July 30, 2009

Standing Vote

Most votes at the General Assembly are voice votes. If, after a voice vote, it is unclear whether the "ayes" or the "noes" have the majority, then a standing vote is taken.

One of this morning's resolutions concerned taking a stand against war. Because of the various nuances and interpretations such a resolution might imply, it was thought that this resolution might cause a heated debate and close vote. However, the assembly voted overwhelmingly to refer the resolution for further study.

Then came a resolution that proposed alternating between summer and fall General Assemblies. (Assemblies are currently held only in summer.) Adults and youth argued for and against this resolution, which was alotted 24 minutes of debate time (twice as long as most resolutions). The main question was: does having assemblies in summer make it harder for youth to go to camp?

During the debate, I was sitting next to a young man who I have counseled at camp numerous times. Next to him was his father, a pastor who has been actively involved in providing leadership at various church camps. When a voice vote was taken, the result was unclear, so a standing vote was called for. The ayes were asked to stand; I watched as the father stood, but the son did not. I leaned over to the son and asked, "are you going to cancel your father's vote?" With a sheepish grin, he said, "Yes."

In the end, the vote was to continue with only summer assemblies. That is how I myself voted, although there are certainly pros and cons to both sides of this issue.


Purple Hydrangea said...

I would imagine having GA in fall would pose the problem of having the youth/young adults being unable to attend because of SCHOOL... different from GA in Summer and summer camp dates which I would imagine can possibly be scheduled around GA???

word verification: sholbehm

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Although I too voted for keeping the Assembly schedule as is, I can understand the concerns of the camping program. But it is always good to have our young adults -- college students -- there, along with youth.

Wish we could have more.

Overall, a good assembly.