How the delegate system is currently set up is based off of the number of members in a congregation. While good in theory, this system has a glaring problem: it incentivizes bad and even dishonest bookkeeping. By not updating records to reflect a decline in membership, congregations gain more voting power. There inevitably are people who are long-deceased who are being counted for representation that their congregation gets at a Mission Center conference due to this poor delegate system.
The Mission Center Presidency Team proposed to revamp the delegate system which would fix this problem by letting anyone who is a member of the Mission Center who attends the conference to vote there. This is a logical approach, because, to be frank, everyone who WANTED to be at Conference was already a delegate. This revamped system would eliminate the incentive to have bad record keeping, and would also encourage members of the Mission Center to attend its Conference.
Instead of debating the merits of this outright, a vocally conservative member of the Mission Center wanted it ruled out of order. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that it WAS in order and could move forward. This same person put forward an amendment which called for a committee of congregations (with up to 45 members) to be established to explore this possibility and give a recommendation at the 2023 Mission Center Conference.
I thought this amendment was completely ridiculous, because there were 126 voting delegates / exofficios at the Conference, and a 45-member committee would essentially be another conference. We were kicking the can down the road instead of just dealing with it now, and we created even more work for ourselves. However, I think this delay was the ultimate goal – before this amendment was formally moved, someone suggested that we table the revamp indefinitely. Ultimately, I think this committee was an attempt to filibuster and delay any meaningful progress in the church.
So we voted on whether we wanted to pass the amendment, or if we wanted to go with the Mission Center Presidency Team’s original proposal. 64 people voted for the ammendment and 47 voted for the original proposal. Now we are going to have to have several more meetings to talk about fixing our broken system. The ironic part? more people voted against sending this to comittee than will be on this committee.
This Conference was a waste of time. We voted to waste even more of our time so that we could debate the same thing next year instead of just doing so now.