BYLAWS of the PACIFIC COAST ASSOCIATION of the NEW JERUSALEM (SWEDENBORGIAN)
A California Corporation with perpetual existence last amended September 23, 2006.
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this body shall be the “Pacific Coast Association of the New Jerusalem
ARTICLE II. THE OBJECT
The object is to establish in the states of California, Oregon, Washington and other western
states a union of churches and isolated members of the General Convention of the New
Jerusalem in the U.S.A. (aka The Swedenborgian Church), for the performance of religious uses
entrusted to it by them. Among such uses are recognized the following:
Section 1. Mutual consultation upon church uses, and cooperation in helping one another and the
neighbor to know the Lord as He revealed Himself in His second advent through the opened
Word, and to follow Him.
Section 2. To make use of all practical methods of drawing attention to, and encouraging the
study of, the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and to promote living a life of Christian uses as
Section 3. To perform such functions as would further the purposes herein stated.
Section 4. It is understood and herein firmly established that the Association is organized only
for cooperative work by and between members of the churches composing the Association, and
that its uses and powers do not include control over their methods of procedure, or forms of
worship, or conduct of their own affairs, or manner of appointment to the office of their minister
or other officers.
ARTICLE III. ASSOCIATION PROPERTY
The Association as such corporation shall hold in trust as a body corporate such contributions,
bequests, and properties as may be placed in its charge, or as may be received by gift, deed,
device, or otherwise, and make due application of them to the purpose designated by the giver,
or if no such directions are annexed by the giver or donor, such money or property shall be
applied as directed by the Association.
ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The Association membership shall consist of the ministers of the Association, all
members of the churches belonging to the Association and all members-at-large who have been
confirmed in The Swedenborgian Church, but are not affiliated with any member church.
Members-at-large may apply for membership to the President/Presiding Minister of the
Association. A roll of the names and addresses of Members-at-large shall be kept by the
Section 2. All members of the Association shall have the right to sit in its meetings and to take
part in its deliberations; but none other than delegates and ministers of the Association and
members holding office or serving as directors shall be entitled to vote. All members of the
Association shall be eligible to hold office or to be directors.
Section 3. The voting members of the Association shall consist of
(a) Delegates representing churches and other ministries duly recognized by, and
admitted to, the Association;
(b) The active ministers of the Association as defined in Article VI, Sections 1, 2,
(c) Inactive and other ministers of the Association as defined in Article VI,
(d) The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and other members of the
Board of Directors during the terms of their office.
Section 4. By a two-thirds vote of those authorized to vote as defined in Section 3 of this Article,
the vote may be extended to all members who have signed the roll. The right so granted will
persist for the remainder of the session, unless revoked by a majority vote of those authorized to
vote in Section 3 of this Article.
Section 5. Each church and ministry of the Association shall submit a written report to the
annual meeting concerning its statistics and general conditions.
Section 6. Each church shall be entitled to one delegate and to one additional delegate for every
seven members. Members-at-large may have delegates in the same proportion, selected by the
President/Presiding Minister. Such ministers, delegates and officers of the Association shall be
voting members of the Association from the time they are seated at the annual meeting until the
next annual meeting. The credentials of such delegates shall be signed by the President of the
constituent church, or such person as the rules or bylaws of the constituent church may provide.
Each annual meeting shall be the exclusive judge of the regularity of the credentials of the
delegates, and the delegates and such officers and ministers of the Association seated at such
annual meeting shall be conclusively the voting members of the Association until the next
annual meeting of the Association.
Section 7. If there be any intermediate or special meeting of the Association, vacancies in
delegate membership caused by death or resignation may be filled by majority vote at such
special meeting of the Association, in each case from the membership of the church losing the
delegate, to hold until the next annual meeting of the Association. If any church at any annual
meeting shall have appointed fewer delegates than it would be entitled to as representatives
under these bylaws as they fix the ratio of representation, such church at any such intermediate
or special meeting shall be entitled to appoint and have seated at any such meeting additional
delegates not to exceed its full ratio or representatives provided for in these bylaws, and the
delegates so seated shall continue to be voting members of the Association until the next annual
ARTICLE V. QUORUM OF THE ASSOCIATION
A quorum shall consist of one-half of the Association members in attendance, but not less than
ten (10), to transact the business of the Association at the annual meeting or any meeting of the
Association in accordance with these bylaws.
ARTICLE VI. MINISTERS
Section 1. The ministers of the Association shall be those residing within the area of the Pacific
Coast Association who have been ordained by The Swedenborgian Church and are in good
standing in its Council of Ministers, and are serving a member church, the Swedenborgian House
of Studies, the Wayfarers Chapel, or are performing a ministry recognized by the Board of
Section 2. An authorized candidate for the ministry of said Convention while serving in the
capacities of the Association shall have the same status as a minister as outlined in Section 1 of
Section 3. Any authorized lay leader appointed by the President of the General Convention to
serve a church of the Association not having a minister shall have the standing of a delegate. The
standing of such persons shall be separate from the quota allowed the church being served. They
may, by invitation, attend the meetings of the ministers of the Association.
Section 4. A retired minister who has served within the Pacific Coast Association and who
maintains residence within the Pacific Coast Association may continue as a minister of the
ARTICLE VII. OFFICERS AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary,
Treasurer, and three additional board members. These seven constitute the Board of Directors.
They shall be elected at annual meetings of the Association. The term of office shall be three
ARTICLE VIII. THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1. The Board of Directors shall be the legal custodian of the real property and of the
funds of the Association for the use and benefit of the Association. They shall have the right to
change investments and make appropriations of money not provided for in the budget adopted by
the Association. The Directors have all the power of the Association between meetings, except
the power to change the Bylaws, the power to sell real property, and the power to elect officers
and directors. The Board of Directors shall report at each annual meeting of the Association
regarding all monetary activities. The Board of Directors shall present a proposed budget for the
coming year to the Association at the annual meeting.
Section 2. A meeting of the Board of Directors may be held at the call of the President or by any
three (3) directors, stating the time and place of the meeting. Such call shall be in writing and
shall be delivered to the Secretary, who shall mail a written or printed copy or by electronic mail
thereof to each director at least ten (10) days before the date of such meeting. …who shall send
by mail or electronic mail a copy to each director...
Section 3. Any business of the Board of Directors may be transacted without the meeting of such
Board by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board, by mail submitted to the Secretary.
Section 4. A quorum for the meeting of the Board of Directors shall be four. Absent directors
may vote by signed proxy on a specified item.
Section 5. A Board Member who does not attend any Board meetings for a period of 12 months
and who fails to respond appropriately to a written communication from the President may be
deemed, by a majority vote of the Board, to have vacated the office of Board Member.
ARTICLE IX. STANDING COMMITTEES
The Standing Committees of the Association shall be the following:
Section 1. Nominating Committee. The Nominating committee shall consist of three (3)
members to serve for three years each; one to be elected each year from a church or ministry not
already represented on the Committee, and if possible to represent the three geographical areas
(North, Central, and South). It shall be the duty of this Committee to present to the Annual
Meeting one or more nominees for each elective vacancy for officers, board members, and the
Nominating Committee. In selecting the nominees, the Nominating Committee should try to
maintain a balance from the three (3) geographical areas (North, Central, and South), for all
officers, board members, and committee members. Each year the member whose term is next to
expire shall act as chairperson of the Committee.
Section 2. The President shall be elected from among the active ministers of the Association, and
shall be the Presiding Minister. The President may be re-elected for a second three-year term.
The primary duty of the Presiding Minister shall be the spiritual well-being of the Association. It
shall be the duty of the Presiding Minister to preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors
and the Association. The Presiding Minister shall make, certify, sign, execute, or acknowledge,
any paper or instrument as may be required by these bylaws, or by order of the Association, or
by law. The Presiding Minister may appoint committees for particular Association purposes with
the concurrence of the Board of Directors.
Section 3. The Vice-President shall be a lay person. The Vice-President may be reelected for a
second three-year term. The primary duty of the Vice-President is to advise and assist the
Presiding Minister in the business and legal matters of the Association. The Vice President shall
conduct the meetings of the Board and the Association in the absence of the Presiding Minister.
Section 4. The Secretary may be elected for a second three-year term. It shall be the duty of the
Secretary to keep minutes and to sign any order or voucher, paper, or instrument that may be
required by order of the Association, or by these bylaws, or by law, and, where required, to
acknowledge the same.
Section 5. The Treasurer may be elected for a second three-year term. It shall be the duty of the
Treasurer to receive, hold, and have custody of all monies belonging to the Association, and to
pay out such money as may be authorized by the Association by approval of the annual budget,
or as may be authorized by the Board of Directors.
Section 6. No officer having served two consecutive three-year terms may immediately be
elected to the Board, and no Board member having served two consecutive three-year terms may
immediately be elected to office.
Section 7. In the absence of both the President and the Vice President or in the case of the
absence of the Secretary at a meeting of the Association or the Board, the Board of Directors
shall fill such office by ballot protempore. In case of any vacancy in any elective office, the
Board of Directors, by ballot, at a regular or special meeting, or through a vote by mail or
electronic mail, shall elect a successor to hold office until the next regular election held by the
Section 8. The Treasurer shall make payments from the funds of the Association under a
procedure adopted by the Board of Directors.
Section 9. All officers of the Association shall present reports in writing at each annual meeting.
ARTICLE X. ANNUAL MEETINGS
Section 1. The term “annual meeting” whenever used in these Bylaws, shall mean the meeting
designated as the annual meeting of the Association and so designated in its minutes and shall be
held annually between August 1st and November 30th, and shall be held at such time and place
in the states of California, Oregon, Washington or other western state, as may from time to time
be designated by the Board of Directors. Special meetings may be held at the call of the Board of
Directors. No notice of an annual meeting need be published in any newspaper or posted, but
written or printed notice of the time and place of any meeting shall be mailed at least thirty days
before the meeting by the Secretary to the member churches and all ministers of the Association.
Section 2. The Order of Proceedings shall be:
(a) Devotional Opening by Presiding Minister or Designee
(b) Forming Roll of Voting Membership
(c) Approval of Minutes
(d) Reports of Officers and Committees
e) Reports of Churches
(f) Report of Standing Committee Appointments
(h) Election of Officers
(i) Unfinished Business
(j) New Business
This order of Proceedings may be suspended or modified by vote of the Board of Directors or by
vote of the Association members present.
ARTICLE XI. CONVENTION
Section 1. This Association shall maintain membership in the General Convention of the New
Jerusalem in the United States of America (aka The Swedenborgian Church) incorporated in
Illinois, January 1861.
Section 2. The Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Recommendations of the General
Convention shall be consulted by this Association for its guidance in all circumstances to which
they are applicable, and not inconsistent with these Bylaws or the law.
Section 3. The President shall have the power to appoint delegates to the annual convention
meeting of the Swedenborgian Church from a list of members provided by the president or
secretary of each church, and shall have the power to appoint delegates to replace any who are
not present at the Convention meetings. The President shall be chairperson of the Association’s
delegation and may appoint a chairperson pro tem and delegate such power, if unable to be
ARTICLE XII. PARLIAMENTARY RULES
The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Association in
all cases in which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the Bylaws of
the Association or the law.
ARTICLE XIII. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These Bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the Association in any manner
permitted by law, provided that:
(a) The proposed amendment shall have been considered and reworded by the Board of
Directors of the Association, who should refer the proposed amendment to the
Association with their recommendation, either for or against
(b) At least 60 days notice shall be given, either at a previous meeting of the Association,
or by reference to each church, each of which shall give it due publicity. No
amendment shall be invalid because of the neglect of some churches to publicize
it. The requirement of notice may be waived by a 75% vote of the voting
members present. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members voting is required
to pass an amendment.
ARTICLE XIV. DISSOLUTION
In case of dissolution of the Association, all assets shall become the property of the General
Convention of the New Jerusalem in the United States of America (aka The Swedenborgian
Church) incorporated in Illinois, January 1861, provided that first consideration be given to
using such assets for the benefit of Convention-related activities on the West Coast.