Bylaws 2017 (Proposed)

Proposed Troth Bylaws v. 4.0
Spring 2017

1. Name of the Corporation [No changes to this section]

The name of the Corporation shall be "The Troth". For reasons of organizational history, the Corporation may also conduct its affairs under the name "The Ring of Troth".

2. Definitions [Minor verbiage changes, particularly in 2.1]

2.1. The dominant religion of Germanic Northern Europe and Scandinavia immediately prior to roughly 1000 C.E. are commonly referred to as "Heathenry,” "Heathenism,” or "Heathen religion,” also "Germanic Paganism,” also "Forn Sid,” also "Viking religion.” More recent and specific names for the modern expressions of this religion include "Asatru,” “Forn Sed,” “Urglaawe,” “Theodish belief,” “Theodism,” and others. Within this document, the umbrella term Heathenry is used.

2.2. "Discrimination" implies making distinctions, limitations, or exclusions within the organization based on criteria such as race, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or physical ability or physical challenge. “Inclusion” and “inclusive” imply not making such distinctions, limitations, or exclusions.

2.3. An "affiliated group" is a group or organization, distinct from the Corporation but compatible with its purposes, that has asked to be recognized as such.

2.4. "Good standing" implies that membership dues are paid current, and no organizational proceedings have found cause to expel or otherwise limit a member's rights or privileges within the organization.

2.5. The corporation's Board of Directors shall also be known as the "High Rede". The corporation's Chief Executive Officer shall also be known as the "Steer.”

2.6. The corporation's "regular journal" is devoted to the corporation's primary purposes and goals. The corporation's "operating journal" records the decisions of the High Rede.

3. Purposes of the Corporation [Verbiage changes, most notably in 3.5 with the replacement of “non-discriminatory” with “inclusive]

The purposes of the Corporation are:

3.1. To serve as a church or non-profit religious service organization for religious needs of its members in Heathen religion;

3.2. To disseminate accurate knowledge about its history, beliefs, and practices;

3.3. To train clergy and scholars in the practice and study of Heathenry;

3.4. To produce publications that educate, provide information on, and facilitate communication about Heathen religion;

3.5. To facilitate and promote cooperation and community among inclusive groups and individuals practicing Heathenry;

3.6. To acquire property and resources that promote the foregoing purposes;

3.7. To provide programs to serve and to aid the wider general Heathen community in accordance with the organization’s Mission statement.

4. Membership

4.1. Inclusion [Minor verbiage changes, including this header (formerly “Non-Discrimination”]

Membership in The Troth is open to anyone who is interested in Heathenry, where this membership affiliation is based on religious or cultural reasons, not for racial or political reasons. Discrimination, as defined above, shall not be practiced by The Troth, its programs, departments, officers, or any affiliated group, whether in membership decisions or the conduct of any of its activities.

4.2. Membership Categories [Verbiage changes, addition of Complimentary level]

The Troth shall have four classes of members: New, Full, Lifetime, and Complimentary

4.2.1. New Members

New members are those persons who have been members in good standing, as defined above, for less than one year.

New members are not eligible to vote in Corporate elections. New members may not hold any Corporate office.

4.2.2. Full Members

Full Members are those persons who have remained members in good standing, as defined above, for at least one year. Full Members whose memberships have lapsed for more than three months shall revert to New member status if they reapply for membership, and not be recognized as Full Members again until their membership has been reinstated for at least six months.

Family memberships include up to two voting members, as well as any number of non-voting members, all of whom must share the same mailing address. When a Family membership is purchased, the person purchasing the membership designates who the voting members are.

Full Members may vote in Corporate elections if they are at least 18 years of age.

4.2.3. Lifetime Members [Most significant change is the prorated refund if terminated]

Lifetime members are Full Members who have contributed a donation of at least $500 to The Troth, or who are awarded a Lifetime membership by two-thirds vote of the High Rede to honor exceptionally meritorious service to The Troth. Lifetime memberships are non-refundable.

A Lifetime member may resign that membership at any time. An awarded Lifetime membership may be terminated by the High Rede for disciplinary reasons if necessary. A purchased Lifetime membership may be terminated by the High Rede for disciplinary reasons, if necessary, and a prorated refund calculated by the purchase price less the number of issues received will be returned to the purchaser.

Lifetime members shall have their names listed in each issue of The Troth's regular journal, and may receive other benefits as the High Rede may decide. At the discretion of the High Rede or the Lifetime member, a Lifetime membership may be changed to a lifetime subscription to The Troth's regular journal.

Lifetime members are subject to the same voting and office-holding criteria as Full Members.

4.2.4. Complimentary Members [New category]

Complimentary Members are designated by the Rede, or by such programs as the Rede names, to further the cause of education and organizational outreach. Complimentary members do receive copies of Idunna, but do not have the right to vote or hold office in the Troth.

4.3. Incarcerated Members [Changes allow for inmates to participate in selected program by a majority Rede vote; this was formerly not allowed]

Full Members currently incarcerated in correctional institutions shall have the right to vote. Incarcerated members may not hold any Corporate office, and may only participate in those programs that the Rede designates by a majority vote to be open to them.

4.4. Disciplinary Action and Expulsion of Members [Significant changes to the verbiage of 4.4 to allow for disciplinary actions to be determined by the Rede via procedural vote and published in Mimir’s Well. ]

The Troth reserves the right to discipline or expel any member who has been deemed to be in violation of The Troth's Mission Statement, Position Statement, these Bylaws, or Articles of Incorporation. Specific action options will be determined by majority Rede vote according to the following guidelines, and the options will be announced in the operating journal and in The Troth's operating Policy and Procedures document. In no case will discipline result in physical or fiduciary harm to the person outside of the paid membership fee not being refunded.

4.4.1. Principles and Purpose of Discipline

In accordance with Heathen tradition, disciplinary procedures within The Troth seek first and foremost to maintain the integrity of the community, while striving to uphold the rights and freedoms of individual members.

There may be times when an individual member's behavior impedes the community's ability to maintain a constructive environment, or hinders the organization's ability to function. In these instances, disciplinary procedures may be invoked. Our Corporate actions must be timely, decisive, consistent, and fair. All members, whether those who bring forth grievances, or those who are examined as a result of those grievances, and regardless of their position within The Troth, will be treated justly and fairly in any disciplinary procedure. Officers and clergy within The Troth may be subject to more scrutiny and accountability than the general membership.

The Troth does not involve itself in personal disputes, and any allegation found to be the result of a personal dispute or disagreement will not be handled at the level of Corporate discipline unless member behavior impedes the community's ability to maintain a constructive environment, or hinders the organization's ability to function.

When a violation of civil law is involved, the organization will immediately file a complaint with civil authorities, or encourage such a complaint to be filed by the appropriate parties.

Disciplinary procedures within the organization are based on these By-Laws, and on the Mission and Position Statements. Procedures aim at prevention of problems, when that is possible, or at restitution and restoration, when prevention is not possible.

4.4.2 Jurisdiction

All regulations concerning member conduct and discipline shall apply to all members and local affiliated groups. It is expected that members will abide by basic standards of civil conduct even outside of activities and events sponsored by the organization. Discipline may be invoked, or membership status revoked, for members who are involved with any activities contrary to the organization's Mission or Position statements or By-Laws.

4.4.3 Initiation of Discipline

Disciplinary proceedings may be initiated by any Full member against any other member, relating to any action within the jurisdiction of the organization as defined here.

4.4.4 Rules of Evidence [Changed to reflect that the Rede is the final authority on disciplinary actions]

Evidence must be directly related to the complaint, and must be verifiable by sources other than the initiator of the complaint. The Ombudsman will gather evidence and submit it to the High Rede for judgment.

5 Corporate Structure

5.1 The High Rede [Only change is “By-laws” to “Bylaws”]

Management of the corporation is vested in a Board of Directors, which shall be formally known as the High Rede. The High Rede shall be the chief policy-making body of the corporation. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, the High Rede shall appoint Executive Officers and Operating Officers, ensure fair election of new members of the High Rede when vacancies occur, and adopt and amend these Bylaws as necessary. The High Rede may remove Executive Officers, Officers, and Clergy, and may revoke or deny membership, according to such procedures as it may establish, if it determines, in its sole discretion, that such action is in the best interests of the corporation and the community it creates.

5.1.1 Composition [Codifies the Steer as being part of the Rede rather than separate. Removes extraneous language regarding “an attempt” to elect a nine-member Rede being required when membership is over 500 and simplifies the entire Bylaw]

The High Rede shall have between three and nine members, including the Steer. The actual number at a given time shall be decided by the High Rede, where a smaller High Rede may be appropriate for a smaller corporate membership.

5.1.2 Election [Most significant change: the removal of the extra vote for Troth kindreds, which will receive other benefits handled in procedural vote outside of these Bylaws]

Members of the High Rede shall be elected by the Full Members of the Corporation.

One third (1/3) of the members of the High Rede shall be elected each year, according to procedures approved by the High Rede, published to the membership, and administered by the Elections Officer, to serve terms of three years, beginning at Trothmoot of the year in which they are elected. If a member dies in office or resigns, a successor shall be elected to fill the remainder of the departing member's term. If the number of members is not divisible by three, one less than one third of the members may be elected during some years. If the High Rede decides to grow or shrink its size, no less than one or more than three positions may be offered to vote in a given year. The goal of these rules is to ensure that the High Rede is continually populated by a majority of experienced members.

When needed, the Rede may suspend the limitations on maximum and minimum number of slots elected in an election, provided the following are both true:

1) No Rede member serves a term of longer than three years without being re-elected;

AND

2) The motion to invoke this clause is approved by both the Steer and a minimum of 2/3 (two-thirds) of the seated Rede Members.

Any Full member may nominate one or more persons as candidates for the High Rede. Such candidates must have been Full Members of the Corporation for at least a full year preceding nomination.

The medium for High Rede Elections shall be determined by the Rede. A medium can included mail, email, or other appropriate means. The Corporation shall not be required to provide notice of or hold an annual meeting of the members for purposes of voting. In the election of members of the High Rede, members may not cumulate their votes by casting more than one vote for a single candidate. Any member wishing to vote by proxy must sign and date his/her proxy authorizing another Full Member to vote in his/her stead not more than 60 nor less than 10 days prior to the date on which ballots must be received by the Corporation. The signed and dated original of the proxy must accompany any ballot sent to the Corporation which is cast under authority of such proxy.

5.1.3 Meetings [Further defines how meetings function. Codifies that the Steer may introduce motions and vote on them, which was not clear in the 2011 Bylaws and caused confusion in the past]

The members of the High Rede shall meet at least quarterly via face-to-face meetings or any medium appropriate to conduct Corporate business. At the end of each quarter, the Scribe shall prepare and submit to the Rede a summary of decisions and policies approved by the High Rede. This report shall be considered the official minutes of the administration, be published in the operating journal, and made available to all Corporate members.

Definitions: For the purpose of meetings, the Total Number of the Rede shall include all members of the High Rede who are in office at the time the Meeting starts, plus the Steer who is in office at the time the Meeting starts. If held in person, the Number Present shall be the portion of the Total Number of the Rede who attend the meeting. If held online, the Number Present shall be the portion of the Total Number of the Rede who communicate that they are present.

For a meeting to be valid for the purpose of passing motions or any taking actions, the Number Present must be greater than half of the Total Number of the Rede.

For any motion to pass in any meeting, it must receive votes in favor from greater than half of the Total Number of the Rede. The Rede may set higher thresholds for passage of specific measures, but no measure shall be enacted which does not have the support of an absolute majority of the Total Number of the Rede.

An annual gathering of the Corporation, designated as "Trothmoot," shall be held during the month of June at a site agreed upon by an act of the High Rede. Attending this gathering shall be a requirement of all High Rede members. At this meeting, the High Rede members shall meet privately among themselves, and shall hold a business meeting open to all attendees of the gathering, where they shall report to the membership on the state of the Corporation, and where policies and procedures may be proposed and discussed.

A quorum of High Rede members is half the size of the current High Rede, rounded up. A quorum is necessary to conduct business.

For a proposition to be considered passed or adopted by the High Rede, it must receive votes in favor of the proposition from a majority of the full High Rede, unless a greater number is required by the Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws. The full High Rede shall be defined as all Rede members currently serving in office. Votes may be cast in person, via approved electronic means, or via proxy. All proxies must be in writing, signed and dated by the Rede members executing them, and their period of validity may not exceed three months. Any proxy may be revoked by providing written notice to the Steer and the person to whom the proxy was given. Proxies may only be given to current members of the High Rede.

As a member of the High Rede, the Steer may introduce motions, second motions, and vote on motions. In the event that there is a tie on a motion, the motion fails by default.

Any meeting shall end when either a majority or the Rede votes to adjourn, or the quarter ends. The Rede may choose to postpone or to table any items or to refer them to committees or individuals during the meeting. Any items that remain unresolved at the end of the meeting will automatically be added to the Old Business for the next meeting.

5.2 Officers [Old Bylaws, if read literally, could  have been interpreted as disallowing an Officer from serving in a leadership role in his/her kindred, whereas the spirit of the Bylaw was referring to The Troth’s competitors. The Bylaws as worded now allow the Rede the flexibility to make decisions]

Candidates for Corporate offices must be at least 18 years of age, and have been Full Members for at least one year. Some Officers require additional qualifications. Officers must maintain membership throughout their terms of office. Officers whose memberships lapse for more than three months shall be deemed to have resigned from their office. After this three-month period, renewal of membership shall not reinstate a member to office.

Officers may serve in multiple organizations, as long as this does not interfere with, or cause conflicts of interest with, the duties of their position in the Troth. Program heads such as the High Steward, Head of the Lore Program, etc., along with the Rede, may issue guidance on this. The Rede will act as the final arbiter in this should any disputes arise. General membership in other organizations is acceptable as long as it creates no conflict of interest.

Officers are encouraged to hold only one Office at any time.

5.1.4 Abandonment of High Rede Seat [New item]

At a scheduled meeting of the Rede, the Rede may, by a majority vote, declare an individual Redemember who is not present at that meeting to be in danger of being found to have abandoned their seat. Notice of this motion must be given to that member via email. Notice must also be posted on the Troth members email list. If these conditions are met, and the named member does not attend and take part in the next scheduled quarterly Rede meeting, then the Rede may, at that meeting, by a majority vote, remove the named member from office.

If the member responds to contact efforts by participating in the meeting, then the motion placing the member in danger of being found to have abandoned the office is nullified.

5.2.1 Steer [Simplified to be just “Steer,” rather than “Steersman,” “Steerswoman,” etc.]

The President of the Corporation shall also and primarily be referred to as the Steer.

5.2.1.1 Duties [Most changes involve “Associate” vs. “Assistant” Steer]

The Steer shall be the chairman of meetings of the High Rede. If the Steer is unable or unwilling to perform this duty, then the Associate Steer (see below) shall be the chairman of meetings of the High Rede until the situation with the Steer is resolved. If both the Steer and Associate Steer are unable or unwilling to perform this duty, then the current member of the High Rede who has served longest in that office shall perform this duty until the situation with the Steer and Associate Steer is resolved. If there are multiple current members of the High Rede who have served longest in that office, then the one who has served the longest and has the greatest personal age shall perform that duty until the situation with the Steer and Associate Steer is resolved. The manner of resolution may depend on whether the Steer and/or Associate Steer is/are dead, disabled, unable to communicate, unwilling to cooperate, or resigned from office. The High Rede shall document and adopt formal procedures for dealing with these different situations.

The Steer oversees the general administration of the Corporation. The Steer convenes and presides over the communications and meetings of the High Rede, and the public business meeting at the annual Trothmoot. The Steer shall retain possession of the official minutes of the meetings and actions of the High Rede. The Steer shall be responsible for planning and management of Trothmoot, although this task may be delegated. The Steer shall be responsible for formally convening Trothmoot, although this task may be delegated. An outgoing Steer shall be responsible for the Trothmoot planned during the last year of his or her term.

5.2.1.2 Election

The Steer shall be elected by the High Rede at Trothmoot following an advisory vote consistent with those adopted for the election of Rede members, and results shall be announced to the membership in the operating journal.

5.2.1.3 Term

The Steer shall serve a term of three years, beginning at Trothmoot of the year in which s/he is elected, and may be reelected.

5.2.1.4 Succession [Simplified entire section. Removed vague references to “best-known Interim Steer” and the entire Interim Steer section, provided Associate Steer as successor, and longest-serving Rede member in surviving group to assume succession should the Associate Steer be incapacitated]

5.2.1.4.1 Incapacity

If the Steer becomes physically or mentally unable to perform the duties of office ("incapacity"), then the Associate Steer assumes the Steers's duties, but not the title, until either the Steer is again able to perform or the Associate Steer's term of office expires. At the Spring Rede Meeting, a vote shall be taken by the Rede whether or not to hold a general election for the Steer. If so, this election begins a new standard cycle of the Steer's term of office.

5.2.1.4.2 Death or Resignation

If the Steer dies in office or resigns, then the current Associate Steer shall publicize, convene, and preside over a Rede meeting to elect a new Steer. The Associate Steer shall attempt to notify, invite, and include all other Rede members by reasonable means and in a reasonable time of no less than two days. If The Troth's regular members' email list is operating, that shall be the means of notification and invitation. If the email list is not operating, then regular email, telephone, regular mail, or other electronic means of communication may be used to notify and invite. If the Associate Steer is also incapacitated or otherwise unavailable. then the duties fall to the available Rede member who has served on the Rede the longest. If, in this eventuality, two or more Rede members share the qualifier of serving on the Rede the longest, then the Rede member in this group who has been a member of The Troth the longest will preside over the Rede meeting.

5.2.2 Associate Steer [Simplifed to remove “Associate Steersman,” “Associate Steerswoman,” etc.]

5.2.2.1 Duties

The Associate Steer is responsible for whatever duties are delegated to him/her by the Steer.

5.2.2.2 Election

With the advice of the current Steer, the Associate Steer shall be elected from among the serving members of the High Rede.

5.2.2.3 Term

The Associate Steer shall serve a term of one year, and may be reelected.

5.2.3 Executive and Operating Officers [Combined the two types of position, thereby eliminating Section 5.2.4 completely]

The Corporation also implements various Departments and Programs. Departments are permanent fixtures within the Corporation; Programs may be created and/or disbanded based on the needs and interests of the membership. All Departments are headed by an Executive Officer. Programs are headed by an Executive Officer or Operational Officer who is responsible for the operation of his/her Department or Program. Officers not designated as Executive Officers are automatically considered to be Operating Officers.

5.2.3.1 Duties

Executive Officers, and Operational Officers if heading the program, are required to submit quarterly reports to the Rede and may be required to attend quarterly business meetings, per procedural vote by the High Rede. Other duties are specific to each Department or Program, as defined within the Department's or Program's charter, policies and procedures document, or by procedural vote by the High Rede.

5.2.3.2 Election or Appointment [Old verbiage was inconsistent because some officers are elected, others are appointed]

Executive Officers are appointed by the High Rede, or elected from within their respective Departments or Programs, depending upon the nature of each Department or Program, usually either at or shortly after Trothmoot.

Operating Officers are appointed by the High Rede upon the advice of a Department's or Program's Executive Officer, usually either at or shortly after Trothmoot.

5.2.3.3 Term [Allows for the Rede to set term lengths by procedural vote]

Unless stated otherwise within these Bylaws or procedural vote by the High Rede related to a specific position, Executive Officers serve a three-year term, and may be reappointed or re-elected. Executive Officers may resign their offices by submitting a resignation, in writing, to the High Rede. At the option of the High Rede, any such resignation may be deemed to be effective upon receipt, rather than on a date specified in the resignation.

Executive Officers may be removed from office at any time by the High Rede at its sole discretion.

Unless stated otherwise in these Bylaws or in a procedural vote by the High Rede related to a specific position, Operating Officers serve a three-year term and may be reappointed. Operating Officers may resign their offices by submitting a resignation, in writing, to their Executive Officer, or to the High Rede. At the option of the Executive Officer or the High Rede, any such resignation may be deemed to be effective upon receipt, rather than on a date specified in the resignation.

Operating Officers may be removed from office at any time by the High Rede at its sole discretion.

[Because Bylaws Section 5.2.4 and its subordinate items are now covered in Section 5.2.3, I move that we eliminate Section 5.2.4 and its subordinate items from the Bylaws.]

5.3 Departments

5.3.1 Administrative Department [Minor verbiage changes]

5.3.1.1 Executive Officer: Secretary

The Executive Officer of the Administrative Department is the Corporation's Secretary. The Secretary retains important correspondence, and holds the Corporate book and seal. The Secretary shall be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Corporation's Administrative Department, including the organization, storage, and maintenance of all Corporate records in hard copy and electronic formats. The Secretary is one of the organization's primary Google domain administrators, the others being the Steer and/or Associate Steer. In addition to the Steer and Reckoner of Accounts, the Secretary is also a primary bank account signatory with all the responsibilities appertaining thereunto.

S/he supervises the Officers and volunteer staff of the Administrative Department, including but not limited to the Scribe, Reckoner, Elections Officer, and Clerk, and therefore is required to understand and be able to perform the duties of all these offices. Further, the Secretary is expected to work with the High Rede, the Steer, and all other Executive Officers in order to coordinate administrative services as required. Candidates for this office must be Full Members of the Troth. The Secretary is appointed by the High Rede to a three year term, and may be reappointed. The Secretary may take on any of the subordinate offices of this department upon the approval of the High Rede.

5.3.1.2 Scribe

The Scribe shall make and keep a complete and accurate record of all actions considered by the High Rede, whether in a meeting or otherwise. This record shall include the text of the proposed action, the date of final determination, the outcome of the vote, the numbers of affirmative votes, negative votes, and abstentions, and the specific votes of each Rede member. The Scribe shall keep a copy of all records made, and shall forward the official records to the Steer, the High Rede, and the editor of the operating journal at least quarterly. The Scribe is the Parliamentarian within Rede meetings. The Scribe is responsible for all Rede-level publications. The Scribe may not be sitting member of the High Rede.

5.3.1.3 Reckoner

The Reckoner of Accounts is the Treasurer of the Corporation. S/he shall record financial transactions; receive, deposit and disburse monies as instructed by the High Rede and by standing policy of the Corporation. The Reckoner shall also maintain complete and accurate financial records of the bank account(s) and other financial accounts of the Corporation. The Reckoner, along with the Secretary and Steer, is one of the primary bank account signatories for the corporation.

The Reckoner shall produce quarterly reports on the Corporation's financial status for the High Rede, and prepare an annual financial statement for each fiscal year, defined as 1 January to 31 December of each year. This report shall be due by 30 April of each year and shall also be submitted to the membership at Trothmoot.

The Reckoner, in conjunction with the High Rede, shall prepare and file any financial or taxation forms or reports required by governmental agencies.

The Reckoner shall work together with the High Rede to prepare a budget for each succeeding year for deliberation at the October High Rede meeting. The Reckoner may appoint or hire assistants as needed to carry out these tasks, but must inform the High Rede of any such appointments or hirings. The Reckoner may not be sitting member of the High Rede.

5.3.1.4 Elections Officer

The Elections Officer shall be responsible for announcing the phases of an election cycle in a timely and appropriate manner to the membership. Also, the Elections Officer shall prepare and deliver ballots to the membership. The Elections Officer shall assure that all ballots, whether paper or electronic (subsequently transferred to paper) arrive at Trothmoot. The Elections Officer shall bring to Trothmoot (if attending), or send to the Steer (if not attending) a listing of all the ballots received, individually, with identities obscured, including which candidate each ballot voted for. This list shall be made available to any candidate who wishes to inspect it. All ballots must be recounted and witnessed by at least one Rede member not involved in the election, and one non-Rede member. In the event that the Elections Officer cannot attend Trothmoot, one other oathed Troth Officer must be present, excluding anyone on the ballot. If the Elections Officer cannot attend Trothmoot, then the ballots must be mailed after initial counting to the Steer via rapid and secure mail. The results must also be e-mailed to the Steer as a backup, in the event of delayed or lost mail. The recount must take place prior to the open business meeting held at Trothmoot. The Elections Officer may not be sitting member of the High Rede.

5.3.1.5 Clerk

The Clerk maintains a membership database comprising the organization, storage, and maintenance of all membership records in electronic and/or hard copy formats. The Clerk processes new and renewing memberships, responds to member inquiries regarding memberships and membership deliverables, adds and removes members to and from the general members lists when members join and at member request, and sees that the Stewards are notified of new and renewing members according to current best practices.

5.3.2 Information Services Department [Removal of CIO position in favor of the Tech Team]

The Informations Services Department manages all computer- and internet-related operations of the Corporation.

5.3.2.1 Tech Team

The Tech Team manages Computer Operations for the Corporation. Tech Team tasks include, but are not limited to, providing a membership database for use by the Clerk, providing accounting software for use by the Treasurer, providing and maintaining a Corporate website, and providing and maintaining various means of electronic communications as may be deemed necessary by the High Rede, such as electronic mailing lists and online forums. Individual Tech Team roles may be defined by the High Rede through procedural vote.

5.3.3 Publications and Merchandise Department [Establishes Merchandising Officer as an Executive Officer]

The Publications and Merchandise Department is responsible for the timely production and distribution of publications and other materials by the Corporation. Items produced by this Department are expected to be appropriate for the Corporation, and neither actionable nor seriously embarrassing.

5.3.3.0.1 Executive Officer, Publications: Shope

The Shope is the Director of Publications for the Corporation, and shall supervise publication of the regular journal, the operating journal, and other publications of the Troth. S/he may appoint or hire assistants as needed to carry out these tasks, but must inform the High Rede of any such appointments. The Shope informs the High Rede of problems and progress with publication and merchandising activities. The Shope may also be the Editor of either the regular journal or the operating journal, but not both.

5.3.3.0.2 Editor of the Regular Journal

The regular journal traditionally has the title "Idunna". The Editor of Idunna oversees the editing, preparation, production, and distribution of Idunna four times a year under the supervision of the Shope and with the assistance of such other persons as s/he deems necessary.

5.3.3.0.3 Editor of the Operating Journal

The regular journal traditionally has the title "Mimir's Well". The Editor of Mimir's Well oversees the editing, preparation, production, and distribution of Mimir's Well as needed and authorized by the Steer under the supervision of the Shope.

5.3.3.1 Executive Officer, Merchandise: Merchandising Officer

The Merchandising Officer oversees the procurement, storage, and shipment of such non-publication tangible items as the High Rede deems appropriate for sale by the Corporation, S/he may appoint or hire assistants as needed to carry out these tasks, but must inform the High Rede of any such appointments or hirings.

5.3.4 Public Relations Department

The Public Relations Department handles the Corporation's interests in the media and with the general public, to project the Corporation and Heathenry/Asatru in general in an accurate, fair, and positive light.

5.3.4.1 Executive Officer: Communications Officer [New item; made Executive]

The Communications Officer actively promotes the Corporation and Heathenry/Asatru in general in the media, and responds to reporting relevant to the Corporation and Heathenry/Asatru in general. S/he advises other Officers on the conduct of public appearances and interviews with the media.

5.3.4.2 Public Relations Contact Officer [Formerly Troth Contact Officer and combing Public Relations Officer role]

The Public Relations Contact Officer responds in a timely manner specifically to external requests regarding events sponsored by the Corporation, local affiliated organizations, and membership in the Corporation, when such requests cannot be handled automatically by the Information Services Department.

5.3.5 Internal Affairs Department [Moderator removed in favor of procedural action; Officer Liaison added]

5.3.5.1 Executive Officer: Ombuds [Replaced “Ombudsman” with gender-neutral “Ombuds. Verbiage changes resulting from input from the Ombudsman Function Committee. Clarifies duties and procedure if a complaint is lodged against a Rede member]

The Ombuds takes note of concerns, complaints, or inquiries of individual members or local affiliated groups, gathering facts, recommending actions based on those facts and appropriate rules and then reporting this information to but the complaintant/querent and the Rede. The Ombuds has no power to compel any behaviors of the Rede or membership, or local organizations. The Ombuds will facilitate discussion, or mediate disputes if needed, but will remain neutral and confidential of sensitive details to all parties.

S/he is the first point of dispute resolution and information dissemination to the membership with regard to dispute resolution. The Ombuds will report findings on a regular basis to the Rede and submit an annual report to the membership at large.

The Ombuds works to solve problems within and between the Corporation and its members in an impartial manner, attempting to avoid issues of personality, faction, or favor. S/he may appoint assistants as needed to carry out certain administrative tasks, but must inform the High Rede of any such appointments. S/he is appointed by the High Rede to serve a term of three years, and may be reappointed for a maximum of three consecutive terms. The Ombuds shall not hold any other office within the Corporation, nor any other voting position beyond those rights of an individual member during his or her term as Ombuds.

The Ombuds will maintain confidentiality, and will not share details of disputes beyond the parties to the dispute and the High Rede during the course of the proceedings. Once a decision has been reached, the Ombuds shall be free to discuss the matter with members and officers as s/he sees fit. Ombuds will report at least annually with a summation of disputes and outcomes, redacted for privacy, and recommendations.

In the event of formal complaints that cannot be resolved through mediation, the Rede shall make the final ruling.

If the complaint is against an individual High Rede member, the High Rede may vote on whether that member should recuse him/herself from voting on the ruling. If the complaint is against the Rede as a whole, the Rede, as the highest authority in the organization, retains the authority to make the final ruling on the complaint.

5.3.5.3 Executive Officer: Officer Liaison [New item]

The Officer Liaison works closely with the Steer and the Volunteer Coordinator to facilitate communication among all Troth Officers, and to keep communication open between the High Rede and each Officer at times when the High Rede is not in meetings. The Officer Liaison is a resource for the conveyance of confidential discussion between an Officer and the High Rede should the Rede need to be alerted to a confidential issue. The Officer Liaison must be a member of the High Rede. This position is an annual position and may be renewed by the High Rede.