Deadline for online publication of “Availability to Serve” as a delegate to General and/or Jurisdictional Conference: April 10
This Q&A is designed to help members understand the nomination and election processes and includes information on the application process for those who wish to apply to be delegate candidates.
The Conference Secretary is now accepting applications from those who are available for the role of delegate. The hope is that the pool of availability will reflect the diversity of the Conference and The United Methodist Church. Men and women of all ages and ethnic, racial, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds are urged to be available.
To help members determine if they are called and able to serve in this vital role, please refer to the section below titled “What is required and expected of elected delegates?“.
Clergy and Laity may only nominate from their respective class. Clergy members in full connection, active or retired, are automatically eligible to be elected as clergy delegates.
What is General Conference?
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church; it meets once every four years, and consists of elected delegates from around the world. The responsibilities of the General Conference include:
When/Where is the 2016 General Conference?
May 10-20, 2016 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. The theme is "Therefore Go" – based on Matthew 28:19-20.
How many delegates will go to GC 2016?
The Constitution of The United Methodist Church allows for the General Conference to have anywhere from 600 to 1,000 delegates.
At its October 2013 meeting, the Commission on the General Conference voted to reduce the total number of delegates for the 2016 General Conference to 864; that's down from 988 in 2012.
The commission also reduced the number of legislative committees for 2016 from 13 to 12. The commission voted to combine the work previously done by the Higher Education and Ministry Committee — which deals with petitions concerning seminaries, ordination and clergy — and the Superintendency Committee — which deals with petitions concerning district superintendents and bishops.
Where are the delegates from?
In 2016, 58.3 percent will be from the U.S., 30 percent from Africa, 5.8 percent from the Philippines, and 4.6 percent from Europe, with the remainder, 1.3 percent, from the concordat churches (The United Methodist Church has special covenant relationships with the Methodist traditions in Great Britain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Caribbean and the Americas).
How many delegates from Rocky Mountain will go to 2016 General Conference?
There will be 6 delegates total: three clergy and three laity. There will be two clergy alternates and two lay alternates (the first two clergy/laity elected after the General Conference delegates have been elected; these folks also serve as delegates to the Western Jurisdictional Conference).
How is that number determined?
The number of delegates per Annual Conference is calculated based on the requirement for one lay and one clergy delegate for each Annual Conference, with additional delegates assigned according to a formula that considers the total clergy and lay membership per Conference.
2012 Book of Discipline ¶ 34. Article III. The annual conference shall elect clergy and lay delegates to the General Conference and to its jurisdictional or central conference in the manner provided in this section, Articles IV and V. The persons first elected up to the number determined by the ratio for representation in the General Conference 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 election be the reserve delegates to the General Conference. The annual conference shall also elect reserve clergy and lay delegates to the jurisdictional or central conference as it may deem desirable. 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 are in attendance at the General Conference.
What is the Western Jurisdictional Conference?
In the U.S., The United Methodist Church is divided into five areas known as jurisdictions: Western Jurisdictional, Southeastern, North Central, South Central and Western. These provide some program and leadership training events to support the annual conferences. These Jurisdictional Conferences meet a few months after General Conference that same year; their responsibilities include:
When/Where is the 2016 Western Jurisdictional Conference?
The next Western Jurisdictional Conference will be held from July 13-16, 2016 at the Paradise Valley Doubletree Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.
How many delegates from Rocky Mountain will go to the 2016 Western Jurisdictional Conference?
There will be 18 delegates total: the 6 General Conference delegates and six clergy and six laity Western Jurisdictional delegates. There will be six alternates – three clergy, three laity – elected as well, each seated by the order of their election. An equal number of lay and clergy are elected. The first elected clergy will chair the Rocky Mountain Conference Delegation in 2016.
¶34 to ¶36 of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church outline the procedure for electing delegates and their qualifications.
Who's eligible to be a delegate to General/Western Jurisdiction Conferences?
Clergy delegates must be: Clergy members (deacons and elders) in full connection
Lay delegates, who can be any age, must be:
Who can vote for clergy delegates to General/Western Jurisdictional Conferences?
¶ 35. Article IV.—The clergy delegates to the General Conference and to the jurisdictional or central conference shall be elected from the clergy members in full connection and shall be elected by the clergy members of the 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 appointment immediately preceding the election.
Who can vote for lay delegates to General/Western Jurisdictional Conference?
The lay members (including equalization members) of the Annual Conference.
What is required to apply to be a clergy delegate?
All clergy members in full connection are eligible to be GC/Western Jurisdictional delegates. During the first ballot of the clergy election, votes can be cast for any clergy member in full connection.
Statements of Availability for clergy delegates to General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference that are submitted by April 10 will be included in the Pre-Conference Reports online. Those persons who submit a Statement of Availability by April 10 will be allowed an opportunity to address or be introduced at the clergy session of the annual conference session during which the elections are held. Upon approval of a majority of the clergy members present and voting at the clergy session, other eligible clergy may address or be introduced at the clergy session. The Presiding Officer of the clergy session shall determine the manner and time of either an address or introduction.
How do I indicate my willingness to serve as a clergy delegate?
Statements of Availability (100 words or fewer) should be submitted to Conference Secretary, Rev. Elizabeth McVicker, via email to GCJCdelegation@rmcumc.com.
Suggested topics are:
The Conference Secretary is aware that not all clergy wish to be considered for this role. If you do not feel you are called to serve as a delegate, please email the Conference Secretary to remove your name from the first ballot: Rev. Elizabeth McVicker GCJCdelegation@rmcumc.com. Once a name has been withdrawn, it cannot be placed back on the ballot during the election process.
What is required to apply to be a lay delegate?
Lay members who wish to apply should complete the attached Statement of Availability form and submit it by April 10 to be included in the Pre-Conference Materials online.
Rules for Lay Delegates from the 2014 Rocky Mountain Standing Rules and Operating Procedures, page 312
2.3. Election of Lay Delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences
2.3.1. The election for lay and clergy General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates from the Rocky Mountain Conference shall be held at the annual conference session within the calendar year one year preceding the year of the General Conference session.
2.3.2. Eligibility: ¶36. Article V. The Constitution. The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2012. "The lay delegates to the General and Jurisdictional or central Conferences shall be elected by the lay members of the annual conference or provisional annual conference without regard to age; provided such delegates shall have been professing members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years next preceding their election, and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election, and are members thereof within the annual conference electing them at the time of holding the General and jurisdictional or central conferences."
184.108.40.206. Each nominee wishing to be included in pre-conference and annual conference introductions shall submit his/her candidacy on the form provided by the Board of Lay Ministry. No other form will be permitted. Instructions on the form must be followed.
220.127.116.11. All nomination forms must be received or postmarked by the same deadline as set for petitions by the Annual Conference. This date ensures that a complete packet of resumes will be included in the pre- conference mailing to all annual conference lay members. No late nomination forms will be accepted.
18.104.22.168. Nominations will be accepted from the floor during a Laity session of annual conference prior to the commencement of any balloting. The consent of such nominees must be obtained in writing on the form provided in (a) above. Such nominees shall not be eligible to participate in introductory speeches or campaign activities.
22.214.171.124. Write-ins shall be permitted on the ballot, as long as that individual has not formally withdrawn his/her name.
2.3.4. Withdrawal from the ballot
Any nominee who withdraws from the election of General and Jurisdictional delegates shall not be re- nominated during the remainder of the election. Votes cast for a person who has withdrawn will be invalid, but will not invalidate the rest of the ballot.
2.3.5. Introduction and Campaigns
126.96.36.199. All nominees who have proceeded through the process as outlined above by the Board of Lay Ministry will be introduced during the Laity Session. The form of introduction will be determined by the Board of Lay Ministry. In the event the presiding officer (of laity session) is a nominee, another lay member will be asked to preside.
188.8.131.52.1. The Board of Lay Ministry will provide common identification for each nominee to be worn during the Annual Conference.
184.108.40.206.2. There shall be no public display of support for nominees in the form of posters, buttons, banners, printed flyers, pre-conference mailings, etc., prior to and during the Annual Conference.
Effective Date: July 1, 2013 Termination Date: June 30, 2015
What is the deadline?
Statements of Availability from both clergy and lay delegate candidates must be submitted by April 10 to be included only online.
Both clergy and laity who qualify to be delegates may place their names on the ballot at any time after the final April 10 deadline, but their information will not appear on the website or in the Pre-Conference materials.
When will the candidates be announced?
A list of delegate candidates will appear on the Conference website. As stated above, any eligible candidates that declare after the final April 10 deadline will not be included, but will appear on the ballot.
What is required and expected of elected delegates?
Election as a delegate to General and/or Jurisdictional Conference is both an honor and a responsibility. You are answering a call to serve God, to serve The United Methodist Church, and to help the Church “make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” It is required and expected that delegates will fulfill their service to do the following:
If you feel called to serve as a delegate, it is assumed that the following are evident in your life and faith journey: