I recently took my grandchildren to a fast-food chain restaurant. To my surprise, booths with electronic tablets for ordering and table-top gaming replaced the previous inside toddler playground. When I asked the manager about the change, she replied, “We are a franchise. Each restaurant is responsible for its own operation. We wanted to meet the needs of families in our neighborhood with all aged children, not just toddlers.” I started wondering about the organizational structure of IOKDS. Are our Circles like franchises?
Although IOKDS has a Board of Directors at the international level, the principles and precepts that define our organization’s service are broad. Article XII, section 6 of our Bylaws, speaks to the autonomy of local affiliates and their decision-making freedom.
IOKDS Branches, Unions, Circles and members are free to direct their charitable service and donations to projects of their choice. Such a decentralized structure amplifies our service impact to best serve individual needs within different communities.

At the same time, our collective IOKDS membership provides service opportunities to change lives in ways our small groups cannot achieve independently. IOKDS’ international projects and services include scholarship awards, Clergy Renewal Week, summer Learn and Discern internships, and affordable accommodation at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York.

As an IOKDS member, I appreciate the combined organizational gifts of local autonomy and broad collective impact making a difference in the lives of people of all ages and circumstances.

Dianne Foglesong, IN
International Communications Director

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