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Regulations:

 

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF REFORMED CHURCHES

 

REGULATIONS

(As amended by the 8th [2013] Meeting of the Conference)

 

 

I.                   Meetings of the Conference

 

1.         The Conference shall ordinarily meet every four years.

2.         Each meeting of the Conference shall determine the time, place, and convening Member Church for the next Conference.

 

II.                DELEGATES, OFFICIAL OBSERVERS, OTHER GUESTS, PRIVILEGES OF THE FLOOR, AND VOTING

 

1.         Delegates.  Each Member Church shall appoint no more than four Delegates to each meeting of the Conference and, except as provided in Regulations IX.2.a, shall ordinarily bear the cost of its Delegates’ travel, housing, and meal expenses in attending the meeting.  It shall furnish to the Corresponding Secretary an appropriate letter of credentials for its Delegates, each of whom must be an ordained minister or ruling elder (presently or previously) in that Member Church.

a.          Voting Delegates.  Each Member Church shall designate not more than two of its Delegates as “Voting Delegates.”

b.         Advisors.  The other members of a Member Church’s delegation shall be designated as “Advisors.”  They may participate in the deliberations of the Conference, but they may not vote.

2.         Official Observers.  Official Observers are duly credentialed representatives of non-Member Churches that faithfully adhere to the Reformed Faith stated in the confessional documents listed in the Basis (Constitution, II) and are invited to attend the meeting (at their own expense) by the Coordinating Committee.  Up to two Official Observers per sending church may be given the privilege of the floor, which may be revoked at any time by a majority vote of the Delegates present.

3.         Other Guests.  All persons present for the meeting who are neither Delegates nor Official Observers shall be considered as “Other Guests.”  A two-thirds majority vote of the Delegates present shall be required to grant the privilege of the floor to Other Guests, which may be subsequently revoked at any time by a majority vote of the Delegates present.

4.         Except as provided in the Regulations, no other persons shall be granted the privilege of the floor.  The Conference may provide a designated area for Official Observers and for Other Guests (who have been granted the privilege of the floor), to distinguish them from others who may be present to observe the meeting.

5.         Except as otherwise provided in either the Constitution or the Regulations, a (simple) majority vote in the affirmative adopts any motion.  Only Voting Delegates may vote on matters being considered by the Conference.  Insofar as is possible, significant decisions in respect of the purpose of the Conference (Constitution, III) should: i) be taken by consensus, and ii) give witness on the basis of the Scriptures and the Reformed standards.

 

III.             Convocation of the Conference

 

1.         The convening Member Church shall organize a prayer service prior to the opening session of the Conference.

2.         The Moderator (of the previous meeting) shall convene the meeting of the Conference and preside through the election of Officers.

3.         The Moderator (of the previous meeting) shall appoint three Delegates who will serve as a Credentials Committee to examine and report on the credentials (previously furnished to the Corresponding Secretary) of each delegation.

 

IV.             Officers of the conference

 

1.         Each meeting of the Conference shall elect the following Officers: Moderator, Vice-Moderator, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Coordinator, and Treasurer.  The Vice-Moderator of the previous (quadrennial) meeting shall normally succeed to the office of Moderator and shall be declared elected by acclamation, unless the Conference determines to conduct an election.

2.         The responsibilities of the Officers will be as follows:

a.          The Moderator shall

(1)      preside at the meetings of the Conference;

(2)      make required appointments;

(3)      call the meeting to order at the appointed time and see to it that each session is properly opened and closed;

(4)      ensure that the matters on the agenda are dealt with as expeditiously as possible;

(5)      place before the meeting every motion that is made and duly seconded, as well as call for the vote;

(6)      rule on all points of order, subject always to an appeal from two Voting Delegates;

(7)      preside at the next quadrennial meeting of the Conference, appoint a Credentials Committee of three Delegates to examine and report on the credentials of each delegation; and continue to preside until a new slate of Officers has been elected;

(8)      serve ex officio (with vote) as a member of the Coordinating Committee and its Executive Committee.

b.         The Vice-Moderator shall

(1)      take the chair when the Moderator desires to express himself on any question before the meeting;

(2)      assume the duties and privileges of the Moderator in his absence;

(3)      assist the Moderator when needed;

(4)      serve ex officio (with vote) as a member of the Coordinating Committee and its Executive Committee.

c.          The Recording Secretary shall

(1)      maintain and call the roll of Delegates at the commencement of business each day;

(2)      keep an accurate record of all the Proceedings of the meeting, including a list of all Official Observers and Other Guests (who are granted the privilege of the floor);

(3)      ensure that all documents are properly cared for during the meeting and are turned over to the Corresponding Secretary following the publication of the Proceedings of the meeting;

(4)      arrange for the printing of the Proceedings of the meeting and for the distribution of three copies of the Proceedings to each of the Member Churches;

(5)      forward an electronic edition of the Proceedings (edited to remove sensitive material) to the Website Committee (through the Corresponding Secretary) for posting on the ICRC Website;

(6)      serve ex officio (with vote) as a member of the Coordinating Committee.

d.         The Corresponding Secretary shall

(1)      during the meetings of the Conference, assist the Recording Secretary when needed;

(2)      in between the meetings of the Conference:

i.           carry on correspondence on behalf of the Conference with regard to inquiries from the public, to the work of the Conference (and its Committees and Special Conferences), and to the next meeting of the Conference;

ii.         prepare and present to the Conference a written report regarding his labors on behalf of the Conference;

iii.       prepare and present to the Coordinating Committee an annual written report regarding his labors on behalf of the Conference;

iv.       assist the convening Member Church in preparing for the next meeting of the Conference;

v.         when necessary, assist Delegates from Member Churches and Invited Observers in applying for visas to attend meetings of the Conference;

vi.       receive materials for the Agenda for the next meeting of the Conference, and distribute them, with the proposed Agenda, to the interchurch relations committees of the Member Churches not later than three months before that meeting;

vii.     receive proposals for amendments to either the Constitution or the Regulations that have been properly proposed by a Member Church and distribute them promptly to the interchurch relations committees of the Member Churches;

viii.   receive reports of Study Committees and Special Conferences and distribute them promptly to the interchurch relations committees of the Member Churches;

ix.       receive applications for membership in the Conference, advise Churches applying for membership of the procedure and requirements for such, and advise sponsoring Member Churches regarding their responsibilities with respect to such;

x.         communicate the actions of the Conference (or its Coordinating Committee) to appropriate parties, including the extension of invitations to Official Observers and Other Guests;

xi.       arrange for the preparation of a Press Release of the meeting of the Conference (for approval by the Conference) suitable for posting on the Conference’s Website and for inclusion in the Proceedings;

xii.     execute documents as required or authorized by the Conference (or the Coordinating Committee or its Executive Committee);

xiii.   serve as an ex officio member of all Operating Committees and provide counsel to them as appropriate;

xiv.   maintain updated copies of the Conference’s Constitution, Regulations, and Informational Documents, as they may be amended from time to time;

xv.     maintain the archives of the Conference’s documents, including the Proceedings and papers from its prior meetings, and arrange for their safe storage;

xvi.   where he is unsure regarding the discharge of any of the above responsibilities, he may seek the advice of the Executive Committee, under whose oversight he serves;

xvii. serve ex officio (with vote) as a member of the Coordinating Committee and its Executive Committee.

e.          The Coordinator shall

(1)      preside at the meetings of the Coordinating Committee and the Executive Committee;

(2)      maintain regular communication, as appropriate, with the chairman/convenors of all ICRC Committees, Conferences, and Consultations to encourage them in the faithful discharge of their responsibilities;

(3)      make the necessary arrangements for, prepare an agenda for, convene, and preside at the annual meetings of the Coordinating Committee;

(4)      call, make the necessary arrangements for, prepare an agenda for, convene, and preside at the meetings of the Executive Committee;

(5)      serve ex officio (with vote) as a member of the Coordinating Committee and its Executive Committee.

f.          The Treasurer shall

 

(1)      keep full and accurate accounts of receipts into and disbursements from the Treasury in books belonging to the Conference;

(2)      receive and disburse the funds of the Treasury in accordance with the policies and directions of the Conference (Regulations, IX);

(3)      deposit all funds of the Treasury in the name and to the credit of the Conference in insured or other accounts as may be designated by the Conference;

(4)      execute documents as required or authorized by the Conference (or the Coordinating Committee);

(5)      monitor the funds of the Treasury and alert the Coordinating Committee to significant deteriorations in the Conference’s financial condition that might undermine the Conference’s ability to meet its financial obligations;

(6)      submit periodic reports to the Coordinating Committee, as he deems appropriate or is requested by the Executive Committee;

(7)      submit an annual financial report to the Coordinating Committee summarizing: all receipts and disbursements, deposits and withdrawals from the Treasury, and the Conference’s assets (including bank accounts and investments, and interest/dividends earned thereupon);

(8)      where he is unsure regarding the discharge of any of the above responsibilities, he may seek the advice of the Executive Committee, under whose oversight he serves;

(9)      serve ex officio (with vote) as a member of the Coordinating Committee.

 

V.                coordinating Committee

 

There shall be a Coordinating Committee to arrange for the orderly carrying on of the work of the Conference between the quadrennial meetings of Conference.

1.         Membership.  The members of the Coordinating Committee shall be:

a.          the Coordinator;

b.         and the following members (serving ex officio, with vote):

(1)      the Moderator

(2)      the Vice-Moderator;

(3)      the Corresponding Secretary;

(4)      the Recording Secretary;

(5)      the Treasurer

(6)      the Chairmen/Convenors of the following committees:

i.           the Regional Conferences Committee;

ii.         the Website Committee;

iii.       the Missions Committee;

iv.       the Theological Education Committee;

v.         the Diaconal Committee.

2.         Functions.  The Coordinating Committee is to:

a.          advise the Conference with respect to applications from churches seeking admission to membership;

b.         propose to the Conference a nomination for the convening Member Church for the next quadrennial meeting of the Conference;

c.          propose to the Conference a theme for the next quadrennial meeting of the Conference, and nominate two or three speakers;

d.         propose to the Conference nominations for the Officers of the meeting: Moderator (usually the Vice-Moderator of the previous quadrennial meeting), Vice-Moderator (usually selected with a view to his serving as the Moderator of the next quadrennial meeting), Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Coordinator, and Treasurer;

e.          propose to the Conference nominations for the members (including the Chairman/Convenor when required) of Committees;

f.          propose to the Conference a budget for the next four years, including such honoraria as it deems appropriate;

g.         propose to the Conference an assessment schedule for the next four years, based upon the budget it is also proposing to the Conference;

h.         extend invitations to non-Member Churches that appear to meet the requirements of Constitution, IV.2 to send (at their own expense) Official Observers to the next meeting of the Conference;

i.           extend invitations to other non-Member Churches to send (at their own expense) observers (to be received as Other Guests);

j.           deal responsibly with all matters pertaining to the implementation of a previously adopted action of the Conference, which had been inadvertently overlooked during the meeting of the Conference, and which requires action before the next meeting of the Conference;

k.         in the event an Officer of the Conference (or a Chairman/Convenor of a Committee) becomes incapacitated or is otherwise unable or unwilling to continue to serve, appoint a minister or elder of a Member Church to perform the functions of that office on an interim basis;

l.           advise the Conference in situations where, following a split or disruption in a Member Church, one of the churches resulting therefrom (but having a name different from that on the list of ICRC Member Churches) desires to be recognized as the (continuing) Member Church in the ICRC. However,

(1)      such advice shall be given only after the Coordinating Committee has consulted with and sought the advice of appropriate representatives of those Member Churches that have first-hand knowledge of the situation; and

(2)      the Coordinating Committee may, provided its advice is consistent with the advice it received from such consultation, authorize the Corresponding Secretary to implement its advice pending the decision by the next meeting of the Conference.

m.       advise the Conference in situations involving a merger of a Member Church with a non-Member Church

 

3.         Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee of the Coordinating Committee (“the Executive Committee”) shall consist of the Coordinator, the Moderator, the Vice-Moderator, and the Corresponding Secretary.

a.          During the meetings of the Conference, the Executive Committee shall

(1)      manage the proceedings of the meetings, and arrange and propose the business to be transacted in each session;

(2)      liaise with the convening Member Church.

b.         Between meetings of the Conference, the Executive Committee shall

(1)      oversee the work of the Corresponding Secretary and advise him in the execution of his duties (in such matters, he may participate in the deliberations, but not vote);

(2)      oversee the work of the Recording Secretary and advise him in the execution of his duties;

(3)      oversee the work of the Treasurer and advise him in the execution of his duties;

(4)      arrange for periodic audits of the Treasury’s accounts, as it deems appropriate, and submit an audit report to the Corresponding Secretary for distribution to the Member Churches with the Agenda materials;

(5)      consult with the convening Member Church regarding the planning and arrangements for the next quadrennial meeting of the Conference, including the selection of a suitable venue for the meeting and the arrangements for the accommodation of the Delegates;

(6)      propose an Agenda for the next meeting of the Conference, including reviewing materials received after the deadline for submission and making a recommendation(s) with respect to their inclusion in the Agenda;

(7)      propose to the next meeting of the Conference: the erection of several Advisory Committees to assist the Conference in reviewing the matters before it, the assignment of specific matters to particular Advisory Committees, and nominations for the membership of such Advisory Committees;

(8)      act as the legal representative of the Conference when necessary;

(9)      meet in person not more than once (if such meeting requires a significant expenditure of funds for travel)—and at other times, by telephonic or video conferencing media, at the call of the Coordinator and/or the Corresponding Secretary whenever such may be necessary to the accomplishment of its business.

4.         Meetings.  The Coordinating Committee shall meet annually by voice- or video-conference. The Coordinator and/or the Corresponding Secretary are authorized to call additional meetings. Administrative matters may be dealt with by email.

5.         Reports.  The Coordinating Committee shall report on its work to the next meeting of the Conference.

 

VI.             Committees, SPECIAL CONFERENCES, AND CONSULTATIONS

 

The Conference may establish Operating, Facilitating, and Study Committees (Constitution, III).  Any such Committees shall report to the Coordinating Committee every year and to the meeting of the Conference until they have completed their task. 

The Conference may also call Special Conferences on subjects of mutual concern and arrange for Consultations among the agencies of the Member Churches.  The mandates of the respective Committees and Special Conferences shall be included in the Conference’s Informational Documents.  In the discharge of their respective mandates, Committees, Special Conferences, and Consultations shall take care not to infringe or intrude upon the prerogatives of the Member Churches for the conduct of their own ministries.

1.         ICRC Operating Committees

Operating Committees are established, normally with three to five members (together with an alternate), to oversee a particular part of the Conference’s operations (e.g., Regional Conferences, the Website).  Members of an Operating Committee shall be elected at each meeting of the Conference and may be re-elected to serve at the pleasure of the Conference.  The Conference will designate a chairman for an Operating Committee from among those elected, and the Operating Committee shall elect from among its members a secretary, who will keep minutes of the meetings and send copies to both the Corresponding Secretary and the Coordinator.  All reports (other than interim reports) of Operating Committees should be submitted to the Corresponding Secretary for distribution to the interchurch relations committees of the Member Churches not later than six months before the next meeting of the Conference.  Ordinarily, Operating Committees shall meet by voice- or video-conferencing media, and shall meet at least semi-annually.  The expenses of an Operating Committee shall be borne by the Treasury.

2.         ICRC Facilitating Committees

Facilitating Committees are established, normally with five to seven members (together with two alternates), to assist the Conference in facilitating and promoting cooperation among the Member Churches in such areas as missions, theological education, and ministries of mercy.  Members of a Facilitating Committee shall be elected at each meeting of the Conference and may be re-elected to serve at the pleasure of the Conference.  The Conference will designate a chairman for a Facilitating Committee from among the appointees, and the Facilitating Committee shall elect from among its members a secretary, who will keep minutes of the meetings and send copies to both the Corresponding Secretary and the Coordinator.  All reports (other than interim reports) of Facilitating Committees should be submitted to the Corresponding Secretary for distribution to the interchurch relations committees of the Member Churches not later than six months before the next meeting of the Conference.  Ordinarily, Facilitating Committees may meet once in person between meetings of the Conference (perhaps in conjunction with the appropriate Consultation), and at other times by voice- or video-conferencing media.  The expenses of a Facilitating Committee shall be borne by the Treasury.

3.         ICRC Study Committees

Study Committees are established, normally with five to seven members (together with two alternates), to study matters of mutual concern to the Member Churches and, when appropriate, to make recommendations to the Conference with respect to such matters (bearing in mind the nature and extent of the Conference’s authority, Constitution, V).  The members of a Study Committee shall be elected by the Conference with a view to their particular competency and experience in the subject matter, and with a view to the diversity of perspectives among the Member Churches.  The Conference shall designate a Convenor from among those elected.  The Study Committee shall elect from among its members a chairman and a secretary, who will keep minutes of the meetings and send copies to both the Corresponding Secretary and the Coordinator.  All reports (other than interim reports) of Study Committees are to be submitted to the Corresponding Secretary for distribution to the interchurch relations committees of the Member Churches not later than one year before the next meeting of the Conference.  In discharging its mandate, a Study Committee shall solicit the input of the Member Churches (through their appropriate agencies).  The expenses of a Study Committee shall ordinarily be borne by the Treasury.

4.         ICRC Special Conferences

The Conference may call Special Conferences on subjects of mutual concern to which all Member Churches are urged to send representatives.  The Conference shall designate one of the Member Churches to convene the Special Conference and to appoint a chairman and a secretary (who will keep minutes of the Special Conference and send copies to both the Corresponding Secretary and the Coordinator).  All reports (other than interim reports) of Special Conferences are to be submitted to the Corresponding Secretary for distribution to the interchurch relations committees of the Member Churches not later than one year before the next meeting of the Conference.  Unless the Conference determines otherwise (and authorizes a special appropriation), the expenses of conducting the Special Conference (e.g., meeting hall rental, speakers’ honoraria, promotional materials, etc.) shall be borne by the Treasury, but the travel, housing, and meal expenses of the Member Churches’ representatives in attending the Special Conference shall be borne by their sending church.

5.         ICRC Consultations

Representatives of the appropriate corresponding agencies of the Member Churches (e.g., world/home missions, Christian/theological education, diaconal/relief/development ministries of mercy) are encouraged to gather together periodically with their counterparts in the other Member Churches to consult with each other regarding the ministries that have been entrusted to them and to explore ways in which they might cooperate with one another to advance the cause of Christ.  Unless such Consultations are already being arranged by a Facilitating Committee, each Consultation, before it adjourns, shall select a host agency, a chairman, and a secretary, and set the date and place, for the next Consultation, and communicate such to both the Corresponding Secretary and the Coordinator.  If several years have elapsed since a Consultation has last met, the Coordinating Committee may encourage the Consultation to meet and, towards that end, may appoint a host and a convener for such meeting.  Ordinarily the minutes of a Consultation’s proceedings shall not be circulated beyond the participants in the Consultation.  The travel, housing, and meal expenses of the Member Churches’ representatives in attending the Consultation shall be borne by their sending church.

 

VII.          Agenda

 

1.         The following shall be placed on the Agenda for the meetings of the Conference:

a.          report of the Credential Committee (when available);

b.         correspondence from Member Churches;

c.          discussion of reports from Member Churches;

d.         applications for membership from other Churches;

e.          reports from its Committees and any Special Conferences;

f.          reports from the Corresponding Secretary;

g.         reports from the Coordinating Committee;

h.         recommendations from any two Member Churches to extend an invitation to another church to send observers to the Conference.

i.           opportunities to pray for Member Churches particularly those experiencing difficulty.

2.         The Agenda shall also include several blocks of time, so as to allow for bilateral meetings of various delegations.

3.         Each Member Church is encouraged to submit a written report highlighting significant actions of its major assembly and developments in its life since the last meeting of the Conference.  Ordinarily, such reports will not be read aloud to the Conference, rather the Conference will allocate time in the Agenda for a discussion of the reports, during which Delegates from the Member Churches may ask questions and/or discuss portions of a Member Church’s report.  In preparing their reports, Member Churches are encouraged to make use of the Suggested Form for Member Church Reports.

4.         Materials for the Agenda are to be submitted to the Corresponding Secretary not later than six months in advance of the next meeting of the Conference.  Recommendations (from other than Operating Committees or Facilitating Committees) are to be in the hands of the Corresponding Secretary for distribution to the interchurch relations committees of the Member Churches not later than one year in advance of the next meeting of the Conference.  Proposed amendments to Committee proposals can be received by the Corresponding Secretary up to the opening session of the next meeting of the Conference. Agenda materials received less than six months before the opening of the next meeting of the Conference shall only be considered if the Conference so decides.

5.         The Agenda must be finalized three months in advance and a copy be sent to all Member Churches.

6.         All matters placed on the Agenda for the meeting of the Conference, except those for which review is unnecessary or inappropriate, shall be referred to Advisory Committees to be elected by the Conference, which shall review the matters referred to them, so as to assist the Conference in understanding them and to advise the Conference concerning them, especially with respect to recommendations contained therein.  The report of an Advisory Committee shall be considered by the Conference when the matters assigned to that Advisory Committee are taken up by the Conference.

7.         Additional subjects for the Agenda introduced by a Delegate of a Member Church shall be restricted to those matters which are important and urgent and which could not have been placed on the Agenda in a regular way.  In such cases, the meeting of the Conference shall decide by a two-thirds majority whether to place these matters on the Agenda.

 

VIII.       Rules of Order

 

While binding the Conference to the observance of detailed parliamentary rules is not suitable for a conference consisting of delegates from many diverse backgrounds, the following general rules may serve to maintain good order in the meetings of the Conference.

1.         Main Motion.  A main motion presents a specific subject for consideration or action by the Conference.

a.          A main motion is acceptable if the mover has been recognized by the Moderator and another motion is not pending before the Conference; if requested by the Moderator, the mover will present the motion in writing.

b.         A main motion is not acceptable if:

(1)      it conflicts with the Constitution or the Regulations of the Conference;

(2)      if another motion is before the Conference;

(3)      it is in conflict with a decision already made by this meeting of the Conference.

2.         Motion to Amend.  A motion to amend is a proposal to alter the main motion in language or meaning before voting on the main motion.  A motion to amend: i) must be germane to the main motion, and ii) must not nullify the main motion.

3.         Motions to Defer or to Take No Action.

a.          If deemed advisable, the Conference may decide to defer a motion temporarily.  Deferring a motion implies that the Conference will resume consideration of the motion at a later time in the meeting.

b.         If the Conference prefers not to take any action regarding a matter, it may adopt a motion to take no action.

4.         Motions to Reconsider or to Rescind.  If for weighty reasons a Voting Delegate who has voted with the majority opinion desires either a reconsideration or a rescission of a matter once decided, he may:

a.          move to reconsider the action—the purpose of which is to propose a new discussion, the possible proposal of additional amendments, and/or a new vote on the matter;

b.         move to rescind a previous decision—the purpose of which is to annul that decision as if the original motion had been defeated.

5.         Call for a Division of the Question.  At the request of any Voting Delegate, a motion consisting of more than one part may be divided appropriately and each part voted upon separately.

6.         Appeal against the Ruling of the Moderator.  If any two Voting Delegates are not satisfied with a ruling of the Moderator, they may appeal the ruling and ask the Conference to vote on whether to sustain the ruling.

7.         Discussion.  The Moderator should allow flexibility while still maintaining good order.  He should ensure that all Delegates are able to follow the discussion and to understand the motions.  When the discussion leads to alternative views on a matter, he should ask the appropriate Advisory Committee to review the matter and recommend a way forward, and he should encourage the Delegates to work toward consensus.

a.          Anyone with the privilege of the floor wishing to speak must be recognized by the Moderator before addressing the Conference.

b.         The Moderator should obtain the support of a second before putting a motion to the Conference for discussion.

c.          If a speaker does not keep to the point under discussion or becomes unnecessarily lengthy in his remarks, the Moderator should call the Delegate to speak to the point and avoid unnecessary remarks.

d.         If a speaker has spoken twice on an issue, others who have not yet spoken twice should ordinarily be given priority by the Moderator.

e.          When the Moderator believes that a motion under consideration has been discussed sufficiently, he should propose that the vote be taken.  If there are no objections, the vote may then be taken.  If there are objections, the Moderator should allow continued discussion or call for a (two-thirds majority) vote on whether to end discussion.

f.          Any Voting Delegate, when he deems a matter has been discussed sufficiently, may move to close the discussion.  If a two-thirds majority votes to close discussion, the motion under consideration shall be voted on after those who have already requested to speak have been given opportunity to do so.

8.         Voting.

a.          Ordinarily votes will be determined by a voice vote, and the Moderator will call for both the “Yes” and the “No” votes.  Where the Moderator is unsure, or if a Voting Delegate disagrees with the Moderator’s judgment on a voice vote, the Moderator shall retake the vote by a show of hands.

b.         In matters of a personal nature or of great importance, it is advisable that the Conference vote by ballot.

c.          A Voting Delegate may ask to have his negative vote recorded.

9.         Right of Protest.  It is the right of any Voting Delegate to protest against any decision of the Conference.  Protests should be in writing and registered promptly.

10.     Closed Session.  A closed session is one in which only the Delegates of Member Churches are present. The Conference may allow the Observers to be present. The Conference should not go into closed session except in unusual or delicate situations. Discussions in Closed Session are confidential.

 

IX.             Finances

 

The Conference shall establish a Treasury, into which all assessments and other receipts shall be deposited, and out of which, all expenses of the Conference shall be paid or reimbursed in accordance with the actions and policies of the Conference.

1.         Assessments

a.          Each meeting of the Conference shall approve a budget for the Conference for the next four years.

b.         Before each meeting of the Conference, each Member Church is requested to inform the Corresponding Secretary of the number of its baptized members, as of the close of the calendar year immediately preceding such meeting.

c.          The total assessment to each Member Church shall be determined by apportioning the total budget for the Conference for the next four years to each Member Church on the basis upon which the number of its baptized members—weighted by the per capita income of the nation in which such Member Church is located (to be ascertained from a standard recognized published index)—bears to the total number of baptized members of all Member Churches.

d.         A Member Church’s total assessment for the four-year budget should be paid in four equal annual installments.

2.         Conference Meeting Expenses

a.          The Treasury shall bear the following expenses:

(1)      all food consumed by Delegates, Official Observers, Other Guests, and their spouses at the meetings of the Conference;

(2)      accommodations for up to two Delegates per Member Church;

(3)      upon the advice of the Executive Committee, travel costs for up to one delegate for those Member Churches that are unable to bear that cost;

(4)      costs of travel and accommodations, plus a nominal honorarium, for the speakers.

b.         Unless the Conference determines otherwise with respect to a particular request for payment or reimbursement, the Treasury shall not bear any of the following expenses:

(1)      travel costs to attend the meeting of the Conference;

(2)      except for food consumed at the meetings of the Conference, any of the expenses of Official Observers or Other Guests (or their spouses), or of spouses of Delegates.

3.         Other Expenses.  The Treasury shall also bear the expenses for:

(1)      all honoraria approved by the Conference;

(2)      meetings of the Coordinating Committee and its Executive Committee;

(3)      meetings of Operating Committees, Facilitating Committees, and Study Committees;

(4)      conducting Special Conferences (e.g., meeting hall rental; speakers’ travel, meals, accommodation, and honoraria; promotional materials, etc.), but not for the travel, meals, or accommodation of the participants;

(5)      if upon the advice of the Coordinating Committee, conducting Regional Conferences (e.g., meeting hall rental; speakers’ travel, meals, accommodation, and honoraria; promotional materials, etc.)—but not for the travel, meals, or accommodation of the participants;

(6)      other items included in the budget approved by the Conference.

 

X.                applications for membership

 

1.         Prior to making an application for membership, the major assemblies of Churches that may be eligible for membership in the Conference shall ordinarily demonstrate their desire to be an active participant in the Conference by sending an Official Delegate(s) to at least one meeting of the Conference. They are also encouraged to send an Official Delegate(s) to the appropriate ICRC Regional Conference.

2.         In making an application for membership in the Conference, major assemblies of Churches shall furnish to the Corresponding Secretary copies (either paper or digital) of: their confessional standards, declaratory acts (if applicable), form of government, and form(s) of subscription, together with a brief overview of their history, ecclesiastical relationships, memberships in ecumenical organizations, missions activities, and the theological education of their ministers.

3.         Applications for membership in the Conference shall be sponsored by at least two Member Churches, which, in their own ministries, have ongoing first-hand knowledge of the ministry and life of the applicant Church. Any Member Church in the same country as the applicant shall also be consulted. In their letters of sponsorship, Member Churches shall include a statement of the reasons or grounds which lead them to conclude the applicant Church faithfully adheres to the Reformed Faith stated in the confessional documents listed in the Basis (Constitution, II). They should assist the applicant Church in preparing her application, as needed.

4.         Churches applying for membership in the Conference should make every effort to send an Official Delegate(s) to the meeting of the Conference at which their application is to be considered, in order to be able to respond to questions and meet with the appropriate Advisory Committee(s) and respond to questions.  Ordinarily, no action to receive an applicant Church as a member will be taken by the Conference without such Official Delegate(s) being present, unless the Conference determines by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegations of the member Churches, each Member Church having one vote, to proceed with acting upon the application.

5.         The World Council of Churches and the World Communion of Reformed Churches are deemed to be organizations whose aims and practices are in conflict with the Basis (Constitution IV.2.c).

 

XI.             INFORMATIONAL DOCUMENTS

 

The Conference will maintain a collection of its Informational Documents which might be useful to the Member Churches in pursuing the purposes for which the Conference was established (Constitution, III).  Either the collection, or a particular document listed therein, may be amended by a majority vote of the Delegates, with the exception of the List of ICRC Member Churches (which may be amended only as provided in Constitution, IV).  Included in the collection are the following:

1.         List of ICRC Member Churches

2.         List of ICRC Committees (with their respective mandates)

3.         Member Church Assessment Schedule (2009)

4.         Suggested Form for Member Church Reports

5.         Protocol for Responding to Major Disasters (2009)

6.         Protocol for Responding to Opportunities to Assist Persecuted Christians (2009)

 

XII.          Amendments to the Regulations

 

These Regulations may be amended or suspended by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegations of the Member Churches present and eligible to vote, each Member Church having one vote.

A proposal to amend the Regulations may be initiated only by the major assembly of a Member Church, or by a Committee of the Conference, and shall be sent to the Corresponding Secretary not later than one year prior to the meeting of the Conference.

 

 


   

 

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