Guidelines for Petitions submitted to the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference Session

June 07, 2018
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Guidelines for Petitions submitted to the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference Session Related to the Proposals of the Council of Bishops Regarding a “Way Forward” For The United Methodist Church
 
Persons or groups seeking Iowa Annual Conference endorsement of petitions to the 2019 General Conference must submit the petition in electronic form to the Iowa Annual Conference Secretary by 1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 9, 2018. Petitions may only originate with or be sponsored by individuals who are members of, or groups who are related to, The United Methodist Church in Iowa. The Committee on Rules of Order will review the petitions for accuracy, duplication, and compliance with Disciplinary guidelines and assign them petition numbers with consideration to diverse perspectives: centrist, progressive, and traditional. If there is time remaining on the agenda, following the completion of all Action Items, petitions will be presented in numerical order for consideration. At least one petition from each of the three perspectives will be discussed as time permits.The petitions will be made available to Conference members by the Sunday evening legislative session.  Petitions submitted for consideration by the 2019 Special General Conference will not be amendable.
 
On May 25, 2018, the Judicial Council ruled that petitions to the special General Conference 2019 "may be filed by any organization, clergy member and lay member of the United Methodist Church as long as the business proposed to be transacted in such petition is in harmony with the purpose stated in the call," which is limited to receiving and acting upon a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward. Business not in harmony with the purpose as stated in the call is not permitted unless the General Conference determines by a two-thirds vote that other business may be transacted. 
 
Click here to read the proposal of the Council of Bishops.
 
Submitted petitions must follow the format described in the Instructions for Petitions to the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference The United Methodist Church.

  • Petitions must be typed, double-spaced. Microsoft Word files or any other software that allows files to be saved as rich-text format (RTF) may be used. Do not submit PDF files. 
    • Do not use “Track Changes” at any point in the preparation of a petition. Do not use subscript or superscript, as is commonly used for footnotes and endnotes. Instead of footnotes and endnotes, use in-text citations. 
  • The top of the first page of the petition should read as follows: Total Number of Pages: 
    • Suggested Title: (i.e., “Establish Quorum”)
    • Discipline Paragraph or Resolution Number, if applicable: 
    • General Church Budget Implications: [   ] None    [   ] Yes 
    • Global Implications: [   ] None    [   ] Yes 
(See Frequently Asked Questions on page 2 of the Instructions for Petitions…for more information on Budget or Global designations) 
  • The bottom of the final page of the petition should include:
    • Date: 
    • Signature of the Petitioner:
    • Identification of the Petitioner: (i.e. – “Member of Local Church”)
      Phone:
    • Fax Number: (if applicable)
      E-mail Address: (if applicable) 
  • Each petition must be signed by the person submitting it, accompanied by appropriate identification, such as address, local church, or Iowa Annual Conference United Methodist board or agency relationship. Telephone numbers must also be included.
  • “Each petition submitted by fax or electronic mail must identify the individual submitting it, accompanied by identification as above, and must contain a valid digital electronic mail return address or return fax number by which the submitter can be reached. Electronic signatures will be accepted in accordance with common business practice (¶507.3, The Book of Discipline 2016).” 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What does it mean to say a petition has or does not have “General Church Budget Implications”? 
  • A petition that causes the need of funding (i.e.; creation of new program, staff position, requirements of support, etc.) through the general Church apportionments has “Financial Implications” for the procedural purposes of General Conference. This requires a review by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) to verify if the funding has already been included under the recommended quadrennial budget or if this requires new funding not currently in the quadrennial budget. A petition that does not cause the need of funding, or that causes the need of funding from some other source (local congregation, district, annual conference, jurisdiction, etc.) than general church apportionments does not have “Financial Implications”.  

2. What does it mean to say a petition has or does not have “Global Implications”? 

  • A petition that causes a change to the Book of Discipline or the Book of Resolutions or otherwise takes some action or position for the denomination has “Global Implications” if it: 
    • Is a constitutional amendment. 
    • Has a direct effect on the global work of general agencies. 
    • Places requirements or expectations on all annual conferences, districts, or churches regardless of whether they are located in jurisdictions or central conferences. 
    • Speaks to universal societal concerns, regardless of the particular form of secular government or cultural differences. 

2019 SPECIAL SESSION PETITION REVIEW PROCESS 
The purpose of the special General Conference 2019 stated in the Bishop’s call is limited to receiving and acting upon a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward. Petitions to the special General Conference 2019 may be filed by any organization, clergy member and lay member of the United Methodist Church as long as the business proposed to be transacted in such petition is in harmony with the purpose stated in the call. It is the obligation of the General Conference to determine, in the first instance, through its committees, officers and presiders, acting in accordance with The Book of Discipline 2016 and the rules and procedures of the General Conference, whether any such petition is “in harmony.” However, business not in harmony with the purpose as stated in the call is not permitted unless the General Conference by a two-thirds vote shall determine that other business may be transacted. See ¶ 14. [Judicial Council Decision 1360]