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General Assembly Commissioner Training Cliff Creel, Stated Clerk Presbytery of Northern New England
Preliminaries Presbytery of Northern New England • Registration • Travel arrangements • Hotel assignment / roommate • Packing • Dress casual and comfortably – lot of walking • Plenary may be cool – bring sweater or light jacket • Umbrella may be useful • Cell phone – we will communicate by cell phone.
Computer Presbytery of Northern New England You MUST have a laptop / tablet computer. You may use your own or GA will provide you with one (if you are a commissioner). GA is now paperless. PC-BIZ is used to view all documents. http://oga.pcusa.org/section/ga/ga221/
Arrival at Airport • COLA = Committee On Local Arrangements – they are volunteers from the hosting presbytery and will be wearing T-shirts of a certain color that usually stands out. • You will be directed to buses that will take you to your hotel (should be no charge). • Look for COLA volunteers Presbytery of Northern New England
Detroit Area Map Presbytery of Northern New England
Detroit Area Presbytery of Northern New England
Registration Presbytery of Northern New England After checking into your hotel, go to the convention center to register for the GA. A packet should be waiting for you. You will need a photo ID. You will get a name badge that you must wear at all times when in the convention center. You should also get tickets for any special meals or events you paid for (and maybe a tote bag).
Name Badge • Blue – Commissioners • Navy – Advisory delegates • Red – Staff of OGA , GAMC, BOP, etc. • Grey - Elected members COGA, GAMC, BOP, etc. • Black – Presbytery & Synod Stated Clerks and staff • Orange – COLA • Brown vinyl – Observers • Orange vinyl – Exhibitors • Green vinyl - Press • MUST wear in convention center area. • REMOVE outside convention center area – otherwise can be an easy target for thieves, etc. – marks you as an out-of-towner. Presbytery of Northern New England
Docket Summary Presbytery of Northern New England • Saturday • Riverside Conversations (Informal conversation about hot topics) • Opening Worship • Plenary • Moderator’s Election • Sunday -> Tuesday • Daily Worship • Committee Meetings • Tuesday Evening: Presbytery Dinner • Wednesday -> Saturday • Daily Worship • Plenary
Docket Details Presbytery of Northern New England
Opening Worship Presbytery of Northern New England
Committee Work • You are randomly assigned to a committee. • You will spend most of 3 days in committee. • YAAD can vote in committee, but not in plenary. • May work as quasi committee of the whole. Presbytery of Northern New England
Committees • Overtures are debated, amended and a recommendation voted. • Overture advocates will speak to the overtures before your committee. Some may speak against. • In committee and plenary you vote as guided by the Holy Spirit. Presbytery of Northern New England
Plenary • All 800+ commissioners debate and vote together. • Vote on the recommendation of the committee. • If the committee recommends against an overture, • Then voting YES is a vote against the overture. • If recommendation fails, then vote on overture. Presbytery of Northern New England
Plenary • You must go to a floor microphone to speak or make a motion. • Stated Clerk & RP has assigned seating outside, but near the commissioner area. Presbytery of Northern New England
Plenary • Voting may be by: • Voice • Hand • Electronic • Parliamentarians are at floor mics to help if needed. • Colored signs used to signify why you are standing. Presbytery of Northern New England
Electronic Voting Presbytery of Northern New England
Moderator’s Reception Presbytery of Northern New England
Robert’s Rules Presbytery of Northern New England • The Committee and Plenary meetings are conducted by Robert’s Rules. • The will of the majority shall prevail. • The rights of the minority are protected. • Protection of the rights of the individual. • Protection against instability. • All actions subservient to the PCUSA Constitution & GA Manual.
Robert’s Rules Presbytery of Northern New England Motion: “I move that …” state succinctly what, when, how, who and how much it will cost. Do not normally state why. You must gain the floor to make a motion. Second: Any commissioner can second without getting the floor. If coming from committee, it doesn’t need a second. Most motions just need simple majority to pass – that’s more than half of those present and voting. Motions that affect the rights of the minority require a supermajority.
Amend Presbytery of Northern New England • Only two degrees of amendment allowed. • Must be germane. • Insert or add contiguous words or a paragraph. • Strike out contiguous words or a paragraph. • Strike out and insert (must be germane unless unanimous consent) • In same place: words must be related • In different place: words must not be materially different
Substitute Motion Presbytery of Northern New England • May apply to paragraph, section or complete motion (usually seen applied to complete motion). • Moved to substitute motion S for the main motion M. • 1. Ask for any amendments to M (perfecting M) • 2. Ask for any amendments to S (perfecting S) • 3. Vote: Shall the substitute motion become the main motion? • 4. Yes: Discussion on new main motion. (No further amendments allowed except by adding something that does not modify existing content. • 5. Vote on main motion. • No: Original main motion survives and can be further discussed and amended.
Robert’s Rules Presbytery of Northern New England Previous Question – Stop debate and vote, requires 2/3 vote. Reconsider - can only be moved by someone who voted on the prevailing side. Must be made on the same or next day of the vote. Limit Debate – motions to limit the time each person can speak or the total time, requires 2/3 vote.
Robert’s Rules Presbytery of Northern New England Rescind– to undo an action (2/3 vote or previous notice). Lay on Table – no time associated, cannot use to kill. Postpone Definitely – delay to a specific time. Point of Order – you believe a mistake was made. Request for Information – you have a question – do not use this for debate. Appeal – you believe the moderator erred in a ruling. Amend Something Previously Adopted (2/3 vote or previous notice).
Commissioner Resolutions Presbytery of Northern New England Any 2 commissioners (different presbyteries) may propose an item of new business. No commissioner may sign more than 2 resolutions. It may not deal with business that requires amendment or interpretation of the Constitution. It may not deal with business already before the Assembly nor whose purpose can be achieved by the regular process of amendment and debate. If the resolution deals with substantially the same issue considered by one of the two previous GA’s, it may be rejected.
GA Office Presbytery of Northern New England GA Office located somewhere – you may have to ask where. Go there if you have problems. File Commissioner resolutions. Register your cell phone number for overture advocate.
Hot Issues Presbytery of Northern New England Same Sex Marriage Ordination Standards (G-2.0104b) Mid-Council Report (restructure of synods) Middle East Issues / Divestment Belhar Catechism New Directory for Worship
Preparation Presbytery of Northern New England Learn to use PC-Biz proficiently. Be familiar with GA Manual (in PC-Biz). Study ALL overtures and reports. Study in depth all overtures and reports assigned to your committee. Be rested and prepared for hard work.
Communications Presbytery of Northern New England We will communicate by cell phone. Be sure Cliff has the cell phone number you will have at GA. The directory you will receive at registration will show where everyone will be seated. ONLY commissioners are allowed in the commissioner area. So, you will have to come to us or call us – we can’t go to you. If anyone has to leave early, becomes ill or has to be away from committee / pleanary for any reason, let Cliff know.
Report to Presbytery Presbytery of Northern New England • Remember…. • Commissioners will be expected to give a report to Presbytery at the September meeting. You should each plan to speak for about 5 to 10 minutes about your overall experience and your specific committee work. Coordinate with each other about the overall talk.