAI, consisting of a minimum of three and a maximum of seven Commissioners. The RC may, by a sixty percent majority vote of the votes cast, add additional Commissioners up to the maximum of seven Commissioners. Each Commissioner shall serve for six years; the terms shall be staggered. Commissioners may serve a total of three terms, whether or not the terms are consecutive.
2.3.2 The members of the JC shall be nominated by the ISB and shall be elected by a sixty percent majority of the votes cast by the RC. Any full member of the UAI who meets the necessary qualifications for the position shall be eligible for election on the JC. A Judicial Commissioner may not simultaneously hold any other office in the Central Administration or on any Governing Board of any National Association.
2.3.3 Dispute Resolution. The JC shall provide rules of procedure and may, upon request, provide assistance and training for the National and Local Associations to use for the establishment of Conciliatory Commissions, or to assist with any methods utilized to resolve internal disputes. All efforts shall be made to resolve disputes within a reasonable period of time.
2.3.4 Appeals from a National Association (or a Local Association in an area where no National Association exists) may be made to the JC if that Association's Conciliatory Commission or other dispute resolution mechanism fails to resolve the dispute. If the member, members, or Local Association involved in the dispute are not satisfied with the final decision of the dispute resolution process, they may request a review of the decision by the UAI Judicial Commission. However, it is solely at the discretion of the JC whether to accept a matter for review.
2.3.5 Any Governing Board of a National Association, any group of at least five members of the RC, or any group of at least five members of the ISB (providing at least two are from the Executive Committee) may appeal to the JC for a judgment on any governing documents or actions of an Association, RC, or ISB to determine whether the document or actions violate the UAI Charter or Bylaws. Judicial review of petitions under this section shall be heard at the discretion of the JC.
2.3.6 The Governing Board of a National Association may submit a request to the JC to resolve a dispute arising between its association and one or more other National Associations. Judicial review of petitions under this section shall be heard at the discretion of the JC.
2.3.7 An Association that has been expelled by the RC may request a review of the decision by the UAI Judicial Commission.
2.3.8 The decisions of the JC shall be binding on the ISB, the RC, and all constituent associations.
2.4 National and Local Urantia Associations
2.4.1 The self-governing constituent A Urantia Associations @ shall be either National or Local in scope encompassing specific geographical regions. A local association may alternatively be formed based on language preference or for the purpose of carrying out a specific type of service activity (Refer to Section 2.4.b.ii). Each constituent Association shall be formed in accordance with the UAI Charter and Bylaws and the legal requirements of its country. An Association shall be considered an official constituent of UAI after entering into a Charter Agreement.
2.4.2 The Associations of UAI shall adopt or adhere to the UAI Charter and Bylaws but may also adopt Bylaws for their Association. Any Bylaws adopted by a constituent association shall be subject to the approval of the Executive Committee of the ISB. Each time an Association amends its Bylaws a copy of the amendment shall be provided to the ISB within thirty days.
2.4.3 Associations that are established at the time of this Amended UAI Charter shall adopt or adhere to the Amended Charter but may retain their Association Bylaws provided those Bylaws do not conflict with this Amended Charter.
2.4.4 A constituent Association shall be autonomous in all aspects of its internal affairs except to the extent its affairs effect another Association, the Central Administration, or UAI as a whole, and provided that it does not violate the laws of the country or countries in which it operates, the provisions of this Charter or the UAI Bylaws, and it faithfully supports the goals of UAI.
2.4.5 A constituent Association may establish a Conciliatory Commission to assist in the resolution of internal disputes.
2.4.6 A Charter Agreement may be entered into with a new National Association or a Local Association in an area where no National Association exists after approval has been given by a sixty percent majority of the votes cast by the RC.
2.4.7 Expulsion of an Association. If an Association is found to have engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purposes and goals of UAI, has otherwise violated the Charter or Bylaws of UAI, or has exhibited a chronic inability or lack of willingness to support the purposes and goals of UAI or to work within the established organizational structure of UAI, the Association may be expelled from UAI in the manner prescribed in the UAI Charter and Bylaws.
2.4.8 Any Governing Board of a National Association, any group of at least five members of the RC, or any group of at least five members of the ISB (providing at least two are from the Executive Committee) may petition the ISB for the expulsion from UAI of a National Association (or a Local Association in an area where no National Association exists). The ISB shall examine the allegations and present its findings to the RC. The RC may expel an Association from UAI by a sixty-six percent majority of the votes cast by the RC, excluding the President and Vice President of the Association whose expulsion is being considered. The ISB shall execute such documents as may be necessary to affect the expulsion and revoke the Charter Agreement between the Association and UAI. The Association may appeal to the JC to review the decision.
2.4.9 All documents required to form an Association or adopted to govern the activities of an Association, together, shall constitute the governing documents of the Association. Each constituent association shall enter into a license agreement with Urantia Foundation that authorizes the Association to use any trade, service, and membership marks of the Urantia Foundation that UAI is licensed to use. All Associations shall report on the use of these marks as required by the terms of the license agreement.
2.4.a) National Associations
2.4.a.i A National Association shall have at least thirty full members. One National Association may be formed in any country recognized by the United Nations or a group of such countries. Each National Association shall be managed by a Governing Board consisting of at least a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
2.4.a.ii When a National Association is formed, members within the national boundaries of that Association shall automatically become members of that National Association.
2.4.a.iii There shall be two types of National Associations: one that has no subsidiary Local Associations and one that has one or more subsidiary Local Associations.
2.4.a.iv The National Associations with two or more Local Associations shall have a Council consisting of the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the constituent Local Associations. This Council of Local Presidents and Vice Presidents shall manage the national UAI affairs in its country, and shall integrate and coordinate the functions of the Local Associations nationwide; it shall not govern the internal affairs of the autonomous Local Associations.
2.4.a.v The voting members of a National Association with two or more constituent Local Associations shall be the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the constituent Associations.
2.4.b) Local Associations
2.4.b.i A Local Association shall have at least ten full members and may be formed to serve any designated locality or localities within the boundaries of its National Association. Such designations for the Local Associations may be altered from time to time to accommodate changing needs and reader population growth of the region.
2.4.b.ii A National Association may allow the formation of a Local Association based on language preference within the geographical borders of an existing National Association. Furthermore, if approved by the National Association, Local Associations may form wherever there are ten or more readers who want to affiliate in order to carry out a specific type of service activity.
2.4.b.iii Each Local Association shall be managed by a Governing Board consisting of at least a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
2.4.b.iv A Local Association may be formed in a country before a National Association has been formed in that country, provided that when there are at least thirty full members in that country, a National Association shall be formed.
UAI welcomes members from all races, cultures, nations, and religions. There are three categories of membership in UAI: a full member, a member-at-large, and an associate member.
3.1 Full Member
3.1.1 To be eligible for full membership in UAI, a person shall have read The Urantia Book in its entirety, shall support the teachings of The Urantia Book, shall support the goals and purposes of UAI and Urantia Foundation, and shall agree to abide by the UAI Charter and Bylaws and the Bylaws of his National and/or Local Association.
3.1.2 A full member is entitled to vote in his Association of record.
3.1.3 All full members of Local or National Associations who reside within the geographical boundaries of a National Association are members of that National Association, unless a member has been accepted as a full member of an Association in another country of which the member is a citizen.
3.2 Member-at-Large and Associate Member-at-large
There are two categories of members-at-large: one where no Association of UAI exists and an optional category in which a National Association of UAI with subsidiary Local Associations exists.
3.2.1 No Association of UAI exists. An individual living in a country where no Association of UAI exists may join UAI as a member-at-large or an associate member-at-large. When the first Association is formed in a country, all members-at-large and associate members-atlarge residing in that country shall become members of that Association.
3.2.2 A National Association with subsidiary Local Associations exists. This category is optional and may be adopted in the Bylaws of a National Association. A geographically isolated individual living in a country where a National Association with subsidiary Local Associations exists may join UAI as a member-at-large or an associate member-at-large. Such members-at-large shall be attached to the Membership Committee of the National Association.
3.2.3 To be eligible to join UAI as a member-at-large a person shall have read The Urantia Book in its entirety, shall support the teachings of The Urantia Book, shall support the goals and purposes of UAI and Urantia Foundation, and shall agree to abide by the UAI Charter and Bylaws (and the Bylaws of his National Association if applicable.) Criteria for the associate member-at-large category are given in Article 3.3
3.2.4 A member-at-large may not hold office and is not entitled to vote.
3.3 Associate Member
3.3.1 An Associate Member category is optional and may be adopted in the Bylaws of a National or Local Association.
3.3.2 An individual who has not read The Urantia Book in its entirety may join UAI as an associate member. To be eligible to join UAI as an associate member a person shall be reading The Urantia Book, shall support the teachings of The Urantia Book, shall support the goals and purposes of UAI and Urantia Foundation, and shall agree to abide by the UAI Charter and Bylaws and the Bylaws of his National and/or Local Association.
3.3.3 An associate member shall not be entitled to vote or to hold office, and must be affiliated with a Local or National association.
UAI and its constituent Associations shall be nonprofit organizations.
ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION; BYLAWS
5.1 Urantia Association International will be a not-for-profit corporation duly organized in the State of Illinois, United States of America and operates pursuant to Articles of Incorporation and its Bylaws.
5.2 UAI will apply for tax-exempt status and other benefits as may be needed. Publication of this status will be made to its members as appropriate. The UAI Charter and Bylaws govern the internal affairs of UAI. In the event of any conflict between this Charter and the provisions of the Bylaws, the provisions of this Charter shall control.
5.3 UAI shall adopt a set of Bylaws contemporaneously with the adoption of this Charter, which shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter.
This Charter may be amended by a sixty percent majority vote of the votes cast by the RC and a sixty percent majority vote of the votes cast by the ISB.
In the event of the dissolution of UAI all assets shall be turned over to: Urantia Foundation, 533 Diversey Parkway, Chicago, Illinois 60614 USA. If a National or Local Association dissolves, elects to rescind its Charter Agreement, or is expelled from the UAI, its assets should go to a successor organization recognized by the UAI in that country, or if no successor organization exists in that country, to the Central Administration of UAI. If there is no Central Administration of UAI the assets should go to Urantia Foundation.