Constitution & OI Guidelines

Anand Kaaraj 101
Anand Kaaraj (101)

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To view the Operational Instructions click here.

CONSTITUTION OF SIKH GURDWARA
(Original: Effective from Feb 5, 1995, amended on March 11, 2012)

1.0 GENERAL

SIKH GURDWARA, here after referred to as ‘Gurdwara’ is a place of worship registered as an Ecclesiastical Corporation (Church) with the State of Michigan (USA). It holds religious services for followers of the Sikh religion. The address of the Gurdwara is: 271 W. Auburn Road, Rochester Hills, MI – 48307

1.1 Purpose of Constitution

Purpose of this constitution is to form a lawful organization to run the Gurdwara in accordance with the Sikh Principles.

1.2 Objectives of the Gurdwara

(1) Weekly Congregations
To hold congregations (Divans) for the Sikh Sangat at least once a week, on every Sunday, and on other days of the week as well, as and when desired.

(2) Advancement of Sikh Religion
To perform various duties and functions for the advancement of Sikh religion, including all kinds of activities required to preserve and promote the tenets of Sikhism and interests of its followers. In particular, the Gurdwara has a duty to preserve the sanctity and integrity of the Holy Scriptures (Guru Granth Sahib) and must take prompt and firm action necessary to preserve the sanctity and integrity of the Guru Granth Sahib under the existing US laws.

(3) Code of Conduct / Conflict Resolution
To be a religious organization of the Sikhs which exhibits highest religious, moral, and ethical standards in accordance with the Rehat Maryada (Code of Conduct) prescribed by Akal Takhat, Amritsar. All religious and political differences arising in the Gurdwara must be referred to the Punj Pyaare (Conflict Resolution Committee of Five per section 6 of this Constitution) whose decision is final and binding. Depending on the severity of the problem, the Conflict Resolution Committee, in turn, may at its sole discretion, refer the issues to Akal Takhat, Amritsar for their resolution.

(4) Advancement of Sikh Community
To take steps for the betterment and advancement of the Sikh community and help its members to adjust themselves in and contribute to the US society, without compromising their religious values, beliefs and identity in any way or form. The Gurdwara has the obligation of helping the Sikhs wear their religious symbols, namely the five Ks (Kakaars) in the US institutions. Should any problem be reported by anyone in wearing the Kakaars, the Executive Committee is bound by this constitution to act upon it and take up the issues on behalf of the Gurdwara with the institutions/authorities reported against; and continue taking action until the concerned authorities agree and make the necessary amends.

(5) Teaching of Gurmat
To organize the teaching of Gurmat (Gurmukhi script, Punjabi language, Kirtan, and Gurbani Paath) to the Sikh youth, and if possible to the Adults as well.

(6) Amrit Sanchar (Sikh Baptism)
To arrange Amrit-Sanchar (Sikh Baptism) for the Sangat (congregation) preferably once every year. In case any other Sikh Institution, within the Metropolitan area organizes Amrit-Sanchar, this Gurdwara would offer full co-operation and support to it; and need not organize its own Amrit-Sanchar during that year.

1.3 Gurdwara Premises

(1) The Gurdwara building is open to every person who abides by the order and discipline applicable to a Sikh Gurdwara. Some of the forbidden things are cigarettes, tobacco products, alcohol, meat products, and drugs. Shoes must be removed at the specified place and the head must be kept covered at all times (including while eating the Langar)

(2) The Gurdwara building is available to any Sikh for conducting a private ceremony performed under the rules of Gurmat (Guru’s discipline). Some of the ceremonies allowed are Kirtan, Paath, Anand Kaaraj (Wedding), Dastar Bandi, Naam Karan, Seminars and Lectures about Sikh Religion or about issues concerning the Sikh Religion

(3) No member of the Sangat is allowed to use the Gurdwara Building for personal business or entertainment. Nor is the Gurdwara a meeting place to settle personal differences. The Gurdwara is the home of the Guru and must be treated with utmost respect. Any one committing an offence that can bring disrespect toward the Gurdwara or to the Sikh community in general can be requested to stand up before the Sangat and apologize for his/her conduct. Failing this the Punj Pyaare (Conflict Resolution Committee of Five) may cancel his/her membership and even disallow his/her entry into the Gurdwara for up to two years.

1.4 Correlation and brief role summary of various committees

(1) General membership is the core of the organization; therefore, no policy decision can be made without the full disclosure to the General Membership.

(2) Role of Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee members is to protect the assets and constitution of Sikh Gurdwara and to develop future financial and growth policies.

(3) Role of Punj Pyaare (Conflict Resolution Committee) is to resolve all the conflicts coming before it using the Sikh Principles and interpret the Sikh Philosophy based upon the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

(4) Role of Selection Committee is to select members of various committees as per this constitution.

(5) Role of Executive Committee is to execute the functioning and program of Sikh Gurdwara according to this constitution.

(6) Role of Working Committee is to perform specific functions (e.g. Langar Organization) with the help of Executive Committee and/or the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee according to this constitution.

2.0 REGISTERED MEMBERS

2.1 Qualifications

Any Sikh, 18 years or older, who plans to attend the Services of SIKH GURDWARA on a regular basis and is legally permitted to register in the US as a member of a religious organization, is eligible to become its Registered Member. There is no membership fee, and the city or state of residence is not important; but his/her attendance on a regular basis is. To become a Registered Member, each applicant shall sign the necessary Membership Form (shown in Appendix A), and give it to any current
member of the Executive Committee. The signed Membership Form MUST be submitted in person.

By signing the form, the applicant pledges his/her commitment to the advancement of SIKH GURDWARA and promises to participate in any service required to keep the Gurdwara property clean and in order. Every qualifying member of the same family can each become a Registered Member.

2.2 Term of membership

Term of membership is for life. The membership may be terminated for the following reasons: the registered member is deceased, the member requests to remove his/her name, the member moves and regular attendance is not possible, or membership is revoked by Punj Pyaare as a disciplinary action.

2A.0 GURDWARA ASSETS PROTECTION COMMITTEE (GAPC)

2A.1 Common Duties of Every Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee Member

(1) Assure that the assets of Gurdwara are fully protected by approving or rejecting any sale/lease/rent/donation of the property of Sikh Gurdwara. The proposal of all such activity shall be brought by the Executive Committee through documented (as per constitution) decision process to the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee for approval; All such requests shall require unanimous approval by all the GAPC members;

(2) Protecting this Constitution of Gurdwara as per clause 11.0 of this constitution;

(3) Select a spokesperson (Bulaaraa) of the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee;

(4) All budget requests shall require unanimous approval by the GAPC members:

(5) Each member will participate in cleaning the Gurdwara at least once in two months as a Kaar Seva.

Note: Selection Committee shall select a qualified person for each of the 7 positions listed in Section 2A.2 below. However, each position holder may seek support from other members of the GAPC to perform his/her duties effectively. For smooth operation and better efficiency, roles of the GAPC members can be switched if approved unanimously by the GAPC and the Selection Committee. This change should be properly documented.

2A.2 Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee Members

The Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee (GAPC) is a committee of seven members, created to protect the Gurdwara’s assets and this constitution of Sikh Gurdwara. All Members of the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee Members shall be appointed by the Selection Committee from among Registered Members.

The Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee shall consist of the following seven members to perform their specific duties as listed below:

(1) Spokeperson (Bulaaraa)

(a) Convey the decisions of GAPC to Sangat and Executive Committee. He/She will be the only GAPC member who will communicate with / announce to the Sangat during a Divan.

(b) Approach Selection Committee in case there is a vacancy created in GAPC

(c) Convene GAPC meetings

(2) Finance/Budget Planner

(a) To do long term financial planning and the execution of policy setting of
Gurdwara assets

(b) Get all the budgets approved from all the GAPC members

(3) Internal Finance Auditor

(a) Ensure semiannual and annual audits are performed on time (by September 30 and by March 31).

(4) Records Keeper

(a) Ensure all legal records are maintained and safeguarded

(b) Maintain records including Membership Forms of Registered Members of SIKH GURDWARA

(5) Fund Raising Coordinator

(a) Responsible for carrying out fund raising activity for the Gurdwara. The
Executive Committee’s President will support this activity. But the primary
responsibility is of GAPC’s Fund Raising Coordinator. He/She can seek help
from other members of GAPC as well as Sangat members for this activity.

(6) Committees Formation & Transition Coordinator

(a) Ensure the smooth transition of responsibilities from outgoing Executive Committee to incoming Executive Committee

(b) Ensure that the selection of members of different committees is carried on as per the constitution

(c) Ensure timely formation of Selection Committee and Executive Committee

(d) He/she will carry out the above responsibilities by interfacing with members of various incoming and outgoing committees, without actually attending the Selection Committee meetings.

(7) Kitchen Coordinator

(a) Ensure that all Kitchen and Food inspection standards of the City of Rochester Hills, Michigan are met and maintained at all time. Will be the primary contact person in case the city inspector visits the Gurdwara for food/Kitchen inspection and/or issues a list of violations.

2A.3 Qualifications of the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee Members

Spokesperson (Bulaaraa) must be a practicing Amritdhari Sikh (A Baptized Sikh, who believes in Sikh Gurus and Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct)) as he/she will need to convey GAPC’s decisions to Sangat/Executive Committee. For other members, if suitable Amritdhari Sikhs are not available, then the Selection Committee can select non-Amritdhari Sikhs also.

(1) Must be a legal resident of USA and have a strong belief in the objectives of this constitution. Must also be a registered member for the last two consecutive years;

(2) Must have a track record of dedicated service towards the well-being of Gurdwara Sahib exhibited by providing consistent financial support and volunteer service in the Gurdwara;

(3) Must be a team oriented person;
(4) Must be unselfish; and willing to step down for the good of Gurdwara;
(5) Must be prepared to work as a servant (Sevadar) of the Gurdwara strictly on a voluntary basis (with no monetary compensation);
(6) Must be of sound mind and proven integrity;
If qualified, can be a member of any other committee of Gurdwara, at the same time, except Executive Committee;

2A.4 Term of membership
Term of the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee member is for a minimum of ten years (starting and ending on Vaisakhi Divan) or, till the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee member is either deceased, or the member requests to remove his/her name, or membership is revoked by Punj Pyaare as a disciplinary action.

Members of the first seven member Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee shall retire in the alphabetical order of their first names (in English) starting in 2022. All Subsequent members shall retire in the order in which they join this committee. Only one member will retire every two year.

2A.5 Confirmation of Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee Members

Once the list of all nominees is finalized, the Selection Committee Bulaaraa (spokesperson) would convey all the names to the Sangat during a Sunday Divan for confirmation (See Sec. 8.0).

3.0 SELECTION COMMITTEE

3.1 Selection Committee Members

The Selection Committee shall consist of six members selected from among the Registered Members (as described in Section 3.5).
A Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee member, if qualified, may be a member of this committee.

3.2 Duties of the Selection Committee

(1) With the help of Executive Committee, nominate unanimously first seven members
of the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee and their replacements thereafter;

(2) Nominate members for the Executive Committee;

(3) Nominate members for the Conflict Resolution Committee of Five (Punj Pyaare);

(4) Nominate working committee members (e.g., coordinators for Langar & Parshad,
Repair & Maintenance, Public Communication and Education etc.);

(5) In case a vacancy occurs in any committee due to either a member decides to
resign or is deceased or is removed by the Punj Payaare as a disciplinary action for
some reason, nominate a suitable person to fill it for the remainder of the term;

(6) Help Executive Committee to prepare and propose any amendment if required in
this constitution;

(7) Ensure that only one person from a nucleus family can be nominated to become a
member of the same committee except the working committee; Members of the
same nucleus family can individually become members of 2 different committees
(e.g. Husband in Executive Committee and Wife in Selection Committee is allowed);

(8) Ensure that a person holding any office / management position in another
Gurdwara (other than SIKH GURDWARA, MICHIGAN) organization shall not
become a member of any of the committees with the exception of working
committee.

(9) With mutual agreement with the Executive Committee members, suitable members
of the Selection Committee can perform the role of any Executive Committee
member on a temporary basis during his/her (Executive Committee member’s)
short-term absence/indisposition.

(10)Nominate one of its members as a Bulaaraa (spokesperson) to communicate its
decisions to the Sangat on its behalf.

Note: There is no restriction on the number of terms one can serve for as a member of any of the Sikh Gurdwara committees.

3.3 Qualifications for members of the Selection Committee

Members of the Selection Committee would represent the commitment of the Gurdwara towards Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct). Therefore, each and every member of the Selection Committee MUST:

(1) Be a practicing Amritdhari Sikh. (A Baptized Sikh, who believes in Sikh Gurus and
Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct)).

(2) Be a Registered Member of the Gurdwara for the last 12 consecutive months
(Except for the year this constitution comes into effect); and maintain his/her
membership for the duration he/she is in this committee;

(3) Be prepared to work as a Sevadar (servant) of the Gurdwara strictly on a voluntary
basis (with no monetary compensation);

(4) Be prepared to serve as a member of the Executive Committee, should a need arise,
due to non-availability of persons for that committee;

The above qualifications are essential for the members of the Selection Committee. In case the number of qualifying persons available for this committee is less than the required number, then, the committee will continue functioning with reduced members. However, the openings will be filled for rest of the term, as soon as qualifying persons are available. Only one person from a nucleus family may become a member of the Selection Committee.

3.4 Term of Office

(1) The term of office for each of the Selection Committee member is six
years except for the four members of the first time created six member committee.
The very first committee with six members shall be created in June, 2012. Then,
two members would retire every second year in June and two new members
selected shall take their place.

(2) Members of the first six member selection committee would retire in the
alphabetical order of their first names (in English). Subsequent members would
retire in the order in which they join this committee.

(3) Up to one member of the selection committee may be temporarily unavailable (for
up to three months) due to sickness or out-of-state visit. The committee would
continue functioning with five members. If the need arise, with the approval of Punj
Pyaare, these can be treated as vacancies to be back-filled.

(4) There is no restriction on the number of terms one can serve for

3.5 Procedure for Creation of the Selection Committee

The selection committee members shall be selected by the following process for the two events stated below:

(1) To replace the two outgoing members, every May of every even years starting in
2014 Or

(2) To replace any outgoing member for the remainder of the term, in case the
committee member is either appointed to the Executive Committee or decides to
resign or is deceased or is removed by the Punj Pyaare as a disciplinary action.

Starting the first week of May of every even years starting in 2014 or as and when the need arise to fill an opening, Secretary shall announce in the regular Divans asking for nomination forms (shown in Appendix B) from the Registered Members for candidates for the openings to be filled. Announcement shall be made and forms will be collected for a minimum of two weeks or till sufficient number of forms are received.

Committees Formation & Transition Coordinator will collect these forms and pass on to the Punj Pyaare for verifying the qualifications of the candidates and validity of the forms. The following week, in the Sunday Divan the names of all the qualified candidates will be announced by the Secretary.

If the number of the qualified candidates is equal to or less than the vacancies then the Head Granthi (Head Priest) of the Gurdwara would ask each of the candidates if he/she is willing to be a member of the Selection Committee. All those who are willing would be requested to come and sit in the front. The Head Granthi would then request all of them to stand up and confirm to the Sangat (congregation), in the Guru’s name, that he/she feels that he/she has the qualifications required to become a member of the Selection Committee. Then all these persons completing above steps will be declared members of the Selection Committee.

If the number of the qualified candidates is more than the vacancies, then the head priest would request for voluntary withdrawal of names from among the candidates. After this step, if the candidates are still more than the vacancies, the selection committee members would be chosen by writing all names on identical pieces of paper (one name on each, to be written by the candidate himself /herself), folding them, shuffling them up, and then requesting a small child to pick at random the required number of slips out of these. The Head Granthi with the help of any 2 candidates would carry out this procedure.

If the number is less than the required vacancies, then as and when additional qualified Registered Members become available, they can be added to the committee during any Sunday Divan by following the procedure mentioned above.

In June of even years after new members are selected, new committee will nominate its Bulaaraa for two years.

4.0 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

4.1 Executive Committee Members

The Executive Committee shall consist of the following four members:

(1) President

(2) Secretary

(3) Treasurer

(4) Assistant Treasure

All Members of the Executive Committee shall be appointed by the Selection Committee from among Registered Members who are legal resident of USA and have strong belief in the Objectives of this constitution. An Executive Committee member cannot serve simultaneously on the Selection Committee or the Conflict resolution Committee or the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee. However, one can be a member/coordinator of a Working Committee.

4.2 Qualifications for members of the Executive Committee

Each and every Member of the Executive Committee MUST:

(1) Be a practicing Amritdhari Sikh. (A Baptized Sikh, who believes in Sikh Gurus and
Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct));

(2) Be a Registered Member of the Gurdwara for the last 12 consecutive months
(Except for the year this constitution comes into effect); and maintain his/her
membership for the duration he/she is in this committee;

(3) Be prepared to work as a Sevadar (servant) of the Gurdwara strictly on a voluntary
basis (with no monetary compensation).

The qualifications for members of the Executive Committee are thus identical to the first three qualifications for members of the Selection Committee.

4.3 Term of Office

The term of office of the Executive Committee shall be two years (starting and
ending on Vaisakhi Divan). If, inspite of following the process on time, due to some unforeseen reasons, the new Executive Committee is unable to take charge on the Vaisakhi day, the outgoing committee will continue until the incoming committee takes charge.

Note: The Financial year for the Gurdwara would be January thru December. The financial data would be passed on to the next committee in April after completing all the IRS (Tax) requirements for the previous year.

4.4 Confirmation of Executive Committee Members

The executive committee members shall be selected by the following process for the two events stated below:

(1) To form new Executive Committee by the end of March of every even years. Or

(2) Also to replace any outgoing member (i.e. to fill a vacancy)

Selection Committee members will start the process of selection of new committee in the first week of February of every even years. Members of the Selection Committee would have to get in touch with the Sangat to find out who are the most eligible and qualified Registered Members for each position and then convince those individuals to come forward and accept the responsibilities.

All efforts should be made to nominate members of the Executive Committee from among Registered Members, other than the members of the Selection Committee. However, if the required number of other qualified candidates is not available, the Selection Committee will have to come up with the remaining names from among its own members. Writing names of all the Selection Committee members on identical pieces of paper, folding and shuffling them up, and then requesting a small child to pick the required number of these papers randomly would do that.

Members of advanced age or with a physical handicap can request to be exempted from this selection process, but only if an Executive Committee can be formed without them.

Selection Committee will unanimously finalize the selection and submit the names of the candidates in the beginning of March to Punj Pyaare for verification of qualifications of the candidates. Selection Committee Bulaaraa will also keep ‘Committees Formation & Transition Coordinator’ updated with the selection status.

Once the list of nominees is finalized, on the last Sunday Divan of March, the Selection Committee Bulaaraa (spokesperson) would convey all the names to the Sangat for confirmation (See Sec. 8).

4.5 DUTIES OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

The proposal of sale/lease/rent of the property of Sikh Gurdwara will be brought by the Executive Committee through documented (as per constitution) decision process to the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee for approval. This proposal should be signed by EACH of the four members of the Executive Committee. The local market values for sale/lease/rent will be used as a guide for preparing such proposals. The real state property (Building and Land) of the Sikh Gurdwara cannot be donated. Charity Cash donations not to exceed total sum of ten thousand dollars in a calendar year will also require Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee’ approval. All GAPC decisions should be made in writing and signed by EACH of the seven members of GAPC.

The Executive Committee and the Selection committee will also jointly submit any proposal for required amendments to the constitution in accordance with section 11.0 of this constitution.

The specific duties of the individual members have been listed below. In addition there are duties that apply to all members. The Gurdwara is the home of the Guru and to keep it running smoothly and in order, every member should try his/her best to come to every Divan early and stay till the end, and try to do whatever is needed to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Any Executive Committee member on his/her own discretion can seek help from the Selection Committee to perform specific tasks (e.g., item 7 under Section 4.5.1, or item 2 under section 4.5.2 below) or to perform his/her duties on temporary basis during their short-term absence/indisposition.

4.5.1 Duties of the President

1. Handle all issues concerning the Gurdwara with the city and outside agencies. This includes getting Permits/Licenses from the local city as well as general issues concerning Sikhs as described in Section 1.1 (Objectives of the Gurdwara);

2. Ensures Harmony & Smoothness in Running Gurdwara Activities Interacts/Coordinates with outside organizations;

3. Support any fund-raising drive for the Gurdwara; The primary responsibility of fund raising for the Gurdwara is that of GAPC’s Fund Raising Coordinator.

4. Manage cleanliness of the Gurdwara building ;

5. Manage the Gurdwara library;

6. Keep Stock of the Utensils, Paper products, Sheets;

7. Handle outgoing mail sent to the Sangat. This includes preparation and distribution of letters to the Sangat (preferably in Gurmukhi), Maintaining current mailing list of Local Sangat, and Maintaining list of Registered Members;

8. Manage all Working Committees. Assure the success of Working Committee by making sure that all the required resources are provided to Working Committee Coordinators;

9. Perform the duties of Secretary in the absence of Secretary;

10. Ensure that any religious, disciplinary, legal, or political issue that is not of a routine administrative nature, or one, which the Executive Committee cannot resolve amicably among them, is referred to the Punj Pyaare for resolution;

11. Conduct all Executive Committee meetings; and ensure minutes are recorded & filed

12. Participate in cleaning the Gurdwara at least once in two months as a Kaar Seva.

13. Ensure, if applicable and/or required, signatures of cosigners are obtained (See Sec. 10)

4.5.2 Duties of the Secretary

1. In consultation with the Head Granthi, organize the program of the Gurdwara Divans (Both regular Divans and Gurpurbs);

2. Act as the Stage Secretary (MC) during the Divans;

3. Manage opening of the Gurdwara Building for all functions/Divans;

4. Manage attendance of Guru Granth Sahib during all Divans (Chaur Seva);

5. Co-ordinate any Seminars on Sikhism and/or Issues about Sikhs organized by the Gurdwara;

6. Supervise the Gurdwara Bulletin boards and keep an eye on all notes / printouts posted on them;

7. In consultation with the Head Granthi, manage all Akhand / Sehaj Paaths organized by Gurdwara. This includes the preparation of lists of Paathees and Sevadars, and monitoring the flow of Paath;

8. In consultation with the Head Granthi, organize the Amrit-Sanchar when necessary (Preferably every year);

9. Participate in cleaning the Gurdwara at least once in two months as a Kaar Seva.

4.5.3 Duties of the Treasurer

1. Maintain financial ledgers and keep all books balanced and in order, ready for auditing at any time;

2. Prepare (on time) all reports required by IRS and the State of Michigan. This includes Federal and State Income Tax returns, any 1099s and/or W2s, and all forms required to be filled in to maintain the Tax-Exempt status;

3. Manage all Payroll related matters for the salary of the Granthi(s). This includes filling any forms for the Granthis’ taxes, insurances, and benefits;

4. Prepare current Balance Sheet and Income/Expense Report and present them at least once in three months at a meeting of the Executive Committee. Any Registered Member requesting for a copy of the financial statements for the previous quarter should be provided with it;

5. Monitor and manage all insurances for the Gurdwara;

6. Monitor incoming mail received at the Gurdwara site and at any P.O. Box rented by the Gurdwara;

7. Participate in cleaning the Gurdwara at least once in two months as a Kaar Seva.

Note: The Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer, on their own discretion can mutually agree to realign some of their duties for the duration of their term. However, this realignment of the duties must be documented and filed with the Gurdwara records.

4.5.4 Duties of the Assistant Treasurer

1. Collect cash and check offerings (Charat) at least once a week. This applies even if the offerings are deposited in a cash-box (Golak);

2. Deposit cash and checks for the week promptly in the Bank;

3. Issue receipts for cash offerings. This includes any offerings coming from individuals because of Kirtan at their houses. For offerings made with checks, receipts need to be issued only when requested for;

4. Make payment for all bills/invoices received by the Gurdwara and for all approved expenses made by Sevadars. Keep all bills/invoices neatly filed for any auditors to review them at any time;
5. Participate in cleaning the Gurdwara at least once in two months as a Kaar Seva.
5.0 Working Committee

The role of Working Committee is to coordinate essential particular tasks. Members of Working Committee (hereon referred to as Coordinators) will make their teams, as deemed necessary, and coordinate these teams to achieve the success of assigned tasks. Depending upon the need and circumstances of the Sikh Gurdwara, the positions of the coordinators can be added or eliminated by the Executive Committee on their own discretion.

5.1 Working Committee Members (Coordinators)

(1) Langar and Parshad Coordinator

(2) Maintenance and Repair Coordinator

(3) Community relationship Coordinator

(4) Punjabi and Sikhi Education Coordinator

(5) Program and Event Coordinator

(6) Store manager

(7) Website coordinator

(8) Information System and office Coordinator

(9) Kirtan Education Coordinator

(10)Youth Activities Coordinator (Ambassador)

(11)Cleaning Coordinator

5.2 Selection of Working Coordinators

The Selection Committee would appoint all Coordinators, and their replacements thereafter every 2 years. Members of the Selection Committee would have to get in touch with the Sangat to find out who are the most eligible and qualified Registered Members (including members of all committees) for each position and then convince those individuals to come forward and accept the responsibilities.

6.0 PUNJ PYAARE (CONFLICT RESOLUTION COMMITTEE OF FIVE)

6.1 General

The Punj Pyaare is a committee of five persons, created to resolve any conflicts and differences of opinion arising in the Gurdwara affairs as well as among members of the Sikh Community in General. In the true Sikh tradition, the five will act as impartial judges to make decisions; and thus create a forum of justice that would prevent the Sikh community affairs from going to a civil court.

A member of the Conflict Resolution Committee can also be a member of Working Committee. If qualified, a Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee member can be a member of the Conflict Resolution Committee.

6.2 Qualifications for the Punj Pyaare

Each of the Punj Pyaare MUST:

(1) Be a practicing Amritdhari Sikh. (A Baptized Sikh, who believes in Sikh Gurus and
Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct));

(2) Be a Registered Member of the Gurdwara for the last 12 consecutive months
(Except for the year this constitution comes into effect); and maintain his/her
membership for the duration he/she is in this committee;

(3) Be prepared to work as a Sevadar (servant) of the Gurdwara strictly on a voluntary
basis (with no monetary compensation);

(4) Shall not be a member of the Selection Committee or Executive Committee.

6.3 Term of Office

(1) The minimum term of office for each of the Punj Pyaare is five years. The first
committee of five Punj Pyaare was created during the Vasaakhi Divan of the year
1995. Then starting from the year 2000, one of the five retired every year and a
new member is selected in his/her place during that year’s Vasaakhi Divan.

(2) Starting from 2012, one member will retire every 2 years (at the same time the new
Executive Committee is selected) in the order in which they join this committee.

(3) When some members of the committee are temporarily unavailable due to sickness
or out-of-state visit and an immediate/urgent need arise to resolve an issue only
then: Rest of the Punj Pyaare will pick required number of members from Selection
Committee to complete a committee of five. These members of Selection Committee
will work temporarily as members of Punj Pyaare for resolving the case.

6.4 Selection of the Punj Pyaare

The Punj Pyaare (five members) would be nominated by the Selection Committee. Those chosen for this committee should preferably be very mature persons generally looked upon with respect in the Sikh community.

Once the names of nominees are decided, the Selection Committee Bulaaraa (spokesperson) would convey all the names to the Sangat during a Sunday Divan for confirmation (See Sec. 8).

6.5 Duties of the Punj Pyaare

(1) To settle any conflicts arising in the Gurdwara affairs. The Executive Committee is
bound by this constitution to refer any religious, disciplinary, legal, or political
issue that is not of a routine administrative nature, or one, which they cannot
resolve amicably among themselves, to the Punj Pyaare. Also any registered
member can bring complaints to Punj Pyaare, if executive committee is not
responding to genuine complaints. The Punj Pyaare, in turn, would meet as a team
and come up with a unanimous solution. If required, they can seek advice from
Akal Takhat, Amritsar, before making their decision. However, once the decision
has been made and announced, the Executive Committee would have to accept all
its terms unconditionally;

(2) The services of the Punj Pyaare would be available to the members of the Sikh
Community in general for resolution of their personal problems. However, a case
can be considered only after both parties involved give written statements that
they would accept the decision of the Punj Pyaare unconditionally; and thereafter
consider the conflict as resolved. There would be no charge for this service and the
whole issue would be handled in a discreet and friendly manner.

(3) The Punj Pyaare will have no direct role in the routine running of the Gurdwara
and would take up an issue only when the Executive Committee or a registered
member of Gurdwara makes a request. However, they will keep a watchful eye on
the functioning of the Gurdwara affairs and, from time to time, advise the
Executive Committee about any issue that they feel is pertinent;

(4) As disciplinary action the Punj Pyaare can cancel individual’s membership and
even disallow his/her entry into the Gurdwara for upto two years. If the individual is a committee member, he/she shall thus be automatically removed from that position;

(5) The Punj Pyaare shall review the proposed changes to the Gurdwara constitution and unanimously endorse only those changes that are in compliance with Gurmat/Rehat Maryada;
(6) The Punj Pyaare shall verify the qualification of the candidates for the Selection Committee and the Executive Committee as requested by “Committees Formation & Transition Coordinator” of Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee;
(7) In case Organization of Sikh Gurdwara is dissolved for some reason then Punj Pyaare jointly with the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee will be responsible for the distribution of the money received from the sale of Gurdwara Assets. The Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee shall first discharge all liabilities and then the Punj Pyaare shall distribute the remaining funds to the appropriate Sikh Charities.

7.0 GURDWARA GRANTHI (S) (PRIEST (S))

The Gurdwara can hire one or more Granthis (Priests) for the purpose of conducting religious services for the Sangat. In case there are more than one Granthis, one of them would hold the title of ‘Head Granthi’.

Depending on the needs of the Gurdwara, a Granthi can be hired as a ‘short term Granthi’ or a ‘Full-time Resident Granthi’ or a ‘Part-time Granthi’. Based on these titles, the duties and benefits provided would be different. The specific duties and responsibilities, the salary, and the benefits shall be document in separate contract with each Granthi.

Executive Committee shall establish the number and type of Granthi(s) depending upon the need of the Gurdwara.

The Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee approves the number of Granthi(s) required to serve the Gurdwara as well as each contract prior to the start of the hiring process.

Selection Committee will select and propose the names of suitable candidates to fill those positions.

After the names are approved by the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee, Executive Committee will complete the hiring process.

Executive Committee can lay-off a short term Granthi as per the terms of the contract.
To lay-off a permanent Granthi (Part-time or Full-time), Executive Committee shall obtain a documented pre-approval from the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee.

8.0 Conformations of Members of All Committees

Once the list of candidates is finalized for all committees, the Selection Committee Bulaaraa (spokesperson) would convey all the names to the Sangat for each committee during a Sunday Divan for confirmation. Each nominee will stand up and following the protocol of the divan and move to the front and be seated. The confirmation can take place as group for the sake of time.

Upon completion of the above step, the Head Granthi or his representative would then request nominees of all committees to stand up and confirm to the Sangat, in the Guru’s name, that he/she feels that he/she has the qualifications as described in the Gurdwara constitution to be a member of the appropriate Committee and is willfully accepting his/her responsibilities. An affirmative head nod will suffice to complete his/her confirmation. Then all except the Punj Pyaare nominee(s) will take their seats.

The Head Granthi or his representative would then request each one of them to take a solemn oath before the Guru that during his/her term as a member of Punj Pyaare, he/she would try to be unbiased and impartial, and try to set the example of a model Sikh before the Sikh community.

If for some reason, some nominees are not present during that Divan, their confirmation can take place during another Divan. Similarly if a need arises anytime during a year for a replacement/addition of a committee member, this confirmation process will also be followed.

9.0 Meetings

(1) All of the committees including the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee
meetings will be held in the Gurdwara building, unless an emergency condition
makes the Gurdwara building unusable. Minutes of meetings of all committees, in
general, are encouraged. However, pertinent committee decision must be
documented in minutes and kept for records.

(2) Executive Committee meetings shall be held at least once in two months, typically
once a month. The Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee meetings shall be held at least twice a year typical in May and December for financial planning and assets review.

(a) All the meetings of the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee and/or Executive Committee will be announced by the secretary and will be held in the open forum in the presence of Sangat;
(b) Executive Committee meetings will be held by the president of the Executive Committee; and the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee meeting by its spokesperson (Bulaaraa);
(c) Due to exceptional circumstances unscheduled meetings of the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee or Executive Committee may be held and all attempts should be made to announce about them to the Sangat during the Divan;
(d) All meetings must begin with Ardaas (Sikh prayer) to Waheguru (God);
(e) Minutes of the Executive Committee meetings shall be prepared by members of the Executive Committee and one of the members of the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee for its meetings. The minutes will be preserved in the Gurdwara office. Any Registered Member of the Gurdwara demanding to look at the minutes of any meeting for the current year should be provided with them;
(f) Schedule of the regular meetings should be posted on the Gurdwara notice board and announced during Sunday Divans on a regular basis;
(g) All attempts shall be made to make all decision through a consensus of all present in the meeting. However, if on an occasion, a consensus cannot be reached, the decision of the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee members would hold for their meeting, and Executive committee members for the Executive Committee meeting.
(3) Selection Committee members can schedule their meetings as necessary, however they must prepare minutes documenting their final selections of the appointed members for all the committees.
(4) The Conflict Resolution Committee of Five (Punj Pyaare) shall meet at least once a year in May and on other occasions as deemed necessary.
(5) Each Working Committee Coordinator may schedule its own meetings necessary for performing his/her duties.
10.0 CO-SIGNERS FOR THE GURDWARA BUILDING MORTGAGE

This section would be applicable whenever the mortgage for the Gurdwara building purchase required personal guarantees from members of the Sangat (co-signers for the mortgage).

The co-signers would have a free access to the financial statements of the Gurdwara. The Executive Committee WILL HAVE to maintain a minimum balance of $ 6000.00 or monthly mortgage installments for three months (whichever is bigger amount) in the Gurdwara’s bank account (sum of all Checking, Savings, and Cumulative Deposit accounts). To withdraw any more cash from the bank, the Executive Committee would require written permission of acceptance from EACH and EVERY co-signer.

All attempts should be made to get the Gurdwara building mortgage refinanced with no co-signers, at the earliest.
11.0 AMENDMENTS TO THIS CONSTITUTION
(1) Sections 3.3, 4.2, and 6.2 of this constitution (Qualifications for members of the Selection Committee, the Executive Committee and the Punj Pyaare (Conflict Resolution Committee of Five)) emphasize the commitment of SIKH GURDWARA towards Sikh religious values; hence CAN NOT be amended.

(2) To make amendments in any other portion of this constitution, a special meeting should be arranged for the Selection Committee and the Executive Committee, in open forum inviting the Sangat. Executive Committee and Selection Committee based upon registered members input for a change to be made shall unanimously make a proposal to submit to the Punj Pyaare to obtain their unanimous endorsement prior to submitting it to the Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee for approval. Gurdwara Assets Protection Committee shall unanimously approve it to amend the constitution.

——————————————————————————————————-

APPENDIX A : Application Form for becoming a Registered Member.

To The Sadh Sangat of SIKH GURDWARA, Michigan:

Respected Sadh Sangat Ji:

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

I am signing this document to become a Registered Member of SIKH GURDWARA, Michigan and am making the following declarations and pledges to the Gurdwara:
1. I am 18 years of age or older. I am legally permitted to register in the US as a member of a non-profitable organization.
2. I am a Sikh who believes in the Ten Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib only.
3. I firmly believe that a Gurdwara is the home of Guru Granth Sahib, and so should be given its due respect.
4. I will try my best to attend all the services provided by SIKH GURDWARA.
5. I will never use the Gurdwara or any of its property for my personal material gain. Instead, I would be on the look out for how I can help the Gurdwara.
6. While in the Gurdwara, I will maintain complete Maryada (decorum and discipline); and will try to convince members of my family to do the same.
7. I understand that managing a Gurdwara requires a coordinated effort of every member of the Sangat. As a Registered Member, I will try to do my share in keeping the SIKH GURDWARA property clean and in order.
8. I will never bring any litigation against SIKH GURDWARA.
9. I will try to donate a portion of my income to the Gurdwara as a gesture of gratitude for all that the Guru has given to me.

Signature: _______________________________ Date: ________

Name : _______________________________

Address: _______________________________

_______________________________

_______________________________

Telephone: _________________________

APPENDIX B :
Form (Nomination to Selection Committee)
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Members of the Selection Committee represent the commitment of the Gurdwara towards Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct). Therefore, each and every member of the Selection Committee MUST:

(1) Be a practicing Amritdhari Sikh. (A Baptized Sikh, who believes in Sikh Gurus and
Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct));

(2) Be a Registered Member of the Gurdwara for the last 12 consecutive months; and
maintain his/her membership for the duration he/she is in this committee;

(3) Be prepared to work as a Sevadar (servant) of the Gurdwara strictly on a voluntary
basis (with no monetary compensation);

(4) Be prepared to serve as a member of the Executive Committee, should a need arise,
due to non-availability of persons for that committee;
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Note: Use one form per sponsorship. Maximum number of persons one can sponsor or second is limited to the number of vacancies.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

I, ________________________________________________, a Registered Member of the SIKH GURDWARA, Michigan hereby sponsor ____________________________________________ as candidate for the Selection Committee. His/Her Phone:_________________________

Signature: _______________________________ Date: ___________ Phone: _________________

Address: ___________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

I, ________________________________________________, a Registered Member of the SIKH GURDWARA, Michigan hereby second above candidate for the Selection Committee.

Signature: _______________________________ Date: ___________ Phone: _________________

Address: ___________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 


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