The Business Process

In order to give as many people as possible a chance to contribute to the discussion before the Business Meeting, the business process will be in four stages. More details will be provided with the business packet, which will come out in early June. Here is a brief overview:

These times are the same for the Business Forum on Thursday, 7th July and the Business Meeting on Saturday 16th July 

3:00am Hawaii Time; 6:00am Pacific Time; 8:00am Central Time; 9:00am Eastern Time; 10:00am Brasilia Time, 2:00pm British Time; 3:00pm Central European Time / South Africa Time; 4:00pm Eastern European Time / Eastern Africa Time; 9:00pm Philippine Time;  11:00pm Australian Eastern Time;  Friday 8th July and Sunday 17th July 1:00am New Zealand Time

Stage 1. Discussion Circles – June – various times and languages

These facilitated online discussions will take place at varying times in June and in different languages. Anyone can participate, particularly delegates, in any of the Discussion Circles to discuss items on the business agenda. Notes of suggestions and questions about motions and bylaw proposals will be taken at each Discussion Circle and given to the authors of motions and bylaw proposals. They will also be posted on the conference website, so all delegates can see what others have raised.

Stage 2. Business Forum – Thursday 7th July – see times above

The Governing Board, Moderator, and Commissions will be available to answer questions related to their reports and receive feedback. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of the Governing Board candidates. Motions and bylaw proposals will be presented with any changes from the original versions highlighted (as a result of the input from the Discussion Circles). There will be opportunity to suggest any further amendments for consideration by the authors.

Stage 3. Business Meeting – Saturday 16th July – see dates and times above

This will be our official Business Meeting. Reports will be received and any previously submitted motions will be formally made. Voting will happen in stage four. We will hear a limited number of delegates speak for or against a motion. Most of the discussion will have occurred in stages 1 and 2. There will be no further amendments to motions and no new motions from delegates at this stage. This is to ensure that the business content is all translated, culturally comprehensible and accessible to our global delegates.

Stage 4. Virtual Voting – 18th July

Most votes will take place in a 24 hour period after the Business Meeting and results then announced online. If there needs to be a second round of voting for the Governing Board candidates, voting delegates will be informed of the time and details.

The Process for Motions

In order to manage the complexities of a large number of delegates seated in two houses online, who do not share the same primary language, the Governing Board has decided that all substantive motions (see example below) to come before the Business Meeting must be received in writing by the Clerk of the Governing Board, Rev. Elder Diane Fisher by Sunday 22nd May 2022. This is so the motions can be translated and distributed before the Discussion Circles and Business Forum, and to allow time for lay delegates to consult with their congregation. Motions may be modified by their author, having received feedback from the Discussion Circles and the Business Forum.

There will be no new motions accepted from delegates during the Business Meeting itself. Having all motions in writing beforehand means that all delegates will be able to have time to consider the motions on which they will be voting, prior to the meeting. These motions will be discussed during the Discussion Circles and Business Forum. During those times, any suggested amendments may be offered to the authors for consideration. Final versions of any motions will be made available prior to the Business Meeting. During the meeting, we will hear arguments for and against each motion.

Only clergy, lay delegates, Council of Elders, and the Governing Board may propose motions. If you wish to submit a motion, please write it out in full, with your name and with the name of the person who is seconding the motion.

It is helpful to provide a rationale for the motion that you are proposing – why you think MCC needs to make the change that the motion, if passed, will make. Please consider the staffing and financial implications of any changes you are proposing.

An example of a substantive motion would be:

  • Motion to request the appointment of a Commission by the Governing Board to look at a specific issue
An example of a motion that has no financial or timelines would be:
  • Motions of appreciation, to thank individuals or groups of people for their service to the denomination over the past three years
Please send your motion to no later than 22nd May.
If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Chair of the Governance Committee, Clare Coughlin
Christian Theological Seminary
United Theological Seminary