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2 THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

3 “The Book Editor, the Secretary of the General Conference, the Publisher of The United Methodist Church and the Committee on Correlation and Editorial Revision shall be charged with edit- ing the . . . . The editors, in the exercise of their Book of Discipline judgment, shall have the authority to make changes in wording as may be necessary to harmonize legislation without changing its substance. The editors, in consultation with the Judicial Coun- cil, shall also have authority to delete provisions of the Book of that have been ruled unconstitutional by the Judicial Discipline Council.” — Plan of Or ganization and Rules of Order of the General Confer - ence, 2016 See Judicial Council Decision 96, which declares the Discipline to be a book of law. Errata can be found at Cokesbury.com, word search for Errata . L. Fitzgerald Reist Secretary of the General Conference Brian K. Milford President and Publisher Book Editor of The United Methodist Church Brian O. Sigmon Managing Editor The Committee on Correlation and Editorial Revision Naomi G. Bartle, Co-chair Robert Burkhart, Co-chair Maidstone Mulenga, Secretary Melissa Drake Paul Fleck Karen Ristine Dianne Wilkinson Brian Williams Alternates: Susan Hunn Beth Rambikur

4 THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 2016 The United Methodist Publishing House Nashville, Tennessee

5 Copyright © 2016 The United Methodist Publishing House. All rights reserved. United Methodist churches and other official United Methodist bodies may re- produce up to 1,000 words from this publication, provided the following notice The Book of Discipline of The United appears with the excerpted material: “From Methodist Church—2016. Copyright © 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.” Requests for quotations that exceed 1,000 words should be addressed to Permis- sions, The United Methodist Publishing House, P.O. Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-7890, or 2222 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37228, or e-mailed to [email protected] This book is printed on elemental, chlorine-free, acid-free paper. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the Common English Bible. Copyright © 2011 by the Common English Bible. All rights reserved. Used by per - mission. (www.CommonEnglishBible.com) ISBN 978-1-501-83321-2 USB Flash Drive (with Book of Resolutions ) ISBN 978-1-501-83328-1 2-PACK Discipline and Resolutions ISBN 978-1-501-83327-4 Discipline eBook ISBN 978-1-501-83322-9 Korean Edition ISBN 978-1-501-83331-1 Spanish Edition ISBN 978-1-501-83329-8 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25—10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

6 EPISCOPAL GREETINGS To all people and pastors of United Methodism: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” —1 Corinthians 1:3 The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church is the product of over two hundred years of the General Conferences of the denominations that now form The United Methodist Church. Discipline as the instrument for setting forth the laws, The plan, polity, and process by which United Methodists govern themselves remains constant. Each General Conference amends, perfects, clarifies, and adds its own contribution to the Discipline . We do not see the Discipline as sacrosanct or infallible, but we do consider it a document suitable to our heritage and an expres- sion of a future with hope. It is the most current statement of how United Methodists agree to live their lives together and “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” It reflects our under - standing of the church and articulates the mission of The United Methodist Church: To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the trans- formation of the world. The Discipline defines what is expected of its laity and clergy as they seek to be effective witnesses in the world as a part of the whole body of Christ. This book of covenant sets forth the theological grounding of The United Methodist Church in biblical faith and affirms that we go forward as “loyal heirs to all that [is] best in the Chris- tian past.” It makes clear that The United Methodist Church is an inclusive society without regard to ethnic origin, economic condi- tion, gender, age, or the disabilities of its constituents. It asserts that all who are baptized and confirmed are ministers of Jesus v

7 EPISCOPAL GREETINGS Christ. It affirms the conciliar principle and connectionalism as distinctive marks of United Methodist ecclesiology, makes clear the global character of the Church’s mission, and declares interde- pendence with other Christian bodies both in spirit and coopera- tion. It affirms with John Wesley that solitary religion is invalid and that Christ lays claim upon the whole life of those who accept him as Lord and Savior. Discipline to all in our constitu- We therefore commend this - ency and to friends beyond our bounds who would seek to under stand what it means to be a United Methodist. Communication is essential for understanding what the Church is and does. We Discipline to be found in libraries of local churches, expect the colleges, universities, and seminaries, as well as in the homes of ordained, diaconal, and licensed ministers and lay members of The United Methodist Church. We pray that it will enable all per - sons to celebrate God’s grace, exalt the meaning of faithful dis- cipleship, align with the mission, and inspire on the part of many a deeper desire to be more effective witnesses for the head of the church, even Jesus Christ our Lord. The Council of Bishops Br uce R. Ough, President Kenneth H. Carter , President-Designate o Harvey, Secretary Cynthia Fierr vi

8 CONTENTS Note: The Book of Discipline is the paragraph The basic unit in ¶ ) rather than page, chapter, or section. The paragraphs are num- ( bered consecutively within each chapter or section, but many numbers are skipped between parts, chapters, and sections in order to allow for future enactments and to fit with the following plan: 1– The Constitution 99 101– 199 Doctrine, Doctrinal Statements, General Rules, The Ministry of All Christians, and Social Principles 299 The Local Chur 201– ch 301– dained 399 The Ministry of the Or 401– 499 The Superintendency 501– The Confer ences 699 der Administrative Or 701– 2499 ch Property Chur 2501–2599 2601–2799 Judicial Administration eetings ... Episcopal Gr page v United Methodist Bishops ... page 1 A ... page 1 1 Brief History of The United Methodist Church PART I THE CONSTITUTION ¶¶ 1–61 Preamble ... page 25 Division One—General ( ¶¶ 1–7) ... page 25 vii

9 CONTENTS Division Two—Organization ( ... page 27 ¶¶ 8–44) I. Confer ences ( ¶¶ 8–12) II. General Confer ence ( ¶¶ 13–16) III. Restrictive Rules ( ¶¶ 17–22) IV Jurisdictional Confer ences ( ¶¶ 23–27) . V . Central Confer ences ( ¶¶ 28–31) Annual Confer ences ( ¶¶ 32–36) VI. Boundaries ( ¶¶ 37–41) VII. VIII. District Confer ences ( ¶ 42) Char ge Conferences ( ¶¶ 43-44) IX. ¶¶ 45-54) ... page 39 Division Three—Episcopal Supervision ( ¶¶ 55-58) ... page 42 Division Four—The Judiciary ( Division Five—Amendments ( ¶¶ 59-61) ... page 43 P ART II GENERAL BOOK OF DISCIPLINE ¶ 101 101) page 45 General Book of Discipline ( ... ¶ P ART III DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK ¶¶ 102–105 102) ¶ ... Our Doctrinal Heritage ( page 47 I. ¶ 103) ... II. page 56 Our Doctrinal History ( ds and General Rules: Our Doctrinal Standar III. Articles of Religion of The Methodist Church, The The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical United ethren Church, and The General Rules of the Br ch ( 104) ¶ ... page 65 Methodist Chur ... 105) . ¶ ask ( Our Theological T page 80 IV ART IV P THE MINISTRY OF ALL CHRISTIANS ¶¶ 120–143 ... 120–125) ¶¶ ches ( The Chur I. page 93 All Christians ( ¶¶ 126–132) ... II. page 97 The Ministry of viii

10 CONTENTS III. Servant Ministry and Servant Leadership ¶¶ 133–134) page 98 ( ... Servant Ministry ( ... 135–137) page 99 ¶¶ IV . 138-139) ¶¶ . ... Servant Leadership ( V page 100 140) ¶ ... page 101 VI. Called to Inclusiveness ( The Fulfillment of Ministry Thr ough VII. ch ( ¶¶ ... page 102 The United Methodist Chur 141–143) ART V P SOCIAL PRINCIPLES ¶¶ 160–166 Preface ... page 105 Preamble ... page 106 The Natural W orld ( 160) ... page 106 I. ¶ The Nurturing Community ( ¶ 161) ... page 1 II. 10 III. The Social Community ( ¶ 162) ... page 1 19 . ¶ 163) ... The Economic Community ( page 131 IV . ¶ 164) V The Political Community ( ... page 138 orld Community ( ¶ 165) ... page 142 VI. The W ¶ eed ( VII. 166) ... page 144 Our Social Cr ART VI P ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION ¶¶ 201–2719 Chapter One THE LOCAL CHURCH I. The Chur ch and Pastoral Charge ( ¶¶ 201–205) ... page 147 II. Cooperative Parish ( ¶ 206) ... page 149 III. Ecumenical Shar page 152 ed Ministries ( ¶¶ ... 207–211) ches in Transitional Communities . IV Chur ¶¶ 212–213) ... ( page 153 V Chur page 155 ch Membership ( ¶¶ 214–242) ... . The Meaning of Membership ( ¶¶ 216–221) Admission Into the Chur ch ( ¶¶ 222–226) 227) ¶ Associate Membership ( Affiliate and Car e of Members ( ¶¶ 228-229) 230–234) ¶¶ ds and Reports ( Membership Recor ix

11 CONTENTS ch Membership or Local Church Changes in Chur Membership ( ¶¶ 235–242) Or page 172 ¶¶ 243–258) .. ganization and Administration ( VI. ge Conference ( ¶¶ 246–251) The Char ch Council ( ¶ 252) The Chur Specialized Ministries ( ¶¶ 253–257) Administrative Committees ( 258) ¶ The Method of Or ganizing a New Church VII. ( ¶ 259) ... page 204 VIII. T ransfer of a Local Church ( ¶ 260) ... page 206 IX. otection of Rights of Congregations ( ¶ 261) ... page 207 Pr ... ¶¶ 262–265) X. page 207 Special Sundays ( chwide Special Sundays With Offerings Chur ( ¶ 263) Special Sundays W ithout Churchwide Offerings ¶ 264–265) ( ¶¶ 266–269) XI. ... page 215 Lay Servant Ministries ( wo Chapter T THE MINISTRY OF THE ORDAINED I. The Meaning of Or dination and Conference Membership ( ¶¶ 301-304) ... page 223 II. Cler gy Orders in The United Methodist Church ( ¶¶ 305–309) ... page 227 Candidacy for Licensed and Or dained Ministry III. ( 310–314) ... page 229 ¶¶ IV . ¶¶ 315–320) ... page 235 License for Pastoral Ministry ( V page 242 Associate Membership ( ¶¶ ... . 321–323) ovisional Membership ( ¶¶ 324–327) VI. ... page 244 Pr dained Deacon in Full Connection VII. The Or ¶¶ 328–330) ... page 253 ( VIII. Appointments of Deacons and Pr ovisional Deacons to V arious Ministries ( ¶ 331) ... page 259 dained Elder in Full Connection IX. The Or page 264 ( ¶¶ ... 332–336) Admission and Continuance of Full Membership 336) ¶ Annual Conference ( in the X. Appointments to V arious Ministries ( ¶¶ 337–342) ... page 271 x

12 CONTENTS Appointments to Extension Ministries XI. ( ... page 279 ¶¶ 343–345) ovisions for Appointments to Ecumenical Pr ed Ministries ( ¶ 345) Shar Cler gy From Other Annual Conferences, Other XII. Methodist and Christian Denominations ( ¶¶ ... page 286 346–347) XIII. Mentoring and Mentors ( ¶ 348) ... page 290 . Evaluation for Continuing Formation for Full XIV Members and Local Pastors ( ¶¶ ... page 292 349–351) . ence Relationship Changes of Confer XV ( 352–360) ... page 295 ¶¶ ¶¶ ocess ( ... 361–363) XVI. page 312 Administrative Fair Pr XVII. Readmission to Confer ence Relationship ( ¶¶ 364–368) ... page 318 General Pr ovisions ( XVIII. 369) ... page 320 ¶ ee Chapter Thr THE SUPERINTENDENCY I. The Natur ... page 323 e of Superintendency ( ¶ 401) II. Offices of Bishop and District Superintendent ¶¶ 402–403) ... page 323 ( III. Assignment, and Termination of Bishops Election, ( ¶¶ ... 404–413) page 325 V. ¶¶ 414–416) Specific Responsibilities of Bishops ( I .. page 339 V Selection, . Assignment, and Term of ¶¶ 417–418) ... page 342 District Superintendents ( VI. Specific Responsibilities of District Superintendents page 342 ( ¶¶ 419–420) ... VII. page 345 Expr essions of Superintendency ( ¶¶ ... 421–424) ... ¶¶ 425–430) Appointment-Making ( page 347 VIII. ¶¶ 431-442) ... Ecumenical Relationships ( page 352 IX. ... 443–450) ¶¶ der ( Committee on Faith and Or page 359 X. Chapter Four THE CONFERENCES ... 501–511) ¶¶ ence ( The General Confer page 363 I. II. page 371 The Jurisdictional Confer ence ( ¶¶ 512–539) ... page 382 III. ... Central Confer ences ( ¶¶ 540–548) xi

13 CONTENTS . Pr ovisional Central Conferences ( ¶¶ 560–567) ... page 392 IV . ches, Affiliated V Autonomous Methodist Chur ches, Affiliated Autonomous Methodist Chur United Chur ches, Covenanting Churches, Concor dat Churches ( ¶¶ 570–575) ... page 394 Becoming an Autonomous Methodist, Affiliated Affiliated United Autonomous Methodist, or ¶ ch From Central Conferences ( 572) Chur ch ( ¶ 573) Becoming a Covenanting Chur Concor dat Agreements ( ¶ 574) ¶ 575) ch ( Joining The United Methodist Chur page 400 ovisional Annual Conferences ( ¶¶ 580–583) ... VI. Pr ence ( ¶¶ 585–588) ... VII. The Missionary Confer page 401 VIII. Missions ( ¶¶ 590–593) ... page 405 Annual Conference ( ¶¶ 601–657) IX. The ... page 407 Confer ence Agencies ( ¶ 610) The Confer ence Council on Finance and Administration ( ¶¶ 611–619) ¶¶ Pastoral Support ( 620–628) ence Agencies ( ¶¶ 629–657) Other Confer ¶¶ 658–672) ence ( ... page 506 The District Confer X. Chapter Five ADMINISTRA TIVE ORDER ovisions ( ¶¶ 701–724) General Pr ... page 521 I. Administration II. General Council on Finance and ( ¶¶ 801–824) ... page 545 810–817) ¶¶ General Funds ( ¶ 818) The Episcopal Fund ( Appeals Beyond the General Funds Financial 819–824) ( ¶¶ III. Connectional T page 586 ... 901–907) able ( ¶¶ . d of Church and Society IV General Boar ¶¶ 1001–1011) ... ( page 589 ... 1101–1126) . ¶¶ d of Discipleship ( General Boar page 593 V VI. Division on Ministries W ith Young People page 619 ( ¶¶ 1201–1212) ... General Boar VII. d of Global Ministries ... ( ¶¶ 1301–1315) page 626 1314) ¶ ogram Areas ( Mission Pr xii

14 CONTENTS ¶ 1315) United Methodist Committee on Relief ( General Boar VIII. d of Higher Education and Ministry ¶¶ page 639 ... ( 1401–1423) ¶¶ 1410–1413) Division of Higher Education ( University Senate ( ¶¶ 1414–1418) United Methodist Higher Education Foundation ( 1419) ¶ 1420) esidents of the Black Colleges ( ¶ College of Pr 1421) dained Ministry ( ¶ Division of Or Schools of Theology of The United Methodist Church ( ¶¶ 1422–1423) General Boar d of Pension and Health Benefits IX. ( 1501–1509) ... ¶¶ page 667 General Administration ( 1501–1505) ¶¶ ence Administration ( ¶¶ 1506–1509) Annual Confer X. The United Methodist Publishing House 1601–1641) ... page 687 ( ¶¶ General Commission on Archives and History XI. ( ¶¶ 1701–1712) ... page 696 XII. General Commission on Communication ¶¶ ( ... 1801–1808) page 704 XIII. omen ( ¶¶ 1901–1918) ... page 710 United Methodist W Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner ( ¶¶ 1913–1918) . General Commission on Religion and Race XIV ... ¶¶ 2001–2008) ( page 718 . XV General Commission on the Status and Role ¶¶ omen ( 2101–2109) of W ... page 721 ence XVI. Standing Committee on Central Confer ... 2201) ¶ Matters ( page 726 XVII. General Commission on United Methodist Men ( 2301–2303) ... ¶¶ page 728 JUSTPEACE Center for Mediation and Conflict XVIII. ransformation ( ¶ 2401) ... T page 731 Chapter Six CHURCH PROPER TY I. All T ... page 733 2501–2505) itles—In Trust ( ¶¶ ith Law ( ¶¶ 2506–2510) II. Compliance W ... page 736 ch Officers ( ¶ 2511) . III. page 738 Audits and Bonding of Chur xiii

15 CONTENTS . Annual Confer ence Property ( ¶¶ 2512–2517) ... page 738 IV . District Pr operty ( ¶¶ 2518–2524) ... page 745 V VI. Local Chur ch Property ( ¶¶ 2525–2551) ... page 749 VII. ements—Trustees of Church Institutions Requir ( 2552) ... page 776 ¶ Chapter Seven ADMINISTRATION JUDICIAL I. The Judicial Council ( ¶¶ 2601–2612) ... page 777 II. Investigations, T rials, and Appeals ¶¶ 2701–2719) ... page 784 ( 2701) ocess in Judicial Proceedings ( ¶ Fair Pr geable Offenses and the Statute of Limitations Char ( ¶ 2702) Pr ocedures for Referral and Investigation of a ¶¶ 2703–2706) Judicial Complaint ( T rials ( ¶¶ 2707–2714) Appeals ( ¶¶ 2715–2718) Miscellaneous Pr ovisions ( ¶ 2719) page 821 Index ... xiv

16 UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS A List Compiled for The Book of Discipline by the Council of Bishops ELECTED NAME ELECTED NAME ... 1849 David Edwards Thomas Coke ... 1784 Henry Bidleman Bascom . 1850 ... Francis Asbury 1784 1852 Levi Scott ... d Whatcoat ... 1800 Richar 1852 ... Matthew Simpson illiam Otterbein . Phillip W 1800 1852 Osman Cleander Baker .. Martin Boehm 1800 ... 1852 Edwar d Raymond Ames . 1807 ... Jacob Albright ... 1853 Lewis Davis illiam M’Kendree ... W 1808 ... 1854 ge Foster Pierce Geor ... Christian Newcomer 1813 ... John Early 1854 ge ... 1816 Enoch Geor d Hinde Hubbar d Roberts 1816 .. Robert Richfor Kavanaugh ... 1854 ... ew Zeller 1817 Andr ... 1858 Francis Burns fman Joseph Hof ... 1821 illiam W. Orwig W ... 1859 ... 1824 Joshua Soule 1861 ... Jacob Markwood Elijah Hedding 1824 ... ... 1861 Daniel Shuck ... . Henry Kumler Sr 1825 ... John Jacob Esher 1863 ... John Emory 1832 asgatt Clark 1864 Davis W ... Osgood Andrew ... 1832 James ... d Thomson 1864 Edwar 1833 ... Samuel Heistand Calvin Kingsley ... 1864 illiam Brown W ... 1833 1865 ... eaver Jonathan W augh ... 1836 Beverly W illiam May Wightman 1866 .. W .. Morris Thomas Asbury 1836 Enoch Mather Marvin 1866 ... Jacob Erb ... 1837 1866 ... David Seth Doggett ... 1839 John Seybert Holland Nimmons Henry Kumler Jr . 1841 ... McTyeire 1866 ... John Coons ... 1841 right Roberts . . . . . 1866 John W Joseph Long . . . . . . . . . . . . 1843 John Dickson ... 1869 1844 Leonidas Lent Hamline .. 1870 John Christian Keener ... ... er Janes Edmund Stor 1844 eakel ... Reuben Y 1871 1845 John Russel ... Thomas Bowman ... 1872 enner .. Jacob John Glossbr 1845 illiam Logan Harris W ... 1872 illiam Hanby ... 1845 W Randolph Sinks Foster 1872 ... 1846 W ... illiam Capers 1872 ... Isaac W illiam Wiley 1846 ... Robert Paine 1

17 UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS NAME ELECTED ELECTED NAME 1891 Wesley Matthias Stanford ... 1872 Stephen Mason Merrill 1891 Christian S. Haman ... Edwar d Gayer Andrews .. 1872 eyfogel Sylvanus C. Br 1891 ... 1872 Gilbert Haven ... ... illiam Horn 1891 W ruesdell Peck Jesse T ... 1872 1893 ... Job S. Mills Rudolph Dubs . . . . . . . . . . 1875 Charles Car dwell ... 1875 Thomas Bowman 1896 McCabe ... right ... Milton W 1877 ... 1896 Joseph Crane Hartzell ... 1877 Nicholas Castle Earl Cranston ... 1896 arren Henry White W 1880 ... 1898 arren Akin Candler ... W us David Foss ... 1880 Cyr 1898 ... Henry Clay Morrison 1880 ... John Fletcher Hurst David Hastings Moor 1900 ... e Erastus Otis Haven 1880 ... illiam Hamilton .. 1900 John W .. 1881 Ezekiel Boring Kephart 1900 Edwin W allace Parker ... Alpheus W aters Wilson .. 1882 ... Francis W 1900 esley Warne Linus Parker 1882 ... ge Martin Mathews .. 1902 Geor 1882 .. John Cowper Granbery 1902 ... Alexander Coke Smith Robert Kennon ee Hoss ... 1902 Elijah Embr Hargrove ... 1882 1902 Henry Burns Hartzler ... ... illiam Xavier Ninde 1884 W illiam Franklin Heil 1902 W ... gan Walden John Mor ... 1884 ... 1904 Joseph Flintoft Berry illard Francis W Henry Spellmeyer ... 1904 1884 Mallalieu ... illiam Fraser W ... 1884 Charles Henry Fowler McDowell 1904 ... illiam Taylor ... 1884 W James Whitfor d Daniel Kumler Bashford ... 1904 ... 1885 Flickinger illiam Burt ... 1904 W illiam Wallace Duncan W .. 1886 Luther Barton W ... ilson 1904 Charles Betts Galloway .. 1886 .. 1904 Thomas Benjamin Neely .. 1886 Eugene Russell Hendrix 1904 Isaiah Benjamin Scott ... Joseph Stanton Key ... 1886 illiam Fitzjames W 1888 ... incent John Heyl V Oldham 1904 ... James Newbury .. d Robinson John Edwar 1904 FitzGerald 1888 ... Merriman Colbert Harris . 1904 ilson Joyce ... Isaac W 1888 . illiam Marion Weekley 1905 W 1888 John Philip Newman ... ... 1905 illiam Melvin Bell W Daniel A 1888 ... yres Goodsell ... Thomas Coke Carter 1905 ... 1888 James Mills Thoburn John James T igert III 1906 ... . Hott ... James W 1889 ... ard Seth W 1906 eene Haygood . 1890 Atticus Gr 1906 James Atkins ... ... Oscar Penn Fitzgerald 1890 2

18 UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS NAME ELECTED NAME ELECTED ... 1916 Adna Wright Leonard Samuel P . Spreng ... 1907 Matthew Simpson illiam Franklin W ... 1916 Hughes 1908 ... Anderson .. 1916 d Mitchell Charles Bayar John Louis Nuelsen ... 1908 Franklin Elmer Ellsworth illiam Alfred Quayle ... 1908 W Hamilton 1916 ... 1908 illiam Smith Charles W ... Alexander Priestly ilson Seeley Lewis ... W 1908 1916 ... Camphor 1908 ... Edwin Holt Hughes 1916 ... Eben Samuel Johnson 1908 ... Robert McIntyr e 1917 ... illiam H. Washinger W ... 1908 Frank Milton Bristol John Monr oe Moore ... 1918 ... 1910 Collins Denny W illiam Fletcher 1910 ... John Carlisle Kilgo McMurry ... .1918 illiam Belton Murrah ... 1910 W Urban V alentine Williams alter Russell Lambuth W .. 1910 ... Darlington 1918 d Green Richar d DuBose .. 1918 Horace Mellar Waterhouse ... 1910 illiam Newman W .. Edwin DuBose Mouzon 1910 1918 ... Ainsworth James Henry McCoy ... 1910 James Cannon, Jr 1918 ... . .. 1910 illiam Hargrave Fouke W . Maze 1918 Matthew T ... 1910 ... Uriah Frantz Swengel ... ess John Birney 1920 Laur Homer Clyde Stuntz ... 1912 1920 Fr ederick Bohn Fisher ... illiam Orville Shepard .. 1912 W d Locke Charles Edwar ... 1920 Theodor e Sommers ynn Waldorf Ernest L ... 1920 Henderson ... 1912 Edgar Blake 1920 ... Naphtali Luccock 1912 ... Ernest Gladstone Francis John McConnell .. 1912 ... Richardson 1920 ederick DeLand Leete Fr 1912 .. Charles W 1920 ... esley Burns ... d Joseph Cooke Richar 1912 Harry Lester Smith 1920 ... ilbur Patterson W Geor 1920 ... ge Harvey Bickley Thirkield 1912 ... ederick Thomas Fr John W esley Robinson ... 1912 ... Keeney 1920 illiam Perry Eveland ... W 1912 ew Mead 1920 ... Charles Lar Henry Harness Fout ... 1913 ... Anton Bast 1920 us Jeffries Kephart ... 1913 Cyr ... 1920 Robert Elijah Jones 1913 Alfr ed Taylor Howard ... 1920 ... esley Clair Matthew W Gottlieb Heinmiller 1915 ... 1921 Arthur R. Clippinger ... Lawr ence Hoover illiam Benjamin W ... Seager 1915 Beauchamp ... 1922 ... elch 1916 Herbert W 1922 James Edwar d Dickey ... ... Thomas Nicholson 1916 3

19 UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS NAME ELECTED ELECTED NAME ... Samuel Ross Hay 1922 John McKendree Hoyt McWhorter Dobbs .. 1922 Springer 1936 ... Hiram Abif ... f Boaz 1922 ... 1936 F . H. Otto Melle John Francis Dunlap ... 1922 Ward 1937 ... Ralph Ansel 1924 ge Amos Miller ... Geor 1938 ictor Otterbein Weidler V .. 1924 ... itus Lowe T Ivan Lee Holt 1938 ... ge Richmond Grose Geor 1924 .. 1938 ... illiam Walter Peele W .. 1924 enton Thoburn Badley Br e Purcell ... 1938 Clar 1924 allace Elias Brown ... W Charles Claude ... 1925 Arthur Biggs Statton Selecman 1938 ... ... 1926 John S. Stamm ... 1938 John Lloyd Decell ... 1926 Samuel J. Umbr eit ... illiam Clyde Martin 1938 W 1928 ... ade Raymond J. W illiam Turner Watkins W .. 1938 James Chamberlain ... 1939 James Henry Straughn Baker 1928 ... 1939 .. oomfield John Calvin Br dinand Lee 1928 ... Edwin Fer illiam Alfred Carroll W 1929 ... Grant D. Batdorf 1940 ... Hughes arner ... Ira David W 1929 enzo Houston King 1940 Lor ... ... 1930 . Gowdy John W ... 1940 uce Richard Baxter Br 1930 ... ang Chih Ping W Shot Kumar Mondol 1940 ... Arthur James Moor 1930 e ... 1941 .. Clement Daniel Rockey Paul Bentley Kern . . . . . . . 1930 1941 ... Enrique Carlos Balloch 1930 ... Angie Frank Smith . Kaung 1941 Z. T ... ge Edward Epp 1930 Geor ... W en Yuan Chen ... 1941 Joshwant Rao Chitamber 1930 . Geor ge Carleton Lacy ... 1941 Juan Ermete Gattinoni ... 1932 ed L. Dennis ... 1941 Fr ... Junius Ralph Magee 1932 Dionisio Deista Ralph Spaulding Alejandro ... 1944 ... Cushman 1932 Fr 1944 ... ed Pierce Corson Elmer W esley Praetorius . 1934 1944 W ... alter Earl Ledden facher ... Charles H. Stauf 1934 Lewis Oliver Hartman 1944 ... ell Waskom Pickett . . . 1935 Jarr Newell Snow Booth ... 1944 Roberto Valenzuela 1944 ... W illis Jefferson King ... Elphick 1936 Robert Nathaniel Br ooks .. 1944 W ilbur Emery d Wendall Kelly Edwar ... 1944 1936 ... Hammaker illiam Angie Smith W ... 1944 ... 1936 Charles W esley Flint 1944 ... Paul Elliott Martin omley Garfield Br dan Harrell Costen Jor 1944 ... Oxnam ... 1936 eff Garber ... 1944 Paul N eston Shaw Alexander Pr 1936 .. 4

20 UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS NAME ELECTED ELECTED NAME Alsie Raymond Grant ... 1952 Charles W esley 1952 ... Julio Manuel Sabanes Brashares 1944 ... ... underlich Friedrich W 1953 d Garth Schuyler Edwar .. 1944 ... 1953 Hagen Odd Arthur ederick Wesley .. 1944 Arthur Fr Fer ... 1954 dinand Sigg 1945 Subhan ... John Abdus 1954 Reuben Herbert Mueller . 1945 ... John Balmer Showers old Rickel Heininger .. 1954 Har August Theodor 1954 .. yle Lynden Baughman L 1946 ... Arvidson Prince 1956 ... Albert Taylor Jr. Johann W ilhelm Ernst ... 1956 Eugene Maxwell Frank Sommer ... 1946 Nolan Bailey Harmon 1956 ... esley Edward John W Bachman Gladstone Bowen 1948 ... Hodge ... 1956 1948 ... icke Lloyd Christ W Hobart Baumann 1948 John W ... esley Lord Amstutz 1956 ... ... 1948 Dana Dawson d Dodge ... 1956 Ralph Edwar Marvin Augustus ... Mangal Singh 1956 1948 Franklin ... 1956 ... Gabriel Sundaram ... Roy Hunter Short 1948 1957 . Shannon Paul E. V ... d Campbell Richar don Howard ... John Gor 1957 ... Raines 1948 alter Hermann W Marshall Russell Reed ... 1948 1958 ... Kaebnick 1948 .. ford Northcott Harry Clif . Maynard Sparks ... 1958 W Hazen Graf f Werner 1948 ... ... Paul Murray Herrick 1958 Glenn Randall Phillips 1948 ... Bowman Foster Gerald Hamilton ... Stockwell 1960 1948 Kennedy ... 1960 .. ed Garrigus Holloway Fr ippett .. Donald Harvey T 1948 W illiam Vernon ete Valencia 1948 Jose Labarr ... 1960 ... Middleton Sante Uberto Barbieri . . . . 1949 ... W 1960 illiam Ralph Ward Jr. .. Leroy Archer Raymond 1950 James Kenneth Mathews .. 1960 1950 David Thomas Gr .. egory Oliver Eugene Slater ... 1960 ederick Buckley Fr ... illiam Kenneth Pope W 1960 Newell ... 1952 ... ernon Galloway Paul V 1960 Edgar Amos 1952 ... Love ey Grey Walton 1960 ... Aubr 1952 Matthew W alker Clair ... ilford Kenneth W John W .. 1952 arren Branscomb 1960 ... Copeland ... 1952 atts Henry Bascom W Ever ett Walter Palmer ... 1960 ... 1952 D. Stanley Coors 1960 Ralph Taylor Alton ... ... oigt 1952 Edwin Edgar V 1960 .. Edwin Ronald Garrison Francis Gerald Ensley 1952 ... 5

21 UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS ELECTED NAME NAME ELECTED 1968 ... Roy Calvin Nichols orney Otto Nall Jr. T 1960 ... 1968 .. Arthur James Armstrong .. Charles Franklin Golden 1960 illiam Ragsdale W .. 1960 Noah W atson Moore Jr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1968 Cannon quis LaFayette Mar Abel Tendekayi Harris ... 1960 1968 ... Muzorewa James W 1960 ... alton Henley 1968 ... er Cornelio M. Ferr alter Clark Gum ... W 1960 Locke A. Paul din Jr. ... 1960 Paul Har Granadosin ... 1968 John Owen Smith ... 1960 1968 ... Joseph R. Lance illiam Milhouse 1960 Paul W ... ... Ram Dutt Joshi 1968 ... o Ricardo Zottele 1962 Pedr 1969 Mitchell ... Eric Algernon 1964 ... James Samuel Thomas 1969 ... Federico Jose Pagura illiam McFerrin Stowe .. 1964 W Armin E. Härtel ... 1970 alter Kenneth W d Borgen Ole Edvar 1970 ... 1964 ... Goodson Finis Alonzo 1964 .. Dwight Ellsworth Loder utchfield Jr. 1972 ... Cr ... 1964 Robert Marvin Stuart 1972 ... Hughes Yeakel Joseph d Julian Edwar ... . Robert E. Goodrich Jr 1972 1964 Pender grass Jr. ... 1972 ... Carl Julian Sanders Thomas Marion Pryor ... 1964 ... . Dixon Jr. 1972 Ernest T Homer Ellis Finger Jr . ... 1964 endell Holter ... 1972 Don W 1964 .. . Earl Gladstone Hunt Jr ayne K. Clymer ... W 1972 ... Francis Enmer Kearns 1964 ... 1972 Joel Duncan McDavid ebb ... Lance W 1964 d Gonzalez Edwar Escrivao Anglaze Carroll ... 1972 Zunguze 1964 ... 1972 ... Jesse Robert DeW itt 1964 ... Robert Fielden Lundy James ... Mase Ault 1972 Harry .. 1964 Peter Andreassen John B. W ... 1972 arman esley Shungu ... 1964 John W Mack B. Stokes ... 1972 Alfr ed Jacob Shaw 1965 ... ... uell Jack Marvin T 1972 Prabhakar Christopher ... . 1972 Melvin E. Wheatley Jr Benjamin Balaram ... 1965 d Lewis Tullis ... 1972 Edwar Stephen T rowen Nagbe .. 1965 Frank Lewis Robertson ... 1972 erner Schäfer ... 1966 Franz W .. ilbur Wong Yan Choy 1972 W 1967 ... Benjamin I. Guansing Robert McGrady Lineunt 1967 ... Scott Allen 1972 ... Blackburn ... 1968 Washburn Paul Arthur .. Emilio J. M. de Carvalho 1972 ... 1968 Carl Ernst Sommer Fama Onema ... 1972 ederick Wertz ... David Fr 1968 1972 Mamidi Elia Peter ... ... Alsie Henry Carleton 1968 6

22 UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS NAME ELECTED ELECTED NAME Bennie de Quency ... 1984 Felton Edwin May 1973 Warner ... 1984 Fitzgerald ... Ernest A. 1976 ... J. Kenneth Shamblin 1984 ... R. Kern Eutsler 1976 ... Alonzo Monk Bryan 1984 ... oodrow Hearn J. W illiam Hicks .. 1976 Kenneth W ... alter L. Underwood W 1984 James Chess Lovern 1976 ... Richar 1984 ... d B. Wilke oy Charles Hodapp 1976 Ler ... 1984 ... J. Lloyd Knox 1976 ... Edsel Albert Ammons ons Neil L. Ir 1984 ... ... 1976 C. Dale White 1984 ... Roy Isao Sano akadilo ... 1976 Ngoy Kimba W ... Lewis Bevel Jones III 1984 ... 1976 Almeida Penicela est C. Stith Forr 1984 ... LaV 1976 erne D. Mercado ... . Newman ... 1984 Ernest W Hermann Ludwig oodie W. White ... 1984 W Sticher ... 1977 gan .. 1984 Robert Crawley Mor Kumar A. Shantu David J. Lawson 1984 ... Parmar 1979 ... ... Elias Gabriel Galvan 1984 ... 1979 Thomas Syla Bangura ... 1984 Rueben Philip Job ed Ndoricimpa John Alfr 1980 .. . Kelly 1984 Leontine T ... illiam Talbot Handy Jr. .. 1980 W 1984 ... Judith Craig 1980 ... esley Hardt John W Rüdiger Rainer Minor ... 1986 1980 ... Benjamin Ray Oliphint 1986 ... o Gamboa Jr. Jose Castr esley Louis W .. 1988 Thomas Barber Stockton 1980 ... Schowengerdt old Hasbrouck Har ge Talbert ... 1980 Melvin Geor . 1988 Hughes Jr ... Paul Andr ews Duffey ... 1980 Richar d Carl Looney ... 1988 Edwin Charles Boulton 1980 .. .. Robert Hitchcock Spain 1988 illiam Russell 1980 ... John W ch Morrison ... Susan Mur 1988 ... Fitz Herbert Skeete 1980 ... R. Sheldon Duecker 1988 ge Willis Bashore Geor 1980 ... Joseph Benjamin Bethea .. 1988 Roy Clyde Clark ... 1980 ... 1988 illiam B. Oden W 1980 W illiam Boyd Grove ... 1988 Br ... uce P. Blake Emerson Stephen Colaw .. 1980 Charles W ilbourne Marjorie Swank Hancock 1988 ... 1980 ... Matthews . . . . . . . . 1988 Clay Foster Lee Jr Carlton Printess Sharon A. Brown 1980 Minnick Jr ... Christopher ... 1988 1980 .. Calvin Dale McConnell ... Dan E. Solomon 1988 ... 1980 Kainda Katembo illiam B. Lewis ... W 1988 . Nacpil Emerito P ... 1980 ... illiam W. Dew Jr. 1988 W Arthur Flumo Kulah 1980 ... 7

23 UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS NAME ELECTED NAME ELECTED 1996 C. Joseph Sprague ... Moises Domingos ... eaver Peter D. W 1996 1988 ... Fernandes ... 1996 Jonathan D. Keaton 1988 Joao Somane Machado ... . Chamberlain, Jr. .. 1996 Ray W W 1989 ... alter Klaiber ... John L. Hopkins 1996 1989 ... Heinrich Bolleter ... Michael J. Coyner 1996 äxby ... 1989 Hans V d W. Paup . . . . . . . . 1996 Edwar ed Lloyd Norris ... 1992 Alfr Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda .. 1996 ... Wilson 1992 Joe Allen Larry M. Goodpaster ... 2000 ... 1992 Robert Eugene Fannin e Jr. .. 2000 Rhymes H. Moncur Ann B. Sherer Amelia ... 1992 Beverly J. Shamana 2000 ... ederick Mutti . . . 1992 Albert Fr ... 2000 V iolet L. Fisher .. Raymond Harold Owen 1992 egory Vaughn Palmer .. 2000 Gr ... 1992 Joel Neftali Martinez W 2000 .. illiam W. Hutchinson Donald Arthur ... Ott 1992 B. Michael W 2000 ... atson Kenneth Lee Car der ... 1992 ... 2000 D. Max Whitfield ... 1992 Hae Jong Kim Benjamin Roy W illiam Wesley Morris ... 1992 ... 2000 Chamness Marshall LeRoy ... Linda Lee 2000 1992 ... . Meadors Jr 2000 ... James R. King 1992 ... esley Jordan Charles W uce R. Ough ... 2000 Br Shar on Zimmerman W 2000 ... arner H. Brown Jr. Rader ... 1992 José Quipungo 2000 ... ... 1992 S. Clifton Ives ... 2000 Gaspar Joao Domingos ... Swenson 1992 Mary Ann Soriano Leo A. ... 2000 Done Peter Dabale ... 1992 ... Justo 2000 Benjamin A. Joseph Humper . . . . . . . . . 1992 John G. Innis ... 2000 Christopher Jokomo ... 1992 Øystein Olsen 2001 ... Daniel C. Arichea Jr. 1994 ... 2001 ... T imothy W. Whitaker ez 1994 ... Benjamin Gutierr Solito K. T ... 2001 oquero G. Lindsey Davis ... 1996 ... cus Matthews Mar 2004 Joseph E. Pennel Jr ... . 1996 ... 2004 Sudarshana Devadhar Charlene Payne emiah J. Park ... Jer 2004 Kammerer ... 1996 ... gan Ward Hope Mor 2004 ... ed Johnson Alfr 1996 illiam H. Willimon ... 2004 W .. 1996 Cornelius L. Henderson James E. Swanson Sr 2004 ... Susan W 1996 ... olfe Hassinger Hee-Soo Jung ... 2004 1996 J. Lawr .. ence McCleskey Robert E. Hayes Jr ... 2004 yght Ernest S. L 1996 ... Alfr ed W. Gwinn Jr ... 2004 ... 1996 Janice Riggle Huie 2004 John R. Schol ... ... ds Marion M. Edwar 1996 8

24 UNITED METHODIST BISHOPS NAME ELECTED ELECTED NAME Christian Alsted 2009 ... Richar d J. Wills Jr ... 2004 2004 ... 2012 ... L. Jonathan Holston Robert C. Schnase Kenneth H. Carter ... 2004 ... Deborah L. Kiesey 2012 . Sandra L 2012 ynn Steiner Ball Jane Allen Middleton ... 2004 2012 W illiam T. McAlilly 2004 Thomas J. Bickerton ... ... 2004 2012 ... . allace-Padgett Deborah W Scott J. Jones Charles N. Cr Martin McLee 2004 ... utchfield ... 2012 Y Robert T 2004 ... . Hoshibata 2012 ... oung Jin Cho 2012 2004 ... irginia Taylor Cynthia Fierr o Harvey ... Mary V 2012 ebb ... 2004 ... Sally Dyck Mark J. W Minerva G. Car 2012 ... Gary E. Mueller caño ... 2004 ... 2012 Michael McKee Eben K. Nhiwatiwa ... 2004 ... emba Unda Gabriel Y 2005 2012 Hans V äxby ... John 2012 ... Wesley Yohanna K. Yemba ... 2005 David ... d Khegay Eduar Rosemarie J. W enner ... 2005 2012 ... Benjamin Boni 2012 ... o M. Torio, Jr. Pedr 2005 Patrick Ph. Str Ciriaco Q. Francisco ... 2012 2005 ... eiff ... 2016 ... Sharma Lewis 2006 Daniel A. Wandabula Kefas K. Mavula ... 2007 David Graves ... 2016 2008 ... Paul Lee Leeland d Fairley ... 2016 Leonar ... 2008 2016 ... ilbert Earl Bledsoe W Lawson Bryan Sue Haupert-Johnson ... 2008 2016 ... Peggy A. Johnson ... 2016 John Michael Lowry ... e-KoiKoi Cynthia Moor 2008 T racy Smith Malone ... 2008 ... rimble Julius Calvin T 2016 d 2008 Frank Bear ... 2016 Grant J. Hagiya ... ... d 2008 f James E. Dorf David Bar 2016 ... 2008 2016 ... ... . Stanovsky Elaine J. W relle Easterling LaT Ruben Saenz Joaquina Filipe Nhanala 2016 ... .. 2008 Laurie Haller Rodolfo Alfonso 2016 ... 2008 Juan ... Lito Cabacungan James Nunn ... 2016 2016 Tangonan ... 2008 Robert Farr ... 2008 John Kpahun Yambasu ... 2016 Kar en Oliveto ... 9

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26 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Ecclesial Heritage The history of The United Methodist Church includes God’s self-revelation and action in history through the call of Abraham, the Hebrew exodus from Egypt, and especially the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of God’s Word Jesus Christ, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The United Methodist Church shares this history with the whole church, as contained in the canonical Scriptures. In the early 1500s, various reform movements emerged in Western Europe that created forms of western Christianity not in communion with the Roman Catholic pope. These became known as Protestantism. They emphasized a return to the sources of faith: that is, God’s action in salvation and Scripture as the authority for doctrine and practice. Different contexts and visions produced Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, and Anglican Protestantism, all of which influenced the traditions that came together in United Methodism. During the late 1600s, a renewal movement, often referred to as Pietism, emerged in Europe. Broadly conceived, the movement emphasized the Christian experience of new birth, sanctifica- tion, the possibility of societal transformation, and small groups. The movement affected most confessions including Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Anabaptist. Expressions of this move- ment included the philanthropic and mission work of August Hermann Franke in Germany, the growth of Moravianism under the leadership of Ludwig von Zinzendorf, the Religious Socie- ties Movement begun by Anthony Horneck in England, as well as Reformed and more radical groups. 11

27 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH John and Charles Wesley and the Evangelical Revival in England All Wesleyan and Methodist Christians are connected to the lives and ministries of John Wesley (1703-1791) and his brother, Charles (1707-1788). Both John and Charles were Church of Eng- land priests who volunteered as missionaries to the colony of Georgia, arriving in March, 1736. Their mission was far from an unqualified success, and both returned to England disillusioned and discouraged, Charles in December, 1736, and John in Febru- ary, 1738. The Wesley brothers had transforming religious experiences in May, 1738, under the influence of Moravian missionaries. John’s experience on May 24 of that year at a Moravian meeting on Aldersgate Street, London, has a prominent place in the Church’s memory. Shortly thereafter, both brothers began preaching a mes- sage of new birth and sanctification in Anglican religious societies and outdoors to whomever would listen. They also established missional and philanthropic enterprises to promote social change. The goal of this movement was to “reform the nation, particu- larly the church; and to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” Over time a pattern of organization and discipline emerged. It included a set of General Rules, societies made up of class meet- ings (small groups in which members of Methodist societies watched over one another), and band meetings (smaller confes- sional groups divided by gender), all connected by traveling lay preachers. Beginnings in America, 1760-1816 Methodism in America began without authorization or sup- port from England, as lay Methodists immigrated to America. Among its earliest leaders were Robert Strawbridge, an immigrant farmer who organized work in Maryland and Virginia around 1760; Philip Embury and his cousin Barbara Heck, who began work in New York in 1766; and Captain Thomas Webb, whose labors were instrumental in Methodist beginnings in Philadelphia in 1767. The first Methodist societies included active participation by people of European and African descent. To strengthen the Methodist work in the colonies, John Wesley sent two lay preachers, Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmore, to America in 1769. Two years later, Richard Wright 12

28 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH and Francis Asbury were dispatched to undergird the growing - American Methodist societies. Asbury became the most impor tant figure in early American Methodism. His energetic devotion to the principles of Wesleyan theology, ministry, and organization shaped Methodism in America in ways unmatched by any other individual. The first conference of Methodist preachers in the colonies was held in Philadelphia in 1773. The ten who attended pledged allegiance to Wesley’s leadership and agreed that, as laypeople, they would not administer the sacraments. Methodists would receive the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper at a local Anglican parish church. They emphasized strong discipline among the societies and preachers. A system of regular confer - ences was inaugurated, similar to those Wesley had instituted in England to conduct the business of the Methodist movement. The American Revolution profoundly impacted Methodism. John Wesley’s loyalty to the king and his writings against the rev- olutionary cause did not enhance the image of Methodism among many who supported independence. Furthermore, a number of Methodist preachers refused to bear arms to aid the patriots. When independence from England was won, Wesley recog- nized that changes were necessary for American Methodism to thrive. He sent Thomas Coke to America to superintend the work The with Asbury. Coke brought with him a prayer book entitled Sunday Service of the Methodists in North America , prepared by Wesley and incorporating his revision of the Church of England’s Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. Richard Whatcoat and Thomas Vasey, whom Wesley had ordained, accompanied Coke. Wesley’s ordinations set a precedent that ultimately permitted Methodists in America to become an independent church. In December 1784, the famous Christmas Conference of preachers was held in Baltimore at Lovely Lane Chapel. Most of the American preachers attended, probably including African Americans, Harry Hosier and Richard Allen. At this gathering the movement became organized as The Methodist Episcopal Church in America. In the following years The Methodist Epis- copal Church published its first Discipline (1785), adopted a qua- drennial General Conference, the first of which was held in 1792, and drafted a Constitution (1808). It also established a publish- ing house and became a proponent of revivalism and the camp meeting. 13

29 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Two other churches were forming in America, which, in their earliest years were composed almost entirely of German-speak- ing people. The first was founded by Philip William Otterbein (1726-1813) and Martin Boehm (1725-1812). Otterbein, a German Reformed pastor, and Boehm, a Mennonite, preached an evan- gelical message similar to the Methodists. In 1800, their followers formally organized the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, which included a similar organization of traveling preachers. Otterbein attended the Christmas Conference and participated in Asbury’s ordination. A second church, The Evangelical Association, was begun by Jacob Albright (1759-1808). Albright, a Lutheran farmer and tile-maker in eastern Pennsylvania, was converted by the United Brethren and nurtured in a Methodist class meeting. He later established his own connection of preachers, better to reach fel- low German-speakers. The Evangelical Association was officially organized in 1803. Early attempts at merging these churches failed. By the time of Asbury’s death in March 1816, Otterbein, Boehm, and Albright had also died. The churches they nurtured had survived and were beginning to expand numerically and geographically. The Ger - man churches united in 1946 as The Evangelical United Brethren Church, which in turn joined with The Methodist Church in 1968 to form The United Methodist Church. Revival and Growth, 1817-1843 The Second Great Awakening was the dominant religious development among Protestants in America during the first half of the nineteenth century. Through revivals and camp meetings, sinners experienced conversion. Circuit-riding preachers and lay pastors knit them into a connection. This style of Christian faith and discipline was very agreeable to Methodists, United Brethren, and Evangelicals who favored its emphasis on the experiential. The memberships of these churches increased dramatically, as did the number of preachers serving them. Preachers and laity were expected to be seriously committed to both the faith and mission. Preachers were to possess a sound conversion and divine calling, as well as to demonstrate gifts and skills for fruitful ministry. The financial benefits were meager. The general membership’s commitment was exhibited in their willingness to submit to the discipline of their churches. Meth- 14

30 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH odists, for example, were strictly guided by the General Rules adopted at the Christmas Conference of 1784 and still included in United Methodism’s Book of Discipline. They were urged to avoid evil, do good, and use the means of grace supplied by God. Those Discipline who did not adhere to the were to be removed from membership. The structure of Methodist, United Brethren, and Evangelical Association churches allowed them to function in ways to sup- port, consolidate, and expand their ministries. Local classes could spring up wherever a few women and men were gathered under the direction of a class leader. The itinerant preacher, who had a circuit of appointments under his care, visited regularly. This sys- tem served the diverse needs of city, town, or frontier outpost. The churches could go to the people wherever they settled. Annual conferences under episcopal leadership provided the mechanism for admitting and ordaining clergy, appointing itinerant preach- ers to their churches, and supplying them with mutual support. General Conferences, meeting quadrennially, proved sufficient to set the main course for the church, including the creation of the Discipline by which it was governed. The Methodist Book Concern, organized in 1789, was the first church publishing house in America. The Evangelical Association and United Brethren also authorized the formation of publish- ing agencies in the early nineteenth century. From these presses came a succession of hymnals, Disciplines , newspapers, tracts, and magazines. Profits were usually designated for the support and welfare of retired and indigent preachers and their families. The founding period was not without serious problems, espe- cially for the Methodists. Conflict between Methodism’s struc- ture and values and American cultural norms (especially over episcopacy, race, and slavery) sometimes led to schism. In 1792, James O’Kelly founded the Republican Methodists to reduce the authority of bishops. Richard Allen (1760-1831), an emancipated slave and Methodist preacher who was mistreated because of his race, left the church and in 1816 organized The African Meth- odist Episcopal Church. For similar reasons, The African Meth- odist Episcopal Zion Church was begun in 1821. In 1830, about 5,000 preachers and laypeople left the denomination because it would not grant representation to the laity or permit the election of presiding elders (district superintendents). This new body was called The Methodist Protestant Church, which in 1939 united 15

31 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH with The Methodist Episcopal Church and The Methodist Epis- copal Church, South, to become The Methodist Church. In 1843, abolitionist preachers Orange Scott and Luther Lee formed the Wesleyan Methodist Church over Methodism’s weakening prohi- bition against slaveholding. Even with these tensions, Methodism spread to new cultures and overseas. African American Methodist preacher, John Stew- art, began an unauthorized mission to the Wyandot Indians in Ohio in 1815, which was adopted by the Ohio Conference in 1819. Another African American preacher, Daniel Coker, who had been ordained by Asbury and participated in the organizing confer - ence of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was among the eighty-eight emigrants who sailed to Africa in 1820, assisted by the American Colonization Society. While still at sea he organized a church. The group landed in what is today Liberia. Missionary work in Africa was carried out mainly by lay people until 1833, when Melville Beveridge Cox became the first missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church appointed to Liberia. Other institutions also developed. By 1841, Methodists, Evan- gelicals, and United Brethren had all begun denominational mis- sionary societies. Sunday schools were encouraged in every place where they could be started and maintained. Interest in education was also evident in the establishment of secondary schools and colleges. By 1845, each had instituted courses of study for their preachers to ensure that they had a basic knowledge of the Bible, theology, and pastoral ministry. Division in America and Expansion Overseas, 1844-1860 John Wesley had been an ardent opponent of slavery. In 1789, the General Rules were officially adopted by American Method- ism. A rule forbidding participation in slavery, which had not been deemed necessary in England, was included. But as Method- ism expanded, that prohibition was relaxed or not enforced where slavery was legal. Because membership spanned regions, classes, and races, contention over slavery ultimately split Methodism into separate northern and southern churches. At the 1844 General Conference, pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions clashed over episcopacy, race, and slavery. Their most serious conflict concerned one of the church’s five bishops, James O. Andrew, who had acquired slaves through marriage. After acri- monious debate, the General Conference voted to suspend Bishop 16

32 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Andrew from the exercise of his office so long as he could not, or would not, free his slaves. A few days later, dissidents drafted a Plan of Separation, which permitted the annual conferences in slaveholding states to separate from The Methodist Episcopal Church in order to organize their own ecclesiastical structure. The Plan of Separation was adopted and the groundwork laid for the creation of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Delegates from the southern states met in Louisville, Ken- tucky, in May 1845, to organize their new church. Their first General Conference was held the following year in Petersburg, Discipline Virginia, where a and hymnbook were adopted. The Methodist Protestant Church was also affected by the slavery controversy, splitting in 1858 and reuniting in 1877. The United Brethren and The Evangelical Association, being concentrated in northern states, were able to avoid the passionate struggle that fractured The Methodist Episcopal Church. Despite conflict and division in America, Methodism con- tinued to expand overseas. In 1847, Judson D. Collins, Moses C. White, and his wife Jane Isabel Altwater landed in Fuzhou, China, under the auspices of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Despite a slow beginning, the Missionary Soci- ety gained valuable lessons that enabled Robert S. Maclay to enter Japan in 1873. In 1885, William B. Scranton, his mother Mary F. Scranton, and Henry G. Appenzeller began work in Korea. Amer - ican Methodists also set their sights on South Asia. In 1856, Wil- liam Butler landed in Kolkata with his wife, Clementina Rowe Butler (one of the future founders of Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society), and two of their children. European Methodism also began, as migrants, sailors, sol- diers, and others who encountered Methodism outside of Europe shared the message back home. Ludwig Jacoby joined the Meth- odists after immigrating to Cincinnati in 1838. He returned to Germany in 1849 and began gathering a church in Bremen. The Evangelical Association, with ethnic and linguistic links to Ger - many, sent Conrad Link as its first official missionary to Germany in 1850. Norwegian seaman Ole Peter Petersen, after hearing Methodists in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1845, preached to Norwegians and Danes in America and Norway in 1849. The first congregation in Denmark was established by Christian Willerup in 1856. 17

33 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH The Civil War to World War I, 1860-1913 Bitterness between northern and southern Methodists had intensified in the years leading to Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860 and then through the carnage of the Civil War. Each church claimed divine sanction for its region and prayed fervently for God’s will to be accomplished in victory for its side. The Civil War devastated The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Its churches lay in ruins or were seriously damaged. Many of its clergy were killed or wounded, and its educational, publish- ing, and missionary programs were disrupted. African American membership declined significantly during and after the war. In 1870, the General Conference voted to transfer all remaining Afri- can Americans to a new church. The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (now The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church) resulted. The Methodist Episcopal Church, Methodist Protestants, United Brethren, and Evangelicals also lost preachers and members but did not suffer the same economic loss as southern Methodism. The period from the Civil War to World War I saw growth in membership for all branches of Methodism, Evangelicals, and United Brethren. The value of church property increased dra- matically, Sunday schools were strengthened through increased training of teachers, and publishing houses maintained ambitious programs to furnish members with literature. Higher educational standards for the clergy were cultivated, and theological semi- naries were founded. The period was also marked by theological developments and controversies. The holiness movement, which emphasized a Christian’s experience of entire sanctification, together with the rise of liberal theology and the Social Gospel Movement, were sources of conflict. Rural and poorer segments of the church, especially those associated with the holiness movement, were skeptical of prestige and affluence. A Methodist preacher, Benjamin Titus Roberts, had formed the Free Methodist Church in 1860 to oppose worldliness, especially the grand middle class churches in cities financed by renting pews. In 1895, the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene (now the Nazarene Church) was formed under the encourage- ment of Phineas Bresee, a Methodist Episcopal preacher, presid- ing elder, and delegate to the General Conferences of 1872 and 1892. The goal for the new denomination, founded in 1894, was to have churches furnished to welcome the poor where holiness was preached. 18

34 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Two other issues that caused substantial debate in the churches during this period were lay representation and the role of women. Methodist Protestants had granted the laity represen- tation from the time they organized in 1830. The clergy in The Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, The Evangelical Association, and the Church of the United Brethren in Christ were much slower in permitting laity an official voice. It was not until 1932 that the last of these churches allowed lay representation. Even more contentious was the question of women’s ordina- tion and eligibility for lay offices and representation in the church. Women had been ordained in holiness denominations as early as the 1860s, and the United Brethren General Conference approved ordination for women in 1889. However, The Methodist Episcopal Church and The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, did not ordain 1 The Evangelical Asso- women until well after their reunion in 1939. ciation never ordained women. Lay representation for women was also resisted. Women were not admitted as delegates to the Gen- eral Conferences of The Methodist Protestant Church until 1892, the United Brethren until 1893, The Methodist Episcopal Church until 1904, and The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, until 1922. Mission work continued to rise on the agendas of the churches. Women formed missionary societies beginning in 1869 to educate, recruit, and raise funds for these endeavors. Mission- aries like Isabella Thoburn, Susan Bauernfeind, and Harriett Brit- tan, and administrators like Bell Harris Bennett and Lucy Rider Meyer, motivated thousands of church women to support home and foreign missions. Domestic mission programs sought to Christianize the city. Home missionaries established schools for former slaves and their children. In 1871, the southern Methodist church ordained Alejo Hernandez, making him the first Hispanic preacher ordained in Methodism, although Benigno Cardenas had preached in Span- ish in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as early as 1853. Significant Meth- odist ministries among Asian Americans were instituted during this period, especially among Chinese and Japanese immigrants. A Japanese layman, Kanichi Miyama, was ordained in California in 1887. 1. The Methodist Episcopal Church ordained women as “local elders” start- ing in 1924. However, The Methodist Church (1939) did not grant full clergy rights to women until 1956. 19

35 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Methodism continued to expand in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. From 1870 to 1875 Methodist missionaries embarked on revival campaigns in India south of the Ganges River under the leadership of James M. Thoburn, and the famous holiness evangelist William Taylor. These efforts gave birth to the South India Conference in 1876. Thoburn also began work in Southeast Asia when he opened mission work in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar), in 1879. In 1885, he led the establishment of Meth- odist work in Singapore, which later expanded into the Malaya Peninsular and Sarawak to become the Malaysia Annual Confer - ence in 1902. The conference also sent the first Methodist pastor to Indonesia in 1905. Methodism reached the Philippines when Thoburn organized work in Manila in 1899, which quickly grew to become the Philippine Islands Annual Conference in 1908. At the Methodist Episcopal General Conference of 1884, a petition from the Liberia Conference was presented, asking for a resident bishop in Africa. William Taylor was elected to the episco- pacy as missionary bishop to Africa. Taylor went with two specific assignments: overseeing Liberia and expanding missions on the African continent. Between May 20 and September 10, 1885, the Methodist Episcopal Church founded five strategic points to start their work in Angola. In 1886, the bishop and his party entered the Lower Congo. Taylor also visited the king of Portugal in 1886 and received permission to do mission work in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). Taylor established self-supporting churches in southern Liberia, Sierra Leone, Angola, in what is today Mozam- bique, and in Zaire. In 1896, Joseph Crane Hartzell was elected Bishop for Africa, and by 1897 the Methodist Episcopal Church reached Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). During this period, annual confer - ences other than those in the United States were organized region- ally into what was termed central conferences. th The War Years of the Early 20 Century, 1914-1945 In the years prior to World War I, the Methodist Episcopal Church demonstrated its concern for social issues by adopting a Social Creed at its 1908 General Conference. Social problems were also a spur in the movement toward ecumenism and interchurch cooperation. Each of the denominations now included in The United Methodist Church became active in the Federal Council of Churches, the first major ecumenical venture among Ameri- can Protestants. There was also much sympathy in the churches 20

36 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH for negotiation and arbitration as an alternative to international armed conflict. Many church members and clergy openly pro- fessed pacifism. When the United Sates officially entered the war in 1917, pacifism faded as American patriotism was identified with the war effort. After the war, the churches returned their energies to social change. One of their perennial concerns was temperance, and they were quick to recognize it among their highest priorities. They published and distributed large amounts of temperance lit- erature. Members pledged that they would abstain from alcoholic beverages. There was significant theological ferment during this period. Biblical fundamentalists and neo-orthodox theologians ques- tioned liberal Protestant theology and accused it of undermin- ing the very essence of the Christian message. Since each of these theological parties—fundamentalist, neo-orthodox, and liberal— was well represented among the forerunners of United Method- ism, heated doctrinal disputes were present in these churches. Despite internal theological strife, the churches continued to cooperate with other denominations and acted to heal earlier schisms. A division that had occurred in The Evangelical Associa- tion in 1894 was repaired in 1922, when two factions united as The Evangelical Church. A numerically larger union took place among three Meth- odist bodies—The Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Protestant Church, and The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Representatives of these churches began meeting in 1916 to forge a plan of union. By the 1930s, their proposal included partition- ing the united church into six administrative units called juris- dictions. Five of these were geographical; the sixth, the Central Jurisdiction, was racial, including African American churches and annual conferences wherever they were geographically located in the United States. African American Methodists and some others were troubled by this prospect and opposed the plan. The major - ity of Methodist Protestants favored the union, even though it meant episcopal government, which they had not had since their church was organized in 1830. Following overwhelming approv- als at the General Conferences and annual conferences of the three churches, they were united in April, 1939, into The Methodist Church. At the time of its formation, the new church included 7.7 million members. 21

37 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Conflict in Europe was heating up again. Although Method- ists, Evangelicals, and United Brethren each had published strong statements condemning war and advocating peaceful reconcilia- tion among the nations, once again the strength of their positions was largely lost with American involvement in the hostilities of World War II. Quest for Unity, 1945-1968 As the war ended, the churches actively worked to secure world peace and order. Many laity, pastors, bishops, and church agencies supported the establishment of a world organization to serve as a forum for the resolution of international social, eco- nomic, and political problems. In April 1945, their labors contrib- uted to the founding of the United Nations. During this era, there were at least three other important mat- ters that occupied the attention of the churches that now compose United Methodism. First, they maintained their concern for ecu- menism and church union. On November 16, 1946, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, The Evangelical Church and The United Brethren Church were united into The Evangelical United Brethren Church following twenty years of negotiation. At the time of union, the new church included about 700,000 members. The Methodist Church was also interested in closer ties with other Methodist and Wesleyan bodies. In 1951, it participated in the formation of the World Methodist Council, successor to the Ecumenical Methodist Conferences that began in 1881. Method- ists and the Evangelical United Brethren became active mem- bers of the World Council of Churches, founded in 1948, and the National Council of Churches, founded in 1950. The two churches also cooperated with seven other Protestant denominations in forming the Consultation of Church Union in 1960. Second, the churches demonstrated growing uneasiness with the problem of racism in both the nation and the church. Many Methodists were especially disturbed by the manner in which racial segregation was built into the fabric of their denominational structure. The Central Jurisdiction was a constant reminder of racial discrimination. Proposals to eliminate the Central Jurisdic- tion were introduced at General Conferences from 1956 to 1966. Finally, plans to abolish the Central Jurisdiction were agreed upon with the contemplated union with the Evangelical United Breth- 22

38 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH ren in 1968, although a few African American annual conferences continued for a short time thereafter. Third, the churches debated women’s ordination. The issue was critical in the creation of The Evangelical United Brethren Church. The Evangelical Church had never ordained women. The United Brethren had ordained women since 1889. In order to facilitate the union of these two churches, the United Breth- ren accepted the Evangelical practice, and women’s ordination was stopped. Methodists debated the issue for several years after their unification in 1939. The Methodist Church began ordain- ing women in 1956. In that same year, women were granted full clergy rights and could be elected as members in full connection to an annual conference. United Methodism as a World Church, 1968- In 1968, The Evangelical United Brethren and The Methodist Church united. Full clergy status for women was included in the plan of union. Since then, an increasing number of women have been admitted to the ordained ministry, appointed to the district superintendency, elected to positions of denominational leader - ship, and consecrated as bishops. In 1980, Marjorie Matthews was the first woman elected to the Church’s episcopacy. When The United Methodist Church was created in 1968, it had approximately 11 million members, making it one of the larg- est Protestant churches in the world. Since then the church has become increasingly aware of itself as a world church with mem- bership and conferences in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States. While worldwide membership in The United Methodist Church has grown since 1968, membership in Europe and the United States has declined, offset by significant growth in Africa and Asia. In Africa, The United Methodist Church has expanded episcopal areas to include East Africa, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, East Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. Changes in worship style, the rise of the charismatic move- ment, the growth of nondenominationalism, and the emergence of megachurches have all challenged the church as it entered its third century. Most trying, The United Methodist Church has had to negotiate cultural shifts with regard to gender and sexuality, especially in the United States and Europe. Conflicts over homo- sexuality, marriage, and abortion have continued uninterrupted nearly since the formation of the denomination. These debates 23

39 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH have opened up large domestic, international, and ecumenical rifts over the church’s doctrine and discipline. The United Methodist Church continues to represent the con- fluence of three streams of tradition: Methodism, the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and The Evangelical Association. With other churches that are also members of the body of Christ, it humbly and gratefully offers up its praise to God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit for creating and sustaining grace. It seeks further grace as it ministers to the world. 24

40 Part I THE CONSTITUTION PREAMBLE The church is a community of all true believers under the Lordship of Christ. It is the redeemed and redeeming fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by persons divinely called, and the sacraments are duly administered according to Christ’s own appointment. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit the church seeks to provide for the maintenance of worship, the edifi- cation of believers, and the redemption of the world. The church of Jesus Christ exists in and for the world, and its very dividedness is a hindrance to its mission in that world. The prayers and intentions of The United Methodist Church and its predecessors, The Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church, have been and are for obedience to the will of our Lord that his people be one, in humility for the present brokenness of the Church and in gratitude that opportunities for reunion have been given. Therefore, The United Methodist Church has adopted and 1 amended the following Constitution. DIVISION ONE—GENERAL Article Declaration 1. I. ¶ of Union —The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church have been united into 1. The Constitution was adopted in Chicago, Illinois, on Nov. 11, 1966, by the General Conferences of The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Meth- odist Church and thereafter by the requisite vote in the annual conferences of the two churches. The Plan of Union was made effective by the Uniting Conference in Dallas, Texas, on April 23, 1968. Preamble amended 2000. 25

41 ¶ 1 THE CONSTITUTION one Church. The United Methodist Church, as thus constituted, 2 is, and shall be, the successor of the two uniting churches. 2. Article II. Name —The name of the Church shall be The ¶ United Methodist Church. The name of the Church may be trans- lated freely into languages other than English as the General Con- ference may determine. Article III. Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith 3. ¶ — The Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith of The United Methodist Church are those held by The Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church, respectively, at the time 3 of their uniting. ¶ 4. Article IV . Inclusiveness of the Chur ch —The United Meth- odist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in - Christ. The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all per sons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, 4 or economic condition, shall be eligible to national origin, status, attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become pro- 5 In The fessing members in any local church in the connection. United Methodist Church no conference or other organizational unit of the Church shall be structured so as to exclude any mem- ber or any constituent body of the Church because of race, color, 6 national origin, status or economic condition. ¶ 5. Article V . Racial Justice— The United Methodist Church proclaims the value of each person as a unique child of God and commits itself to the healing and wholeness of all persons. The United Methodist Church recognizes that the sin of racism has been destructive to its unity throughout its history. Racism con- tinues to cause painful division and marginalization. The United Methodist Church shall confront and seek to eliminate racism, whether in organizations or in individuals, in every facet of its life and in society at large. The United Methodist Church shall work collaboratively with others to address concerns that threaten the 7 cause of racial justice at all times and in all places. 2. Amended 1984, 2000. 3. Amended 2000. 4. Amended 1992. 5. Amended 2000. 6. See Judicial Council Decisions 242, 246, 340, 351, 362, 377, 398, 594, 601, and Decisions 4 and 5, Interim Judicial Council. 7. Amended 2000. 26

42 ¶ DIVISION TWO—ORGANIZATION 10 Ecumenical Relations Article VI. ¶ —As part of the church 6. universal, The United Methodist Church believes that the Lord of the church is calling Christians everywhere to strive toward unity; and therefore it will pray, seek, and work for unity at all levels of church life: through world relationships with other Methodist churches and united churches related to The Methodist Church or The Evangelical United Brethren Church, through councils of churches, and through plans of union and covenantal rela- 8 tionships with churches of Methodist or other denominational traditions. ¶ 7. Article VII. T itle to Properties —Titles to properties for - 9 merly held by The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church shall be held and administered in accordance 10 with the Book of Discipline. Nothing in the Plan of Union at any time after the union is to be construed so as to require any local church or any other property owner of the former The Evangelical United Brethren Church or the former The Methodist Church to alienate or in any way change the title to property contained in its deed or deeds at the time of union and lapse of time. DIVISION TWO—ORGANIZATION Section I. Conferences ¶ 8. —There shall be a General Conference for the Article I. entire Church with such powers, duties, and privileges as are hereinafter set forth. ¶ 9. —There shall be jurisdictional conferences for Article II. the Church in the United States of America, with such powers, 11 duties, and privileges as are hereinafter set forth, provided that in The United Methodist Church there shall be no jurisdictional or central conference based on any ground other than geographical and regional division. ¶ 10. —There shall be central conferences for the III. Article Church outside the United States of America and, if necessary, provisional central conferences, all with such powers, duties, and privileges as are hereinafter set forth. 8. Amended 1996. 9. Amended 2000. 10. Amended 1984. 11. See Judicial Council Decision 128. 27

43 ¶ 11 THE CONSTITUTION Article IV . —There shall be annual conferences as the ¶ 11. fundamental bodies of the Church and, if necessary, provisional annual conferences, with such powers, duties, and privileges as are hereinafter set forth. 12. Article V. —There shall be a charge conference for each ¶ church or charge with such powers, duties, and privileges as are 12 hereinafter set forth. Section II. General Conference ¶ 13. Article I. —1. The General Conference shall be com- posed of not less than 600 nor more than 1,000 delegates, one half of whom shall be clergy and one half lay members, to be elected by the annual conferences. The missionary conferences shall be 13 considered as annual conferences for the purpose of this article. 2. Delegates shall be elected in a fair and open pr ocess by the annual conferences. Delegates may be elected by other autono- mous Methodist churches if and when the General Conference shall approve concordats with such other autonomous Methodist churches for the mutual election and seating of delegates in each 14 other’s legislative conferences. In the case of The Methodist Chur ch in Great Britain, 3. mother church of Methodism, provision shall be made for The United Methodist Church to send two delegates annually to the British Methodist Conference, and The Methodist Church in Great Britain to send four delegates quadrennially to The United Methodist General Conference, the delegates of both conferences 15 having vote and being evenly divided between clergy and laity. ¶ 14. Article II. —The General Conference shall meet once in four years at such time and in such place as shall be determined by the General Conference or by its duly authorized committees. The change in the preceding sentence shall become effective at the close of General Conference in 2016. A special session of the General Conference, possessing the authority and exercising all the powers of the General Conference, may be called by the Council of Bishops, or in such other manner as the General Conference may from time to time prescribe, to meet at such time and in such place as may be stated in the call. 12. See Judicial Council Decision 516. 13. Amended 1976. 14. See Judicial Council Decisions 435 and 592. 15. Amended 1996. 28

44 DIVISION TWO—ORGANIZA ¶ 16 TION Such special session of the General Conference shall be composed of the delegates to the preceding General Conference or their law- ful successors, except that when a particular annual conference or 16 missionary conference shall prefer to have a new election it may 17 do so. The purpose of such special session shall be stated in the call, and only such business shall be transacted as is in harmony with the purpose stated in such call unless the General Confer - ence by a two-thirds vote shall determine that other business may 18 be transacted. 15. Article III. —The General Conference shall fix the ratio ¶ - of representation in the General, jurisdictional, and central confer 19 ences from the annual conferences, missionary conferences, and the provisional annual conferences, computed on a two-factor basis: (1) the number of clergy members of the annual conference 20 and the missionary conference, and (2) the number of profess- 21 ing members in the annual conference and the missionary 22 conference, provided that each annual conference, missionary 23 conference, or provisional annual conference shall be entitled to at least one clergy and one lay delegate in the General Conference 24 and also in the jurisdictional or central conference. Article IV .—The General Conference shall have full leg- ¶ 16. islative power over all matters distinctively connectional, and in 25 the exercise of this power shall have authority as follows: 1. T o define and fix the conditions, privileges, and duties of Church membership, which shall in every case be without refer - 26 ence to race, gender, or status. 2. T o define and fix the powers and duties of elders, deacons, supply preachers, local preachers, exhorters, deaconesses, and 27 home missioners. 3. T o define and fix the powers and duties of annual confer- ences, provisional annual conferences, missionary conferences and 16. Amended 1976. 17. See Judicial Council Decisions 221, 226, 228, 238, 302. 18. See Judicial Council Decision 227. 19. Amended 1976. 20. Amended 1976. 21. Amended 2000. 22. Amended 1976. 23. Amended 1976. 24. See Judicial Council Decision 403. 25. See Judicial Council Decisions 96, 232, 236, 318, 325, 544. 26. See Judicial Council Decision 558. 27. See Judicial Council Decisions 58, 313. 29

45 ¶ 16 THE CONSTITUTION missions, and of central conferences, district conferences, charge 28 conferences, and congregational meetings. T o provide for the organization, promotion, and adminis- 4. tration of the work of the Church outside the United States of 29 America. T o define and fix the powers, duties, and privileges of 5. the episcopacy, to adopt a plan for the support of the bishops, to provide a uniform rule for their retirement, and to provide for the discontinuance of a bishop because of inefficiency or 30 unacceptability. 6. o provide and revise the hymnal and ritual of the Church T and to regulate all matters relating to the form and mode of wor - ship, subject to the limitations of the first and second Restrictive 31 Rules. T o provide a judicial system and a method of judicial pro- 7. cedure for the Church, except as herein otherwise prescribed. 8. T o initiate and to direct all connectional enterprises of the Church and to provide boards for their promotion and 32 administration. 9. o determine and provide for raising and distributing T 33 funds necessary to carry on the work of the Church. T o fix a uniform basis upon which bishops shall be elected 10. by the jurisdictional conferences and to determine the number of 34 bishops that may be elected by central conferences. 11. T o select its presiding officers from the bishops, through a committee, provided that the bishops shall select from their own 35 number the presiding officer of the opening session. T o change the number and the boundaries of jurisdic- 12. tional conferences upon the consent of a majority of the annual 36 conferences in each jurisdictional conference involved. 13. T o establish such commissions for the general work of the Church as may be deemed advisable. 28. See Judicial Council Decision 411. 29. See Judicial Council Decision 182; amended 1976. 30. See Judicial Council Decisions 35, 114, 312, 365, 413. 31. See Judicial Council Decision 694. 32. See Judicial Council Decisions 214, 364, 411, 1210. 33. See Judicial Council Decisions 30, 1208. 34. See Judicial Council Decisions 598, 735. 35. See Judicial Council Decision 126. 36. See Judicial Council Decisions 55, 56, 215. 30

46 DIVISION TWO—ORGANIZA ¶ 22 TION T o secure the rights and privileges of membership in all 14. agencies, programs, and institutions in The United Methodist 37 Church regardless of race, gender, or status. T 15. o allow the annual conferences to utilize structures unique to their mission, other mandated structures notwith- 38 standing. T o enact such other legislation as may be necessary, sub- 16. ject to the limitations and restrictions of the Constitution of the 39 Church. Section III. Restrictive Rules ¶ 17. Article I. —The General Conference shall not revoke, alter, or change our Articles of Religion or establish any new stan- dards or rules of doctrine contrary to our present existing and 40 established standards of doctrine. ¶ 18. Article II.— The General Conference shall not revoke, alter, or change our Confession of Faith. —The General Conference shall not change 19. Article III. ¶ or alter any part or rule of our government so as to do away with episcopacy or destroy the plan of our itinerant general superintendency. Article IV 20. . —The General Conference shall not do away ¶ with the privileges of our clergy of right to trial by a committee and of an appeal; neither shall it do away with the privileges of our members of right to trial before the church, or by a committee, 41 and of an appeal. ¶ 21. Article V . —The General Conference shall not revoke or 42 change the General Rules of Our United Societies. 22. ¶ VI. —The General Conference shall not appro- Article priate the net income of the publishing houses, the book concerns, or the Chartered Fund to any purpose other than for the benefit of retired or disabled preachers, their spouses, widows, or widow- ers, and children or other beneficiaries of the ministerial pension 43 systems. 37. See Decisions 4, 5, Interim Judicial Council; Judicial Council Decisions 427, 433, 442, 451, 540, 558, 567, 588, 594, 601. 38. See Judicial Council Decision 825; amended 1996. 39. See Judicial Council Decisions 215, 1220. 40. See Judicial Council Decisions 86, 142, 243, 358, 847, 871. 41. See Judicial Council Decisions 351, 522, 557, 595, 982. 42. See Judicial Council Decisions 358, 468, 847, 871. 43. See Judicial Council Decisions 322, 330. 31

47 ¶ 23 THE CONSTITUTION Section IV. Jurisdictional Conferences ¶ Article I. —The jurisdictional conferences shall be com- 23. posed of as many representatives from the annual conferences 44 and missionary conferences as shall be determined by a uniform basis established by the General Conference, provided that no jurisdictional conference shall have fewer than 100 delegates. The missionary conferences shall be considered as annual conferences 45 for the purpose of this article. 24. ¶ II. —All jurisdictional conferences shall have the Article same status and the same privileges of action within the limits fixed by the Constitution. The ratio of representation of the annual 46 conferences and missionary conferences in the General Confer - ence shall be the same for all jurisdictional conferences. ¶ Article III. —The General Conferences shall fix the basis 25. of representation in the jurisdictional conferences, provided that the jurisdictional conferences shall be composed of an equal num- ber of clergy and lay delegates to be elected by the annual con- 47 ferences, the missionary conferences and the provisional annual conferences. ¶ 26. Article IV. —Each jurisdictional conference shall meet at the time determined by the Council of Bishops or its delegated committee, each jurisdictional conference convening on the same date as the others and at a place selected by the jurisdictional committee on entertainment, appointed by its College of Bishops unless such a committee has been appointed by the preceding jurisdictional conference. ¶ Article V 27. .—The jurisdictional conferences shall have the following powers and duties and such others as may be con- ferred by the General Conferences: T o promote the evangelistic, educational, missionary, and 1. benevolent interests of the Church and to provide for interests 48 and institutions within their boundaries. 2. T o elect bishops and to cooperate in carrying out such plans for their support as may be determined by the General 49 Conference. 44. Amended 1976. 45. Amended 1976. 46. Amended 1976. 47. Amended 1976. 48. See Judicial Council Decision 67. 49. See Judicial Council Decision 1208. 32

48 DIVISION TWO—ORGANIZA ¶ 30 TION T o establish and constitute jurisdictional conference boards 3. as auxiliary to the general boards of the Church as the need may appear and to choose their representatives on the general boards in such manner as the General Conference may determine. T o determine the boundaries of their annual conferences, 4. - provided that there shall be no annual conference with a member ship of fewer than fifty clergy in full connection, except by the consent of the General Conference. T o make rules and regulations for the administration of the 5. work of the Church within the jurisdiction, subject to such powers 50 as have been or shall be vested in the General Conference. T 6. o appoint a committee on appeals to hear and determine the appeal of a traveling preacher of that jurisdiction from the decision of a trial committee. Section V. Central Conferences —There shall be central conferences for the 28. Article I. ¶ 51 work of the Church outside the United States of America with such duties, powers, and privileges as are hereinafter set forth. The number and boundaries of the central conferences shall be determined by the Uniting Conference. Subsequently the Gen- eral Conference shall have authority to change the number and boundaries of central conferences. The central conferences shall have the duties, powers, and privileges hereinafter set forth. 29. Article II. —The central conferences shall be composed ¶ of as many delegates as shall be determined by a basis established by the General Conference. The delegates shall be clergy and lay 52 in equal numbers. ¶ 30. Article III.— The central conferences shall meet within the year succeeding the meeting of the General Conference at such times and places as shall have been determined by the preceding respective central conferences or by commissions appointed by them or by the General Conference. The date and place of the first meeting succeeding the Uniting Conference shall be fixed by the bishops of the respective central conferences, or in such manner as shall be determined by the General Conference. 50. See Judicial Council Decision 1208. 51. Amended 1976. 52. Amended 1992. 33

49 ¶ 31 THE CONSTITUTION 31. Article IV .—The central conferences shall have the fol- ¶ lowing powers and duties and such others as may be conferred by the General Conference: 1. T o promote the evangelistic, educational, missionary, social-concern, and benevolent interests and institutions of the Church within their own boundaries. T o elect the bishops for the respective central conferences 2. in number as may be determined from time to time, upon a basis fixed by the General Conference, and to cooperate in carrying out such plans for the support of their bishops as may be determined 53 by the General Conference. 3. T o establish and constitute such central conference boards 54 as may be required and to elect their administrative officers. 4. T o determine the boundaries of the annual conferences within their respective areas. 5. T o make such rules and regulations for the administra- tion of the work within their boundaries including such changes and adaptations of the General as the conditions in the Discipline respective areas may require, subject to the powers that have been 55 or shall be vested in the General Conference. T o appoint a judicial court to determine legal questions 6. arising on the rules, regulations, and such revised, adapted, or Discipline enacted by the new sections of the central conference central conference. T o appoint a committee on appeals to hear and determine 7. the appeal of a traveling preacher of that central conference from 56 the decision of a committee on trial. Section VI. Annual Conferences ¶ 32. Article I. —The annual conference shall be composed of clergy and lay members. The clergy membership shall consist of deacons and elders in full connection, provisional members, associate members, and local pastors under appointment. The lay 57 lay members elected by membership shall consist of professing each charge, the diaconal ministers, the active deaconesses, and home missioners under episcopal appointment within the bounds 53. See Judicial Council Decision 370. 54. See Judicial Council Decision 69. 55. See Judicial Council Decisions 142, 147, 313. 56. See Judicial Council Decision 595. 57. Amended 2000. 34

50 DIVISION TWO—ORGANIZA ¶ 33 TION 58 the conference president of United of the annual conference, Methodist Women, the conference president of United Methodist Men, the conference lay leader, district lay leaders, the conference director of Lay Servant Ministries, conference secretary of Global Ministries (if lay), the president or equivalent officer of the con- ference young adult organization, the president of the conference youth organization, the chair of the annual conference college stu- 59 dent organization, and one young person between the ages of twelve (12) and seventeen (17) and one young person between 60 the ages of eighteen (18) and thirty (30) from each district to be selected in such a manner as may be determined by the annual 61 conference. In the annual conferences of the central confer - ences, the four-year participation and the two-year membership requirements may be waived by the annual conference for young 62 persons under thirty (30) years of age. Such persons must be 63 professing members of The United Methodist Church and active 64 participants at the time of election. Each charge served by more than one clergy shall be entitled to as many lay members as there are clergy members. The lay members shall have been for the two years next preceding their election members of The United 65 Methodist Church and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding 66 their election. If the lay membership should number less than the clergy members of the annual conference, the annual conference shall, by its own formula, provide for the election of additional lay members 67 to equalize lay and clergy membership of the annual conference. ¶ 33. Article II. —The annual conference is the basic body in the Church and as such shall have reserved to it the right to vote on all constitutional amendments, on the election of clergy and lay delegates to the General and the jurisdictional or central conferences, on all matters relating to the character and conference 58. Amended 1996. 59. Amended 1996. 60. Amended 2000. 61. Amended 1968, 1970, 1980, 1984. 62. Amended 2000. 63. Amended 2000. 64. Amended 1988. 65. Amended 1972, 1976. 66. Amended 1976. 67. See Judicial Council Decisions 24, 113, 129, 349, 378, 479, 495, 511, 553, 561, 1212; and Decision 7, Interim Judicial Council. 35

51 ¶ 33 THE CONSTITUTION relations of its clergy members, and on the ordination of clergy and such other rights as have not been delegated to the General Conference under the Constitution, with the exception that the lay members may not vote on matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy except that the lay members of the conference board of ordained ministry and the committee on investigation may vote on matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy, with the further exception that lay members of the district committee on ordained ministry be full participating members of the district committee on ordained min- 68 It shall discharge such duties and exercise such istry with vote. powers as the General Conference under the Constitution may 69 determine. ¶ Article III. —The annual conference shall elect clergy 34. and lay delegates to the General Conference and to its jurisdic- tional or central conference in the manner provided in this section, 70 The persons first elected up to the number Articles IV and V. determined by the ratio for representation in the General Confer - ence shall be representatives in that body. Additional delegates shall be elected to complete the number determined by the ratio for representation in the jurisdictional or central conference, who, together with those first elected as above, shall be delegates in the jurisdictional or central conference. The additional delegates to the jurisdictional or central conference shall in the order of their 71 The election be the reserve delegates to the General Conference. annual conference shall also elect reserve clergy and lay delegates to the jurisdictional or central conference as it may deem desir - able. These reserve clergy and lay delegates to the jurisdictional or central conferences may act as reserve delegates to the General Conference when it is evident that not enough reserve delegates 72 are in attendance at the General Conference. ¶ 35. Article IV. —The clergy delegates to the General Confer- ence and to the jurisdictional or central conference shall be elected 73 the clergy members in full connection and shall be elected from by the clergy members of the annual conference or provisional 68. Amended 1996. 69. See Judicial Council Decisions 78, 79, 132, 405, 406, 524, 532, 534, 552, 584, 690, 742, 782, 862. 70. See Judicial Council Decisions 435, 592. 71. See Judicial Council Decision 352. 72. Amended 1992. 73. Amended 1996. 36

52 DIVISION TWO—ORGANIZA ¶ 37 TION annual conference who are deacons and elders in full connection, associate members, and those provisional members who have completed all of their educational requirements and local pastors who have completed course of study or an M. Div. degree and have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appoint- 74 ment immediately preceding the election. 36. Article V . —The lay delegates to the General and juris- ¶ dictional or central conferences shall be elected by the lay mem- bers of the annual conference or provisional annual conference 75 shall have been without regard to age, provided such delegates 76 members of The United Methodist Church for at least professing two years next preceding their election, and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four 77 and are members thereof years next preceding their election, within the annual conference electing them at the time of holding 78 the General and jurisdictional or central conferences. Section VII. Boundaries ¶ 37. Article I. —The United Methodist Church shall have jurisdictional conferences made up as follows: 79 Connecticut, Delaware, District Northeastern—Bermuda, of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, the 80 West Virginia. Virgin Islands, Southeastern—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missis- sippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia. North Central—Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin. South Central—Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas. Western—Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyo- 81 ming and the territory of the United States in the Pacific region. 74. See Judicial Council Decision 1181. Amended 2008. 75. Amended 1972. 76. Amended 2000. 77. Amended 1976. 78. See Judicial Council Decisions 403, 887. 79. Amended 2008. 80. Amended 1980. 81. Amended 1980. 37

53 ¶ 38 THE CONSTITUTION 38. Article II. —The work of the Church outside the United ¶ 82 States of America may be formed into central conferences, the number and boundaries of which shall be determined by the Uniting Conference, the General Conference having authority subsequently to make changes in the number and boundaries. ¶ Article III. —Changes in the number, names, and 39. boundaries of the jurisdictional conferences may be effected by the General Conference upon the consent of a majority of the annual 83 conferences of each of the jurisdictional conferences involved. Article IV . —The number, names, and boundaries of the 40. ¶ annual conferences and episcopal areas shall be determined by 84 the jurisdictional conferences in the United States of America - and by the central conferences outside the United States of Amer ica according to the provisions under the respective powers and 85 pursuant to the respective structures of the jurisdictional and the central conferences. The authority of jurisdictional and central conferences provided herein is not circumscribed or limited by the authority provided to the College of Bishops to arrange a plan 86 of episcopal supervision. ¶ 41. Article V . Transfer of Local Churches —1. A local church may be transferred from one annual conference to another in which it is geographically located upon approval by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting in each of the following: a) the char ge conference; the congr b) egational meeting of the local church; c) each of the two annual confer ences involved. The vote shall be certified by the secretaries of the specified conferences or meetings to the bishops having supervision of the annual conferences involved, and upon their announcement of the required majorities the transfer shall immediately be effective. 2. The vote on appr oval of transfer shall be taken by each annual conference at its first session after the matter is submitted to it. 3. T ransfers under the provisions of this article shall not be governed or restricted by other provisions of this Constitution relating to changes of boundaries of conferences. 82. Amended 1972. 83. See Judicial Council Decisions 55, 56, 85, 215. 84. Amended 1992. 85. Amended 1992. 86. See Judicial Council Decision 1180. 38

54 DIVISION THREE—EPISCOP ¶ 46 AL SUPERVISION Section VIII. District Conferences 42. ¶ Article I. —There may be organized in an annual confe- rence, district conferences composed of such persons and invested with such powers as the General Conference may determine. Section IX. Charge Conferences 43. Article I. —There shall be organized in each charge a ¶ charge conference composed of such persons and invested with such powers as the General Conference shall provide. 44. —Unless the Gen- Election of Church Officers ¶ Article II. eral Conference shall order otherwise, the officers of the church or churches constituting a charge shall be elected by the charge con- 87 members of said church or churches ference or by the professing at a meeting called for that purpose, as may be arranged by the charge conference, unless the election is otherwise required by local church charters or state or provincial law. DIVISION THREE—EPISCOPAL SUPERVISION 45. Article I. —There shall be a continuance of an episco- ¶ pacy in The United Methodist Church of like plan, powers, privi- leges, and duties as now exist in The Methodist Church and in The Evangelical United Brethren Church in all those matters in which they agree and may be considered identical; and the differences between these historic episcopacies are deemed to be reconciled and harmonized by and in this Plan of Union and Constitution of The United Methodist Church and actions taken pursuant thereto so that a unified superintendency and episcopacy is hereby cre- ated and established of, in, and by those who now are and shall be bishops of The United Methodist Church; and the said episco- pacy shall further have such powers, privileges, and duties as are 88 herein set forth. ¶ 46. Article II. —The bishops shall be elected by the respec- tive jurisdictional and central conferences and consecrated in the historic manner at such time and place as may be fixed by the Gen- eral Conference for those elected by the jurisdictions and by each 89 central conference for those elected by such central conference. 87. Amended 2000. 88. See Judicial Council Decisions 4, 114, 127, 363, 1208. 89. See Judicial Council Decisions 21, 127. 39

55 ¶ 47 THE CONSTITUTION ¶ Article III. —There shall be a Council of Bishops com- 47. posed of all the bishops of The United Methodist Church. The council shall meet at least once a year and plan for the general oversight and promotion of the temporal and spiritual interests of the entire Church and for carrying into effect the rules, regula- tions, and responsibilities prescribed and enjoined by the General Conference and in accord with the provisions set forth in this Plan 90 of Union. ¶ 48. Article IV . —The bishops of each jurisdictional and cen- tral conference shall constitute a College of Bishops, and such Col- lege of Bishops shall arrange the plan of episcopal supervision 91 of the annual conferences, missionary conferences, and missions 92 within their respective territories. ¶ 49. Article V . —The bishops shall have residential and pres- 93 idential supervision in the jurisdictional or central conferences in which they are elected or to which they are transferred. Bishops may be transferred from one jurisdiction to another jurisdiction for presidential and residential supervision under the following conditions: (1) The transfer of bishops may be on either of two bases: (a) a jurisdiction that receives a bishop by transfer from another jurisdiction may transfer to that jurisdiction or to a third jurisdiction one of its own bishops eligible for transfer, so that the number transferred in by each jurisdiction shall be balanced by the number transferred out; or (b) a jurisdiction may receive a bishop from another jurisdiction and not transfer out a member of its own College of Bishops. (2) No bishop shall be transferred unless that bishop shall have specifically consented. (3) No bishop shall be eligible for transfer unless the bishop shall have served one quadrennium in the jurisdiction that elected the bishop to the episcopacy. (4) All such transfers shall require the approval by a majority vote of the members present and voting of the juris- dictional committees on episcopacy of the jurisdictions that are 94 involved. After the above procedures have been followed, the transferring bishop shall become a member of the receiving Col- lege of Bishops and shall be subject to residential assignment by that jurisdictional conference. 90. See Judicial Council Decision 424. 91. Amended 1976. 92. See Judicial Council Decisions 517, 735. 93. Amended 1980. 94. Amended 1992. 40

56 DIVISION THREE—EPISCOP ¶ 51 AL SUPERVISION A bishop may be assigned by the Council of Bishops for presi- dential service or other temporary service in another jurisdiction than that which elected the bishop, provided that the request is made by a majority of the bishops in the jurisdiction of the pro- posed service. In the case of an emergency in any jurisdiction or central con- ference through the death or disability of a bishop or other cause, the Council of Bishops may assign a bishop from another jurisdic- tion or central conference to the work of the said jurisdiction or central conference, with the consent of a majority of the bishops of that jurisdiction or central conference. 50. Article VI. —The bishops, both active and retired, of ¶ The Evangelical United Brethren Church and of The Methodist Church at the time union is consummated shall be bishops of The United Methodist Church. The bishops of The Methodist Church elected by the juris- dictions, the active bishops of The Evangelical United Brethren Church at the time of union, and bishops elected by the jurisdic- tions of The United Methodist Church shall have life tenure. Each bishop elected by a central conference of The Methodist Church shall have such tenure as the central conference electing him shall 95 have determined. The jurisdictional conference shall elect a standing committee on episcopacy to consist of one clergy and one lay delegate from each annual conference, on nomination of the annual conference delegation. The committee shall review the work of the bishops, pass on their character and official administration, and report to the jurisdictional conference its findings for such action as the conference may deem appropriate within its constitutional war - rant of power. The committee shall recommend the assignments of the bishops to their respective residences for final action by the jurisdictional conference. ¶ 51. —A bishop presiding over an annual, cen- Article VII. tral, or jurisdictional conference shall decide all questions of law 96 coming before the bishop in the regular business of a session, provided that such questions be presented in writing and that the decisions be recorded in the journal of the conference. Such an episcopal decision shall not be authoritative except for the pending case until it shall have been passed upon by the 95. See Judicial Council Decisions 4, 303, 361, 709. 96. See Judicial Council Decision 33. 41

57 ¶ 51 THE CONSTITUTION Judicial Council. All decisions of law made by each bishop shall be reported in writing annually, with a syllabus of the same, to 97 the Judicial Council, which shall affirm, modify, or reverse them. 52. —The bishops of the several jurisdictional ¶ Article VIII. and central conferences shall preside in the sessions of their 98 respective conferences. 53. Article IX. ¶ —In each annual conference there shall be one or more district superintendents who shall assist the bishop in the administration of the annual conference and shall have such responsibilities and term of office as the General Conference 99 may determine. 54. ¶ —The bishops shall appoint, after consulta- Article X. tion with the district superintendents, ministers to the charges; and they shall have such responsibilities and authorities as the 100 General Conference shall prescribe. DIVISION FOUR—THE JUDICIARY ¶ 55. Article I. —There shall be a Judicial Council. The Gen- eral Conference shall determine the number and qualifications of its members, their terms of office, and the method of election and the filling of vacancies. 56. —The Judicial Council shall have authority: Article II. ¶ 1. o determine the constitutionality of any act of the General T Conference upon an appeal of a majority of the Council of Bish- ops or one-fifth of the members of the General Conference and to determine the constitutionality of any act of a jurisdictional or central conference upon an appeal of a majority of the bishops of that jurisdictional or central conference or upon the appeal of one- fifth of the members of that jurisdictional or central conference. 2. o hear and determine any appeal from a bishop’s decision T on a question of law made in the annual conference when said appeal has been made by one-fifth of that conference present and voting. 3. T o pass upon decisions of law made by bishops in annual conferences. 4. o hear and determine the legality of any action taken T therein by any General Conference board or jurisdictional or central 97. See Judicial Council Decision 763. 98. See Judicial Council Decisions 395, 1194, 1195, 1196. 99. See Judicial Council Decisions 368, 398. 100. See Judicial Council Decision 1307. 42

58 DIVISION FIVE—AMENDMENTS ¶ 59 conference board or body, upon appeal by one-third of the mem- bers thereof, or upon request of the Council of Bishops or a major - ity of the bishops of a jurisdictional or a central conference. 5. T o have such other duties and powers as may be conferred upon it by the General Conference. 6. o provide its own methods of organization and procedure. T ¶ 57. Article III. —All decisions of the Judicial Council shall be final. When the Judicial Council shall declare unconstitutional any act of the General Conference then in session, that decision shall be reported back to that General Conference immediately. ¶ 58. Article IV . —The General Conference shall establish for the Church a judicial system that shall guarantee to our clergy a right to trial by a committee and an appeal, and to our mem- bers a right to trial before the Church, or by a committee, and an 101 appeal. DIVISION FIVE—AMENDMENTS ¶ 59. Article I. —Amendments to the Constitution shall be made upon a two-thirds majority of the General Conference pres- ent and voting and a two-thirds affirmative vote of the aggregate number of members of the several annual conferences present and voting, except in the case of the first and second Restrictive Rules, which shall require a three-fourths majority of all the mem- bers of the annual conferences present and voting. The vote, after being completed, shall be canvassed by the Council of Bishops, and the amendment voted upon shall become effective upon their 102 announcement of its having received the required majority. In the event that the General Conference adopts an amend- ment to the Constitution, the General Conference may immedi- ately adopt enabling legislation for such amendment which shall be contingent on ratification of the amendment by the required two-thirds affirmative vote of the aggregate number of mem- bers of the several annual conferences present and voting, and effective once the Council of Bishops, operating as a canvasser of votes, announces that the amendment has been passed. In the same manner, an annual conference may approve legislation in anticipation of such a change in the Discipline and/or Constitution 101. See Judicial Council Decision 522. 102. See Judicial Council Decisions 154, 243, 244, 349, 483, 884, 961; amended 1976. 43

59 ¶ THE CONSTITUTION 59 that would likewise become effective upon the effective date of said disciplinary change or Constitutional Amendment. 60. ¶ —Amendments to the Constitution may orig- Article II. inate in either the General Conference or the annual conferences. 103 ¶ Article III. —A jurisdictional or central conference 61. may by a majority vote propose changes in the Constitution of the Church, and such proposed changes shall be submitted to the next General Conference. If the General Conference adopts the measure by a two-thirds vote, it shall be submitted to the annual conferences according to the provision for amendments. 103. Amended 1980. 44

60 Part II GENERAL BOOK OF DISCIPLINE 101. General Book of Discipline reflects our Wesleyan way ¶ The of serving Christ through doctrine and disciplined Christian life. We are a worldwide denomination united by doctrine, discipline, and mission through our connectional covenant. The General Book expresses that unity. Each central conference may of Discipline make changes and adaptations to the General Book of Discipline to more fruitfully accomplish our mission in various contexts. How- ever, some portions of the are not subject General Book of Discipline to adaptation. The following parts and paragraphs are not subject - to change or adaptation except by action of the General Confer ence. The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters has primary responsibility for proposing to General Conference revi- sions to this paragraph. Parts I -V I. Constitution ¶¶ 1-61 II. General Book of Discipline ¶ 101 III. Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task ¶¶ 102- 105 IV The Ministry of 120-143 All Christians ¶¶ . . Social Principles Pr eface, Preamble, and ¶¶ 160-166 V The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters, in consultation with the Committee on Faith and Order, will bring legislation to the 2020 General Conference to change the struc- ture of the General Book of Discipline to include a Part VI, General Organization and Administration not subject to change or adapta- Part VII, Additional Organization tion by central conferences, and a 45

61 ¶ 101 GENERAL BOOK OF DISCIPLINE and Administration , adaptable by central conferences according to ¶ 31.5. The content of Part VI of the 2016 Book of Discipline will be included in either Part VI or Part VII of the General Book of Dis- cipline. For the work on Part VI, Chapter 2 (The Ministry of the Ordained) and Chapter 3 (The Superintendency) of the 2016 Book of Discipline , the Standing Committee on Central Conference Mat- ters will work in consultation with the Commission for the Study of Ministry, and for Part VI, Chapter 5 (Administrative Order) of Book of Discipline , the Standing Committee on Central the 2016 Conference Matters will work in consultation with the Connec- tional Table. The Commission on the General Conference is directed to set aside adequate time in the first three days of the 2020 General Conference for plenary consideration and action on Part VI, Gen- eral Administration and Organization, submitted by the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters. Subsequent changes to Part VI shall be reviewed by the Standing Committee on Cen- 1 tral Conference Matters for submission to General Conference. 1. See Judicial Council Decision 1272. 46

62 Part III DOCTRINAL STANDARDS 1 AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK 102. SECTION 1—OUR DOCTRINAL HERITAGE ¶ United Methodists profess the historic Christian faith in God, incarnate in Jesus Christ for our salvation and ever at work in human history in the Holy Spirit. Living in a covenant of grace under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we participate in the first fruits of God’s coming reign and pray in hope for its full realiza- tion on earth as in heaven. Our heritage in doctrine and our present theological task focus upon a renewed grasp of the sovereignty of God and of God’s love in Christ amid the continuing crises of human existence. Our forebears in the faith reaffirmed the ancient Christian message as found in the apostolic witness even as they applied it anew in their own circumstances. Their preaching and teaching were grounded in Scripture, informed by Christian tradition, enlivened in experience, and tested by reason. Their labors inspire and inform our attempts to convey the saving gospel to our world with its needs and aspirations. Our Common Heritage as Christians United Methodists share a common heritage with Christians of every age and nation. This heritage is grounded in the apostolic 1. The Judicial Council ruled in 1972 that all sections of Part III except ¶ 104 were “legislative enactments and neither part of the Constitution nor under the Restrictive Rules” (see Judicial Council Decision 358). 47

63 ¶ 102 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK witness to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, which is the source and measure of all valid Christian teaching. Faced with diverse interpretations of the apostolic message, leaders of the early church sought to specify the core of Christian belief in order to ensure the soundness of Christian teaching. The determination of the canon of Christian Scripture and the adoption of ecumenical creeds such as the formulations of Nicaea and Chalcedon were of central importance to this con- sensual process. Such creeds helped preserve the integrity of the church’s witness, set boundaries for acceptable Christian doc- trine, and proclaimed the basic elements of the enduring Chris- tian message. These statements of faith, along with the Apostles’ Creed, contain the most prominent features of our ecumenical heritage. The Protestant reformers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries devised new confessional statements that reiterated classical Christian teaching in an attempt to recover the authentic biblical witness. These documents affirmed the primacy of Scrip- ture and provided formal doctrinal standards through their state- ments of essential beliefs on matters such as the way of salvation, the Christian life, and the nature of the church. Many distinctively Protestant teachings were transmitted into United Methodist understandings through doctrinal formulations such as the Articles of Religion of the Church of England and the Heidelberg Catechism of the Reformed tradition. Various doctrinal statements in the form of creeds, confessions of belief, and articles of faith were officially adopted by churches as standards of Christian teaching. Notwithstanding their impor - tance, these formal doctrinal standards by no means exhausted authoritative Christian teaching. The standards themselves initially emerged from a much wider body of Christian thought and practice, and their fuller sig- nificance unfolded in the writings of the church’s teachers. Some writings have proved simply to be dated benchmarks in the story of the church’s continuing maturation. By contrast, some sermons, treatises, liturgies, and hymns have gained considerable practical authority in the life and thought of the church by virtue of their wide and continuing acceptance as faithful expositions of Christian teaching. Nonetheless, the basic measure of authenticity in doctrinal standards, whether formally established or received by tradition, has been their fidelity to the 48

64 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 102 HERITAGE apostolic faith grounded in Scripture and evidenced in the life of the church through the centuries. Basic Christian Affirmations With Christians of other communions we confess belief in the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This confession embraces the biblical witness to God’s activity in creation, encom- passes God’s gracious self-involvement in the dramas of history, and anticipates the consummation of God’s reign. The created order is designed for the well-being of all crea- tures and as the place of human dwelling in covenant with God. As sinful creatures, however, we have broken that covenant, become estranged from God, wounded ourselves and one another, and wreaked havoc throughout the natural order. We stand in need of redemption. We hold in common with all Christians a faith in the mys- tery of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. At the heart of the gospel of salvation is God’s incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth. Scripture witnesses to the redeeming love of God in Jesus’ life and teachings, his atoning death, his resurrection, his sovereign pres- ence in history, his triumph over the powers of evil and death, and his promised return. Because God truly loves us in spite of our willful sin, God judges us, summons us to repentance, pardons us, receives us by that grace given to us in Jesus Christ, and gives us hope of life eternal. We share the Christian belief that God’s redemptive love is realized in human life by the activity of the Holy Spirit, both in personal experience and in the community of believers. This community is the church, which the Spirit has brought into exis- tence for the healing of the nations. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are forgiven, reconciled to God, and transformed as people of the new covenant. “Life in the Spirit” involves diligent use of the means of grace such as praying, fasting, attending upon the sacraments, and inward searching in solitude. It also encompasses the communal life of the church in worship, mission, evangelism, service, and social witness. We understand ourselves to be part of Christ’s universal church when by adoration, proclamation, and service we become conformed to Christ. We are initiated and incorporated into this community of faith by baptism, receiving the promise of the Spirit 49

65 ¶ 102 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK that re-creates and transforms us. Through the regular celebration of Holy Communion, we participate in the risen presence of Jesus Christ and are thereby nourished for faithful discipleship. We pray and work for the coming of God’s realm and reign to the world and rejoice in the promise of everlasting life that over - comes death and the forces of evil. With other Christians we recognize that the reign of God is The church is called to be that both a present and future reality. place where the first signs of the reign of God are identified and acknowledged in the world. Wherever persons are being made new creatures in Christ, wherever the insights and resources of the gospel are brought to bear on the life of the world, God’s reign is already effective in its healing and renewing power. We also look to the end time in which God’s work will be fulfilled. This prospect gives us hope in our present actions as individuals and as the Church. This expectation saves us from resignation and motivates our continuing witness and service. We share with many Christian communions a recognition of the authority of Scripture in matters of faith, the confession that our justification as sinners is by grace through faith, and the sober realization that the church is in need of continual ref- ormation and renewal. We affirm the general ministry of all baptized Christians who share responsibility for building up the church and reaching out in mission and service to the world. With other Christians, we declare the essential oneness of the church in Christ Jesus. This rich heritage of shared Christian belief finds expression in our hymnody and liturgies. Our unity is affirmed in the historic creeds as we confess one holy, catholic, and apostolic church. It is also experienced in joint ventures of ministry and in various forms of ecumenical cooperation. Nourished by common roots of this shared Christian heritage, the branches of Christ’s church have developed diverse traditions that enlarge our store of shared understandings. Our avowed ecu- menical commitment as United Methodists is to gather our own doctrinal emphases into the larger Christian unity, there to be made more meaningful in a richer whole. If we are to offer our best gifts to the common Christian trea- sury, we must make a deliberate effort as a church to strive for crit- ical self-understanding. It is as Christians involved in ecumenical partnership that we embrace and examine our distinctive heritage. 50

66 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 102 HERITAGE Our Distinctive Heritage as United Methodists The underlying energy of the Wesleyan theological heritage stems from an emphasis upon practical divinity, the implementa- tion of genuine Christianity in the lives of believers. Methodism did not arise in response to a specific doctrinal dispute, though there was no lack of theological controversy. Early Methodists claimed to preach the scriptural doctrines of the Church of England as contained in the Articles of Religion, the Homilies, and the . Book of Common Prayer Their task was not to reformulate doctrine. Their tasks were to summon people to experience the justifying and sanctifying grace of God and encourage people to grow in the knowledge and love of God through the personal and corporate disciplines of the Christian life. The thrust of the Wesleyan movement and of the United Brethren and Evangelical Association was “to reform the nation, particularly the Church, and to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” Wesley’s orientation toward the practical is evident in his focus upon the “scripture way of salvation.” He considered doc- trinal matters primarily in terms of their significance for Christian discipleship. The Wesleyan emphasis upon the Christian life—faith and love put into practice—has been the hallmark of those traditions now incorporated into The United Methodist Church. The dis- tinctive shape of the Wesleyan theological heritage can be seen in a constellation of doctrinal emphases that display the creating, redeeming, and sanctifying activity of God. Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases Although Wesley shared with many other Christians a belief in grace, justification, assurance, and sanctification, he combined them in a powerful manner to create distinctive emphases for liv- ing the full Christian life. The Evangelical United Brethren tradi- tion, particularly as expressed by Phillip William Otterbein from a Reformed background, gave similar distinctive emphases. Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life. By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit. While the grace of God is undivided, it precedes salvation as “pre- 51

67 ¶ 102 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK venient grace,” continues in “justifying grace,” and is brought to fruition in “sanctifying grace.” We assert that God’s grace is manifest in all creation even though suffering, violence, and evil are everywhere present. The goodness of creation is fulfilled in human beings, who are called to covenant partnership with God. God has endowed us with dig- nity and freedom and has summoned us to responsibility for our lives and the life of the world. In God’s self-revelation, Jesus Christ, we see the splendor of our true humanity. Even our sin, with its destructive consequences for all creation, does not alter God’s intention for us—holiness and happiness of heart. Nor does it diminish our accountability for the way we live. Despite our brokenness, we remain creatures brought into being by a just and merciful God. The restoration of God’s image in our lives requires divine grace to renew our fallen nature. Prevenient Grace —We acknowledge God’s prevenient grace, the divine love that surrounds all humanity and precedes any and all of our conscious impulses. This grace prompts our first wish to please God, our first glimmer of understanding concerning God’s will, and our “first slight transient conviction” of having sinned against God. God’s grace also awakens in us an earnest longing for deliv- erance from sin and death and moves us toward repentance and faith. —We believe God reaches out to Justification and Assurance the repentant believer in justifying grace with accepting and par - doning love. Wesleyan theology stresses that a decisive change in the human heart can and does occur under the prompting of grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In justification we are, through faith, forgiven our sin and restored to God’s favor. This righting of relationships by God through Christ calls forth our faith and trust as we experience regeneration, by which we are made new creatures in Christ. This process of justification and new birth is often referred to as conversion. Such a change may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative. It marks a new beginning, yet it is part of an ongoing process. Christian experience as personal transforma- tion always expresses itself as faith working by love. Our Wesleyan theology also embraces the scriptural promise that we can expect to receive assurance of our present salvation 52

68 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 102 HERITAGE as the Spirit “bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” —We hold that the wonder of Sanctification and Perfection God’s acceptance and pardon does not end God’s saving work, which continues to nurture our growth in grace. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to increase in the knowl- edge and love of God and in love for our neighbor. New birth is the first step in this process of sanctification. Sanctifying grace draws us toward the gift of Christian perfec- tion, which Wesley described as a heart “habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor” and as “having the mind of Christ and walking as he walked.” This gracious gift of God’s power and love, the hope and expectation of the faithful, is neither warranted by our efforts nor limited by our frailties. Faith and Good Works —We see God’s grace and human activity working together in the relationship of faith and good works. God’s grace calls forth human response and discipline. Faith is the only response essential for salvation. However, the General Rules remind us that salvation evidences itself in good works. For Wesley, even repentance should be accompanied by “fruits meet for repentance,” or works of piety and mercy. Both faith and good works belong within an all-encompass- ing theology of grace, since they stem from God’s gracious love “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” —We insist that personal salvation Mission and Service always involves Christian mission and service to the world. By joining heart and hand, we assert that personal religion, evangeli- cal witness, and Christian social action are reciprocal and mutu- ally reinforcing. Scriptural holiness entails more than personal piety; love of God is always linked with love of neighbor, a passion for justice and renewal in the life of the world. The General Rules represent one traditional expression of the intrinsic relationship between Christian life and thought as understood within the Wesleyan tradition. Theology is the ser - vant of piety, which in turn is the ground of social conscience and the impetus for social action and global interaction, always in the empowering context of the reign of God. Nurture and Mission of the Church —Finally, we emphasize the nurturing and serving function of Christian fellowship in the 53

69 ¶ 102 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK - Church. The personal experience of faith is nourished by the wor shiping community. For Wesley there is no religion but social religion, no holiness but social holiness. The communal forms of faith in the Wesleyan tradition not only promote personal growth; they also equip and mobilize us for mission and service to the world. The outreach of the church springs from the working of the Spirit. As United Methodists, we respond to that working through a connectional polity based upon mutual responsiveness and - accountability. Connectional ties bind us together in faith and ser vice in our global witness, enabling faith to become active in love and intensifying our desire for peace and justice in the world. Doctrine and Discipline in the Christian Life No motif in the Wesleyan tradition has been more constant than the link between Christian doctrine and Christian liv- ing. Methodists have always been strictly enjoined to maintain the unity of faith and good works through the means of grace, as seen in John Wesley’s Nature, Design, and General Rules of the United Societies (1743). The coherence of faith with ministries of love forms the discipline of Wesleyan spirituality and Christian discipleship. The General Rules were originally designed for members of Methodist societies who participated in the sacramental life of the Church of England. The terms of membership in these societies were simple: “a desire to flee from the wrath to come and to be saved from their sins.” Wesley insisted, however, that evangelical faith should mani- fest itself in evangelical living. He spelled out this expectation in the three-part formula of the Rules: “It is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation, “First: By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind . . . ; “Secondly: By . . . doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all . . . ; “Thirdly: By attending upon all the ordinances of God” (see ¶ 104). Wesley’s illustrative cases under each of these three rules show how the Christian conscience might move from general principles to specific actions. Their explicit combination high- lights the spiritual spring of moral action. 54

70 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 102 HERITAGE Wesley rejected undue reliance upon these rules. Discipline was not church law; it was a way of discipleship. Wesley insisted that true religion is “the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus,” “the life which is hid with Christ in God,” and “the righteousness that [the true believer] thirsts after.” General Rules and Social Principles Upon such evangelical premises, Methodists in every age have sought to exercise their responsibility for the moral and spiritual quality of society. In asserting the connection between doctrine and ethics, the General Rules provide an early signal of Methodist social consciousness. ¶¶ 160-166) provide our most recent The Social Principles ( official summary of stated convictions that seek to apply the Christian vision of righteousness to social, economic, and political issues. Our historic opposition to evils such as smuggling, inhu- mane prison conditions, slavery, drunkenness, and child labor was founded upon a vivid sense of God’s wrath against human injustice and wastage. Our struggles for human dignity and social reform have been a response to God’s demand for love, mercy, and justice personal gospel that in the light of the Kingdom. We proclaim no fails to express itself in relevant social concerns; we proclaim no that does not include the personal transformation of social gospel sinners. It is our conviction that the good news of the Kingdom must judge, redeem, and reform the sinful social structures of our time. The Book of Discipline and the General Rules convey the expec- tation of discipline within the experience of individuals and the life of the Church. Such discipline assumes accountability to the community of faith by those who claim that community’s support. Support without accountability promotes moral weakness; accountability without support is a form of cruelty. A church that rushes to punishment is not open to God’s mercy, but a church lacking the courage to act decisively on per - sonal and social issues loses its claim to moral authority. The church exercises its discipline as a community through which God continues to “reconcile the world to himself.” 55

71 ¶ 102 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK Conclusion These distinctive emphases of United Methodists provide the basis for “practical divinity,” the experiential realization of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the lives of Christian people. These emphases have been preserved not so much through formal doc- trinal declarations as through the vital movement of faith and practice as seen in converted lives and within the disciplined life of the Church. Devising formal definitions of doctrine has been less press- ing for United Methodists than summoning people to faith and nurturing them in the knowledge and love of God. The core of Wesleyan doctrine that informed our past rightly belongs to our common heritage as Christians and remains a prime component within our continuing theological task. ¶ 103. SECTION 2—OUR DOCTRINAL HISTORY The pioneers in the traditions that flowed together into The United Methodist Church understood themselves as standing in the central stream of Christian spirituality and doctrine, loyal heirs of the authentic Christian tradition. In John Wesley’s words, theirs was “the old religion, the religion of the Bible, the religion . . . of the whole church in the purest ages.” Their gospel was grounded in the biblical message of God’s self-giving love revealed in Jesus Christ. Wesley’s portrayal of the spiritual pilgrimage in terms of “the scripture way of salvation” provided their model for experien- tial Christianity. They assumed and insisted upon the integrity of basic Christian truth and emphasized its practical application in the lives of believers. This perspective is apparent in the Wesleyan understanding of “catholic spirit.” While it is true that United Methodists are fixed upon certain religious affirmations, grounded in the gospel and confirmed in their experience, they also recognize the right of Christians to disagree on matters such as forms of worship, structures of church government, modes of baptism, or theologi- cal explorations. They believe such differences do not break the bond of fellowship that ties Christians together in Jesus Christ. Wesley’s familiar dictum was, “As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think.” But, even as they were fully committed to the principles of religious toleration and theological diversity, they were equally 56

72 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 103 HISTORY confident that there is a “marrow” of Christian truth that can be identified and that must be conserved. This living core, as they believed, stands revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal and corporate experience, and confirmed by reason. They were very much aware, of course, that God’s eternal Word never has been, nor can be, exhaustively expressed in any single form of words. They were also prepared, as a matter of course, to reaffirm the ancient creeds and confessions as valid summaries of Christian truth. But they were careful not to set them apart as absolute stan- dards for doctrinal truth and error. Beyond the essentials of vital religion, United Methodists respect the diversity of opinions held by conscientious persons of faith. Wesley followed a time-tested approach: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.” The spirit of charity takes into consideration the limits of human understanding. “To be ignorant of many things and to be mistaken in some,” Wesley observed, “is the necessary condition of humanity.” The crucial matter in religion is steadfast love for God and neighbor, empowered by the redeeming and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. The Wesleyan “Standards” in Great Britain In this spirit, the British Methodists under the Wesleys never reduced their theology to a confessional formula as a doctrinal test. Methodism was a movement within the Church of England, and John Wesley constantly maintained that he taught the scrip- tural doctrines contained in the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Homi- lies, and the of his national church. The Book of Common Prayer Bible, of course, constituted for him the final authority in all doc- trinal matters. As the movement grew, Wesley provided his people with published sermons and a Bible commentary for their doctrinal instruction. His (1746-60) set forth Sermons on Several Occasions those doctrines which, he said, “I embrace and teach as the essen- tials of true religion.” In 1755, he published Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament as a guide for Methodist biblical exegesis and doctrinal interpretation. As occasional controversies arose, the need for a standard measure of Methodist preaching became evident. In 1763, Wesley produced a “Model Deed” for Methodist properties, which stipu- 57

73 ¶ 103 STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK DOCTRINAL lated that the trustees for each preaching house were responsible for ensuring that the preachers in their pulpits “preach no other doctrine than is contained in Mr. Wesley’s Notes Upon the New Tes- and four volumes of Sermons .” tament These writings, then, contained the standard exposition of Methodist teaching. They provide a model and measure for ade- quate preaching in the Wesleyan tradition. The primary norm for Wesley’s writings was Scripture, as illumined by historic tradi- tions and vital faith. Wesley put forth no summary of biblical rev- elation for the British Methodists because the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England were already available. The Wesley brothers also composed hymns that were rich in doctrinal and experiential content. The hymns, especially those of Charles Wesley, not only are among the best-loved within Meth- odism but also are major resources for doctrinal instruction. Furthermore, John Wesley specified various disciplines and rules, such as the General Rules, to implement in personal and communal life the practical divinity he proclaimed. In addition to these writings, Wesley established the con- ference to instruct and supervise the Methodist preachers. He produced Minutes to ensure their fidelity to the doctrines and disciplines of the Methodist movement. These writings and struc- tures filled out the Wesleyan understanding of the church and the Christian life. Doctrinal Standards in American Methodism As long as the American colonies were primarily under Brit- ish control, the Methodists could continue as part of the sacramen- tal community of the Church of England. The early conferences, under the leadership of British preachers, declared their alle- giance to the Wesleyan principles of organization and doctrine. They stipulated that the Minutes of the British and American con- ferences, along with the Sermons and Notes of Wesley, contained their basic doctrine and discipline. After the formal recognition of American independence in 1783, Wesley realized that the Methodists in America were free of English control, religious as well as civil, and should become an independent Methodist church. Wesley then furnished the Ameri- can Methodists with a liturgy ( The Sunday Service of the Methodists in North America ) and a doctrinal statement ( The Articles of Reli- Book of gion ). The Sunday Service was Wesley’s abridgment of the 58

74 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 103 HISTORY ; the Articles of Religion were his revision of the Common Prayer Thirty-Nine Articles. The American Methodist preachers, gathered at Baltimore in December 1784, adopted the Sunday Service and the Articles of Religion as part of their actions in forming the new Method- ist Episcopal Church. This “Christmas Conference” also accepted a hymnbook that Wesley had prepared (1784) and adopted a slightly modified version of the General Rules as a statement of the Church’s nature and discipline. The conference spent most of its time adapting the British “Large Minutes” to American condi- tions. Subsequent editions of this document came to be known as Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church (the the Book of Discipline ). The shift from “movement” to “church” had changed the function of doctrinal norms within American Methodism. Rather than prescribing doctrinal emphases for preaching within a move- ment, the Articles outlined basic norms for Christian belief within a church, following the traditional Anglican fashion. The preface to the first separate publication of the Articles states, “These are the doctrines taught among the people called Methodists. Nor is there any doctrine whatever, generally received among that people, contrary to the articles now before you.” American Methodists were not required to subscribe to the Articles after the Anglican manner, but they were accountable (under threat of trial) for keeping their proclamation of the gos- pel within the boundaries outlined therein. For generations, the cited only the Articles as the basis for test- Doctrines and Discipline ing correct doctrine in the newly formed church: The charge of doctrinal irregularity against preachers or members was for “dis- seminating doctrines contrary to our Articles of Religion.” In this manner, the church protected its doctrinal integrity against the heresies that were prevalent at the time—Socinianism, Arianism, and Pelagianism (see Articles I, II, and IX). The Articles of Religion, however, did not guarantee adequate Methodist preaching; they lacked several Wesleyan emphases, such as assurance and Christian perfection. Wesley’s Sermons and Notes, therefore, continued to function as the traditional standard exposition of distinctive Methodist teaching. The General Conference of 1808, which provided the first Con- stitution of The Methodist Episcopal Church, established the Arti- cles of Religion as the Church’s explicit doctrinal standards. The 59

75 ¶ 103 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK first Restrictive Rule of the Constitution prohibited any change, alteration, or addition to the Articles themselves, and it stipulated that no new standards or rules of doctrine could be adopted that were contrary to the “present existing and established standards of doctrine.” Within the Wesleyan tradition, then as now, the Sermons and furnished models of doctrinal exposition. Other documents Notes have also served American Methodism as vital expressions of Methodist teaching and preaching. Lists of recommended doctri- nal resources vary from generation to generation but generally acknowledge the importance of the hymnbook, the ecumeni- cal creeds, and the General Rules. Lists of such writings in the early nineteenth century usually included John Fletcher’s Checks Against Antinomianism and Richard Watson’s Theological Institutes. The doctrinal emphases of these statements were carried for - ward by the weight of tradition rather than the force of law. They became part of the heritage of American Methodism to the degree that they remained useful to continuing generations. During the great frontier revivals of the nineteenth century, - the influence of European theological traditions waned in Amer ica. Preaching focused on “Christian experience,” understood chiefly as “saving faith in Christ.” Among the Methodists there was a consistent stress on free will, infant baptism, and informal worship, which led to protracted controversies with the Presbyte- rians, Baptists, and Episcopalians, respectively. Methodist interest in formal doctrinal standards remained secondary to evangelism, nurture, and mission. The Wesleyan hymnody served in practice as the most important single means of communicating and preserving the doctrinal substance of the gospel. By the end of the nineteenth century, Methodist theology in America had become decidedly eclectic, with less specific atten- tion paid to its Wesleyan sources. The force of the Articles of Religion underwent several shifts. For a time, the first Restrictive Rule was exempted from the pro- cess of constitutional amendment, thus allowing no consideration of change in doctrinal standards. Mention of the Articles of Reli- gion was included in the membership vows of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. At the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the wan- ing force of doctrinal discipline and the decreasing influence of 60

76 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 103 HISTORY the Wesleyan theological heritage among the American Method- ists, along with minor but significant changes in the wording of Book of Discipline regarding doctrinal standards, led to a steady the dilution of the force of the Articles of Religion as the Church’s constitutional standards of doctrine. During this same period, theologians and church leaders began to explore ways of expressing the gospel that were in keeping with developing intellectual currents. These leaders also began to rethink the historical social compassion of the Wesleyan tradition in the midst of the emerging industrial, urban civilization. They deepened our awareness of the systemic nature of evil and the urgency to proclaim the gospel promise of social redemption. Consequently, theologies supportive of the social gospel found fertile soil within the Methodist traditions. These years were times of theological and ethical controversy within Methodism as new patterns of thought clashed with the more familiar themes and styles of the previous two centuries. In recent decades there has been a strong recovery of interest in Wesley and in the more classic traditions of Christian thought. This recovery has been part of a broad resurgence of Reformation theology and practice in Europe and America, renewing the his- torical legacy of Protestantism in the context of the modern world. These trends have been reinforced in North America by the reaf- firmation of evangelical piety. The ecumenical movement has brought new appreciation for the unity as well as the richness and diversity of the church catholic. Currents of theology have developed out of Black people’s struggle for freedom, the movement for the full equality of women in church and society, and the quest for liberation and for indigenous forms of Christian existence in churches around the world. The challenge to United Methodists is to discern the various strands of these vital movements of faith that are coherent, faith- ful understandings of the gospel and the Christian mission for our times. The task of defining the scope of our Wesleyan tradition in the context of the contemporary world includes much more than formally reaffirming or redefining standards of doctrine, although these tasks may also be involved. The heart of our task is to reclaim and renew the distinctive United Methodist doctrinal 61

77 ¶ 103 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK heritage, which rightly belongs to our common heritage as Chris- tians, for the life and mission of the whole church today. Doctrinal Traditions in The Evangelical Church and The United Brethren Church The unfolding of doctrinal concerns among Jacob Albright’s Evangelical Association and Phillip William Otterbein’s United Brethren in Christ roughly parallels Methodist developments. Dif- ferences emerged largely from differing ecclesiastical traditions brought from Germany and Holland, together with the modified Calvinism of the Heidelberg Catechism. In the German-speaking communities of America, Albright and Otterbein considered evangelism more important than theo- logical speculation. Although they were not doctrinally indiffer - ent, they stressed conversion, “justification by faith confirmed by a sensible assurance thereof,” Christian nurture, the priesthood of all believers in a shared ministry of Christian witness and service, and entire sanctification as the goal of Christian life. As with Wesley, their primary source and norm for Chris- tian teaching was Scripture. Otterbein enjoined his followers “to be careful to preach no other doctrine than what is plainly laid down in the Bible.” Each new member was asked “to con- fess that he received the Bible as the Word of God.” Ordinands were required to affirm without reserve the plenary authority of Scripture. Matched with these affirmations was the conviction that con- verted Christians are enabled by the Holy Spirit to read Scripture with a special Christian consciousness. They prized this principle as the supreme guide in biblical interpretation. Jacob Albright was directed by the conference of 1807 to pre- pare a list of Articles of Religion. He died before he could attempt the task. George Miller then assumed the responsibility. He recom- mended to the conference of 1809 the adoption of the German translation of the Methodist Articles of Religion, with the addition of a new one, “Of the Last Judgment.” The recommendation was adopted. This action affirms a conscious choice of the Methodist Articles as normative. The added article was from the Augsburg Confession, on a theme omitted in the Anglican Articles. In 1816, the original twenty-six Articles were reduced to twenty-one by omitting five polemical articles aimed at Roman 62

78 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 103 HISTORY Catholics, Anabaptists, and sixteenth-century sectaries. This act of deletion reflected a conciliatory spirit in a time of bitter controversy. In 1839, a few slight changes were made in the text of 1816. It was then stipulated that “the Articles of Faith . . . should be con- stitutionally unchangeable among us.” In the 1870s, a proposal to revise the Articles touched off a flurry of debate, but the conference of 1875 decisively rejected the proposal. In later action the twenty-one Articles were reduced to nine- teen by combining several, but without omitting any of their orig- inal content. These nineteen were brought intact into the Evangelical United Brethren union of 1946. Among the United Brethren in Christ, a summary of norma- tive teaching was formulated in 1813 by Christian Newcomer and Christopher Grosch, colleagues of Otterbein. Its first three para- graphs follow the order of the Apostles’ Creed. Paragraphs four and five affirm the primacy of Scripture and the universal procla- mation of “the biblical doctrine . . . of man’s fall in Adam and his deliverance through Jesus Christ.” An added section commends “the ordinances of baptism and the remembrance of the Lord” and approves foot washing as optional. The first General Conference of the United Brethren in Christ (1815) adopted a slight revision of this earlier statement as the denomination’s Confession of Faith. A further revision was made in 1841, with the stipulation that there be no further changes: “No rule or ordinance shall at any time be passed to change or do away with the Confession of Faith as it now stands.” Even so, agitation for change continued. In 1885, a church commission was appointed to “prepare such a form of belief and such amended fundamental rules for the gov- ernment of this church in the future as will, in their judgment, be best adapted to secure its growth and efficiency in the work of evangelizing the world.” The resulting proposal for a new Confession of Faith and Constitution was submitted to the general membership of the Church, the first such referendum on a Confession of Faith in United Brethren history, and was then placed before the General Conference of 1889. Both the general membership and the confer - ence approved the Confession by preponderant majorities. It was 63

79 ¶ 103 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK thereupon enacted by episcopal “proclamation.” However, this action was protested by a minority as a violation of the Restrictive Rule of 1841 and became a basic cause for a consequent schism, resulting in the formation of The United Brethren Church (Old Constitution). The Confession of Faith of 1889 was more comprehensive than any of its antecedents, with articles on depravity, justifi- cation, regeneration and adoption, sanctification, the Chris- tian Sabbath, and the future state. The article on sanctification, though brief, is significant in its reflection of the doctrine of holiness of the Heidelberg Catechism. The 1889 Confession was brought by the United Brethren into the union with the Evan- gelicals in 1946. The Evangelical United Brethren Confession of Faith The of the new Evangelical United Brethren Church Discipline (1946) contained both the Evangelical Articles and the United Brethren Confession. Twelve years later the General Conference of the united church authorized its board of bishops to prepare a new Confession of Faith. A new Confession, with sixteen articles, of a somewhat more modern character than any of its antecedents, was presented to the General Conference of 1962 and adopted without amend- ment. The Evangelical article, “Entire Sanctification and Christian Perfection,” is reflected in this confession as a distinctive empha- sis. The Confession of Faith replaced both former Articles and Confession and was brought over intact into the of The Discipline United Methodist Church (1968). Doctrinal Standards in The United Methodist Church In the Plan of Union for The United Methodist Church, the preface to the Methodist Articles of Religion and the Evangeli- cal United Brethren Confession of Faith explains that both were accepted as doctrinal standards for the new church. Additionally, it stated that although the language of the first Restrictive Rule never has been formally defined, Wesley’s Sermons and Notes were understood specifically to be included in our present existing and established standards of doctrine. It also stated that the Articles, the Confession, and the Wesleyan “standards” were “thus deemed congruent if not identical in their doctrinal perspectives and not 64

80 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND GENERAL RULES in conflict.” This declaration was accepted by subsequent rulings 2 of the Judicial Council. The Constitution of The United Methodist Church, in its Restrictive Rules (see ¶¶ 17-22), protects both the Articles of Reli- gion and the Confession of Faith as doctrinal standards that shall not be revoked, altered, or changed. The process of creating new “standards or rules of doctrine” thus continues to be restricted, requiring either that they be declared “not contrary to” the pres- ent standards or that they go through the difficult process of con- stitutional amendment. The United Methodist Church stands continually in need of doctrinal reinvigoration for the sake of authentic renewal, fruit- ful evangelism, and ecumenical dialogue. In this light, the recov- ery and updating of our distinctive doctrinal heritage—catholic, evangelical, and reformed—is essential. This task calls for the repossession of our traditions as well as the promotion of theological inquiry both within the denomina- tion and in our ecumenical efforts. All are invited to share in this endeavor to stimulate an active interest in doctrinal understand- ing in order to claim our legacy and to shape that legacy for the Church we aspire to be. 104. SECTION 3—OUR DOCTRINAL STANDARDS ¶ AND GENERAL RULES THE ARTICLES OF RELIGION 3 OF THE METHODIST CHURCH [Bibliographical Note: The Articles of Religion are here reprinted from the Discipline of 1808 (when the first Restrictive Rule took effect), collated against Wesley’s original text in The Sunday Service of the Methodists (1784). To these are added two Articles: “Of Sanctification” and “Of the Duty of Christians to the Civil Authority,” which are legislative enactments and not inte- gral parts of the document as protected by the Constitution (see Judicial Council Decisions 41, 176).] Article I—Of Faith in the Holy Trinity There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker 2. See Judicial Council Decision 358. 17). 3. Protected by Restrictive Rule 1 ( ¶ 65

81 ¶ 104 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Article II—Of the Word, or Son of God, Who Was Made Very Man - The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eter nal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided; whereof is one Christ, very God and very Man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men. Article III—Of the Resurrection of Christ Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he return to judge all men at the last day. Article IV—Of the Holy Ghost The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God. Article V—Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testament of whose authority was never any doubt in the church. The names of the canonical books are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, The First Book of Samuel, The Second Book of Sam- uel, The First Book of Kings, The Second Book of Kings, The First Book of Chronicles, The Second Book of Chronicles, The Book of 66

82 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND GENERAL RULES Ezra, The Book of Nehemiah, The Book of Esther, The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes or the Preacher, Cantica or Songs of Solomon, Four Prophets the Greater, Twelve Prophets the Less. All the books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive and account canonical. Article VI—Of the Old Testament The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to man- kind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard who feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses as touching ceremo- nies and rites doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil pre- cepts thereof of necessity be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedi- ence of the commandments which are called moral. Article VII—Of Original or Birth Sin Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually. Article VIII—Of Free Will The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and works, to faith, and calling upon God; wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, with- out the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will. Article IX—Of the Justification of Man We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort. 67

83 ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK DOCTRINAL Article X—Of Good Works Although good works, which are the fruits of faith, and fol- low after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God’s judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and spring out of a true and lively faith, inso- much that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree is discerned by its fruit. Article XI—Of Works of Supererogation Voluntary works—besides, over and above God’s command- ments—which they call works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. For by them men do declare that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake than of bounden duty is required; whereas Christ saith plainly: When you have done all that is commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants. Article XII—Of Sin After Justification Not every sin willingly committed after justification is the sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore, the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after jus- tification. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and, by the grace of God, rise again and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be con- demned who say they can no more sin as long as they live here; or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent. Article XIII—Of the Church The visible church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments duly administered according to Christ’s ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. 4 Article XIV—Of Purgatory The Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, pardon, worship- ing, and adoration, as well of images as of relics, and also invoca- 4. For the contemporary interpretation of this and similar articles (i.e., Arti- cles XIV, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, XX, and XXI) in consonance with our best ecumenical insights and judgment, see “Resolution of Intent: With a View to Unity” ( The Book 2016, Resolution Number 3144). of Resolutions , 68

84 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND GENERAL RULES tion of saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God. Article XV—Of Speaking in the Congregation in Such a Tongue as the People Understand It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the primitive church, to have public prayer in the church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understood by the people. Article XVI—Of the Sacraments Sacraments ordained of Christ are not only badges or tokens of Christian men’s profession, but rather they are certain signs of grace, and God’s good will toward us, by which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm, our faith in him. There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord. Those five commonly called sacraments, that is to say, con- firmation, penance, orders, matrimony, and extreme unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel; being such c orrupt following of the apos- as have partly grown out of the tles, and partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures, but yet have not the like nature of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, because they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God. The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about; but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, they have a whole- some effect or operation; but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves condemnation, as St. Paul saith. Article XVII—Of Baptism Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of differ - ence whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration or the new birth. 5 The Baptism of young children is to be retained in the Church. 5. See Judicial Council Decision 142. 69

85 ¶ 104 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK Article XVIII—Of the Lord’s Supper The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Chris- tians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death; insomuch that, to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ. Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, over - throweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions. The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the means whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith. The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordi- nance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshiped. Article XIX—Of Both Kinds The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay people; for both the parts of the Lord’s Supper, by Christ’s ordinance and commandment, ought to be administered to all Christians alike. Article XX—Of the One Oblation of Christ, Finished upon the Cross The offering of Christ, once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifice of masses, in the which it is commonly said that the priest doth offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, is a blasphemous fable and dangerous deceit. Article XXI—Of the Marriage of Ministers The ministers of Christ are not commanded by God’s law either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage; therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christians, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve best to godliness. 70

86 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND GENERAL RULES Article XXII—Of the Rites and Ceremonies of Churches It is not necessary that rites and ceremonies should in all places be the same, or exactly alike; for they have been always different, and may be changed according to the diversity of coun- tries, times, and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s Word. Whosoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly break the rites and ceremo- nies of the church to which he belongs, which are not repugnant to the Word of God, and are ordained and approved by com- mon authority, ought to be rebuked openly, that others may fear to do the like, as one that offendeth against the common order of the church, and woundeth the consciences of weak brethren. Every particular church may ordain, change, or abolish rites and ceremonies, so that all things may be done to edification. Article XXIII—Of the Rulers of the United States of America The President, the Congress, the general assemblies, the gov- ernors, and the councils of state, are the as the delegates of the people, rulers of the United States of America, according to the division of power made to them by the Constitution of the United States and by the constitutions of their respective states. And the said states are a sovereign and independent nation, and ought not to be subject to any foreign jurisdiction. Article XXIV—Of Christian Men’s Goods The riches and goods of Christians are not common as touch- ing the right, title, and possession of the same, as some do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability. Article XXV—Of a Christian Man’s Oath As we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Chris- tian men by our Lord Jesus Christ and James his apostle, so we judge that the Christian religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the prophet’s teaching, in jus- tice, judgment, and truth. 71

87 ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK DOCTRINAL is placed here Discipline [The following Article from the Methodist Protestant by the Uniting Conference (1939). It was not one of the Articles of Religion voted upon by the three churches.] Of Sanctification Sanctification is that renewal of our fallen nature by the Holy Ghost, received through faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood of atonement cleanseth from all sin; whereby we are not only delivered from the guilt of sin, but are washed from its pollution, saved from its power, and are enabled, through grace, to love God with all our hearts and to walk in his holy commandments blameless. [The following provision was adopted by the Uniting Conference (1939). This statement seeks to interpret to our churches in foreign lands Article XXIII of the Articles of Religion. It is a legislative enactment but is not a part of the Constitution. (See Judicial Council Decisions 41, 176, and Decision 6, Interim Judicial Council.)] Of the Duty of Christians to the Civil Authority It is the duty of all Christians, and especially of all Christian ministers, to observe and obey the laws and commands of the governing or supreme authority of the country of which they are citizens or subjects or in which they reside, and to use all laudable means to encourage and enjoin obedience to the powers that be. THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 6 OF THE EVANGELICAL UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH [Bibliographical Note: The text of the Confession of Faith is identical to that of its original in The Discipline of The Evangelical United Brethren Church (1963).] Article I—God We believe in the one true, holy and living God, Eternal Spirit, who is Creator, Sovereign and Preserver of all things visible and invisible. He is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, and rules with gracious regard for the well-being and sal- vation of men, to the glory of his name. We believe the one God reveals himself as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, distinct but inseparable, eternally one in essence and power. 18). 6. Protected by Restrictive Rule 2 ( ¶ 72

88 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND GENERAL RULES Article II—Jesus Christ We believe in Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. As ministering Servant he lived, suffered and died on the cross. He was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be with the Father, from whence he shall return. He is eternal Savior and Media- tor, who intercedes for us, and by him all men will be judged. Article III—The Holy Spirit We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from and is one in being with the Father and the Son. He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He leads men through faith- ful response to the gospel into the fellowship of the Church. He comforts, sustains and empowers the faithful and guides them into all truth. Article IV—The Holy Bible We believe the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments, reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation. It is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the true rule and guide for faith and practice. Whatever is not revealed in or established by the Holy Scriptures is not to be made an article of faith nor is it to be taught as essential to salvation. Article V—The Church We believe the Christian Church is the community of all true believers under the Lordship of Christ. We believe it is one, holy, apostolic and catholic. It is the redemptive fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by men divinely called, and the sacra- ments are duly administered according to Christ’s own appoint- ment. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit the Church exists for the maintenance of worship, the edification of believers and the redemption of the world. Article VI—The Sacraments We believe the Sacraments, ordained by Christ, are sym- bols and pledges of the Christian’s profession and of God’s love 73

89 ¶ 104 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK toward us. They are means of grace by which God works invis- ibly in us, quickening, strengthening and confirming our faith in him. Two Sacraments are ordained by Christ our Lord, namely Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe Baptism signifies entrance into the household of faith, and is a symbol of repentance and inner cleansing from sin, a representation of the new birth in Christ Jesus and a mark of Christian discipleship. We believe children are under the atonement of Christ and as heirs of the Kingdom of God are acceptable subjects for Christian Baptism. Children of believing parents through Baptism become the special responsibility of the Church. They should be nurtured and led to personal acceptance of Christ, and by profession of faith confirm their Baptism. We believe the Lord’s Supper is a representation of our redemption, a memorial of the sufferings and death of Christ, and a token of love and union which Christians have with Christ and with one another. Those who rightly, worthily and in faith eat the broken bread and drink the blessed cup partake of the body and blood of Christ in a spiritual manner until he comes. Article VII—Sin and Free Will We believe man is fallen from righteousness and, apart from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, is destitute of holiness and inclined to evil. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. In his own strength, without divine grace, man cannot do good works pleasing and acceptable to God. We believe, however, man influenced and empowered by the Holy Spirit is responsible in freedom to exercise his will for good. Article VIII—Reconciliation Through Christ We believe God was in Christ reconciling the world to him- self. The offering Christ freely made on the cross is the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, redeeming man from all sin, so that no other satisfaction is required. Article IX—Justification and Regeneration We believe we are never accounted righteous before God through our works or merit, but that penitent sinners are justified 74

90 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND GENERAL RULES or accounted righteous before God only by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe regeneration is the renewal of man in righteousness through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, whereby we are made partakers of the divine nature and experience newness of life. By this new birth the believer becomes reconciled to God and is enabled to serve him with the will and the affections. We believe, although we have experienced regeneration, it is possible to depart from grace and fall into sin; and we may even then, by the grace of God, be renewed in righteousness. Article X—Good Works We believe good works are the necessary fruits of faith and follow regeneration but they do not have the virtue to remove our sins or to avert divine judgment. We believe good works, pleas- ing and acceptable to God in Christ, spring from a true and living faith, for through and by them faith is made evident. Article XI—Sanctification and Christian Perfection We believe sanctification is the work of God’s grace through the Word and the Spirit, by which those who have been born again are cleansed from sin in their thoughts, words and acts, and are enabled to live in accordance with God’s will, and to strive for holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Entire sanctification is a state of perfect love, righteousness and true holiness which every regenerate believer may obtain by being delivered from the power of sin, by loving God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength, and by loving one’s neighbor as one’s self. Through faith in Jesus Christ this gracious gift may be received in this life both gradually and instantaneously, and should be sought earnestly by every child of God. We believe this experience does not deliver us from the infir - mities, ignorance, and mistakes common to man, nor from the possibilities of further sin. The Christian must continue on guard against spiritual pride and seek to gain victory over every temp- tation to sin. He must respond wholly to the will of God so that sin will lose its power over him; and the world, the flesh, and the devil are put under his feet. Thus he rules over these enemies with watchfulness through the power of the Holy Spirit. 75

91 ¶ 104 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK Article XII—The Judgment and the Future State We believe all men stand under the righteous judgment of - Jesus Christ, both now and in the last day. We believe in the resur rection of the dead; the righteous to life eternal and the wicked to endless condemnation. Article XIII—Public Worship We believe divine worship is the duty and privilege of man who, in the presence of God, bows in adoration, humility and dedication. We believe divine worship is essential to the life of the Church, and that the assembling of the people of God for such worship is necessary to Christian fellowship and spiritual growth. We believe the order of public worship need not be the same in all places but may be modified by the church according to cir - cumstances and the needs of men. It should be in a language and form understood by the people, consistent with the Holy Scrip- tures to the edification of all, and in accordance with the order and of the Church. Discipline Article XIV—The Lord’s Day We believe the Lord’s Day is divinely ordained for private and public worship, for rest from unnecessary work, and should be devoted to spiritual improvement, Christian fellowship and service. It is commemorative of our Lord’s resurrection and is an emblem of our eternal rest. It is essential to the permanence and growth of the Christian Church, and important to the welfare of the civil community. Article XV—The Christian and Property We believe God is the owner of all things and that the indi- vidual holding of property is lawful and is a sacred trust under God. Private property is to be used for the manifestation of Chris- tian love and liberality, and to support the Church’s mission in the world. All forms of property, whether private, corporate or public, are to be held in solemn trust and used responsibly for human good under the sovereignty of God. Article XVI—Civil Government We believe civil government derives its just powers from the sovereign God. As Christians we recognize the governments 76

92 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND GENERAL RULES under whose protection we reside and believe such governments should be based on, and be responsible for, the recognition of human rights under God. We believe war and bloodshed are contrary to the gospel and spirit of Christ. We believe it is the duty of Christian citizens to give moral strength and purpose to their respective governments through sober, righteous and godly living. THE STANDARD SERMONS OF WESLEY [Bibliographical Note: The Wesleyan “standards” have been reprinted frequently. The critical edition of Wesley’s is Sermons The Works of John Wesley, vols. 1-4 (Nashville: Abing- included in don Press, 1984-87).] THE EXPLANATORY NOTES UPON THE NEW TESTAMENT [Bibliographical Note: The Explanatory Notes Upon the New Tes- tament (1755) is currently in print (Schmul Publishing Company’s 1975 edition) and is forthcoming as vols. 5-6 of The Works of John Wesley. ] 7 THE GENERAL RULES OF THE METHODIST CHURCH [Bibliographical Note: The General Rules are printed here in the text of 1808 (when the fifth Restrictive Rule took effect), as sub- sequently amended by constitutional actions in 1848 and 1868.] The Nature, Design, and General Rules of Our United Societies In the latter end of the year 1739 eight or ten persons came to Mr. Wesley, in London, who appeared to be deeply convinced of sin, and earnestly groaning for redemption. They desired, as did two or three more the next day, that he would spend some time with them in prayer, and advise them how to flee from the wrath to come, which they saw continually hanging over their heads. That he might have more time for this great work, he appointed a day when they might all come together, which from thenceforward they did every week, namely, on Thursday in the evening. To these, and as many more as desired to join with them 21). 7. Protected by Restrictive Rule 5 ( ¶ 77

93 ¶ 104 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK (for their number increased daily), he gave those advices from time to time which he judged most needful for them, and they always concluded their meeting with prayer suited to their sev- eral necessities. This was the rise of the United Society, first in Europe, and then in America. Such a society is no other than “a company of form and seeking the power men having the of godliness, united in order to pray together, to receive the word of exhortation, and to watch over one another in love, that they may help each other to work out their salvation.” That it may the more easily be discerned whether they are indeed working out their own salvation, each society is divided into smaller companies, called classes, according to their respec- tive places of abode. There are about twelve persons in a class, one of whom is styled the leader. It is his duty: 1. To see each person in his class once a week at least, in order: (1) to inquire how their souls prosper; (2) to advise, reprove, com- fort or exhort, as occasion may require; (3) to receive what they are willing to give toward the relief of the preachers, church, and poor. 2. To meet the ministers and the stewards of the society once a week, in order: (1) to inform the minister of any that are sick, or of any that walk disorderly and will not be reproved; (2) to pay the stewards what they have received of their several classes in the week preceding. There is only one condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies: “a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their sins.” But wherever this is really fixed in the soul it will be shown by its fruits. It is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation, By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind, espe- First: cially that which is most generally practiced, such as: The taking of the name of God in vain. The profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work therein or by buying or selling. Drunkenness: buying or selling spirituous liquors, or drink- ing them, unless in cases of extreme necessity. Slaveholding; buying or selling slaves. Fighting, quarreling, brawling, brother going to law with brother; returning evil for evil, or railing for railing; the using many words in buying or selling. 78

94 OUR DOCTRINAL ¶ 104 STANDARDS AND GENERAL RULES The buying or selling goods that have not paid the duty. The giving or taking things on usury—i.e., unlawful interest. Uncharitable or unprofitable conversation; particularly speaking evil of magistrates or of ministers. Doing to others as we would not they should do unto us. Doing what we know is not for the glory of God, as: The putting on of gold and costly apparel. The taking such diversions as cannot be used in the name of the Lord Jesus. The singing those songs, or reading those books, which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God. Softness and needless self-indulgence. Laying up treasure upon earth. Borrowing without a probability of paying; or taking up goods without a probability of paying for them. It is expected of all who continue in these societies that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation, Secondly: By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power; as they have opportunity, doing good of every pos- sible sort, and, as far as possible, to all men: To their bodies, of the ability which God giveth, by giving food to the hungry, by clothing the naked, by visiting or helping them that are sick or in prison. To their souls, by instructing, reproving, or exhorting all we have any intercourse with; trampling under foot that enthusiastic our hearts be free to it. ” doctrine that “we are not to do good unless By doing good, especially to them that are of the household of faith or groaning so to be; employing them preferably to oth- ers; buying one of another, helping each other in business, and so much the more because the world will love its own and them only. By all possible diligence and frugality, that the gospel be not blamed. By running with patience the race which is set before them, denying themselves, and taking up their cross daily; submitting to bear the reproach of Christ, to be as the filth and offscouring of the world; and looking that men should say all manner of evil of them falsely, for the Lord’s sake. It is expected of all who desire to continue in these societies that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation, Thirdly: By attending upon all the ordinances of God; such are: 79

95 ¶ 104 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK The public worship of God. The ministry of the Word, either read or expounded. The Supper of the Lord. Family and private prayer. Searching the Scriptures. Fasting or abstinence. These are the General Rules of our societies; all of which we are taught of God to observe, even in his written Word, which is the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both of our faith and practice. And all these we know his Spirit writes on truly awakened hearts. If there be any among us who observe them not, who habitually break any of them, let it be known unto them who watch over that soul as they who must give an account. We will admonish him of the error of his ways. We will bear with him for a season. But then, if he repent not, he hath no more place among us. We have delivered our own souls. ¶ 105. SECTION 4—OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK Theology is our effort to reflect upon God’s gracious action in our lives. In response to the love of Christ, we desire to be drawn into a deeper relationship with “faith’s pioneer and perfecter.” Our theological explorations seek to give expression to the myste- rious reality of God’s presence, peace, and power in the world. By so doing, we attempt to articulate more clearly our understanding of the divine-human encounter and are thereby more fully pre- pared to participate in God’s work in the world. The theological task, though related to the Church’s doc- trinal expressions, serves a different function. Our doctrinal affirmations assist us in the discernment of Christian truth in ever-changing contexts. Our theological task includes the testing, renewal, elaboration, and application of our doctrinal perspec- tive in carrying out our calling “to spread scriptural holiness over these lands.” While the Church considers its doctrinal affirmations a cen- tral feature of its identity and restricts official changes to a consti- tutional process, the Church encourages serious reflection across the theological spectrum. As United Methodists, we are called to identify the needs both of individuals and of society and to address those needs out of the resources of Christian faith in a way that is clear, convinc- ing, and effective. Theology serves the Church by interpreting the 80

96 OUR THEOLOGICAL ¶ 105 TASK world’s needs and challenges to the Church and by interpreting the gospel to the world. The Nature of Our Theological Task Our theological task is both critical and constructive. It is critical in that we test various expressions of faith by asking: Are they true? Appropriate? Clear? Cogent? Credible? Are they based on love? Do they provide the Church and its members with a wit- ness that is faithful to the gospel as reflected in our living heritage and that is authentic and convincing in the light of human experi- ence and the present state of human knowledge? constructive in that every generation Our theological task is must appropriate creatively the wisdom of the past and seek God in their midst in order to think afresh about God, revelation, sin, redemption, worship, the church, freedom, justice, moral respon- sibility, and other significant theological concerns. Our summons is to understand and receive the gospel promises in our troubled and uncertain times. Our theological task is both individual and communal. It is a feature in the ministry of individual Christians. It requires the participation of all who are in our Church, lay and ordained, because the mission of the Church is to be carried out by everyone who is called to discipleship. To be persons of faith is to hunger to understand the truth given to us in Jesus Christ. Theological inquiry is by no means a casual undertaking. It requires sustained disciplines of study, reflection, and prayer. Yet the discernment of “plain truth for plain people” is not limited to theological specialists. Scholars have their role to play in assisting the people of God to fulfill this calling, but all Chris- tians are called to theological reflection. Our theological task is It unfolds in conversations communal. open to the experiences, insights, and traditions of all constituen- cies that make up United Methodism. This dialogue belongs to the life of every congregation. It is fostered by laity and clergy, by the bishops, by the boards, agen- cies, and theological schools of the Church. Conferences speak and act for United Methodists in their offi- cial decisions at appropriate levels. Our conciliar and representa- tive forms of decision-making do not release United Methodists as individuals from the responsibility to develop sound theologi- cal judgment. 81

97 ¶ 105 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK It is Our theological task is contextual and incarnational. grounded upon God’s supreme mode of self-revelation—the incarnation in Jesus Christ. God’s eternal Word comes to us in flesh and blood in a given time and place, and in full identification with humanity. Therefore, theological reflection is energized by our incarnational involvement in the daily life of the Church and the world, as we participate in God’s liberating and saving action. It informs the Our theological task is essentially practical. individual’s daily decisions and serves the Church’s life and work. While highly theoretical constructions of Christian thought make important contributions to theological understanding, we finally measure the truth of such statements in relation to their practical significance. Our interest is to incorporate the promises and demands of the gospel into our daily lives. Theological inquiry can clarify our thinking about what we are to say and do. It presses us to pay attention to the world around us. Realities of intense human suffering, threats to the survival of life, and challenges to human dignity confront us afresh with fundamental theological issues: the nature and purposes of God, the relations of human beings to one another, the nature of human freedom and responsibility, and the care and proper use of all creation. Theological Guidelines: Sources and Criteria As United Methodists, we have an obligation to bear a faithful Christian witness to Jesus Christ, the living reality at the center of the Church’s life and witness. To fulfill this obligation, we reflect critically on our biblical and theological inheritance, striving to express faithfully the witness we make in our own time. Two considerations are central to this endeavor: the sources from which we derive our theological affirmations and the crite- ria by which we assess the adequacy of our understanding and witness. Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason. Scripture is primary, revealing the Word of God “so far as it is necessary for our salvation.” Therefore, our theological task, in both its critical and constructive aspects, focuses on disciplined study of the Bible. 82

98 OUR THEOLOGICAL ¶ 105 TASK To aid his study of the Bible and deepen his understanding of faith, Wesley drew on Christian tradition, in particular the Patris- tic writings, the ecumenical creeds, the teachings of the Reform- ers, and the literature of contemporary spirituality. Thus, tradition provides both a source and a measure of authentic Christian witness, though its authority derives from its faithfulness to the biblical message. The Christian witness, even when grounded in Scripture and mediated by tradition, is ineffectual unless understood and appropriated by the individual. To become our witness, it must make sense in terms of our own reason and experience. For Wesley, a cogent account of the Christian faith required the use of reason, both to understand Scripture and to relate the biblical message to wider fields of knowledge. He looked for con- firmations of the biblical witness in human experience, especially the experiences of regeneration and sanctification, but also in the “common sense” knowledge of everyday experience. The interaction of these sources and criteria in Wesley’s own theology furnishes a guide for our continuing theological task as United Methodists. In that task Scripture, as the constitutive wit- ness to the wellsprings of our faith, occupies a place of primary authority among these theological sources. In practice, theological reflection may also find its point of departure in tradition, experience, or rational analysis. What mat- ters most is that all four guidelines be brought to bear in faithful, serious, theological consideration. Insights arising from serious study of the Scriptures and tradition enrich contemporary experi- ence. Imaginative and critical thought enables us to understand better the Bible and our common Christian history. Scripture United Methodists share with other Christians the convic- tion that Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Chris- tian doctrine. Through Scripture the living Christ meets us in the experience of redeeming grace. We are convinced that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God in our midst whom we trust in life and death.The biblical authors, illumined by the Holy Spirit, bear wit- ness that in Christ the world is reconciled to God. The Bible bears authentic testimony to God’s self-disclosure in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God’s work of creation, in 83

99 ¶ 105 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK the pilgrimage of Israel, and in the Holy Spirit’s ongoing activity in human history. As we open our minds and hearts to the Word of God through the words of human beings inspired by the Holy Spirit, faith is born and nourished, our understanding is deepened, and the pos- sibilities for transforming the world become apparent to us. The Bible is sacred canon for Christian people, formally acknowledged as such by historic ecumenical councils of the church. Our doctrinal standards identify as canonical thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. Our standards affirm the Bible as the source of all that is “nec- essary” and “sufficient” unto salvation (Articles of Religion) and “is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the true rule and guide for faith and practice” (Confession of Faith). We properly read Scripture within the believing community, informed by the tradition of that community. We interpret individual texts in light of their place in the Bible as a whole. We are aided by scholarly inquiry and personal insight, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As we work with each text, we take into account what we have been able to learn about the original context and intention of that text. In this understanding we draw upon the careful historical, literary, and textual studies of recent years, which have enriched our understanding of the Bible. Through this faithful reading of Scripture, we may come to know the truth of the biblical message in its bearing on our own lives and the life of the world. Thus, the Bible serves both as a source of our faith and as the basic criterion by which the truth and fidelity of any interpretation of faith is measured. While we acknowledge the primacy of Scripture in theological reflection, our attempts to grasp its meaning always involve tradi- tion, experience, and reason. Like Scripture, these may become creative vehicles of the Holy Spirit as they function within the Church. They quicken our faith, open our eyes to the wonder of God’s love, and clarify our understanding. The Wesleyan heritage, reflecting its origins in the catholic and reformed ethos of English Christianity, directs us to a self- conscious use of these three sources in interpreting Scripture and in formulating faith statements based on the biblical witness. 84

100 OUR THEOLOGICAL ¶ 105 TASK These sources are, along with Scripture, indispensable to our theological task. The close relationship of tradition, experience, and reason appears in the Bible itself. Scripture witnesses to a variety of diverse traditions, some of which reflect tensions in interpretation within the early Judeo-Christian heritage. However, these tradi- tions are woven together in the Bible in a manner that expresses the fundamental unity of God’s revelation as received and experi- enced by people in the diversity of their own lives. The developing communities of faith judged them, therefore, to be an authoritative witness to that revelation. In recognizing the interrelationship and inseparability of the four basic resources for theological understanding, we are following a model that is present in the biblical text itself. Tradition The theological task does not start anew in each age or each person. Christianity does not leap from New Testament times to the present as though nothing were to be learned from that great cloud of witnesses in between. For centuries Christians have sought to interpret the truth of the gospel for their time. In these attempts, tradition, understood both in terms of pro- cess and form, has played an important role. The passing on and receiving of the gospel among persons, regions, and generations constitutes a dynamic element of Christian history. The formula- tions and practices that grew out of specific circumstances con- stitute the legacy of the corporate experience of earlier Christian communities. These traditions are found in many cultures around the globe. But the history of Christianity includes a mixture of ignorance, misguided zeal, and sin. Scripture remains the norm by which all traditions are judged. The story of the church reflects the most basic sense of tradi- tion, the continuing activity of God’s Spirit transforming human life. Tradition is the history of that continuing environment of grace in and by which all Christians live, God’s self-giving love in Jesus Christ. As such, tradition transcends the story of particular traditions. In this deeper sense of tradition, all Christians share a common history. Within that history, Christian tradition precedes Scripture, and yet Scripture comes to be the focal expression of the tradition. 85

101 ¶ 105 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK As United Methodists, we pursue our theological task in open- ness to the richness of both the form and power of tradition. The multiplicity of traditions furnishes a richly varied source for theological reflection and construction. For United Method- ists, certain strands of tradition have special importance as the historic foundation of our doctrinal heritage and the distinctive expressions of our communal existence. We are now challenged by traditions from around the world that accent dimensions of Christian understanding that grow out of the sufferings and victories of the downtrodden. These tradi- tions help us rediscover the biblical witness to God’s special com- mitment to the poor, the disabled, the imprisoned, the oppressed, the outcast. In these persons we encounter the living presence of Jesus Christ. These traditions underscore the equality of all persons in Jesus Christ. They display the capacity of the gospel to free us to embrace the diversity of human cultures and appreciate their val- ues. They reinforce our traditional understanding of the insepa- rability of personal salvation and social justice. They deepen our commitment to global peace. A critical appreciation of these traditions can compel us to think about God in new ways, enlarge our vision of shalom, and enhance our confidence in God’s provident love. Tradition acts as a measure of validity and propriety for a community’s faith insofar as it represents a consensus of faith. The various traditions that presently make claims upon us may contain conflicting images and insights of truth and validity. We examine such conflicts in light of Scripture, reflecting critically upon the doctrinal stance of our Church. It is by the discerning use of our standards and in openness to emerging forms of Christian identity that we attempt to maintain fidelity to the apostolic faith. At the same time, we continue to draw on the broader Chris- tian tradition as an expression of the history of divine grace within which Christians are able to recognize and welcome one another in love. Experience In our theological task, we follow Wesley’s practice of exam- ining experience, both individual and corporate, for confirma- tions of the realities of God’s grace attested in Scripture. 86

102 OUR THEOLOGICAL ¶ 105 TASK Our experience interacts with Scripture. We read Scripture in light of the conditions and events that help shape who we are, and we interpret our experience in terms of Scripture. All religious experience affects all human experience; all human experience affects our understanding of religious experience. On the personal level, experience is to the individual as tra- dition is to the church: It is the personal appropriation of God’s forgiving and empowering grace. Experience authenticates in our own lives the truths revealed in Scripture and illumined in tradi- tion, enabling us to claim the Christian witness as our own. Wesley described faith and its assurance as “a sure trust and confidence” in the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and a steadfast hope of all good things to be received at God’s hand. Such assurance is God’s gracious gift through the witness of the Holy Spirit. This “new life in Christ” is what we as United Methodists mean when we speak of “Christian experience.” Christian expe- rience gives us new eyes to see the living truth in Scripture. It confirms the biblical message for our present. It illumines our understanding of God and creation and motivates us to make sensitive moral judgments. Although profoundly personal, Christian experience is also corporate; our theological task is informed by the experience of the church and by the common experiences of all humanity. In our attempts to understand the biblical message, we recognize that God’s gift of liberating love embraces the whole of creation. Some facets of human experience tax our theological under - standing. Many of God’s people live in terror, hunger, loneliness, and degradation. Everyday experiences of birth and death, of growth and life in the created world, and an awareness of wider social relations also belong to serious theological reflection. A new awareness of such experiences can inform our appro- priation of scriptural truths and sharpen our appreciation of the good news of the kingdom of God. As a source for theological reflection, experience, like tradi- tion, is richly varied, challenging our efforts to put into words the totality of the promises of the gospel. We interpret experience in the light of scriptural norms, just as our experience informs our reading of the biblical message. In this respect, Scripture remains central in our efforts to be faithful in making our Christian witness. 87

103 ¶ 105 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK Reason Although we recognize that God’s revelation and our experi- ences of God’s grace continually surpass the scope of human lan- guage and reason, we also believe that any disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason. By reason we read and interpret Scripture. By reason we determine whether our Christian witness is clear. By reason we ask questions of faith and seek to understand God’s action and will. By reason we organize the understandings that compose our witness and render them internally coherent. By reason we test the congruence of our witness to the biblical testimony and to the traditions that mediate that testimony to us. By reason we relate our witness to the full range of human knowledge, experience, and service. Since all truth is from God, efforts to discern the connec- tions between revelation and reason, faith and science, grace and nature, are useful endeavors in developing credible and commu- nicable doctrine. We seek nothing less than a total view of reality that is decisively informed by the promises and imperatives of the Christian gospel, though we know well that such an attempt will always be marred by the limits and distortions characteristic of human knowledge. Nevertheless, by our quest for reasoned understandings of Christian faith we seek to grasp, express, and live out the gospel in a way that will commend itself to thoughtful persons who are seeking to know and follow God’s ways. In theological reflection, the resources of tradition, experi- ence, and reason are integral to our study of Scripture without displacing Scripture’s primacy for faith and practice. These four sources—each making distinctive contributions, yet all finally working together—guide our quest as United Methodists for a vital and appropriate Christian witness. The Present Challenge to Theology in the Church In addition to historic tensions and conflicts that still require resolution, new issues continually arise that summon us to fresh theological inquiry. Daily we are presented with an array of con- cerns that challenge our proclamation of God’s reign over all of human existence. 88

104 OUR THEOLOGICAL ¶ 105 TASK Of crucial importance are concerns generated by great human struggles for dignity, liberation, and fulfillment—aspirations that are inherent elements in God’s design for creation. These concerns are borne by theologies that express the heart cries of the down- trodden and the aroused indignation of the compassionate. The perils of nuclear destruction, terrorism, war, poverty, violence, and injustice confront us. Injustices linked to race, gen- der, class, and age are widespread in our times. Misuse of natural resources and disregard for the fragile balances in our environ- ment contradict our calling to care for God’s creation. Secularism pervades high-technology civilizations, hindering human aware- ness of the spiritual depths of existence. We seek an authentic Christian response to these realities that the healing and redeeming work of God might be present in our words and deeds. Too often, theology is used to support practices that are unjust. We look for answers that are in harmony with the gospel and do not claim exemption from critical assessment. A rich quality of our Church, especially as it has developed in the last century, is its global character. We are a Church with a distinctive theological heritage, but that heritage is lived out in a global community, resulting in understandings of our faith enriched by indigenous experiences and manners of expression. We affirm the contributions that United Methodists of vary- ing ethnic, language, cultural, and national groups make to one another and to our Church as a whole. We celebrate our shared commitment to clear theological understanding and vital mis- sional expression. United Methodists as a diverse people continue to strive for consensus in understanding the gospel. In our diversity, we are held together by a shared inheritance and a common desire to participate in the creative and redemptive activity of God. Our task is to articulate our vision in a way that will draw us together as a people in mission. In the name of Jesus Christ we are called to work within our diversity while exercising patience and forbearance with one another. Such patience stems neither from indifference toward truth nor from an indulgent tolerance of error but from an aware- ness that we know only in part and that none of us is able to search the mysteries of God except by the Spirit of God. We proceed with our theological task, trusting that the Spirit will grant us wisdom to continue our journey with the whole people of God. 89

105 ¶ 105 DOCTRINAL STANDARDS AND OUR THEOLOGICAL TASK Ecumenical Commitment Christian unity is founded on the theological understanding that through faith in Jesus Christ we are made members-in- common of the one body of Christ. Christian unity is not an option; it is a gift to be received and expressed. United Methodists respond to the theological, biblical, and - practical mandates for Christian unity by firmly committing our selves to the cause of Christian unity at local, national, and world levels. We invest ourselves in many ways by which mutual recog- nition of churches, of members, and of ministries may lead us to sharing in Holy Communion with all of God’s people. Knowing that denominational loyalty is always subsumed in our life in the church of Jesus Christ, we welcome and celebrate the rich experience of United Methodist leadership in church councils and consultations, in multilateral and bilateral dialogues, as well as in other forms of ecumenical convergence that have led to the healing of churches and nations. We see the Holy Spirit at work in making the unity among us more visible. Concurrently, we have entered into serious interfaith encoun- ters and explorations between Christians and adherents of other living faiths of the world. Scripture calls us to be both neighbors and witnesses to all peoples. Such encounters require us to reflect anew on our faith and to seek guidance for our witness among neighbors of other faiths. We then rediscover that the God who has acted in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the whole world is also the Creator of all humankind, the One who is “over all, through all, and in all” (Ephesians 4:6). As people bound together on one planet, we see the need for a self-critical view of our own tradition and accurate appreciation of other traditions. In these encounters, our aim is not to reduce doctrinal differences to some lowest common denominator of reli- gious agreement, but to raise all such relationships to the highest possible level of human fellowship and understanding. We labor together with the help of God toward the salvation, health, and peace of all people. In respectful conversations and in practical cooperation, we confess our Christian faith and strive to display the manner in which Jesus Christ is the life and hope of the world. 90

106 OUR THEOLOGICAL ¶ 105 TASK Conclusion Doctrine arises out of the life of the Church—its faith, its wor - ship, its discipline, its conflicts, its challenges from the world it would serve. Evangelism, nurture, and mission require a constant effort to integrate authentic experience, rational thought, and purposeful action with theological integrity. A convincing witness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can contribute to the renewal of our faith, bring persons to that faith, and strengthen the Church as an agent of healing and reconciliation. This witness, however, cannot fully describe or encompass the mystery of God. Though we experience the wonder of God’s grace at work with us and among us, and though we know the joy of the present signs of God’s kingdom, each new step makes us more aware of the ultimate mystery of God, from which arises a heart of wonder and an attitude of humility. Yet we trust that we can know more fully what is essential for our participation in God’s saving work in the world, and we are confident in the ultimate unfolding of God’s justice and mercy. In this spirit we take up our theological task. We endeavor through the power of the Holy Spirit to understand the love of God given in Jesus Christ. We seek to spread this love abroad. As we see more clearly who we have been, as we understand more fully the needs of the world, as we draw more effectively upon our theological heritage, we will become better equipped to fulfill our calling as the people of God. Now to God who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen. —Ephesians 3:20-21 (based on RSV) 91

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108 Part IV THE MINISTRY OF ALL CHRISTIANS THE MISSION AND MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH Section I. The Churches 120. The Mission —The mission of the Church is to make ¶ disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches and extension ministries of the Church provide the most significant arenas through which disciple-making occurs. 121. Rationale for Our Mission —The mission of the Church ¶ is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by proclaiming the good news of God’s grace and by exem- plifying Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor, thus seeking the fulfillment of God’s reign and realm in the world. The fulfill- ment of God’s reign and realm in the world is the vision Scripture holds before us. The United Methodist Church affirms that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Lord of all. As we make disciples, we respect persons of all religious faiths and we defend religious freedom for all persons. Jesus’ words in Matthew provide the Church with our mission: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you” (28:19-20), and “ You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being , and with all your mind. . . . You must love your neighbor as you love yourself ” (22:37, 39). This mission is our grace-filled response to the Reign of God in the world announced by Jesus. God’s grace is active everywhere, 93

109 ¶ 121 THE MINISTR Y OF ALL CHRISTIANS at all times, carrying out this purpose as revealed in the Bible. It is expressed in God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah, in the Exo- dus of Israel from Egypt, and in the ministry of the prophets. It is embodied in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It fully is in the ongoing creation of a new people by the Holy experienced Spirit. John Wesley, Phillip Otterbein, Jacob Albright, and our other spiritual forebears understood this mission in this way. Whenever United Methodism has had a clear sense of mission, God has used our Church to save persons, heal relationships, transform social structures, and spread scriptural holiness, thereby changing the world. In order to be truly alive, we embrace Jesus’ mandate to love God and to love our neighbor and to make disciples of all peoples. 122. —We make ocess for Carrying Out Our Mission The Pr ¶ disciples as we: —proclaim the gospel, seek, welcome and gather persons into the body of Christ; —lead persons to commit their lives to God through baptism by water and the spirit and profession of faith in Jesus Christ; —nurture persons in Christian living through worship, the sacraments, spiritual disciplines, and other means of grace, such as Wesley’s Christian conferencing; —send persons into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, car - ing for the stranger, freeing the oppressed, being and becoming a compassionate, caring presence, and working to develop social structures that are consistent with the gospel; and —continue the mission of seeking, welcoming and gathering persons into the community of the body of Christ. ¶ 123. —The Church seeks to Global Nature of Our Mission The fulfill its global mission through the Spirit-given servant minis- tries of all Christians, both lay and clergy. Faithfulness and effec- tiveness demand that all ministries in the Church be shaped by the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ. ¶ 124. —God’s self-revelation in the orld Our Mission in the W life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ summons the Church to ministry in the world through witness by word and deed in light of the Church’s mission. The visible church of Christ as a faithful community of persons affirms the worth of all humanity and the value of interrelationship in all of God’s creation. 94

110 THE MISSION AND MINISTR ¶ 125 Y OF THE CHURCH In the midst of a sinful world, through the grace of God, we are brought to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. We become aware of the presence and life-giving power of God’s Holy Spirit. We live in confident expectation of the ultimate fulfillment of God’s purpose. We are called together for worship and fellowship and for the upbuilding of the Christian community. We advocate and work for the unity of the Christian church. We call all persons into dis- cipleship under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As servants of Christ we are sent into the world to engage in the struggle for justice and reconciliation. We seek to reveal the love of God for men, women, and children of all ethnic, racial, cultural, and national backgrounds and to demonstrate the heal- ing power of the gospel with those who suffer. ¶ 125. United Methodists thr oughout the world are bound together in a connectional covenant in which we support and hold each other accountable for faithful discipleship and mis- sion. Integrally holding connectional unity and local freedom, we seek to proclaim and embody the gospel in ways responsible to our specific cultural and social context while maintaining “a vital web of interactive relationships” ( 132). At the same time, we ¶ desire to affirm and celebrate our relationships, covenants, and partnership with autonomous, affiliated autonomous, affiliated ¶¶ 570-574) as well united covenanting, and concordat churches ( as other partners in the Wesleyan and ecumenical Christian fami- lies. Our worldwide connectional relationship is one of the ways we carry out our missional calling beyond national and regional boundaries. For our connectionalism to become a living practice, we need to carry the worldwide nature of The United Methodist Church deep into the life and mission of our local congregations. Only when we commit ourselves to interdependent worldwide partnerships in prayer, mission, and worship can connectional- ism as the Wesleyan ecclesial vision be fully embodied. Guided by the Holy Spirit, United Methodist churches throughout the world are called afresh into a covenant of mutual commitment based on shared mission, equity, and hospitality. In covenant with God and with each other: We affirm our unity in Christ, and take faithful steps to live more fully into what it means to be a worldwide church in mis- sion for the transformation of the world. 95

111 ¶ 125 THE MINISTR Y OF ALL CHRISTIANS We commit ourselves to crossing boundaries of language, cul- ture, and social or economic status. We commit ourselves to be in ministry with all people, as we, in faithfulness to the gospel, seek to grow in mutual love and trust. We participate in God’s mission as partners in ministry, recog- nizing that our God-given gifts, experiences, and resources are of equal value, whether spiritual, financial, or missional. We commit ourselves to full equity and accountability in our relationships, structures, and responsibilities for the denomination. We enter afresh into a relationship of mutuality, creating a new sense of community and joyously living out our worldwide connection in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. A Companion Litany to Our Covenant for the Worldwide United Methodist Church Leader: , we affirm our In covenant with God and each other unity in Christ. People: W e will take faithful steps to live as a worldwide church in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we commit ourselves to be in ministry with all people. People: In faithfulness to the gospel, we will cr oss boundar - ies of language, culture, social or economic status as we grow in mutual love and trust. Leader: In covenant with God and each other , we participate in God’s mission as partners in ministry. e share our God-given gifts, experiences, and W People: resources recognizing that they are of equal value, whether spiri- tual, financial, or missional. Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we commit ourselves to full equality. People: W e uphold equity and accountability in our relation- ships, structures, and responsibilities for the denomination. with God and each other, we enter afresh In covenant Leader: into a relationship of mutuality. People: W ith God’s grace, we joyfully live out our world- wide connection in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 96

112 THE MISSION AND MINISTR ¶ 129 Y OF THE CHURCH Section II. The Ministry of All Christians ¶ The Heart of Christian Ministry —The heart of Christian 126. ministry is Christ’s ministry of outreaching love. Christian ministry is the expression of the mind and mission of Christ by a community of Christians that demonstrates a common life of gratitude and devotion, witness and service, celebration and dis- cipleship. All Christians are called through their baptism to this ministry of servanthood in the world to the glory of God and for human fulfillment. The forms of this ministry are diverse in locale, in interest, and in denominational accent, yet always catholic in spirit and outreach. The Ministry of the Laity —The ministry of the laity flows 127. ¶ from a commitment to Christ’s outreaching love. Lay members of The United Methodist Church are, by history and calling, active advocates of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. The witness of the laity, their Christ-like examples of everyday living as well as the sharing of their own faith experiences of the gospel, is the primary evange- listic ministry through which all people will come to know Christ and The United Methodist Church will fulfill its mission. The Ministry of the Community —The church as the 128. ¶ community of the new covenant has participated in Christ’s min- istry of grace across the years and around the world. It stretches out to human needs wherever love and service may convey God’s love and ours. The outreach of such ministries knows no limits. Beyond the diverse forms of ministry is this ultimate concern: that all persons will be brought into a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ and be renewed after the image of their cre- ator (Colossians 3:10). This means that all Christians are called to minister wherever Christ would have them serve and witness in deeds and words that heal and free. ask —This ministry of all Chris- 129. Ministry as Gift and T ¶ tians in Christ’s name and spirit is both a gift and a task. The gift is God’s unmerited grace; the task is unstinting service. Entrance into the church is acknowledged in baptism and may include per - sons of all ages. In baptism, water is administered in the name of the triune God (specified in the ritual as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) by an authorized person, and the Holy Spirit is invoked with the laying on of hands, ordinarily in the presence of the con- gregation. In this sacrament the church claims God’s promise and 97

113 ¶ 129 THE MINISTR Y OF ALL CHRISTIANS - the seal of the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). Baptism is followed by nur ture and the consequent awareness by the baptized of the claim to ministry in Christ placed upon their lives by the church. Such a ministry is confirmed by the church when the pledges of baptism are accepted through profession of faith, and renewed for life and mission. Entrance into and acceptance of ministry begin in a local church, but the impulse to minister always moves one beyond the congregation toward the whole human community. God’s gifts are richly diverse for a variety of services; yet all have dignity and worth. —The people of God, who are the Faithful Ministry ¶ 130. church made visible in the world, must convince the world of the reality of the gospel or leave it unconvinced. There can be no eva- sion or delegation of this responsibility; the church is either faith- ful as a witnessing and serving community, or it loses its vitality and its impact on an unbelieving world. The Unity of Ministry in Christ —There is but one min- ¶ 131. istry in Christ, but there are diverse gifts and evidences of God’s grace in the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:4-16). The ministry of all Christians is complementary. No ministry is subservient to another. All United Methodists are summoned and sent by Christ to live and work together in mutual interdependence and to be guided by the Spirit into the truth that frees and the love that reconciles The Journey of a Connectional People —Connectionalism 132. ¶ in the United Methodist tradition is multi-leveled, global in scope, and local in thrust. Our connectionalism is not merely a linking of one charge conference to another. It is rather a vital web of interac- tive relationships. We are connected by sharing a common tradition of faith, including Our Doctrinal Standards and General Rules ( ¶ 104); by sharing together a constitutional polity, including a leadership of general superintendency; by sharing a common mission, which we seek to carry out by working together in and through con- ferences that reflect the inclusive and missional character of our fellowship; by sharing a common ethos that characterizes our dis- tinctive way of doing things. Section III. Servant Ministry and Servant Leadership ¶ 133. as Active Expectancy —The ministry of all Mission Christians consists of service for the mission of God in the world. 98

114 THE MISSION AND MINISTR ¶ 136 Y OF THE CHURCH The mission of God is best expressed in the prayer that Jesus taught his first disciples: Thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as in heaven. All Christians, therefore, are to live in active expectancy: faithful in service of God and their neighbor; faithful in waiting for the fulfillment of God’s universal love, justice, and peace on earth as in heaven. Pending this time of fulfillment, the ministry of all Christians is shaped by the teachings of Jesus. The handing on of these teach- ings is entrusted to leaders who are gifted and called by God to appointed offices in the church: some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. “His purpose was to equip God’s people for the work of serving and build- ing up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). For these persons to lead the church effectively, they must embody the teachings of Jesus in servant ministries and servant leadership. Through these ministries and leadership, congregations of the church are faithfully engaged in the forming of Christian disciples and vitally involved in the mission of God in the world. Calling and Gifts of Leadership —The United Methodist ¶ 134. Church has traditionally recognized these gifts and callings in the ordained offices of elder and deacon. The United Methodist tradi- tion has recognized that laypersons as well as ordained persons are gifted and called by God to lead the Church. The servant lead- ership of these persons is essential to the mission and ministry of congregations. They help to form Christian disciples in covenant community within the local congregation through spiritual for - mation and guidance for Christian living in the world. Section IV. Servant Ministry —The ministry of all Christians Discipleship Christian 135. ¶ consists of privilege and obligation. The privilege is a relationship with God that is deeply spiritual. The obligation is to respond to God’s call to holy living in the world. In the United Methodist tra- dition these two dimensions of Christian discipleship are wholly interdependent. ¶ 136. —Christians experi- Our Relationship with God: Privilege ence growth and transition in their spiritual life just as in their physical and emotional lives. While this growth is always a work of grace, it does not occur uniformly. Spiritual growth in Christ is a dynamic process marked by awakening, birth, growth, and maturation. This process requires careful and intentional nurture 99

115 ¶ 136 Y OF ALL CHRISTIANS THE MINISTR for the disciple to reach perfection in the Christian life. There are stages of spiritual growth and transition: Christian beginnings; Christian birth; Christian growth; and Christian maturity. These require careful and intentional nurture for the disciple to come to maturity in the Christian life and to engage fully in the ministry of all Christians. 137. Our Relationship with Christ in the W orld: Obligation — ¶ The ministry of all Christians in the United Methodist tradition has always been energized by deep religious experience, with emphasis on how ministry relates to our obligation to Jesus Christ. The early Methodists developed a way of life that fostered reliability, and their methodical discipleship is best expressed in the General Rules that John Wesley first published in 1743, which remain in The United Methodist Book of Discipline, pages 77-80. Section V. Servant Leadership Leadership Privileges and Responsibilities —Within The 138. ¶ United Methodist Church, there are those called to servant lead- ership, lay and ordained. Such callings are evidenced by special gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and promise of usefulness. God’s call to servant leadership is inward as it comes to the individual and outward through the discernment and validation of the Church. The privilege of servant leadership in the Church is the call to share in the preparation of congregations and the whole Church for the mission of God in the world. The obligation of servant leadership is the forming of Christian disciples in the covenant community of the congregation. This involves discern- ing and nurturing the spiritual relationship with God that is the privilege of all servant ministers. It also involves instructing and guiding Christian disciples in their witness to Jesus Christ in the world through acts of worship, devotion, compassion, and justice under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. John Wesley described this as “watching over one another in love.” Ordained Ministry —Ordained ministers are called by ¶ 139. God to a lifetime of servant leadership in specialized ministries among the people of God. Ordained ministers are called to inter - pret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world and the promise of God for creation. Within these specialized ministries, deacons are called to ministries of Word, Service ( ¶ 328), Compassion, and Justice and elders are called to minis- 332). Through tries of Service, Word, Sacrament, and Order ( ¶ 100

116 THE MISSION AND MINISTR ¶ 140 Y OF THE CHURCH these distinctive functions ordained ministers devote themselves wholly to the work of the Church and to the upbuilding of the ministry of all Christians. They do this through the careful study of Scripture and its faithful interpretation; through effective proc- lamation of the gospel and responsible administration of the sacraments; through diligent pastoral leadership of their congre- gations for fruitful discipleship; and by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit in witnessing beyond the congregation in the local community and to the ends of the earth. The ordained ministry is defined by its faithful commitment to servant leadership follow- ing the example of Jesus Christ, by its passion for the hallowing of life, and by its concern to link all local ministries with the widest boundaries of the Christian community. Section VI. Called to Inclusiveness W e recognize that God made all creation and saw ¶ 140. that it was good. As a diverse people of God who bring special gifts and evidences of God’s grace to the unity of the Church and to society, we are called to be faithful to the example of Jesus’ min- istry to all persons. Inclusiveness means openness, acceptance, and support that enables all persons to participate in the life of the Church, the community, and the world; therefore, inclusiveness denies every semblance of discrimination. The services of worship of every local church of The United Methodist Church shall be open to all persons. The mark of an inclusive society is one in which all persons are open, welcoming, fully accepting, and supporting of all other persons, enabling them to participate fully in the life of the church, the community, and the world. A further mark of inclusiveness is the setting of church activities in facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. In The United Methodist Church inclusiveness means the freedom for the total involvement of all persons who meet the requirements of The United Methodist Book of Discipline in the membership and leadership of the Church at any level and in every place. In the spirit of this declaration, United Methodist seminaries will begin or continue to improve access to facilities, to information and communication, and to appropriate support ser - vices and accommodations as delineated by The United Nations - Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Per 101

117 ¶ 140 THE MINISTR Y OF ALL CHRISTIANS sons with Disabilities and applicable World Council of Churches guidelines. Section VII. The Fulfillment of Ministry Through The United Methodist Church ch —Affirming the spiritual dimensions of 141. ¶ The Chur ¶¶ 120-143 of this the ministry of all Christians, as proclaimed in Book of Discipline, it is recognized that this ministry exists in the secular world and that civil authorities may seek legal definition predicated on the nature of The United Methodist Church in seek- ing fulfillment of this ministry. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the meaning of “The United Methodist Church,” “the general Church,” “the entire Church,” and “the Church” as used in the Book of Discipline should now be stated consistently with the tradi- tional self-understanding of United Methodists as to the meaning of these words. These terms refer to the overall denomination and connec- tional relation and identity of its many local churches, the various conferences and their respective councils, boards, and agencies, and other Church units, which collectively constitute the religious system known as United Methodism. Under the Constitution and disciplinary procedures set forth in this Book of Discipline, “The United Methodist Church” as a denominational whole is not an entity, nor does it possess legal capacities and attributes. It does not and cannot hold title to property, nor does it have any offi- cer, agent, employee, office, or location. Conferences, councils, boards, agencies, local churches, and other units bearing the name “United Methodist” are, for the most part, legal entities capable of suing and being sued and possessed of legal capacities. Clergy in The United Methodist Definition of Clergy — ¶ 142. Church are individuals who serve as commissioned ministers, deacons, elders, and local pastors (full- and part-time), who hold membership in an annual conference, and who are commissioned, ordained, or licensed. —Ministry in the Christian Status of Clergy 143. ¶ Employment church is derived from the ministry of Christ ( ¶ 301). Jesus makes it clear to us that he is a shepherd and not a hireling (John 10:11- 15). Similarly, United Methodist clergy appointed to local churches are not employees of the local church, the district, or the annual conference. It is recognized that for certain limited purposes such as taxation, benefits, and insurance, governments and other enti- 102

118 Y OF THE CHURCH ¶ 143 THE MISSION AND MINISTR ties may classify clergy as employees. Such classifications are not to be construed as affecting or defining United Methodist polity, including the historic covenants that bind annual conferences, clergy, and congregations, episcopal appointive powers and pro- cedures, or other principles set forth in the Constitution or the Book of Discipline (see e.g., ¶¶ 301; 328-329; 333-334; 338; 340). In addition, any such classifications should be accepted, if at all, only for limited purposes, as set forth above, and with the full recogni- tion and acknowledgment that it is the responsibility of the clergy to be God’s servants. 103

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120 Part V SOCIAL PRINCIPLES PREFACE The United Methodist Church has a long history of concern for social justice. Its members have often taken forthright posi- tions on controversial issues involving Christian principles. Early Methodists expressed their opposition to the slave trade, to smug- gling, and to the cruel treatment of prisoners. A social creed was adopted by The Methodist Episcopal Church (North) in 1908. Within the next decade similar state- ments were adopted by The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and by The Methodist Protestant Church. The Evangelical United Brethren Church adopted a statement of social principles in 1946 at the time of the uniting of the United Brethren and The Evan- gelical Church. In 1972, four years after the uniting in 1968 of The Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted a new statement of Social Principles, which was revised in 1976 (and by each successive General Conference). 1 The Social Principles, while not to be considered church law, are a prayerful and thoughtful effort on the part of the General Conference to speak to the human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation as histori- cally demonstrated in United Methodist traditions. They are a call to faithfulness and are intended to be instructive and persuasive in the best of the prophetic spirit. The Social Principles are a call 1. See Judicial Council Decisions 833, 1254. 105

121 ¶ 160 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES to all members of The United Methodist Church to a prayerful, studied dialogue of faith and practice. (See 509.) ¶ PREAMBLE We, the people called United Methodists, affirm our faith in God our Creator and Father, in Jesus Christ our Savior, and in the Holy Spirit, our Guide and Guard. We acknowledge our complete dependence upon God in birth, in life, in death, and in life eternal. Secure in God’s love, we affirm the goodness of life and confess our many sins against God’s will for us as we find it in Jesus Christ. We have not always been faithful stewards of all that has been committed to us by God the Creator. We have been reluctant followers of Jesus Christ in his mission to bring all persons into a community of love. Though called by the Holy Spirit to become new creatures in Christ, we have resisted the further call to become the people of God in our dealings with each other and the earth on which we live. We affirm our unity in Jesus Christ while acknowledging dif- ferences in applying our faith in different cultural contexts as we live out the gospel. We stand united in declaring our faith that God’s grace is available to all, that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Grateful for God’s forgiving love, in which we live and by which we are judged, and affirming our belief in the inestimable worth of each individual, we renew our commitment to become faithful witnesses to the gospel, not alone to the ends of earth, but also to the depths of our common life and work. ¶ I. THE NA TURAL WORLD 160. All creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it. Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life, and space are to be valued and con- served because they are God’s creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings. God has granted us stewardship of creation. We should meet these stewardship duties through acts of loving care and respect. Economic, political, social, and technological developments have increased our human numbers, and lengthened and enriched our lives. However, these devel- opments have led to regional defoliation, dramatic extinction of species, massive human suffering, overpopulation, and misuse 106

122 THE NA ¶ 160 TURAL WORLD and overconsumption of natural and nonrenewable resources, particularly by industrialized societies. This continued course of action jeopardizes the natural heritage that God has entrusted to all generations. Therefore, let us recognize the responsibility of the church and its members to place a high priority on changes in economic, political, social, and technological lifestyles to support a more ecologically equitable and sustainable world leading to a higher quality of life for all of God’s creation. W ater, Air, Soil, Minerals, Plants —We support and encour - A) age social policies that serve to reduce and control the creation of industrial byproducts and waste; facilitate the safe processing and disposal of toxic and nuclear waste and move toward the elimi- nation of both; encourage reduction of municipal waste; provide for appropriate recycling and disposal of municipal waste; and assist the cleanup of polluted air, water, and soil. We call for the preservation of old-growth forests and other irreplaceable natural treasures, as well as preservation of endangered plant species. We support measures designed to maintain and restore natural eco- systems. We support policies that develop alternatives to chemi- cals used for growing, processing, and preserving food, and we strongly urge adequate research into their effects upon God’s creation prior to utilization. We urge development of interna- tional agreements concerning equitable utilization of the world’s resources for human benefit so long as the integrity of the earth is maintained. We are deeply concerned about the privatization of water resources, the bottling of water to be sold as a commod- ity for profit, and the resources that go into packaging bottled water. We urge all municipalities and other governmental orga- nizations to develop processes for determining sustainability of water resources and to determine the environmental, economic, and social consequences of privatization of water resources prior to the licensing and approval thereof. B) Ener gy Resources Utilization —The whole earth is God’s good creation and as such has inherent value. We are aware that the current utilization of energy resources threatens this creation at its very foundation. As members of The United Methodist Church we are committed to approaching creation, energy pro- duction, and especially creation’s resources in a responsible, care- ful and economic way. We call upon all to take measures to save energy. Everybody should adapt his or her lifestyle to the average consumption of energy that respects the limits of the planet earth. 107

123 ¶ 160 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES We encourage persons to limit CO emissions toward the goal of 2 one tonne per person annually. We strongly advocate for the pri- ority of the development of renewable energies. The deposits of carbon, oil, and gas resources are limited and their continuous uti- lization accelerates global warming. The use of nuclear power is no solution for avoiding CO emissions. Nuclear power plants are 2 vulnerable, unsafe, and potential health risks. A safe, permanent storage of nuclear waste cannot be guaranteed. It is therefore not responsible to future generations to operate them. The production of agricultural fuels and the use of biomass plants rank lower than the provision of safe food supplies and the continued existence for small farming businesses. C) —We support regulations that protect and con- Animal Life serve the life and health of animals, including those ensuring the humane treatment of pets, domesticated animals, animals used in research, wildlife, and the painless slaughtering of meat animals, fish, and fowl. We recognize unmanaged and managed commer - cial, multinational, and corporate exploitation of wildlife and the destruction of the ecosystems on which they depend threatens the balance of natural systems, compromises biodiversity, reduces resilience, and threatens ecosystem services. We encourage com- mitment to effective implementation of national and international governmental and business regulations and guidelines for the conservation of all animal species with particular support to safe- guard those threatened with extinction. D) Global Climate Stewardship —We acknowledge the global impact of humanity’s disregard for God’s creation. Rampant industrialization and the corresponding increase in the use of fossil fuels have led to a buildup of pollutants in the earth’s atmo- sphere. These “greenhouse gas” emissions threaten to alter dra- matically the earth’s climate for generations to come with severe environmental, economic, and social implications. The adverse impacts of global climate change disproportionately affect indi- viduals and nations least responsible for the emissions. We there- fore support efforts of all governments to require mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and call on individuals, congregations, businesses, industries, and communities to reduce their emissions. E) Space —The universe, known and unknown, is the creation of God and is due the respect we are called to give the earth. We therefore reject any nation’s efforts to weaponized space and urge 108

124 THE NA ¶ 160 TURAL WORLD that all nations pursue the peaceful and collaborative develop- ment of space technologies and of outer space itself. Science and T echnology —We recognize science as a legiti- F) mate interpretation of God’s natural world. We affirm the validity of the claims of science in describing the natural world and in determining what is scientific. We preclude science from making authoritative claims about theological issues and theology from making authoritative claims about scientific issues. We find that science’s descriptions of cosmological, geological, and biological evolution are not in conflict with theology. We recognize medical, technical, and scientific technologies as legitimate uses of God’s natural world when such use enhances human life and enables all of God’s children to develop their God-given creative potential without violating our ethical convictions about the relationship of humanity to the natural world. We reexamine our ethical con- victions as our understanding of the natural world increases. We find that as science expands human understanding of the natural world, our understanding of the mysteries of God’s creation and word are enhanced. In acknowledging the important roles of science and technol- ogy, however, we also believe that theological understandings of human experience are crucial to a full understanding of the place of humanity in the universe. Science and theology are comple- mentary rather than mutually incompatible. We therefore encour - age dialogue between the scientific and theological communities and seek the kind of participation that will enable humanity to sustain life on earth and, by God’s grace, increase the quality of our common lives together. G) —We support policies that protect the food sup- Food Safety ply and that ensure the public’s right to know the content of the foods they are eating. We call for rigorous inspections and con- trols on the biological safety of all foodstuffs intended for human consumption. We urge independent testing for chemical residues in food, and the removal from the market of foods contaminated with potentially hazardous levels of pesticides, herbicides, or fun- gicides; drug residues from animal antibiotics, steroids, or hor - mones; contaminants due to pollution that are carried by air, soil, or water from incinerator plants or other industrial operations. We call for clear labeling of all processed, genetically created, or genetically altered foods, with premarket safety testing required. We oppose weakening the standards for organic foods. We call 109

125 ¶ 160 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES for policies that encourage and support a gradual transition to sustainable and organic agriculture. H) Food Justice —We support policies that increase access to quality food, particularly for those with the fewest resources. We affirm local, sustainable, and small-scale agriculture opportuni- ties that allow communities to feed themselves. We decry policies that make food inaccessible to the communities where it is grown and the farmworkers involved in its growth. ¶ II. THE NUR TURING COMMUNITY 161. The community provides the potential for nurturing human beings into the fullness of their humanity. We believe we have a responsibility to innovate, sponsor, and evaluate new forms of community that will encourage development of the fullest poten- tial in individuals. Primary for us is the gospel understanding that all persons are important—because they are human beings created by God and loved through and by Jesus Christ and not because they have merited significance. We therefore support social climates in which human communities are maintained and strengthened for the sake of all persons and their growth. We also encourage all individuals to be sensitive to others by using appropriate language when referring to all persons. Language of a derogatory nature (with regard to race, nationality, ethnic background, gender, sexuality, and physical differences) does not reflect value for one another and contradicts the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cultur e and Identity— We believe that our primary identity A) is as children of God. With that identity comes societal and cul- tural constructions that have both positive and negative impacts on humanity and the Church. Cultural identity evolves through our history, traditions, and experiences. The Church seeks to fully embrace and nurture cultural formation and competency as a means to be fully one body, expressed in multiple ways. Each of us has multiple identities of equal value that intersect to form our complete self. We affirm that no identity or culture has more legitimacy than any other. We call the Church to challenge any hierarchy of cultures or identities. Through relationships within and among cultures we are called to and have the responsibil- ity for learning from each other, showing mutual respect for our differences and similarities as we experience the diversity of per - spectives and viewpoints. 110

126 THE NUR ¶ 161 TURING COMMUNITY —We believe the family to be the basic human B) The Family community through which persons are nurtured and sustained in mutual love, responsibility, respect, and fidelity. We affirm the importance of loving parents for all children. We also understand the family as encompassing a wider range of options than that of the two-generational unit of parents and children (the nuclear family). We affirm shared responsibility for parenting where there are two parents and encourage social, economic, and religious efforts to maintain and strengthen relationships within families in order that every member may be assisted toward complete personhood. C) Marriage —We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and 2 one woman. Divorce —God’s plan is for lifelong, faithful marriage. The D) ch must be on the forefront of premarital, marital, and post- chur marital counseling in order to create and preserve healthy rela- tionships. However, when a married couple is estranged beyond reconciliation, even after thoughtful consideration and counsel, divorce is a regrettable alternative in the midst of brokenness. We grieve over the devastating emotional, spiritual, and economic consequences of divorce for all involved, understanding that women and especially children are disproportionately impacted by such burdens. As the Church we are concerned about high divorce rates. It is recommended that methods of mediation be used to minimize the adversarial nature and fault-finding that are often part of our current judicial processes, encouraging reconcili- ation wherever possible. We also support efforts by governments to reform divorce laws and other aspects of family law in order to address negative trends such as high divorce rates. Although divorce publicly declares that a marriage no longer exists, other covenantal relationships resulting from the marriage remain, such as the nurture and support of children and extended family ties. We urge respectful negotiations in deciding the custody 2. See Judicial Council Decision 694. 111

127 ¶ PRINCIPLES 161 SOCIAL of minor children and support the consideration of either or both parents for this responsibility in that custody not be reduced to financial support, control, or manipulation and retaliation. The welfare of each child is the most important consideration. Divorce does not preclude a new marriage. We encourage an intentional commitment of the Church and society to minis- ter compassionately to those in the process of divorce, as well as members of divorced and remarried families, in a community of faith where God’s grace is shared by all. Single Persons —We affirm the integrity of single persons, E) and we reject all social practices that discriminate or social atti- tudes that are prejudicial against persons because they are sin- gle. This also includes single parents, and we recognize the extra responsibilities involved. —We affirm with Scripture the common omen and Men W F) humanity of male and female, both having equal worth in the eyes of God. We reject the erroneous notion that one gender is superior to another, that one gender must strive against another, and that members of one gender may receive love, power, and esteem only at the expense of another. We especially reject the idea that God made individuals as incomplete fragments, made whole only in union with another. We call upon women and men alike to share power and control, to learn to give freely and to receive freely, to be complete and to respect the wholeness of others. We seek for every individual opportunities and freedom to love and be loved, to seek and receive justice, and to practice ethical self-determination. We understand our gender diversity to be a gift from God, intended to add to the rich variety of human experience and perspective; and we guard against attitudes and traditions that would use this good gift to leave members of one sex more vulnerable in relationships than members of another. G) —We affirm that sexuality is God’s good Human Sexuality gift to all persons. We call everyone to responsible stewardship of this sacred gift. Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married, sexual relations are affirmed only with the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. We deplore all forms of the commercialization, abuse, and exploitation of sex. We call for strict global enforcement of laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation of children and for adequate - protection, guidance, and counseling for abused children. All per 112

128 THE NUR ¶ 161 TURING COMMUNITY sons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orienta- tion, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured and to be protected against violence. The Church should support the family in providing age-appropriate education regarding sexual- ity to children, youth, and adults. We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconcil- ing relationships with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexual- ity and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teach- ing. We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in min- 3 istry for and with all persons. H) Family V iolence and Abuse —We recognize that family vio- lence and abuse in all its forms—verbal, psychological, physical, sexual—is detrimental to the covenant of the human community. We encourage the Church to provide a safe environment, counsel, and support for the victim and to work with the abuser to under - stand the root causes and forms of abuse and to overcome such behaviors. Regardless of the cause or the abuse, both the victim and the abuser need the love of the Church. While we deplore the actions of the abuser, we affirm that person to be in need of God’s redeeming love. I) Sexual Abuse —Violent, disrespectful, or abusive sexual expressions do not confirm sexuality as God’s good gift. We reject all sexual expressions that damage the humanity God has given us as birthright, and we affirm only that sexual expres- sion that enhances that same humanity. We believe that sexual relations where one or both partners are exploitative, abusive, or promiscuous are beyond the parameters of acceptable Christian behavior and are ultimately destructive to individuals, families, and the social order. We deplore all forms of the commercialization and exploitation of sex, with their consequent cheapening and degradation of human personality. To lose freedom and be sold 3. See Judicial Council Decision 702. 113

129 ¶ 161 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES by someone else for sexual purposes is a form of slavery, and we denounce such business and support the abused and their right to freedom. We call for strict global enforcement of laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation or use of children by adults and encourage efforts to hold perpetrators legally and financially responsible. We call for the establishment of adequate protective services, guid- ance, and counseling opportunities for children thus abused. Sexual Harassment —We believe human sexuality is God’s J) good gift. One abuse of this good gift is sexual harassment. We define sexual harassment as any unwanted sexual comment, advance, or demand, either verbal or physical, that is reason- ably perceived by the recipient as demeaning, intimidating, or coercive. Sexual harassment must be understood as an exploita- tion of a power relationship rather than as an exclusively sexual issue. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the cre- ation of a hostile or abusive working environment resulting from discrimination on the basis of gender. Contrary to the nurturing community, sexual harassment creates improper, coercive, and abusive conditions wherever it occurs in society. Sexual harass- ment undermines the social goal of equal opportunity and the climate of mutual respect between men and women. Unwanted sexual attention is wrong and discriminatory. Sexual harassment interferes with the moral mission of the Church. K) —The beginning of life and the ending of life are Abortion the God-given boundaries of human existence. While individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, they now have the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will be born. Our belief in the sanc- tity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child. We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abor - tion under proper medical procedures by certified medical pro- viders. We support parental, guardian, or other responsible adult notification and consent before abortions can be performed on girls who have not yet reached the age of legal adulthood. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection or eugenics (see Resolution 3184). 114

130 THE NUR ¶ 161 TURING COMMUNITY We oppose the use of late-term abortion known as dilation and extraction (partial-birth abortion) and call for the end of this practice except when the physical life of the mother is in dan- ger and no other medical procedure is available, or in the case of severe fetal anomalies incompatible with life. This procedure shall be performed only by certified medical providers. Before providing their services, abortion providers should be required to offer women the option of anesthesia. We call all Christians to a searching and prayerful inquiry into the sorts of conditions that may cause them to consider abortion. We entrust God to provide guidance, wisdom, and discernment to those facing an unintended pregnancy. The Church shall offer ministries to reduce unintended preg- nancies. We commit our Church to continue to provide nurtur - ing ministries to those who terminate a pregnancy, to those in the midst of a crisis pregnancy, and to those who give birth. We mourn and are committed to promoting the diminish- ment of high abortion rates. The Church shall encourage minis- tries to reduce unintended pregnancies such as comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education, advocacy in regard to con- traception, and support of initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all women and girls around the globe. Young adult women disproportionately face situations in which they feel that they have no choice due to financial, educa- tional, relational, or other circumstances beyond their control. The Church and its local congregations and campus ministries should be in the forefront of supporting existing ministries and develop- ing new ministries that help such women in their com- munities. They should also support those crisis pregnancy centers and preg- nancy resource centers that compassionately help women explore all options related to unplanned pregnancy. We particularly encourage the Church, the government, and social service agen- cies to support and facilitate the option of adoption. (See 161 M .) ¶ We affirm and encourage the Church to assist the ministry of cri- sis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers that com- passionately help women find feasible alternatives to abortion. Governmental laws and regulations do not provide all the guidance required by the informed Christian conscience. There- fore, a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, family, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel. 115

131 ¶ 161 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES ith Those Who Have Experienced an Abortion —We L) Ministry W urge local pastors to become informed about the symptoms and behaviors associated with post-abortion stress. We commit our Church to continue to provide nurturing ministries to those who terminate a pregnancy, to those in the midst of a crisis pregnancy, and to those who give birth. We further encourage local churches to make available contact information for counseling agencies that offer programs to address post-abortion stress for all seeking help. Adoption —Children are a gift from God to be welcomed M) and received. We recognize that some circumstances of birth make the rearing of a child difficult. We affirm and support the birth parent(s) whose choice it is to allow the child to be adopted. We recognize the agony, strength, and courage of the birth parent(s) who choose(s) in hope, love, and prayer to offer the child for adoption. In addition, we also recognize the anxiety, strength, and courage of those who choose in hope, love, and prayer to be able to care for a child. We affirm and support the adoptive parent(s)’ desire to rear an adopted child as they would a biologi- cal child. When circumstances warrant adoption, we support the use of proper legal procedures. When appropriate and possible, we encourage open adoption so that a child may know all infor - mation and people related to them, both medically and relation- ally. We support and encourage greater awareness and education to promote adoption of a wide variety of children through foster care, international adoption, and domestic adoption. We com- mend the birth parent(s), the receiving parent(s), and the child to the care of the Church, that grief might be shared, joy might be celebrated, and the child might be nurtured in a community of Christian love. N) —While we applaud medical e for Dying Persons Faithful Car science for efforts to prevent disease and illness and for advances in treatment that extend the meaningful life of human beings, we recognize that every mortal life will ultimately end in death. Death is never a sign that God has abandoned us, no matter what the circumstances of the death might be. As Christians we must always be prepared to surrender the gift of mortal life and claim the gift of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Care for dying persons is part of our stewardship of the divine gift of life when cure is no longer possible. We encourage the use of medical technologies to provide palliative care at the end of life when life-sustaining treatments no longer support the 116

132 THE NUR ¶ 161 TURING COMMUNITY goals of life, and when they have reached their limits. There is no moral or religious obligation to use these when they impose - undue burdens or only extend the process of dying. Dying per sons and their families are free to discontinue treatments when they cease to be of benefit to the patient. We recognize the agonizing personal and moral decisions faced by the dying, their physicians, their families, their friends, and their faith community. We urge that decisions faced by the dying be made with thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, pastoral, and other appropri- ate counsel. We further urge that all persons discuss with their families, their physicians, and their pastoral counselors, their wishes for care at the end of life and provide advance directives for such care when they are not able to make these decisions for themselves. Even when one accepts the inevitability of death, the Church and society must continue to provide faithful care, including pain relief, companionship, support, and spiritual nur - ture for the dying person in the hard work of preparing for death. We encourage and support the concept of hospice care whenever possible at the end of life. Faithful care does not end at death but continues during bereavement as we care for grieving families. We reject euthanasia and any pressure upon the dying to end their lives. God has continued love and purpose for all persons, regard- less of health. We affirm laws and policies that protect the rights and dignity of the dying. Suicide —We believe that suicide is not the way a human O) life should end. Often suicide is the result of untreated depres- sion, or untreated pain and suffering. The Church has an obliga- tion to see that all persons have access to needed pastoral and medical care and therapy in those circumstances that lead to loss of self-worth, suicidal despair, and/or the desire to seek physi- cian-assisted suicide. We encourage the Church to provide educa- tion to address the biblical, theological, social, and ethical issues related to death and dying, including suicide. United Methodist theological seminary courses should also focus on issues of death and dying, including suicide. A Christian perspective on suicide begins with an affirmation of faith that nothing, including suicide, separates us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Therefore, we deplore the condemna- tion of people who complete suicide, and we consider unjust the stigma that so often falls on surviving family and friends. 117

133 ¶ 161 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES We encourage pastors and faith communities to address this issue through preaching and teaching. We urge pastors and faith communities to provide pastoral care to those at risk, survivors, and their families, and to those families who have lost loved ones to suicide, seeking always to remove the oppressive stigma around suicide. The Church opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia. Sexual Assault —Sexual assault is wrong. We affirm the right P) of all people to live free from such assaults, encourage efforts of law enforcement to prosecute such crimes, and condemn rape in any form. It does not matter where the person is, what the person is wearing, whether or not he or she is intoxicated, if he or she is flirtatious, what is the victim’s gender, or any other circumstance. Q) Pornography —Scripture teaches that humans are created in God’s image and that we are accountable to God through right relationship. Sexual images can celebrate the goodness of human sexuality through positive depiction in art, literature, and educa- tion. We deplore, however, images that distort this goodness and injure healthy sexual relationships. We oppose all forms of pornography and consider its use a form of sexual misconduct. Pornography is sexually explicit material that portrays violence, abuse, coercion, domination, humiliation, or degradation for the purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography sexually exploits and objectifies both women and men. Any sexually explicit material that depicts children is abhor - rent and victimizes children. Pornography can ruin lives, careers, and relationships. We grieve the pervasiveness of Internet pornography, includ- ing among Christians, and especially its impact on young people and marriages. The Church is called to transformation and healing for all per - sons adversely affected by pornography. Congregations should send a clear message of opposition to pornography and commit- ment to safe environments for everyone. We encourage strategies to eradicate pornography, to support victims, and to provide open and transparent conversation and education around sexuality and sexual ethics. We also believe that people can be rehabilitated and should have the opportunity to receive treatment; therefore, churches should seek ways to offer support and care for address- ing issues of addiction. Further, all churches are encouraged to review and update appropriate child, youth, and adult protection policies to reflect The United Methodist Church’s position that the 118

134 THE SOCIAL ¶ 162 COMMUNITY - use of pornography is a form of sexual misconduct. By encour aging education, prevention, and pathways to recovery for all affected by pornography, we live out our Wesleyan understand- ing of grace and healing. R) Bullying —Bullying is a growing problem in parts of the connection. It is a contributing factor in suicide and in the vio- lence we see in some cultures today. We affirm the right of all people, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, race, reli- gion, disability, age, physical appearance, sexual orientation and gender identity, to be free of unwanted aggressive behavior and harmful control tactics. As the Church, we can play a pivotal role in ending this problem. We urge churches to seek opportunities to be trained in responding to the needs of those who have been bullied, to those who perpetrate bullying, and to support those in authority who may witness or be called to intervene on behalf of those who have been bullied. Churches are urged to connect with commu- nity associations and schools in this outreach. We encourage churches to adopt a policy of zero tolerance for bullying, including cyberbullying, within their spheres of influ- ence; stand with persons being bullied; and take a leadership role in working with the schools and community to prevent bullying. COMMUNITY 162. ¶ III. THE SOCIAL The rights and privileges a society bestows upon or withholds from those who comprise it indicate the relative esteem in which that society holds particular persons and groups of persons. We affirm all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God. We there- fore work toward societies in which each person’s value is recog- nized, maintained, and strengthened. We support the basic rights of all persons to equal access to housing, education, communica- tion, employment, medical care, legal redress for grievances, and physical protection. We deplore acts of hate or violence against groups or persons based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, status, economic condition, sexual orienta- tion, gender identity, or religious affiliation. Our respect for the inherent dignity of all persons leads us to call for the recognition, protection, and implementation of the principles of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights so that communities and individuals may claim and enjoy their universal, indivisible, and inalienable rights. 119

135 ¶ 162 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES is the combina- A) Rights of Racial and Ethnic Persons—Racism tion of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominant race is innately superior to the others. Racism includes both personal and insti- tutional racism. Personal racism is manifested through the indi- vidual expressions, attitudes, and/or behaviors that accept the assumptions of a racist value system and that maintain the benefits of this system. Institutional racism is the established social pattern that supports implicitly or explicitly the racist value system. Rac- ism, manifested as sin, plagues and hinders our relationship with Christ, inasmuch as it is antithetical to the gospel itself. In many cultures white persons are granted unearned privileges and ben- efits that are denied to persons of color. We oppose the creation of a racial hierarchy in any culture. Racism breeds racial discrimina- tion. We define racial discrimination as the disparate treatment and lack of full access and equity in resources, opportunities, and par - ticipation in the Church and in society based on race or ethnicity. Therefore, we recognize racism as sin and affirm the ulti- mate and temporal worth of all persons. We rejoice in the gifts that particular ethnic histories and cultures bring to our total life. We commit as the Church to move beyond symbolic expressions and representative models that do not challenge unjust systems of power and access. We commend and encourage the self-awareness of all racial and ethnic groups and oppressed people that leads them to demand their just and equal rights as members of society. We assert the obligation of society and people within the society to implement compensatory programs that redress long-standing, systemic social deprivation of racial and ethnic persons. We fur - ther assert the right of members of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic persons to equal and equitable opportunities in employment and promotion; to education and training of the highest quality; to nondiscrimination in voting, access to public accommodations, and housing purchase or rental; to credit, finan- cial loans, venture capital, and insurance policies; to positions of leadership and power in all elements of our life together; and to full participation in the Church and society. We support affirma- tive action as one method of addressing the inequalities and dis- criminatory practices within the Church and society. Religious persecution has Rights of Religious Minorities— B) been common in the history of civilization. We urge policies and 120

136 THE SOCIAL ¶ 162 COMMUNITY - practices that ensure the right of every religious group to exer cise its faith free from legal, political, or economic restrictions. We condemn all overt and covert forms of religious intolerance, being especially sensitive to their expression in media stereotyping. We assert the right of all religions and their adherents to freedom from legal, economic, and social discrimination. Rights of Childr en— Once considered the property of their C) parents, children are now acknowledged to be full human beings in their own right, but beings to whom adults and society in gen- eral have special obligations. Thus, we support the development of school systems and innovative methods of education designed to assist every child toward complete fulfillment as an individual person of worth. All children have the right to quality education, including full sex education appropriate to their stage of develop- ment that utilizes the best educational techniques and insights. Christian parents and guardians and the Church have the respon- sibility to ensure that children receive sex education consistent with Christian morality, including faithfulness in marriage and abstinence in singleness. Moreover, children have the rights to food, shelter, clothing, health care, and emotional well-being as do adults, and these rights we affirm as theirs regardless of actions or inactions of their parents or guardians. In particular, children must be protected from economic, physical, emotional, and sexual exploitation and abuse. D) Rights of Y oung People— Our society is characterized by a - large population of young people who frequently find full par ticipation in society difficult. Therefore, we urge development of policies that encourage inclusion of young people in decision- making processes and that eliminate discrimination and exploita- tion. Creative and appropriate employment opportunities should be legally and socially available for young people. In a society that places primary E) Rights of the Aging— emphasis upon youth, those growing old in years are frequently isolated from the mainstream of social existence. We support social policies that integrate the aging into the life of the total community, including sufficient incomes, increased and nondis- criminatory employment opportunities, educational and service opportunities, and adequate medical care and housing within existing communities. We urge social policies and programs, with emphasis on the unique concerns of older women and ethnic per - sons, that ensure to the aging the respect and dignity that is their 121

137 ¶ 162 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES right as senior members of the human community. Further, we urge increased consideration for adequate pension systems by employers, with provisions for the surviving spouse. Rights of W omen— We affirm women and men to be equal F) in every aspect of their common life. We therefore urge that every effort be made to eliminate sex-role stereotypes in activity and portrayal of family life and in all aspects of voluntary and com- pensatory participation in the Church and society. We affirm the right of women to equal treatment in employment, responsibil- ity, promotion, and compensation. We affirm the importance of women in decision-making positions at all levels of Church and society and urge such bodies to guarantee their presence through policies of employment and recruitment. We support affirmative action as one method of addressing the inequalities and discrimi- natory practices within our Church and society. We urge employ- ers of persons in dual career families, both in the Church and society, to apply proper consideration of both parties when reloca- tion is considered. We affirm the right of women to live free from violence and abuse and urge governments to enact policies that protect women against all forms of violence and discrimination in any sector of society. G) Because we affirm women and men to Rights of Men— be equal in every aspect of their common life, we also affirm the rights of men. We affirm equal opportunities in employment, responsibility, and promotion. Men should not be ignored or lose opportunities or influence because they are men. We recognize that men are also victims of domestic violence and abuse. We encourage communities to offer the same policies and protection as provided for women in similar situations. We affirm the right of men to live free from violence and abuse and urge governments to enact policies that protect men against all forms of violence and discrimination in any sector of society. We recognize that men’s role in raising children is in equal importance to women’s and call for equal rights as women in opportunities for parental leave. When parents divorce, men often have less contact with their children. We call for equal access to child-custody, but emphasize that the best interest of the child always is the most important. H) Rights of Immigrants— We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportu- 122

138 THE SOCIAL ¶ 162 COMMUNITY nities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all. We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families. Rights of Persons W ith Disabilities— We recognize and affirm I) the full humanity and personhood of all individuals with mental, physical, developmental, neurological, and psychological con- ditions or disabilities as full members of the family of God. We also affirm their rightful place in both the Church and society. We affirm the responsibility of the Church and society to be in minis- try with children, youth, and adults with mental, physical, devel- opmental, and/or psychological and neurological conditions or disabilities whose particular needs in the areas of mobility, com- munication, intellectual comprehension, or personal relationships might make more challenging their participation or that of their families in the life of the Church and the community. We urge the Church and society to recognize and receive the gifts of persons with disabilities to enable them to be full participants in the com- munity of faith. We call the Church and society to be sensitive to, and advocate for, programs of rehabilitation, services, employ- ment, education, appropriate housing, and transportation. We call on the Church and society to protect the civil rights of persons with all types and kinds of disabilities. J) Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation— Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are commit- ted to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regard- less of sexual orientation. We see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting the rightful claims where people have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, and other such lawful claims typically attendant to con- tractual relationships that involve shared contributions, respon- sibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law. Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against all persons, regardless of sexual orientation. K) Population— Since the growing worldwide population is increasingly straining the world’s supply of food, minerals, and water and sharpening international tensions, the reduction of the rate of consumption of resources by the affluent and the reduction 123

139 ¶ 162 PRINCIPLES SOCIAL of current world population growth rates have become impera- tive. People have the duty to consider the impact on the total world community of their decisions regarding childbearing and should have access to information and appropriate means to limit their fertility, including voluntary sterilization. We affirm that programs to achieve a stabilized population should be placed in a context of total economic and social development, including an equitable use and control of resources; improvement in the sta- tus of women in all cultures; a human level of economic security, health care, and literacy for all. We oppose any policy of forced abortion or forced sterilization. Alcohol and Other Drugs— We affirm our long-standing L) support of abstinence from alcohol as a faithful witness to God’s liberating and redeeming love for persons. We support abstinence from the use of any illegal drugs. Since the use of illegal drugs, as well as illegal and problematic use of alcohol, is a major factor in crime, disease, death, and family dysfunction, we support edu- cational programs as well as other prevention strategies encour - aging abstinence from illegal drug use and, with regard to those who choose to consume alcoholic beverages, judicious use with deliberate and intentional restraint, with Scripture as a guide. Millions of living human beings are testimony to the benefi- cial consequences of therapeutic drug use, and millions of others are testimony to the detrimental consequences of drug misuse. We encourage wise policies relating to the availability of potentially beneficial or potentially damaging prescription and over-the-coun- ter drugs; we urge that complete information about their use and misuse be readily available to both doctor and patient. We support the strict administration of laws regulating the sale and distribution of alcohol and controlled substances. We support regulations that protect society from users of drugs of any kind, including alcohol, where it can be shown that a clear and present social danger exists. Drug-dependent persons and their family members, including those who are assessed or diagnosed as dependent on alcohol, are individuals of infinite human worth deserving of treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing life-changing recovery. Misuse or abuse may also require intervention, in order to prevent progres- sion into dependence. Because of the frequent interrelationship between alcohol abuse and mental illness, we call upon legislators and health care providers to make available appropriate mental illness treatment and rehabilitation for drug-dependent persons. 124

140 THE SOCIAL ¶ 162 COMMUNITY We commit ourselves to assisting those who suffer from abuse or dependence, and their families, in finding freedom through Jesus Christ and in finding good opportunities for treatment, for ongo- ing counseling, and for reintegration into society. Tobacco —We affirm our historic tradition of high stan- M) dards of personal discipline and social responsibility. In light of the overwhelming evidence that tobacco smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco are hazardous to the health of persons of all ages, we recommend total abstinence from the use of tobacco. We urge that our educational and communication resources be utilized to support and encourage such abstinence. Further, we recognize the harmful effects of passive smoke and support the restriction of smoking in public areas and workplaces. N) Medical Experimentation —Physical and mental health has been greatly enhanced through discoveries by medical science. It is imperative, however, that governments and the medical profes- sion carefully enforce the requirements of the prevailing medical research standard, maintaining rigid controls in testing new tech- nologies and drugs utilizing human beings. The standard requires that those engaged in research shall use human beings as research subjects only after obtaining full, rational, and uncoerced consent. Genetic T echnology O) —The responsibility of humankind to God’s creation challenges us to deal carefully with and examine the possibilities of genetic research and technology in a conscien- tious, careful, and responsible way. We welcome the use of genetic technology for meeting fundamental human needs for health and a safe environment. We oppose the cloning of humans and the genetic manipulation of the gender of an unborn child. Because of the effects of genetic technologies on all life, we call for effective guidelines and public accountability to safeguard against any action that might lead to abuse of these technologies, including political or military ends. We recognize that cautious, well-intended use of genetic technologies may sometimes lead to unanticipated harmful consequences. The risks of genetic tech- nology that can hardly be calculated when breeding animals and plants and the negative ecological and social impacts on agricul- ture make the use of this technology doubtful. We approve mod- ern methods of breeding that respect the existence of the natural borders of species. Human gene therapies that produce changes that cannot be passed to offspring (somatic therapy) should be limited to the 125

141 ¶ 162 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES alleviation of suffering caused by disease. Genetic therapies for eugenic choices or that produce waste embryos are deplored. Genetic data of individuals and their families should be kept secret and held in strict confidence unless confidentiality is waived by the individual or by his or her family, or unless the collection and use of genetic identification data is supported by an appropriate court order. Because its long-term effects are uncertain, we oppose genetic therapy that results in changes that can be passed to off- spring (germ-line therapy). All the genetic procedures must be accompanied by independent, ethically oriented measures of test- ing, approval, and control. Rural Life —We support the right of persons and families to P) live and prosper as farmers, farm workers, merchants, profession- als, and others outside of the cities and metropolitan centers. We believe our culture is impoverished and our people deprived of a meaningful way of life when rural and small-town living becomes difficult or impossible. We recognize that the improvement of this way of life may sometimes necessitate the use of some lands for nonagricultural purposes. We oppose the indiscriminate diver - sion of agricultural land for nonagricultural uses when nonagri- cultural land is available. Further, we encourage the preservation of appropriate lands for agriculture and open space uses through thoughtful land use programs. We support governmental and pri- vate programs designed to benefit the resident farmer rather than the factory farm and programs that encourage industry to locate in nonurban areas. We further recognize that increased mobility and technology have brought a mixture of people, religions, and philosophies to rural communities that were once homogeneous. While often this is seen as a threat to or loss of community life, we understand it as an opportunity to uphold the biblical call to community for all persons. Therefore, we encourage rural communities and indi- viduals to maintain a strong connection to the earth and to be open to: offering mutual belonging, caring, healing, and growth; sharing and celebrating cooperative leadership and diverse gifts; supporting mutual trust; and affirming individuals as unique per - sons of worth, and thus to practice shalom. Q) Sustainable Agriculture —A prerequisite for meeting the nutritional needs of the world’s population is an agricultural sys- tem that uses sustainable methods, respects ecosystems, and pro- motes a livelihood for people that work the land. 126

142 THE SOCIAL ¶ 162 COMMUNITY We support a sustainable agricultural system that will main- tain and support the natural fertility of agricultural soil, promote the diversity of flora and fauna, and adapt to regional conditions and structures—a system where agricultural animals are treated humanely and where their living conditions are as close to natu- ral systems as possible. We aspire to an effective agricultural sys- tem where plant, livestock, and poultry production maintains the natural ecological cycles, conserves energy, and reduces chemical input to a minimum. Sustainable agriculture requires a global evaluation of the impact of agriculture on food and raw material production, the - preservation of animal breeds and plant varieties, and the preser vation and development of the cultivated landscape. World trade of agricultural products needs to be based on fair trade and prices, based on the costs of sustainable production methods, and must consider the real costs of ecological damage. The needed technological and biological developments are those that support sustainability and consider ecological consequences. —Urban-suburban living has become Urban-Suburban Life R) a dominant style of life for more and more persons. For many it fur - nishes economic, educational, social, and cultural opportunities. For others, it has brought alienation, poverty, and depersonaliza- tion. We in the Church have an opportunity and responsibility to help shape the future of urban-suburban life. Massive programs of renewal and social planning are needed to bring a greater degree of humanization into urban-suburban lifestyles. We must judge all programs, including economic and community develop- ment, new towns, and urban renewal, by the extent to which they protect and enhance human values, permit personal and political involvement, and make possible neighborhoods open to persons of all races, ages, and income levels. We affirm the efforts of all developers who place human values at the heart of their plan- ning. We must help shape urban-suburban development so that it provides for the human need to identify with and find meaning in smaller social communities. At the same time, such smaller com- munities must be encouraged to assume responsibilities for the total urban-suburban community instead of isolating themselves from it. S) Media V iolence and Christian Values —In our society, the media plays an important role. It influences people all over the world. Content, representations, pictures, scenes, however, are 127

143 ¶ 162 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES often in a stark contrast to human and Christian values. We express disdain of dehumanizing portrayals, sensationalized through mass media “entertainment” and “news.” These prac- tices degrade humankind and violate the teachings of Christ and the Bible. United Methodists, along with those of other faith groups, must be made aware that the mass media often undermine the truths of Christianity by promoting permissive lifestyles and detailing acts of graphic violence. Instead of encouraging, moti- vating, and inspiring its audiences to adopt lifestyles based on the sanctity of life, the entertainment industry often advocates the opposite, painting a cynical picture of violence, abuse, greed, pro- fanity, and a constant denigration of the family. The media must be held accountable for the part they play in the decline of values we observe in society today. Many in the media remain aloof to the issue, claiming to reflect rather than to influence society. For the sake of our human family, Christians must work together to halt this erosion of moral and ethical values in the world com- munity. We oppose any kind of sexist image as well as those that glorify violence. We reject the implicit message that conflicts can be resolved and just peace can be established by violence. Within the bounds of the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, the media are responsible for respecting human rights. In support of these matters, we work together with all people of good will. Information Because effective Communication Technology— T) personal communication is key to being a responsible and empow- ered member of society, and because of the power afforded by information communication technologies to shape society and enable individuals to participate more fully, we believe that access to these technologies is a basic right. Information communication technologies provide us with information, entertainment, and a voice in society. They can be used to enhance our quality of life and provide us with a means to interact with each other, our government, and people and cul- tures all over the world. Most information about world events comes to us by broadcast, cable, print media, and the Internet. Concentrating the control of media to large commercial interests limits our choices and often provides a distorted view of human values. Therefore, we support the regulation of media communi- cation technologies to ensure a variety of independent informa- tion sources and provide for the public good. 128

144 THE SOCIAL ¶ 162 COMMUNITY Personal communication technologies such as the Internet allow persons to communicate with each other and access vast information resources that can have commercial, cultural, politi- cal, and personal value. While the Internet can be used to nurture minds and spirits of children and adults, it is in danger of being overrun with commercial interests and is used by some to dis- tribute inappropriate and illegal material. Therefore, the Internet must be managed responsibly in order to maximize its benefits while minimizing its risks, especially for children. Denying access in today’s world to basic information communication technolo- gies like the Internet due to their cost or availability, limits peo- ple’s participation in their government and society. We support the goal of universal access to telephone and Internet services at an affordable price. ith HIV and AIDS —Persons diagnosed Persons Living W U) as positive for Human Immune Virus (HIV) and with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) often face rejection from their families and friends and various communities in which they work and interact. In addition, they are often faced with a lack of adequate health care, especially toward the end of life. All individuals living with HIV and AIDS should be treated with dignity and respect. We affirm the responsibility of the Church to minister to and with these individuals and their families regardless of how the disease was contracted. We support their rights to employment, appropriate medical care, full participation in public education, and full participation in the Church. We urge the Church to be actively involved in the preven- tion of the spread of AIDS by providing educational opportunities to the congregation and the community. The Church should be available to provide counseling to the affected individuals and their families. V) Right to Health Car e —Health is a condition of physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. John 10:10b says, “I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” Stewardship of health is the responsibility of each person to whom health has been entrusted. Creating the personal, environmental, and social conditions in which health can thrive is a joint responsibility—public and private. We encourage indi- viduals to pursue a healthy lifestyle and affirm the importance of preventive health care, health education, environmental and 129

145 ¶ 162 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES occupational safety, good nutrition, and secure housing in achiev- ing health. Health care is a basic human right. Providing the care needed to maintain health, prevent dis- ease, and restore health after injury or illness is a responsibility each person owes others and government owes to all, a responsi- bility government ignores at its peril. In Ezekiel 34:4a, God points out the failures of the leadership of Israel to care for the weak: “You don’t strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the injured, bring back the strays, or seek out the lost.” As a result all suffer. Like police and fire protection, health care is best funded through the government’s ability to tax each person equitably and directly fund the provider entities. Countries facing a public health crisis such as HIV/AIDS must have access to generic medicines and to patented medicines. We affirm the right of men and women to have access to comprehensive reproductive health/family plan- ning information and services that will serve as a means to pre- vent unplanned pregnancies, reduce abortions, and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. The right to health care includes care for persons with brain diseases, neurological conditions, or physical disabilities, who must be afforded the same access to health care as all other persons in our communities. It is unjust to construct or perpetuate barriers to physical or mental wholeness or full par - ticipation in community. We believe it is a governmental responsibility to provide all citizens with health care. We encourage hospitals, physicians, and medical clinics to provide access to primary health care to all people regardless of their health-care coverage or ability to pay for treatment. —We believe that organ W) Organ Transplantation and Donation transplantation and organ donation are acts of charity, agape love, and self-sacrifice. We recognize the life-giving benefits of organ and other tissue donation and encourage all people of faith to become organ and tissue donors as a part of their love and minis- try to others in need. We urge that it be done in an environment of respect for deceased and living donors and for the benefit of the recipients, and following protocols that carefully prevent abuse to donors and their families. X) Mental Health —The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make 130

146 THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY ¶ 163 a contribution to his or her community.” Unfortunately, mental health eludes many in our world resulting in considerable dis- tress, stigma, and isolation. Mental illness troubles our relation- ships because it can affect the way we process information, relate to others, and choose actions. Consequently, mental illnesses often are feared in ways that other illnesses are not. Nevertheless, we know that regardless of our illness we remain created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). No person deserves to be stigmatized because of mental ill- ness. Those with mental illness are no more violent than other persons are. Rather, they are much more likely to be victims of violence or preyed on by others. When stigma happens within the church, mentally ill persons and their families are further victim- ized. Persons with mental illness and their families have a right to be treated with respect on the basis of common humanity and accurate information. They also have a right and responsibility to obtain care appropriate to their condition. The United Methodist Church pledges to foster policies that promote compassion, advo- cate for access to care, and eradicate stigma within the Church and in communities. ¶ 163. IV . THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY We claim all economic systems to be under the judgment of God no less than other facets of the created order. Therefore, we recognize the responsibility of governments to develop and implement sound fiscal and monetary policies that provide for the economic life of individuals and corporate entities and that ensure full employment and adequate incomes with a minimum of inflation. We believe private and public economic enterprises are responsible for the social costs of doing business, such as employment and environmental pollution, and that they should be held accountable for these costs. We support measures that would reduce the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. We further support efforts to revise tax structures and to eliminate governmental support programs that now benefit the wealthy at the expense of other persons. A) Property —We believe private ownership of property is a trusteeship under God, both in those societies where it is encour - aged and where it is discouraged, but is limited by the overrid- ing needs of society. We believe that Christian faith denies to any 131

147 ¶ 163 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES person or group of persons exclusive and arbitrary control of any other part of the created universe. Socially and culturally con- ditioned ownership of property is, therefore, to be considered a responsibility to God. We believe, therefore, governments have the responsibility, in the pursuit of justice and order under law, to provide procedures that protect the rights of the whole society as well as those of private ownership. Collective Bar gaining —We support the right of all public B) and private employees and employers to organize for collective bargaining into unions and other groups of their own choosing. Further, we support the right of both parties to protection in so doing and their responsibility to bargain in good faith within the framework of the public interest. In order that the rights of all members of the society may be maintained and promoted, we support innovative bargaining procedures that include rep- resentatives of the public interest in negotiation and settlement of labor-management contracts, including some that may lead to forms of judicial resolution of issues. We reject the use of violence by either party during collective bargaining or any labor/man- agement disagreement. We likewise reject the permanent replace- ment of a worker who engages in a lawful strike. C) ork and Leisure —Every person has the right to a job at a W living wage. Where the private sector cannot or does not provide jobs for all who seek and need them, it is the responsibility of government to provide for the creation of such jobs. We support social measures that ensure the physical and mental safety of workers, that provide for the equitable division of products and services, and that encourage an increasing freedom in the way individuals may use their leisure time. We recognize the oppor - tunity leisure provides for creative contributions to society and encourage methods that allow workers additional blocks of discretionary time. We support educational, cultural, and rec- reational outlets that enhance the use of such time. We believe that persons come before profits. We deplore the selfish spirit that often pervades our economic life. We support policies that encourage the sharing of ideas in the workplace, cooperative and collective work arrangements. We support rights of workers to refuse to work in situations that endanger health and/or life without jeopardy to their jobs. We support policies that would reverse the increasing concentration of business and industry into monopolies. 132

148 THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY ¶ 163 —Consumers should exercise their economic D) Consumption power to encourage the manufactur e of goods that are necessary and beneficial to humanity while avoiding the desecration of the environment in either production or consumption. Consum- ers should avoid purchasing products made in conditions where workers are being exploited because of their age, gender, or eco- nomic status. And while the limited options available to consumers make this extremely difficult to accomplish, buying “Fair Trade Certi- fied” products is one sure way consumers can use their purchasing power to make a contribution to the common good. The Interna- tional Standards of Fair Trade are based on ensuring livable wages for small farmers and their families, working with democratically run farming cooperatives, buying direct so that the benefits and profits from trade actually reach the farmers and their communi- ties, providing vitally important advance credit, and encouraging ecologically sustainable farming practices. Consumers should not only seek out companies whose product lines reflect a strong com- mitment to these standards, but should also encourage expanded corporate participation in the Fair Trade market. Consumers should evaluate their consumption of goods and services in the light of the need for enhanced quality of life rather than unlimited production of material goods. We call upon consumers, including local congregations and Church-related institutions, to organize to achieve these goals and to express dis- satisfaction with harmful economic, social, or ecological practices through such appropriate methods as boycott, letter writing, cor - porate resolution, and advertisement. —In spite of general affluence in the industrialized Poverty E) nations, the majority of persons in the world live in poverty. In order to provide basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, edu- cation, health care, and other necessities, ways must be found to share more equitably the resources of the world. Increasing tech- nology, when accompanied by exploitative economic practices, impoverishes many persons and makes poverty self-perpetu- ating. Poverty due to natural catastrophes and environmental changes is growing and needs attention and support. Conflicts and war impoverish the population on all sides, and an important way to support the poor will be to work for peaceful solutions. As a church, we are called to support the poor and challenge the rich. To begin to alleviate poverty, we support such policies as: 133

149 ¶ 163 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES adequate income maintenance, quality education, decent housing, job training, meaningful employment opportunities, adequate medical and hospital care, humanization and radical revisions of welfare programs, work for peace in conflict areas and efforts to protect creation’s integrity. Since low wages are often a cause of poverty, employers should pay their employees a wage that does not require them to depend upon government subsidies such as food stamps or welfare for their livelihood. Because we recognize that the long-term reduction of pov- erty must move beyond services to and employment for the poor, which can be taken away, we emphasize measures that build and maintain the wealth of poor people, including asset-build- ing strategies such as individual development savings accounts, micro-enterprise development programs, progams enabling home ownership, and financial management training and counseling. We call upon churches to develop these and other ministries that promote asset-building among the poor. We are especially mind- ful of the Global South, where investment and micro-enterprise are especially needed. We urge support for policies that will encourage equitable economic growth in the Global South and around the world, providing a just opportunity for all. Poverty most often has systemic causes, and therefore we do not hold poor people morally responsible for their economic state. For eign Workers —For centuries people have moved across F) borders in search of work. In our global world this is still a rele- vant and increasing form of immigration. Improved wages, better working conditions, and jobs available are reasons for immigra- tion due to work opportunities. Workers from other countries are in many societies an important resource to fill the society’s need of workers. But foreign workers too often meet exploitation, absence of protecting laws, and unreasonable wages and working conditions. We call upon governments and all employers to ensure for foreign workers the same economic, educational, and social ben- efits enjoyed by other citizens. Foreign workers also need a religious fellowship, and we call for the churches to include these in their care and fellowships and to support them in their efforts for better conditions. G) Gambling —Gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life, destructive of good government and good stewardship. As an 134

150 THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY 163 ¶ act of faith and concern, Christians should abstain from gambling and should strive to minister to those victimized by the practice. Where gambling has become addictive, the Church will encour - age such individuals to receive therapeutic assistance so that the individual’s energies may be redirected into positive and con- structive ends. The Church acknowledges the dichotomy that can occur when opposing gambling while supporting Ameri- can Indian tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Therefore, the Church’s role is to create sacred space to allow for dialogue and education that will promote a holistic understanding of the American Indians’ historic quest for survival. The Church’s pro- phetic call is to promote standards of justice and advocacy that - would make it unnecessary and undesirable to resort to commer cial gambling—including public lotteries, casinos, raffles, Inter - net gambling, gambling with an emerging wireless technology, and other games of chance—as a recreation, as an escape, or as a means of producing public revenue or funds for support of chari- ties or government. Family Farms —The value of family farms has long been H) affirmed as a significant foundation for free and democratic societies. In recent years, the survival of independent farmers worldwide has been threatened by various factors, including the increasing concentration of all phases of agriculture into the hands of a limited number of transnational corporations. The con- centration of the food supply for the many into the hands of the few raises global questions of justice that cry out for vigilance and action. We call upon the agribusiness sector to conduct itself with respect for human rights primarily in the responsible stewardship of daily bread for the world, and secondarily in responsible cor - porate citizenship that respects the rights of all farmers, small and large, to receive a fair return for honest labor. We advocate for the rights of people to possess property and to earn a living by tilling the soil. We call upon governments to revise support programs that disproportionately benefit wealthier agricultural producers, so that more support can be given to programs that benefit medium- and smaller-sized farming operations, including programs that build rural processing, storage, distribution, and other agricul- tural infrastructure; which link local farmers to local schools; and which promote other community food security measures. 135

151 ¶ 163 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES We call upon our churches to do all in their power to speak prophetically to the matters of food supply and the people who grow the food for the world and to develop ministries that build food security in local communities. I) Corporate Responsibility —Corporations are responsible not only to their stockholders, but also to other stakeholders: their workers, suppliers, vendors, customers, the communities in which they do business, and for the earth, which supports them. We support the public’s right to know what impact corporations have in these various arenas, so that people can make informed choices about which corporations to support. We applaud corporations that voluntarily comply with standards that promote human well-being and protect the environment. J) Finance —Financial institutions serve a vital role in society. They must guard, however, against abusive and deceptive lend- ing practices that take advantage of the neediest among us for the gain of the richest. Banking regulations must prevent the col- lection of usurious interest that keeps people in cycles of debt. Personal-credit-issuing institutions must operate with responsi- bility and clarity that allow all parties to understand the full terms of agreements. K) rade and Investment —We affirm the importance of inter - T national trade and investment in an interdependent world. Trade and investment should be based on rules that support the dig- nity of the human person, a clean environment and our common humanity. Trade agreements must include mechanisms to enforce labor rights and human rights as well as environmental stan- dards. Broad-based citizen advocacy and participation in trade negotiations must be ensured through democratic mechanisms of consultation and participation. L) Graft and Corruption —God’s good creation, the fullness of its bounty, and the loving, nurturing relationships that bind all together are intended by God to be enjoyed in freedom and responsible stewardship. To revere God’s creation is a sacred trust that enables us to fashion just, equitable, sustainable rela- tionships and communities. The strength, stability, security, and progress of such relationships and communities depend on the integrity of their social, economic, political, and cultural pro- cesses, institutions, and stakeholders. Graft, referring to unfair or illegal means of acquiring money, gain, or advantage, especially 136

152 THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY ¶ 163 by abusing one’s position in politics, business, and social insti- tutions, transgresses human dignity and violates human rights. Corruption, referring to dishonest and undue exploitation of power for personal gain, subverts God’s intention for the fullness of life and creation. Graft and corruption tangle the social thread of communities, erode the moral fiber of human relationships, and sully the reputation of social institutions. Legislative and judicial mechanisms, including a strong, just criminal justice sys- tem, must deal with graft and corruption at every level of society. Good, just political governance characterized by transparency, accountability, and integrity is crucial to the eradication of graft and corruption. Societies that are graft-ridden and plagued with corruption are needful of God’s pardoning love and redeeming grace. M) Public Indebtedness —The huge budget deficits produced by years of overspending by governments around the world is of great concern. We acknowledge that for a limited time in a nation’s history governmental deficits are sometimes necessary. However, long periods of excessive overspending by governments have produced huge deficits and significant economic challenges for many nations. Such wanton carelessness cannot continue. There- fore, we call upon all governments to reduce budget deficits and to live within their means. We ask the governments and institu- tions that lend money to reduce significantly the interest rates on the money borrowed. We ask that public officials, when making financial adjustments, remember first and foremost obligations that promote the well-being of society such as the funding of schools and other opportunities that foster the growth of the indi- vidual, as well as agencies that care for the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the disenfranchised. We recognize that, if deficits are not brought under con- trol, future generations will be shackled with a burden of public indebtedness that will force societies to live under the specter of coerced repayments, rising inflation, mass unemployment, and despair. Thus, this is not just a financial issue, but an issue of jus- tice for those who are yet to be born. Wise stewardship is needed today to provide for future generations. We call on church leader - ship throughout the connection to encourage public officials to reduce public indebtedness and to begin the process toward bal- anced and fair budgets. 137

153 ¶ 164 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES ¶ V . THE POLITICAL COMMUNITY 164. While our allegiance to God takes precedence over our alle- giance to any state, we acknowledge the vital function of govern- ment as a principal vehicle for the ordering of society. Because we know ourselves to be responsible to God for social and political life, we declare the following relative to governments: Basic Fr eedoms and Human Rights —We hold governments A) responsible for the protection of the rights of the people to free and fair elections and to the freedoms of speech, religion, assem- bly, communications media, and petition for redress of grievances without fear of reprisal; to the right to privacy; and to the guar - antee of the rights to adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, and health care. Blockades and embargoes that seek to impede the flow or free commerce of food and medicines are practices that cause pain and suffering, malnutrition, or starvation with all its detrimental consequences to innocent and noncombatant civilian populations, especially children. We reject these as instruments of domestic and foreign policy regardless of political or ideologi- cal views. The form and the leaders of all governments should be determined by exercise of the right to vote guaranteed to all adult citizens. We also strongly reject domestic surveillance and intimidation of political opponents by governments in power and all other misuses of elective or appointive offices. The use of detention and imprisonment for the harassment and elimina- tion of political opponents or other dissidents violates fundamen- tal human rights. Furthermore, the mistreatment or torture, and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment or punishment of persons by governments for any purpose violates Christian teaching and must be condemned and/or opposed by Christians and churches wherever and whenever it occurs. The Church regards the institution of slavery, the practice and commission of genocide, war crimes, crimes against human- ity, and aggression as infamous and atrocious evils. Such evils are destructive of humanity, promote impunity, and therefore must be unconditionally prohibited by all governments and shall never be tolerated by the Church. Political —The strength of a political system Responsibility B) depends upon the full and willing participation of its citizens. The church should continually exert a strong ethical influence upon the state, supporting policies and programs deemed to be just and opposing policies and programs that are unjust. 138

154 THE POLITICAL ¶ 164 COMMUNITY ch and State Relations —The United Methodist Church C) Chur has for many years supported the separation of church and state. In some parts of the world this separation has guaranteed the diversity of religious expressions and the freedom to worship God according to each person’s conscience. Separation of church and state means no organic union of the two, but it does permit - interaction. The state should not use its authority to promote par ticular religious beliefs (including atheism), nor should it require prayer or worship in the public schools, but it should leave stu- dents free to practice their own religious convictions. We believe that the state should not attempt to control the church, nor should the church seek to dominate the state. The rightful and vital sepa- ration of church and state, which has served the cause of religious liberty, should not be misconstrued as the abolition of all religious expression from public life. D) Fr eedom of Information —Citizens of all countries should have access to all essential information regarding their govern- ment and its policies. Illegal and unconscionable activities directed against persons or groups by their own governments must not be justified or kept secret, even under the guise of national security. Education —We believe that every person has the right to E) education. We also believe that the responsibility for education of the young rests with the family, faith communities, and the government. In society, this function can best be fulfilled through public policies that ensure access for all persons to free public elementary and secondary schools and to post-secondary schools of their choice. Persons should not be precluded by financial bar - riers from access to church-related and other independent insti- tutions of higher education. We affirm the right of public and independent colleges and universities to exist, and we endorse public policies that ensure access and choice and that do not cre- ate unconstitutional entanglements between church and state. We believe that colleges and universities are to ensure that academic freedom is protected for all members of the academic commu- nity and a learning environment is fostered that allows for a free exchange of ideas. We affirm the joining of reason and faith; there- fore, we urge colleges and universities to guard the expression of religious life on campus. Civil Obedience and Civil Disobedience —Governments and F) laws should be servants of God and of human beings. Citizens have a duty to abide by laws duly adopted by orderly and just 139

155 ¶ 164 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES process of government. But governments, no less than individu- als, are subject to the judgment of God. Therefore, we recognize the right of individuals to dissent when acting under the constraint of conscience and, after having exhausted all legal recourse, to resist or disobey laws that they deem to be unjust or that are discrimi- nately enforced. Even then, respect for law should be shown by refraining from violence and by being willing to accept the costs of disobedience. We do not encourage or condone any form of vio- lent protest as a legitimate exercise of free speech or civil disobe- dience. We offer our prayers for those in rightful authority who serve the public, and we support their efforts to afford justice and equal opportunity for all people. We assert the duty of churches to support those who suffer because of their stands of conscience represented by nonviolent beliefs or acts. We urge governments to ensure civil rights, as defined by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to persons in legal jeopardy because of those nonviolent acts. G) —We believe the death penalty denies The Death Penalty the power of Christ to redeem, restore, and transform all human beings. The United Methodist Church is deeply concerned about crime throughout the world and the value of any life taken by a murder or homicide. We believe all human life is sacred and created by God and therefore, we must see all human life as sig- nificant and valuable. When governments implement the death penalty (capital punishment), then the life of the convicted person is devalued and all possibility of change in that person’s life ends. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that the possibil- ity of reconciliation with Christ comes through repentance. This gift of reconciliation is offered to all individuals without excep- tion and gives all life new dignity and sacredness. For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes. H) —To protect all persons Criminal and Restorative Justice from encroachment upon their personal and property rights, gov- ernments have established mechanisms of law enforcement and courts. A wide array of sentencing options serves to express com- munity outrage, incapacitate dangerous offenders, deter crime, and offer opportunities for rehabilitation. We support govern- mental measures designed to reduce and eliminate crime that are consistent with respect for the basic freedom of persons. 140

156 THE POLITICAL ¶ 164 COMMUNITY We reject all misuse of these mechanisms, including their use for the purpose of revenge or for persecuting or intimidat- ing those whose race, appearance, lifestyle, economic condition, or beliefs differ from those in authority. We reject all careless, cal- lous, or discriminatory enforcement of law that withholds justice from persons with disabilities and all those who do not speak the language of the country in which they are in contact with the law enforcement. We further support measures designed to remove the social conditions that lead to crime, and we encourage con- tinued positive interaction between law enforcement officials and members of the community at large. In the love of Christ, who came to save those who are lost and vulnerable, we urge the creation of a genuinely new system for the care and restoration of victims, offenders, criminal justice officials, and the community as a whole. Restorative justice grows out of biblical authority, which emphasizes a right relationship with God, self, and community. When such relationships are vio- lated or broken through crime, opportunities are created to make things right. Most criminal justice systems around the world are retribu- tive. These retributive justice systems profess to hold the offender accountable to the state and use punishment as the equalizing tool for accountability. In contrast, restorative justice seeks to hold the offender accountable to the victimized person, and to the dis- rupted community. Through God’s transforming power, restor - ative justice seeks to repair the damage, right the wrong, and bring healing to all involved, including the victim, the offender, the families, and the community. The Church is transformed when it responds to the claims of discipleship by becoming an agent of healing and systemic change. —We deplore war and urge the peaceful Military Service I) settlement of all disputes among nations. From the beginning, the Christian conscience has struggled with the harsh realities of vio- lence and war, for these evils clearly frustrate God’s loving pur - poses for humankind. We yearn for the day when there will be no more war and people will live together in peace and justice. Some of us believe that war, and other acts of violence, are never acceptable to Christians. We also acknowledge that many Chris- tians believe that, when peaceful alternatives have failed, the force of arms may regretfully be preferable to unchecked aggression, tyranny, and genocide. We honor the witness of pacifists who 141

157 ¶ 164 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES will not allow us to become complacent about war and violence. We also respect those who support the use of force, but only in extreme situations and only when the need is clear beyond rea- sonable doubt, and through appropriate international organiza- tions. We urge the establishment of the rule of law in international affairs as a means of elimination of war, violence, and coercion in these affairs. We reject national policies of enforced military service as incompatible with the gospel. We acknowledge the agonizing tension created by the demand for military service by national governments. We urge all young adults to seek the counsel of the Church as they reach a conscientious decision concerning the nature of their responsibility as citizens. Pastors are called upon to be available for counseling with all young adults who face conscription or who are considering voluntary enlistment in the armed forces, including those who conscientiously refuse to coop- erate with a system of conscription. We support and extend the ministry of the Church to those persons who conscientiously oppose all war, or any particular war, and who therefore refuse to serve in the armed forces or to cooperate with systems of military conscription. We also support and extend the Church’s ministry to all persons. This includes those who conscientiously choose to serve in the armed forces or to accept alternative service. When persons choose to serve in the armed forces, we support their right to adequate care for injuries suffered, and advocate for sufficient resources to meet their physi- cal and mental health needs, both during and after their service. We are aware that we can become guilty both by military action and by conscientious objection, and that we all are dependent on God’s forgiveness. 165. ¶ VI. THE WORLD COMMUNITY God’s world is one world. The unity now being thr ust upon us by technological revolution has far outrun our moral and spiritual capacity to achieve a stable world. The enforced unity of human- ity, increasingly evident on all levels of life, presents the Church as well as all people with problems that will not wait for answers: injustice, war, exploitation, privilege, population, international ecological crisis, proliferation of arsenals of nuclear weapons, development of transnational business organizations that operate beyond the effective control of any governmental structure, and 142

158 THE WORLD COMMUNITY ¶ 165 the increase of tyranny in all its forms. This generation must find viable answers to these and related questions if humanity is to continue on this earth. We commit ourselves as a Church to the achievement of a world community that is a fellowship of persons who honestly love one another. We pledge ourselves to seek the meaning of the gospel in all issues that divide people and threaten the growth of world community. Nations and Cultur es —As individuals are affirmed by God A) in their diversity, so are nations and cultures. We recognize that no nation or culture is absolutely just and right in its treatment of its own people, nor is any nation totally without regard for the wel- fare of its citizens. The Church must regard nations as accountable for unjust treatment of their citizens and others living within their borders. While recognizing valid differences in culture and politi- cal philosophy, we stand for justice and peace in every nation. B) National Power and Responsibility —Some nations possess more military and economic power than do others. Upon the powerful rests responsibility to exercise their wealth and influ- ence with restraint. We will promote restorative justice strategies to support positive social change and peace building. We affirm the right and duty of people of all nations to determine their own destiny. We urge the major political powers to use their nonviolent power to maximize the political, social, and economic self-deter - mination of other nations rather than to further their own special interests. We applaud international efforts to develop a more just international economic order in which the limited resources of the earth will be used to the maximum benefit of all nations and peoples. We urge Christians in every society to encourage the gov- ernments under which they live and the economic entities within their societies to aid and work for the development of more just economic orders. C) ar and Peace —We believe war is incompatible with the W teachings and example of Christ. We therefore reject war as an instrument of national foreign policy. We oppose unilateral first/ preemptive strike actions and strategies on the part of any gov- ernment. As disciples of Christ, we are called to love our enemies, seek justice, and serve as reconcilers of conflict. We insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to work together to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them. We advocate the extension and strengthening of international treaties and institutions that provide a framework within the rule 143

159 ¶ 165 SOCIAL PRINCIPLES of law for responding to aggression, terrorism, and genocide. We believe that human values must outweigh military claims as gov- ernments determine their priorities; that the militarization of soci- ety must be challenged and stopped; that the manufacture, sale, and deployment of armaments must be reduced and controlled; and that the production, possession, or use of nuclear weapons be condemned. Consequently, we endorse general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. Justice and Law —Persons and groups must feel secure D) in their life and right to live within a society if order is to be achieved and maintained by law. We denounce as immoral an ordering of life that perpetuates injustice and impedes the pur - suit of peace. Peoples and nations feel secure in the world com- munity when law, order, and human rights are respected and upheld. Believing that international justice requires the participation of all peoples and nations, we endorse the United Nations, its related bodies, the International Court of Justice, and the Interna- tional Criminal Court as the best instruments now in existence to achieve a world of justice and law. We commend the efforts of all people in all countries who pursue world peace through law. We endorse international aid and cooperation on all matters of need and conflict. We urge acceptance for membership in the United Nations of all nations who wish such membership and who accept United Nations responsibility. We urge the United Nations to take a more aggressive role in the development of international arbi- tration of disputes and actual conflicts among nations by develop- ing binding third-party arbitration. Bilateral or multilateral efforts outside of the United Nations should work in concert with, and not contrary to, its purposes. We reaffirm our historic concern for the world as our parish and seek for all persons and peoples full and equal membership in a truly world community. VII. OUR SOCIAL ¶ 166. CREED We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God’s gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends. We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedi- cate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind. 144

160 OUR SOCIAL ¶ 166 CREED We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family. We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons. We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to prop- erty as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress. We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world. We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world. Amen. (It is recommended that this statement of Social Principles be con- tinually available to United Methodist Christians and that it be empha- sized regularly in every congregation. It is further recommended that “Our Social Creed” be frequently used in Sunday worship.) 145

161 ¶ 166 PRINCIPLES SOCIAL A COMPANION LITANY TO OUR SOCIAL CREED God in the Spirit revealed in Jesus Christ, calls us by grace to be renewed in the image of our Creator, that we may be one in divine love for the world. Today is the day God cares for the integrity of creation, wills the healing and wholeness of all life, weeps at the plunder of earth’s goodness. And so shall we. Today is the day God embraces all hues of humanity, delights in diversity and difference, favors solidarity transforming strangers into friends. And so shall we. Today is the day God cries with the masses of starving people, despises growing disparity between rich and poor, demands justice for workers in the marketplace. And so shall we. Today is the day God deplores violence in our homes and streets, rebukes the world’s warring madness, humbles the powerful and lifts up the lowly. And so shall we. Today is the day God calls for nations and peoples to live in peace, celebrates where justice and mercy embrace, exults when the wolf grazes with the lamb. And so shall we. Today is the day God brings good news to the poor, proclaims release to the captives, gives sight to the blind, and sets the oppressed free. . And so shall we 146

162 Part VI ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION Chapter One THE LOCAL CHURCH Section I. The Church and Pastoral Charge 201. Definition of a Local Chur ¶ The local church provides ch— the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs. It is a community of true believers under the Lordship of Christ. It is the redemptive fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by persons divinely called and the sacraments are duly administered according to Christ’s own appointment. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, the church exists for the maintenance of worship, the edification of believers, and the redemption of the world. ¶ 202. The Function of the Local Chur ch— The church of Jesus Christ exists in and for the world. It is primarily at the level of the charge consisting of one or more local churches that the church encounters the world. The local church is a strategic base from which Christians move out to the structures of society. The func- tion of the local church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is to help people to accept and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to live their daily lives in light of their relationship with God. Therefore, the local church is to minister to persons in the community where the church is located, to provide appropri- ate training and nurture to all, to cooperate in ministry with other 147

163 ¶ 202 THE LOCAL CHURCH local churches, to defend God’s creation and live as an ecologi- cally responsible community, and to participate in the worldwide mission of the church, as minimal expectations of an authentic church. ¶ Relation to the W ider Church— The local church is a 203. connectional society of persons who have been baptized, have professed their faith in Christ, and have assumed the vows of membership in The United Methodist Church. They gather in fel- lowship to hear the Word of God, receive the sacraments, praise and worship the triune God, and carry forward the work that Christ has committed to his church. Such a society of believers, being within The United Methodist Church and subject to its Dis- is also an inherent part of the church universal, which is cipline, composed of all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and which in the Apostles’ Creed we declare to be the holy catholic church. Car 204. ¶ e of Members— Each local church shall have a definite evangelistic, nurture, and witness responsibility for its members and the surrounding area and a missional outreach responsibility to the local and global community. It shall be responsible for min- istering to all its members, wherever they live, and for persons who choose it as their church. pastoral charge Definition of a Pastoral Char ge— 1. 205. A ¶ shall consist of one or more churches that are organized under and subject to the Discipline of The United Methodist Church, with a charge conference, and to which an ordained or licensed minister is or may be duly appointed or appointable as pastor in charge or co-pastor. Where co-pastors are appointed, the bishop may desig- 1 nate for administrative purposes one as pastor in charge. 2. A pastoral charge of two or more churches may be desig- nated a circuit or a cooperative parish. 3. A pastoral charge may be designated by the bishop and cabinet as a “teaching parish” when either a local church with a pastor or a cooperative parish with a director is available to serve as a counseling elder for a provisional, local, or student pastor appointed or assigned to the teaching parish. A teaching parish shall have a demonstrable commitment to a cooperative or team ministry style and the training of pastors. 1. See Judicial Council Decisions 113, 319. 148

164 COOPERATIVE PARISH 206 ¶ 4. When a pastoral charge is not able to be served by an ordained or licensed minister, the bishop, upon recommenda- tion of the cabinet, may assign a qualified and trained layperson, lay minister or lay missioner to do the work of ministry in that charge. The layperson is accountable to the district superinten- dent or another ordained or licensed minister appointed to over - see the charge, who will make provision for sacramental ministry. Upon the bishop’s assignment, the layperson will be assigned an additional clergyperson as a guide to provide support in the assignment. If the assignment is to continue longer than one year, within that year the layperson will begin the process of becoming either a certified lay minister or a certified candidate, thus coming under the care of the District Committee on Ministry. The layper - son assigned is also accountable to the policies and procedures of the annual conference where assigned. Section II. Cooperative Parish ches, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Local chur 206. 1. ¶ may enhance their witness to one another and to the world by showing forth the love of Jesus Christ through forms of mutual cooperation. ences shall implement a process of coop- Annual confer 2. erative parish development through which cooperative parish ministries are initiated and developed in both urban and town- and-country situations. Where cooperative parish ministries already exist in an annual conference, the conference shall direct the appropriate conference boards and agencies to develop strate- gies designed to make use of cooperative ministries as means of creating greater effectiveness in the nurture, outreach, and witness ministries of urban, suburban, and town-and-country situations; and the annual conference shall prepare and adopt a formal writ- ten policy concerning cooperative parish ministries, including a plan for financial support. Parish development is an intentional plan of enabling congregations, church-related agencies, and pastors in a defined geographic area to develop a relationship of trust and mutuality that results in coordinated church programs and ministry, supported by appropriate organizational structures and policy. A superintendent or director of parish development may be appointed to work with the cabinet(s) in the implemen- tation of these ministries in a conference or an area. In addition, district superintendents shall submit recommendations annually 149

165 ¶ 206 THE LOCAL CHURCH regarding those churches in their districts that would benefit from being included in a cooperative ministry. 3. Cooperative ministries may be expressed in one or more of the forms contained in the following categories. a) Beginning and Exploratory Forms: — 1. Cluster Groups a group of churches located in the same geographic area with a loosely knit organization that allows the participating congrega- tions and pastoral charges to engage in cooperative programs in varying degrees. A district may be divided into cluster groups for administrative purposes. —composed of the pastors 2. Probe Staff and other staff assigned to a geographic area to explore possibili- ties for cooperation and developing strategies for improving min- istry. —a loosely organized group of two or more 3. Group Ministry pastoral charges in which pastors are appointed or assigned to charges. The pastors and/or lay council representing all churches may designate a coordinator. b) Str uctured Forms: 1. Multiple Charge Parishes— inten- tionally organized group of two or more pastoral charges in which each church continues to relate to its charge conference on the organizational level and also participates in a parish-wide council. The pastors are appointed or assigned to the charges and also to the parish, and a director or coordinator is appointed or 2 2. Larger Parish— a number of congre- assigned by the bishop. gations working together using a parish-wide council and other committees and work groups, as the parish may determine which provides representation on boards and committees from all churches; guided by a constitution or covenant and served by a staff appointed or assigned by the bishop and involving a direc- tor. 3. Blended Ministry— the merging of the organizations and memberships of churches spread throughout a defined geograph- ical area into one congregation that intentionally develops two or more worship/program centers, and for which there is one charge conference and one set of committees and other groups, guided by a covenant and served by a staff and a director appointed or assigned to the parish by the bishop. c) —two or more Forms: 1. Enlarged Charge Specialized congregations, usually on the same charge and of relatively equal size that work as a unit with the leadership of one or more pas- tors. There may be a charge council and appropriate committees. 2. See Judicial Council Decision 556. 150

166 COOPERA ¶ 206 TIVE PARISH a larger membership church shar 2. Extended or Shared Ministry— - ing ministry with a smaller membership church, usually served by the pastor(s) of the larger church. 3. Cooperative Ecumenical Par- ish —two or more local churches of different Christian traditions including a United Methodist congregation, working together. . 4. Shared Facilities —two Either of the above forms may be utilized or more congregations, one of which shall be United Methodist, sharing a building, office equipment, etc., such as congregations which use different languages or which are of different racial/eth- nic/cultural groups. The congregations may enter into a covenant that ensures representation and preserves the autonomy of each congregation on such bodies as church councils, boards of trust- ees and other committees and work groups. The congregations may negotiate a financial agreement about the use of the facility in order to provide appropriate financial support. 4. Each general board and agency shall arrange for its direc- tors and staff to be trained in cooperative ministry concepts bet- ter to provide support resources for annual conferences and local churches. 5. Bishops, district superintendents, conference staff, and other leaders shall become familiar through training with the ben- efits of cooperative ministries. They shall provide leadership and training opportunities for pastors and local church leaders as to the value of cooperative ministries in moving toward excellence in nurture, outreach, and witness ministries. They are to explore and develop meaningful ministries to persons in congregations, communities, and the global community. 6. Cabinets shall give priority in the appointment process to appointing directors and clergy staff of cooperative ministries, especially cooperative parish ministries, who have been trained in cooperative ministry concepts and who have demonstrated effective ministries of nurture, outreach, and witness. The cabinet shall develop and implement strategies designed to enable and equip pastors presently appointed to cooperative parish min- istries to provide effective ministries of nurture, outreach, and witness. 7. Annual conferences and cabinets are urged to assist in the development and strengthening of cooperative ministries by pur - suing funding assistance from general Church, annual confer - ence, and other sources for each cooperative ministry, including cooperative parish ministries. 151

167 ¶ 207 THE LOCAL CHURCH Section III. Ecumenical Shared Ministries ¶ Local chur ches, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 207. may respond to opportunities for ecumenical resource sharing in their communities by creating ecumenical shared ministries, working with local congregations of other Christian churches to enhance ministry, make wise stewardship of limited resources, and live out the ecumenical spirit in creative ways responsive to the needs of God’s peoples as well as to opportunities for expanded mission and ministry. 208. Ecumenical shared ministries are ecu- Definition— ¶ menical congregations formed by a local United Methodist church and one or more local congregations of other Christian (a) a traditions. Forms of ecumenical shared ministries include: federated church, in which one congregation is related to two or more denominations, with persons choosing to hold membership in one or the other of the denominations; a union church, in (b) which a congregation with one unified membership roll is related to two or more denominations; (c) a merged church, in which two or more congregations of different denominations form one congregation that relates to only one of the constituent denomi- nations; a yoked parish, in which congregations of different (d) denominations share a pastor. Congregations entering into an ecumen- 209. Covenanting— ¶ ical shared ministry shall develop a clear covenant of mission, set of bylaws, or articles of agreement that address financial and prop- erty matters, church membership, denominational askings and apportionments, committee structure and election procedures, terms and provisions of the pastorate, reporting procedures, rela- tionship with the parent denominations, and matters related to amending or dissolving the agreement. Ministries shall notify the district superintendent of any amending of the covenant agree- ment and shall consult with the district superintendent prior to dissolving the covenant agreement. In the formation of an ecu- ¶¶ 243 and 247.1-.2 shall be followed in menical shared ministry, its organization. In an interdenominational local church merger, ¶¶ 2547 and 2548 shall be followed. In the case of federated and union churches, ¶ 2548 shall be followed. ¶ Connectional 210. Responsibilities— Cabinets, conference staff and other leaders shall be expected to work with ecumenical shared ministries at their inception as well as in maintaining ave- nues of vital relationship and connection to The United Methodist 152

168 CHURCHES IN TRANSITIONAL ¶ 212 COMMUNITIES Church, while recognizing that such avenues must also be main- tained with the denominational partners in ministry. ¶ Cabinet Priority —Cabinets shall be urged to give pri- 211. ority in the appointment process to the providing of ecumenical shared ministries with pastoral leaders who have demonstrated commitment to ecumenism and who exhibit a clear appreciation for a variety of denominational expressions and polities. Section IV. Churches in Transitional Communities 212. Since many of the communities in which the local ¶ chur ch is located are experiencing transition, special attention must be given to forms of ministry required in such communities. The local church is required to respond to the changes that are occurring in its surrounding community and to organize its mis- sion and ministry accordingly. When the communities wher e the church is located expe- 1. rience transition especially identified as economic and/or ethnic, the local church shall engage in deliberate analysis of the com- munity change and alter its program to meet the needs and cul- tural patterns of the new residents. The local church shall make every effort to remain in the community and develop effective ministries to those who are newcomers, whether of a cultural, economic, or ethnic group different from the original or present members. In communities in transition, the local chur ch shall be 2. regarded as a principal base of mission from which unjust struc- tures of society shall be confronted, evangelization shall occur, and a principal witness to the changing community, including ministry with the poor, shall be realized. 3. It is r ecommended that decisions concerning ministry in transitional communities be made after thorough consultation has taken place between structures and agencies in the connection. 4. It is r ecommended that the commitment of resources in terms of money and personnel to ministries in transitional com- munities be of sufficient longevity to allow for experimentation, evaluation, and mid-course corrections to ensure an adequate effort in ministry in those situations. Evaluations shall involve those on the local level as well as those at the funding level. 5. The ministry of the local church in transitional areas may be enhanced by review and possible development of some form of cooperative ministry. 153

169 ¶ 212 THE LOCAL CHURCH 6. fort should be made to educate the congregation Every ef on the changes in the surrounding community. The local church has always been called to “minister to persons in the community where the church is located” ( 202), so in times of transition the ¶ membership should understand that the Church’s mission is to serve their surrounding community. 213. A Process for Assessment of Local Church Potential— Since ¶ every congregation is located in a community in some type of transition, every local church is encouraged to study their con- gregation’s potential. Upon the request of the congregation the district superintendent shall appoint a study task force to assist in an extensive study of the past, present, and potential ministry of that local church. Alternatively, the district superintendent may appoint such a task force when the future viability of the congre- gation is in question or whenever he or she deems it necessary for other reasons. The task force shall be composed of an equal number of lay and clergypersons and shall include persons from that congregation. 1. This study shall include, but not be limited to: a) unique missional opportunities and needs of the community; b) present ministries of the congregation; c) number of leaders and style of leadership; d) growth potential of the surrounding community; fiscal and facilities needs; distance from other United Meth- e) f) odist churches; g) number and size of churches of other denom- h) other items that may impact the inations in the community; church’s ability to fulfill the mission of the Church as stated in Chapter One, Section I. 2. The findings shall be published and pr esented to the con- gregation with recommendations as to how best to fulfill the local church’s call to ministry and to optimize the stewardship of the ministry resources available. The recommendations shall explore options for serving the community with nurture, outreach, and witness ministries as an organized church ( 201-204) or coop- ¶¶ erative parish ministries ( ¶ 206) or ecumenical shared ministries ( ¶ 207); or give special attention to redevelopment, relocation, or discontinuance. Those invited to the presentation shall include: the members of the congregation, the pastor(s), the district super - intendent, and members of the district board of church location and building ( ¶ 2519). 3. ch shall consider the a) The members of the local chur recommendations and develop goals and a ministry action plan 154

170 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP ¶ 215 in response to the recommendations. The district superinten- dent shall report the results of the study and the congregation’s response to the cabinet, with recommendations for the alloca- tion of conference staff, resourcing, financial support, or other resources needed to undergird the congregation’s efforts to reach its recommended potential. Such annual conference support shall For any chur be committed no longer than three years. b) ch that has been through this process, the district superintendent may convene a special session of the conference to take action concern- ing the ministry recommendations. In addition to the local church charge conference membership, the members of the District Board of Church Location and Building will be present with voice only. Section V. Church Membership Eligibility— The United Methodist Church is a part of 214. ¶ the holy catholic (universal) church, as we confess in the Apostles’ Creed. In the church, Jesus Christ is proclaimed and professed as Lord and Savior. All people may attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments and become members in any local church in the connection ( ¶ 4). In the case of persons whose disabilities prevent them from reciting the vows, their legal guardian[s], themselves members in full covenant rela- tionship with God and the Church, the community of faith, may recite the appropriate vows on their behalf. Definition of Membership— The membership of a local 215. ¶ United Methodist church shall include all people who have been baptized and all people who have professed their faith. 1. The baptized membership of a local United Methodist ch shall include all baptized people who have received Chris- chur tian baptism in the local congregation or elsewhere, or whose membership has been transferred to the local United Methodist church subsequent to baptism in some other congregation. 2. The pr ofessing membership of a local United Methodist church shall include all baptized people who have come into mem- bership by profession of faith through appropriate services of the baptismal covenant in the ritual or by transfer from other churches. 3. statistical purposes, church membership is equated to For the number of people listed on the roll of professing members. 4. All baptized or professing members of any local United Methodist church are members of the worldwide United Method- ist connection and members of the church universal. 155

171 ¶ 216 THE LOCAL CHURCH The Meaning of Membership ch as his body by the 1. Christ constitutes the chur 216. ¶ power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13, 27). The church draws new people into itself as it seeks to remain faithful to its commission to proclaim and exemplify the gospel. Baptism is the sacrament of initiation and incorporation into the body of Christ. After baptism, the church provides the nurture that makes pos- sible a comprehensive and lifelong process of growing in grace. Becoming a professing member requires the answer of faith of the baptized person made visible in a service of profession of Christian faith and confirmation using the vows of the baptismal covenant. Baptized infants and childr en are to be instructed and a) nurtured in the meaning of the faith, the rights and responsibilities of their baptism, and spiritual and moral formation using materi- als approved by The United Methodist Church. Using the services of the baptismal covenant, youth will profess their faith, commit themselves to a life of discipleship, and be confirmed. Confirma- tion is both a human act of commitment and the gracious action of the Holy Spirit strengthening and empowering discipleship. Y outh and adults who have not been baptized and b) who are seeking to be saved from their sins and profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are proper candidates for baptism in The United Methodist Church. It shall be the duty of the con- gregation, led by the pastor, to instruct them in the meaning of baptism, in the meaning of the Christian faith, and in the history, organization, and teachings of The United Methodist Church, using materials approved by The United Methodist Church for that purpose. After the completion of the period of nurture and instruction, the sponsor(s) and pastor shall bring the candidates before the congregation and administer the services of Baptismal Covenant, in which people are baptized, confirmed, and received into the Church. a) Formation in the baptismal covenant and in the call to 2. ministry in daily life is a lifelong pr ocess and is carried on through all the activities that have educational value. The pastor gives spe- cific leadership that prepares youth for their profession of faith and commitment to discipleship and for the Holy Spirit’s action confirming them in their faith and empowering their discipleship. This preparation focuses attention upon the meaning of disciple- ship and the need for members to be in mission in all of life’s relationships. 156

172 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP ¶ 218 Ther e are many occasions as people mature in the faith b) when the Holy Spirit’s confirming action may be celebrated, such as in the reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant or other services related to life passages. Unlike baptism, which is a once-made covenant and can only be reaffirmed and not repeated, confirma- tion is a dynamic action of the Holy Spirit that can be repeated. 3. Preparation for the experience of profession of faith and confirmation shall be provided for all people, including adults. Youth who are completing the sixth grade shall normally be the youngest people recruited for such preparation. When younger people, of their own volition, seek enrollment in preparation for profession of faith and confirmation, such preparation shall be at the discretion of the pastor. 217. ofessing members with a When persons unite as pr ¶ local United Methodist church, they profess their faith in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; in Jesus Christ his only Son; and in the Holy Spirit. Thus, they make known their desire to live their daily lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. They covenant together with God and with the members of the local church to keep the vows which are a part of the order of confirma- tion and reception into the Church: 1. To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of their sin; 2. To accept the freedom and power God gives them to resist evil, injustice, and oppression; 3. To confess Jesus Christ as Savior, put their whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as their Lord; 4. To remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world; 5. To be loyal to Christ through The United Methodist Church and do all in their power to strengthen its ministries; 6. To faithfully participate in its ministries by their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness; 7. To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. ¶ 218. —Faithful membership owth in Faithful Discipleship Gr in the local church is essential for personal growth and for devel- oping a deeper commitment to the will and grace of God. As members involve themselves in private and public prayer, wor - ship, the sacraments, study, Christian action, systematic giving, and holy discipline, they grow in their appreciation of Christ, 157

173 ¶ 218 THE LOCAL CHURCH understanding of God at work in history and the natural order, and an understanding of themselves. 219. Mutual Responsibility— Faithful discipleship includes ¶ the obligation to participate in the corporate life of the congre- gation with fellow members of the body of Christ. A member is bound in sacred covenant to shoulder the burdens, share the risks, and celebrate the joys of fellow members. A Christian is called to speak the truth in love, always ready to confront conflict in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. ¶ The Call to Ministry of All the Baptized— All members of 220. Christ’s universal church are called to share in the ministry which is committed to the whole church of Jesus Christ. Therefore, each member of The United Methodist Church is to be a servant of Christ on mission in the local and worldwide community. This servanthood is performed in family life, daily work, recreation and social activities, responsible citizenship, the stewardship of property and accumulated resources, the issues of corporate life, and all attitudes toward other persons. Participation in disciplined groups such as covenant discipleship groups or class meetings is an expected part of personal mission involvement. Each member is called upon to be a witness for Christ in the world, a light and leaven in society, and a reconciler in a culture of conflict. Each member is to identify with the agony and suffering of the world and to radiate and exemplify the Christ of hope. The standards of attitude and conduct set forth in the Social Principles (Part V) shall be considered as an essential resource for guiding each member of the Church in being a servant of Christ on mission. 221. Accountability— 1. All members are to be held account- ¶ able for faithfulness to their covenant of baptism. 2. If a baptized member neglects faithfulness and discipline in terms of the baptismal covenant, every means of encouraging that member to return and of nurturing him or her to assume the vows of professing membership should be made. 3. If a professing member should be accused of violating the covenant and failing to keep the vows as stated in ¶ 217, then it shall be the responsibility of the local church, working through its pastor and its agencies, to minister to that member in compliance with the provisions of ¶ 228 in an effort to enable the member to faithfully perform the vows and covenant of membership. 4. In the event that those efforts fail, then the professing member and the local church may agree to voluntary mediation 158

174 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP ¶ 223 in which the parties are assisted by a trained, neutral third-party mediator, mediation team, and/or their district superintendent in reaching a settlement or agreement satisfactory to all parties. 5. In the further event that those efforts fail to effect recon- ¶ 217 ciliation and reaffirmation of the vows and covenant of by the professing member, then the professing members of the church may pursue the procedures set forth in ¶¶ 2702.3, 2706.5, and 2714. Admission into the Church Duly appointed clergy of 222. Non-Local Church Settings— ¶ The United Methodist Church, while serving as chaplain of any organization, institution, or military unit, as an extension minis- ter, or as a campus minister, or while otherwise present where a local church is not available, may receive a person into the mem- bership of The United Methodist Church under the conditions of ¶ 216 or ¶ 217. Where possible, before the sacrament of baptism or vows of profession of faith are administered, such appointed min- ister shall consult with the pastor of the local church (should one be nearby) on the choice of the person concerned; and upon agree- ment by the pastor, a statement verifying that such sacrament was administered or that such vows were made shall be issued. The pastor thereof on receiving such statement shall duly enroll that person as a baptized or professing member. When a person is General Chur ch Membership Roll— 223. ¶ baptized or professes his or her Christian faith and is received into the Church by a duly appointed campus minister, a chaplain endorsed by the Board of Higher Education and Ministry or other duly appointed clergy of The United Methodist Church, while serving as a chaplain of any organization, institution, or mili- tary unit, or as an extension minister, or while otherwise present where a local church is not available, and said person has no local church to which the membership and records may be sent, the clergy shall send the name, address (if there is one), and related facts to the General Board of Higher Education for recording on the General Church Membership Roll. It is desirable that as soon as possible such people be transferred from the General Church Membership Roll to the membership record of the local United Methodist church of their choice. The name of any professing member who has been on the General Church Membership Roll for more than eight years and for whom a current mailing address 159

175 ¶ 223 THE LOCAL CHURCH cannot be obtained shall be removed from the General Church Membership Roll. 224. Outside of Congr egational Settings— Any candidate for ¶ church membership who for good reason is unable to appear before the congregation may, at the discretion of the pastor, be received elsewhere in accordance with the Ritual of The United Methodist Church. In any such case lay members should be pres- ent to represent the congregation. Names of such persons shall be placed on the church roll, and announcement of their reception shall be made to the congregation. ransfer from Other Denominations— 225. ¶ A member in good T standing in any Christian denomination who has been baptized and who desires to unite with The United Methodist Church shall be received as either a baptized or a professing member. Such a person may be received as a baptized member by a proper cer - tificate of transfer from that person’s former church or some cer - tification of Christian baptism and as a professing member upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith through appropriate ¶¶ services of the baptismal covenant in our ritual (see 214-217). In baptism water is administered in the name of the triune God by an authorized person. The pastor will report to the sending church the date of reception of such a member. It is recommended that instruction in the faith, work, and polity of the Church be provided for all such persons. Persons received from churches that do not issue certificates of transfer or letters of recommenda- tion shall be listed as “Received From Other Denominations.” ¶ 226. Car e of Children and Youth— 1. Because the redeeming love of God revealed in Jesus Christ extends to all persons, and because Jesus explicitly included the children in his kingdom, the pastor of each charge shall earnestly exhort all Christian parents or guardians to present their children to the Lord in baptism at an early age. Before baptism is administered, the pastor shall dili- gently instruct the parents or guardians regarding the meaning of this sacrament and the vows that they assume. It is expected of parents or guardians who present their children for baptism that they shall use all diligence in bringing them up in confor - mity to the Word of God and in the fellowship of the Church and to encourage them to participate in preparation for their profes- sion of faith and confirmation at the appropriate time. At least one parent or guardian shall be a member of a Christian church; or sponsor(s) or godparent(s) who are members shall renew their 160

176 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP ¶ 226 own baptismal vows. They shall be admonished of this obligation and be earnestly exhorted to faithfulness therein. At the time of baptism they shall be informed that the Church, with its Christian education program, will aid them in the Christian nurture of their children. ch shall, at the time of administer - The pastor of the chur 2. a) ing the sacrament of baptism, furnish the parent(s), guardian(s), sponsor(s), or godparent(s) of the child who is baptized with a certificate of baptism, which shall also clearly state that the child is now a baptized member in The United Methodist Church. esponsible for seeing that the b) The pastor shall be r membership secretary adds the full name of the baptized child to the membership record. c) When the baptized child lives in a community not served by the pastor who administers the sacrament of baptism, the pastor shall ensur e this is not a private event (that the body of Christ beyond the immediate family is present in accordance with ¶ 224 of the ), and is responsible for contacting in Book of Discipline advance (where possible) and reporting the baptism to a pastor and/or district superintendent who serves in the area where the baptized child lives. The pastor administering the sacrament shall then be responsible for reporting in writing to that pastor or dis- trict superintendent the child’s name to be entered on the record of a church in that location. d) A pastor of a church who receives notification of a baptism administered elsewhere shall be responsible for entering the required information on that church’s record and for notify- ing the pastor who administered the baptism that the child has been received by transfer. When the pastor of the church in which the child is baptized receives written confirmation that the child’s name has been entered on the membership record of another church, a notation may be made on the record of the church where the sacrament was administered that the child has been trans- ferred to another church. e) - The pastor shall, at the time of administering the sacra ment of baptism and at other appropriate times, admonish mem- bers of the congregation of their responsibility for the Christian nurture of the child. 3. The pastor or membership secretary shall regularly review the membership record to identify those who have not become professing members, for purposes of nurturing them toward 161

177 ¶ 226 THE LOCAL CHURCH profession of faith. The number of people so identified shall be reported annually, or at such other times as may be requested, to the charge conference or the annual conference. The congregation has ongoing responsibility to nurture baptized children, youth, and adults in the life of discipleship. , the parent(s), guardian(s), It shall be the duty of the pastor 4. sponsor(s), or godparent(s), the officers and teachers of the church school, the local church scouting coordinator, and all members of the congregation to provide training for the children of the Church throughout their childhood that will lead to a personal commit- ment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to an understanding of the Christian faith and the meaning of baptism. Building on the preparation that youth have received throughout their child- hood, the pastor shall, at least annually, organize them into classes to the end that they may profess their faith and be confirmed ¶ ( 216). This instruction shall be based on materials produced by The United Methodist Church or on other resources that present the mission, history, doctrine, and beliefs of The United Method- ist Church for this purpose. When youth so prepared shall give evidence of their own Christian faith, and understanding of the meaning and practice of membership, they may be received as professing members. The God and Me and God and Family por - tions of the Program of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) program may be available to elementary children as an additional resource ( ¶ 256.4). 5. Y outh who are members of the Church have all rights and responsibilities of membership within the baptismal cov- enant. (See ¶ 256.3.) It is strongly recommended that each local church offer for all senior high youth continuing instruction in the meaning of the Christian life and discipleship. It is further rec- ommended that this course, taught by or under the guidance of the pastor, or other staff or layperson, emphasize the doctrines of The United Methodist Church and the nature and mission of the Church, leading to continued growth in the knowledge, grace, and service of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Program of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) program may be available to all youth, with the God and Church portion providing study of The United Methodist Church, and the God and Life program challenging the youth to integrate their faith into their daily life ( ¶ 256.4) It shall be the responsibility of the pastor to participate in the growth process through interaction and ministry with youth. 162

178 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP ¶ 228 Affiliate and Associate Membership ¶ A professing member of The United Methodist Church, 227. of an affiliated autonomous Methodist or united church, or of a Methodist church that has a concordat agreement with The United Methodist Church, who resides for an extended period in a city or community at a distance from the member’s home church, may on request be enrolled as an affiliate member of a United Meth- odist church located in the vicinity of the temporary residence. The home pastor shall be notified of the affiliate membership. Such membership shall entitle the person to the fellowship of that church, to its pastoral care and oversight, and to participation in its activities, including the holding of office; except such as would allow one to vote in a United Methodist body other than the local church. However, that person shall be counted and reported as a professing member of the home church only. A member of another denomination may become an associate member under the same conditions, but may not become a voting member of the church 3 council. This relationship may be terminated at the discretion of the United Methodist church in which the affiliate or associate membership is held whenever the affiliate or associate member shall move from the vicinity of the United Methodist church in which the affiliate or associate membership is held. Care of Members 228. 1. ch shall endeavor to enlist each mem- The local chur ¶ ber in activities for spiritual growth and in participation in the services and ministries of the Church and its organizations. It shall be the duty of the pastor and of the members of the church council by regular visitation, care, and spiritual oversight to pro- vide necessary activities and opportunities for spiritual growth through individual and family worship and individual and group study to connect faith and daily living, and continually to aid the members to keep their vows to uphold the Church by attendance, prayers, gifts, service, and witness. The Church has a moral and spiritual obligation to nurture its nonparticipating and indifferent members and to lead them into an active church relationship. 2. e of Members—a) Car The pastor in cooperation with the ch council may arrange the membership in groups—with a chur 3. See Judicial Council Decision 372. 163

179 ¶ 228 THE LOCAL CHURCH leader for each group—designed to involve the membership of the Church in its ministry to the community. These groups shall be of such size, usually not larger than eight or ten families, as to be convenient and effective for service. Such groups may be espe- cially helpful in evangelistic outreach by contacting newcomers and unreached persons, by visitation, by mobilizing neighbors to meet social issues in the community, by responding to personal and family crises, by holding prayer meetings in the homes, by distributing Christian literature, and by other means. Nonresident members should constitute a special group to be served by corre- spondence. The groups shall be formed and the leaders appointed by the church council upon recommendation of the pastor. esponsibility and initiative rests with While primary r b) each professing member to faithfully perform the vows of the bap- tismal covenant that have been solemnly assumed, if the member should be neglectful of that responsibility, these procedures shall be followed: (1) If a pr ofessing member residing in the community is negligent of the vows or is regularly absent from the worship of the church without valid reason, the pastor and the member - ship secretary shall report that member’s name to the church council, which shall do all in its power to reenlist the member in the active fellowship of the church. It shall visit the member and make clear that, while the member’s name is on the roll of a particular local church, one is a member of The United Method- ist Church as a whole, and that, since the member is not attend- ing the church where enrolled, the member is requested to do (a) reaffirm the baptismal vows and return to one of four things: living in the community of the baptismal covenant in the church where the member’s name is recorded, (b) request transfer to another United Methodist church where the member will return to living in the community of the baptismal covenant (see ¶ 239), (c) arrange transfer to a particular church of another denomina- tion (see ¶ 240), or (d) request withdrawal. If the member does not comply with any of the available alternatives over a period of two years, the member’s name may be removed. (See § (4) below.) (2) If a professing member whose address is known is residing outside the community and is not participating in the worship or activity of the church, the directives to encourage a transfer of the member shall be followed each year until that 164

180 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP 228 ¶ member joins another church or requests in writing that the name be removed from the roll of professing members; provided, how- ever, that if after two years the council has not been able to relate that member to the church at the new place of residence, the name may be removed from the roll of members by the procedure of § (4) below. If the address of a professing member is no longer (3) known to the pastor, the membership secretary and the evange- lism ministry group chairperson shall make every effort to locate the member. If the member can be located, the directives of either § (1) or § (2) above shall be followed, but if after two years of such efforts the address is still unknown, the member’s name may be removed from the roll of members by the procedure of § (4) below. (4) If the dir ectives of §§ (1), (2), or (3) above have been followed for the specified number of years without success, the member’s name may be removed as a professing member by vote of the charge conference on recommendation of the pastor and the evangelism ministry chairperson, each name being con- sidered individually, provided that the member’s name shall have been entered in the minutes of the annual charge conference for two consecutive years. On the membership record there shall be entered after the name: “Removed by Charge Conference Action”; and if the action is on the basis of § (3), there shall be added: “Rea- son: Address Unknown.” The record shall be retained in order that upon reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant the person may be restored as a member. Should a transfer of membership be requested, the pastor may, after consultation with the person, issue the certificate of transfer. (5) A written complaint or grievance may be filed against a professing member by serving the complaint or griev- ance on the professing member, the pastor of the professing mem- ber, and the district superintendent of the professing member. (6) The pastor and district superintendent of the accused professing member shall attempt a just resolution pro- cess similar to the supervisory response in ¶ 362.1( b , c ) with the professing member’s district superintendent or designee leading the process. If the pr 362.1( ocedures of ¶ (7) b , c ) do not result in resolution of the matter and if the conduct alleged in the com- plaint or grievance, if true, would be a chargeable offense found in 2701 and following paragraphs ¶ 2702.3, then the procedures of ¶ 165

181 ¶ 228 THE LOCAL CHURCH are to be followed unless the accused professing member agrees to use the procedure described in ¶ 228.2b (8) below. c If the pr ¶ 362.1( , ocedures of ) do not result in b (8) resolution of the matter and if the conduct alleged in the com- plaint or grievance, if true, would not be a chargeable offense ¶ 2702.3, then a group of four persons: the pastor of the found in accused professing member, the lay leader of the accused pro- fessing member’s church, the district lay leader, and the district superintendent, ex officio, without vote but with voice, where the accused professing member’s church is located, shall hear infor - mation from the accused professing member and the complainant or grievant and shall determine an unappealable resolution of the matter. (9) ofessing member is charged with an When a pr offense and wishes to forego trial, the charge conference may per - mit the member to withdraw ( ¶ 2719.3). In this case, the notation “Withdrawn under charges” shall be entered alongside the mem- ber’s name on the record, along with the date. (10) ch has a continuing Recognizing that the Chur moral and spiritual obligation to nurture all persons, it is recom- mended that a list of names thus removed shall be maintained. It shall then become the responsibility of the church council to pro- vide for the review of this list at least once a year. (See also ¶ 234.) After the review has been made, it is recommended that the pas- tor and/or the commission on evangelism contact those whose names appear on this list, either in person or by other means, in the most effective and practical manner. The names and addresses of those who have moved outside the local church’s area should be sent to local churches in their new communities that those churches may visit and minister to them. c) pastor, along with other adult workers with youth The and young adults in the local church and beyond ( 634.4c[4]), ¶ shall disseminate information about United Methodist-related Campus Ministry to college/university students or potential col- lege/university students who are baptized members, professing members, or other constituents of the congregation. They shall also nurture, counsel, and guide young people as they explore United Methodist and non-United Methodist colleges and univer - sities and non-college vocation options in light of their faith. ¶ 229. ransfer from Discontinued Local Churches— If a local T church is discontinued, the district superintendent shall select 166

182 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP ¶ 231 another United Methodist church and transfer its members thereto, or to such other churches as the members may select. (See ¶ 2549.2.) Membership Records and Reports 1. ¶ ch shall accu- 230. Each local chur Membership Records— rately maintain a membership record for each baptized or pro- fessing member including: ess, place of a) the person’s name, date of birth, addr birth, date of baptism, officiating pastor, and sponsors; date of confirmation/pr ofession of faith, officiating b) pastor, and sponsors; if transferr ed from another church, date of reception, c) sending church, and receiving pastor; if transferr ed to another church, date of transfer, d) receiving church, and address of receiving church; e) date of r emoval or withdrawal and reason; date of r estoration of professing membership and offi- f) ciating pastor; g) date of death, date and place of funeral/memorial, . place of burial, and officiating pastor Annually , names of professing members to be removed by 2. charge conference action shall be reported to the charge confer - ¶ 228.2.b.4). ence ( Constituency Roll, containing the names and addr esses of 3. such persons as are not members of the church concerned, includ- ing unbaptized children, youth, and adults whose names are not on the membership record, and other nonmembers for whom the local church has pastoral responsibility. 4. Affiliate Membership Roll ( ¶ 227). 5. Associate Membership Roll ( ¶ 227). 6. In the case of a union or federated church with another denomination, the governing body of such a church may report an equal share of the total membership to each judicatory, and such membership shall be published in the minutes of each church, with a note to the effect that the report is that of a union or federated church, and with an indication of the total actual membership. ¶ Annual Membership Report and Audit— 231. The pastor shall report to the charge conference annually the names of persons received into the membership of the church or churches of the 167

183 ¶ 231 THE LOCAL CHURCH pastoral charge and the names of persons removed since the last charge conference, indicating how each was received or removed. The church council shall appoint a committee to audit the mem- bership record, submitting the report annually to the charge conference. ¶ Annual Report of Members Attending Colleges and Uni- 232. The pastor shall report annually the names and contact versities— information for professing and baptized members attending col- leges and universities to the district superintendent, the chairper - son of the Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry by one month before the start of the school term and to the charge conference. The Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry has the responsibility to share the informa- tion with the appropriate UM-related campus ministries. ¶ Permanent Records— The basic membership records in 233. each local church shall consist of: a permanent church register and a card index, a loose-leaf book, or a membership record on an electronic information system (see ¶ - 245). All baptism, member ship, marriage, and funeral records are the property of the local church and cannot be sold. If the church is discontinued, these records are placed in the care of the Conference Commission on Archives and History. . 1 ch register shall be kept on either The permanent chur paper-based or electronic media. If it is on a paper medium, it shall be a volume of durable material prepared by The United Methodist Publishing House. The format and content of the record forms contained in it and the manner of its binding shall be as approved by a committee designated by the General Coun- ¶ 807.14). If on a paper cil on Finance and Administration (see medium, the names shall be recorded chronologically as each person is received into the fellowship of that church and without reference to alphabetical order. The names shall be numbered in regular numerical order, and the number of each shall appear on the corresponding card, page, or record in the card index, loose-leaf book, or electronic information system membership record. If it is on an electronic medium, it will not be necessary to maintain a chronological number. The number that is assigned automatically by the computer system is sufficient for this pur - pose. However, the electronic medium shall meet the following criteria: 168

184 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP 236 ¶ It shall contain all of the information r a) equired by the General Council on Finance and Administration. b) Conversion of the information from paper records to an electronic medium shall be followed by a complete audit to ensure the accuracy of the converted records. Off-site storage and electronic backup shall be c) maintained. d index, loose-leaf book, or electronic system mem- 2. The car bership record shall be kept on a form approved by the General Council on Finance and Administration or, in the case of electroni- cally maintained records, shall contain the same information as required in the approved form with the exception of the sequen- tial number. This record of membership shall be filed in alpha- betical order and shall show the number appearing opposite each name on the permanent register. The pastor shall report annually to the annual conference the total professing membership of the local church as shown on the membership records. When an electr onic information system is used for record 3. keeping, printout copies of the membership records and backup electronic media shall be retained in a secure off-site place (see 245). ¶ 234. etary— The charge conference shall Membership Secr ¶ name a membership secretary who, under the direction of the pastor, shall keep accurate records of the membership (see 230) ¶ and shall report at least annually to the church council. Changes in Church Membership or Local Church Membership 235. e removed from professing ¶ Members whose names ar member status for cause (see ¶ 2714), or who have been trans- ferred, have died, or have withdrawn shall be so noted on the membership record. It shall be the duty of the pastor of the charge or of the membership secretary to keep an accurate record of such changes and reasons and to report them to the charge conference annually. ¶ If a member of a United Method- Members Who Move— 236. ist church shall move to another community so far removed from the home church that the member cannot participate regularly in its worship and activity, this member shall be encouraged to transfer membership to a United Methodist church in the com- munity of the newly established residence. As soon as the pastor 169

185 ¶ 236 THE LOCAL CHURCH is reliably informed of this change of residence, actual or con- templated, it shall be the pastor’s duty and obligation to assist the member to become established in the fellowship of a church in the community of the future home and to send to a United Methodist pastor in such community, or to the district superin- tendent, a letter of notification, giving the latest known address of the person or persons concerned and requesting local pastoral oversight. 237. Lay Missionaries in Non-United Methodist Chur ches— ¶ Laypersons in service outside the United States under the Gen- eral Board of Global Ministries and assigned to churches other than United Methodist may accept all the rights and privileges, including associate membership, offered them by a local church in their place of residence without impairing their relationship to their home local church. ¶ 238. Members Residing at a Distance— When a pastor dis- covers a member of The United Methodist Church residing in the community whose membership is in a church so far removed from the place of residence that the member cannot participate regularly in its worship and activity, it shall be the duty and obli- gation of the pastor to give pastoral oversight to such person and to encourage transfer of membership to a United Methodist church in the community where the member resides. 239. ¶ T ransfer to Other United Methodist Churches— When a pastor receives a request for a transfer of membership from the pastor of another United Methodist church or a district superin- tendent, that pastor shall send the proper certificate directly to the pastor of the United Methodist church to which the mem- - ber is transferring, or if there is no pastor, to the district super intendent. On receipt of such a certificate of transfer, the pastor or district superintendent shall enroll the name of the person so transferring after public reception in a regular service of worship, or if circumstances demand, public announcement in such a ser - vice. The pastor of the church issuing the certificate shall then be notified, whereupon said pastor shall remove the member from the roll. Certificates of transfer shall be accompanied by two offi- cial forms. A “Notice of Transfer of Membership” is to be sent to the member by the pastor who transfers the membership. An “Acknowledgment of Transfer of Membership” is to be sent to the former pastor by the pastor who receives the transferred member. 170

186 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP ¶ 242 In case the transfer is not made effective, the pastor shall return the certificate to the pastor of the sending church. 240. T ransfer to Other Denominations— A pastor, upon receiv- ¶ ing a request from a member to transfer to a church of another denomination, or upon receiving such request from a pastor or duly authorized official of another denomination, shall (with the approval of the member) issue a certificate of transfer and, upon receiving confirmation of the member’s reception into another congregation, shall properly record the transfer of such person on the membership record of the local church. For the transfer of a member of The United Methodist Church to a church of another denomination, an official “Transfer of Membership to Another Denomination” form shall be used. ¶ 241. W ithdrawal Without Notice— If a pastor is informed that a member has without notice united with a church of another denomination, the pastor shall make diligent inquiry and, if the report is confirmed, shall enter “Withdrawn” after the person’s name on the membership roll and shall report the same to the next charge conference. ¶ 242. Restoration of Pr ofessing Membership— 1. A person whose name has been removed from professing membership by withdrawal, or action by charge conference, or trial court ( 2714), ¶ may ask to be restored to membership in the local church. 2. A person whose membership was recorded as having been withdrawn after becoming a member of another denomination may, when that denomination will not transfer membership, be restored to professing membership by reaffirmation of the bap- tismal vows. 3. person who has withdrawn at his or her own written A request may return to the church and, upon reaffirmation of the baptismal vows, become a professing member. 4. A person whose name was removed by charge confer - ence action may return to the church and, at his or her request, be restored to professing membership in the local church through reaffirmation of the baptismal vows. 5. person who withdrew under charges or was removed A by trial court ( ¶ 2714) may ask to return to the church. Upon evi- dence of a renewed life, approval of the charge conference, and reaffirmation of the baptismal vows, the person may be restored to professing membership. 171

187 ¶ 243 CHURCH THE LOCAL Section VI. Organization and Administration ¶ asks— The local church shall be organized so 243. Primary T that it can pursue its primary task and mission in the context of its own community—reaching out and receiving with joy all who will respond; encouraging people in their relationship with God and inviting them to commitment to God’s love in Jesus Christ; pro- viding opportunities for them to seek strengthening and growth in spiritual formation; and supporting them to live lovingly and justly in the power of the Holy Spirit as faithful disciples. In carrying out its primary task, it shall be organized so that adequate provision is made for these basic responsibilities: (1) planning and implementing a program of nurture, outreach, and witness for persons and families within and without the congregation; (2) providing for effective pastoral and lay leader - ship; (3) providing for financial support, physical facilities, and the legal obligations of the church; (4) utilizing the appropriate relationships and resources of the district and annual conference; (5) providing for the proper creation, maintenance, and dispo- sition of documentary record material of the local church; and (6) seeking inclusiveness in all aspects of its life. 244. The basic organizational plan for the Or ganization— ¶ local church shall include provision for the following units: a charge conference, a church council, a committee on pastor- parish relations, a board of trustees, a committee on finance, a committee on nominations and leadership development, and such other elected leaders, commissions, councils, committees, and task forces as the charge conference may determine. Every local church shall develop a plan for organizing its administra- tive and programmatic responsibilities. Each local congregation shall provide a comprehensive program of nurture, outreach, and witness, along with leadership training, and the planning and administration of the congregation’s organizational and tempo- ral life, in accordance with the mission of The United Methodist Church (see ¶¶ 120-124). The chur ch council and all other administrative and pro- 1. grammatic structures of the local church shall be amenable to the charge conference (see ¶ 246). The church council shall function as the executive agency of the charge conference. 2. Alternative plans may be developed in accor dance with 247.2. Such alternatives include: nurture, out- the provisions of ¶ 172

188 ORGANIZA ¶ 246 TION AND ADMINISTRATION reach, and witness ministries; administrative council; or adminis- trative board/council on ministries. Members of the chur ch council or alternative structure 3. shall be persons of genuine Christian character who love the church, are morally disciplined, are committed to the mandate of inclusiveness in the life of the church, are loyal to the ethical stan- dards of The United Methodist Church set forth in the Social Prin- ciples, and are competent to administer its affairs. It shall include youth and young adult members chosen according to the same standards as adults. All persons with vote shall be members of the local church, except where central conference legislation provides otherwise. The pastor shall be the administrative officer and, as such, shall be an ex officio member of all conferences, boards, councils, commissions, committees, and task forces, unless other - 4 wise restricted by the Discipline . ¶ 245. Information T echnology— Each local church, as it cre- ates or maintains computerized information and data, is strongly encouraged to confer with its annual conference for recommen- dations and guidelines as it relates to information technology. The Charge Conference Members of the charge conference shall be persons of genuine Christian character who love the Church, are morally disciplined, are committed to the mandate of inclusiveness in the life of the Church, are loyal to the ethical standards of The United Method- ist Church set forth in the Social Principles, and are competent to administer its affairs. It shall include youth members chosen according to the same standards as adults. All shall be profess- ing members of the local church, except where central conference legislation provides otherwise. The pastor shall be the adminis- trative officer, and as such shall be an ex officio member of all conferences, boards, councils, commissions, committees, and task forces, unless restricted by the Discipline. 1. Within the pastoral charge the 246. ovisions— General Pr ¶ basic unit in the connectional system of The United Method- ist Church is the charge conference. The charge conference shall therefore be organized from the church or churches in every pastoral charge as set forth in the Constitution ( ¶ 43). It shall meet 4. See Judicial Council Decisions 469, 500. 173

189 ¶ 246 THE LOCAL CHURCH ¶ 247. It may meet at other annually for the purposes set forth in times as indicated in § 7 below. 2. membership of the charge conference shall be all mem- The bers of the church council or other appropriate body, together with retired ordained ministers and retired diaconal ministers who elect to hold their membership in said charge conference and . If more than Discipline any others as may be designated in the one church is on the pastoral charge, all members of each church council shall be members of the charge conference. 3. ge conference may make provision for recogni- The char tion of the faithful service of members of the church council by electing them honorary members. An honorary member shall be entitled to all the privileges of a member, except the right to vote. 4. The district superintendent shall fix the time of meetings of the char ge conference. The charge conference shall determine the place of meeting. eside at the meetings of 5. The district superintendent shall pr the charge conference or may designate an elder to preside. 6. The members pr esent and voting at any duly announced meeting shall constitute a quorum. 7. Special sessions may be called by the district superinten- ge, or by the dent after consultation with the pastor of the char pastor with the written consent of the district superintendent. The purpose of such special session shall be stated in the call, and only such business shall be transacted as is in harmony with the pur - poses stated in the call. Any such special session may be convened ¶ as a church conference in accordance with 248. 8. egular or special session of Notice of time and place of a r the charge conference shall be given at least ten days in advance by two or more of the following (except as local laws may other - wise provide): from the pulpit of the church, in its weekly bulle- tin, in a local church publication, or by mail. 9. A charge conference shall be conducted in the language of the majority, with adequate provision being made for translation. 10. A joint charge conference for two or more pastoral charges may be held at the same time and place, as the district superinten- dent may determine. ¶ 247. Powers and Duties— 1. The charge conference shall be the connecting link between the local church and the general Church and shall have general oversight of the church council(s). 174

190 ORGANIZA ¶ 247 TION AND ADMINISTRATION The char 2. ge conference, the district superintendent, and the 205.4), shall orga- ¶ pastor, when a pastor has been appointed (see nize and administer the pastoral charge and churches according to the policies and plans herein set forth. When the membership size, program scope, mission resources, or other circumstances so require, the charge conference may, in consultation with and upon the approval of the district superintendent, modify the organiza- ¶ 243 are observed. tional plans, provided that the provisions of - Such other circumstances may include, but not be limited to, alter native models for the conception of a local church, such as coffee house ministries, mall ministries, outdoor ministries, retirement home ministries, restaurant ministries, and other emergent ways in which people can gather in God’s name to be the church. The primary r esponsibilities of the charge conference in 3. the annual meeting shall be to review and evaluate the total mis- sion and ministry of the church ( ¶¶ 120-124), receive reports, and adopt objectives and goals recommended by the church council that are in keeping with the objectives of The United Methodist Church. 4. The char ge conference recording secretary shall keep an accurate record of the proceedings and shall be the custodian of all records and reports and, with the presiding officer, shall sign the minutes. A copy of the minutes shall be provided for the dis- trict superintendent, and a permanent copy shall be retained for church files. When there is only one local church on a charge, the secretary of the church council shall be the secretary of the charge conference. When there is more than one church on a charge, one of the secretaries of the church councils shall be elected by the charge conference to serve as its secretary. 5. ongly recommended that the charge conference It is str a) elect a church historian in order to preserve the history of each local church. The responsibilities of the historian are to keep the historical records up to date; serve as chairperson of the commit- tee on records and history, if any; cooperate with the annual con- ference commission on archives and history; provide an annual report on the care of church records and historical materials to the charge conference; and also provide, with the pastor and the committee on records and history, if any, for the preservation of all local church records and historical materials no longer in cur - rent use. Records and historical materials include all documents, minutes, journals, diaries, reports, letters, pamphlets, papers, 175

191 ¶ 247 THE LOCAL CHURCH manuscripts, maps, photographs, books, audiovisuals, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, or any other documentary material, regardless of form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to any provisions of the Discipline in connection with the transaction of church business by any local church of The United Methodist Church or any of its constituent predecessors. The church historian may be a member of the church council. This person may also hold another elected position on the council. Ther e may be a local church committee on records and b) history, chaired by the church historian, to assist in fulfilling these responsibilities. 6. ge is encouraged to be inclusive in the make-up of Each char the council so that all segments of the congregation are represented. 7. charge conference may establish a limit to the con- The secutive terms of office for any or all of the elected or appointed officers of the local church, except where otherwise mandated. It is recommended that no officer serve more than three consecutive years in the same office. 8. The charge conference shall examine and recommend to the district committee on ordained ministry, faithfully adhering 310.1e , candidates for licensed or ordained ¶ to the provisions of ministry who have been professing members in good standing of The United Methodist Church for at least one year; whose gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and call to the ministry clearly establish them as candidates; and who have met the educational require- ments. It is out of the faith and witness of the congregation that men and women respond to God’s call to licensed or ordained ministry. Every local church should intentionally nurture candi- dates for licensed or ordained ministry, providing for spiritual and financial support, as well as supporting the Ministerial Edu- cation Fund, for their education and formation as servant leaders for the ministry of the whole people of God. 9. The char ge conference shall examine and recommend, faithfully adhering to the provisions of 313, renewal of candi- ¶ dacy of candidates for the ordained ministry. ge conference shall examine and recommend to The char 10. the responsible Church agency any candidates for Church-related vocations. 11. The char ge conference shall inquire annually into the gifts, labors, and usefulness of the lay servants and certified lay ministers related to the charge and recommend to the district 176

192 ORGANIZA ¶ 247 TION AND ADMINISTRATION and/or conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries those persons who have met the standards set forth for a local church lay servant and/or for certified lay servant and certified lay min- 266-269). ister ( ¶¶ 12. ge conference shall receive reports annually on The char all local church organized Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) teams, and the total number of local church participants in any UMVIM team, and shall forward the combined report to the annual con- ference and the general Church through the regular annual local church statistical report. ge conference shall in consultation with the dis- The char 13. trict superintendent set the compensation of the pastor and other 5 staff appointed by the bishop. As soon as practicable after the session of annual confer - 14. ence, each district superintendent or designated agent shall notify ch in the district what amounts have been appor - each local chur tioned to it for World Service, conference benevolences and other general Church, jurisdictional, and annual conference funds. In the event that the conference uses an apportionment formula whereby the local church contributes a specified percentage of its current income and/or expenses, the specified percentage may be used in lieu of an actual dollar amount. In preparation for and at the charge conference, it shall be the responsibility of the district superinten- dent, the pastor, and the lay member(s) of the annual conference and/or the church lay leader(s) to interpret to each charge confer - ence the importance of these apportioned funds, explaining the causes supported by each of them and their place in the total pro- gram of the Church. The World Service Fund is basic in the finan- cial program of The United Methodist Church. World Service on apportionment represents the minimum needs for the mission and ministry of the Church. Conference benevolences represent the minimum needs for mission and ministry in the annual confer - ence. Payment in full of these apportionments by local churches is 6 ¶ 812). the first benevolent responsibility of the church ( The charge conference shall receive and act on the annual 15. report from the pastor concerning the membership. (See ¶ 231.) 16. The char ge conference shall receive a report on the names and addresses of college students to send to the United Methodist campus ministers and chaplains. 5. See Judicial Council Decisions 213, 252, 461, 1014, 1123. 6. See Judicial Council Decision 1054. 177

193 ¶ 247 THE LOCAL CHURCH In those 17. instances where there are two or more churches on a pastoral charge, the charge conference may provide for a charge or parish council, a chargewide or parish treasurer, and such other officers, commissions, committees, and task groups as necessary to carry on the work of the charge. In those instances where there are two or more churches 18. on a pastoral charge, the charge conference may elect a chargewide or parish committee on nominations and leadership development, a chargewide or parish committee on pastor-parish relations, a chargewide or parish committee on finance, and a chargewide or parish board of trustees in such instances where property is held in common by two or more churches of the charge. All churches of the charge shall be represented on such chargewide or parish committees or boards. Chargewide or parish organization shall be consistent with disciplinary provisions for the local church. 19. In instances of multiple chur ch charges, the charge con- ference shall provide for an equitable distribution of parsonage maintenance and upkeep expense or adequate housing allowance (if annual conference policy permits) among the several churches. 20. The char ge conference shall promote awareness of and concurrence with the Doctrinal Standards and General Rules of The United Methodist Church, and with policies relative to Socially Responsible Investments ( ¶ 717), the Social Principles ( ¶¶ 160-166), and The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church . ge conference initiates, joins, monitors, or ter - 21. If any char The Book of Resolutions, minates a boycott, the guidelines in 2012, should be followed. The General Conference is the only body that can initiate, empower, or join a boycott in the name of The United Methodist Church. 22. When authorized by the district superintendent and the - d of church location and building, the charge confer district boar ence may provide for the sponsoring of satellite congregations. 23. ge conference shall have such other duties and The char responsibilities as the General, jurisdictional, or annual confer - ence may duly commit to it. ¶ The Chur 248. ch Conference— To encourage broader partici- pation by members of the church, the charge conference may be convened as the church conference, extending the vote to all pro- fessing members of the local church present at such meetings. The church conference shall be authorized by the district superinten- 178

194 ORGANIZA ¶ 249 TION AND ADMINISTRATION dent. It may be called at the discretion of the district superinten- dent or following a written request to the district superintendent by one of the following: the pastor, the church council, or 10 per - cent of the professing membership of the local church. In any case a copy of the request shall be given to the pastor. Additional regu- lations governing the call and conduct of the charge conference as 246-247 shall apply also to the church conference. A ¶¶ set forth in joint church conference for two or more churches may be held at - the same time and place as the district superintendent may deter mine. A church conference shall be conducted in the language of the majority with adequate provision being made for translation. ¶ 2527.) (For church local conference see The charge conference, or church 249. Election of Leaders— ¶ conference authorized by the district superintendent, shall elect upon recommendation by the committee on nominations and leadership development of each local church on the pasto- ral charge, or by nomination from the floor and by vote of each such local church, at least the following leaders for the four basic ¶ responsibilities ( 244): 1. Chairperson of the chur ch council. on nominations and leadership develop- The committee 2. ment. 3. The committee on pastor-parish relations and its chair- person. A chairperson and additional members of the committee 4. on finance; the financial secretary and the church treasurer(s) if not paid employees of the local church; and the trustees as pro- vided in ¶¶ 2526-2528, unless otherwise required by state law. 5. ence and lay The lay member(s) of the annual confer leader(s). 6. recording secretary (see ¶ 247.4). A 7. Special attention shall be given to the inclusion of women, men, youth, young adults, persons over sixty-five years of age, persons with disabilities, and racial and ethnic persons. ch offices and all chairs of organizations 8. All local chur within the local church may be shared between two persons, with the following exceptions: trustee, officers of the board of trustees, treasurer, lay member of annual conference, member and chair - person of the committee on staff- or pastor-parish relations. When two persons jointly hold a position that entails membership on the church council, both may be members of it. 179

195 ¶ 250 THE LOCAL CHURCH 250. Removal of Officers and Filling of V acancies— If a leader ¶ or officer who has been elected by the charge conference is unable or unwilling to perform the duties reasonably expected of such a leader or officer, the district superintendent may call a spe- cial session of the charge conference in accordance with ¶ 246.7. The purpose of such special session shall be stated as “Consid- eration for the removal of person(s) from office and the election of person(s) to fill vacancy(ies).” The committee on nominations and leadership development ( 258.1, 247.18) shall meet as soon ¶¶ as possible after the special session of the charge conference has been announced and shall propose person(s) who may be elected if vacancy(ies) occur at the charge conference. If the charge con- ference votes to remove a person or persons from office, the vacancy(ies) shall be filled in the manner prescribed for elections ¶ in accordance with 249. When a local church trustee is under consideration for removal and the pastoral charge consists of two or more churches, a church local conference shall be called instead of a charge conference, in accordance with ¶ 2526. 1. Out of the professing 251. Duties of Leaders and Members— ¶ membership of each local church ( 128), there shall be elected by ¶ the charge conference a lay leader who shall function as the pri- mary lay representative of the laity in that local church and shall have the following responsibilities: ) fostering awareness of the role of laity both within the a congregation and through their ministries in the home, work- place, community, and world, and finding ways within the com- munity of faith to recognize all these ministries; b ) egularly with the pastor to discuss the state meeting r of the church and the needs for ministry; c ge conference and the church ) membership in the char council, the committee on finance, the committee on nominations and leadership development, and the committee on pastor-parish relations or staff-parish relations, where, along with the pastor, the lay leader shall serve as an interpreter of the actions and pro- grams of the annual conference and the general Church (to be bet- ter equipped to comply with this responsibility, it is recommended that a lay leader also serve as a lay member of annual conference); d ) continuing involvement in study and training oppor - tunities to develop a growing understanding of the Church’s reason for existence and the types of ministry that will most effec- tively fulfill the Church’s mission; 180

196 ORGANIZA ¶ 251 TION AND ADMINISTRATION ) ch council of opportuni- e assisting in advising the chur ties available and the needs expressed for a more effective minis- try of the church through its laity in the community; f) informing the laity of training opportunities provided by the annual conference. Where possible, the lay leader shall attend training opportunities in order to strengthen his or her work. The lay leader is urged to become a certified lay servant In instances where more than one church is on a charge, the charge conference shall elect additional lay leaders so that there will be one lay leader in each church. Associate lay leaders may be elected to work with the lay leader in any local church. The lay member(s) of the annual confer ence and alternates 2. - shall be elected annually or quadrennially as the annual confer ence directs. If the charge’s lay representative to the annual con- ference shall cease to be a member of the charge or shall for any reason fail to serve, an alternate member in the order of election shall serve in place. Both the lay members and the alternates shall have been professing members in good standing of The United Method- ist Church for at least two years and shall have been active par - ticipants for at least four years next preceding their election (see ¶ 32), except in a newly organized church, which shall have the 7 privilege of representation at the annual conference session. No 8 local pastor shall be eligible as a lay member or alternate. United Methodist churches that become part of an ecumenical shared ministry shall not be deprived of their right of representation by a lay member in the annual conference. The lay member(s) of the annual conference, along with the pastor, shall serve as an interpreter of the actions of the annual conference session. These persons shall report to the local church council on actions of the annual conference as soon as possible, but not later than three months after the close of the conference. 3. ch council chairperson shall be elected by the charge The chur conference annually and shall have the following responsibilities: a) esponsibilities (see leading the council in fulfilling its r ¶ 249); b) eparing and communicating the agenda of the coun- pr cil meetings in consultation with the pastor(s), lay leader, and other appropriate persons; 7. See Judicial Council Decisions 170, 305, 342, 469, 495. 8. See Judicial Council Decision 328. 181

197 ¶ 251 THE LOCAL CHURCH r eviewing and assigning responsibility for the imple- c) mentation of actions taken by the council; d) communicating with members of the council and oth - ers as appropriate to permit informed action at council meetings; dinating the various activities of the council; coor e) pr f) oviding the initiative and leadership for the council as it does the planning, establishing of objectives and goals, and evaluating; participating in leadership training pr ograms as g) offered by the annual conference and/or district. The church council chairperson shall be entitled to attend meetings of all boards and committees of the church unless specif- Book of Discipline . The chairperson is encour - ically limited by the aged to attend annual conference. The Church Council The church council shall provide for plan- 252. 1. Purpose— ¶ ning and implementing a program of nurture, outreach, wit- ness, and resources in the local church. It shall also provide for the administration of its organization and temporal life. It shall envision, plan, implement, and annually evaluate the mission and ministry of the church. The church council shall be amenable to and function as the administrative agency of the charge confer - ¶ ence ( 244). Mission and Ministry— Nurture, outreach, and witness 2. ministries and their accompanying responsibilities include: a) The nurturing ministries of the congr egation shall give attention to but not be limited to education, worship, Christian formation, membership care, small groups, and stewardship. Attention must be given to the needs of individuals and families of all ages. b) The outreach ministries of the church shall give atten- tion to local and larger community ministries of compassion, jus- tice, and advocacy. These ministries include church and society, global ministries, higher education and campus ministry, health and welfare, Christian unity and interreligious concerns, religion and race, and the status and role of women. c) witness ministries of the church shall give atten- The tion to developing and strengthening evangelistic efforts of sharing of personal and congregational stories of Christian expe- rience, faith, and service; communications; Lay Servant Minis- 182

198 ORGANIZA ¶ 252 TION AND ADMINISTRATION tries; and other means that give expressions of witness for Jesus Christ. The leadership development and r esourcing ministries d) shall give attention to the ongoing preparation and development ¶ of lay and clergy leaders for the ministry of the church ( 258.1). e) The nurtur e, outreach, and witness ministries and their accompanying responsibilities shall include consideration of (i) the election of a prayer coordinator to promote prayer and mobilize the local church to pray, (ii) establishing a prayer room or designated place for prayer and prayer resources, and (iii) encouraging intentional prayer for the pastoral leadership of the local church. 3. — a) . The The council shall meet at least quarterly Meetings chairperson or the pastor may call special meetings. b) der for the council to give adequate consideration In or to the missional purpose of the local church, it is recommended that the first agenda item at each meeting be related to its min- istries of nurture, outreach, and witness. The administrative and supportive responsibilities of the church will then be given atten- tion. It is recommended that the council use a consensus/discern- ment model of decision-making. 4. Other Responsibilities —It will also be the responsibility of the church council to: a) eview the membership of the local church; r b) fill interim vacancies occurring among the lay officers of the chur ch between sessions of the annual charge conference; c) establish the budget on recommendation of the com- mittee on finance and ensure adequate provision for the financial needs of the church; d) ecommend to the charge conference the salary and r other remuneration of the pastor(s) and staff members after receiving recommendations from the committee on pastor-parish relations (staff-parish relations); e) eview the recommendation of the committee on pas- r tor-parish relations regarding provision of adequate housing for the pastor(s), and report the same to the charge conference for approval. Housing provisions shall comply with the annual con- ference housing policy and parsonage standards. Housing shall not be considered as part of compensation or remuneration except to the extent provided for in denominational pension and benefit plans. 183

199 ¶ 252 THE LOCAL CHURCH Membership 5. —The charge conference will determine the size of the church council. Members of the church council shall be involved in the mission and ministry of the congregation as defined in 252.2. The membership of the council may consist ¶ of as few as eleven persons or as many as the charge conference deems appropriate. The council shall include persons who rep- 243. resent the program ministries of the church as outlined in ¶ The membership shall include but not be limited to the following: the chairperson of the chur ch council; ) a ) the lay leader; b ) epresentative of the pastor- c the chairperson and/or a r parish relations committee; d the chairperson and/or a r epresentative of the com- ) mittee on finance; chairperson and/or a representative of the board the ) e of trustees; the chur ch treasurer; f ) g ) a lay member to annual confer ence; h) esident and/or a representative of the United the pr Methodist Men; president and/or a representative of the United the i ) Methodist Women; a young adult r j) epresentative k a r epresentative of the United Methodist Youth; l ) the pastor(s). 6. Quorum —The members present and voting at any duly announced meeting shall constitute a quorum. Specialized Ministries ¶ 253. Age-Level, Family , and Specialized-Ministries Coordina- tors (see also ¶ 252) — The charge conference may elect annually a coordinator of children’s ministries, a coordinator of youth ministries, a coordinator of adult ministries, and a coordinator of family ministries. Where young adult and specific age-level min- istries would be enhanced, coordinators of young adult and/or older adult ministries may be elected. Where camps and retreats are part of faith formation across the age span, a coordinator of camp and retreat ministries may be elected. Where there are civic youth-serving agencies or scouting ministry units present there may be elected a scouting coordinator. Where needs for special- ized areas of ministry arise (for example, single adults or persons 184

200 ORGANIZA ¶ 255 TION AND ADMINISTRATION with addictions, mental illness or disabilities), coordinators of these areas of ministry may be elected. 254. Other Ministry Group Coordinators— In order to fulfill ¶ the mission of the local church, the charge conference may elect annually a coordinator or ministry group chairperson for any or all of these areas: Christian unity and interreligious relationships, church and society, community volunteers, education, evange- lism, higher education and campus ministry, missions, prayer advocacy, religion and race, status and role of women, earth advo- cacy, stewardship, worship, advocacy for persons with special needs, and church media resources. Every local United Methodist church may have a campus ministry coordinator, who may have membership on the church council. A primary responsibility of the campus ministry coordinator shall be to report the names and contact information (i.e., addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses) of all college students from their local church each semester to the appropriate United Methodist campus ministry, such as the Wesley Foundation. The campus ministry coordinator shall be encouraged to contact every college student from their church each semester by letter, e-mail, or phone and encourage the student’s active participation in United Methodist student ministry. The campus ministry coordinator in every church shall also promote financial and other support of United Methodist campus ministries, such as the Wesley Foundations, within their local church. - Where desirable, the charge conference may combine coor dinators’ or ministry group chairpersons’ assignments. Each coordinator or ministry group chairperson, if elected, shall work with the church council (or other appropriate body), pastor(s), and other church leaders to address the needs and opportuni- ties of the particular area, utilizing all appropriate resources and relationships of the district, annual conference, and/or general church. ¶ 255. ch-School Superintendent and Small-Group Coor- Chur dinator— The charge conference may elect: (1) a superintendent of the church school or Sunday school, and/or a coordinator of small-group ministries, who shall be responsible for helping to organize and supervise the total program for nurturing faith, building Christian community, and equipping people of all ages for ministry in daily life through small groups in the church; (2) a health-and-welfare ministries coordinator, who shall assist 185

201 ¶ 255 THE LOCAL CHURCH the local church and its people in being involved in direct service to persons in need; and (3) a communications coordinator, who shall assist the local church and its members with communication tasks by making available ideas, resources, and skills. 256. Pr ogram Ministries —The ministries of the local church ¶ are offered so that people encounter God’s redeeming love for the world and respond by participating in God’s action in the world. To achieve this ministry, people need to be involved in a variety of small-group settings. Some will be formed by the church coun- cil. Others will emerge with the approval of this body. Another type is historical, expressing itself in organizational structures that are related to counterparts in annual conferences and the gen- eral Church. These are referred to as program ministries and are related to the church council. 1. —In each local Church School and Small-Group Ministries The church there shall be a variety of small-group ministries, includ- ing the church school, for supporting the formation of Christian disciples focused on the transformation of the world. These small groups may concentrate on teaching and learning, fellowship, support, community ministries, and accountability. Members of small groups will build their knowledge of the Bible, the Christian faith, The United Methodist Church, and the societal context in which the church finds itself. In addition, small groups, includ- ing the church school, shall provide people with opportunities for practicing skills for faithful discipleship, including but not limited to worship, faith sharing, the creation of new faith communities, spiritual discernment, Bible study, theological reflection, prayer, community building, service with the poor and marginalized, and advocacy for peace and justice. Local churches or charges are strongly encouraged to develop policies and procedures to pro- vide for the safety of the infants, children, youth, and vulnerable adults entrusted to their care. a) The Chur ch School —In each local church there shall be a church school for the purpose of accomplishing the church’s edu- cational ministry. The church school is challenged to create communities in which people of all ages experience God’s active presence in their lives; foster healthy, nonviolent relationships within the congre- gation and community; testify to the reconciling love of God through Christ; and live out their faith in the world as witnesses to the coming reign of God. 186

202 ORGANIZA ¶ 256 TION AND ADMINISTRATION Accountable Discipleship b) —Historically class leaders provided lay pastoral leadership, and classes and class meetings were the basic structural means of Christian spiritual formation in the early Methodist societies. Class leaders may be commissioned and classes may be organized within the local congregation for the purpose of form- ing persons as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ through mutual accountability and support for witnessing to him in the world and for following his teachings through acts of compassion, jus- tice, worship, and devotion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. ¶ 104, “The Nature, Design, and General Rules of Our United (See ¶ 1117.) Societies” [page 77], and —Christian discipleship is oups Mission and Ministry Gr c) patterned after the servanthood of Jesus, who cared for the sick, fed the hungry, and befriended the outcast. People may partici- pate in small groups in order to serve the needs of the poor and marginalized, advocate for social justice, and demonstrate their faith in all their relationships and whatever setting they find themselves in. d) Support Gr —Where needed, the local church may oups organize small groups to support particular needs of congrega- tion and community members, including but not limited to care and prayer groups, divorce recovery, grief recovery, parenting groups, and support for people who are suffering from chronic illness, including persons with mental illnesses and their families. 2. Childr en’s Ministries —Children’s ministries—for, with, and by children—include all ministries involving children within the life of the congregational community, including but not limited to Sunday school, vacation Bible school, nursery ministries, chil- dren’s choir and music ministries, fellowship groups, support groups, short-term study groups, children’s worship experiences, mission education experiences, intergenerational activities, and all weekday programs for children of all ages. a) e is a coordinator of children’s ministries, the If ther coordinator shall be responsible for assuring that children are considered and included within the life of the congregation. The coordinator will lead the children’s council, when organized, and will work closely with clergy and other program-related staff. The coordinator will vision, plan, and advocate for children, particu- larly in the areas of faith development, safety, and discipleship. The coordinator will work with other leaders in the congregation 187

203 ¶ 256 THE LOCAL CHURCH to assure that policies and procedures are in place to help keep all children and the adults who care for and work with them safe. These policies and procedures include such things as background checks, having at least two adults per group, and cardiopulmo- nary resuscitation and first-aid training. The coordinator will also advocate for mission education for children, including The United Methodist Children’s Fund for Christian Mission. If ther e is a children’s council, it shall be responsible b) for planning, visioning, and advocating for children within the congregation, the community, and the world. The council will set policies and procedures related to children, oversee the planning of short-term experiences, consider children’s ministry needs within the whole of the congregation’s ministries, and commu- nicate with parents and the congregation. The children’s council will work closely with the coordinator of children’s ministries and church staff responsible for ministry with children, including chil- dren’s choirs and weekday ministries. The children’s council is accountable to the group responsible for the local church’s edu- cational ministry. c) W eekday Ministry Board —The term weekday ministry applies to any regularly planned ministry for children. When appropriate, one or more weekday ministry boards may be orga- nized to oversee the weekday ministry programs of the congre- gation. The board’s membership should be mostly professing members of the congregation, with parent, church staff, and weekday ministry staff representatives. The board will set policies consistent with the congregation’s policies, state mandates, and sound business practices. The board will guide weekday minis- tries as appropriate opportunities for faith development, mission outreach, Christian education, evangelism, and safety. They will advocate for inclusion of children from various socioeconomic, cultural, and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Weekday ministry board(s) accountability should be placed within the local church organizational structure with consideration to the group respon- sible for the congregation’s education ministry. young people is inclu- oung People’s Ministries —The term 3. Y sive of all persons from approximately twelve through thirty years of age in the United States and thirty-five in the central conferences. The term encompasses both youth and young- adult ministries and allows for age flexibility given the different age definitions for young people in various cultures around the 188

204 TION AND ADMINISTRATION ¶ 256 ORGANIZA is an inclusive title, encompassing world. The term youth ministry all the concerns of the Church and all activities by, with, and for youth. The youth ministry of The United Methodist Church shall include all persons from approximately twelve through eighteen years of age in the United States and up to twenty-four in the cen- tral conferences, taking into account the grouping of youth in the public schools, who are currently or potentially associated with the church or any of its activities. Youth who are professing mem- bers of the church have all rights and responsibilities of church membership except voting on matters prohibited by state law (see young-adult ¶ ministry is an inclusive title, encom- 226.5). The term passing all the concerns of the Church and all activities by, with, and for young adults. The young-adult ministry of The United Methodist Church shall include all persons from approximately eighteen through thirty in the United States and twenty-four through thirty-five in the central conferences who are currently or potentially associated with the church or any of its activities. Young adults who are professing members of the church have all rights and responsibilities of church membership. The coor dinator/staff for youth ministries and the a) youth leadership team, when organized, shall be responsible for recommending to the church council activities, program empha- ses, and settings for youth. The coordinator/staff and the lead- ership team shall use available resources and means to inform youth concerning the Youth Service Fund and shall cultivate its support, provided that prior to this cultivation or as a part of it, the youth shall have been challenged to assume their financial responsibilities in connection with the total program and budget of the local church. ch may organize settings for ministries b) The local chur with young people as appropriate in their ministry context. c) ge conference where there are at least five In each char youth, there may be a youth leadership team. (1) The leadership team shall be made up of no less youth. Nominations for members of the leadership than one-half team (both youth and adults) may come from the youth group (or related structure). The nominations will then be sent to the com- mittee on nominations and leadership development for approval and then to the charge conference for approval. The council shall be composed of: dinator/staff for youth ministries (a) The coor 189

205 ¶ 256 THE LOCAL CHURCH and other related leaders as ex officio members with voice but not vote. Any youth serving on a district, confer ence, (b) jurisdictional, or general Church board or agency. (c) ence, Any adult serving on a district, confer jurisdictional, or general Church organization on youth ministry. (2) Ther e shall be co-chairs with one adult and one youth to lead the meetings. Other officers may be a mix of adults - and youth depending on the skills, gifts, and needs of the leader ship team. (3) - The leadership team shall meet at least semiannu ally. It may meet additionally at the request of the pastor, coordi- nator/staff for youth ministries or any member of the committee. Responsibilities: (a) o assist the coordinator/staff for youth min- T istry and other related leaders in planning and developing activi- ties, program emphases, and settings for youth in the local church. (b) T o develop a program budget for their youth ministry (c) o assist the coordinator/staff for youth min- T istry in finding and encouraging qualified adults and interns to work with youth in the local church. T o develop a covenant for all adult volunteer (d) youth workers. (e) o encourage and facilitate the furthering of T education for the coordinator/staff for youth ministries and oth- ers in leadership with youth. (f) T o be informed of and follow the conference child safety policies, procedures, and requirements to be followed by the local church. o encourage and educate youth on possible (g) T careers in professional ministry and how to consider any voca- tional calling and opportunity to serve. (h) o be a resource for other churches interested T in starting or revitalizing youth ministry within their own local churches. (i) T o further educate youth and adults on The United Methodist Church as a connectional church by encourag- ing and supporting the participation of youth and adults in dis- trict, annual, jurisdictional, and central conferences, and other general Church ministries. 190

206 ORGANIZA ¶ 256 TION AND ADMINISTRATION T o promote and educate persons about the (j) Youth Service Fund. T o promote the camping and retreat minis- (k) tries within the local church. l ) T o promote, introduce, and encourage youth ( and young adults to become active in United Methodist campus ministry when they attend a college or university. o empower youth to be full participants (m) T and active leaders in The United Methodist Church. (n) o consult with the pastor/staff parish T relations committee in: 1) developing written job descriptions; 2) nominating; 3) evaluating the job performance of the coordina- tor/staff for youth ministries and any other volunteer and paid staff related to youth ministry in the local church. (m) It is strongly recommended that the council develop a program budget for their ministry. d) The coor dinator/staff for young-adult ministries and the young adult leadership team, when organized, shall be responsible for recommending to the church council the activi- ties, program emphases, and settings for young adults, gather the names and addresses of all college students to send to the cam- pus minister or chaplain of the college or university the students are attending, encourage college students to participate in United Methodist campus ministry, and recommend opportunities for the congregation to support and participate with annual confer - ence campus ministries and annual conference-related colleges and universities. 4. Scouting ministry thr ough civic youth-serving agencies offer another setting for ministry to children, youth, their leaders, and their families. The Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) award program is available to all appropriate age-level participants of the local church education program including the church school, youth ministry, and scouting ministry. a) ch may have a local church scouting Each local chur coordinator (or the central conferences equivalent) who shall relate to the church council, the superintendent of the church school, the coordinator of children’s ministries, the coordinator of youth ministries, and all the various youth-serving agency structures. The local church scouting coordinator (or the central conferences equivalent) may relate to the district scouting coor - dinator and annual conference scouting coordinator who are 191

207 ¶ 256 THE LOCAL CHURCH resource and training advisors. All churches shall be encouraged to have a signed partnership agreement with all the units of these agencies which are part of their ministry. United Methodist W omen —In every local church there shall 5. be an organized unit of United Methodist Women. The following is the authorized constitution: Name —The name of this organization shall be Article 1. United Methodist Women. Article 2. Relationships —The unit of United Methodist Women in the local church is directly related to the district and conference and national organizations of United Methodist Women. Article 3. Purpose —The organized unit of United Method- ist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the Church. Article 4. Membership —Membership shall be open to any woman who indicates her desire to belong and to participate in the global mission of the Church through United Methodist Women. The pastor(s) shall be an ex officio member of the local unit and of its executive committee. Article 5. Officers and Committees —The local unit shall elect a president, a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, and a commit- tee on nominations. Additional officers and committees shall be elected or appointed as needed, in accordance with the plans of the United Methodist Women’s national organization as set forth in the bylaws for the local unit of United Methodist Women. Article 6. — a) organized unit of United Methodist Funds The Women shall secure funds for the fulfillment of its purpose. om whatever source secured by the unit b) All funds fr of United Methodist Women belong to the organization and shall be disbursed only in accordance with its constitution and by its order. c) ed and administered by the The total budget secur organized unit in the local church shall include: (1) pledges and other money for the programs and responsibilities of the United Methodist Women’s national organization to be directed through regular channels of finance of United Methodist Women; and (2) funds to be used in mission locally, which shall include amounts for administration and membership development. 192

208 ORGANIZA ¶ 256 TION AND ADMINISTRATION The or ganized unit in the local church shall make an d) annual pledge to the total budget of the district or conference organization of United Methodist Women. All undesignated funds channeled to the United Meth - e) odist Women’s national organization shall be appropriated by the organization. Meetings —The organized unit in the local church Article 7. shall hold such meetings for implementing the purpose and trans- acting its business as the unit itself shall decide. Article 8. Relationship in the Local Chur —The organized unit ch of United Methodist Women shall encourage all women to par - ticipate in the total life and work of the Church and shall support them in assuming positions of responsibility and leadership. Article 9. Amendments —Proposed amendments to this con- stitution may be sent to the recording secretary of the United Methodist Women’s national organization before the last annual meeting of the organization in the quadrennium. Note: For a description of the United Methodist Women’s national organization and its subsidiary organizations, see ¶¶ 1901-1912. —Each church or charge shall have an 6. United Methodist Men organized unit of United Methodist Men chartered and annually renewed through the General Commission on United Methodist Men. Other organized men’s ministry groups in a local United Methodist Church shall annually report to the charge conference and be resourced through the General Commission on United Methodist Men. All local church men’s organizations shall pro- vide a dedicated ministry for building men spiritually and involv- ing men in the total ministry of the Church ( ¶ 2302). a ) church resource material for supporting effec- Local tive men’s ministries shall be provided by the district, conference, and jurisdictional organizations of United Methodist Men and the ¶ 2302). General Commission on United Methodist Men ( b ) Men exists to declare the centrality United Methodist of Christ in every man’s life. Men’s ministry leads to the spiritual growth of men and effective discipleship. This purpose is served as men are called to model the servant leadership of Jesus Christ. c ) Individual and gr oup strategies form the foundation of United Methodist Men ministry. Enhance Evangelism, Mission, and Spiritual Life (1) (EMS), as men become servant leaders. 193

209 ¶ 256 THE LOCAL CHURCH Advocate pr (2) ograms that train men within local churches to promote specific ministries including prayer, mis- sions, stewardship, and civic/youth-serving ministries. For ge pastoral partnerships by men committed to (3) the effective support and service of clergy and local congregations. Enhance or ganizational strength through effec- (4) tive leadership, resources, membership growth, and financial accountability. Assist men in their ever -changing relationships, (5) roles, and responsibilities in the family setting, workplace, and society. (6) ganization, doctrines, and Understand the or beliefs of The United Methodist Church. (7) Fulfill the membership vows thr ough the com- mitment to prayer, presence, gifts, service, and witness in congre- gational life. (8) Fulfill the Gr eat Commission with and through The United Methodist Church as one part of the body of Christ. d) Men seeking membership in a local unit of United Methodist Men will be asked to subscribe to the major strategies c above and to these personal objectives: listed in § (1) o engage daily in Bible study and prayer. T (2) T o bear witness to Christ’s way in daily work and in all personal contacts through words and actions. (3) o engage in Christian service. T e) United Methodist Men may be or ganized in one or more components within a local church as needed. Multiple local churches may also form a single unit of United Methodist Men according to their needs. f) Membership shall be open to any man who indicates e to belong and to participate in the ministry of the church his desir through United Methodist Men. g) The appointed cler gy of the local church or charge shall be ex officio member(s) of the unit and its executive committee organized unit of United Methodist Men shall The h) secure funds for the fulfillment of its purpose. All funds from whatever source secured by the United Methodist Men’s unit belong to the organization and shall be disbursed only in accor - dance with its constitution and/or by-laws and by its order. (1) United Methodist Men’s unit may have their own bank accounts. 194

210 ORGANIZA ¶ 258 TION AND ADMINISTRATION The UM Men’s unit shall have an annual financial (2) audit. 7. In view of the fact that the needs Supplemental Ministries— of women and men are complex, dynamic, and unique in every congregation, local churches are encouraged to develop a variety of supplemental ministry programs for women and men, in addi- tion to United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men. 257. Where the size of the church ¶ Other Age-Level Councils— and the extent of the program indicate the need, the work of the church council (or other appropriate body) may be facilitated by one or more age-level councils and/or a family council, or such other means as fit the needs of the congregation. The membership of these councils shall be elected by the church council (or other appropriate body). Administrative Committees e shall be elected annually, by the charge con- 258. 1. Ther ¶ ference in each local church, a committee on nominations and leadership development that is composed of professing members of the local church. The charge of this committee is to identify, - develop, deploy, evaluate, and monitor Christian spiritual leader ship for the local congregation. Members of the committee shall engage in and be attentive to developing and enhancing their own Christian spiritual life in light of the mission of the Church (Part VI, Chapter One, Section 1). In conducting its work, the committee shall engage in bib- lical and theological reflections on the mission of the church, the primary task, and ministries of the local church. It shall provide a means of identifying the spiritual gifts and abilities of the membership. The committee shall work with the church council, or alternative administrative bodies, to determine the diverse ministry tasks of the congregation and the skills needed for leadership. The committee on nominations and leadership devel - ) a opment shall serve throughout the year to guide the church coun- cil, or alternative structure, on matters regarding the leadership (other than employed staff) of the congregation so as to focus on mission and ministry as the context for service; guide the development and training of spiritual leaders; recruit, nurture, and support spiritual leaders; and assist the church council, or alternative structure, in assessing the changing leadership needs. 195

211 ¶ 258 THE LOCAL CHURCH ) ecommend to the charge confer - b The committee shall r ence, at its annual session, the names of people to serve as offi- cers and leaders of designated ministries of the church council, or alternative administrative body required for the work of the church and as the law of the church requires or as the charge con- ference deems necessary to its work. c ) This committee is to be composed of not more than nine persons, in addition to the pastor and the lay leader. At least one young adult elected by the charge conference shall serve as a member of the committee. One or more members elected by the charge conference may be youth. The pastor shall be the chairper - son. A layperson elected by the committee on nominations and leadership development shall serve as the vice chairperson of the committee. d ) In or der to secure experience and stability, the mem- bership shall be divided into three classes, one of which shall be elected each year for a three-year term. To begin the process of rotation where such has not been in place, in the first year, one class shall be elected for one year, one class for two years, and one class for three years. Each year’s new class, and vacancies at the time of charge conference, shall be elected from nominees, from the floor of the charge conference, and/or through the recommen- dation of the committee on nominations and leadership devel- opment. Retiring members of the committee shall not succeed themselves. Only one person from an immediate family residing shall serve on the committee. When vacan- in the same household cies occur during the year, nominees shall be elected by the church council, or alternative church structure, with the permission of the district superintendent. e ) In the identification and selection process, care shall be given that the leadership of ministries reflects inclusivity and . diversity e shall be elected annually by the charge conference 2. Ther in each local church a committee on pastor-parish relations who are professing members of the local church or charge or associ- ate members ( ¶ 227), except in cases where central conference legislation or local law provides otherwise. People serving on this committee must be engaged in and attentive to their Chris- tian spiritual development so as to give proper leadership in the responsibilities with which the committee is entrusted. 196

212 ORGANIZA ¶ 258 TION AND ADMINISTRATION - In conducting its work, the committee shall identify and clar ify its values for ministry. It shall engage in biblical and theologi- cal reflections on the mission of the church, the primary task, and ministries of the local church. The committee shall reflect biblically and theologically on the role and work of the pastor(s) and staff as they carry out their lead- ership responsibilities. The committee shall assist the pastor(s) and staff in assessing their gifts, maintaining health holistically and work-life balance, and setting priorities for leadership and service. It is the responsibility of the committee to communicate with the committee on nominations and leadership development and/or the church council when there is a need for other leaders or for employed staff to perform in areas where utilization of the gifts of the pastor(s) and staff proves an inappropriate steward- ship of time. The committee shall be composed of not fewer than a ) five nor mor e than nine persons representative of the total charge. One of the members shall be a young adult and one member may be a youth. In addition, the lay leader and a lay member of the annual conference shall be members. No staff member or immedi- ate family member of a pastor or staff member may serve on the committee. Only one person from an immediate family residing in the same household shall serve on the committee. b In or der to secure experience and stability, the mem- ) bership shall be divided into three classes, one of which shall be elected each year for a three-year term. The lay member of the annual conference and the lay leader are exempt from the three- year term. To begin the process of rotation where such a process has not been in place, on the first year one class shall be elected for one year, one class for two years, and one class for three years. Members of the committee shall be able to succeed themselves for one three-year term. When vacancies occur during the year, nomi- nees shall be elected at the church council (or alternative church structure). c) ges where there is more than one church, In those char the committee shall include at least one representative and the lay leader from each local church. d) The committees on pastor -parish relations of charges that are in cooperative parish ministries shall meet together to consider the professional leadership needs of the cooperative par - ish ministry as a whole. 197

213 ¶ 258 THE LOCAL CHURCH The committee shall meet at least quarterly e) . It shall - meet additionally at the request of the bishop, the district super intendent, the pastor, any other person accountable to the com- mittee, or the chairperson of the committee. The committee shall meet only with the knowledge of the pastor and/or the district superintendent. The pastor shall be present at each meeting of the committee on pastor-parish relations or staff-parish relations except where he or she voluntarily excuses himself or herself. The committee may meet with the district superintendent without the pastor or appointed staff under consideration being - present. However, the pastor or appointed staff under consider - ation shall be notified prior to such meeting with the district super intendent and be brought into consultation immediately thereafter. The committee shall meet in closed session, and information shared in the committee shall be confidential. In the event that only one congregation on a charge f) containing more than one church has concerns it wishes to share, its member(s) in the committee may meet separately with the pas- tor or any other person accountable to the committee or the dis- trict superintendent, but only with the knowledge of the pastor and/or district superintendent. g) The duties of the committee shall include the following: (1) o encourage, strengthen, nurture, support, and T respect the pastor(s) and staff and their family(s). (2) T o promote unity in the church(es). (3) o confer with and counsel the pastor(s) and staff T on the matters pertaining to the effectiveness of ministry; rela- tionships with the congregation; the pastor’s health and self-care, conditions that may impede the effectiveness of ministry; and to interpret the nature and function of the ministry. (4) o confer with, consult, and counsel the pastor(s) T and staff on matters pertaining to priorities in the use of gifts, skills, and time and priorities for the demands and effectiveness of the mission and ministry of the congregation. (5) o provide evaluation at least annually for the T use of the pastor(s) and staff in an ongoing effective ministry and for identifying continuing educational needs and plans. (6) T o communicate and interpret to the congrega- tion the nature and function of ministry in The United Methodist Church regarding open itinerancy, the preparation for ordained ministry, and the Ministerial Education Fund. 198

214 ORGANIZA ¶ 258 TION AND ADMINISTRATION T o develop and approve written job descriptions (7) and titles for associate pastors and other staff members in coop- associate pastor eration with the senior pastor. The term is used as a general term to indicate any pastoral appointment in a local church other than the pastor in charge (see ¶ 339). Committees shall be encouraged to develop specific titles for associate pastors that reflect the job descriptions and expectations. (8) T o consult with the pastor and staff concerning continuing education, work-life balance, dimensions of personal health and wellness, and spiritual renewal, to arrange with the church council for the necessary time and financial assistance for the attendance of the pastor and/or staff at such continuing edu- cation, self-care, and spiritual renewal events as may serve their professional and spiritual growth, and to encourage staff members to seek professional certification in their fields of specialization. (9) T o enlist, interview, evaluate, review, and recom- mend annually to the charge conference lay preachers and persons for candidacy for ordained ministry (see ¶¶ 247.8 and 310), and to enlist and refer to the General Board of Global Ministries persons for candidacy for missionary service, recognizing that The United Methodist Church affirms the biblical and theological support of persons regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, or disabilities for these ministries. Neither the pastor nor any member of the com- mittee on pastor-parish relations shall be present during the con- sideration of a candidacy application or renewal for a member of their immediate family. The committee shall provide to the charge conference a list of students from the charge who are preparing for ordained ministry, diaconal ministry, and/or missionary ser - vice, and shall maintain contact with these students, supplying the charge conference with a progress report on each student. (10) T o interpret preparation for ordained ministry and the Ministerial Education Fund to the congregation. o confer with the pastor and/or other appointed T (11) members of the staff if it should become evident that the best interests of the charge and pastor(s) will be served by a change of pastor(s). The committee shall cooperate with the pastor(s), the district superintendent, and the bishop in securing clergy leader - ship. Its relationship to the district superintendent and the bishop 9 (See ¶¶ 425-428.) shall be advisory only. 9. See Judicial Council Decision 701. 199

215 ¶ 258 THE LOCAL CHURCH o recommend to the church council, after con- (12) T sultation with the pastor, the professional and other staff positions (whether employee or contract) needed to carry out the work of the church or charge. The committee and the pastor shall recommend to the church council a written statement of policy and procedures regarding the process for hiring, contracting, evaluating, promot- ing, retiring, and dismissing staff personnel who are not subject to episcopal appointment as ordained clergy. Until such a policy has been adopted, the committee and the pastor shall have the authority to hire, contract, evaluate, promote, retire, and dismiss nonappointed personnel. When persons are hired or contracted, consideration shall be given to the training qualifications and certi- fication standards set forth by the general Church agency to which such positions are related. The committee shall further recommend - to the church council a provision for adequate health and life insur ance and severance pay for all lay employees. In addition, the com- mittee shall recommend that the church council provide, effective on and after January 1, 2006, 100 percent vested pension benefits of at least 3 percent of compensation for lay employees of the local church who work at least 1040 hours per year, are at least 21 years of age, and have at least one year of permanent service. The church council shall have authority to provide such pension benefits through either a denominational pension program administered by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits or another pension program administered by another pension provider. T o recommend to the charge conference, when (13) the size of the employed staff of the charge makes it desirable, the establishment of a personnel committee. This committee shall be composed of such members of the committee on pastor-parish relations as it may designate and such additional members as the charge conference may determine. (14) o educate the church community on the value T of diversity of selection in clergy and lay staff and develop a com- mitment to same. (15) -parish rela- Members of the committee on pastor tions (or staff-parish relations) shall keep themselves informed of personnel matters in relationship to the Church’s policy, profes- sional standards, liability issues, and civil law. They are respon- sible for communicating and interpreting such matters to staff. Committee members should make themselves available for edu- cational and training opportunities provided by the conference, 200

216 ORGANIZA ¶ 258 TION AND ADMINISTRATION district, and/or other arenas that will enable them to be effective in their work. T o consult on matters pertaining to pulpit sup- (16) ply, proposals for compensation, travel expense, vacation, health and life insurance, pension, housing (which may be a church- owned parsonage or housing allowance in lieu of parsonage if in compliance with the policy of the annual conference), and other practical matters affecting the work and families of the pastor and staff, and to make annual recommendations regarding such mat- ters to the church council, reporting budget items to the commit- tee on finance. The parsonage is to be mutually respected by the pastor’s family as the property of the church and by the church as a place of privacy for the pastor’s family. The committee will fol- low up to assure timely resolution of parsonage problems affect- ing the health of the pastor or pastor’s family. The chairperson of the committee on pastor-parish relations, the chairperson of the board of trustees, and the pastor shall make an annual review of the church-owned parsonage to assure proper maintenance and to give immediate resolution to parsonage issues affecting the family’s health and well-being. (17) o encourage, monitor, and support clergy and T lay staff pursuit of health and wholeness. 3. e shall be a board of trustees, whose membership and Ther ¶¶ 2525-2551. duties are detailed in Ther e shall be a committee on finance, elected annually by 4. the charge conference upon recommendation by the committee on nominations and leadership development or from the floor, com- posed of the chairperson; the pastor(s); a lay member of the annual conference; the chairperson of the church council; the chairperson or representative of the committee on pastor-parish relations; a representative of the trustees to be selected by the trustees; the chairperson of the ministry group on stewardship; the lay leader; the financial secretary; the treasurer; the church business admin- istrator; and other members to be added as the charge conference may determine. It is recommended that the chairperson of the committee on finance shall be a member of the church council. The financial secretary, treasurer, and church business administra- tor, if paid employees, shall be members without vote. The positions of treasurer and financial secretary should not be combined and held by one person, and the persons holding these two positions should not be immediate family members. 201

217 ¶ 258 THE LOCAL CHURCH No immediate family members of any appointed clergy may serve as treasurer, finance chair, financial secretary, counter, or serve in any paid or unpaid position under the responsibilities of the committee on finance, as described herein. These restric- tions would apply only to the church or charge where the clergy serves. The committee on finance shall give stewardship of financial resources as their priority throughout the year. It may delegate the responsibility to either a sub-group or task force that would plan, strategize, and implement ways to generate more resources for mission and ministries of local churches and beyond. It is strongly recommended that the committee on finance, in collabo- ration with the church council, find creative ways to turn their congregations into tithing congregations with an attitude of gen- erosity. All financial askings to be included in the annual budget of the local church shall be submitted to the committee on finance. The committee on finance shall compile annually a complete bud- get for the local church and submit it to the church council for review and adoption. The committee on finance shall be charged with responsibility for developing and implementing plans that will raise sufficient income to meet the budget adopted by the church council. It shall administer the funds received according to instructions from the church council. The committee shall carry out the church council’s directions in guiding the treasurer(s) and financial secretary. The committee shall designate at least two persons not a) esiding in the same household to count of the immediate family r the offering. They shall work under the supervision of the finan- cial secretary. A record of all funds received shall be given to the financial secretary and treasurer. Funds received shall be depos- ited promptly in accordance with the procedures established by the committee on finance. The financial secretary shall keep records of the contributions and payments. b) ch treasurer(s) shall disburse all money con- The chur tributed to causes represented in the local church budget, and such other funds and contributions as the church council may determine. The treasurer(s) shall remit each month to the con- ference treasurer all World Service and conference benevolence funds then on hand. Contributions to benevolence shall not be used for any cause other than that to which they have been given. The church treasurer shall make regular and detailed 202

218 ORGANIZA ¶ 258 TION AND ADMINISTRATION reports on funds received and expended to the committee on 10 finance and the church council. The treasurer(s) shall be ade- quately bonded. The committee on finance shall establish written finan - c) cial policies to document the internal controls of the local church. The written financial policies should be reviewed for adequacy and effectiveness annually by the committee on finance and sub- mitted as a report to the charge conference annually. The committee shall make pr ovision for an annual d) audit of the financial statements of the local church and all its organizations and accounts. The committee shall make a full and complete report to the annual charge conference. A local church audit is defined as an independent evaluation of the financial reports and records and the internal controls of the local church by a qualified person or persons. The audit shall be conducted for the purpose of reason- ably verifying the reliability of financial reporting, determining whether assets are being safeguarded, and determining compli- ance with local law, local church policies and procedures, and the . Book of Discipline The audit may include: 1) a review of the cash and invest- ment reconciliations; 2) interviews with the treasurer, financial secretary, pastor(s), finance committee chair, business manager, those who count offerings, church secretary, etc., with inquiries regarding compliance with existing written financial policies and procedures; 3) a review of journal entries and authorized check signers for each checking and investment account; and 4) other procedures requested by the committee on finance. The audit shall be performed by an audit committee com- posed of persons unrelated to the persons listed in 2. above or by an independent certified public accountant (CPA), accounting firm, or equivalent. ecommend to the church council The committee shall r e) proper depositories for the church’s funds. Funds received shall be deposited promptly in the name of the local church. f) Contributions designated for specific causes and objects shall be promptly forwarded according to the intent of the 11 donor and shall not be used for any other purpose. 10. See Judicial Council Decisions 63, 320, 539. 11. See Judicial Council Decision 976. 203

219 ¶ 258 THE LOCAL CHURCH the budget of the local church has been approved, g) After additional appropriations or changes in the budget must be approved by the church council. h) The committee shall pr epare annually a report to the church council of all designated funds that are separate from the current expense budget. The chur ch council may appoint such other committees 5. as it deems advisable, including: committee on communications, committee on records and history, committee on health and wel- fare, and committee on memorial gifts. Section VII. The Method of Organizing a New Church new local church or mission congregation shall 259. 1 . A ¶ be established only with the consent of the bishop in charge and the cabinet and with due consideration of the conference entity assigned the responsibility for congregational development. The bishop shall designate the district within whose bounds the church or mission congregation shall be organized. The district superintendent of that district, or his or her designee, shall be the agent in charge of the project and shall recommend to the dis- ¶ trict board of church location and building ( 2519) the method of organization, and whether a specific site shall be selected or an area of organization be designated. The district superintendent shall avail him/herself of existing demographic, lifestyle and ethnographic information in the process of establishing a new congregation and its location, or shall recommend to the board of trustees of a selected local church that they share their facility with the proposed congregation. If there is a city or district mis- sionary organization, or if funds for the project are anticipated from a conference organization, those bodies shall also be asked to approve the method of organization and location for a new congregation. mission congregation may be designated when any A a) of the following conditions exist: 1) Membership opportunities and resources are limited and not likely to result in a chartered congregation for an extended period of time. 2) A strategic demo- graphic, cultural, or language opportunity for serving a limited population is present. 3) It is expected that long-term sustaining funding from sources outside the congregation will be neces- sary to enable the congregation to exist, and the assumption of full connectional support items by the congregation is unlikely. 204

220 METHOD OF ORGANIZING A ¶ 259 NEW CHURCH 4) It is probable that the annual conference will need to provide long-term administrative guidance, including attention to the dis- tinctive property needs of the congregation. When any of these conditions exist, the cabinet, in consultation with the congrega- tional development area of the annual conference, may designate an entity a mission congregation. The mission congregation may be organized in the same manner and have the same rights and powers as any local church. The bishop may appoint a pastor to launch a new local 2. chur ch, or with the bishop’s approval the district superintendent may authorize a local church or group of local churches to launch a new church by gathering interested people in small groups for Bible study, outreach, community building, and worship at a site in an area approved by the district board of church location and building. 3. A pastor of The United Methodist Church, while serving as the pastor of a new church prior to the convening of a consti- tuting conference ( ¶ 259.7), may receive a person into the mem- bership of The United Methodist Church under the conditions of ¶ 217. When a person is received as either a baptized or a profess- ing member, the pastor shall send the name, address, and related facts to the annual conference secretary for recording on a general membership roll. These names shall be transferred as soon as pos- sible to the roll of the new church, when constituted, or to another church upon the member’s request. If the new church is being sponsored by an existing church, membership may be recorded on the roll of that church. 4. Each annual confer ence or its equivalent may determine the minimum number of members and other criteria required for the organization of a local United Methodist church. ested in being charter 5. When the number of people inter members of the new church reaches the number necessary as set by the conference to charter a new church, the district superinten- dent shall call the interested people to meet at an appointed time for the purpose of organizing them into a chartered (organized) local church, or may by written authorization designate an elder in the district to call such a meeting. The district superintendent or the designated elder shall preside and shall appoint a secre- tary to keep a record of the meeting. Following a time of worship, opportunity shall be given to those in attendance to present them- selves for membership. 205

221 ¶ 259 THE LOCAL CHURCH People desiring to become professing members by transfer 6. - or on profession of their faith in Christ shall also be given oppor tunity to present themselves for membership. Any who have not been baptized shall receive the sacrament of baptism, profess their faith and be received as members. Other baptized people are to be received as baptized members. 7. Those who will be members of the constituting church con- ference shall be those received into the professing membership. 8. The constituting church conference shall then be called to order by the district superintendent or by an elder whom the ¶ 246.5). A committee on nomi- superintendent designates (see nations, elected on nominations from the floor as the conference may determine, shall nominate members of the proposed church council. The chairperson of the committee on nominations shall ¶ 258.1 c ). When the members have be the appointed pastor (see been chosen, the district superintendent or the designated elder shall declare the church properly constituted. 9. The district superintendent or an elder whom the super - intendent designates shall then adjourn the constituting church conference and call to order the charge conference of the pastoral charge. The membership of the charge conference shall be those newly elected, and any others entitled to membership. The charge Dis- conference shall then elect such officers of the church as the cipline requires, including trustees of church property, and shall Discipline. organize its structure as provided in the When such officers have been duly elected and such structure put in place, the church is duly organized, and from this point its work shall proceed as described in the Discipline , provided that when a newly organized church is attached to a circuit, the charge conference shall not be held until such time as representatives from all the churches of the charge can be properly assembled for that purpose. 10. The charge conference may take action, at its discretion, authorizing and directing the newly elected trustees to incorpo- rate the newly organized church in accordance with local laws and the provisions of the Discipline. Section VIII. Transfer of a Local Church 260. local church may be transferred from one annual con- A ¶ ference to another in which it is geographically located by a two- thirds vote of the professing members who are present and voting in each of the following: (1) the charge conference, (2) a congrega- 206

222 SPECIAL ¶ 262 SUNDAYS tional meeting of the local church, and (3) each of the two annual conferences involved. Upon announcement of the required major - ities by the bishop or bishops involved, the transfer shall imme- diately be effective. The votes required may originate in the local church or either of the annual conferences involved and shall be effective regardless of the order in which taken. In each case a two-thirds vote of those present and voting shall remain effective unless and until rescinded prior to the completion of the transfer by a vote of a majority of those present and voting. Section IX. Protection of Rights of Congregations ¶ 261. Nothing in the Plan and Basis of Union at any time after the union is to be construed so as to require any local church of the former Church of the United Brethren in Christ, or of the former The Evangelical Church, or of the former The Evangelical United Brethren Church, or of the former The Methodist Church to alienate or in any way to change the title to property contained in its deed or deeds at the time of union; and lapse of time or usage shall not affect said title or control. Section X. Special Sundays ¶ The special Sundays in The United Methodist Chur ch 262. intended to illustrate the nature and calling of the church are cel- ebrated annually. The special Sundays are placed on the calendar to make clear the calling of the church as the people of God and to give persons the opportunity to contribute offerings to special programs. Six churchwide special Sundays provide for churchwide offer - ings to express our commitment: Human Relations Day, UMCOR Sunday, World Communion Sunday, United Methodist Student Day, Peace with Justice Sunday, and Native American Ministries Sunday. Five special Sundays are without offering: Heritage Sun- day, Laity Sunday, Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday, Men’s Min- istry Sunday, and Women’s Ministry Sunday. Five churchwide Sundays — Christian Education, Golden Cross, Disability Aware- ness, Rural Life, and Volunteers in Mission Awareness provide opportunities for annual conference offerings. The special Sundays approved by General Conference shall be the only Sundays of churchwide emphasis. The program cal- endar of the denomination shall include only the special Sundays 207

223 ¶ 262 THE LOCAL CHURCH approved by General Conference, special Sundays approved by ecumenical agencies to which The United Methodist Church offi- cially relates, and the days and seasons of the Christian Year. Because the central conferences represent a diversity of his- tory and heritages, they shall not be required to observe all of the special days listed below. The central conferences are authorized to observe other special days appropriate to their unique history and heritages. General Provisions Regarding Churchwide Special Sundays with Offerings 263. chwide special Sundays with offerings shall be Six chur ¶ celebrated in each United Methodist Church. Purpose— General Conference shall determine the purpose of the churchwide offerings upon recommendation of the General Council on Finance and Administration, after consultation with the Council of Bishops and the Connectional Table. The purpose of these offerings shall remain constant for the quadrennium, and the net receipts shall be distributed on ratio to the administering agen- cies by the treasurer of the General Council on Finance and Admin- istration (see ¶ ¶ 805.6). The General Commission on 824.7 and Communication shall promote these offerings in cooperation with the agencies responsible for the administration of these funds. (See 1806.12.) Each offering shall be promptly remitted in full by the ¶ local church treasurer to the annual conference treasurer, who shall transmit the funds in full, except where noted differently below, to the General Council on Finance and Administration within thirty days of receipt in the office of the annual conference treasurer. Historically, Human Relations Day Human Relations Day— 1. has been celebrated with an offering on the Sunday before the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Congregations are to observe Human Relations Day on this date or another date appropriate to the local church. This Sunday occurs during Epiphany, the season of manifesting God’s light to the world. Human Relations Day calls the Church to recognize the right of all God’s children in realizing their potential as human beings in relationship with each other. The purpose of the day is to further the development of better human relations. In connection with Human Relations Day the General Com- mission on Communication shall conduct a churchwide appeal. Net receipts, after payment of promotional expenses, shall be allo- 208

224 SUNDAYS ¶ 263 SPECIAL cated on ratio by the treasurer of the General Council on Finance and Administration, to the administering agencies: a) Community Developers Pr ogram: 57 percent (General Board of Global Ministries); 33 percent oluntary Services Program: United Methodist V b) (General Board of Global Ministries) and; c) Y outh Offender Rehabilitation Program: 10 percent (Gen- eral Board of Church and Society). 12 —Historically, UMCOR Sunday 2. UMCOR Sunday has been celebrated with an offering on the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Congre- gations are to observe UMCOR Sunday on this date or on another date appropriate to the local church. Lent is the season of repen- tance, self-examination, and awareness of the hurts of the peoples of the world. UMCOR Sunday calls the Church to share the good- ness of life with those who hurt. In connection with UMCOR Sun- day, the General Commission on Communication shall conduct a churchwide appeal. The observance shall be under the general supervision of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Gen- eral Board of Global Ministries. Net receipts, after payment of promotional expenses, shall be remitted by the treasurer of the General Council on Finance and Administration to the General Board of Global Ministries. —Historically, World Communion orld Communion Sunday W 3. Sunday has been celebrated with an offering on the first Sunday of October. Congregations are to observe World Communion Sun- day on this date or on another date appropriate to the local church. World Communion Sunday calls the church to be the catholic inclu- sive church. In connection with World Communion Sunday the General Commission on Communication shall conduct a church- wide appeal. The observance shall be under the general supervi- sion of the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Each local church shall be requested to remit as provided in ¶ 824.8 all of the communion offering received on World Communion Sunday and such portion of the communion offering received at other observances of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as the local church may designate. Net receipts, after payment of promotional expenses, shall be divided on ratio by the treasurer of the General Council on Finance and Administration to the administering agencies: 12. One Great Hour of Sharing is now called UMCOR Sunday in The United page 2101). Methodist Church. See General Conference 2016 Calendar Item 53 ( DCA 209

225 ¶ 263 THE LOCAL CHURCH W orld Communion Scholarships: 50 percent (General a) Board of Global Ministries), with at least one half of the annual amount for ministries beyond the United States; Ethnic Scholarship Pr ogram: 35 percent (General b) Board of Higher Education and Ministry); and Ethnic In-Service Training Program: 15 percent (Gen- c) eral Board of Higher Education and Ministry). 4. United Methodist Student Day —Historically, United Meth- odist Student Day has been celebrated with an offering on the last Sunday in November. Congregations are to observe United Meth- odist Student Day on this date or on another date appropriate to the local church. United Methodist Student Day calls the Church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The offering supports United Methodist scholarships and the United Methodist Student Loan Fund. In connection with United Methodist Student Day, the General Commission on Com- munication shall conduct a churchwide appeal. The observance shall be under the general supervision of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Net receipts, after payment of promotional expenses, shall be remitted by the treasurer of the General Council on Finance and Administration to the adminis- tering agency. 5. Peace with Justice Sunday —Historically, Peace with Justice Sunday has been celebrated with an offering on the First Sunday After Pentecost. Congregations are to observe Peace with Justice Sunday on this date or on another date appropriate to the local church. Pentecost celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit calling for God’s shalom. Peace with Justice witnesses to God’s demand for a faithful, just, disarmed, and secure world. In con- nection with Peace with Justice Sunday, the General Commis- sion on Communication shall conduct a churchwide appeal. The observance shall be under the general supervision of the General Board of Church and Society. a) ence treasurer shall retain 50 per - The annual confer cent of the receipts for Peace with Justice ministries in the annual conference, to be administered by the annual conference board of church and society or an equivalent structure. b) The annual confer ence treasurer shall remit the remaining 50 percent of the receipts to the General Council on Finance and Administration. Net receipts, after payment of pro- motional expenses, shall be distributed by the treasurer of the 210

226 SPECIAL ¶ 264 SUNDAYS General Council on Finance and Administration to the adminis- tering agency for Peace with Justice ministries. 6. Native American Ministries Sunday —Historically, Native American Ministries Sunday has been celebrated with an offer - ing on the Third Sunday of Easter. United States congregations are to observe Native American Ministries Sunday on this date or on another date appropriate to the local church. This Sunday serves to remind the Church of the gifts and contributions made by Native Americans to our society. In connection with Native American Ministries Sunday, the General Commission on Com- munication shall conduct a churchwide appeal. The observance shall be under the general supervision of the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. ence treasurer shall retain 50 percent The annual confer a) of the receipts to develop and strengthen Native American min- istries within the annual conference, to be administered by the annual conference committee on Native American ministry. Should there be no Native American ministries within the annual conference, the annual conference treasurer shall remit this 50 percent to the General Council on Finance and Administration. ence treasurer shall report gross The annual confer b) receipts and remit the remaining 50 or 100 percent of the receipts as applicable to the General Council on Finance and Administration. c) Net receipts, after payment of promotional expenses, shall be distributed by the treasurer of the General Council on Finance and Administration to the administering agencies: (1) Scholarships for Native Americans attending United Method- ist schools of theology and schools of theology approved by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church: 50 percent (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry). (2) Strengthen, develop and equip Native American rural, urban, and reservation congregations, ministries, and communities: 50 percent (General Board of Global Ministries) : 50 percent (General Board of Global Ministries). General Provisions Regarding Special Sundays Without Churchwide Offerings ¶ Five special Sundays without chur 264. chwide offering shall be approved by General Conference upon recommendation of the Connectional Table after consultation with the Council of 211

227 ¶ 264 THE LOCAL CHURCH Bishops. The program functions assigned to the general agencies are carried out by the respective agencies through normal pro- grammatic channels. Special Sundays are not needed for these program functions to be implemented. Heritage Sunday —Heritage Sunday shall be observed on 1. Aldersgate Day (May 24), or the Sunday preceding that date (see Historical Statement, page 12). The day provides an opportu- nity for reflection on heritage, celebration of where the Church has been, how it understands itself as it shapes us today, and the meaning of Christian conferencing. Heritage Sunday calls the Church to remember the past by committing itself to the continu- ing call of God. The observance of Heritage Sunday shall be under the general supervision of the General Commission on Archives and History. Any general agency of the Church which desires to recommend a theme for a given year for this Sunday may do so one year prior to the observance for which the recommendation is made. This recommendation is to be made to the General Com- mission on Archives and History, and the decision of the annual theme of this Sunday shall be made by the voting members of the General Commission on Archives and History. 2. —Laity Sunday shall be observed annually, Laity Sunday preferably on the third Sunday in October. Laity Sunday calls the Church to celebrate the ministry of all lay Christians, as their lives are empowered for ministry by the Holy Spirit. The observance of Laity Sunday shall be under the general supervision of the Gen- eral Board of Discipleship. The Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders will recommend themes for an entire quadrennium to the General Board of Discipleship two years before the begin- ning of a new quadrennium. 3. gan and Tissue Donor Sunday —Organ and Tissue Donor Or Sunday shall be observed annually, preferably on the second Sun- day in November since the date is close to Thanksgiving and is viewed as a time to come together around the issues of life and Thanksgiving. Congregations are encouraged to support Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday by including the topic in their wor - ship services. The General Board of Church and Society will have responsibility for the supervision and promotion of the observance of this special Sunday. Worship resource materials are available at all of the not-for-profit donor programs in the United States. 4. s Ministry Sunday —Men’s Ministry Sunday may be Men’ observed annually on a Sunday designated by the local congre- 212

228 SPECIAL ¶ 265 SUNDAYS gation. The day is to celebrate the men’s ministry within and beyond the local church. This includes: organized (chartered or unchartered) units of United Methodist Men; male Emmaus reunion communities; work teams; prayer groups; Bible studies; study and enrichment groups; and other places and organizations where men of The United Methodist Church join together for fel- lowship, nurture, spiritual development, witness, and outreach. Resources for this observance shall be provided by the General Commission on United Methodist Men. W omen’s Ministry Sunday —Women’s Ministry Sunday may 5. be observed annually on a Sunday designated by the local congre- gation. The day is designed to celebrate a variety of women’s min- istries, women’s history and the contribution of women within and beyond the local church. This includes, but is not limited to, organized (chartered or unchartered) units of United Method- ist Women; women Emmaus communities; work teams; prayer groups; Bible studies; study and enrichment groups; MOPS groups; and other places and organizations where women of The United Methodist Church join together for fellowship, nurture, spiritual development, witness, and outreach. Resources for this observance may be available through a variety of organizations or may be developed through the local church depending on the groups that choose to participate. ¶ 265. Appr oved Sundays for Annual Conference Observance— Five special Sundays approved by General Conference provide opportunities for annual conference offerings. Local church trea- surers shall remit the receipts of the following five offerings to the annual conference treasurer, and receipts will be acknowledged in accordance with the procedure of the annual conference. Local churches shall report the amount of the offering in the manner indicated in the local church report to the annual conference. 1. —Christian Education Sunday Christian Education Sunday shall be observed on a date determined by the annual conference. It calls the Church as the people of God to be open to growth and learning as disciples of Jesus Christ. If the annual conference so directs, an offering may be received for Christian education within the annual conference. The observance of Christian Educa- tion Sunday shall be under the general supervision of the General Board of Discipleship. 2. oss Sunday —Golden Cross Sunday shall be Golden Cr - observed annually on a date determined by the annual confer 213

229 ¶ 265 THE LOCAL CHURCH ence. If the annual conference so directs, an offering may be received for health and welfare ministries in the annual confer - ence. The observance of Golden Cross Sunday shall be under the general supervision of the General Board of Global Ministries. Life Sunday —Rural Life Sunday shall be observed Rural 3. on a date to be determined by the annual conference. Rural Life Sunday shall call the Church to celebrate the rural heritage of The United Methodist Church, to recognize the ongoing crisis occur - ring in rural areas of the nation and the world today, and to affirm the interdependence of rural and urban communities. The obser - vance of Rural Life Sunday shall be under the general supervision of the General Board of Global Ministries. Anyone who desires to recommend a Rural Life Sunday theme for a given year may do so one year before the observance for which the recommenda- tion is made. Recommendations are to be made to the General Board of Global Ministries, and the voting members of the board shall determine the annual theme of this Sunday. If the annual conference so directs, an offering may be received to strengthen the nurture, outreach, and witness of congregations in town and rural areas. 4. wareness Sunday —Disability Awareness Sun- Disability A day shall be observed annually on a date to be determined by the annual conference. Disability Awareness Sunday calls the Church to celebrate the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and calls the Church and society to full inclusion of persons with dis- abilities in the community. If the annual conference so directs, an offering may be received and the funds used by the annual conference to promote the creation of architectural and attitudi- nal accessibility in local churches. The observance of Disability Awareness Sunday shall be under the general supervision of the General Board of Global Ministries. 5. olunteers in Mission Awareness Sunday— Volunteers in V Mission (UMVIM) Awareness Sunday shall be observed annually on a date to be determined by the annual conference. UMVIM Awareness Sunday calls the Church to celebrate those who have served in short-term missions and the work of UMVIM through- out the world. If the annual conference so directs, an offering may be received and used by the annual conference volunteers in mission program. The observance of UMVIM Awareness Sunday shall be under the general supervision of General Board of Global Ministries Mission Volunteers. 214

230 LA ¶ 266 Y SERVANT MINISTRIES Annual conferences may determine other special Sundays with or without offering. Special Sundays with offering shall be approved by the annual conference upon recommendation of the conference council on ministries in consultation with the conference council on finance and administration. Special Sun- days without offering shall be approved by the conference upon recommendation of the conference council on ministries. Local church treasurers shall remit the receipts of all annual conference special Sundays with offering to the conference treasurer, and receipts will be acknowledged in accordance with procedures of the annual conference. Local churches shall report the amount of the offering in the manner indicated in the Local Church Report to the annual conference. Section XI. Lay Servant Ministries 266. Certified Lay Servant —1. A certified lay servant is a ¶ professing member of a local church or charge, or a baptized par - ticipant of a recognized United Methodist collegiate ministry or other United Methodist ministry setting, who desires to serve the Church and who knows and is committed to Scripture and the doctrine, heritage, organization, and life of The United Methodist Church and who has received specific training to witness to the Christian faith through spoken communication, to lead within a church and community, and to provide caring ministry. The certified lay servant serves the local chur ch or charge 2. (or beyond the local church or charge) in ways in which his or her witness, leadership, and service inspires others to a deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship. The certi- fied lay servant, through continued study and training, should prepare to undertake one or more of the following functions, giv- ing primary attention to service within the local church or charge, United Methodist collegiate ministry, or other United Methodist ministry setting: a) Pr ovide leadership, assistance, and support to the pro- gram emphases of the church or other United Methodist ministry. , training, study, and discus- Lead meetings for prayer b) sion when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on Lay Servant Ministries. c) Conduct, or assist in conducting, services of worship, each the Word, or give addresses when requested by the pastor, pr district superintendent, or committee on Lay Servant Ministries. 215

231 ¶ 266 THE LOCAL CHURCH W ork with appropriate committees and teams which d) - provide congregational and community leadership or foster car ing ministries. Assist in the distribution of the elements of Holy Com- e) munion upon request by a pastor. T each the Scriptures, doctrine, organization, and min- f) istries of The United Methodist Church. 3. One may be recognized as a certified lay servant by the district or conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries after he or she has: ecommendation from the pastor and the a) Obtained r church council or charge conference of the local church or other United Methodist ministry in which he or she holds membership. b) Completed the Lay Servant Ministries BASIC course. Completed a Lay Servant Ministries advanced course. c) d) Applied to and had qualifications r eviewed by the dis- trict committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure (See ¶ 668.3). 4. enewed Recognition as a certified lay servant may be r annually by the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, after the certified lay servant has: Submitted an annual r eport and renewal application a) to the charge conference or church council and to the district com- mittee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, giving evidence of satisfactory performance as a certified lay servant. b) Obtained r ecommendation for renewal from the pas- tor and the church council or charge conference of the local church or other United Methodist ministry in which he or she holds membership. c) Completed a Lay Servant Ministries advanced course ee years. in the last thr 5. certified lay servant may transfer certification to another A district or conference upon receipt of a letter from the previous district’s committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, confirming current certification and the completion date of the most recent advanced course taken. Further renewal is in accordance with ¶ 266.4. 6. It is r ecommended that a service of commitment be held for persons recognized as certified lay servants. ecom- Lay Servant Ministries courses shall be those r 7. mended by the General Board of Discipleship or alternative 216

232 LA ¶ 267 Y SERVANT MINISTRIES advanced courses approved by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries. Courses should be inclusive of language and cultural groups as relevant to the context. Lay Servant Ministries courses are open to all, whether or not a participant desires recog- nition as a certified lay servant. A certified lay servant is a volunteer but an honorarium for 8. pulpit supply is appropriate. 267. Certified Lay Speaker —1. A ¶ - certified lay speaker is a cer tified lay servant (or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference) whose call has been affirmed by the conference com- mittee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure to serve the church in pulpit supply in accordance and compliance with ¶ 341.1. 2. eaching the Word The certified lay speaker serves by pr when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or commit- tee on Lay Servant Ministries, in accordance and compliance with ¶ 341.1. 3. One may be certified as a lay speaker after he or she has: a) as a lay servant (or equivalent as defined Been certified by his or her central conference). ecommendation from the pastor and the b) Obtained r church council or charge conference of the local church in which he or she holds membership. c) Completed a track of study including courses on lead - ing worship, leading prayer, discovering spiritual gifts, preach- ing, United Methodist heritage and polity, and/or other courses as determined by the conference committee on Lay Servant Min- istries or equivalent structure. d) with and obtained recommendation from Interviewed the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, to be submitted to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, for approval and certification. 4. enewed Recognition as a certified lay speaker may be r annually by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, after the certified lay speaker has: a) Submitted an annual r eport and renewal application to the charge conference or church council and to the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, giving evidence of satisfactory performance as a certified lay speaker. 217

233 ¶ 267 CHURCH THE LOCAL Obtained r b) ecommendation for continued recognition as a certified lay speaker from the pastor and the church council or charge conference of the local church or other United Method- ist ministry in which he or she holds membership. Completed a Lay Servant Ministries advanced course c) ee years. in the last thr d) In the last thr ee years, interviewed with and obtained recommendation for renewal as a certified lay speaker from the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent struc- - ture, and the approval of the conference committee on Lay Ser vant Ministries, or equivalent structure for recertification. 5. A certified lay speaker may transfer certification to another district or conference upon receipt of a letter from the previous district’s committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, confirming current certification and the completion date of the most recent advanced course taken. Further renewal is ¶ 267.4. in accordance with 6. A certified lay speaker is a volunteer but an honorarium is appropriate. ¶ 268. Certified Lay Minister —1. A certified lay minister is a certified lay servant, certified lay missioner, or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference, who is called and equipped to conduct public worship, care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, develop new and existing faith com- munities, preach the Word, lead small groups, or establish com- munity outreach ministries as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergyperson. A certified lay min- ister is assigned by a district superintendent in accordance with ¶ 419.2. 2. certified lay minister serves to enhance the quality of The ministry much like a class leader did in early Methodism through service in the local church, circuit or cooperative parish, or by expanding team ministry in other churches and charges. As with lay ministry in early Methodism, the certified lay minister uses his or her spiritual gifts as evidence of God’s grace. 3. ecognized by the conference committee on One may be r lay servant ministries, or equivalent structure, as a certified lay minister after he or she has: a) been certified as a lay servant, lay missioner , or equiv- alent as defined by his or her central conference; ecommendation from the pastor obtained written r b) 218

234 LA ¶ 268 Y SERVANT MINISTRIES and the church council or charge conference of the local church in which he or she holds membership; completed a track of study for certified lay ministers c) elevant to the candidate’s assignment as defined by the General r Board of Discipleship, or the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry in collaboration with the General Board of Discipleship, and the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equiv- alent structure; r eceived a letter of recommendation from his or her d) district superintendent; equirements for certification, including appro- e) had all r priate screening and assessment as defined by the annual con- ference, reviewed by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, for referral to the district com- mittee on ordained ministry for examination of persons who have applied in writing to be certified lay ministers and to make recom- mendation for certification (see ¶ 666.10). After the district com- mittee on ordained ministry interviews the candidate, the district committee on ordained ministry will make a recommendation to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries for final cer - tification by that committee. 4. Recognition as a certified lay minister may be r enewed every two years by the conference committee on Lay Servant Min- istries, or equivalent structure, after the certified lay minister has: submitted an annual report to the charge conference a) - or church council where membership is held and to the confer ence committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent struc- ture, giving evidence of satisfactory performance as a certified lay minister; b) a ministry review by the committee on pas- obtained tor-parish relations, church council, or charge conference from the congregation of which he or she is a member, or when under assignment, from the committee on pastor-parish relations, charge conference, or supervisory board of the ministry setting in which he or she is assigned; c) ompleted a Lay Servant Ministries advanced course c or approved continuing education event, as defined by the confer - ence committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure in the last two years; d) ecommendation for recertification from the obtained r district superintendent; 219

235 ¶ 268 CHURCH THE LOCAL had all r e) equirements for recertification reviewed by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equiva- lent structure, for referral to the district committee on ordained ministry for examination of persons who have applied in writing to be renewed as certified lay ministers and to make recommen- ¶ 666.10). After the district commit- dations for recertification (see tee on ordained ministry interviews the certified lay minister, the district committee on ordained ministry will make a recommen- dation to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries for final recertification by that committee. A certified lay minister may transfer certification to another 5. district or conference upon receipt of a letter from the previous conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, confirming current certification and the completion date of the most recent advanced course taken. Further renewal is ¶ 268.4. in accordance with A certified lay minister is not eligible for support by equi- 6. table compensation funds or pension funds that are provided for clergy. If a certified lay minister is a lay staff member of a church, circuit or cooperative parish, the local congregation is encouraged to provide compensation and withhold taxes appropriate to a layperson. —Lay missioners are committed layper - Lay Missioner 269. ¶ sons, mostly volunteers, who are willing to be trained and to work together as a ministry team with their pastor-mentor, in order to develop and lead faith communities, establish community minis- tries, develop church school extension programs, and engage in congregational development with and into the local community. Lay missioners are formed according to, and follow the guide- lines established by, the National Committee of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry, working in conjunction with the annual conference. They are certified jointly by their annual con- ference and the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry. The ministry team is supported by and accountable to the local con- gregation, district or annual conference entity that assigns it to its mission. The concept of the lay missioner is based theologically on the ministry of the laity, in order to complement the work of 13 the pastor. 13. See Judicial Council Decision 693. 220

236 Y SERVANT MINISTRIES ¶ 269 LA A certified lay missioner shall be equivalent to a certified lay servant in the processes of certification as a lay minister ( ¶ 268.3-6); and the Module I-Module II formational sequence and Module IIIs for continuing education of the National Plan for His- panic/Latino Ministry shall be equivalent to the track of study for certified lay ministers relevant to the candidate’s assignment, and the advanced course or approved continuing education events described therein. 221

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238 Chapter Two THE MINISTRY OF THE ORDAINED Section I. The Meaning of Ordination and Conference Membership ¶ Ministry in the Christian chur ch is derived from the 301. 1. ministry of Christ, who calls all persons to receive God’s gift of salvation and follow in the way of love and service. All Christian ministry is grounded in the covenant of baptism by which we are initiated into the body of Christ and called into a life of disciple- ship. The sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion ground the ministry of the whole church. They are celebrated in the Christian community as means of grace. Thus, the whole church receives and accepts this call, and all Christians participate in this ¶¶ 120-140). continuing ministry (see 2. W ithin the church community, there are persons whose gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and promise of future usefulness are affirmed by the community, and who respond to God’s call by offering themselves in leadership as set-apart ministers, ordained and licensed ( 302). Individuals discern God’s call as they relate ¶ with God and their communities, and the Church guides and con- firms those callings. Calls—and the discernment and confirma- tion of them—are gifts of the Holy Spirit. ¶ Ordination and Apostolic Ministry— 302. The pattern for this response to the call is provided in the development of the early church. The apostles led in prayer, teaching and preaching, ordered the spiritual and temporal life of the community, established lead- ership for the ministry of service, and provided for the proclama- tion of the gospel to new persons and in new places. The early church, through the laying on of hands, set apart persons with responsibility to preach, to teach, to administer the sacraments, to nurture, to heal, to gather the community in worship, and to send them forth in witness. The church also set apart other persons to care for the physical needs of others, reflecting the concerns for the people of the world. In the New Testament (Acts 6), we see the apostles identifying and authorizing persons to a ministry of service. These functions, though set apart, were never separate from the ministry of the whole people of God. Paul states (Ephe- sians 4:1-12) that different gifts and ministries are given to all per - sons. The Wesleyan tradition has, from the beginning, encouraged 223

239 ¶ 302 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED a culture of call and a community of discernment, which affirms and supports the ministry of all Christians and identifies and authorizes persons into ministries of the ordained. 303. Purpose of Ordination— 1. Or dination to this ministry ¶ is a gift from God to the church. In ordination, the church affirms and continues the apostolic ministry through persons empowered by the Holy Spirit. As such, those who are ordained make a com- mitment to conscious living of the whole gospel and to the proc- lamation of that gospel to the end that the world may be saved. 2. Or dination is fulfilled in leadership of the people of God through ministries of Service, Word, Sacrament, Order, Compas- sion, and Justice. The Church’s ministry of service is a primary rep- resentation of God’s love. Those who respond to God’s call to lead in service, word, compassion, and justice and equip others for this ministry through teaching, proclamation, and worship and who assist elders in the administration of the sacraments are ordained as deacons. Those whose leadership in service includes preaching and teaching the Word of God, administration of the sacraments, ordering the Church for its mission and service, and administra- tion of the discipline of the Church are ordained as elders. dained persons exercise their ministry in covenant with Or 3. all Christians, especially with those whom they lead and serve in ministry. They also live in covenant of mutual care and account- ability with all those who share their ordination, especially in The United Methodist Church, with the ordained who are members of the same annual conference and part of the same Order. The cov- enant of ordained ministry is a lifetime commitment, and those who enter into it dedicate their whole lives to the personal and spiritual disciplines it requires. 4. fectiveness of the Church in mission depends on The ef these covenantal commitments to the ministry of all Christians and the ordained ministry of the Church. Through ordination and through other offices of pastoral leadership, the Church provides for the continuation of Christ’s ministry, which has been commit- ted to the church as a whole. Without creative use of the diverse gifts of the entire body of Christ, the ministry of the church is less effective. Without responsible leadership, the focus, direction, and continuity of that ministry is diminished. It is out of the faith and witness of the congregation that men and women respond to God’s call to ordained ministry. Every local church should inten- tionally nurture candidates for ordained ministry and provide 224

240 304 MEANING OF ORDINATION AND CONFERENCE MEMBERSHIP ¶ spiritual and financial support for their education as servant lead- ers for the ministry of the whole people of God. es- In keeping with ancient Christian teaching and our W 5. leyan tradition, we affirm that ordination for the same, or equiva- lent order, is not repeatable. ¶ for Ordination —1. 304. Those whom the Qualifications Church ordains shall be conscious of God’s call to ordained minis- try, and their call shall be acknowledged and authenticated by the Church. God’s call has many manifestations, and the Church can- not structure a single test of authenticity. Nevertheless, the expe- rience of the Church and the needs of its ministry require certain qualities of faith, life, and practice from those who seek ordination as deacons and elders. In order that The United Methodist Church may be assured that those persons who present themselves as can- didates for ordained ministry are truly called of God, the Church expects persons seeking ordination to: a) Have a personal faith in Christ and be committed to Christ as Savior and Lor d. Nurtur e and cultivate spiritual disciplines and pat- b) terns of holiness. each and model generous Christian giving with a T c ) focus on tithing as God’s standard of giving d) Acknowledge a call by God to give themselves com - pletely to ordained ministry following Jesus’ pattern of love and service. Communicate e) persuasively the Christian faith in both oral and written form. f) Make a commitment to lead the whole Chur ch in lov- ing service to humankind. g) dained ministry, Give evidence of God’s gifts for or evidence of God’s grace in their lives, and promise of future use- fulness in the mission of the Church. h) Be persons in whom the community can place tr ust and confidence. e contains all things necessary Accept that Scriptur i) for salvation through faith in God through Jesus Christ; be com- petent in the disciplines of Scripture, theology, church history, and Church polity; possess the skills essential to the practice of ordained ministry; and lead in making disciples for Jesus Christ. j) ch, accept Be accountable to The United Methodist Chur and authority, accept the its Doctrinal Standards and Discipline 225

241 ¶ 304 Y OF THE ORDAINED THE MINISTR supervision of those appointed to this ministry, and be prepared to live in the covenant of its ordained ministers. 2. For the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and fective witness to the Christian gospel, and in consid- the most ef eration of the influence of an ordained minister on the lives of other persons both within and outside the Church, the Church expects those who seek ordination to make a complete dedication of themselves to the highest ideals of the Christian life. To this end, they agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional matu- rity, integrity in all personal relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace and in the knowledge and love of God. While persons set apart by the Chur ch for ordained min- 3. istry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the high- est standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homo- sexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore 1 self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The 2 United Methodist Church. 4. United Methodist Church entrusts those persons who The are in the ordained ministry with primary responsibility for main- taining standards of education and preparation for ordination. Having been originally recommended by a charge conference or ¶ 310.1 e ) and by authorization of the ordained equivalent body ( members in full connection with the annual conference, according to the procedures set out in the Book of Discipline for the examination and approval of candidates for ordination, persons are elected to membership in the annual conference and ordained by the bishop. 5. In all votes regarding license, ordination, or conference membership, the requirements set forth herein are minimum requirements. Each person voting is expected to vote prayerfully based on personal judgment of the applicant’s gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and promise of future usefulness for the mission of the Church. 1. “Self-avowed practicing homosexual” is understood to mean that a person openly acknowledges to a bishop, district superintendent, district committee of ordained ministry, Board of Ordained Ministry, or clergy session that the person is a practicing homosexual. See Judicial Council Decisions 702, 708, 722, 725, 764, 844, 984, 1020. 2. See Judicial Council Decisions 984, 985, 1027, 1028 226

242 CLERGY ORDERS IN THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 306 ¶ Section II. Clergy Orders in The United Methodist Church ¶ Bap- Orders in Relation to the Ministry of All Christians— 305. tism is God’s gift of unmerited grace through the Holy Spirit. It is an incorporation into Christ which marks the entrance of each person into the church and its ministry (Romans 6:3, 4, 18). The New Testament witness to Jesus Christ makes clear that the primary form of his ministry in God’s name is that of service, in the world. Very early in its history, the church came diakonia, to understand that all of its members were commissioned in bap- tism to ministries of love, justice, and service within local congre- gations and the larger communities in which they lived; all who follow Jesus have a share in the ministry of Jesus, who came not to be served, but to serve. There is thus a general ministry of all baptized Christians (see ¶¶ 126-137). Within the people of God, some persons are called to the min- istry of deacon. The words deacon, deaconess, and diaconate all spring from a common Greek root— diakonos, or “servant,” and diakonia, or “service.” Very early in its history the church, as an act of worship and praise of God, instituted an order of ordained ministers to personify or focus the servanthood to which all Chris- tians are called. These people were named . This ministry deacons exemplifies and leads the Church in the servanthood every Chris- tian is called to live both in the church and the world. Those called to the ministry of deacon are called to witness to the Word in their words and actions, and to embody and lead the community’s ser - vice in the world for the sake of enacting God’s compassion and justice. Within the people of God, other persons are called to the min- istry of elder. The elders carry on the historic work of the presby- teros in the life of the Church. Beginning in some of the very early Christian communities, the presbyteros assisted the bishop in lead- ing the gathered community in the celebration of sacraments and the guidance and care of its communal life. Those called to the ministry of elder are called to bear authority and responsibility to preach and teach the Word, to administer the sacraments, and to order the life of the church so it can be faithful in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Order of Deacons and Order of Elders— 306. There shall be ¶ in each annual conference an Order of Deacons and an Order of Elders. All persons ordained as clergy in The United Methodist - Church upon election to full membership in the annual confer 227

243 ¶ Y OF THE ORDAINED 306 THE MINISTR ence shall be members of and participate in an order appropri- ate to their election. An order is a covenant community within the church to mutually support, care for, and hold accountable its members for the sake of the life and mission of the church. These orders, separately or together, seek to respond to the spiritual hunger among clergy for a fulfilling sense of vocation, for support among peers during this stressful time of change in the Church, and for a deepening relationship with God. 307. Purpose of an Order— The specific and limited function ¶ of each order is to: (1) provide for regular gatherings of ordained deacons and ordained elders for continuing formation in relation- ship to Jesus Christ through such experiences as Bible study, study of issues facing the church and society, and theological exploration in vocational identity and leadership; (2) assist in plans for individ- ual study and retreat experiences; (3) develop a bond of unity and common commitment to the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church and the annual conference; (4) enable the cre- ation of relationships that allow mutual support and trust; and (5) hold accountable all members of the order in the fulfilling of these purposes. All of the functions of the order(s) shall be fulfilled in cooperation and coordination with the Board of Ordained Min- istry and do not replace the normal supervisory processes, the pro- cesses of evaluation for ordained ministers, or the responsibilities of the Board of Ordained Ministry, the cabinet, or the clergy session. ¶ Or ganization of an Order— The bishop shall convene 308. and provide continuing spiritual leadership for the order, with the support and assistance of the Board of Ordained Ministry. Neces- sary financial support shall be provided by the annual conference through the budget of the board. The board may also use other appropriate funding sources for this purpose. The board shall nominate from within the order’s membership and the order shall elect quadrennially a chairperson of the order who, in cooperation with and under the guidance of the bishop, will provide continu- ing leadership for the order. The chairperson will be responsible for implementation of plans and activities of the order and will represent the order to the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. The chairperson will serve as a member of the board’s executive committee. Activities of the order and proposals for funding shall be regularly reported to the board. ¶ 309. 1. Membership in an Order— Persons shall become der of Deacons or Order of Elders following members of the Or 228

244 CANDIDACY FOR LICENSED AND ORDAINED MINISTRY ¶ 310 their election to full membership in the annual conference. Accep- tance of the status of full membership will constitute a commit- ment to regular participation in the life of the order. 2. Changing Orders— Upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry and vote of the clergy members in full connec- tion in an annual conference, elders may be received as deacons in full connection, and deacons in full connection may be received as elders, provided they are in good standing and have: informed the bishop and district superintendent of a) their intention, d of Ordained Ministry, b) applied in writing to the Boar to the Board of Ordained Ministry their call c) articulated to the ministry of the deacon or the elder, completed all academic and other r equirements for d) admission to the order for which they are applying, ¶ 324, ¶ 330, ¶ 335, and e than eight completed at least two years, and no mor e) years, under appointment while licensed for the ministry of the order to which they are transitioning. Such persons shall retain their credentials and full mem- 3. bership in the annual conference through the transition period from one order to the other. When ordained to the order to which they are transitioning, they shall surrender to the conference sec- retary the credentials of the order from which they are leaving. Section III. Candidacy for Licensed and Ordained Ministry Candidacy and Certification for Licensed and Ordained 310. ¶ The licensed or ordained ministry is recognized by The Ministry— United Methodist Church as a called-out and set-apart ministry. Therefore, it is appropriate that those persons who present them- selves as candidates for licensed or ordained ministry be exam- ined regarding the authenticity of their call by God to set-apart ministry. Persons, upon hearing and heeding the call to servant lead- ership through licensed or ordained ministry, shall contact a clergyperson in their local church, another clergy, or the district superintendent of the district in which they participate in a United Methodist ministry setting to inquire about the process of candi- dacy. Persons are encouraged to use resources recommended by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, such as The . Christian as Minister and the Ministry Inquiry Process 229

245 ¶ 310 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED 1. Those beginning candidacy for licensed or or dained ministry: a) shall be a professing member in good standing of The United Methodist Church or a baptized participant of a recog- nized United Methodist campus ministry or other United Meth- odist ministry setting for a minimum of one (1) year; shall write to the district superintendent r equesting b) admission to the candidacy process and the assignment of a can- didacy mentor. Include a statement of call. Request registration through the district superintendent with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; after r egistration by the district superintendent with c) the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, mentor and candidate will study the resources adopted by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry; write their statement of call. The candidate will shall d) consult with the pastor or equivalent in a ministry setting speci- fied by the district committee on ordained ministry to request a meeting of the pastor-parish relations committee or equivalent body specified by the district committee on ordained ministry to consider the statement of call and to be interviewed in light of Wesley’s historic questions; Do they know God as pardoning God? Have they (1) the love of God abiding in them? Do they desire nothing but God? Are they holy in all manner of conversation? (2) Have they gifts, as well as evidence of God’s grace, for the work? Have they a clear, sound understanding; a right judgment in the things of God; a just conception of salvation by faith? Do they speak justly, readily, clearly? (3) Have they fr uit? Have any been truly convinced of sin and converted to God, and are believers edified by their service? As long as these marks occur in them, we believe they are called of God to serve. These we receive as sufficient proof that they are moved by the Holy Spirit. oval of the candidate by the pastor-parish after appr e) relations committee or equivalent body specified by the district committee on ordained ministry, shall meet with a charge con- ference or body specified by the district committee on ordained ministry called to recommend the candidate to the district com- mittee on ordained ministry. Approval of the candidate must be 230

246 CANDIDACY FOR LICENSED AND ORDAINED MINISTRY 310 ¶ by two-thirds written ballot, and the candidate shall have been graduated from an accredited high school or received a certificate of equivalency. 2. Candidates seeking to become certified for licensed or dained ministry shall: or a) equest to meet with the district committee on ordained r ministry. In preparation for meeting with the district committee on ordained ministry, consult with the mentor to provide the fol- lowing written information, in addition to the material written for ¶ d : (i) the most formative experience of their Christian 310.1 life; (ii) God’s call to licensed or ordained ministry and role of the church in their call; (iii) their beliefs as a Christian; (iv) their gifts for ministry; (v) their present understanding of their call to min- istry as elder, deacon, or licensed ministry; and (vi) their support system; b) elease required psychological reports, complete and r criminal background and credit checks. They shall submit, on a form provided by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry: (1) a notarized statement detailing any convictions - for felony or misdemeanor or written accusations of sexual mis conduct or child abuse; or (2) a notarized statement certifying that this candi - date has neither been accused in writing nor convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, any incident of sexual misconduct, or child abuse. The district committee on ordained ministry through the Board of Ordained Ministry shall seek ways to consider cul- tural and ethnic/racial realities and language translations as candidates meet these requirements, including interviews, psy- chological assessments, criminal background, and credit checks. c) pr ovide other information as the district committee may require for determining gifts, evidence of God’s grace, fruit, and demonstration of the call to licensed or ordained ministry; ee for the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the d) agr world and the most effective witness of the gospel, and in consid- eration of their influence as clergy, to make a complete dedication of themselves to the highest ideals of the Christian life as set forth in ¶¶ 103-105; 160-166. To this end they shall agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace 231

247 ¶ Y OF THE ORDAINED 310 THE MINISTR 3 The local church is encour - and the knowledge and love of God. aged to assist candidates with the expenses of candidacy; e) be voted on by individual written ballot by the com - mittee members present. A three-fourths majority vote of the com- mittee members present is required for certification ( ¶ 666.6); and upon vote of certification, be encouraged by the dis - f) trict committee on ordained ministry to attend a United Method- ist seminary. In special circumstances, the district committee on ordained 3. ministry may authorize other United Methodist ministry settings to serve in the role of the local church for the purpose of recom- mending candidacy and specify the persons or bodies that will serve in the roles of pastor, pastor parish-relations committee, and charge conference. 3. In adopting the statements in ¶¶ 304.2 and 310.2d on the moral and social responsibility of ordained ministers, the General Conference seeks to elevate the standards by calling for a more thoroughgoing moral commitment by the candi- date and for a more careful and thorough examination of candidates by district committees and boards of the ministry. The legislation in no way implies that the use of tobacco is a morally indifferent question. In the light of the developing evi- dence against the use of tobacco, the burden of proof would be upon all users to show that their use of it is consistent with the highest ideals of the Christian life. Similarly, regarding beverage alcohol, the burden of proof would be upon users to show that their action is consistent with the ideals of excellence of mind, purity of body, and responsible social behavior. Therefore, the changes here do not relax the traditional view concerning the use of tobacco and beverage alcohol by ordained ministers in The United Method- ist Church. Rather they call for higher standards of self-discipline and habit for - mation in all personal and social relationships. They call for dimensions of moral commitment that go far beyond any specific practices which might be listed. (See Judicial Council Decision 318.) The General Conference, in response to expressions throughout the Church regarding homosexuality and ordination, reaffirms the present language of the Discipline regarding the character and commitment of persons seeking ordination and affirms its high standards. For more than 200 years candidates for ordination have been asked Wesley’s Questions, including “ . . . Have they a clear, sound understanding; a right judg- ment in the things of God; a just conception of salvation by faith? . . .” ( 310). All ¶ candidates agree to make a complete dedication of themselves to the highest ideals of the Christian life and to this end agree “to exercise responsible self-control, by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, integrity in all personal relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God” ( ¶ 304.2). The character and commitment of candidates for the ordained ministry is de- scribed or examined in six places in the Book of Discipline ( ¶¶ 304, 310.2, 324, 330, 333, and 335). These say in part: “Only those shall be elected to full membership who are of unquestionable moral character and genuine piety, sound in the funda- 333). mental doctrines of Christianity, and faithful in the discharge of their duties” ( ¶ 232

248 CANDIDACY FOR LICENSED AND ORDAINED MINISTRY 312 ¶ 31 1. Appointment of Certified Candidates —A certified candi- ¶ date is eligible for appointment as a local pastor upon completion ¶ 315). Those appointed as local of License for Pastoral Ministry ( ¶ 602.1) and pastors are clergy members of the annual conference ( are no longer listed as certified candidates. They do not continue with candidacy mentors but are assigned a clergy mentor ( 348.4). ¶ An orientation to ministry is Orientation to Ministry— ¶ 312. required for all candidates for licensed and ordained ministry. Attendance at the orientation and becoming a certified candidate may be sequential or concurrent. This common ministry prepa- ration experience is for the purpose of building collegiality and understanding among the varieties of set-apart ministry (dea- cons, elders, local pastors). The statement on ordination ( ¶ 304.2) states: “ The Church expects those who seek ordination to make a complete dedication of themselves to the highest ideals of the Christian life . . . [and to] agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits. . . .” There are eight crucial steps in the examination of candidates. They are: (1) The self-examination of the individual seeking ordination as he or she responds to God’s call in personal commitment to Christ and his church. (2) The decision of the committee on pastor-parish relations, which makes the first recommendation to the charge conference when a member seeks to become a candidate for ordained ministry. (3) The decision of the charge conference, which must recommend the can- didate. (4) The decision of the district committee on ordained ministry, which must recommend the candidate to the conference Board of Ordained Ministry and, where applicable, the decision of the district conference. (5) The decision of the Board of Ordained Ministry, which must recommend deacon’s ordination and provisional membership. See Judicial Council Decisions 513, 536, 542. (6) The decision of the clergy members of the annual conference, who must elect candidates to provisional membership. (7) The recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry for deacon’s or elder’s ordination and full membership. (8) The election to deacon’s or elder’s ordination and full membership by the clergy members of the annual conference. All clergy members of the annual conference are accountable as to character and effectiveness to the annual conference throughout their entire ministry. The General Conference has made it clear in the “Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task” (Part III of the Discipline ) that Scripture, tradition, experi- ence, and reason are our guidelines. “United Methodists share with other Chris- tians the conviction that Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine.” In the Social Principles, the General Conference has said that we “do not con- done the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.” Furthermore, the Principles state that “we affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal com- mitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. 233

249 ¶ 312 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED The orientation shall be held in each annual confer 1. ence and is the responsibility of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Collegiality in ministry and commonalities and distinc - 2. tions among the categories of ministry (deacon, elder, local pastor) will be emphasized to facilitate understanding and appreciation of the gifts contributed through team ministry, and the practice of set-apart ministry within the United Methodist connection will be articulated. 3. Guidelines will be made available fr om the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Division of Ordained Ministry. ¶ 313. Continuation of Candidacy— The progress of candidates shall be reviewed annually by the district committee on ordained ministry which shall interview the candidate annually and may then continue the candidacy when the following conditions have 4 been met satisfactorily: 1. The candidate has received the annual recommendation of his or her charge conference or equivalent body as specified by the district committee on ordained ministry (see 310.3). ¶ 2. The candidate is making satisfactory pr ogress in his or her studies. A candidate preparing for ordained ministry who is enrolled as a student in a school, college, university, or school of theology recognized by the University Senate shall present annu- ally to the district committee on ordained ministry an official transcript from the school the person is attending and provide a report as to whether his or her local church is supporting him or her spiritually and financially (see ¶ 247.8). The transcript shall be considered by the district committee on ordained ministry as part of the evidence of his or her prog- ress. The report of local church financial support may be used by the district superintendent to express gratitude for this support or We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage.” Also, “we affirm the integrity of single persons, and we reject all social practices that discriminate or social attitudes that are prejudicial against persons because they are single.” The General Conference affirms the wisdom of our heritage expressed in the disciplinary provisions relating to the character and commitment of ordained min- isters. The United Methodist Church has moved away from prohibitions of spe- cific acts, for such prohibitions can be endless. We affirm our trust in the covenant community and the process by which we ordain ministers. In our covenant we are called to trust one another as we recommend, exam- ine, and elect candidates for the ordained ministry and conference membership. See Judicial Council Decision 480. 4. See Judicial Council Decision 1263. 234

250 LICENSE FOR P 315 ASTORAL MINISTRY ¶ encourage a local congregation to improve its basic care for those it recommends. uits and God’s 3. The candidate continues to evidence gifts, fr grace for the work of ministry. person who is a certified candidate or who is in the can- A 4. didacy process may have her or his status or studies accepted by another district committee in the same or another annual conference. A certified candidate may be continued as a candidate for 5. 324.1). ¶ no more than twelve years following certification ( Discontinuance and Reinstatement of Certified Candi- ¶ 314. Certified candi- 1. dates— Discontinuance of a Certified Candidate— dates may be discontinued on their own request, upon severing their relationship with The United Methodist Church, or upon action to discontinue by the district committee on ordained min- istry. The district committee on ordained ministry shall file with the conference Board of Ordained Ministry a permanent record of the circumstances relating to the discontinuance of the certified candidate. Reinstatement of Certified Candidate’ s Status— Certified can- 2. didates whose status has been discontinued by a district commit- tee on ordained ministry of an annual conference of The United Methodist Church shall only be reinstated by the district com- mittee of the district in which they were discontinued. When approved by the district committee on ordained ministry, their certified candidate’s credentials shall be reissued and they shall be eligible to continue the process. Section IV. License for Pastoral Ministry License for Pastoral Ministry— All persons not ordained 315. ¶ as elders who are appointed to preach and conduct divine wor - ship and perform the duties of a pastor shall have a license for pastoral ministry. The Board of Ordained Ministry ( ¶ 635.2 h ) may recommend to the clergy session of the annual conference the licensing of those persons who are: Provisional elders commissioned by the annual confer - 1. ence, or 2. Local pastors who have completed the following: conditions for candidacy certification in ¶¶ 310.1-2; a) The b) The Orientation to Ministry; 235

251 ¶ 315 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED The studies for the license as a local pastor as pre- c) scribed and supervised by the Division of Ordained Ministry or one-third of their work for a Master of Divinity degree at a school of theology listed by the University Senate; d) Been examined and r ecommended by a three-fourths majority vote of the district committee on ordained ministry 666.9); or ( ¶ 3. Associate members of the annual confer ence Deacons in full connection, seeking to qualify for or 4. dina- tion as an elder; or 5. dained clergy from other denominations Licensed or or who have training equivalent to the studies for license as a local pastor prescribed by the Division of Ordained Ministry, but do not meet the educational requirements for provisional member - ship in the annual conference. 6. In every case, those who ar e licensed shall have: a) Released the r equired psychological reports, criminal background and credit checks, and reports of sexual misconduct and/or child abuse. They shall submit, on a form provided by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry: (1) a notarized statement detailing any convictions - for felony or misdemeanor or written accusations of sexual mis conduct or child abuse; or (2) a notarized statement certifying that the can - didate has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or accused in writing of sexual misconduct or child abuse. b) Been appr oved by a three-fourths majority vote of the Board of Ordained Ministry ( ¶ 635.2 h ); ovided the board with a satisfactory certificate of Pr c) good health on a prescribed form from a physician approved by that board. oval by a three-fourths majority vote of d) Received appr the clergy session. ¶ 316. Responsibilities and Duties of Those Licensed for Pastoral —1. Provisional elders approved annually by the Board Ministry of Ordained Ministry and local pastors approved annually by the district committee on ordained ministry may be licensed by the bishop to perform all the duties of a pastor ( ¶ 340), including the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion as well as the 5 service of marriage (where state laws allow), burial, confirmation, 5. See Judicial Council Decision 694. 236

252 LICENSE FOR P ¶ 316 ASTORAL MINISTRY - and membership reception, within and while appointed to a par ticular charge or extension ministry. For the purposes of these paragraphs the charge or extension ministry will be defined as “people within or related to the community or ministry set- ting being served.” Those licensed for pastoral ministry may be appointed to extension ministry settings when approved by the bishop and the Board of Ordained Ministry. Such authorization granted by the license may be r enewed 2. annually by the district committee or the Board of Ordained Ministry. emain valid only so long as the appoint- The license shall r 3. ment continues and shall be recertified by the bishop when assign- 6 ments change between sessions of the annual conference. A local pastor shall be under the supervision of a district 4. superintendent and shall be assigned a clergy mentor while in the Course of Study or in seminary ( ¶ 348). Local pastors shall be amenable to the cler gy session of the 5. annual conference in the performance of their pastoral duties and shall attend the sessions of the annual conference. The membership of local pastors under full-time and part- 6. time appointment is in the annual confer ence where they shall have the right to vote on all matters except constitutional amend- ments, election of delegates to General, jurisdictional, or central conferences, and matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy. Local pastors who have completed Course of Study or a Master of Divinity degree and have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appointment before the election may vote to elect clergy delegates to General and jurisdictional or 7 central conferences . 7. All local pastors shall receive written communication about decisions made regarding their relationship with the annual conference 8. Local pastors who have completed the Course of Study etirement annually request from the District Commit- may upon r tee of Ordained Ministry and the bishop a license to continue to serve in the local church where they hold membership for the pur - pose of providing sacramental rites of baptism and Holy Commu- nion, at the request of the appointed pastor. 6. See Judicial Council Decision 112. ¶ 35. 7. See Judicial Council Decision 1181 and 237

253 ¶ THE MINISTR 317 Y OF THE ORDAINED —Between sessions of the 317. ¶ Interim License as Local Pastor annual conference, persons who have completed the conditions for licensing listed above may be granted interim license as a local pastor upon recommendation of the cabinet, the district commit- - tee on ordained ministry, and executive committee of the confer ence Board of Ordained Ministry, and may be appointed by the bishop. 318. Upon satisfactory comple- Categories of Local Pastor— ¶ 315, the district committee on tion of the requirements of ¶ ordained ministry shall certify the completion of the prescribed studies to the candidates and the Board of Ordained Ministry, and they shall be listed in the journal as eligible to be appointed as local pastors. Award of the license shall not be made until an appoint- 337. In ment to a pastoral charge is made in accordance with ¶ recommending to the annual conference those who have met the requirements to serve as local pastors for the ensuing year, the Board of Ordained Ministry shall classify them in three categories with educational and other requirements of their category. Any person who fails to meet these requirements shall be discontinued as a local pastor. The categories shall be defined as follows: ime Local Pastors— 1. Those eligible to be appointed Full-T full-time local pastors are persons (a) who may devote their entire time to the church in the charge to which they are appointed and its outreach in ministry and mission to the community; who receive in cash support per annum from all Church (b) sources a sum equal to or larger than the minimum base com- pensation established by the annual conference for full-time local pastors; who, unless they have completed the Course of Study (c) or other approved theological education, shall (i) complete four courses per year in a Course of Study school, or (ii) shall have made progress in the correspondence curriculum prescribed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry ( ¶ 1421.3 d ), or (iii) be enrolled as a pre-theological or theological student in a college, university, or school of theology approved by the Uni- versity Senate; (d) who, when they have completed the Course of Study or a Master of Divinity degree from a seminary listed by the University Senate, are involved in continuing education (e) who shall not be enrolled as a full-time student in any ( ¶ 350); school. 2. Part-T ime Local Pastors— Those eligible to be appointed as who have met the provi- part-time local pastors are persons (a) 238

254 LICENSE FOR P ¶ 318 ASTORAL MINISTRY ¶ 315; who do not devote their entire time to the charge sions of (b) do not receive in cash sup- (c) to which they are appointed; or port per annum from all Church sources a sum equal to or larger than the minimum base compensation established by the annual conference for full-time local pastors; and (d) who, unless they have completed the Course of Study or other approved theologi- cal education, shall (i) complete two courses per year in a Course of Study school, or (ii) have made progress in the correspondence curriculum prescribed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, or (iii) be enrolled as a pre-theological or theological student in a college, university, or school of theology approved by the University Senate. Part-time local pastors may be appointed to small member - ship churches that are grouped together in a charge under the supervision of a mentor. Students Appointed as Local Pastors— Students enrolled as 3. pre-theological or theological students in a college, university, or school of theology listed by the University Senate (a) who have met the provisions of (b) who shall make appropriate 315, and ¶ progress in their educational program as determined by the Board of Ordained Ministry may be appointed as part-time or full-time local pastors in a conference other than the conference in which c ) Students who are appointed they are certified candidates. ( as local pastors continue to relate to the district committee on ordained ministry in the conference in which they are certified candidates and shall be responsible to them for the continuation of their certified candidacy. 4. ecommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Upon r the clergy members in full connection may vote approval annu- ally for students of other denominations enrolled in a school of theology listed by the University Senate to serve as local pastors for the ensuing year under the direction of the district superin- tendent, provided that they shall indicate to the satisfaction of the Board of Ordained Ministry their agreement to support and maintain the doctrine and polity of The United Methodist Church while under appointment. 5. Local pastors may serve on any boar d, commission, or committee with voice and vote, except on matters of clergy char - acter, qualifications, status, and ordination. However, local pas- tors who have completed the Course of Study may serve on the district committee on ordained ministry with voice and vote. 239

255 ¶ 318 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Local pastors who have completed the Course of Study may serve on the Board of Ordained Ministry with voice and vote. 319. Continuance as a Local Pastor— 1. Persons licensed as ¶ local pastors who are not provisional members shall continue in college, in a program of theological education at an approved seminary, or in the Course of Study. Upon completing each year’s education and other quali- 2. fications, a local pastor who is not a provisional member may be recommended for continuance by the district committee on ordained ministry. The clergy members in full connection of the annual conference may approve continuance of a local pastor after reference to and recommendation by its Board of Ordained 8 Ministry. A 3. full-time local pastor shall complete the Course of Study curriculum within eight years and a part-time local pastor within twelve, unless a family situation or other circumstance precludes the local pastor’s opportunity to meet said requirements. The local pastor may be granted an annual extension beyond the pre- scribed limit upon a three-fourths vote of the district committee on ordained ministry, recommendation by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and the vote of the clergy members in full 9 connection. local pastor may choose to remain in a local relationship 4. A with the annual conference upon having completed the Course of Study. None of the pr 5. ovisions in this legislation shall be inter - preted to change or limit authorizations to local pastors ordained 10 as deacon and elder prior to 1996. ¶ 320. Exiting, Reinstatement, and Retir ement of Local Pastors Who Are Not Provisional Members— Discontinuance of Local Pas- 1. tor— Whenever a local pastor retires or is no longer approved for appointment by the annual conference as required in ¶ 318, whenever any local pastor severs relationship with The United Methodist Church, whenever the appointment of a local pastor is discontinued by the bishop, or whenever the district commit- tee on ordained ministry does not recommend continuation of license, license and credentials shall be surrendered to the district superintendent for deposit with the secretary of the conference. 8. See Judicial Council Decision 1076. 9. See Judicial Council Decisions 436, 439. 10. See Judicial Council Decisions 436, 439. 240

256 LICENSE FOR P ¶ 320 ASTORAL MINISTRY After consultation with the pastor, the former local pastor shall designate the local church in which membership shall be held. The Board of Ordained Ministry shall file with the resident bishop a permanent record of the circumstances relating to the discon- 635.3 d . tinuance of local pastor status as required in ¶ 2. ithdrawal Under Complaints and Charges— When a local W ¶ 2702 and desires to with- pastor is accused of an offense under ¶ 2719.2 shall draw from the Church, the procedures described in apply. 3. T rial of Local Pastor— When a local pastor is accused of an ¶ 2702, the procedures described in ¶¶ 2703-2713 offense under 11 shall apply. 4. Local pastors whose Reinstatement of Local Pastor Status— approved status has been discontinued from an annual conference of The United Methodist Church or one of its legal predecessors may be reinstated only by the annual conference that previously approved them, its legal successor, or the annual conference of which the major portion of their former conference is a part, only upon recommendation by the district committee on ordained ministry from which their license was discontinued, the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the cabinet. Persons seeking reinstate- ment shall provide evidence that they have been members of a local United Methodist church for at least one year prior to their request for reinstatement. The district committee shall require a recommendation from the charge conference where his or her membership is currently held. When approved by the clergy members in full connection as provided in ¶ 337, their license and credentials shall be restored, and they shall be eligible for appoint- ment as pastors of a charge. They shall complete current studies and meet requirements as provided in ¶¶ 315, 318. Whenever persons whose approval as local pastors has been discontinued by an annual conference are being considered for appointment or temporary employment in another annual con- ference, the Board of Ordained Ministry where these persons are being considered shall obtain from the Board of Ordained Min- istry of the conference where approval has been discontinued verification of their qualifications and information about the cir - cumstances relating to the termination of their approval as local pastors. 11. See Judicial Council Decision 982. 241

257 ¶ 320 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Retir ement of Local Pastor— A local pastor who has made 5. satisfactory progress in the Course of Study as specified in 318.1 or .2 may be recognized as a retired local pastor. Retire- ¶ ment provisions for local pastors shall be the same as those for clergy members in ¶ 358.1, .2, .4, with pensions payable in accor - ¶ 1506.5 a . Retired local pastors may attend annual dance with conference sessions with voice but not vote. A retired local pastor may be appointed by the bishop to a charge and licensed upon recommendation by the district committee on ordained ministry without creating additional claim upon the conference minimum compensation nor further pension credit. Section V. Associate Membership 321. Eligibility and Rights of Associate Members— Associate ¶ members of an annual conference are in the itinerant ministry of the Church and are available on a continuing basis for appoint- ment by the bishop. They offer themselves without reserve to be appointed (and to serve as their superiors in office shall direct). They shall be amenable to the annual conference in the perfor - mance of their ministry and shall be granted the same security of appointment as provisional members and members in full 12 connection. 1. Associate members shall have a right to vote in the annual confer ence on all matters except the following: (a) constitutional (b) amendments; - all matters of ordination, character, and confer ence relations of clergy. Associate members may serve on any boar d, commission, 2. or committee of an annual conference. They shall not be eligible for election as delegates to the General or jurisdictional or central conferences. Associate members shall be subject to the pr ovisions gov- 3. erning sabbatical leave, leave of absence, location, retirement, minimum salary, and pension. ¶ 322. Requir ements for Election as Associate Members— 1. Local pastors may be elected to associate membership by a three-fourths majority vote of the clergy session, when they have met the fol- lowing conditions. They shall have: (1) been recommended to the clergy session based on a three-fourths majority vote of the confer - ence Board of Ordained Ministry; (2) reached age forty; (3) served 12. See Judicial Council Decision 1226. 242

258 ASSOCIA ¶ 322 TE MEMBERSHIP four years as full-time local pastors; (4) completed the Course of Study in addition to the studies for license as a local pastor, up to one half of which may be taken by correspondence or online/ distance learning courses, or received a Master of Divinity degree that includes the basic graduate theological studies from a school of theology listed by the University Senate; (5) completed a mini- mum of sixty semester hours toward the Bachelor of Arts or an equivalent degree in a college or university recognized by the Uni- versity Senate; (6) been recommended by a three-fourths majority vote by the district committee on ordained ministry and the Board of Ordained Ministry; (7) declared their willingness to accept con- tinuing full-time appointment; (8) satisfied the board regarding - their physical, mental, and emotional health (the annual confer ence shall require psychological reports, criminal background and credit checks, and reports of sexual misconduct and/or child abuse to provide additional information on the candidate’s fitness for the ministry); (9) for the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness to the Christian gospel, and in consideration of his/her influence as a clergy member of the annual conference, be willing to make a complete dedication of himself/herself to the highest ideals of the Christian life; and to this end agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibil- ity, and growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God; and (10) prepared at least one written sermon on a biblical passage specified by the Board of Ordained Ministry and given satisfac- tory answers in a written doctrinal examination administered by the Board of Ordained Ministry. (Consideration shall be given to ¶ the questions listed in 324.9.) 2. Upon r ecommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, an annual conference may equate part-time service to the require- ment of full-time service. Such equivalence is to be determined in light of the years of service involved, the quality of that service, 13 the maturity of the applicant, and other relevant factors. 3. Associate members may r etire under the provisions of ¶ 357 of the Discipline . They shall retain their license for pastoral ministry for service in the local church and maintain their rela- tionship as retired clergy members of the annual conference. 13. See Judicial Council Decisions 343, 572, 1181. 243

259 ¶ 322 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Associate members may be r 4. eceived as provisional mem- bers in the annual conference under conditions as set forth in 324.6 upon receiving a three-fourths majority vote of the clergy ¶ members of the conference in full connection, present and voting. ¶ Each 323. Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members— annual conference shall organize a Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members. All licensed local pastors and associate members shall be members of and participate in the Fellowship. The Fellowship will provide mutual support for its members for the sake of the life and mission of the church. 1. The specific and limited function is to: ovide for regular gatherings of local pastors and a) pr associate members for continuing formation in relationship to Jesus Christ through such experiences as Bible study, study of issues facing the church and society, and theological exploration in vocational identity and leadership; b) encourage local pastors and associate members in con - tinued study beyond the Course of Study and Advanced Course of Study; develop a bond of unity and common commitment to c) the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Chur ch and the annual conference; and enable the cr eation of relationships that allow mutual d) support and trust. 2. The bishop shall convene the fellowship and the Boar d of Ordained Ministry shall coordinate its life and work. Neces- sary financial support shall be provided by the annual conference through the budget of the board. The board shall nominate from within the Fellowship membership and the Fellowship shall elect quadrennially a chairperson of the Fellowship during a gathered meeting of the annual session of the Fellowship conference who, in cooperation with and under the guidance of the bishop, will provide continuing leadership for the Fellowship. The elected Fel- lowship chairperson, full-time or part-time, shall be a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry and its executive committee as specified in ¶ 635.1 a . Activity of the Fellowship will be reported regularly to the Board of Ordained Ministry. Section VI. Provisional Membership 324. ovisional Membership— A ¶ Qualifications for Election to Pr person shall be eligible for election to provisional membership 244

260 PROVISIONAL ¶ 324 MEMBERSHIP in the annual conference by a three-fourths majority vote of the clergy session on recommendation of its Board of Ordained Min- 14 istry after meeting the following qualifications. Candidacy Each candidate shall have been a 1. Requirement: certified candidate for at least one year. Those appointed as local pastors are clergy members of the annual conference and are no ¶ 311). longer certified candidates ( 2. Service Requir ement: Each candidate shall have demon- strated his or her gifts for ministries of service and leadership to the satisfaction of the district committee on ordained ministry as a condition for provisional membership. 3. Under graduate Requirement: A candidate for provisional membership shall have completed a bachelor’s degree from a col- lege or university recognized by the University Senate. Exceptions to the undergraduate degree requirements may be made in consul- tation with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in some instances, for missional purposes, for persons who have a minimum of sixty semester hours of Bachelor of Arts credit and: a ) have been prevented from pursuit of the normal course of baccalaureate education, b ) ar e members of a group whose cultural practices and train- ing enhance insight and skills for effective ministry not available through conventional formal education, or ) c ’s degree or its equivalent have graduated with a bachelor from a college not recognized by the University Senate and have completed one half of the studies of the Master of Divinity or equivalent first professional degree in a school of theology listed by the University Senate. 4. Graduate Requir ement: a Candidates ) for deacon or elder shall have completed a minimum of one-half of the 27 semester hours of basic graduate theological studies in the Christian faith. These courses may be included within or in addition to a seminary degree. These basic graduate theological studies must include courses in Old Testa- ment; New Testament; theology; church history; mission of the church in the world; evangelism; worship/liturgy; and United Methodist doctrine, polity and history. a candidate b) for ordination as an elder shall have com- pleted one half of the studies toward a Master of Divinity degree 14. See Judicial Council Decision 318. 245

261 ¶ 324 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED or its equivalent, including one half of the basic graduate theo- logical studies from a seminary listed by the University Senate. a candidate for or dination as a deacon shall have: c) completed one half of the studies of a master ’s (1) degree from a United Methodist seminary or one listed by the University Senate, or r eceived a master’s degree in the area of the spe- (2) cialized ministry in which the candidate will serve (3) completed one half of the basic graduate theolog - ical studies, in a context which will provide formation as a United Methodist deacon in full connection within a cohesive program developed by the seminary and approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, documented by a record of completion from that school. 5. dina- In some instances a candidate who is pursuing or tion to serve as deacon in full connection may fulfill the academic requirements through the following professional certification alternate route: a) eached thirty-five years of age at the time shall have r to become a certified candidate; ’s degree, received professional b) completed a bachelor certification or license in the area of ministry in which the can- didate will serve, have completed a minimum of eight semester hours of graduate credit or equivalent quarter hours in the area of specialization, and have been recommended by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry; c) have completed a minimum of one half of the twenty- seven semester hours of the basic graduate theological studies of the Christian faith including the areas of: Old Testament; New Testament; theology; church history; mission of the church in the world; evangelism; worship/liturgy; and United Methodist doctrine, polity, and history, in a context which will provide a cohesive program and formation as a United Methodist deacon in full connection within a cohesive program developed by the seminary and approved by the General Board of Higher Educa- tion and Ministry, documented by a record of completion from that school. 6. Local pastors may fulfill the r equirements for provisional membership as elders when they have: four years of full-time service or the completed a) equivalent; 246

262 PROVISIONAL ¶ 324 MEMBERSHIP satisfied b) all requirements of Sections 1-3 and 7-14 of this paragraph; c) the Course of Study. Course of Study completed requirements may be fulfilled as determined by the General Board ¶ 1421.3 d ) by: of Higher Education and Ministry ( 1. , of which no more Completion of Course of Study than one-half may be taken by correspondence or Internet; up to one-half of Course of Study may be online courses; and 2. Completion of an equivalent program of study embedded in an undergraduate degree at a UM-related college or university. d) completed an Advanced Course of Study consisting of thirty-two semester hours of graduate theological study offered by a seminary recognized by the University Senate or its equiva- lent as determined by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The Advanced Course of Study shall include the basic 15 324.4 a ). graduate theological studies ( ¶ 7. d of Ordained Ministry shall require an official The Boar transcript of credits from each school before recognizing any of the applicant’s educational claims. In case of doubt, the board may submit a transcript to the General Board of Higher Educa- tion and Ministry. 8. Each candidate shall pr esent a satisfactory certificate of good health by a physician on the prescribed form. Disabilities are not to be construed as unfavorable health factors when a person with disability is capable of meeting the professional standards and is able to render effective service as a provisional member. 9. espond to a written and oral doctrinal Each candidate shall r examination administered by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. The examination shall cover the following: a) Describe your personal experience of God and the understanding of God you derive fr om biblical, theological, and historical sources. What is your understanding of evil as it exists in the b) world? , and the What is your understanding of humanity c) human need for divine grace? d) et the statement Jesus Christ is How do you interpr Lord? 15. See Judicial Council Decisions 823, 1077. 247

263 ¶ 324 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED What is your conception of the activity of the Holy e) Spirit in personal faith, in the community of believers, and in esponsible living in the world? r What is your understanding of the kingdom of God; f) the Resurr ection; eternal life? How do you intend to affirm, teach, and apply Part III g) Discipline (Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task) of the in your work in the ministry to which you have been called? h) The United Methodist Church holds that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason. What is your understanding of this theological position of the Church? i) Describe the natur e and mission of the Church. What are its primary tasks today? j) Discuss your understanding of the primary character - istics of United Methodist polity . k) Explain your understanding of the distinctive voca - tions of the Order of Elders and the Order of Deacons. How do you perceive yourself, your gifts, your motives, your role, and your commitment as a provisional deacon or provisional elder in The United Methodist Church? Describe your understanding of diakonia, the servant l) ministry of the church, and the servant ministry of the provisional member. m) What is the meaning of ordination in the context of the general ministry of the Church? n) Describe your understanding of an inclusive church and ministry. ou have agreed as a candidate for the sake of the mis- o) Y sion of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness of the gospel, and in consideration of their influence as ministers, to make a complete dedication of yourself to the highest ideals of the Christian life, and to this end agree to exercise responsible self- control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, integrity in all personal relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God. What is your understanding of this agreement? p) ole and significance of the sacraments in Explain the r the ministry to which you have been called. 248

264 PROVISIONAL ¶ 325 MEMBERSHIP ecommended in writ- 10. Each candidate shall have been r ing to the conference Board of Ordained Ministry, based on a three-fourths majority vote of the district committee on ordained ministry. Each candidate shall have a personal interview with the 11. ence Board of Ordained Ministry to complete his or her confer candidacy. 12. Each candidate shall submit on a form pr ovided by the Board of Ordained Ministry a notarized statement detailing any convictions for felony, or misdemeanor, or written accusations and its disposition of sexual misconduct or child abuse; or certifying that this candidate has not been convicted of a felony or misde- meanor or accused in writing of sexual misconduct or child abuse. The candidate also shall release required psychological reports, criminal background, credit checks and reports of child abuse. 13. Each candidate shall file with the boar d a written, concise, autobiographical statement (in duplicate on a prescribed form) regarding age, health, family status, Christian experience, call to ministry, educational record, formative Christian experiences, and plans for service in the Church. ecommended in writ- Each candidate shall have been r 14. ing to the clergy session based on at least a three-fourths majority vote of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. ¶ 325. Commissioning— Commissioning is the act of the church that publicly acknowledges God’s call and the response, talents, gifts, and training of the candidate. The church invokes the Holy Spirit as the candidate is commissioned to be a faithful servant leader among the people, to lead the church in service, to proclaim the Word of God and to equip others for ministry. Through commissioning, the church sends persons in lead- ership and service in the name of Jesus Christ and marks their entrance into a time of provisional membership as they prepare for ordination. Commissioned ministers are provisional clergy members of the annual conference and are accountable to the bishop and the clergy session for the conduct of their ministry. During the residency program the clergy session discerns their fitness for ordination and their effectiveness in ministry. After fulfilling all candidacy requirements and upon recommen- dation of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the clergy session shall vote on the provisional membership and com- missioning of the candidates. The bishop and secretary of the 249

265 ¶ 325 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED conference shall provide credentials as a provisional member and a commissioned minister in the annual conference. The period of commissioned ministry is concluded when the provisional members are received as full members of the annual conference and ordained as either deacon or elder, or a decision is made not to proceed toward ordination and provisional member - ship is ended. 326. Service of Pr ovisional Members— All persons who are ¶ provisional members shall be appointed by a bishop ( 425) ¶ and serve as a provisional member of the annual conference for a minimum of two years following the completion of education requirements for full connection. During the provisional period, arrangements shall be offered by the Board of Ordained Ministry for all provisional members to be involved in a residency curricu- lum that extends theological education by using covenant groups and mentoring to support the practice and work of their ministry as servant leaders, to contemplate the grounding of ordained min- istry, and to understand covenant ministry in the life of the confer - ence. Provisional members may be appointed to attend school, to extension ministry, or in appointments beyond the local church. Wherever they are appointed, the service of provisional members shall be evaluated by the district superintendent and the Board of Ordained Ministry in terms of the provisional member’s ability to express and give leadership in servant ministry. 1. Pr ovisional members planning to give their lives as dea- cons in full connection shall be in ministries of Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice in the local church or in an approved appointment beyond the local church. A provisional member pre- paring for ordination as a deacon shall be licensed for the practice of ministry during provisional membership to perform the duties of the ministry of the deacon as stated in ¶ 328 and be granted support as stated in 331.10. Such authorization granted by the ¶ license may be renewed annually by the clergy session upon rec- ommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry. 2. ovisional members planning to give their lives as elders Pr in full connection shall be in ministries of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service in the local church or in an approved extension min- istry. A provisional member preparing for ordination as an elder shall be licensed for pastoral ministry ( ¶ 315). Such authorization granted by the license may be renewed annually by the clergy session upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry. 250

266 PROVISIONAL ¶ 327 MEMBERSHIP Pr ovisional members who are serving in extension min- 3. istries, enrolled in graduate degree programs, or appointments beyond the local church shall be accountable to the district super - intendent and the Board of Ordained Ministry for the conduct of ministry, and for demonstrating their effectiveness in the ministry of the order to which they seek to be ordained. In all cases, they will also demonstrate their effectiveness in servant leadership in the local church to the satisfaction of the Board of Ordained Ministry. 4. Pr ovisional members seeking to change their ordination track shall: W rite to the Board of Ordained Ministry and inform a ) the district superintendent and bishop of their intention. d of Ordained Ministry to Interview with the Boar ) b articulate and clarify their call. Fulfill academic and service r equirements. c ) Upon the recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry and by vote of the clergy session the person may be received into full connection with the annual conference and be ordained into the order to which they are transitioning. 327. Eligibility and Rights of Pr ovisional Membership— Provi- ¶ sional members are on trial in preparation for membership in full connection in the annual conference as deacons or elders. They are on probation as to character, servant leadership, and effectiveness in ministry. The annual conference, through the clergy session, has jurisdiction over provisional members. Annually, the Board of Ordained Ministry shall review and evaluate their relationship and make recommendation to the clergy members in full connec- tion regarding their continuance. No member shall be continued on provisional membership beyond the eighth regular session fol- lowing their admission to provisional membership. 1. Pr ovisional members who are preparing for deacon’s or elder’s orders may be ordained deacons or elders when they qual- ify for membership in full connection in the annual conference. 2. Pr ovisional members shall have the right to vote in the annual conference on all matters except the following: a) constitutional amendments; b) all matters of or dination, character, and conference rela- tions of clergy. Provisional clergy members who have completed all of their educational requirements may vote to elect clergy del- 16 egates to General and jurisdictional or central conferences. ¶ 35. 16. See Judicial Council Decision 1181 and 251

267 ¶ 327 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED ovisional members may serve on any board, commis- Pr 3. sion, or committee of the annual conference except the Board of Ordained Ministry ( ¶ 635.1). They shall not be eligible for election as delegates to the General, central, or jurisdictional conferences. Pr ovisional members shall be amenable to the annual 4. conference in the performance of their ministry and are subject Book of Discipline in the performance of to the provisions of the their duties. They shall be supervised by the district superinten- dent under whom they are appointed. They shall also be assigned a deacon or elder as mentor by the Board of Ordained Ministry. Provisional members preparing to become elders shall be eligible ¶ for appointment by meeting disciplinary provisions ( 315). 5. ovisional members in appointments beyond the local Pr church shall relate themselves to the district superintendent in the area where their work is done. The district superintendent shall give them supervision and report annually to their Board of Ordained Ministry. 6. Discontinuance fr om Provisional Membership— Provisional members may request discontinuance of this relationship or may be discontinued by the clergy session upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry. When provisional members in good standing withdraw to unite with another denomination or to terminate their membership in The United Methodist Church, their action shall be considered a request for discontinuance of their relationship and their credentials shall be surrendered to a district superintendent. In the case of discontinuation without consent, prior to any final recommendation, a provisional mem- ber will be advised of the right to a fair process hearing before the committee on conference relations of the Board of Ordained Min- istry. A report of the action will be made to the full board for final action. The provisions of fair process ( ¶ 361.2) shall be observed and there shall be a review by the administrative review commit- tee under ¶ 636 prior to hearing by the annual conference. When this relationship is discontinued, they shall no longer be permitted to exercise ministerial functions and shall return their credentials to the district superintendent for deposit with the secretary of the conference, and their membership shall be transferred by the dis- trict superintendent to the local church they designate after con- sultation with the pastor. The Board of Ordained Ministry shall file with the resident bishop and the secretary of the conference a permanent record of the circumstances relating to discontinuance 252

268 THE ORDAINED DEACON IN FULL ¶ 328 CONNECTION ¶ d . After discontinu- as a provisional member as required in 635.3 ance, provisional members may be classified and approved as ¶ 316. local pastors in accordance with the provision of 7. ovisional members may not be retired under the pro- Pr ¶ 357. Provisional members who have reached the visions of mandatory retirement age shall be automatically discontinued. Provisional elders may be classified as retired local pastors under the provisions of ¶ 320.5. Section VII. The Ordained Deacon in Full Connection From among the baptized, 328. The Ministry of a Deacon— ¶ deacons are called by God to a lifetime of servant leadership, authorized by the Church, and ordained by a bishop. From the earliest days of the church, deacons were called and set apart for the ministry of Love, Justice, and Service and for connecting the church with the most needy, neglected, and marginalized among the children of God. This ministry grows out of the Wes- leyan passion for social holiness and ministry among the poor. It is the deacons, in both person and function, whose distinctive ministry is to embody, articulate, and lead the whole people of God in its servant ministry. Deacons fulfill servant ministry in the world and lead the Church in relating the gathered life of Chris- tians to their ministries in the world, interrelating worship in the gathered community with service to God in the world. Deacons give leadership in the Church’s life: in teaching and proclaiming the Word; in contributing to worship, in assisting the elders in administering the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, or in presiding at the celebration of the sacraments when contex- tually appropriate and duly authorized; in forming and nurtur - ing disciples; in conducting marriages and burying the dead; in embodying the church’s mission to the world; and in leading con- gregations in interpreting the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. For the sake of extending the mission and ministry of the church and offering the means of grace to the world, the resident bishop of the annual conference in which the deacon is appointed may authorize the deacon to preside at the celebration of the sac- raments. Presiding at the celebration of the sacraments involves taking responsibility to lead the gathered community in celebrat- ing baptism and Holy Communion. As members of the Order of Deacons, all deacons are in covenant with all other deacons in the annual conference and shall participate in the life of their order. 253

269 ¶ 328 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Deacons lead the congregation in its servant ministry and equip and support all baptized Christians in their ministry. The distinct ministry of the deacon has evolved in United Method- ism over many years—the continuing work of the deaconess, the home missionary, and the diaconal minister. The Church, recog- nizing the gifts and impact of all predecessor embodiments of the diaconate and providing for the continuation of the office of dea- coness, affirms that this distinctiveness is made visible and central to the Church’s life and ministry through ordination and that the ministry of the deacon is a faithful response of the mission of the Church meeting the emerging needs of the future. Deacons are accountable to the annual conference and the bishop for the ful- fillment of their call to servant leadership. 329. Ministry , Authority, and Responsibilities of Deacons in Full ¶ Connection— 1. Deacons are persons called by God, authorized by the Church, and ordained by a bishop to a lifetime ministry of Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice, to both the community and the congregation in a ministry that connects the two. Deacons exemplify Christian discipleship and create opportunities for oth- ers to enter into discipleship. The work of deacons is a work of justice, serving with compassion as they seek to serve those on the margins of society. In the congregation, the ministry of the deacon is to teach and to form disciples, and to lead worship together with other ordained and laypersons. 2. The deacon in full connection shall have the rights of voice and vote in the annual conference where membership is held; shall be eligible to serve as clergy on boards, commissions, or committees of the annual conference and hold office on the same; and shall be eligible for election as a clergy delegate to the General, central, or jurisdictional conference. The deacon in full connection shall attend all the sessions of the annual conference and share with elders in full connection responsibility for all mat- ters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy ( ¶ 334.1). 3. der of Deacons, all deacons in full As members of the Or connection are in covenant with all other such deacons in the annual conference and shall participate in the life of their order. ¶ Requir 330. ements for Ordination as Deacon and Admission to Full Connection— Provisional members who are applying for admission into full connection and who have been provisional members for at least two years following the completion of the 254

270 THE ORDAINED DEACON IN FULL ¶ 330 CONNECTION educational requirements for ordination as a deacon specified in .3 below may be admitted into membership in full connection in an annual conference by three-fourths majority vote of the clergy members in full connection of the annual conference, upon rec- ommendation by three-fourths majority vote of the Board of Ordained Ministry, after they have qualified as follows: They shall have served under episcopal appointment in a 1. ministry of service for at least two full annual conference years. Upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, the annual conference may equate less than full-time or nonsalaried service as meeting this qualification. Such equivalence is to be determined in light of the years of service involved, the quality of that service, the maturity of the applicant, and other relevant factors determined by the board. Supervision is to be: (a) by the district superintendent, and (b) by the Board of Ordained Min- istry. The applicant’s service must be evaluated by the Board of Ordained Ministry as effective according to written guidelines developed by the board and adopted by the clergy members in full connection. Laypersons directly involved in the applicant’s servant ministry shall be involved by the board in the annual evaluation. 2. They shall have been pr eviously elected as a provisional member. 3. They shall have met the following educational r equire- (a) graduation with a Bachelor of Arts or equivalent degree ments: from a college or university listed by the University Senate or its equivalent as determined by the General Board of Higher Edu- cation and Ministry; (b) graduation with a Master of Divinity degree or a master’s degree from a graduate theological school recognized by the University Senate, or a master’s degree in an area of specialized ministry; (c) or are candidates over the age of 35 with professional certification or license in their area of min- istry including a minimum of eight semester hours of graduate academic credit. Educational requirements in every case shall include the completion of the basic graduate theological studies of the Christian faith, as outlined in ¶ 324.4 a . 4. The candidate shall have (1) satisfied the boar d regarding physical, mental, and emotional health; (2) prepared and preached at least one written sermon on a biblical passage specified by the Board of Ordained Ministry or another act of proclamation of the Word appropriate to the candidate’s ministry setting; 255

271 ¶ 330 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED (3) presented a detailed plan and outline for teaching a Bible study; (4) presented a project that demonstrates fruitfulness in carrying out the church’s mission of “Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World”; (5) responded to a written or oral doctrinal examination administered by the Board of Ordained Ministry. The candidate shall demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly in both oral and written form. The candidate’s reflections and the board’s response shall be informed by the insights and guidelines of Part III of the Book of Discipline . The examination shall also focus upon the covenantal relationship of the applicant to God, to the Church, and to the ser - Order of Deacons, as well as the understanding of diakonia, vant leadership, and the interrelatedness of the Church and the world. The applicant shall be able to articulate the call of God to the Order of Deacons and to relate that call to leadership within the ministry of all Christians, through the setting of their service, the local church, and the annual conference. The following questions ar e guidelines for the preparation 5. of the examination: ) Theology a (1) Give examples of how the practice of ministry has fected your experience and understanding of: af a ) God ( ( b ) Humanity ( c ) The need for divine grace ( d The Lor dship of Jesus Christ ) e The work of the Holy Spirit ( ) f ) The meaning and significance of the ( sacraments ( g ) The kingdom of God ection and eternal life h ) Resurr ( (2) How do you understand the following traditional evangelical doctrines: (a) (b) justification; (c) regenera- repentance; tion; (d) sanctification? What are the marks of the Christian life? How has the practice of ministry informed your (3) e and mission of the Church? What are understanding of the natur its primary challenges today? (4) The United Methodist Chur ch holds that Scrip- ture, tradition, experience, and reason are sources and norms for belief and practice, but that the Bible is primary among them. What is your understanding of this theological position of the 256

272 THE ORDAINED DEACON IN FULL ¶ 330 CONNECTION Church, and how has your practice of ministry been affected by this understanding? Vocation b ) (1) How has the experience of ministry shaped your understanding of your vocation as an or dained deacon? ) c The Practice of Ministry (1) Do you of fer yourself to be appointed by the bishop to a service ministry? (2) Describe and evaluate your personal gifts for esulted in fruitful ministry. What ministry and how they have r would be your areas of strength and areas in which you need to be strengthened in order to be more fruitful in ministry? (3) For the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness to the Christian gospel, and in consideration of your influence as an ordained minister, are you willing to make a complete dedication of yourself to the highest ideals of the Christian life; and to this end will you agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to physical health, intentional intellectual development, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, integrity in all personal relationships, social responsibility, and growth in grace and the 17 knowledge of the love of God? (4) ovide evidence of your willingness to relate Pr yourself in ministry to all persons without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, social status, gender, sexual orientation, age, economic condition, or disability. (5) ill you regard all pastoral conversations of a W confessional nature as a trust between the person concerned and God? ovide evidence of experience in peace and jus- (6) Pr tice ministries. Examination for Admission into Full Connection d) Historic and Ordination as Deacon —The bishop as chief pastor shall engage those seeking to be admitted in serious self-searching and prayer to prepare them for their examination before the conference. At the time of the examination, the bishop shall also explain to the conference the historic nature of the following questions and seek to interpret their spirit and intent. The questions are these and any others which may be thought necessary: 17. See Judicial Council Decision 542. 257

273 ¶ 330 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Have you faith in Christ? (1) (2) e you going on to perfection? Ar (3) Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life? (4) e you earnestly striving after perfection in love? Ar Ar e you resolved to devote yourself wholly to (5) God and God’s work? Do you know the General Rules of our Chur ch? (6) (7) ill you keep the General Rules of our Church? W of The United (8) Have you studied the doctrines Methodist Church? (9) After full examination do you believe that our e in harmony with the Holy Scriptures? doctrines ar ch discipline (10) Have you studied our form of Chur and polity? (11) Do you appr ove our Church government and polity? (12) W ill you support and maintain them? (13) ill you exercise the ministry of compassion? W ill you diligently instruct the children in every (14) W place? W ill you visit from house to house? (15) (16) W ill you recommend fasting or abstinence, both by precept and example? (17) Ar e you determined to employ all your time in the work of God? (18) Ar e you in debt so as to embarrass you in your work? (19) W ill you observe the following directions? Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never be (a) triflingly employed. Never trifle away time; neither spend any mor e time at any one place than is strictly necessary. (b) Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time. And do not mend our rules, but keep them; not for wrath, but for conscience’ sake. 6. provisional member of the annual conference who has A completed the requirements for deacon’s orders and admission into full membership shall be eligible for election to full member - ship and ordination as deacon by a bishop. Following election, the bishop and secretary of the conference shall provide a certificate 258

274 APPOINTMENTS OF DEACONS AND PROVISIONAL DEACONS ¶ 331 of full membership in the annual conference, and following ordi- nation, a certificate of ordination. 7. A deacon shall be ordained by a bishop by the laying on of hands, employing the Order of Service for the Ordination of 415.6). The bishops shall be assisted by other dea- Deacons (see ¶ cons and may include laity designated by the bishop representing the Church community. Judicatory leaders from full communion partners and other communions may participate in the ordination service and may join the ordaining bishop in laying hands on the head of the candidate, while participating deacons and laity may lay hands on the back or shoulders of the candidate. Section VIII. Appointments of Deacons and Provisional Deacons to Various Ministries Appointment of Deacons and Pr ovisional Deacons to 331. ¶ 1. Deacons and provisional deacons may be Various Ministries— appointed to serve in the following settings: Agencies and settings beyond the local chur ch, includ- a) ing ecumenical agencies, that extend the witness and service of Christ’s love and justice in the world and connect the church with the most needy, neglected, and marginalized; United Methodist Chur b) ch-related agencies, schools, colleges, theological schools, and within the connectional struc- tures of The United Methodist Church; A local congregation, charge, or cooperative parish, c) leading in the congregation’s mission to the world and equipping all Christians to fulfill their own calls to Christian service; ) d As students in r esearch doctoral programs that may lead to appointments in academic settings as instructors or pro- fessors in colleges, universities, and theological schools affiliated with The United Methodist Church; e ) As instr uctors or professors or administrators in col- leges, universities, and theological schools affiliated with The United Methodist Church. 2. Deacons and provisional deacons may be appointed to attend school. ovisional deacons shall be appointed to set- Deacons and pr 3. tings that allow fulfillment of their call and where supervision is provided with goals, evaluation, and accountability acceptable to the bishop, the cabinet and the Board of Ordained Ministry. 259

275 ¶ 331 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED ovisional Deacons Appointed Beyond the Local 4. Deacons and Pr Church. Deacons and provisional deacons may be appointed a) to settings not connected to either The United Methodist Church or ecumenical agencies when the appointment is approved by the bishop and the Board of Ordained Ministry as a ministry beyond the local church that is a witness and service of Christ’s love and justice in the world. Those seeking such an appointment shall sub- mit a written statement to the bishop and the Board of Ordained Ministry, describing in detail the proposed setting for their min- istry, sharing a sense of calling to that ministry and their gifts and evidence of God’s grace for it, and expressing how the proposed ministry is an intentional fulfillment of their ordination vows. This statement shall also include a detailed description of the accountability structures related to the proposed ministry setting. b ) Deacons or pr ovisional deacons who are appointed beyond the local church may pursue endorsement by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry shall annually request the dea- con or provisional deacon’s bishop in the conference of member - ship to verify the appropriate employment of persons under its endorsement and request the bishop to reappoint. Deacons and provisional deacons are amenable to c) the annual conference of which they are members and insofar as possible should maintain close working relationship with and effective participation in the work of their annual confer - ence, assuming whatever responsibilities they are qualified and requested to assume. When deacons or provisional deacons are appointed to a setting beyond the local church outside of the con- ference where they hold membership, the appointment shall be made by the bishop of the conference where membership is held in consultation with the bishop of the area in which the appoint- ment is located. d) ovisional deacons appointed to set- Deacons and pr tings beyond the local church shall submit annually to the bishop, the district superintendent, and the Board of Ordained Ministry, a written report on the official form developed for the Church by the General Council on Finance and Administration for use by the annual conference. Deacons and provisional deacons appointed to settings outside the annual conference in which they hold membership 260

276 APPOINTMENTS OF DEACONS AND PROVISIONAL DEACONS ¶ 331 shall also furnish a copy of their report to the bishop of the area in which the appointment is located. The General Boar d of Higher Education and Ministry, e) Division of Ordained Ministry, in order to assist the Boards of Ordained Ministry and cabinets, will provide guidelines for vali- dating the appropriateness of appointment settings beyond the local church and will be available for consultation with bishops, cabinets, and Boards of Ordained Ministry. 5. When deacons and provisional deacons serve in an agency or setting beyond the local church, the bishop, after consultation with the deacon or provisional deacon and the pastor in charge, shall appoint the deacon or provisional deacon to a local congre- gation where they will take missional responsibility for leading other Christians into ministries of service. In this ministry the deacons and provisional deacons shall be accountable to the pas- - tor in charge, the charge conference, and other bodies that coor dinate the ministry of the local church. In those instances where the appointment is in another episcopal area, the appointment to a local church shall be made in consultation with the bishop of that area. 6. The appointment of deacons and provisional deacons shall be made by the bishop. a) It may be initiated by the bishop or the district super - intendent, the individual deacon or provisional deacon, or the agency requesting the service of the deacon or provisional deacon. It shall be clarified by a written statement of intention - b) ality of servant leadership in order to establish a clear distinction between the work to which all Christians are called and the work for which deacons and provisional deacons are appropriately pre- pared and authorized. c) If the bishop and cabinet consider an appointment not est of the Church, the bishop may choose not to be in the best inter to make the appointment. In such event, the bishop shall consult with the deacon or provisional deacon and the Board of Ordained Ministry. The deacon or provisional deacon shall then seek another appointment, request a leave of absence or transitional leave, or relinquish his or her certificate of conference member - ship for deposit with the conference secretary, or be terminated by disciplinary procedures. The procedures for fair process in administrative hearings ( ¶ 361.2) shall be followed in any invol- untary termination procedure. 261

277 ¶ 331 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Deacons and pr d) ovisional deacons at their own request or with their consent may be appointed to a nonsalaried position. Such missional appointments will serve to express the Church’s concern for social holiness, for ministry among the poor, and for advancing emerging needs of the future. In such cases, the bishop will carefully review plans for expressing this appointed ministry and will consult with the deacon or provisional deacon about the well-being and financial security of his or her family. 7. At the r equest of the deacon or provisional deacon and with the consent of the bishop and cabinet where conference member - ship is held, the deacon or provisional deacon may receive a less than full-time appointment under the following conditions: a) The deacon or pr ovisional deacon shall present a writ- - ten request to the bishop, district superintendent, and the confer ence Board of Ordained Ministry, giving a rationale for the request at least ninety days prior to the annual conference at which the appointment is to be made. b) Reappointment to less than full-time service shall be r equested annually of the bishop by the deacon or provisional deacon. c) The bishop may make an interim appointment to less than full-time service upon request of a deacon or provisional deacon, with the recommendation of the executive committee of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. 8. Deacons and pr ovisional deacons, with the approval of their bishop and the judicatory authorities of the other denomina- tion may receive an appointment to another denomination while retaining their home conference membership. The appointment may be made in response to exceptional missional needs. 9. Char ge Conference Membership of Deacons and Provisional Deacons. ) Deacons and pr ovisional deacons who are appointed a to a local congregation, charge, or cooperative parish, shall be members of that charge conference. b ) and provisional deacons who are appointed Deacons to settings beyond the local church shall, after consultation and with the written consent of the pastor in charge, and the district superintendent designate a charge conference within the bounds of the annual conference in which they shall hold membership and to which they shall submit an annual report. Deacons and 262

278 APPOINTMENTS OF DEACONS AND PROVISIONAL DEACONS ¶ 331 - provisional deacons serving in appointments outside the confer ence in which they hold membership shall, after consultation and with the written consent of the pastor in charge, also establish an affiliate relationship with a charge conference in the annual con- ference in which the appointment is located. ovisional Deacons Appointed by a Support for Deacons and Pr 10. Bishop. Deacons and pr ovisional deacons shall receive their a) support under the policies and agreements of the setting to which they are appointed. Deacons who ar e appointed to a local congregation, b) charge, or cooperative parish, shall receive a salary from the local ¶ church, charge, or cooperative parish ( 625.2) not less than the minimum established by the equitable compensation policy of the annual conference for elders. Provisional deacons who are appointed to a local congregation, charge, or cooperative parish shall receive a salary from the local church, charge, or coopera- tive parish ( 625.2, .4) not less than the minimum established for ¶ provisional elders. When deacons or provisional deacons are appointed to less than full-time ministry in a local congregation, charge, or cooperative parish, they shall receive a salary that is no less than the minimum salary for elders or provisional elders, prorated in one-quarter time increments (see ¶ 331.6 d ). Deacons and pr ovisional deacons shall participate in c ) the denominational pension and benefit plans and programs. They shall participate in the health benefit and supplemental programs of the annual conference subject to the provisions and - standards of those programs as established by the annual confer ence when health benefit coverage is not provided from another source. d) a-c ]) does not apply to a deacon or The above (§ 10 [ provisional deacon appointed by a bishop to a nonsalaried posi- tion (§ 6 [ ]). d e) ovisional deacons are not guar - Since deacons and pr anteed a place of employment in the Church, special attention shall be given to termination procedures that allow time for seek- ing another service appointment. Notification of dismissal shall provide for a ninety-day period prior to final termination of the appointment except for causes as listed in ¶ 2702. Deacons or provisional deacons shall not be dismissed from a local church appointment without prior consultation between the deacon or 263

279 ¶ 331 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED provisional deacon and the staff-parish relations committee, nor without the full knowledge of the overseeing district superinten- dent and the presiding bishop. Section IX. The Ordained Elder in Full Connection ¶ 332. Elders are ordained ministers Ministry of an Elder— who, by God’s grace, have completed their formal preparation and have been commissioned and served as a provisional mem- ber, have been found by the Church to be of sound learning, of Christian character, possessing the necessary gifts and evidence of God’s grace, and whose call by God to ordination has been con- firmed by the Church. Elders are ordained to a lifetime ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service. By the authority given in their ordination, they are authorized to preach and teach the Word of God, to provide pastoral care and counsel, to administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and to order the life of the Church for service in mission and ministry. The servant leadership of the elder, in both parish and extension ministries, is expressed by leading the people of God in worship and prayer, by leading persons to faith in Jesus Christ, by exercising pastoral supervision, and by ordering the Church in mission in the world. As members of the Order of Elders, all elders are in covenant with all other elders in the annual conference and shall participate in the life of their order. 333. 1. Elders in full connection Elders in Full Connection— ¶ with an annual confer ence by virtue of their election and ordina- tion are bound in special covenant with all the ordained elders of the annual conference. In the keeping of this covenant they perform the ministerial duties and maintain the ministerial stan- dards established by those in the covenant. They offer themselves without reserve to be appointed and to serve, after consultation, 18 as the appointive authority may determine. They live with all other ordained ministers in mutual trust and concern and seek with them the sanctification of the fellowship. By entering into the covenant, they accept and subject themselves to the process of clergy discipline, including serving on committees on investi- gation, trial courts, or appellate committees. Only those shall be elected to full membership who are of unquestionable moral char- 18. See Judicial Council Decision 492. 264

280 THE ORDAINED ELDER IN FULL ¶ 334 CONNECTION acter and genuine piety, sound in the fundamental doctrines of 19 Christianity, and faithful in the discharge of their duties. A provisional member of the annual conference who has 2. completed the requirements for elder’s orders and admission into full membership shall be eligible for election to full member - ship and ordination as elder by a bishop. Following election, the bishop and secretary of the conference shall provide a certificate of full membership in the annual conference, and following ordi- nation, a certificate of ordination. dained by a bishop by the laying on An elder shall be or 3. of hands, employing the Order of Service for the Ordination of Elders (see ¶ 415.6). The bishop shall be assisted by other elders and may include laity designated by the bishop representing the Church community. Judicatory leaders from full communion partners may participate in the ordination service and may join the ordaining bishop in laying hands on the head of the candi- date, while participating elders and laity may lay hands on the back or shoulders of the candidate. Ministry, Authority, and Responsibilities of an Elder in 334. ¶ Full Connection —An elder in full connection is authorized to give spiritual and temporal servant leadership in the Church in the fol- lowing manner: Elders in full connection shall have the right to vote on 1. ence except in the election of lay all matters in the annual confer delegates to the General and jurisdictional or central confer - ences ( ¶ 602.1 a ) and shall share with deacons in full connection responsibility for all matters of ordination, character, and confer - ence relations of clergy. This responsibility shall not be limited by the recommendation or lack of recommendation by the Board of Ordained Ministry, notwithstanding provisions which grant to 20 the Board of Ordained Ministry the right of recommendation. They shall be eligible to hold office in the annual conference and to be elected delegates to the General and jurisdictional or central conferences under the provision of the Constitution ( ¶ 35, Article IV). Every effective elder in full connection who is in good stand- ing shall be continued under appointment by the bishop provided that if the elder is appointed to serve in an affiliated relationship in a missionary conference ( ¶ 586) and that appointment is ter- minated by the bishop who presides in the missionary conference, 19. See Judicial Council Decisions 406, 534. 20. See Judicial Council Decision 690. 265

281 ¶ 334 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED then the responsibility for meeting this obligation rests with the 21 bishop of the conference of which the elder is a member. Ther e are professional responsibilities ( ¶ 340) that elders 2. are expected to fulfill and that represent a fundamental part of their accountability and a primary basis of their continued eligi- bility for annual appointment. These shall include: 22 Continuing availability for appointment. a) Annual participation in a pr b) ocess of evaluation with committees on pastor-parish relations or comparable authority as well as annual participation in a process of evaluation with the district superintendent or comparable authority. Evidence of continuing ef fectiveness reflected in c) annual evaluations by the pastor-parish relations committee and by the district superintendent or comparable authorities Gr owth in professional competence and effective- d) ness through continuing education and formation. The Board of Ordained Ministry may set the minimum standards and specific guidelines for continuing education and formation for conference members; illingness to assume supervisory and mentoring W e) responsibilities within the connection. ’s effectiveness is in question, the bishop When an elder 3. shall complete the following procedure: Identify the concerns. These can include an elder ’s a) failed professional responsibilities or vocational ineffectiveness. b) Hold supervisory conversations with the elder that identifies the concerns and designs, collaboratively with the elder , a corrective plan of action. c) Upon evaluation, determine that the plan of action has not been carried out or pr oduced fruit that gives a realistic expec- tation of future effectiveness. If an elder fails to demonstrate vocational competence or 4. ef fectiveness ( ¶ 340) as defined by the annual conference through the Board of Ordained Ministry and cabinet, then the bishop may begin the administrative location process as outlined in ¶ 359. 5. Cler gy who are retired, on medical leave, or on sabbatical leave may at their own initiative apply to the conference Board of Ordained Ministry for affiliate membership in the annual con- ference where they reside. By a two-thirds vote of the executive 21. See Judicial Council Decisions 462, 492, 534, 555. 22. See Judicial Council Decision 492. 266

282 THE ORDAINED ELDER IN FULL ¶ 335 CONNECTION session, such clergy may be received with rights and privileges, including service on conference boards, agencies, task forces, and committees, with voice but without vote. Voting membership shall be retained in the clergy member’s home annual conference for the duration of affiliate member relationship. Such persons may serve on the board, agency, task force, or committee of only one annual conference at any one time. 335. Requir ements for Admission to Full Connection and Ordi- ¶ Provisional members who are candidates for full nation as Elder— connection and ordination as elders and have been provisional members for at least two years may be admitted into membership in full connection in an annual conference and approved for elder’s ordination by three-fourths majority vote of the clergy members in full connection of the annual conference, upon recommen- dation by three-fourths majority vote of the Board of Ordained 23 after they have qualified as follows. They shall have: Ministry, (1) served full-time under episcopal appointment for at least two full annual conference years following the completion of the edu- cational requirements specified in (3) on the next page. Years of (b) service in any ministry setting requiring the regular proclamation of the word, the administration of the sacraments, and the short or long-term ordering of the life of the community of faith may count toward the fulfillment of this requirement. Such ministry settings may include campus ministry, college and university chaplaincy, hospital and prison chaplaincy, military chaplaincy, overseas/ mission work, and other ministries so recognized by the Division of Ordained Ministry of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, an annual conference may equate less than full-time to 24 the requirement of full-time service. Such equivalence is to be determined in light of the years of service involved, the quality of that service, the maturity of the applicant, and other relevant factors. Supervision is to be (a) per- sonally assumed or delegated by the district superintendent, and (b) assumed by a mentor assigned by the Board of Ordained Min- istry. Their service shall be evaluated by the Board of Ordained Ministry as effective according to written guidelines developed by 25 the board and adopted by the clergy members in full connection. 23. See Judicial Council Decisions 157, 344, 1199. 24. See Judicial Council Decision 440. 25. See Judicial Council Decisions 555, 719. 267

283 ¶ 335 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED In rare cases, the Board of Ordained Ministry may, by a two-thirds vote, approve years of service in an autonomous Methodist church as meeting this requirement if adequate supervision has been provided; (2) been previously elected as provisional members; (a) graduation (3) met the following educational requirements: with a Bachelor of Arts or equivalent degree from a college or university listed by the University Senate, or demonstrated com- petency equivalence through a process designed in consulta- tion with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; graduation with a Master of Divinity degree from a school of (b) - theology listed by the University Senate, or its equivalent as deter mined by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; or (c) met the education requirements of ¶ 324.6 for local pastors; ( ) educational requirements in every case shall include comple- d tion of the basic graduate theological studies of the Christian faith 324.4 a ; (4) satisfied the board regarding physical, as outlined in ¶ mental, and emotional health; (5) prepared and preached at least one written sermon on a biblical passage specified by the Board of Ordained Ministry; (6) presented a detailed plan and outline for teaching a Bible study; (7) presented a project that demon- strates fruitfulness in carrying out the church’s mission of “Mak- ing Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World”; (8) responded to a written or oral doctrinal examination admin- istered by the Board of Ordained Ministry. The candidate should demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly in both oral and written form. The candidate’s reflections and the board’s response should be informed by the insights and guidelines of Part III of the Discipline . The following questions are guidelines for the prep- aration of the examination: Theology. a ) (1) Give examples of how the practice of ministry has fected your experience and understanding of: af ( a ) God Humanity b ( ) ( c ) The need for divine grace dship of Jesus Christ d ) The Lor ( ( e ) The work of the Holy Spirit ( The meaning and significance of the f ) sacraments g ) ( The kingdom of God ection and eternal life h ) ( Resurr 268

284 THE ORDAINED ELDER IN FULL ¶ 335 CONNECTION How do you understand the following traditional (2) repentance; justification; (c) regenera- evangelical doctrines: (b) (a) sanctification? What are the marks of the Christian life? tion; (d) (3) How has the practice of ministry informed your e and mission of the Church? What are understanding of the natur its primary challenges today? (4) The United Methodist Chur ch holds that Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason are sources and norms for belief and practice, but that the Bible is primary among them. What is your understanding of this theological position of the Church, and how has your practice of ministry been affected by this understanding? ) b Vocation (1) How has the experience of ministry shaped your understanding of your vocation as an or dained elder? c ) The Practice of Ministry (1) How has the practice of ministry af fected your understanding of the expectations and obligations of the itinerant system? Do you offer yourself without reserve to be appointed and to serve as the appointive authority may determine? (2) Describe and evaluate your personal gifts for ministry and how they have r esulted in fruitful ministry. What would be your areas of strength and areas in which you need to be strengthened in order to be more fruitful in ministry? (3) For the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness to the Christian gospel and in consideration of your influence as an ordained minister, are you willing to make a complete dedication of yourself to the highest ideals of the Christian life; and to this end will you agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to physical health, intentional intellectual development, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, integrity in all personal relationships, social responsibility, and growth in grace and the 26 knowledge and love of God? (4) Pr ovide evidence of your willingness to relate yourself in ministry with all persons without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, social status, gender, sexual orientation, age, economic condition, or disability. W (5) ill you regard all pastoral conversations of a con- fessional nature as a trust between the person concerned and God? 26. See Judicial Council Decision 542. 269

285 ¶ Y OF THE ORDAINED 335 THE MINISTR Pr ovide evidence of experience in peace and jus- (6) tice ministries. Admission and Continuance of Full Membership in the Annual Conference 336. Historic Examination for Admission into Full Connection— ¶ The bishop as chief pastor shall engage those seeking to be admit- ted in serious self-searching and prayer to prepare them for their examination before the conference. At the time of the examina- tion the bishop shall also explain to the conference the historic nature of the following questions and seek to interpret their spirit and intent. The questions are these and any others that may be thought necessary: Have you faith in Christ? 1. Ar e you going on to perfection? 2. 3. Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life? Ar e you earnestly striving after it? 4. Ar e you resolved to devote yourself wholly to God and his 5. work? Do you know the General Rules of our Chur ch? 6. W ill you keep them? 7. 8. Have you studied the doctrines of The United Methodist ch? Chur 9. After full examination, do you believe that our doctrines ar e in harmony with the Holy Scriptures? 10. W ill you preach and maintain them? Have you studied our form of Church discipline and 11. polity? 12. ove our Church government and polity? Do you appr 13. W ill you support and maintain them? 14. W ill you diligently instruct the children in every place? 15. W ill you visit from house to house? ill you recommend fasting or abstinence, both by pre- W 16. cept and example? e you determined to employ all your time in the work 17. Ar of God? 18. e you in debt so as to embarrass you in your work? Ar 19. ill you observe the following directions? W a ) Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never be triflingly employed. Never trifle away time; neither spend any more time at any one place than is strictly necessary. 270

286 APPOINTMENTS T ¶ 337 O VARIOUS MINISTRIES ) And b Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time. do not mend our rules, but keep them; not for wrath, but for con- 27 science’ sake. Section X. Appointments to Various Ministries 337. ovisions- 1. All elders in full connection who ¶ General Pr are in good standing in an annual conference shall be contin- ued under appointment by the bishop unless they are granted ¶ a sabbatical leave, a medical leave ( 356), family leave, a leave of absence, retirement, or have failed to meet the requirements ¶ 334.2, .3), provided that if the elder for continued eligibility ( is appointed to serve in an affiliated relationship in a mission- ary conference ( ¶ 586.4 b ) and that appointment is terminated by the bishop who presides in the missionary conference, then the responsibility for meeting this obligation rests with the bishop of 28 the conference of which the elder is a member. dained elders, persons who have been 2. In addition to or granted a license for pastoral ministry and who have been approved by vote of the clergy members in full connection may be appointed to local churches as pastors in charge under certain con- 29 All clergy members and ditions, which are specified in 315-318. ¶¶ licensed local pastors to be appointed shall assume a lifestyle con- sistent with Christian teaching as set forth in the Social Principles. 3. Elders, associate members, pr ovisional elders, and persons licensed for pastoral ministry may be appointed to ministry set- tings that extend the ministry of The United Methodist Church and the witness and service of Christ’s love and justice in the world. They shall be given the same moral and spiritual support by the annual conference as are persons in appointments to pas- toral charges. Their effectiveness shall be evaluated in the context of the specific setting in which their ministry is performed. Such ministry settings shall include teaching, pastoral care and coun- seling, chaplaincy, campus ministry, social services, and other ministries so recognized by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry and approved by the bishop. 27. These are the questions that every Methodist preacher from the begin- ning has been required to answer upon becoming a full member of an annual conference. These questions were formulated by John Wesley and have been little changed throughout the years. 28. See Judicial Council Decisions 380, 462, 492, 524, 702, 985, 1226. 29. See Judicial Council Decision 1226. 271

287 ¶ 337 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED ) ovisional member elders, asso- a Full connection and pr ciate members, and persons licensed for pastoral ministry may be appointed to Extension Ministries serving in ministries of pas- toral care in specialized settings. See 326, 343-344 for specific ¶¶ information about Extension Ministries. Elders may be appointed to extension ministries that b) include appointments as students in r esearch doctoral programs that may lead to appointments in academic settings as instruc- tors or professors in colleges, universities, and theological schools affiliated with The United Methodist Church. Elders may also be appointed to extension ministries, including service as instructors or professors or administrators in colleges, universities, and theo- logical schools affiliated with The United Methodist Church. All persons in such appointments should: ) c be appointed to a setting that pr (1) ovides an appro- priate support and accountability structure; continue to be accountable to the annual confer - (2) ence for the practice of their ministry; (3) pr ovide an annual report, including a narrative of their ministry, evidence of continuing education, and evidence of an annual evaluation in their setting; elationship with a charge conference. maintain a r (4) 338. The Itinerant System— The itinerant system is the ¶ accepted method of The United Methodist Church by which ordained elders, provisional elders, and associate members are 30 appointed by the bishop to fields of labor. All ordained elders, provisional elders, and associate members shall accept and abide 31 by these appointments. Bishops and cabinets shall commit to and support open itineracy and the protection of the prophetic pulpit and diversity. Persons appointed to multiple-staff minis- tries, either in a single parish or in a cluster or larger parish, shall have personal and professional access to the bishop and cabinet, the committee on pastor-parish relations, as well as to the pastor in charge. The nature of the appointment process is specified in ¶¶ 425-429. 1. Full-time service shall be the norm for or dained elders, provisional elders, and associate members in the annual con- ference. Full-time service shall mean that the person’s entire vocational time, as defined by the district superintendent in consul- 30. See Judicial Council Decision 713. 31. See Judicial Council Decision 492. 272

288 APPOINTMENTS T ¶ 338 O VARIOUS MINISTRIES tation with the pastor and the committee on pastor-parish rela- tions, is devoted to the work of ministry in the field of labor to which one is appointed by the bishop. Than Full-Time Service— On occasion, less than full- 2. Less time service is requested by or required of an elder, provisional elder, or associate member. A clergy member may be appointed in one-quarter, one-half, or three-quarter time increments by the bishop to less than full-time service without loss of essential rights or membership in the annual conference. Division of Ordained Ministry-endorsed appointments beyond the local church may be for less than full-time service. a) Appointment to less than full-time service is not a guarantee, but may be made by the bishop under the following cir cumstances: (1) Less than full-time service may Limited Itineracy— be granted—but is not guaranteed—when the elder, provisional elder, or associate member has declared in writing that itineracy is limited due to temporary constraints. The clergy member shall present that written declaration to the bishop and the chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry prior to the annual conference session at which the appointment is made. (2) Self-Initiated— The elder, provisional elder, or associate member seeking less than full-time service shall present a written request to the bishop and the chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry at least 90 days prior to the annual confer - ence session at which the appointment is made. Exceptions to the 90-day deadline shall be approved by the cabinet and the execu- tive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry. (3) —For missional purposes, the Bishop-Initiated bishop may appoint an elder, provisional elder, or an associate member to less than full-time service. The clergyperson shall be notified at least 90 days prior to final termination of the current appointment. Special attention shall be given to ensure that the values of open itineracy are preserved. b) ovisions for Less Than Full-time Appointment Pr (1) appropriate consultation, as estab- Following lished in ¶¶ 338 and 425-429, and upon joint recommendation of the cabinet and the Board of Ordained Ministry, the less than full- time category shall be confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the clergy members in full connection of the annual conference. 273

289 ¶ 338 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Reappointment to less than full-time service (2) shall be appr oved annually by the bishop and cabinet and shall not be granted for more than a total of eight years, except by a three-fourths vote of the clergy members in full connection of the annual conference. (3) Elders, provisional elders, and associate members who receive appointment at less than full-time service remain within the itineracy and, as such, remain available, upon consul- tation with the bishop and cabinet, for appointment to full-time service. A written request to return to full-time appointment shall be made to the bishop and cabinet at least six months prior to the annual conference session at which the appointment is to be made. (4) The bishop may make appointments at ad interim less than full-time service upon request of the elder, provisional elder, or associate member following consultation as specified in 424-428 and upon recommendation of the cabinet and execu- ¶¶ tive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, the same to be 32 acted upon by the next regular session of the annual conference. 3. Interim appointments may be made to char ges that have special transitional needs. a) gy may serve outside the annual confer - Interim cler ¶ ence where membership is held under the provision of 346.1, with approval and consent of the bishops involved. b) Interim appointments will be for a specified length of time, established in advance following consultation with the dis - trict superintendent, the pastor-parish relations committee, and the interim pastor. ovisional members, or full members Associate members, pr 4. may be appointed to attend any school, college, or theological seminary listed by the University Senate, or participate in a pro- gram of clinical pastoral education in a setting accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education or another accrediting agency approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. ¶ 339. —A pastor is an ordained elder, of a Pastor Definition probationary deacon (according to 1992 Book of Discipline ), associ- ate member, provisional elder, or local pastor approved by vote of the clergy session and may be appointed by the bishop to be in 32. See Judicial Council Decision 579. 274

290 APPOINTMENTS T ¶ 340 O VARIOUS MINISTRIES charge of a station, circuit, cooperative parish, extension ministry, 33 ecumenical shared ministry, or to a church of another denomina- tion, or on the staff of one such appointment. ¶ 340. - Responsibilities and Duties of Elders and Licensed Pas tors esponsibilities of elders are derived from the author - —1. The r ity given in ordination. Elders have a fourfold ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service and thus serve in the local church and in extension ministries in witness and service of Christ’s love and justice. Elders are authorized to preach and teach the Word, to provide pastoral care and counsel, to administer the sacraments, and to order the life of the church for service in mission and min- istry as pastors, superintendents, and bishops. e with the elders the responsibilities Licensed pastors shar 2. and duties of a pastor for this fourfold ministry, within the context of their appointment. ord and ecclesial acts: W ) a (1) o preach the Word of God, lead in worship, read T and teach the Scriptures, and engage the people in study and witness. o ensure faithful transmission of the Chris- ( T a ) tian faith. o lead people in discipleship and evangelis- (b) T tic outreach that others might come to know Christ and to follow him. (2) o counsel persons with personal, ethical, or spir - T itual struggles. (3) o perform the ecclesial acts of marriage and T burial. a ) ( o perform the marriage ceremony after due T counsel with the parties involved and in accordance with the laws of the state and the rules of The United Methodist Church. The decision to perform the ceremony shall be the right and responsibility of the pastor. 33. are ecumenical congregations formed by a local Ecumenical shared ministries United Methodist church and one or more local congregations of other Christian traditions. Forms of ecumenical shared ministries include: (a) a federated congre- gation, in which one congregation is related to two denominations, with persons holding membership in one or the other of the denominations; (b) a union congre- gation, in which a congregation with one unified membership roll is related to two denominations; (c) a merged congregation, in which two or more congregations of different denominations form one congregation which relates to only one of the constituent denominations; and (d) a yoked parish, in which a United Methodist congregation is yoked with one or more congregations of other denominations. 275

291 ¶ 340 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED b ) T o conduct funeral and memorial services ( and provide care and grief counseling. o visit in the homes of the church and the com- T (4) munity, especially among the sick, aged, imprisoned, and others in need. (5) o maintain all confidences inviolate, includ- T ing confessional confidences except in the cases of suspected child abuse or neglect, or in cases where mandatory reporting is required by civil law. ) b Sacrament: o administer the sacraments of baptism and the (1) T Supper of the Lord according to Christ’s ordinance. a ( o prepare the parents and sponsors before ) T baptizing infants or children, and instruct them concerning the significance of baptism and their responsibilities for the Christian training of the baptized child. ( b ) T o encourage reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant and renewal of baptismal vows at different stages of life. ( c ) T o encourage people baptized in infancy or early childhood to make their profession of faith, after instruction, so that they might become professing members of the church. d T o explain the meaning of the Lord’s Sup- ( ) per and to encourage regular participation as a means of grace to grow in faith and holiness. e ) ( o select and train deacons and lay members T to serve the consecrated communion elements. (2) T o encourage the private and congregational use of the other means of grace. c ) Order: (1) o be the administrative officer of the local church T and to assure that the organizational concerns of the congregation are adequately provided for. ( a ) o give pastoral support, guidance, and train- T ing to the lay leadership, equipping them to fulfill the ministry to which they are called. ( b ) T o give oversight to the educational program of the church and encourage the use of United Methodist litera- ture and media. o be responsible for organizational faithful- T ) c ( ness, goal setting, planning and evaluation. 276

292 APPOINTMENTS T ¶ 340 O VARIOUS MINISTRIES d ) T o search out and counsel men and women ( for the ministry of deacons, elders, local pastors, and other church- related ministries. T o administer the temporal affairs of the church (2) in their appointment, the annual conference, and the general Church. a ( T o administer the provisions of the Discipline . ) b ) ( T o give an account of their pastoral ministries to the charge and annual conference according to the prescribed forms. ( ) o provide leadership for the funding min- c T istry of the congregation. To ensure membership care including compliance with charitable giving documentation requirements and to provide appropriate pastoral care, the pastor, in coopera- tion with the financial secretary, shall have access to and respon- sibility for professional stewardship of congregational giving records. ( d ) T o model and promote faithful financial stewardship and to encourage giving as a spiritual discipline by teaching the biblical principles of giving. o lead the congregation in the fulfillment of ( e ) T its mission through full and faithful payment of all apportioned ministerial support, administrative, and benevolent funds. ( ) f T o care for all church records and local church financial obligations, and certify the accuracy of all financial, membership, and any other reports submitted by the local church to the annual conference for use in apportioning costs back to the church. o participate in denominational and conference (3) T programs and training opportunities. a ) o seek out opportunities for cooperative ( T ministries with other United Methodist pastors and churches. ( ) b T o be willing to assume supervisory responsi- bilities within the connection. o lead the congregation in racial and ethnic T (4) inclusiveness. d ) Service: (1) T o embody the teachings of Jesus in servant min- istries and servant leadership. o give diligent pastoral leadership in ordering T (2) the life of the congregation for discipleship in the world. 277

293 ¶ 340 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED T o build the body of Christ as a caring and giving (3) community, extending the ministry of Christ to the world. (4) o participate in community, ecumenical, and T interreligious concerns and to encourage the people to become so involved and to pray and labor for the unity of the Christian community. 341. Unauthorized Conduct —1. Pastors shall first obtain ¶ e engag- the written consent of the district superintendent befor ing for an evangelist any person who is not a general evangelist ( ¶¶ 630.3 f, 1112.7), a clergy member of an annual conference, a local pastor, or a certified lay servant in good standing in The United Methodist Church. No pastor shall discontinue services in a local chur ch 2. between sessions of the annual conference without the consent of the charge conference and the district superintendent. 3. No pastor shall arbitrarily organize a pastoral charge. (See ¶ 259 for the method of organizing a local church.) 4. No pastor shall hold a religious service within the bounds of a pastoral charge other than the one to which appointed with- - out the consent of the pastor of the charge, or the district super intendent. No pastor shall hold a religious service within the bounds of a pastoral charge or establish a ministry to a college or university campus served by The United Methodist Church with- out the consent of the pastor of the charge, or campus minister or chaplain serving the charge, or the district superintendent. If that pastor does not refrain from such conduct, he or she shall then be ¶ 362.1 and ¶ 2702. liable to the provisions of All cler gy of The United Methodist Church are charged to 5. maintain all confidences inviolate, including confessional confi- dences, except in the cases of suspected child abuse or neglect or 34 in cases where mandatory reporting is required by civil law. 6. Cer emonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our 35 churches. 7. No pastor shall r e-baptize. The practice of re-baptism does not conform with God’s action in baptism and is not consistent with Wesleyan tradition and the historic teaching of the church. Therefore, the pastor should counsel any person seeking re-bap- tism to participate in a rite of reaffirmation of baptismal vows. 34. See Judicial Council Decision 936. 35. See Judicial Council Decision 1115. 278

294 APPOINTMENTS T ¶ 343 O EXTENSION MINISTRIES 342. Support for Elders in Full Connection Appointed to Pasto - ¶ To strengthen the effectiveness of the connectional ral Charges— system, assumption of the obligations of the itinerant ministry required upon admission to the traveling connection places upon the Church a counter obligation to provide adequate support for the entire ministry of the Church ( ¶ 620). The Church shall pro- vide, and the ordained minister is entitled to receive, not less than the equitable compensation established by the annual conference 36 for clergy members according to provisions of ¶ 625.3. Support for Elders in Full Connection Appointed to Pastoral 1. Each elder in full connec- Charges Who Render Full-Time Service— tion of an annual conference who is in good standing and who is ¶ appointed to full-time service under the provision of 338.1 shall have a claim upon the conference Equitable Compensation Fund and a right to receive not less than base compensation established 37 by the annual conference for persons in full-time service. 2. Support for Ordained Elders Appointed to Pastoral Charges Who Render Less than Full-Time Service— Each elder in full connection who is in good standing and who is appointed by the bishop to less than full-time service under the provisions of 338.2 shall ¶ have a claim upon the conference Equitable Compensation Fund in one-quarter increments according to the guidelines established by the annual conference commission on equitable compensation. 3. ein to the contrary, the Notwithstanding anything her benefits provided to ordained ministers, in addition to the cash compensation, under the benefit programs administered by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits may be different for ordained ministers serving full-time as pastors to local charges and for ordained ministers serving other types of appointments. 4. No pastor shall be entitled to any claim for unpaid base ch or charge served after pastoral compensation against any chur connection with the church or charge has ceased. Section XI. Appointments to Extension Ministries ¶ 343. - Appointments Extending the Ministry of The United Meth odist Church —1. Elders in ef fective relationship may be appointed to serve in ministry settings beyond the local United Metho- dist church in the witness and service of Christ’s love and justice. 36. See Judicial Council Decisions 968, 988. 37. See Judicial Council Decisions 579, 587, 968, 1038. 279

295 ¶ 343 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Persons in these appointments remain within the itineracy and shall be accountable to the annual conference. They shall be given the same moral and spiritual support by it as are persons 38 Their effectiveness shall be in appointments to pastoral charges. evaluated in the context of the specific setting in which their min- istry is performed. 2. The institution or agency desiring to employ an or dained minister shall, when feasible, through its appropriate official, con- sult the ordained minister’s bishop and secure approval before completing any agreement to employ the ordained minister. If the institution or agency is located in another area, the bishop of that area shall also be consulted. 3. Elders desiring an appointment extending the ministry ch or change of appointment shall of The United Methodist Chur consult with their bishop and/or district superintendent prior to any interviews relative to such an appointment. ¶ 344. Pr ovisions for Appointment to Extension Ministries — Elders and associate members in appointments extending the ministry of the local United Methodist church are full partici- pants in the itinerant system. Therefore, a conference member in an appointment beyond the local United Methodist church must be willing upon consultation to receive an appointment in a pas- toral charge. When either the conference member or the annual conference requests appointment to a pastoral charge, the request shall be made in writing to or from the bishop, the cabinet, and the Board of Ordained Ministry. Such a request should be made at least six months prior to annual conference. In both instances, consultation shall give due regard to the individual’s special training, experience, skills, and leadership potential. 1. Categories of Appointment —In order to establish a clear dis- tinction between the work to which all Christians are called and the tasks for which clergy are appropriately prepared and autho- rized, the following categories are established for appointments of elders and associate members within the itineracy and those licensed for pastoral ministry of The United Methodist Church. uctures of Appointments within the connectional str a) United Methodism: (1) Appointments for which the annual confer ence provides for pension contributions to the Ministerial Pension Plan, 38. See Judicial Council Decisions 321, 325. 280

296 APPOINTMENTS T ¶ 344 O EXTENSION MINISTRIES amended and restated effective January 1, 2007, as the Clergy Retirement Security Program, such as district superintendents, staff members of conference councils and boards, treasurers, bish- ops’ assistants, superintendents or directors of parish develop- ment, general evangelists, and campus ministers. Only elders in full connection may be appointed district superintendents; (2) to a general agency for which the Appointments general agency provides pension contributions through Decem- ber 31, 2006, to the Ministerial Pension Plan and, effective January 1, 2007, to the Retirement Security Program for General Agencies of The United Methodist Church, amended and restated effective January 1, 2010, as the Retirement Plan for General Agencies; (3) Appointments to a United Methodist institution , such as superintendents or directors of parish or other ministry development, general evangelists, campus ministers, missionar - ies, faculty and administrators of United Methodist schools of theology or other educational institutions approved by the Uni- versity Senate; and (4) . Appointments to an ecumenical agency b) Appointments to extension ministries of elders in full connection, associate members, and those licensed for pastoral ministry under endorsement by the General Board of Higher Edu- cation and Ministry and other ministry settings which the bishop 39 The and conference Board of Ordained Ministry may designate. - board shall annually verify the appropriate employment of per sons under its endorsement and request their reappointment. c) Elders, associate members, and those licensed for pas - toral ministry in service under the General Board of Global Minis- tries may be appointed to the ministries listed in a) and b) above. They may be assigned to service either in annual conferences or central conferences, or with affiliated autonomous churches, inde- pendent churches, churches resulting from the union of Methodist Churches and other communions, mission institutions, or in other denominational or ecumenical ministries. They may accept such rights and privileges, including affiliate membership, as may be offered them by central conferences or by other churches to which they are assigned without impairing their relationship to their home annual conference. If appointment is to a missionary confer - ence, the terms of the appointment shall be as provided in ¶ 586.4. 39. See Judicial Council Decisions 321, 325, 329. 281

297 ¶ 344 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED - Elders, associate members, and those licensed for pas d) toral ministry may receive appointments beyond the ministry usually extended through the local United Methodist church and 40 and a) other institutions listed above in b) when considered by the bishop and the annual conference Board of Ordained Minis- try to be a true extension of the Christian ministry of the Church. They may be appointed to pastoral ministry in other Christian denominations at the request of appropriate judicatory officers of that denomination. These ministries shall be initiated in missional response to the needs of persons in special circumstances and unique situations and shall reflect the commitment of the clergy to intentional fulfillment of their ordination vows to Word, Sacra- ment, Order, and Service. These appointments may involve clergy with expertise from other vocations. Conference members in such appointments retain conference membership, and the annual con- ference may choose to extend financial support and benefits for its clergy by vote of the annual conference. (See ¶ 625.3, .5.) Conference members who serve as staff members of ecumeni- cal agencies or as pastors of non-United Methodist congregations may also be considered as holding an extension ministry, pro- vided their position is approved by the bishop and the confer - ence Board of Ordained Ministry. They shall remain accountable to their vows as members of their annual conference. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, in order to assist boards of ordained ministry, will provide standards and consultation to assist in validating the appropriateness of special ministry settings. In addition, it will provide advocacy for per - sons serving in settings approved under this paragraph and shall encourage the development of emerging ministries that extend the ministry of the Church into the world. Those seeking such an appointment shall submit a written statement to the cabinet, and the Board of Ordained Ministry, describing in detail the proposed setting for their ministry, shar - ing a sense of calling to that ministry and their gifts and evidence of God’s grace for it, and expressing the intentional fulfillment of their ordination vows. This material will be submitted not later than 120 days before desired appointment to the proposed setting. On recommendation of the cabinet and the Board of Ordained Ministry, such positions are to be confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the clergy members of the annual conference. 40. See Judicial Council Decisions 380, 877. 282

298 APPOINTMENTS T ¶ 344 O EXTENSION MINISTRIES ad interim appointments in this cate- The bishop may make gory after consultation with the cabinet and executive commit- tee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, the position to be formally acted upon by the next session of the annual conference. Relation to the Annual Confer ence — a) Accountability to the 2. Annual Conference —All clergy in extension ministries are ame- nable to the annual conference of which they are members and insofar as possible should maintain close working relationship with and effective participation in the work of their annual con- ference, assuming whatever responsibilities they are qualified and requested to assume. All clergy under appointment in extension ministries shall submit annually to the bishop, the district superintendent, and the Board of Ordained Ministry a written report on the official form developed for the Church by the General Council on Finance and Administration for use by the annual conference. This report shall serve as the basis for the evaluation of these clergy in light of the missional needs of the Church and the fulfillment of their licensing or ordination to be minister of Service, Word, Sacrament, and Order. All clergy formally evaluated by the institutions in which they serve will provide, instead of an evaluation, a narra- tive report reflecting their ministry. All clergy serving in appoint- ments outside the conference in which they hold membership shall furnish a copy of their report also to the bishop of the area in which they serve. Annual conferences shall review the qualifica- tions of persons in extension ministry status and integrate them into the ongoing work of the annual conference. b) Responsibility of the Annual Confer ence —The bishop, representatives of the cabinet, and an endorsed representative from extension ministries within the Board of Ordained Minis- try shall provide an opportunity to meet annually with clergy in extension ministries who perform their ministry within the bounds of annual conference, both of that annual conference and those who hold membership elsewhere. The bishop shall con- vene the meeting, which is to be planned by the cabinet and the Board of Ordained Ministry. The purpose of this meeting is to gain understanding of one another’s role and function in minis- try; to report to other ordained ministers appointed to extension ministries and discuss with them matters concerning the overall approach to ministry in the episcopal area; to interpret the role and function of extension ministries to the larger church through the 283

299 ¶ 344 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED offices of the bishop and his or her representatives; to nurture the development of various ministries as significant in assisting the mission of the Church; and to discuss specific programs and services that the bishop and his or her representatives may initi- ate, in which the various ordained ministers serving in appoint- ments beyond the local church may be qualified as consultants and supervisors. Using the appropriate resources and personnel of the annual conference, the bishop shall provide for an annual visit to the ministry setting of all persons under appointment in extension ministries assigned within the geographical bounds of the annual conference and shall provide a report of the visit to the bishop of persons from other annual conferences. a) ch All clergy appointed in — Relation to the Local Chur 3. extension ministries shall establish membership in a charge con- ference in their home annual conference in consultation with the pastor in charge and with approval of the district superintendent and the bishop. They shall submit to their home charge confer - ence an annual report of pastoral duties and the fulfillment of their licensing or ordination through their special appointment, including ministerial activities in the charge where they have an affiliate membership relation and in other units of the Church at large, as well as continuing formation experiences completed and anticipated. This report may be the one submitted to the bishop, district superintendent, and Board of Ordained Ministry ( ¶ a ). District superintendents, because of the nature of their 344.2 ¶¶ 424.3, 362.1 work and the relationship defined in and 661, a, shall not be required to have a charge conference affiliation. All conference members who are elders in full connection, including those in extension ministries, shall be available and on call to administer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Sup- per as required by the Discipline ( ¶ 340.2 b ) and requested by the district superintendent of the district in which the appointment is held. b) —All clergy under Relation to a Local Church Affiliate appointment to extension ministries and serving outside of the geographical bounds of their home annual conference shall promptly notify the bishop of the area in which they reside of their names, addresses, and the annual conferences in which their credentials are held. They shall be affiliate members without vote of a charge conference either within the district where they carry out the primary work of their appointment or within the district 284

300 APPOINTMENTS T ¶ 344 O EXTENSION MINISTRIES where they reside. Persons serving outside the geographic bounds of any annual conference are exempt from this requirement. The selection of the charge conference shall be made after consultation between the person in extension ministry and the pastor of the local United Methodist church. These clergy under appointment in extension ministries and serving outside the geographical boundaries of their home annual conference shall submit to the charge conference of which they are affiliate members a copy of the report submitted to their home charge conference and/or an oral report concerning their ministry and the fulfillment of their licensing or ordination. The district superintendent shall be responsible for the notification to these ministers concerning the time and place of the charge conference. 4. Affiliate Relation to Annual Confer ence —Ordained clergy appointed to extension ministries or appointments beyond the local church outside the boundary of their annual conference may at their own initiative apply to the Board of Ordained Ministry for affiliate membership in the annual conference in which their appointment is located or in which they reside. By a two-thirds vote of the clergy session, such clergy may be received with rights and privileges, including service on conference boards, agencies, task forces, and committees, with voice and vote but with voice and without vote in the annual conference session. Voting mem- bership shall be retained in the appointee’s home annual confer - ence for the duration of affiliate member relationship. Nomination to general Church boards and agencies and election as delegates to General and jurisdictional conferences shall originate in the appointee’s home annual conference. Such persons may serve on the board, agency, task force, or committee of only one annual 41 conference at any one time. 5. ovisions — a) These appointments shall be made General Pr only to positions r elated to adequate accountability structures, according to guidelines established by the Board of Ordained - Ministry and cabinet in the annual conferences in which member ship is held. For information r egarding pensions, the conference will b) continue to list the source of annuity claim for each of its clergy. All confer c) ence secretaries shall submit to the editors of the General Minutes a list of such appointments beyond the local 41. See Judicial Council Decision 554. 285

301 ¶ 344 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED church made in their annual conferences, and there shall be pub- lished in the General Minutes a list of ordained ministers in the Church serving in the major categories under these appointments. All cler gy appointed to extension ministries shall d) attend the annual conference in which membership is held. e) Individual participation in Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard units and part-time employment with the Veteran’s Administration shall be reflected in annual conference journals. Provisions for Appointments to Ecumenical Shared Ministries ¶ 345. United Methodist cler gy members in full connec- tion may be appointed annually to churches of other Christian denominations or to ecumenical shared ministries. Persons in these appointments remain in the itineracy and shall be account- able to the annual conference. Their effectiveness shall be evalu- ated in the context of the specific setting in which their ministry is performed. (See ¶ 344.1 d .) Section XII. Clergy From Other Annual Conferences, Other Methodist and Christian Denominations ¶ 346. Pr ovisions for Clergy From Outside the Annual Confer- ence— Ordained clergy or provisional members from other annual conferences and Christian denominations may receive an appoint- ment in the annual conference in the following manner: gy or Provisional Members From Other Annual Ordained Cler 1. Conferences and Other Methodist Denominations —With approval and consent of the bishops or other judicatory authorities involved, ordained clergy or provisional members of other annual confer - ences or other Methodist churches may receive appointments in the annual or missionary conference while retaining their home conference membership or denominational affiliation. Appoint- ments are to be made by the resident bishop of the conference in which the clergy person is to serve. If appointment is to a mission- ary conference, the terms of the appointment shall be as provided in ¶ 586.4. Otherwise upon the recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, clergy in such appointments may be granted voice but not vote in the annual conference to which they are appointed. Their membership on conference boards and agencies is restricted to the conference of which they are a member. They 286

302 CLERGY FROM OTHER ANNUAL ¶ 346 CONFERENCES shall be compensated no less than the equitable salary provisions of the annual conference in which they serve and participate in the pension and insurance programs of that annual conference. Such appointments are renewable annually. Furthermore, it shall be the responsibility of the board of pensions of the annual confer - ence in which the appointment is received to enroll such clergy in the Clergy Retirement Security Program or any successor retire- ment plan and the Comprehensive Protection Plan or any succes- 42 1506.17). sor welfare plan (see ¶ 2. gy From Other Denominations —On Elders or Ordained Cler recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, the clergy members in full connection may approve annually clergy in good standing in other Christian denominations to serve appointments or ecumenical ministries within the bounds of the annual confer - ence while retaining their denominational affiliation, provided they present suitable credentials, give assurance of their Christian faith and experience, and release required psychological reports, criminal background and credit checks, and reports of sexual mis- conduct and/or child abuse. They shall submit, on a form pro- vided by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry: a notarized statement detailing any convictions for felony or misdemeanor or written accusations of sexual misconduct or child abuse; or a notarized statement certifying that the candidate has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or accused in writing of sexual misconduct or child abuse. They shall give evidence of their agreement with and willingness to support and maintain United Methodist doctrine, discipline, and polity. Their ordina- tion credentials shall be examined by the bishop and the Board of Ordained Ministry and, upon its recommendation, may be recog- nized as valid elders in The United Methodist Church while they are under appointment. When the Board of Ordained Ministry certifies that their credentials are at least equal to those of United Methodist elders, they may be accorded the right to vote in the annual conference on all matters except the following: (a) consti- tutional amendments; (b) election of delegates to the General and jurisdictional or central conferences; (c) all matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of ministers. They may serve on any board, commission, or committee of an annual conference, except the Board of Ordained Ministry and the board of trustees 42. See Judicial Council Decision 554. 287

303 ¶ 346 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED ¶¶ 635.1, 2512.1). They shall not be eligible for election as del- ( egates to the General, jurisdictional, or central conferences. They shall also be subject to the provisions governing sabbatical leave, leave of absence, location, retirement, minimum salary, and pen- 43 sion. They shall not have security of appointment. Between confer ence sessions, the Board of Ordained Min- 3. istry may approve them for appointment pending the recognition ad interim recognition of of their orders. The bishop may make valid ordination after consultation with the cabinet and executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, pending recogni- tion by the vote of the clergy members in full connection. In every case, prior examination shall be made of the ordained minister’s understanding, acceptance, and willingness to support and main- 44 tain United Methodist doctrine, discipline, and polity. 347. ¶ T ransfers —1. From Other Annual Conferences —Ordained clergy or provisional members from other annual conferences of The United Methodist Church may be received by transfer into provisional or full membership with the consent of the bishops involved. Recommendation by the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry and approval of the clergy session shall take place prior to the transfer. a) om Other Methodist Denominations — dained elders Fr Or 2. or ordained clergy from other Methodist churches may be received by transfer into provisional or full conference membership or as local pastors, with the consent of the bishops or other authorities involved, without going through the process required for minis- ters from other denominations. The General Board of Higher Edu- cation and Ministry shall establish a list of denominations that meet this definition. Prior consultation with the chairperson or executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry shall be held in order to determine that the minister meets the standards for conference membership established by the Discipline and the annual conference. A psychological report, criminal background and credit check, and reports of sexual misconduct and/or child abuse shall be required. They shall submit, on a form provided by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry: (1) a notarized statement detailing any convictions for felony or misdemeanor or written accusations of sexual mis - conduct or child abuse; or 43. See Judicial Council Decision 16. 44. See Judicial Council Decision 444. 288

304 CLERGY FROM OTHER ANNUAL ¶ 347 CONFERENCES a notarized statement certifying that this can (2) - didate has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or accused in writing of sexual misconduct or child abuse. dained elders or ordained clergy being trans- Or b) ferred from other Methodist churches shall meet the educational requirements of The United Methodist Church, or the equivalent approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The General Boar d of Higher Education and Ministry c) shall certify the satisfaction of educational requirements for con- ference membership and, in cases where additional education is required, shall develop an educational program in consultation with the Board of Ordained Ministry. ecommendation of om Other Denominations — 3. a) On r Fr the Board of Ordained Ministry, the clergy members in full con- nection may recognize the orders of ordained clergy from other denominations and receive them as provisional members or local pastors. They shall present their credentials for examination by the bishop and Board of Ordained Ministry and give assurance of their Christian faith and experience. They shall give evidence of their agreement with and willingness to support and maintain United Methodist doctrine, discipline, and polity and present a satisfactory certificate of good health on the prescribed form from a physician approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry. The Board of Ordained Ministry, in consultation with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, shall determine whether - they meet the educational requirements for conference member ship. A psychological report, criminal background and credit check, and reports of sexual misconduct and/or child abuse shall be required. They shall submit, on a form provided by the confer - ence Board of Ordained Ministry: (1) a notarized statement detailing any convictions - for felony or misdemeanor or written accusations of sexual mis conduct of child abuse; or (2) - a notarized statement certifying that the can didate has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or accused in writing of sexual misconduct or child abuse. b) Or dained elders or ordained clergy from other Chris- tian denominations shall serve as provisional members for at least two years and complete all the requirements of ¶ 335, including courses in United Methodist history, doctrine, and polity, before being admitted into full conference membership. 289

305 ¶ 347 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED ovisional member’s election to full Following the pr c) conference membership as a deacon or elder as provided in ¶ 326, the bishop and secretary of the conference shall provide a certifi- cate of full membership in the annual conference. Board of Ordained Ministry of an annual conference 4. The is required to ascertain from an ordained clergyperson seek- ing admission into its membership on credentials from another denomination whether or not membership in the effective rela- tion was previously held in an annual conference of The United Methodist Church or one of its legal predecessors, and if so, when and under what circumstances the ordained minister’s connec- tion with such annual conference was severed. Or - dained clergy seeking admission into an annual confer 5. ence on credentials from another denomination who have previ- ously withdrawn from membership in the effective relation in an annual conference of The United Methodist Church or one of its legal predecessors shall not be admitted or readmitted with- out the consent of the annual conference from which they with- drew or its legal successor, or the annual conference of which the major portion of their former conference is a part, such consent to be granted upon recommendation of its Board of Ordained Ministry. After the or ders of an ordained minister of another church 6. shall have been duly recognized, and the minister has been approved for full membership, the certificates of ordination by said church shall be returned to the minister with the following inscription written plainly on the back: These orders are recognized by the ________ Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, this _______ day of_________,_____ [year]. ________________________________, President __________________________, Secretary The ordained minister also will be furnished with a certificate of recognition of orders signed by the bishop. Section XIII. Mentoring and Mentors ¶ Mentors Mentors shall be r —1. 348. ecommended by the cabinet, selected, trained and held accountable by the Board of Ordained Ministry. There are two categories of mentor, each with distinct functions and responsibilities as follows: 290

306 MENT ¶ 348 ORING AND MENTORS e clergy in full connection, asso- a) Candidacy mentors ar ciate members, or local pastors who have completed the Course of Study trained to provide counsel and guidance related to the candidacy process. Candidates will be assigned to a candidacy mentoring group, wherever possible, or to a candidacy mentor by the district committee on ordained ministry in consultation with the vocational discernment coordinator (wherever named) and ¶ 310). Candidates will be assigned to the district superintendent ( a candidacy mentor or mentoring groups to meet with until they begin serving as a local pastor or provisional member. gy mentors are clergy in full connection, associ- Cler b) ate members, full-time, or part-time local pastors who have com- pleted the Course of Study trained to provide ongoing oversight and counsel with local pastors and with provisional members. Local pastors will be assigned a clergy mentor by the district committee on ordained ministry in consultation with the district superintendent. Provisional members will be assigned a clergy mentor in full connection by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry in consultation with the district superintendent. A can- didacy mentor may continue with the same person if trained to serve as a clergy mentor. 2. Mentoring occurs within a r elationship where the men- tor takes responsibility for creating a safe place for reflection and growth. An effective mentor has a mature faith, models effective ministry, and possesses the necessary skill to help individuals dis- cern their call in ministry. Mentoring is a part of the preparation and growth for inquirers and candidates for ordained ministry, local pastors and provisional members of an annual conference. Mentoring is distinct from the evaluative and supervisory process that is a part of preparation for ministry. 3. pastors and provisional members will be assigned Local to a clergy mentoring group, wherever possible, or to a clergy mentor by the Board of Ordained Ministry. Persons transferring from other denominations will also be assigned a clergy mentor ( ¶ 347.3 b ). 4. gy mentoring begins when a person receives an Cler appointment as a local pastor or as a provisional member. It is expected that all annual conferences will make available and encourage the use of spiritual guides, life coaches, pastoral counselors or vocational mentors for all clergy, separate from the superintendent, and that clergy will utilize these kinds of support 291

307 ¶ 348 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED as a standard practice of ministry throughout the clergy career, and in all assignments or appointments. Section XIV. Evaluation for Continuing Formation for Full Members and Local Pastors 349. —Evaluation is a continuous process for ¶ Evaluation formation in servant ministry and servant leadership that must take place in a spirit of understanding and acceptance. Evaluation serves as a process for clergy to assess their effectiveness in min- istry and to discern God’s call to continue in ordained ministry. clergy serving local churches, the district superinten- For 1. dent, in consultation with the pastor-parish relations committee, will evaluate annually each clergy’s effectiveness for ministry ¶¶ 334.2 c, 419, 635.2 ( r ), using criteria, processes, and training o, developed by the cabinet and the Board of Ordained Ministry. The clergy in local churches shall participate annually in an evalua- tion with the committee on pastor-parish relations to enhance an ongoing effective ministry and to identify continuing education needs and plans ( 258.2 g [5]), using criteria, processes, and train- ¶ ing developed by the Board of Ordained Ministry and the cabi- net. The process of evaluation shall include self-assessment and appropriate metrics, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry will offer models to guide cabinets and Boards of Ordained Ministry in the evaluation process. ch and Deacons in appointments beyond the local chur 2. elders and local pastors in appointments to extension ministries will undergo annual evaluation by their immediate supervisors, engage in annual self-evaluation, and include copies of these evaluations in the annual report submitted to their bishop, district superintendent, and the Board of Ordained Ministry ( ¶ 344.2 a ). They shall have an annual conversation with their district super - intendent about their ministry. 3. Every clergyperson shall also engage in a six-month pro- cess of personal and professional assessment and development every eight years. The process will be designed and implemented by the cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry for each annual conference in consultation with the Chairs of the Orders of Dea- cons and Elders and Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members. The process shall include both a formal review and an in-depth renewal opportunity, such as a retreat or series of coach- ing and mentoring sessions. 292

308 EV ¶ 350 ALUATION FOR CONTINUING FORMATION The formal r a) eview shall include a self-evaluation, metrics appropriate to the ministry settings to which clergy are appointed, observations of trends from the previous eight years, and reviews or interviews with people close to the ministry of the clergy being reviewed. b) The in-depth r enewal opportunity shall be designed by the cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry in a form appro- priate to the conference. The renewal opportunities shall include a combination of elements, such as: time apart for prayer and reflec- tion, reflection with a covenant group, meetings with a coach, celebration of ministry milestones, and discernment of future ministry challenges and opportunities. When deemed important to help in the evaluation process, psychological assessments may be requested by the cabinet or Board of Ordained Ministry. c) The district superintendent shall review the portfolio and provide the initial report of the eighth year review of effec- tiveness. When recommended by the district superintendent, a meeting with the bishop and members of the cabinet may be held. d) Each annual confer ence shall develop and initiate a plan for such assessment by January 1, 2020. ¶ 350. Continuing Education and Spiritual Gr owth —1. Through- out their careers, clergy shall engage in continuing education for ministry, professional development, and spiritual formation and growth in order to lead the church in fulfilling the mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ. This shall include carefully developed personal programs of study augmented periodically by involvement in organized educational and spiritual growth activities. These practices embody the Wesleyan emphasis on life- long growth in faith, fostered by personal spiritual practices and participation in covenant communities. Each annual conference, through the chairs of the Clergy Orders and Fellowship or other leaders designated by the bishop, shall provide spiritual enrich- ment opportunities and covenant groups for deacons, elders, and local pastors. 2. clergy member’s continuing education and spiritual A growth program shall include professional formation leaves at least one week each year and may include at least one month dur - ing one year of every quadrennium. Such leaves shall not be con- sidered as part of the ministers’ vacations and shall be planned in consultation with their charges or other agencies to which they 293

309 ¶ 350 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED are appointed as well as the bishop, district superintendent, and annual conference continuing education committee. A clergy member may request a formational and spiri- 3. tual growth leave of up to six months while continuing to hold an appointment in the local church. Such leaves are available to clergy members who have held full-time appointments for at least six years. Such a leave shall be with the approval of the commit- tee on pastor-parish relations, the church council, and the district superintendent. Annual conferences are encouraged to assist with pulpit supply and other temporary support for such leaves. Financial arrangements for continuing education as part 4. of one’s professional development, formation , and spiritual (a) growth shall be negotiated in the following manner: for elders and local pastors it shall be done in consultation with the district superintendent and the committee on pastor-parish relations; for deacons, with an appropriate supervisory body; ( c) (b) for district superintendents, with the district committee on super - intendency; (d) for conference staff, with the appropriate supervi- sory body; (e) for others in extension ministries or appointments beyond the local church, with the appropriate persons in their agency. gy shall be asked by the district superintendent in the 5. Cler charge conference to report on their programs of continuing edu- cation, formation, and spiritual growth for the past year and plans for the year to come. The district superintendent shall also ask the local church to describe its provision for time and financial support of continuing education for ministry, professional devel- opment, formation and spiritual growth for the pastors, diaconal ministers and deacons serving their primary appointment in that local church. 6. Cler gy in extension ministries and appointments beyond the local church shall give evidence of their continuing formation and spiritual growth program and future plans in their annual ¶ 344.2 a ). reports ( Sabbatical Leave 351. ¶ —A sabbatical leave should be allowed for a program of study or travel approved by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Associate members or clergy mem- bers in full connection who have been serving in a full-time appointment for six consecutive years, or in a less than full-time appointment equivalent to six consecutive full-time years, from the time of their reception into full or associate membership may 294

310 CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELA ¶ 352 TIONSHIP be granted a sabbatical leave for up to one year. Whenever possi- ble, the compensation level of the last appointment served before the leave should be maintained in the appointment made at the termination of the leave. The appointment to sabbatical leave is to be made by the bishop holding the conference, upon the vote of the annual conference after recommendation by the Board of Ordained Ministry. Associate members and clergy members in full connection shall submit a written request for a sabbati- cal leave, including plans for study or travel, to the Board of - Ordained Ministry, with copies to the bishop and district super intendent, ordinarily six months before the opening session of the annual conference. To be eligible for an additional sabbatical leave, associate members and clergy members in full connection shall have served six consecutive years under full-time appoint- ment, or in a less than full-time appointment equivalent to six consecutive full-time years, following the previous sabbatical 45 leave. After consultation and with the written consent of the pastor in charge, and with the approval of the district superinten- dent, clergy members granted sabbatical leave shall designate a charge conference within the bounds of the annual conference in which they shall hold membership and to which they shall submit an annual report. Section XV. Changes of Conference Relationship ¶ 352. ovision for Change in Conference Relationship —When Pr a change in conference relationship is deemed necessary or desir- able by a provisional or associate member, clergy in full connec- tion, district superintendent or bishop, whether for a short or long term, the person(s) requesting the change shall make written request to their Board of Ordained Ministry stating the reasons for the requested change of relationship. In addition, the Board of Ordained Ministry may request personal interviews with the provisional or associate members and members in full connection named in the requested change, except where personal appear - 46 ance results in undue hardship. Clergy appointed to a general agency of The United Methodist Church shall be covered by the policies of the agency in relation to family leave, maternity or paternity leave, and medical leave. 45. See Judicial Council Decision 473. 46. See Judicial Council Decisions 524, 530. 295

311 ¶ 353 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED 353. V oluntary Leave of Absence ¶ ovisional, associate, or members in full connection of the 1. Pr annual conference who for sufficient reason choose to temporarily take leave from their ministerial appointment may request in writ- ing with a copy to the bishop and their district superintendent a voluntary leave through the Board of Ordained Ministry. This leave is granted or renewed by vote of the clergy members in full con- nection upon recommendation by the Board of Ordained Ministry. A voluntary leave of absence may be taken for a variety of 2. reasons: —A relationship that is granted to clergy a) Personal Leave who self-determine for personal reasons that they are temporarily unable or unwilling to continue in a ministry appointment. —A relationship that is granted to clergy Family Leave b) who, because of an immediate family member’s need for full-time care, are temporarily unable to continue in a ministry appointment. —A leave granted for up to twelve ransitional Leave T c) months with approval of the bishop and the Board of Ordained Ministry executive committee to provisional and associate mem- - bers and full clergy members in good standing who are temporar ily between appointments. A transitional leave of absence may be granted for the follow- ing reasons: provisional or full member deacon needs to A (1) seek and secure an appointable primary position—compensated or nonsalaried. provisional or full member elder, or an asso- (2) A ciate member needs to transition from an extension ministry to another appointment, or from a local church appointment to an extension ministry appointment. During transitional leave, the clergyperson shall provide quarterly substantiation of his or her effort to obtain such an appointable position to the bishop and to the Board of Ordained 47 Ministry executive committee. 3. W ritten request for a voluntary leave of absence, with the exception of transitional leave, should be made at least ninety days prior to the annual conference session giving specific rea- 48 Representatives of the annual conference sons for the request. Board of Ordained Ministry may interview the clergy member to 47. See Jurisdictional Council Decisions 450, 459, 508, 1226. 48. See Judicial Council Decision 782. 296

312 CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELA ¶ 353 TIONSHIP determine sufficient cause. Personal leave and family leave shall be approved annually upon written request of the clergy member and personal or family leave shall not be granted for more than five years in succession, except by a two-thirds vote of the clergy mem- 49 bers in full connection. Transitional leave shall not be renewed beyond a twelve-month period. Voluntary leave shall be counted 50 327). as a part of the eight-year limit for provisional members ( ¶ 4. Between sessions of the annual conference, voluntary leave of absence may be granted or terminated by the executive com- mittee of the Board of Ordained Ministry after consultation with and approval by the bishop and district superintendents. This interim action shall be subject to the approval of the clergy ses- 51 sion of the annual conference at its next session. 5. Should ther e be active complaints or charges, a request for voluntary leave of absence shall not be permitted until those com- plaints or charges have been resolved. 6. Cler gy on voluntary leave of absence shall have no claim on the conference funds. Notwithstanding the foregoing, where the conference has made certain elections under applicable ben- efit plans that require continued participation by clergy on vol- untary leaves of absence, the clergy shall continue to participate in such plans. They may participate in the conference health pro- gram through their own contributions, if applicable. However, in exceptional circumstances, on recommendation of the bishop and district superintendents, salary and/or other benefits, subject to the terms of the applicable benefit plans, may be granted to a clergy member, if applicable, by vote of the clergy session of mem- bers in full connection with the annual conference. In an interim between sessions of the annual conference, by vote of the bishop, cabinet, and executive committee of the Board of Ordained Min- istry, salary and/or benefits, subject to the terms of the applicable benefit plans, may be granted, if applicable. 7. Cler gypersons on voluntary leave shall be eligible for membership on annual conference committees, commissions, or boards. They may vote for other clergy delegates to General or jurisdictional conferences and may be elected to serve as del- 52 egates themselves. 49. See Judicial Council Decision 689. 50. See Judicial Council Decision 1216. 51. See Judicial Council Decision 689. 52. See Judicial Council Decision 473. 297

313 ¶ 353 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED After consultation and with the written consent of the pas 8. - tor in charge, and with the approval of the district superintendent and the staff-parish relations committee of a local church, clergy members shall designate a charge conference within the bounds of the annual conference to which they shall relate and submit an annual report. They shall report all marriages performed, bap- tisms administered, funerals conducted and other ministerial activities to the charge conference, pastor in charge, and Board of Ordained Ministry. The exercise of this ministry shall be limited to the charge conference in which their membership is held and with the written permission of the pastor in charge unless special per - - mission is granted by the bishop of the conference where member ship is held. With the permission of the bishop of the conference where membership is held, under the supervision of the district superintendent, the clergy member may preach, teach, perform marriages, and, if holding sacramental privileges, administer the 53 sacraments outside of the charge where membership is held. 9. Those on voluntary leave of absence shall be held ame - nable to the annual conference for their conduct and the perfor - mance of their ministry. In case of failure to report to the Board of Ordained Ministry, the provisions for administrative location ¶ ( 359) may be invoked. 10. Cler gy members on voluntary leave of absence may, with the permission of the bishop and with the approval of the United Methodist Endorsing Agency, continue to hold an existing reserve commission as an armed forces chaplain, but may not voluntarily serve on extended active duty. 11. When an end to voluntary leave of absence is r equested, except for transitional leave, it shall be by written request at least six months prior to the session of annual conference. The Board of Ordained Ministry shall review the circumstances surrounding the granting of the leave for the purpose of determining whether those circumstances have been alleviated or resolved. When the board has determined that the circumstances of the voluntary leave have not been alleviated or resolved and the request is denied, the board will inform the person of the remaining options, which include: a ) remaining on voluntary leave of absence; b ) taking honorable location; c ) being recommended to the bishop and district superintendents to be placed on involuntary leave, 53. See Judicial Council Decision 581. 298

314 CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELA ¶ 354 TIONSHIP using the fair administrative location, or involuntary retirement, 361.2; or ) such other action as deemed appropriate. process of ¶ d When cler gy members on voluntary leave of absence do 12. not request an annual extension of the leave of absence during the five-year period or do not indicate willingness to receive an appointment at the end of the five-year period, following docu- mented efforts to make contact with the clergyperson, the provi- sions of administrative location ( ¶ 359) may be invoked. 354. Involuntary Leave of Absence ¶ equest The bishop and the district superintendents may r 1. an involuntary leave of absence without the consent of the pro- visional, associate, or full member. They shall give to the clergy member and the Board of Ordained Ministry in writing specific reasons for the request. The fair process for administrative hear - ings as set forth in 361.2 shall be followed in any involuntary ¶ leave of absence procedure. leave may be requested by the bishop and 2. An involuntary the district superintendent. The request shall be referred to the Board of Ordained Ministry and follow procedures for a fair pro- cess hearing as set forth in ¶ 361.2 when: a) written and signed complaint is not resolved through A the supervisory ( 362.1 b , c ), complaint ( ¶ 362.1 e ), or trial process ¶ within 90 days, or clearly cannot be resolved within 90 days. b) Action pursuant to ¶ 363 (Involuntary Status Change) is required to address allegations of incompetence, ineffective- 54 ness, or inability to perform ministerial duties. 3. Should ther e be complaints or charges pending at the time of a request for involuntary leave of absence, they should be placed in the personnel file of the clergyperson. All subsequent actions concerning such entries should be duly noted and placed 55 in the file. 4. Involuntary leave of absence shall be appr oved by two- thirds vote of the clergy session of members in full connection 56 Involuntary leave shall be approved with the annual conference. annually upon written request of the district superintendents and shall not be approved for more than three years in succession. ence, the bishop and Between sessions of the annual confer 5. cabinet may request that an involuntary leave of absence be granted 54. See Judicial Council Decisions 524, 530, 689, 721, 1010. 55. See Judicial Council Decisions 524, 530. 56. See Judicial Council Decision 782. 299

315 ¶ 354 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED ¶ 363), by the executive committee of the Board or terminated ( of Ordained Ministry. This interim action shall be subject to the approval of the clergy session of members in full connection with the annual conference at its next session. 6. gy on involuntary leave shall have no claim on the Cler annual conference funds. The annual conference assumes no financial responsibility for salary, pension, or other benefits for clergy on involuntary leave of absence. Notwithstanding the fore- going, where the conference has made certain elections under applicable benefit plans that require continued participation by clergy on involuntary leaves of absence, the clergy shall continue - to participate in such plans. They may participate in the confer ence health plan through their own contributions, if applicable. In exceptional circumstances, with the recommendation of the bishop and cabinet, salary and/or other benefits, subject to the terms of the applicable benefit plans, may be granted by vote of the clergy session of the annual conference. Between sessions of the annual conference, in unusual circumstances, the bishop and cabinet may recommend and the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry may approve funding of pensions and other benefits, subject to the terms of the applicable benefit plans, pending approval by the annual conference. 7. Cler gy placed on involuntary leave shall designate a charge conference within the bounds of the annual conference. Ministerial service shall be limited to that charge and shall only be provided with the written consent of the pastor in charge and with the approval of the district superintendent, bishop, and pas- 57 tor/staff parish relations committee. 8. Cler gy on involuntary leave shall not participate in the boards and agencies of the annual conference, be delegates to Gen- eral and jurisdictional conferences, or vote on other clergy delegates. When an end to the involuntary leave of absence is 9. r equested by the bishop and district superintendents, it shall be by written request at least six months prior to the session of annual conference. The Board of Ordained Ministry shall review the circumstances surrounding the granting of the relationship for the purpose of determining whether the conditions of the leave have been met. If the board determines that the conditions of the involuntary leave have not been resolved, it may continue invol- 57. See Judicial Council Decision 524. 300

316 CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELA ¶ 355 TIONSHIP untary leave of absence for up to the three-year limit or it shall pursue administrative location (see §2 above). If the district superintendents and bishop do not intend to 10. ee (3) years on involuntary leave, they appoint a person after thr shall notify both the Board of Ordained Ministry and the clergy- person at least six months prior to the session of the annual conference and pursue administrative location or initiate the com- plaint process, if it has not already been initiated. The administrative r eview committee ( ¶ 636) shall ensure 11. that the disciplinary procedures for involuntary leave of absence were properly followed. The entire process leading to the recom- mendation for involuntary leave of absence and its resolution shall be reviewed by the administrative review committee, and it shall report its findings to the clergy session of members in full connection with the annual conference. ¶ 355. Maternity or Paternity Leave —Maternity or paternity leave, not to exceed one-fourth of a year, will be available and shall be granted by the bishop and the cabinet, and the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry to any local pastor, provisional member, associate member, or clergy member in full connection who so requests it at the birth or arrival of a child into the home for purposes of adoption. Persons desiring maternity or paternity leave should file 1. their request with the committee on pastor-parish relations after consulting with the district superintendent at least ninety days prior to its beginning to allow adequate pastoral care for the churches involved to be developed. During the leave, the clergy member’s annual conference 2. relations will remain unchanged, and the health and welfare ben- efit plans will remain in force. 3. maternity or paternity leave of up to one-quarter of a A year will be considered as an uninterrupted appointment for pen- sion purposes. 4. Compensation will be maintained for no less than the first eight weeks of leave. esponsibility for the church 5. During the leave time, pastoral r or churches involved will be handled through consultation with the committee on pastor-parish relations of the local church(es) and the district superintendent. 6. - Special arrangements shall be made for district superinten dents, bishops, and those under special appointment. 301

317 ¶ 356 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Medical Leave Due to Medical and Disabling Conditions ¶ 356. That Prevent Performance of Ministerial Duties —1. When clergy ¶ 369) are unable to who are members of an annual conference ( perform their ministerial duties because of medical and disabling conditions, upon recommendations of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the conference board of pensions, and by a majority vote of the executive session of clergy members in full connection with the annual conference who are present and voting, they may be granted annual medical leave without los- ing their relationship to the annual conference; provided, how- ever, that such leave may be granted or renewed upon reasonable and appropriate investigation of the case by the joint committee on clergy medical leave of the annual conference, or the party responsible for managing clergy medical leaves in accordance with the annual conference’s policies, which will report its find- ings to the conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the con- ference board of pensions. This relationship may be initiated by the clergy member or cabinet with or without the consent of the clergy member through the Board of Ordained Ministry. When medical leave is given without the clergy member’s consent, reasonable accommodation shall be offered whenever possible. When a clergy member is granted medical leave by the annual conference, if the medical evidence has not yet met the standards for the receipt of benefits as set forth in the Comprehensive Pro- tection Plan, section 5.04, the conference board of pensions may authorize payment of the benefits in the amount that would oth- erwise be payable from the Comprehensive Protection Plan. The payments shall be made by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits as a charge to the annual conference granting the medical leave. If payments from the Comprehensive Protection Plan are subsequently approved, the annual conference will be reimbursed for benefits already paid, not to exceed the amount otherwise payable from the Comprehensive Protection Plan. Each medical leave granted by the annual conference shall be recorded in the conference minutes. gy who are members of an annual conference When cler 2. are unable to perform their ministerial duties between sessions of the annual conference on account of medical conditions, with the approval of a majority of the district superintendents, after con- sultation with the executive committee of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the executive committee of the conference 302

318 CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELA ¶ 356 TIONSHIP board of pensions, a medical leave may be granted by the bishop for the remainder of the conference year; provided, however, that such leave may be granted upon reasonable and appropriate investigation of the case including accommodation provisions by the joint committee on clergy medical leave of the annual confer - ence, or the party responsible for managing clergy medical leaves in accordance with the annual conference’s policies, which will report its findings to the conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the conference board of pensions. When a clergy member is granted medical leave by the bishop, if the medical evidence has not yet met the standards for receipt of benefits as set forth in the Comprehensive Protection Plan, section 5.04, the conference board of pensions may authorize payment of the benefits in the amount that would otherwise be payable from the Comprehen- sive Protection Plan. The payments shall be made by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits as a charge to the annual conference granting the medical leave. If payments from the Comprehensive Protection Plan are subsequently approved, the annual conference will be reimbursed for benefits already paid, not to exceed the amount otherwise payable from the Compre- hensive Protection Plan. 3. gy members on medical leave provide medical When cler evidence that they have recovered sufficiently to resume min- isterial duties, or are able to return through reasonable accom- modation, in consultation with the appointive cabinet, upon recommendation of the joint committee on clergy medical leave or the conference relations committee, and with the approval of the executive committee of the conference Board of Ordained Min- istry, they may receive an appointment from a bishop between sessions of the annual conference, thereby terminating the medi- cal leave. Such appointment shall be reported immediately by the cabinet to the conference board of pensions and to the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. Such termination of leave, together with the effective date, shall also be recorded in the min- 58 utes of the annual conference at its next regular session. 4. A person under consideration for medical leave shall have the right to appear before the joint committee on clergy medical leave or to designate someone to meet with the committee on his or her behalf. In the event of unresolved issues, a person will be 58. See Judicial Council Decision 1012. 303

319 ¶ 356 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED - ensured of fair process per the guidelines for administrative hear 361.2. ings in ¶ Any person eligible to receive an appointment from a 5. bishop and able to perform ministerial duties may not be placed on involuntary medical leave solely because of a medical condition. All reasonable accommodations should be made to enable quali- fied clergy with disabilities to serve in ministry settings compat- ible with their gifts and graces. (See 2016 Book of Resolutions, 3002.) 357. ¶ Retir ement —Retired clergy members are those who have been placed in the retired relation either at their own request or by action of the clergy session upon recommendation of the 59 Board of Ordained Ministry. (See ¶¶ 1506-1509 and the Minis- terial Pension Plan, amended and restated effective January 1, 2007, as the Clergy Retirement Security Program, for pension information.) Requests for retirement shall be stated in writing to the bishop, cabinet, and Board of Ordained Ministry at least one hundred twenty days prior to the date on which retirement is to be effective unless waived by the bishop and cabinet. The Board of Ordained Ministry shall provide guidance and counsel to the retiring member and family as they begin a new relationship in 60 the local church. . Mandatory 1 —Every clergy member of an annual Retirement conference who will have attained age seventy-two on or before July 1 in the year in which the conference is held shall automati- 61 cally be retired. 2. V oluntary Retirement — a) W ith Twenty Years of Service —Any clergy members of the annual conference who have completed twenty years or more of service under appointment as ordained ministers or as local pastors with pension credit for service before 1982 or with full participation in the Comprehensive Protection Plan since 1981 prior to the opening date of the session of the con- ference may request the annual conference to place them in the retired relation with the privilege of receiving their pensions for the number of approved years served in the annual conference or conferences and such other benefits as the final annual conference may provide, payment to begin the first of any month after the 62 ordained minister attains age sixty-two. If pension begins prior 59. See Judicial Council Decisions 87, 88, 531. 60. See Judicial Council Decision 995. 61. See Judicial Council Decisions 7, 165, 413, 578. 62. See Judicial Council Decision 717. 304

320 CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELA ¶ 357 TIONSHIP ¶ 357.2 could have occurred, to the age at which retirement under c then the actuarial reduction provisions of the Clergy Retirement Security Program shall apply. ith Thirty Years of Service or at Age Sixty-two —At their b) W own request and by vote of the clergy members in full connec- tion, any clergy members who will have attained age sixty-two on or before July 1 in the year in which the session of the annual conference is held or will have completed thirty years of service under appointment as an ordained minister, or a local pastor with pension credit for service before 1982 or with full participation in - the Comprehensive Protection Plan since 1981, as of the confer ence session may be placed in the retired relation with an annuity 63 claim for an actuarially reduced pension. W c) ith Forty Years of Service or at Age Sixty-five —At their own request and by vote of the clergy members in full connection, any clergy members who will have attained age sixty-five on or before July 1 in the year in which the session of the conference is held or will have completed forty years of service under appoint- ment as an ordained minister, or as a local pastor with pension credit for service before 1982 or with full participation in the Com- prehensive Protection Plan since 1981, as of the conference session may be placed in the retired relation with the privilege of making 64 an annuity claim. The dates specified in ¶ 357.1 and .2 a-c d) notwithstand- ing, between sessions of the annual conference any member who attains the age and/or number of years of service specified in those sections may, upon the member’s own request and with the approval of the bishop, cabinet, and executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, be granted the retired relation ad interim , with applicable annuity claim, subject to the approval of the clergy members in full connection at the next annual confer - ence session. The annual confer ence, at its discretion, upon joint e) recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the con- ference board of pensions, may designate any time within the ensuing conference year as the effective date of retirement of a clergy member who is placed in the retired relation under the pro- 65 visions of § 2 b or § 2 c above. 63. See Judicial Council Decision 428. 64. See Judicial Council Decision 379. 65. See Judicial Council Decision 769. 305

321 ¶ 357 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED Involuntary Retir —By a two-thirds vote of those pres- 3. ement ent and voting, the clergy members in full connection may place any clergy members in the retired relation with or without their consent and irrespective of their age if such relation is recom- 66 The mended by the Board of Ordained Ministry and the cabinet. procedures for fair process in administrative hearings shall be fol- lowed in any involuntary retirement procedure. The cabinet may recommend to the Board of Ordained ministry the involuntary retirement of the clergy member, or the Board of Ordained Minis- try may make the recommendation upon its own motion. Written notice of the intended action shall be given to such member by the Board of Ordained Ministry at least 180 days prior to annual conference. Written notice also should be given to the chairperson of the administrative review committee. ¶ The administrative review committee ( 636) shall ensure that the disciplinary procedures for involuntary retirement were prop- erly followed. The entire process leading to the recommendation for involuntary retirement shall be reviewed by the administrative review committee, and it shall report its findings to the clergy ses- sion of members in full connection of the annual conference. Any clergy member who is placed in the retired relationship under this subparagraph shall be entitled to the privilege of receiving his or her pension for the number of approved years served in the annual conference or conferences and such other benefits as the final annual conference may provide, payment to begin the first of any month after the ordained minister attains age sixty-two. If ¶ 357.2 c pension begins prior to the age at which retirement under could have occurred, then the actuarial reduction provisions of the Clergy Retirement Security Program shall apply. 4. eretirement Counseling —The Board of Ordained Minis- Pr try in cooperation with the conference board of pensions shall offer to all clergy members anticipating retirement preconsulta- tion at least five years prior to the date of anticipated retirement ( ¶ 635.2 o ). The purpose of the consultation will be to assist the clergy and spouses to plan and to prepare for the adjustments associated with retirement as well as providing guidance and counsel for their return to a new relationship in the local church. In preretirement counseling the Board of Ordained Ministry and the conference board of pensions may relate to the annual confer- 66. See Judicial Council Decisions 522, 769. 306

322 CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELA ¶ 357 TIONSHIP ence association of retired ministers or similar organization where it exists. The boards shall take initiative in assisting retirees to establish such organizations. 5. Char ge Conference Membership a) All retired clergy mem- — bers who are not appointed as pastors of a charge, after consulta- tion with the pastor and the district superintendent, shall have a seat in the charge conference and all the privileges of membership in the church where they elect to hold such membership except as Discipline . They shall report to the charge confer - set forth in the ence and to the pastor all marriages performed, baptisms admin- istered, and other pastoral functions. If they reside outside the bounds of the annual conference where membership is held, they shall forward annually to the charge conference where member - ship is held a report of their Christian and ministerial conduct, signed by the district superintendent or the pastor of the affiliate charge conference where they reside. 6. Appointment of Retir ed Ordained Ministers —A retired ordained minister shall be eligible to receive an appointment when requested by the bishop and cabinet. A retired ordained minister appointed to a pastoral charge shall have neither a claim upon minimum com- pensation from the Commission on Equitable Compensation or similar conference agency, nor further pension credit. Compensa- tion for a retired ordained minister shall be negotiated between the district superintendent and the pastoral charge or other appointment to which the retired ordained minister is appointed. 67 Retired ordained ministers may serve on conference agencies. 7. Return to Effective Relationship —A clergy member who has retired under the provisions of ¶ 357.2 may at his or her own request be made an effective member upon recommenda- tion of the Board of Ordained Ministry, the bishop and cabinet, and by majority vote of the clergy members in full connection of the annual conference and thereby be eligible for appoint- ment so long as he or she remains in the effective relation or until ¶ 357.1 applies. Each clergy member requesting return to effec- tive relationship after voluntary retirement must meet the follow- ing conditions: (1) presentation of their certificate of retirement; (2) a satisfactory certificate of good health on the prescribed form from a physician approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry. However, any pension being received through the General Board 67. See Judicial Council Decisions 87, 531, 558. 307

323 ¶ 357 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED of Pension and Health Benefits shall be discontinued upon their return to the effective relationship. The pension shall be reinstated upon subsequent retirement. ¶ 358. Honorable Location— An annual confer ence may 1. grant clergy members in full connection certificates of honorable location at their own request, provided that the Board of Ordained Ministry shall have first examined their character and found them in good standing, and provided that the clergy session shall also - pass on their character after the request is made, and provided fur ther, that this relation shall be granted only to one who intends to discontinue service in the itinerant ministry. The Board of Ordained Ministry shall provide guidance and counsel to the locating mem- ber and family as they return to a new relationship in the local church. Upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Minis- try, an annual conference may offer transition assistance. 2. Associate members or cler gy members in full connection located according to the provisions of this paragraph shall not continue to hold membership in the annual conference, and they shall surrender their certification of conference membership for deposit with the conference secretary. After consultation and with the written consent of the pastor in charge, and with the approval of the district superintendent and the staff-parish relations com- mittee of a local church, located clergy members shall designate the local church in which they shall hold membership. Documen- tation of this consent and approvals shall be filed with the Board of Ordained Ministry of the annual conference that granted them honorable location. As clergy members of the charge conference, they shall be permitted to exercise ministerial functions only with the written permission of the pastor in charge. They shall have all the privileges of membership in the church where they elect to hold charge conference membership, except as set forth in the Book of Discipline . When approved by the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, a person on honorable location 68 A ad interim by the bishop as a local pastor. may be appointed copy of the annual report to the charge conference shall be for - warded to the registrar of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the annual conference that granted them honorable location in order for location to be continued. They shall report to the charge con- ference and the pastor all marriages performed, baptisms admin- 68. See Judicial Council Decision 366. 308

324 CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELA ¶ 359 TIONSHIP istered, and funerals conducted and shall be held amenable for their conduct and the continuation of their ordination rights to the annual conference that granted them honorable location. Failure to submit the report for two consecutive years may result in termination of orders upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry and vote of the clergy session. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to persons granted involuntary location prior to the General Conference of 1976. The - names of located members after the annual passage of their char acter shall be printed in the journal. 3. Or dained ministers on honorable location may request the annual conference to grant them the status of honorable location- 69 Requests for retired status shall be stated in writing to retired. the bishop, cabinet, and registrar of the Board of Ordained Min- istry at least ninety days prior to the annual conference session. Those granted honorable location retired status shall be account- able for all ministerial services performed to the charge confer - ence in which they hold membership. If such services have been - performed, they shall report to that charge conference and exer cise their ministry under the supervision of the pastor in charge therein as outlined in ¶ 358.2. They shall continue to be held ame- nable for their conduct, through accountability to their charge conference, to the annual conference in which charge conference membership is held. ¶ Administrative Location —1. When an associate or full 359. gyperson’s effectiveness is in question, the bishop member cler shall complete the following procedure: Identify the concerns. These can include an associate or a) gyperson’s failed professional responsibilities or full member cler vocational ineffectiveness. b) Hold supervisory conversations with the associate or full gyperson that identifies the concerns and designs col- member cler laboratively with the associate or full member clergyperson a cor - rective plan of action. c) Upon evaluation, determine that the plan of action has not oduced fruit that gives a realistic expecta- been carried out or pr tion of future effectiveness ( ¶ 334.3). 2. ocess defined above (§1) has been completed and If the pr has failed to produce sufficient improvement, the bishop and the 69. See Judicial Council Decision 717. 309

325 ¶ 359 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED district superintendents may request that an associate or full member be placed on administrative location without the consent of the clergy member. They shall provide to the clergy member and the Board of Ordained Ministry, in writing, specific reasons for the request. The conference relations committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry shall conduct a fair process hearing as set ¶ 361.2 in any administrative location procedure. The forth in committee shall report the result of the hearing to the full Board of Ordained Ministry for its action. Any recommendation to admin- istrative location shall be presented from the Board of Ordained Ministry at the next following meeting of the clergy session for final action. Between sessions of the annual conference, an associ- ate or full member may be placed on administrative location by the Board of Ordained Ministry. This interim action shall be sub- ject to the approval of the clergy session of members in full con- 70 nection with the annual conference at its next session. 3. Administratively located cler gy shall not continue to hold membership in the annual conference, and they shall surrender their certification of conference membership for deposit with the conference secretary. After consultation and with the written con- sent of the pastor in charge, and with the approval of the district superintendent and the staff-parish relations committee of a local church, clergy placed on administrative location shall designate a charge conference within the bounds of the annual conference that placed them on administrative location. Ministerial ser - vice shall be limited to that charge and shall be provided only with the written consent of the pastor in charge and the district superintendent and with the approval of the bishop and pastor/ staff-parish relations committee. An annual report shall be made to the charge conference that includes all marriages performed, baptisms administered, and funerals conducted. A copy of the report shall be forwarded to the registrar of the Board of Ordained Ministry in order for location to be continued. They shall be held amenable by the annual conference within which the charge con- ference membership is held for their conduct and the continua- tion of their ordination rights. Failure to submit the report to the Board of Ordained Ministry for two consecutive years may result in termination of orders upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry and vote of the clergy session. 70. See Judicial Council Decision 695. 310

326 CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELA ¶ 360 TIONSHIP Or dained ministers on administrative location may request 4. the annual conference to grant them the status of administrative location-retired. Requests for retired status shall be stated in writ- ing to the bishop, cabinet, and registrar of the Board of Ordained Ministry at least ninety days prior to the annual conference ses- sion. Those granted administrative location-retired status shall be accountable to the charge conference in which they hold mem- bership for all ministerial services performed. Ministerial service shall be limited to that charge and shall be provided only with the written consent of the pastor in charge and the district superinten- dent and with the approval of the bishop and pastor/staff-parish relations committee. If such services have been performed, they shall report to that charge conference and exercise their ministry under the supervision of the pastor in charge therein as outlined in 358.2. They shall continue to be held amenable for their conduct, ¶ through accountability to their charge conference, to the annual conference in which charge conference membership is held. 360. W ithdrawal ithdrawal to Unite With Another W —1. ¶ 71 Denomination — When ordained members in good standing with- draw to unite with another denomination or to terminate their membership in the denomination, their certification of confer - ence membership, and their written request to withdraw shall be deposited with the conference secretary. W ithdrawal From the Ordained Ministerial Office— Ordained 2. members of an annual conference in good standing who desire to leave their ministerial office and withdraw from the conference may be allowed to do so by the annual conference at its session. The ordained minister’s certifications of ordination and confer - ence membership, and their written request to withdraw, shall be given to the district superintendent for deposit with the secre- tary of the conference, and his or her membership may be trans- ferred to a church which he or she designates, after consultation with the pastor, as the local church in which he or she will hold 72 membership. 3. W ithdrawal Under Complaints or Charges— When clergy members are named as respondents to a complaint under ¶ 362.1 e and desire to withdraw from the membership of the annual con- ference, it may permit them to withdraw under the provisions of ¶ 2719.2. The clergy member’s certifications of ordination and 71. See Judicial Council Decision 696. 72. See Judicial Council Decisions 552, 695, 1055. 311

327 ¶ 360 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED - conference membership shall be surrendered to the district super intendent for deposit with the secretary of the conference, and their membership may be transferred to a local church that they 73 designate, after consultation with the pastor. Withdrawn under complaint or withdrawn under charges shall be written on the face of the credentials. 4. W ithdrawal Between Conferences— In the event that with- drawal by surrender of the ministerial office, to unite with another denomination, or under complaints or charges, should occur in the interval between sessions of an annual conference, the clergy member’s credentials, under the provisions of 360.1 and .3, shall ¶ be surrendered to the bishop or district superintendent along with a letter of withdrawal from the ordained ministry. Both the credentials and the letter of withdrawal shall be deposited with the secretary of the conference. This action shall be reported by the Board of Ordained Ministry to the annual conference at its 74 next session. The effective date of withdrawal shall be the date 75 of the letter of withdrawal. Section XVI. Administrative Fair Process —Each annual con- 1. ¶ 361. Conference Relations Committee ference Board of Ordained Ministry shall establish a conference relations committee of at least three persons to hear requests for discontinuance of provisional members, involuntary leave of absence, administrative location, involuntary retirement, or other such matters as may be referred to them by the Board of Ordained Ministry ( ¶ 635). District superintendents shall not serve on the conference relations committee. 2. ocess Hearings— As a part of the holy covenant that Fair Pr exists within the membership and organization of The United Methodist Church, the following procedures are presented for the protection of the rights of individuals and for the protection of the Church in administrative hearings. The process set forth in this paragraph shall be followed whenever there is a request for discontinuance of provisional membership (upon appeal by the provisional member), involuntary leave of absence, admin- istrative location, or involuntary retirement. Special attention shall 73. See Judicial Council Decision 691. 74. See Judicial Council Decision 552. 75. See Judicial Council Decision 691. 312

328 ADMINISTRA ¶ 361 TIVE FAIR PROCESS be given to the timely disposition of all matters and to ensuring racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the committee dealing with the fair process hearing. a) In any administrative proceeding the bishop or the bishop’s designee and the respondent (the person against whom involuntary action [excluding complaints] is directed) shall have a right to be heard before any final action is taken. espondent of Notice of any hearing shall advise the r b) the reason for the proposed procedures with sufficient detail to allow the respondent to prepare a response. Notice shall be given not less than twenty days prior to the hearing. espondent shall have a right to be accompanied The r c) to any hearing by a clergyperson who is a member in full connec- tion of the respondent’s annual conference, in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary provisions. The clergyperson accompa- 76 nying the respondent shall have the right to voice. d) In any administrative hearing, under no cir cumstances shall one party, in the absence of the other party, discuss substan- tive issues with members of the pending hearing body. Questions of procedure may be raised with the presiding officer of the hear - ing body. The respondent shall have access, at least seven days e) prior to the hearing, to all records relied upon in the determina- 77 tion of the outcome of the administrative process. f) In the event that a cler gyperson fails to appear for supervisory interviews, refuses mail, refuses to communicate per - sonally with the bishop or district superintendent, or otherwise fails to respond to supervisory requests or requests from official administrative committees, such actions or inactions shall not be used as an excuse to avoid or delay any Church processes, and such processes may continue without the participation of such individual. 3. Immunity Fr om Prosecution— In order to preserve the integ- rity of the Church’s administrative process and ensure full par - ticipation in it at all times, the bishop, cabinet, Board of Ordained Ministry, witnesses, advocates, administrative review committee, clergy in full connection voting in executive session, and all others who participate in the Church’s administrative process shall have immunity from prosecution of complaints brought against them 76. See Judicial Council Decisions 921, 972. 77. See Judicial Council Decision 974. 313

329 ¶ 361 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED related to their role in a particular administrative process, unless they have committed a chargeable offense in conscious and knowing bad faith. The complainant/plaintiff in any proceeding against any such person related to their role in a particular judicial process shall have the burden of proving, by clear and convinc- ing evidence, that such person’s actions constituted a chargeable offense committed knowingly in bad faith. The immunity set forth in this provision shall extend to civil court proceedings, to the fullest extent permissible by the civil laws. 362. - ocedures— 1. Or dination and member Complaint Pr ¶ ship in an annual conference in The United Methodist Church is a sacred trust. The qualifications and duties of local pastors, asso- ciate members, provisional members, and full members are set forth in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, and we believe they flow from the gospel as taught by Jesus the Christ and proclaimed by his apostles. Whenever a person in any of the above categories, including those on leaves of all types, honorable or administrative location, or retirement, is accused of violating this trust, the membership of his or her ministerial office shall be subject to review. This review shall have as its primary purpose a just resolution of any violations of this sacred trust, in the hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation and healing may be realized in the body of Christ. A just resolution is one that focuses on repairing any harm to people and communities, achieving real accountability by making things right in so far as possible and bringing healing to all the parties. In appropriate situations, processes seeking a just reso- lution as defined in ¶ 362.1 c may be pursued. Special attention should be given to ensuring that cultural, racial, ethnic and gen- der contexts are valued throughout the process in terms of their understandings of fairness, justice, and restoration. A complaint is a written and signed statement claiming mis- conduct as defined in ¶ 2702.1. When a complaint is received by the bishop, both the person making the complaint and the person against whom the complaint is made will be informed in writing of the process to be followed at that stage. When and if the stage changes, those persons will continue to be informed in writing of the new process in a timely fashion. All original time limitations may be extended for one 30-day period upon the consent of the complainant and the respondent. 314

330 ADMINISTRA ¶ 362 TIVE FAIR PROCESS —In the course of the ordinary fulfillment Supervision a) of the superintending role, the bishop or district superintendent may receive or initiate complaints about the performance or character of a clergyperson. A complaint is a written and signed statement claiming misconduct or unsatisfactory performance 78 of ministerial duties. The person filing the complaint and the clergyperson shall be informed by the district superintendent or bishop of the process for filing the complaint and its purpose. Supervisory Response —The supervisory response of b) the bishop shall begin upon receipt of a formal complaint. The response is pastoral and administrative and shall be directed toward a just resolution among all parties. It is not part of any judicial process. The complaint shall be treated as an allegation or allegations during the supervisory process. At all supervisory meetings no verbatim record shall be made and no legal coun- sel shall be present. The person against whom the complaint was made may choose another person to accompany him or her with the right to voice; the person making the complaint shall have the right to choose a person to accompany him or her with the right to voice. The supervisory response shall be carried out by the bishop or the bishop’s designee in a timely manner, with attention to communication to all parties regarding the complaint and the process. At the determination of the bishop, persons with quali- fications and experience in assessment, intervention, or healing may be selected to assist in the supervisory response. The bishop also may consult with the committee on pastor-parish relations for pastors, the district committee on superintendency for the dis- trict superintendents, appropriate personnel committee, or other persons who may be helpful. When the supervisory response is initiated, the bishop shall notify the chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry that a complaint has been filed, of the clergyperson named, of the gen- eral nature of the complaint, and, when concluded, of the disposi- tion of the complaint. Just Resolution —The supervisory response may in- c) clude a process that seeks a just resolution in which the parties are assisted by a trained, impartial third party facilitator(s) or 79 mediator(s), in reaching an agreement satisfactory to all parties. 78. See Judicial Council Decisions 763, 777. 79. See Judicial Council Decisions 691, 700, 751, 763, 768. 315

331 ¶ 362 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED If the bishop chooses to initiate a mediated attempt to produce a just resolution, then the bishop, the person filing the complaint, the respondent, and other appropriate persons shall enter into a written agreement outlining the process, including any agree- ments on confidentiality. A process seeking a just resolution may begin at any time in the supervisory, complaint, or trial process. If resolution is achieved, a written statement of resolution, includ- ing any terms and conditions, shall be signed by the parties and the parties shall agree on any matters to be disclosed to third par - ties. A just resolution agreed to by all parties shall be a final dispo- sition of the related complaint. A process seeking a just resolution may begin at any time in the supervisory or complaint process. This is a not an administra- tive or judicial proceeding. —When deemed appropriate, to protect the Suspension d) well-being of the person making the complaint, the congregation, annual conference, other context for ministry, and/or clergy, the bishop, with the recommendation of the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, may suspend the person from all clergy responsibilities, but not from an appointment, for a period not to exceed ninety days. With the agreement of the exec- utive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, the bishop may extend the suspension for only one additional period not to exceed thirty days. During the suspension, salary, housing, and benefits provided by a pastoral charge will continue at a level no 80 less than on the date of suspension. The person so suspended shall retain all rights and privileges as stated in ¶ 334. The cost of supply of a pastor during the suspension will be borne by the 81 annual conference. e) Referral or Dismissal of a Complaint —Upon receiving a written and signed complaint, the Bishop shall, within 90 days, carry out the supervisory response process outlined above. If within 90 days after the receipt of the complaint resolution is not achieved, the bishop shall either: (1) Dismiss the complaint with the consent of the cabinet giving the r easons therefore in writing, a copy of which shall be placed in the clergyperson’s file; or (2) Refer the matter to the counsel for the church as a complaint. 80. See Judicial Council Decision 776. 81. See Judicial Council Decisions 534, 836. 316

332 ADMINISTRA ¶ 363 TIVE FAIR PROCESS Supervisory Follow-up and Healing f) —The bishop and cabinet shall provide a process for healing within the congrega- tion, annual conference, or other context of ministry if there has been significant disruption by the complaint. This process may include sharing of information by the bishop or the bishop’s designee about the nature of the complaint without disclosing alleged facts, which may compromise any possible forthcoming administrative or judicial process. When facts are disclosed, due regard should be given to the interests and needs of all concerned, including the respondent and complainant who may be involved in an administrative or judicial process. This process for healing may include a process of a just resolution, which addresses unre- solved conflicts, support for victims, and reconciliation for parties 82 This can take place at any time during the supervisory, involved. complaint, or trial process. g) A complaint may be held in abeyance with the approval of the Board of Ordained Ministry if civil authorities are involved or their involvement is imminent on matters covered by the complaint. The status of complaints held in abeyance shall be reviewed at a minimum of every 90 days by the bishop and the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry to ensure that the involvement of civil authorities is still a valid impediment for proceeding with the resolution of a complaint. Abeyance of a complaint may be terminated by either the bishop or the Board of Ordained Ministry. The time in which a complaint is held in abey- ance shall not count toward the statute of limitations. A clergy- person shall continue to hold his or her current status while a complaint is held in abeyance. ¶ 363. Disposition of Recommendations of Involuntary Status there is a recommendation for an involuntary Change— When 1. status change, the Board of Ordained Ministry shall take action in a timely manner. The recommendation shall be referred to the conference relations committee who shall conduct an adminis- trative hearing following the fair process provisions of ¶ 361.2. The bishop or the Board of Ordained Ministry, as appropriate, shall designate the person to present the recommendation to the committee. The respondent shall be given an opportunity to address the recommendation in person, in writing, and with the assistance of a clergyperson who is a member in full connection of 82. See Judicial Council Decision 763. 317

333 ¶ 363 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED the respondent’s annual conference, and who shall have voice. Once the committee has heard the person designated to represent the recommendation, the respondent, and others as determined by the chairperson of the committee, it shall report its decision to the Board of Ordained Ministry. The board may affirm or reverse the decision of the committee. Section XVII. Readmission to Conference Relationship 364. Persons who ovisional Membership— Readmission to Pr ¶ have been discontinued as provisional members under the provi- sions of ¶ 327.6 from an annual conference of The United Method- ist Church or one of its legal predecessors may be readmitted by the annual conference in which they held previously such mem- bership and from which they requested discontinuance or were discontinued, or its legal successor, or the annual conference of which the major portion of their former conference is a part, upon their request and recommendation by the district committee on ordained ministry, the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the cabi- ¶ 324, and the net after review of their qualifications, as required in circumstances relating to their discontinuance. When reinstated by vote of the clergy members in full connection, their provisional membership in the conference shall be restored, they shall serve a minimum of two years of provisional membership according to ¶ 326 prior to ordination, and they shall be authorized by licens- ing and/or commissioning to perform those ministerial functions for which they are qualified. 365. Readmission After Honorable or Administrative Location— ¶ gy members in full connection request- Associate members or cler ing readmission after honorable or administrative location must meet the following conditions: 1. Pr esentation of their certificate of location. 2. A satisfactory report and recommendation by the charge conference and pastor of the local church in which their member - ship is held. satisfactory certificate of good health on the prescribed A 3. form from a physician approved by the Board of Ordained Min- istry. The Board of Ordained Ministry shall require psychological evaluation. 4. Recommendation by the district committee on or dained ministry, the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the cabinet after review of their qualifications, the circumstances relating to their 318

334 READMISSION T ¶ 367 O CONFERENCE RELATIONSHIP location and conduct during the period of time while on location. When reinstated by vote of the clergy members in full connection - of the annual conference that granted the location, their member ship in the conference shall be restored, and they shall be autho- rized to perform all ministerial functions. The conference Board of Ordained Ministry may require at least one year of service as a local pastor (elder and associate member) or approved ministry setting (deacon) prior to readmission to conference membership. ¶ 366. —Associ- Readmission After Leaving the Ministerial Office ate members or clergy members in full connection who have left ¶ 360 to an annual the ministerial office under the provisions of conference of The United Methodist Church or one of its legal pre- decessors may be readmitted by the annual conference in which they held previously such membership and to which they sur - rendered the ministerial office, or its legal successor, or the annual conference of which the major portion of the former conference is a part, upon their request and recommendation by the district committee on ordained ministry, the Board of Ordained Minis- try, and the cabinet after review of their qualifications and the circumstances relating to the surrender of their ministerial office. A period of at least two years service as a local pastor (elder and associate member) or approved ministry setting (deacon) shall be required prior to readmission to conference membership. This service may be rendered in any annual conference of The United Methodist Church with the consent of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the annual conference in which members previously held membership. When reinstated by vote of the clergy members in full connection, their membership in the conference and their credentials shall be restored, and they shall be authorized to per - 83 form all ministerial functions. ¶ 367. Readmission After T ermination by Action of the Annual Conference— Persons who have been terminated by an annual con- ference of The United Methodist Church or one of its legal pre- decessors may seek full membership in the annual conference in which they previously held membership and from which they were terminated, or its legal successor, or the annual conference of which the major portion of their former conference is a part, upon recommendation of the cabinet and completion of all require- ments for full membership, including all requirements for election 83. See Judicial Council Decisions 515, 552. 319

335 ¶ 367 THE MINISTR Y OF THE ORDAINED to candidacy and provisional membership. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to all persons terminated or involuntarily located prior to General Conference of 1976. Readmission After Involuntary Retir ement —Clergy 368. ¶ members of an annual conference desiring to return to effective relationship after having been placed in involuntary retirement ( ¶ 357.3) must meet the following conditions: equest for reinstatement to the Board of 1. Submit a written r Ordained Ministry. 2. The Boar d of Ordained Ministry and the cabinet shall review the member’s qualifications and the circumstances relat- ing to his or her retirement. d of Ordained Ministry, the 3. Recommendation by the Boar bishop, cabinet, and a two-thirds vote of the clergy members in full connection of the annual conference that granted the involuntary retirement. A period of at least two years of service as a local pastor shall be required prior to readmission to conference membership. 4. esentation of the certificate of retirement. Pr 5. Pr esentation of satisfactory certificate of good health on the prescribed form from a physician approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry. The Board of Ordained Ministry may require a psychological evaluation. Any pension being received through the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits shall be dis- continued upon their return to effective relationship. The pension shall be reinstated upon subsequent retirement. Section XVIII. General Provisions ¶ 1. The annual confer 369. ence is the basic body of The United Methodist Church. The clergy membership of an annual conference shall consist of deacons and elders in full connection ( ¶¶ 329, 333), provisional members ( ¶ 327), associate members, affiliate members ( 344.4, 586.4), and local pastors ( ¶ 317). All ¶¶ clergy are amenable to the annual conference in the performance 84 of their duties in the positions to which they are appointed. 2. Both men and women ar e included in all provisions of the 85 Discipline that refer to the ordained ministry. 3. In all cases wher e district committees on ordained minis- try, boards of ordained ministry, or clergy in executive session vote 84. See Judicial Council Decisions 327, 371. 85. See Judicial Council Decisions 317, 155. 320

336 GENERAL ¶ 369 PROVISIONS - on granting any status regarding license, ordination, or confer ence membership, it is understood that the requirements set forth herein are minimum requirements only. Each person voting is expected to vote prayerfully based on his or her personal judg- ment of the applicant’s gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and prom- 86 ise of future usefulness for the mission of the Church. All clergy members mentioned in ¶ 369.1 shall receive 4. written communication about decisions made regarding their relationship with the annual conference. Ther e shall be an annual meeting of this covenant body, in 5. executive session of clergy members in full connection with the annual conference, including both deacons and elders, at the site of the regular session of the annual conference, or at an alterna- tive time and location determined by the bishop after consulta- tion with the cabinet and the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, to consider questions relating to matters of 87 ordination, character, and conference relations ( ¶¶ 605.7, 636). 6. A special session of the annual conference may be held at such time and at such place as the bishop shall determine, after consultation with the cabinet and the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry. A special clergy session shall have only such powers as stated in the call. 86. See Judicial Council Decision 536. 87. See Judicial Council Decisions 406, 555, 1009. 321

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338 Chapter Three THE SUPERINTENDENCY Section I. The Nature of Superintendency ¶ T ask —The task of superintending in The United Meth- 401. odist Church resides in the office of bishop and extends to the dis- trict superintendent, with each possessing distinct and collegial responsibilities. The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world (see Part IV, Section I). From apostolic times, certain ordained persons have been entrusted with the particular tasks of superintending. The purpose of superintending is to equip the Church in its disciple- making ministry. Those who superintend carry primary responsi- bility for ordering the life of the Church. It is their task to enable the gathered Church to worship and to evangelize faithfully. It is also their task to facilitate the initiation of structures and strategies for the equipping of Christian people for service in the Church and in the world in the name of Jesus Christ and to help extend the service in mission. It is their task, as well, to see that all matters, temporal and spiritual, are administered in a manner that acknowledges the ways and the insights of the world criti- cally and with understanding while remaining cognizant of and faithful to the mandate of the Church. The formal leadership in The United Methodist Church, located in these superintending offices, is an integral part of the system of an itinerant ministry. Section II. Offices of Bishop and District Superintendent ¶ Special Ministry —The offices of 402. , Not Separate Order bishop and district superintendent exist in The United Methodist Church as particular ministries. Bishops are elected and district superintendents are appointed from the group of elders who are ordained to be ministers of Service, Word, Sacrament, and Order and thereby participate in the ministry of Christ, in sharing a royal priesthood that has apostolic roots (1 Peter 2:9; John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2-3; 1 Timothy 3:1-7). ¶ 403. The Role of Bishops and District Superintendents —Bish- ops and superintendents are elders in full connection. 1. Bishops ar e elected from the elders and set apart for a min- istry of servant leadership, general oversight and supervision 323

339 ¶ 403 THE SUPERINTENDENCY ¶ ( 401). As followers of Jesus Christ, bishops are authorized to guard the faith, order, liturgy, doctrine, and discipline of the Church. The role and calling forth of the bishop is to exercise oversight and support of the Church in its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The basis of such disci- episkopé ) lies in discipline and a disciplined pleship of leadership ( life. The bishop leads therefore through the following disciplines: vital and renewing spirit. The role of the bishop is A a) to faithfully practice, model and lead the spiritual disciplines of our faith and to call and inspire the clergy and laity within the Church to practice the Christian disciplines in their individual lives through the tradition of personal holiness. The bishop is to lead in public worship, in the celebration of the sacraments, and in the commendation of our faith. enquiring mind and a commitment to the teaching b) An office. The role of the bishop is to continue to learn and to teach how to make disciples and lead faithful and fruitful congrega- tions using scripture, spiritual disciplines, our Wesleyan heritage, and the history and doctrines of the Church. c) A vision for the Church. The role of bishop is to lead the whole Church in claiming its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The bishop leads by discerning, inspiring, strategizing, equipping, implementing, and evaluating the fulfillment of the mission of the church. Work- ing in partnership with the Council of Bishops, the cabinet and lay and clergy leadership of the annual conference, and the profess- ing members of the Church, the bishop urges the whole church to move toward the vision of sharing Christ with the world in ful- fillment of our mission, faithful discipleship, and “an even better way” of being Christ’s people in the world. d) prophetic commitment for the transformation of the A Church and the world. The role of the bishop is to be a prophetic voice for justice in a suffering and conflicted world through the tradition of social holiness. The bishop encourages and models the mission of witness and service in the world through procla- mation of the gospel and alleviation of human suffering. e) A passion for the unity of the church. The role of the bishop is to be the shepherd of the whole flock and thereby pro- vide leadership toward the goal of understanding, reconciliation, and unity within the Church—The United Methodist Church and the church universal. 324

340 ELECTION, ASSIGNMENT, AND TERMINATION OF BISHOPS 404 ¶ The ministry of administration. The r f) ole of the bishop is to uphold the discipline and order of the Church by consecrating, ordaining, commissioning, supervising, and appointing persons in ministry to the Church and the world. As the presiding officer of the annual conference, the resident bishop provides order and leads in new opportunities for ministry within the annual confer- ence. The bishop shares with other bishops the oversight of the whole church through the Council of Bishops and is held account- able through the Council of Bishops in collaboration with confer - ence and jurisdictional committees on episcopacy. superintendents are elders in full connection District 2. appointed by the bishop to the cabinet as an extension of the superintending role of the bishop within the annual conference through the same disciplines and in accordance with their respon- Book of Discipline under the supervision sibilities designated in the of the resident bishop Section III. Election, Assignment, and Termination of Bishops ovisions for Episcopal Areas Pr 404. ¶ 1. In central confer ences, the number of bishops shall be determined on the basis of missional potential, as approved by the General Conference on recommendation of the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters. Before recommending changes in the number of episcopal areas, the Standing Commit- tee on Central Conference Matters shall: consider these criteria in the following or der of priority: ) a the number of char ge conferences and the num- (1) ber of active clergy in episcopal areas; (2) geographic size of episcopal areas, measured the by the square miles/square km, and the numbers of time zones and nations; (3) the str ucture of episcopal areas, measured by the - number of annual conferences, and the overall church member ship in all annual, provisional annual, missionary conferences, and missions in episcopal areas. b conduct a further analysis of the context and missional ) eas. potential of changes in episcopal ar 2. In the jurisdictions, the number of bishops shall be deter - mined on the following basis: ch members or a) Each jurisdiction having 300,000 chur fewer shall be entitled to five bishops and each jurisdiction having 325

341 ¶ 404 THE SUPERINTENDENCY more than 300,000 church members shall be entitled to one addi- tional bishop for each additional 300,000 church members or major fraction thereof. If the number of chur ch members in a jurisdiction b) shall have decreased by at least 10 percent below the number of church members which had previously entitled the jurisdiction to its number of bishops, then the number of bishops to which it shall be entitled shall be determined on the basis of missional needs, as approved by the General Conference on the recom- mendation of the Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy, provided however that said jurisdiction shall be entitled to no less than the number of bishops to which it would be entitled a) under subparagraph above. It shall be the responsibility of the affected jurisdiction, through its Committee on Episcopacy, to request consideration of its missional need for an exception, and in the absence of such a request, there shall be no obligation on the part of the Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy to consider such an exception nor to make any report on such an exception to General Conference. In no case shall there be any constraint on General Conference’s power to act in the absence of such a recommendation or to reject any recommendation that might be received. c) If a jurisdiction, as a r esult of the provisions of this paragraph, shall have the number of bishops to which it had pre- viously been entitled reduced, then the reduction in the number of bishops to which it is entitled shall be effective as of September 1 of the calendar year in which said reduction has been deter - mined by the General Conference. ¶ 405. — —1. Nomination Election and Consecration of Bishops An annual conference, in the session immediately prior to the next regular session of the jurisdictional or central conference, may name one or more nominees for episcopal election. Balloting at jurisdictional and central conferences shall not be limited to nomi- nees of annual conferences nor shall any jurisdictional or central conference delegate be bound to vote for any specific nominee. Each jurisdictional or central conference shall develop appropri- ate procedures for furnishing information about nominees from annual conferences. This shall be done at least two weeks prior to the first day of the jurisdictional or central conference. Similar procedures shall be developed for persons nominated by ballot who receive ten votes, or 5 percent of the valid votes cast, and the 326

342 ELECTION, ASSIGNMENT, AND TERMINATION OF BISHOPS 406 ¶ information shall be made available to the delegates at the site of the conference. Pr ocess — a) ence delegates, 2. Jurisdictional and central confer in electing bishops, shall give due consideration to the inclusive- ness of The United Methodist Church with respect to sex, race, and national origin. In addition, consideration shall be given to ¶ 401. the nature of superintendency as described in b) and central conferences are authorized The jurisdictional to fix the percentage of votes necessary to elect a bishop. It is rec- ommended that at least 60 percent of those present and voting be necessary to elect. Consecration of bishops may take place at the session of c) ence at which election occurs or at a place and time des- the confer ignated by the conference. The consecration service may include bishops from other jurisdictional and central conferences. It is strongly urged that the consecration service also include repre- sentatives from other Christian communions (see ¶¶ 124, 422.2). ocess —1. Jurisdictional Committee on 406. ¶ Assignment Pr —The jurisdictional committee on episcopacy, after Episcopacy consultation with the College of Bishops, shall recommend the assignment of the bishops to their respective residences for final action by the jurisdictional conference; it shall not reach any con- clusion concerning residential assignments until all elections of bishops for that session are completed and all bishops have been consulted. A bishop may be recommended for assignment to the same residence for a third quadrennium. The date of assignment for all bishops is September 1 follow- 1 ing the jurisdictional conference. A newly elected bishop shall be assigned to administer an area other than that within which his or her membership was most recently held, unless by a two-thirds vote the jurisdictional committee shall recommend that this restriction be ignored and 2 by majority vote the jurisdictional conference shall concur. 2. Central Confer ence Committee on Episcopacy —The central conference committee on episcopacy, after consultation with the College of Bishops, shall recommend the assignment of the bish- ops to their respective residences for final action by the central 3 conference. 1. See Judicial Council Decision 781. 2. See Judicial Council Decisions 48, 57, 416, 538. 3. See Judicial Council Decision 248. 327

343 ¶ 406 THE SUPERINTENDENCY Special Assignments 3. —The Council of Bishops may, with consent of the bishop and the concurrence of the jurisdictional or central conference committee on episcopacy, assign one of its members for one year to some specific churchwide responsibility deemed of sufficient importance to the welfare of the total Church. In this event, a bishop shall be released from the presidential responsibilities within the episcopal area for that term. Another bishop or bishops, active or retired, and not necessarily from the same jurisdictional or central conference, shall be named by the Council of Bishops on recommendation of the College of Bishops of the jurisdiction involved to assume presidential responsibilities during the interim. In the event that more than one retired bishop is assigned to fulfill presidential responsibilities in one episcopal - area, the Episcopal Fund shall be responsible only for the differ ence between the pensions paid the retired bishops and the remu- neration of one active bishop. This assignment may be renewed for a second year by a two-thirds vote of the Council of Bishops and majority vote of the jurisdictional or central committee on episcopacy, and the consent of the bishop and the College of Bish- ops involved. The bishop so assigned shall continue to receive regular salary and support. —A vacancy in the office 407. V acancy in the Office of Bishop ¶ of bishop may occur due to death, retirement ( 408.1, .2, .3), res- ¶ ¶ ¶ 2712), leave of absence ignation ( 408.4), judicial procedure ( ¶ ( ¶ 410.4). In case assignment of a 410.1), or medical leave ( bishop to presidential supervision of an episcopal area is termi- nated by any of the above causes, the vacancy shall be filled by the Council of Bishops on nomination of the active bishops of the College of Bishops of the jurisdiction or central conference con- - cerned, after consultation with the jurisdictional or central confer ence and annual conference committees on the episcopacy and the cabinet(s); or, if the vacancy should occur within twenty-four months of the episcopal assumption of presidential supervision of that area, the College of Bishops of the jurisdiction or central con- ference concerned may call a special session of the jurisdictional or central conference as provided in ¶ 521.2. When a bishop is elected under the provisions of this paragraph, the years remain- ing in the quadrennium within which the election occurs shall count as a full quadrennium for purposes of assignment. It is rec- ommended that the previous bishop serving the vacant episcopal area not be appointed to serve in the interim. 328

344 ELECTION, ASSIGNMENT, AND TERMINATION OF BISHOPS 408 ¶ —An elder who is serving as T ermination of Office ¶ 408. a bishop up to the time of retirement shall have the status of a 4 retired bishop. Mandatory Retir ement — a) 1. A bishop shall be retired on August 31 next following the regular session of the jurisdictional conference if the bishop’s sixty-eighth birthday has been reached on or before July 1 of the year in which the jurisdictional confer - 5 ence is held. b) bishop in a central conference shall be retired at A a date no later than three months following the adjournment of General Conference, if the bishop’s sixty-eighth birthday is reached on or before the opening day of his or her scheduled con- ference effective on January 1, 2016. This action becomes effective 6 at the adjournment of General Conference 2016. c) Pension, as pr ovided under the Clergy Retirement Security Program or the Global Episcopal Pension Program (or, in either case, any successor bishop pension or retirement plan or program), as either may apply, shall be payable as provided in such plan or program following the close of the jurisdictional or central conference. If, however , the retired bishop accepts any one of the d) following assignments of churchwide responsibility, the General Council on Finance and Administration, after consultation with the Council of Bishops, shall set a level of compensation not to exceed a maximum determined by the General Conference on recommendation of the General Council on Finance and Admin- istration, with the compensation costs borne by the Episcopal Fund: (1) assignment of a special nature with direct relationship and accountability to the Council of Bishops, or (2) assignment to a general agency or United Methodist Church-related institu- tion of higher education. Assignment of retired bishops to United Methodist Church-related institutions of higher education must be at the initiative of the institutions, with service not to exceed the mandatory retirement ages of the institutions. If a bishop is assigned to a general agency or United Method- ist Church-related institution of higher education, that agency or United Methodist Church-related institution of higher education will pay 50 percent of the compensation established by the General 4. See Judicial Council Decisions 361, 407. 5. See Judicial Council Decisions 413, 578. 6. See Judicial Council Decision 1248. 329

345 ¶ 408 THE SUPERINTENDENCY Council on Finance and Administration for the position. The gen- eral agency or United Methodist Church-related institution of higher education shall further assume all responsibility for the bishop’s operational and travel expenses related to the assign- ment. Compensation for any special assignment shall cease after the bishop has reached the mandatory age of retirement for all ordained ministers ( 357.1) or completes the assignment, ¶ whichever comes first, except that retired bishops elected by the Council of Bishops as executive secretary and ecumenical officer may continue to be compensated for such special assignment(s) throughout the terms of office. No assignment to a jurisdiction, central conference, annual conference, or non-United Methodist agency shall qualify for additional compensation from the Epis- copal Fund under the provisions of this paragraph. The status of a retired bishop on special assignment shall, for purposes of hous- ing and other benefits, be that of a retired bishop. V Bishops who have completed — a) oluntary Retirement 2. twenty years or more of service under full-time appointment as ordained ministers or as local pastors with pension credit prior to the opening date of the session of the jurisdictional or central conference, including at least one quadrennium as bishop, may request the jurisdictional or central conference to retire them with the privilege of receiving their pension to the extent permitted under the Clergy Retirement Security Program or the Global Epis- copal Pension Program (or, in either case, any successor bishop pension or retirement plan or program), as either may apply. b) V ocational Retirement— A bishop who has served at least eight years in the episcopacy may seek retirement for voca- tional reasons and may be so retired by the jurisdictional or cen- tral conference committee on episcopacy on recommendation by the involved College of Bishops. Such bishops shall receive their pensions as provided in ¶ 408.2 a . If the employing entity pro- vides or makes health insurance available to employees, then the bishop who retires under this provision will be insured under that program, whether or not the bishop is required to pay the pre- mium for that coverage, and the Episcopal Fund will assume no future obligation to provide health insurance for the bishop or the bishop’s family. If the employing entity does not provide or make health insurance available to employees, either while employed or in retirement, then the bishop retiring under this provision will 330

346 ELECTION, ASSIGNMENT, AND TERMINATION OF BISHOPS 408 ¶ be provided with health and welfare benefits for retirees as spec- ified from time to time by the General Council on Finance and Administration. Bishops who have attained age sixty-two or have com - c) pleted thirty years of service under full-time appointment as an elder or a bishop may request the jurisdictional or central con- ference to place them in the retired relation with the privilege of receiving their pension to the extent permitted under the Clergy Retirement Security Program or the Global Episcopal Pension Program (or, in either case, any successor bishop pension or retire- ment plan or program), as either may apply. d) Any bishop who seeks a voluntary retired status shall notify the president of the Council of Bishops at least six months prior to the General Conference. bishop may seek voluntary retirement for health rea- A e) sons and shall be so retired by the jurisdictional or central con- ference committee on episcopacy upon recommendation by the involved College of Bishops and upon presentation of satisfac- tory medical evidence. Such bishops shall receive their pensions to the extent permitted under the Clergy Retirement Security Pro- gram or the Global Episcopal Pension Program (or, in either case, any successor bishop pension or retirement plan or program), as either may apply. 3. Involuntary Retir bishop may be placed in — a) A ement the retired relation regardless of age by a two-thirds vote of the jurisdictional or central conference committee on episcopacy if, after not less than a thirty-day notice in writing is given to the affected bishop and hearing held, such relationship is found by said committee to be in the best interests of the bishop and/or the Church. This action may or may not be taken because of the performance of the bishop, and the reason for the action must be clearly stated in the report of the committee. The provisions of 361.2 for fair process in administrative hearings shall apply to ¶ this administrative process. Written notice also should be given to the chairperson of the jurisdictional conference administrative review committee ( ¶ 539). b) A bishop, for health reasons, may be retired between sessions of the jurisdictional or central conference by a two-thirds vote of the jurisdictional or central conference committee on epis- copacy upon the recommendation of one third of the member - ship of the involved College of Bishops. The affected bishop, upon 331

347 ¶ 408 THE SUPERINTENDENCY request, shall be entitled to a review of his or her health condition by a professional diagnostic team prior to action by the involved College of Bishops. Notification of action to retire shall be given by the chairperson and secretary of the jurisdictional or central con- ference committee on episcopacy to the secretary of the Council of Bishops and the treasurer of the Episcopal Fund. Appeal from this action may be made to the Judicial Council with the notice provi- sions being applicable as set forth in 2716. Upon such retire- ¶ ment, the bishop shall receive a pension to the extent permitted under the Clergy Retirement Security Program or the Global Epis- copal Pension Program (or, in either case, any successor bishop pension or retirement plan or program), as either may apply. —A bishop may voluntarily resign from the Resignation 4. episcopacy at any time. A bishop may resign from the office by submitting his or her resignation to the Council of Bishops. The Council of Bishops shall have authority to take appropriate actions concerning matters relating to the resignation, includ- ing the appointment of an acting bishop to act until a succes- sor is elected and assigned. The consecration papers of a bishop in good standing so resigning shall be properly inscribed by the secretary of the Council of Bishops and returned. He or she shall be furnished with a certificate of resignation, which shall enti- tle him or her to membership as a traveling elder in the annual conference (or its successor) in which membership was last held. Notification of this action shall be given by the secretary of the Council of Bishops to the chairperson and secretary of the juris- dictional or central conference committee on episcopacy. Pen- sion benefits will be payable to the resigned bishop to the extent permitted under the Clergy Retirement Security Program or the Global Episcopal Pension Program (or, in either case, any succes- sor bishop pension or retirement plan or program), as either may apply. ¶ Status 409. of Retired Bishops —A retired bishop is a bishop of the Church in every respect and continues to function as a mem- ber of the Council of Bishops in accordance with the Constitution and other provisions of the Discipline . Retir 1. ed bishops may participate in the Council of Bishops and its committees, but without vote. They may preside over ses- sions of an annual conference, provisional annual conference, or mission if requested to do so by the bishop assigned to that con- ference, or in the event of that bishop’s incapacity, by the presi- 332

348 ELECTION, ASSIGNMENT, AND TERMINATION OF BISHOPS 410 ¶ dent of the College of Bishops to which the conference is related. Retired bishops elected by the Council of Bishops may serve as the executive secretary and the ecumenical officer of the Council. In emergency situations, where the resident bishop is unable to preside, the College of Bishops shall assign an effective or retired ¶ 48). bishop to preside over the sessions of the annual conference ( They may not make appointments or preside at the jurisdiction or central conference. However, when a retired bishop is appointed by the Council of Bishops to a vacant episcopal area or parts of an ¶¶ 409.3, 410.1, or 410.3, that bishop area under the provisions of 7 may function as a bishop in the effective relationship. 2. A retired bishop may be considered a member of an annual conference, without vote, for purposes of appointment to a local charge within the said conference. 3. 408.1, .2 above may be appointed bishop retired under ¶ A by the Council of Bishops upon recommendation of the involved College of Bishops to presidential responsibility for temporary service in an area in the case of death, resignation, disability, or procedure involving a resident bishop ( ¶ 2703.1). This appoint- ment shall not continue beyond the next jurisdictional or central conference. 4. Colleges of Bishops ar e encouraged to work with prospec- tive retirees and institutions across the connection on possible retirement assignments (e.g., bishop-in-residence), particularly assignments expressive of the office’s residential, presidential, and missional nature. ¶ 410. Leaves —1. Leave of Absence —A bishop may be granted a leave of absence for a justifiable reason for not more than six months in consultation with the area committee on episcopacy and with the approval of the College of Bishops, the jurisdictional or central conference committee on episcopacy, and the executive committee of the Council of Bishops. During the period for which the leave is granted, the bishop shall be released from all episco- pal responsibilities, and another bishop chosen by the executive committee of the Council of Bishops shall preside in the episco- pal area. Salary and other benefits shall be continued through the Episcopal Fund. Renewal Leave 2. —Every bishop in the active relationship shall take up to three months’ leave from his or her normal episcopal 7. See Judicial Council Decision 248. 333

349 ¶ 410 THE SUPERINTENDENCY responsibilities for purposes of reflection, study, and self-renewal during each quadrennium. The College of Bishops, in consulta- tion with the appropriate jurisdictional or central conference com- mittee on episcopacy, shall coordinate details pertaining to such leaves. Sabbatical Leave —A bishop who has served for at least two 3. quadrennia may be granted a sabbatical leave of not more than one year for a program of study or renewal in consultation with the area committee on episcopacy and with the approval of the College of Bishops, the jurisdictional or central conference com- mittee on episcopacy, and the executive committee of the Coun- cil of Bishops. During the period for which the sabbatical leave is granted, the bishops shall be released from the presidential responsibilities within the episcopal area, and another bishop or bishops shall be designated by the Council of Bishops to assume the presidential duties. The bishop shall receive one-half salary and, where applicable, housing allowance for the period of the leave. 4. Medical Leave —Bishops who by reason of impaired health are temporarily unable to perform full work may be granted a leave of absence for a justifiable reason for not more than six months in consultation with the area committee on episcopacy and with the approval of the College of Bishops, the jurisdictional or central conference committee on episcopacy, and the executive committee of the Council of Bishops. During the period for which the leave is granted, the bishop shall be released from all episco- pal responsibilities, and another bishop chosen by the executive committee of the Council of Bishops shall preside in the episco- pal area. Salary and other benefits shall be continued through the Episcopal Fund. If after the six-month time period is over the bishop is still unable to perform full work due to impaired health, disability benefits through the benefit program provided to the bishop should be applied for. —In a cen- ¶ 411. Terms in Central Conferences Expiration of tral conference where term episcopacy prevails, bishops whose term of office expires prior to the time of compulsory retirement because of age and who are not reelected by the central conference shall be returned to membership as traveling elders in the annual conference (or its successor) of which they ceased to be a member when elected bishop. Their term of office shall expire at the close of the central conference at which their successor is elected, and 334

350 ELECTION, ASSIGNMENT, AND TERMINATION OF BISHOPS 413 ¶ they shall therefore be entitled to participate as a bishop in the consecration of the successor. The credentials of office as bishop shall be submitted to the secretary of the central conference, who shall make thereon the notation that the bishop has honorably completed the term of service for which elected and has ceased to 8 be a bishop of The United Methodist Church. 412. ¶ Review and Evaluation of Bishops —In its review of the work, character, and official administration of the bishops under 524.3 ¶ , the jurisdictional or central conference committee on a episcopacy shall establish and implement processes that pro- vide, at least once each quadrennium, for each active bishop, a full and formal evaluation which will include self-evaluation, assessment by episcopal peers, and comment by persons affected by his or her superintendency (such as cabinets, lay leaders, directors of agencies served). Such processes shall include the participation of the conference or area committee on episcopacy. It shall be the duty of each jurisdiction’s College of Bishops/ central conference’s College of Bishops, under the leadership of its president, to consult with and to cooperate with the commit- tee in order to schedule and facilitate such reviews and evalua- tions as well as to address issues that may arise in the course of that work. ¶ 413. Complaints Against Bishops —1. Episcopal leadership in - The United Methodist Church shares with all other ordained per sons in the sacred trust of their ordination. The ministry of bish- ops as set forth in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church also flows from the gospel as taught by Jesus the Christ and proclaimed by his apostles ( ¶ 402). Whenever a bishop vio- lates this trust or is unable to fulfill appropriate responsibilities, continuation in the episcopal office shall be subject to review. This review shall have as its primary purpose a just resolution of any violations of this sacred trust, in the hope that God’s work of jus- tice, reconciliation, and healing may be realized. 2. Any complaint concerning the ef fectiveness, competence, or one or more of the offenses listed in ¶ 2702 shall be submitted to the president of the College of Bishops in that jurisdictional or central conference. If the complaint concerns the president, it shall be submitted to the secretary of the College of Bishops. A com- plaint is a written statement claiming misconduct, unsatisfactory 8. See Judicial Council Decisions 61, 236, 370. 335

351 ¶ 413 THE SUPERINTENDENCY performance of ministerial duties, or one or more of the offenses 9 listed in 2702. ¶ After r eceiving a complaint as provided in ¶ 413.2, the 3. president and the secretary of the College of Bishops, or the secre- tary and another member of the college if the complaint concerns the president (or the president and another member of the college if the complaint concerns the secretary), shall, within ten days, consult the chair of the jurisdictional or central conference com- mittee on episcopacy who shall appoint from the committee one professing member and one clergy member who are not from the same episcopal area; who are not from the episcopal area that the bishop under complaint was elected from or has been assigned to; and who are not of the same gender. a) When deemed appr opriate to protect the well-being of the complainant, the Church and/or bishop, the College of Bish- ops, in consultation with the jurisdictional or central conference committee on episcopacy, may suspend the bishop from all epis- copal responsibilities for a period not to exceed sixty days. During the suspension, salary, housing, and benefits will continue. b) The supervisory r esponse is pastoral and administra- tive and shall be directed toward a just resolution. It is not a part of any judicial process. The supervisory response should be car - ried out in a confidential manner and should be completed within 120 days. There may be an extension of 120 days if the supervis- ing bishop and the two jurisdictional or central conference epis- copacy committee members appointed to the supervisory process shall determine that an extension will be productive. There may be a second extension of 120 days by the mutual written consent of the supervisory bishop, members of the jurisdictional or central conference episcopacy committee appointed to the supervisory process, the complainant, and the bishop under complaint. The supervising bishop shall regularly advise all parties of the status of the process and shall notify all parties within seven days after a determination is made that the supervisory response will not lead to a resolution of the matter. No verbatim record shall be made and legal counsel shall not be present, although the bishop against whom the complaint was made and the complainant both may choose another person to accompany him or her, with the right to voice. At the determina- 9. See Judicial Council Decision 1149. 336

352 ELECTION, ASSIGNMENT, AND TERMINATION OF BISHOPS 413 ¶ tion of the president (secretary), persons with qualifications and experience in assessment, intervention, or healing may be selected to assist in the supervisory responses. Others may be consulted as well. c) The supervisory response may include a process seek- ing a just resolution in which the parties are assisted by a trained, impartial third party facilitator(s) or mediator(s) in reaching an ¶ 362.1 b , c .) The appro- agreement satisfactory to all parties. (See priate persons, including the president of the College of Bishops, or the secretary if the complaint concerns the president, should enter into a written agreement outlining such process, includ- ing an agreement as to confidentiality. If resolution is achieved, a written statement of resolution, including terms and condi- tions, shall be signed by the parties and the parties shall agree on any matters to be disclosed to third parties. Such written statement of resolution shall be given to the person in charge of that stage of the process for further action consistent with the agreement. d) (i) If the supervisory r esponse results in the resolution of the matter, the bishop in charge of the supervisory response and the two episcopacy committee members appointed to the supervisory process ( ¶ 413.3) shall monitor the fulfillment of the terms of the resolution. If the supervisory response does not result in resolution of the matter, the president or secretary of the Col- lege of Bishops may either dismiss the complaint with the consent of the College of Bishops and the committee on episcopacy, giving the reasons therefore in writing, a copy of which shall be placed in the bishop’s file, refer the matter to the committee on episcopacy ¶ 413.3 e as an administrative complaint pursuant to , or refer the matter to counsel for the Church pursuant to ¶ 2704.1 to prepare a complaint to forward to the committee on investigation. (ii) If within 180 days of the receipt of the complaint by the president or secretary of the College of Bishops (as speci- fied in ¶ 413.2), the supervisory response does not result in the resolution of the matter, and the president or secretary of the Col- lege of Bishops has not referred the matter as either an adminis- trative or judicial complaint, then the matter will move to: (1) In the case of a bishop from one of the cen- tral conferences, a panel of three bishops, one from each continent, as selected by the Coun- cil of Bishops, or (2) om one of the juris- In the case of a bishop fr dictional conferences, a panel of five bishops, 337

353 ¶ 413 THE SUPERINTENDENCY one from each jurisdictional conference, as selected by the Council of Bishops, who shall then continue the supervisory response pro- cess and, within 180 days, either dismiss or refer the complaint, as required above. All costs associated with actions taken pursuant (iii) to paragraph (ii), above, will be paid by the Episcopal Fund. The Council of Bishops may , at any time in the (iv) process, after a complaint is filed, including after a just resolution, remove the complaint from the College of Bishops to the Council of Bishops with a two-thirds vote by the Council. —If the complaint is based Administrative Complaint e) on allegations of incompetence, ineffectiveness, or unwillingness or inability to perform episcopal duties, the president and secre- tary of the College of Bishops (or the two members of the college who are handling the complaint) shall refer the complaint to the 10 jurisdictional or central conference committee on episcopacy. The committee may recommend involuntary retirement ( ¶ 408.3), disability leave ( ¶ 410.4), remedial measures, other appropriate action, or it may dismiss the complaint. When the jurisdictional or central conference committee on episcopacy deems the matter ¶ serious enough and when one or more offenses listed in 2702 are involved, the committee may refer the complaint back to the presi- dent and secretary of the College of Bishops (or the two members of the college who are handling the complaint) for referral as a judicial complaint to the jurisdictional or central conference com- mittee on investigation. The provisions of 361.2 for fair process in ¶ administrative hearings shall apply to this administrative process. Any actions of the jurisdictional or central confer ence com- 4. mittee taken on a complaint shall be reported to the next session of the jurisdictional or central conference. 5. Each jurisdiction shall develop a pr otocol for the caring of lay, clergy, and staff determined to be affected by the processing of the complaint. 6. Immunity Fr om Prosecution —In order to preserve the integ- rity of the Church’s complaint process and ensure full participa- tion in it at all times, the College of Bishops, the supervisory response team, the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy, wit- nesses, advocates, and all others who participate in the complaint 10. See Judicial Council Decision 784. 338

354 SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES OF BISHOPS ¶ 414 process regarding a bishop shall have immunity from prosecution of complaints brought against them related to their role in a partic- ular complaint process, unless they have committed a chargeable offense in conscious and knowing bad faith. The complainant/ plaintiff in any proceeding against any such person relating to their role in a particular complaint process shall have the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that such person’s actions constituted a chargeable offense committed knowingly in bad faith. The immunity set forth in this provision shall extend to civil court proceedings, to the fullest extent permissible by the civil laws. Section IV. Specific Responsibilities of Bishops Leadership T — o lead and Spiritual and Temporal —1. 414. ¶ oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of The United Method- ist Church which confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and - particularly to lead the Church in its mission of witness and ser vice in the world. T o strengthen the local church, giving spiritual leadership 2. to both laity and clergy; and to build relationships with people of local congregations of the area. T o guard, transmit, teach, and proclaim, corporately and 3. individually, the apostolic faith as it is expressed in Scripture and tradition, and, as they are led and endowed by the Spirit, to inter - pret that faith evangelically and prophetically. o travel through the connection at large as the Council T 4. of Bishops ( ¶ 422) to implement strategy for the concerns of the Church. o teach and uphold the theological traditions of The T 5. United Methodist Church. 6. T o provide liaison and leadership in the quest for Chris- tian unity in ministry, mission, and structure and in the search for strengthened relationships with other living faith communities. o organize such missions as shall have been authorized T 7. by the General Conference. 8. T o promote and support the evangelistic witness of the whole Church. o discharge such other duties as the Discipline may direct. T 9. o convene the Order of Deacons and the Order of Elders 10. T and work with the elected chairperson of each order. 339

355 ¶ 414 THE SUPERINTENDENCY o promote, support, and model generous Christian giving, 11. T with special attention to teaching the biblical principles of giving. 415. Pr esidential Duties —1. T o preside in the General, juris- ¶ 11 dictional, central, and annual conferences. 2. To provide general oversight for the fiscal and program operations of the annual conference(s). This may include special inquiry into the work of agencies to ensure that the annual con- ference and general church policies and procedures are followed. T o ensure fair process for clergy and laity as set forth in 3. 2701 in all involuntary administrative and judicial proceedings ¶ through monitoring the performance of annual conference offi- cials, boards, and committees charged with implementing such 12 procedures. 4. T o form the districts after consultation with the district superintendents and after the number of the same has been deter - 13 Any district may be mined by vote of the annual conference. designated to be a mission district, and the district superinten- dent of that district, or his or her designee, shall be the agent in charge of the mission status, nature, and goals of the district. If there is a district missionary organization, or if funds for the dis- trict are anticipated from a conference organization, those bodies shall also be asked to approve the method of organization for a mission district. A mission district may be designated when any of the following conditions exist: 1) Membership opportunities and resources are limited and not likely to result in regular status for an extended period of time. 2) A strategic demographic, cul- tural, or language opportunity for serving a limited population is present. 3) It is expected that long-term sustaining funding from sources outside the district will be necessary to enable the district to exist. 4) The district is geographically located in a remote loca- tion from other districts of the annual conference. When any of these conditions exist, the bishop, in consultation with the con- gregational development area of the annual conference, may des- ignate any district a mission district. The mission district may be organized in the same manner and have the same rights and pow- ers as any district. T 417- o appoint the district superintendents annually ( ¶¶ 5. 418). 11. See Judicial Council Decision 395. 12. See Judicial Council Decision 524. 13. See Judicial Council Decision 422. 340

356 SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES OF BISHOPS ¶ 416 T o consecrate bishops; to ordain elders and deacons; to 6. commission deaconesses, home missioners, and missionaries; and to see that the names of the persons commissioned and con- secrated are entered on the journals of the conference and that - proper credentials are furnished to these persons. As these ser vices are acts of the whole Church, text and rubrics shall be used in the form approved by the General Conference. 7. T o fix the appointments of deaconesses, home missioners, and missionaries and to see that the names and appointments are printed in the journals of the conference. ¶ W orking with Ordained, Licensed, Consecrated, and Com- 416. —1. To make and fix the appointments in the missioned Personnel annual conferences, provisional annual conferences, and missions as the Discipline may direct ( ¶¶ 425-429). 2. T o divide or to unite a circuit(s), station(s), or mission(s) as judged necessary for missional strategy and then to make appro- priate appointments. 3. o announce the appointments of deaconesses, diaconal T ministers, home missionaries, and laypersons in service under the General Board of Global Ministries. 4. T o fix the charge conference membership of all ordained ministers appointed to ministries other than the local church in keeping with ¶ 344. 5. T o transfer, upon the request of the receiving bishop, clergy member(s) of one annual conference to another, provided said member(s) agrees to said transfer; and to send immediately to the secretaries of both conferences involved, to the conference boards of ordained ministry, and to the clearing house of the Gen- eral Board of Pension and Health Benefits, written notices of the transfer of members and of their standing in the Course of Study 14 if they are undergraduates. 6 T o appoint associate members, provisional members, or full members to attend any school, college, or theological semi- nary listed by the University Senate, or to participate in a pro- gram of clinical pastoral education in a setting accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education or another accrediting agency approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Such appointments are not to be considered as extension ministry appointments. 14. See Judicial Council Decisions 114, 254, 554. 341

357 ¶ 416 THE SUPERINTENDENCY T o keep and maintain appropriate supervisory records on 7. - all district superintendents and other records on ministerial per sonnel as determined by the bishop or required by the Discipline or action of the annual conference. When a district superintendent is no longer appointed to the cabinet, the bishop shall give that person’s supervisory file to the superintendent of record. Super - visory records shall be kept under guidelines approved by the General Council on Finance and Administration. The supervisory records maintained by the bishop are not the personnel records of the annual conference. Section V. Selection, Assignment, and Term of District Superintendents 417. ¶ —Inasmuch as the district Selection and Assignment superintendency is an extension of the general superintendency, the bishop shall appoint elders to serve as district superinten- dents. Prior to each appointment, the bishop shall consult with the cabinet and the committee on district superintendency of the district to which the new superintendent will be assigned ( ¶ 426) for the purpose of determining leadership needs of the annual conference and the district ( 401). In the selection of superinten- ¶ dents, bishops shall give due consideration to the inclusiveness of The United Methodist Church with respect to sex, race, national origin, physical challenge, and age, except for the provisions of mandatory retirement. 418. —The normal term for a on Years of Service Limitations ¶ district superintendent shall be up to six years, but this may be extended to no more than up to eight years at the discretion of the bishop, in consultation with the cabinet and the district commit- tee on superintendency. No superintendent shall serve for more than eight years in any consecutive eleven years. No elder shall serve as district superin- tendent more than fourteen years. In addition, consideration shall 15 be given to the nature of superintendency as described in ¶ 401. Section VI. Specific Responsibilities of District Superintendents ¶ 419. As an extension of the office of bishop, the district super - intendent shall oversee the total ministry of the clergy (including) 15. See Judicial Council Decisions 368, 512. 342

358 SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES OF DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS ¶ 419 clergy in extension ministry and ministry beyond the local church) and of the churches in the communities of the district in their missions of witness and service in the world. This oversight requires the superintendent to use his or her gifts and skills related to spiritual and pastoral leadership, personnel lead- ership, administration, and program. The superintendent is the acting administrator of any pastoral charge in which a pastoral vacancy may develop, or where no pastor is appointed. The Chur ch expects, as part of the superintendent ministry, 1. that the superintendent will be the chief missional strategist of the district and be committed to living out the values of the Church, including a mandate of inclusiveness, modeling, teaching, and promoting generous Christian giving, cooperating to develop Christian unity, and ecumenical, multicultural, multiracial, and cooperative ministries; and working with persons across the Church to develop programs of ministry and mission that extend the witness of Christ into the world. The 2. superintendent shall work with the bishop and cabinet in the process of appointment and assignment for ordained and licensed clergy, or assignment of qualified and trained laypersons, lay ministers or lay missioners ( ¶ 205.4) 3. The superintendent shall work with the district committee on ordained ministry to develop an effective and functioning sys- tem for recruitment and examination of candidates for ordained or licensed ministry, and the ongoing oversight of persons approved for licensing ( ¶ 348). The superintendent shall establish working r 4. elationships with staff/pastor-parish relations committees, clergy, district lay leaders, and other lay leadership, to develop faithful and effec- tive systems of ministry within the district. Through the use of charge conferences ( ¶ 246.4-5), congregational studies ( ¶ 213) and other gatherings, the superintendent shall seek to form creative and effective connections with the local congregations on his or her district. 5. The superintendent shall serve as an example of spiritual leadership by living a balanced and faithful life, and by encourag- ing both laity and clergy to continue to grow in spiritual forma- tion through both personal and corporate worship and devotional practices, including participation in the sacraments. In the framework of their supervisory r 6. esponsibilities, superintendents shall offer support, care, and counsel to clergy 343

359 ¶ 419 THE SUPERINTENDENCY concerning matters affecting their effective ministry. Further, the superintendents shall encourage the building of covenant groups and communities among both the clergy and clergy families, and the laity on the district. shall seek to be in regular contact with The superintendent 7. the clergy on the district for counsel and supervision, and shall receive written or electronic reports of the clergy’s continuing education, spiritual practices, current ministry work, and goals for future ministry. 8. The superintendent shall maintain the appropriate records of all clergy appointed to or related to the charges on the district (including clergy in extension ministry and ministry beyond the local church), as well as records dealing with property, endow- ments, and other tangible assets of The United Methodist Church within the district. with the bishop and 9. The superintendent, in consultation cabinet, shall work to develop the best strategic deployment of clergy possible in the district, including realignment of pasto- ral charges when needed and the exploration of larger parishes, cooperative parishes, multiple staff configurations, new faith communities, and ecumenical shared communities. 10. et and decide all The district superintendent shall interpr questions of Church law and discipline raised by the churches in the district, subject to review by the resident bishop of the annual conference. ence 11. The superintendent shall cooperate with the confer Board of Ordained Ministry in its efforts to provide or arrange support and liaison for clergy in a time of a change in conference relationship or termination. 12. e of the The superintendent shall serve at the pleasur bishop and assume other leadership responsibilities as the bishop determines for the health and effectiveness of the district and annual conference. ¶ 420. —A district superintendent Renewal and Study Leave may take up to three months’ leave from his or her normal super - intendent responsibilities for purposes of reflection, study, and self-renewal once during his or her term as superintendent. The bishop and cabinet, in consultation with the committee on dis- trict superintendency, shall coordinate details pertaining to such leaves. 344

360 EXPRESSIONS OF SUPERINTENDENCY ¶ 423 Section VII. Expressions of Superintendency ¶ Relationship Between Bishops and District Superinten - 421. —The offices of bishop and district superintendent are dents linked with each other in ways described elsewhere ( 402). The ¶ interdependence of the offices calls for a collegial style of leader - ship. However, both the office of bishop and that of district super - intendent are embedded in their own contexts. —1. 422. Council of Bishops Bishops, although elected by ¶ ences, are elected general super - jurisdictional or central confer intendents of the whole Church. As all ordained ministers are first elected into membership of an annual conference and sub- sequently appointed to pastoral charges, so bishops become through their election members first of the Council of Bishops before they are subsequently assigned to areas of service. By vir - tue of their election and consecration, bishops are members of the Council of Bishops and are bound in special covenant with all other bishops. In keeping with this covenant, bishops fulfill their servant leadership and express their mutual accountability. The Council of Bishops is a faith community of mutual trust and con- cern responsible for the faith development and continuing well- being of its members. The Council of Bishops is thus the collegial expr ession 2. of episcopal leadership in the Church and through the Church into the world. The Church expects the Council of Bishops to speak to the Church and from the Church to the world and to give leadership in the quest for Christian unity and interreligious relationships. der to exercise meaningful leadership, the Council of In or 3. Bishops is to meet at stated intervals. The Council of Bishops is charged with the oversight of the spiritual and temporal affairs of the whole Church, to be executed in regularized consultation and cooperation with other councils and service agencies of the Church. 4. The Council of Bishops may assign one of its members to visit another episcopal ar ea or Methodist-related church. When so assigned, the bishop shall be recognized as the accredited rep- resentative of the Council of Bishops, and when requested by the resident bishop or president in that area or church, may exercise therein the functions of episcopacy. 423. ence of Methodist Bishops —There may be a confer - ¶ Confer ence of Methodist bishops, composed of all the bishops elected by 345

361 ¶ 423 THE SUPERINTENDENCY the jurisdictional and central conferences and one bishop or chief executive officer from each affiliated autonomous Methodist or united church, which shall meet on call of the Council of Bishops after consultation with other members of the conference of Meth- odist bishops. The travel and other necessary expense of bishops of affiliated autonomous Methodist or united churches related to the meeting of the Conference of Methodist Bishops shall be paid on the same basis as that of bishops of The United Methodist Church. 424. Cabinet —1. District superintendents, although ap- ¶ pointed to the cabinet and assigned to districts, are also to be given conference-wide responsibilities. As all ordained ministers are first elected into membership of an annual conference and subsequently appointed to pastoral charges, so district superin- tendents become through their selection members first of a cabi- net before they are subsequently assigned by the bishop to service in districts. 2. The cabinet under the leadership of the bishop is the expr ession of superintending leadership in and through the annual conference. It is expected to speak to the conference and for the conference to the spiritual and temporal issues that exist within the region encompassed by the conference. 3. The cabinet is thus also the body in which the individual district superintendents ar e held accountable for their work, both for conference and district responsibilities. 4. In or der to exercise meaningful leadership, the cabinet is - to meet at stated intervals. The cabinet is charged with the over sight of the spiritual and temporal affairs of a conference, to be executed in regularized consultation and cooperation with other councils and service agencies of the conference. 5. - The cabinet is to consult and plan with the district commit tee and conference Board of Ordained Ministry in order to make a thorough analysis of the needs of the district for clergy, imple- menting this planning with a positive and conscious effort to fill these needs ( ¶ 635.2 a ). 6. the cabinet considers matters relating to coordi- When nation, implementation, or administration of the conference program, and other matters as the cabinet and director of con- nectional ministries, or equivalent, may determine, the director shall be present. The conference lay leader shall be invited to be present. 346

362 APPOINTMENT-MAKING ¶ 425 esponsibility for 7. The cabinet shall assume leadership r ascertaining those places where ecumenical shared ministry would be an effective way of expressing the United Methodist presence in a community. Section VIII. Appointment-Making 425. Responsibility —1. Cler ¶ gy shall be appointed by the bishop, who is empowered to make and fix all appointments in the episcopal area of which the annual conference is a part. Appointments are to be made with consideration of the gifts and - evidence of God’s grace of those appointed, to the needs, char acteristics, and opportunities of congregations and institutions, and with faithfulness to the commitment to an open itineracy. Open itineracy means appointments are made without regard to race, ethnic origin, gender, color, disability, marital status, or age, except for the provisions of mandatory retirement. Annual confer - ences shall, in their training of staff-parish relations committees, emphasize the open nature of itineracy and prepare congrega- tions to receive the gifts and graces of appointed clergy without regard to race, ethnic origin, gender, color, disability, marital status, or age. The concept of itineracy is important, and sensi- tive attention should be given in appointing clergy with physical challenges to responsibilities and duties that meet their gifts and graces. Through appointment-making, the connectional nature of 16 the United Methodist system is made visible. Appointment-making acr 2. oss conference lines shall be encouraged as a way of creating mobility and open itineracy. The jurisdictional committee on ordained ministry will cooper - ate with bishops and cabinets in providing information on supply and demand within the jurisdiction. ch promotes and holds in high The United Methodist Chur 3. ¶ 4. Article IV) esteem the opportunity of an inclusive church ( with the formation of open itineracy ( ¶ 425.1). Cr 4. oss-racial and cross-cultural appointments are made as a creative response to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the church and in its leadership. Cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments are appointments of clergypersons to congrega- tions in which the majority of their constituencies are different from the clergyperson’s own racial/ethnic and cultural background. 16. See Judicial Council Decision 492. 347

363 ¶ 425 THE SUPERINTENDENCY Annual conferences shall prepare clergy and congregations for cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments. When such appoint- ments are made, bishops, cabinets, and boards of ordained min- istry shall provide specific training for the clergypersons so appointed and for their congregations. ¶ Consultation and Appointment-Making —Consultation is 426. the process whereby the bishop and/or district superintendent confer with the pastor and committee on pastor-parish relations, taking into consideration the criteria of ¶ 427, a performance evaluation, needs of the appointment under consideration, and mission of the Church. Consultation is not merely notification. Consultation is not committee selection or call of a pastor. The role of the committee on pastor-parish relations is advisory. Consulta- tion is both a continuing process and a more intense involvement 17 during the period of change in appointment. The pr 1. ocess of consultation shall be mandatory in every 18 annual conference. 2. The Council of Bishops shall inquir e annually of their col- leagues about the implementation of the process of consultation 19 in appointment-making in their respective areas. Criteria —Appointments shall take into account the ¶ 427. unique needs of a charge, the community context, and also the gifts and evidence of God’s grace of a particular pastor. To assist bishops, cabinets, pastors, and congregations to achieve an effec- tive match of charges and pastors, criteria must be developed and analyzed in each instance and then shared with pastors and congregations. —The district superintendent shall develop Congr egations 1. with the pastor and the committees on pastor-parish relations of all churches profiles that reflect the needs, characteristics, and opportunities for mission of the charge consistent with the Church’s statement of purpose. These profiles shall be reviewed annually and updated when appropriate to include: in which a congregation finds The general situation a) itself in a particular setting: size, financial condition, quality of lay leadership, special needs for pastoral ministry, and history. egation: theology; The convictional stance of the congr b) prejudices, if any; spiritual life. 17. See Judicial Council Decisions 492, 1174. 18. See Judicial Council Decision 492. 19. See Judicial Council Decision 701. 348

364 APPOINTMENT-MAKING 427 ¶ The ministry of the congregation among its people for c) the sake of the community: service programs, basis for adding new members, reasons for losing members, mission to commu- nity and world, forms of witness. The qualities and functions of pastoral ministry needed d) to fulfill the mission, goals, and special needs of the congr egation. Pastors —The district superintendent annually shall 2. develop with the pastor profiles reflecting the pastor’s gifts, evi- dence of God’s grace, professional experience and expectations, and also the needs and concerns of the pastor’s spouse and fam- ily. These profiles shall be reviewed annually and updated when appropriate to include: a) personal faith, call and Spiritual and personal sensibility: commitment to ordained ministry, work through the institutional church, integration of vocation with personal and family well- being, lifestyle. b) Academic and car eer background: nature of theological stance, experience in continuing education, professional experi- ence, record of performance. c) Skills and abilities: in church administration, leadership development, worship and liturgy, preaching and evangelism, teaching and nurturing, interpreting and promoting the connec- tional giving system, counseling and group work, ability to work in cooperation, ability in self-evaluation, and other relational skills. d) Community context: the ability of the pastor to relate effectively to his or her community setting, such as rural, town, urban, suburban, and so forth. e) Family situation. 3. —The district superintendent may Community Context develop community profiles with the pastor and the committee on pastor-parish relations. Sources of information for these profiles could include: neighborhood surveys; local, state, and national census data; information from annual conference committees on parish and community development; and research data from the Connectional Table and other Church agencies. Profiles may be reviewed annually and updated when appropriate to include: a) General demographic data and tr ends including age, sex, and racial-ethnic composition of the community. ends, including the incidence of poverty. Economic tr b) ojected community changes. c) Pr 349

365 ¶ 427 THE SUPERINTENDENCY Other sociological, economic, political, historical, and d) ecumenical aspects of the community surr ounding the church. ocess of Appointment-Making ¶ —The process used in 428. Pr 20 appointment-making shall include: A change in appointment may be initiated by a pastor, a 1. committee on pastor-parish relations, a district superintendent, or a bishop. equests for 2. The bishop and the cabinet shall consider all r change of appointment in light of the profile developed for each charge and the gifts and evidence of God’s grace, professional experience, and family needs of the pastor. When a change in appointment has been determined, the 3. district superintendent should meet together or separately with -parish relations where the pastor and the committee on pastor the pastor is serving, for the purpose of sharing the basis for the change and the process used in making the new appointment. 4. All appointments shall r eceive consideration by the bishop, the district superintendent(s), and the cabinet as a whole until a tentative decision is made. ocess used in making the new appointment shall 5. The pr include: a) The district superintendent shall confer with the pas- tor about a specific possible appointment (charge) and its congru- ence with gifts, evidence of God’s grace, professional experience and expectations, and the family needs of the pastor, identified in consultation with the pastor ( ¶ 427.2). If the appointment is to a cooperative parish ministry b) ge that is part of a cooperative parish ministry, the fol- or to a char lowing shall be included in the consultation process: (1) prospective appointee shall be informed The prior to the appointment that the charge under consideration is 21 part of a cooperative parish ministry. (2) The coor dinator or director of the cooperative ministry, or, if there is no coordinator or director, a representa- tive of the staff of the cooperative ministry, shall be conferred with concerning the prospective appointment and shall have the opportunity to meet with the prospective appointee prior to the 22 appointment being made. 20. See Judicial Council Decision 701. 21. See Judicial Council Decision 556. 22. See Judicial Council Decision 556. 350

366 APPOINTMENT-MAKING ¶ 429 (3) The prospective appointee shall have demon- strated skills in cooperative Christian mission or show potential for the same to ensure that the cooperative venture is strength- ened during the time of the appointee’s leadership. If the appointment is to a position other than pastor in c) char ge, the following shall be included in the consultation process: (1) prospective appointee shall be informed The prior to the appointment that the position under consideration is part of a multiple-staff ministry and shall be furnished an ini- tial written job description approved by the committee on pastor- parish relations. (2) The pastor in char ge shall be conferred with con- cerning the prospective appointee. The pr ospective appointee and pastor in charge (3) shall meet for discussion of the job description and mutual expectations. 6. The district superintendent shall confer with the r eceiving committee on pastor-parish relations about pastoral leadership ( ¶ 427.1). 7. e being made to less than full-time When appointments ar ministry, the district superintendent shall consult with the clergy person to be appointed and the committee on pastor-parish rela- tions regarding proportional time, salary, and pension credit and benefit coverage. If during this consultative pr 8. ocess it is determined by the bishop and cabinet that this decision should not be carried out, the process is to be repeated until the bishop, basing his or her decision on the information and advice derived from consulta- tion, makes and fixes the appointment. 9. - similar process of consultation shall be available to per A sons in appointments beyond the local church. 10. the steps in the process have been followed and When completed, the announcement of that decision shall be made to all parties directly involved in the consultative process, that is, the appointment cabinet, the pastor, and the committee on pastor- parish relations, before a public announcement is made. ¶ Fr 429. equency —While the bishop shall report all pastoral appointments to each regular session of an annual conference, appointments to charges may be made at any time deemed advis- able by the bishop and cabinet. Appointments are made with the expectation that the length of pastorates shall respond to the 351

367 ¶ 429 THE SUPERINTENDENCY long-term pastoral needs of charges, communities, and pastors. The bishop and cabinet should work toward longer tenure in local church appointments to facilitate a more effective ministry. ¶ 430. Appointment of Deacons in Full Connection —The dea- cons shall be appointed by the bishop in the annual conference where they are members in full connection. Appointments of the deacons are to be made in consideration of the gifts and evi- dence of God’s grace of the deacon, needs of the community, and the gifts of the congregation and institutions. The appointment shall reflect the nature of the ministry of the deacon as a faithful response of the mission of the church meeting the emerging needs ¶ in the world ( 331). It may be initiated by the individual deacon in full connection, the agency seeking their service, the bishop, or the district superintendent. Section IX. Ecumenical Relationships Full Communion Relationships 1. ¶ 431. The Council of Bishops shall have the authority to a) enter into ecumenical agreements with other Christian bodies. - However, all proposed denominational level agreements of for mal “full communion” relationships and permanent membership in ecumenical organizations must be approved and ratified by General Conference, before coming into effect. A formal “full communion” relationship is one that b) exists between two or more Christian churches that: (1) recognize each other as constituent members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, the body of Christ, as described in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the church’s historic creeds; (2) recognize the authenticity of each other’s sacra- ments and welcome one another to partake in the Eucharist, (3) affirm the authenticity of each church’s Christian ministry, and (4) recognize the validity of each other’s offices of ministry. c) formal “full communion” relationship commits the A churches to working together as partners in mission toward fuller visible unity. d) A formal “full communion” relationship is entered into in order to: (1) actively commit the participants to working together as partners in mission and co-laborers in the ministry of 352

368 ECUMENICAL ¶ 431 RELATIONSHIPS Christ Jesus, and (2) as a visible witness to the unity of Christians in sharing the love of God among all peoples and throughout creation. A formal “full communion” relationship does not e) mean there are no differences or distinctions between churches; but does mean that these differences are not church dividing. It is understood and affirmed that informal rela- f) tionships exist with other Christians at all levels throughout the church; these relationships are manifested in creative and dynamic ways and the body of Christ is enriched by the initia- tive and leadership that takes place at many levels. Formal “full communion” relationships entered into by General Conference build upon the faithful unity of Christians in local communities and throughout God’s creation that bring the compassion, love, and witness into the lives of a multitude of persons. Formal and informal relationships among Christians are integral to authentic Christian ministry. g) No membership in an ecumenical or ganization, state- ment or policy of an ecumenical organization of which The United Methodist Church is a part, or formal “full communion” agree- ment shall be construed as modifying, interpreting, or changing the doctrinal and disciplinary standards of The United Methodist Church. a “full communion” relationship has been h) When approved by General Conference, it will remain in effect until an action by the General Conference is taken to change it. 2. —1. In formal r elations Liaison Role of the Council of Bishops with other churches and/or ecclesial bodies, the Council of Bish- ops shall be the primary liaison for The United Methodist Church. The ecumenical officer of the Council of Bishops shall be respon- sible for these relationships. eligious Relation- 3. The Office of Christian Unity and Interr ships shall consult with the Council of Bishops in establishing the guidelines for the administration of the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund (see ¶ 814). 4. epresentatives to ecumenical orga- The United Methodist r nizations in the following paragraphs shall be selected by the Council of Bishops. Such representatives shall be inclusive in terms of gender, race and ethnicity, age, persons with disabilities, and region. Representatives shall reflect consideration of balances required both by The United Methodist Church and the respective 353

369 ¶ 431 THE SUPERINTENDENCY - ecumenical organization. Consideration shall be given to per sons named to jurisdictional and central conference pools (see b, c ). 705.1. ¶ When proxies are needed to substitute for United Method- ist representatives to a specific ecumenical organization, the ecu- menical officer of the Council of Bishops is authorized to name such proxies. Consideration shall be given to United Methodists residing in the area of the ecumenical organization’s meeting, and to the inclusivity of the delegation. The names of proxies shall be reported at the next meeting of the Council of Bishops. Representatives and proxies from The United Methodist Church to various working groups of any of the ecumenical orga- nizations in the following paragraphs shall be named by the ecu- menical officer of the Council of Bishops. ovisions of this section, Notwithstanding the other pr 5. should structural changes be voted between sessions of the Gen- eral Conference by any of the ecumenical organizations in the following paragraphs, necessitating election of a new group of United Methodist delegates, the Council of Bishops is authorized to elect such delegates as may be required. ¶ 432. —United Methodist financial sup- Financial Support port of the ecumenical organizations in the following paragraphs shall be remitted from the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund through the General Council on Finance and Administration in ¶ 814. The general agencies of the Church may accordance with make such payments to these ecumenical organizations as they deem to be their responsibility and proportionate share in the coop- erative programs. Such payments shall be reported to the General Council on Finance and Administration, and that Council shall include a summary report of United Methodist financial support in its annual financial report to the Church. United Methodist financial support of ecumenical dialogues and multilateral conversations, approved by the Council of Bishops, shall also be remitted from the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund in the same manner. ¶ orld Methodist Council—a) The 1 . 433. W Methodist Unity— United Methodist Church is a member of the World Methodist Council, its predecessor Methodist and Evangelical United Breth- ren churches having been charter members of such body. The council is a significant channel for United Methodist relationships with other Methodist churches and with autonomous Methodist churches, affiliated autonomous Methodist churches, affiliated 354

370 ECUMENICAL ¶ 433 RELATIONSHIPS united churches formerly part of The United Methodist Church or its predecessor denominations, and other churches with a Wes- leyan heritage. Each affiliated autonomous Methodist chur ch and b) each affiliated united church that is a member of the World Meth- odist Council may choose to send delegates either to the General ¶ 570.2, .3 or to the World Method- Conference as proposed in ist Council (receiving from the General Administration Fund the expense of travel and per diem allowances thereto). But no such church shall be entitled to send delegations at the expense of the General Administration Fund to both the World Methodist Coun- cil and the General Conference. 2. —Given the relationship and Commission Pan-Methodist shared history of the denominations of the Wesleyan tradition in America, there shall be a Pan-Methodist Commission established jointly among The African Methodist Episcopal Church, The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, The African Union Methodist Protestant Church, The Christian Methodist Episco- pal Church, The Union American Methodist Episcopal Church, and The United Methodist Church. The membership of the com- mission shall consist of nine persons from each member denomi- nation, with each denomination naming three bishops, three clergypersons, and three laypersons to include at least one young adult. Each denomination will pay the expenses of its delegation to participate in the work of the commission. The commission shall work to define, determine, plan, and, in cooperation with established agencies of the several denomina- tions, execute activities to foster meaningful cooperation among the six Methodist denominations, and to explore possible union and related issues. The commission may develop one or more Pan-Methodist coalitions to further meaningful cooperation on a particular activity or issue. Each quadrennium, the commission shall plan and convene a Consultation of Methodist Bishops. The commission shall report to each of its member denominations through their General Con- ferences. The commission may be expanded by the inclusion of other denominations of the Wesleyan tradition and the com- mission may establish guidelines to provide for such expansion. Before another Wesleyan or American Methodist denomination may become a part of the commission, it must have the approval of its general conference or equivalent. 355

371 ¶ 433 THE SUPERINTENDENCY Striving T —As a result of our heritage as a part 3. oward Union of a people called Methodist, The United Methodist Church com- mits itself to strive toward closer relationship with other Method- ist or Wesleyan churches wherever they may be found ( 6). ¶ 434. Covenantal or Conciliar Relationships —The United ¶ Methodist Church strives toward greater Christian unity through its participation in councils of churches and/or covenantal rela- tionships. The United Methodist Church may establish covenants with other Christian churches through bilateral or multilateral efforts. 1. ches Uniting in Christ —The United Methodist Church Chur is a member of Churches Uniting in Christ, its predecessor Meth- odist and Evangelical United Brethren churches having been involved in its very beginnings and in all its committees and ple- nary consultations. The United Methodist Church is in covenantal relationship with other churches in Churches Uniting in Christ. 2. National or Regional Ecumenical Organizations—a) The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A .—The United Methodist Church is a member of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., its predecessor Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren churches having been charter mem- bers of such body. Other National or Regional Ecumenical Organizations — b) The Council of Bishops, shall be in dialogue with United Method- ists in whatever countries they may reside, and shall coordinate, explore, and advocate United Methodist participation in regional ecumenical and interreligious organizations and shall address the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund funding of financial needs and the advisability of support of these organizations. c) ch shall seek observer sta- The United Methodist Chur tus in the National Association of Evangelicals. United Methodist observers to these bodies shall be appointed by the Council of Bishops. orld Council of Churches and Other International Ecu- 3. The W menical Organizations—a) —The United orld Council of Churches W Methodist Church is a member of the World Council of Churches, its predecessor Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren churches having been charter members of such body. b) Other International Ecumenical Or ganizations —The Council of Bishops shall be in dialogue with United Methodists in whatever countries they may reside, and shall coordinate, explore, 356

372 ECUMENICAL ¶ 438 RELATIONSHIPS and advocate United Methodist participation in international ecumenical and interreligious organizations and shall address the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund funding of financial needs and the advisability of support of these organizations. The United Methodist Chur ch shall seek observer c) status in the World Evangelical Fellowship. United Methodist observers to these bodies shall be appointed by the Council of Bishops. 435. The American Bible Society —To encourage the wider cir - ¶ culation and use of the Holy Scriptures throughout the world and to provide for the translation, printing, and distribution essential thereto, the American Bible Society shall be recognized as a means of mission outreach for The United Methodist Church, for which appropriate entities of The United Methodist Church shall offer means for seeking the financial support needed for this program. ¶ 436. provided in ¶ 431.2, “In formal relations with other As churches and/or ecclesial bodies, the Council of Bishops shall be the primary liaison for The United Methodist Church.” Further, as provided in ¶ 403.1 e ), “The role of the bishop is to be the shepherd of the whole flock.” Therefore, the bishops of The United Meth- odist Church are called to lead the Church in its ecumenical and interreligious ministries. esponsibilities and in order to deepen 437. ¶ In pursuit of its r and expand the ecumenical and interreligious ministries of The United Methodist Church, the Council of Bishops shall receive the input and support of the Office of Christian Unity and Interreli- gious Relationships. ¶ 438. Membership— Members of the OCUIR shall be elected by the Council of Bishops as follows: 1. The OCUIR shall be composed of two episcopal members - as determined by the Council of Bishops, including the ecumeni cal officer of the Council of Bishops. One of the episcopal mem- bers shall be from a central conference. 2. om each jurisdiction, one person from the One person fr central conferences in Africa, one person from the central con- ferences in Europe, and one person from the central conference in The Philippines. The bishop who is not the ecumenical offi- cer shall be counted as one of these eight persons. Each juris- dictional or central conference will nominate two candidates, and the Council of Bishops will elect members from this pool of nominees. 357

373 ¶ 438 THE SUPERINTENDENCY It is r ecommended that the Council of Bishops ensure that 3. the United Methodist membership persons be inclusive of ethnic representation, youth, young adults, and women, with a mini- mum of five laity. T wo members with voice and vote from our Full Commu- 4. nion Ecumenical Partners 5. The chairperson and secr etary of the Council of Bishops Leadership Team on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, or its successor group, shall be nonvoting members of the OCUIR Steering Committee. 439. ¶ —1. e shall be an ecumenical staff officer of Ther Staff The United Methodist Church to be selected by the Council of Bishops. The work of the OCUIR shall be facilitated by the ecu- menical staff officer who shall be in charge of the day-to-day work of the OCUIR. The ecumenical staff officer shall be the OCUIR’s principal administrative and executive officer. 2. Additional staf f shall be selected in number and responsi- bility as determined by the Council of Bishops. 3. The ecumenical staf f officer shall report to the ecumenical officer of the Council of Bishops. All other staff members shall report to and serve at the pleasure of the ecumenical staff officer. 4. The staf f of the OCUIR shall be positioned in locations to be determined by the Council of Bishops. ¶ 440. Funding —Funding for the ecumenical and interreli- gious ministries of the Church shall be provided by the Council of Bishops in one or more clearly identified line items in the Episco- pal Fund budget request to General Conference. ¶ 441. Responsibilities and powers —Responsibilities and pow- ers of the OCUIR shall be as assigned by the Council of Bishops. ¶ 442. ith Other Churches Full Communion W o fulfill the vision of full communion between The United 1. T Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Amer - ica, there shall be a Joint Commission on ELCA/UMC Full Com- munion. The commission shall serve the following functions: a) dinate the implementation of action taken by the Coor two churches to achieve full communion. b) Assist joint planning for mission. c) Facilitate consultation and common decision making thr ough appropriate channels in fundamental matters that the churches may face together in the future. egularly and appropriately to each church. Report r d) 358

374 COMMITTEE ON F ¶ 445 AITH AND ORDER The United Methodist membership of this commission shall be the ccumenical officer of the Council of Bishops and one lay and one clergy member of OCUIR elected by OCUIR. eceive reports of the ongoing 2. The Council of Bishops shall r partnership of The UMC in the central conferences that are in full communion with Lutheran Churches and other denominations in order to learn from each other how to “provide leadership toward the goal of understanding, reconciliation, and unity within the - Church—The United Methodist Church and the church univer ¶ 403.1 e ). sal” ( Section X. Committee on Faith and Order ¶ 443. Ther e shall be a Committee on Faith and Order related and amenable to the Council of Bishops. This relationship shall be collaborative, with attention paid in particular to working with the persons designated by Council of Bishops. —The Committee on Faith and Order shall Purpose 444. ¶ give leadership to The United Methodist Church in reflecting upon, discerning and living out matters of faith, doctrinal teach- ing, order, and discipline in the midst of mission and ministry in the church and world. The committee shall be a visible expression of the commitment of The United Methodist Church to carry on informed theological reflection for the present time in dynamic continuity with the historic Christian faith, our common heritage as Christians grounded in the apostolic witness, and our distinc- tive Wesleyan heritage. The committee shall be charged with three broad responsibilities: equest of the Council of Bishops, to support and 1. Upon r provide resources to the council in its responsibility to “guard, transmit, teach, and proclaim, corporately and individually, the apostolic faith as it is expressed in Scripture and tradition, and, as they are led and endowed by the Spirit, to interpret that faith evangelically and prophetically” ( 414.3). ¶ 2. T o lead and coordinate studies commissioned by the Gen- eral Conference in matters related to the faith, doctrine, order, and discipline of the church. o prepare and provide resources and study materials to T 3. The United Methodist Church as deemed appropriate. ¶ 445. —The responsibilities of the Committee Responsibilities on Faith and Order shall be: 359

375 ¶ 445 THE SUPERINTENDENCY T 1. o provide a venue and context for ongoing conversation on matters of faith, doctrine, order, and discipline. T o draw upon scholars and scholarship in biblical studies, 2. biblical theology, systematic theology, historical theology, Chris- tian ethics, Wesleyan studies, practical theology, missiology, and other areas thereby providing expertise and knowledge to lead and assist the church in addressing matters of faith and order crit- ical to the life, ministry and mission of the church. T o provide research and resourcing for the Council of Bish- 3. ops upon their request in matters related to faith, doctrine, order and discipline. 4. o receive and administer mandates from the General Con- T ference for studies on matters that require significant inquiry into and application of the faith and order of the church. o bring studies, materials, or publications as appropri- 5. T ate to the Council of Bishops or to the General Conference for approval and action. 6. T o make provision for the preparation and dissemination of study documents and materials for the Church upon request of the Council of Bishops, or the General Conference. o coordinate and provide for effective interaction and T 7. communication among various study committees, commissions, and teams when multiple studies have been mandated. ¶ 446. Authorities and Powers —The Committee on Faith and Order shall have the authority and power to fulfill all the respon- ¶¶ sibilities noted in 444 and 445. ¶ 447. Membership —The Committee on Faith and Order (CFO) shall be organized each quadrennium and shall be com- posed of sixteen persons. 1. - Nominations to the CFO shall be made by the CFO Execu tive Committee, in consultation with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships, and sent to the Council of Bishops and to the entire Committee on Faith and Order for their review. 2. shall serve as members, one of whom shall Four bishops be the ecumenical officer of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church and three other bishops as assigned by the Council of Bishops. At least one of the bishops shall be from cen- tral conferences. 3. New members of the committee shall be elected by the - Council of Bishops at its spring meeting in the year of the Gen 360

376 COMMITTEE ON F ¶ 448 AITH AND ORDER eral Conference each quadrennium. Election shall be for a term of eight (8) years, and no person shall serve as a member of the Committee on Faith and Order for more than sixteen (16) years in succession. The classes of membership shall be established so that the terms of service of 50 percent of the membership expire when their successors are seated at the organizational meeting of the committee following each General Conference. The composition of the committee, and all sub-committees 4. gy status, racial/ethnic and teams, shall attend to lay and cler and gender diversity, and regional representation. It shall model effective representation of the theological diversity of The United - Methodist Church. The Council of Bishops shall exercise over sight in the nomination and election of members with regard to inclusiveness, diversity, and representation. Vacancies occurring during any quadrennium shall be filled by the CFO Executive Committee in consultation with the Council of Bishops. 5. The committee may , in consultation and collaboration with the Council of Bishops, carry out any mandated study internally or may create such sub-committees and teams using members from within the committee and others beyond the committee as may be required by the volume and complexity of work. 6. Membership on the boar d of directors of any other general agency, or serving as a staff member of a general agency, does not make one ineligible to serve as a member of this committee, 710.5 and 715.6 to the contrary notwithstanding, and the ¶¶ ¶ 710.4 for membership on general agen- limitations specified in cies shall not apply to anyone as a result of membership on this committee. ¶ —The Committee on Faith and Order ganization 448. Or shall be organized as follows: 1. om its episcopal membership The committee shall elect fr a chairperson and from its total membership other officers as it may determine. 2. e shall be an executive committee of the CFO with Ther powers as determined by the CFO. 3. committee shall meet for organizational purposes each The quadrennium prior to the end of the first quarter of the year fol- lowing the year in which the General Conference is held. 4. The committee shall meet at least annually and at such times as it shall deem necessary. A majority of members of other the committee shall constitute a quorum. 361

377 ¶ 449 THE SUPERINTENDENCY 449. ¶ —Staff for the work of the Committee on Faith Staffing and Order shall be provided as determined by the Council of Bish- ops in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Commit- tee on Faith and Order. The Council of Bishops may request staff assistance and consultation from agencies and other bodies of the Church. 450. Funding —In collaboration with the Council of Bishops, ¶ the Committee on Faith and Order shall propose its budget as part of the Episcopal Fund, to be approved by General Conference. This legislation or any portion of it approved by General Con- ference ( ¶¶ 443-450) shall take effect at the close of General Con- ference 2016. 362

378 Chapter Four THE CONFERENCES The United Methodist Church is a connectional structure maintained through its chain of conferences. Section I. The General Conference 501. Definition of Powers —The General Conference has full ¶ legislative power over all matters distinctively connectional (see ¶ 16, Division Two, Section II, Article IV, The Constitution). It has no executive or administrative power. 502. ¶ —1. - Composition The voting membership of the Gen eral Conference shall consist of: a) An equal number of clergy and lay delegates elected Discipline . The mis- by the annual conferences as provided in the sionary conferences and provisional annual conferences shall be considered as annual conferences for the purposes of this para- graph. Annual conferences are urged to seek inclusiveness (as 1 ¶ 140) in the election of delegates. defined in b) from The Methodist Church in Great Britain Delegates and other autonomous Methodist churches with which concordat agreements have been established providing for mutual election - and seating of delegates in each other’s highest legislative confer ¶¶ 13.2, 13.3; 574). ences ( 2. The number of delegates to which an annual confer ence is entitled shall be computed on a two-factor basis: the number of clergy members of the annual conference, and the number of 2 members of local churches in the annual conference. clergy members as used in this paragraph shall refer The term to both active and retired members of the annual conference ( ¶ 602.1). 3. Delegates to the General Confer ence shall be elected at the session of the annual conference held not more than two annual conference sessions before the calendar year preceding the ses- sion of the General Conference. At least thirty days prior to the beginning of that calendar year, the secretary of the General Con- ference shall notify the bishop and the secretary of each annual 1. See Judicial Council Decisions 435, 592. 2. See Judicial Council Decisions 327, 333, 1051. 363

379 ¶ 502 THE CONFERENCES conference of the number of delegates to be elected by that annual 3 conference. The secr etary of each annual conference, using the certifi- 4. cate of election form supplied by the secretary of the General Con- ference, shall report to the secretary of the General Conference the names, addresses, and such other information as may be required for delegates and reserves elected by the annual conference. etary of the General Conference shall prepare The secr 5. and send to each annual conference secretary credentials to be signed and distributed to the delegates and reserves elected by the annual conference. 503. Pr esiding Officers —The bishops shall be the presiding ¶ officers at the General Conference. - 504. Election of Secr etary-Designate —1. The Council of Bish ¶ ops shall present a nomination from the ordained ministry or lay membership of The United Methodist Church for secretary- designate. Other nominations shall be permitted from the floor. The elec- tion, if there be two or more nominees, shall be by ballot. Assumption of Office —The secretary-designate shall assume 2. the responsibilities of the office of secretary as soon after the adjournment of the General Conference as all work in connection with the session has been completed, including the corrections to the Daily Christian Advocate, which serves as the official jour - nal of the General Conference. Upon publication, all translations of the Daily Christian Advocate shall be made available as a daily downloadable file, free of charge, on the denominational website. The exact date of the transfer of responsibility to the secretary- designate shall be determined by the Commission on the General Conference, but shall not be later than December 31, following the adjournment of the General Conference. —The secretary, in cooperation with the Assigned Duties 3. Commission on the General Conference, shall initiate procedures to prepare delegates from central conferences for full participation in the General Conference by providing information concerning both the operation of the General Conference and materials it will consider. As far as possible, the materials should be provided in the languages of the delegates. After consultation with the Coun- cil of Bishops, the secretary shall issue invitations to ecumenical representatives. 3. See Judicial Council Decisions 435, 592. 364

380 THE GENERAL ¶ 507 CONFERENCE ¶ Rules of Order —The Plan of Organization and Rules of 505. Order of the General Conference shall be the Plan of Organization - and Rules of Order as approved by the preceding General Confer ence until they have been altered or modified by the action of the General Conference. 506. Quorum —When the General Conference is in session, ¶ it shall require the presence of a majority of the whole number of delegates to the General Conference to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business; but a smaller number may take a recess or adjourn from day to day in order to secure a quorum, and at the final session may approve the journal, order the record of the roll call, and adjourn sine die . 507. ¶ —Any organization, ence Petitions to General Confer clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference in the following manner: 1. The petition must be sent to the secr etary of the General Conference or a designated petitions secretary. It shall be in typed or printed form, or other means approved by the secretary of the General Conference, and shall follow a format determined by that officer. ess only one issue if the Discipline Each petition must addr 2. Discipline is not affected; if the is affected, each petition must address only one paragraph of the Discipline, except that, if two or more paragraphs in the Discipline are so closely related that a change in one affects the others, the petition may call for the amendment of those paragraphs also to make them consistent with one another. Petitions dealing with more than one paragraph in the that do not meet these criteria are invalid. Peti- Discipline tions that meet these criteria (composite petitions) shall not be separated into pieces. 3. Each petition must be signed by the person submitting it, opriate identification, such as address, local accompanied by appr church, or United Methodist board or agency relationship. Each petition submitted by fax or electronic mail must identify the indi- vidual submitting it, accompanied by identification as above, and must contain a valid electronic mail return address or return fax number by which the submitter can be reached. Electronic sig- natures will be accepted in accordance with common business practice. 4. ence, except All petitions submitted to the General Confer those submitted by individual members of The United Methodist 365

381 ¶ 507 THE CONFERENCES Church and local church groups, which call for the establishment of new programs or the expansion of existing programs will be invalid unless accompanied by supporting data that address the issue of anticipated financial requirements of the program. Petitions must be postmarked by a national postal service 5. no later than 230 days prior to the opening session of the General Conference. 6. If petitions are transmitted by a means other than a national postal service, they must be in the hands of the petitions secretary no later than 230 days prior to the opening session of the General Conference. Exceptions to the time limitations shall be granted for peti- tions originating from an annual conference session held between 230 and 45 days prior to the opening session of the General Con- ference, and for other petitions at the discretion of the Committee on Reference. 7. Petitions adopted and pr operly submitted by annual con- ferences, jurisdictional and central conferences, the Division on Ministries With Young People, or general agencies or councils of the Church, and petitions properly submitted by individual mem- bers (either clergy or lay) of The United Methodist Church and local church groups, provided that they have been received by the petitions secretary or secretary of the General Conference no later than 230 days before the opening of General Conference, shall be printed in the Advance Edition of the Daily Christian Advocate . and/or resolutions not printed in the Advance 8. Petitions Daily Christian Advocate Edition of the shall be printed or copied and provided to all delegates. Where the content of petitions is essentially the same, the petition will be printed once, with the first author named and the number of additional copies received printed. Upon publication, all translations of the Advance Edition of the Daily Christian Advocate shall be made available as a down- loadable file, free of charge, on the denominational website etary of the General Conference shall arrange for 9. The secr electronic access to all petitions, including General Conference action and the resulting impact on The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, throughout the General Conference ses- sion. This access shall be available until the publication of the new edition of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church . Implementation shall be according to guidelines established by the Committee on Plan of Organization and Rules of Order. 366

382 THE GENERAL ¶ 510 CONFERENCE All petitions that have been appr 10. oved by a legislative committee shall receive a vote by the plenary session at that year’s General Conference. 11. All petitions that have been submitted to the General Confer ence shall receive a vote of a legislative committee. ¶ —All legislation of the General 508. Legislation Effective Date Conference of The United Methodist Church shall become effec- tive January 1 following the session of the General Conference at ¶ 543.19). which it is enacted, unless otherwise specified ( ¶ Speaking for the Chur ch —1. No person, no paper , no 509. organization, has the authority to speak officially for The United Methodist Church, this right having been reserved exclusively to the General Conference under the Constitution. Any written public policy statement issued by a general Church agency shall clearly identify either at the beginning or at the end that the state- ment represents the position of that general agency and not neces- 4 sarily the position of The United Methodist Church ( ¶ 718). 2. Any individual member called to testify before a legislative body to represent The United Methodist Church shall be allowed to do so only by reading, without elaboration, the resolutions and positions adopted by the General Conference of The United Meth- odist Church. ¶ 510. Duties of the Secr etary —The secretary of the General Conference shall be responsible for the permanent record of the General Conference, which shall include: 1. Corr ections to the Daily Christian Advocate . The editor will then file with the Commission on Archives and History two bound copies of the Daily Christian Advocate and corrections as the official record of General Conference. Bound copies shall also be made available at cost by The United Methodist Publishing House. A Book of Resolutions 2. to be edited by The United Methodist Publishing House. The book shall contain all valid resolutions of the General Conference. The preface of the Book of Resolutions shall include the guidelines for writing resolutions. All valid r a) esolutions of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church shall be published in each edition of the Book of Resolutions . There shall be a complete subject index and index of Scripture passages to all valid resolutions of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church in each edition of the 4. See Judicial Council Decision 458. 367

383 ¶ 510 THE CONFERENCES . Resolutions are official expressions of The Book of Resolutions United Methodist Church for eight years following their adop- tion, after which time they shall be deemed to have expired unless readopted. Those that have expired shall not be printed in subse- quent editions of the . The Book of Resolutions Book of Resolutions shall be made available on the official website of The United Methodist Church. The pr ogram boards and agencies shall review all b) valid resolutions and recommend to the General Conference the removal of time-dated material. c) Book of Reso- Resolutions to be an official part of the lutions will require a 60 percent affirmative vote at General Conference. 3. The Advance Edition of the Daily Christian Advocate and the . Daily Christian Advocate 4. All original documents of a General Confer ence shall be filed with the General Commission on Archives and History. ¶ 511. Commission on the General Conference —There shall be a Commission on the General Conference, hereinafter called the commission. — a) The voting members of the commission 1. Membership ennially by the General Conference and shall shall be elected quadr consist of twenty-five members as follows: one person from each US jurisdiction, one person from each of the seven central confer - ences, one young adult, one youth, the chairperson of the host committee, and ten additional members. The additional members shall be allocated to reflect the proportionate membership based upon combined clergy and lay membership of the church. b) om the elected delegates to Members shall be nominated fr the General Conference by the Council of Bishops prior to General Conference and elected by the General Conference for a term of eight years. Additional persons who meet the qualifications may be nominated from the floor of General Conference. The com- mission shall reflect a balance of clergymen and clergywomen, laywomen and laymen, and the diverse character of The United Methodist Church. Approximately half of the commission shall be elected by the General Conference each quadrennium. c) If vacancies occur , the Council of Bishops shall elect geo- graphically appropriate successors to serve through the next ses- sion of the General Conference and then nominate for election by the General Conference persons to serve any remainder term. 368

384 THE GENERAL ¶ 511 CONFERENCE d) secretary of the General Conference, the treasurer The of the General Council on Finance and Administration, the busi- ness manager of the General Conference, and a bishop named by the Council of Bishops shall have the right to the floor without the privilege of voting. The business manager of the General Confer - ence shall be the chief administrative officer of the commission. Officers —The officers of the commission shall be a chair - 2. person, a vice-chairperson, and a secretary, all of whom shall be elected by the commission at the quadrennial organizational meeting. They shall serve until the adjournment of the next suc- ceeding quadrennial session of the General Conference after their election and until their successors are duly elected and qualified. —There shall be an — a) 3. Executive Committee Committees executive committee of the commission, consisting of the officers of the commission, the chairperson of the host committee, the bishop serving on the commission, the secretary of the General Conference, the business manager of the General Conference, and the chairperson and secretary of the Committee on the Plan of Organization and Rules of Order. b) ganization and Rules of Committee on the Plan of Or Order —The commission shall organize a Committee on the Plan of Organization and Rules of Order from within its membership. The composition of the committee shall be determined by the commission. The committee shall be organized at the initial meet- ing of the commission following General Conference. It shall elect its own chairperson and secretary, who will serve on the commis- sion’s executive committee. The committee shall study and con- sider any proposed amendments to the Plan of Organization and Rules of Order and make needed changes and adaptations to be presented to the entire Commission on the General Conference for approval and submission to the General Conference. Any other matters relating to parliamentary order or procedure in the busi- ness of the General Conference may be referred to this committee. — a) 4. Responsibilities The commission shall select the site set the dates of the General Conference up to four quadrennia and in advance and shall send an official notice to all elected delegates announcing specifically the opening day and hour of the General Conference and anticipated time of adjournment. b) The commission shall plan the schedule for the open - ing day of the Conference and shall further advise the delegates in advance of all such special events and orders of the day, the dates 369

385 ¶ 511 THE CONFERENCES and times of which have been determined prior to the opening of the General Conference, in order that the delegates may have an overview of the General Conference program. c) The commission, in cooperation with The United Meth - odist Publishing House, shall make all necessary arrangements for the publication of the Advance Edition of the Daily Christian and quadrennial reports of the Connectional Table and Advocate the general agencies of the church in English, French, Portuguese, and Kiswahili (standard), and for all delegates to have timely (90-day period) and convenient access to the most linguistically appropriate translation of these documents. The commission shall also make arrangements for daily schedules, petition lists, nominations information, and other high-importance information published in the English version of the to Daily Christian Advocate also be made available in each of these languages in a timely and convenient way. d) The commission shall take necessary measur es to assure full participation of all General Conference delegates includ- ing but not limited to providing accommodation for languages and physical challenges of the delegates, and access to approved licensed childcare during the session at or near the site of the Gen- eral Conference for children of General Conference delegates. e) ecommend to the General Con- The commission shall r ference the per diem allowance to be paid to the elected delegates for housing and meals. f) The commission shall set the number of legislative committees and the assignment of legislative materials to those committees in consultation with the secr etary of the General Con- ference and the business manager of the General Conference. 5. The secr etary of the General Conference shall calculate the number of delegates to be elected by each annual conference, ¶ 502.1, 2, using the most recent based on the factors specified in clergy and professing lay membership figures reported by the local congregation to the annual conference and from the annual conference to the General Council on Finance and Administration through their conference journals, as follows: gy delegate for the first 375 clergy members of One cler a) the annual conference and one clergy delegate for each additional 5 and 375 clergy members or major fraction thereof, 5. See Judicial Council Decisions 327, 558. 370

386 THE JURISDICTIONAL ¶ 512 CONFERENCE One cler b) gy delegate for the first 26,000 members of local churches of the annual conference and one clergy delegate for each additional 26,000 local church members or major fraction thereof, and A number of lay delegates equal to the total number of c) clergy delegates authorized as above. Every annual confer ence shall be entitled to at least d) one clergy and one lay delegate. e) This formula is designated to comply with the Con - stitution, Division Two, Section II, Article I ( ¶ 13), which defines the minimum and maximum number of delegates to a General Conference. Should the computations provided in the paragraph result in a figure below the prescribed minimum or above the pre- scribed maximum for delegates, the Commission on the General Conference shall be authorized to remedy the situation by adjust- ing up or down the numbers of clergy members and members of local churches of the annual conference necessary to entitle an annual conference to elect delegates, any such adjustment to be 6 proportionally the same for the two factors. Section II. The Jurisdictional Conference 512. Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy —1. There ¶ shall be an Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy elected by the General Conference consisting of the persons nominated by their annual conference delegations to serve on the several 7 jurisdictional committees on episcopacy. The committee shall meet not later than the fifth day of the conference session and at the time and place set for their convening by the president of the Council of Bishops and shall elect from their number a chair - person, vice chairperson, and secretary. The function of this joint committee shall be to discuss the possibility of transfers of bish- ops across jurisdictional lines at the forthcoming jurisdictional conferences for residential and presidential responsibilities in the ensuing quadrennium; and to review on the basis of missional needs an application from a jurisdiction which, by number of its church members as provided in ¶ 404, would experience a reduction in the number of its bishops, and recommend the num- ber of bishops to which that jurisdiction should be entitled to the 6. See Judicial Council Decisions 687, 1274. 7. See Judicial Council Decision 472. 371

387 ¶ 512 THE CONFERENCES General Conference for determination by the General Conference. This provision regarding missional needs is enabling, and it is not constraining on the power of General Conference to act in the absence of a recommendation from the committee. It shall elect an executive committee consisting of the officers named above and two clergy and two laypersons from the nomi- nees to each jurisdictional committee, elected by that committee to conduct consultations with bishops and others interested in possible episcopal transfers. One of the persons elected from each jurisdiction shall be the chairperson, or the chairperson’s desig- nee, of the jurisdictional committee. The executive committee shall meet at the call of the chairperson, and it shall have plenary power for the full committee between full committee sessions. It shall be responsible to the interjurisdictional committee, and in fulfillment of that responsibility and in the interest of continuity of the work of the committee, the outgoing chairperson, or the chairperson’s designee, shall present a report to the newly seated committee on the previous quadrennium’s work as well as recommendations on what the coming quadrennium’s work might include. A record of the proceedings of the committee shall be kept by the Office of Episcopal Services of the General Council on Finance and Administration. 2. bishop may be transferred across jurisdictional lines only A when that bishop has consented to such transfer and has served at least one quadrennium in or under assignment by the juris- diction in which the bishop was elected. Such a transfer shall be concluded when the committee on episcopacy of each jurisdiction involved has approved the transfer(s) by a majority vote of those present and voting, insofar as the transfer(s) affects those jurisdic- 8 ¶ tions. (See 49, Article V.) 3. The Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy shall be r ecognized as the official body through which cross-jurisdictional transfers shall be arranged. Should a bishop request transfer, the bishop has the option to identify the receiving jurisdiction. A jurisdiction may request that a specific bishop be transferred or may indicate a willingness to accept a bishop transferring from another jurisdiction. Request for transfer from either a bishop or jurisdictional committees on episcopacy shall be received by the Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy by April 1 of the year 8. See Judicial Council Decision 745. 372

388 THE JURISDICTIONAL ¶ 518 CONFERENCE preceding the year of jurisdictional conferences. The Interjuris- dictional Committee on Episcopacy will arrange consultation between bishop(s) requesting transfer and the appropriate juris- dictional committee(s) on episcopacy by January 1 of the year of jurisdictional conference(s). Once the jursidictional committee(s) on episcopacy has taken action, jurisdictional conference secretar - ies shall inform the Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy 9 not later than August 1 following jurisdictional conferences. 4. The Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy will report to each General Conference the action taken during the previous quadrennium. 513. Equal Status —All jurisdictional conferences shall have ¶ the same status and the same privileges of action within the limits fixed by the Constitution. 514. —The membership of each jurisdictional Membership ¶ conference shall consist of an equal number of clergy and lay delegates elected by the annual conferences as provided in the Discipline . Consideration shall be given to electing an inclusive delegation ( ¶¶ 124, 140). The number of delegates to which an annual conference is entitled shall be twice the number of its Gen- eral Conference delegates, except when the application of that formula results in a total number of delegates to a jurisdictional conference less than 100. In that event, the secretary of the General Conference shall adjust the number of delegates to the jurisdic- tional conference in the same proportion among the annual and missionary conferences of the jurisdiction to achieve a total of 100, ensuring that no annual or missionary conference shall be repre- sented by fewer than four delegates. —The clergy and lay delegates and Election of Delegates 515. ¶ reserves to the jurisdictional conferences shall be elected by ballot 10 in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. ¶ 516. Deliberations —The clergy and lay delegates shall delib- erate in one body. 517. —Each jurisdictional conference shall ¶ Convening Date meet within the period prescribed by the Constitution at such time and place as shall have been determined by the preceding jurisdictional conference or by its properly constituted committee. ¶ 518. Rules of Order —The jurisdictional conference shall adopt its own procedure, rules, and plan of organization. It shall 9. See Judicial Council Decision 745. 10. See Judicial Council Decision 592. 373

389 ¶ 518 THE CONFERENCES take a majority of the whole number of delegates elected to make a quorum for the transaction of business; however, a smaller num- ber may take a recess or adjourn from day to day and at the final session may approve the journal, order the record of the roll call, sine die and adjourn . 519. Expenses— The jurisdictional conference shall provide ¶ for the expenses of its sessions. 520. ¶ jurisdictional conferences shall provide for the The accounts of the jurisdictional treasurer for the preceding fiscal year to be audited by a certified public accountant within 150 days after the close of the conference fiscal year and to provide for the report to be distributed to each of the presiding bishops and conference treasurers and in the jurisdiction. ¶ 521. —1. The jurisdictional confer ence may Special Sessions order a special session in such manner as it shall determine. 2. The College of Bishops of a jurisdiction by a two-thirds vote shall have authority to call a special session of the jurisdictional conference when necessary; provided, however, that if an epis- copal area is left vacant by reason of death, retirement, or other cause within twenty-four months of the episcopal assumption of presidential supervision of that area, the College of Bishops may by majority vote convene within three months, after giving not less than thirty days’ notice, a special session of the jurisdictional conference for the purpose of electing and consecrating a bishop and of considering any other matters specified in the call; and provided further, that in such case the current jurisdictional com- mittee on episcopacy may recommend to the conference reassign- ment of one or more of the previously elected bishops. 3. The delegates to a special session of the jurisdictional confer - ence. ence shall be the delegates last elected by each annual confer 4. called session of the jurisdictional conference cannot A transact any other business than that indicated in the call. ¶ Pr 522. esiding Bishops —The jurisdictional conference shall be presided over by the bishops of the jurisdiction or a bishop of another jurisdiction or of a central conference. In case no bishop of the jurisdiction is present, the conference may elect a president from the clergy delegates. Accountability ¶ 523. —Bishops elected by or administering in a jurisdictional conference shall be amenable for their conduct to their jurisdictional conference. Any bishop shall have the right of appeal to the Judicial Council. 374

390 THE JURISDICTIONAL ¶ 524 CONFERENCE e shall Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy —1. Ther ¶ 524. be a jurisdictional committee on episcopacy consisting of one clergy and one lay delegate to the jurisdictional conference from each annual conference elected by the jurisdictional con- ference upon nomination of their respective annual conference delegations. The committee shall be convened by the president of the College of Bishops at the close of the jurisdictional conference to which the delegates have been elected. It shall serve through the succeeding jurisdictional conference. The committee shall elect from its members a chairperson, a vice chairperson, and a secretary. It shall meet at least annually. Should there be a vacancy in an annual conference’s elected representation on the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy by death, resignation, election to the episcopacy, cessation of mem- bership in the annual conference from which one is elected, or for other reasons that the annual conference delegation may deter - mine, the annual conference delegation shall nominate another person to fill the vacancy. That person may begin to serve on the committee as a nominee until the jurisdictional conference can elect. 2. The jurisdictional conference shall provide funding for the expenses of the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy. 3. The jurisdictional committee on episcopacy shall: Review and evaluate annually the work of the bish - a) ops, pass on their character and official administration, and report such evaluations and other findings to the jurisdictional confer - ence for such action as the conference may deem appropriate within its constitutional warrant of power. The evaluation shall include those areas of responsibility outlined in ¶ 414, ¶ 415, and ¶ 416 as well as the bishop’s leadership in the promotion and sup- port of the full payment of apportionments. The committee may, in its sole discretion, also forward its report to the president of the College of Bishops, who shall then share the report with the Council of Bishops in executive session. eas and the Recommend boundaries of the episcopal ar b) 11 assignments of the bishops. c) Be available to the Council and College of Bishops for consultation on matters of mutual concern. 11. See Judicial Council Decision 517. 375

391 ¶ 524 THE CONFERENCES Determine d) the number of effective bishops eligible for assignment. equests for possible voluntary Receive and act upon r e) and involuntary retirement of bishops; however, as provided in ¶ ), the committee may initiate on its own motion the pro- 408.3 a cess of involuntary retirement when it is seen to be in the best interest of the Church. ) Initiate or r f eceive and act upon a request for transfer of one or more of the members of its jurisdiction’s College of Bishops to another jurisdiction’s College of Bishops or upon a request for transfer of a member of another jurisdiction’s College of Bishops ¶ 512.2, no to its jurisdiction’s College of Bishops. As provided in such transfer may be completed without the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the committee present and voting. g) ence committees on episco- Consult with the confer pacy with respect to the needs for episcopal leadership and how best they can be fulfilled. h) Establish a consultation pr ocess with each bishop regarding his or her episcopal assignment. i) epare a report of its decisions, activities, and recom- Pr mendations to be transmitted to its successor through the office of the secretary of the jurisdictional conference. The report shall be made available to delegates of the jurisdictional conference prior to the jurisdictional conference. 525. Powers and Duties of Jurisdictional Confer ¶ —The juris- ence dictional conference shall have powers and duties as described in the Constitution. It shall also have such other powers and duties as may be conferred by the General Conference. It shall act in all respects in harmony with the policy of The United Methodist Church with respect to elimination of discrimination based upon race. ¶ 526. —In all elections in a juris- of Church Members Definition dictional conference that are based on the number of church mem- bers within that jurisdiction, the number counted shall include lay members, clergy members, and bishops assigned to that jurisdiction. ¶ Annual Confer 527. ence Journals —The jurisdictional con- ference shall have authority to examine and acknowledge the journals of the annual conferences within its bounds and shall make such rules for the drawing up of the journals as may seem necessary. 376

392 THE JURISDICTIONAL ¶ 532 CONFERENCE 528. Jurisdictional Confer ence Journals —The jurisdictional ¶ conference shall keep an official journal of its proceedings, duly signed by the secretary and president or secretary of the College of Bishops, which shall be deposited in accordance with ¶ 1711.3 k and with the secretary of the General Conference. The printing j, shall be done at the expense of the jurisdiction. Jurisdictional Agencies ¶ 529. Agencies —The jurisdictional conference shall have the authority to appoint or elect such agencies as the General Con- ference may direct or as it deems necessary for its work. Insofar as possible, the membership on councils, boards, and agencies of the jurisdictional conference shall include one-third clergy, one- third laywomen, and one-third laymen in keeping with the poli- cies for general Church agencies, except for the Board of Ordained Ministry and the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy. Special attention shall be given to the inclusion of clergywomen, youth, young adults, older adults, single adults, persons with disabili- ties, persons from churches of small membership, and racial and ethnic persons. (See ¶ 710.9 a - c .) Every board, standing committee, commission, council, and work area of the jurisdiction shall des- ignate one of its members as its coordinator of witness ministries. These persons shall help the agencies of which they are members to engage in witness ministries and, in particular, to ask, “How are we intentionally reaching new people for Jesus Christ through our ministries?” and “How are we helping new people grow and mature as disciples of Jesus Christ through our ministries and areas of responsibility?” ¶ 530. Coordination of Pr ograms —In each jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church there may be a jurisdictional council on ministries or jurisdictional administrative council, or alternative structure, organized as the jurisdiction shall determine and with the authority to coordinate the programs of the general agencies within the jurisdiction. ¶ 531. Pr ogram Agencies —In each jurisdiction there may be jurisdictional program agencies related to the general program agencies and the appropriate annual conference program agen- cies organized as the jurisdictional conference shall determine. ¶ Ar 532. chives and History —1. There shall be a jurisdictional commission on archives and history, auxiliary to the general commission, to be composed of the chairperson of each annual 377

393 ¶ 532 THE CONFERENCES conference commission on archives and history or the historian of each annual conference, the president of the jurisdictional his- torical society, and at least five members at large to be elected by the jurisdictional commission, or composed in a way the jurisdic- tional conference determines. ¶ Jurisdictional Y —1. Jurisdictions 533. oung People’s Ministries shall engage youth, young adults, and adults who work with them in creative partnership to: ) Network youth, young adults and young people’s a ministries thr oughout the region, ) Support young people’s ministries in the annual con - b ferences, and ) c ovide a process by which representatives are chosen Pr and sent to the Global Young People’s Convocation and the Divi- sion on Ministries With Young People. 2. Jurisdictions are encouraged to organize their Young Peo- ple’s Ministries in creative ways that work best for their context. The jurisdictional young people’s ministries coordinator shall help design, maintain, and revise any processes to accomplish this work. In any process or coordinating group for Jurisdictional Young People’s Ministries, the following representation is encouraged: ) a om each conference in the jurisdiction Participants fr b ) Racial/ethnic r epresentation that reflects the demo- graphic make-up of the jurisdiction c ) Participants who bring a variety of theological and cul - tural perspectives d ) outh and young adults who may or may not also be Y serving on Conference Councils of Youth/Young Adult Ministry e ) Adult workers who may or may not also be confer ence youth/young adult staff or similar designee 3. There shall be a jurisdictional young people’s ministries coordinator who shall be accountable to the jurisdictional council on ministries or equivalent structure and the jurisdictional young people’s ministries coordinating team. This coordinator may or may not be the same person as the adult representative to the Division on Ministries With Young People of the General Board of Discipleship. 4. Responsibility to Choose Representatives to the Division on —Using a process appropriate to each Ministries With Young People 378

394 THE JURISDICTIONAL ¶ 533 CONFERENCE jurisdiction’s context, the Jurisdictional Young People’s Ministries shall: Choose one youth member to serve on the Division on a ) Ministries W ith Young People of the General Board of Disciple- ship for a four-year term. Youth chosen to serve on the Division on Ministries With Young People shall be age sixteen or younger at the time of appointment. ) Nominations shall come fr om annual conference coun- b cils on youth ministry or equivalent structure, local churches, dis- tricts, conference youth coordinators, or other Interested clergy or laity. c ) The Jurisdictional Young People’s Ministries should ensure that either the youth or young adult representative (who is elected in the jurisdictional election) will be a racial/ethnic young person. ) As far as possible, d members of the Division on Minis- tries With Young People from each jurisdiction shall be from two different annual conferences in that jurisdiction. 5. Responsibility to Choose Representatives to Attend the Global Young People’s Convocation —In the year prior to the Global Young People’s Convocation, Jursidictional Young People’s Ministries shall choose five youth and one adult to serve as voting delegates to the Global Young People’s Convocation. 6. Other suggested responsibilities for the Jurisdictional Young People’s Ministries: ) - a Initiate and support jurisdictional events (camps, con ferences, workshops, and so forth). ) b Recommend priorities, concerns, and/or policies to the Division on Ministries W ith Young People. omote the establishment and awareness of the needs, c ) Pr concerns, issues, and so forth,of racial and ethnic persons through caucuses, camps, consultations, and so forth. d omote the spiritual growth of participants in the ) Pr jurisdictional young people’s ministry events and activities. e ) Pr omote an evangelistic outreach with young people and through young people by providing educational opportuni- ties and resources that increase their awareness, exposure, and engagement in the areas of mission, social justice, discipleship, leadership development, and spiritual formation as they relate back to their annual conference and local church. ovide training and supportive experiences for con- Pr f ) ference young people’s ministries personnel. 379

395 ¶ 533 THE CONFERENCES ) - g Enable communication between general and confer ence levels of young people’s ministries. Ther e may be a jurisdictional young-adult organiza- 534. ¶ tion for the purpose of networking young adults throughout the - region, supporting young-adult ministries in the annual confer ences, and supporting young adult workers in their ministry. ¶ 535. Committee on Ordained Ministry —There may be a juris- dictional committee on ordained ministry. This committee shall be comprised of the chair of the conference boards of ordained ministry or their representatives, the deans/presidents of the United Methodist seminaries in the jurisdiction, two representa- tives from the College of Bishops and three members at large, named by the committee to insure inclusivity. Deacons and lay- persons shall be represented in the committee. When a jurisdic- tional board of higher education and ministry exists, this board may be a part of that structure. The duties of the committee may include: providing information on supply and demand and encouraging mobility across conference lines; to create a forum for the discussion of issues related to representative ministry; to deal with matters of enlistment and recruitment; to create dia- logue with seminaries serving the jurisdiction; to enable ethnic ministries in the jurisdictions. Funding shall be provided through the jurisdictional conference and the annual conference boards of ordained ministry. ¶ 536. Constitution of United Methodist W omen in the Jurisdic- tion — Article 1. Name —In each jurisdiction there shall be a juris- diction organization named United Methodist Women, directly related to the United Methodist Women’s national organization. Article 2. Authority —Each jurisdiction organization of United Methodist Women shall have authority to promote its work in accordance with the program and policies of the United Method- ist Women’s national organization. Article 3. Membership —The voting membership of the juris- diction organization of United Methodist Women shall be com- posed of the members of the Jurisdiction Leadership Team; three members elected by each conference organization, members of the board of directors of United Methodist Women and the mem- bers of the United Methodist Women Program Advisory Group in organizations within the jurisdiction; a representative of the jurisdiction Association of Deaconesses, Home Missioners/Home Missionaries; and all the active bishops of the jurisdiction. 380

396 THE JURISDICTIONAL ¶ 537 CONFERENCE — There shall be a meet- Article 4. Meetings and Elections a) ing of the jurisdiction organization of United Methodist Women during the last year of the quadrennium. At that time the juris- diction president, members of the Jurisdiction Leadership Team and members of the board of directors of the United Methodist Women’s national organization shall be elected according to the ( ¶¶ 647.6 d, 1906). Discipline b) e may be other gatherings as needed to fulfill the Ther purpose. Article 5. Amendments —Proposed amendments to the consti- tution shall be sent to the recording secretary of United Method- ist Women for consideration by the board of directors. The last date for consideration of any amendments will be the last regular meeting of the board of directors before the date by which it must submit proposed legislation for action of the General Conference. ¶ 537. —In each jurisdic- Committee on United Methodist Men tion there shall be a jurisdictional committee on United Methodist Men, auxiliary to the General Commission on United Methodist Men ( 2301). ¶ The membership of the jurisdictional committee on United Methodist Men shall be composed of the elected officers, com- mittee chairpersons, and ministry coordinators as defined by the organizations’ bylaws as well as the conference president of United Methodist Men of each annual conference organization within the boundary of the jurisdiction. Each jurisdictional committee on United Methodist Men shall have authority to promote its work in accordance with the poli- cies and programs of the General Commission on United Method- ist Men. The jurisdictional committee on United Methodist Men shall elect the jurisdictional president during the last year of the qua- drennium. The jurisdictional president shall serve on the General Commission on United Methodist Men ( ¶ 2303.1 b ). Jurisdictional presidents who serve less than a full quadrennial term may be re-elected for a full term. There may be meetings, retreats, and cooperative training events held by the jurisdictional committee on United Methodist Men. The jurisdictional committee on United Methodist Men shall secure funds for the fulfillment of its purpose. All funds from whatever source secured by the jurisdictional committee on 381

397 ¶ THE CONFERENCES 537 United Methodist Men belong to the organization and shall be disbursed only in accordance with its constitution and/or by- laws and by its order. a) The jurisdictional committee on United Methodist Men may have their own bank accounts. ecommended that there be an annual financial It is r b) audit. —It is recom- olunteers in Mission 538. United Methodist V ¶ mended that there be a jurisdictional volunteer-in-mission (UMVIM) coordinator for the purpose of coordination of vol- unteers, in collaboration with annual conference UMVIM and Disaster Response Coordinators within their jurisdiction and the Global Ministries Mission Volunteer Office. The jurisdic- tional coordinator may network to coordinate opportunities and resources for volunteers in collaboration with the General Board of Global Ministries and other UMC agencies as requested. The Jurisdictional UMVIM Coordinator may communicate the need for Early Response Teams within their region in collaboration with UMCOR. —The jurisdictional Administrative Review Committee ¶ 539. conference shall establish from its membership an administrative review committee of at least three persons who are not members of the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy. Its only purpose shall be to ensure that the disciplinary procedures for any invol- untary action recommended by the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy are properly followed. The entire administrative pro- cess leading to the action for change of status of the bishop shall be reviewed by the administrative review committee, and it shall report its findings to the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy and the jurisdictional conference prior to any action by those bod- ies. The administrative review committee shall notify the parties of the review process. The administrative fair process hearing procedures ( ¶ 361.2) should be followed by the administrative review committee. Prior to its report, if the committee determines that any error has occurred, it may recommend to the appropriate person or body that action be taken promptly to remedy the error, decide the error is harmless, or take other action. Section III. Central Conferences ¶ 540. —1. Authorization In territory outside the United ences, provisional annual conferences, mis- States, annual confer 382

398 CONFERENCES ¶ 541 CENTRAL sionary conferences, mission conferences, and missions, in such numbers as the General Conference by a two-thirds vote shall de- termine, may be organized by the General Conference into central conferences or provisional central conferences, with such duties, privileges, and powers as are hereinafter set forth and as the Gen- eral Conference by a two-thirds vote shall prescribe. 2. There shall be such central conferences as have been autho- rized or shall be hereafter authorized by the General Conference, provided that a central conference shall have a total of at least thirty clergy and thirty lay delegates on the basis of representation as set forth in this section, except as the General Conference may fix a different number. 3. The United Methodist Church shall have central confer - ences with ministries in the following countries: Africa Central Confer ence: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, a) Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Swa- ziland, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe; ope Central Conference: Alba- b) Central and Southern Eur nia, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Republic of Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Ser - bia, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Tunisia; Congo Central Confer ence: Central African Republic, c) Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Zambia; Germany Central Confer ence: Germany; d) ope and Eurasia Central Conference: Belarus, Northern Eur e) Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lith- uania, Moldova, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan; Philippines Central Confer ence: Philippines; f) g) W est Africa Central Conference: Burkina Faso, Camer - oon, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone. provisional central conference may become a central A 4. conference upon the fulfillment of the necessary requirements and upon the authorization of the General Conference. ¶ 541. Composition —1. The central conference shall be com- posed of clergy and lay members in equal numbers, the clergy members elected by the clergy members of the annual conference and the lay members by the lay members thereof. Their qualifi- cations and the manner of election shall be determined by the 383

399 ¶ 541 THE CONFERENCES central conference itself, subject only to constitutional require- ments. Each annual conference and provisional annual confer - ence shall be entitled to at least two clergy and two lay delegates, and no other selection of delegates shall be authorized that would provide for more than one clergy delegate for every six clergy members of an annual conference; except that a majority of the number fixed by a central conference as the ratio of rep- resentation shall entitle an annual conference to an additional clergy delegate and to an additional lay delegate. Each mission- ary conference and mission is authorized to elect and send one of its members to the central conference concerned as its represen- tative, said representative to be accorded the privilege of sitting with the committees of the central conference, with the right to speak in the committees and in the regular sessions of the cen- tral conference, but without the right to vote. Representatives of missionary conferences or missions shall have the same claim for payment of expenses as is allowed to members of the central 12 conference. 2. In the case of a central conference, the rule of proportionate representation shall be applied by each annual conference. ¶ - Or ganization —1. The first meeting of a central confer 542. ence shall be called by the bishop or bishops in char ge at such time and place as they may elect, to which members of the annual conferences, provisional annual conferences, missionary confer - ences, and missions concerned shall be elected on the basis of representation as provided herein. The time and place of future meetings shall be determined by the central conference or its exec- utive committee. 2. Each central conference shall meet within the year suc- ceeding the session of the General Conference at such time and place as the central conference itself or its bishops may determine for the purpose of electing bishops when vacancies occur and for attending to other matters as required. The central conference has the right to hold such adjourned sessions as it may determine. The sessions of said conference shall be presided over by the bishops. In case no bishop is present, the conference shall elect a temporary president from among its own members. The bishops resident in a central conference or a majority of them, with the concurrence of the executive committee or other authorized committee, shall 12. See Judicial Council Decision 371. 384

400 CENTRAL ¶ 543 CONFERENCES have the authority to call an extra session of the central conference 13 to be held at the time and place designated by them. The Council of Bishops may assign one or mor e of its 3. number to visit any central conference or provisional central conference. When so assigned, the bishop shall be an accredited representative of the general Church, and when requested by a majority of the bishops resident in that conference may exercise therein the functions of the episcopacy. 4. The pr esiding officer of the central conference shall decide - questions of order, subject to an appeal to the central confer ence, and shall decide questions of law, subject to an appeal to the Judicial Council, but questions relating to the interpretation of the rules and regulations made by the central conference for the governing of its own session shall be decided by the central 14 conference. 5. A central conference, where the laws of the land permit, shall have the power to organize and incorporate one or more executive committees, executive boards, or councils of coopera- tion, with such membership and such powers as may have been granted by the central conference for the purpose of representing it in its property and legal interests and for transacting any neces- sary business that may arise in the interval between the sessions of the central conference or that may be committed to said boards or committees by the central conference. 6. Each central confer ence within the bounds of which the General Board of Global Ministries has work shall maintain a cooperative and consultative relationship with the said board through a duly constituted executive committee, executive board, or council of cooperation; but the legal distinction between the General Board of Global Ministries and the organized church on the field shall always be kept clear. ¶ Powers and Duties T —1. 543. o a central conference shall be committed for supervision and promotion, in harmony with the Discipline and interdenominational contractual agreements, the missionary, educational, evangelistic, industrial, publishing, medical, and other connectional interests of the annual confer - ences, provisional annual conferences, missionary conferences, and missions within its territory and such other matters as may be 13. See Judicial Council Decision 371. 14. See Judicial Council Decisions 375, 376, 381. 385

401 ¶ 543 THE CONFERENCES referred to it by said bodies or by order of the General Conference; and it shall provide suitable organizations for such work and elect the necessary officers for the same. 2. A central conference, when authorized by a specific enabling act of the General Conference, may elect one or more bishops from among the traveling elders of The United Method- ist Church. The number of bishops to be elected by each central conference shall be determined from time to time by the General Conference. 3. When a central confer ence shall have been authorized to elect bishops, such elections shall be conducted under the same general procedure as prevails in the jurisdictional conferences for the election of bishops. A central conference shall have power to 15 fix the tenure of bishops elected by the said central conference. 4. Administration shall The General Council on Finance and determine the apportionment amounts for the annual conferences of the central conferences for the succeeding quadrennium based on calculation methodology approved by the General Conference upon recommendation by the Council. This determination shall be informed by consultation with the Council of Bishops. 5. A central conference, in consultation with the bishops of that central conference, shall fix the episcopal areas and residences and make assignments to them of the bishops who are to reside in that central conference. The bishops of a central conference shall arrange the plan of episcopal visitation within its bounds. 6. A central conference shall have authority to elect and sup- port general officers in all departments of the work of the Church within the boundaries of the central conference but may not deter - mine the number of bishops. 7. A central conference shall have power to make such changes and adaptations of the Book of Discipline as the special conditions and the mission of the church in the area require, espe- cially concerning the organization and administration of the work on local church, district, and annual conference levels, provided that no action shall be taken that is contrary to the Constitution and the General Rules of The United Methodist Church, and pro- vided that the spirit of connectional relationship is kept between the local and the general church. Subject to this restriction, a cen- tral conference may delegate to an annual conference within its 15. See Judicial Council Decisions 311, 430. 386

402 CENTRAL ¶ 543 CONFERENCES boundaries the power to make one or the other of the changes and adaptations referred to in this paragraph, upon the request of 16 such annual conference. A central conference shall fix the boundaries of the annual 8. conferences, provisional annual conferences, missionary confer - ences, and missions within its bounds, proposals for changes first having been submitted to the annual conferences concerned as prescribed in the of The United Methodist Church. No Discipline annual conference shall be organized with fewer than thirty-five clergy members except as provided by an enabling act for the quadrennium, which shall not reduce the number below twenty- five. Nor shall an annual conference be continued with fewer than twenty-five clergy members except as provided by an enabling 17 act for the quadrennium. 9. A central conference may advise its annual conferences and provisional annual conferences to set standards of character and other qualifications for admission of lay members. 10. A central conference shall have power to make changes and adaptations in procedure pertaining to the annual, district, and charge conferences within its territory and to add to the busi- ness of the annual conference supplementary questions consid- ered desirable or necessary to meet its own needs. 11. A central conference shall have authority to examine and acknowledge the journals of the annual conferences, provisional annual conferences, missionary conferences, and missions located within its bounds and to make rules for the drawing up of the journals as may seem necessary. central conference shall have authority to adopt rules A 12. of procedure governing the investigation and trial of its clergy, including bishops, and lay members of the Church and to pro- vide the necessary means and methods of implementing the said rules; provided , however, that the ordained ministers shall not be deprived of the right of trial by a clergy committee, and lay members of the Church of the right of trial by a duly constituted committee of lay members; and provided also, that the rights of 18 appeal shall be adequately safeguarded. 16. See Judicial Council Decision 313. 17. See Judicial Council Decisions 525, 541, 549. 18. See Judicial Council Decisions 310, 595. 387

403 ¶ 543 THE CONFERENCES A central conference is authorized to prepare and trans- 13. late simplified or adapted forms of such parts of the ritual as it may deem necessary, such changes to require the approval of the resident bishop or bishops of the central conference. A central conference shall have the power to conform 14. the detailed rules, rites, and ceremonies for the solemnization of marriage to the statute laws of the country or countries within its jurisdiction. 15. Subject to the appr oval of the bishops resident therein, a central conference shall have the power to prescribe courses of study, including those in the vernaculars, for its ministry, both foreign and indigenous, including local preachers, lay servants, Bible women, deaconesses, teachers—both male and female—and all other workers whatsoever, ordained or lay. It shall also make rules and regulations for examination in these courses. 16. A central conference shall have authority to edit and pub- lish a central conference Discipline, which shall contain in addition to the Constitution of the Church such sections from the general Discipline of The United Methodist Church as may be pertinent to the entire Church and also such revised, adapted, or new sections as shall have been enacted by the central conference concerned under the powers given by the General Conference. In a central confer ence or provisional central conference 17. using a language other than English, legislation passed by a Gen- eral Conference shall not take effect until twelve months after the close of that General Conference in order to afford the necessary time to make adaptations and to publish a translation of the leg- islation that has been enacted, the translation to be approved by the resident bishop or bishops of the central conference. This pro- vision, however, shall not exclude the election of delegates to the General Conference by annual conferences within the territory of central conferences or provisional central conferences. 18. A central conference is authorized to interpret Article XXIII of the Articles of Religion ( page 71 ) so as to recognize the governments of the country or countries within its territory. central conference shall have power to authorize the A 19. congregations in a certain state or country to form special orga- nizations in order to receive the acknowledgment of the state or country according to the laws of that state or country. These organizations shall be empowered to represent the interests of the Church to the authorities of the state or country according to the 388

404 CENTRAL ¶ 546 CONFERENCES rules and principles of The United Methodist Church, and they shall be required to give regular reports of their activities to their respective annual conferences. 20. A central conference may, with the consent of the bishops resident in that conference, enter into agreements with churches or missions of other denominations for the division of territory or of responsibility for Christian work within the territory of the central conference. 21. A central conference shall have the right to negoti- ate with other Protestant bodies looking toward the possibility of church union; provided that any proposals for church union shall be submitted to the General Conference for approval before 19 consummation. [ Reserved] ¶ 544. 545. ¶ oceed- chives —1. The journal of the pr Records and Ar ings of a central conference, duly signed by the president and secretary, shall be sent for examination to the General Confer - ence through its secretary. Two paper copies in every transla- tion shall be sent without charge to the General Commission on Archives and History and the General Council on Finance and Administration, and one copy of a digital version shall be sent along with the paper copies, if available. It is recommended that the journal include memoirs of deceased clergy and deceased clergy spouses. 2. secretary of a central conference in which one or The more bishops have been chosen shall report to the secretary of the General Conference the names of the bishop or bishops and the residences to which they have been assigned by the central conference. 3. etary of each central conference shall submit a The secr hardcopy of every translation and adaptation of the general Dis- cipline or portion thereof in use in that central conference to the General Commission on Archives and History and the General Council on Finance and Administration. ¶ 546. central conference, through a duly operty —1. A Pr incorporated property-holding body or bodies, shall have author - ity to purchase, own, hold, or transfer property for and on behalf of all the unincorporated organizations of The United Methodist Church within the territory of that central conference or on behalf 19. See Judicial Council Decision 350. 389

405 ¶ 546 THE CONFERENCES of other organizations of The United Methodist Church that have entrusted their property to that central conference. A central conference shall have authority to make the nec- 2. essary rules and regulations for the holding and management of such properties; provided, however, that all procedure shall be (a) subject to the laws of the country or countries concerned; (b) no transfer of property shall be made from one annual conference to another without the consent of the conference holding title to such property; and the status of properties held by local trustees or (c) other holding bodies shall be recognized. 3. central conference shall not directly or indirectly, A through its incorporated property-holding body or bodies, alien- ate property or proceeds of property without due consideration of its trusteeship for local churches, annual conferences, the General Board of Global Ministries, and other organizations, local or gen- eral, of the Church. 4. A central conference or any of its incorporated organiza- tions shall not involve the General Board of Global Ministries or any organization of the Church in any financial obligation without the official approval of said board or organization. All invested funds, fiduciary trusts, or property belonging to an annual conference, a provisional annual conference, a mission- ary conference, or a mission, or any of its institutions, acquired by bequest, donation, or otherwise and designated for a specific use, shall be applied to the purpose for which they were desig- nated. They shall not be diverted to any other purpose, except by the consent of the conference or mission involved and with the approval of the central conference concerned and civil court action when necessary. The same rule shall apply to similar funds or properties acquired by a central conference for specific objects. In cases involving the diversion of trust funds and properties within the territory of a central conference, the central confer - ence concerned shall determine the disposition of the interests involved, subject to an appeal to the judicial court of the central conference. ¶ 547. central conference may have ence Agencies —1. A Confer a standing committee on women’s work. This committee should preferably be composed of the women delegates and such other persons as the central conference may elect. The duty of this committee shall be to study the relation of women to the Church and to devise ways and means of developing this portion of the 390

406 CENTRAL ¶ 547 CONFERENCES Church membership, to the end that it may assume its rightful responsibilities in the extension of the Kingdom. The committee shall make recommendations to the central conference regard- ing women’s organizations within its areas. A central conference organization may become a member of the World Federation of Methodist Women and may elect a representative to the World Federation of Methodist Women within the provisions of the federation. A central conference may organize a women’s unit, after 2. consultation with the committee on women’s work, in connec- tion with any annual conference or provisional annual conference within its bounds and provide a constitution and bylaws for it. 3. central conference that adapts and edits the Discipline A ¶ 543.16 shall establish a judicial court, which in as provided in addition to other duties that the central conference may assign to it shall hear and determine the legality of any action of the central conference taken under the adapted portions of the Discipline or of a decision of law by the presiding bishop of the central confer - ence pertaining to the adapted portions of the Discipline, upon appeal by the presiding bishop or by one-fifth of the members of the central conference. Further, the judicial court shall hear and determine the legality of any action of an annual conference taken under the adapted portions of the or of a decision Discipline of law by the presiding bishop of the annual conference pertain- Discipline, ing to the adapted portion of the upon appeal of the presiding bishop or of such percentage of the members of the annual conference as may be determined by the central confer - ence concerned. 4. central conference may have a standing committee on A young people’s ministry. This committee shall be composed of youth, young adults, and adult leaders of youth or young-adult ministry from each annual conference in the central conference. The duty of this committee shall be to study the relation of young people to the Church and to devise ways and means of develop- ing the Church’s ministry for, with, and by young people. The committee shall make recommendations to the central conference regarding youth and young-adult organizations within its areas as well as elect delegates to the Global Young People’s Convoca- tion ( ¶ 1210). 5. d, standing committee, commission, council, Every boar and work area of the central conference shall designate one of its 391

407 ¶ 547 THE CONFERENCES members as its coordinator of witness ministries. These persons shall help the agencies of which they are members to engage in witness ministries and, in particular, to ask, “How are we inten- tionally reaching new people for Jesus Christ through our minis- tries?” and “How are we helping new people grow and mature as disciples of Jesus Christ through our ministries and areas of responsibility?” 548. —1. An ordained minister ed Relation Bishops in Retir ¶ who has served a term or part of a term as a bishop in a cen- tral conference where term episcopacy has prevailed shall, upon retirement from the effective relation in the ministry, be paid an allowance from the General Episcopal Fund in such sum as the General Council on Finance and Administration shall determine for the years during which the ordained minister served as a 20 bishop. 2. ences of The United Meth- When former central confer odist Church become or have become autonomous churches or entered into church unions, retired bishops therein shall continue to have membership in the Council of Bishops if the retired bish- ops involved so desire. Section IV. Provisional Central Conferences ¶ Authorization —Annual conferences, provisional an- 560. nual conferences, missionary conferences, and missions outside the United States that are not included in central conferences or in the territory of affiliated autonomous churches and that, because of geographical, language, political, or other considerations, have common interests that can best be served thereby, may be organized into provisional central conferences as provided in 21 540.1. ¶ The United Methodist Church shall have a provisional central conference with ministries in the following countries: a) ovisional Central Confer- Southeast Asia and Mongolia Pr ence: Laos, Mongolia, Thailand, and Vietnam. ¶ 561. —The organization of provisional central ganization Or conferences shall conform to the regulations prescribed for cen- tral conferences insofar as they are considered applicable by the bishop in charge. 20. See Judicial Council Decision 394. 21. See Judicial Council Decision 525. 392

408 PROVISIONAL ¶ 567 CENTRAL CONFERENCES Powers —The General Conference may grant to a provi- ¶ 562. sional central conference any of the powers of a central conference 22 except that of electing bishops. 563. Ad Interim Provisions —In the interval between Gen- ¶ eral Conferences, the General Board of Global Ministries, upon the recommendation of the bishops in charge and after consulta- tion with the annual conferences, provisional annual conferences, missionary conferences, and missions concerned, may make changes in the boundaries of a provisional central conference and may grant to a provisional central conference or to any of its component parts any of the powers of a central conference except that of electing bishops. All changes in boundaries and all grants of powers authorized by the General Board of Global Ministries shall be reported to the ensuing session of the General Conference and shall expire at the close of that session unless renewed by the General Conference. —An annual conference or a provi- 564. Lay Membership ¶ sional annual conference in the field of a provisional central con- ference shall have the power to set standards of character and other qualifications for admission of its lay members. Ad Interim 565. Provisions for Conferences Outside the United ¶ States —To annual conferences, provisional annual conferences, missionary conferences, and missions that are outside the United States and are not included in central conferences or provisional central conferences, the General Conference may grant any of the powers of central conferences except that of electing bishops; and in the interval between General Conferences, the General Board of Global Ministries may grant such powers when requested to do so by the bishop in charge and by the annual conference, pro- visional annual conference, missionary conference, or mission concerned. 566. Episcopal Supervision —The General Conference shall ¶ make provision for the episcopal supervision of work in the terri- tory outside the United States that is not now included in central conferences. ¶ 567. of Bishops may provide, if and when nec- The Council essary, for episcopal visitation of mission fields not included in central or provisional central conferences. 22. See Judicial Council Decision 403. 393

409 ¶ 570 THE CONFERENCES Section V. Autonomous Methodist Churches, Affiliated Autonomous Methodist Churches, Affiliated United Churches, Covenanting Churches, Concordat Churches 570. Chur ches located outside the boundaries of the juris- ¶ dictional conferences and which have entered into relationship with or have agreements with The United Methodist Church, including that of sending representatives to General Conference of The United Methodist Church are described as follows: ches Autonomous Methodist Chur 1. self-governing church of the Wesleyan tradition and a) A which may or may not have entered into the Act of Covenanting with The United Methodist Church. Autonomous Methodist churches are not entitled to b) send delegates to the General Conference of The United Method- ist Church. Affiliated Autonomous Methodist Chur ches 2. a) A self-governing Methodist church in whose establish- ment The United Methodist Church or one of its constituent mem- bers (The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church or their predecessors) has assisted and which by mutual agreement has entered into a Covenant of Relationship (in effect ¶ 573) with The from 1968 to 1984) or an Act of Covenanting (see United Methodist Church. ch shall be Each affiliated autonomous Methodist chur b) entitled to two delegates, one clergy and one layperson, to the General Conference of The United Methodist Church in accor - dance with ¶ 433.1 b . They shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of delegates, including membership on committees, except the right to vote. Such a church having more than 70,000 full members shall be entitled to one additional delegate. At least one of the three delegates shall be a woman. The bishop or presi- dent of the affiliated autonomous Methodist churches may be invited by the Council of Bishops to the General Conference. 3. Affiliated United Chur ches a) A self-governing church which is formed by the unit- ing of two or more denominations, at least one of which shall have been related to The United Methodist Church or one of its constituent members (The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church or its predecessors). ch shall be entitled to two b) Each affiliated united chur 394

410 AUTONOMOUS/AFFILIATED AUTONOMOUS CHURCHES ¶ 570 delegates, one clergy and one layperson, to the General Con- ference of The United Methodist Church in accordance with b . They shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of 433.1 ¶ delegates, including membership on committees, except the right to vote. Such a church having more than 70,000 full members shall be entitled to one additional delegate. At least one of the three del- egates shall be a woman. The bishop or president of the affiliated united churches may be invited by the Council of Bishops to the General Conference. Covenanting Chur ches 4. ch, an affiliated auton- a) An autonomous Methodist chur omous Methodist church, an affiliated united church, or another Christian church which has entered into a covenanting relation- ship with The United Methodist Church through an Act of Cov- ¶ 573. enanting as described in b) The Act of Covenanting does not warrant that the cov- enanting churches shall be entitled to delegates at the General Conference of The United Methodist Church, or at the equivalent body of the covenant partner. 5. Methodist Chur ches With Concordat Agreements Methodist churches which have Methodist heri- a) Other tage in common with The United Methodist Church or one of its constituent members (The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church or its predecessors) and which have ¶ 574 with the entered into concordat agreements in accord with purpose of manifesting the common Methodist heritage, affirm- ing the equal status of the two churches and expressing mutual acceptance and respect, and creating opportunities for closer fel- lowship between the two churches, especially on the leadership level. b) dat agreement, with the exception of The Such concor ¶ 13.3), shall entitle the Methodist Church of Great Britain (see two churches to the following rights and privileges: (1) ches, entering a concordant relation- The two chur ship, shall each elect two delegates, one clergy and one lay, to be seated in each other’s General Conference or equivalent bodies with all rights and privileges. The agreements with the Method- ist Church of Mexico and the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas shall be honored. (2) ch shall make provisions for hospi- The host chur tality, including room and board, for the delegates of the other 395

411 ¶ 570 THE CONFERENCES concordat church. Travel and other expenses shall be the respon- sibility of the visiting church. 571. Autonomous Methodist Chur ches, Affiliated Autonomous ¶ —1. Certificates Methodist Churches, and Affiliated United Churches of church membership given by clergy in one church shall be accepted by clergy in the other church. 2. When the r equirements of such a Methodist church for its ordained ministry are comparable to those of The United Meth- odist Church, clergy may be transferred between its properly constituted ministerial bodies and the annual and provisional annual conferences of The United Methodist Church and their ordination(s) recognized as valid, with the approval and consent of the bishops or other appointive authorities involved in compli- ¶ 347. ance with 3. program of visitation may be mutually arranged by the A Council of Bishops in cooperation with the equivalent leader - ship of the autonomous Methodist church, affiliated autonomous Methodist church, and/or affiliated united church. 4. The Council of Bishops, in consultation with the General d of Global Ministries and the Office of Christian Unity and Boar Interreligious Relationships, shall work out plans of cooperation with these churches. The General Board of Global Ministries shall serve as the agent of The United Methodist Church for a continu- ing dialogue looking to the establishment of mission priorities 23 with special reference to matters of personnel and finance. Becoming An Autonomous Methodist, Affiliated Autonomous Methodist, or Affiliated United Church from Central Conferences ¶ 572. When conferences outside the United States that are parts of The United Methodist Church desire to become an auton- omous Methodist, affiliated autonomous Methodist, or affiliated united church, approval shall first be secured from the central conference involved and this decision be ratified by the annual conferences within the central conference by two-thirds majority 24 of the aggregate votes cast by the annual conferences. 1. The confer ence shall prepare a historical record with rea- sons why affiliation and/or autonomy is requested and shall con- 23. See Judicial Council Decision 692. 24. See Judicial Council Decisions 548, 1062. 396

412 AUTONOMOUS/AFFILIATED AUTONOMOUS CHURCHES ¶ 573 sult with the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters ( ¶ 2201) on proceedings for affiliation and/or autonomy. 2. The Standing Committee on Central Confer ence Matters and the conferences involved shall mutually agree on the confes- sion of faith and the constitution of the new church. These shall be prepared with care and shall be approved by the conferences. Pr eparation of its Discipline is the responsibility of the 3. conference(s) desiring affiliation and/or autonomy. ecommendation of the Standing Committee on Upon r 4. Central Conference Matters, when all disciplinary requirements for affiliated and/or autonomous relationship have been met, the General Conference through an enabling act shall approve of and grant permission for the conference(s) involved to become an autonomous Methodist, affiliated autonomous Methodist, or affiliated united church. Then the central confer ence involved shall meet, declare 5. the present relationship between The United Methodist Church and the conference(s) involved dissolved, and reorganize as an autonomous Methodist, affiliated autonomous Methodist, or affiliated united church in accordance with the enabling act granted by the General Conference. The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters shall assist in this process and, when the plans are consummated, report to the Council of Bishops. The proclamation of affiliated and/or autonomous status shall then be signed by the president of the Council of Bishops and the secre- tary of the General Conference. plan of cooperation shall be developed in accordance A 6. with ¶ 571.4. Becoming a Covenanting Church ¶ 1. A 573. covenanting relationship, whose elements were adopted by the 1992 General Conference in an action called an “Act of Covenanting Between Christian Churches and The United Methodist Church” may be established between autonomous Methodist churches, affiliated autonomous Methodist churches, affiliated united churches, or other Christian churches and The United Methodist Church. a) Act of Covenanting with another The purpose of an Christian church is to encourage a new sense of global common cause, mutual support, mutual spiritual growth, common study of Scripture and culture, creative interaction as ministers in the 397

413 ¶ 573 THE CONFERENCES mission of God’s church, cross-fertilization of ideas about ways to be in that mission, sharing of resources, and exploration of new forms of service directed at old and emerging needs. An Act of Covenanting will include recognition of our b) respective baptisms as different facets of the one baptism; recog- nition of one another as authentic expressions of the one holy, catholic, and apostolic church of Jesus Christ; recognition of the ordained ministries of the two churches; commitment to system- atic participation in full eucharistic fellowship; and commitment to function in new ways of partnership, visitations, and programs. For The United Methodist Chur ch, oversight of the c) covenantal relationships is the responsibility of the Council of Bishops, while participation in specific projects is the responsibil- ity of the appropriate general agency or agencies. 2. The Council of Bishops shall r epresent The United Meth- odist Church in developing an Act of Covenanting with a pro- spective partner church. The Council of Bishops shall make recommendations to General Conference as to the specific cove- nanting agreements. When approved by General Conference and by the chief legislative body of the partner church, the Act of Cov- enanting becomes effective when signed by the president of the Council of Bishops and the secretary of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church and by the authorized persons in the covenanting church. The text of each Act of Covenanting as adopted shall be printed in the appropriate General Conference 25 journal or equivalent. Concordat Agreements ¶ 574. Concordat Agreements —1. W ith the exception of The Methodist Church of Great Britain, such concordats may be estab- lished by the following procedure: ch shall, through its major deci- a) The Methodist chur sion-making body, request a concordat relationship with The United Methodist Church through the Council of Bishops. Con- cordats may also be initiated by The United Methodist Church acting through the Council of Bishops who shall, in cooperation with the Methodist church in question, ascertain that all disciplin- ary conditions are met and then prepare the necessary enabling legislation for adoption by the General Conference. 25. See Judicial Council Decision 692. 398

414 AUTONOMOUS/AFFILIATED AUTONOMOUS CHURCHES ¶ 575 When such concor b) dat agreement has been approved by the General Conference, the Council of Bishops shall prepare a statement of the concordat agreement to be signed by the presi- dent of the Council of Bishops, the secretary of the General Con- ference, and two representatives of the Methodist church with whom the concordat agreement is made. Such concordats shall be of that General Conference. printed in the Daily Christian Advocate dat agreement shall entitle the two churches to Such concor 2. the following rights and privileges: A program of mutual visitation may be arranged by a) - the Council of Bishops in cooperation with the equivalent leader ship of the other concordat church. The Council of Bishops may assign one or more of its members for episcopal visitation to con- cordat churches. Cler gy may be transferred between the two churches b) in accordance with ¶¶ 347.2 b and 571.2. Joining The United Methodist Church church outside the United States may join The 575. A ¶ United Methodist Church when all of the following requirements are fulfilled: Said chur ch shall accept and approve the Constitution, 1. Articles of Faith, Discipline, and polity of The United Methodist Church. Said chur ch, if it is within the boundaries of a central or 2. provisional central conference, shall apply for membership in that conference. Such application shall be approved by the central or provisional central conference and by the General Conference. In the event that said church is not within the boundaries of an exist- ing central or provisional conference, then its membership appli- cation shall be reviewed by the Council of Bishops and shall be approved by the General Conference. 3. Said chur ch shall declare its own constitution and church order null and void. ence Matters 4. The Standing Committee on Central Confer shall advise and assist said church in this process and prepare the necessary enabling act for approval by the General Conference. 5. ence shall approve legislation author- The General Confer izing the necessary adjustments in the organization of the cen- tral or provisional central conference involved. In the event that said church is not within the boundaries of an existing central or 399

415 ¶ 575 THE CONFERENCES provisional central conference, then legislation shall be approved to either change boundaries of a contiguous conference or to establish a new central or provisional central conference. 6. The Standing Committee on Central Confer ence Matters shall assist said church in the process of becoming a part of The United Methodist Church, determine when all requirements are met, and report to the General Conference. Section VI. Provisional Annual Conferences 580. Definition —A provisional annual conference is a con- ¶ ference that, because of its limited membership, does not qualify for annual conference status. —Any missionary conference or mission 581. Pr ovisions ¶ Discipline may be con- established under the provisions of the stituted as a provisional annual conference by the General Con- ference, in consultation with the central conference, provisional central conference, or jurisdictional conference within which the missionary conference or mission is located, provided that: ovisional annual conference shall be organized with No pr 1. fewer than ten clergy members or be continued with fewer than six clergy members. The total financial support fr om the General Board of 2. Global Ministries, including the Advance, shall not exceed an appropriate percentage as determined in consultation with the board. The membership and contributions of the conference have 3. shown a reasonable increase during the previous quadrennium and give evidence of an aggressive program for continued prog- ress in both areas. ¶ 582. Or ganization —A provisional annual conference shall be organized in the same manner and have the same powers and functions as an annual conference, subject to the approval of the presiding bishop; and its members shall share pro rata in the pro- ceeds of The United Methodist Publishing House with members of the annual conferences, with the following exceptions: 1. ovisional The bishop having episcopal supervision of a pr annual conference in a foreign or a home mission field may appoint a representative as superintendent , to whom may be committed specific responsibility for the representation of the General Board of Global Ministries in its relation to the indigenous church and also in cooperation with other recognized evangelical missions. 400

416 THE MISSIONAR ¶ 585 Y CONFERENCE Such duties shall be exercised so as not to interfere with the work of the district superintendent. This superintendent may also be a district superintendent, provided the superintendent is a member of the said conference. The superintendent shall be responsible directly to the bishop appointed to administer the work in that episcopal area and shall make adequate reports of the work and needs of the field to the bishop and to the secretaries of the Gen- eral Board of Global Ministries immediately concerned. A provisional annual conference shall meet annually at the 2. time appointed by the bishop. If there is no bishop present, the superintendent shall preside. In the absence of both, the presi- dency shall be determined as in an annual conference ( 603.6). ¶ The conference or a committee thereof shall select the place for holding the conference. In a pr ovisional annual conference receiving major fund- 3. ing from the General Board of Global Ministries, the assigned staff of the board shall provide consultation and guidance in setting up the annual budget and Advance projects within the conference and in the promotion of new mission projects. The conference, in making requests for appropriations for support, including grants and loans for building projects, shall submit to the General Board of Global Ministries a statement of the proposed annual budget and proposed financial plan for new mission and building plans. Items involving increased appropriations from the General Board of Global Ministries or increased askings from the Advance shall be subject to modifications by the General Board of Global Ministries. A provisional annual conference shall elect one ordained 4. minister and one layperson as delegates with full voting and other rights to the General Conference and to the jurisdictional conference. Delegates to central conferences shall be elected in accordance with ¶ 541.1. 583. —In a provisional annual con- Board of Global Ministries ¶ ference in the United States or the Virgin Islands, there shall be a conference board of global ministries constituted as in an annual conference and having the same duties and powers. Section VII. The Missionary Conference ¶ Definition 585. —A conference is a missionary conference because of its particular mission opportunities, its limited mem- bership and resources, its unique leadership requirements, its stra- 401

417 ¶ 585 THE CONFERENCES tegic regional or language considerations, and ministerial needs. The General Board of Global Ministries shall provide administra- tive guidance and major financial assistance, including attention to the distinctive property matters. ¶ 586. ganization —A missionary conference shall be orga- Or nized in the same manner and with the same rights and pow- ¶¶ 601-604), but with the following ers as an annual conference ( exceptions: 1. The College of Bishops shall provide episcopal supervision for any missionary conference(s) within its jurisdictional bound- aries as are organized. The bishop thus placed in charge and hav- ing episcopal supervision within the respective episcopal area in cooperation with the General Board of Global Ministries shall appoint a conference superintendent and/or district superinten- dents. Such conference and/or district superintendent(s) shall be an elder(s) and shall be subject to the same limitations on years of service as district superintendents ( ¶ 418). Years of service may be either consecutive or non-consecutive. Years of service as a confer - ence and/or district superintendent in a missionary conference shall be counted toward the total of twelve years permitted in a 26 regular annual conference. The General Boar d of Global Ministries shall give close 2. supervision and guidance in setting up the administrative and promotional budgets and Advance projects within the conference and in the promotion of new mission projects. The conference, in making requests for appropriations for support and grants and loans for building projects, shall submit to the General Board of Global Ministries a statement of the proposed annual promotional and administrative budget and the proposed financial plan for new mission and building projects. New work and building proj- ects involving increased appropriations from the General Board of Global Ministries shall first have the approval of the General Board of Global Ministries. 3. Missionary confer ences shall elect clergy and lay delegates to General and jurisdictional conference on the same basis as annual conferences as provided in ¶¶ 502 and 514. 4. a) Membership —A missionary conference shall determine by majority vote whether it will establish the right of full minis- terial membership. With approval and consent of the bishops or 26. See Judicial Council Decision 512. 402

418 THE MISSIONAR ¶ 586 Y CONFERENCE other judicatory authorities involved, appointments are to be made by the resident bishop of the conference in which the cler - gyperson is to serve. An or dained minister in full connection with an annual b) conference who is appointed to a missionary conference that has previously voted to include full membership under § 4 a may choose either to request the bishop of the missionary conference to seek the transfer of his or her membership into full membership with the missionary conference or retain his or her membership in a home conference and be considered in an affiliated relationship to the missionary conference. c) a missionary conference which has not voted to In include full membership, each United Methodist cleric appointed - by the bishop shall retain his or her membership in a home confer ence and be considered in an affiliated relationship to the mission- ary conference. d) Affiliated r elationship shall entitle the ordained min- ister to the fellowship of the conference, to full participation in its activities, including holding office and representing the mis- sionary conference in General and jurisdictional conferences. An affiliate member of a missionary conference shall not vote in his or her annual conference while retaining the affiliate relationship to a missionary conference. Such affiliate relationship to a mis- sionary conference shall be only for the duration of the ordained minister’s appointment to the conference. An affiliate member elected to a General or jurisdictional conference from a missionary conference shall not be eligible to be elected to such position from the conference where his or her membership is held. e) missionary conference may elect into full ministerial A membership those persons desiring full membership in accor - dance with ¶ 588. f) A pastor under full-time appointment in a mission- ary conference, upon consultation with and the approval of the bishop and conference or district superintendent or cabinet, may waive his or her claim upon the conference minimum salary. This waiver is to be reviewed annually and is to be effective until the time of subsequent appointment. In a missionary confer g) ence that has not established the right of full ministerial membership (§ 4 a ), if the mission- ary conference is part of an episcopal area consisting of two or 403

419 ¶ 586 THE CONFERENCES more annual and missionary conferences, then for purposes of ¶¶ candidacy for ordination ( 310-314), provisional membership 324-327), and election to full conference membership ( ¶¶ 328- ( ¶¶ 336), the missionary conference may function as a district of an annual conference in the same episcopal area, with and only with the approval of the presiding bishop, the Board of Ordained Min- istry of the annual conference, and the committee on ordained ministry of the missionary conference. If the missionary con- ference does not have a committee on ordained ministry, then - approval may be provided by the body of the missionary confer ence to which the functions of the committee on ordained minis- 27 try have been assigned. A missionary conference may include in its membership 5. representation of such mission agencies within its boundaries as it deems advisable, provided, however, such representation shall not exceed a number equal to one-third of the total membership of the missionary conference and that such representatives shall be members of The United Methodist Church in accordance with 28 constitutional requirements. 6. der to provide traditional and experimental ministries, In or the bishop of the missionary conference may appoint an effective elder to other than full-time pastoral appointment combined with secular employment. This will in no way affect the conference relationship. Pension and other benefits shall be provided in con- sultation with the parties involved and with the approval of the missionary conference. A missionary conference that has not established the right 7. of full ministerial membership may ordain indigenous racial and ethnic persons as deacons who, although they are not associate members, shall be accorded all the rights and privileges of associ- ate membership in the missionary conference, provided that they have completed all of the necessary requirements for candidacy and such other requirements the missionary conference may establish. Further, these persons have the right to pursue transfer of their ministerial relationship to another annual conference as an associate member and to pursue a relationship of full connec- tion under the guidance of that annual conference. ¶ 587. Only the General Confer ence can create a mission- ary conference or change a missionary conference to a provisional 27. See Judicial Council Decision 448. 25. See Judicial Council Decision 511. 404

420 MISSIONS ¶ 591 annual conference or an annual conference. A petition to the Gen- eral Conference for change in status from a missionary conference shall set forth details of the history and status of the conference and shall be accompanied by a report and recommendation of the General Board of Global Ministries. ¶ Rights and Privileges —Missionary conferences shall 588. have the same rights as those given to the central conferences in 543.7, .8 to make such changes and adaptations regarding the ¶ ministry and ordination of ordained ministers as the effective use of indigenous leadership in the missionary conference may require, provided that no action shall be taken that is contrary to the Constitution and the General Rules of The United Methodist Church, and provided further that a missionary conference that does not have a board of ordained ministry must use the process prescribed in 586.4 g ) for approval of candidates for ordination. ¶ Section VIII. Missions ovide and develop 590. The purpose of a mission is to pr ¶ ministry with a particular group or region whose potential and needs cannot be met within the existing structures and resources of annual or district conference(s). A mission may also be the ini- tial stage in moving toward the formation of a provisional annual conference. In accordance with the Wesleyan ecumenical spirit, in all phases of mission development, the initiating United Methodist entities will consult with, and where possible create cooperative relationships with, Wesleyan communions. They will promote relationships with other denominations serving in the area and with interdenominational and ecumenical organizations. Where appropriate, they will engage in dialogue with interfaith agencies and organizations. A Powers and Duties— 591. 1. ¶ mission is an organizational body for a field of work inside, outside, or across the structures of annual conferences, or provisional annual conferences. mission may be established by the General Board of A 2. Global Ministries, or by a central or annual conference in coopera- tion with the General Board of Global Ministries. 3. The boundaries for a mission established by a central or annual confer ence in cooperation with the General Board of Global Ministries are to be determined by the central or annual con- ference and the General Board of Global Ministries. If a mission 405

421 ¶ 591 THE CONFERENCES is established by the General Board of Global Ministries outside territories of central conferences, the General Board of Global Ministries will establish the boundaries. - 4. (a) When the mission lies within the bounds of one epis copal area, the resident bishop shall preside over the mission. When the mission crosses the boundaries of one or more epis- (b) copal areas, jurisdictions, or central conferences, the College(s) of Bishops, in consultation with the general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, shall assign a bishop to the mission. (c) When the mission lies outside the bounds of an established episcopal area in jurisdictions or central conferences, the Coun- cil of Bishops, in consultation with the general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, will assign a bishop to be its presiding officer. 5. The entity or entities establishing a mission, in collabora - tion with the assigned bishop, will seek a cooperative agreement with an annual conference which will serve as the correspondent annual conference to the mission for the purposes of ordination and conference membership as well as for local pastor licensing. 6. The annual meeting of the mission shall have the power dained ministry, to receive and to to certify candidates for the or examine mission pastors and local elders in mission, and to rec- ommend to an annual conference proper persons for provisional or full membership and ordination. entity or entities initiating a mission shall be respon- The 7. sible for its administration and development and for making sure that the mission sets up, organizes and implements the necessary mechanisms and processes to fulfill the functions of the mission. 8. - Neither the mission nor its officers shall assume finan cial obligations or make financial commitments on behalf of the General Board of Global Ministries without the board’s written authorization. 9. Recommendations for a change of status of a mission shall be made by the entity or entities that established the mission. 1. A mission shall be made up of all regu- 592. Membership— ¶ larly appointed missionaries, both lay and clergy, local elders in mission, mission pastors, and other lay members. The mission shall determine the number of lay members and the method of their selection. In so doing, it shall ensure that all aspects of the 29 mission’s work are represented. 29. See Judicial Council Decision 341. 406

422 THE ANNUAL ¶ 602 CONFERENCE In territories outside the boundaries of central or annual 2. ences, the bishop assigned to the mission and the General confer Board of Global Ministries recommend the educational require- ments for local elders in mission, and mission pastors. Such recommendations and requirements shall be approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Local elders in mission ar a) e ordained members of the mis- sion and are not members of an annual conference. Local elders in mission are limited in their itineration and sacramental authority to the bounds of the mission and as such are not eligible to trans- fer their credentials to another annual conference. Mission pastors ar e members of the mission without being b) members of an annual conference. The mission shall determine the requirements for a mission pastor in order to most effectively utilize the indigenous leadership. Mission pastors are limited in their itineration to the bounds of the mission. mission shall meet A Missions—Annual Meeting— 1. 593. ¶ annually at the time and place designated by the bishop in charge, who shall preside. In the absence of the bishop, a superintendent of the mission shall preside. The presiding officer shall bring for - ward the regular business of the meeting and arrange the work. The assigned bishop, in consultation with the entity or 2. e superin- entities establishing a mission, may appoint one or mor tendents of the mission. 3. At the annual meeting, the bishop shall assign the mission - aries, local elders in mission, and mission pastors to the several charges for the ensuing year; provided that transfer of mission- aries related to the General Board of Global Ministries shall be completed only after consultation with the board. mission related to a central conference is authorized to 4. A elect and send one lay and one clergy to the central conference as its representative, with voice but not vote. Section IX. The Annual Conference ¶ 601. —The purpose of the annual conference is to Purpose make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by equipping its local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church; all to the glory of God. ¶ 602. and Character —1. clergy membership Composition The 369) shall consist of deacons and elders of an annual conference ( ¶ 407

423 ¶ 602 THE CONFERENCES 333), provisional members ( 327), associate ¶ in full connection ( ¶ 344.4, 586.4), and local pastors members, affiliate members ( ¶¶ 30 (See also ¶ 32.) 317). ( ¶ Cler gy members in full connection shall have the right a) to vote on all matters in the annual conference except in the elec- tion of lay delegates to the General and jurisdictional or central conferences and shall have sole responsibility for all matters of 31 ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy. Pr ovisional clergy members shall have the right to b) vote in the annual conference on all matters except constitutional amendments, election of clergy delegates to the General and juris- dictional or central conferences and matters of ordination, charac- ter, and conference relations of clergy. Provisional clergy members who have completed all of their educational requirements may vote to elect clergy delegates to General and jurisdictional or cen- 32 tral conferences. c) Associate cler gy members shall have the right to vote in the annual conference on all matters except constitutional amendments, and matters of ordination, character, and confer - ence relations of clergy. When associate members are members of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry, they have the right to vote at clergy session on matters of ordination, character, and ¶ 635.1). Affiliate clergy members conference relations of clergy ( shall have the right to vote in the annual conference on all mat- ters except the constitutional amendments, election of clergy delegates to the General jurisdictional or central conferences, and matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of 32 clergy. d) Full-time and part-time local pastors shall have the right to vote in the annual conference on all matters except con- stitutional amendments; election of delegates to the General and jurisdictional or central conferences and matters of ordination, 33 When local pastors character, and conference relations of clergy. are members of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, they have the right to vote at clergy session on matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy ( ¶ 635.1). Local pas- tors who have completed course of study or an M. Div. degree and 30. See Judicial Council Decisions 477, 555, 1062. 31. See Judicial Council Decisions 406, 555, 686, 690. 32. See Judicial Council Decision 1181 and ¶ 35, Article IV. 33. See Judicial Council Decision 862. 408

424 THE ANNUAL ¶ 602 CONFERENCE have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appoint- ment before the election may vote to elect clergy delegates to Gen- 34 eral and jurisdictional or central conferences. Each annual conference having campus ministers, e) chaplains and Wesley Foundation directors shall include the same in its lay and clergy annual conference composition. In districts where United Methodist laypersons serve as campus ministers/ directors of Wesley Foundations, they shall be added as district- at-large lay members to the annual conference. In districts where United Methodist clergy serve as chaplains, campus ministers, and directors of Wesley Foundations, the laypersons elected as their balancing counterpart shall be elected from either the cam- pus ministry board of directors or a student from that ministry/ foundation. In making sure that such inclusion is adhered to, special consideration shall be given to the inclusion of United Methodist young adults who are active participants in campus ministry. Consecrated diaconal ministers serve as lay members of 2. the annual confer ence as long as they maintain this status in The United Methodist Church. Persons who become associate members prior to January 3. 1, 1997, shall be allowed to continue in this r elationship and serve under the provision of the 1992 Book of Discipline as long as they hold this status. ence shall consist The lay membership of the annual confer 4. of a professing member elected by each charge, diaconal minis- ters, deaconesses, home missioners, the conference president of United Methodist Women, the conference president of United 35 Methodist Men, the conference lay leader, district lay leaders, the president or equivalent officer of the conference young adult organization, the president of the conference youth organiza- tion, one youth between the ages of twelve and eighteen and one young adult between the ages of eighteen and thirty from each district to be selected in such a manner as may be deter - mined by the annual conference (in the case of central confer - ences, the youth member shall be not younger than twelve and not older than twenty-five and the young adult member shall be not younger than eighteen and not older than thirty-five), and the chair of the annual conference college student organization. 34. See Judicial Council Decision 1181 and ¶ 35. Article IV. 35. See Judicial Council Decisions 989, 1005. 409

425 ¶ 602 THE CONFERENCES If the lay membership should number less than the clergy mem- bers of the annual conference, the annual conference shall, by its own formula, provide for the election of additional lay mem- - bers to equalize lay and clergy membership of the annual confer 36 ence. Each charge served by more than one clergy member under appointment (including deacons in full connection for whom this is their primary appointment) shall be entitled to as many lay members as there are clergy members under appointment. The lay members shall have been members of The United Methodist Church for the two years preceding their election and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at ¶¶ least four years preceding their election ( 32, 251.2). a) In the annual confer ence or the central conferences, the four-year participation and the two-year membership require- ments may be waived for young persons under thirty years of age. Such persons must be members of The United Methodist Church and active participants at the time of election. b) By authorization of a central conference, national dia- conal ministers may be given the same privileges as a diaconal 37 minister. 5. The lay member or alternate, whoever was last seated in the annual confer ence, shall be seated in a special session of the annual conference when convened, provided that no local charge shall be deprived of its lay member due to death, serious ill- ness, or cessation of membership. Under such circumstances, 38 another lay member may be elected by the charge conference. (See ¶ 32.) 6. The lay members of the annual confer ence shall partici- pate in all deliberations and vote upon all measures except on the granting or validation of license, ordination, reception into full conference membership, or any question concerning the character and official conduct of ordained ministers, except those who are lay members of the Board of Ordained Ministry and committee on investigation. Lay members shall serve on all committees except 39 those on ministerial relations. 36. See Judicial Council Decision 1212. 37. See Judicial Council Decision 505. 38. See Judicial Council Decision 319. 39. See Judicial Council Decisions 109, 505. 410

426 THE ANNUAL ¶ 603 CONFERENCE When at any time a lay member is excused by the annual 7. confer ence from further attendance during the session, the alter- nate lay member, if present, shall be seated. The lay member or the alternate shall be the lay member of the annual conference, and it shall be the duty of the lay member to report to the local church on actions of the annual conference. 8. It is the duty of every member and all pr ovisional mem- bers and local pastors of the annual conference to attend its ses- Discipline sions and furnish such reports in such form as the may require. Any such person unable to attend shall report by letter to the conference secretary, setting forth the reason for the absence. Should any ordained minister in active service be absent from the session of the annual conference without a satisfactory reason for the absence, the matter shall be referred by the conference secre- tary to the Board of Ordained Ministry. The following shall be seated in the annual confer ence 9. and shall be given the privilege of the floor without vote: offi- cial representatives from other denominations invited by the annual conference; missionaries regularly assigned by the Gen- eral Board of Global Ministries and serving within the bounds of the annual conference; lay missionaries regularly appointed by the General Board of Global Ministries in nations other than the United States; and certified lay missionaries from nations other than the United States; serving within the bounds of the annual conference. If not otherwise a voting member of the annual confer - 10. ence chancellor shall be seated in the annual con- ence, the confer ference and shall be given the privilege of the floor without vote. ¶ 603. Or ganization —1. Annual confer ences may become severally bodies corporate, whenever practicable, under the law of the countries, states, and territories within whose bounds they 40 are located. 2. The bishops shall appoint the times for holding the annual 41 ences. confer 3. The annual confer ence or a committee thereof shall select the place for holding the conference, but should it become nec- essary for any reason to change the place of meeting, a majority of the district superintendents, with the consent of the bishop in charge, may change the place. 40. See Judicial Council Decision 108. 41. See Judicial Council Decision 1206. 411

427 ¶ 603 THE CONFERENCES The annual confer 4. ence sessions shall be held in places that are accessible to people with disabilities. A 5. special session of the annual conference may be held at such time and in such place as shall have been determined by the annual conference after consultation with the bishop, or by the bishop with the concurrence of three-fourths of the district super - intendents. A special session of the annual conference shall have 42 only such powers as are stated in the call. eside over the annual confer - 6. The bishop assigned shall pr ence or, in case of inability, shall arrange for another bishop to preside. In the absence of a bishop, the conference shall by ballot, pro tempore from without nomination or debate, elect a president among the traveling elders. The president thus elected shall dis- charge all the duties of a bishop except ordination. 7. The annual confer ence at the first session following the General Conference or jurisdictional or central conferences (or, if it may desire, at the last session preceding the General, juris- dictional, or central conferences), utilizing such nominating pro- cedure as the annual conference shall determine, shall elect a secretary and statistician to serve for the succeeding quadren- nium. In the case of a vacancy in either office in the interim of the sessions, the bishop, after consultation with the district superintendents, shall appoint a person to act until the next ¶ 619 for election of the session of the annual conference. (See treasurer.) 8. The annual confer ence shall designate a chancellor, and may designate one or more associate chancellors. The chancellor and any associate chancellors must be members in good standing of a local church or an annual conference in the episcopal area, and be licensed to practice law in the episcopal area. The chan- cellor and any associate chancellors shall be nominated by the bishop and elected quadrennially by the annual conference. If a vacancy should occur during the quadrennium, the bishop shall fill the vacancy until the next session of the annual conference. The chancellor, assisted by the associate chancellors, if any, shall serve as legal adviser(s) to the bishop and the annual conference. Each annual conference shall report its election of the chancellor and any associate chancellors to the General Council on Finance and Administration. 42. See Judicial Council Decision 397. 412

428 THE ANNUAL ¶ 604 CONFERENCE The confer - 9. ence lay leader is the elected leader of confer - ence laity and is an officer of the annual conference. The confer ence lay leader shall be a professing member of a local church in the annual conference. The conference lay leader shall participate in annual conference sessions as a partner in ministry with the bishop. ¶ 604. Powers and Duties —1. The annual confer ence, for its own government, may adopt rules and regulations not in con- Discipline of The United Methodist Church, provided flict with the that in exercise of its powers, each annual conference shall act in all respects in harmony with the policy of The United Methodist 43 (See ¶ 4, Church with respect to elimination of discrimination. Article IV.) 2. An annual confer ence cannot financially obligate any orga- nizational unit of The United Methodist Church except the annual 44 conference itself. 3. The annual confer ence may admit into clergy membership only those who have met all the disciplinary requirements for 45 membership and only in the manner prescribed in the . Discipline The 4. annual conference shall have power to make inquiry into the moral and official conduct of its clergy members. Sub- ject only to the provisions of ¶¶ 2701-2719, the annual conference shall have power to hear complaints against its clergy members and may try, reprove, suspend, deprive of clergy office and cre- dentials, expel, or acquit any against whom charges may have been preferred. The annual conference shall have power to locate a clergy member for failure to perform effectively and compe- 46 tently the duties of itinerant ministry. 5. The status of a clergy member and of a provisional mem- ber and the manner and conditions of a transfer of a clergy mem- ber from one annual conference to another are governed by the section on the ordained ministry (Chapter Two). T ransfers of traveling preachers are conditioned on the 6. passing of their character by the conference to which they are amenable. The official announcement that a preacher is trans- ferred changes the preacher’s membership so that all rights and 43. See Judicial Council Decisions 43, 74, 141, 318, 367, 373, 432, 435, 476, 536, 584, 590, 592, 699, 876, 1198. 44. See Judicial Council Decision 707. 45. See Judicial Council Decision 440. 46. See Judicial Council Decisions 534, 782. 413

429 ¶ 604 THE CONFERENCES responsibilities in the conference to which that preacher goes begin from the date of transfer. Such member of an annual con- ference shall not vote twice on the same constitutional question, nor be counted twice in the same year in the basis for election of delegates, nor vote twice in the same year for delegates to the General, jurisdictional, or central conferences. Whenever cler gy members, whether provisional members 7. - or in full connection, are transferred to another annual confer ence, either in connection with a transfer of the pastoral charge to which they are appointed or by reason of the dissolution or merger of the annual conference, they shall have the same rights and obligations as the other members of the conference to which they are transferred. 8. annual conference shall have power to make inquiry The into the financial status of the local churches, and where there is a deficit in finances, it may require the pastor and the lay member to appear before the appropriate committee and make explana- tion. Based upon its findings, it shall provide counsel to help the church overcome such a deficit position. 9. The annual confer ence shall have the power to make inquiry into the membership status of the local churches, and where no members have been received on confession of faith during the year, it may require the pastor and the lay member to appear before the appropriate agency and make explanation. 10. The annual confer ence shall give recognition to any new churches that have been organized during the year and shall, through the presiding bishop and the secretary, send to each new church a certificate of organization, which the district superinten- dent shall, on behalf of the conference, present to the new church in an appropriate ceremony. 11. ence shall secure, during the course of The annual confer its annual session, the answers to the questions for conducting annual conference sessions, and the secretary to the annual con- ference shall include the answers to these questions in the con- ference journal and in the report to the council on finance and administration. 12. If any annual confer - ence initiates, joins, monitors, or ter minates a boycott, the guidelines in The Book of Resolutions , 2008, should be followed. The General Conference is the only body that can initiate, empower, or join a boycott in the name of The United Methodist Church. 414

430 THE ANNUAL ¶ 605 CONFERENCE The annual confer 13. ence may choose to adopt a conference- wide plan for compensation of pastors. Such a plan shall provide the method for setting and funding the salaries, and/or other compensation elements as specified in the plan, of the pastors appointed to the charges of the annual conference. 605. Business of the Confer ence —1. The session shall open ¶ oll, including with a period of devotion, followed by a call of the r the roll of the local pastors. 2. The annual confer ence, to expedite the transaction of its business, may adopt an agenda as a basis of its procedure. Such agenda shall be prepared by the bishop, the district superinten- dents, the conference lay leader, and such others as the conference may name and shall be submitted to the conference for adoption. Members for all standing committees, boar ds, and com- 3. missions of the annual conference shall be selected in such man- ner as the Book of Discipline may specifically require or as the 47 annual conference may determine. Attention shall be given to inclusiveness ( 124, 140). ¶¶ For the purpose of adjusting tenure, a certain number of mem- bers may be elected or appointed for particular terms. Members shall hold office until their successors are elected. For the annual Discipline, see ¶ 610.1; conference agencies provided for by the and for the agencies established by the annual conference itself, ¶ 610.2. see ence shall include receiv- The business of the annual confer 4. ing and acting upon reports from district superintendents, offi- cers, standing and special committees, boards, commissions, and societies and also making such inquiries as the Council of Bishops 48 shall recommend by the provision of a supplemental guide. 5. The agenda of the annual confer ence shall provide time for - an address or report that shall be the responsibility of the confer ence lay leader. At the r equest of the general secretary of the General Board 6. of Pension and Health Benefits, the agenda of the annual confer - ence shall provide time for an address of or report from the Gen- eral Board of Pension and Health Benefits in consultation with the annual conference board of pensions for the purpose of discuss- ing benefit plans and related issues. 47. See Judicial Council Decision 559. 48. See Judicial Council Decision 367. 415

431 ¶ 605 THE CONFERENCES The annual confer 7. ence shall make inquiry into the moral and official conduct of its ordained ministers and local pastors. In response to the inquiry whether all such persons are blameless in their life and official administration, the district superintendent may answer for all the preachers in the district in one answer, or the Board of Ordained Ministry may make inquiry of each district superintendent about each ordained minister in the district and make one report to the bishop and the conference in open ses- 49 sion. Questions relating to matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy shall be the business of the clergy session. The actions of the clergy session shall be for and on behalf Book of Discipline of the annual conference. The provisions of the applicable to an annual conference shall also be applicable to the clergy session. All clergy members ( 602.1) of the annual con- ¶ ference and the lay members of the Board of Ordained Ministry may attend and shall have voice in the clergy session. Only the ordained clergy in full connection and the members of the Board ¶ 602.1 a ). Others may be admit- of Ordained Ministry may vote ( ted by express action of the clergy session, but shall not have vote, nor, unless specifically granted by the clergy session, shall have 50 ¶ 333). voice ( 8. At the conclusion of the examination of the standing of the dained ministers and local pastors in the conference or at such or later times as the bishop may designate, the presiding bishop may call to the bar of the conference the class to be admitted into full connection and receive them into conference membership after ¶ 336. This examination of the asking the questions to be found in ordained ministers and the passing of their characters may be the business of one session. 9. ence shall adopt a comprehensive pol- The annual confer icy for handling sexual and gender harassment of clergy when laypersons are the perpetrators. This policy shall guide the local church in how to handle the report, how to care for the accuser and the accused, the victim and the perpetrator, the findings and settlement. It shall make provision for support of the pastor and for care of church members. ¶ 606. ence shall chives —1. The annual confer Records and Ar keep an exact record of its proceedings according to the forms provided by the General, jurisdictional, and central conferences. 49. See Judicial Council Decisions 42, 406, 555. 50. See Judicial Council Decisions 686, 690, 769, 782, 1009. 416

432 THE ANNUAL ¶ 606 CONFERENCE If there are no archives of the annual conference, the secretary shall keep the bound copy or copies or a digital version to be handed on to the succeeding secretary. The conference shall send to its jurisdictional conference or central conference copies of the minutes of the quadrennium for examination. 2. ence shall send without charge to the Each annual confer General Council on Finance and Administration, the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, the General Commission on Archives and History, the Central Conference or Jurisdictional Commission on Archives and History, and the Annual Confer - ence Commission on Archives and History two printed copies or a digital version of its annual journal. In addition, the annual conference shall send one printed copy or a digital version of its annual journal to the Connectional Table and one printed copy or a digital version to United Methodist Communications. If avail- able, one copy of a digital version of the journal shall be sent to the General Commission on Archives and History and one copy to United Methodist Communications. 3. ence may form a committee on journal The annual confer publication. The annual conference journal shall include the fol- lowing divisions, in the following order: a) Officers of annual confer ence, ds, commissions, committees; rolls of conference b) Boar members, c) Daily pr oceedings, d) ence report (formerly Business of the annual confer known as the disciplinary questions), e) Appointments, dered by the annual conference, f) Reports as or g) Annual r eport of the district superintendents, if any. h) Memoirs as ordered by the annual conference follow- ing the guidelines of the General Commission on Archives and History, i) Roll of dead-deceased cler gy members, Historical, j) k) Miscellaneous, l) Pastoral r ecord (including the records of accepted local pastors in such manner as the conference may determine), m) Statistics, Index. n) 417

433 ¶ 606 THE CONFERENCES An annual confer 4. ence in the United States and Puerto Rico shall include in its journal a list of the deaconesses and mission- aries, clergy and lay, active and retired, who have gone from the conference into mission service or who are presently serving in such capacity within the bounds of the annual conference. The annual confer ence journal shall include a listing of the 5. consecrated diaconal ministers and their service records. 6. etary, treasurer, or other administrative officer The secr named by the annual conference shall keep a complete service record of ordained and diaconal ministry personnel in the annual conference. Service records shall include but not be limited to bio- graphical information supplied by the individual, a list of appoint- ments, and a record of annual conference actions with regard to conference relationships. In addition to service records, the secre- tary, treasurer, or other administrative officer named by the annual conference shall keep descriptions of circumstances related to changes in conference relationships, credentials surrendered to the bishop or district superintendent, and confidential trial records. 7. The local chur ch report to the annual conference shall be submitted on the prescribed forms no later than thirty days fol- lowing the close of the calendar year. If the annual conference sets an earlier deadline for receiving the reports, the earlier deadline shall apply. Official r ecords of secretaries, statisticians, and treasur - 8. ers shall be kept according to the forms prepared by the General Council on Finance and Administration so that official statistical and financial items shall be handled alike in all annual confer - ences and that uniformity of reporting shall be established as a worldwide church policy. 9. ecords of candidates and ordained and diaconal min- All r istry personnel maintained by the conference secretary, treasurer, or other administrative officer named by the annual conference, Board of Ordained Ministry, board of pensions, and the district committee on ordained ministry are to be kept on behalf of the annual conference in conformity with guidelines provided by the General Council on Finance and Administration, in consultation with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, and the following principles: a) ence is the owner of its personnel The annual confer records and files; 418

434 THE ANNUAL ¶ 607 CONFERENCE Individuals in whose name a r b) ecord is kept shall have access to the information contained in a record or file, with the exception of surrendered credentials and information for which a right-of-access waiver has been signed; c) Access to unpublished records by persons other than the bishop, district superintendent, conference secretary, treasurer, or other administrative officer or the Board of Ordained Ministry, through its chair, board of pensions, through its chair, the district committee on ordained ministry, through its chair, counsel for the Church, and committee on investigation, through its chair, shall require written consent of the person in whose name a record is kept; access to trial records shall be governed by the provisions of 51 2712.5, 2713.5. ¶¶ ¶ 607. The Confer ence Lay Leader 1. - ence lay leader is the elected leader of confer The confer ence laity and will have responsibility for fostering awareness of the role of the laity both within the congregation and through their ministries in the home, workplace, community, and world in achieving the mission of the Church and enabling and supporting lay participation in the planning and decision-making processes of the annual conference, district, and local church in cooperation with the bishop, district superintendents, and pastors. 2. conference lay leader shall relate to the organized The lay groups in the conference such as United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Youth, and Scout- ing Ministries, encourage and support their work, and help them coordinate their activities. The conference lay leader shall also have the general responsibility in: (1) developing the advocacy role for laity in the life of the Church; (2) increasing the participa- - tion of laity in the sessions and structure of the annual confer ence; and (3) encouraging laypersons in the general ministry of the Church. 3. conference lay leader shall be the chairperson of the The conference board of laity, or its equivalent structure, and shall be a member of the annual conference, the conference council on ministries or equivalent structure, the executive committee, if any, of the conference council on ministries, the conference commit- tee on nominations, the conference committee on episcopacy, and the committee planning annual conference sessions; and may be 51. See Judicial Council Decisions 751, 765, 1024. 419

435 ¶ 607 THE CONFERENCES designated by virtue of office to membership on any conference agency by the annual conference. The annual confer ence shall provide time for an address 4. that shall be the responsibility of the conference lay leader. 5. ence lay leader may serve on the conference The confer Board of Ordained Ministry and will participate in the Service of Ordination at annual conference. The confer ence lay leader shall meet with the cabinet when 6. matters relating to the coordination, implementation, or adminis- tration of the conference program, or other matters as the cabinet may determine are on the agenda. 7. ence lay leader will meet regularly with the The confer bishop to discuss the state of the annual conference, the Church, and the needs for ministry both locally and globally. ence lay leader shall ensure that the annual con- 8. The confer ference has a conference director of Lay Speaking Ministries filled in the manner determined by the annual conference and the con- ference lay leader shall participate in Lay Servant Ministries. 9. The confer ence lay leader shall be elected for a term of not less than four years by the annual conference as the annual con- ference may determine. The method of nomination and term of office shall be determined by the annual conference. Associate lay leader(s), to work with the conference lay leader, may be elected by the annual conference as it may determine. The conference lay leader and associate lay leader(s) will receive reasonable reimburse- ment for approved dues and expenses necessary for the ministry. 10. The confer ence lay leader shall be a member of the Asso- ciation of Annual Conference Lay Leaders. ¶ 608. Each annual conference is Ministries— Connectional responsible to focus and guide the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church within its boundaries by: 1. envisioning the ministries necessary to live out the mission of the chur ch in and through the annual conference; eating and nurturing relationships and connections cr 2. among the local, district, annual conference, and general Church ministries; 3. pr oviding encouragement, coordination, and support for the ministries of nurture, outreach, and witness in districts and congregations for the transformation of the world; esources of the annual ensuring the alignment of the total r 4. conference to its mission; 420

436 THE ANNUAL ¶ 609 CONFERENCE developing and str 5. engthening ethnic ministries, including ethnic local churches and concerns; pr oviding for advocacy and monitoring functions to ensure 6. that the church is consistent with its stated values. It is recommended that each annual conference have a direc- tor of connectional ministries or designated person to focus and guide the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church within the annual conference. ) The dir ector may be lay or clergy. a ) b The dir ector shall serve as an officer of the annual con- ference and shall sit with the cabinet when the cabinet considers matters relating to coordination, implementation, or administra- tion of the conference program, and other matters as the cabinet and director may determine. Whether appointed or elected to this position, the director shall be amenable to the bishop, in consulta- tion with the appropriate annual conference personnel body. ) In partnership with the bishop and cabinet and the c elected leadership of the conference, the director of connectional ministries shall have the following primary responsibilities: (1) to serve as stewar d of the vision of the annual conference, including the development, clarification, interpreta- tion, and embodiment of the vision; ocess of (2) to serve as leader of the continuous pr transformation and renewal necessary for the annual conference to be faithful to our Christian identity in a changing world; to ensur (3) e alignment of the total resources of the conference to its vision; (4) to ensure the connections among the local, district, annual conference, and general Church ministries for the purpose of networking, resourcing, and communicating their shared ministry. ¶ 609. e shall be in each annual conference or episcopal Ther area a director of communications or designated person to focus and guide the communications ministry of The United Methodist Church within the annual conference or episcopal area. a) ecommended that the director have the following It is r primary responsibilities: (1) to help identify, equip, and coordinate the work of a communications team (staff and/or volunteer); to develop and guide the implementation of (2) fective communication among annual conference strategies for ef agencies, districts, and local churches; 421

437 ¶ 609 THE CONFERENCES to pr omote and coordinate activities to enhance (3) the awareness and reputation of the Church; et the confer (4) - to help guide the strategy to interpr ence budget and other benevolences; to pr ovide guidance and training in effective com- (5) munications for annual conference, district, and/or local church leaders; to lead the confer ence in developing effective (6) relationships with the news media within the annual conference; (7) to guide confer ence leaders in developing and implementing an effective communication strategy under the connectional ministry; to lead the confer ence in using new and emerging (8) technologies as tools for ministry; ovide the connectional relationship between to pr (9) the conference and United Methodist Communications. b) It is recommended that the director or designated per - son be a part of the extended cabinet (or equivalent leadership structure) to provide advice and counsel concerning communi- cations strategies relating to the conference program, apportion- ment and benevolence interpretation, crisis management, and other matters as the cabinet and director may determine. Conference Agencies 610. The annual confer ence is responsible for structuring its ¶ ministries and administrative procedures in order to accomplish its purpose ( ¶ 601), with the exception of the mandated provi- sions of ¶¶ 611, 635, 636, 637, 639, 640, 647, 648. In so doing it shall provide for the connectional relationship of the local church, district, and conference with the general agencies. It will moni- tor to ensure inclusiveness—racial, gender, age, and people with disabilities—in the annual conference. Every board, standing committee, commission, council, and work area of the annual conference shall designate one of its members as its coordinator of witness ministries. These persons shall help the groups of which they are members to engage in witness ministries and, in particu- lar, to ask, “How are we intentionally reaching new people for Jesus Christ through our ministries?” and “How are we helping new people grow and mature as disciples of Jesus Christ through our ministries and areas of responsibility?” 422

438 THE ANNUAL ¶ 610 CONFERENCE Annual conferences are permitted the flexibility to design 1. conference and district structures in ways that best support the mis- sion of making disciples of Jesus Christ in an increasingly diverse global community and that place secondary any prescribed struc- ¶ 610 above. In doing so, ture, except for the mandated entities in an annual conference shall provide for the functions and General Conference connections with all general agencies provided by the as follows: a) There shall be clear connections between Discipline the General Conference agencies, annual conference program and administrative entities, and the local congregations. These con- nections shall be identified in the business questions of the annual b) There shall be clear checks and balances conference each year. regarding program functions and financial/administration func- tions within the annual conference. These structural matters will be defined and approved by the annual conference session. Fur - ther, conferences are permitted to create contextually appropriate structures that encourage collaboration and partnerships among all program, administrative, and financial entities. Annual confer - ences may fund their ministries in ways that reflect conference priorities and structures, as approved by the annual conference in the budgeting process. All disciplinary references to “equivalent structures” shall be defined by this paragraph. The annual conference may appoint additional committees 2. for the purpose of promoting the work of The United Methodist Church within the bounds of the said annual conference and may prescribe their membership and their powers and duties. Each annual confer ence may make its agencies of such 3. size as its work may require, provided that consideration shall be given to the inclusion of lay and clergypersons from small mem- bership churches. All local pastors serving charges are eligible for election or appointment to such agencies, except those dealing with qualifications, orders, and status of clergy and local pastors. 4. Whenever possible, meetings scheduled by the annual ence and its districts, boards, or committees should be held confer in places that are accessible to persons with disabilities even if this means scheduling meetings outside church-related facilities. 5. In the nomination and election of the membership on councils, boards, and agencies of the annual conference, special attention shall be given to the inclusion of clergywomen, youth ( ¶ 256.3), young adults, older adults, persons from churches with small memberships, people with disabilities, and racial and ethnic 423

439 ¶ 610 THE CONFERENCES persons, in keeping with policies for general Church agencies. It is further recommended that the membership of such agencies, except for the Board of Ordained Ministry, include one-third clergy, one-third laywomen, and one-third laymen, who are pro- 52 fessing members of local churches. Members of general agencies ( ¶ 6. 701) shall serve as ex offi- cio members of the corresponding annual conference agency or its equivalent structure (see ¶ 710.4, .6). If this results in a person being a member of more than one annual conference agency in violation of either annual conference policy or another provision Book of Discipline, the person shall choose the annual confer - of the ence agency on which to serve. It is str ongly recommended that the annual conference 7. provide for child and dependent care both during the sessions of the annual conference and during meetings of the annual con- ference boards and agencies. Child and dependent care should follow the annual conference policy of child protection. If no policy is in place, care should be given to keep all people safe, and procedures should be followed as suggested by the General Board of Discipleship and the General Council on Finance and Administration. Whenever possible, meetings scheduled by the annual 8. ence and its districts, boards, or committees shall be held confer at a time and place that accommodates young people’s schooling schedules. The Conference Council on Finance and Administration ence there shall be a conference 611. ¶ In each annual confer council on finance and administration, hereinafter called the council, or other structure to provide for the functions of this min- istry and maintain the connectional relationships ( ¶ 610.1). ¶ 612. ganization, and The council’s purpose, membership, or relationships shall be as follows: 1. Purpose —The purpose of the council shall be to develop, maintain, and administer a comprehensive and coordinated plan of fiscal and administrative policies, procedures, and manage- 53 ment services for the annual conference. 2. Membership — a) Each annual confer ence shall elect, at its session next succeeding the General Conference or jurisdictional 52. See Judicial Council Decisions 446, 558. 53. See Judicial Council Decision 1054. 424

440 THE ANNUAL ¶ 612 CONFERENCE conference, a conference council on finance and administration, or other structure to provide for the functions of this ministry. It is recommended that it be composed of not less than five nor more than twenty-one members; it is recommended that there be at least one layperson more than clergy included on the vot- 54 ing membership of the council. Persons shall be nominated for - membership in a manner determined by the conference in accor dance with ¶ 610.5. It is recommended that churches of less than two hundred members be represented on the conference council on finance and administration. The term of office shall begin with the adjournment of the annual conference session at which they are elected and shall be for a period of four years and until their successors are elected. No member or employee of any confer ence agency b) and no employee, trustee, or director of any agency or institution participating in the funds of any conference budget shall be eli- 55 gible for voting membership on the council. Any vacancy shall be filled by action of the council until the next conference session, at which time the annual conference shall fill the vacancy. The following shall be ex officio members of the coun - c) cil in addition to the number set by the annual conference under ¶ a : (1) the conference treasurer/director of administrative 612.2 services, without vote; (2) any members of the General Council on Finance and Administration who reside within the bounds of the conference, with vote unless voting membership is in conflict Book of Discipline , in which case their with another provision of the membership shall be without vote; in either case, they shall not be eligible to serve on an agency receiving funding; (3) the presiding bishop, without vote; (4) a district superintendent chosen by the cabinet, without vote; and (5) the director of connectional min- istries or equivalent, or another representative of the conference council on ministries, without vote. The executive dir ector of the conference or area United d) Methodist foundation may be included in the membership, with- out vote. 3. Officers —The council shall elect from its voting member- ship a president, a vice president, a secretary, and such other offi- cers as it may deem necessary. Consideration shall be given to inclusiveness ( ¶¶ 124, 140). The conference treasurer/director of 54. See Judicial Council Decision 441. 55. See Judicial Council Deci