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{\b Copyright © November 1995, The Family, Zurich, Switzerland}



       A. Definition of a VS       2
       B. Visitation of D.O. Homes       4
       C. Role and Authority of the ABM       4

       A. CROs and Area Officers Offering Counsel and Advice to Homes       5
       B. Role of VSs in Helping Homes Find Answers to Problems       7

       A. When Homes Go Above the Maximum Home Size       8
       B. When Homes Fall Under the Minimum Home Size       9
       C. Delays in Home Members Moving On       10
       D. Rights in Service Homes       11
       E. Home Elections and Confirmations       11
       F. The Difference Between a Teamworker's Position and a Portfolio       12
       G. New Disciples on Home Teamworks       13


       A. Screening of New Disciples       14
       B. TRF Supporters Becoming D.O. Members       15

       A. Stipulations on Staying with Outsiders       18
       B. Probationary Status Different than Partial Excommunication       19
       C. Required Reading Course for Partial Excoms       20

       It is a Charter requirement that all voting members in our Homes have a working knowledge of the Love Charter. In addition to understanding the overall spirit of the Charter, everyone in the Family should also be familiar with the details pertaining to the rights and responsibilities of individuals and individual Homes, as well as having a thorough knowledge of the "Fundamental Family Rules." (See the Responsibilities of Individual Members, T, pg. 10 of the Love Charter.)
       As an exercise toward this end, we, your WS Leadership, have compiled a selection of questions from reports we received both before and after the implementation of the Charter, including some questions posed during the Charter workshops. We have attempted to answer these questions by linking and cross-referencing our responses to the clauses in the Charter pertaining to the subject. This, in essence, should be the same way that you study the Charter to research questions you may have, or to likewise attempt to answer Charter-related questions that will no doubt come up in your Home council meetings, or Home teamwork discussions, or other decision-making situations in your Home.
       All the legal-type terminology and numerous clauses in the Charter can sometimes seem a little daunting and difficult to fully grasp! After initially reading the Charter, Jondy (Hosea) offered the following parallel: "When we want to have the privilege of driving, which will afford us the opportunity and freedom to go to the places we want to go, we must first read and learn the contents of the driving rules and regulations manual. And though it seems quite complex, with many details and rules covering a multitude of situations, it's basically just to be absorbed and put into practice as we hit the road. All the details are needed to prevent confusion and running into each other in many different situations. Nevertheless, once we know these practical guidelines, most importantly we just need to drive in the right spirit, with prayerfulness, love, and courtesy."
       To continue with this illustration, these FSMs are designed to further help you hone your spiritual driving skills and knowledge by making you more familiar with the "driving course" laid out in the Charter--rights, responsibilities, rules, policies, and procedures--through a series of questions and answers. The following answers are not meant to be laws unto themselves, but a working exercise in how to make Charter-based decisions.
       In reading this material, you'll come to realize more and more that the Lord is expecting us to lovingly and unselfishly apply the Love Charter in our lives and Homes. The Charter is designed to encourage us all to follow our own faith and make our own decisions within the allowable boundaries of the Charter--and this often requires a change of mind-set!
       We pray that this series of two "Charter Question and Answer" FSMs will be a help and blessing to you along these lines. Praise the Lord!

       Before addressing your questions pertaining to the role of Area Officers under the Charter, let's clarify a few of the words we use here:
       What is a VS? Is he or she a shepherd?--Yes. Is he or she an enforcer of the Charter?--Yes. Is he or she someone who is supposed to make decisions for the Home?--No!
       In the past, this very situation stood in the way of people in individual Homes making indigenous decisions that the Lord wanted them to make. Leadership would counsel Homes as to whether they should or shouldn't move their Home, or what Area they should move to, even how many bedrooms they should have or whatever! This is not the VSs' role.

A. Definition of a VS:
       1) As the name "Visiting Servant" implies, it is someone who travels, visiting the Homes; a person who is continually on call and may have to travel at a moment's notice. The ideal is for VSs to be in situations where others can help with their kids so they can be free to travel, or so that they can travel with their children in some instances. VSs need some time for their personal family. So a rotational program for VSs may be necessary in some cases so they won't get too overburdened, and their families won't be neglected, while playing such a sacrificial role.
       2) A VS is a loving shepherd who offers counsel and advice according to the Word.
       3) A VS is someone who is prayerful and knows how to inspire a Home with the Word and through his or her sample of loving the Lord. Someone who, during visits, loves people and encourages them, listens to everyone and checks things out diligently. While there may be a certain element of discussion with the Home teamwork, VSs also need to communicate with the individual Home members. VSs should not attempt to push their own ideas or programs.
       4) The VS is someone who undertakes to make sure that people's rights aren't being infringed upon. If Home members say, "I wish we could do such-and-such," this is when the VS will need to encourage people and say, "Well, did you bring it up in a Home Council Meeting?" "No, I didn't." "Well, why don't you? It says right here in the Rights of the Individual: Within the Home, D, pg. 17, that you can and should `bring up any matter in the appropriate Home Council Meeting and have it brought to a vote, and that the matter must be discussed and voted on within 15 days.'" VSs should encourage people to speak up and exercise their Charter-based rights.
       5) A VS is a person who has love and patience and understanding, as Mama brought out in "Lessons of Love" (ML #2975), and her prayer in "Libby's Homegoing" (ML #2936). VSs need to have compassion to understand, and patience to help people. They should be reachable by every Home member. The RNR picture of the VS was an inspirationalist who came into the Home and inspired people and shared ideas, and people look forward to that form of inspiration. But the VS of today doesn't necessarily have to be a great singer or "Mr. Charisma." If a VS is meek and mild, that's OK. He or she can still tell the Homes the happenings in other Homes. He can say, "This is what's going on, and isn't this idea fun and exciting?" and so on and so forth. The important thing now is for people to go to the Word and not only to the inspirational leader.
       6) The VS checks to be sure the Homes are following the Charter and obeying the "Fundamental Family Rules," and is willing to speak up and take action if they're not. He or she must have love and compassion and understanding, but he or she must also have a lot of conviction and not be wishy-washy. VSs must have love and the right attitude, so that if they have to put a Home on Probationary Notice, etc., it will be in a spirit of desperation to help the Home get back on track again. They should be like a father spanking his child who says, "This hurts me more than it hurts you"--and means it!
       7) A VS is someone who may need to judge certain situations that arise. In the Responsibilities and Authority of Area Officers, I, pg. 88, it says that Area Officers are responsible to "determine [EDITED: "matters"] through visitation, observation and investigation, as well as discussion with Home members..."--in other words, check the situation out. But they do that mostly through talking with people and finding out if they are happy. They may have a checklist to check for a good standard but their job isn't to come in and say, "We know there's something that's being done wrong in this Home, and we're going to find it!" They will be able to counsel and encourage the Home to make any needed improvements in a helpful manner. Although the VS is responsible to enforce the law, we hope that our VSs will be comparable to the friendly neighborhood constable or English bobbie that everyone knows and appreciates; he knows everyone and what's going on, and pops in to see how the neighbors are doing, and everyone feels more secure knowing he's watching out for their welfare.
       Now that we have the Charter, each of us can know and see clearly what our responsibilities are, which should make the shepherding job of our VSs much easier. They can simply say, "Please turn to page such-and-such in your Charter, the same book, the same standard, that I base my assessment on. Now would you read that point? Do you believe you're fulfilling that? Well, as you can see, it says on such-and-such a page that if you're not fulfilling it, I must do thus and so." With the Charter, the playing field is completely level, and the standard for everyone is clear and everyone now knows what is required of them.

B. Visitation of D.O. Homes
       Q-1: Is there a set visitation schedule for Visiting Servants to visit the Homes on a regular basis?
       A: The amount of visitation of Homes in any given Area will be dependent on the number of qualified VSs available. Each CRO Area now has roughly twice as many Homes as before the Charter went into effect. With Home size dropping, more people opening new Homes, and as we continue to grow, the number of Homes may very likely further increase. Due to this increase in the number of Homes, in the final analysis it was decided not to promise visitation as a right that Homes could expect on a set, regular basis, but rather will consider a service, as outlined in Responsibilities and Authority of Area Officers, B, pg. 86.

       Q-2: Are there any guidelines for how often Homes should be visited? Or is there a ratio of how many Homes are to be visited by each VS team?
       A: We considered having an actual goal as to how often each Home is visited, to ensure that they're upholding the standard. However, a VS team who visit Homes in Europe, for example, may also have in their area of responsibility a couple of Homes in South Africa and one Home in Kenya. If we say that all VSs have to visit each Home in his Area every four months in order for the Homes to retain their D.O. membership, this would place a tremendous burden on the VSs--as well as the Homes in Africa if they were to have to cover the VSs' travel costs. Therefore we've purposely not specified the amount of visitation a Home should receive.
       At this stage we don't know how many VSs there should be or how often they will visit. Each Area of the world is different. One Area might decide to have one VS for 12 Homes, whereas another Area might conclude that their Homes require fewer visits because they appear to be doing fine, so each VS team could have as many as 20 or more Homes in their Area.

       Q-3: What if a Home doesn't want a VS visit? Do the CROs need to ask the Homes whether they want a visit from a VS or not?
       A: No. Officers are not required to ask the Homes if they want a visit. The main responsibility of the VSs is to ensure that the Charter is being followed, which would be difficult, if not impossible, to determine without visiting the Homes at some point. Therefore VSs have been granted certain rights and authority, one of which is to visit Homes, as outlined in the Responsibilities and Authority of Area Officers, B, pg. 86.

       Q-4: Is it recommended for the VSs to have a checklist to use in their visitation?
       A: The "Home Self-Evaluation Checklist," Appendix C of the Charter (pg.182), will probably prove helpful in visitation. However, more important than a checklist, our VSs will need a good working know-ledge of the "Fundamental Family Rules," as well as being very familiar with everyone's individual rights and responsibilities as outlined in the Charter. VSs need to be wise and Spirit-led shepherds, well-versed in Family constitutional matters, as part of their qualifications.

C. Role and Authority of the Area Business Manager (ABM)
       Q-5: The Charter mentions less about ABMs than VSs. What exact authority is assigned to ABMs? How are they different from the VSs, and what exactly is their role within the Area Office?
       A: In the Responsibilities and Authority of Area Officers, C, pg. 87, it says, "The Continental Office will be the one to assign the Area Officers their specific duties, as to whether they will major on visiting the Homes or whether they will handle the administrational side of the VS teamwork's duties." This means that it is up to the CROs to assign each member of the Area Office teamwork his or her specific duties, including ABMs who handle the administrational side of the VS teamwork's duties, and who may or may not be part of the Area Office teamwork.

       Q-6: From studying the Charter, the ABM's role isn't completely clear to us. For instance, in the {\b \i Preface}, pg. ix, it says, "Area Officer leadership will be Visiting Servants, or Area Business Managers (ABMs), appointed by the CROs." Would this mean therefore that ABMs are also Area Officers, and part of the Area Office, and able to handle the administrative duties that the Area Office is responsible for?
       A: Yes. As explained above, the term "Area Officers" may include both VSs who major on travel, and ABMs who handle the administration of the Area Office. If the CROs designate the ABMs as equals with the VSs, thus making them part of the Area Office teamwork, they are Area Officers. In other cases, the ABM may simply be a secretary or staff worker in the Area Office.

       Q-7: When the Charter refers to the {\b \i Responsibilities and Authority of Area Officers}, it seems this is always in reference to VSs only. Even in the {\b \i Election Rules}, C.2, pg. 143, it speaks of a Vote of Confirmation for the Area Officers, but in the explanation following the root clause, it only mentions a Vote of Confirmation for the VS teamwork. We're assuming that the ABMs also need to undergo a Vote of Confirmation, just like the VSs. Is that right?
       A: Yes, if they have been appointed as actual Area Officers.

A. CROs and Area Officers Offering Counsel and Advice to Homes
       Q-8: How big a role can the Continental Officers and the Area Officers play in helping to keep talented and very needed members directed and inspired? I guess the question is more, "Where is the line to be drawn between not enough and too much when it comes to shepherding, to keep order, direction and fruitfulness in the local Family?"
       A: CROs or Area Officers still basically retain many of the same rights under the Charter that they previously had as far as being able to make suggestions to individuals or individual Homes, especially in Service Homes. Nevertheless, the individuals or Homes have the right to accept or reject their suggestions, though of course this means they are then also assuming the responsibility for those decisions. Perhaps some of the following questions and answers will further answer the question.

       Q-9: (From a CRO:) We recently visited a certain country and found two situations which concerned us: The first was a very low living standard, the second involved the political, social and financial instability of the country. We felt the Homes needed to make a provisioning push to raise their standard of living, as well as to make "crash preparations" that would see them through a civil emergency that could easily hit. Our initial response was to draft an advisory to the Homes, explaining our concern and suggesting some possible courses of action. However, this raised two questions: First, can we still send out advisories of this nature in which we encourage Homes to move in certain directions, and secondly, would there need to be a Home Referendum about it, to determine whether or not the Homes follow our counsel?
       A: In answer to your first question, yes, overseers can still send out advisories, and pass on counsel and advice to their Homes. Furthermore, in the Responsibilities of the D.O. Home: Regarding the Welfare of Its Members, A.6, pg. 58, it says that Homes are required to keep a proper standard of living, which, in this instance, the Homes were not--in view of the country's instability. Therefore, under Obligations of All Family Officers, C, pg. 78, you are given both the responsibility and the obligation to point out to them the need to rectify this situation. So although we realize that you do not want to issue advice that is too strongly worded, still it is your obligation and completely within the CROs and VSs' jurisdiction and authority to address this problem by whatever means you determine best.
       In answer to your second question, no, a Home Referendum is not mandatory, since it is generally up to each Home whether or not they follow through with your counsel. However, on the issue of sub-standard living conditions, any Home that fails to heed your advice or take other action to correct that situation would be in jeopardy of being placed on Probationary Notice. On the second issue, emergency preparations, the Charter does not specifically require D.O. Homes to prepare to survive emergencies such as civil unrest or economic upheavals. However, it is our hope that Homes living in countries where such unstable conditions exist will recognize that such preparations are part and parcel of providing for the welfare of its members.

       Q-10: (From a CRO:) We are concerned that a number of our Homes are receiving social welfare benefits. In the past there have been some drawbacks to Homes receiving welfare benefits, the main one being the spiritual toll it took in undermining faith and causing many to become complacent. We can see how such financial assistance would be a blessing for a short while to help tide the Homes over in unusually difficult circumstances, but we are concerned about many continuing to receive such benefits over a longer period of time. It seems this practice could even become something our enemies might try to use against us if they find out that it is getting quite widespread. Is this another case where we should just let each Home and individual go according to their own faith, or should we offer our counsel and try to influence their faith in this matter?
       A: As shepherds, you certainly can and should share counsel on this or any topic from the Word. As outlined in the Obligations of All Family Officers, D, pg. 78, Family Officers are expected to: "Endeavor to answer questions and give counsel on how to solve problems by directing the inquirer to the appropriate Bible passages or WS publications that offer guidance and counsel on the matter; when needed, offer prayerful, Word-based advice, in counsel with their co-officers if necessary...." So it's certainly within the Area Officer's rights to express his concerns to the Home(s) involved, and suggest guidelines for them to pray and seek the Lord about, as far as how to handle it.
       If you have reason to believe serious problems are arising in an Area due to certain actions on the part of the Homes, such as Homes getting overly involved with welfare benefits or whatever, it's your duty to bring this to their attention. Nevertheless, as with people taking outside employment, as stated in Responsibilities of the D.O. Home: Regarding Financial Matters, A, pg. 52, it is a Home's decision as to whether one or more of its members avails themselves of social welfare benefits.
       It is very important to not only show our Family members and Homes that we are allowing them to operate freely and make their own decisions under the Charter, but also we need to make this clear to the System as a testimony that we mean what we say in the Charter. This includes the fact that Homes have the freedom to take the direction they feel led, not only with their financial decisions, but about where and how they live, their children's schooling, taking outside employment, and the myriad of other freedoms and rights afforded to the Homes under the stipulations in the Charter. Likewise, our Homes worldwide assume the responsibility for their own decisions and actions through a democratic process.

       Q-11: (From a CRO:) Through many changes that took place in one of our fields, we learned the importance of being considerate of people's feelings in times of change. When sharing the vision for opening a training center, we read some quotes from the DTR series and explained what we had in mind. We then asked the Homes involved to pray and let us know if they agreed with the plan we had in mind.
       It took a lot of prayer and consideration of people's feelings to implement the project. In the past, we shepherds have sometimes tended to impose our ideas instead of proposing them, or even giving people a chance to suggest opposing ideas or alternatives. Needless to say, that gave people the mistaken idea that they've got to be "yes men" to be accepted or to be able to grow or be used of the Lord. I personally felt this way for many years, and to this day I must make a conscious effort to share my views and opinions when they're not in agreement with what my superiors think.
       A: While we encourage people to "say yes to Jesus," we are not promoting anyone being a yes man! The Charter outlines as one of its principal goals, in the Rights of the D.O. Home, A, pg. 60, that a Home itself should "determine ... its basic nature, goals and operating procedures, providing it operates within the `Fundamental Family Rules,' and endeavors to reach the goals of the Family and the agreed-upon goals of its Area."
       Furthermore, in situations which affect all of the Homes in a given Area, country or city (such as this proposal to create a training center), the Charter clearly states in the Basic Responsibilities of the D.O. Home, F.2, pg. 46: "The goals of the Continental Area, country, and/or city cannot violate or contravene the `Charter of Responsibilities and Rights' or the `Fundamental Family Rules'.... " (pg.140).
       The Charter goes on to say, "This means that other than a WS-established goal, an Area goal cannot be established without a vote of the Homes affected. Once the majority of the Homes in an Area, country or city agree that a measure should become a goal, then all the Homes in the Area, country or city are expected to endeavor to achieve it. So if an Area wants to have a united project, or a `push,' that everyone is expected to participate in, it must first be confirmed in a Home Referendum as an Area goal."

B. Role of VSs in Helping Homes Find Answers to Problems
       Q-12: If two Homes are not seeing eye-to-eye on something, should the VS get involved to sort out the difficulties?
       A: In Responsibilities and Authority of Area Officers, F, pg. 87, it states that the VSs should "attempt to settle, by prayer and counsel, any matters between their Area's Homes that the Homes are not able to resolve."
       However, this does not mean that the VSs should necessarily get involved in one Home's internal differences or disputes. We want to reserve their time and personal involvement to when there are two or more Homes that cannot agree, and it is necessary for a VS to mediate. It's not that VSs can't help in an individual field Home if they feel so led, but we want to put the responsibility on the Homes to work out their own difficulties.
       We are trusting that there have been enough mechanisms built into the Charter to enable a Home to settle their own internal differences. They can vote on a subject, and if a majority of the people vote for something, then that's the way it is. If certain Home members don't like the decision, then they are free to join another Home or pioneer their own Home, as outlined in the Responsibilities of Individual Members, P, pg. 8.

       Q-13: Suppose there is a Home that is divided concerning their catacomb ministry. Half of the Home says, "These catacombers are too weak. Let's phase them out of our discipleship training and go out and find some real discipleship material to work on." The other half says, "Despise not the day of small things. These are the sheep the Lord has given us to train." What, if anything, should a VS visiting this Home do to help resolve this problem?
       A: Area Officers can offer counsel and advice, but the final decision is the Home's, as clearly outlined in the Responsibilities and Authority of Area Officers, G, pgs. 87-88. We don't want the Homes to wait for the VS to come around and help them sort things out before they take action.
       A Home has to stay united on what their goals are. In a case like this, it would have to be put to a vote of the Home's voting members. If a simple majority votes to spend less time on their existing catacombers, those Home members who are outvoted are obligated to go along with the Home's majority decision, or they also have the option to give their 30-day notice and join another Home or open their own Home in order to continue their catacomb ministry.
       A basic concept of the post-Charter Family is that our individual Homes should stop and pray and hear from the Lord and determine the basic nature and goals of their Home. The ideal is to have people in a Home that have similar visions and goals. Then, once they've all decided what their Home's visions and goals will be, they can move in that direction. The VS can come in and offer counsel and advice, but can't say, "Do this," or "Do that."
       This should most likely be the first thing a VS would ask the Home if they seek his counsel on something like the above matter: "After hearing from the Lord, what did your Home decide is to be its nature and goals? What are your short-term goals? What are your long-term goals?" Many Homes just go from day to day, and don't really think along the lines of what their goals are. But Homes need to have goals and they need to have a vision. Their purpose and goal is something that they should stop and decide and pray and hear from the Lord about, and continue to bring before the Lord from time to time to see if the Lord wants to change the nature, direction and goals of their Home.
       We're trying to protect our VSs from getting involved in every situation and making decisions that the Homes are supposed to be making. In order to reverse this former trend, leadership needs to set a proper example and help the Homes learn to make their own decisions. When the VS comes for a visit, his first reaction when asked for his opinion should be, "What do the Letters say about this question? Has your Home gotten together and heard from the Lord on the matter? What has He said?"

A. When Homes Go Above the Maximum Home Size
       Q-14: {\b (From a CRO:) One of the Homes in our Area split into two Homes (still living in the same house) in preparation for their eventual move into two locations. Here's an excerpt from their TRF: "We have been able to implement the `Less Is More' vision by dividing our Home into} two Homes, one on the first floor and one on the second floor. So we are all inspired to see the fruitfulness and efficiency of working in smaller teams, but also still have the benefit of not having to get new housing just yet and invest a lot of money in another vehicle, deposit for housing, etc. This is a good time of adjusting to our new teams and building up a support base before branching out into our own Home."
       Our initial reaction to this report was that they should not be permitted to do this, as it has been a rule since the RNR that two Homes could not live in one location and report as separate Homes. However, after further praying and counseling together, and researching the Charter on this point, we realized that separate houses or dwellings was not specifically mentioned as a rule in the Charter.
       The Charter does say, "If your Home begins to increase in personnel towards the 30 mark, you might want to consider splitting into two Homes, with perhaps 20 remaining in one and the other 10 moving into a new Home. It might be helpful for the new Home to remain nearby so that you can cooperate together...."
       So the question is whether or not we should treat both Homes as separate, or suggest that for now--until they move into two different locations--that they report as one Home.
       A: There is nothing wrong with the Home dividing up like they did in preparation for their moves, if they are collectively below the maximum Home size limit. However in such a case, it seems best that they would continue to report as one Home while they are still in the same location.
       Two Homes could technically be under the same roof, say on different floors of the same apartment building or duplex, or campground, etc., and cooperate in witnessing, provisioning, etc., but they should be financially independent from each other, and the rule is that each Home should have its own separate mailing address (plus probably also independent utilities, phone, etc.). Under the World Service Reporting and Mailing Rules, Rule 16.A, pg. 153, each new Home is required to have its own separate mailing address, which they must give their Reporting Office in order to get their mailings. In addition, each Home must also send in at least the minimum tithe with their (own) TRF. Plus the Required Meetings and Activities, Rule 15.C, pg. 150, stipulate each Home must have its own (separate) Home Council meetings, witnessing meetings, childcare meetings, and so forth. So all these criteria must be met.
       Personally, we do not consider that having the mother Home on the first floor and the new pioneer Home on the second floor--in the same house that they formerly lived in as one Home--captures the full spirit of having smaller, independent Homes. Therefore, it would not meet the Charter standard in the long run. So in the case you've outlined above, it seems to us that the Home Size Rules, D, pg. 148, would apply: "If a Home [EDITED: "exceeds"] the maximum personnel limit ... on two consecutive Monthly Reports, the Home will be placed on Probationary Notice, in accordance with the Procedures for Placing a Home on Probationary Notice, points D, E, and F, pg. 105. Nevertheless, none of the Home Members would lose their Right of Mobility."
       This would only allow the possibility of a temporary situation like you describe for a maximum of up to 60 days. The CROs have the authority to extend this period, if necessary. Also, we suggest that this option be reserved for unusual or especially difficult circumstances.

B. When Homes Fall Under the Minimum Home Size
       Q-15: In accordance with the {\b \i Definition of a D.O. Home}, A.2, pg. 42, the minimum size of a Home may not generally be less than four voting members. However, let's take the scenario of two members who want to leave their Home (of four voting members) to open up another: They give their 30-day notice, and then open up a new pioneer Home and are given 90 days to bring in new members. But the Home they left, being now only two voting members, has only 30 days to increase their personnel. If they do not meet this requirement in the given amount of time, they are no longer considered a Home and therefore do not receive their mailings, etc. Can the mother Home apply for "pioneer status" too, in order to also have 90 days to comply?
       A: This "pioneer status" that you're referring to is only intended for new pioneer Homes opening, as stated in Home Size Rules, A.1.c, pg. 149. So the two remaining members of the mother Home in the above example would not be eligible, since they already exist as a Home. However, they do have as much as two months to get their Home population up to four voting members again. In the Definition of a D.O. Home, A.2, pg. 42, it's stated that a Home that falls below four voting members must have their Home population up to four again by their "second monthly report," which could be anywhere between 30 and 60 days after the Home falls below four members, depending at what point in the reporting period this takes place. Also, since the two members leaving must give 30 days notice, that adds even more time for the mother Home to look for personnel to replace them.
       And, as you pointed out, A.3 does allow the new pioneer Home up to 90 days to gain the required two new voting members.

C. Delays in Home Members Moving On
       Q-16: In one Home, about a third of the members are now preparing to leave the Home and move on. Although that is their choice according to the {\b \i Right of Mobility} in the Charter, their decision presents some real difficulties for the Home teamwork who must continue to make ends meet, keep together a team that can continue to build their work, minister to friends, go witnessing and so forth.
       In this case, one large family has been planning to leave for eight months, but have made very little progress in raising funds. They spend most of their time getting personal needs and dental work done, or trying to provision the repair of their vehicle so they can sell it. However, the reality of the situation is that they are not really supporting the work that the Home's involved with--their outreach, witnessing and so forth. This further complicates things in that it pulls down the overall morale of the Home. It seems it would be nice if there were a time limit for how long someone can remain in the "preparing to leave" status, so that it doesn't just go on and on indefinitely.--Especially when so many people fall into this category--in this case a third of the Home. What's the best way to handle this?
       A: We understand the difficulty you described in keeping a Home functioning properly when several families are preparing to leave at the same time. This problem has arisen in quite a few Homes since the onset of the Charter. A lot of people are taking up the challenge to pioneer new Homes, go to new fields, or embark on some other new ministry. As with any major decision, it is our hope that the Homes are getting together in Home Council meetings, or in smaller subcommittees, to prayerfully discuss and hear from the Lord for confirmations of His will and timing of their moves. Below are a few excerpts of the Charter which are applicable to this situation.
       The Right of Mobility, A.1, pg. 19, says, "There are a number of factors to consider when contemplating moving out of your Home. One of the main ones is that each of us has a responsibility to the Home in which we live, and should take into account what effect our departure will have on the Home and its ministries. If a number of Home members decide to leave in 30 days, it may mean that those remaining behind will not be able to sustain the ministries of the Home, and consequently those fruitful ministries will suffer or be lost.
       "Our prayer, intent and desire is that all such moves will be prayerful and responsible decisions; that when the Lord leads you to move, you will `squeeze, not jerk'; and that you will take into account the needs of your Home before doing so. For example, it might be appropriate to inform your Home that you feel called to another Area, but that you are willing to stay temporarily to fulfill your commitments to the Home and give them time to try and find a replacement before you go."
       Also in the Right of Mobility, 3.d).(1), pg. 25, there are specific instructions pertaining to what you should do if you've already given your 30-day notice to the Home, but you are not yet ready to leave when your time is up. "If you give your 30-day notice, and at the end of 37 days you are basically no further prepared for a move than you were at the beginning of this period, the Home may decide not to extend the period, and if you wish to stay in the Home you must resume the responsibilities of a voting member.... You regain your voting rights, and once again are responsible for the decisions of the Home, including its financial decisions."
       The Home teamwork in the above situation you describe may want to consider lovingly explaining to the couple who has been "preparing to leave for eight months" that they would like to share the above passages of the Charter with them. If the Home teamwork feels it is appropriate, they could share with the couple in question that since they are still in the Home after all this time, according to the above passages from the Charter, they will need to resume the responsibilities of voting members. They will need to take the responsibility to help the Home make progress in their outreach, taking care of the children and other unified goals of the Home, or else leave the Home very soon.
       In extreme cases where those "preparing to leave" continue to drag their feet indefinitely, and/or are unwilling to contribute to the Home, the other members of the Home have the right to vote them out. In Rights of the D.O. Home, E, explanation, pg. 64, the Charter states: "Just as the Home has the right to accept new members into it, they have the right and authority to vote members out. Hopefully this scenario would be rare, but since it might happen, it is necessary to cover it in the Charter.... If someone is simply voted out of a Home, he does not lose his D.O. status.... During the Home Council Meeting the member is free to present his feelings on the matter. The voting members would then vote on the matter, probably by secret ballot."
       The Home teamwork may of course feel that another course of action is better, but these are the basic options that are within the rights of the Home teamwork as they attempt to resolve the problem with this couple.

D. Rights in Service Homes
       Q-17: It was asked whether it is possible to implement the Charter in an Office or Service Home, as someone had commented that the Charter didn't apply much to them. Is that the case?
       A: Although personnel in Service Homes must be willing to relinquish certain specified rights, they should be given as many rights and responsibilities as possible to ensure their happiness and fulfillment as part of the team. Also, Service Home teamworks should understand that only the CROs have the authority to withdraw certain rights from Service Home personnel, in accordance with Rights of Personnel in a Service Home, A, pg. 66, and not the Service Home teamwork themselves. If the CROs do not withdraw certain rights, then the Service Home and its members are thereby entitled to exercise those rights as outlined in the Charter. CROs should monitor each of their Service Homes to ensure the teamworks are operating by Charter guidelines.

E. Home Elections and Confirmations
       Q-18: I like the idea of having elections every six months, but what happens if after a few weeks, somebody elected to the Home teamwork acts a bit dictatorial? Of course, Home members could appeal to the other Home officers who could hopefully help the "dictatorial" teamworker to overcome his or her weaknesses, but what if that doesn't work? Is the Home stuck with the "dictatorial" teamworker for the next six months?
       A: In the Election Rules, B & C, pgs. 141-144, you'll see that the election process requires a simple majority (or over half of the Home) to elect the Home teamwork for a six-month term. However, at the mid-term point, when the Home has a Vote of Confirmation, a teamworker can be voted out in the middle of their six-month tenure if a two-thirds majority--for example, seven out of 10 voting members--express these sentiments via their votes. So to answer the question, if a Home teamworker has performed poorly during the first three months, Home members have this option: In a Home Council meeting at the time of Confirmation, they are free to publicly express their opinions about the "dictatorial" teamworker's performance, and if a two-thirds majority of the Home feels a change is necessary, they have the power to determine that the errant teamworker not continue for the second half of their six-month term of office.

       Q-19: The Charter says that CROs are authorized to appoint VSs, ABMs and Service Home teamworks, and that any officers appointed by CROs are subject to a Vote of Confirmation. Are Service Home shepherds subject to a Vote of Confirmation, since in most cases they are "appointed officers"?
       A: According to the Charter, Service Homes are not required to hold a Vote of Confirmation of their CRO-appointed Home teamworkers.--Only CRO-appointed Area Officers are subject to an official Vote of Confirmation as outlined in the Authority of Continental Officers, A.2, pg. 84.
       As for any members of the teamwork of a Service Home who have not been appointed by the CRO, but instead were nominated and elected to the teamwork through normal Home voting procedures, these particular teamworkers would be subject to a Vote of Confirmation within the Home, on June 1st and December 1st, just like any other Home teamworker. (Of course, all of this is with the stipulation and understanding that CROs are free to reject any or all of a Service Home's choices of teamwork members, and/or replace, change, or add teamwork members in a Service Home at any time.)

F. The Difference Between a Teamworker's Position and a Portfolio
       Q-20: In the {\b \i Election Rules, }B.9, explanation, pg. 142, it says that a Home must have three teamworkers who are responsible for Personnel, Outreach, Business and Childcare (unless there are no children). However, in B.4 it says that once a nominee is elected to a teamwork position, they are not eligible for nominations to any other teamwork positions. So, in this example given, where you have the four portfolios--Business, Childcare, Personnel, Outreach--and when you have a Home with only three teamworkers, you do in fact usually incorporate, say, the Outreach portfolio in with the Business teamworker's job. So in a way, this is a little bit contradictory, as in order to cover the four teamwork portfolios, if you only have three teamworkers, then you do have to combine and have someone cover two portfolios. Could you clarify?
       A: This seeming contradiction comes from making teamwork positions and portfolios synonymous, when in fact they are different. Three teamwork positions are required, and in larger Homes there may be more teamworkers and positions added if desired.
       Once elected to a Home teamwork position, a teamworker may hold more than one portfolio. For example: The personnel teamworker could be assigned the portfolios for personnel and childcare; or the business teamworker could be assigned the portfolios for business and outreach; or an outreach teamworker could oversee outreach and the mail ministry, etc. So while there may only be three or four teamworkers, there are numerous portfolios that could be divided between those teamworkers.

G. New Disciples on Home Teamworks
       Q-21: From the election rules, it seems that once a new disciple becomes a voting member, after six months in the Family, he or she also becomes eligible for a teamwork position, like any other adult in the Home. We also understand that senior teens or YAs would need to be trainees first for six months if elected to a teamwork position. So should the same rules apply to new disciples, even if they are over 21, making them "trainees" for the first six months? Our YAs have, in many ways, more training than a new disciple would, having spent their life in the Family.
       A: Similar to what was recommended for our young people, because of the immensity of the teamwork job, new disciples who are elected to Home teamworks for the first time should likewise be considered trainees for the first six months on the job, wherever practical. (See pg. 193, of the Charter, point 6, for possible scenarios for trainees.) Although "trainees," they would still have a full vote on the teamwork.

       Q-22: Do Homes have the freedom to decide whether they would prefer to put their children in outside or System schools, or have Home members try to find high-paying secular jobs to help finance their ministries?
       A: The answer is yes on both counts. Providing the individuals and Home are keeping the rules and fulfilling their responsibilities, including Responsibilities of Individual Members, E, pg. 3, they would be recognized as D.O. Family members.

       Q-23: Who decides whether or not one or more Home members take secular jobs? Is this a decision that must be agreed upon by the individuals involved and the other voting members of their Home?
       A: This would be a personal decision of the Home member(s) involved, subject to their Home's agreement. Under The Responsibilities of the D.O. Home Regarding Financial Matters, A, pg. 52, it explains that the D.O. Home must "meet all of its financial responsibilities and obligations by whatever legal means necessary." This includes someone in the Home getting a job in order to fulfill the Home's financial obligations. The question as to whether one or more members should get jobs would be a matter to be discussed and decided upon in a Home Council meeting. (See Home Life Rules, I, pg. 132, for further details.)

       Q-24: A similar question is who decides whether or not a Home enrolls their children in outside schools? Would this need to be agreed upon between the parents and the rest of the Home?
       A: Right! Again, this is a personal decision, which the Charter gives parents the right to make, if they so choose. First of all, the Rights of the Children, E, pg. 39, states that children should receive "sufficient time, opportunity and educational materials to receive an adequate education that allows them to become competent in a manner appropriate to their age, ability and aptitude, in the skills of reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, sciences, and other curricular subjects, including practical-life skills."
       Responsibilities of Parents, D, pg. 33, says that parents are responsible to "see to it that their children are properly and sufficiently educated scholastically, physically, emotionally and spiritually, on an ongoing basis." To help accomplish this, the Responsibilities of the D.O. Home: Regarding Children and Parents, F, pg. 51, goes on to say that the D.O. Home should attempt to supply "sufficient assistance to resident parents in the physical and spiritual care and education of resident children. `Sufficient assistance' is determined by a two-thirds majority." And clause B, pg. 50, states that the Home is responsible to provide "by whatever means, an adequate education for its resident children," as specified under Rights of the Children, quoted above.
       If parents feel that the educational needs of their children are not being met by the Home, according to the Rights of the Individual: Within the Home, D, pg. 17, they have the right to "bring up any matter in the appropriate Home Council meeting and have the matter brought to a vote...."       If after discussion and prayer, it does not seem that the Home is able to provide the educational needs of an individual child or children, the Home may decide that the child or children could be enrolled in an outside school. Such a decision should be determined by a two-thirds majority of the Home, as per Home Life Rules, J, pg. 132.
       If the parents are in disagreement with their Home, they have the right to seek out another Home or start their own Home where they are able to secure for their children the type of education they deem best, whether it be home schooling or enrolling their children in an outside school of their choice. In either case, the parents and children would remain D.O. disciples.

       Q-25: It's not that we would want to promote our Homes putting their children in outside schools, but in our Area we can foresee some opting for this, at least temporarily, so that their children learn to speak the local language more fluently. Is this OK?
       A: Yes. As stated earlier, if parents feel that the educational needs of their children are not being met by the Home, according to the Rights of the Individual: Within the Home, D, pg. 17, they have the right to "bring up any matter in the appropriate Home Council meeting and have the matter brought to a vote...." If after discussion and prayer, it does not seem that the Home is able to provide the educational needs of an individual child or children, the Home may decide that the child or children could be enrolled in an outside school, or tutors engaged, to help meet the needs of their children in learning the local language. Such a decision should be determined by a two-thirds majority of the Home, as outlined in Home Life Rules, J, pg. 132.

       Q-26: Are we now allowing the Family to get whatever educational materials they feel are necessary to achieve the minimum level of standard compulsory education in the country in which they reside, regardless of whether or not these are Family-approved materials?
       A: While we hope that our Homes will largely follow our established home schooling approach and guidelines, D.O. Homes have the option of using resources and/or courses other than our HSK (including Christian Light Education, etc.). Parents and teachers are welcome to use whatever teaching aides, resources and edifying helpful educational materials their students need. They may even choose to enroll their children in outside schools.

A. Screening of New Disciples
       Q-27: Who decides who is a bona fide new D.O. disciple? Will this be left to a majority decision of the Home, or should the VS confirm that this person is indeed committed and of the caliber of a new disciple?
       A: Essentially this is up to the Home themselves to decide, following the guidelines for what a D.O. member should be like, as outlined in the Responsibilities of Individual Members, pgs. 1-10, as well as following the Procedures for Accepting New Disciples into a D.O. Home, pgs. 92-96.

       Q-28: If singles go off to pioneer their own Home, some of the following scenarios might happen: Two single brothers set up their own Home. One of them falls in love with a sheep and wants to take her in as a "new disciple." Or maybe a couple is on their own and they want to take somebody in who is not really discipleship material, because one of the mates has fallen in love with them. Maybe this is far fetched, but is it up to the Home to decide who is a real disciple?
       A: Yes, it's the Home's decision, and with this right comes their responsibility for the decision. By requiring a minimum Home size of four and putting certain restrictions on two-man Homes, hopefully any such decisions concerning new disciples will be balanced by the counsel of the other Home members. "In the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Pro.11:14).

       Q-29: We have a coffee shop where we are witnessing to a lot of dopers, mainly ones in their early 20s, and a lot of them say they want to stop their bad habits. In the beginning of the Family, many drug addicts joined and quit their drugs from one day to the next. Of course we know that it was Jesus Who helped them, but the fact that they could join and get away from their drug-filled environment also helped a lot, so they weren't continually being faced with the old friends and temptations! What happens now is that some of our sheep come almost daily and spend several hours with us, where we give them the Word and they help us witness to the other visitors, but we don't bring them further in. When they go home in the evening and on the weekends, they are faced with their old friends and drugs, and they fall into their old habits. Can we allow "sudden dropouts" in this case?
       A: In this particular situation where the young adults they are ministering to are already in essence "dropped out," it would seem that the team there could be more lenient and reduce the amount of time before these kids could "drop in" to full-time discipleship, if they are truly dedicated and have made a solid decision. You will note that the Procedures for Accepting New Disciples into a D.O. Home, pg. 92, do not state a time-limit minimum. Each potential disciple should be individually prayed over to see whether the Lord indeed wants him to join full time or not. In the case of actual drug addicts, the stipulations for AIDS tests, as outlined in the above procedures, would need to be given close attention.

B. TRF Supporters Becoming D.O. Members
       Q-30: If TRF Supporters rejoin a D.O. Home, are they required to read and complete the entire {\b \i Babes Basic Course} before they are eligible to read D.O. literature?
       A: Yes. In the Procedures for TRF Supporter Members Changing to D.O. Status and Moving into an Existing Home, C., pg. 99, it says, "The applicant must complete the reading of the Babes Basic Course (Appendix F). In addition to this, a returning TRF Supporter member is eligible to read all materials that TRF Supporters are eligible for." They may not be able to finish reading all the publications in the Basic Books/Publications for New Disciples listing in Appendix F, but they must at least read through all of the Ninety Basic Letters for Babes, before being eligible for D.O. status at the end of their six-month probationary period.
       Having accomplished this, point D states that "At the end of a six-month probationary period, the Home will vote to confirm if the applicant is living according to the Charter, and if so, he will then become a full-fledged voting D.O. member." Only at this point is a TRF Supporter eligible to read D.O. literature.

       Q-31: Are entire TRF Supporter Homes who are reclassified as D.O. required to read and complete the entire {\b \i Babes Basic Course} before they are eligible to read D.O. literature?
       A: Technically, yes. In the Procedures for Moving TRF Supporter Members to D.O. Status, C.1, pg. 97, it says that "During this probationary period, the applicant(s) must complete the reading of the Babes Basic Course...." However, in the case of TRF Supporter(s) moving to D.O. status and forming their own D.O. Home, the explanation after C.1, states, "If the reading of the Babes Basic Course is completed in less than six months, but not less than three months, the applicant(s) may write their Continental Office requesting their final visit of confirmation.... Such visits will be left up to the discretion of the Continental Offices, as they will need to take into consideration the other responsibilities of the VS/D.O. representative."
       It is unlikely that the TRF Supporter(s) would be able to complete the entire Babes Basic Course in much less than six months. Nevertheless, TRF Supporters who move to D.O. status and remain as their own D.O. Home do have the option to become full D.O. voting members before the six months are up once they complete the Babes Basic Course. Since TS members rejoining an existing D.O. Home would have a direct effect on the operation of that D.O. Home once they become voting members, in such cases we felt it best to require they wait the full six months before becoming full D.O. members, even if they do finish the Babes Basic Course before the six months are up.

       Q-32: If I understand the Charter correctly, it appears that when a TSer wants to join a D.O. Home, they must first work and witness--and occasionally live in--with the Home for three months. Then at that point the Home votes on whether they will accept them into the Home. The Home then must check with the CROs to verify they're cleared to return, and if so, they move in and begin the {\b \i Babes Basic Course}.
       Our question is: What is the reason for finding out after we've already been working with them for three months, that they're not even eligible? Shouldn't we ask the CROs before even beginning on the first three-month period if they are cleared?
       A: Yes. Checking with the CROs should be the first step a Home takes, once they've unitedly decided to accept a TSer into their D.O. Home, as outlined in Procedures for TRF Supporter Members Changing to D.O. Status and Moving into an Existing Home, B, p. 99. This means that a Home can't officially proceed with plans for offering a TRF Supporter(s) the opportunity of returning to D.O. status until they receive CRO agreement (as per clause B.1).
       Only after a Home has the CROs' agreement is the TS returnee eligible to then begin his six-month probationary period, at the completion of which, if the Home confirms him, he will become a full-fledged voting D.O. member.

       Q-33: (From a CRO:) A number of D.O. Homes have been admitting TSers into their Homes without having checked with us at the Continental Office. We don't want to stigmatize any of our TSers, nevertheless we are getting some cases of weaker TSers who have long histories of problems coming back into D.O. Homes. In some cases, we might agree with giving the TSer another chance, but in such cases we at least like to give the Home receiving them a warning concerning the TSer's past problems, since they may recur. We then encourage the Home to counsel, pray and hear from the Lord about it before they take in the TSer, as it is important that they have the faith to help the TSer overcome whatever weak areas or problems they had that caused them to go TS. Do you concur with this approach to CROs helping the Homes determine which TSers may be too weak to return to D.O. status?
       A: Yes. Homes, this is a reminder that before TSers can officially move into a D.O. Home and begin their six-month probationary period, the Home's teamwork first "must check with their Continental Office to verify that the TRF Supporter is a member in good standing, whose past history and specific offenses do not make him ineligible for prospective D.O. status" (as per Procedures for TRF Supporter Members Changing to D.O. Status and Moving into an Existing Home, B, pg. 99).
       Homes do have the option to have "TRF Supporter applicants who request to join their Home ... fellowship with and witness with the D.O. Home to see if the Home wants to bring them in. The applicant could also visit and live in the Home for short periods of time to see how everyone likes each other" (pg. 99). However, before an invitation is extended to the TSer to actually officially join the Home, the Home's teamwork first must receive verification from their Continental Office that the TSer is eligible for prospective D.O. status, as outlined in the above paragraph.
       Clause B.2, pg. 99, also gives the CROs authority to inform the Home of a TSer's past problems if deemed necessary--or ex-members too, for that matter--and ask the Home to further pray about this particular individual rejoining in light of these past problems. However, unless the CRO officially declares the individual ineligible to return to D.O. status, the final decision on taking them into their D.O. Home rests with the Home's voting members.

       Q-34: If a TS Home decides to return to D.O. status without joining an existing D.O. Home, do they need to have the minimum of four voting members required by the Charter? In the {\b \i Procedures for Moving TRF Supporter Members to D.O. Status, }B.2.b), pg. 97, it says, "If only one individual or a few members of the original TRF Supporter Home have been accepted to return to D.O. status, then those returning to D.O. status will either need to open a new Home by themselves, or ask to be accepted in an existing D.O. Home." This is a little unclear to us. If they need to keep all the requirements of the Charter, wouldn't four members of at least 16 years of age be a requirement?
       Could they be a new pioneer D.O. Home, and in that case they'd have three months to bring in more voting members? Would those new members need to also be TSers, or could D.O. members join them to bring their number of voting-age members up to four?
       A: There are a number of questions here, so we will respond to this from different angles in an attempt to answer your questions:
       Four or more TS members, age 16 and above, could be, or could open, their own TS Home and apply to return to D.O. status as a Home. If the Home consists of less than four voting-age members, they will be given six months to gain the necessary membership.
       So an existing TS Home of less than four voting age members--or two or three individual TSers who decide to open a new Home--may begin the necessary steps to apply to return to D.O. status. Once they have had their first visit from a designated D.O. representative (DR) and receive a Letter of Eligibility from the Continental Office, they may begin their six-month probationary period in accordance with the Procedures for Moving TRF Supporter Members to D.O. Status, C, pg. 97, which states, "Once the Area Officer or DR has visited the applicant(s) and determined that the applicant(s) is indeed living the Charter, then the applicant(s) commences a six-month probationary period as a D.O. member(s)."
       However, along with the other requirements outlined for moving to D.O. status, these probationary D.O. Homes must also be up to four voting age members by the end of their six-month probationary period. In other words, these Homes will not receive their second DR visit or be allowed to begin their six-month D.O. transition period (see E, pg. 98) until they have four voting-age members in their Home. Until such time as they meet this four voting-age member requirement they will have to remain a TS Home.
       D.O. members cannot join a TS Home and still retain their D.O. status. A D.O. member joining a TS Home would thus become a TS member until the TS Home completes its probationary period and officially becomes a D.O. Home. The underlying goal is to bring the eligible TSers to D.O. level and not for our D.O. members to go to TS level.
       The only way a TSer can live with D.O. members is if the TSer joins an existing D.O. Home, and follows the Procedures for TRF Supporter Members Changing to D.O. Status and Moving into an Existing Home, pgs. 98-99.

       Q-35: We have been seeing that the minimum Home size of four voting-age members is a real sifter. Some of those who are having trouble finding brethren to live with them might be brethren who have difficulty working and living with others. So it seems we do need to have a requirement of four voting-age members for TSers wishing to become a D.O. Home. It seems that this major test of living and working in unity with others is an obstacle TSers also need to overcome. Is that right?
       A: Yes, that is the rationale behind the answers to the above questions. It is necessary that all D.O. Homes, including TS Homes moving to D.O. status, have four voting-age members unless special exemptions are granted by the Continental Office as outlined in the Definition of a D.O. Home, A.4, pg. 42.

A. Stipulations on Staying with Outsiders
       Q-36: We have a question concerning potential outside sexual contact when people are temporarily away from their Home. Recently a brother, R., from another Home, came to our city on his own, repeatedly staying out by himself, oftentimes staying with TRF Supporters by himself, etc. Later we received a message from his Home indicating that he had left his Home alone without the Home's approval.
       We are very concerned because of the potential for outside sexual contact in a country like ours, where AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are rampant, that someone in a weak moment might have outside sexual contact with a prostitute or outsider. We had a similar question when a brother visited his relatives, and in so doing was gone for an extended period. Should we classify something like this as backsliding? Can we insist the individual have an AIDS test before having sexual contact within the Family again?
       A: In this particular situation, the first member mentioned is first of all in violation since his Home had not agreed to his plans. In the Right of Mobility, E.1, pg. 30, the last paragraph of the explanation acknowledges that "There will be occasions when someone will want to visit another Home [EDITED: "or flesh relatives, TRF Supporters, friends, kings, etc."] for a period of time.... Decisions regarding such matters are to be decided upon by the Homes involved."
       Likewise, under the Definition of a D.O. Home, C.1.a, explanation, pg. 44, it goes on to say, "The amount of time a D.O. member would remain with relatives [EDITED: "or others"] depends, among other things, on the reason he is visiting them. The timetable for such visits should be agreed upon by the member and his Home prior to the visit." So it is the Home's responsibility to decide beforehand if a member can visit outsiders, and to determine with him the length of such a visit.
       Homes also carry the responsibility to decide if one of their members would be required to have a check-up for AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases before beginning to share with others in their Home again once they return. No matter what a Home as a whole decides, individual members in the Home can, of course, decline to share with other members of their Home. So, for example, in a situation of this nature, other Home members who do not wish to share with returning members who have been visiting outsiders in questionable circumstances, due to concerns over possibly catching sexually transmitted diseases, should not feel compelled to do so.
       In the event that this brother R., mentioned above, ended up disregarding the counsel of his Home and decided to go join another Home, the Area Officers or CRO would probably want to explain the background of his decision to the new Home. It would be within their rights to remind the Homes, as outlined in the Right of Mobility, D.3, explanation, it is "the responsibility of the Home teamwork of the receiving Home to first of all confirm that the incoming member is a bona fide D.O. member. They may also request whatever information they need about the incoming member, a résumé of his background in the Family, details of any debts or liabilities he might have, and so forth. The receiving Home is also entitled to ask for a recommendation from the member's present Home, and other Officers, if they so desire. (See Guidelines for Member Evaluation Form in Appendix B.) This is normally a wise thing to do" (pg.28).
       In addition to the above, it goes on to say, "When a Home receives a request from someone to join their Home, they should reply within 30 days. The reply might not necessarily be a yes or a no, it may be a request for more information." This clause allows for a receiving Home to delay and ask for whatever information they desire from an applying member before receiving him. Likewise, in the above scenario, in a vote of their Home Council the new Home could decide that the incoming member be required to have an AIDS test and/or check-up for other sexually transmitted diseases, because of the possible risk of venereal disease entering their Home.

B. Probationary Status Different than Partial Excommunication
       Q-37: In the past when a person was learning lessons or demoted to "Babes status," they were assigned basic Letters to read like "Stop, Look, Listen" which were ideal for their situation. Over the years, though, we have acquired a tremendous number of other Letters which seem as though they would be extremely valuable to have available to read at such times--such as "You Are Your Own Worst Enemy!", "Don't be Discouraged!", "Endure Hardness!", etc. Can some of these later Letters and pubs containing basic lessons be added to the {\b \i Babes Basic Course}?
       A: Since this question was originally posed, the Babes Basic Course was updated to include many more milestone Letters. The new list can be found in the Charter, Appendix F. One thing we took into consideration is that those reading through the Babes Basic Course may have very different needs. Those on Probationary status in a Home, or a new babe reading through the Babes Basic Course, or someone who has been partially excommunicated and is reading through the Babes Basic Course, all may have different needs. The new Babes Basic Course therefore includes pubs that are basic enough to apply to the lowest common denominator, the brand new babe.
       For the individual in a Home who is "going through a lesson-learning time" and is placed on Probationary status by the Home, the Home Officers have the right to suggest other pubs in addition to what's on the Babes Basic Course. In the Procedures for Placing a Member on Probationary Status, C.3, pg. 106, it states that while on Probationary status, the member "can be assigned to read parts or all of the Babes Basic Course, and other publications that the Home Officers deem necessary."
       In other words, for someone who has simply been placed on Probationary status within a Home, it is up to their Home Officers to decide what Letters they are assigned or allowed to read. For folks who are having a time like this in their lives, having access to some of these more recent and perhaps more relevant Letters could be greatly beneficial. It could even be the case that a particularly relevant and helpful pub will come in a new mailing, and it is likewise left up to the Home teamworkers to decide if it would be beneficial for the individual on Probationary status to read.
       In addition to this, we feel that folks who are returning to the Family after having been away for a few years could, during the second half of the period that they are a babe, benefit from being able to read Letters which help them catch up with all the key revolutions that have happened in the Family since they left, like the Discipleship Training Revolution (DTR), the Personal Encouragement Revolution (PER), the Affection Revolution, etc. (See Classifications of Family Membership and Literature, point B, pg. 161, for further details.)
       However, it is mandated that someone who has been partially excommunicated read only the Letters in the Babes Basic Course.

C. Required Reading Course for Partial Excoms
       Q-38: If someone is partially excommed, must they read the entire {\b \i Babes Basic Course} before they are again eligible to read D.O. literature, including what they've missed during their partial excommunication?
       A: No. This question arises because of an oversight in some last-minute wording changes in the layout of the Charter. We have now corrected this error by amending the Procedures for Excommunicating Family Members, A.2.a).(2), pg. 110. This clause now states that "while partially excommunicated, the member must complete the reading of the Ninety Basic Letters for Babes in the Babes Basic Course."--So they are only required to read these ninety assigned Letters, not the entire Basic Course.
       Once members who are partially excommunicated have completed the reading of the Ninety Basic Letters and the time period of their partial excommunication has elapsed, they are then permitted to read all D.O. literature, including the new wine and any D.O. pubs they missed while partially excommunicated. (When a partial excommunication is for more than a three-month period, after completing the first three months, an individual may possibly be allowed by their teamwork to hear or read certain D.O. lit.)
       However, even if a member still on their partial excommunication time period has completed the reading of the Ninety Basic Letters, they still remain ineligible to read all D.O. literature until the full time period of their partial excommunication has elapsed. Likewise, even if they have served their term of partial excommunication they must finish reading the Ninety Basic Letters for Babes before being eligible for D.O. lit.

       Q-39: Can someone who has been partially excommunicated hear new D.O. Letters that come out?
       A: No, definitely not during their first three months of partial excommunication. This is one condition that differentiates between Probationary status and Partial Excommunication: If a D.O. member has been "partially excommunicated," this person is reduced to the status of a new babe. This means they are no longer a voting member of the Home, and temporarily lose their Right of Mobility, in addition to being required to read through the Ninety Basic Letters. And during partial excommunication, this person is not allowed to hear or read any D.O. pubs, which is part of their punishment. This is based on the logic that new disciples are not supposed to read D.O. lit until after six months in the Family.--After three months of Partial Excommunication, they may however hear or be read selected D.O. pubs, at the teamwork's discretion.
       However, someone who has been on Probationary status in a Home, as explained previously, may be given certain D.O. pubs to read at any time, and/or hear the new GNs being read in the Home, as determined by the Home teamwork.

[EDITED: "End"]

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