2017 HCPC Election Process

by / Thursday, 20 July 2017 / Published in Church Life

2017 HCPC Election Process

In the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the Session determines how members will be selected for lay offices.  At the June 26, 2017 meeting, the Session approved changing the election process for the 2017 election.  This year, the Nominating Committee will nominate only enough candidates to fill vacancies.  In accordance with the Confession of Faith, the congregation may nominate candidates from the floor.  These nominees still must have been a member for at least 2 years, profess a personal relationship with Jesus, be a regular attender at worship and a contributor to Heights.

What led to this decision?

In 2014, the Nominating Committee offered the congregation a slate of candidates that had the same number of nominees as vacancies.  The congregation did not nominate additional candidates from the floor.  The congregation seemed receptive to not having to choose among candidates.

The 2016 Nominating Committee considered the merits of HCPC’s traditional system of offering more candidates than vacancies so that some nominees would not be elected.  A presentation was made to the Session in November 2016; the Session deferred action.

At the January 2017 Session meeting, the election process was again discussed and the Session did not take formal action but referred the issue to the 2017 Nominating Committee.

The 2017 Nominating Committee, after considerable discussion and prayer, concluded that for the 2017 election the Nominating Committee should offer a slate of candidates equal to the number of vacancies.  Among the compelling arguments were:  there is no Biblical basis for a competitive election and elections can result in negative feelings among members who have contributed much to HCPC.  The Committee was particularly receptive to how our congregation, as well as individual members, have been impacted by election results.

The Nominating Committee recommended to the Session in June 2017, that the congregation be offered a slate of nominees equal to the number of vacancies.  The Session overwhelmingly approved this recommendation.  The congregation may nominate from the floor during a congregational meeting the week before the election.  If there are no nominations from the floor, the nominated slate of candidates will be elected by acclamation.   If there are additional candidates, an election by secret ballot will be conducted.