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July 25, 2012 / nickpark

Church of God General Assembly 2012 – Item 6 & Item 8

Here are two more items that appear on the General Assembly Agenda.  They both relate to how business is conducted at the General assembly every two years.

6. MOTIONS COMMITTEE
We recommend: That we amend page 68, S4. INTERNATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL, IV. INTERNATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL MOTIONS COMMITTEE, by adding the following paragraph:
Previous notice shall be required for any motion which greatly alters the organizational structure of the Church of God. When motions are presented to the Motions Committee, the following guidelines will be followed:
1. Each motion will be processed and prioritized by the Motions Committee according to the guidelines of the General Assembly Minutes.
2. The Motions Committee will initially determine if the motion would “greatly alter the organizational structure of
the Church of God.”
3. If in the opinion of the moderator the motion would “greatly alter the organizational structure of the Church of God,” the motion will be read to the body by the chairman of the Motions Committee at the direction of the moderator with the notation that it is a motion that will require previous notice before final disposition.
4. The moderator will explain that if the motion passes in the present International General Council, it will be placed on the agenda of the following International General Council in order to fulfi ll the requirement of previous notice.
5. The item will then be open for full debate on the presently-convening International General Council floor.

6. If the motion does not receive a majority vote, it falls to the floor.
7. If the motion receives a majority vote, it is committed to the International Executive Council with the mandate that it be placed on the agenda for the next International General Council in a manner that fulfi lls the requirements of previous notice.

 

This is really a ‘safety first’ measure to avoid any potentially game changing motions slipping through the General Assembly without being properly considered or debated.

The Agenda for each General Assembly is prepared in advance by the International Executive Council.  It is publicised so as to give all delegates the opportunity to pray over it, and to discuss it among themselves beforehand (just like I’m doing in this blog).  However, sometimes the discussions go quicker than expected and there is time left over after the Agenda has been dealt with.  In this case, any delegate can propose a measure to the Motions Committee and, if time permits, that can then be debated and voted on.

In my opinion this is a good thing.  It opens the door to wider participation, and prevents a small leadership group from totally dictating what comes up for discussion.  However, there is also a danger.  Often, at the end of the day, people are tired and many delegates have drifted off to get a meal or prepare for that evening’s Worship Service.  The danger, therefore, is that a small and tired remnant might, at the end of the day, wind up passing a measure that would have great impact and consequences on the Church of God.  Item 6, therefore, ensures that such motions would not be passed without due discussion and consideration.

8. CONCLUDED AND DECIDED AGENDA ITEMS
We recommend: That we amend pages 67, 68, S4. INTERNATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL, III. INTERNATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL AGENDA, by adding the following:
Furthermore, no agenda item concluded and decided by the International General Council and/or concluded and decided by the International General Assembly is to be included on the published agenda for the next International General Council unless approved by a two-thirds majority of the International Executive Council. This does not apply to items of previous notice or informational reports.

There is a frequent complaint that the same subjects keep coming back for discussion at each General Assembly.  The fear appears to be that Headquarters leadership are trying to push a measure through, and will keep putting it on the Agenda until everyone gets so weary that it finally passes.  This measure seeks to alleviate that fear by making it more difficult, if a proposed measure gets voted down, for it to immediately come back again at the next General Assembly.

I think both Items 6 & 8 are sensible, and so I will be voting in favour of them.

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