I know, I know - you've been missing posts about the Book of Resolutions. We're soon getting ready for another meeting of the Book of Resolutions Task Force, and I have a couple of specific questions I'd like your feedback on.
1) Who should be allowed to submit a petition to General Conference? Right now, any member of a local UMC can submit a petition directly to General Conference. I think personally that this is a great asset to the UMC - we are the only mainline denomination where members can directly petition the general church for change. As much as people complain about the General Church not representing the local members, our denomination does have a way for individual members to act and react. But, that said, this ability also sometimes enables abuse or manipulation or at least just lots of extra work when it comes to petitions to deal with at GC. Some people write petitions dealing with every single paragraph of the Book of Discipline. Still, should restrictions be put in place? What kind? Should petitions have to be approved by some other body? An administrative council? A local UMW or UMM unit?
2) Publishing and copyright issues - Right now, the United Methodist Publishing House holds the copyright for the Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions. This can be somewhat problematic - for example, general agencies can not post relevant resolutions on their websites. GBCS, whose work directly relates to many resolutions, can only reference little chunks, but can't post whole resolutions on the website. This seems not helpful at best - it makes it harder for people to see connections between what we believe (or say we do) and the work we do. Do you have any suggestions related to publishing and copyright?
I'd appreciate your thoughts.
**Also, a reminder - tomorrow (the 31st) is the last day (I think) to cast your vote over at BroGreg's 2006 Bloggy Awards page.***