Anglican Church Men’s constitution’tidied up’
In order for Christian men to make a true difference in their communities they need an organized structure within which they can function. With this in mind, the entire constitution of the Anglican Church Men’s(ACM)has been revamped.
They have appointed a council to govern regional branches of the ACM, defined proper conduct for council meetings, redefined who qualifies as a member in good standing, outlined the purpose of elected officers and their responsibilities, changed the method in which nominations can be carried out and clearly indicating whom is eligible to vote at council meetings.
The changes were imperative for rejuvenation to happen and to allow the every-growing organization more room to develop, said newly re-elected ACM president Kevin Ryan.
“It was long overdue for this to happen”says Ryan.”We’ve had issues throughout the years in how we operate and we’ve outgrown the constitution we had. This organisation is the fastest growing men’s organisation in the country, so it is clear we are always growing. This means issues that never occurred to us before are appearing now and we just need to better define everything so that there is no more confusion in the future.”
The new constitution has been a work in progress since 2006, according to Herbert Scott, ACM past president who is also a part of the constitution committee.
“As the organization grows and evolves, certain changes have to be made so that everything can operate more smoothly. When our founding fathers started the organization about 40 years ago there was merely a list of rules and regulations that over the years has become more diverse and structured. One of the major changes or rather additions that we made to our constitution[at]our 38th Annual Diocesan ACM conference is the introduction of a mechanism that will be in place to govern the regional branches of the organisation.”
Scott said before the addition the ACM had no real means by which to properly manage and communicate with branches outside of New Providence. He says this was one of the more important changes as the organization has grown in the Family Islands. Because of the growth, he said in recent years it had gotten harder to be consistent in the administration of the rules and regulations because all branches were not always formally made aware of changes or additions to the laws.
The ACM executive council hopes that with the new northern archdeaconry council in place, communication and governance will operate far better than it has with the northern region which encompasses the islands of Grand Bahama, Abaco and Long Island. Eventually it is hoped that councils for the southern, eastern-central and western-central archdeaconries will eventually be formed as the ACM branches continue to spread.
“Other tidying up that we have done with the constitution is to properly indicate who is eligible to vote or not in the organisation during election times”says Scott.”Prior to the revision of this section of the constitution we had faced problems in which it was not clearly indicated if all past presidents of the ACM were eligible to vote at council meetings. It was stated that the immediate past president who is also on the council is eligible to vote but there was nothing indicating if all past presidents were eligible. Now with our changes it has been specified and they are allowed.”
Redefining common terms from the previous six-page constitution was also a major change that was made in the new charter. An example of this would be that the term”member in good finance,”which previously meant that a member of a branch of the ACM was up-to-date with their dues and could vote in branch meetings. This term has been changed to”member in good standing”which means not only is a given member up-to-date in dues, but also, that any financial obligations have been covered such as fully paying for tickets given to them to be sold for an event.
“We also had to make provisions for the formation of new branches and create terms in which a branch can become dormant or its eligibility revoked. This was especially necessary because of the rapid growth of the ACM in recent years. We had just operated without consistency across the board and this needed to be amended,”said Scott.
Another important focus in the new 20-page charter is that the process in which nominations can be given and elections executed have been revamped. The previous constitution allowed for nominations for positions to be accepted right up until before the actual elections. The charter now states that there will be a deadline in which nominations can be given so that there is adequate time for an appointed election committee to find out if nominees are eligible and members in good standing. Scott says the new process is a great change for the ACM because beforehand they had no way of knowing if a nominee was in good standing or not, especially if they were nominated on the day of the elections. He anticipates the new process allowing things to run more smoothly and professionally in the organization.
“Overall it was things like this that we changed in the constitution”says Scott.”We had a lot of work to do and we are happy that we now have a better means to operate. We do not think by far that the constitution is perfect. We are sure that there will be many more changes to come and we have made provisions for the process in which they can officially happen as well. We anticipate that with this new organization we will not only function better, but attract more men to our ranks which is something we want.”