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The intent of consensus is to assure that we are acting in concert with a prayerfully discerned sense of the Holy Spirit as well as in concert with the mission of the Church and the Purpose of the Council of the Baptized.

  • When seeking consensus, Council members may vote Yes, Stand Aside, or No
    • Yes is agreement and seeks to pass the measure
    • Stand Aside allows Council members to voice a substantive objection to some aspect of the measure without blocking it
    • No is disagreement and seeks to stop the measure
  • To achieve consensus and pass a measure, two requirements must be met:
    • No more than two dissenting votes, and
    • A minimum of two thirds of all votes must be “Yes” (since a large number of “stand asides” indicates that more work must be done to gain strong consensus)


  • #1: General Consent:A recommendation is presented.The facilitator asks if any discussion is needed.If none is requested, the recommendation is approved.
  • #2: Circle Process / Open Discussion: In this process, deliberations begin with the structured format, but ideas are then developed further through open discussion among Council members.  After a moment of silent reflection, steps in this process include the following:
  • Begin with each Council member making comments in turn around the circle
    • The microphone is then passed to observers for comments if they choose
    • The microphone returns to the circle for a facilitated, open discussion among Council members
    • Facilitator articulates consensus when it seems obvious and calls for group approval
      • Anyone who so wishes can call for an individual voice vote
      • This creates the opportunity for “stand aside” votes or other clarifications
  • #3: Circle Process / Formal: This process stays with the structured format.
    • Begin with each Council member making comments in turn around the circle
    • The microphone is then passed to observers for comments if they choose
    • The microphone returns to the Council member circle for further comments which are expressed in turn around the circle
    • The topic under discussion is then framed as a yes/no question, and consensus is sought through individual voice vote

The facilitator will identify which process will be used.  During the Open Discussion Circle Process, the facilitator or any Council member can call for a return to the Formal Circle Process. Any Council member may call for a moment of silence.

Featured Items

 Council of the Baptized Open Forum, January 9, 2018


The Council of the Baptized will be using the Open Forum time on Tuesday, January 9, to plan its 2018 focus.   You are welcome to join us or to email us your ideas at

Our meeting is as usual at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 S. Snelling, St. Paul, at 7:00 p.m. 

 Deacon Trish Vanni to speak at Spirit of St. Stephen's Catholic Community

 On Monday, Jan. 29th at 7 p.m., Spirit of St. Stephen's Catholic Community (2201 First Ave S, Minneapolis) is excited to host Deacon Patricia Sullivan Vanni, MDiv, PhD, to give a talk entitled "Being the Church Together: The breakthroughs of Vatican II -- and beyond." Ecumenical Catholic Communion Deacon Vanni is a theologian who has explored how prayer and church teaching have shaped the self-understanding of the laity. She has spoken on the local and national level and has written extensively on the Sacraments.


Join us as we explore the evolution of our understanding of what it means to be the Church. Through storytelling and teaching, we will explore the critical changes that shaped us before, during and after the Second Vatican Council. These themes continue to call us, through the Holy Spirit, to live as the Body of Christ. All are welcome.


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CCCR/Council of the Baptized Lay Network

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