2022 Standing Rules Update

The Standing Rules of the North Alabama Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church have guided our work and ministry for many years. Each revision of our Standing Rules has not only helped to order our work together, but it has enabled us to live into our call to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Ministry is always evolving and the call of God compels us into new and renewed ways of doing ministry; therefore, the current version of our Standing Rules, adopted in June 2014, amended on June 2, 2015, and editorial updates made in March 2015, 2017, and 2018, have needed minor revisions as it relates to clarity and structure. 

At the request of Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, a Standing Rules Working Group was established to examine and revise the Standing Rules to be presented to the 2020 North Alabama Annual Conference. Members of the Standing Rules Working Group include: Danette Clifton, Rev. Sherill Clontz, Rev. Dedric Cowser (chair), Rev. Ron Schultz, Rev. John Fleischauer, Linda Holland, Terry McElheny, and Rachel Grace McKelvy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 Annual Conference session was held virtually, and after discussion during that Conference the body chose to postpone consideration of the update until the next in-person session.

Based on input received at the 2020 Annual Conference as well as recommendations from a professional parliamentarian, Dr. Leonard Young, further revisions to the recommended changes were made between 2020 and 2022. The team that has continued this work includes Rev. Dr. Dedric Cowser (chair), Rev. John Fleischauer, Danette Clifton Banish, Rev. Ron Schultz, Rev. Dr. Kevin Payne, Rev. Sherill Clontz, and Rev. Dr. Adlene Kufarimai. 

This page contains resources related to the proposed changes, as well as frequently asked questions which will be updated on a regular basis. If you have questions about the proposed  changes, please email standingrules@umcna.org.

Addendum to the Revised Standing Rules

Based on feedback received following publication of the proposed Revised Standing Rules, the Working Group is recommending several changes to the version printed in the PreConference Book/Journal Vol. I. A summary of those changes is available at this link and will be distributed at Annual Conference, and the changes have been incorporated into the Annotated Markup and Final Text below. These changes are presented as an updated report from the Working Group, and the final text with the changes included will be presented for consideration by the Conference. 

Resource Documents

Use the following links to access resources related to the proposed changes of the Standing Rules:

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is offered alongside the proposed Standing Rules changes and provides a summary of the proposed changes, as well as an overview of the process that led to those changes.

Proposed Final Text

The proposed final text is the full text of what will become the Standing Rules of the Conference if adopted by the Annual Conference session. 

Annotated Markup

The annotated markup provides a detailed, line-by-line explanation of what changes are being proposed to the current Standing Rules as well as a more detailed rationale for those changes.

Summary of Changes Since 2020

Since these proposed changes were originally introduced in 2020, the Standing Rules Working Group has continued to make revisions based on input from members of the Conference, a professional parliamentarian, and the changing needs of the Conference. This document provides a summary of the changes made since Annual Conference 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section will be regularly updated. If you have questions not answered here, please email standingrules@umcna.org.

Why are these changes being proposed?

The Book of Discipline offers Annual Conferences considerable discretion in a number of areas, ranging from how Annual Conference leadership is identified to procedures for voting during the Annual Conference session. Since the current Standing Rules were originally adopted in 2014, much has changed in how the Conference functions. The hope is that these changes will not only update the Standing Rules to reflect the current context of the Conference, but also to create a framework that will allow for the flexibility to adapt to future changes.

What exactly is changing? 

The full list of changes can be found in the annotated markup, which offers a side-by-side comparison of the current Standing Rules and the changes being proposed. Highlights include:

  • Clarifying details about Conference-level leadership teams such as aligning the Standing Rules with current practices, providing basic rules of procedure for team meetings, and addressing topics such as the election of officers and filling of vacancies in the absence of specific provisions of the Standing Rules or Book of Discipline.
  • Offering more technical details and procedures for the Annual Conference session including the election of officers (such as Conference Secretary, Parliamentarian, etc.), providing updated voting procedures, and developing procedures for special sessions of the Annual Conference. 

It should be noted that the majority of changes do not substantively change the current structure or operation of the Conference. Rather, the goal with these changes was to align the Standing Rules with established procedures and provide greater clarity and consistency across the Conference.

When will these changes go into effect?

If adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Annual Conference members present and voting as required by §2.12 of the current Standing Rules, the proposed changes will go into effect at the adjournment of the Annual Conference session.

What has changed since 2020?

The Standing Rules Working Group has continued to revise the proposed update to the Standing Rules since the 2020 Annual Conference decided to postpone consideration until the next in-person Annual Conference session. These changes have incorporated input from members of the Annual Conference, advice from a professional parliamentarian, and updated procedures that reflect the changing needs of the Conference such as guidelines around remote participation in Annual Conference sessions when needed. For a full summary of changes, click here.

Discover, Develop and Deploy Passionate Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.