The United Methodist Church
Trey Harper, Conference Secretary
Post Office Box 68 Forest, MS 39074
Dear Mississippi United Methodists,
In preparation for the upcoming Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference, we would like to offer this reminder about the rules and processes governing the submission of resolutions and petitions to the annual conference. The below Q & A seeks to answer the most commonly asked questions. If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
See you in June,
Secretary, Mississippi Annual Conference
Q: Who may submit resolutions or petitions?
A: Any congregation, clergy member or lay member from a congregation within the Mississippi Annual Conference (MSUMC) may submit a resolution or petition. Although “any organization, clergy member or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference,” (¶ 507, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2012 [hereinafter "Discipline"]), only those affiliated with the Mississippi United Methodist Conference may submit petitions for our annual conference to send to the General Conference.
Q: How do I submit a resoltion or petition?
A: Rule 7a states that all submissions “shall be submitted electronically to the Conference Secretary and to the conference office.” This is most commonly accomplished by email to email@example.com.
Q: What is the difference between a resolution and a petition?
A: A resolution is a document submitted to the annual conference that seeks to create, delete or amend our rules and/or Mississippi United Methodist Conference policies. The subject matters of resolutions pertain specifically to the Mississippi United Methodist Conference. A petition is a document that pertains to The United Methodist Church and is submitted to the annual conference with a request that the petition be submitted to the General Conference by the Mississippi United Methodist Conference.
Q: Are the rules different for passing resolutions and petitions?
A: Generally, no. We typically follow the process that is outlined in the Standing Rules, which includes, for example, speaking for/against and voting.
Q: What is the deadline for submission?
A: The deadline for submission for both resolutions and petitions is March 31, 2015.
Q: To whom and how do I submit a resolution or petition?
A: Both resolutions and petitions should be submitted to the conference secretary by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember: the firm deadline is March 31, 2015.
Q: What happens to the resolution or petition once it is submitted to the conference secretary?
A: All resolutions and petitions presented to the annual conference, whether originating with the cabinet, one of the duly constituted conference councils, boards, commissions, committees or agencies or by individuals and churches by March 31 will be printed in the pre-conference journal. These resolutions and petitions shall be referred by the conference secretary to the conference committee on resolutions and petitions for concurrence, non-concurrence, amendment or appropriate referral; and the committee shall report back to the annual conference.
Q: What happens if I miss the deadline?
A: All individual or groups presenting resolutions or petitions after the March 31 deadline will be responsible for printing copies for all members of the annual conference and for submitting a copy to the conference secretary prior to the opening business session of annual conference. Any submissions following the opening session will be referred to the committee on resolutions and petitions for consideration at the following annual conference. Petitions to General Conference do not require annual conference adoption for submission, so you may submit directly to the General Conference, by their deadlines: July 1, 2015, for petitions without digital media; October 13, 2015, is the final deadline. The instructions for submitting petitions to the 2016 General Conference are posted on The United Methodist Church's website.