ARTICLE 1. NAME
The name of this Church shall be The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas.
ARTICLE 2. DURATION
The duration of this Church shall be perpetual.
ARTICLE 3. PURPOSE
3.1. The purposes for which this Church is organized are exclusively religious, charitable, and educational activities in support of the faith, practices and ministry of The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas. Such purposes include public celebration of religious services on a regular schedule, and private services and celebrations as required in furtherance of this Church and Ministry. Such private services and celebrations may include, but need not be limited to, matrimony, burial, devotionals, religious retreats, and such events, classes, and training required for members of the Clergy; making distributions of funds, goods, and services to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future tax code, or other recognized local public charities, community welfare programs, and families and individuals indigent or in sickness or distress, regardless of race, religion, creed, sex, or ethnic or social background; provide or cause to be provided, spiritual and religious counseling, training, and education in accordance with the Tenets of this Congregation. Further, Ordained Ministers of The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas shall enjoy the same legal and moral rights, privileges and responsibilities of the clergy of any other faith, religious denomination, order, or sect. That is, they shall conduct religious worship ceremonies; engage in religious education; perform Rites of Passage consistent with social custom at times of birth, maturity, marriage, and death; provide religious and spiritual counseling; and render such help and assistance to the Congregation and their local communities as they are able to provide in time of sickness and distress.
3.2. Any future group, daughter congregation or entity established as a church by Patent, Warrant, or Charter issued by the Sacred Well Congregation shall adhere to and use this Constitution and the By-Laws of the Sacred Well Congregation as the organizing and governing documents for that group. Should that group at any future time elect to incorporate, it will be required to file its own organizing documents. To retain status within the Sacred Well Congregation, those documents shall closely conform to this Constitution and the By-Laws of the Sacred Well Congregation, and shall comply with all current and future requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Code governing 501(c)3 non-profit Churches.(Section 3.2 added by Special Session, Board of Deacons, 19 March 2006)
ARTICLE 4. AUTHORITY AND ALLEGIANCE
The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas is a Local Church as defined by common usage, and under the provisions and protections of the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Texas, in letter and in spirit. The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas holds that it is the prerogative and right of each Local Church to adopt its own methods of organization, worship and education; to retain or secure its own name; to adopt its own Constitution and By-Laws; to formulate its own Covenants and Statements of Faith; to admit members in its own way and to provide for their continued acceptance or dismissal; to call or dismiss its pastor or pastors by such procedure as it shall determine; to acquire, own, manage and dispose of property and funds; and to control its own benevolence. The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas is autonomous, unfettered and independent. The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas recognizes and conforms to statutory and common law requirements of competent secular authority of the United States of America, the State of Texas, and any other lawful jurisdiction in which it may reside, traverse, or practice; The Sacred Well Congregation yields no allegiance to nor recognizes the Spiritual authority of any ecumenical or religious authority, hierarchy, Synod, Diocese, Ward, Convention or similar religious precinct or organization outside of its own autonomous structure. The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas may, from time to time, voluntarily participate or cooperate with other Churches or religious, charitable, or benevolent organizations to celebrate religious rites or services, hold ecumenical conferences, work for charitable or benevolent projects, or any other lawful purpose that is not in contravention with the Tenets, the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, By- Laws, or Covenants of the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas.
ARTICLE 5. STRUCTURE & STEWARDSHIP
The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas is composed of the Main Congregation whose see is in Bexar County, Texas, and Local Congregations established elsewhere by Ordained Ministers of the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas who through their voluntary agreement remain in affiliation with or under the sponsorship of the Main Congregation. The Main Congregation shall be under the Stewardship and governance of the Pastor and a Board of Trustees, hereinafter referred to as Deacons. The Board of Deacons shall meet annually as close as practicable to Saint John’s Day, June 21 in Annual Session, and may meet more frequently to dispatch exigent business. Officers of the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas shall be a Director, a Secretary and a Treasurer, and such other officers as deemed necessary, duly elected or appointed by the Board of Deacons. The Board of Deacons shall establish By-Laws, and function in accordance therewith, and in all matters act under law and commonly accepted convention and strive for the promotion of the principles and purposes for which the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas was established under Article 3 of this Constitution.
ARTICLE 6. LOCAL and PROVISIONAL CONGREGATIONS
6.1. Local (Chartered) Congregations. Any Ordained Minister of the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas may establish and become the Pastor of a Local Congregation in any geographic area reasonably removed from the Main Congregation, with the Blessing, Charter, and Charge of the Council of Clerics of the Main Congregation. A Local Congregation shall be construed to be a Local Church as defined by Article 4 of this Constitution. A Local Congregation may, upon the petition by the Pastor of the Local Congregation, and approval by the Council of Clerics of the Main Congregation, remain in affiliation with or under the sponsorship of the Main Congregation. Affiliation and sponsorship is voluntary and may be withdrawn at any time by either the request of the Pastor of the Local Congregation or by the Council of Clerics of the Main Congregation. Local Congregations electing to remain in affiliation with or under the sponsorship of the Main Congregation shall adopt the form and convention set forth in this Constitution for the Main Congregation, or applicable statutes and laws under the jurisdiction wherein it is located, and shall remain in compliance with such form and convention so long as the relation of affiliation or sponsorship exists between the Local Congregation and the Main Congregation.
6.2. Provisional (Warranted) Congregations. Any Ordained Minster (Cleric) or Ordained Deacon may petition the Council of Clerics for a warrant to establish a Provisional Congregation in any location wherein the need arises in the furtherance of the spirit and purpose of the Sacred Well Congregation as set forth in her Tenets, Constitution, and By-Laws. Provisional Congregations shall be established at the direction and under the auspices of the Council of Clerics of this Congregation. Provisional Congregations shall be recognized as extensions of the Main Congregation, and shall be led by either an Ordained Minister (Cleric) or an Ordained Deacon accredited as a Lay Minister. Provisional Congregations shall operate in compliance with the spirit and purpose of the Tenets, Constitution, and By-Laws of this Congregation. The Warrant shall remain in force for a fixed period of time, or for an indefinite period until it is surrendered to or withdrawn by the Council of Clerics, or until it shall be superseded by a full Charter for a Local Congregation (Church).(Amended: Board of Deacons in Special Session on 21 December 1996.)
ARTICLE 7. THEOLOGY AND MEMBERSHIP
The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas is non-denominational in theology and in fact. Non-binding general membership in the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas is open and free to all persons, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, prior religious affiliation, or physical or mental impairment.
ARTICLE 8. THE MINISTRY
The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas shall establish a Covenant of Ordination as a vehicle to train and Ordain ministers in the furtherance of the principles and purposes set forth by this Constitution.
ARTICLE 9. AMENDMENTS
The Board of Deacons shall have the power to amend this Constitution. The Board of Deacons may hear proposals for amendment and act thereon at the Annual Session, or any special session circumstances may require. Any Deacon, Ordained Minister, or any person in the General Membership may present proposed amendments. Proposed amendments will be delivered to the Director at least two months prior to the Annual Session. In exigent circumstances, the proposal will be submitted to the Director as soon as the facts of the emergency are established, and the Director shall call a Special Session as soon as practicable to dispatch the business. Amendments require a two-thirds majority vote of the quorum present at the Session.
ARTICLE 10. EFFECTIVE DATE
The Board of Deacons declared this Constitution valid and in force effective April 12, 1996, the date on which the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas was recognized and incorporated by the Secretary of the State of Texas as a Non-profit religious organization, to wit, a Church.
AMENDMENT 1. IRS CODE COMPLIANCE UPDATE
1.a. Pursuant to Article 3.1, Article 3.2 and Article 6 of this Constitution, any subordinate group established by the Sacred Well Congregation shall be organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and/or scientific purposes under section 50l(c)3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
1.b. Pursuant to Article 4, Articles of Incorporation of the Sacred Well Congregation, established by Charter 0139437 issued by the Secretary of the State of Texas on 12 April 1996, the following provisions apply: No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, trustees, officers or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
1.c. Pursuant to Article 11, Articles of Incorporation of the Sacred Well Congregation, established by Charter 0139437 issued by the Secretary of the State of Texas on 12 April 1996, the following provisions apply: Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.
(Amended in Special Session by the Board of Deacons on 19 March 2006)
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