United Church of God -AIA rules of association
Following is a preliminary draft of the rules of association of the United Church of God -AIA distributed to elders April 29, 1998.
Rule 1-110 Geographic Scope of Rules
These rules shall govern the activities of the members and this association throughout the world. If any rule promulgated herein is in conflict with the law of any sovereign state, then, except as provided in scripture, a member of the association is expected to give preference to the law of the sovereign state.
Rule 1-120 Doctrine
As members of the association, we [it is not clear who "we" refers to: elders or council members or the church as a whole] accept the basic doctrines as listed in the Constitution of the United Church of God, an International Association. We realize that this is not a complete listing of the doctrines of the Church. We accept the Apostle Peter's instruction in 2 Peter 3:18 ". . . but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ . . ." (NAS). Therefore, we are willing to submit to the process for doctrinal development as outlined by the Council and adopted by the General Conference.
Rule 1-130 Qualifications for Association
Each member of this association must be willing to adhere to the following standards. Each member of the association must:
1. Support the consensus of the General Conference with respect to the fundamental beliefs of the United Church of God as enunciated in the Constitution.
2. Support the consensus of the General Conference and the Council with respect to the goals and purposes of the United Church of God .
3. Support the consensus of the General Conference and the Council with respect to matters of governance.
Rule 1-140 Authority for Compliance
The Council and the General Conference, respectively, are authorized to adopt and approve these rules. Therefore they shall each, in their own respective capacities, have authority, as set forth herein, to act in order to give force and effect to these rules. Members of the association shall conform to the conditions set forth by these bodies. In the event action is required to give effect to these rules, then these bodies are authorized to prescribe such action according to biblical standards.
Rule 1-150 Affirmative Duty of Devotion
Each member of the association has an affirmative duty to support every other member of this association in complying with these rules. Therefore, no member of the association shall assist in, solicit, or induce any violation of these rules.
Rule 1-160 Legal Structure
Each National Council of the association is responsible to choose the legal structure which most effectively enables the Church to accomplish its mission within its particular location, and provides the maximum protection for the baptized members of the Church and the Church's financial assets.
Rule 1-170 Use of the Name United Church of God, an International Association
The name United Church of God, an International Association, is the name of the incorporated entity which has been established by the General Conference as an instrument to aid the Church in fulfilling its mission. This entity is the parent entity of the United Church of God wherever located. Therefore, use of the name United Church of God, an International Association, is reserved to that corporation. Permission may be granted for its use by the Council of Elders. Members of the association may use the name "United Church of God--(Location of Incorporation)," for example, United Church of God--France.
The United Church of God in the US, composed of various Church congregations, is considered one entity and operates under the corporate name United Church of God, an International Association, throughout the US. Under Article 188.8.131.52 of the Constitution we read this description of a national council: "A council or board that is established to meet the requirements for legal recognition of the United Church of God, an International Association, or serve the administrative needs of the Church in nations other than the United States of America, are national councils." Because of legal and financial reasons, individual Churches in the US may not use the name United Church of God, an International Association, but may use "United Church of God--(Location)," for example, United Church of God--St. Louis.
In nations where it is not possible to follow this pattern, representatives from the nation so affected shall choose a name which incorporates "Church of God" in the title and seek the recommendation of the Council as to further descriptive language. Such use is a permitted use by virtue of association with the United Church of God, an International Association.
Chapter 2--Relationship Among Members of the Association
Rule 2-100 Dissemination of Teachings
Each National Council of the association agrees to accept the Fundamental Beliefs of the United Church of God as stated in the Constitution. Each member of the association agrees to participate in and support the development of doctrine for the education of the Church and the preaching of the Gospel. Each member of the association agrees to participate in a process for the further development of methods under this rule that allows for literature, and other materials to be designed to effectively teach the truth of the Bible in the cultural context in which they are distributed.
Rule 2-200 Ordination of Elders
Each National Council agrees to participate in the process for the ordination of elders as adopted by the Council of Elders. Each National Council agrees to accept the scriptural standards and qualifications for elders, and abide by Article 4.3 and 4.3.1 of the Constitution. Since elders are called upon to teach and are admitted to the General Conference, joint approval of the Council and the recommending National Council, or appropriate member of this association shall be required for the ordination of an elder.
Rule 2-300 Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution is important for the well being of each member of the association. Two policies have been developed by the Council of Elders: Member Appeal Policy and Elder Appeal Policy. These policies may be adjusted, but should be applied in principle among all members of the association. Each member of the association shall abide by the rules of conflict resolution agreed to by the Council and binding on all members. After all efforts for reconciliation have been exhausted under these rules within the governing body of the member, aggrieved parties may appeal to the Council for resolution in accordance with the previously developed policies.
Rule 2-400 Coordination of Resources
Each National Council of this association agrees to participate in the development of rules, under this section for the use and sharing of information and resources, that will enable this association to develop and execute national and international strategic plans, operating plans, budgets and other financial administrations. Members of this association agree to share its resources to enable the Church to accomplish its mission.
Each member of this association agrees to share surplus resources with other members of this association, according to what God has given, so that the needs to the Church throughout the world may be supplied.
Rule 2-500 Establishment of National Councils
National Councils shall be established in all countries which desire such a council upon approval by the Council of Elders. These councils shall be entrusted with the management of the work in their country or countries. Each National Council willingly submits to the applicable governing documents of United Church of God IA [a variation of the abbreviation United Church of God -AIA].
Rule 2-600 Congregations
Congregations which are recognized by the United Church of God, an International Association, regardless of geographical location, whether incorporated or unincorporated, are bound by these rules.
Rule 2-700 National Administration
Each National Council shall maintain its own administrative structure and manage its own affairs in accordance with these Rules of Association, the Constitution of the United Church of God, an International Association, the National Council's Bylaws, and other applicable law. The United Church of God, an International Association, shall have only one duly constituted national council or equivalent body in each country or area of incorporated.
Rule 3-100 Member
A member of the association shall be any duly recognized entity outside the US operating under the name United [C]hurch of God (Location of Incorporation) agreeing to abide by these Rules of Association. Each entity will be constituted as a National Council (or some equivalent). Each member must be accepted by the Council of Elders. Congregations in the US are a part of the United Church of God, an International Association, and operate under the direction of the Home Office and the Council of Elders.
Rule 3-200 Discipline
The only body authorized to enforce these Rules of Association is the Council of Elders.
Chapter 4--Home Office and Administration
Rule 4-100 Position of Home Office
The Home Office serves as corporate headquarters for the United Church of God, an International Association. This office is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The management team from the Home Office serves all US congregations and cooperates with the national councils in areas where they exist. International areas without National Councils cooperate directly with the Home Office, the management team, and the Council of Elders.
Rule 4-200 President
The president is the Chief Executive Officer of the corporation and as such represents the corporation in all areas of the world. The authority of the president in international areas must be determined by the Council and accepted by the various national organizations.
Rule 4-300 Management Team
The management team in the Home Office is primarily established to serve the ministry and the membership in the US. The management team consists of the president and his operations' managers working in the Home Office. There should be a high level of cooperation between this team and the individual National Councils from around the world. Where there is a national council, a collaborative effort should be employed. In areas where there is no National Council, the Council of Elders, in conjunction with the Home Office management team, will determine the best way to serve the brethren.
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