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  • Sarah Heartsong, MSS

Nature-Centered Interfaith Council

Part of the vision of the TOLIS is to host as an integral part of the function of the TOLIS an Interfaith Council. We will form the Council upon having at least 5 Circles, Groups or Committees affiliated or networked with the TOLIS. We're getting close to starting the Council so I wanted to take a moment to share the vision of this unique opportunity for our Faith Community. Below you will see what it says in our bylaws about the Council, first, though, I want to share why I think this is so important and had to be part of the TOLIS.


As part of the time I spent with the UU Church of Las Cruces, NM, I was able to have the deep privilege to serve as the Campus Ministry Coordinator, which put me on the Interfaith Council of NMSU. While there I had the additional pleasure of serving as the president of that organization. It was a super rich and amazing experience I want to create space so we, the leaders of our programs, can share with one another as part of a regularly scheduled meeting. By pooling our resources, it's my intention to help our community to offer on-going leadership trainings, coordinate our service efforts and support each other, especially those in leadership positions, in times of need and trauma.


Our bylaws state:

A. The Council shall consist of one appointed member from each recognized Circle, Group or Committee of the Sanctuary and will be enacted as soon as there are at least 5 Circles, Groups or Committees recognized. (Already established groups that join the sanctuary join as one member can choose whether or not they want to send representation to the Council.)

B. One member of the Council shall be named as the Chair and shall act as the representative of the Council to the Board of Directors, the Trustee. In the event that the Council Chair cannot attend the Board of Directors meeting they shall name one person from the Council to attend in their stead to act as the Trustee. The Council may have 2 people acting as “co-chairs” if they show they can easily work together in this form of leadership and it proves to be successful. If co-chairs decide to have one or the other step up into the full chair position that can happen at any time during their term.

C. Council shall meet at least 4 times annually to coincide with the Board of Directors meeting, preferably holding their meeting a month to 2 weeks before the Board meets.

D. Minutes will be taken of each Council meeting and will be shared with all the Council members and the Board no less than one week prior to the next Board meeting. The Council can appoint anyone to take these minutes and can request a preview of the minutes before they are distributed to the Board.

E. All Council meetings will be held using consensus as its main order of operation. If consensus cannot be reached then a 2/3 vote will need to be acquired to move forward on any topic.


So... that's the basics. The details will be worked out as part of the "doing". I understand fully that this is a start only and there will be changes as the Work progresses. The bylaws will change through time as will the Vision and Works of the TOLIS as it evolves. We're coming up on our 1 year anniversary of the founding of the TOLIS and have accomplished a lot in this year. Now we get to look forward to next year... the establishment of the Council and hopefully the first major educational, fundraising and networking event... all to be announced as we grow and get organized. It's an exciting time for us at TOLIS! Will you join us? We're looking forward to getting to know what other groups and solitaires are out there seeking connection.


Blessed Be.


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