Assembly reviews some petitions — waits on others


Assembly members vote on a petition as Legislative
Co-Coordinator Adam Briddell (left) looks on.
The Legislative Assembly met April 27 in Lake Oswego, OR to prepare for the Annual Conference Session by reviewing petitions submitted to the Annual Conference.

In an unusual move, the assembly chose to postpone action on four items. Action requests AR-6 and AR-7, along with standing resolutions SR-6 and SR-7 all dealt with the issue of LGBTQ inclusion and how the conference might move forward considering the actions of the 2019 General Conference. With two major gatherings planned in May to discuss these issues, the assembly chose to postpone discussion and recommendation until the day before Annual Conference Session. In addition, Bishop Elaine Stanovsky, who was presiding over the assembly indicated that she saw issues with some of the items that would lead to her ruling them out of order.

In 2009 the Sessions Committee changed the process for reviewing legislation. Previously items were assigned to randomly chosen legislative committees for review in the first days of the Annual Conference session. Moving to one representative committee rather than several random ones has allowed for better participation by those presenting the petitions, and for representatives of key committees, such as finance, trustees and the cabinet to be present. The process also had allowed the work of the committee to be shared sooner, reduced the number of breakout rooms needed for Annual Conference, and allowed for a shorter, and less expensive annual session in June.

The assembly works to perfect the petitions by making amendments and then vote on a recommendation for passage or defeat by the entire Annual Conference.  

This year the assembly reviewed sixteen items. Eight action requests, one petition to General Conference, and seven new or renewing standing resolutions.
Ruth gives instructions
Legislative Co-Coordinator Ruth Marsh gives
instructions on the process for the assembly.
The other twelve items covered a broad range of issues. Two dealt with policy items to update guidance on Safe Sanctuaries for local churches, and the administration of scholarships managed by the Board of Ordained Ministry; two dealt with investment policy related to the Occupation of Palestine; and others called for immigration reform and oversight of drone missile strikes.
Bishop speaks to assembly
Bishop Elaine Stanovskly offers guidence to the assembly as Lowell Greathouse and Laura Jaquith Bartlett listen.

Two petitions call for fundraising on special Sundays in local churches. AR-5 would create a special offering to support the Alaska Conference. As the General Board of Global Missions withdraws support for Alaska, they are turning to other conferences in the west for support. AR-8 would support the work of a disabilities awareness committee by calling for each church to observe Disability Awareness Sunday on the third Sunday of May and take a special offering for both local and conference level work.

All sixteen items can be found on the conference website.
Legislative Assembly will meet again at 2:00 p.m. on June 12 at the Hotel Eugene to review the four deferred items and any other late legislation. A subset of the assembly is meeting to consider substitute language for the items at risk of being ruled out of order.

All sixteen items can be found on the conference website

See a list of the Legislative Assembly Members