In order to make available pastoral care to patients and their families at Northeast Georgia Health System, Gainesville, Georgia, (1) in conformance with professionally accepted standards and the patients’ expressed desire, (2) and to promote a good working relationship between the Clergy and the Health System Staff and other Health Care professionals, (3) and to offer a continuing education program for the Clergy, and to (4) encourage Clergy fellowship: we declare and establish this Constitution of the Clergy.
Section A - Criteria for Membership
1. Official designation with ministerial authority as a professional clergy person of a duly constituted congregation or institution serving Hall County or greater Northeast Georgia. If this criterion is not met, reasons for requesting Clergy Staff membership must be presented in writing for Clergy Staff consideration.
2. Completion of an application for Clergy Staff Membership, with references from a church officer or other.
3. Approved by the Executive Committee or its designate.
4. Participation in an orientation seminar.
5. Payment of dues as set by the Executive Committee.
6. Clergy Staff membership may be granted to students and retired ministers serving an interim period with no dues required.
Section B – Loss of Membership
1. Membership ceases when:
a. An individual moves from the area served by Northeast Georgia Health System.
b. Membership criteria are no longer met.
In the event there appears to be a violation of the Clergy Staff Constitution or By-laws the violation will be handled Executive Committee according the Executive Committee’s Discipline Procedure which is published at the end of this document.
Section C – Re-admittance
1. Members who moved away and have returned to the area may reapply for membership. It is required that they read the Clergy handbook and sign a statement that they have read the handbook and agree with the Constitution and By-laws. Returning members are encouraged to attend an orientation meeting when held.
2. Members who have been disciplined and dismissed may reapply for membership after one year. Final acceptance is subject to the Executive Committee.
Organization and Meetings
Section A – Meetings
1. The Clergy Staff shall meet at least annually to conduct business.
2. The Clergy Staff shall meet periodically for continuing education, fellowship and/or other occasions.
Section B – Executive Committee
1. A Clergy Staff Executive Committee shall be elected by the body to carry out the work of the whole during the year.
2. The Committee shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, the Chairpersons from each of the Standing Committees, plus three at large members.
3. The Executive Committee shall meet at least quarterly and at the call of the President.
4. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of four members including at least one officer.
5. The Manager of the Department of Pastoral Care shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.
Section C - Committees
1. Standing Committees
a. There shall be three standing committees. These shall be:
1) Membership Committee: The Membership Committee shall be responsible for:
a) Recruitment of new members
b) Approval of Clergy Staff applications
c) Orientation of new Clergy Staff members
d) Promotion of Fellowship
2) Continuing Education Committee: The Continuing Education Committee shall be responsible for:
a) Plan and implement a Continuing Education Program for the Clergy Staff
b) Establish and promote a good working relationship between the Medical Staff and other Health Care Professionals
3) Volunteer Chaplain Committee: The Volunteer Chaplain Committee shall be responsible for:
a) This committee shall be comprised of Volunteer Chaplains
b) This committee shall oversee and make recommendations concerning the ministry of the Volunteer Chaplain Program
b. Standing Committees shall consist of five members.
c. Standing Committees may submit matters to the Executive committee for consultation, clarification and determination.
d. Standing Committees shall meet at least annually and more often when necessary.
2. Task Force Committees
Task Force Committees may be established by the Clergy Staff or the Executive Committee with membership named by the President, to deal with matters beyond the purview of a single Standing Committee. Such a committee shall cease to exist once the task has been accomplished and reported to the Executive Committee.
Section D – Elections
1. Elections shall take place at the Annual Meeting
2. The President, Vice-President and Secretary shall be elected to a two-year term. An officer may immediately succeed self for only one additional term.
3. All other members of the Executive Committee shall be elected for a full three-year term and may not immediately succeed themselves. If elected to fill an unexpired term they may be elected for a full term immediately after the unexpired term has lapsed. A three-year rotation system shall be utilized.
Section E – Nominating Committee
1. The Nominating Committee shall consist of five members of the Clergy Staff. Two shall be members of the Executive Committee named by the President. The remaining three shall be elected by the Executive Committee at least three months prior to the Annual Meeting.
2. The Nominating Committee shall present a slate of candidates at the Annual Meeting for the positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Chairpersons, of Standing Committees and Committee Members. Nominations may also be made from the floor.
3. Those elected shall assume their responsibilities at the beginning of the new calendar year.
4. To fill a vacancy on the Executive Committee and/or Standing Committees during the year, the President shall make a recommendation to the Executive Committee for their consideration.
5. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President and Vice-President between Annual Meetings, the Executive Committee is empowered to elect an "Acting President" for the remainder of the year, who shall have all the powers of the President.
Relationship to the Northeast Georgia Health System
Department of Pastoral Care
A. The Northeast Georgia Health System Clergy Staff, through its Executive Committee, shall assist, enrich and support the ministries of the Department of Pastoral Care.
B. The Manager of Pastoral Care or the Manager’s designate shall be an advisory member of the Executive Committee and its committees and shall serve as a resource and consultant.
C. The Clergy Staff of the Northeast Georgia Health System shall seek assistance form the Department of Pastoral Care in:
1. Program design, coordination, implementation and evaluation.
2. Publicity of information and materials pertinent to members of the Clergy Staff.
3. Identification of needs for program expansion and modification.
4. Secretarial assistance for the Executive Committee, and maintenance of financial records and attendance at meetings.
5. Implementation of policy decisions of the Hospital Authority of Hall County and the City of Gainesville or the Administration of Northeast Georgia Health System as they pertain to the Clergy Staff.
D. The President of the Clergy Staff shall make a quarterly report of activities to the Pastoral Care Advisory Council of the Northeast Georgia Health System.
Review and Amendments
A. This Constitution shall be reviewed periodically by the Executive Committee in an effort to maintain provisions consistent with the best standards of pastoral care.
B. This Constitution may be altered, amended, or repealed and a new constitution adopted by a vote of the majority of the Clergy Staff present and voting on such action at the Annual Meeting of the Health Care Clergy Staff. Recommended changes shall be published and sent to the membership at least fifteen (15) days prior to the Clergy Staff meeting.