10:55 CONFERENCE ADMINISTRATION:
Mr. James Bass gave the CF&A Final Report
Rev. Skip Armistead moved to amend the congregational development budget to add $100,000, explaining that the Congregational Development team wanted to also help revitalize existing churches. He cited the remarkable renewal shared previously at Pleasant View UMC, which received funding for its revitalization. Since $603,000 was taken out of budget, Rev. Armistead was asking that $100,000 be put back in to invest in the future.
Jim Allen said that all financial requests are to be submitted with budget prior to conference. Standing rule 32. This committee already submitted their budget and that this motion was out of order. He disagreed with Rev. Armistead’s reasoning because he said there were no numbers presented to support the motion.
Rev. Tom Haliburtion, member of the Congregational Development Committee, spoke for the motion saying “the Holy Spirit sometimes moves and this conference needs this funding.” The Parliamentarian said it would be necessary to suspend the rules, then call the referral to CF&A.
Rev. Armistead moved suspension of rules. Suspension received the required 2/3 vote.
Recall of referral to CF&A by Rev. Armistead. Voted to recall.
Rev. Armistead said the budget didn’t include the extra originally because they were asked to keep budget low but then a substantial request was made later from Dodson’s Chapel UMC.
James Bass spoke against the extra funding.
The motion carried by a show of hands.
Rev. Jim Hughes, Forest Hills UMC, then asked if there were going to be a chance to learn about the reasons for some of the increases to the budget for Conference Administration, Archives and History, Connectional Ministries and others.
James Bass answered. Archives and History received an increase to hire a part-time archivist in place of a volunteer. Under the Discipline, the Conference is required to have this office staffed, he said. Conference Administration received an increase because of reallocation of some of the expenses of the unification with the Memphis Conference. BOM was asking for additional help and a salary increase for the director.
Connectional Ministries will no longer be funded by grants to fund personnel and needs funds to cover these costs.
Rev. Hughs asked, since most of these have to do with staffing, “Were any of these requests funneled through Conference Executive committee?”
Jim Allen replied that under the discipline, the CF&A has responsibility for personnel funding. Our personnel committee looks to policy issues, he said.
Rev. Sandra Griggs, Glendale UMC, said that pastors’ salaries are common knowledge and asked, “Why are those of the Conference Connectional staff salaries not made public?”
Jim Allen reported that the Discipline requires publication of clergy salaries but not those of non-clergy.
Stewart Orell made a Motion to suspend the rules to reconsider Resolution 9. He was ruled out of order.
Conference Parliamentarian explained there was a move to amend the budget, not to recall, Resolution 9.
Discussion returned to budget from CF&A.
Rev. Ann Clardy addressed salaries not being posted, saying it would enhance transparency to post salaries of staff.
The budget then was approved by a show of hands.
Stewart Orell asked to suspend the rules to recall Resolution 9. No Second.
11:20 AM: Rev. Bill Reding said he had inadvertently misled the conference on the resolution regarding moving day. They thought they had done what Memphis Conference did but it was not. Offered Motion to amend Policy 7.
Next year’s conference will not fall on the correct day to keep the policy as was approved earlier in this conference in the Cabinet Resolutions. Says: New appts on last Sunday in June but will not work right next year. John Collett spoke to issue: intent for consistency but did not factor in 5 Sundays next June so will yield to his wording.
Asst. Secretary’s notes: This was not recorded as a motion but a clarification? First day of new appointments, motion (clarification) passed (approved?) by show of hands.
11:27 AM: Rev. Bettye Lewis offered the 2013 Annual Conference Site Report, announcing that the conference will once again at Brentwood UMC.
Rev. Lee Stevenson, clergy, spoke of how the Holy Spirit spoke to him about the costs and impact of funds for conference might better be spent in more economically challenged areas.
Rev. Max Mayo requests suspensions of rules to discuss having salaries of all employees printed in the Journal each year.
He moved and it was seconded (requiring a 2/3 vote) and passed. The rules were suspended.
Rev. Max Mayo then moved that the salaries of all conference personnel be printed in conference Journal each year.
Jim Allen moved to amend to limit that resolution to those who are exempt status employees only. Seconded. Amendment failed.
Vin Walkup, asked of Rev. Mayo if he meant “all conference employees” and if so, are local churches needing to share salaries of local church lay employees, which are previously protected for confidentiality. Rev. Mayo said he wasn’t sure what he wanted in this area. “We pay apportionments and we do not receive funding from the conference but we would like to know what we are funding.”
Motion amending the standing rules, Tom Binford. Cannot be standing policy per Parliamentarian.
Rev. Vona Wilson, Franklin First UMC, asked how the information would be used by people when it was published because information sharing can be used in inappropriate and hurtful ways. “Once exposed, can be used in any way,” was the answer given by the Bishop.
Rev. Brian Brooks, Blackman UMC, asked to amend the motion so that the salaries would be listed by position and not by name, motion to amend was made, and the amendment approved.
Rev. Bill Reding, speaking in opposition to original motion to list all the personnel paid by annual conference by position. We have a committee to do this kind of policy change and need to go through those channels.
Rev. Paul Purdue, Tullahoma First UMC, asked “is this a motion or a standing rule?” Parliamentarian said it cannot be amendment to standing policy. It can only pass as a resolution.
Rev. Jim Hughes, Forest Hills UMC, spoke in favor of the motion, because the budget process is “not transparent and causing confusion.”
Rev. Skip Armistead, Hildale UMC, would like to refer this to standing rules committee. Seconded. Motion approved.
Rev. Lea Thornton, Waynesboro UMC, asking for ruling whether Resolution 13a violates our current discipline. The Bishop responded that the resolution would need to be considered by Judicial Council.
Stewart Orell, asked Bishop if this bullying resolution fell under Section 3 of The Constitution, Restrictive Rules, Paragraph 17, Article 1. Bishop Chamness said it did not.
Rev. Brian Rossbert, UMC, asked to be allowed to clarify what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says. Our church has affirmed this declaration in various ways. We do indeed affirm that all people are entitled to dignity and respect.
Fairfield Glade Associate Pastor, member of CF&A, learned that when budget requests come to committee, they are “a done deal.” Asked we be able to look more closely at budgets.