Article I - Name
The name of the ministry shall be “The Better Place” (Luke 10: 42)
Article II - Mission
- Under the leading of God, The Better Place shall serve as a generator, mobilizer and sustainer of prayer ministry in Chautauqua County, New York State, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and southern Ontario Province by:
- a. Offering instruction and experience in prayer and worship;
- b. Providing a retreat setting for Christians;
- c. Providing leadership to unite persons who have embraced the Christian faith in ministries of prayer;
- d. Actively marketing the Better Place
- The Better Place shall serve as a place where pastors can experience a Sabbatical that will result in their being renewed in spirit, soul and body.
- The Better Place shall provide leadership to network the Body of Christ for the purposes of proclaiming and receiving the promise of Second Chronicles 7:14 (If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land .)
Article III - Ownership
- All Better Place land, buildings, furnishings, equipment and endowments and other money shall be the property of The Better Place, Incorporated.
Article IV - Oversight
- There shall be a Board of Directors (Board) that shall:
- a. Be comprised of twelve persons
- Who shall all be faithfully committed to a local Christian congregation,
- Be representative of the variety of area Christian congregations,
- Who shall have the endorsement of their congregation’s ruling body to serve on the Board,
- Who profess a Trinitarian Christian faith,
- Who profess a passion for prayer and a desire to invest their time, talent and prayer in The Better Place,,
- Who shall have no term of office but who shall serve until they resign or are removed by agreement [see item "n" below] of the other Board members (missing two consecutive meetings shall be grounds for removal);
- b. Serve as custodians of all Better Place endowment funds and be responsible for investment strategy of the same (Better Place staff may serve as agents of the Board in carrying out this responsibility.);
- c. Oversee the care, maintenance, repair, improvements and additions to any and all physical property;
- d. Have the right to deny use of The Better Place Facilities
- For programs deemed to be contrary to or outside of the stated mission of the Better Place,
- To persons or to groups who abuse The Better Place facilities.
- e. Be self-perpetuating;
- f. Be self organizing, electing annually, in November, at least a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and a recording secretary all of whom shall serve for the calendar year as they carry out the normal duties associated with their titles;
- g. Meet at least four times annually;
- A quorum at Board meetings shall consist of ⅔ of current members.
- h. Insure that the programming and operation of The Better Place
is remaining faithful to and accomplishing the Mission by
- Interviewing and hiring The Better Place Director,
- Working with the staff to plan and implement Better Place programs and ministries,
- Promoting utilization of The Better Place,
- i. Annually set compensation levels for all Better Place staff and hourly employees and annually review and update all staff job descriptions and hourly employee job descriptions;
- j. Determine benefits, vacations and all policies pertaining to staff and hourly employees.
- k. Approve all Better Place policies.
- l. Serve strictly as volunteers. The Better Place shall compensate no Board member. No salaried staff or hourly workers of The Better Place may serve as Board Members.
- m. Not be related to any Better Place staff or employees.
- n. Meetings will be conducted based on the "Agreement" model [Acts 15] which means the Board will counsel together until unanimity is reached.
- The Better Place staff shall care for day–to-day oversight and management.
Article V - Staffing
- There shall be a salaried Director who shall;
- a. Oversee the day to day operations of The Better Place,
- b. Directly oversee the work of all other Better Place salaried staff,
- c. Hire other salaried staff and hourly employees as needed in consultation with the Board of Directors,
- d. Provide program guidance to groups which utilize The Better Place facilities,
- e. Provide spiritual direction to individuals who utilize The Better Place facilities,
- f. In consultation with the Board, plan and make arrangements for programs that will be offered to the general church,
- g. Have authority to sign checks in the absence of the Treasurer,
- h. Attend all meetings of the Board.
- There shall be a salaried Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds who shall;
- a. Care for the maintenance and cleaning of all Better Place buildings,
- b. Care for the maintenance of all Better Place out-door property,
- c. Directly oversee the work of hourly employees who have been hired to work on the cleaning or maintenance of buildings or grounds,
- d. Directly oversee the work of all volunteers who have volunteered to work on the cleaning or maintenance of buildings or grounds,
- e. Order and maintain all tools, machinery, equipment and supplies that are needed for the cleaning and maintenance of buildings and grounds.
- There shall be a Host Family, which shall be a married couple, each of who shall be salaried and who shall;
- a. Welcome all guests and orient them to The Better Place,
- b. Care for all group and individual registration arrangements in preparation for their coming to The Better Place,
- c. Care for on-site registration,
- d. Make all meeting room arrangements,
- e. Help with housekeeping needs,
- f. Assist all other salaried staff with their duties,
- g. Be available to help any groups with their needs,
- There shall be a salaried Executive Chef who shall;
- a. Be responsible for the preparation of all meals in The Better Place Lodge Kitchen,
- b. Be responsible for the operation of the Lodge dining room
- c. Be responsible for catering meals in Better Place rooms and facilities other than the Lodge dining room,
- d. Directly oversee the work of hourly employees who have been hired to help in the kitchen, or dining room or with catering,
- e. Directly oversee the work of volunteers who have volunteered to help in the kitchen or dining room or catering,
- f. Be responsible for the purchase and storage of all food,
- There shall be a salaried Business Manager who shall;
- a. Fulfill the duties of a treasurer with regard to all expenses of The Better Place including paychecks and withholding,
- b. Receive and deposit payments from groups or individuals for utilization of The Better Place facilities or for programs
- c. Manage and invest endowment funds as an agent of the Board and in consultation with the Board,
- d. Keep current and accurate financial records for The Better Place,
- e. Manage the Better Place book Store,
- f. Present written cash flow reports to the Director weekly and a full written financial report to the Director monthly, and to the Board whenever they meet.
- All salaried workers shall meet together at least weekly for prayer with each other and to review the current status of the ministries of The Better Place. They shall meet more frequently upon the call of the Director.
Article VI - Facilities
- BUILDINGS: There shall be at least
- a. Twelve all-weather Sabbatical houses with 1,500 to 2,000 square feet of living space each for the use of pastors and their families;
- b. Houses for the use of the Director, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds and the Host Family;
- c. A lodge with 120 hotel quality rooms all wired for internet access, two 75 person capacity meeting rooms, one 100 capacity meeting room, a 300 capacity dining hall, kitchen, public restrooms, laundry room, maintenance/custodial room, central lounge and library area, a book store, supply rooms, a nursery, childcare room, and office space for the Director, Business Manager, Host Family, Executive Chef and administrative/secretarial assistants;
- d. A prayer and worship center with a 300 person capacity chapel, 72 prayer closets, a multipurpose arena with balcony seating, meeting rooms, public restrooms, fitness room, a nursery and childcare room;
- e. A maintenance building and garage with office space for the Superintendent of buildings and grounds;
- f. A utilities convergence building.
- GROUNDS: There shall be at least
- a. Seven pull-through camping trailer/RV sites with water, sewer and electric hook-ups;
- b. A two or three acre pond, stocked with fish and with a sandy beach swimming area;
- c. A prayer path with sculpture depicting events from the life of Christ at prayer points along the path for the purpose of moving people into prayer;
- d. A wide variety of trees will be planted on The Better Place grounds along the prayer path, along the roadways and along the fitness trail;
- e. A fitness trail that is at least a mile long;
- f. An outdoor prayer labyrinth;
- g. Sufficient parking and roadways all of which shall be paved
- All buildings, the labyrinth and the prayer path shall be wheelchair accessible.
- An emergency generator will supply power to all buildings in the event that commercial power should fail.
- Where possible all electric lines, telephone lines and cable lines shall be beneath ground so as not to detract from the natural beauty of The Better Place.
Article VII - Finances
- In order to keep the cost of The Better Place ministry affordable for pastors and church groups:
- a. All compensation and professional reimbursements paid to salaried staff shall come from the earnings of permanent endowment funds. Therefore, there shall be permanent endowment funds for this purpose.
- b. There shall be a permanent endowment fund for building maintenance.
- c. There shall be a permanent endowment fund for grounds care.
- d. There shall be a permanent endowment fund for emerging needs
- e. There shall be a permanent endowment fund for community welfare.
- The Board shall serve as custodian of all Better Place endowment funds and shall be responsible for investment strategy of the same (Better Place staff may serve as agents of the Board in carrying out this responsibility).
- The principle of endowment funds shall not be spent.
- Guests who stay in the lodge, at RV sites or sabbatical houses will be charged enough to cover the cost of utilities, food and hourly employees.
- Programs that are offered to the general church shall receive payment of a registration fee sufficient to cover the entire cost of the program.
- Following the initial establishment of all facilities as required by Article VI of these Bylaws, whenever financial gifts are given to The Better Place, they shall be added to the principle of one of the permanent endowment funds at the discretion of the Board provided that designated gifts shall be used as designated and also provided that all gifts will be tithed to other Christian retreat, conference or camping ministries, to prayer ministries or to ministries that promote unity within the body of Christ, as determined by the Board. Also, any and all recipients of The Better Place tithe shall qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
- There shall be an annual professional audit of all financial records.
- The Better Place will be a “pay as you go” ministry, therefore
- a. No property shall ever be mortgaged,
- b. The Better Place will never take on any debt,
- All bills for goods and services will be paid promptly in 30 days or less.
Article VIII - Guests of The Better Place
- The Better Place shall exist to serve any person and all people who seek to know and worship God as revealed by Jesus Christ. No one shall be denied use of The Better Place facilities based on color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sex or handicapping condition.
- Individuals who or groups which utilize the over-night facilities of The Better Place shall be required to present a plan as part of their registration that indicates an intention to spend their time at The Better Place in a manner that reflects the mission of The Better Place.
Article IX - Community Relations
- The Better Place will respect the privacy of neighbors by:
- a. Planting a triple row of evergreen trees along the entire perimeter of The Better Place property,
- b. Observing a thirty-yard building set back along property lines that are contiguous to any neighbor’s property,
- c. Constructing no outdoor lighting that is higher above the ground than the surrounding trees.
- The Better Place will support the services of local government by giving annual financial gifts from the interest of the “Community Welfare” endowment to the county, town, and school district in which The Better Place facilities are located. The Board shall determine the exact amount of such annual gifts based on the income from the endowment
- The Better Place will endeavor to bless the county and it’s people where The Better Place facilities are located as follows:
- a. The staff will pray daily for the county and it’s people,
- b. All guest of the Better Place will be encouraged to keep the county and its people in their prayers,
- c. Better Place facilities will not be used in any way that would compete with area hotels or bed and breakfasts,
- d. Through brochures and displays, Better Place guests will be made aware of recreational and educational opportunities in the area,
- e. The Better Place will make its facilities available as an emergency evacuation site.
Article X - Policies
- All personnel policies, operational policies and other policies of The Better Place or revisions of policies shall be subject to the approval of the Board.
- A current Policy Booklet shall be published annually in January and distributed to all staff and Board members provided that there have been revisions to or additions to policy since the previous January.
Article XI - Amendments
- Articles I, II, III, and XI may not be amended.
- Articles VII, VIII, and IX may not be amended by deletion
- A two-thirds vote of all members of the Board shall be required to amend any part of these By-laws that is open to amendment.
Article XII - Dissolution
- In the event of the dissolution of The Better Place; after all liabilities have been met, all remaining assets will be distributed to organizations and ministries of the same type as listed in Article VII, section 6, as decided by the Board. Any and all such organizations shall qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.