45TH SESSION OF THE WEST MICHIGAN ANNUAL CONFERENCE THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH GRAND RAPIDS MI MAY 29 - JUNE 1, 2013
RECOMMENDATIONS AND PETITIONS WEST MICHIGAN ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS NOTE: This booklet begins with number 200 so as to keep the numbers different from those in any other Annual Conference materials. You will also notice that each item is numbered consecutively.
D = Placed on the Decision Calendar by the Reference Committee. ITEM SUBJECT
VARIOUS ITEMS 1 Clergy Retirement Security Plan Policy (CRSP) .................................................. ........ 201 2 HealthMiles Participation ....................................................................................... ........ 202 3 Health Insurance for Clergy in Extension Ministries ............................................. ........ 202 4 The Right of Workers to Organize and Form Unions ............................................ ........ 202 5 The Use of Inclusive Language in Annual Conference Worship ........................... ........ 204 6 Churches as Gun Free Zones .................................................................................. ........ 204 7 Women’s Health ..................................................................................................... ........ 204 8 Welcoming All Persons Into Local Church Community ....................................... ........ 205 9 Cooperative Ministry Policy .................................................................................. ........ 205 <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> D 10 Minimum Salary Support for 2014 ........................................................................ ........ 206 D 11 Guidelines for Equitable Compensation Support ................................................... ........ 208 D 12 Ministers’ Reserve Pension Fund (MRPF) – Pre-82 Past Service Rate ................. ........ 209 D 13 Annual Policy Recommendations for 2014 ............................................................ ........ 209 RULES OF ORDER ITEMS 14 Rule 1.C.3.(c) – Committee on Rules, Duties and Responsibilities: Substitution . ........ 210 15 Rule 1.D – Changes in the Rules of Order: Substitution........................................ ........ 210 16 Rule 2 – Conference Secretary: Amendment ......................................................... ........ 210 17 Rule 8 B & C – Equalization of Lay and Clergy Members ................................... ........ 211 18 Rule 10 – Pre-Conference Reports Preparation: Amendment ................................ ........ 213 PLAN OF ORGANIZATION ITEMS 19 “Plan of Organization”: Board of Christian Camping – Substitution/Amendment ........ 213 <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> 20 West Michigan Budget Recommendation for 2014 ............................................... ........ 215 <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> GENERAL CONFERENCE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION AMENDMENTS 21 Proposed Constitutional Amendment - I ................................................................ ........ 216 22 Proposed Constitutional Amendment - II ............................................................... ........ 216 23 Proposed Constitutional Amendment - III ............................................................. ........ 217 24 Proposed Constitutional Amendment - IV ............................................................. ........ 217 Rationale for Proposed Constitutional Amendments ....................................................... ........ 218 <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> CORPORATE SESSION – Any discontinuations will be noted in Response Petition booklet. <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> <><><> JUDICIAL COUNCIL PROCEDURES .................................................................................. ........ 219 ANNUAL CONFERENCE PETITION INSTRUCTIONS ................................................. ........ 220 VOLUME 1 AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY .......................................................................... ........ 220 PARLIAMENTARY MOTION CHART ................................................................................ ......... 221 [Please see pages 215-266 in the 2012 Conference Journal for the “Plan of Organization” and “Rules of Order.”]
Clergy Retirement Security Plan Policy (CRSP) of the West Michigan Annual Conference.
4 MOTION: 5 6
1. That in accordance with General Conference changes to the CRSP effective January 1, 2014, the West Michigan Annual Conference elects to continue CRSP participation by part-time clergy appointed by the bishop at half time or three-quarter time.
2. That participation in the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) of quartertime clergy appointed by the bishop be encouraged and supported, by churches providing matching contribution up to 1% of the clergyâ€™s plan compensation. 10 RATIONALE: 1. Background: The 2012 General Conference amended the CRSP effective January 1, 2014, to 11 achieve a balance between adequacy of benefits for participants, and affordability and 12 sustainability for the Church. A summary of the changes follows. New plan provisions will be 13 effective January 1, 2014. The amended provisions regarding eligibility and contributions are 14 the following: 7 8 9
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a. Eligibility: The CRSP shall continue to be a mandated pension benefit for full-time clergy only effective January 1, 2014, but annual conferences in the United States are given the authority to elect participation of three-quarter time and half-time clergy appointed by the bishop in its local churches. The amended CRSP does not allow participation of those appointed less than half time. This group can continue to participate in the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) which is a voluntary savings program offered by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church. b. Benefit Formulas: The formula for determining the defined benefit (DB) component will be reduced to 1% from the current 1.25% of the Denominational Average Compensation (DAC) at retirement multiplied by years of service since January 1, 2007. This new formula will take effect on January 1, 2014, but the 1.25% rate will remain effective for all credited service prior to January 1, 2014. c. Contributions: The defined contribution (DC) component of CRSP will also change. Beginning January 1, 2014, the church contribution of 3% will be reduced to 2% of plan compensation. But the church will match participant contributions to the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP)â€”up to 1% of plan compensation. Therefore, if a participant contributes at least 1% of her/his plan compensation to UMPIP, his/her CRSP DC contributions will be 3%, as currently under CRSP. (Plan compensation is defined as the sum of clergy cash salary and housing allowance. If the clergy is provided a parsonage, Plan Compensation is the cash salary multiplied by 1.25.) 2. As of 12/31/12, following is the breakdown of clergy appointments: Full-time 271 Three-quarter-time 11 Half-time 19 Quarter-time 12 3. We believe in the importance of extending CRSP benefits beyond the mandated participation of full-time clergy under the amended CRSP, by extending the CRSP benefits to three-quarter and half-time clergy, for the following reasons: a. Pension benefits are an important part of the strategy in retaining effective clergy in the West Michigan Annual Conference. b. Without such extension of benefits, the flexibility and effectiveness of the bishop and the cabinet in appointment making will be diminished. c. This proposed policy strikes a balance between the vitality of our congregations and the sustainability of clergy pension benefits in the long-term. Louis Grettenberger, clergy member and Chair, Board of Pension and Health Benefits John Boley, clergy member and Chair, Board of Ordained Ministry
3 MOTION: 4
The West Michigan Annual Conference encourages all local church staff/pastor parish relations committees to urge their pastors to participate in the HealthMiles program.
5 RATIONALE: 6 7 8
The physical well-being of our pastors is an important issue and we need to make it a priority. Unfortunately, pastors typically fail to set aside the time to exercise, partly because they are devoted to the work of ministry. Pastors need to hear from their congregations that it is okay to take time to tend to their health. In fact, they need to hear that it is expected that they do so.
9 10 11
Mark Johnson, clergy member /pastor, Bath/Gunnisonville UMCs of the West Michigan Annual Conference
Health Insurance for Clergy in Extension Ministries.
13 MOTION: 14
Line III.A. of the Conference Policy for the Health Insurance Program shall be amended as follows (with deletions in strikeout and additions in underlined italics):
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III. MANDATORY CLASS. Persons under the Mandatory Class are: A. All Clergy persons who are appointed half-time or more by the bishop in local churches or Conference Agencies in the West Michigan Conference whose salaries are set by the West Michigan Annual Conference.
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Line IV.F. shall be added to the Conference Policy for the Health Insurance Program: IV. OPTIONAL CLASS. … F. Clergy persons who are appointed half-time or more by the bishop and are not in the Mandatory Class.
23 RATIONALE: 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
The effect of the motion is to move a small group of clergy from the Mandatory class (must participate in the Conference Health Care Program) to the Optional class (may participate). Currently, all clergy employed by conference agencies are required to participate in the Conference Health Insurance Program. For agencies with clergy whose salaries are not line items in the conference budget, this results in an unfunded mandate to support the Conference Health Insurance Program. These agencies typically receive less conference support each year, while being billed at rapidly increasing health insurance rates each year. The agencies are then left with no option but to do their own fund-raising to support the conference plan.
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One equitable solution might be for the conference to guarantee to cover the cost of the health insurance program for conference agencies by including it as a line item in the conference budget, as it does, e.g., for district superintendents. Doing so would shift the health care responsibility for these clergy to the conference as a whole.
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This petition suggests a different solution that keeps the responsibility for providing health care on the individual agency, but gives the agency the flexibility to do so in a potentially less expensive manner, by removing these clergy from the Mandatory class.
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The savings to individual agencies can be significant. A proposal from the Wesley Foundation at CMU would have saved Wesley approximately $11,000 over the twelve months from September 2012 through August 2013 but was rejected as against the current conference policy.
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Charles Farnum, clergy member of the West Michigan Annual Conference
The Right of Workers to Organize and Form Unions.
45 MOTION: 46 47 48 49 50
The West Michigan Conference authorizes the chairperson of the Conference Board of Church and Society, or the chairperson’s designee, to write to the members of our state and national legislatures informing them of our conference’s continued support for the right and need for workers to organize and form unions. We ask that the laws of our land add and not hinder the workers in doing so, and thus ask our state legislators to repeal the recent antiunion bill often referred to with the Orwellian name of “Right to Work.” We also call upon
the chairperson, or the chairperson’s designee, to ask the local churches of our conference to contact their local representatives asking them to do the same.
3 RATIONALE: 4 5 6
As we have sought to live our faith in the Jesus who came to raise the lowly and oppressed, The United Methodist Church has long recognized the need to help workers organize so that they can obtain their fair share of the results of their labor. Our first Social Creed was published in 1908 and states:
“The Methodist Episcopal Church stands:
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For equal rights and complete justice for all men in all stations of life. For the principles of conciliation and arbitration in industrial dissensions. For the protection of the worker from dangerous machinery, occupational diseases, injuries and mortality. For the abolition of child labor. For such regulation of the conditions of labor for women as shall safeguard the physical and moral health of the community. For the suppression of the “sweating system.” For the gradual and reasonable reduction of the hours of labor to the lowest practical point, with work for all; and for that degree of leisure for all which is the condition of the highest human life. For a release for [from] employment one day in seven. For a living wage in every industry. For the highest wage that each industry can afford, and for the most equitable division of the products of industry that can ultimately be devised. For the recognition of the Golden Rule and the mind of Christ as the supreme law of society and the sure remedy for all social ills. To the toilers of America and to those who by organized effort are seeking to lift the crushing burdens of the poor, and to reduce the hardships and uphold the dignity of labor, this Council sends the greeting of human brotherhood and the pledge of sympathy and of help in a cause which belongs to all who follow Christ.”
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It is all too easy for people of power and wealth to rationalize why they have a right to their power and wealth and need to have more, for the betterment of all, and then to construct the system to see to it that this is what happens.
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In our country we have seen the steady decline in labor rights and power over the recent decades and a growing disparity of the distribution of the things of this world. As Steven Greenhouse pointed out in his January 12th, 2013, editorial in The New York Times:
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“Wages have fallen to a record low as a share of America’s gross domestic product. Until 1975, wages nearly always accounted for more than 50 percent of the nation’s G.D.P., but last year wages fell to a record low of 43.5 percent. Since 2001, when the wage share was 49 percent, there has been a steep slide.
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“We went almost a century where the labor share was pretty stable and we shared prosperity,” says Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard. “What we’re seeing now is very disquieting.” For the great bulk of workers, labor’s shrinking share is even worse than the statistics show, when one considers that a sizable — and growing — chunk of overall wages goes to the top 1 percent: senior corporate executives, Wall Street professionals, Hollywood stars, pop singers and professional athletes. The share of wages going to the top 1 percent climbed to 12.9 percent in 2010, from 7.3 percent in 1979.”
Jesus, our Christ, came to see to justice for all and thus a fair distribution of the things of God’s good earth. The right of workers to organize is an important and vital part of this just distribution.
John W. Fisher, clergy member / pastor, South Haven First UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference
The Use of Inclusive Language in Annual Conference Worship.
3 MOTION: 4 5 6 7
The team or committee putting together and writing worship for the 2014 Annual Conference use inclusive language in all of the worship materials and experiences. This would mean that non-gender specific references to God would be used, or that there would be an equal and balanced use of masculine and feminine reference to God (such as God referred to as Mother as often as Father, She as often as He).
8 RATIONALE: 9 10 11 12
The exclusive and overwhelming masculinization of God, by using only male word images and references, inhibits our full understanding of God. Such masculinization of God also inhibits the full humanity of people, elevating masculine traits above feminine and all too often male over female. In the church, there is to be neither male nor female, but only equality for those who follow Christ.
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The language we use in worship is sacred and traditional and therefore hard to change, but by beginning with the worship experiences at annual conference, we can help the people of the West Michigan Annual Conference to grow into a more full and rich understanding of God and our own humanity. John W. Fisher, clergy member / pastor, South Haven First UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference
Churches as Gun Free Zones.
21 MOTION: 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
The West Michigan Conference authorizes the chairperson of the Conference Board of Church and Society, or the chairperson’s designee, to write to the members of the Michigan legislature encouraging them to pass laws declaring churches and houses of worship to be “Gun Free Zones,” thus banning the open or concealed carrying of weapons into churches or houses of worship by anyone other than authorized police or security personnel. We also call upon the chairperson of the Conference Board of Church and Society, or the chairperson’s designee, to ask leaders of the local churches to contact their local representatives asking them to do the same. We also call upon the chairperson, or the chairperson’s designee, to ask local churches to display signs stating that they are “Gun Free Zones.”
30 RATIONALE: 31 32 33 34 35
Throughout the Bible, there are two competing images of God. One is a God of violence and retributive justice. The other is a God of non-violence and distributive justice. Jesus clearly and consistently incarnated the God of non-violence and distributive justice. As followers of Jesus, our Christ, we are called to reject the idea that violence can overcome violence. We must live out our lives in the faith that this God of love has given us. The way to overcome violence is the way of love, which is why his early followers were called “People of the Way.”
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In our time and place, we have the opportunity to witness to our God, as made known through Jesus Christ, by declaring that we will not confront evil and violence with the threat of violence, but through a firm stand of justice and love.
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John W. Fisher, clergy member / pastor, South Haven First UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference
43 MOTION: 44 45 46 47
The West Michigan Annual Conference authorizes the chairperson of the Conference Board of Church and Society, or the chairperson’s designee, to write to the members of our state and national legislatures informing them of our annual conference’s continued support for the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers. We specifically ask that the laws of our land:
1. Keep abortion safe, legal, accessible and rare.
2. Insure universal access to modern contraception, including but not limited to emergency and over-the-counter contraception.
3. Increase access to pre-natal services, birthing assistance, and post-natal follow-up.
4. Provide accurate, scientifically-based sex education in our churches and schools.
We also call upon the chairperson, or the chairperson’s designee, to ask the leaders of our local churches to contact their local representatives asking them to do the same. 5 RATIONALE: We cannot afford to allow the heated politics of this issue to veil the fact that women are dying. 6 The landmark Roe v. Wade decision of Jan. 22, 1973, legalized abortion rights. This constitutional 7 right is coming under increased scrutiny, however, as state legislatures try to limit abortion-related 8 services through increased regulations, setting restrictive counseling requirements or invasive 9 ultrasound tests. Challenges to those laws have been filed in state and federal courts, and may 10 eventually bring the issue before the Supreme Court again. 3 4
11 12 13 14
A joint statement by Julie Taylor, United Methodist Women Office of Children, Youth & Family Advocacy, and Amee Paparella, General Board of Church and Society director and organizer for Women’s Advocacy, emphasizes that many obstacles to reproductive justice continue to exist, both nationally and internationally.
“We cannot afford to allow the heated politics of this issue to veil the fact that women are dying and that childbirth remains one of the most dangerous endeavors a woman faces,” they declare.
Taylor and Paparella say they look upon the four decades since the passage of Roe v. Wade as years “devoid of widespread coat-hanger abortions and unnecessary deaths.”
John W. Fisher, clergy member / pastor, South Haven First UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference
Welcoming All Persons Into Local Church Community.
23 MOTION: 24 25 26 27
The West Michigan Conference encourages all congregations to welcome into their congregational community gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals and couples, welcoming them into full participation. We encourage pastors to provide pastoral care to all individuals and couples, regardless of their sexual orientation. We encourage our churches to make this openness known in as many ways as possible.
28 RATIONALE: 29 30 31 32 33 34
The 2012 United Methodist Social Principles include this statement: “We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.” Our denomination’s “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” spirit is in the Wesleyan tradition of ministry to all persons. We need to encourage loving, committed relationships and not to exclude anyone from the fellowship and community in a local church. We are grieved when anyone feels excluded or marginalized by leaders of United Methodist churches in West Michigan. Ellen A. Brubaker and John Ross Thompson, retired clergy of the West Michigan Annual Conference
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Cooperative Ministry Policy.
39 MOTION: 40
The 1993 West Michigan Conference Policy on Cooperative Ministry shall be replaced by the following:
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Cooperative Ministry Policy West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church The West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church affirms the value of all congregations, large and small, and acknowledges that connectionalism is central to our United Methodist identity. Therefore, the West Michigan Conference supports and encourages cooperative ministry as a way of doing ministry that is at the heart of what it means to be United Methodist. Cooperative ministry allows individual churches to share their strengths and accomplish things they could not do on their own.
1 2 3 4 5
Cooperative ministry exists in many forms, including, but not limited to, those identified in Âś206 of the United Methodist Book of Discipline (BOD). While formal cooperative ministry agreements may require approval by district superintendents, this policy is permissive rather than restrictive. Clergy and lay persons are empowered to initiate conversations and to implement cooperative ministry activities.
6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
A Cooperative Ministry Committee (CMC) shall be established to assist the conference, cabinet, and the district superintendents in fulfilling the BOD requirements and the intent of this policy. The CMC shall consist of 5 to 9 members including a cabinet representative. At least one half the remaining members shall be members or pastors of a church which is: part of a cooperative parish; on a multi-point charge; or a part-time appointment. The CMC will develop tools, guidance and other training materials; recommend strategies to appropriate conference boards and agencies; work in concert with the conference, cabinet, and district superintendents to integrate cooperative ministry with other initiatives and priorities.
14 RATIONALE: 15 16 17
Cooperative ministry can be as simple as a few churches joining together to offer a local food pantry or community Good Friday worship services. It can be as complex as two or more local churches entering into a covenant, creating a ministry team, or combining committees to carry out the mission of the church. By its nature such ministry needs to be flexible and contextual.
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Paragraph 206 of the 2012 Book of Discipline outlines the variety of forms cooperative ministry can take and the various roles and responsibilities of local churches, annual conferences, and cabinets. The purpose of an annual conference policy is to create support and resources for Cooperative Ministry within the conference. A small committee would keep resources current and provide support to local churches, clergy, and district superintendents who wish to explore or further develop this vital ministry.
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Our task force (established by 2012 Annual Conference action) is currently engaging in conversations with other conference groups to discern the best placement of the CMC within our current annual conference structure. Our desire is to discern how to best enhance and not duplicate current ministries. We will offer the details of the relationship of the CMC to the 2013 Annual Conference in a response petition this spring.
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Task Force Members: Representative from Equitable Compensation: Nancy Bitterling Representative from the Board of Ordained Ministry: Jodie Flessner Clergy, Part-time, Multi-point charge: Bryce Feighner, clergy Laity, Part-time, Multi-point charge: Betty Kusterer Other: Mark Baker, laity; Lynn Grimes, clergy Cabinet Representatives: Tamara Williams / David Hills Jodie R. Flessner, Chair, Cooperative Ministries Task Force of the West Michigan Annual Conference
Minimum Salary Support for 2014.
40 MOTION: 41
The Commission on Equitable Compensation recommends the following Minimum Salary Schedule be adopted for 2014.
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In addition, the Commission asks that churches budget a mandatory minimum of $1,500 for professional expenses and continuing education, exclusive of mileage reimbursements, for each full-time clergy person under appointment. In cases of less than full-time appointment, it is recommended that the budgeted amount be prorated in accordance with the appointment (i.e., Â˝ Time = $750, etc.)
2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 YOS
2014 Minimum Salary Schedule Full Time Local Pastor Associate Member 2013 2013 2014 2014 33,203 * 33,767 * 33,536 * 34,106 * 33,868 * 34,444 * 34,200 * 34,781 * 33,922 35,452 34,499 36,055 34,249 35,804 34,831 36,413 34,575 36,156 35,163 36,771 34,902 36,513 35,495 37,134 35,229 36,872 35,828 37,499 35,555 38,075 36,159 38,722 356 381 362 388
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 YOS
Provisional Member 2013 2014 36,397 37,016 36,760 37,385 37,125 37,756 37,488 38,125 37,851 38,494 38,215 38,865 38,579 39,235 38,943 39,605 39,306 39,974 39,670 40,344 397 403
Full Member 2013 2014 ** ** ** ** ** ** 39,233 39,900 39,626 40,300 40,021 40,701 40,370 41,056 40,803 41,497 41,196 41,896 41,589 42,296 416 423
$200 shall be added to the Minimum for a 2-Point Charge $350 shall be added to the Minimum for a 3-Point Charge
In accordance with Âś625.3 of the 2012 Book of Discipline, the Minimum Salary Schedule reflects the mandatory minimum cash salary which pastors shall be paid based on their status and years of service. While not mandatory, local congregations are strongly encouraged to give consideration to paying pastors with more than 10 years of service an additional 1% of the tenth year minimum for each additional year of service they have completed. As examples: A Full Member with 15 years of service must be paid a minimum of $42,296, but the congregation is encouraged to consider paying an additional $2,115 (5 x $423), for a total of $44,411 based on 5 additional years service. A Local Pastor with 20 years of service must be paid a minimum $36,159, but the congregation is encouraged to consider paying an additional $3,620 (10 x $362), for a total of $39,779 based on 10 additional years service. Counting Years of Service To Determine Minimum Compensation Pastors serving under appointment full or part time will have years of service counted equally for the purpose of moving through the salary schedule. Pastors serving more than six months under appointment in a year will be credited with a full yearâ€™s service for the purpose of moving through the salary schedule. Pastors serving six months or less under appointment in a year will remain in the year of the salary schedule they are in. When an additional full year of service is completed, pastors will move to the next year in the salary schedule. For salary schedule purposes, years of service are carried over equally from one category to another as clergy status changes. 51 RATIONALE: The proposed salary schedule for 2014 reflects a 1.7% increase to the 2013 minimum 52 compensation rates. This is slightly less than the increase in the CPI for the Midwestern US during 53 2012. 54 The minimum budget amount for Professional Expenses is requested in an attempt to balance 55 allocations from church to church, to help guide SPRCs and congregations in adequately equipping 56 clergy to meet the Disciplinary requirements for continuing education, and to adequately maintain 57 a professional library, journal subscriptions, office equipment (i.e., software, computers, cell 58 phones, etc.), and other expenses related to the conduct of ministry. 59 60
Nancy Patera, Chair, Commission on Equitable Compensation of the West Michigan Annual Conference
Guidelines for Equitable Compensation Support.
3 MOTION: 4
The Commission on Equitable Compensation moves the Conference Guidelines for Equitable Compensation Support for 2014, as amended.
Guidelines for Equitable Compensation Support
6 7 8 9 10
1. Local congregations shall conduct an annual stewardship campaign. Congregations receiving Equitable Compensation support are expected to participate in ongoing stewardship education and planning through programs such as the Stewardship Academy offered through the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan and the Vital Church Initiative (VCI).
2. Local congregations receiving Equitable Compensation grants shall annually counsel with the district superintendent concerning levels of pastoral support.
3. Churches should be grouped, where feasible, in a denominational or ecumenical grouping so as to provide an average attendance of at least 134 under the care of one pastor.
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4. Multi-church charges that become single-point charges will not be eligible for financial assistance from the Commission unless the church seeking assistance has an average attendance of at least 134.
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5. Local congregations requesting equitable compensation support shall voucher pastorsâ€™ travel and business expenses according to the guidelines of the Council on Finance and Administration.
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6. Local congregations may receive Equitable Compensation support for up to three consecutive years, reducing the original grant amount by 30% each year. Equitable Compensation funds shall not be used to fund more than the conference minimum salary.
7. Congregations receiving Equitable Compensation shall pay Ministry Shares in full.
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8. Churches receiving or applying for Equitable Compensation that have planned or are planning to enter into building or remodeling projects that require permission of the District Board of Church Location and Building, or which exceed 10% of the total annual budget of the local congregation, shall not proceed with proposed projects and/or related capital campaigns until such time as a plan for ending Equitable Compensation support has been presented and approved by the Commission on Equitable Compensation and the district superintendent. Exceptions to this guideline shall be given greater consideration when proposed projects are related to building accessibility.
9. Exceptions to these guidelines may be considered upon recommendation of the bishop and the cabinet.
â€“ Approved by Annual Conference 1984, Revised 1993, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
36 RATIONALE: 37 38 39
The Commission recommends a complete revision of the guidelines as noted above to assist the Commission on Equitable Compensation in its efforts to make the best use of a limited budget and to encourage local congregations to be more diligent in finding ways to reduce their need for Equitable Compensation grants.
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Nancy Patera, Chair, Commission on Equitable Compensation of the West Michigan Annual Conference
Ministers’ Reserve Pension Fund (MRPF) – Pre-82 Past Service Rate.
3 MOTION: 4
The Past Service Rate (PSR) in 2014 for clergy service before 1982 shall be $726 for every year of service. The surviving spouse benefit shall remain at 85 percent. 5 RATIONALE: 1) Minimum Past Service Rate (PSR): Annual Pre-82 benefits are calculated by multiplying a 6 participant’s years of eligible Pre-82 service by the PSR set by the annual conference each year. 7 While the rule that no PSR may be decreased remains, the change eliminates the requirement 8 that the annual conference set the PSR to at least 0.8% of the Conference Average 9 Compensation. 10 11
2) The increase of 2.1% will alleviate the effects of inflation on our retirees and keep the funding status of the Pre-82 Fund at 109% based on the general board’s acturial report.
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Louis Grettenberger, Chair, Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the West Michigan Annual Conference
15 SUBJECT: 16 MOTION: 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53
Annual Policy Recommendations for 2014. The following shall be the policy recommendation for 2014: A. Special Sundays: The following Special Sundays will be observed compliance with the action of the 2008 General Conference: 2013 Human Relations Day January 15 One Great Hour of Sharing March 18 Native American Ministry Sunday April 22 Peace with Justice Sunday* June 3* World Communion Sunday October 7 United Methodist Student Sunday November 25 *or on a date to be determined by the local church
with offerings in 2014 January 19 March 30 May 4 June 15* October 5 November 30
These Sundays will be observed with offerings (except as noted): Racial Ethnic Local Church Sunday February 5 February 2 Golden Cross Sunday May 6 May 4 United Methodist Volunteer in Mission Awareness June 3 June 1 Rural Life Sunday August 26 August 24 Christian Education Sunday September 9 September 7 Disability Awareness Sunday (without offering) October 28 October 26 Camp Sunday – To be determined by the individual church B. Youth Ministries: From the Ministry Shares $2.00 per youth member will be allocated for the YOUTH SERVICE FUND. 70% is to be used by the conference youth program and 30% by the general church youth program. A ministry share of one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) shall be authorized to continue to partially fund the staffing of conference youth and camping ministries. C. The Council on Finance and Administration is authorized to establish a line of credit with the depository bank in the amount it determines appropriate to meet the needs of the conference. D. The auditor of record of the Conference Treasurer shall be a firm of certified public accountants, to be determined by the Council on Finance and Administration. E. Furnishings allowance according to IRS regulations shall be allowed for the district superintendents and conference clergy staff persons as payroll withholding within their approved salary. A similar provision is available for local church pastors in an amount determined by the charge conference. F. District superintendents and other clergy on the conference staff shall be allowed to designate the amount of their individual housing allowance within the approved salary and housing allowance in accordance with IRS regulations. West Michigan Conference Council on Finance and Administration Susan Cobb, President / Pros Tumonong, Treasurer
RULES OF ORDER ITEMS
3 SUBJECT: 4 5 MOTION: 6
“Rules of Order,” Rule 1.C.3.(c) – Committee on Rules, Duties and Responsibilities: Substitution. We move to amend Rule 1-C-3(c) [2012 Conference Journal, page 251] by substitution as follows:
Substitute the words “General Conference Petitions” for the words “Committee on Rules.” 8 RATIONALE: This is an editorial change to present Rule 1-C-3(c). The current title does not correctly describe 9 the subject matter of this section which outlines the procedure for development of General 10 Conference petitions. This change will more accurately describe the purpose and intent of this 11 section. 12 West Michigan Conference Committee on 13 Rules of Order, Judy Coffey, Chair 7
“Rules of Order,” Rule 1.D – Changes in the Rules of Order: Substitution.
16 MOTION: 17
I move to amend Rule 1.D [2012 Conference Journal, page 252] by substituting the following language for the entire section:
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Rule 1.D. CHANGES IN THE RULES OF ORDER: 1. These Rules may be amended or changed by vote of the Conference. a. All petitions requesting changes in the Rules of Order shall be referred directly to the Committee on Rules of Order for its recommendation and report at the opening session of Annual Conference. All changes shall conform to the Discipline. Any changes, when approved by the Annual Conference, are effective immediately, unless otherwise specified in the motion. b. The Committee shall consider each petition and shall vote either concurrence or nonconcurrence, based on current needs and historical practice. c. When the Conference is in session the Committee shall report its recommendation to the Conference within twenty-four hours. d. A change in the Rules of Order requires affirmative votes of 2/3 of the members of the Conference present and voting. e. If the Committee votes non-concurrence with a petition, the Committee Chair shall as soon as possible inform the maker in writing of this fact and the rationale for the vote. The Chair shall, in addition, inform the maker of the procedure to be followed to request that the Conference consider the petition, as follows: 1) The person making the request shall stand at a microphone and be recognized by the Chair. The requestor shall state: “I request that Petition No. ___ [Title] be placed before the Conference for action.” The request does not require a second. 2) The Chair shall state the question as: “Will the Conference consider Petition No.__ [Title] at this time?” If at least 1/5 (20%) of the members present and voting vote in the affirmative, the petition shall be placed on the Legislative Calendar.
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George Lawton, clergy member / pastor, Lakeside UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference
“Rules of Order,” Rule 2 – Conference Secretary: Amendment.
We move to amend Rule 2 [2012 Conference Journal, page 252] as follows:
Substitute the following for Rule 2.A.2. “In accordance with The Book of Discipline (¶603.7), the annual conference at the first session following the General Conference or jurisdictional conference shall elect a secretary to serve for the succeeding quadrennium. In the case of a vacancy in the interim of the sessions, the bishop, after consultation with the district superintendents, shall appoint a person to act until the next session of the annual conference.”
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Delete Rule 2.A.4.
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Substitute the following for Rule 2.B.2. “Make a digital recording, whenever possible, with subject, time and date of all business sessions. These recordings shall be kept on file for two years, and then transferred to the Conference Archives.”
6 RATIONALE: This rule has not been updated in quite some time. This will bring it in accordance with The Book 7 of Discipline and modernize the terminology. 8 9 10
West Michigan Conference Committee on Rules of Order, Judy Coffey, Chair
11 SUBJECT: 12 MOTION: 13
“Rules of Order,” Rule 8 B & C – Equalization of Lay and Clergy Members. We move to amend Rule B & C [2012 Conference Journal, page 254-256] by deletion and substitution as follows:
14 I. Delete the last sentence of current Rule 8 B. 15 II. Substitute the following for current Rule 8 C: 16 17 C. EQUALIZATION OF LAY AND CLERGY MEMBERS: 18 1. To equalize lay and clergy members for the Annual Conference session as required by the 19 Constitution and Discipline of The United Methodist Church, the following procedure shall be used. 20 21 22 23 24 25
2. Lay Members of the Annual Conference are: a. Those elected by the pastoral charges reported in the Disciplinary Question “What is the number of Pastoral Charges?” in the previous year’s Journal. (#58a – 2012 Journal, p. 70); and, b. Those described in the Constitution and Book of Discipline (¶32, Article I and ¶602.4-2012); and, c. Additional lay persons selected as follows:
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3. Additional Lay Members a. From the number of total clergy members reported in the previous year’s Journal in the Disciplinary Question “What is the number of clergy members of the Annual Conference?” (#59a – 2012 Journal, p. 70) subtract the number of lay members determined in Item 2a&b above. b. This difference shall be the number of additional lay members to serve for the next Annual Conference as follows: c. These additional seats shall be filled by lay persons who are not members of the same Conference session in the preceding categories serving as of December 31 of the previous year in the following order: 1) Members of general and jurisdictional boards, councils, and standing commissions or their divisions, departments, committees, units, and other sub-groups, who reside within the bounds of the West Michigan Conference; 2) Chairpersons of West Michigan Conference boards; 3) Treasurer of West Michigan Conference; 4) Conference Facilitators; 5) Members of the following agencies: x Conference Leadership Team (CLT); x Council on Finance and Administration (CFA); x Conference Program Committee; x Rules of Order Committee; x Committee on Journal 6) Chairpersons of district council on ministries or equivalent; 7) Conference Missionary Secretary; 8) Conference Secretary and all lay assistant secretaries; 9) Conference Statistician; 10) Conference Chancellor; 11) Director of Communications;
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12) Directors of West Michigan Conference campus ministries; 13) Chairperson/coordinator of these other conference agencies, committees and groups: x Abuse Prevention Team x Archives and History x Christian Unity and Inter-Religious Concerns x Communications x Disability Concerns x Disaster Response Team x Episcopacy (vice chairperson if chairperson is not a member of West Michigan Conference) x Equitable Compensation x Hispanic/Latino Committee x Michigan Area Indian Workers Conference x New Church Establishment and Development x Nominations x Leadership Development x Older Adult Ministries x Personnel x Prison Ministry and Restorative Justice Concerns x Racial/Ethnic Local Church x Religion and Race x Status and Role of Women x UMCOR/Hunger 14) General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates and reserves elected for the last General and Jurisdictional conferences; 15) Conference Ministry Consultants; 16) Associate Conference Lay Leaders; 17) Conference Council on Youth Ministries Coordinator
d. Where there is co-leadership in any group, both shall be included in the lay equalization formula.
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e. District Lay Members: Any lay members remaining after providing for those above shall be divided equally among the six districts and each district conference shall elect the number of Lay Members allocated to that district. Each district conference shall also elect two alternate Lay Members to serve, in order of their election, if a regularly elected Lay Member is unable to serve. 1) The District Nominating Committee shall present the names of qualified lay persons to the District Conference. 2) In selecting their nominations the District Nominating Committee is requested to review all various interests within the district, theological diversity, urban and rural, large and small churches, youth, young adults, other age categories, women and ethnic communities. 3) Where there are Wesley Foundations and/or Wesley Fellowships, the district shall elect one Lay Member from those organizations, in consultation with those organizations, in their district as a part of their equalization number. 4) The Conference Committee on Rules of Order shall establish and implement a system of rotation so that from year to year, although the number of seats may not be evenly divisible by the number of districts, there shall be equitable representation from each district.
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4. Expenses. Those persons who are seated because of their position of conference leadership shall have their expenses paid by the group on which they serve. The remaining persons elected by the district conferences shall have their expenses paid from funds made available by the Conference Council on Finance and Administration.
1 RATIONALE: 2 3 4
I. The last sentence of current Rule 8 B is no longer needed since the definition of clergy members of the annual conference is already stated in the other parts of Rule 8 B and the necessary disciplinary question reference is now contained in the new revision of Rule 8 C.
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II. The revision of Rule 8 C retains the intent and purpose of current Rule 8 C. It is needed to clarify the Lay Equalization process, make it easier to administer this process, eliminate some positions no longer part of the annual conference, and make necessary editorial changes in the names of some positions. It does not change the substance of current Rule 8 C.
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West Michigan Conference Committee on Rules of Order, Judy Coffey, Chair
“Rules of Order,” Rule 10 – Pre-Conference Reports Preparation: Amendment.
13 MOTION: 14
We move to amend Rule 10.F. [2012 Conference Journal, page 257] by substituting “60 days” for “14 days” so that it reads:
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The Pre-Conference Reports shall be posted on the Conference website in time for all Conference Members and others under appointment to access reports at least 60 days before the Conference convenes. The words “Not for Publication until Perfected and Acted Upon by the West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church” shall be noted at the beginning of the document.
20 RATIONALE: There were many changes made to the Rules of Order at the 2012 Annual Conference related to 21 posting items to the conference website rather than printing and mailing to conference members. 22 As it currently reads, it contradicts Rule 12.D.1. This appears to simply be an oversight.
West Michigan Conference Committee on Rules of Order, Judy Coffey, Chair
PLAN OF ORGANIZATION CHANGES
“Plan of Organization”: Board of Christian Camping – Substitution / Amendment.
28 MOTION: 29
Amend the “Plan of Organization,” sections III.d.1.a and III.f.7.g [2012 Conference Journal, pages 231 and 247] as follows:
Amend III.d.1 by the replacement of section (a) as follows:
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a. Board of Christian Camping 1. Accountability: a. The board shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. b. The executive director reports to the Board of Christian Camping, which holds the executive director responsible for operating within the boundaries of board policy, and for the achievement of measurable goals. The executive director may be a Conference Program Staff person assigned to the role. c. Each site director reports directly to an executive director. d. Each site has a site committee that assists the site director. e. All sites use the Conference Treasurer’s office to manage payments received and due.
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3. Membership: The board will provide a slate of nominees to the Conference Lay Leadership (Nominating) Committee for approval and for inclusion in the conference nominating report. Term limits and renewals shall be in accord with The Discipline of
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The United Methodist Church and the Rules of Order of the West Michigan Conference. Membership of the board is as follows: a. a chair; b. a strategic planning coordinator; c. a fiscal officer, who provides leadership for the board in financial goal-setting and evaluation, including projections and budget setting, accounting policy development, and who assists in communicating Board financial processes and goals to staff; d. a development coordinator, who organizes and manages fundraising projects; e. a development director, who provides leadership, training and guidance in capital fund development for the many needs of the sites and their programs; f. a recruitment training coordinator, who provides leadership for promotion training for site committees, site promotion task forces, district camping promoters, local church camping ministry boosters, and volunteer deans; g. a properties coordinator, who provides leadership in the management of properties, and who works with the directors and the executive director to identify needs and objectives for property maintenance and improvement; h. a vice-chair, who will be designated from the above members (b-i) i. a representative of the Appointive Cabinet; j. a youth member; k. other members as needed.
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4. Organization: The organizational goal of the board is to approximate a governance model by 2017. 5. Meetings: The board meets at least four times annually. 6. Responsibilities: a. Of the camping ministry i. Growth of the ministry. Any site should not fail to grow in ministry in at least 4 of any 5 years. ii. Net revenue maintenance. Any site should not fail to produce a net revenue of not less than 3% in at least 4 of any 5 years. iii. Policy. All camping ministry components shall comply with conference policies and State regulations. Further, the BCC shall provide policies under which all camping programs will be operated and all sites owned by the West Michigan Conference will be maintained and utilized. The BCC is a program agency of the Conference, directly accountable to the Conference Leadership Team (CLT). iv. Promote awareness of camping, and registration for events, throughout the conference, in individual churches, and beyond to the public at large. v. Ensure that leaders, servant workers, funding, training, and vision are available for the success of the whole camping ministry.
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b. Of the Board i. Communicate with the executive director, including receiving reports and input, and giving directives in terms of both policy and ad hoc decisions; a significant tool in this communication is the BCC Handbook, which is continually edited and updated. ii. Communicate with other conference leadership on behalf of camping ministries, including CFA, CLT, Trustees, Communications, Treasurer, and Cabinet; iii. Design an annual ministry plan, which reflects a four or five year ministry plan, and which includes goals for each site with regard to programming balance, attendance, revenue, and budget; and present this plan annually to a gathering of the representatives of site committees, district promoters, the executive director, and site directors in time for each part of the plan to be implemented. Components of the annual ministry plan are: 1. a broad outline of programming goals
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2. a specific outline of major maintenance and facility improvement tasks for each site, as part of an ongoing facilities plan; 3. an annual budget for both revenue and expenses, both operating and capital. iv. At least annually, host a gathering to include all site committee members, district coordinators, and site directors, for the purpose of gathering input and sharing ministry objectives. Amend III.f.7.g by adding a new numeral (5) as follows:
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5. There shall be the following exception in (1) above: For the nominations of members of the Board of Christian Camping, the BCC will consult with the CNC as the BCC develops a slate of officers for approval and inclusion in the conference nominating report.
12 RATIONALE: 13 14 15 16 17 18
In 2012, the Board of Christian Camping underwent a significant planning process, and in the process rewrote its own policies, including the organization of the board. The conference camping ministry is large and complex, involving dozens of paid staff, hundreds of volunteers, and thousands of campers every year. The traditional model of a representational board was not able to provide guidance for this type of ministry, and we believe that a smaller, better-informed board with a clear organizational purpose will do a much better job of helping our executive director and site directors to grow the ministry into the future.
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Since camping is a large ministry with a large pool of very committed and experienced volunteers, we believe that the board is best placed to identify and recruit its own new members, though we will continue to welcome suggestions from the Conference Nominating Committee. Under this motion, the membership of the board will still be approved by the Annual Conference as part of the annual CNC report.
West Michigan Conference Board of Christian Camping, Jeremy Williams, Chair
West Michigan Budget Recommendation for 2014.
The Council on Finance and Administration recommends the following:
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1. The amount of $6,175,940 shall be the Conference budget in 2014 and the Ministry Shares Rate shall be 12.8%, which is a decrease from last yearâ€™s Rate of 12.9%, plus a 0.1% for Youth Ministry Staff Support.
2. District superintendents and cabinet level salary in the amount of $77,688 are calculated based on the formula approved by Annual Conference in 2011.
3. Support staff wages adjustment of 2.25% using a rate increase of 0.25% above inflation rate of 2%.
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4. Health Care charge per employee is projected to increase by 8%. Additional amount of $1,500 is budgeted to fund the liability for the post-retirement health care of clergy and lay employees of the conference.
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Assumptions: Actual Income of all churches X Percntage Rate X Projected Pay-in Rate = Ministry Shares Revenue $55,090,200 x 12.8% x 87% = $6,134,845 Plus $55,090,200 x 0.1% x 87% = $41,698 (Youth Ministry Staff Support) MINISTRY SHARES REVENUE = $6,176,542
44 NOTE: The 2014 45 Response Petitions 46 47 48
proposed line item budget will be posted online April 1 and printed in the Booklet. West Michigan Conference Council on Finance and Administration, Susan Cobb, President / Pros Tumonong, Treasurer
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
2012 GENERAL CONFERENCE – The United Methodist Church
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ITEM #21 Proposed Constitutional Amendment – I On April 30, 2012, at a session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church held in Tampa, Florida, the following Constitutional Amendment was adopted by a recorded vote of 865 Yes, 50 No (Calendar Item 211, DCA p. 2340). It is now presented to the Annual Conferences for vote. In the 2008 Book of Discipline, Division One, ¶ 6, Article VI, (2012 Book of Discipline, Division One, ¶6, Article VI)) amend by addition as follows: After “it will” add “pray.” If voted and so declared by the Council of Bishops, ¶ 6 (¶ 6) would read: Ecumenical Relations—As part of the church universal, The United Methodist Church believes that the Lord of the church is calling Christians everywhere to strive toward unity; and therefore it will pray, seek, and work for unity at all levels of church life: through world relationships with other Methodist churches and united churches related to The Methodist Church or The Evangelical United Brethren Church, through councils of churches, and through plans of union and covenantal relationships with churches of Methodist or other denominational traditions.
ITEM #22 Proposed Constitutional Amendment – II On May 1, 2012, at a session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church held in Tampa, Florida, the following Constitutional Amendment was adopted by a recorded vote of 731 Yes, 181 No (Calendar Item 205, DCA p. 2430). It is now presented to the Annual Conferences for vote. In the 2008 Book of Discipline, Division Two, Section II, ¶ 14, Article II, (2012 Book of Discipline, Division Two, Section II, ¶ 14, Article II)) amend by deletion and addition as follows: After “shall meet” delete “in the month of April or May” and after “duly authorized committees.” add a new sentence, “The change in the preceding sentence shall become effective at the close of General Conference in 2016.” If voted and so declared by the Council of Bishops, ¶ 14 (¶ 14) would read: The General Conference shall meet once in four years at such time and in such place as shall be determined by the General Conference or by its duly authorized committees. The change in the preceding sentence shall become effective at the close of General Conference in 2016. A special session of the General Conference, possessing the authority and exercising all the powers of the General Conference, may be called by the Council of Bishops, or in such other manner as the General Conference may from time to time prescribe, to meet at such time and in such place as may be stated in the call. Such special session of the General Conference shall be composed of the delegates to the preceding General Conference or their lawful successors, except that when a particular annual conference or missionary conference shall prefer to have a new election it may do so. The purpose of such special session shall be stated in the call, and only such business shall be transacted as is in harmony with the purpose stated in such call unless the General Conference by a two-thirds vote shall determine that other business may be transacted.
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
ITEM #23 Proposed Constitutional Amendment – III
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On May 3, 2012, at a session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church held in Tampa, Florida, the following Constitutional Amendment was adopted by a recorded vote of 618 Yes, 306 No (Calendar Item 54, DCA pp. 2672-73). It is now presented to the Annual Conferences for vote.
ITEM #24 Proposed Constitutional Amendment – IV
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On May 1, 2012, at a session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church held in Tampa, Florida, the following Constitutional Amendment was adopted by a recorded vote of 848 Yes, 57 No (Calendar Item 207, DCA p. 2431). It is now presented to the Annual Conferences for vote.
In the 2008 Book of Discipline, Division Two, Section VI, ¶ 32, Article I, (2012 Book of Discipline, Division Two, Section VI, ¶ 32, Article I) amend by deletion and addition as follows: After “director of Lay” delete “Speaking” and add “Servant”. If voted and so declared by the Council of Bishops, ¶ 32 (¶ 32) would read: The annual conference shall be composed of clergy and lay members. The clergy membership shall consist of deacons and elders in full connection, provisional members, associate members, and local pastors under appointment. The lay membership shall consist of professing lay members elected by each charge, the diaconal ministers, the active deaconesses, and home missioners under episcopal appointment within the bounds of the annual conference, the conference president of United Methodist Women, the conference president of United Methodist Men, the conference lay leader, district lay leaders, the conference director of Lay Servant Ministries, conference secretary of Global Ministries (if lay), the president or equivalent officer of the conference young adult organization, the president of the conference youth organization, the chair of the annual conference college student organization, and one young person between the ages of twelve (12) and seventeen (17) and one young person between the ages of eighteen (18) and thirty (30) from each district to be selected in such a manner as may be determined by the annual conference. In the annual conferences of the central conferences, the four-year participation and the two-year membership requirements may be waived by the annual conference for young persons under thirty (30) years of age. Such persons must be professing members of The United Methodist Church and active participants at the time of election. Each charge served by more than one clergy shall be entitled to as many lay members as there are clergy members. The lay members shall have been for the two years next preceding their election members of The United Methodist Church and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election. If the lay membership should number less than the clergy members of the annual conference, the annual conference shall, by its own formula, provide for the election of additional lay members to equalize lay and clergy membership of the annual conference.
In the 2008 Book of Discipline, Division Two, Section VII, ¶ 40, Article I, (2012 Book of Discipline, Division Two, Section VII, ¶ 40, Article I) amend by deletion and addition, as follows: Delete the first two words, “Changes in” and following “episcopal areas” delete “may be effected” and add “shall be determined” and after “and the central conferences” add ”The authority of jurisdictional and central conferences provided herein is not circumscribed or limited by the authority provided to the College of Bishops to arrange a plan of episcopal supervision.” If voted and so declared by the Council of Bishops, ¶ 40 (¶ 40) would read: The number, names, and boundaries of the annual conferences and episcopal areas shall be determined by the jurisdictional conferences in the United States of America and by the central conferences outside the United States of America according to the provisions under the respective powers and pursuant to the respective structures of the jurisdictional and the central conferences. The authority of jurisdictional and central conferences provided herein is not circumscribed or limited by the authority provided to the College of Bishops to arrange a plan of episcopal supervision.
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Rationale for Proposed Constitutional Amendments
The United Methodist Church
Voted General Conference April-May 2012
(¶ 6) The proposed amendment acknowledges God’s action in conferring the gift of the Church by including praying for unity among the tasks of the Church.
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(¶ 14) The proposed amendment would allow the General Conference to meet at other times during the calendar year on dates better suited for younger delegates and those with parenting responsibilities.
(¶ 32) The proposed amendment removes the connotation that leadership training is only about preaching in order to develop skills and enhance the spiritual gifts of the laity.
(¶ 40) The proposed amendment gives the power of boundary decisions to jurisdictional and central conferences, bodies that include lay persons.
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219 SUMMARY OF ANNUAL CONFERENCE PROCEDURES TO SUBMIT REQUESTS TO THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL
Although occurring infrequently, there are occasions when an Annual Conference desires the Judicial Council to clarify how The Book of Discipline of the UMC applies to particular actions taken by the Conference. There are four different ways an Annual Conference can submit a request to the Judicial Council. For each procedure there are specific requirements regarding the content of the request and the Annual Conference vote needed to make the request. If these requirements are not met, the Judicial Council will lack jurisdiction to consider the matter and thus the Annual Conference’s desire for a legal decision will not be achieved.
9 The four procedures an Annual Conference can follow with the paragraph references from the Book of Discipline 10 of The United Methodist Church – 2012 are: 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51
An Appeal to determine the legality of any action taken by the Annual Conference on a matter affecting the Annual Conference (¶2609.5) x x
The content of the appeal must relate to the organization and/or decisions of the Annual Conference and its authorities and responsibilities as provided in The Book of Discipline of the UMC - 2012. Annual Conference Vote Required: Two-thirds of the members present and voting.
Bishop’s Decision of Law (¶2609.6) x x x
During a regular business session, written questions of law may be submitted to the bishop, asking him/her to rule on the disciplinary legality raised in the questions. If the bishop does not issue a ruling before the close of the Annual Conference session, he/she must do so within 30 days after the session closes. Annual Conference Vote Required: No vote is required by the Annual Conference for this procedure. The bishop’s ruling goes directly to the Judicial Council to pass upon and affirm, modify or reverse the decisions of law made by the bishop.
Appeal from a Bishop’s Decision on a Question of Law (¶2609.7) x x
The Judicial Council can hear and determine appeals from a bishop’s decision on a question of law if requested by the requisite number of Annual Conference members. Annual Conference Vote Required: One-Fifth of the members present and voting.
Request for a Declaratory Decision (¶2610) x x x x x
This request asks the Judicial Council for “…a declaratory decision as to the constitutionality, meaning, application, or effect of the Discipline or any portion thereof… (¶2610.1).” The request must specify the disciplinary paragraph or paragraphs that are at issue or in question. If the issue or question is described in general terms without citing the relevant disciplinary paragraph(s) the Judicial Council will refuse to consider the matter for lack of jurisdiction. Annual Conference Vote Required: ¶2610 does not specify a vote requirement to request a declaratory decision. Therefore, it would appear Annual Conference approval of the request would be the same as all other actions not providing for a specific number, namely a simple majority vote of its members. ¶2610.3 outlines the process for persons affected by the decision to be involved in and informed of the proceedings.
Note: The Judicial Council has consistently ruled that parliamentary procedure rulings and procedural matters related to the conduct of the Annual Conference session are not matters they are authorized to consider. The Judicial Council has also consistently chosen to not accept for their consideration questions raised that are of a hypothetical nature. It is important to be aware of the reality of time and resources that will need to be devoted to a matter brought to the Judicial Council. Written materials delineating the issue being challenged will need to be developed. Occasionally lay and/or clergy persons may need to travel to the site of the Judicial Council’s meeting in order to make presentations. The Conference Chancellor is also always involved in the process and there are expenses related to the providing of this expertise. This summary is not intended to be a replacement for the extensive details and process outlined in The Book of Discipline of the UMC-2012. If any of the above information is in conflict with The Book of Discipline of the UMC-2012, The Book of Discipline of the UMC-2012 shall take precedence.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ANNUAL CONFERENCE PETITIONS During the course of our work as an Annual Conference, we occasionally create a Task Force and/or refer items to a specific group for their action and/or report back to the Annual Conference. Please consider at least the two following issues related to time and money. 1. Any item requiring a report back to “next year’s Annual Conference,” does not have a full 12 months. February is the Petition deadline, with some ability for revisions via the Response Petition process. It often takes 2-3 months after Annual Conference for a task force to become fully operational. Therefore the real working time may be as short as 4-6 months given participants usually all have other additional responsibilities.
2. There are also meeting expenses, administrative costs, sometimes consultant fees, or research costs that will be associated with a task force or referral for work by a specific board or agency. Provisions for how these expenses will be cared for must be included in any legislative action requiring a report back.
VOLUME 1 OF 2013 CONFERENCE JOURNAL IS AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY. For the fifth year we are providing Volume One of the Conference Journal only via electronic means. The West Michigan Annual Conference Program Committee and Conference Secretary have taken this step to help us continue to be better stewards of our resources. The printing costs saved as a result are approximately $3,700. Volume 1 is available and downloadable on the conference web site. The web address is:
http://www.westmichiganconference.org/ This will allow you to read the entire volume. You may also print single page sections of the volume as you desire. If you are unable to access this material, please contact your local church office or pastor first. Second you may contact your District Office or the Conference Center.
Our experience from this distribution will help inform us as we move toward the possibility of primarily providing the entire program and petitions materials booklets via online distribution. Total printing and mailing costs for these materials are $6,000 - $7,000. You may also forward suggestions to: Mark Doyal, Conference Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org or Carole Armstrong, Communications Commission Chair, email@example.com or Rev. Benton Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministries, Benton@wmcumc.org or Rev. Greg Buchner, Conference Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
221 PARLIAMENTARY MOTION CHART West Michigan Annual Conference KIND OF MOTION
SECOND DEBAT- AMENDREQUIRED ABLE ABLE
All of the following twelve motions are ranked from the bottom of the list. When any one of them is immediately pending (the last motion to be put before the Conference and not yet disposed of), any motion above it on this list is in order, and all of those below are out of order. Any business or subject is brought before the Conference as a main motion. ADJOURN
to end a meeting.
TAKE A RECESS
to interrupt a meeting for an intermission.
RAISE A QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE
to obtain immediate action on problems affecting honor or safety of Conference or individual members.
CALL FOR THE ORDERS OF THE DAY
to bring before the Conference scheduled business.
LAY ON THE TABLE
to set aside item of business at least temporarily.
to close debate on immediately pending motion, or when specified, on all pending motions or consecutive series thereof.
LIMIT OR EXTEND LIMITS OF DEBATE
to limit or extend debate for period of time, or on specified motions.
POSTPONE TO CERTAIN TIME
to delay consideration of the main motion.
COMMIT OR REFER
to place main motion in hands of committee or group of specified persons.
to modify or alter a motion. Debatable only when motion to be amended is debatable.
to dispose of motion without bringing it to a vote.
to introduce new business.
The following motions are incidental motions, and are not ranked, since each is related to a specific problem arising out of other business. They are in order at any time the business out of which they arise is in order. POINT OF ORDER
to enforce Conference rules.
to provide members with information on rules or motions.
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
to answer questions of any Conference member.
SUSPENSION OF THE RULES
to facilitate business normally against the rules.
APPEAL FROM THE DECISION OF THE CHAIR
to insure that a majority agrees with the ruling of the chair.
DIVISION OF THE ASSEMBLY
to secure counted vote.
TO WITHDRAW A MOTION
usually none, majority if any Member objects
to withdraw a motion before it is amended or voted upon. Must be made by original mover with approval of the original second.
The following three motions are in order when there is no other motion pending before the Conference. The motion â€œto reconsiderâ€? may be made at any time, even when other motions are pending, but must wait for full consideration. TAKE A MOTION FROM THE TABLE
to bring before the Conference a motion previously tabled.
to secure a new vote on a motion previously voted upon. Mover must have voted with the prevailing side on original motion. Must be made day of original vote or following day at the latest.
RESCIND OR REPEAL
two-thirds w/o previous notice.
to void previous action of the Conference.