A Blue Book by Another Name

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This entry was originally posted May 6, 2009 as part of the website “Slouching Towards Anaheim.”

Yesterday morning marked the arrival of my “Blue Book,” put in italics for the plain and simple fact that it is red, or possibly some other more specific shade like crimson or wine. The color changes every year and though I haven’t gotten an official answer, I like to assume that the answer is much more complicated than a simple, “Well it used to be blue.”

Wine and assumptions aside, the Blue Book is a report made to the deputies and bishops to brief them on work done by various committees on their work since the last General Convention. The Blue Book contains A Resolutions, a name given to resolutions that are submitted by interim bodies prior to convention to be brought to the floor and voted on. I often equate resolutions to laws when explaining convention to people, but it should be noted that not all resolutions are like laws. Some are statements of thinking, such as defining in clear words what issues are most important to the church. Resolutions reach the floor in a number of ways. Resolutions proposed by bishops are called B resolutions, ones proposed by diocesan conventions or provincial synods are C resolutions, and resolutions proposed by deputies are D resolutions. There is also a fifth type of resolution, M resolutions, which express an opinion on an issue, but these are for information only and do not get acted on.

I got to thumb through the 807 page maroon beauty today. Resolutions range from clergy disciplinary procedures to changing the feast day of the Martyrs of Japan from February 5th to February 6th. Obviously some resolutions are likely to cause more problems than others. While deputies and bishops are encouraged to read the entire blue book, the sad truth is that not all resolutions will make it to the floor to be voted on, and even fewer will make it through intact. Once released into General Convention, the carefully worded Blue Book resolutions will be open to amendment and debate. This is if we even get through them all, what with the avalanche of B, C, D, and M resolutions that will be put on our tables every morning.

Good luck little resolutions! I will get through as many of you as I can!

If you have a particular resolution that you are interested in or concerned about, send the number my way and I’d be happy to check it out, and potentially blog about it.

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