LC: 38. PROCEDURES FOR MOVING A CHARTER MEMBER TO FELLOW MEMBER STATUS
A. A member's Charter Member status can only be revoked by the continental office if a member violates, contravenes or fails to fulfil the Responsibilities of Individual Members or the "Fundamental Family Rules," and two of the three bodies involved (the Home, the area office, the continental office) agree.
B. Members can be recommended for Fellow Member status by a two-thirds majority of their Home, or by an area or continental office, providing the following procedures are adhered to:
1. For the Home to recommend:
a) The Home officers must first have endeavored through prayer and counsel to help the member to live up to the Responsibilities of Individual Members and the "Fundamental Family Rules." They must inform the member of the way in which he has failed to live up to his responsibilities and what is required of him, and allow reasonable time for compliance. If, after reasonable time, the member fails to comply, the Home officers must inform him that they are recommending to the Home that he be moved to Fellow Member status.
b) The Home officers must clearly explain and show just cause to its voting members why the member is being recommended for Fellow Member status. The matter is to be discussed, with the member in question present if he so chooses, and then voted on by secret ballot.
c) If a two-thirds majority agree with the recommendation, a letter stating the reasons for the recommendation and the outcome of the vote must be sent to the area and continental offices, and a copy given to the member.
d) The office(s) must respond within fourteen days. During this time the member has the right to send a letter of rebuttal to the area and/or continental offices.
2. For an area or continental office to recommend:
a) A two-thirds majority of the officers from the office making the recommendation must agree.
b) The recommending office must write a letter to the member explicitly explaining and showing just cause for the recommendation. A copy of the letter must be sent to the member's Home and all other offices involved. The member has the right to send a letter of rebuttal to the area and/or continental offices.
(1) Upon receipt of a letter recommending one of its members for Fellow Member status, the Home must, within seven days, convene a Home council meeting to discuss the recommendation and vote on the matter by secret ballot. The results of the vote must immediately be sent to the area and continental office and a copy given to the member.
(i) In that Home council meeting, the member is free to present the reasons why he feels he should retain his Charter membership.
(2) If the vote of the Home is to not recommend moving the member to Fellow Member status, the Home's officers must write to the area and continental offices explaining why they feel the member should not be moved to Fellow Member status. The area and continental offices must take the Home's vote into consideration when deciding the matter.
C. For a Charter Member to be moved to Fellow Member status, two of the three bodies (the Home, the area office involved, or the continental office) must agree to revoke the member's Charter Member status.
1. If two of the three bodies agree, the member must receive written notification of his change of status from his continental office.
Moving someone to Fellow Member status can be a difficult situation for everyone involved. Requiring two of the three bodies to agree to the move will hopefully ensure that no one is moved to Fellow Member status unfairly.
Once the decision has been made to move a member to Fellow Member status, the Home should continue to treat the person lovingly and kindly. They are still part of the overall Family and are just moving to a level of discipleship for which they are better suited. An effort should be made to make his or her move as practical and easy as possible.
This also holds true for those who are leaving the Family completely. They are still our Christian brothers and sisters and fellow laborers in His Kingdom, and we should show them genuine love and concern. Dad said, "Are you sitting around in your smug, self-satisfied, self-righteous, holier-than-thou complacency condemning them for straying away and getting lost, cursing them for getting caught in the brambles or by the wolves, and indifferently writing them off as a lost cause because you always knew they were only sour grapes anyhow? Are you like the Good Shepherd, who lovingly seeks to save the lost sheep, or the hireling that's glad to get rid of him as good riddance to bad rubbish, and one less to have to take care of? Which are you, shepherd or hireling? And if they do come back, do you treat them royally, like the Father did the Prodigal Son, or do you resent them, like the Older Brother? Which are you?" (ML #155:67.)
If it is a family, a single parent with children, or a teen leaving, it would be helpful if an effort could be made to help them find a place to stay, or find them an initial landing place of some sort, perhaps with other Fellow Members. This will not be possible in every case, and often the member may not need or want the help, but the point is to be loving and kind to these brethren.
If a case arises in which a Home's members feel that their Home teamwork should be put on Fellow Member status, but find it difficult to bring this up in a Home council meeting, they may write to their area office, which could assist them.
D. Once a member has been notified that he is being recommended for Fellow Member status, the member:
1. Loses his Right of Mobility until the matter is decided.
2. Must be freed from his portion of the Home's debts and liabilities, if indeed he is moved to Fellow Member status.
a) If the member is personally responsible for creating, in whole or in part, debts and/or liabilities due to personally spending or authorizing the spending of funds which were not agreed upon by two-thirds of the Home's voting members, he will retain responsibility for those debts. The amount is to be decided by a two-thirds majority of the Home's voting members.
When a member loses his Charter Member status and becomes a Fellow Member, he normally must be freed from his portion of all debts and liabilities of the Home. Although we are freeing those moving to Fellow Member status of debts and liabilities to help make their transition as easy as possible, we would hope that once a Fellow Member is set up and established, they would want to voluntarily help financially toward their old Home's debts and liabilities.
In the case where the member in question has caused all or part of the debts or liabilities of the Home, through disobedience to the "Fundamental Family Rules," or spending funds without having authorization from the Home, he will still be responsible for all or part of the debt. For example, if the member who is about to become a Fellow Member spent $1,000 on unauthorized international telephone calls, he would not necessarily be freed from that financial obligation.
The amount of obligation that the member in question would have for the debt or liability in such a case would depend on his personal responsibility for the debt. If two members of the Home made a major purchase which put the Home in debt, without prior authorization, the two members would continue to share responsibility for the debt after becoming Fellow Members.
3. Is free to begin fundraising activities to facilitate his potential move if it is decided that he is to be moved to Fellow Member status.
a) A minimum of 50% of the net income generated must be used to facilitate the member's move to a Fellow Member Home or the setting up of their own Fellow Member Home. The amount of funds and time needed to raise these funds can be determined by a two-thirds majority of the Home.
Once a member has been notified that he is being recommended for Fellow Member status, he may begin fundraising to help facilitate his potential move. Remember, it is only a recommendation at this stage that the member be moved to Fellow Member status; he is not yet a Fellow Member.
E. If the member is not moved to Fellow Member status, the member:
1. Regains his Right of Mobility.
2. Must turn in to the Home any funds generated through his fundraising activities, unless he decides to depart from the Home.
a) If the member wishes to depart from the Home, all funds generated through his fundraising activities are first to be used to pay his portion of the Home's debts and liabilities, with any remaining balance to be used to facilitate his move.
F. When a member is moved to Fellow Member status, the Home is responsible to ensure that the departing Fellow Member:
1. Prepares to leave the Home in an orderly fashion by turning over pertinent ministry materials, contacts or other legal material, bank accounts, post office boxes and funds belonging to the Charter Home or the Family, and thoroughly explains his ministries, duties and responsibilities to the appropriate person(s).
2. Only has in his possession publications that Fellow Members are authorized to have, in accordance with the Classifications of Family Membership and Literature, B. 1.)
3. Has had his computer and other personal papers checked and purged.
4. Has a reporting address and related instructions for reporting to the continental office.
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family