Petition 60946

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Plan UMC Revised - Connectional Table (60946-GA-ΒΆ701-G)

To strengthen the role of the Connectional Table in the life of the Church, take the following action:

Amend ¶ 701 as follows:

¶ 701.2. . . . The term agency, wherever it appears in the Book of Discipline, is a term used to describe the various councils, boards, commissions, committees, divisions, tables, or other units constituted within the various levels of Church organization (general, jurisdictional, central, annual, district, and charge conferences) under authority granted by the Book of Discipline; the term does not and is not meant to imply a master-servant or principal-agent relationship between these bodies and the conference or other body that creates them, except where the authority is specifically granted.

3. . . . The general agencies of The United Methodist Church are the regularly established councils, boards, commissions, committees, tables, or other units with ongoing responsibilities that have been constituted by the General Conference and which report directly to General Conference. . . .

Amend ¶ 713 as indicated following:

¶ 713. Election of General Secretaries of Program Agencies—The general secretary of each of the four general program boards agency that is accountable to the Connectional Table shall be elected quadrennially by ballot of the board of the Connectional Table following nomination by the board of directors of the program board, and she or he shall be accountable programmatically to the board of the agency that establishes priorities, goals, and objectives for the agency. He or she will report administratively to the Executive General Secretary of the Connectional Table who, after evaluation and review, which shall be conducted annually, shall make recommendations to the board of the Connectional Table on the employment and dismissal of each program board’s general secretary based in large part on the degree of cooperation and collaboration with other agencies toward the goal of making disciples of Jesus Christ. Since the Connectional Table is responsible to direct the flow of attention and energy to an intense concentration on fostering and sustaining an increase in the number of vital congregations effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and for providing strategic guidance to increase understanding and implementation of the vision, mission, and ministries of the global Church, consideration shall be strongly given in this process of evaluation and review as to how successful each agency has been toward this goal. Other general agencies shall elect general secretaries quadrennially by ballot. of the board of the agency involved. The balloting shall be secret, but the presiding officer shall announce to the membership the results of the election, including the number of votes for election, against election, and in abstention.

Amend ¶ 901 as follows:

¶ 901.1 Name—There shall be a Connectional Table in The United Methodist Church where ministry and money are brought to the same table to coordinate the mission, ministries, and resources of The United Methodist Church. Effective January 1, 2005, t The Connectional Table shall be assigned the primary responsibilities, general policies and practices found in the relevant 700 paragraphs.

2. The Connectional Table (CT) shall have responsibility for monitoring and reviewing the work of all program agencies of The United Methodist Church. The CT shall work in partnership with other agencies and the Council of Bishops to conduct necessary research efforts as needed to support strategic thinking and planning and the implementation of mission critical ministries.

3. In the exercise of its responsibility prescribed in §2 hereof, the Connectional Table shall have authority during the 2017 to 2020 quadrennium to guide and work with all program and administrative agencies and connectional bodies, to include the general secretaries, of The United Methodist Church to plan for and implement the overall restructure and reorganization approved by the 2016 General Conference for those agencies and bodies. One of the goals is the consolidation of program and administrative leadership to eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort as provided in ¶ 806.13 and ¶ 811.2 while ensuring that critical and important connectional ministries are functional and adequately carried forward.

4. The Connectional Table’s responsibility, shared with the General Council on Finance and Administration, to monitor and review the work of the agencies shall include authority for the consolidation of administrative services to the extent practicable for all general church activities into the appropriate agency on a fee for service basis as it affects agencies receiving general church funds.

Amend ¶ 905 as follows:

¶ 905. Objectives—The essential functions of the Connectional Table are:

1. To provide a forum for the understanding and implementation of the vision, mission, and ministries of the global church as determined in consultation with the Council of Bishops and/or the actions of the General Conference.

2. To enable the flow of information and communication among annual conferences, jurisdictions, central conferences, general agencies, and the Council of Bishops.

3. Consistent with actions of the General Conference, to coordinate the program life of the church with the mandates of the gospel, the mission of the church, and the needs of the global community by listening to the expression of needs, addressing emerging issues, and determining the most effective, cooperative, and efficient way to provide optimum stewardship of ministries, personnel, and resources.

4. To review and evaluate the missional effectiveness of general program-related agencies and connectional structures of the church as they collectively seek to aid annual conferences and local churches as they fulfill the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

5. To recommend to the General Conference such changes and implementing legislation as may be appropriate to ensure effectiveness of the general agencies.

6. To provide leadership in planning and research, assisting all levels of the church to evaluate needs and plan strategies to carry out the mission of the church.

7. In order to be accountable, along with the General Council on Finance and Administration, to The United Methodist Church through the General Conference, the Connectional Table shall have the authority and responsibility in the following matters:

a) To collaborate with the General Council on Finance and Administration in the preparation of budgets for the apportioned funds as provided for in ¶¶ 806.1 and 810.1. In the process of preparing budgets for General Conference consideration and approval primary responsibility for providing the assessment of the resource potential of the Church rests with the General Council on Finance and Administration, and primary responsibility for determining the optimum distribution of those resources among the various needs and opportunities rests with the Connectional Table.

b) To receive from the General Council on Finance and Administration and approve all general agency budget reviews.

c) To review and approve special offerings and churchwide appeals.

Add a new subparagraph ¶ 905.7.d) as follows:

¶ 905.7.d) To provide, review, and evaluate program internal audits of all agencies of the Church that receive world service or general administration funds in relationship to goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes established by the General Conference, the governing board, and donor designations. The Connectional Table shall work with the General Council on Finance and Administration in executing this audit function and shall advise GCFA on appropriate circumstances for the application of measures specified in ¶ 806.13. The Connectional Table is responsible to direct the flow of attention and energy to an intense concentration on fostering and sustaining an increase in the number of vital congregations effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. It shall provide strategic guidance to increase understanding and implementation of the vision, mission, and ministries of the global Church.

Add new sub-paragraphs ¶ 907.8, .9, and .10 as follows:

8. The Connectional Table and its Executive General Secretary shall annually evaluate the strategic planning, goals, objectives and quantitative commitments made by organizations and staff receiving church funds. This review shall take into account the utilization of general church funds in achieving the stated mission of the entity as defined by the General Conference, the governing board, and donor designations. After reviewing the performance of an agency and evaluating its progress toward established goals, the CT may take into account any deficiencies in recommending in the budget process any funding for any programs and activities in pursuing the CT’s responsibility to ensure that all general agencies have achieved, or identified means satisfactorily to achieve, the established outcomes. This process should be an ongoing, continuing function of the CT.

9. During the quadrennium the Connectional Table shall administer funds which have been made available by General Conference as a Connectional Table Adaptive Challenge Fund within the World Service budget. The funds shall be distributed to the various agencies receiving funds from the World Service Fund based on need, evaluation and review of measurable outcomes, and facilitation of initiatives for the adaptive challenge of increasing vital congregations.

10. Executive General Secretarya) The Connectional Table shall elect an Executive General Secretary, who shall not be a bishop.

b) The Executive General Secretary shall be limited to a total of twelve (12) years in the same office.

c) The Executive General Secretary shall be an ex officio member of the Connectional Table with voice but without vote.

d) The Executive General Secretary shall be reviewed and evaluated by the Connectional Table based on measured effectiveness on redirecting the focus toward vital congregations.

Amend ¶ 906.1.a), b), and c) as follows:

¶ 906. Organization of the Connectional Table—1. MembershipMembers of the Connectional Table should be effective, informed leaders who take responsibility for the good of the whole by advocating for the various parts of the Church as it seeks to respond to the demands of the gospel. The voting and non-voting members of the Connectional Table shall consist of 49 persons as follows: be selected as provided in ¶¶ 705.3.f) and 705.5. Consideration should be given to ethnic, gender, and age inclusivity.

a) Twenty-eight persons elected through jurisdictional and central conferences, one from each of the central conferences by their own nomination processes and 21 from the jurisdictional conferences elected by the jurisdictional nomination process. Jurisdictional membership shall include one person from each jurisdiction and the balance of the jurisdictional members shall be allocated by the Secretary of the General Conference so as to insure to the extent possible that the members represent the proportionate membership of the jurisdictions based upon the combined clergy and lay membership. Advisory members shall serve without vote. The participation on the Connectional Table of nonvoting advisory members shall be at the expense of the agencies they represent.

b) An effective bishop, selected by the Council of Bishops, serves as the chair of the Connectional Table shall represent the Council, serve as a member with right of voice and vote, and shall convene an organizational meeting of the Connectional Table within two months of the last jurisdictional conference.

c) The ecumenical officer of the Council of Bishops and 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 Commission on Religion and Race, General Commission on Status and Role of Women, General Commission on United Methodist Men, General Commission on Communications, and General Commission on Archives and History, program-related agencies that are accountable to the Connectional Table (as expressed in ¶ 702.2), and the president of the General Council on Finance and Administration shall also sit with voice and vote on the Connectional Table. The following officers of the Connectional Table shall be elected from the jurisdictional and central conference members: chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer.

Delete ¶¶ 906.1.d), e), and f) in their entirety.

Amend ¶¶ 906.1.g) and i) and ¶ 906.5 as follows:

g) Jurisdictional, central conferences, and other groups involved in the nominating and election of persons to the Connectional Table shall ensure the diversity objectives of, insofar as possible, fifty percent clergy, fifty percent laity, fifty percent female, fifty percent male, not less than thirty percent members of racial/ethnic groups (excluding central conference members), and not less than ten percent youth and young adults, ensuring diversity as otherwise provided in ¶ 705.4b.

i) Members shall meet all the membership qualifications as expressed in ¶ 710 and shall possess knowledge of the operations of the general church.

¶ 906.5. Staff—The Connectional Table shall determine the support staff that it deems appropriate to facilitate its work elect an Executive General Secretary with knowledge of The United Methodist Church operations and with executive management experience in church and/or not-for-profit organization who shall provide leadership to the Connectional Table in performing the duties assigned to the Connectional Table in accordance with directives of the General Conference and policies set by the Connectional Table. The Connectional Table shall determine the support staff that it deems appropriate to facilitate its work. The Executive General Secretary shall be responsible for the staff and the operations of the Connectional Table.

Delete the existing text of ¶ 907 and replace it with the following text:

¶907. There shall be a committee of the general secretaries of agencies specified herein following which shall be called the General Secretaries Committee. It shall report to the Connectional Table for purposes of agency collaboration and alignment. It shall not be considered to be a general agency of the Church.

1. The members of the General Secretaries Committee (GSC) shall be 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

2. The GSC shall have other duties as approved by the Connectional Table.

3. If at any time there should be a conflict between guidance to a general secretary or other chief executive officer provided by the GSC and direction provided by the board of directors of the agency she or he represents, then the affected officer should follow the direction provided by her or his board and advise the GSC of the conflict.

4. The GSC shall be chaired by the Executive General Secretary of the Connectional Table.

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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