Petition 60945

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Plan UMC Revised - Agency Membership Consolidation (60945-GA-ΒΆ705-G)

In the consolidation of agency membering provisions into the general provisions section, take the following action:

Amend ¶ 705 as follows:

¶ 705. General Agency and Connectional Table Membership—The people of God are called to faithful discipleship in the name of Jesus Christ. “He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. His purpose was to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12). In response to God’s call, some are called forth from local congregations to fulfill the common mission of The United Methodist Church as an expression of the Church made visible in the world. This call includes the invitation to some to be in ministry with others who together seek to fulfill the vision for the Church as members of general Church bodies. Such persons come to this ministry as servants of the whole Church, entrusted with caring for the missions and legal and fiduciary responsibilities of the agencies.

The basic responsibilities of the boards of the general agencies include, but are not limited to, the following:

a) Determine mission and purpose.

b) Select the general secretary.

c) Support and evaluate the general secretary.

d) Ensure effective planning.

e) Monitor and strengthen programs and services.

f) Ensure adequate financial resources.

g) Protect assets and provide proper financial management.

h) Ensure legal and ethical integrity.

i) Enhance the agency’s public standing.

The following provisions shall govern the nomination . . .

¶ 705.1. Nominations by Conferencesa) Each annual and missionary conference in the United States, upon recommendation from a committee composed of the bishop and the general and jurisdictional conference delegation, and having allowed opportunity for nominations from the floor, shall elect persons to be submitted to a jurisdictional pool. The jurisdictional nominating committee shall select persons for election to the following general Church bodies: Connectional Table; General Board of Church and Society; General Board of Discipleship; General Board of Global Ministries; General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; General Board of Pension and Health Benefits; The United Methodist Publishing House; Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships; General Commission on Communication and United Methodist Communications; General Commission on Religion and Race; and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Jurisdictional conferences may decide that persons elected by the annual and missionary conferences in the United States for inclusion in the jurisdictional pool shall not serve as members of the jurisdictional nominating committee. Before election, nominated members will be informed of the fiduciary, strategic, and generative responsibilities they will be assuming upon election so that they may clearly understand the time and resource commitment they are making.

¶705.3.f) The total central conference membership, including central conference bishops, in general Church bodies shall be allocated as follows: nine (9) members on each of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) and the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), ten (10) members on the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), eleven (11) members on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), seven (7) members on the Connectional Table (CT), three (3) members on the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), three (3) members on the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBOPHB), three (3) members on each of The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH), the United Methodist Men (UMM), and ten (10) members on United Methodist Communications (UMCOM).

For each of the following agencies, one of the central conference members shall be a bishop: GBCS, GBOD, GBGM, GBHEM, GBOPHB, UMPH, UMM, UMCOM.

The central conference membership shall be allocated to the central conferences by the Council of Bishops. Europe and the Philippines shall each be allocated eight (8) of the sixty-eight (68) members with the remaining fifty-two (52) members to be distributed among the African central conferences as determined by the Council of Bishops. The sixty (60) central conference members who are not bishops shall be assigned to the general agencies as determined by the Council of Bishops.

As allocated to them by the Council of Bishops, central conferences shall elect members to general agencies from a pool of candidates supplied by their annual conferences by a method to be determined by each central conference as appropriate to its culture and circumstances.

¶ 705.4. General Program Board Membershipa) Each general program board shall have the number of members herein specified in ¶¶ 1006, 1105, 1311, and 1407.

b) Jurisdictional Membership—Each jurisdiction shall elect the number of persons herein specified listed in the specific legislation for membership on each of the four general program boards. In the jurisdictional nominating process for membership on those boards, special attention shall be given to the inclusion of clergywomen, youth (¶ 256.3), young adults, older adults, people with disabilities, and persons from small membership churches. In order to ensure adequate representation of racial and ethnic persons (Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders), it is recommended that at least 30 percent of a jurisdiction’s membership on each of these general program boards be racial and ethnic persons. It is further recommended that the jurisdiction membership on each program board incorporate one-third clergy, one-third laymen, and one-third laywomen (except as provided in ¶¶ 1105.1, 1311.2; see also ¶¶ 1311.6, 1407). The episcopal members shall not be counted in the computation of the clergy membership. For each program board, including the General Board of Church and Society, the General Board of Discipleship, the General Board of Global Ministries, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, clergy, laywomen, and laymen shall be elected to the board by the jurisdictional conferences upon nomination from the annual conferences based on the following formula:

General Board of Church and Society: North Central—3, Northeastern—2, South Central—3, Southeastern—5, and Western—1.

General Board of Discipleship: North Central—3, Northeastern—2, South Central—3, Southeastern—5, and Western—1.

General Board of Global Ministries: North Central—2, Northeastern—1, South Central—2, Southeastern—4, and Western—1.

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry: North Central—2, Northeastern—2, South Central—3, Southeastern—4, and Western—1.

c) Central Conference Membership—The total central conference membership, including central conference bishops, in general Church bodies shall be allocated as follows: two members on the General Commission on Religion and Race; three each(one from each region: Philippines, Europe, Africa) on the General Commission on Archives and History, the General Commission on Communication, the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, the General Commission on United Methodist Men, and The United Methodist Publishing House; three each on the General Council on Finance and Administration; seven each (one from each Central Conference) on the Connectional Table, the General Board of Church and Society; and three on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; four (at least one from each region from the Philippines, Europe, and Africa) on the General Board of Discipleship; and ten on the General Board of Global Ministries, only one of whom shall be a bishop . It is recommended that the aggregate central conference membership on the program boards be composed of one-third clergy (half of whom shall be women), one-third laymen, and one-third laywomen. The central conference membership, excluding episcopal members, shall be elected by the Council of Bishops.

d) Episcopal Membership—The episcopal membership of the general program boards shall be nominated by the Council of Bishops and elected by the General Conference with two (2) bishops to serve on each of the following agencies, one of whom shall be from a central conference: (see exception, ¶ 1311.6). At least one of the episcopal members of each general agency, with the exception of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, shall be a central conference bishop and, in the case of the General Board of Global Ministries, three central conference bishops (one from each region: Africa, Europe, Philippines). the General Board of Church and Society, the General Board of Discipleship, the General Board of Global Ministries, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

e) Additional Membership—(1) Additional members shall be elected by each general program board in order to bring into the board persons with special knowledge or background that will aid in the work of the agency, to consider differing theological perspectives, and to perfect the representation of racial and ethnic persons, youth (¶ 710.3), young adults (¶ 710.3), older adults, women and men, people with disabilities, and persons from small-membership churches. After the election of central conference members as provided in ¶705.3.f) ¶ 705.4c, and with the exception of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (¶ 2104.1.b), the remaining number of additional members shall be allocated by the secretary of the General Conference so as to insure to the extent possible that membership of each board reflects the proportionate membership of the jurisdictions based upon the combined clergy and lay membership, excluding episcopal members. In executing this responsibility the secretary has authority to make adjustments in the allocation of members so that the total number of members of each church body as provided herein is the prevailing principle when rounding numbers is required In the determination of proportionate allocation, minor fractions shall be rounded down and major fractions rounded up to the nearest integer, and there shall be no minimum number of additional members assigned to any jurisdiction. Insofar as possible, the nominating committee shall select from the jurisdictional nominating pool for the election of persons to fill the additional membership positions from their jurisdictions insuring diversity as otherwise provided in The Book of Discipline (¶ 705.4b). Each of the following general program boards shall elect six (6) additional members, and there shall be no minimum number of additional members assigned to any jurisdiction: the General Board of Church and Society, the General Board of Discipleship, the General Board of Global Ministries, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. as specified in general program board membership paragraphs. Insofar as possible, no more than one person shall be elected from each episcopal area. It is recommended that such additional membership shall maintain the one-third laymen, one-third laywomen, and one-third clergy balance.

Add a new sub-paragraph following existing ¶ 705.4.e) as follows:

¶705.4.[NEW] Other Membership—The General Board of Global Ministries shall have five members selected by the United Methodist Women.

Add a new sub-paragraph following all that remains in ¶ 705.4 as follows:

¶705.4.[NEW] Total Membership—Each of the following general agencies shall have a total membership, including jurisdictional members, central conference members, and episcopal members, as follows:

General Board of Church and Society: thirty (30)

General Board of Discipleship: thirty (30)

General Board of Global Ministries: thirty-two (32)

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry: thirty (30)

Delete the existing text of ¶ 705.5.a) and b) and replace it with the following text:

¶705.5. Other General Agenciesa) From the jurisdictional pool nominated by the annual and missionary conferences in the United States the jurisdictional conferences shall elect to each of the Connectional Table, General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, The United Methodist Publishing House, and United Methodist Communications clergy, laywomen, and laymen as members, based on the following formula:

Connectional Table: North Central—3, Northeastern—3, South Central—3, Southeastern—6, and Western—1.

General Board of Pension and Health Benefits: North Central—3, Northeastern—3, South Central—5, Southeastern—8, and Western—1.

United Methodist Publishing House: North Central—3, Northeastern—2, South Central—3, Southeastern—6, and Western—1.

United Methodist Communications: North Central—3, Northeastern—3, South Central—4, Southeastern—4, and Western—2.

b) Additional Members—The number of additional members to be elected by each other agency, with the exception of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, shall be allocated by the secretary of the General Conference so as to insure to the extent possible that membership of each agency reflects the proportionate membership of the jurisdictions based upon the combined clergy and lay membership, excluding episcopal members. In executing this responsibility the secretary has authority to make adjustments in the allocation of members so that the total number of members who are not bishops of each agency as specified herein is the prevailing principle when rounding numbers is required, and there shall be no minimum number of additional members assigned to any jurisdiction. Insofar as possible the nominating committee shall select from the jurisdictional nominating pool for the election of persons to fill the additional membership positions from their jurisdictions insuring diversity as otherwise provided in the Book of Discipline (¶ 705.4b). The agencies shall consider names forwarded to them by the Connectional Table as having been nominated by the annual and missionary conferences in the United States or in the central conferences, but not elected by these conferences to general agency membership. Additional names may be considered in order to perfect the representation as provided in ¶ 705.4e. Each of the following general agencies shall have the following number of additional members:

Connectional Table: five (5). One of these additional members shall be named by each of the recognized racial and ethnic caucus groups of The United Methodist Church, which are Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans, Native American International Caucus, National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, and Pacific Islanders National Caucus United Methodist.

General Board of Pension and Health Benefits: eight (8)

United Methodist Publishing House: six (6)

United Methodist Communications: (7)

Other paragraphs of the Discipline notwithstanding, membership on the United Methodist Publishing House shall be by classes based on term of office for one, two, or three quadrennia, attention being given to the principle of rotation so that, as far as practicable, one third of the membership shall be elected each quadrennium. The principle of rotation is also applicable to the executive committee of that agency.

Add a new ¶ 705.5.c) as follows:

¶ 705.5.c) Episcopal Members—The following general agencies shall have the number of episcopal members as follows:

General Board of Pension and Health Benefits: two (2)

United Methodist Publishing House: two (2)

Connectional Table: one (1)

United Methodist Communications (3)

Add a new ¶ 705.5.d) as follows:

¶ 705.5.d) Other Members1) The Connectional Table shall have as members the presidents of the following agencies:

General Board of Church and Society

General Board of Discipleship

General Board of Global Ministries

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

General Council on Finance and Administration

United Methodist Communications

2) The Council of Bishops shall elect one bishop to serve as a member of the Connectional Table.

3) The Connectional Table shall have as nonvoting advisors the general secretary or other employed chief executive officer of each of the following agencies:

Connectional Table

General Board of Church and Society

General Board of Discipleship

General Board of Global Ministries

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

General Council on Finance and Administration

United Methodist Communications

United Methodist Men

United Methodist Women

General Board of Pension and Health Benefits

United Methodist Publishing House

Add a new ¶ 705.5.e) as follows:

¶ 705.5.e) Total Members—Each of the following general agencies shall have a total membership, including jurisdictional members, central conference members, episcopal members, and nonvoting advisors as follows:

Connectional Table: forty-six (46)

General Board of Pension and Health Benefits: thirty-two (32)

United Methodist Publishing House: twenty-five (25)

United Methodist Communications: thirty-five (35)

Delete ¶¶ 1006 and 1007 in their entirety

Delete ¶ 1105.1 in its entirety

Delete ¶ 1302.5 to transfer the ecumenical functions of the General Board of Global Ministries to the Council of Bishops.

Delete ¶¶ 1311.1 and 1311.6 in their entirety.

Delete ¶ 1407 in its entirety.

Amend ¶ 1502.1 as follows:

¶ 1502. 1. Membershipa) The membership of the general board shall be composed of two bishops, elected by the Council of Bishops; sixteen members elected by the jurisdictional conferences from the annual conference nominations on a ratio providing for an equitable distribution among the various jurisdictions, based on the combined clergy and laity membership thereof, as determined by the secretary of the General Conference; six members, with not more than two from the same jurisdiction, elected by the General Conference on nomination of the Council of Bishops; and eight additional members of the General Board as provided in ¶ 705.5 for the purpose of bringing to the general board special knowledge or background, not more than two from the same jurisdiction, shall be nominated and elected by the general board in such manner as it shall provide in its bylaws, other provisions of the Book of Discipline notwithstanding.

b) The aforementioned electing bodies shall give consideration during the nominating process to equitable representation on the basis of race, color, age, gender, and people with disabilities.

c) The general secretary of the general board shall be an ex officio member thereof, without vote.

d) The terms of all members so elected shall be four years, to take effect at the first meeting of the general board following the General Conference, hereinafter referred to as the organizational meeting.

(1) Members shall serve during the terms for which they are elected and until their successors shall have been elected and qualified.

(2) Other paragraphs of the Discipline notwithstanding, members of the general board may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.

(3) In case a vacancy occurs between regular sessions of the jurisdictional conferences for any cause, the general board shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term from that jurisdiction in the representation of which the vacancy occurs, except in the case of members elected by the General Conference or the general board where such vacancies would be filled by the general board in the manner prescribed by its bylaws without regard to geographic or jurisdictional representation.

Delete all the existing text of ¶ 1602 except subparagraph ¶ 1602.1.i, so that ¶ 1602 shall read as follows:

¶ 1602 The publisher of The United Methodist Church (¶ 1614) shall be an ex officio member of the board without vote.

This legislation, or any portion of it approved by General Conference, shall take effect at the close of General Conference 2016.

Rationale

Plan UMC, adopted by GC12 with a favorable margin of 59.6%, received overwhelming approval of its concepts. The Judicial Council ruled it to be unconstitutional, and despite the Council’s statement that it was unsalvageable, its ruling was narrowly based on two points. Both have been corrected in this revision.

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