Lay Equalization Petition May Have Opposite Effect

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Lay Equalization

Perhaps equalization should be calculated based on numbers of clergy active in a conference, including appointments to extension ministries. Then lay representation per charge, along with prescribed laity in leadership positions, could bring equalization. Otherwise, how would a conference know how many lay members could register? It is not just retired clergy who do not attend Annual Conference; numbers of active clergy, on any given year, are not present, either. If lay equalization were based only on numbers of clergy who attend, would the numbers be taken from the previous year's Conference attendance, giving a year for the calculation of numbers of laity to be included the following year? Many lay members have to take vacation time in order to attend. They need to know long in advance if they are to be able to request vacation time. This proposal needs more refinement.

Judy Vasby more than 3 years ago

Lay equalization

Randall Hodgkinson's article on "Lay Equalization" clearly articulates why this constitutional change should be adopted. The purpose of the paragraph is to assure there is an EQUAL NUMBER of lay and clergy in the annual conference session. Each annual conference can adopt its own formula, which might contribute to diversity, but that is not purpose of this paragraph. Given the fact that retired clergy are living longer and many retired to Sun Belt states far distant from their home conference, the imbalance is significant in many of our conferences. This change would acknowledge that, and would better provide for true equalization. A by-product might well be a small annual conference (meaning some cost savings) but that is not the purpose. The purpose is clear--lay equalization based on the actual number of clergy in attendance at the annual conference.

John Harnish more than 3 years ago