Both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies are debating and voting on resolutions that have been submitted by various people or groups. There are so many, on a dizzying range of topics, that it can be overwhelming. Here is a little information to help.
Resolutions are catalogued with a letter and number. The letter tells where the resolution originated:
- “A” Resolutions are those submitted by CCABs. (What’s a CCAB?)
- “B” Resolutions are those submitted by Bishops.
- “C” Resolutions are those submitted by Provinces or Dioceses.
- “D” Resolutions are those submitted by Deputies.
A resolution must also be vetted and approved by the Resolutions Review Committee of the House that will be hearing it before it can be voted on, to make sure that it follows certain guidelines and, if it passed, it wouldn’t be in conflict with the Constitution or Canons.
Resolutions are fluid documents, and the more complex or contested ones often undergo many changes on their way to the floor of either house. At legislative hearings, the resolutions are more extensively discussed; deputies may suggest amendments – or even entire substitute resolutions – to the proposer or author.
Many of the topics taken up at General Convention this year are part of continuing conversations. The Archives of The Episcopal Church helps keep track of legislation from previous conventions that relates to resolutions at this year’s convention on a Legislative Research Services page. Pick a resolution currently being considered, for example, A037, which is one of the resolutions on marriage, and the archives will show resolutions from previous years that are directly or indirectly related, with the text of those resolutions included.
All this discussion reminds David Madison of something from his childhood…