Discipline ¶507

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  ¶  507. Petitions to General Conference-Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference in the following manner:
1. The petition must be sent to the secretary of the General Conference or a designated petitions secretary in a format determined by the secretary of the General Conference.
  2. Each petition must address only one issue if the Discipline is not affected; if the Discipline is affected, each petition must address only one paragraph of the Discipline, except that, if two or more paragraphs in the Discipline are so closely related that a change in one affects the others, the petition may call for the amendment of those paragraphs also to make them consistent with one another.
3. Each petition must be signed by the person submitting it, accompanied by appropriate identification, such as address, local church, or United Methodist board or agency relationship. Each petition submitted by fax or electronic mail must identify the individual submitting it, accompanied by identification as above, and must contain a valid electronic mail return address or return fax number by which the submitter can be reached. Electronic signatures will be accepted in accordance with common business practice.
4. All petitions submitted to the General Conference, except those submitted by individual members of The United Methodist Church and local church groups, which call for the establishment of new programs or the expansion of existing programs will be invalid unless accompanied by supporting data that address the issue of anticipated financial requirements of the program.
5. Petitions must be postmarked by a national postal service no later than 180 days prior to the opening session of the General Conference.
6. If petitions are transmitted by a means other than a national postal service, they must be in the hands of the petitions secretary no later than 180 days prior to the opening session of the General Conference.
Exceptions to the time limitations shall be granted for petitions originating from an annual conference session held between 180 and 45 days prior to the opening session of the General Conference, and for other petitions at the discretion of the Committee on Reference.
7. Petitions adopted and properly submitted by annual conferences, jurisdictional and central conferences, the Division on Ministries With Young People, or general agencies or councils of the Church, and petitions properly submitted by individual members (either clergy or lay) of The United Methodist Church and local church groups, provided that they have been received by the petitions secretary or secretary of the General Conference no later than 180 days before the opening of General Conference, shall be printed in the Advance Edition of the Daily Christian Advocate.
  8. Petitions and/or resolutions not printed in the Advance Edition of the Daily Christian Advocate shall be printed or copied and provided to all delegates. Where the content of petitions is essentially the same, the petition will be printed once, with the first author named and the number of additional copies received printed.
9. The secretary of the General Conference shall arrange for electronic access to all petitions, including General Conference action and the resulting impact on The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, throughout the General Conference session. This access shall be available until the publication of the new edition of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. Implementation shall be according to guidelines established by the Committee on Plan of Organization and Rules of Order.