Article 1. GROVE PURPOSE
1) To serve the spiritual needs of the Houston and surrounding community through public
Druidic ritual & religious support of the community in the Druidic way (e.g. Counseling, blessings, advising, environmental
2) Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF is committed to providing the outlet for its
members to worship a diversity of Indo-European pantheons.
3) Undue pressures on any person to participate or donate funds clearly
falls outside the purpose and goals of Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF.
4) As set forth by the Mother Grove, Sweetgum Protogrove must provide open
public worship at all of the High Days and a public service must also be completed for each quarter.
5) As a local congregation of Ár nDraíocht Féin, Inc., Sweetgum Protogrove,
ADF shall follow the National Bylaws.
the Druidic way, we honor the eight High Days (quarter and cross-quarter days) as set up by the Mother Grove, beginning with
(in the Celtic tradition) Samhain. The dates of these High Days are set by the Mother Grove in Article 3:2 of the National
ADF by-laws dated 3/99 c.e.
2) For ceremonial purposes, each High Day may be celebrated upon either
the legal date, the astronomical date, or upon a date mutually convenient, within a fortnight, to the participants of the
particular celebration involved.
3) In addition, Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF may honor traditional ethnic holidays
as agreed upon by a vote of the grove members.
Article 3. CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP
1) Persons under the age of 18 must adhere to the Mother Grove's Bylaws
pertaining to them.
2) The Folk of the Grove - is defined as a person who is a Full
Grove member, has asked to join the Folk of the Grove, has completed an interview with the Senior Druid and has
attended at least 3 High Day Rituals in the past calendar year. Only members of the Folk of the Grove may run for elected
Grove offices. A person who resigns from the Folk of the Grove, either by allowing their National membership to lapse for
more than three (3) months, or for personal reasons, and then wishes to re-join at a later date, must speak with the Senior
Druid and will have a re-welcoming ceremony at the next High Day ritual.
3) Full Grove Member - is defined as a person who is current with
National ADF dues and a Local Grove member as defined in Article 3:4 of these by-laws and helps in the running of the Grove.
Full Grove members vote in both the National and Grove elections, and are awarded one vote per year as a member. All Full
Grove members receive grove literature, national literature, and event happenings
4) Local Grove Member - is defined as a person who contributes to
the Grove with time, energy, or in a monetary fashion, has been attending Grove functions from one High Day to another, but
has not joined the national Organization. Local Grove Members cannot vote in National nor Grove elections or policy decisions.
They will, however, have the ability to participate in the decision-making, voice their opinions and be welcome to all meetings
and events. All Local members receive Grove literature and event happenings.
5) National Member - is defined as a person who is current with
their National dues, but is not a member of Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF. They can participate in National elections, but cannot
participate in local Grove elections unless they have become a Full Grove member.
Article 4. VOTING MEMBERS
1) All members who fulfill the criteria of the category of Full Grove member
shall be considered voting members of Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF.
2) All members shall have the same number of votes they have for national
3) Except as otherwise noted in these By-laws, a quorum for voting purposes
shall consist of the voting members representing 50% of the Full Grove members.
Article 5. ANNUAL MEETING
1) The annual meeting of Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF shall be at the Celtic
holiday of Lughnassadh or the closest time to thereof.
2) The purpose of the annual meeting shall be the election of officers
and the State of the Grove Presentation by the officers in office at the time of the meeting. The election of officers shall
be determined as in Article 6 of these by-laws. The yearly State of the Grove address will contain a summary of activities
relevant to each officer's position, followed by a discussion or critique of the State of the Grove.
Article 6. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
1) To elect officers, a Slate of Nominees will be compiled by a Nominating
Committee and shall be presented at Summer Solstice for the consideration of the Grove. The Nominating Committee shall be
composed of three (3) Full Grove members, nominated by the Senior Druid and subject to Grove majority approval.
2) Elections will be held at the Annual Meeting at Lughnassadh by casting
a written ballot; except in the case of non-elected officers (to be described in Article 7 of these by-laws). In the event
of a tie vote, the nominating committee shall cast the deciding vote with one vote each.
3) Office of newly elected officers shall begin at Samhain with an oath-taking
4) For the election of officers voting, a Quorum is defined as 60% of the
voting members and proxy votes. All officers of the Executive Council are elected by a majority vote unless otherwise noted.
Proxy and absentee votes shall be distributed and collected by the Scribe.
5) Non-Elected Officers (as stated in Article 7 of these by-laws) shall
be appointed by the Senior Druid.
Article 7. OFFICERS (In Hierarchical Order)
1) Executive Council - Elections for officers of Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF
will be held annually, as described in Article 6 of these by-laws. The Executive Council will consist of both elected and
2) It is possible that in the vacancy of an office, an officer may temporarily
hold more than one office.
3) Elected Officers
A) Senior Druid - Administrative and Spiritual leader; calls meetings;
sets agenda and provides leadership for the Grove. Shall be a member of all committees as desired; Shall appoint replacements
in the event of a vacant office; Will set liturgical calendar for Grove; Shall be responsible for keeping grove unity. The
Senior Druid will handle Grove advertising and literature or delegate and supervise these items. The Senior Druid is responsible
for compiling a quarterly report on the state of the grove to be sent to the Archdruid and the National Scribe and is responsible
for reviewing all other officer quarterly reports. The Senior Druid is responsible for Public Relations or the delegation
of public relation tasks, as needed. The Senior Druid will also fulfill all obligations as later stated in these by-laws.
B) Scribe - Shall keep the minutes of the proceedings of all meetings
& committees (to be submitted by the committee head) of the Grove; shall send proxy and absentee statements and/or ballots
to all voting members and shall be responsible for collecting all proxies and absentees; shall organize all incoming correspondences
for reply and the reply thereof as mentioned in these by-laws; and may perform other duties that would otherwise be performed
by a Corporate Secretary. Candidates for the office of the Scribe shall have the ability to take minutes and have typing skills.
All written correspondences shall be brought to the attention of the Grove at business meetings. Officers will make the Scribe
aware of correspondences in Grove functions. The Scribe is responsible for compiling a quarterly report of rituals and minutes
to be sent to the Mother Grove after review by the Senior Druid.
C)Purse Warden - Shall sign all checks, drafts, and other instruments
for the grove; shall have custody of all moneys of the Grove received or dispersed; and will maintain custody of Grove property.
Shall be responsible for keeping the grove's financial records according to generally accepted accounting principles for non-profit
organizations; shall be responsible for the organization of fund raising or delegate and supervise fund raising. The Purse
Warden is responsible for compiling a quarterly report of financial records and fund raising to be sent to the Mother Grove
after review by the Senior Druid. This position is also required to compile an annual report (see also Article 8).
4) Non-Elected officers *
A) Are the spiritual organizers of the Grove. Along with the Senior Druid
they function as the source of guidance and oversee the creation of he Grove's public rituals. Shall actively train/seek to
train an apprentice for his/her replacement/absence; And is required to provide for at least one workshop per quarter. These
individual office terms may last until the office is vacated, as stated in Article 12 of these by-laws.
B) Grove Liturgist - Co-ordinates the development of existing and
new rituals, rites of passage, handfastings, requiems, and other ceremonial proceedings within the parameters of ADF's history,
policies, polytheology, etc.; Shall serve as a resource for other Grove members seeking liturgical information; Shall assist
the Senior Druid in construction of Liturgical Calendar. Must have through understanding and practice in liturgical design;
Must have demonstrated competency in language skills - excellent English and familiarity in one liturgical language of a pantheon
including their myths and lore, and relative acquaintance with the myths and lore of other pantheons.
C) Grove Bard - Responsible for coordinating all musical/poetic/theatrical
elements of ritual including: chants, praise offerings, movements, etc.; Should be able to provide original music and/or poetry
her/himself; Should be familiar with musical styles of different cultures and how they could be applied within ritual; Is
responsible to keep traditional lore and music and apply it in creating modern myth for ritual, entertainment and general
D) Grove Diviner - Responsible for coordinating / executing divinations
at rituals, for counseling, advise for Grove matters/decisions; Must be highly skilled in the Divining Arts; Must have through
knowledge and practice of at least one set, established/recognized system of divination. Should be familiar with other systems
and methods of divination from different cultures; will serve as a resource for Grove members on information involving divination.
The Grove Diviner shall also be responsible for keeping a Grove Book of Omens.
E) Grove Herbalist - Responsible for herbs and/or incense needed
for rituals; must be skilled in all aspects of Herbalism; will serve as a resource for Grove members seeking information on
F) Grove Chronicler - Responsible for layout and publishing of the
Grove newsletter before each High Day; Compiles all artwork, articles and contributions.
G) Grove Ecologist - Responsible for raising the environmental awareness
of the members of the Grove; shall act as a liaison between the Grove and local environmental groups; will serve as a resource
for Grove members on information involving the ecology and the local watershed.
H) Grove Sacrificer - Responsible for offering sacrifices during
rituals; Must have a good working knowledge of the liturgy and know what sacrifices are required for all sections.
I) Vice Senior Druid - Shall be chosen to compliment the interests
and abilities of the Senior Druid and shall perform duties to assist the Senior Druid in providing spiritual and/or administrative
leadership to the Grove. The Vice Senior Druid will assume the position of Senior Druid should the position become vacant.
The Vice Senior Druid must meet the requirements of an elected officer as stated in these bylaws. S/he will be appointed by
the Senior Druid and ratified by a majority vote of the Full Grove Members at the annual meeting or by a special meeting or
* Other positions to be added later as needed.
Article 8. FINANCIAL RECORDS
1) All members of Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF and the ADF national are entitled
to see the accounting records upon request of the pursewarden. The pursewarden shall make these available. Profit and Loss
Statements and other similar records shall be regularly available. An Annual Report must be compiled at the end of every year,
as well as quarterly reports that must be sent to the National Pursewarden.
Article 9. CREATION OF STUDY GROUPS AND/OR GUILDS, COMMITTEES, and OTHER SUBGROUPS
1) Grove members are encouraged to form study groups with the approval
of the Executive Council. Closed groups shall consist of no more than one half of the Grove membership. Appropriate topics
for these study groups shall fall under the beliefs within the Preamble of Ár nDraíocht Féin and/or the ADF study guide.
A) The formation/running of a guild shall be brought to the Executive Council
for review. Each guild shall be headed by a "guild master/mistress" and the responsibilities of the guild will be that of
the "guild mistress/master". All guilds must file quarterly reports on the state of the guild to the Executive Council and
the Mother Grove. Appropriate guilds shall fall under the beliefs within the Preamble of Ár nDraíocht Féin and/or the ADF
study guide. National correspondence between other guilds is highly encouraged.
A) May be formed during any business meeting but must have a purpose and
a result, therefore, at least three persons must be on the committee and a report of progress must be made at every business
meeting, or a brief report may be sent to the Scribe for recording in the minutes. The Senior Druid shall be on committees,
4) STUDY GROUPS AND OTHER SUBGROUPS
A) May be formed at any time, but must have a purpose and a result, therefore,
at least two persons must be in a study group. Study groups and subgroups may be closed groups, but cannot consist of more
than 50% of Grove membership, and are not required to submit a report. These groups must not breach any provisions within
5) All of these groups MUST follow National by-laws.
Article 10. DISCRIMINATION
1) Membership and rank in Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF, attendance at public
or semipublic Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF activities, and participation in any Druidic study program, shall not be denied to
any person on the basis of race, ancestry, color, physical disability (except as mentioned elsewhere in this article), age,
gender, or affectional orientation, but may be denied to individuals practicing creeds inimical to Neopagan Druidism.
2) Membership within Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF, positions of office and
clergy, and other such positions of responsibility and trust as the Grove may determine, shall be granted only to practicing
Neopagans who are not simultaneously practicing a creed inimical to Neopagan Druidism.
3) As used herein, "inimical creeds" shall include varieties of conservative
monotheism, atheism, demonism, racialism, or other such faiths, as determined by the Mother Grove.
4) Proven communication of behavior of a virulently racist, sexist, homophobic,
heterophobic, anti-Semitic, or otherwise bigoted manner, shall be grounds for expulsion, by recommendation from the Mother
Grove, from Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF and subsequently expelled/suspended from ADF national, as described in Article 11 of
these by-laws. This does not include strong verbal statements about the theology, history, or psychological characteristics
of other religions.
5) All organizers of public and semipublic Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF activities
shall make strenuous efforts to facilitate the participation of differently-abled individuals. Nonetheless, all aspirants
to any given rank or position must be able to meet all the relevant qualifications previously determined for said rank or
position, unless the Executive Council shall rule in a particular instance.
Article 11. EXPULSION, SUSPENSION, RESIGNATION OR IMPEACHMENT OF MEMBERS AND
1) If a member under consideration for suspension or expulsion is an Officer,
he/she may be suspended or expelled only by a two-thirds vote of the remaining Officers, and only after review by the Mother
Grove or the Archdruid.
2) "Disruptive or abusive conduct" does not include: the temperate expression
of disagreement, such as public or private written or verbal criticism of Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF, ADF or its leadership;
vigorous debate over matters of scholarship, art, spirituality, or politics; the circulation of petitions to the Executive
Council; the organizing of other members into voting blocks; nor mere rudeness, thoughtlessness, or lack of social skills.
3) "Disruptive or abusive conduct" does include: the spreading of slander
or libel against Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF, ADF or its leadership; bigoted communication or behavior as described elsewhere
in these by-laws; or active efforts to persuade members to quit or dissuade non-members from joining.
4) In the case of a person who was declared temporarily or permanently
incapacitated at the time of his/her resignation or removal from a position of responsibility, the Executive Council shall
require a re-evaluation of her/his competency similar to the process which has declared incapacity, before he/she may seek
election or appointment.
5) Members may resign from membership at any time for personal reasons,
and will be eligible to rejoin Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF at a later date. Any member who abstains from contact with the Grove
for a period of three months or more, without prior notification of the Senior Druid, shall be deemed to have resigned and
will no longer receive Grove literature. If a resigned member should decide to rejoin at a later date, his/her votes shall
be calculated according to their National standing.
6) Any officer, who is deemed to be not fulfilling the requirements as
stated in Article 7 of these by-laws, shall be formally notified by the remaining officers and, if efforts are not taken to
continue the function of said office, then the Grove voting membership shall, by a 2/3 vote, and after a review by the Mother
Grove or the Archdruid, shall relieve said officer of their office and the Senior Druid shall appoint a replacement for that
office. If there is no suitable replacement for a resigned office the Senior Druid will assume responsibility of fulfilling
that office and its functions. Similarly, if any officer, for personal or other reasons, believes that they must resign from
the office a letter must be sent to the Senior Druid and the Senior Druid shall appoint a replacement for that office. If
there is no suitable replacement for a resigned office the Senior Druid will assume responsibility of fulfilling that office
and its functions. In the resignation of a Non-elected Officer, he/she may appoint a suitable replacement for the vacancy.
If no recommended replacement can be found, the Senior Druid will be responsible for the function of that office.
7) The Senior Druid, who for personal or other reasons, must resign from
office, MUST submit in writing, a formal resignation from his position to the Archdruid and to ALL Grove Officers. Upon such
resignation, the Executive Council shall appoint a replacement from among them until formal elections can be held. The new
Senior Druid is responsible for notifying the Archdruid and the Mother Grove of his/her presence.
8) Suspended or expelled members may not hold office or act in any way
as representatives of Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF and have no right to receive any publications, and may not continue to participate
in Druidic study programs by Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF. Impeached officers may remain as regular members, but may not run for
any office unless the Executive Council deems otherwise.
9) Members who have been suspended or expelled will, as stated in the National
Bylaws, be banned permanently or temporarily from attending Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF activities, including public worship.
Such bans may be announced in Grove or national publications.
10) The Executive Committee, which consists of the Senior Druid, Vice Senior
Druid, Scribe and Pursewarden, will maintain a booklet containing the membership code of conduct and criteria for reprimanding,
suspending, and/or expelling people from Grove functions and handling complaints raised against attendees, members or other
participants in Grove functions. Changes to the booklet can be made at any annual or special meeting or referendum by a 2/3
vote of Full Grove Members. Any decision of the Council to take action against a person must be approved by the Mother Grove
before those actions are taken.
Article 12. AMENDMENTS
1) Amendments to these by-laws may be made at any annual or special meeting
or referendum, by a 2/3 vote of the Full Grove members. Amendments shall be incorporated into the by-laws at the Annual Meeting
and revised copies of the by-laws shall be sent to all Grove members and the Mother Grove.
2) Every nine years, at the annual meeting of the voting members, the voting
members of Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF shall decide by a 2/3 vote whether to retain the current set of by-laws. Said decisions
shall be made after all other electoral matters have been settled. Should the results be negative, a Bylaws Revision Committee
shall be formed. The members of said committee shall include the Executive Council and 3 representatives elected from the
3) The Bylaws Revision Committee shall have 3 months to produce a proposed
new set of by-laws, during which time, the old by-laws will be in effect. Halfway through the time specified, an early draft
shall be presented at a Bylaw Revision Referendum to the Full Grove members for written comments.
4) At the end of the time specified, at a Bylaws Revision Meeting, the
final set of proposed new by-laws shall be voted upon as a whole, with a 2/3 vote of the entire Sweetgum Protogrove, ADF voting
membership necessary for passage. The quorum for this vote shall be 60% of votes available to be cast. Should a quorum not
be available, the voting shall take place at the first available quorum under the same governing rules stated previously.
5) Should no revision be necessary or no agreement upon decision be reached
the old by-laws shall continue in effect for the next nine years.
6) Upon the passing of the new by-laws, they will be dated as such and
all functions will come into effect, completely replacing the old set of by-laws, at Samhain following the passing of the
new by-laws. It shall be the duty of the existing Executive Council to notify all appropriate authorities and to arrange any
required elections for new officers, etc., in keeping with the spirit as well as the letter of the new by-laws.
7) All new sets of by-laws must contain an article equivalent to this one,
allowing for their complete replacement every nine years at the will of the membership.
Article 13: Non-Profit Nature of the Grove
1) No part of the net earnings of the Grove shall inure to the benefit
of, or be distributable to, its members, directors, officers, or other private persons, except that the Grove 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 Article I of these by-laws.
2) No substantial part of the activities of the Grove shall be the carrying
on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation, and the Grove 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.
3) Notwithstanding any other provisions of these by-laws, this Grove shall
not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the
purposes of this Grove.
4) Upon the dissolution of this Grove, all
assets shall be given to the General Fund of the National Organization to be used as it sees fit.