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Preparation

Questions?

Please contact Michigan Conference Meeting Planner and Annual Conference Executive Team member Nancy Arnold

Important Dates

IMPORTANT DATES

February 1 - Submission deadline for annual conference resolutions (legislation) with financial implications.

February 15 - Submission deadline for annual conference resolutions (legislation) without financial implications.

March 1 - Registration Opens 9AM EDT 

April 1 - Board and Agency reports due to conference communications.

April 15 - All voting materials posted online.

May 1 - Early registration closes.

May 2 - 19 - Late registration opens with a $50 late fee.

May 4: Lay Orientation, 7:30 - 8:30 PM

May 6: Lay Orientation, 9 - 10 AM

May 23 & 24: Dates for online Legislative Committees at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

May 25 - Late registration reopens with a $50 late fee, not covered for retirees and conference equalization members.  Late registrants will not be able to participate in Legislative Committee discussions.  Meal tickets are not guaranteed.

June 1 - Clergy Session, Grand Traverse Resort.

June 2-4 - Annual Conference, Grand Traverse Resort. Opening Worship and Memorial Service.

June 3 - Service of Recognition, Commissioning, and Ordination, Grand Traverse Resort.

Petition, resolution, or legislation?

Looking to recommend a change in how the annual conference operates?   To do so, you will want to submit a resolution to the annual conference.  To ask the annual conference endorsement for a change to the Book of Resolutions and Book of Discipline of  The United Methodist Church is called a petition. Ultimately, anything voted on in either annual or general conference is a form of legislation, by any other name.

Getting ready to serve

As a member to the Annual Conference there are many important responsibilities.  Coming prepared is essential to a smooth and meaningful week.  As materials become available they will be posted. 

To get started, we recommend you watch our training video and if you plan to submit resolutions (legislation) to annual conference, please read the Michigan Conference guide to writing petitions to the annual conference below.

A Michigan Conference guide to writing resolutions to the annual conference.

Is there an issue you care about?  Is there a policy you want examined? Are  you are thinking about submitting a resolution to the Michigan Annual Conference?  Here are some helpful tips.

Begin by asking, “What is my goal, and will passing a resolution at Annual Conference accomplish my goal?”

  • If your goal is a specific change in Annual Conference policy or structure, submitting a resolution to the Annual Conference session is exactly the appropriate action to take.
  • If your goal is to help educate, inform or empower Michigan United Methodists to take action, particularly Annual Conference members, about an issue you care about as a follower of Jesus, a resolution at Annual Conference may be helpful.
  • If your goal is to change a government policy on an issue you care about as a follower of Jesus, it seems less likely that having the Michigan Annual Conference approve a resolution, especially if it does not include concrete steps for members or Michigan United Methodists to take action, will be a significant step toward your goal.

When writing your resolution, be clear and succinct in stating your proposed action.

  • What specifically are you asking?
  • Who specifically are you asking to take action?
  • When should the proposed action occur? What timeline are you proposing?
  • If your resolution proposes communication to public officials, identify them by office and not by name.

When writing your resolution, keep your rationale succinct and accurate.

  • Check your work for spelling and grammar. A well-written resolution communicates to the Annual Conference members that you have given your resolution thought, care and attention.
  • Avoid including extraneous information. Again, be clear and succinct.  Note rule 5.1.2.6: Resolutions may be accompanied by a rationale, which shall not exceed 300 words.
  • It is better to state your case positively. Let the members know what you are for more than what you are against.
  • Be clear about any financial implications. Note rule 5.1.2.4 : A copy of any resolution that would require an expenditure of more than $1000 must be sent to the Council on Finance and Administration, along with a five-year cost projection, no later than February 1.
  • If you feel the need to include the mention of public officials in your rationale, identify them by office and not by name.

A couple of helpful reminders

  • It can be very helpful to consult with other groups in the Annual Conference who may be affected by your resolution.
  • Consider addressing only one major action item in your resolution.
  • If addressing a social issue, consult The United Methodist Church's Social Principles and Book of Resolutions to ensure you are building on the Church's social teaching and not repeating a statement or position the Church has already taken.
  • Listen again to the words of Colossians 4:6: Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt
  • Remember the words of John Wesley: They who “walk in the Spirit,” are also led by God into all holiness of conversation. Their “speech is always in grace, seasoned with salt”; with the love and fear of God.  “No corrupt communication comes out of their mouth; but only that which is good,” that which is “to the use of edifying,” which is “meet to minister grace to the hearers.”  (from sermon, “The First Fruits of the Spirit”)

What happens to my resolution after I submit it?

  • The Conference’s Committee on Rules reviews all resolutions. Note Rule 5.1.2.7: The Committee on Rules reserves the right to edit any resolution for grammar, spelling, and clarity. The committee’s edits shall not substantively alter the resolution.
  • The Bishop reviews each of the resolutions and may determine to rule a resolution “out of order” if it does not comply with the United Methodist Church’s Constitution or Book of Discipline or the Michigan Conference's Rules of Order or Plan of Organization. 
  • The Conference’s Committee on Rules divides up the resolutions among each of the Legislative Committees. Annual Conference members are randomly assigned to a Legislative Committee by the Conference Registrar. The committees meet the week before the Annual Conference via Zoom. They are responsible for discussing and voting on each of the resolutions. The committee may amend, or change, a resolution. See section 5.4.13 of the Conference’s Rules of Order for more information. 
  • If the Legislative Committee votes in favor of a resolution by at least 90%, the resolution will be added on the Consent Calendar. Resolutions on the Consent Calendar are voted on at Annual Conference as one group with no discussion or amendments. 
  • The Bishop and Legislative Coordinator determine the order the rest of the resolutions will be discussed and voted on during the Annual Conference.  Typically the resolutions come to the plenary in the following order, though circumstances may suggest a differing order:
    • Resolutions directly impacting the policies and operation of the Annual Conference are addressed first.
    •  The remaining resolutions are prioritized based on the results of their Legislative Committee votes. 
    • Resolutions receiving a majority of votes in favor from their Legislative Committee are addressed before resolutions not supported by a Legislative Committee. 
  • There is a limited amount of time to address resolutions at Annual Conference. Sometimes the Annual Conference will end without taking action on all of the resolutions. The author of the resolution is welcome to re-submit their resolution for the next Annual Conference. 
  • If a resolution is adopted, it is published on the Conference website and assigned to a Conference agency, leader, and/or staff member to ensure it is implemented.
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2023 Michigan Annual Conference