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2014 Detroit Annual Conference

LEGISLATIVE HANDBOOK

2014 Detroit Annual Conference Session May 15-18, 2014 Adrian College • Adrian, Mich.


2014 Detroit Annual Conference Voting Items

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Handbook For Members of the Detroit Annual Conference Why Have a Handbook? The annual gathering of more than 1,000 Detroit Conference United Methodists can be a grand and glorious experience for pastors and any person chosen to serve as an annual conference member from his/her local church. It can also be an overwhelming experience for a new member. It is easy to become lost during votes on lengthy reports and in the discussion and debate of the various legislation. Hopefully this handbook will help all members of the annual conference by showing how you can become part of the conference session, how your ideas can be expressed and heard, your presence recognized, and your questions answered. Our annual conference becomes vital and effective only when all members are able to become a part of the debate, deliberations, and activities. The Annual Conference The annual conference in session is a basic body of The United Methodist Church. It includes celebration, worship, and fellowship. It encompasses the highlights of a professional ministry: ordination, consecration, service, and retirement. Conference members share outstanding guest speakers, a memorial service, and Holy Communion, as well as the business sessions. The annual conference derives its authority to adopt rules and regulations from its own government and General Conference as set forth in the latest quadrennial edition of The Book of Discipline. The business of the annual conference must include certain elements: • Worship is an essential part of the annual conference. • The agenda is prepared under the direction of the bishop and is adopted by the annual conference. • The members of agencies of the annual conference are elected. • Reports are received from conference agencies. • There is a clergy session to consider matters of ordination, character, and conference relationships. • The bishop receives new clergy members into the annual conference and announces pastoral appointments for the succeeding year. • Resolutions are considered, a budget is adopted, and goals may be established. • The large volume of work is processed through LEAD groups (formerly legislative sections) to which all members are assigned and legislation is presented, discussed, accepted, or amended for presentation to the plenary session of the annual conference for final consideration. For more information on the organization of the annual conference, you may refer to The Book of Discipline, the Official Journal and Minutes of the Detroit Annual Conference, and this year’s preconference reports. Besides your personal items, it is necessary for you to bring the pre-conference materials that are available on the conference website at www.detroitconference.org/annualconference. They will be easier to handle if you bring them in a notebook or binder with a place for additional material that will be handed out. It is also helpful to bring a Bible, the Discipline, and last year’s Journal. The Pre-Conference Reports The pre-conference information enables you to come to annual conference with knowledge of what will be reported so that you can discuss and vote with better understanding. They include: 1. Historical reports of the past year’s accomplishments and future goals which require no annual conference action (available on the conference web site and at annual conference) 2. Registration forms, an annual conference schedule of events, and other pertinent information.


2014 Detroit Annual Conference Voting Items

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3. A form for corrections in the Journal of names, addresses, and telephone numbers. 4. A voting items booklet - containing items to be acted upon by the annual conference. This includes resolutions, changes to the Rules of Order, any business to come before the conference, and the 2015 Budget. It is necessary for you to read the pre-conference information before coming to annual conference, especially those specific resolutions which will be considered in the LEAD group (formerly legislative section) to which you have been assigned. There will be limited time at annual conference for this kind of homework. Your Idea Can Become New Business Any individual member or group in the Detroit Annual Conference can submit business to the annual conference. Resolutions will be referred to a LEAD group (formerly legislative section) and become part of the agenda of the annual conference. As an initiator of business, you, or your alternate, must be present in the LEAD group (formerly legislative section) to which it is referred in order to explain and defend it. If you, or your alternate, are not present, the LEAD group cannot and will not consider it. You or your alternate will become a member of the group where your business is assigned. Be sure to know the agenda of the annual conference; when and where your business is to be considered. The following is the only way to bring business to the annual conference after the deadline (Feb. 15): 1. Prepare enough three-hole punched copies to be distributed at annual conference (1,200). You must contact the chairperson of the Committee on Reference and Daily Procedure (Diane Brown 734-662-0469) for permission and head usher Mel Scott to make arrangements for distribution on the opening day AND inform them that you are trying to bring a last minute item of business. 2. In the opening business session and prior to the meeting of the LEAD groups (formerly legislative sections), request the annual conference to suspend the rules in order to receive and refer your item of business. Suspension of the rules requires a two-thirds vote of the annual conference. How to Address the Conference Before you may speak on any matter before the annual conference, you must observe the following procedure: 1. Remain seated; raise the fluorescent colored card you will be given at the beginning of the conference. Wait for the bishop to recognize you. No one will be recognized who is standing in the aisle or at a microphone. 2. Once the bishop has recognized you, proceed to the nearest microphone and identify yourself by giving your name and the church/agency you represent. Then you may discuss the business before the annual conference or offer a motion or amendment. 3. When two or more members wish to speak, the bishop can recognize only one at a time. Be patient. Remain in your seat and chances are you soon will be recognized. If you want to make a motion, or amend an existing motion, observe the following procedure: 1. Obtain the floor (see above) 2. After identifying yourself at microphone, present your motion or amendment. It will save time if you write your motion out in advance and then read it to the annual conference. No one will be allowed to present a motion after having discussed its subject matter.


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3. It is good to begin, “I move that . . . “ or “I wish to offer an amendment . . . “ A written copy of all motions and amendments must be given to the conference secretary on forms provided by the conference secretarial staff. 4. After reading your motion, wait for the bishop to seek a second and to put the motion legally before the annual conference. She will when ask if you, as the presenter of the motion, want to speak. 5. “Chart of Motions and Parliamentary Steps – Detroit Annual Conference” is at the end of this handbook. All business that is to be considered by the annual conference is assigned to a LEAD group (formerly legislative section). These smaller groups of annual conference members allow for an informal and indepth examination of the business. 1. It is your responsibility to attend the LEAD group to which you have been assigned. Assignments are random and each group is representative of the annual conference as a whole. 2. In the LEAD groups, feel free to speak and ask questions. 3. The annual conference works best when all members participate. You have the right to speak and vote only in the group to which you are assigned. The exceptions to this are the discussion section chairperson and recorder, and presenters who can speak and vote only in the group considering their business. Forms on which to write announcements and forms requesting the privilege of presenting guests will be available at the desk of the conference facilitator at the front of Dawson Auditorium. If you wish to present a guest, the bishop will call upon you at an appropriate time. The conference secretary near the close of the sessions will read submitted announcements. The annual conference facilitator (Sue Buxton), seated at the front of Dawson Auditorium, is a layperson who has been elected to help any person who needs assistance in understanding and using procedures and resources of the annual conference in session. She is there to answer your questions or to direct you to someone who can assist you. Definitions The highest legislative body of The United Methodist Church is the General Conference that meets once each quadrennium (once every four years). The General Conference writes The Book of Discipline, which outlines basic beliefs, structure, goals, and responsibilities of the whole denomination. The United States is divided into five geographic regions called jurisdictions, which meet separately once every four years as Jurisdictional Conferences. At these conferences, bishops are elected and assigned to annual conferences and jurisdictional programs and goals are determined. The Detroit Annual Conference is in the North Central Jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction is divided into Annual Conferences that meet once a year to determine programming and goals within their boundaries. The Detroit Annual Conference is one of two annual conferences in Michigan, both served by the same bishop. Each annual conference is divided into districts and the Detroit Annual Conference has six districts, each with many local churches. Every four years at the annual conference before General Conference, elections take place to determine delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Lay members of the annual conference vote for lay delegates, and clergy members vote for clergy delegates. All General Conference delegates attend both conferences, but Jurisdictional Conference delegates attend only the latter. Sessions at Annual Conference: 1. Plenary sessions are the times when all conference members sit together to consider reports and business. 2. LEAD groups (formerly legislative sections) are smaller groupings of annual conference members that allow for an informal consideration of business. The groups all meet at the same time in separate locations.


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3. Corporate session is the necessary annual meeting required by state law since the annual conference is incorporated under Michigan law. It is chaired by the chair of the conference Board of Trustees and deals with matters of church property owned by the conference, bequests to the conference and other legal matters concerning the annual conference. All voting members of the annual conference are voting members of the corporate session. 4. Clergy session is a meeting of only clergy members and lay members of the board of ordained ministry, called by the bishop, to consider matters of ordination and clergy relations. Each charge may send one lay member to the annual conference for each clergy member of the annual conference or more if the charge membership warrants. Other lay members are elected following guidelines in the conference standing rules to equalize the number of lay and clergy members. Clergy members – deacons and elders in full connection, provisional members, associate members, affiliate members and local pastors under full and part-time appointment to a pastoral charge. Diaconal ministers – laypersons who have been consecrated and serve full-time in professional ministries of the church such as Christian education, music, and camping. Local pastors – laypersons who have been licensed by the annual conference to serve as pastors of local churches in the conference. Associate members – clergypersons without seminary degrees who have met other specified educational standards set in the Discipline. Provisional members – persons in seminary, or recent seminary graduates, who have been commissioned as elders or deacons. Youth members – lay members under the age of 18 who have been elected as annual conference members either by the Conference Council on Youth Ministry or district councils on ministries. Explanation of the Consent Calendar Reports and resolutions given overwhelming support in LEAD groups (formerly legislative sections) will be placed on the consent calendar permitting approval by the annual conference without a full presentation and thus preserving time for reports requiring more detailed discussion and understanding. Any report or business item adopted in its LEAD group by a 9/10 vote without amendment may be presented to the annual conference by the Committee on Reference and Daily Procedure for the consent calendar. Voting on the consent calendar will take place at least three hours after the calendar has been distributed to members of the conference. A 1/5 vote can delete any report from the list and that deleted report will then be presented later to the conference for full discussion. Reports not removed by a 1/5 vote must be approved by a 4/5 vote for the consent calendar and they will not be presented again but will stand approved by the annual conference. Once a report is approved for the consent calendar by a 4/5 vote of the annual conference, it may be only removed for further presentation by the annual conference, as a whole, by suspending the rules with a 2/3 vote. It will be noted that it takes a difficult vote to put a report on the consent calendar (4/5 vote of the whole conference, and 9/10 of the LEAD group). It takes a relatively easy vote to keep a report off the consent calendar (1/5 of the whole conference).


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2014 Detroit Annual Conference Voting Items

Motions and Parliamentary Steps – Detroit Annual Conference Motion/Step

Second Debate

Amend

Vote Required

Purpose

Adjourn

Yes

No

No

Majority

To end meeting

Recess

Yes

No

Yes

Majority

To interrupt meeting for intermission

Raise a question of privilege

No

No

No

None

To obtain immediate action on situation effecting rights, privileges or safety of conference members

Call for orders of the day

No

No

No

None

Require the conference to conform to its program or order of business

Lay on the table

Yes

No

No

Majority

Previous question

Yes

No

No

2/3

To close debate immediately

Limit or extend limits of debate

Yes

No

Yes

2/3

To limit or extend debate for a period of time

Postpone to a certain time

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

To postpone consideration to another time

Commit or refer

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

To refer to designated person(s) for further study

Amend

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

To modify or alter. Debatable only when motion to be amended is debatable

Postpone indefinitely

Yes

Yes

No

Majority

To dispose of motion without bringing it to a vote

Main motion

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

To introduce new business

Appeal from the decision of the chair

Yes

No

No

Majority

To insure that a majority agree with the ruling of the chair

Division of the Assembly1

No

No

No

1/5

Parliamentary inquiry

No

No

No

None

To provide information on rules or motions

Point of order

No

No

No

None

To enforce conference rules

1

To set aside an item of business temporarily

To have a counted vote

Robert’s Rules allows a single member to request a division of the house. We require a vote.


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2014 Detroit Annual Conference Voting Items

Put on consent calendar2

No

Yes

No

4/5

To accept a report without a full presentation before the conference

Remove from the consent calendar3

No

Yes

No

1/5

To require a full presentation and debate of a report previously on the consent calendar

Reconsider

4

To have a new vote on a motion previously voted upon. Mover must have voted on the prevailing side on original motion. Must be made the day of the original vote or the following day at the latest.

Yes

No

No

Majority

Request for information

No

No

No

None

Rescind or repeal

Yes

Yes

Yes

2/3 with no previous notice

Suspension of the rules

Yes

No

No

2/3

To do something in violation of the rules

Take a motion from the table

Yes

No

No

Majority

To consider a motion previously tabled

Withdraw a motion5

2

No

No

No

None

To ask questions of any conference member

To void previous action of the conference

To withdraw a motion before it is amended or voted on. Must be made by original maker with approval of original seconder.

Robert’s Rules have no provision for Consent Calendar. Robert’s Rules have no provision for Consent Calendar. 4 Robert’s Rules allows for debate if the motion to be considered is debatable. 5 Robert’s Rules requires a majority vote for withdrawal. 3


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2014 Detroit Annual Conference Voting Items

What Does That Mean? These are frequently called by their initials. Here is what they mean: BGM BOD BOM

Board of Global Ministries Board of Discipleship Board of Ordained Ministry

CCYM CEF CFA CLT COSROW CORR

Conference Council on Youth Ministries Christian Educators Fellowship Council on Finance and Administration Conference Leadership Team Commission on the Status and Role of Women Commission on Religion and Race

DCOM DCM DCYM DS

District Council on Ministries Director of Connectional Ministries District Council on Youth Ministries District Superintendent

EUB

Evangelical United Brethren Church

GBOD GCFA GETS

General Board of Discipleship General Council on Finance and Administration Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary

MASPM MEF METHESCO MPP

Michigan Area School for Pastoral Ministry Ministerial Education Fund Methodist Theological School in Ohio Ministerial Pension Plan

NCJ

North Central Jurisdiction

OGHS

One Great Hour of Sharing

PIP

Personal Investment Plan

UMC UMCom UMM UMPH UMRF UMW UMYF

United Methodist Church United Methodist Communications United Methodist Men United Methodist Publishing House United Methodist Rural Fellowship United Methodist Women United Methodist Youth Fellowship

VCI VIM

Vital Church Initiative Volunteers in Mission

WCC

World Council of Churches


Legislative Handbook 2014