March 26, 2020
Dear Members of First Baptist Church of Pendleton:
As you know, our Bylaws (Art. VIII, Section 4) specify that the Church Year begins on 1 June each year. There is no mention of extenuating circumstances that might alter that specification.
However, I have conferred with Pastor Jennifer Rygg and Vice Moderator/Parliamentarian Jim Wood and we think that we really must adapt to the current extraordinary situation that none of us could have foreseen. Adapting to the situation is complicated by our inability to meet in-person to discuss alternatives.
Therefore, acting under my responsibility as Moderator by our Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order, I declare the following:
(1) In order to allow the Nominating Committee to do its work, the beginning of the church year shall be delayed until after the current crisis has passed, regular worship services resumed, and committee meetings become possible. The length of the delay will be equivalent to the amount of time since 15 March 2020 that normal, in-person gatherings were suspended. Current committees will continue to function virtually and in-person, as circumstances allow, until the revised beginning of the new church year.
(2) Since the congregation has not met for part of the time that Deacon nominations were to be accepted, the period for accepting nominations for deacon shall be extended to 5 April 2020 and these nominations may be made by email or telephone to Reverend Jennifer Rygg (firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-760-7135) or Deacon Chair Kim Burgess (kimburgessCU81@gmail.com or 864-940-6902). A date for a called meeting to elect deacons will be established after normal in-person gatherings resume.
(3) The April 2020 quarterly church conference scheduled for 15 April 2020 shall be suspended, unless public gatherings have resumed by that date.
Clarification: Under Robert’s Rules of Order, any church member can object to these declarations by “Point of Order.” However, in doing so, I encourage that member to present a preferred procedure. The preferred procedure can be as a recommendation (on which I would be required to rule) or as a motion that must be passed by a majority of voting members (on which we will need to debate and vote virtually).
John Morse, Moderator