A View of Amending the WMS Constitution and By-laws

By Sister Jettie Williams, Life Member

One of the purposes of the Quadrennial Convention is to amend our Constitution and By-laws, if necessary. Proposed amendments and their rationale are sent in from all 20 Episcopal Districts and a booklet is then compiled. This year the booklet consisted of 68 pages and 52 proposed amendments.

In early May of this year, we, the delegates, received our copy of the booklet, and did our first reading in June as a group, and our second reading was done the second week in July at the Summer Summit with all of the delegates from across the 2nd Episcopal District.

On Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at the site of the 19th WMS Quadrennial Convention in Columbus, Ohio, we had our third and final reading. After which, the voting process began.

The Election Committee Chairperson, Carolyn Scavella, and her committee members, distributed the voting devices, and, after a short practice exercise, we began to vote.

As stated earlier, a total of 52 proposed amendments were submitted. There were 31 for the WMS and 21 for the YPD of which 22 passed--11 for WMS and 11 for YPD. Most of them were minor changes that reflected clarity, i.e., moving a paragraph; adding a word; or deleting a phrase. A more significant one was the addition of a new Connectional Officer in the position of Financial Secretary.

Once the amendments that passed have been ratified by the 2020 General Conference, they will become law. It was an extremely smooth process for us because our representative on the Connectional Constitution & By-law Committee, Sis. Gail Radcliff, our Conference Rep, Sis. Selerya Moore, our Episcopal District and Conference Branch leaders, all, did an outstanding job preparing us in our 1st and 2nd readings. We were totally prepared and acted accordingly. It was a blessed experience.

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