When it became evident that the number of retired clergy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was growing, two far-seeing brothers, the late Fr. John Zanetos, of blessed memory, and Fr. George L. Papadeas, suggested to other retired brothers that it would be a good idea to create a not for profit corporation (Associa¬tion) of retired clergy. In 1988, Fathers John C. Zanetos, Demosthenes Mekras, Emmanuel Bouyoucas, Dean Timothy Andrews and George Papadeas joined together to form the first Board of Trustees of the Retired Clergy. They incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida. Presently the Association is incorporated under the laws of the State of New York.
Article 1 - Name - Address - Emblem
- Name: The name of the Association shall be, "Retired Greek Orthodox Clergy of America, Inc." It will also be known by the acronym R.C.A. (Retired Clergy Association), and the name appearing on its official emblem, "Greek Orthodox Retired Clergy". .
- Address: The address of the Association will be that of its current President.
- Patron Saint: The Patron Saint of the organization is Saint Melchizedek of the Old Testament
- Emblem: The Association shall have an Emblem which shall incorporate the following words: In Greek: "ΙΕΡΕΥΣ ΕΙΣ ΤΟΝ ΑΙΩΝΑ". In English: "GREEK ORTHODOX RETIRED CLERGY", and be in the following form:
Article II - Purposes
The purposes of the Association are:
- To promote fellowship among the retired clergy and their families and to assist each other in any problems and emergencies, personal, emotional or financial they may have to face alone.
- To promote cooperation and mutual respect with the active clergy by helping, supporting, guiding, sharing their experiences with them and aiding them in their ministry, when requested to, and to help prepare them for retirement.
- To support all the activities, growth and progress of the Church through close cooperation between the Board of Trustees of the Retired Clergy Association and the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council by having occasional meetings together.
- To work closely with both the clergy and lay for the promotion of the welfare and progress of the Church.
- To take an active role in the administration of the Church by speaking out at Clergy-Laity Congresses.
- When solicited, offer our advice to the Archbishop on all matters vital to the Church.
- To guard and improve any and all benefits, to which the Retired Clergy are entitled.
Article III - Membership
Members of the Association, with the right to vote, shall automatically be all the retired priests of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, upon the payment of the minimum stewardship of $50.
Membership, without the right to vote; is also extended to any clergyman of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America upon the payment of the minimum established stewardship.
Associate membership; without the right to vote, is extended to all Orthodox laity, male and female upon the payment of the minimum stewardship of $50.
Honorary membership is extended to all Presvyteres of the living retired clergy and the widowed Presvyteres.
Article IV - Meetings
Section 1. General Assembly
The Association shall hold a regular General Assembly at the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress with 25 members in good standing comprising quorum. When deemed necessary the Board of Trustees of the Asso¬ciation or 10% of the members in good standing who have paid their minimum stewardship may call a special general assembly by notifying the members by first class mail at least 30 days before the date of such assembly of the time and place of the assembly, and stating the matters to be discussed at the assembly.
Section 2. Board of Trustees Meeting
- The Board of Trustees of the Association will meet the day before the Association's General Assembly held during the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress.
- The newly elected Board of Trustees will meet following the Association's General Assembly held during the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress and again each year in October and February at a place and time set by the President and at such times when the President and/or Officers of the Association shall deem it necessary to call a special Board of Trustees meeting. The quorum shall be at least five.
Section 3. Order of Business
All meetings shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of order. All decisions will be made, after due deliberation, by majority voice vote or secret ballot if requested by any member attending. All decisions will be communicated to His Eminence the Archbishop and all Metropolitans for their information.
Article V - Board of Trustees
Section 1. Number of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees shall consist of the following: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, two Trustees, and the past President. A total of six voting members. Other past Presidents are welcome to attend and offer their advice without a vote.
Section 2. Term of Office
The Board of Trustees shall be elected at each Association's General Assembly held during the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress and serve until the next Association's General Assembly held during the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress. The Officers, if reelected, may only serve two consecutive terms in the same office.
Section 3. Duties
The Board of Trustees shall be in total charge and have complete supervision of the affairs of the Association, policies, finances, direction and activities within the framework of the Articles of its Incorporation and its Bylaws.
Section 4. Vacancy
If a vacancy occurs on the Board of Trustees, the Board of Trustees shall elect a member in good standing of the Association to fill the vacancy within thirty days.
Section 5. Termination
Any member of the Board of Trustees who misses two consecutive meetings or who fails to fulfill his assign¬ment will be terminated and the Board of Trustees with replace him within thirty days.
Article VI - Officers / Duties
Section 1. Number of Officers
The Officers of the Organization shall be four: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
Section 2. Election of Officers
The officers of the Association shall be elected at the Clergy-Laity Congress from among the newly elected Board of Trustees.
Section 3. The President
- The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association, including the Association's General Assembly.
- He shall prepare the agenda for all meetings, and direct discussions, without the right to vote, except in the case of a tie.
- He shall appoint an Election Committee and an Auditing Committee and as many committees he deems necessary to insure the efficient operation of the Association.
- He along with the Treasurer of the Association shall sign all checks, vouchers or drafts for the Association.
- He shall have the right to expend, without the consent of the Board of Trustees of the Association or the Members of the Association, the sum of up to $1,000.00 for any reason, which he deems beneficial to the Association. Exception will be if someone donates a specific amount for a specific item.
Section 4. The Vice-President
- The Vice-President will assume all the duties of the President whenever the President is absent. In the event of resignation, the Vice-President will become the President of the Association for the balance of the President's term of office.
- The Vice-President shall coordinate the "Priestly Chats with Older Brothers" program at the Holy Cross School of Theology.
Section 5. The Secretary
The Secretary shall keep all books and reports and the official' seal of the Association; he will take and record the minutes at all meetings and distribute copies thereof to all authorized to receive them orrequest them; he will handle and sign all correspondence along with the President; he will issue necessary certificates, safe keep corporate papers and records and all other documents of the Association.
Section 6. The Treasurer
- The Treasurer shall have complete control of all the moneys of theAssociation and present a written financial report at all meetings.
- He shall receive and deposit all funds received from the members orany other source, including all projects and activities of theAssociation, and issue official receipts for same.
- He shall disperse funds by check, signed by him and the President of the Association, for legitimate bills received, and shall reimburse the Officers, Trustees and any other member of the Association for any reasonable expenses incurred by them in the exercise of their duties or assignments, after the approval and authorization by the President.
- He win receive the financial obligation of each member, which is a stewardship of a minimum of $50 per year. This amount can be increased, if necessary, at a General Assembly.
- He will present the books to the Audit Committee who upon completion of the audit will report to the General Assembly.
- The fiscal year shall be the Ecclesiastical Year, September 1st to August 31st.
Section 7. The Two Trustees
The two Trustees shall participate in all meetings of the Board and assume any duties or assignments the President may assign them.
Section 8. Retired Clergy Diocesan Representatives
In addition to the nine members of the Board of Trustees, the President shall appoint a representative of the Association in each of the nine Dioceses of the Greek Orthodox Church of America who shall be responsible for locating, being in constant touch with, and serving the retired clergy and their families in their respective Dioceses, and conveying their needs to the Board of Trustees, and their news to the 'Epistle'.
Section 9. Editor of Epistle
- The Editor of the Epistle shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees as an ex -officio member.
- He shall not be an elected Board Member.
- He shall not hold any other office
- He shall not have a vote
Article VII - Elections
Section 1. Election Committee
- A three man Election Committee will be appointed by the President.
- The Election Committee will conduct the elections at the Association's General Assembly held during the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress and announce the six names of those elected and who will constitute the new Board of Trustees, along with the immediate past President.
- The Election Committee will supervise the Election of Officers following the Election of the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. Order of Elections
- In the April issue of the EPISTLE an announcement of the forthcoming elections will be published along with the names and addresses of the Election Committee as well as a Candidate's Form.
- Those interested in being a candidate for the six elected Members of the Board of Trustees will be asked to return the Candidate's Form directly to the Chairman of the Election Committee. The form must be postmarked by the May 15th deadline.
- The Election Committee will count the votes at the Association's General Assembly held at the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress and announce the names of the six newly elected who will constitute the new Board of Trustees along with the immediate Past President.
Section 3. Eligible Voters
- All members in good standing are eligible to vote.
- New members must have met their membership obligations three months prior to the election in order to vote.
Section 4. Election of Officers
Shortly after the election of the Board of Trustees, while still at the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress, at a time and place announced by the Election Committee, the six members of the Board of Trustees and the immediate past President will meet and elect their officers under the supervision of the Election Committee. The President must have served on as a Board of Trustees for one full term in order to be eligible.
Section 5. Oath of Office
The entire Board of Trustees will take the oath of office before His Eminence the Archbishop or any other Hierarch before departing from the Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress.
Article VIII - Committees
The President, in consultation with his Board of Trustees shall appoint the following Committees.
- Membership. To bring into the Organization new members in accordance with Article III of these By-laws.
- Presvyteres. A member from the body of Presvyteres which will bring to the at¬tention of the Board of Trustees the problems and needs of the Retired and Widowed Presvyteres.
- Benefits, Charity and Philanthropy. To actively pursue the betterment of our health, and financial, benefits; to establish guidelines. of remuneration when serving as substitutes or assistants at various parishes; also, to sponsor the presence of members of the Retired Clergy Association' at HC/HC who will speak on various facets of their professional experiences with the Senior Class at the Holy Cross School of Theology.
- Historian. A committee of three shall be appointed to gather all documents dealing with the creation and establishment of the Association and to write the history of the life and works of the Association, and keep it current.
- Audit Committee. A three member Audit Committee which will audit the financial books of the Association and report to the General Assembly.
- Elections Committee. A three member Elections Committee that will conduct the Elections.
- Any other Committee that the President and his Board will consider useful in the promotion of the work of the Association.
Article IX - Amendments
These by-laws may be amended by a two thirds majority of those present and voting, provided they constitute a quorum, at any General Assembly, after circulation among the members of the proposed amendments at least one month before such assembly.