Petitions and Resolutions
Petitions and resolutions to be presented to the North Alabama Annual Conference must be in the hands of the Conference Secretary no later than February 1 each year. Petitions and Resolutions should be submitted by email as a Microsoft Word or Google Document to the Conference Secretary at the following email address:
Include "Petitions and Resolutions" in the subject line.
Petitions and Resolutions FAQs
What is the difference between a petition and a resolution?
A petition is a document that pertains to the worldwide United Methodist Church. It is submitted to the Annual Conference with a request that the North Alabama Conference approve and submit the petition to the General Conference. General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. It meets once every four years. General Conference can revise church law and adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for denomination-wide programs.
A resolution pertains specifically to the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is a document submitted to the Annual Conference that seeks to alter or amend our North Alabama Conference Standing Rules and/or policies or to be adopted as a formal expression of opinion or intent from the North Alabama Annual Conference on a specific subject.
Who may submit petitions or resolutions?
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 2016), only those affiliated with the North Alabama Conference may submit petitions for the North Alabama Annual Conference to send to the General Conference.
Any congregation, clergy member or lay member from a congregation within the North Alabama Annual Conference may submit a resolution.
How do I submit a petition or resolution?
Petitions and resolutions to be presented to the North Alabama Annual Conference must be in the hands of the Conference Secretary no later than February 1. Petitions and Resolutions should be submitted by email as a Microsoft Word or Google Document to the Conference Secretary at the following email address:
Include "Petitions and Resolutions" in the subject line..
What is the deadline for submission?
The deadline for submission for both petitions and resolutions is February 1 each year.
How should a petition or resolution be structured?
A petition should follow the guidelines provided by The Book of Discipline and the Secretary of General Conference.
A resolution should be written using the “whereas, whereas, whereas…therefore be it resolved” structure. Authors should include information such as the rationale for the resolution; the current United Methodist policy or position on the subject (found in the current United Methodist Book of Discipline or Book of Resolutions); applicable biblical references and/or theological positions; and, most importantly, the specific actions the resolution requests of the Annual Conference; local churches; church agencies; individuals; or local, state, and national government. Also, if there are further actions desired from the Conference Secretary or Committee on Procedures and Petitions include a statement regarding the disposition of the resolution, such as: "Be it further resolved that at the close of Annual Conference this resolution be forwarded to members of the Alabama Legislature.” The name, title, and church affiliation of the author(s) must be included with the resolution.
What happens to a petition/resolution once it is submitted to the Conference Secretary?
With the exception of those petitions and resolutions submitted by Conference agencies, boards, commissions, committees, councils, task forces, teams, or other conference entities, the Conference Secretary shall promptly deliver a copy of each petition/resolution to the Convenor of the Committee on Procedures and Petitions. This committee ensures all petitions and resolutions are in compliance with The United Methodist Book of Discipline and the Standing Rules of the North Alabama Annual Conference. The Committee then guides the process through which the petition/resolution comes before the Annual Conference. Petitions and resolutions to be presented to the Annual Conference are printed in the PreConference Book/Journal Volume I and/or on the Conference web site prior to Annual Conference.
What is the process the Committee on Procedures and Petitions follows?
The Committee on Procedures and Petitions reviews each petition/resolution for conformity with applicable rules (including provisions of The United Methodist Book of Discipline).
The Committee then refers each petition/resolution to the conference entity (agency, board, commission, committee, council, task force, team, etc.) whose mission is related to the subject matter. Petitions and resolutions dealing with the rules of the Annual Conference or procedural matters are handled by the Committee on Procedures and Petitions.
Upon receiving a referred petition/resolution, the receiving entity will study the issue and prayerfully make a recommendation to the Annual Conference. The Committee on Procedures and Petitions and the receiving entity have the authority to amend petitions and resolutions prior to making their recommendation.
Recommendations from the Committee on Procedures and Petitions and from the receiving entities are forwarded to the Conference Director of Connectional Ministries at least 10 business days prior to the opening of Annual Conference so these recommendations can be distributed to Annual Conference members prior to the first business session of the Annual Conference.
What are some tips for writing petitions and resolutions?
- Each petition/resolution should address a single issue.
- Write the petition/resolution with precision and clarity.
- Keep the petition/resolution short and succinct knowing Annual Conference members must read and consider many pieces of business prior to and during Annual Conference.
- Remember, you don’t have to wait until the February 1 deadline to submit your petition/ resolution to the Conference Secretary.
How can I amend a petition or resolution submitted by another person?
Motions to amend any petition/resolution should be submitted to the Conference Secretary within 30 days of the publication of such petition/resolution in the PreConference Book/Journal Volume I or on the Conference web site.
These motions will be handled through the process explained above working with the Committee on Procedures and Petitions and the Conference entity to which the original petition/resolution was referred.
Who can I contact for more information about petitions and resolutions?
If you have questions or need more information regarding petitions and resolutions, please contact North Alabama Annual Conference Secretary Dr. Dedric Cowser at firstname.lastname@example.org or Convenor of the North Alabama Committee on Procedures and Petitions Rev. Sherill Clontz at email@example.com.