The Business Sessions are your opportunity to shape the future and direction of ReconcilingWorks. During Reconciling Works 2012, there are business sessions held throughout the Assembly. These sessions will be lively, informative, and interactive. During these sessions, we will hear from our leadership, elect the Board of Directors for the next Biennium, and hear the priorities for the next two years. As we get closer, more of the business items to be considered will be posted to the assembly website. However, in the meantime, there are a few items about which you should know.
Who Can Participate
To participate in the business sessions of ReconcilingWorks , one must be a member. However, ReconcilingWorks is granting one-year gift memberships to assembly registrants who are not already members of ReconcilingWorks. That means that if you come to Reconciling Works 2012, you will be able to participate in the business of ReconcilingWorks.
Deadline for Resolutions
Proposed resolutions in proper format (Whereas… Therefore be it resolved… careful and limited language) should be sent to the Secretary of ReconcilingWorks, secretary@ReconcilingWorks.org, by July 1, 2012. In addition to emailed submissions, there will be a Resolutions Box at the assembly site into which submissions can be dropped no later than 7:00 pm, Saturday, July 10, 2012.
Resolutions will be reviewed by a reference and council committee, with possible consultation with the author, prior to submission at one of the ReconcilingWorks Business Sessions held during Reconciling Works 2012.
ReconcilingWorks operates by the consensus process for decision-making. Consensus is a process of reaching a decision with a minimum, or at least reasonable, amount of disagreement among individuals. Consensus decision-making is about the business of “listening to everyone’s ideas and taking all concerns into consideration in an attempt to find the most universally acceptable decision possible at a particular time.” Consensus decision-making requires that individuals participate as equals, seek out and accommodate differences of opinion, promote an atmosphere of open communication, tolerate temporary indecision and slow decision-making, and weigh alternatives to find win-win possibilities.
Consensus is NOT:
- Everybody agreeing unanimously
- A decision that represents everyone’s first choice
- Allowing a person to block the whole group from coming to a decision
- Everyone able to paraphrase the issue to demonstrate personal understanding
- Everyone having a chance to voice opinion on the issue
- Having enough people in favor of the decision to enable it to be carried out
- The willingness to try the decision, at least for a prescribed period of time, without those who doubt or disagree sabotaging it
Group conditions that support consensus:
- Unity of purpose
- Equal access to power
- Autonomy of the group from external hierarchical structures
- Ample time
- A willingness in the group to attend to process, attitudes, and to learn to practice skills for meeting participation, facilitation and communication
Consensus is not voting. Thus, consensus is indicated by prolonged silence. ReconcilingWorks celebrates having achieved consensus with the “wave” (waving of the hands in the air).
Election of the Board of Directors.
Article II, Section 5.B, of ReconcilingWorks’s Bylaws provides that, “Nominees for the Board of Directors shall be presented to the Assembly as an entire slate(s) and shall be elected by the Assembly by a simple majority vote.”
As part of moving to a governance model board, the current Board of Directors has mandated the creation of a standing nominating committee. Passed at the last meeting of the Board of Directors, Section 5.C of the Bylaws now provides in part that, “In order to have a pool of candidates to be considered for membership on the Board, a standing Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Directors to constantly search for members of the organization and others who will agree to have their names submitted to serve on the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three (3) members of the Board of Directors, a Regional Coordinator and someone who is neither a member of the Board or a Regional Coordinator but a member of ReconcilingWorks. The Executive Director of the organization serves as an ex officio member of the Nominating Committee only if, and only as long as, a non-officer member of the Board also holds an operational portfolio role in the organization.” Also, “the Nominating Committee shall inform the membership of the start of the formal process leading to a slate of nominees, soliciting any nominations as may come from the membership. Prior to the assembly, the Nominating Committee shall present a slate to the Board for approval in sufficient time to allow the resultant recommended slate to be received by mail sent to the membership.” This letter is the required notice to the membership.
Five people have been appointed to the Nominating Committee: three from the current Board of Directors (Phil Soucy, Jeannine Janson, Philip Moeller), a Regional Coordinator (Kathy Shattuck), and an At Large member of ReconcilingWorks (Rev. Barbara Lundblad). As well, Executive Director (Emily Eastwood) is an ex officio member of the Nominating Committee.
This Nominating Committee is currently seeking nominations for the 2012 Board of Directors’ slate, which will consist of the following positions: 2 Co-Chairs; Vice-Chair of Development; Secretary; Treasurer; Director of Communications; Co-Directors of the Committee Working at the intersections of Oppressions (See Note below); Director of International Programs; Bisexual Representative; Transgender Representative; Youth/Young Adult Representative; Canadian Representative; and Chaplain. Note that, though nominations for Chaplain can be made in the normal way, the Chaplain is directly appointed by the Board of Directors as are Regional Coordinators and therefore is present on the slate shown to the assembly as a point of information only.
(NOTE: As a result of our growing understanding of the complexities, intersections, and interdependence of the oppressions facing people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, the board adopted an amendment to our mission statement prefacing the description of the work we do with the strategic frame of working at the intersections of oppressions. In 2010, the board restructured itself, combining the former Multi-cultural Relations (primarily focused on the inclusion of people of color) and Full Inclusion (primarily focused on the inclusion of bisexual and transgender people) committees into a single Committee for Working at the Intersection of Oppressions. There are two co-chairs, one person of color and one white person. In 2012, the board further re-configured itself to place one of the positions in staff, the other remaining on the board, in order to cement the working relatiionship of this committee. The mission of the committee includes education and assistance toward the adoption of policies, structures and materials which dismantle our own participation in oppression based on class, race, age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation and ability. A second step is to develop strategic initiatives and materials using graceful engagement from within to further the acceptance of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in all Lutheran communities, including communities of color. To engage at the intersection of oppressions requires intentionality, firm resolve and dedication to introspection, outreach beyond the comfort of affinity groups, and transformation of our own organization, our church and our world.)
The Nominating Committee will evaluate all submitted nominees for their specific skills and commitment to serve the organization. Based on ReconcilingWorks’ long-standing commitment to inclusivity and its more recent formal commitment to anti-racism, the Nominating Committee will strive to ensure that the composition of the Board of Directors will reflect diversity in the areas of age, gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, and geographic locale (inclusive of all of North America). Individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else, as long as the nominee approves. Nominee approval may be obtained via an e-mail from the nominee accepting the nomination.
Nominations for the Board of Directors must be received by April 30, 2012. E-mail completed Nomination Forms to be considered in the preparation of the slate to nominations@ReconcilingWorks.org or mail them to: ReconcilingWorks, Attention: Board Nominations, P. O. Box 4707, St. Paul, MN 55104-0707.
As also provided in Article II, Section 5.C of the ReconcilingWorks Bylaws, the presentation of a slate by the Nominating Committee “does not preclude other complete slates of candidates for positions on the Board of Directors from being formed independently and being presented at the time the Nominating Committee submits its report to the Assembly. All nominees on any slate must give prior approval to being nominated for a position on any slate on which their name appears.” Any alternate slates must include all the 2012-2014 board positions listed above. Nominees are expected to be in attendance at the Assembly.
Appointment of Regional Coordinators for the 2012-2014 biennium
Regional Coordinators (RCs) are nominated and selected for two-year terms by the Board of Directors before the biennial assembly. The Regional Coordinator function in an ReconcilingWorks region may be filled by an individual coordinator or two (2) co-coordinators. Regional Coordinators are distributed as following:
Canada: All of Canada
US Region 1: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Northwest Wyoming
US Region 2: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Far Western Texas, Utah, and greater Wyoming.
US Region 3: Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota
US Region 4: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas
US Region 5: Illinois, Iowa, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Wisconsin
US Region 6: Indiana, Kentucky, Lower Michigan, and Ohio
US Region 7: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont
US Region 8: Delaware, Mayland, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern VIrginia, West Virginia, plus the District of Columbia
US Region 9: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Greater Virginia, plus the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands
The primary responsibilities of the RCs include:
- nurturing existing Chapters and RIC Core Team(s)
- seeking the formation of new Chapters and RIC Core Teams
- maintaining regular contact with unchaptered members in the region
- ongoing communication with ReconcilingWorks
Persons interested in serving as Regional Coordinators should contact Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, at exec@ReconcilingWorks.org.