2019 Rules, Petitions, Elections

Graphic for 2019 Mountain Sky Conference

The Legislative Process

In the Mountain Sky Conference, it is our intent to advocate for, build up, and live into Beloved Community. One of the ways we do that is by having intentional and careful conversations with one another about the ministries we do together as an annual conference. This page  highlights some of the important rules and guidelines governing the Legislative Process. Please review this page carefully since some of the rules and guidelines for our new annual conference have changed from what you have known in previous years.

This year, we will be considering petitions both for the Mountain Sky Conference and the 2020 General Conference. These are two different kinds of petitions with different rules and formats. Some of the differences are noted below. Throughout the Legislative Process, our goal is to help you accomplish what you intend to do. We look forward to working with you at this year’s annual conference session.

Two Types of Petitions
Most motions considered at an annual conference session come in the form of written petitions. Once adopted, these petitions may be in one of two forms:

  • Binding Action
    • A Binding Action presents a request for action by the annual conference.  It uses declarative language such as “shall” or “expects,” and assumes that action will be taken by the appropriate board, committee, or agency of the annual conference.  
  • Non-Binding Resolution
    • A Non-Binding Resolution presents a position – either political, social, theological, or otherwise – and is not binding either on the Annual Conference or the wider church. It uses language such as “recommends” or “urges,” and is not considered to be binding or enforceable.  

“Action” / “Rationale” / “Evaluation”

  • Action: This section states clearly and concisely what you are asking the annual conference to do.
  • Rationale: This section presents the motivation and reasons for the Action.
  • Evaluation: This section sets the criteria for how we will know when we have accomplished the intended Action.
  • For all petitions, only the “Action” section may be debated and amended. The “Rationale” and the “Evaluation” are presented for information as a resource for the conversation. By focusing our conversation just on what we want to do as an annual conference, we avoid unnecessary distractions and strengthen our mutual commitment to our Beloved Community.

Petition Details
All petitions are effective on July 1, 2019, and terminate on June 30, 2023, unless otherwise stated.  

Financial Impact
The Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) will review all petitions for financial impact to the annual conference. Comments from CFA will become part of the petition as presented. These comments are not debatable, and will not be construed as either acceptance or veto of the petition.

One Issue
Each petition to the General Conference must address only one issue or one paragraph of the Book of Discipline. However, if two or more paragraphs in the Discipline are so closely related that a change in one affects the others, the petition may call for the amendment of those paragraphs to make them consistent with one another.

80 Percent Affirmation
An 80 percent affirmative vote is required for a General Conference petition to be sent to the General Conference in the name of the Mountain Sky Conference.  General Conference petitions not receiving an 80 percent affirmative vote may still be sent to the Secretary of the General Conference in the name of the petitioner and other like-minded groups and individuals.

Petition Details

All petitions must be received electronically by 12:00 p.m. MDT (noon) on May 10, 2019 via petitions@mtnskyumc.org. Late petitions to the Mountain Sky Conference may be considered at a subsequent annual conference.  Late petitions to the General Conference may be submitted directly to the secretary of the General Conference.

Petition Requirements
The following requirements must be followed for all petitions:

  • Submit the petition electronically in a timely fashion on the correct form.
  • Use Times New Roman font, 10 point.
  • Number all lines in the Action, Rationale, and Evaluation.
  • Focus on one issue per petition.
  • Provide all information requested on the form (or use “n/a” if the information in a section does not apply).
  • Send all documents referred to in the petition when the petition is submitted.
  • Avoid the use of abbreviations or acronyms.

Petitions longer than the space allowed in the form may use additional sheets, provided that all lines and pages are numbered consecutively. Incomplete petitions or petitions not submitted as described above will be returned and may risk missing the petition deadline.

Invalid Petitions
Petitions will be ruled invalid that asks the Mountain Sky Conference:
●    To refrain from doing something it is not presently doing.
●    To reaffirm a position previously taken.
●    To change the current Book of Discipline.

Multiple Petitions Addressing the Same Issue
Petitions addressing the same issue, either from similar or divergent points of view, may be considered at the same annual conference. Some petitions may be combined to promote good conversation or clarity of intent. If necessary, one petition will be designated as a “Main Motion” and other petitions will be designated as “Amendments.” In some cases, special parliamentary procedures will be developed to consider multiple petitions.

Petition Advocate
The Petition Advocate is the contact person for the petition before and during the annual conference session and is responsible for overseeing the presentation of the petition in hearing groups and in plenary sessions. Petition Advocates may designate other persons to make presentations in support of the petition.

Hearing Groups and Legislative Committees
Petitions may be assigned to a small group which will make recommendations for action by the plenary session, either through a consent calendar or on the floor. Some petitions may be assigned to more than one small group for information and conversation with all legislative action on those petitions coming in the plenary session.

Online Posting
All petitions submitted by the May 10 deadline will be posted online prior to the annual conference session. Changes may be made to petitions posted online until 12:00 p.m. MDT (noon) on June 7, 2019. After that time, changes must be made in consultation with the Chair of Legislative Process. Changes posted online will be numbered in a consecutive fashion.

Contact Information
David Amrie, Chair of the Legislative Process & Petitions Coordinator
4210 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO  80918
719-599-7250 , ext. 116

Download the petition template for the 2019 Mountain Sky Annual Conference


Download the petition template for the 2020 General Conference

Robert's Rules of Order

The Mountain Sky Conference will be using Robert's Rules of Order throughout our legislative process at Annual Conference, which can be a bit challenging for those who are not well versed in parliamentary procedure. To prepare for conference and familiarize yourself with Robert's Rules of Order, please look over the following documents:

Robert's Rules of Order - A Quick Overview for the Mountain Sky Conference

Handy short sheet for Robert's Rules of Order