Bylaws

Introduction

The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the United States were organized as the Order of Saint Andrew on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 10, 1966 when His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos conferred upon thirty outstanding laymen of the Church the respective Offikion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on behalf of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. This was not a new title or award. Indeed, the history of the various Offikia can be traced back to the Byzantine Empire where the conferring of these titles, by both the Church and the State, originated. The designation of “Archon” itself has an even older lineage, going back to the office of magistrate or even the highest official in the Ancient Greek City States.

Previously, the conferring of the titles had been limited to a very few outstanding laymen who had been able to journey to the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople where the honor was personally bestowed by the Ecumenical Patriarch, a practice that still continues in exceptional cases.

The primary mission of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate / Order of Saint Andrew is to promote and defend the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The spiritual, educational and philanthropic initiatives of the Archons in America are focused on the general well-being of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its institutions, as well as on related religious, educational and philanthropic institutions in the United States.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew approved the Bylaws that follow. They were unanimously approved by the members of the Order of Saint Andrew at their annual meeting of March 8, 2003 and received the blessings of the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. Certain Articles were subsequently amended in accordance with the provisions of Article XII (Amendments). All amendments are noted in the respective Articles.

Preamble

We, the Archons and members (hereinafter “Members”) of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Inc. (hereinafter the “Order”), united in a common bond of love and loyalty to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States, do hereby establish and adopt the following Bylaws of the Order.

Article 1: Purposes and Objectives

The purposes and objectives set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation are reiterated and further articulated as follows:

  1. To inculcate and educate the Faithful of the Orthodox Churches and all citizens in the United States with a deeper insight into the historical role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  2. To assist the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in her task of upholding and defending the canonical authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the United States and its leadership role among the various Orthodox jurisdictions and Orthodox organizations.
  3. To assist the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople by supporting appropriate ecumenical events or activities sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
  4. To support the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and its religious, educational and philanthropic institutions.
  5. To contribute to the support and maintenance of the religious, philanthropic and educational institutions in the United States.
  6. To assist the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to carry out on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople new initiatives of Inter-Orthodox and Inter-Church leadership, especially in the context of the Diaspora in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
  7. To consider and recommend candidates for the Offikion of Archon of the Great Church of Christ, along with their qualifying credentials, to the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch in the United States (hereinafter “Exarch”).

Article 2: Definition, Mission and Obligations of the Members

1. Definition

Members of the Order shall be only those individuals who have been bestowed with the offikion of Archon and are distinguished with the following:

  1. Possess an official document, signed and sealed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople proclaiming them Archons with specific titles and provided further that they continue to remain in good standing with the Orthodox Church in America.
  2. By their actions, have become defenders of the Orthodox Faith; exemplary Orthodox Christian Stewards offering their time, talents and treasures to the Mother Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America or other Orthodox Dioceses in the United States under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; are citizens and residents of the United States, well respected by their fellow citizens and known for their high degree of dignity, morality and upright character; and proclaim, support, participate and practice in the educational and philanthropic activities, as well as the liturgical and sacramental life of their local Orthodox Parishes.

2. Mission

The mission of the members of the Order, in their capacity as Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, shall be to actively support and defend the Mother Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America or other Orthodox Dioceses in the United States under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; provide for and contribute towards the general welfare of the poor, handicapped and disadvantaged; and proclaim, observe and practice devotion, fidelity, obedience and love to the Orthodox Christian Church, its teachings, dogmas, traditions and sacraments through spiritual, educational and philanthropic activities.

3. Obligations

In order to accomplish its sacred Mission, as hereinabove described, the Order must rely upon the active and sustained participation and support of all of its Members. Towards that objective, the Order shall establish the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal to the Members of the Order. Each Member is obligated to promptly respond to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal and contribute in accordance with his conscience and financial ability.

In addition, all Members are obligated to support, by deed and word, additional events and activities, as their elected governing body may, from time to time, proclaim.

4. Expulsion

The National Council (as hereinafter defined), by a vote of two thirds (⅔’s) among those present and voting and with the approval of the Exarch, is hereby empowered to remove from its membership rolls or, depending upon the degree of the transgression, impose lesser sanctions, any Member of the Order who has conducted himself in a manner inconsistent with the principles and objectives of the Order and has deliberately violated these Bylaws or has brought disrepute to the Order; provided, however, that prior to a final determination by the National Council, such Member is afforded an opportunity to appear either in person or by mail before the National Council and rebut any and all accusations made against him. (Amended Oct. 27th, 2007; Oct. 27th, 2018).

Article 3: Offices

The office of the Order shall be in the City of New York, County of New York and State of New York.

Article 4: General Membership Meetings

  1. The Members of the Order shall hold one regular Annual Meeting. The date, time and place for such meeting shall be determined by the National Commander (as hereinafter defined) in consultation with the Exarch. The presence of thirty (30) Members at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Order shall constitute a quorum. Amended (October 27th, 2007).
  2. Whenever necessary, Special Meetings of the Order may be called by the Commander or upon the vote of three quarters (3/4) of all Members of the National Council.
  3. All Meetings of the Order shall be presided by the National Commander and, in his absence or discretion, by the Vice Commander or his designee, and shall be empowered to deal with and act upon all matters affecting the affairs of the Order and pertaining to the accomplishment of its mission and objectives, including its internal management and administration. At such meetings, parliamentary procedure in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed by the presiding officer. These rules shall be applied in a reasonable manner, with due regard to the rights and obligations of the Members.
  4. The Secretary (as hereinafter defined) shall cause to be mailed or emailed to every Member in good standing and at the address appearing on the membership rolls of the Order, by first class mail, a notice stating the date, time and place of the Annual Meeting not later than three (3) weeks before the date of the meeting. Written notice, as hereinabove provided, of any Special Meetings of the Order shall be given not later than seven (7) days before such meeting. No Member shall be allowed to appear at any meeting through a proxy. Amended (Oct. 27th, 2007; Oct. 27th, 2018).

Article 5: National Council

1. Management of the Order

The Board of Directors of the Order shall be known as the National Council and shall consist of not less than twelve (12) and not more than twenty-four (24) members. The Chairman of the National Council shall be known as the National Commander and the Vice Chairman as the National Vice Commander.

2. Election and Term of the National Council Members

Each year, at the Annual Meeting of the Members, one third (1/3) of the National Council members shall be elected. Each member shall serve for a period of three (3) years or until his successor shall have been elected and qualified; subject, however, to the provisions contained herein below regarding resignation or removal.

3. Resignation

A member of the National Council may resign, at any time, by giving written notice to the National Commander.

4. Removal

A member who, without excuse or fair cause or by reason of permanent disability, does not attend three (3) consecutive meetings of the National Council, shall be presumed to have resigned from his office. In such event, the National Secretary shall, by written notice delivered to such member, advise him of such presumption, which shall be deemed irrefutable and conclusive unless, within ten (10) days following receipt of the notice, the offending member presents to the National Commander written representations regarding his absences and requests reinstatement. The National Commander shall, thereupon, present such representations at the next meeting of the National Council, which shall then make a final decision by majority vote of those present and voting. Furthermore, the National Council may, by a unanimous vote of those present and voting and with the approval of the Exarch, remove any of its members who, in the opinion of the Council, is determined to have brought disrepute to the Order, have acted in a manner inconsistent with the principles and objectives of the Order and has deliberately violated these Bylaws; provided, however, that prior to such vote, the accused member is given an opportunity to appear before the National Council for the purpose of rebutting any and all accusations made against him.

5. Vacancies

All vacancies, with the exception of a vacancy created by the permanent disability, resignation or retirement of the National Commander, shall be filled by a majority vote of the National Council at the meeting following the incidence of such vacancy. Members elected to fill any vacancies shall serve the unexpired term of their predecessors.

6. Number of Members

Upon the recommendation of the National Council, its numbers may, from time to time, be increased or decreased in multiples of three (3), by a majority vote at any membership Meeting of the Order.

7. Quorum

A majority of the members of the National Council shall constitute a quorum.

8. Place, Time and Notice of Meetings

The National Council shall hold its meetings at such place and time as the National Commander may, from time to time, designate. There shall be at least six (6) regular meetings each year. Special meetings may be called by the National Commander or by the written request of a majority of the National Council members.

Written notice of regular meetings shall be sent by first class mail or by fax or email signed by the National Commander or by the National Secretary, not later than seven (7) working days before the date of the meeting. Notice of a special meeting may be given by letter, fax, email or telephone, not later than three (3) working days before the meeting. “In the event the exigencies of the moment require immediate action, the National Commander is empowered to call an emergency meeting of the National Council under such circumstances pertaining to notice for the meeting as the National Commander may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, consider appropriate or necessary. In such event, Council Members may appear and participate in the meeting by way of teleconferencing.” Amended (Oct. 21st, 2008)

9. Procedure

Unless otherwise required by law or these Bylaws, all decisions of the National Council shall be made by a simple majority among those members who are present at any regularly called meeting and voting. Members can also participate by telephone and shall be deemed ‘present’ for purposes of determining the existence of a quorum; provided, however, that before any vote is taken by the National Council, the Secretary of the meeting shall determine and confirm the existence of such quorum. No member may be present or act through a proxy. Furthermore, as a condition to remaining in good standing, each calendar year, members residing less than 300 miles from New York City, must personally attend two (2) meetings of the National Council. Those residing more than 300 miles, must personally attend one (1) meeting only. Failure to do so, absent extenuating circumstances, shall result in their removal from the Council, effective January 1st of the year following. At all meetings, parliamentary procedure in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed by the presiding officer. These rules shall be applied in a reasonable manner, with due regard to the rights and obligations of the National Council and its members. Amended (Oct. 21st, 2008 and Oct. 19th, 2019)

Article 6: Election and Term of Officers and Functionaries

The officers of the Order shall be the National Commander, the National Vice Commander, the National Secretary and the National Treasurer.

The National Commander shall be appointed by the Exarch. The remaining officers shall be elected by the National Council at its next regular meeting following the Annual Meeting of the Members of the Order and shall serve for a period of one (1) year or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified. At the same meeting, the National Council shall elect a Legal Counselor, a Historian, a Sergeant at Arms and an Assistant Treasurer who shall serve for a period of one (1) year or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified. Amended (October 27th, 2007 and October 31, 2009)

Article 7: Duties and Responsibilities of Officers and Functionaries

1. National Commander

The National Commander shall be the chief executive officer of the Order; he shall preside at all meetings of the Members of the Order and of the National Council; he shall have the responsibility for the general management of the affairs of the Order and shall see that all resolutions and decisions of the National Council and of the meetings of the Members are carried out; he shall propose and make such recommendations to the National Council and to the meetings of the Members as, in his opinion, shall serve to promote and carry out the principles, purposes and objectives of the Order and of these Bylaws; he shall follow and supervise the work of all Committees; he shall appoint Regional Commanders; he shall appoint the Chairmen of all Committees, as well as their members thereof, subject, however, to prior consultation with the appointed Chairmen; and he shall serve as an ex officio member of all Committees, except the Audit and Nominating Committees.

2. National Vice Commander

During the absence or temporary disability of the National Commander, the National Vice Commander shall exercise the powers and functions of the National Commander. In addition, he shall perform such further duties and assume such further responsibilities, as the National Commander or the National Council may, from time to time, entrust upon him.

3. National Treasurer

The National Treasurer shall have the care and custody of all the funds and securities of the Order and shall receive and deposit said funds in the name of the Order, in such bank or trust company as the National Council may approve. All checks, drafts, notes, wire transfers and orders for the payment of money shall be prepared by the National Treasurer and signed by two (2) officers of the National Council. Except for expenditures relating to the implementation of projects, events and affairs previously approved by the National Council, all other expenditures exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or such other amount as the National Council may, from time to time approve, shall require the approval of the National Council. Upon written application made to the office of the Order, the National Treasurer shall exhibit the books and accounts of the Order to any Member of the Order during regular business hours. At the end of each fiscal year, the National Treasurer shall submit to an audit the accounts of the Order to be carried out by the Audit Committee, as hereinafter provided. The Audit Committee’s report shall be presented in writing to the National Council and to the Members of the Order at the Annual Meeting, along with the annual balance sheet and the Treasurer’s statement of the financial condition of the Order. Amended (Oct. 19th, 2019)

4. National Secretary

The National Secretary shall:

  1. Attend all meetings of the National Council and of the Members of the Order and shall record all proceedings and keep all minutes thereof;
  2. Have custody of the seal of the Order and shall affix and attest the same to documents when duly authorized by the National Council;
  3. Attend to the service of all notices for meetings of the Members of the Order and of the National Council and shall have charge of such books and records as the National Council may direct;
  4. Attend to such correspondence as may be assigned to him and perform all the duties incidental to this office; and
  5. Keep a membership roll containing the names, alphabetically arranged, of all persons who are Members of the Order, showing their places of residence, their titles and the time when they became Members. The office of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in New York shall serve as the address of the Order and the depository of all of its records.

5. Legal Counselor

The Legal Counselor shall be the legal officer of the Order and shall advise the Members of the Order, as well as the officers and members of the National Council, on all matters of law involving the Order. In addition, he shall serve as the parliamentarian at all meetings of the National Council and of the Members of the Order. The Legal Counselor must be an Archon and an attorney licensed to practice in one or more of the States of the United States who remains in good standing at all times. The Legal Counselor need not necessarily be a member of the National Council. He shall discharge the duties of his office pro bono.

6. Historian

The Historian shall advise the National Council and the Members of the Order on the advisability of publishing materials or sponsoring events consistent with the historical integrity of the Order and, when requested, shall undertake the responsibility of implementing those recommendations. The Historian shall be a scholar who specializes in Orthodox Church and Byzantine history. The Historian must be an Archon, but not necessarily a member of the National Council.

7. Sergeant at Arms

The Sergeant at Arms shall be responsible for the observance and maintenance of proper order and for the preservation of decorum as may be requested by the presiding officer at any meeting of the Members and of the National Council. The Sergeant at Arms shall also assist the presiding officer and/or the secretary in verifying Archon attendance and in voting procedures at any meeting of the Members or of the National Council. Finally, he shall provide logistical support and be responsible for the organization and implementation of events, pilgrimages and public projects sponsored by the Order. The Sergeant at Arms must be an Archon, but not necessarily a member of the National Counsel. Amended (October 27th, 2007)

8. Assistant Treasurer

The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer in his duties and perform the same in his absence. He will be responsible for the preparation of accrual basis financial statements and schedules with appropriate footnote disclosures. Amended (October 31, 2009)

9. Regional Commanders

The National Commander, following the election of the National Council officers, shall appoint Regional Commanders to serve for a period of one (1) year. Each Regional Commander shall receive from the Secretary a record of the names and addresses of all Archons residing in his region and shall serve as the representative of the National Council in such region. He shall maintain frequent communications with his Archons for the purpose of promoting, observing and carrying out the purposes, objectives and principles of the Order. Towards those objectives, and after consultation with the National Commander, he shall convene reunions or assemblages of the Archons in his region, in the course of which they may also perform such duties and exercise such initiatives as are assigned to them by the National Council. In addition, he shall maintain regular communications with and report to the National Commander with regard to his activities in the region.

Furthermore, on the name day of the Order’s patron saint, Saint Andrew the Apostle, as well as on the Sunday of Orthodoxy and on the name day of his local parish, he shall organize church observances and receptions by Archons of his region and shall work towards full participation by all Archons residing therein.

It is hereby recognized and acknowledged that an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is a lay official of the Church. As such, he is expected to conduct himself with a profound appreciation of his office and practice his Orthodox faith with exemplary devotion to the educational, philanthropic, sacramental and liturgical aspects of the Church. By the same token, he is entitled to be recognized by his local parish and be given a place of honor in the Church. On special feast days, such as the Nativity of the Lord, Holy Friday, Pascha, the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, the feast days of Saint Andrew the Apostle and of his local parish, as well as on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, he must wear his emblems of office and participate with his fellow parishioners in all church services. It is the responsibility of the Regional Commanders, in consultation with the Parish Priests and Councils, to see that the above functions and obligations are duly observed.

10. Executive Committee

The officers of the National Council shall constitute the Executive Committee. Between meetings of the National Council, the Executive Committee shall have general charge and supervision of the affairs of the Order. During such periods, the National Commander may, at his discretion and as needs might require, convene the Executive Committee for the purpose of considering, approving and carrying out, for the benefit and best interests of the Order, such actions as the exigencies of the moment might dictate. The National Commander shall report all activities and interim decisions of the Executive Committee at the next meeting of the National Council. (Amended Oct. 27th, 2018).

Article 8: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year for the Order shall be the calendar year.

Article 9: Committees

The Order shall have seventeen (17) standing Committees, as set forth herein below. The Chairman and all members of each Committee shall be appointed by the National Commander shortly after the election of the National Council officers and shall serve for a period of one (1) year. There shall be no less than three (3) members in each Committee.

1. Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee shall be responsible for considering and proposing to the National Council at a meeting prior to the Annual Meeting of the Order, Archons constituting one-third (a) of the National Council membership to fill the vacancies created in the National Council each year. The candidates for election may or may not be incumbent National Council members. In the absence of extraordinary service and contributions by an incumbent member, the Nominating Committee should strive to recommend Archons who will bring renewed energy and new ideas to the National Council. The proposals of the Nominating Committee should be given full faith and credit by the National Council which, however, shall have the ultimate responsibility to vote and pass upon the final slate of such candidates for election to the National Council. The Chairman of the Nominating Committee shall submit the slate of candidates, approved by the National Council, to the Annual Meeting of the Order for ratification.

2. Audit Committee

At the end of each fiscal year, an Audit Committee (excluding all officers) shall be appointed to assist and oversee an independent audit of the books and records of the Order. The Committee shall inspect all financial data, checks, invoices and other books and records of the Order and thereafter prepare and submit its findings to the National Council and the Annual Meeting of the Order.

3. Committee to Recommend New Archons

Following the Annual Meeting of the Order, a Committee shall be appointed to screen, investigate, consider, review and, after consulting with the local Metropolitan and having the approval of the Exarch, recommend to the National Council, candidates for investiture as Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. An application for consideration by the Committee must be endorsed by two Archons of the Order and the Committee must be further fully satisfied that each candidate possesses the following qualifications:

  1. Citizen and permanent resident of the United States.
  2. A practicing and devout Orthodox Christian and a member in good standing of his local Church.
  3. He has demonstrated love, devotion and support to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its institutions.
  4. By his deeds and record, has demonstrated support, devotion and sustained service to his local parish.
  5. Has never been convicted of any crime and enjoys the unqualified respect and high regard of his fellow parishioners.
  6. Has demonstrated leadership qualities and achieved success in his chosen field of endeavor.
  7. At all times has comported himself with a high degree of dignity and in a manner consistent with the mission of the Order and the purposes and objectives contained in these Bylaws.
  8. Following his investiture, he shall become a vibrant and enthusiastic Member of the Order, who will respond in a positive way to the appeals of his Regional Commander and of the National Council.
  9. Generally, his investiture would be a credit to the Order and a positive influence in the accomplishment of the Order’s purposes and objectives.

In recommending new Archons, the Committee must be sparing and exercise great care and discretion. It is recommended that a quota of no more than twenty-two (22) new Archons be observed for investiture each year.

4. Annual Banquet

A Committee shall be appointed to organize and carry out the annual banquet and related activities of the Order during the weekend of the new Archons investiture.

5. Finance

A Committee, including the Treasurer as its Chairman, shall be appointed to review, prepare and submit to the National Council at the beginning of each fiscal year, an annual budget. The Committee shall also ensure that the Order maintains proper financial records in accordance with commonly accepted business standards.

6. Honors and Awards

A Committee shall be appointed to review, consider and recommend to the National Council names of retiring officers or members of the National Council, retiring Regional Commanders or other Archons who, in the opinion of the Committee, merit special recognition in the manner set forth in Article X hereinbelow. The criteria for recommending individuals to receive honorary titles shall be long, exceptional and extraordinary service to the Order, to the local parish of such Archon and to the community where he lives, as well as personal contributions and sacrifices above and beyond all expectations.

7. Communications

This Committee shall develop, update and maintain the Order’s website. In addition, it shall consider and implement ways and means to fully utilize, for the benefit of the Order, the Internet’s vast potential, as well as other means of social media and visual and audio communication for the purpose of disseminating and propagating the mission and objectives of the Order.

8. Spirituality Committee

The responsibilities of this Committee shall be to develop programs and initiatives for the enrichment of the Archons’ spiritual life and thus assist them in leading a Christ-like life closer to Orthodox faith.

9. Pilgrimage Committee

This Committee shall be responsible for planning, organizing and carrying out pilgrimages to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

10. Religious Freedom Committee

The Committee’s functions shall include, but shall not be limited to, exploring, organizing and implementing ways and means to promote religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and for all foundations, institutions and schools under its jurisdiction. In the pursuit of this objective, the Committee may use, either directly or through third parties, any and all forms of available communications, such as mass and social media, electronic devices, publications, personal contacts and contacts to elected or public officials. In this regard, the Committee shall be free to utilize all legal means to pursue, propagate and advance its message for the purpose of accomplishing its ultimate goal, i.e. religious freedom, in the broadest sense, for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and for all religious institutions, foundations and schools under its jurisdiction.

11. Legal Committee

The Legal Committee is entrusted with the responsibility of providing legal advice to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and all religious institutions under the Patriarchate’s jurisdiction. In addition, the Committee shall be responsible to seek ways and means to attain and secure legal redress for any and all violations committed, either directly or indirectly, by the Turkish authorities, to the human rights and to the free, unencumbered exercise of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s domestic and international ministries. The Legal Committee, with the consent and support of the National Commander, may also establish one or more sub-committees for the purpose of promoting and carrying out the foregoing objectives.

12. Regional Commanders Liaison Committee

The function of this Committee shall be as follows:

  1. The coordination of three (3) telephone conference calls per year for bidirectional dialogue between the National Council and the Regional Commanders. These calls will provide the opportunity to receive guidance from the National Council, as well as, serve to disseminate information from the national level directly to the local Archon membership through their Regional Commanders. It will also serve to bring the questions and concerns of the local Archons directly to the National Council. The ultimate goal shall be for every Archon in America to be involved, well informed, and excited about their responsibility to share the message of the Order and ultimately of the Mother Church.
  2. To assist Regional Commanders in developing an “Annual Archon Event” in their region so as to increase awareness of the issues concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate. At this event, the National Commander and National Council members would be invited.
  3. To promote and follow-up on National Council Programs and Events. (Exarch’s Appeal, Athenagoras Banquet, Bouras Dinner, International Religious Freedom Conference, etc.).

13. Exarch's Appeal Committee

The Committee’s objective shall be to seek the broadest possible participation and most generous contributions to the annual Exarch’s Appeal by all Archons and members of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle.

In doing so, the Committee shall be free to utilize such means and such ways as it may consider appropriate and most effective, including, but not limited to personal contacts and communications by mail, electronically or otherwise, written promotions and the public acknowledgments of all contributors by name, amounts contributed and means of payment. Subject to the approval of the National Council, the Committee may also retain a paid coordinator, secretary or other part time employee to assist the Committee in attaining its assigned objectives.

14. Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship

This Committee shall consider, evaluate and recommend each year to the National Council the recipient of the Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Stewardship. The candidate for this Award must be an Archon who, by his conduct, unique and exemplary service to the Order, outstanding Orthodox Christian qualities and relentless commitment to the welfare of his fellow Christians, has exemplified the values and qualities of the Archon after whose name this Award was established

In addition, the Committee may recommend to the National Council conferring the honorary title of “Emeritus” to any retiring officer, functionary or member of the National Council, retired Regional Commander or other Archon. A vote of three fourths (3/4) among those present and voting at a regularly called meeting of the National Council shall be required for adoption of the Committee’s recommendations. The criteria for recommending Archons to receive this honorary title shall be long, exceptional and extraordinary service to the Order, to the local parish of such Archon and to the community where he lives, as well as personal contributions and sacrifices above and beyond all expectations. An honorary officer or honorary member of the National Council shall be entitled to attend all meetings without voting powers.

15. Grants Committee

The Grants Committee reviews and submits recommendations to the National Council on all grant funding solicitations made to the Order, other than those requested by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and their integrated affiliates. Upon receipt of a grand funding solicitation, the Grants Committee evaluates and determines eligibility under the Committee’s Criteria for Charitable Contributions. In the event the Committee concludes the grant solicitation is eligible, it shall report its recommendations to the National Council which will decide whether the grant funding should be awarded.

16. Bylaws

This Committee shall receive, review and consider any and all amendments to the Bylaws proposed or submitted to the National Council or any of its officers or members. Based upon its review and analysis, the Committee shall submit its recommendations to the National Council for further action. From time to time, the Committee may also, on its own initiative, consider and recommend to the National Council, amendments which, in the Committee’s opinion, would further clarify, enhance or implement the objectives and spirit sought and intended by these Bylaws.

Ad Hoc Committees

The National Commander may, from time to time as conditions require, appoint such ad hoc Committees as he, in the exercise of his discretion, considers appropriate or necessary to serve the best interests of the Order. (Amended Oct. 27th, 2018).

Article 10: Honors and Awards

The National Council may, at the recommendation of the Honors and Awards Committee, confer the honorary title of “Emeritus” to any retiring officer or member of the National Council, retiring Regional Commander or other Archon by a vote of three fourths (3/4) among those present and voting at a regularly called meeting. An honorary officer or honorary member of the National Council shall be entitled to attend all meetings without voting powers.

In addition, based on the recommendations of the Honors and Awards Committee, the National Council may establish annual Awards and Crosses of Merit or other indicia of merit, in order to recognize and honor Archons, as well as other outstanding Orthodox Christians, who have distinguished themselves with exemplary service to the Order and unique contributions towards the welfare of their fellow Christians.

Article 11: Affirmation

At the time of their investiture, all Archon candidates shall make the following affirmation before the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch in the United States:

I do solemnly affirm that I shall live and worship according to my Orthodox Christian Faith, always respecting and obeying the Holy Cannons and Holy Traditions of the Orthodox Christian Church, and that I will always defend and promote the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople through my support and observance of the principles, objectives and purposes of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle.

Article 12: Amendments

Subject to the prior written approval by the Exarch, these Bylaws may be amended by the vote of two-thirds (b) of all Members attending a regularly called General or Specially called meeting of the Order; provided, however, that the text of each proposed amendment shall be mailed, by first class mail, to each Member of the Order, not later than fifteen (15) days before the convening of such meeting.