Calendar Item 298

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The Petition is amended as follows:
  
  Amend ¶ 259.1 as follows:
  
¶259.1. There shall be elected annually, by the charge conference in each local church, a committee on lay leadership  nominations and leadership development that is composed...
a) The committee on lay leadership  nominations and leadership development shall serve throughout...
c) ...A layperson elected by the committee on lay leadership  nominations and leadership development shall serve as...
d) ...from the floor of the charge conference and/or through the recommendation of the committee on lay leadership  nominations and leadership development. Retiring members...
  This amendment, if approved, will require the changing of the name of the committee in the following related paragraphs: 244, 249, and 251.1c.

Amend ¶259.2b as follows:
  
b) In order to secure experience and stability, the membership shall be divided into three classes, one of which shall be elected each year for a three-year term. The lay member of the annual conference and the lay leader are exempt from the three-year term. To begin the process of rotation where such a process has not been in place, on the first year one class shall be elected for one year, one class for two years, and one class for three years. Retiring members of the committee shall not succeed themselves.  Members of the committee shall be able to succeed themselves for one three-year term. When vacancies occur during the year, nominees shall be elected at the church council (or alternative church structure).
  
Amend ¶259.2c as follows:
  
In those charges where there is more than one church, the committee shall include at least one representative and the lay leader from each local church.

Amend ¶259.2e as follows:
  
e) The committee shall meet at least quarterly. It shall meet additionally at the request of the bishop, the district superintendent, the pastor, any other person accountable to the committee, or the chairperson of the committee. To fulfill his or her obligation under ordination, his or her connectional responsibility under appointment, and his or her duty as a pastor, the pastor should be present at each meeting of the committee on pastor-parish relations or staff-parish relations except where he or she voluntarily excuses himself or herself. The committee shall meet only with the knowledge of the pastor and/or the district superintendent. It may meet with the district superintendent without the pastor being present. However, the pastor or any member of the staff under consideration shall be notified prior to such meeting at which a pastor’s or clergy staff member’s continued appointment or a lay staff member’s employment is discussed and be brought into consultation immediately thereafter. The committee shall meet in closed session, and information shared in the committee shall be confidential.  The committee shall meet only with the knowledge of the pastor and/or the district superintendent.  The pastor shall be present at each meeting of the committee on pastor-parish relations or staff-parish relations except where he or she voluntarily excuses himself or herself.
    The committee may meet with the district superintendent without the pastor or appointed staff under consideration being present.  However, the pastor or appointed staff under consideration shall be notified prior to such meeting with the district superintendent and be brought into consultation immediately thereafter.
       The committee shall meet in closed session, and information shared in the committee shall be confidential
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Amend ¶259 by deleting current ¶259.4.c) and substituting the following:  

The committee shall make provision for an annual audit of the financial statements of the local church and all its organizations and accounts.  The committee shall make a full and complete report to the annual charge conference.  A local church audit is defined as an independent evaluation of the financial reports and records and the internal controls of the local church by a qualified person or persons.
  
The audit shall be conducted for the purpose of reasonably verifying the reliability of financial reporting, determining whether assets are being safeguarded, and determining compliance with local law, local church policies and procedures, and the Book of Discipline.  
  
The audit may include: 1) a review of the cash and investment reconciliations; 2) interviews with the treasurer, financial secretary, pastor(s), finance committee chair, business manager, those who count offerings, church secretary, etc. with inquiries regarding compliance with existing written financial policies and procedures; 3) a review of journal entries and authorized check signers for each checking and investment account; and 4) other procedures requested by the committee on finance.  
  
The audit shall be performed by an audit committee composed of persons unrelated to the persons listed in (2) above or by an independent certified public accountant (CPA), accounting firm, or equivalent.