When SNS was first founded, it began as a very small activity of the founder (myself) sending out emails to get input and help from like minded folks as they agreed. There wasn’t any kind of organized spiritual community for naturalists, or a practical way to hold “elections”. In addition, the organization would need time to establish its particular vision and grow that community. However, it has always been my goal for SNS to be led by its members.
Over its first few years, SNS has come a long way. We now have a robust membership and a good number of people willing to serve many roles (though we can always use more). This makes holding a vote more practical and important. I look at democratizing SNS as a crucial step in ensuring it will have the broad, shared, and stable support necessary to continue into the future, even as new people come into leadership.
That is why I am happy to announce that the SNS Council voted recently to ratify new by-laws for the organization. These by-laws, among other things, call for an annual Member Vote. The vote will have two parts.
One part will be for Supporting Members (those who make a regular monthly contribution) to vote to affirm or reject anyone running to be on the SNS Council. The Council does not have a set number of seats, so each candidate is affirmed or declined individually by a majority of those Supporting Members voting.
The other part of the vote will be for all members, and will consist of a number of questions whereby members can give their input. These will form an advisory guide for the Council to better serve the membership going forward.
Following the annual vote, the new Council will vote to affirm or select the Executive Director (who heads the staff and reports to the Council). In addition to the Member Vote, the by-laws also amended our mission to enshrine our principles into the by-laws themselves. The complete by-laws can be read at this link.
The first Member Vote will likely be held in late January 2022, but we will announce more details as the schedule is solidified. In the meantime, we are putting out a call for nominations to join the leadership team on the SNS Council. If you or anyone you know of would be interested and fitted to the Council, please let us know you’d like to be nominated to serve!
I look forward to hearing from members about this. Please let us know your thoughts, comments, or questions.
With love and thanks,
Executive Director, SNS
The Spiritual Naturalist Society works to spread awareness of spiritual naturalism as a way of life, develop its thought and practice, and help bring together like-minded practitioners in fellowship.