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2019 Lay Delegation Elections
posted on March 26
Information for Prospective Lay Delegates to the 2020 General/Jurisdictional Conferences
Delegates to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences (both lay and clergy) will be elected at the 2019 Missouri Annual Conference Session. The Conference Lay Ministry Team is responsible for establishing procedures on preparation, publicity, and distribution of information to facilitate the election of qualified lay delegates. The Lay Ministry Team is committed to fairness, encouraging a balanced, diverse pool of candidates with opportunity for voters to know them. Young adults are particularly encouraged to consider serving. We appreciate your help in identifying and encouraging qualified candidates to consider serving as a delegate.
Dates, Locations, and Purpose
The 2020 General Conference scheduled for May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis, MN. The Jurisdictional Conference is planned for July 15-18, 2020, at The Woodlands in Texas. Persons elected to General Conference are automatically included in the jurisdictional conference delegation.
General Conference convenes once every four years. The General Conference is the only body that can set official policy and speak for the denomination. This conference can revise denominational law, adopt resolutions, and approve plans and budgets for the General Church. Jurisdictional Conference also convenes once every four years and meets to elect new bishops and select members of boards and agencies.
Lay Delegate Requirements
As required by the 2016 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, “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” (Para. 36).
Laity with an interest in serving as a lay delegate may follow the self-nomination process outlined below.
The Laity Profile form is available on the conference website at www.moumethodist.org. The profile form and your photo must be completed online. Upon completing the online form, the Laity Profile Form and submitted photo will be posted online in the order received exactly as it is received for lay members to preview prior to the next session of Annual Conference. Online submissions should be submitted prior to May 31, 2019, in order to be posted for review by lay members to Annual Conference. The Lay Ministry Team provides this form in the interest of equal opportunity for all qualified laity interested in serving the church at General/Jurisdictional Conferences. Persons can still receive votes during the election process even if they choose not to provide a profile or decide during Annual Conference to become a candidate.
Prospective candidates will be invited to an open meet and greet time at Annual Conference prior the designated election time (time and place to be announced).
Unlike U.S.-based political campaigns, laity delegation elections are based on the candidate’s fruits of the Spirit, commitment to the Church and proven leadership skills communicated through their online profile and through their inherent sense of connectionalism. Lay candidates must refrain from “campaigning” through printed materials distributed or placed throughout the conference space. Any campaign materials may be removed by the extended Sessions team.
Expectations for Elected Lay Delegates
- Pray “without ceasing” for God’s spiritual wisdom and discernment.
- Attend all Missouri delegation meetings in preparation for General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference. The delegation typically meets monthly in Columbia for the year preceding the General and Jurisdictional Conferences, mostly Saturdays with a couple of weekday meetings during the length of the commitment. Delegation meetings begin in the summer following the election at Annual Conference and continue until Jurisdictional Conference is completed the following July. The delegation technically serves for a quadrennium (i.e., four-year period).
- Attend all meetings of the General Conference or Jurisdictional Conference for the entire time.
- Attend any related committee meetings before and during that Conference, and afterwards, as elected, throughout the quadrennium.
- Read all materials sent to delegates before that Conference. Please note that there is a lot of reading, both before and during the Conference.
- Meet deadlines related to delegate registration and logistics.
- Acknowledge and adhere to the delegation reimbursement policy.
- Be aware of the Missouri Conference’s mission, vision, values, priorities and expectations of leaders.
Reimbursement for Expenses of Elected Delegates
For General Conference, all travel costs (airfare, ground transportation, and parking) are covered expenses by the Commission on General Conference. Air transportation is arranged by the Commission on General Conference and reimbursement is received for the additional travel related costs. Hotel (double occupancy) and meals are reimbursed based upon per diem rates to be determined.
For Jurisdictional Conference, all travel costs (airfare or mileage, ground transportation and parking) are covered expenses and reimbursement is provided by the South Central Jurisdiction. A per diem rate will be provided for hotel (double occupancy) and meal expenses.
Elected Alternate Delegates will submit receipts for travel, lodging and meal expenses to the Missouri Annual Conference for reimbursement. The same rates and expectations for elected delegates funded by the Commission on General Conference or South Central Jurisdiction apply for the alternates. Only the first and second alternates for General Conference (which will be the first two laity elected to Jurisdictional Conference) will be reimbursed by the Missouri Annual Conference.
All elected delegates can submit mileage for reimbursement per the conference policy to the Missouri Annual Conference for travel related to attendance at required delegation meetings.