SUFI ORDER OF AUSTIN, HEART OF THE MESSAGE CENTER
ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION
as amended 16 September 2000, 15 July 2001,
11 November 2001 and 24 August 2002
ARTICLE I: NAME OF THE ASSOCIATION
The name of the association shall be: Sufi Order of Austin, Heart of the Message Center hereinafter referred to as the “Center”.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE OF THE ASSOCIATION
The sole purpose of this Center shall be to abide by and to further the objects of the Sufi Order (hereinafter referred to as “The Sufi Order International”), incorporated in the United States of America, March 1,1966, in the state of California.
This Center is organized exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, this Center shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities nor exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of section 501(c)(3) purposes.
ARTICLE III: OFFICES
Principal Office: The principal office for the transaction of the business of the Center is hereby designated to be located in the County of Travis, State of Texas. The Board of Directors is hereby granted regular power and authority to establish the specific street address of said office and to change the same from time to time from one location to another in said county.
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP
There shall be two classes of membership in the Center ‑‑ Regular and Associate, as follows:
A. Regular Members: Regular members shall be those who:
1. have been regularly initiated into the Esoteric School, the Healing Order, or Zira’at, pursuant to the Esoteric Rules of The Sufi Order International; or who have been received into the Universal Worship according to the Rules for Universal Worship of The Sufi Order International;
2. live in Travis County or its surrounding environs; and
3. have affiliated with the Center by virtue of their participation in the activities of the Center.
Regular members shall be entitled to vote at general meetings of the Center.
B. Associate Members: The Board of Directors may provide from time to time, on such terms and conditions as it sees fit, for the recognition of a class of interested persons, without voting or other rights, who shall be known as Associates, and who although not regular members in the Center, desire to further its purposes or participate in preparatory instruction or other activities of the Center.
C. Membership may be terminated by resignation or under such rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Board of Directors to deal with conduct deemed improper.
D. In any case in which an individual’s membership status is in question, such case shall be decided by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE V: ESOTERIC RULES OF THE CENTER
A. The esoteric rules of the Center are hereby declared to be those which shall be formally adopted by the Board of Trustees of The Sufi Order International.
B. There shall be an Esoteric Council which shall consist of all regular members of the Center who have been appointed by the President of The Sufi Order International, or by his/her designee, as a Representative or Coordinator or candidate thereof in the Esoteric School; as a Healing Conductor; or as a Zira’at Coordinator; or who have been ordained as a Cherag in the Universal Worship in The Sufi Order International; and who are currently authorized by the President of The Sufi Order International to function in one of the above‑mentioned capacities for the Center; or who are appointed leaders of The Dances of Universal Peace.
The Esoteric Council shall consider issues related to the Esoteric Rules of The Sufi Order International as they apply to the functioning of the Center and shall provide direction and coordination of the various classes and services offered in the Center.
ARTICLE VI: BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
A. There shall be a Board of Directors which shall have the authority to conduct the activities of the Center in conformance with the general policies and restrictions established by the Board of Trustees of The Sufi Order International and the esoteric rules of The Sufi Order International and which shall be responsible for the administration, management and control of all property and assets belonging to the Center. The Board of Directors shall include the following officers from among the regular members of the Center, to wit: Chair, First Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Center Delegate and Member-at-Large.
B. The Chair and First Vice-Chair shall be members of the Esoteric Council and elected by a majority vote of members of the Esoteric Council.
C. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected by a majority vote of the regular members of the Center.
D. The Center Delegate shall be elected by a majority vote of those Center members who are also not on the Center Esoteric Committee.
E. The Member-at-Large shall be elected by a majority vote of the Center members.
F. All terms of service of members of the Coordinating Committee shall be for one year, beginning on January 1 of the year following their election.
ARTICLE VII: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
A. The Chair shall convene and conduct the meetings of the Board of Directors and shall ensure that the business and activities of the Center are conducted in an effective and efficient manner and in accordance with the Spirit of the Sufi Message.
B. The First Vice‑Chair shall assist the Chair in fulfilling the duties described above.
C. The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the books and financial records of the Center and shall be the custodian of funds, receiving and paying same out subject to such controls as may be established by The Sufi Order International and the Board of Directors. In addition, the Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the minutes and records of the Center, including the membership roster and mailing lists maintained for conducting Center activities.
D. The Center Delegate shall actively maintain contact with Center members, shall seek out their opinions, concerns and recommendations concerning Center activities, and shall represent these views in Board of Directors meetings and with individual Center leaders, respecting the wishes of members who wish to remain anonymous. The Center Delegate shall represent the interests of the Center as a whole.
E. The Member-at-Large shall represent the interests of the Center as a whole.
ARTICLE VIII: MEETINGS OF MEMBERS
A. Annual Meeting: The Annual Meeting shall be held at a place designated by the Board of Directors on or about September 13 of each year, beginning with the year 1996.
B. Special Meetings: Special Meetings may be called by the Chair, the Board of Directors, or on the written petition filed with the Center Secretary-Treasurer of not less than twenty percent (20%) of the Regular Members.
C. Quorum and Proxies: The presence, in person or by proxy, of ten percent (10%) of the Regular Members shall constitute a quorum for action.
ARTICLE IX: FINANCES
A. This association is not organized for profit, and no part of the net earnings shall inure to the benefit of any private parties.
B. The Center shall have the power to raise money by means of dues or donations from members or others, as well as the sale of books, pamphlets, or periodicals of a religious character, and/or the sale of other articles related to the purpose of the Center. Dues shall not be levied or increased upon the Regular Members of the Center unless sanctioned at a general meeting of the voting members and approved by the Board of Directors. No funds may be borrowed on behalf of the Center unless sanctioned at a general meeting of the voting members and approved by the Board of Directors.
C. Upon the winding up and dissolution of the association, after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the association, the remaining assets shall be distributed to an organization which has established its tax exempt status under section 501 (C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
ARTICLE X: AMENDMENT TO ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION
These Articles of Association may be amended by two‑thirds of the voting members at any meeting, at which a quorum is present, or they may be amended at any meeting of the Board of Directors by majority vote.
We certify that the foregoing instrument was created by appropriate motions duly made, seconded, and adopted by the unanimous vote of a quorum of the Regular Members entitled to vote.
Hadiya Harlan Batina Sheets
Chair First Chair
Ata’Allah Meacham Fattah St. George
Second Chair Treasurer
Mikail Davenport Noor-un-Nissa Kirksey
Secretary Center Delegate
The following changes to the by-laws, were approved unanimously at a membership meeting on 16 September 2000:
§ Article V, Section B is amended to include "or candidate thereof" after "as a Representative or Coordinator" and before "in the Esoteric School ...."
§ All references to "Sufi Order in the West" are changed to "Sufi Order International" to accord with the change of name of the national organization.
The following changes to the Articles of Incorporation were adopted by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors on 15 July 2001:
§ The responsibilities of Secretary and Treasurer are combined into one office, titled Secretary-Treasurer.
§ The office of Second Vice Chair is abolished.
§ The responsibilities of Center Delegate and Member at Large are combined into one office, titled Center Delegate.
The following changes to the Articles of Incorporation were adopted by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors on 11 November 2001:
§ The office of Member-at-Large is reinstated and added to the list of officers in Article VI, paragraph A.
§ The following paragraph is added to Article VI:
The Member-at-Large shall preferably not be a member of the Esoteric Council and shall be elected by a majority vote of the Center members.
§ The following paragraph is added to Article VII:
The Member-at-Large shall represent the interests of the Center as a whole.
The following changes to the Articles of Incorporation were adopted by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors on 24 August 2002:
§ The requirement that the Center Delegate not be a member of the Esoteric Council is eliminated.
§ The requirement that the Member At Large not be a member of the Esoteric Council is eliminated.
§ The recommendation that the Secretary-Treasurer not be a member of the Esoteric Council is eliminated.
§ The name of the Center Coordinating Committee is changed to "Board of Directors."
§ The name of the Center Esoteric Council is changed to "Esoteric Council."