In reading the minutes of the Annual Conferences from the early days of Methodism, Bishop Carter was intrigued by the way discussion took place. Instead of bringing resolutions with corresponding speeches “for and against,” the early Methodists asked questions and reflected together on matters of faith. Delegates would prepare thoughtful answers to the questions, and the answers were recorded in the minutes of the Annual Conference for the sake of history and further reflection. These questions focused on: What to teach? How to teach? What to do?
Bishop Carter, in consultation with the Conference Secretary, Annual Conference Planning Team and Committee on Resolutions, plans to invite the 2018 Annual Conference to step away from our normal process of considering resolutions and “remember who we are” by reflecting on key questions of faith. Further explanation of this proposal will be forthcoming. If a motion is passed to suspend our normal resolution process with this new model, the Annual Conference will proceed with the new model, and any submitted resolutions could then be referred to the proper Conference Board or Agency for consideration. If a motion to suspend our normal resolution process is not passed, the Annual Conference would then consider any properly submitted resolutions using the Standing Rules.
Join Bishop Carter and Conference leaders in prayer as we discern one way to remember who we are and approach our key questions of faith together with care and conviction. If you have questions about this proposal you can email email@example.com.
Finally, if you would like to properly submit a resolution to the 2018 Annual Conference, here are the guidelines:
- According to the Standing Rules of the Florida Conference, Par. 206 2(d), “All submitted resolutions must be received by the Conference Secretary by Jan. 31 to be considered at the regular Annual Conference Event later that year.” The Florida Conference Secretary is Rev. Beth Gardner, pastor at College Heights United Methodist Church in Lakeland. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 863-682-8191. If you are considering a resolution for the 2018 Annual Conference, the Jan. 31 deadline is firm, according to Gardner.
- Each resolution must address only one issue if the resolution does not address the Discipline. If a resolution does affect the Discipline it must address only one paragraph of the Discipline, except that, if two or more paragraphs in the Discipline are so closely related that a change in one affects the others, the resolution may call for the amendment of those paragraphs also to make them consistent with one another.
- Every resolution requiring implementation will include: a. financial impact to the Conference; b. name of the implementing organization or persons; c. if communication or referral is required, will designate the person or persons responsible for the communication or referral, Gardner advised.
- Any resolution needs to be submitted by a Conference agency, a clergy or lay member of the annual conference, or a lay member of a local church whose Church Council has endorsed the resolution. The Committee on Resolutions has interpreted this Standing Rule to mean that all signers of a resolution need to meet that criteria.