Quick Guide to Rules of Order

Speaking to A Motion

Before you go to the microphone:

  • Please consider putting your thoughts on paper.
  • Please try to say something that hasn’t already been said before.
  • Continue listening to the debate. If your point has already been made by someone before you, you can bow out of the line and return to your seat.
  • Consult with others at your table about ideas and thoughts (but not too loudly, be considerate of the speaker).

When you go to the microphone:

  • Wait to be acknowledged by the chair.
  • Say your name and parish as well as any other relevant Diocesan involvement (e.g., Synod Council member, Committee member, etc.).
  • State if you are in support or against this motion.
  • State your thoughts as clearly as possible, supporting your argument with fact or thought.
  • Finish with a thank you and return to your seat.
  • All remarks must be directed to the Chair. Remarks must be courteous in language and deportment - avoid all personalities, never allude to others by name or to motives.
  • You make speak only once to each motion (other than the mover and seconder).

Rules of Order

  • Before the motion is stated by the Chair (the question) members may suggest modification of the motion; the mover can modify as he pleases, or even withdraw the motion without consent of the seconder; if mover modifies, the seconder can withdraw the second.
  • Debate can not begin until the Chair has stated the motion or resolution and asked, "are you ready for the question?" If no one rises, the chair calls for the vote.
  • Point of Privilege: Pertains to noise, personal comfort, etc. - may interrupt only if necessary!
  • Point of Inquiry: Inquire as to the correct motion.
  • Point of Information: Generally, applies to information desired from the speaker: "I should like to ask the (speaker) a question."
  • Point of Order: Infraction of the rules, or improper decorum in speaking. Must be raised immediately after the error is made.
  • Main Motion: Brings new business (the next item on the agenda) before the assembly.
  • Divide the Question: Divides a motion into two or more separate motions (must be able to stand on their own).
  • Amend: Inserting or striking out words or paragraphs, or substituting whole paragraphs or resolutions.
  • Withdraw/Modify Motion: Applies only after question is stated; mover can accept an amendment without obtaining the floor.
  • Refer to Committee: State the committee to receive the question or resolution; if no committee exists include size of committee desired and method of selecting the members (election or appointment).
  • Lay on the Table/Table a Motion: suspends further consideration/action on pending question till a future meeting.
  • Take from the Table: Resumes consideration of item previously "laid on the table" - state the motion to take from the table.
  • Close Debate: Closes debate if successful.