Home > DSO Meetings > 24 Nov 2003 Letter to Bishop Thompson, by Rev’d Dave Bailey

24 Nov 2003 Letter to Bishop Thompson, by Rev’d Dave Bailey

15 October 2009

{Elder’s Note:  Received via email.  The letter document (below) is in Word97 format. }

[Fr. Bailey’s Note:   Here’s the letter I referenced yesterday. The person who raised the “point of order” was Dr. Don Reed, husband of the Rev’d. Charlotte Reed, and clearly a ideological liberal. Don was also a deputy to the 2009 General Convention.
 
The Parliamentarian was Rev’d. Anne Robbins, who said to me before the afternoon session “Please don’t be angry with me”. Those in attendance will remember that Anne lost her focus during the vote.
 
Finally, the entire session was SCRIPTED, and I clearly invoked the wrath of the Bishop by wanting him to deviate from the script.]

SAINT STEPHEN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
9191 Daly Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45231

                               November 24, 2003
       The Rt. Rev’d. Herbert Thompson Jr.
       412 Sycamore Street
       Cincinnati, OH 45202

 

Dear Bishop Thompson,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord!

As always, it was a joy to be with you at Diocesan Convention on Nov. 14-15 and to fellowship with friends from across the diocese. It was a particular joy for me to receive Communion from you during the Convention Eucharist. I apologize that I was not able to stay for the entire convention, but a telephone call from the wife of a terminally ill parishioner came during the waning moments of Saturday afternoon, and I did what a parish priest needs to do.

I have heard from many of our colleagues throughout the diocese over what appear to be two deviations from our parliamentary rules during deliberation of R2003-3 on Saturday afternoon. These conversations have raised common concerns, both from those who were in favor of Fr. Ron Baird’s amendment and those who were against the amendment. I am writing to you at their urging to clarify our understanding of these two deviations.

The first deviation occurred when one of the delegates raised a “point of order” over Fr. Baird’s amendment. The delegate asked the Chair to rule that the amendment was a “substantial amendment” that should be considered separately from R2003-3. The Chair ruled in favor of the delegate’s point of order.

Bishop, the concept of  a “substantial amendment” is not addressed in our Diocesan Rules of Order, so we must then (as required by Diocesan Rule of Order XVIII) follow the parliamentary procedures found in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, where again, such a concept is not addressed.

Permit me to quote from two sections of Robert’s, Rule #12, on the subsidiary motion to Amend:

CLASSIFICATION AS TO FORM

3.b. To substitute; that is, in effect, to strike out a paragraph, or the entire text of a resolution, or main motion, and insert another. [Robert’s, Newly Revised, pg. 129; (note that this is allowable under Robert’s Rules)].

DETERMINING THE GERMANENESS OF AN AMENDMENT.

As already stated, an amendment must be germane to be in order. To be germane, an amendment must in some way involve the same question that is raised by the motion to which it is applied. A secondary amendment must relate to the primary amendment in the same way. An amendment cannot introduce an independent question; but an amendment can be hostile to, or even defeat, the spirit of the original motion and still be germane. [Robert’s, Newly Revised, pp. 129-130 (italics original)].

Based on the above, the Chair’s ruling that Fr. Baird’s amendment was “substantial” and must be considered as a separate resolution would appear to be in error. Robert’s clearly states that an amendment can completely replace a resolution under consideration, even if that amendment is hostile to the spirit of the original motion. The only consideration for a ruling from the Chair is whether or not the amendment is germane to the original resolution. Since the original resolution and the proposed amendment both concerned  human sexuality and greater Anglican Communion, Fr. Baird’s amendment was indeed germane to R2003-3.

On a non-parliamentary but related issue, I should add that many were surprised the delegate even raised this point of order on the floor of Convention. During the Convention hearings on Resolutions that morning, while Fr. Baird’s amendment was being discussed, the same point of order had been raised, and the above rules from Robert’s were cited in response.

The second deviation from our parliamentary Rules came when I stood to appeal the decision of the Chair. As the Chair noted, rulings from the Chair are indeed non debatable. They are, however, subject to appeal under Diocesan Rule of Order VI:

All questions of order shall be decided by the Chair without debate; but any member may appeal from such decisions. If an appeal be taken, it must be put immediately and without debate.

Putting the appeal to the Convention was required by our Diocesan Rules, but this did not occur.

It is, of course, the duty of the Parliamentarian to advise the Chair on parliamentary rules and procedure. I can only assume that communication between the Parliamentarian and Chair was not effective in regard to these two deviations. I am therefore copying the Chair of Dispatch of Business, as well as the Parliamentarian, so that they may consider more efficient and effective ways for the Parliamentarian to carry out her duties.

Bishop, be assured of my prayers for you and for the Diocese as we enter this period of transition, so that “speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love” (Eph. 4: 15-16).

Your fellow servant in Christ,

 

The Rev’d. David B. Bailey

CC:

The Rt. Rev’d. Kenneth Price
The Rev’d. Anne Robbins
Dr. Donald Reed
Concerned Clergy and Laity

 The Rev’d. David B. Bailey
 Letter of November 22, 2003

 The Rev’d. David B. Bailey, Rector

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