Principles
 
As clergy and laity from a variety of backgrounds, our commitment to justice is expressed in differing ways dependent upon our faith tradition and our personal understandings of the reign of God. We will not always agree on issues, rather find ourselves surprised when we do. The manner in which we negotiate the differences amongst ourselves is in itself part of our commitment to justice.

We believe that God wills shalom; peace, justice and wellbeing for all people, all nations, and for our planet. God’s shalom has firm scriptural grounding in the concepts of social righteousness, justice and peacemaking. Scriptural justice is the societal expression of love.

We believe that a just and good society balances individualism with the needs of the community. The claims of our faith drive us to affirm a bias in favor of the poor and powerless, and an openness towards perceived enemies. We believe that evil cannot be overcome by evil, but only by good, and that the meaning of shalom is discovered in commitment to non-violence, in seeking peace and in striving for the increase of freedom and equality among all people.

Economic Justice
Sacred scriptures describe basic human needs for food, clothing, healing, compassion and hospitality. A contemporary list of human needs would also include a decent job that earns a living wage, adequate and accessible health care, affordable housing, quality public education, high quality childcare, and a healthy environment.

In an increasingly interdependent world economic order, unfair systems work to benefit some and hurt others. Globalization has helped to create a situation in which relatively few are hoarding an increasingly large amount of the world’s resources, while over two-thirds of the world falls further into poverty.

We have a responsibility to address these inequities and the political processes that organize our common life, allocate resources and tackle our shared problems. We have a responsibility to speak on behalf of, and stand with, the poor, oppressed and marginalized in order to redress the imbalances and live together in God’s shalom.

Human and Civil Rights
The rights and privileges our society gives or withholds from its members reflect how those members are valued within society. We affirm the common humanity, the equal worth and integrity, of all people regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation, religious conviction or tradition, or any other characteristic which may be used to divide and to discriminate. Consequently we reject all social practices and structures that discriminate, and all social attitudes that involve prejudice against any individual or group.

We will seek to address such practices and attitudes wherever they are to be found, especially in the areas of health care, abortion, marriage equality and immigration, and the prejudices of gender, heterosexism and racism.

Environmental Justice
Because we worship and honor the Creator, we seek to cherish and care for creation. Humanity has failed in our task of stewardship, with the result that significant parts of our planet are severely threatened. In this failure, the Creator calls us to learn, educate and act in order to promote the stewardship of land, waters and air.

We support and encourage initiatives that will reduce global warming; reduce waste and the use of petrochemicals and other nonrenewable resources; encourage renewable energy sources, sustainable growth, agriculture and fisheries; keep the oceans clean and hospitable for all marine animals; and preserve open spaces and natural beauty for the generations to come.

Peace and Non-violence
While acknowledging our own responsibility for conflict and injustice, we believe that violence and war are incompatible with the ethical teachings of our faith traditions. Consequently we reject war as an instrument of foreign policy, except as a last resort to prevent such evils as genocide and the brutal suppression of human rights, and insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to resolve disputes by peaceful means.

We are opposed to the militarization of society and the manufacture and sale of weapons, believing that human values must always outweigh military claims. We support an ethic, not merely of restraint in waging war, but of just peacemaking. Believing that without justice there can be no lasting peace, we will work for the prevention of war and the creation of a peaceful and just society.

 
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BYLAWS of Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice

 

ARTICLE I:  NAME and PURPOSE

Section 1: Name

The name of the organization shall be Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice (CCCLJ).

 

Section 2: Doing Business As

CCCLJ will conduct business under the name of People of Faith for Justice (PFJ).

 

Section 3: Purpose

CCCLJ also known as PFJ is a coalition of people of faith in San Luis Obispo County, California, who believe that the inclusive love of God is the basis for promoting compassion, generosity, non-violence, and respect for diversity. CCCLJ/PFJ seeks to influence public discourse and to enhance the quality of life through on-going education and strategic advocacy.

 

ARTICLE II:  MEMBERSHIP

Section 1: Open Membership

Membership in this organization shall be open to all who wish to work with others toward the goals of economic and environmental justice, human and civil rights, and peace and non-violence.

 

Section 2: Members in Good Standing

Members in good standing will be those who have applied for membership and have paid such membership dues as they are able within the twelve months prior to the Annual Meeting.

 

ARTICLE III:  ANNUAL MEETING

Section 1: Annual Meeting.

The Board of Directors shall set the date, time, and place of the regular annual meeting.

 

Section 2: Special Meetings.

The Chair or the Executive Committee may call special meetings.

 

Section 3: Notice.

Notice of annual or special meetings shall be given to each voting member, by mail or email, not less than ten days before the meeting.

 

ARTICLE IV:  BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1: Board Role, Size, and Compensation.

The Board is responsible for overall policy and direction of the organization, and delegates responsibility for day-to-day operations to the Executive Director and committees. The Board shall have up to fifteen (15) and not fewer than nine (9) members, with a healthy balance of clergy and non-clergy.  The board is responsible for hiring and firing the Executive Director, as well as overseeing, supporting, and evaluating the Executive Director’s work.  The board has fiduciary responsibility for the organization. The board receives no compensation other than reasonable expenses.

 

Section 2: Meetings.

The Board shall meet at least quarterly, at an agreed upon time and place.

 

Section 3: Board Elections.

Election of new directors or election of current directors to a second term will occur as the first item of business at the annual meeting of the corporation. A Nominations committee will present a slate of directors.  Nominations will also be allowed from the floor.  Directors will be elected by a majority vote of the members present at the annual meeting.

 

Section 4: Terms.

All Board members shall serve three (3) year terms and are eligible for re-election.

 

Section 5: Quorum.

A quorum shall equal at least fifty percent of Board members who must be present before motions can be made or passed.

 

Section 6: Notice.

An official Board meeting requires that each Board member have written or email notice one week in advance of a meeting.  Minutes from a prior meeting constitute notice under this section. 

 

Section 7. Officers and Duties.

There shall be four officers of the Board consisting of President, Co-President/Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, duly elected by the Board of Directors.  The elected officers will constitute the officers for the corporation.  Any of the Officers may convene, preside at or arrange for Board meeting or an Executive Committee meeting.  Other duties of the officers are as follows:

 

Section 7.a The President.

The President shall hold board and staff accountable or setting goals, and completing the tasks necessary to advance the agreed upon goals of the organization. 

 

Section 7.b The Co-President/Vice President.

The Co-President/Vice President shall support the President in achieving the goals of the organization. 

 

Section 7.c The Secretary.

The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping records of Board actions, including overseeing the taking of minutes at all board and executive committee meetings, sending out meeting announcements, distributing copies of minutes and the agenda to each Board member, and assuring that corporate records are maintained.

 

Section 7.d The Treasurer.

The Treasurer shall make a report at each Board meeting.  Treasurer shall chair the finance committee, assist in the preparation of the budget, help develop fundraising plans, and make financial information available to Board members and the public. 

 

Section 8: Board Vacancies.

When a vacancy on the Board arises between annual meetings, the Secretary may receive nominations for new members from present Board members two weeks in advance of a Board meeting.  These nominations shall be sent out to Board members with the regular Board meeting announcement, to be voted upon at the next Board meeting.  These vacancies will be filled to the end of the unexpired term.  Directors appointed to the Board between Annual Meetings shall be presented for re-election at the next Annual Meeting.

 

Section 9: Resignation, Termination and Absences.

Resignation from the Board must be submitted in writing or by email or at a Board Member.  A Board Member may be dropped for excess absences from the Board if s/he has three absences from Board meetings in a year.  A Board Member may be removed for other reasons by a three-fourths vote of the remaining directors.  Board minutes will reflect any Resignations, Termination and Absences accepted.

 

Section 10: Special Meetings.

Special meetings of the Board shall be called upon the request of any member of the Executive Committee or one-third of the Board.  The Secretary shall send out notices of special meetings to each Board member at least one week in advance.

 

ARTICLE V - COMMITTEES

Section 1. The Executive Committee

The four officers serve as the members of the Executive Committee. The Board may appoint up to two other board members to serve on the Executive Committee for a specified period of time.  The Executive Committee shall have all of the powers and authority of the Board of Directors in the intervals between meetings of the Board of Directors, subject to the direction and control of the Board of Directors.  The members of the Executive Committee shall have oversight of all staff. 

 

Section 2:  Other Committees

The Board may create other committees as needed, such as communications, program, advocacy, fundraising, finance and nominations, etc.  All committees shall regularly report directly to the Board of Directors.

 

ARTICLE VI – DUES

The Board of Directors shall establish the dues of this organization annually.  Congregations are encouraged to provide support for the ongoing work of CCCLJ/PFJ through congregational sponsorships.

 

ARTICLE VII - AMENDMENTS

These Bylaws may be amended when necessary by a two-thirds majority of members present at the Annual Meeting.  Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Secretary to be sent out with the announcement for the Annual Meeting.

 

These Bylaws were approved at a meeting of the Board of Directors of PFJ on December 20, 2012 and adopted by vote of members on _________________, 2013.