Constitution

1. NAME

he name of the organisation shall be the Baptist Women’s Union of the Pacific (hereafter referred to as the Continental Union). It shall be a Continental Union of the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance (hereafter referred to as the Women’s Department).

2. OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the organization shall be: –

(a) To support and implement the objectives and ideals of the Baptist World Alliance among Baptist women of the world and in particular the South West Pacific

(b) To promote fellowship, deeper sympathy and fuller understanding among Baptist women and in particular the South West Pacific

(c) To encourage and promote the development of women’s leadership at all levels of our Baptist world fellowship and in particular the South West Pacific

(d) To facilitate the exchange of information concerning activities and methods of work in women’s organizations

(e) To promote the worldwide Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer.

3. MEMBERSHIP

The membership of the Continental Union shall consist of women’s organizations associated with any member body of the Baptist World Alliance in the South West Pacific, and nearby areas not associated with another Continental Union.

4. BOUNDARIES

The current Continental Union includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, West Papua and Fiji. Any change in composition shall be in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Women’s Department and approved by the Continental Union Assembly.

5. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

It is preferable that an Executive Officer should have had previous experience in women’s ministry within the Continental Union.

The Executive Officers of the Continental Union shall be:-

  • The President
  • The Vice-President
  • The Secretary
  • The Treasurer

The Executive Officers jointly shall: –

(a) Act for the Ministry Team during the quinquennium when full Ministry Team consultation is not appropriate or possible
(b) Communicate major decisions to other Ministry Team members
(c) Meet as deemed necessary, with expenses allowed when financially possible and approved by a majority of the Ministry Team
(d) Appoint the Nominating Committee
(e) Transact other business as necessary
(f) With the Officers of the Asian Baptist Women’s Continental Union comprise the Women’s Committee of the Asian Baptist Federation

Each Executive Officer must be a member of a church of a member body of the Baptist World Alliance within the Continental Union.

6. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

6.1 President

The President shall be: –

(a) The official representative of the women of the South West Pacific
(b) The liaison person between the women of the South West Pacific, the Asian Baptist Federation, the Women’s Department and the Baptist World Alliance

By virtue of office she is: –

(c) A Vice-President of the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance
(d) A member of the Executive Committee of the Women’s Department and the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance
(e) In accordance with the Women’s Department Bylaws and after consultation with the President of the Asian Women’s Continental Union, either the Chairman or Deputy-Chairman of the Women’s Committee of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation

She reports to: –

(f) The Continental Union Ministry Team, The Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, the Women’s Department and the Continental Union Assembly

Her duties are: –

(g) To convene and preside over the Continental Union Assembly and Ministry Team meetings
(h) To action correspondence as necessary and co-ordinate Continental Union activities
(i) To promote the Day of Prayer and Women’s Department activities
(j) In association with the Continental Union Ministry Team to highlight awareness within the South West Pacific of the ministry of the Women’s Department
(k) To maintain contact with the President of the Asian Women’s Continental Union, and the Secretary of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation
(l) To report to the Continental Union Ministry Team on attendance at meetings of the Baptist World Alliance
(m) To exercise, according to her gifting a pastoral care role and promote a caring and sharing attitude in the work and ministry of the Continental Union
(n) By regular communications to promote a caring and sharing network ministry within the Continental Union
(o) Where possible, to visit each Australian state and each country within the continental union during her term of office.

6.2 Vice-President

The Vice-President shall: –

(a) Carry out the President’s requests and the President’s duties if requested
(b) Promote the activities of the Continental Union and the Women’s Department
(c) Maintain contact with the President and Secretary
(d) Share in the planning of Continental Assembly
(e) Liaise with Ministry Team members to establish which ethnic translations are required for the Day of Prayer and co-ordinate the provision of these from the Women’s Department
(f) Arrange for one Ministry Team member to receive the Day of Prayer reports and to prepare the Continental Union report for circulation to the Ministry Team

6.3 Secretary

The Secretary shall: –

(a) Record and distribute Minutes of all Continental Union meetings and the Continental Assembly
(b) Undertake correspondence and mailings in consultation with the President
(c) Maintain regular contact with the Officers, the Continental Union Ministry Team and the Women’s Department
(d) Prepare and circulate an annual report to the Continental Ministry Team
(e) In co-operation with the President, undertake the administration necessary to plan the Continental Union Assembly
(f) Prepare a written report of the quinquennium to be made available at the Continental Union Assembly
(g) In consultation with the Chairman of the Nominating Committee undertake such correspondence as required in relation to the election of Continental Union Officers and Ministry Team member

6.4 Treasurer

The Treasurer shall: –

(a) Prepare any budgets for approval by the Continental Union Ministry Team
(b) Be responsible for the receipt and disbursement of funds during the quinquennium, forwarding at least on half of the Day of Prayer offering to the Women’s Department as soon as possible
(c) Arrange for an annual audit of all Continental Union finances
(d) Prepare and distribute an annual financial report to the Continental Union Ministry Team and the Women’s Department
(e) In consultation with the Continental Union Officers, manage any investments
(f) Prepare audited accounts of the quinquennium for presentation to the Continental Union Assembly
(g) Close off the books and transfer to the incoming Treasurer within three months of the Continental Union Assembly
(h) Action correspondence as necessary

7. MINISTRY TEAM MEMBERS AND ELECTION PROCESS

Each Continental Union Ministry Team member must be a member of a church of a member body of the Baptist World Alliance within the Continental Union.

The Continental Union Ministry Team shall be composed of: –

(a) The Executive Officers

(b) Representative members: –

  • The leader of the Baptist Women’s Ministry in each state of Australia, who represent that state on the executive of Australian Baptist Women.
  • Three representatives from New Zealand appointed by the National Baptist Women’s organisation in consultation with regional groups
  • Three representatives from Papua New Guinea, (one from each region, the Min people, the Highlands, and the Urban area) appointed by the Baptist Women’s Association of Papua New Guinea
  • Three representative from West Papua, (Coastal Region, Highland Region and the Birds Head Region), appointed by the Baptist Women’s Fellowship of West Papua
  • One representative from Fiji, appointed by the Fiji Baptist Women’s Fellowship
  • One appointed representative each from the official women’s group of any other member body of the Baptist World Alliance within the Continental Union

(c) Ex-officio voting members: –

  • The President of the Baptist women’s organisation of any member body within the Continental Union. Currently: Australian Baptist Women, New Zealand Baptist Women’s Ministries, Baptist Women’s Association of Papua New Guinea, Baptist Women’s Fellowship of West Papua and the Fiji Baptist Women’s Fellowship

(d) and may include one woman appointed by the Ministry Team to perform a specific function other than the positions already described

Each woman who permits her name to be considered for election or appointment to Ministry Team is encouraged to attend the Continental Union Assembly.

8. DUTIES OF MINISTRY TEAM MEMBERS

Each representative shall: –

(a) Act as the liaison person between women in her area, the Women’s Department and the Continental Union
(b) Promote the activities of the Continental Union and the Women’s Department
(c) Maintain regular contact with the President/Secretary and provide an annual report of her promotion of the Continental Union and the Women’s Department, including a Day of Prayer report
(d) Distribute publications from the Continental Union and the Women’s Department and maintain an up-to-date mailing list for her area
(e) Promote the Day of Prayer in her area
(f) Participate in the Continental Union Assembly

9. CONTINENTAL UNION ASSEMBLY

There shall be at least one General Assembly of the Union for fellowship and the transaction of business and elections in the year halfway between the Baptist World Alliance Congresses – the time and place of this meeting to be determined by the Ministry Team of the Union.

The Ministry Team shall meet as deemed necessary.

The Assembly shall be a time of inspiration, training, business and fellowship co-ordinated by the President.

There shall be a meeting of the new Ministry Team at the Continental Union Assembly to discuss finances, publications, Continental Union projects and any other business necessary.

The participants in the Assembly shall be: –

(a) Officers of the Women’s Department
(b) Executive Officers of the Continental Union
(c) Ministry Team members of the Continental Union
(d) A representative from the Asian Baptist Women’s Union.
(e) Women from each women’s organization belonging to a member body of the Baptist World Alliance within the Continental Union
(f) Other invited guests as determined by the Executive Officers
(g) Assistance with expenses shall be offered to Ministry Team members if funding is available

The Assembly shall: –

(h) Elect the Continental Union Executive Officers
(i) Transact any other business as necessary

10. ROLE OF CONTINENTAL UNION NOMINATING COMMITTEE

The Officers shall appoint a Nominating Committee composed of five members of the Continental Union Ministry Team.

The President or her nominee shall serve as the Chairman.

On behalf of the Nominating Committee the Chairman shall: –

(a) Seek from member bodies of the Continental Union, suggestions for Executive Officers. Suggestions shall be forwarded to the Nominating Committee no later than three months prior to the Continental Union Assembly. The geographical location of the Executive Officers shall not be a significant factor as the Committee are seeking the women of God’s choice
(b) Advise member bodies of the Continental Union of the procedure for the appointment of representatives. Names to be forwarded to the Nominating Committee no later than three months prior to the Continental Union Assembly
(c) Request from member bodies of the Continental Union the names of the ex-officio members of the Executive
(d) At the Continental Union Assembly business session, advise the names of the representatives appointed by the member bodies and the ex-officio members.
(e) Recommend the Executive Officers for appointment by the Continental Union Assembly
(f) At the conclusion of the Continental Union Assembly, advise the member bodies of the name of any Ministry Team member from their area. The Executive Director of the Women’s Department and the Secretary of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation also to be advised of the names and addresses of Executive Officers and Ministry Team members, Such advice to be sent within three months of the Continental Union Assembly

11. TERM OF OFFICE FOR ELECTED MINISTRY TEAM MEMBERS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Ministry Team members shall serve for one five-year term, beginning from the conclusion of the Continental Assembly, and continuing until the conclusion of the next Assembly.

No Executive Officer or Ministry Team member shall serve in the same capacity until at least one term has elapsed, other than where a full five year term has not been completed and the Nominating Committee unanimously recommends appointment as an Executive Officer or unanimously endorses the representative nomination forwarded by a member body.

In the case of a position falling vacant between Assemblies, the Executive Officers shall determine the procedure for replacement for the unexpired term.

12. FINANCES

The financial support of the Continental Union shall be derived from the Day of Prayer offerings, individual donations, and other gifts.

All Day of Prayer offerings shall be forwarded in total to the Treasurer who will retain up to one half for the Continental Union and send at least one half to the office of the Women’s Department.

13. PUBLICATION

At the commencement of the quinquennium, the Ministry Team shall determine the procedure for preparation and distribution of any Continental Union publications.

14. AMENDMENTS

The Bylaws may be amended from time to time by the Continental Union Assembly: –

(a) By a majority of those women present, provided that three months notice of the proposed amendment has been given in writing to the Ministry Team and to member bodies of the Continental Union
(b) By a two thirds majority of those women present, if no prior notice has been given
(c) The Bylaws should be reviewed consequent on any changes to the Bylaws of the Women’s Department
(d) Revision of the Bylaws should be done in consultation with the Women’s Department

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