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BY LAWS OF
THE LIBERIAN EPISCOPAL COMMUNITY IN THE USA (LECUSA)

ARTICLE I. NAME AND ORGANIZATION, PURPOSE/MISSION

Section 1 - Name of Organization
The name of the organization shall be Liberian Episcopal Community in the United States of America, hereinafter collectively referred to as LECUSA. [LECUSA was formed on August 26, 2006 in Reston, Virginia, USA.]

Section 2 - Purpose/Mission
The Purpose and Mission for which LECUSA was established, and which it shall pursue as goals, are:

a) To strengthen relationships among Episcopalians of Liberian descent residing in the United States of America, through prayer and interpersonal relationships using email, phone calls, personal visits, remembering and sharing kind sentiments of one another’s significant dates or events (like birthdays, wedding anniversaries, ordination) among others

b) To render pastoral care to Liberian Episcopalians in the United States and in Liberia, by identifying with them in the events of sadness and joy

c) To pool individual and collective resources, as well as solicit assistance from appropriate agencies for the benefit of the church and people of the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia

d) To partner and network with appropriate agencies, entities and organizations of The Episcopal Church (TEC), the World-Wide Anglican Communion, and other religious organizations to promote and encourage mutual relationships with the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia

ARTICLE II - MEMBERSHIP

Section 1 - Membership

  1. Members of LECUSA shall be Episcopalians (ordained and non-ordained) of Liberian descent who are now residing in North America (United States and Canada).
  2. Membership shall be open also to non-Liberians who have and continue to affiliate with the Episcopal Church of Liberia through one or more of its mission activities such as educational and health institutions and/or as missionaries otherwise.
  3. To be in good standing, ordained members not yet retired from employment must attend meetings regularly and participate in other events, as well as pay their annual due of $100.
  4. To be in good standing, retired ordained and all lay members must attend meetings regularly and participate in other events, as well as pay their annual due of $50.
  5. Members (active and retired, ordained and non-ordained) shall be entitled to seat, voice and vote at meetings of the organization.

ARTICLE III - OFFICERS and COMMITTEES

Section 1 - The officers of LECUSA shall be: Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and Parliamentarian.

Section 2 - The Chairperson shall lead the team of officers, act as spokesperson for the organization, convene and preside at meetings of the organization and see to it that decisions of the organization are carried out. The Chairperson shall deliver a report on the state of LECUSA at regular and special meetings.

Section 3 - The Vice Chairperson shall assist the Chairperson in carrying out the goals and objectives of LECUSA. In the absence of the Chairperson, all duties and responsibilities as set forth in Section 3 above shall temporarily devolve upon the Vice Chairperson.

Section 4 - The Secretary shall be responsible to keep the records of correspondence of the organization, keep accurate minutes of called and special meetings, and receive and issue correspondence upon the directive of the Chairperson, the Executive Committee and/or mandate of the Body.

Section 5 - The Treasurer shall serve as Chief Financial Officer of the organization. S/He shall disburse monies upon written request from the Financial Secretary and approved by the Chairperson. The Treasurer shall render to the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee, whenever requested, an accounting of the financial transactions of the organization, perform such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the officers, ensure that an annual audit of the organization is conducted, and provide written financial reports to the organization at the Regular Gathering or special meetings.

Section 6 - The Financial Secretary shall collect and receive all monies on behalf of the organization, deposit them in the organization’s bank account(s), and transmit the appropriate documentation to the Treasurer. S/He shall keep records of said transactions. The Financial Secretary shall provide written reports to the organization at regular or special meetings, or upon request by the Chairman or the Executive Committee of LECUSA.

Section 7 - The Parliamentarian shall insure that Robert’s rules of Order are observed during meetings of the organization. S/he shall have power to impose sanctions on violators of decorum and etiquette during meetings.

ARTICLE IV - ELECTIONS AND TERMS OF OFFICE

Section 1 - Elections: Election of officers shall take place at the Regular Gathering of the organization. Notice of nominations for vacant positions shall be given to the general membership via email and by posting on the organization’s website no later than four (4) weeks in advance of the Regular Gathering at which election is to take place. Elections shall be held by secret ballot. A simple majority shall be sufficient to determine a winner. Tie votes shall be recast until a winner emerges.

Section 2Eligibility for Election: Individuals desirous of contesting for offices in the organization must be in good standing. Individuals may or may not be present at the Regular Meeting at which the election is to be held. Those not able to be present must affirm their nomination in a formal letter to the Chairperson. All members of LECUSA in good standing are eligible for election to any position.

Section 3 - Tenure:

  1. Elected officers of LECUSA shall serve for a period of two years and may be re-elected for two consecutive terms in one elected position. An officer having served two consecutive terms must sit out at least one term before being nominated to the same position. Elections shall be held at the Regular Gathering of the organization.
  1. When the Chairperson elected is a clergy, the Vice Chairperson shall be a non-ordained or lay person, and vice versa.

Section 4 - Resignation: Any officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Chairperson. A resignation shall take effect upon receipt of the letter by the Chairperson.

Section 5 - Removal: Any officer may be removed from office for cause or failure to perform the duties of the position. When necessary to initiate removal proceedings, where such proceedings are deemed urgent enough to take place not within the context of a Regular Gathering, a Special Meeting may be called with sufficient notice to the Regular membership via email in which the appropriate officer shall lay out clearly and concisely the charge(s) and the means for indicating one’s consent or dissent to the motion. The vote for the removal of an officer shall require the simple majority of the Regular Members of the organization.

Section 6 - Vacancy:

  1. A vacancy in any position occasioned by death, resignation, or otherwise incapacitation, shall be filled for the unexpired term by a simple majority vote of the Executive Committee.
  1. A vacancy occasioned by removal shall be filled by a simple majority vote of the eligible members present and voting at a regular meeting (the Regular Gathering).

ARTICLE V - ADVISORS

Section 1 - Officers of LECUSA may appoint advisors to serve the interest of the organization, any and all of whom may or may not be non-native Liberians canonically resident within The Episcopal Church, and members in good standing.

ARTICLE VI - FINANCIAL POLICIES

Section 1 - Books and Records: LECUSA shall keep at its registered or principal office, correct and complete books and records, necessary and appropriate to the conduct of the corporate business, including minutes of the proceedings of regular and special meetings, minutes of meetings of the Executive Committee and other committees established by the organization, as well as the names and addresses of its members. All books and records of the organization may be inspected by any member, for any reasonable purpose at any reasonable time. There shall be an annual audit of the finances of LECUSA.

Section 2 - Documents Kept at Registered Office shall include the following:

  1. Records of all proceedings of regular and special meetings
  2. Audited financial statements of the organization

c) Articles of Incorporation
d) Official Registration [501c(3)] with the Internal Revenue Service of the US
e) By-Laws of LECUSA and all amendments and restatements there to

Section 3 – The Secretary of LECUSA shall be custodian of the Articles of Incorporation, the Official 501c(3) Registration, By-Laws, minutes of regular and special meetings, of the Executive Committee and other committees, and correspondence not within the purview of the finance officers.

Section 4 – The finance officers – treasurer and financial secretary – she be custodians of LECUSA’s bank statements, check books, vouchers, audits, and other relevant financial documents.

Section 5 - Checks, drafts, or orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of LECUSA, must carry the signatures of at least two officers in order to be honored, one of whom must be the Treasurer, upon written approval of the Chairperson and/or upon a decision taken at a duly called meeting of the Organization or of the Executive Committee.

Section 6 - Funds belonging to the Organization shall be deposited from time to time to the credit of LECUSA in such banks, trust companies or other depositaries as the officers may select and direct.

ARTICLE VII - MEETINGS

Section 1 - The Regular Gathering of the Liberian Episcopal Community in the USA (LECUSA) shall convene at a designated place and time determined at the previous Gathering. An alternate site shall be selected to replace the chosen site should circumstances beyond the control of the organization dictate. A simple notice via email and web posting of such change(s) shall be given to the members and the public.

Section 2 - The organization shall also meet for special meetings via teleconferences as the need arises, upon sufficient advanced notice provided notice of such teleconference is given via email and web posting not later than two (2) weeks in advance.

Section 3 - One more than half of the registered, active membership of the organization shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and decisions made at such meetings shall be binding upon all members of the Organization.

Section 4 - During the business meetings of the LECUSA, written reports shall be presented by officers and committees as prescribed in these By-Laws.

ARTICLE VIII - COMMITTEES

Section 1 - LECUSA shall have the following Standing and Ad Hoc committees as may be necessary from time to time. The Chairperson, with the consent of the officers shall appoint members of the committees. The Chairperson shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee, but may appoint an officer to serve as a liaison to the Nominating Committee.

Section 2 - Standing Committees of LECUSA shall be:

a) Executive Committee: shall consist of the officers The Chairperson shall preside at meetings of the Executive Committee. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to implement the decisions of the Annual Gathering, and promptly authorize an annual audit of the finances of the organization.

b) Finance Committee: shall oversee the financial transactions of LECUSA, ensure that members are current with their dues payment, prepare and submit an annual budget for the Organization’s approval, and implement the annual audit of the organization’s finances.

c) Fundraising Committee: shall be responsible for identifying potential donors as well as organize and implement programs to raise funds for LECUSA’s projects.

d) Pastoral Care Committee: shall represent the Organization in matters requiring pastoral care and assistance to members of LECUSA and their families.

e) Membership Committee: shall be responsible to recruit members, lead the organization in defining criteria for membership, and keep a current and accurate roster of membership of the organization.

Section 3 - Ad Hoc Committees of LECUSA:
a) Credential Committee shall be responsible to check the credentials of members or visitors attending annual meetings, and certify that a quorum is present to transact business at the annual meeting.

b) The Host Committee shall consist of local members of the next annual meeting venue and shall be responsible to plan and execute the program for the meeting, in consultation with the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE IX - DISSOLUTION

The Liberian Episcopal Community in the United States (LECUSA) may be dissolved in accordance with the laws of the State of North Carolina. Upon dissolution, provisions for payment of all expenses and liabilities must be made, and all remaining assets be distributed to such organizations as shall at the time qualify under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

ARTICLE X - RULES OF ORDER
LECUSA shall conduct it meetings according to procedures established by Robert’s Rules of Order.

ARTICLE XI - AMENDMENTS

These Bylaws or any standing rules of order adopted at any annual meeting may be amended at a subsequent annual or special meeting by a majority vote, provided that the proposed amendment is submitted in writing at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the annual Gathering or special meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be acted upon.

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These Bylaws were adopted on the 28th day of March, 2008 by the members of the Liberian Episcopal Community in the United States (LECUSA) at the 3rd annual Gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Amended April 6, 2013 at the 8th Annual Gathering, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Suffolk, Virginia, USA.

 

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