Rules

ARTICLE II: RULES OF ORDER FOR CONFERENCE SESSIONS

Procedures for following these standing Rules of Order on a virtual platform are included in a box beneath any affected rule.
 


RULE 1. AUTHORITY OF THE CHAIR

The presiding Bishop, or a person designated by the Bishop, shall be the presiding officer of the Annual Conference. He or she shall decide points of order raised or not raised by the members, deemed necessary to conform to these rules of order; subject, in both cases, to an appeal to the Conference by any member, which appeal shall be considered without debate; except that the chairperson and the appellant, in the order named here, shall each have five (5) minutes for a statement in support of their respective positions. A tie vote in the case of appeal shall sustain the chair. When any member raises a point of order he or she shall cite, by number, the rule claimed to have been violated. The presiding Bishop shall have the right to recess a session of the Annual Conference at any time at his/her discretion and to reconvene at such time as he/she shall announce, with only delegates, authorized personnel and authorized guests permitted to attend such a session following recess.

RULE 2. CALLING THE CONFERENCE TO ORDER

When the chairperson stands in his/her place and calls the Conference to order, no member shall speak, address the chair, or stand while the chairperson stands.

RULE 3. ATTENDANCE AND SEATING RESERVES

No member, unless hindered by sickness or otherwise from being present, shall be absent from the sessions of the Conference without permission of the Conference; and all absentees shall be reported to the Chairperson.

RULE 4. DIRECTIONS FOR SECURING THE FLOOR

When a member desires to speak to the Conference, he/she shall arise at his/her designated seat, respectfully address the presiding officer, using the term, “Bishop”, or “Mr./Madame Chairperson,” and after recognition, proceed to a microphone and announce the Church or Charge which he/she represents; which, in turn, the Chairperson shall then announce to the Conference.
 

Recognition shall be obtained by completing the “Get Recognized”
button on the voting platform made available to proper delegates through GNTV.



RULE
5. INTERRUPTING THE SPEAKER

No member who has the floor may be interrupted except for a breach of order, or a misrepresentation, or to direct the attention of the Conference to the fact that the time has arrived for a special order, or to raise a very urgent question of high privilege.
 

Interrupting Speakers will not be instantaneous as if we were on the floor in person. However, should a member wish to raise a breach of order, or a misrepresentation, or to direct the attention of the Conference to a special order, or to raise a very urgent question of high privilege can do so through the “Get Recognized” button on the voting platform made available to proper delegates through GNTV.

 

RULE 6. SPEAKING MORE THAN ONCE; LENGTH OF SPEECH

No member shall speak a second time on the same question if any member who has not spoken desires the floor, nor more than twice on the same subject under the same motion, nor longer than three (3) minutes unless his/her time shall be extended by the Conference.
 

Time limits may be expressed either from the chair verbally or through a “countdown timer” displayed on the zoom platform or both.


RULE
7. QUESTION OF HIGH PRIVILEGE

A member claiming the floor at any time for what he/she believes is a very urgent question of high privilege shall be allowed to indicate briefly the nature of the question; and if it be adjudged by the chair to be such, he/she may proceed at his/her pleasure or until the chairperson judges that he/she has exhausted such privilege.

Recognition shall be obtained by completing the “Get Recognized” button on the voting platform made available to proper delegates through GNTV.


RULE
8. VOTING AREA OF CONFERENCE

Only members within the area designated as the bar of the Conference when the vote is taken shall be entitled to vote. All members within the bar at the time a question is put shall vote or abstain, except such as shall have been excused for special reasons by the Conference.

As will be confirmed by the secretary’s opening motions, the bar will be described as “the Zoom webinar platform and voting software established by Good News Television and implemented on May 22, 2021 beginning at 8:45 am.”


RULE
9. VOTING PROCEDURES

Voting shall be by a show of hands unless otherwise ordered by the Conference. An “aye” or “nay” vote, if taken, shall be by signed ballot. An “aye” and “nay” vote by secret ballot may be ordered on motion of any member, without debate supported by one-third (1/3) of the members present and voting. A count vote may be ordered on motion of any member without debate, supported by one- third (1/3) of the members present and voting, in which case the members shall rise from their seats and stand until counted.

No other business shall be in order when a vote is being taken or when the previous question has been called, until the process is completed, except such as relates to the vote itself, or that which can be appropriately fit into the time while waiting for the report of the secretaries on a count vote, or any “aye” or “nay” vote. The count shall be made by the Committee of Tellers.
 

Votes will be taken by electronic ballot through the balloting platform provided by GNTV.

 

RULE 10. DIVISION OF QUESTION

Before a vote is taken any member shall have the right to call for a division of any question, if it is subject to such division as he/she indicates. If no delegate objects, the division shall be made; but if there is objection, the chair shall put the question of division to vote, not waiting for a second, without debate, which division shall be allowed upon approval of a majority of the members present and voting.

RULE 11. VOTE BY ORDER

The ministerial and lay members shall deliberate as one body; but upon a call, by motion of any member, seconded by another member of the same order and supported by one-third (1/3) of the members of that order voting, the ministerial and lay members shall vote separately. But when the Conference votes by orders, no measure shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of both classes of members. In cases of such a vote the order calling it shall vote first; provided, however, that the Conference may not vote by orders on a proposed amendment to the Constitution. (2016 Book of Discipline ¶ 59-61)

RULE 12. MOTION FOR ADOPTION OF REPORTS AND RESOLUTIONS, UNNECESSARY

Whenever a report of a committee, signed by the chairperson and secretary thereof, and otherwise in compliance with the General Rules of this Annual Conference shall be presented to the Conference for its action, it shall be deemed in proper order for consideration by the Conference without the formality of a motion to adopt, and a second thereto.

RULE 13. REQUIRED FORMS FOR REPORTS, RESOLUTIONS, MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS

All resolutions and committee reports shall be presented in triplicate; and, when requested by the secretary, motions, including amendments, shall be presented in writing.

RULE 14. ALTERATIONS OF MOTIONS, ETC.

When a motion is made and seconded, or a resolution is introduced and seconded, or a committee report is read, it shall be deemed to be in possession of the Conference, and may not be altered except by action of the Conference.

In order to provide an efficient manner to inform the Annual Conference of any intention to introduce changes, deletions, or additions to the printed CFA recommended budget, such intentions must be provided in writing to CFA no later than two weeks prior to the opening of Annual Conference.

The presenter of the budget amendment shall introduce the amendment during the “Introduction of New Business” on the day of Annual Conference. In addition, the presenter shall provide sufficient copies of the Budget Amendment Form* to distribute to the Annual Conference in accordance with conference rules. All proposed budget amendments shall be presented to the conference for deliberation when CFA presents the printed budget for adoption. At this time, the Chairperson of CFA shall state CFA’s response to the budget amendments received. No additional budget amendments will be accepted from the floor without the Annual Conference suspending this conference rule.

* A Budget Amendment Form can be obtained from the Conference Treasurer’s office and must be returned to the Chairperson of CFA by the above deadline. The required form shall identify, (1) the person, church, or agency making the proposal; (2) the Report Number in the CFA proposed budget; (3) the line item proposed to be changed, deleted, or added; (4) the proposed dollar amount adjustment to the line item, and (5) the basis for which such proposed adjustment is being made.

 

RULE 15. UNDEBATABLE MOTIONS

The following motions shall be acted upon without debate:

 

  • To adjourn, when unqualified, except to adjourn the Conference finally
  • To suspend the rules
  • To lay on the table
  • To take from the table
  • To call for the previous question
  • To reconsider a non-debatable motion
  • To limit or extend the limits of debate
  • To call for the orders of the day
  • To alter voting procedure
  • To divide the question (if objection by a delegate is made)

RULE 16. RIGHTS OF THE MAIN QUESTION

The main question may be opened to debate under the following motions: to adopt, to commit or refer, to substitute, to postpone, and to reconsider. No new motion, resolution, or subject shall be entertained until the one under consideration shall have been disposed of. The foregoing does not apply to secondary motions if otherwise allowable in the existing parliamentary situation.

RULE 17. PRECEDENCE OF SECONDARY MOTIONS

If any one or more of the following motions shall be made when one or more other motions are pending, the order of their precedence in relation to one another shall be the same as the order of their listing below:

  1. To fix the time to which the Conference shall adjourn. (This motion is subject to amendment, or it may be laid on the table.)
  2. To adjourn
  3. To take recess
  4. To order the previous question
  5. To lay on the table
  6. To limit or extend the limits of debate
  7. To postpone to a given time
  8. To commit or refer
  9. To amend or to substitute (one amendment being allowed to an amendment)
  10. To postpone indefinitely

 

RULE 18. TABLING RELATED MOTIONS

No motion, which adheres to another motion, or has another motion adhering to it, can be laid on the table by itself. Such motions, if laid on the table, carry with them the motions to which they respectively adhere, or which adhere to them.

RULE 19. REFERRING REPORTS, ETC.

It shall be in order for the Conference to refer to a committee a section or a part of a report or resolution, which is before the Conference for consideration, or any amendment offered thereto.

RULE 20. PROCEDURE FOR CONSIDERATION OF SUBSTITUTES

When a resolution or committee report is properly before the Conference for consideration and action, even if amendments thereto are pending, a substitute therefore may be offered by any member moving that the same be substituted for the report or resolution under consideration. The Conference shall then proceed first to perfect the original report or resolution, including consideration and action upon any amendments which may be offered to it. The same perfecting process shall then be followed with respect to the substitute. The question shall then be put first on the motion to substitute, followed by the motion to adopt the report or resolution; provided, however, that the motion for the previous question shall not be in order on the adoption of the report or recommendation or on making the proposed substitution until opportunity has been given for at least two (2) members to speak on each side of the question of substitution or adoption.

RULE 21. PREVIOUS QUESTION

When any member moves the previous question (that is, that the vote be now taken on the motion or motions pending), he/she shall indicate to what he/she intends it to apply, if any secondary motion or motions are also pending. If he/she does not so indicate, it shall be regarded as applying only to the immediately pending question. This motion shall be taken without debate, and shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting for its adoption; and if it is accepted, the vote shall be taken on the motion or motions to which it applies without further debate.

RULE 22. MOTION AFTER SPEECH

It shall not be in order for a member immediately after discussing a pending question, and before relinquishing the floor, to make a motion whose adoption would limit or stop debate.

RULE 23. EXCEPTIONS TO MAJORITY VOTE

A majority of those voting, a quorum being present, shall decide all questions with the following exceptions:

  1. One-third (1/3) of those present and voting shall suffice to sustain a call for a count vote in case the decision of the chair is doubted. A tie vote sustains the chair.
  2. A call for a vote by orders shall prevail if sustained by one-third (1/3) of the members of the order from which the call came, present and voting.
  3. A two-thirds (2/3) vote shall be required to sustain a motion to suspend or amend the rules; to sustain a motion for the previous question; to set aside a special order; to consider a special order before the time set therefor; to sustain the request of the Committee on Courtesies and Privileges for the presentation of any person on the final day of the Annual Conference.

 

RULE 24. RECONSIDERATION

A motion to reconsider an action of the Conference shall be in order at any time if offered by a member who voted with the prevailing side. If the motion proposed for reconsideration is non-debatable, the motion to reconsider may not be debated.

RULE 25. CALENDARS, REGULAR AND NON-CONCURRENCE

The Secretary shall keep a chronological record of orders of the day and of reports of committees, which record shall be called the Calendar, and the matter of business placed on it shall be considered as recommended by the Committee on Agenda (the Cabinet) to the Conference, unless by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Conference an item is taken out of its order.

When a committee presents a report on a given subject, as part of its report, it must also list the numbers of all petitions relating to this subject on which the committee voted non-concurrence.

RULE 26. MOTION TO ADJOURN IN ORDER EXCEPT

The motion to adjourn, when unqualified, shall be taken without debate, and shall always be in order, except:

  1. When a member has the floor.
  2. When a question is actually put, or a vote is being taken, and before it is finally decided.
  3. When the previous question has been ordered and action thereunder is pending.
  4. When a motion to adjourn has been lost, and no business or debate has intervened.
  5. When the motion to fix the time to which the Conference shall adjourn is pending; the foregoing does not apply to a motion for adjournment of the Conference.

RULE 27. SPEAKERS FOR AND AGAINST

When the report of a subject is under consideration, it shall be the duty of the presiding officer to ascertain, when he/she recognizes a member of the Conference, on which side he/she proposes to speak; and he/she shall not assign the floor to any member proposing to speak on the same side of the pending question as the speaker immediately preceding if any member desires to speak on the other side thereof.

Except for undebatable motions, no motion shall be adopted or question relating to the same decided without opportunity having been given for at least two (2) speeches for and two (2) against the said proposal, provided that right is claimed before the chairperson or duly authorized member representing the committee’s report or the minority report, if there be such, has been recognized by the presiding officer to close the debate.

When all have spoken who desire to do so, or when (and after) the previous question has been ordered, the chairperson and/or duly authorized member or members presenting a committee’s report (and a minority report if there be one) shall be entitled to speak before the vote is taken. This right of the chairperson and/or other member or members to close the debate shall prevail in like manner to a limit of five (5) minutes when a vote is about to be taken on a motion to amend, to substitute, to postpone, to refer, or to lay on the table or any other motion whose adoption would vitally affect the report under consideration; provided, that this five (5) minute limit shall not apply to a motion to substitute a minority report for a regular (majority) report of a committee.

Recognition shall be obtained by completing the “Get Recognized” button on the voting platform made available to proper delegates through GNTV.

 

RULE 28. EFFECTIVE DATE

All actions of the Annual Conference shall become effective upon the final adjournment of the session of the Annual Conference at which they are enacted, unless otherwise specified, except as provided otherwise in the Discipline.

RULE 29. SUSPENSION OF RULES

The operation of any of the provisions of these Rules of Order may be suspended at any time by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Conference.

RULE 30. ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY

In any parliamentary situation not clearly covered by these Rules of Order, the Annual Conference shall be governed by the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

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