Legislative Proposals

Due Date: February 14, 2014

Even though General Conference is still two years away, young people are invited to begin working on legislative proposals they want to see adopted. These proposals will be considered at the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly. This event will take place at the CCT Retreat and Training Center in Tagaytay, Cavite, Luzon, The Philippines July 16-20, 2014.

During the Legislative Assembly, petitions from young people throughout the church will be considered for possible adoption or referral and could find their way onto the docket for the 2016 General Conference. This process is designed as a way for young people in the United Methodist Church to have a collective voice and a direct avenue for submission of supported proposals to the General Conference.

Proposals submitted by the February 14, 2014 deadline will be translated and distributed for consideration at the Legislative Assembly next summer.


Instructions for Petitions to the 2014 Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly:
Petitions passed at the Global Young People’s Convocation by the Legislative Assembly will be submitted for further consideration by the 2016 United Methodist General Conference. General Conference legislation greatly impacts the actions, theology, and direction of the United Methodist Church. The Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly ensures that the voices of the next generation will be heard on the legislative floor. As such, we have closely followed General Conference petition guidelines to ensure legislation passed at the Global Young People’s Convocation by the Legislative Assembly will be eligible for submission to the 2016 General Conference. It is essential that these guidelines be carefully followed. Please consider all legislative submission thoughtfully, prayerfully, and joyfully in service to God and to the church. Petitions may be submitted to GYPCLA by young people within the disciplinary age range defining young people – 12 through 30 in the US, and 12 through 35 in the Central Conferences.

Format for Petition Submissions

1. All petitions should be submitted digitally by e-mail to the legislative coordinator, Maddie Chumley via GYPCLA@gbod.org or by CD, USB drive, or through the Young People and Ministries website (www.globalyoungpeople.org). Petitions not submitted digitally must be typed and printed according to the format below. Handwritten submissions will not be accepted.

2. Petitions must be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Microsoft Word or any other software that allows files to be saved as rich-text format (RTF) may be used. Save files in rich-text format (RTF) if emailing directly. Or, print and mail to: YPM/GBOD, ATTN: GYPCLA, PO Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203. You may also fax your petition to: 615-340-7063.

3. Reminder: do not use “Track Changes” at any point in the preparation of a petition. Do not use subscript or superscript, as is commonly used for footnotes and endnotes. Instead of footnotes and endnotes, use in-text citations, as illustrated in the quote from the Book of Discipline below.

4. The top of the first page of the petition should read as follows:

  • Total Number of Pages:
  • Suggested Title: (i.e., “Establish Quorum”);
  • Discipline Paragraph or Resolution Number, if applicable:
  • (i.e. “Discipline ¶ 506” or “Resolution #42);
  • General Church Budget Implications:
  • (i.e. – “General Church Budget Implications: None or Yes”);
  • Global Implications: (i.e. – “Global Implications: None or Yes”)
  • (See Frequently Asked Questions – page 2 – for more information on Budget or Global designations)

5. The bottom of the final page of the petition should include:

  • Date:
  • Signature of the Petitioner:
  • Identification of the Petitioner: (i.e. – “Youth Director”; “Local Church Member”; etc.)
  • Phone:
  • Fax Number: (if applicable)
  • E-mail Address: (if applicable)

“Each petition must be signed by the person submitting it, accompanied by appropriate identification, such as address, local church, or United Methodist board or agency relationship.” Telephone numbers must also be included. “Each petition submitted by fax or electronic mail must identify the individual submitting it, accompanied by identification as above, and must contain a valid digital electronic mail return address or return fax number by which the submitter can be reached. Electronic signatures will be accepted in accordance with common business practice (¶507.3, The Book of Discipline).” As a result, a fax number should accompany petitions..

Content of Petition Text

“Each petition must address only one issue if the Discipline is not affected; if the Discipline is affected, each petition must address only one paragraph of the Discipline, except that, if two or more paragraphs in the Discipline are so closely related that a change in one affects the others, the petition may call for the amendment of those paragraphs also to make them consistent with one another.” (¶ 507.2, The Book of Discipline)

1. State desired action. Is the petition to amend, delete, or add a new paragraph to the Book of Discipline or Book or Resolutions? Examples: “Amend ¶ No. __”; “Add new sub-paragraph after ¶ ___”; “Delete ¶ ___ and substitute the following… ”; “Add new paragraph…; etc.”

2. Use single underlines for proposed additions and strike through for proposed deletions.

3. Again, do not use “Track Changes,” subscript, or superscript (footnotes or endnotes) at any point in the preparation of a petition. These complex formats could make your petition illegible.

Supporting Material

1. Anticipated financial requirements are to be included as an appendix to the petition text (for instance, if the petition requires a budget, include the possible costs and who will be affected). They should be included on the last page, at the end of the petition. If there are no financial requirements or budgetary implications, simply indicate “no budgetary implications.” The petitioner needs to be in communication with the church bodies that will be affected by any budgetary implications – without agreement on who will cover costs, the petition is not likely to pass. “All petitions submitted to the General Conference, except those submitted by individual members of The United Methodist Church and local church groups, which call for the establishment of new programs or the expansion of existing programs will be invalid unless accompanied by supporting data that address the issue of anticipated financial requirements of the program.” (¶507.4, The Book of Discipline) For more information, see “Frequently Asked Questions” at the bottom of this document.

2. Include a 50 word rationale in a separate document explaining why you are submitting the legislation. This must be limited to 50 words or less. It will be cut off at 50 words even in mid-sentence.

Sending Petitions to the Petitions Secretary

1. Petitions may be sent to the Legislative Coordinator (GYPCLA@gbod.org) beginning June 16, 2013. Petitions without digital media must still be typed, double-spaced, submitted, or mail delivered by February 14, 2014 to allow time for transcription and translation. December 31, 2013 is the final submission deadline. All petitions must be received by this date. Again, handwritten submissions will not be accepted. Need to change the address.

2. Petitions should be submitted within the Young People’s Global Convocation website www.globalyoungpeople.org (or by email to the legislative coordinator at GYPCLA@gbod.org). They should all be submitted to the petition address.

3. Petitions submitted by email should have a subject line which identifies the submitter by last name and the content of the petition. (Example: Johnson – Resolution 12) The petition text should be in an attachment and the rationale, if included, should be a separate second attachment. Only one petition should be submitted per email. There is no limit on how many petitions anyone may submit. Petitions may be submitted to GYPCLA by young people within the disciplinary age range defining young people – 12-30 in the US, and 12-35 in the Central Conferences.

4. All other correspondence, including questions about the petition process or about the status of particular petitions may be sent to GYPCLA@gbod.org after April 1, 2015. This will not apply for us…the status will have been determined and submission is later. Our website should provide status…i.e. referrals, passed, failed, etc.

5. Petitions (1 signed hard copy and CD or USB drive) may also be submitted via U.S. Postal Service or Overnight Carriers (FedEx, UPS, DHL) to: YPM/GBOD, ATTN: GYPCLA, PO Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203 You may also fax your petition to: 615-340-7063.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to say a petition has or does not have “General Church Budget Implications”?
A petition that causes the need of funding (i.e.; creation of new program, staff position, requirements of support, etc.) through the general Church apportionments has “Financial Implications” for the procedural purposes of General Conference. This requires a review by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) to verify if the funding has already been included under the recommended quadrennial budget or if this requires new funding not currently in the quadrennial budget. A petition that does not cause the need of funding, or that causes the need of funding from some other source (local congregation, district, annual conference, jurisdiction, etc.) than general church apportionments does not have “Financial Implications.”

What does it mean to say a petition has or does not have “Global Implications”?
A petition that causes a change to the Book of Discipline or the Book of Resolutions or otherwise takes some action or position for the denomination has “Global Implications” if it:

  • Is a constitutional amendment.
  • Has a direct effect on the global work of general agencies.
  • Places requirements or expectations on all annual conferences, districts, or churches regardless of whether they are located in jurisdictions or central conferences.
  • Speaks to universal societal concerns, regardless of the particular form of secular government or cultural differences.