Monday, August 17, 2009

50% + 1

I got sucked in to geeking the ELCA Churchwide Assembly live-feed and simultaneously following the #CWA09 tags on Twitter. This was a fantastic experience for me. Not only could I watch the event in my sweatpants with my feet up, but I could read snarky comments from fellow church nerds as the plenary session unfolded.

The big debate at Plenary #1 was whether or not to require a 2/3 vote to change ministry policies. Roberts Rules of Order calls for a 50% + 1 majority. Some people felt that requiring a 2/3 vote would be more appropriate when considering the weight of the 4 resolutions proposed by the Sexuality Task Force. Ultimately, the Assembly decided to reject the amendment and allow ministry policies to be changed with a simple majority.

Confused yet?

For many, the passage of the 4 sexuality resolutions is now considered a foregone conclusion. People that I've spoken with in the past few weeks think it will be a 60/40 vote in favor of allowing openly gay people in committed relationships to serve as ordained ELCA pastors. Obviously nobody really knows until the votes are cast on Friday night, but I tend to agree with my "insider" friends. The resolutions wouldn't pass at 2/3...but likely will at 50% +1.

The contrarian in me thinks there has to be a better way to go about "being church" than to spend 2 hours debating parliamentary procedure...but I can't come up with a better suggestion. So, in the meantime, I will have fun following the Assembly on-line.

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