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Standing Rules of the Assembly 2021

During Plenary Times click HERE to return to the 2021 Synod Assembly Platform

 

Rules of the 2021 Digital Assembly

 

A.     QUORUM AND PROCEDURE

  1. Order of Business. With the permission of the assembly, the chair shall have the authority to call items of business before the assembly in whatever order the chair considers most expedient for the conduct of the business of the assembly. A motion to alter the agenda shall require for adoption a two-thirds vote of the voting members present and voting.
  2. Quorum. At least one-half of all persons elected as voting members must be present at a meeting to constitute a quorum for the legal conduct of business. If such a quorum is not present, those voting members present may adjourn the meeting to another time and place, provided that only those persons eligible to vote at the original meeting may vote at the adjourned meeting.
  3. Absence of Members. Members shall not absent themselves from any session of the assembly without valid excuse.
  4. Parliamentary Procedure. The Synod Assembly shall use parliamentary procedures in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, unless otherwise ordered by the assembly.
  5. Proxy and Absentee Voting Precluded. Proxy and absentee voting shall not be permitted.
  6. Obtaining the Floor. In plenary sessions of the Synod Assembly, the voting members, including the ex officio members, have prior right to obtain the floor, unless the chair determines that it is in the best interests of the assembly to call upon an advisory member, a resource member or another individual with voice.
  7. Questions of Personal Privilege. Questions of personal privilege that are not urgent and do not relate to the assembly as a whole are out of order.
  8. Debate Time. Unless this rule is suspended by a two-thirds vote, in all plenary sessions, resolutions and memorials debate time shall be limited to 15 minutes.
  9. Speeches. Unless this rule is suspended by a two-thirds vote, in all plenary sessions, persons speaking from the digital floor shall be limited to two minutes. No person shall speak more than twice on the same question, and no person shall be recognized to speak a second time on the same question until every member who desires to speak has had an opportunity to do so once. After four people have spoken in a row on the same side of the motion before the assembly and no one is in line to speak on the other side, the previous question will be automatically called.
  10. Alternating Speeches. Insofar as is possible during discussion, a speaker on one side of the question shall be followed by a speaker on the other side. To facilitate alternating speeches, assembly members awaiting recognition at the main digital floor shall (green for those in favor of the pending matter on the digital floor; red for those opposed to the pending matter on the digital floor).
  11. Motions. All substantive motions shall be provided by the mover on the digital form provided for that purpose, here, which will be received by the secretary. Motions should be received via this form before the end of the first plenary session. The chair may use discretion not to open the floor for debate on a motion until a copy is available to the chair, the secretary, or the assembly membership. When the motion to Amend by Substitution is before the assembly, a vote must first be taken to substitute before the surviving motion may be amended.
  12. Motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted at This Assembly. A two-thirds vote of the voting members present and voting shall be required to rescind or to amend something previously adopted during this Assembly. This rule does not apply to constitutional or bylaw amendments previously adopted by this assembly.
  13. Suspending or Revising the Rules. After the adoption of the Standing Rules of the Assembly and any amendments thereto offered prior to the adoption of the Rules, any further amendment to, revision in, or suspension of the Rules shall always require for adoption a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting.
  14. Moving the Previous Question. Only one who is specifically recognized to move the previous question may make the motion for the previous question. A member who has spoken on the pending question(s) may not move the previous question(s). A motion to end debate by moving the previous question shall apply only to the immediately preceding motion. A motion to end debate on all matters on the floor or more than the immediately pending question is not in order.
  15. Applause. In the give-and-take of debate on issues before the Synod Assembly, members of the assembly and visitors shall refrain from applause.
  16. Unfinished Business. Upon adjournment of the Synod Assembly, all remaining unfinished items of business shall be referred to the Synod Council of the Metropolitan New York Synod for disposition.
 
 

 B.    RIGHT OF VOICE AND VOTE.

  1. Open Meeting. Livestreaming of the digital assembly shall be available for everyone via synodical social media platforms.
  2. Voting members shall remain muted during the digital assembly until such time as they wish to ask to speak. As noted in the section above, if speaking in favor of the motion, they should join the Green Room. If speaking against the motion, they should join the Red Room. Neutral commentary may join either room. The chairperson shall recognize the person wishing to speak and they will be unmuted. The speaker shall then offer their name and the name of the congregation they hold their membership. Once the speaker is finished speaking, they will be muted.
  3. The privilege to speak on a given issue still must be appropriate to Robert's Rules of Order and the adopted Rules of the Assembly.
 

C.     NON-VOTING MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY

  1. The synodical bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod and such other official representatives of this church, as may be designated from time to time, as well as Synod standing committee members, shall also have voice but not vote in the meetings of the Synod Assembly. Like privileges shall be accorded to those additional persons whom the Bishop, Synod Council, or the Synod Assembly shall from time to time designate.
  2. Assistants to the Bishop who are not otherwise voting members shall be advisory members of the assembly and have voice but not vote.
  3. All youth officially registered for the assembly shall be granted the privilege of participating in its proceedings with voice but not vote.
  4. Official visitors may address the assembly at the request of the chair or by majority vote.
  5. (SA2004) Rostered Synodical Deacons who are not otherwise voting members but who are in attendance as registered visitors to the assembly shall have the privilege of voice in the assembly.
  6. Visitors shall be able to join the digital assembly but shall not have the privilege of voice in the assembly.
 

D.     RESOLUTIONS

  1. The Committee on Reference and Counsel may assist the chairperson in the schedule for handling business items, consider requests for the distribution and posting of materials and give other assistance as the chairperson may request. New business shall be processed through this committee.
  2. The deadline for receipt of resolutions in the Synod Office was May 24, 2021. No resolutions received after the deadline shall be considered by the Synod Assembly unless the Synod Council or the Committee on Reference and Counsel determine that it is either of overriding importance or germane to the issues of the Synod Assembly agenda and whether there are other matters on the agenda related to the item but prior to the opening of the assembly. The Committee on Reference and Counsel shall not receive resolutions subsequent to the opening of the Assembly.
  3. Priority shall be given to those resolutions received in advance of the assembly on or before the deadline for submissions. Insofar as possible, resolutions shall be considered in the order in which they were received.
  4. When two or more resolutions addressing the same general topic are received the Committee on Reference and Counsel may adapt, edit, amend or combine them as seems helpful, securing the consent of (or consulting with) the original author(s) if at all possible. If the committee presents a substitute resolution it becomes the main motion. The maker of the original resolution has the right to place the original resolution on the digital floor as an amendment by substitution. Identical or similar resolutions will be shared with the Assembly but will be bundled together as one (1) resolution for debate and vote.
  5. Resolutions to amend the budget as recommended by the Synod Council must be submitted via this form to the treasurer by the conclusion of Plenary Session in which the budget is put before the assembly.
  6. All resolutions proposing the establishment of any new committee, board, commission or taskforce must include a plan for funding, and be supplementary to the ongoing work of the 2025 Vision strategic plan from our bishop. Those resolutions which do not include such a plan shall be automatically referred to the Synod Council.
 

E.     ​NOMINATIONS

  1. Floor nominations are not possible during a digital assembly. To accommodate for floor nominations, the nominations process was extended to July 19, 2021.
  2. The summary of data on each nominee shall be distributed to the members of the Assembly, here.  
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