(including amendments through January 26, 2003)
The undersigned, whose names and post office addresses follow these articles, elected by the members of the Free Spirit Alliance to act as trustees in the name and on behalf of said members, do hereby associate ourselves as incorporators with the intention of forming a religious corporation under the general laws of Maryland.
The name of the corporation, hereinafter called the Corporation, is the Free Spirit Alliance. The Corporation is an association of the individual members of several pantheist congregations and pantheists who are not members of congregations.
The Corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as tax exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding sections of any future federal tax code.
The Corporation's primary function is to provide administrative and technical support to members of the pantheist community in the practice of their faith. This support will not necessarily be limited to members of the Corporation. It will include the following, among other related functions that are consistent with the organization's purposes as described in the previous paragraph.
Resources of the Corporation may not be committed to any cause or activity inconsistent with the Corporation's purpose, as defined in the Third Article, or in violation of the laws of the United States or the State of Maryland. Its funds may not be spent on, and its name will not be associated with, any organization, activity, or cause that would jeopardize its recognition as a religions corporation, exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
No part of the Corporation's earnings may be distributed to its members, except for reasonable compensation paid for service and expenses which benefit the Corporation or an activity consistent with the Corporation's purpose.
Upon dissolution of the Corporation, its assets will first be used to pay its just debts, then distributed to one or more charitable or religious organizations serving humanitarian or environmental causes; provided, however, that any such organization will at that time be recognized as exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or the corresponding section of any future Unites States internal revenue law, or to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose.
Any self-professed pantheist who is at least 18 years old may join the Corporation be paying its annual membership fee, as determined in the Corporation By-Laws, and by registering his/her name and post office address with the Administrative Board. Membership is contingent upon remaining a candidate in good standing for a year and a day; which standing may be revoked by a Corporation business meeting at any time during their candidacy. All members enjoy the following rights:
The Corporation will be represented in all business matters by at least four officers who compose the Administrative Board. These officers are members of the Corporation who are elected by a majority vote at a Corporation business meeting. The term of office is one year. The officers are called President, Vice President, Administrative Secretary, and Financial Secretary.
The Board of Trustees consists of at least four members of the Corporation who are elected by a majority vote at a Corporation business meeting. The Administrative Secretary and Financial Secretary of the Administrative Board are not eligible for election to the Board of Trustees and trustees are not eligible for election to those offices.
A trustee's term of office lasts for as many years as there are trustees (e.g., if there are five trustees, the term of office will be five years.) One trustee's term shall expire during the spring of each year during a regularly scheduled business meeting. The trustee whose term will expire shall be the one who has least recently been elected. The trustees will select among themselves who shall stand for election should any trustees have the same length in office.
The Board of Trustees performs the following duties:
A Corporation business meeting must be held twice a year. If more than one year passes without a Corporation business meeting, the Corporation will be considered dissolved and its assets disposed of according to the Fifth Article. A Corporation business meeting requires a quorum of at least ten members. A simple majority vote decides all issues discussed at a Corporation business meeting, except for amendments to these articles and the Corporation Bylaws These Articles of Incorporation and the Corporation Bylaws can be amended only by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present or represented in proxy at a Corporation business meeting.
(This final article lists the names and addresses of the Corporation resident agent and trustees. The signatures of the four trustees, witnessing the Articles, follow the Tenth Article. The original Articles of Incorporation were dated May 3, 1986)