What’s in a vote – one vote that is? Here are two examples.
A few years back, after more than twenty years of struggle from both sides, THE particular national issue over human sexuality came down to a final vote to complete some details. This was to do with whether or not any ordained minister of the PCANZ would be allowed to take a same-sex ‘marriage’ or not. Needing a 20% majority (according to Standing Orders) the motion to not allow Ministers of the PCANZ to take such services was won by less than one percent of the total, just getting past that 20% boundary. That equated to just one person’s vote!! I like to think that it was my vote, as I was there at the time! Lol
A small church in Southland had come up with an exciting vision for its future work in the local community, thought through over a long period of time before going to a congregational vote. Because they saw it as being so important, they decided that they should have an 80% vote to agree with going ahead. These were exciting times for them and would set the scene for what could well have been a great future. The vote in the affirmative fell just under that eighty percent, approximately 78.7% actually. That was one person’s vote. The whole impetus of the view for vision of the vast majority fell over. It was only later that it was discovered that that one vote was from somebody who just happened to walk off the street that day and who was not even a member of the church, but the damage had been done to the momentum of the moment.
So does one vote count? Your vote? Yes it can believe it or not.
Andrew Bennett said to us all in the second service last Sunday, that the second service people are often very underrepresented at our Annual Meetings. This is true. It is great that so many from the first service turn out for these meetings; maybe it’s a reflection of the generation. But the important thing is this, that we are all represented across the ages and stages of life.
Yes I know, if it’s a sunny day, then a family picnic is good or the lawns could do with a mow, or it’s a good time to read a book. But, being about the Kingdom of God as we are all called to be as Jesus’ disciples, also means taking part in those things that are very necessary even if not so glamourous.
We have three significant motions for us to move at our Annual Meeting. One is really a repeat of a motion that was originally agreed to some years back at a previous meeting, but which the Church Property Trustees and Presbytery see as important to reaffirm. That is to do with our agreement to do whatever is necessary to do in terms of buildings etc on our Rosehill property. Another one is about releasing some of our funds from the Church Property Trustees to do future work that we need and must do. The third is to do with the go-ahead to re-strengthen the brick church against any future earthquake risk. This latter one is actually a requirement of the PCANZ regulations so we actually have little choice in this. In fact, we’re currently behind the due date on the work due to reasons outside of our control.
So please make all effort to attend the meeting at 3pm this Sunday in the brick church. And also be willing to share your point of view if you have one. The risk in any meeting, and church ones are not exempt, is that we only hear from one or two folks who can at times try to hold the floor, whilst the quieter ones with just as important stuff to say, remain quiet. I’ll be using standard meeting procedures at this meeting, so I hope to be able to make it possible for everyone to have a turn to speak and to be heard.
See you all there.