Rules of Order
- Part I. Matters Occurring Prior to the Convention.
RULE 1. Reports Presented to the Convention. All reports of Diocesan Corporations, Diocesan Institutions, Governing Boards, Committees, Officers, etc. to be presented to the Convention as required by the Diocesan Canons or otherwise shall be transmitted to the Secretary of the Convention not later than six (6) weeks prior to the date of the Convention in every year. The Secretary of the Convention shall cause the same to be reproduced and mailed to every Delegate to the Convention and all persons holding any office or trust under the Convention not less than two (2) weeks prior to the date of the Convention as part of the Pre-convention Journal.
RULE 2. Submission of Resolutions. All resolutions to be considered for action by the Convention must be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Convention not later than four (4) weeks prior to the date of the Convention and must be signed by a Delegate to the Convention. On the expiration of the time for submitting resolutions to the Secretary of the Convention, the Secretary of the Convention by direction of the President of the Convention shall transmit to the Committee on Miscellaneous Business or such other appropriate Committee or Commission of Convention all resolutions submitted to the Secretary of the Convention after such date, but no such resolution shall be proposed for action by the Convention except upon a motion for the suspension of the Rules of Order duly passed.
- Part II. General Regulations.
RULE 1. Admission to the Convention. The Bishops of the Church, Clergy from other Dioceses, Professors and Students of Theology in the Church, and all persons holding any office or trust under the Convention, if not members, shall be admitted to sittings of the Convention. Seats on the platform shall be occupied by officers of the Convention or their representatives, by Bishops, and by such other persons as by special vote of the Convention shall be so authorized.
RULE 2. Admission to the Convention During Balloting. No person, other than legally constituted Delegates to the Convention and all persons holding any office or trust under the Convention, or such persons as may be approved by the President as necessary to the immediate business of the Convention, shall be permitted to appear on the floor of the Convention during a period of balloting by the Convention for all elective offices.
RULE 3. Visitors and Other Observers. There may be an area of the Convention meeting room designated by the President for visitors and other observers. This area shall not be considered as a part of the Convention Floor.
RULE 4. Hours of Business. The hours of each day’s session shall be as set forth in the Pre-convention Journal, unless otherwise ordered by the Convention by direction of the President. Each session shall begin and conclude with prayer.
RULE 5. Distribution of Printed Matter. No printed matter of any kind shall be distributed at the Convention or placed on the seats of Delegates except by the authority of the President of the Convention, but this prohibition shall not apply to the report of a Committee or Commission of Convention, or to any paper or other document presented to and accepted by the Convention or printed by its authority.
RULE 6. Unanimous Consent. By unanimous consent any action may be taken that is not in contravention of any provision of the Constitution or the Canons of the Church or the Diocese.
RULE 7. New Business. All new business introduced, except such as may accompany and form a part of the report of a Diocesan Corporation, Diocesan Institution, Governing Board, Committee, Officer, Committee, or Commission of Convention, shall be in writing and as a motion or resolution in complete form for adoption with the name of the mover appended. Such new business shall at once be referred to an appropriate Committee or Commission of Convention. It shall be the duty of such Committee or Commission to which such resolutions and motions have been referred to report them to the Convention in the order of their reference. Convention shall take action only on the report of such Committee or Commission unless the Convention shall otherwise order.
RULE 8. Suspension of Rules. Any Rule of Order may be suspended by the vote of not less than two thirds (2/3) of the Delegates present. Any new matter introduced during such suspension may be explained by the mover in a statement of not more than five minutes, but otherwise shall not be subject to debate or action until after report from the appropriate Committee or Commission of Convention.
RULE 9. Amendment of Rules of Order. No proposed amendment of the Rules of Order shall be considered by the Convention unless it shall have been printed in the Pre-convention Journal and mailed as provided in Part I, Rule 1 of these Rules of Order. If such amendment were adopted by a majority vote of the Convention, it shall lie over to consideration until the next annual Convention when, if again adopted by a majority vote, the Rules of Order shall be amended accordingly. If such amendment were adopted by unanimous vote of the Convention or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of both Orders taken separately, the amendment shall take effect immediately.
- Part III. Order of Business.
RULE 1. Organization for Business. At the opening of each Convention, the President shall take the chair after which the Order of Procedure shall be as follows:
(a) Roll Call Card. Every Delegate, Clerical or Lay, shall file with the Secretary of the Convention a record of attendance on a “Roll Call Card” to be supplied by the Secretary of the Convention so that the names of all present may be recorded in the Diocesan Journal.
(b) Determination of Quorum. In order for the Convention to conduct business, a quorum must be present. A quorum shall consist of at least sixty (60) Clergy entitled to vote in the Convention, and Lay Delegates from at least sixty (60) Parishes entitled to vote in the Convention. The Secretary of the Convention shall ascertain the presence of a quorum of Clergy of the Diocese and Parishes entitled to representation, and report this to the President of the Convention. If there be any irregular or defective certificates, and certificates and documents referring to contested seats, these shall be reported to the Convention, which shall decide on the admission of the Delegates named therein after submission of the report of the Committee on Voter Qualifications.
(c) Report of Committee on Voter Qualifications. The Secretary of Convention shall present the report of the Committee on Voter Qualifications.
(d) Order of Business. A quorum being present, the President shall declare the Convention organized for business, which shall proceed in the following order:
(i) Appointment of Parliamentarian. The President of Convention shall appoint a Parliamentarian for the good order of the Convention.
(ii) Appointments of Tellers of Elections. The President of Convention shall appoint from members of the Clergy Canonically Resident in the Diocese, and Laity domiciled in the Diocese, Tellers of Elections (one Delegate each from the Clergy and Laity for each ballot box used). Upon direction of the President, the Secretary of Convention may appoint additional Delegate tellers to count the ballots who need not be Delegates to the Convention in order that the official tellers may not be obliged to absent themselves from the business of the Convention while the ballots are being counted.
(iii) Reading of Minutes. The minutes of the prior Convention as printed in the Diocesan Journal shall be read and approved, but the requirement to read such minutes may be dispensed with upon order of the Convention as directed by the President.
(iv) Unfinished Business. If the business of the Convention shall not have been completed on the first or any succeeding day of session, the first business on each succeeding day shall be the matter under consideration at the time of adjournment on the preceding day and thereafter the matters which were not reached on the preceding day, in the order prescribed in these Rules of Order.
(v) Reports of Diocesan Corporations and Diocesan Institutions.
(A) The Standing Committee
(B) The Diocesan Council
(C) The Board of Managers of Camp DeWolfe
(D) The Cathedral of the Incarnation
(E) Episcopal Charities
(F) The Mercer School of Theology
(G) The Trustees of the Estate
(H) Episcopal Health Services
(vi) Report of the Secretary of Convention. The Secretary of Convention shall report on communications received by him or her for the Convention, or on business unfinished at the last Convention. Introduction and reference shall be made to Committees on Miscellaneous Business or on Canons of any resolutions not in the Pre-convention Journal which are either
(A) included in the report, printed and previously distributed, either of a Committee or Commission of the Convention, or
(B) relating to or embodying a recommendation contained in the Bishop’s Address.
(vii) Reports of Committees.
(A) On Canons
(B) On Miscellaneous Business
(C) Other Committees and Commissions of the Convention
(D) On Dispatch of Business
(E) On the Bishop’s Address (which shall be in order at any time after the Bishop’s Address)
(viii) Report of Treasurer.
(ix) Elections as Required by Canon.
(A) The Secretary of Convention
(B) Assistant Secretary or Secretaries of Convention shall be nominated by the Secretary of Convention
(C) The Treasurer of Convention
(D) Assistant Treasurer or Treasurers of Convention shall be nominated by the Treasurer of Convention
(E) The Historiographer
(F) The Standing Committee
(G) The Diocesan Council
(H) The Board of Managers of Camp DeWolfe
(I) The Cathedral of the Incarnation
(J) Episcopal Charities
(K) The Mercer School of Theology
(L) The Trustees of the Estate
(M) The Ecclesiastical Court
(N) Delegates to Provincial Synod
(O) Provisional Delegates to Provincial Synod
(P) Delegates to the General Convention
(Q) Provisional Delegates to General Convention
(R) Family Consultation Service
(S) Diocesan Review Committee
(x) Appointments to Diocesan Corporations and Institutions. The President shall appoint from members from the Clergy Canonically Resident in the Diocese, and Laity domiciled in the Diocese, to any Diocesan Corporation or Institution as provided by the Canons of the Church or this Diocese.
(xi) Appointments to Committees. For the next meeting of the Annual Convention the President shall appoint from members of the Clergy Canonically Resident in the Diocese, and Laity domiciled in the Diocese, to the following Committees:
(A) On Canons
(B) On Dispatch of Business
(C) On Miscellaneous Business
(xii) The Bishop’s Address. The Bishop’s Address shall be in order at any time.
(xiii) Reports of other Bishops. Reports of the Bishop Coadjutor and of the Bishop Suffragan and the Assistant Bishop if so requested by the Bishop.
(xiv) Resolutions and References and Motions.
(xv) The Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist shall be in order at any time.
- Part IV. Convention Committees.
RULE 1. Establishment of Convention Committees. To facilitate its work, the Convention may from time to time establish such committees with such duties as it may determine, and, unless otherwise stated, the President shall appoint members thereto, as provided in the following Rule 2.
RULE 2. Committees. There shall be the following Committees of Convention:
(a) Canons. The duties of the Committee on Canons are to consider and report on all matters appearing in the Pre-convention Journal or introducing in Convention referred to it by the Bishop. Its membership shall be four (4) Clerical Members, four (4) lay persons of the Diocese, and the Chancellor, ex officio, each member to serve for four (4) years with one (1) Clerical Member and one (1) lay person to be appointed at each Annual Convention.
(b) Dispatch of Business. The duties of the Committee on the Dispatch of Business are to arrange and facilitate the manner of conducting the business of Convention. Such Committee shall always be entitled to the floor of Convention on business pertaining to that Committee. Its membership shall be the chairperson of the Committee on Canons, ex officio, the chairperson of the Committee on Miscellaneous Business, ex officio, the Chancellor, ex officio, the Secretary of Convention, ex officio, and nine (9) other persons appointed by the Bishop from the Clerical Members and Lay persons of the Diocese.
(c) Miscellaneous Business. The duties of the Committee on Miscellaneous Business are to consider and report on all matters appearing in the Pre-convention Journal or introduced in Convention referred to it by the Bishop. Such Committee shall receive and consider all resolutions except resolutions on matters coming under the purview of an appropriate Committee or Commission of Convention, and except resolutions of Committees accompanying Committee reports recommending action of the Convention. The Committee on Miscellaneous Business shall submit its report to the Convention recommending the adoption or rejection of each resolution proposed, or the adoption of any such resolution as amended or substituted by such Committee. A copy of the report of the Committee on Miscellaneous Business shall be mailed by the Secretary of the Convention to each Delegate as part of the Pre-convention Journal. Its membership shall be four (4) clerical members and four (4) lay persons of the Diocese, each to serve for four (4) years with one (1) clerical member and one (1) lay person to be appointed at each Annual Convention.
(d) On Voter Qualifications. The duties of the Committee on Voter Qualifications are to consider and report on all matters pertinent to the qualifications of Delegates and Parishes wishing to have the right to vote at Convention. Prior to the opening of Convention it shall examine all audit certificates, parochial reports, and delegate certificates, in order to make recommendations to the Convention as to the right of any Delegate or Parish wishing to have a right to vote at Convention. The Committee on Voter Qualifications shall submit its report to the Convention recommending the seating or rejection of each Delegate or Parish wishing to have the right to vote at Convention to the extent such is permitted by the Canons of the Church or of this Diocese. Its membership shall be the chairperson of the Committee on Canons, the chairperson of the Committee on Miscellaneous Business, the chairperson of the Committee on Dispatch of Business, the Chancellor, the Secretary of Convention, and the Treasurer of Convention.
(e) Membership, Term and Vacancies. The term of office of each Committee member shall continue to the close of the Convention which shall sit in the member’s last year of service, and thereupon the successor’s term shall begin. The Bishop shall fill by appointment any vacancy in any Committee caused by resignation, death, or inability to act.
- Part V. Decorum and Debate.
RULE 1. Robert’s Rules. Except when in conflict with the Constitution or Canons of the Church or of this Diocese or any Rule of Order herein contained, the latest edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order” shall govern the interpretation of these Rules of Order and the procedure to follow.
RULE 2. Resolutions to be Seconded and in Writing. No resolution shall be considered as before Convention unless seconded and reduced to writing and signed by the mover, whose name shall be entered in the Diocesan Journal.
RULE 3. Order of Amendments. All amendments shall be considered in the order in which they are received. When a proposed amendment is under consideration, a motion to amend the same may be made.
RULE 4. Withdrawal of Motion or Resolution. The mover may withdraw a motion or resolution at any time before decision or amendment, in which case it shall not be entered upon the Minutes.
RULE 5. Respect for President and Scope of Debate. When any Delegate is about to speak, he or she shall, with due respect, address himself or herself to the President, and in speaking confine himself or herself to the point in debate.
RULE 6. Limit on Debate. No Delegate shall speak more than twice in the same debate without leave of the Convention (except the mover, who is entitled to reply).
RULE 7. Transgression of Rules. If any Delegate in speaking or action transgresses the Rules of Order of the Convention, the President shall call him or her to order, and he or she shall immediately take his or her seat, unless permitted by the Convention to explain or proceed in order.
RULE 8. Motion, Debate, Vote, Priority. The following motions shall have priority in order listed. The mover cannot interrupt a Delegate who has the floor, he or she must be recognized, and the motion must be seconded.
(a) To Adjourn or to Recess - not debatable, majority vote
(b) To Lay on the Table or to Table - not debatable, majority vote
(c) To Move the Previous Question, or Limit or Extend Debate - not debatable, amendable as to time if specified, two thirds (2/3) vote
(d) To Postpone to a Time Certain - debatable, amendable, majority vote
(e) To Commit or Recommit to a Committee - debatable, amendable, majority vote
(f) To Amend or to Substitute - debatable, amendable, majority vote
(g) To Postpone Indefinitely - debatable, not amendable, majority vote
(h) To Suspend the Rules or Take up Business Out of Order - not debatable, two thirds (2/3) vote
(i) To Divide the Question - not debatable, majority vote
(j) To Reconsider - must be made on the day the vote is taken, may not be reconsidered more than once, must be moved and seconded by ones who voted in the majority on the first decision, debatable, two thirds (2/3) vote
RULE 9. Balanced Budget. No motion to amend the budget shall be entertained that would cause the budget to be out of balance with known pledges and estimated other receipts unless there is included in the motion to amend a provision for maintaining a budget balanced against known pledges and estimated other receipts. Such motion shall be in writing.
- Part VI. Committee of the Whole.
RULE 1. Committee of the Whole. Whenever so ordered, the Convention may go into Committee of the Whole for the consideration of any matter. The President shall designate some member of the Convention to act as Chairperson of the Committee of the Whole, which, when in session, shall be governed by these rules as adapted by the Chairperson, subject to appeal to the Committee, and also to the following provisions:
(a) Motion to Rise. A motion to rise and to report to the Convention, with or without request for leave to sit again, may be made at any time, and shall take precedence of all other motions, and shall be decided without debate. No such motion once made shall be renewed until further proceeding shall have been had in the Committee of the Whole.
(b) Motion to Vote at a Designated Time. A motion that a vote upon any pending proposition shall be taken at some designated time may be made and be disposed of without debate at any time, but as before provided a motion to report to the Convention shall take precedence.
(c)Motion to Lay on the Table. No motion to lay on the table shall be entertained.
RULE 2. Motion for Committee of the Whole to Sit Again. No debate shall be allowed in the Convention of any motion to permit the Committee of the Whole to sit again. Requests for such permission shall take precedence of all other business, and the motion thereof shall be put to vote immediately without reference.
- Part VII. Elections and Voting.
RULE 1. Voting of Members. Every Delegate to Convention present shall vote whenever a question is put, unless excused by the Convention. The votes shall be taken by ayes and nays.
RULE 2. Voting by Convention. In all elections other than a vote by Orders, a simple majority of votes shall be necessary for election, with a majority of Delegates voting. In the event that more candidates receive a majority than there are offices to be filled, those candidates receiving the highest majorities shall be declared elected to each office. In each case, additional ballots shall be taken if needed until the offices in question are filled. The Secretary of the Convention, assisted by tellers appointed by the President of the Convention, shall have charge of the counting of the ballots. Defective and blank ballots are invalid. A ballot cast for less than the number of offices or seats to be filled shall not be deemed to be defective. After the ballots have been given to the voters, the Convention at the request of any Delegate may vote to take a five-minute recess before casting the ballot.