From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ENS] Committee expedites 97 late-breaking resolutions

From "Mika Larson" <>
Date Wed, 6 Aug 2003 16:22:44 -0400

August 6, 2003

Committee expedites 97 late-breaking resolutions
Knopf editor on the case

by Sally Vallongo
Convention Daily 
[ENS] It may seem that this General Convention is about one bishop's
confirmation and one liturgical change, but in fact the work of both
deputies and bishops encompasses a vast array of resolutions: from
direct ordination of priests to pest management at church headquarters,
from a member's 101st birthday to the triennial budget for ECUSA.

And, with few interruptions, the committee and legislative process that
began last Tuesday will grind on up to the Sine Die on Friday afternoon.
By then some action will have been taken on all 315 resolutions
submitted, certified and sent to committee.

And legislative processing system leaders Jane Garrett and Carol
LaPlante will once again take quiet pride in a job well done.

Their work began last week, as 97 late-breaking resolutions showed up in
their office for certification. As of the deadline, 5 p.m. on July 31,
there were 17 from bishops, 16 from various dioceses, and 64 from

Each document required thorough reading for form and style by Garrett, a
senior editor at Alfred P. Knopf, and her assistant, LaPlante, a
longtime diocesan staffer. Both are from Western Massachusetts.

"It's a lengthy process that requires scrutiny from numerous
perspectives," Garrett said. She and her staff don't question content,
only form. That includes several rounds of proofreading to catch errors
before they reach a legislative floor. "We wanted to leave them in
decent shape so a lot of time wasn't wasted on the floor - in the House
of Deputies especially."

Submitters must either sign off in advance or promise to return for
final reading before their resolutions will be certified. After that,
resolutions go to an archivist who checks content against previous
convention resolutions to avoid duplication of effort. 

This week, their certification work complete, Garrett and LaPlante have
tackled the necessary task of tracking those resolutions through the
complex system from committee to deputies and bishops. 

"If we see something that seems to have been hung up in committee for
some time, we check to see if it got lost, why it isn't emerging,"
Garrett said.

LaPlante adds: "If there's any kind of change, even for language, it has
to go back through the process. Sometimes, in that little moment, things
can easily fall through a crack."

They publish a daily record of progress, tacked on the committee
bulletin board near their office. Here's a simplified summary of the
notation system they use:

A - Adopt 
A/a - Adopt with Amendment 
A/s Adopt substitute 
C - Concur 
C/a - Concur with Amendment 
C/s - Concur but substitute 
D/ac - Discharge, already acted on at this convention 
D/aoc - Discharge, already acted on at a prior convention 
D/o - Discharge, other reasons 
D/rr - Discharge and Re-refer to a different committee 
NC - Not concur 
R - Reject

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