Saturday, July 3, 2010

Overture Advocate: a question?

Since I am at the moment an overture advocate, I am naturally interested in the subject of advocacy and the rules that apply to advocates who come from their churches to advocate for the wishes of their churches. Remember they are the only ones who represent the churches of their presbytery. Friday we had training. It was led by the PCUSA’ Mark Tammen.

There was advice and information. A lot of it was helpful except he did not mention the standing rules for advocates at all. Another advocate had to do that. But Tammen's presentation did leave me with a question which I thought would be interesting to throw my reader’s way. We were encouraged to be respectful to our committee’s Moderator which we certainly should be.

But Tammen was very forceful in suggesting that there had been too much challenging in past GAs of moderators on the basis of the standing rules of the Manual of the General Assembly. Tammen stated that no overture, where the moderator had been challenged, had passed. So I suppose he was suggesting that if we challenged our moderator our overture would not pass.

So my question, is it logical to believe that there is a connection between standing on the standing rules of the General Assembly and losing the overture, or is it possible that there might be all kinds of other reasons for losing? What do you think?

And to help you understand what I am writing about, here is a video of a commissioner who did a very good job of standing on the standing rules in a past GA.


Pastor Bob said...

My experience as an OA is that I failed to do what someone who disagreed with me obviously did. They recruited a YAD. Every time a member of the committee said something the YAD disagreed with she asked, in this case, for someone from the OGA to speak as an expert on the matter. So you go recruit a YAD and get the YAD to call you or someone who agrees with you to come up and give your expert opinion. After all OAs are experts! They know more about their overture than anyone else in the room.

Leslie Day-Ebert said...

Viola, I had a committee moderator in my committee in 2008 declare that the vote passed because they counted the abstentions as being "ayes". I respectfully disagreed and appealed to the Parliamentarian who backed up the moderator. I then asked for the Stated Clerks' opinion. Obviously, I won the point and the motion did NOT pass! I advise all commissioners to prayerfully and respectfully stick to their guns!

Viola Larson said...

Thank you Leslie. If i can find some way to pass your statement out to the advocates and commissioners I will.

Pastor Bob said...

Back in 2006 when I was an OA the moderator of the committee limited the amount of time that the representative from the ACC was allowed to speak. It was 2 minutes for OAs and 2 minutes for the ACC member. The ACC member just about went into shock insisting that because he was from the ACC he should be allowed a longer time to speak. The moderator said he was limited the same as the OAs

Bob Campbell
Sharon Hill, PA

Paul said...

Yep... retraction based on the argument that "we are family" instead of the rules established by the family. It's so much more a display of loving openness than to overcome the "legalists" in our midst.