Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 1
The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers
OUR THIRD ANNIVERSARY
Today, June 6th, 2009, marks the Third Anniversary of the founding of our little church. We have come such a long way since that day that sometimes i can scarcely believe our blessings. From a dream to reality, and then from reality to a practical, day-by-day ministry, the work has been rewarding and the joys have been many.
In this issue of our Newsletter, we present a short series of updates -- sketches of events of the past few months, and promises of great things to come. For all that we have been given, we thank Thee, Lord.
We lost two church Deacons and candle-setters during the past year to the happiest of circumstances. First Rev. Mother Sienna Baratti and then Deaconess Chelsea Turonne resigned their positions to give birth to babies! Sienna's darling little girl is Iris, and Chelsea's sweet little boy is Vincent Emanuel. To our dear Church Mothers we send the brightest of blessings and the deepest of fond wishes for contentment and joy. We miss you both, and hope to see you both again, some time further down the road.
Chelsea's replacement in the role of Deaconess has been Sister Yelena Kisler, another kind, sweet, and thoughtful young "candle lady" who waits upon clients and congregants in need of prayerful vigil lights. Yelena's is the helpful voice that folks hear now when they call for candle services. She loves her job, and we love having her with us, although we know that she will be moving shortly, to further her academic studies at Humboldt State University, a couple of counties north of here, when the Fall school opens.
DO YOU REMEMBER UISP?
Long-time Church affiliates and subscribers to our Newsletter may recall that back in November, 2007, in Church Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 6 we published an announcement concerning the proposed outreach committees of the Church, as agreed upon at the Church Board Meeting of August 21st, 2007. The most complex project we envisioned at that time was the formation of a group we called UISP -- the Union of Independent Spiritual Practitioners, a group that would both give certification to accredited spiritual practitioners and promote the services offered by its members to the public.
About a year later, in December 2008, Lara Rivera, Art Roberts, nagasiva yronwode, and i began to develop an outline that defined the requirements for the software necessary to implement the UISP Committee program as a database-driven internet project. By January, 2009, the Church had enough money set aside to fund both the purchase of domain names and the software development to run the site, so we took the plunge by inviting and admitting a group of prospective volunteer-members to join the UISP Committee -- and after that, things moved forward very rapidly.
First we settled on a new name: AIRR, the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers. This name was chosen because, unlike UISP, it gave specifically equal weight to both types of spiritual practitioners, those who perform divinations and mediumship services for clients and those who do altar work and cast spells for clients.
The founding volunteer-members of the AIIR committee are as follows: Dara Anzlowar, Miss Bri, Susan Diamond, Miss Nadezda Karuna, Dr. Christos Kioni, Lukianos, Deacon Millett, Mother Mystic, Prof. C. D. Porterfield, Lara Rivera, Starr, Sindy Todo, Ms. Robin, catherine yronwode, nagasiva yronwode, and Karma Zain
As Art, Lara, and the technical team worked on site management, Susan's husband, the fine graphic designer Shimmering Wolf, came onboard to help us develop a logo and masthead banner for the AIRR site. Meanwhile, as many volunteers as could find time contributed text and images to the site, under the direction of an editorial team consisting of catherine, Prof. Porterfield, Lara, and nagasiva.
And now, on the Third Anniversary of the founding of Missionary Independent Spiritual Church, AIRR is live, online, and ready to serve clients in seach of divination, mediumship, prayer, spiritual counselling, and magical assistance. Check it out! The URL is
And now for the formalities: The following document was adopted and accepted by MISChurch Board Members Fred Burke, nagasiva yronwode, and catherine yronwode, heading the AIRR committee, this day in June, 6/6/09, on the anniversary of the founding of the Church.
AIRR COMMITTEE OF MISC
The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR) is a gathering of professional practitioners of African American folk magic, hoodoo, conjure, and rootwork who provide psychic readings and spiritual root doctoring services to the public. AIRR promotes quality service and ethical conduct by means of accreditation and evaluation of our Affiliates. Unlike commercial online psychic reader services, AIRR is a Membership-supported organization that receives no fees or kickbacks for referrals.
At the Missionary Independent Spiritual Church Board Meeting of 8/21/07, Dr. Kioni, catherine yronwode, and nagasiva yronwode created the basis for AIRR. The Board meeting notes were published in November, 2007 as Missionary Independent Spiritual Church Newsletter Vol. 2, No. 6.
In December 2008, Lara Rivera approached catherine to go forward with the project, lending her technical skills, project management expertise, and labour in order to pursue the group's initial technical needs.
In January 2009, the first round of prospective affiliates received invitations to become contributing founding volunteers who would assist with additional labour and planning. At the AIRR site, you may read a more complete history of the founding of AIRR.
This document was adopted by the Church Board in June 2009 to assist AIRR Members in staying up to date with respect to its Purpose, its operational structure, and its actual authorities.
MISC: Missionary Independent Spiritual Church, the non-profit body that governs and has created AIRR. MISC is responsible for all AIRR activities, and those who are Members of AIRR report directly or through liaisons to a Church Board Member for oversight.
Founding Members: a small panel of invited professionals who served the group by volunteering to help write the AIRR web site and membership accreditation documents, and who provided ideas, resources, and feedback to the technical and editorial team during the 6-month development of the site and the establishment of AIRR as a functional body. Their names can be found on the AIRR Site Credits page.
General Members: Members admitted through a vetting process described in the text below ("Admittance").
Board Members: the five-Member Board of Directors of Missionary Independent Spiritual Church, several of whom are Founding Members of AIRR and oversee its operations.
The Missionary Independent Spiritual Church Board is the governing body to which the AIRR Committee Membership, both Founding and General, report. Whether at a distance or by direct involvement, Board Members are ultimately responsible for the pursuit of the Purpose and may choose whatever organizational structure is expedient to achieving these aims.
AIRR Members should take direction from the Church Board Members who are part of AIRR and work with the rest of the General Membership to achieve the Purpose. Evaluations as to how best to proceed with any aspect of the AIRR projects and its various facets will be performed either by Board Members or those whom they delegate and oversee.
Those Board Members who are also Members of AIRR constitute the de facto executives of the body no matter to whom they may delegate the responsibilities for its operations. Any decisions which they, in accord with their peers within the Church, see fit to make take precedence over any other procedures or protocols that have been established, including the making and removal of Founding and General Members, the removal or reassignment of the Ombudsperson, or specifications on procedures that are not covered by these rules explicitly.
As a sub-body of MISC, AIRR's operations and resources are owned by the Church, and the Church's directors have complete authority within AIRR under its present organization.
AIRR is more than a social group; it exists to provide help to public citizens seeking ethical readers and rootworkers, and to assist Members to be found by clients who are searching for services on the internet. The benefits of Membership in AIRR are as follows:
AIRR Promotes Hoodoo Rootwork to the Public
The AIRR site provides education to prospective clients about what kinds of services a Member reader or rootworker can be expected to provide, and, through search engine optimization techniques, to bring those services to a broad general audience.
Members are Listed Online
Each Member is provided with a personal page, on which is a picture, contact information, and a list of reading and rootworking services offered.
Each Member's name appears on every AIRR page in list form, and is repeated again in every category of service in which he or she works.
Members are Provided Endorsement
Additionally, each Member of AIRR is provided an endorsement by the group, certifying his or her education, ethics, and soundness of character.
Members Receive Technical Help
Technical help is provided to Members to ensure that their listings are up-to-date. The wages paid to the site technical staff for performing this work comes out of the Membership fees.
Application Review (Admittance)
As a group, AIRR Members are responsible for receiving applications to join the group, examining them to be sure that they do not contain any glaring failures to conform with established prerequisites, and assigning them to be reviewed in a timely fashion for evaluation.
A volunteer pool will be assembled from available and interested Members who are willing to receive applications qualifying for the evaluation process. Three (3) individuals from this pool will be assigned to each case, and proceed according to the established procedures of Application Review and Evaluation.
Selection and Service of an Ombudsperson
As a group, AIRR Members are responsible for selecting from amongst their number an Ombudsperson to serve for a specified length of time. The method of selection of an Ombudsperson by AIRR Members can be as simple as taking volunteers and as complex as nominations and voting with scrutinized analysis of nominee credentials and background.
This selection method should take no longer than one (1) working week, and the term of service for the Ombudsperson should be clearly defined as no greater than a year's time and no less than 1 month. Should the position of Ombudsperson remain vacant for more than two (2) weeks, the Church Board may appoint an individual of its choice to fill the position until a new Ombudsperson is selected by the Membership.
It is the responsibility of the Ombudsperson to investigate any claims made by clients of violations of the Code of Ethics by any Member and to mediate, insofar as possible, between the two. If mediation does not succeed, it is the duty of the Ombudsperson to report the failure of mediation to the Membership at large for further action.
It is the responsibility of the Ombudsperson to investigate any claims made by Members with respect to serious difficulties encountered by Members in dealing with clients who are disruptive, fraudulent, or suspected of breaking the law and to report these claims and the results of any investigation to the Membership at large for further action.
The Ombudsperson shall also serve as a mediator between the Membership and the Church Board if need be.
Defining the Ombudsperson's duties in detail allows the Membership to make job performance evaluation possible. The occasional examination of Ombudsperson methods and results will allow for improvement of the functionality of the task of AIRR Ombudsperson.
Regular Reports to the Church Board
At least once a month AIRR Members (including those Members who are themselves Church Board Members) are responsible for composing a written report (or presenting an oral report as part of an official Church Board Meeting) indicating what progress toward the Purpose has been achieved since the last report, what additional plans have been laid, and what fundraising efforts or public outreach has been accomplished.
At least once per year the Board Member most involved in AIRR (who is presumably an AIRR Member) shall construct a report to the Board of Directors providing an annual State of the Project, with as much detail as is helpful for the Board to understand what has transpired since the previous presentation.
Should there be a lapse in any of these reports, the Board of Directors may assign a special investigator to examine the current State of the Project by interviewing those who are currently most active in the project and reporting back to them with their findings, including specifically why such reports are not being filed.
Individual Member Responsibility: Link-Back
Additionally, individual Members have a responsibility to put a link to AIRR on their personal Reader or Rootworker page.
AIRR Members who are demonstrated to have lied on their application or to have otherwise compromised the means by which they secured the endorsement and benefits of their Membership may be removed from Membership if a sufficient case is made against them so that a Church Board Member agrees that this is a necessary and important action.
A group Code of Ethics has been created and is available to the public for review. Members who are demonstrated to have violated the terms of the Code of Ethics may be warned via a standard and consistent verbal and written notice as to the endangerment of their Membership or they may be removed from Membership if a sufficient case is made against them so that a Church Board Member agrees that this is a necessary and important action.
Protocols may at some future time be defined by AIRR Members so that the potential for re-admittance after correction of errors is a possibility.
Potential Future Plans
It has been discussed among the Church Board that if AIRR is successful in meeting its goals, the Church Board will negotiate with the AIRR Membership the possibility of AIRR becoming a separate 501c3 organization. On April 6th, 2009, the Chairwoman of the Church Board, catherine yronwode, made the following statement:My expectation at the start was that AIRR's first year's Membership fees would go toward site development, including paying [wages to technical administrators] Art Roberts and Lara [Rivera], and that the second year's Memberships would go toward creation of a non-profit organization for AIRR, including hiring a lawyer (unless we find a volunteer lawyer) to put the non-profit paperwork through. [...]
On May 31st, she further outlined the possible steps that would need to be taken to separate AIRR from the Church, subject to approval by the Church Board.
Phase 1: Nov. 2007 - Jan. 2008, discussion and planning [of AIRR] within the Church.
Phase 2: Feb. 2009 - Feb. 2010, first year of functioning: establishment of web site, focus on Membership growth, money from Membership dues goes to pay for site development; Feb. 2010, election of AIRR officers to guide Phase 3.
Phase 3: Feb. 2010 - Feb. 2011, collection of Membership dues goes to a set-aside fund to get a lawyer and plan for non-profit status. This is subject to MISC Board approval before being undertaken. Until non-profit status is achieved, MISC is legally constrained from transferring any assets (fees collected, web sites) to AIRR because under law, a non-profit can only transfer assets to another non-profit.
Phase 4: Feb. 2011, if non-profit status is achieved, MISC Board votes on the split and if motion is approved, transfers certain assets to AIRR in recompense for a monetary donation to cover previous Church outlays.
At the instigation of the Church Board of Directors this Potential Plan may be initiated through the selection of a working group to operate within AIRR to investigate and facilitate the above-outlined plan, should both the Church Membership and AIRR Membership agree to such a division.
Record of Review
6/1/09 first draft by nagasiva yronwode
6/6/09 edited and approved by Church Board Members catherine yronwode, Fred Burke, and nagasiva yronwode
If so, please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo to make a
small donation to Missionary Independent Spiritual Church
for the creation and maintenance of this site, or to dedicate
your offering to any of our Committees or fund-raising projects.
OUR WEB SITE
Missionary independent Spiritual Church can be found on the world wide web at