Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elections Called

If I were a major television network covering an event (which I am not), I think that the sampling of votes reported are diverse enough in location and complete enough in reporting (about half of all conferences) that some of the elections' results can be predicted (called) with reasonable accuracy at this time.

The worldwide amendments have been defeated emphatically, and it appears as if there may even be a 2/3 majority voting against these amendments, and they need a 2/3 majority for. Statistically, over 90% of the remaining votes must be in favor of these amendments to swing the total to a supermajority in favor. Based on the sampling reported, this election is essentially over and defeated.

In all likelihood (based on past results), the international annual conferences will likely vote more conservatively than the US conferences. Amendment 1, though not as definite as the worldwide amendments, is doing very poorly in gaining enough support in the US to obtain a supermajority. I think that this is defeated, though there is a very slight possibility that this could still be approved. The outlook is very unlikely based on the current tally.

It is possible that amendment 19 will pass with the supermajority, but it is still too close to call.
Non-controversial amendments such as #8 and #32 will almost certainly receive the 2/3 majority needed, as they are not being opposed openly by recognized activists from any group within the denomination. Some people have traditionally voted "no" to any changes to the constitution, regardless of content, as a statement to maintain the status quo and respect the founding documents of the denomination.

More as it develops..... I apologize for not having more info on some of the minor amendments which are not of as great interest. Some conferences aren't reporting these results in their press releases.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Methodist Amendments

**UPDATED 6/16
The following are the known vote totals for the proposed constitutional amendments for the United Methodist Church. These amendments must pass by a supermajority (2/3) in order to become law and amend the UM constitution. Each person's votes will be added to the worldwide total to determine the outcome. The shortened paraphrases describing the changes were written by me, in the way in which the amendments have meaning to my understanding.

Reporting Conferences known by me:
South Carolina Annual Conference (SEJ)
Memphis Annual Conference (SEJ)
Minnesota Annual Conference (NCJ)
Detroit Annual Conference - partial results
Texas Annual Conference - partial results
Greater New Jersey Annual Conference - partial results
North Alabama Annual Conference
Wyoming Annual Conference
Central Pennsylvania Annual Conference
Kentucky Annual Conference
Illinois Great River Annual Conference
Baltimore Annual Conference -Washington (Amendment 1 only)
Dakotas Annual Conference - partial
Iowa Annual Conference - partial
W Michigan Annual Conference - partial
Holston Annual Conference - SEJ

Amendment #1 - Should the pastor of the local church lose authority to deny membership to certain individuals, and "all persons" who are baptized and answer affirmatively to the membership vows be allowed to join?

Total Votes For: 10072
Total Votes Against: 13128
Percentage voting "yes": 43%
Needed to pass: 66.7%

Amendment #2 –This change will require all organizations within in the United Methodist Church to develop ethics and conflict of interest policies. (still gathering updated results)

Total Votes For: 2674
Total Votes Against: 2884
Percentage voting "yes": 48.1%
Needed to pass: 66.7%

Amendment #6 – This change will allow the General Conference the right to restrict equal representation to a newly formed region of the church, allowing it to be underrepresented during its first 8 years of existence?

Total Votes For: 2284
Total Votes Against: 2501
Percentage voting “yes”: 47.7%
Needed to pass: 66.7%

Amendment #8 – This change would prohibit the pastor of a local church from denying membership to an individual on the basis of gender.

Total Votes For: 4501
Total Votes Against: 1126
Percentage voting “yes”: 80.0% *CURRENTLY LEADING*
Needed to pass: 66.7%

Amendment #9 – This change would allow each jurisdictional conference to have at least 100 delegates, and the process by which these delegates are selected would become uniform, in a manner decided upon by the General Conference.

Total Votes For: 4310
Total Votes Against: 1058
Percentage voting “yes”: 80.3% *CURRENTLY LEADING*
Needed to pass: 66.7%

Amendment #15 – Should the total lay delegates of an annual conference number fewer than the total number of clergy delegates, this change would provide for more lay delegates to be elected so as to equalize the power between laity and clergy within that particular conference.

Total Votes For: 2928
Total Votes Against: 2489
Percentage voting “yes”: 54.1%
Needed to pass: 67%

Amendment #17 – This change will allow the “committee on investigation” to vote on matters of clergy ordination and character. This allows laity to vote on a clergy issue in some form.

Total Votes For: 3243
Total Votes Against: 2133
Percentage voting “yes”: 60.3%
Needed to pass: 67%

Amendment #19 – This change will allow local pastors who have completed course of study or an MDiv degree and have completed at least two consecutive years of service to vote on delegates to represent their conference to the General Conference.

Total Votes For: 16727
Total Votes Against: 5348
Percentage voting “yes”: 76% *CURRENTLY LEADING*
Needed to pass: 67%

Amendment #22 - This change would add “Bermuda” to the Northeastern Jurisdiction.
(still compiling updated results)

Total Votes For: 4512
Total Votes Against: 911
Percentage voting “yes”: 83.2% *CURRENTLY LEADING*
Needed to pass: 67%

Amendments #3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32 - These amendments all refer to the worldwide nature of the church, and would create new "regional conferences" which would have authority to produce their own judicial councils, and possible lead to difference Books of Discipline in different regions. This would allow national issues to be handled within one's own country, without significant input from other regions. All of these amendments must pass by a 2/3 majority in order for the polity to be changed.

*UPDATE* Due to the large number of conferences only reporting on a few of these amendments, I will just post the ones which all have reported. I believe these to be clearly representative of the others which are almost identical in nature.

Total Votes:
## - YES -- NO -- Percentage FOR
04 - 7304 - 16182 - 31%
10 - 7229 - 16197 - 31%
13 - 7306 - 16019 -31%
23 - 6665 - 16035 - 29%
26 - 6991 - 15960 - 30%

Conference by conference results:
South Carolina - Results
Memphis - Results
Minnesota - Results
North Alabama - Results
Wyoming - Results
Kentucky - Results
Illinois Great River - Results