Docket Item Request Form Frequently Asked Questions
(but because I LOVE goofy abbreviations, I call them DIRFFAQS)
So what’s a DIRF anyway?
Oh, Ok. But who has to fill out the DIRF?
If your group or committee
Has info for a printed report in the call papers or to be distributed at the meeting
Has business for the meeting that requires time on the docket (motions recommended for Presbytery action, action taken on behalf of the Presbytery to report, etc…)
Would like to make a presentation of any kind during the business meeting
Would like to request a pre-presbytery event.
then you’ll need to fill out the DIRF on their behalf.
If you are not representing a group or committee, but would like to request a pre-presbytery event, then you’ll need to fill out the DIRF.
Great, that’s very informative—thanks! So, when is the DIRF due?
Ok, here we go: The stated meeting is on the last Monday of every other month, and per our bylaws, the call to the meeting goes out 10 days prior to that, which is a Friday. Earlier in that week, Coordinating Cabinet meets to set the docket for the stated meeting, which means I need all this info in hand prior to their setting of that docket. So that means that the DIRF is due one week before the call papers will go out, or 17 days prior to the stated meeting. This means that if the meeting is on the 26th, then the DIRF is due on the 9th (because 26 - 17 = 9). This does create a bit of a hiccup in 5 week months, but we make the necessary adjustment on our end and pass the convenience on to you!
Everybody got that?
Wait, there’s math? Don’t you think this system is a little bit complicated?
Look, it’s subtraction. Just subtract 17 from the date of the meeting. You could use a calculator—nobody would ever know.
Fair enough, but wouldn’t it be simpler to just have it on a specific day every other month?
So you’re suddenly an expert on scheduling, administrative processes, and the workings of the Presbytery? Forgive me if I don’t take advice about a thing from someone who is reading an FAQ page about that very thing. I promise you that we’ve thought through this. Making the due date based on the actual meeting date gives committees and groups a little extra wiggle room (which is often needed). If we made it the first of the month for example, that would be a bunch of potential extra time wasted.
Please, just subtract 17 from the meeting date, and you’ll have the DIRF deadline.
Sheesh, OK. There’s no need to get defensive, dude. I was just asking.
Sorry. Sometimes I get a little impassioned when talking about processes.
No worries—we’ve all got something. I get really worked up about using “toward” versus “towards.”
Oh yeah—me too! I think either way is technically acceptable, but seeing that ‘s’ on the end drives me nuts anyway!
So what happens if I miss the deadline?
Info that’s not in by the deadline can’t be considered for the upcoming meeting. If you miss the deadline, you’ll have to wait until the next Presbytery meeting.
Wow—that’s pretty serious. Do you think I should take notice and put these dates on my calendar now, especially if my committee or group deals with outside people, like candidates, inquirers, ministers coming in to the presbytery, or members of the community waiting for the Presbytery to approve a grant request?
Why yes, I do think that would be a good idea! It would be a real shame if someone depending on the work of a group or committee had to wait an extra two months because of a missed deadline.
Great, I’ll do that! Is there anything else I need to know about the DIRF, like how it is structured and what information I’ll need to provide?
Hypothetical Committee Member, I am so glad you asked!
There are several sections. As it turns out, the more sections you add to a form, the more fun it is to complete! (Just kidding, but it does keep things more organized). Now the DIRF presents you only with information relevant to your specific group. Make sure you read each question carefully and complete the entire form. You’re not done until you’ve clicked ‘Submit’ at the end.
Networks and Local Chapters now fill the DIRF out themselves. Rather than the supporting committee filling the form out on the network’s behalf, groups like Race Action Network, Hunger Action Network, and others are now responsible for filling the DIRF out on their own.
There are separate areas for components of a printed report (for the call packet) and descriptions of a group’s presentation (given during the stated meeting itself). Please make sure you read the questions carefully so that the right info goes in the right section.
Well, that seems straightforward enough. How do I access the DIRF?
Alright, I’m a fairly serious sort, and I don’t have much experience with shenanigans, folderol, or balderdash, but I am curious about this silly word you’ve created. Is “DIRF” really that fun to say?
My hypothetical friend, there is only one way to find out. Anything else?
one more thing: Are these ‘dirffaqs’ actually frequently asked questions, or are you just trying to be funny and clever by communicating annoying, bureaucratic info through a contrived conversation you’re having with yourself?
Stop being meta and just fill out the DIRF, will you?