Petition 81098

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Connectional Table Membership (81098-GA-¶906.1)

Amend  ¶906.1 as follows:
  
¶906.Organization of Connectional Table
1.Membership
The voting members of the Connectional Table shall consist of 47  48 persons as follows:  
    (a)    28  38 persons elected through jurisdictional and central conferences, one from each of the central conferences by their own nomination processes and 21  31 from the jurisdictional conferences elected by the jurisdictional nomination process.  Jurisdictional membership shall include one person from each jurisdiction and the balance of the jurisdictional members shall be allocated by the Secretary of the General Conference so as to insure to the extent possible that the membership represents the proportionate membership of the jurisdictions based upon the combined clergy and lay membership.  
            (b)    An effective bishop, selected by the Council of Bishops, shall represent the Council, serve as a member with right of voice and vote, and shall convene the Connectional Table within three months of the last jurisdictional conference.   serves as the chair of the   The Connectional Table shall elect as its officers a chair, a vice chair, a treasurer, a recording secretary, and such other officers as it shall deem necessary.  
(c)    The presidents of the following agencies: General Board of Church and Society, General Board of Discipleship, General Board of Global Ministries, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and General Commission on Communications, plus one additional president elected by the following agencies: General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, General Commission of Religion and Race, General Commission on Status and Role of Women, General Commission on United Methodist Men, General Commission on Communications, and General Commission on Archives and History, which represent the program-related agencies that are accountable to the Connectional Table (as expressed in ¶ 702.2), and the president of the General Council on Finance and Administration shall also sit with voice and vote on the Connectional Table.  
(d)    One youth and one young adult from the Division on Ministries With Young People shall serve on the Connectional Table.  
(e)    One member from each of the racial ethnic caucuses as elected by the Connectional Table upon nomination from:  Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Methodists Associated to Represent Hispanic Americans, Native American International Caucus, National Federation of Asian American United Methodists and Pacific Islanders National Caucus Unite Methodist.  
(f)    The general secretaries of the following agencies:  General Council on Finance and Administration, General Board of Church and Society, General Board of Discipleship, General Board of Global Ministries, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and General Commission on Communications above named agencies and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits and the president and publisher of The United Methodist Publishing House shall sit at the Table and have the right to voice but not vote.  Additionally a general secretary elected by the following agencies:  General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, General Commission on Religion and Race, General Commission on Status and Role of Women, General Commission on United Methodist Men and General Commission on Archives and History shall sit at the Table and have the right to voice but not vote.  
            (g)    Jurisdictional, central conferences, and other groups involved in the nominating and election of persons to the Connectional Table shall ensure the diversity objectives of, insofar as possible, fifty percent clergy, fifty percent laity, fifty percent female, fifty percent male, not less than thirty percent members of racial/ethnic groups (excluding central conference members) and not less than ten percent youth and young adults, ensuring diversity as otherwise provided in ¶ 705.5b.  
            (h)    Vacancies of members elected from central and jurisdictional conferences occurring between sessions of the general conference shall be filled by the College of Bishops where the vacancy occurred, in so far as possible from the same annual conference.  
(i)    Members shall meet all the membership qualifications as expressed in ¶ 710.
        

Rationale

At present the voice of the local church and annual conference laity and clergy needs to be strengthened in the Connectional Table.  As an example the CT Budget Process Committee, charged with the responsibility of recommending the 2009-2012 general church budgets, included 13 General Secretaries, 8 Bishops, 3 laity and...