of St Nicholas
FOR PARISH SISTERHOODS IN NORTH AMERICA Approved by decision of the Synod of Bishops of 15/28 April 1955
I. ORGANIZATION AND PURPOSE OF SISTERHOOD
1. At the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, D.C. a Parish Sisterhood is established bearing the name of the Protection of the Holy Theotokos.
2. The Sisterhood celebrates its annual feast on the the feast day of Protection of the Holy Theotokos, and has an icon of this feast, which is kept in the Church.
3. The Sisterhood is an integral and inseparable part of the Parish and exists by the Parish Charter as a Parish Organization.
4. The purpose of the Sisterhood is so that those who join it as members may be perfected in Christian virtue in accordance with the teaching of the Russian Orthodox Church, under the pastoral guidance of its Rector, and in close connection with the life of the Church on the one hand, and on the other, the overall purpose of the Sisterhood consists in active assistance to the Church and in the practical realization of the goals of the Parish in accordance with the paragraph in the second Parish Bylaws adopted by the Local All-Russian Council.
5. Goals of the Sisterhood. a. Assisting in the Temple during the the Divine Services and outside of it; caring for the Vestry and beauty of the Temple, and the cleanliness and tidiness of the Temple under the direct guidance and supervision of the Parish Warden. b. Visting the sick, searching out the needy, and assisting them. Visting prisons, and assisting prisoners. c. Visiting the dying, and calling the Priest to visit them; reading the Psalter over the dead; and moral support to their families, as well as care for them. d. Caring for the unbaptized and the unmarried, and conducting them to Church so that the Holy Mysteries may be performed over them. e. All manner of assistance to the Church school for children. f. Collecting articles and funds for the needs of the Parish apart from the Divine Services, for the sick, the needy, and the invalid, etc., according to subscription lists issued by the Parish Council and signed by the Rector. g. Assisting the Parish Warden in acquiring and distributing Church and theological literature, and in other needs.
Note 1: For a more successful fulfilment of these responsibilities, a rotation of the sisters may be established. Note 2: While fulfilling their duties in the Chuch during the Divine Services, the sisters must be correspondingly modestly attired with a head cover of the proper form.
II. GOVERNMENT AND MEMBERSHIP
6. Widows, married and unmarried women, who are members of the Parish, and have attained 21 years of age, may be accepted into the Sisterhood with the blessing of the Father Rector, by representation to the Sisterhood Council.
7. The Sisterhood in its activity is subordinate to the Parish Rector, and is under his guidance.
8. The Sisterhood is governed by the Sisterhood Council composed of a Senior Sister, her Assistant and Deputy, the Sister Treasurer, and the Sister Secretary elected once a year by the General Sisterhood Meeting. The Senior Sister is a member of the Parish Council.
9. The General Sisterhood Meeting is called no less than two times in the year. Invitations to such are sent out two weeks in advance with a statement of the agenda. Extraordinary Meetings of the Sisterhood may be called by the Father Rector, or by the Senior Sister with the blessing of the Father Rector. The General Meeting is considered valid when attended by any number of the Sisterhood membership. Those that collaborate with the Sisterhood have a right to an advisory voice at the General Meeting. Elections to the Sisterhood Council conducted at the General Meeting are subject to approval by the Parish Rector, who submits the name of the Senior Sister, as a member of the Parish Council, to the Diocesan Bishop for confirmation.
10. The Sisterhood Council disposes the Sisterhood funds. The Sister Treasurers keeps a record of income and expenditures in a book, confirmed by the signature of the Parish Rector and the Parish Seal according to the form specified by the Rector. Monetary funds of the Sisterhood and the bookkeeping are audited by the Auditing Committee of the Parish. Annual reports, along with the report of the Auditing Committee must be presented to the General Parish Meeting for confirmation.
11. The Book of Minutes of all Sisterhood Meetings and sessions of the Council shall be kept by the Sister Secretary, and is signed by the Senior Sister and the Sister Secretary. A sister may be excluded from the Sisterhood by the Father Rector, as well as by representation of the Sisterhood Council or its General Meeting.
12. Membership dues are established by the General Sisterhood Meeting.
13. The Sisterhood cannot confer honorary titles.
14. Liquidation of the Sisterhood is performed by the Parish Rector with the blessing of the Diocesan Bishop by decision of a General Sisterhood Meeting specifically called for this purpose, and on condition of attendance by two-thirds of the Sisterhood membership.
15. In case of liquidation, all Sisterhood property is transferred to the Parish of which the Sisterhood is a part.
IV. AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS
16. If warranted by local conditions, these bylaws may be amended provided that they shall have been adopted at a General Sisterhood Meeting by a two-thirds majority of those present at the Meeting. At such a meeting, no less than two-thirds of the Sisterhood membership must be present. The proposed text of the amendment must be given in full in notifications sent out two weeks before the General Meeting.
17. Amendments to these Bylaws accepted at the General Sisterhood Meeting go into effect only after ratification by the Diocesan Bishop.
Russian Orthodox Church
of St Nicholas
Phone: 972 529-2754
Priest Seraphim Holland
Snail Mail: 2102 Summit, McKinney TX 75071, USA