Constitution for Societas Liturgica

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PREAMBLE

Societas Liturgica came into existence through the initiative of Wiebe Vos, a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1962 he founded Studia Liturgica as an international and ecumenical journal for liturgical research and renewal. Three years later, Vos called together a conference of twenty-five liturgists from Europe and North America at the Protestant Community of Grandchamp, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. At this gathering it was resolved to found a Societas Liturgica, “an association for the promotion of ecumenical dialogue on worship, based on solid research, with the perspective of renewal and unity”. The first official meeting of Societas Liturgica took place in 1967 at Driebergen in the Netherlands.

ARTICLE I: NAME & PURPOSE

Section A. The name of the association will be Societas Liturgica, hereinafter referred to as the Societas.
Section B. The Societas will:

  1. Encourage research in the field of liturgical studies and allied subjects, including the pastoral implications of such
    research;
  2. Facilitate the exchange of the results of this research and other liturgical knowledge;
    seek to deepen the mutual understanding of the liturgical traditions of the various Christian confessions;
  3. Seek ways to make clear the relevance of liturgy in the contemporary world.

Section C. This aim will be pursued by:

  1. Holding biennial general meetings of the Societas, called Congresses;
  2. Calling, if desired, smaller meetings of the Societas;
  3. Publishing the journal Studia Liturgica (hereinafter referred to as Studia);
  4. Promoting other publications that serve the purpose of the Societas.
ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP

Section A. Membership will be open to:

  1. those teaching or doing research in liturgical and related studies;
  2. those who are actively engaged in official liturgical commissions;
  3. those who are making significant contributions to the liturgical life of the churches;
  4. such other persons as the Societas may wish to invite.

Section B. Applications for membership will be submitted to the Secretary of the Societas with the written recommendation of two members. For an application to be accepted the approval of the majority of the Council is required.

Section C. Members are considered in good standing if they have paid their annual membership fees. Only members in good standing in attendance at the general meeting can vote.

Section D. Members are responsible for contributing to the ongoing life of the Societas through participation in general meetings (Congresses and their business meetings), and by the payment of an annual membership fee.

Section E. Members have the right to contribute to all business meeting discussions, to vote on all proposals put forward at business meetings, to stand for election to office, to elect officers and members of Council and to receive all publications produced by the Societas.

ARTICLE III: QUORUM

A quorum of membership for voting purposes will be reached when 10% of the members are present. A quorum of the Council will be reached when 51% of the Council members are present.

ARTICLE IV: GOVERNANCE

The Societas will make decisions by a process of careful deliberation, seeking the wisdom and experience of many voices as appropriate, which may include its members, the wider ecumenical circle of those working in the liturgical area, staff, volunteers, Council members and others with knowledge of its mission.

ARTICLE V: THE COUNCIL: ITS OFFICERS AND MEMBERS

Section A. The affairs of the Societas will be managed by a Council: an Executive Committee (the “Officers”), consisting of a President, a President-Elect, Secretariat, and a Treasurer, together with six members-at-large.

Section B. Election of Officers and Members.

  1. All members of the Council will be elected by the membership of the Societas present at the general meeting. To be elected to office a person must be present at the Congress and business meeting. Any member of the Societas in good standing may seek office.
  2. Nominations will be accepted by the Secretariat up to one week before the start of the Congress and general meeting. A person may be nominated for more than one office, but may be elected to only one.
  3. The election will be by secret ballot at the business meeting, unless the nominee is unopposed. The order of the elections will be: President-Elect; Secretariat; Treasurer; Members-at-large.
  4. The Officers each serve a two year term; the President-Elect automatically assumes the office of President at the end of the first term or if the President is unable to complete a term. The six members-at-large serve a four year term with three retiring at each general meeting. The President upon retirement cannot be elected as President-elect.

Section C. The duties of the Council.
The Council has the authority to act on behalf of the Societas between General Meetings. All Members of Council will have the following responsibilities:

  1. to attend Council meetings;
  2. to be accountable for the business of the Societas arising out of its purpose;
  3. to oversee the organization of Congresses and other gatherings;
  4. to maintain fiduciary oversight of all the Societas funds;
  5. to determine membership fees;
  6. to approve all appointments;
  7. to write policy that will guide the Societas;
  8. to be answerable to the membership for all the decisions and actions of the Council;
  9. to nurture the connection between the Societas and its members;
  10. to report to the membership on a regular basis;
  11. to maintain oversight of Studia Liturgica and other publications;
  12. to have authority to remove a member of Council for failure to perform the duties of a Council member or for serious breaches of ethical conduct, by a seventy-five percent vote. On this matter the member in question may not vote.

Section D. The Duties of the Executive Committee and Officers.
The Executive Committee has the authority to act on behalf of the Council between its meetings, including the work of organizing the Congress.

  1. The President provides leadership to the Council and the membership of the Societas:
    a. assures the integrity and fulfillment of the Council’s process;
    b. works with the Secretariat in calling for agenda items, setting the agenda for Council meetings;
    c. presides at Council and general meetings;
    d. ensures that the Council conducts business consistent with its own rules;
    e. ensures that deliberations are fair, open, thorough, timely, orderly and to the point;
    f. works with the Secretariat, Treasurer and local committee in order to carry out the wishes of the Council for the Congresses;
    g. ensures that the Congresses and other meetings are properly organized;
    h. ensures that the President-Elect is prepared for the role of President;
    i. may represent the Societas and the Council to outside parties in announcing Council-stated policy.
  2. The President-Elect:
    a. chairs Council and general meetings in the absence of or at the request of the President;
    b. learns the role and duties of President and the manner of governance of the Societas;
    c. assumes such responsibilities as may be assigned by the President, the Council or the general meeting;
    d. assumes the office of President should the incumbent be unable to fulfill the responsibilities of that office.
  3. The Secretariat:
    a. takes and maintains all minutes of the Council and general meetings;
    b. maintains the membership rolls, records payments of membership fees, and other information which the Council deems necessary;
    c. oversees the membership process; accepts nominations for all the offices and ensures that the election process is carried out properly;
    d. is responsible for communicating with the membership including mailing, newsletter, email, webpages and social
    media;
    e. works with the President, President-Elect, Treasurer and local committee organizing the Congresses and is responsible for:i. the registration process and recording of Congress fees;
    ii. the daily schedule;
    iii. the review of proposed non-plenary papers and the scheduling of papers and other presentations;
    iv. translations.
  4. The Treasurer:
    a. has direct fiduciary responsibility for all Societas funds;
    b. maintains accurate financial records and reports regularly to the Council and the general meeting;
    c. produces a budget for the Council, Congresses and other meetings;
    d. oversees with the Editor of Studia the finances of the journal;
    e. oversees the work of sub-treasurers the Council deems necessary;
    f. signs all contracts on behalf of the Council and the Societas;
    g. ensures that the financial policies of the Council are followed;
    h. administers scholarship funds and financial aid;
    i. does not encumber the Societas with any debt without the permission of the Council or the Societas.
ARTICLE VI: STUDIA LITURGICA

Section A. The general oversight and administration of Studia Liturgica.

  1. The Council oversees the operation and finances of Studia Liturgica.
  2. The Editor-in-Chief, Business Administrator, and Editorial Board are appointed by majority vote of the Council. The Editor-in-Chief and Business Administrator are appointed to a six-year term that may be renewed for all or part of a six-year term. Members of the Editorial Board serve for a four-year term.
  3. The Editor-in-Chief submits a report for each Council meeting. The Editor-in-Chief may attend the pre-Congress Council meeting with voice but not vote.
  4. The Editor-in Chief directs the work of the Business Administrator, Editorial Board and Editorial Assistants.

Section B. The Editorial Organization and Process

  1. The Editor-in Chief:
    a. establishes standard style/format of the journal;
    b. receives proposed papers;
    c. sends papers for jurying/review (to editorial board and other members);
    d. collects responses and sends comments to authors;
    e. edits or oversees editing of approved papers;
    f. finds translators when necessary;
    g. sends final version of the edited material to the formatter;
    h. reviews proofs and blue lines.
  2. The Business Administrator:
    a. keeps updated the database of non-member subscribers;
    b. prepares annual invoices for non-member subscribers and follows up when non-payments occur;
    c. works with the respective treasurers for receipt and recording of payments;
    d. maintains the supply of back issues and fills orders for purchase of back issues;
    e. investigates options for electronic publication and indexing of the journal.
  3. The Editorial Board:
    a. is appointed by the Council;
    b. consists of six persons, selected with attention to linguistic, ecclesiastical and geographic distribution, to serve a four year term;
    c. reviews proposed essays for publication;
    d. through the Editor suggests policy to the Council.
ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEES

The Council will have the power to establish any committee to conduct the business of the Societas. The President may appoint, with the Council’s approval, any member in good standing to chair such a committee.

ARTICLE VIII: DUES

The Fiscal Year of the Societas will begin on January 1 and end on December 31 of the same year.

Section A. An annual membership fee will be established and adjusted when necessary by the Council. The Council may establish types of fees for membership.

Section B. A member is in good standing when the membership fee has been paid in full. A member may not vote if their membership fee is in arrears upon notification from the Secretariat.

Section C. Membership may be revoked if annual fees have not been paid for two consecutive years.

Section D. If the Societas becomes inactive or dissolves, the remaining funds will be donated to a charity as determined by the Council or the Executive Committee or the remaining Officers.

ARTICLE IX: MEETINGS
Section A. General Meetings of the membership will be held in conjunction with a Congress at least once every two years. Section B. Special meetings may be called by the President with the consent of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE X: BY-LAWS AND AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Amendments to the Constitution are made with By-laws. By-laws contain details necessary to amplify and carry out the provisions of the Constitution. All By-laws dealing with the same general subject are grouped together by section under one article.

Section A. By-laws

  1. A motion to amend the Constitution may be proposed by any member in good standing, but must first be entertained
    and approved by the Council before adoption. By-laws that are not amendments to the constitution may be proposed
    by members of the Societas.
  2. By-laws must be in accordance with this Constitution as amended.
  3. By-laws must be sponsored by at least two persons, one being a member of the Council.
  4. By-laws must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Council Members in attendance.
  5. Once approved by the Council, a notice with the proposed amendment must be circulated to the membership no later than ninety (90) days prior to the General Meeting.
  6. By-laws must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the members present at the General Meeting.
  7. By-laws go into effect immediately after adoption unless otherwise specified.
ARTICLE X: BY-LAWS AND AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Amendments to the Constitution are made with By-laws. By-laws contain details necessary to amplify and carry out the provisions of the Constitution. All By-laws dealing with the same general subject are grouped together by section under one article.

Section A. By-laws

  1. A motion to amend the Constitution may be proposed by any member in good standing, but must first be entertained
    and approved by the Council before adoption. By-laws that are not amendments to the constitution may be proposed
    by members of the Societas.
  2. By-laws must be in accordance with this Constitution as amended.
  3. By-laws must be sponsored by at least two persons, one being a member of the Council.
  4. By-laws must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Council Members in attendance.
  5. Once approved by the Council, a notice with the proposed amendment must be circulated to the membership no later than ninety (90) days prior to the General Meeting.
  6. By-laws must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the members present at the General Meeting.
  7. By-laws go into effect immediately after adoption unless otherwise specified.
ARTICLE XI: RATIFICATION

This constitution shall go into effect upon ratification by two-thirds of the members present at a General Meeting.

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