GA Procedures Committee votes down time change in Moderator’s election

June 21, 2016

Portland

Proposals to move the election of General Assembly moderators from the beginning to the end of the biennial meeting and to permit assembly committees to begin meeting electronically before it begins were both rejected Monday by the Committee on General Assembly Procedures of the 222nd General Assembly (2016).

The change in the election schedule was defeated 30-13; the early committee meeting proposal failed 35-6.

A number of committee members expressed concern that holding an election at the end would turn an assembly into a campaign-based meeting and politicize the moderator’s role.

“The concept that I would know someone so well by the end of the week when there are one thousand people here doesn’t make sense to me,” said Jeanie Murphy, a teaching elder commissioner from Heartland Presbytery.

The suggestion to create a system to use technology to convene General Assembly committees at least six months prior to the assembly was rejected in part because of doubts that a $2,000 financial implication estimate was realistic.

The committee approved Columbus as the site of the 225th General Assembly (2022) from June 25-July 2, 2022. This followed a discussion on the implications of a later date for Young Adult Advisory Delegates who need to work during  the summer, and the possible advantage to parents who might still have children in school earlier. Noting that the financial implications are advantageous for Columbus, the committee voted 43-3 to approve the site.

The committee also:

  • Clarified the status of General Assembly committee moderators when they are not also commissioners to the General Assembly.
  • Added the moderator of Presbyterian Women to the list of corresponding members to the General Assembly.
  • Elected Teaching Elder Beth Hessel to a four-year term as associate stated clerk of the General Assembly.

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