Legislative Assembly Shapes Annual Conference Petitions


Discussion, debate, questions, and explanations filled the days as the 2012 Legislative Assembly meet April 13 and 14. The fact that it was Friday the 13th brought no bad luck to the group that is charged with giving a first review to petitions to the Annual Conference.

Prior to 2009 the Annual Conference used a different legislative process. For many years the first look at legislation came when randomly assigned groups at the Annual Conference Session gathered to review one to three pieces of legislation. The results from these groups were then forwarded on to the full conference with recommendations and possible changes. If a vote in the legislative committee was by 90% or more, the item was placed on a consent calendar for consideration without debate. This had the advantage of involving more members of the Annual Conference, but committees were often looking at items they had not researched and worked under a time restriction that limited discussion or called for meetings that ran late into the night. The full Annual Conference then had limited time to review the recommendations and amendments before a final vote.

Legislative AssemblyIn 2009 a new process began. In an effort to reduce costs of the annual session, provide new opportunities at Annual Conference, and explore a new way to consider information, the “Legislative Assembly” was created. The Legislative Assembly is a 32 member sub-committee of Annual Conference members. Like the previous legislative committees, it is a representative cross-section of the Annual Conference with clergy, laity, geographic, age, and ethnic representation. It includes key leaders from the Ministry Leadership Team, Trustees, Districts, Board of Ordained Ministry, and other areas of the conference. By having this group meet several weeks prior to the June Annual Conference Session, the session can meet for a shorter time and include training events such as Adam Hamilton’s Leadership Institute and Mark Millers Worship program. It is hoped that shorter meetings, which begin on Thursday, are more accessible to lay members of Annual Conference with work commitments.

Legislative AssemblyThis year the Legislative Assembly dealt with key areas of social concern, conference organizational structure, and rules on conference equity, process, and health and disability benefits. In the two days of meeting the assembly members gave careful attention to their work, seeking to improve language and find clarity of purpose in the legislation. Of the 20 items submitted, the assembly supported 19 and recommended against 1. While reviewing one standing resolution the assembly sought out more information by connecting to the author via Skype, and rewriting the petition into two items. Spokes-people for other petitions came to the assembly and answered questions from assembly members.

Kim FieldsA large discussion was held regarding the many rule changes needed to implement the new structure for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. Assistant to the Bishop, Kim Fields found himself in the “hot seat” as assembly members asked questions to clarify that the rules did indeed support the vision of The United Methodist Church to “Make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” while still providing representation and support for local churches. Fields and other Ministry Leadership Team members answered questions, and provided a preview of the presentation that is being developed for June. The assembly passed the revised petition unanimously, but agreed that because of its significant impact on the Conference, it should not be passed via the consent calendar. Members agreed that they will see that it is lifted so it can be fully reviewed at the June session.

Ruth MarshListed below are the voting results of the Legislative Assembly. Any item scheduled for the consent calendar (CC) can be “lifted” so that it will be debated by the whole Annual Conference membership. That opportunity will happen at the conference session in June. By conference rule (2.024) 40 or more votes are required to lift an item from the consent calendar.

Petition versions showing the revisions made by the Legislative Assembly are being updated and prepared by the legislative coordinators. They will be posted to the conference website for viewing and download.

 Legislative Assembly Voting Results 

SR = Standing Resolution, AR=Action Request, CC=Consent Calendar
Click here to see the legislation

 Petition CC Title For Agnst Abstain
SR5 Y Close the School of the Americas 27 2 1
SR7 Y United Nations Support 31 0 0
SR9 Y National Fair Trade 29 1 0
SR11 N Embracing the Immigrant 30 1 0
SR13A Y Middle East Conflicts 29 1 0
SR13B N We Support World Actions For Justice & Dignity 30 2 0
SR15 Y Support Abolition of Human Trafficking 31 1 0
SR17 N Engaging The Occupy Movement 30 0 0
SR19 Y Preemptive Nuclear Strike-Opp 31 0 1
SR21 N Endorse ID Interfaith Roundtable & OR Interfaith Roundtable Against Hunger 32 0 0
AR 5 Y Sexual Ethics Policy-clergy-implementation 30 0 0
AR7 N Fair & Equitable Compensation for Pulpit Supply 27 4 1
AR9 Y Imago Dei & Gender Identity 31 0 1
AR11 Y Rational For Vote of Leg. Assembly 1 30 1
AR13 N Revise Rule 10.024 – Reflect type of Appointment 27 4 0
AR15 Y Revise Rule 8.030 27 2 0
AR17 Y Rules Related to Conf. Structure 32 0 0
AR19 Y Change in Retiree Health Ins. 29 0 0
AR23 Y Revise Rule 5.300 26 0 1
AR25 Y Safe Sanctuaries Policy Revision 30 0 0
AR27 N Change Comprehensive Protection Plan 26 2 1


2012 Legislative Assembly Members
First Last Representing
Anna Allen Young Adult (Oregon Trail District)
Clay Andrew Western District Clergy
Joshua Bynum Young Adult (Snake River District)
Marcie Collins Oregon Trail District Clergy
Gwen Drake Ministry Leadership Team
Norm Dyer Metro District Lay Leader
Mary   Foote Western District Lay Leader
John Go Oregon Trail District Clergy
Lowell Greathouse Ministry Leadership Team
Mary Frances Gunn Legislative Co-Coordinator
Josh Hauser Youth (Metro District)
Mike Holloman Snake River District Clergy
Gay Jeffery Snake River District Clergy
Susan Jensen Board of Lay Ministry
Jeanne Knepper Metro District Clergy
Warren Light Southern District Clergy
Karla Long Snake River District Laity
Celia Lorts Oregon Trail District Laity
Jack Lorts Oregon Trail District Laity
Ruth Marsh Southern District Clergy
Steve Mitchell Legislative Co-Coordinator
Bill Mullette-Bauer Ministry Leadership Team
Kwang Seog Oh Ethnic Representative
Lisa Radford Oregon Trail District Lay Leader
Claudia Roberts Metro District Laity (Peace w/ Justice Coord.)
Cesie Delve Schuereman Conference Lay Leader
Brian Shimer Metro District Clergy
Carole Sullivan Snake River District Lay Leader
Jim Walker Conference Trustees
Dan Wilson-Fey Western District Clergy
Noah Wilson-Fey Youth (Western District)
Ted Wimer Council on Finance and Administration
Supporting Staff - Non Voting    
Bishop Hoshibata Presiding Bishop
Laura Jaquith Bartlett Conference Secretary
Kim Fields Assistant to the Bishop
Greg Nelson Director of Communication
Turella Woods Annual Conference Manager