Playing by the Rules

The General Conference follows Robert’s Rules of Order along with their own Rules of Order that have been previously agreed upon. Many of our church committees, Civic Clubs, and other organizations follow a modified version of Roberts Rules of Order, but few really understand the depth of how they work and how to use them. The purpose of Roberts Rules of Order is primarily to carefully and respectfully manage conflict, and hopefully move along debate in an orderly way. These rules are usually confusing in a church’s Board of Trustees meeting, but get a lot more complicated and confusing in a body like The General Conference. Though our General Conference delegates are more adept and experienced at these kinds of proceedings than your average pastor or church-member, it is still very confusing. Watching from the sidelines or online can be very tedious, and a little frustrating. I sometimes think, “Why can’t they just move on.” This day will be filled with lots of amendments to the petitions and plans. Each one will have to be moved, seconded, and speeches for and against will be offered. As tedious and frustrating as this is, this is what legislative committees do.

The Traditional Plan, which is being amended and debated this morning had large parts ruled unconstitutional by our Judicial Council in an advisory ruling a few months ago. The amendments being offered this morning are trying to fix some of these issues. There are going to be lots of amendments and each one will be very tedious. With every vote that is taken, it seems that the strength of those with a traditional mindset are still in the majority and are trying to push the Traditional Plan through and are trying to repair the unconstitutional parts. The body (at approximately 10:35 AM) voted to close debate on the Traditional Plan, approved the most recent amendment then passed the plan by 56% which means it will go to the plenary session tomorrow to be debated, amended, and voted upon.

Next up: Debate about the disaffiliation plan #1.

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