Proposed Amendments for Annual Convention

We are an Illinois corporation, and we are currently permitted to hold electronic meetings and electronic voting under Illinois statute, absent a specific prohibition against such meetings. These proposed amendments are intended to establish procedures in our constitution and bylaws for future virtual meetings. The 2021 Convention can proceed virtually, with electronic voting, operating under existing Illinois corporate law.

Constitution: Proposed Amendment

Article VI
Meetings of the Swedenborgian Church
Add new Section 4

Section 4. Virtual conventions and annual or special meetings of the Swedenborgian Church may be held when authorized by the General Council and may include electronic voting. The General Council may authorize hybrid, virtual, and in-person meetings to allow greater participation, which may include electronic voting or a combination of in-person and electronic voting. All such meetings and voting must comply with all other existing constitution and bylaw sections.

Bylaws: Proposed Amendments

Article XI
Electronic Meeting Guidelines
Amended Section 1, add

Virtual conventions and annual or special meetings of the Swedenborgian Church; General Council, Cabinet, and other boards and committees of the Swedenborgian Church may use telephone conferencing and electronic communication to conduct business when not in regular session, or when face to face meeting is impractical. Such communication must follow procedures adopted by the denomination to ensure that an orderly deliberative process is honored.

Add new Section 7

Section 7. Virtual conventions and annual or special meetings of the Swedenborgian Church shall follow the policies listed below, along with any additional procedures adopted by the General Council whether temporary or via a standing resolution.

General Council may call a virtual convention with electronic voting whenever an in-person convention is deemed by it to be impractical, too costly, or at any time when a virtual convention is desirable. It shall establish a Committee on Virtual Conventions to organize any such meeting. The committee must ensure that the meeting structure complies with all then existing articles of the constitution and bylaws.

A suitable outside vendor shall be chosen to handle electronic voting. At a minimum, any such vendor shall be capable of reviewing our constitution and bylaws concerning elections and shall provide evidence that they did abide by the applicable constitution and bylaw sections. The General Council or the Executive Committee of General Council shall select the vendor.

Only delegates eligible to vote shall be provided access to the voting system and shall be limited to one vote for each eligible position or issue being considered. All members and friends shall be afforded the opportunity to participate in the meeting. A quorum for such a meeting shall be the same as described in Article VI of the constitution.

Due and timely notice and publication of such notice shall be the same as the then current constitution and by-law sections state.

The Committee on Credentials, in consultation with the Recording Secretary, shall submit a list of eligible voters to the General Council committee organizing the meeting, by a date established by the President of Convention.

The General Council’s Committee on Virtual Conventions shall consult with the election vendor to establish election access protocols, in consultation with the credentials committee. Hybrid meetings are those meetings allowing any combination of in-person participation and voting, and electronic participation and voting. Hybrid meetings will be treated in the same way as any virtual meeting with electronic voting. Any delegate voting virtually must be able to both participate in the meeting concurrent with other meeting attendees and vote at the same time voting opens for all other delegates.