2019 Procedure for Submitting a Resolution

The deadline for submitting resolutions is Saturday, July 27, 2019.


Downloadable copy of the Procedure for Submitting a Resolution

NOTE: As recommended by the current Robert’s Rules of Order, we are not using a “Whereas” format at Convention. Any resolution using a “Whereas” will be returned to the author for rewriting. The explanatory information that would have been placed in the salutation clauses should go instead to the Explanation section, using plain English.


[Title of Resolution, e.g.,NOB HILL PARKING]

Resolved, That the 170th Convention of the Diocese of California [state whatever it is that you want done, e.g., “expresses its dismay over the lack of parking spaces on Nob Hill”];

Resolved, That [state whatever else it is that you want done, e.g., “this Convention urges the City and County of San Francisco to reform its parking permit system in accordance with the recommendations of the Penultimate Report on Parking and the Environment”]; and

Resolved, That [conclude with language setting forth how the resolution should best be implemented. Examples: “the Secretary of Convention is directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Mayor of San Francisco and the Director of the Department of Parking and Traffic.” OR “Executive Council is directed to enter into discussions with appropriate officials from the City and County of San Francisco to improve parking on Nob Hill, particularly during Convention.” ]

Explanation: [write a brief explanation as to why the Diocesan Convention is an appropriate forum for consideration of this resolution and give the most important reasons Convention should adopt it. Give a clear, fact-based rationale, not an emotional declamation. The rationale should consist of background material that is concise and presents factual information necessary to decision. Proper references in the body of an explanation provide guidance to both those legislating– the delegates– and to those who must interpret and act on the action in the future, such as Executive Council. References should be specific. E.g., in this model resolution, there would be a discussion of the pertinent factual findings and recommendations of the hypothetical Penultimate Report mentioned in the second paragraph.]

Submitted By: [list sponsor(s), who must be any cleric or lay delegate eligible to vote at the Convention, or by any parish, mission, or other officially recognized diocesan organization. Contact information should also be provided. Examples: Individual Submission: Submitted By: Mr. Matt Dillon, Delegate, St. Swithin’s, San Francisco [email address]; Organizational submission: Submitted By: The Official Diocesan Committee to Fix the Parking Mess For Ever; Contact: Mr. M. Dillon [email address]; You may follow the Submitted By: section with endorsements using an Endorsed By: heading.]



            However sent, all convention resolutions must be received by July 27, 2019. Emailed and faxed submissions should be transmitted the Chair of the Resolutions Committee at luther@lutherlaw.com or 415-532-1807. Mailed resolutions should be sent to Resolutions Committee, Attn: Stephanie Martin Taylor, Working Group Head for Communications, 1055 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94108. The Committee will review all resolutions, may propose revisions or amendments, and will attempt to combine similar resolutions. Proposed resolutions received after the deadline may be considered by the Convention, if at all, only upon a 2/3 vote. For this reason, it is better to timely submit a “skeleton” resolution that can be revised during the editing process than to file after the deadline. Better still, submit the most complete resolution you can well before the deadline.

            The Resolutions Committee does encourage early filing. This year, we will continue to post resolutions in draft form– i.e., prior to their final revision by the Resolutions Committee and their sponsors– on the Diocesan website substantially prior to pre-Convention deanery meetings, so that delegates and others can see what is being proposed and how it is evolving, as well as to enable all to make online comments to improve the content. To the extent possible, the then final version of resolutions will be posted on the website shortly before the first day of Convention.

            The Resolutions Committee takes many other considerations into account in addition to early filing, and it has enumerated some of these considerations in its Guidelines for Handling Resolutions by the Committee on Resolutions. However, in selecting the up to five resolutions that the Committee may submit to Convention, the Rules of Order effectively require the Committee to exercise its informed discretion, rather than to apply guidelines or rules mechanically. This practice will continue.

            For specific provisions governing this process, see Canons 6.01 and 6.08, Rules of Order Section 1 and Special Order-Committee on Resolutions in the Appendix below.

            If you are considering submitting a resolution to the Diocesan Convention, please do the following when preparing it:

1. Call (415.456.6197) or email (luther@lutherlaw.com) the Chair of the Resolutions Committee for any assistance you need.

2. Follow the approved resolution format set forth above.

3. Substantiating footnotes/endnotes, links and bullets are allowed but generally not encouraged. The simplest resolution is the best resolution. Like the Explanation section, links and notes are NOT legal parts of a resolution, and constitute mere commentary for the interest of Convention. To the extent they are regarded as extraneous, the Committee reserves the right to delete them.

4. Review past positions taken by the Diocesan Convention on the topic you are considering to determine whether further action is actually needed. Many past resolutions are on the Diocal website in the Archives section.

5. To keep the resolutions focused, ask the following questions:

a) Does the Convention have authority over the subject matter of the resolution, or should the subject be handled in a way other than by resolution?

b) Does it direct that action be taken, specifying what and by whom?

c) Does it help the Diocese to move forward to accomplish its goals and vision?

d) Does it state a new internal position, or a public policy?

e) Does it amend an existing position?

f) Does it require changes in the canons or constitution? (Changes to existing provisions must be shown and a copy of the resolution must be timely submitted by July 27, 2019 to the Secretary of Convention for consideration by the Committee on Canons. The Resolutions Committee lacks jurisdiction over constitutional and canonical amendments. See Canon 21.01)

g) Does it require changes in the assessment formula? (These changes should have been submitted to Executive Committee’s Department of Finance before April 1, 2019. The Resolutions Committee lacks jurisdiction over formula changes. See Canon 18.02(e))

h) Does it call for reporting actions, stating who should communicate with whom?

           Since the Resolutions Committee will work to combine similar resolutions proposed by different parties, you should coordinate your efforts and seek support of others concerned about the same issue. Proposals refined through such discussion and cooperation will foster informed debate and thoughtful decision-making. Failure by all involved parties to discuss in good faith the combining of their similar or overlapping resolutions may result in the Committee’s decision not to refer one or more such resolutions to Convention.

            After the Committee receives your draft resolution, it will assign two or more of its members to work with you on drafting issues until final agreement on language is reached. You should make certain that you or another proponent of the resolution is available and fully authorized to participate in the process until editing is complete. Please schedule vacations accordingly or be ready to continue the editing discussions and revisions during any vacations. Failure to comply with this guideline may result in the Committee’s decision not to refer your resolution to Convention.

Those submitting resolutions are reminded that Rule 1.4 prohibits the Committee from submitting more than five resolutions to Convention except in special, limited circumstances. Thus, whenever it receives more than five resolutions, it must exercise its judgment as to which to submit and which to exclude. In addition, the Committee reserves the right to refuse to submit to Convention any resolution filed with it that it that deems inappropriate, better dealt with in another forum, or in need of further study and/or drafting.




Sec. 6.01 Regular Committees. The Regular Committees of Convention shall consist of the . . . Committee on Resolutions [and other committees].

Sec. 6.08 Committee on Resolutions. The Committee on Resolutions, the duties of which shall be as set forth in the Rules of Order, shall consist of four Clerics and six lay persons.


Rules of Order for the Convention of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of California

Before Convention

Section 1. Procedure for Resolutions.

Rule 1.1. Any resolution to be considered by the Convention, other than those necessary matters of procedure and business of the Convention, must be received by the Chair of the Resolutions Committee at least ninety (90) days prior to the opening of Convention. Resolutions may be submitted by any cleric or lay delegate eligible to vote at the Convention, or by any parish, mission, or other officially recognized diocesan organization. Included on the copy of the proposed resolution shall be the name and address of the proposer of the resolution.In the case of resolutions submitted by an organization, the resolution shall state the name of the Rector, Vicar, Chair, or other person duly authorized by that organization to respond to questions and accept amendments to such resolutions. It shall be open to other persons or organizations to be listed as supporters of a resolution.

Rule 1.2. The Committee on Resolutions shall meet not less than seventy-five (75) days prior to the opening of Convention to consider resolutions submitted in timely fashion. The Committee may make such editorial changes as may appear necessary for accuracy or clarification. Substantive changes in resolutions shall not be made without the consent of the proposer. However, at its option, the Committee may make suggestions or recommendations concerning resolutions, which may be incorporated in the pre-Convention materials furnished to the Deaneries.Copies of allresolutions, in their original form, or as modified by the Resolutions Committee shall be filed with the Secretary of Convention and shall be included in the pre-convention materials distributed to the six deaneries.

Rule 1.3. The several Deanery meetingsat which such resolutions are considered shall be open to all interested persons. Advance written notice of the time, date and place of the meeting of such Deanery shall be given by the Deanery Secretary to the proponents of the resolution and to other interested persons who have in writing requested such notice. It shall be open to the presiding officer at the Deanery meetings to call for a straw vote, if desired, on resolutions after appropriate discussion, but such vote shall not be binding on persons present who shall be entitled to vote at the Convention.

Rule 1.4. The Committee on Resolutions shall submit no more than five (5) resolutions to the Convention for its consideration. This rule shall not apply to

a) routine or incidental motions required by the Canons or Rules of Order, including action on the budget and assessment formula;

b) resolutions proposed by the Committee on the Bishop’s Address;

c) courtesy resolutions;

d) proposed changes to the Constitution and Canons; except that if the Committee on Dispatch of Business determines that such proposed changes are sufficiently substantive as to require significant debate, then the proposed changes shall count as one resolution and the Committee on Resolutions shall submit no more than four (4) resolutions;

e) resolutions placed in the Consent Calendar by the Committee on Dispatch of Business.

Rule 1.5. Any proposed resolution that does not meet the foregoing criteria may be considered by the Convention only upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of those present and voting in Convention. If the Convention agrees to consider a resolution, it shall be referred by the Chair to the Committee on Resolutions or other appropriate Committee of Convention.

Rule 1.6. Any proposed amendments to a resolution may be filed with the Secretary of the Convention on or before the opening of Convention, and shall promptly be referred by the Chair to the Committee on Resolutions or other appropriate committee.

Rule1.7. Any resolutions submitted to the Committee on Resolutions and not submitted to the Convention, unless withdrawn, shall be identified by the Committee in its report. The report shall include the name or subject of each resolution, the name(s) of the proposer(s), and the reason it was not submitted to the Convention.

Rule 1.8. All Committees of Convention may hold meetings by conference telephone call, teleconferencing or videoconferencing as an alternative to in-person meetings, provided that during any meeting all participants are capable of hearing each other at all times. All Committee members shall be provided with information necessary to join the meeting. Reasonable notice of meetings shall be given by written notice, telephone, fax, email, or other electronic means


Special Order #2: Committee on Resolutions

The Committee on Dispatch of Business moves that the Report of the Committee on Resolutions be governed by the following Special Order:

1. The Committee shall have five minutes to file with the Convention those resolutions which have been considered by the Deaneries (Rule 1.3), and received any amendments thereto.

2. Opportunity then shall be given for members of Convention to seek 2/3 consent of the House for consideration of other resolutions. Debate on a motion to consider an additional resolution shall be limited to five minutes, during which time no speaker shall be allowed more than two minutes. Such debate shall be confined to the advisability of considering an additional resolution and not go into the merits of the resolution.

3. These resolutions, together with any amendments, shall be referred to the Committee on Resolutions or other Special Committees for subsequent hearing and report to the House.

4. When the Committee reports, in accordance with Rule 1.4, three minutes shall be provided for presentation of each resolution followed by seven minutes for Requests for Information (questions) about the resolution.  The agenda may provide that at the end of Requests for Information, debate shall be deferred until a later time appointed in the agenda.

5. Debate on each resolution shall be limited to fifteen minutes, during which time no speaker shall be allowed more than two minutes, unless the House by 2/3 majority resolves to extend the time.

6. Within the time allotted, no motion to limit debate shall be in order while anyone still wishes to speak. At the conclusion of the time period, votes shall be taken on all pending motions.

The Committee also reminds the House that all amendments or resolutions of any kind must be submitted in writing to the Secretary of Convention before action can be taken on them (Rule 4.1).

(Note: the Orders are from the 2018 Convention. Some changes may be adopted for the 2019 Convention, including those requested by the Committee on Resolutions.)