Diocese of New Jersey
Rules of Order, Convention 2014

I. Opening of Convention

  1. The Convention shall be opened and closed with prayer, and at noonday there shall be appropriate intercessions for missions.
  2. At or following each session of the Convention there shall be such worship services as the Ecclesiastical Authority may direct.
  3. All Members of the Clergy and all lay Deputies must register their attendance at each opening session of the Convention in such manner as the Secretary of Convention may direct.
  4. The Convention shall be called to order on Friday at one o’clock p.m. (or such other time as may be directed by notice) by the Bishop or an alternate President specified in the Constitution of the Diocese, if present; otherwise, the Secretary of Convention shall call the meeting to order and, provided a quorum is present, shall supervise the election of a President pro tem.

II. The President

  1. When the President of Convention takes the chair, all members shall be seated.
  2. Members desiring to leave the Convention before it adjourns are to ask permission of the President.

III. Order of Business

The Order of Business shall begin as follows:

  1. Report of the Secretary as to whether a quorum is present.
  2. Report of the Committee on the Credentials of Lay Deputies.
  3. Report of the Committee on the Classification of Congregations.
  4. Report of the Committee on Rules of Order and Dispatch of Business.
  5. Other business.

IV. Agenda

  1. The Committee on Rules of Order and Dispatch of Business shall propose a form of Agenda to be adopted by the Convention. Once adopted, the Agenda may be modified or suspended upon a two-thirds vote.
  2. Any request to place a matter on the agenda of the annual meeting of the Convention must be presented to the Chair of the Committee on Rules of Order and Dispatch of Business by January 15 in each year.

V. Nominations

Nominations from the floor must be presented at one of the several microphones, and each nomination so made must be accompanied by a Nominating Slip in a form supplied by the Secretary, properly filled in with the printed name and parish, or other affiliation, of the nominee and the name and affiliation of the nominator. Each Nomination slip will be taken immediately to the desk of the Secretary of Convention. No further nomination may be made until the Secretary indicates that the previous Nominating Slip is deemed correct. Nominations from the floor of the Convention shall be made without a second and without any nominating speech.

VI. Elections

  1. All elections shall be by ballot except for offices where nominations are unopposed, in which case a motion to elect by acclamation for such office will be in order.
  2. For each office to be elected, each ballot cast must contain votes for the same number of persons as there are positions to be filled or else the ballot will be disqualified as to that office.
  3. In case of a vote by orders, a concurrent majority in both orders shall be required. No action shall pass in the affirmative unless it receives the majority of all votes cast and unless the sum of all the affirmative votes shall exceed the sum of other votes by at least one whole vote in each order.
  4. In all elections, a majority of the votes cast shall be necessary, except as otherwise provided by canon. In case more than the required number of persons shall have a majority of votes, a sufficient number of those having the highest number of such votes shall be declared elected.
  5. In the case of a tie between two or more persons upon any ballot, there must be another ballot.
  6. Balloting may begin in the first business session of the Convention once opportunity has been given for nominations from the floor.
  7. For all elections, the Chair of the Balloting Committee shall report to the President for each office (a) the total number of valid ballots cast, (b) the number of votes necessary for election, and (c) the number of votes for each candidate. Upon any vote by orders, this information shall be given separately for each order, along with the percentage information required by law. The President shall thereupon declare the result of the ballot for such office and announce the names of the persons elected.
  8. When Deputies to the General Convention, Alternate Deputies to the General Convention, and members of the Standing Committee are elected, the vote shall be by orders, with a concurrent majority required in both orders. The order of precedence in which persons are elected shall be determined according to the ballot on which they are elected. When two or more persons receive the number of votes necessary for election on the same ballot, the order of precedence shall be determined in the following way. The Chair of the Balloting Committee shall report to the President, according to each order separately, the total number of valid ballots cast, the number of votes necessary for election, the number of votes for the respective candidates, and the percentage of votes received by each candidate as determined by dividing the number of votes received by the total number of valid ballots cast. For each candidate who receives a concurrent majority of the votes in both orders, the Chair of the Balloting Committee shall report to the President the percentage of votes received by the respective candidates in each order and the combined total of the two percentages. Candidates with a higher combined total percentage shall take precedence over those with a lower combined total percentage.
  9. If there is a vacancy in the office of deputy to the General Convention at the time the Convention is to elect alternate deputies, there shall be a sufficient number of persons to serve as deputy elected and four alternate deputies elected. The person or persons receiving the greatest number of votes in excess of a majority shall be declared the replacement deputy or deputies; the next four persons receiving the greatest number of votes in excess of a majority shall be declared the alternate deputies. Balloting shall continue until all offices are filled.

VII. Committees

  1. All Committees not required by canon to be elected by the Convention shall be appointed by the Ecclesiastical Authority and announced by the President.
  2. Reports of Committees shall be in writing and when made shall be the property of the Convention, without any motion for acceptance. All reports recommending action of the Convention shall be accompanied by a separate resolution to that effect, which must be distributed with the report.

VIII. Resolutions

  1. There shall be a Committee on Resolutions made up of three clerical and three lay persons plus a chair who may be a clerical or lay person, for the purpose of screening those original main motions (other than those made through another committee) which may be considered at the annual meeting of Convention. Members of the Committee shall serve a one-year term from the close of the Convention at which they are appointed and may be reappointed. Vacancies between Conventions shall be filled by appointment of the Ecclesiastical Authority.
  2. Resolutions may be proposed by any communicant of any congregation of the diocese. All proposed resolutions must be sent to the Chair of the Committee by January 15 in each year. Proposed resolutions must be legible and must contain at least two sections: the RESOLVED, naming the desired action, and a FURTHER RESOLVED, as appropriate, providing for the implementation of the resolution if adopted. Proposed resolutions must not include any whereas clause or other preamble. Each resolution must be accompanied by a short explanatory statement by its proponent. Any proposed resolutions not submitted to the Committee by this date may come before Convention for consideration only if accompanied by a statement in writing of the circumstances that led to the late request for consideration, and only upon a two-thirds vote of Convention.
  3. The Committee, by any one or more of its members, shall hold one or more open hearings during the month of February in each year at which comments and explanations may be offered with respect to proposed resolutions. The Committee shall prepare a Preliminary Report to facilitate such discussions.
  4. In its Final Report to Convention the Committee may put proposed resolutions into proper form, eliminate duplication, determine the order of presentation of resolutions to Convention, and make recommendations with respect to proposed resolutions. The Final Report of the Committee must contain all proposed resolutions timely submitted to it. The Committee may recommend substantive amendments to proposed resolutions and shall either recommend their adoption, recommend against their adoption, or make no recommendation. Reasons for any recommendation against adoption must be stated in the
    report.

IX. Motions and Amendments

  1. No motion shall be debated or voted on until it is seconded.
  2. No vote shall be taken on a nonprocedural motion until a written copy of the text of the motion with the mover’s name is given to the Secretary and restated by the President immediately before the vote is taken. The Secretary may furnish forms for such submissions.
  3. All questions shall be decided viva voce unless otherwise provided by canon or a vote by ballot is directed by a majority vote of the convention. Any member of the Convention may call for a division of the Convention, in which case the vote shall be retaken using voting panels. Any member of the Convention may further call for a tally of votes upon a division, in which case the President shall report the tally of votes.
  4. When a question is under consideration, no further motion may be made unless to lay upon the table, to postpone it to a time certain, to postpone it indefinitely, to correct it, to amend or divide it, or to offer a substitute; and motions for any of those purposes shall have precedence in the order herein named, provided that an amendment, once amended, may not be further amended before a vote. A motion to lay upon the table shall be in order only when its purpose is to lay aside the matter under consideration for more urgent business. A proper motion to lay upon the table, or a motion to postpone, shall always be in order unless
    some member is speaking.

X. Rules for Debate

  1. Any members desiring to speak must first identify themselves and their church or other affiliation, must with due respect address their remarks to the President, and must speak directly to the point.
  2. No member shall speak more than twice (except the mover, who is entitled to reply) in the same debate or for a period longer than three minutes without leave of the Convention. In the case of a motion or resolution moved by a committee, the proposer of the motion or resolution (or if there is more than one proposer, one representative of the proposers) shall have the rights of a mover under the preceding sentence.
  3. If any member, in speaking or otherwise, transgresses the rules of the Convention, the President shall, or any member through the Chair may, call him to order; and if ruled out of order said person shall immediately yield the floor unless permitted by the Convention to explain or to proceed in order.

XI. Order for Special Debate

  1. The Committee on Rules of Order and Dispatch of Business may propose an order for special debate on a particular question, to include a time limit for consideration of the question, and a limit on the length of each speech.
  2. The Convention may, by a two-thirds majority, call for an order for Special Debate.
  3. Whenever such special order has been adopted, no motion to table, postpone, call the question, or otherwise terminate debate shall be in order until the time to terminate debate set forth in the order shall have expired, or until there are no further members who desire to speak, whichever occurs first. To the extent practicable, the President shall recognize speakers of opposite views in alternate succession.

XII. Committee of the Whole

At the direction of the President or on motion, the Convention may resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole.

XIII. Referrals

Subject matter coming before Convention may be referred at any time prior to a vote to an appropriate Board, Committee, Commission, or Agency at the discretion of the President, with a direction to report either at the same session of the Convention or a future meeting.

XIV. Points of Order

All questions of order shall be determined by the President without debate; any member may appeal from the decision, and on such appeal no member shall speak more than once without leave of the Convention.

XV. Adjournment

  1. A motion to adjourn is always in order unless some member is speaking.
  2. Any vote to adjourn, if carried, is subject to the consideration by the Convention of closing motions by the Secretary or Assistant Secretary. Such closing motions as directing that the treasurer of the diocese be directed to pay convention expenses, sending greetings to retired bishops and members of the clergy who were unable to be present due to illness, and the like, are prior to the closing prayers.

XVI. Amendments to and Suspension of Rules of Order

These Rules of Order may be amended by a majority vote after reference to and report from the Committee on Rules of Order and Dispatch of Business, or by a two-thirds vote without such reference. They may also be suspended by a three-fourths vote.

XVII. Other Matters of Parliamentary Procedure

Except when in conflict with the Constitution or Canons or any rule hereof, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the procedure of the Convention.