The American Vinland Association (AVA) exists to promote the re-establishment of the Old religions of Northern and Central Pagan Europe and to provide credentialling, support, and networking for the Northern and Central European Paganfolk. As such, our definitions of "Tru" and "religion" are broad and inclusive. If you say your are Tru, then you are Tru in our eyes. Asatru, Vanatru, Finnish, Swedish, Polish and indigenous Siberian traditions t o name a few, are represented among our membership. If you feel you belong here (bearing in mind this is an organization for Northern an Central European Heathens), then you do, no matter what other individuals or organizations might say. We all in the AVA accept each other's word as our bond and accept as Tru those who say that they are Tru.
Two ( 2 )
All who say they are Tru to the Old Gods and Ways of the Aesir and Vanir, etc. are considered to be Tru until proven otherwise by mundane law or Thing-Law. In extremely rare cases, adjudication may be sought against abusers, oathbreakers and the like. Until such verdict is given, members who are under suspicion of wrongdoing shall be given all the rights and privileges, and respect accorded regular members.
Three ( 3 )
As an association of different individuals, working styles, and personal dogmas, we have no official Holy Book or "accepted" sacred catechisms. No Test, author, or personage will be accepted as sacred or infallible. The AVA will make no official pronouncements on doctrine or theology as all Tru Folk must decide such issues for themselves. Although we will not adjudicate matters of dogma, the AVA exists as a ministerial licensing organization and will withdraw credentials from those persons found in breach of their Priestly oaths and the principles set forward in our Heathen Code of Ethics. Loki worshippers need not apply for credentials.
Four ( 4 )
The AVA exists to promote the re-establishment of the old Religions of Northern and Central Pagan Europe. We honor and practice the nine noble virtues and strive for the six-fold goal of Right, Wisdom, Might, Harvest, Frith (Peace), and Love. Priority in all AVA business will be given to enterprises which further these goals.
Five ( 5 )
The organization is administered by the Jafnar; our Board of Directors, which is composed of at least three and no more than nine members. New members of the Jafnar can only be appointed by unanimous consent of the current Jafnar. The current Jafnar are Andy Biggers (Canada), Gamlinginn (NM),and Prudence Priest (CA). Only at the Jafnar's discretion may any of these AVA descriptions or requirements be waived or modified.
Six ( 6 )
Eldership: The AVA is guided by the Jafnar whose chief function is to act as a licensing board for Priest/esses and Elders, and to ban same from their official connection with the AVA (but not the religion). The Jafnir acts to guide the corporate entity and acts only when necessary. It should be well noted by the membership that the Jafnar are not sacerdotal: they are guides and teachers of proven worth only. Required actions of the Jafnar are approval of Ministerial Credential applicants and Elder Credentials. Only the Jafnar can grant Priest/esshood or Eldership, upon satisfactory fulfillment of those requirements necessary to make a Priest/ess or Elder, and this by two-thirds majority.
Seven ( 7 )
Descriptions: An Elder in the AVA must be at least thirty-two years of age and have been a member of the AVA for at least five years. Goodmen and Goodwomen serve as Regional Coordinators over a particular geographical area, must be members in good standing, and volunteer for the position. Ministers must be twenty-one years of age and must have been a member of the AVA a minimum of one year. Both Elders and Ministers must have a recommendation from a member or members of the Jafnar or Tyr's Advisory Council. Individual worship units are known in the AVA as steadings, hearths, Kindreds, or whatever you choose to call yourselves.
Eight ( 8 )
Tyr's Advisory Council is composed of one representative from every qualifying "Regional Council". Each regional (local, state, or national) council must have a least nine members to be considered for membership as a Regional Council in the AVA. It is up to each individual council to elect, appoint, dragoon, or otherwise choose their representative to Tyr's Advisory Council. Each representative shall serve a three-year term on retainer as Thing Judges (when necessary) and as advisors to the Jafnar. They also sponsor Ministerial and Elder candidates and recommend them to the Jafnar. Council members may serve consecutive terms. If a complaint arises against a member of Tyr's Advisory Council, the remaining members of the Council plus the Jafnar shall stand in judgment of that member.
Nine ( 9 )
Lastly, while further amendments may be made to this Charter, any nullification of its existing tenets or fundamental change made to these by-laws invalidates this entire Charter and will summarily dissolve the American Vinland Association, Inc. At such time all licensures held through the AVA shall be null and void within thirty (30) days of formal announcement of such a dissolution.