Seal of the Diocese

Standing Rules of Procedure
for the annual
Convention of the Diocese of Fort Worth

Revised: November 2020

1. PRESIDENT 10 DISPATCH OF BUSINESS 19. RECONSIDERATION
2. PRAYER 11. RESOLUTIONS 20. MOTIONS
3. SECRETARY 12. SPECIAL ORDER 21. TABLE
4. QUORUM 13. NOMINATING COMMITTEE 22. AMENDMENTS
5. ORDER OF BUSINESS 14. ELECTIONS 23. ADJOURNMENT
6. PARLIAMENTARIAN 15. TELLERS 24. DIVISION
7. DEBATE 16. APPOINTMENTS 25. APPEAL
8. TITLES 17. LIMITATIONS ON DEBATE 26. RECORD
9. MICROPHONES 18. REPORTS 27. SUSPENSION OF RULES

1.PRESIDENT: The Bishop shall be the presiding officer and President of the Convention. He may call to the chair any qualified person to relieve him temporarily. The Bishop shall have full power and authority to take such action (consistent with the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese) as he deems necessary to expedite the orderly disposition of the business of the Convention.

2. PRAYER: After the Convention is called to order, an opening prayer shall be offered by the Bishop or someone designated by him.

3. SECRETARY: As the first order of business, a Secretary shall be nominated by the Bishop and confirmed by vote of Convention. Assistant Secretaries may be appointed by the Bishop.

4. QUORUM: The Chairman of the Credentials Committee shall report the number of Clergy and Lay members in attendance and whether or not there is a quorum present.  If there is a quorum, the President shall proceed to the Order of Business. In the absence of a quorum, the Convention shall transact no other business than to recess or stand adjourned until a quorum is present.

5. ORDER OF BUSINESS: If there is a quorum the Convention shall proceed to the Order of Business set out in an Agenda. The Bishop shall have the authority, within his discretion, to deviate from the Order of Business as the exigencies of the occasion may require.

6. PARLIAMENTARIAN: The Bishop shall appoint a Parliamentarian to advise him during the Convention.

7. DEBATE: A member having received recognition of the chair shall give his name and the church represented.

8. TITLES: Any person addressing the chair while the Convention is in session shall address the chair as “Right Reverend Sir” if the Bishop is in the chair. If some other person is in the chair, the form of address shall be “Mr. President.”

9. MICROPHONES: A member making a motion or brief statement shall use the nearest microphone. A member making a report or speaking at length on any subject shall use the microphone at the lectern at the front of the meeting place.

10. DISPATCH OF BUSINESS: The Bishop, within a reasonable length of time before the convening of the annual Convention, shall appoint a Committee on the Dispatch of Business. Among the duties of this Committee is the preparation of an Order of Business agreeable to the Bishop. The Committee shall carry out such other acts and duties a may be deemed necessary or advisable to dispatch the business of Convention.

11. RESOLUTIONS: All resolutions shall be delivered to the Secretary of Convention at least sixty (60) days before the date of the Convention and processed prior to the meeting by the Resolutions Committee in adequate time to place written copies of the resolutions in the hands of the members not later than twenty (20) days before the opening day of Convention. Any resolution which shows on its face that it deals with matters arising after the deadline date shall be exempt from this requirement. All other resolutions delivered to the Secretary after the deadline shall be governed by Rule 27.

12. SPECIAL ORDER: Any item of business of the Convention may be set as a special order of business or taken up out of its regular order at any time by the concurring majority vote of the members of both orders.

13. NOMINATING COMMITTEE: The Bishop shall appoint, not less than sixty (60) days in advance of each Annual Convention, a Nominating Committee which shall report to the Convention nominations for all elective offices (other than those for which the Bishop makes the nominations) in accordance with the following provisions: 

a) There shall be nominated not less than two (2) nominees for each office. Each nominee shall be verified as an adult communicant in good standing.

b) There shall be obtained from each nominee presented his personal assurance of his willingness to serve and availability if elected.

c) The name of each nominee shall be accompanied by suitable brief biographical data, including a listing of Parish, Mission and Diocesan offices then or previously held.

d) Suggestions as to persons for consideration shall be received from Parishes, Missions, and Diocesan Institutions, and from individuals.

e) No member of the Nominating Committee shall be named a nominee by the Nominating Committee.

f) Further nominations for any office may be made on the floor of Convention at which time biographical data of the nature above described must be submitted in writing.

14. ELECTIONS:All members of the Convention entitled to vote, both clergy and laity, shall cast their ballots at one time for all elective offices. The election of all offices shall be by a concurrent majority of both orders voting. Voting shall proceed by successive ballot(s) until the requisite number of offices have been filled by a concurrent majority of both orders of those voting, unless another method of selection for the position is set out in the Constitution and Canons.

15. TELLERS: The Presiding Officer shall appoint tellers in sufficient number to count ballots promptly and with all reasonable dispatch. Additional tellers who are not members of the Convention may be appointed in order that the official tellers may not be obligated to absent themselves from the Convention while the ballots are being counted.

16. APPOINTMENTS: The Bishop shall have the authority to appoint all Board members, Trustees, Committee members, and to fill all other positions, unless another method of selection for the position is set out in the Constitution and Canons, or by a lawful authority.

17. LIMITATIONS ON DEBATE: To expedite the business of the Convention, debate on any pending resolution or motion shall be limited to five (5) minutes per speaker, alternating sides, and one (1) person shall not speak more than once on the pending matter until all other persons who so desire have had an opportunity to be heard. The time for discussion shall be divided as equally as practicable between the proponents and opponents of the pending subject.

18. REPORTS:All reports which have been printed and distributed in advance to all members of the Convention shall be presented by title only and not read; provided however, that any person presenting such a report may give a summary of it, requiring not more than five (5) minutes to deliver.

19. RECONSIDERATION: A question having been decided shall not be reconsidered at the same annual convention without the consent of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present nor without a motion for that purpose being made by one of the majority on the prior decision.  No question shall be reconsidered more than once.

20. MOTIONS: No motion shall be considered as before the Convention unless seconded and, when required by the Presiding Officer, reduced to writing.

21. TABLE: A motion to “Lay on the table” shall be decided without debate, but this motion cannot be used to halt debate. A motion to “Call the Question” is the appropriate motion to halt debate and requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote.

22. AMENDMENTS:

a) No more than two (2) amendments may be considered at one time.

b) Any amendment of more than one sentence or twenty (20) words must be submitted as a substitute motion.

c) When any proposed change to the Constitution or Canons is pending before the Convention, amendments thereto may be sent up from the floor if, within the judgement of the Presiding Officer, such floor amendments are germane to the pending changes and do not alter the purpose of such pending change.

23. ADJOURNMENT: A “Motion to adjourn” shall always be in order when no member is speaking and shall be decided without debate.  A motion to fix the hour or day to which the Convention shall adjourn takes precedence of a “Motion to adjourn” and shall be decided without debate. If it is determined that a quorum is not present, then the Presiding Officer must move to adjourn.

24. DIVISION: If a question under debate contains distinct propositions, the same may be divided at the request of any member and a vote taken separately.

25. APPEAL: All questions of order shall be determined by the Presiding Officer. Any member may appeal from any decision of the Chair and on such appeal no member shall speak more than once without leave of the Convention.

26. RECORD: The proceedings of the Convention shall be recorded and permanently filed.

27. SUSPENSION OF RULES: Any rule may be suspended by the unanimous consent of the Convention or by two-thirds (2/3) concurring majority vote of the members of both orders; provided that such amendments are not in violation of the Constitution or Canons of the Diocese.