Guidelines for Conducting Convention Business
In order to conduct the business of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) certain rules have been established within the BSCNC governing documents. The introduction and deliberation of business follows Roberts Rules of Order. To facilitate the consideration of business items, messengers are asked to abide by the guidelines outlined below. It is the desire of the Convention’s officers to ensure that messengers have the opportunity to bring items for consideration, raise questions, and enter into discussion related to business brought before the Convention. Any messenger having questions regarding the guidelines for conducting Convention business may wish to speak to a parliamentarian or a Convention officer.
Making a Motion
A motion calls for a specific action by the BSCNC. A motion normally begins with, “I move that.” Any messenger wishing to clarify the appropriateness of a motion, the appropriate time for the presentation of a motion, or the wording of a motion is encouraged to speak to a parliamentarian or a Convention officer.
Write the motion legibly. If the motion is spontaneous and you do not have time to write it before presenting it to the Convention at a designated microphone, write the motion, as you stated it, before leaving the microphone area. Avoid any language in your motion that could be construed as mandating an action by a BSCNC entity. These are typically ruled out of order for legal reasons. Instead, word such motions as requests to the entity.
Go to a floor microphone at a time when motions are being considered. Notify the microphone monitor of your desire to make a motion. When recognized by the presiding officer, state your name, the name and location of your church, and read your motion. DO NOT argue the merits of your motion. If your motion receives a second, you will be given the first opportunity to speak on behalf of your motion, after which discussion by others will follow, alternating between opponents and supporters so as to provide a balance of differing perspectives. When you finish speaking, please bring your written motion to the platform.
A resolution has traditionally been defined as an expression of opinions or concerns, as compared to a motion, which calls for action. A resolution is not used to direct any entity of the BSCNC to specific action. The Committee on Resolutions and Memorials brings proposed resolutions to the messengers for consideration. The BSCNC Bylaws provide that all resolutions are to be submitted to the Committee on Resolutions in writing no later than September 10 prior to the annual meeting in which the proposed resolution is to be considered. If a resolution has not been submitted to the Committee on Resolutions for consideration by the deadline the resolution may not be considered by the messengers. If a resolution has been timely submitted to the Committee on Resolutions, but rejected by the Committee, then the Convention may consider such resolution only upon satisfaction of the requirements stated in the BSCNC Bylaws Article I. C. 6. c. (iv) (see pages 9 and 10). If the requirements of the Bylaws have been met, then a messenger may move during Miscellaneous Business to suspend the rules for the consideration of the resolution from the floor during the annual meeting. It is strongly suggested that any messenger desiring to present a resolution from the floor contact a parliamentarian or a Convention officer to determine if the resolution meets the criteria outlined in the Bylaws for consideration during the annual meeting.
The Committee on Nominations will publish their full report in the Biblical Recorder in at least one issue with a publication date at least four (4) weeks prior to the annual meeting and on the Convention’s website at least 35 days in advance of the annual meeting. The report will include the name, church, home town, association, occupation, and sex of each nominee. In addition, the report will identify the board or committee for which the individual is being nominated to serve. The name of any person to be nominated from the floor of the Convention and the name or the nominee intended to be displaced shall appear on the Convention’s website and may also be available on the Biblical Recorder’s website beginning at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the meeting. In addition, biographical material relating to any person proposed to be nominated from the floor of the Convention shall be given to the institution or agency involved and to the Committee on Nominations at least one (1) week prior to the meeting.
Point of Order
The purpose of a Point of Order is to call the attention of the chair to a violation of the Convention’s rules. A Point of Order should be raised only when a member has good reason to believe that the chair has failed to notice and correct a breach of the rules that prevents the proper transaction of business. Because a Point of Order interrupts pending business, it should not be raised merely to point out minor irregularities or as a guise for debating an issue or as a method of obstructing business or harassing the chair. Improper Points of Order will be ruled out of order.
To assist messengers wishing to bring items to the floor of the Convention for consideration, as well as the debate of all appropriately presented business, a microphone system is employed during the Convention’s business sessions. When messengers approach the microphones they will be asked by the microphone monitor to declare their intent: introducing a motion, speaking for/against a motion already under consideration, or other parliamentary procedures. A computerized sequencing system is employed to register messengers and provide the presiding officer information regarding the nature of a comment. Messengers will not be recognized by the chair unless they are properly registered at a microphone.
The presiding officer uses the information from the computerized system to guide him as he moderates the debate striving to alternate between messengers wishing to speak for and those wishing to speak against an issue brought before the Convention for consideration.
In the event that deliberation of a motion must be interrupted to address a fixed order of business, the computerized sequencing system will retain the order in which messengers have registered to speak to that motion in order that debate may resume once the fixed order of business has been completed.