2020 Charge Conference Instructions

posted on August 13

It is time to prepare for the annual charge conference meeting for your church or charge. The Uwharrie District staff hope that you will find the information here helpful as you complete this important work. 

Because of concerns for meeting safely, we will not be meeting in clusters. Rev. Laura Auten strongly recommends that you plan to have a virtual charge conference, especially if you anticipate having 15 or more persons in attendance. Instructions and an agenda will be provided for everyone to use whether you meet in person or online. There are specific guidelines for a virtual charge conference at the end of this article.

For Elders: you will receive an email from Rev. Laura Auten requesting specific information about scheduling your charge conference. 

For Local Pastors, Deacons, Provisional Elders, Lay Ministers, and Pastors of other denominations: You have been assigned a presiding elder to conduct your charge conference. The presiding elder will work with you to schedule the charge conference.  Watch for an email with your assignment.

Your charge conference must be held by November 30. It is mandatory that all pastors be present for their charge conference. 

Agenda for online or in person:

  • Welcome and any instructions for social distancing or for using technology
  • Call to order by District Superintendent or Presiding Elder
  • Prayer
  • Devotion 
  • Recommendation for the 2021 Clergy Compensation
  • Discussion
  • Vote
  • Nominations and Leadership Development Report for 2021 including those persons serving on the Nominations Committee
  • Discussion
  • Vote
  • Approval of Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, or Lay Ministers
  • Approval of Candidates for Ministry
  • Approval of Names to be removed from the membership roll
  • Adjournment
HOW DO I BEGIN?

All reports will be online. You will be notified when the charge conference reports are available online.

The due date for the completion of all reports is November 30, 2020. 

The online reports have a “signature” feature for all required signatures for each report. Checking the checkbox and entering a pastor or church leader name will be affirming that the pastor or leader has reviewed the completed online form (or a printout of it) and believes it to be correct and accurate.

Please make sure you know how to login to your Clergy and Church Dashboard on wnccadmin.org. 

Kim Hopkins will be hosting a Zoom Charge Conference Help Session on September 14, at 10am. To register and receive the link, email Kim Hopkins.

Think through how you need to schedule committee meetings to complete this work and who needs to help you complete this work. Refer to the current Guidelines for In-Person Worship and Ministry for facilitating committees and ministry teams.

While every situation is different, the administrative council, board, or governing body must approve the pastor’s 2021 compensation and the 2021 Report from the Nominations and Lay Leadership Committee. They can approve other items that will then be presented to the charge conference such as Lay Servants and Lay Speakers, Candidates for ministry, and Names to be removed from the church membership roll. They can approve other committee reports that can be presented to the charge conference and included in the charge conference minutes.

The following items of business cannot be conducted at this charge conference without separate authorization:  purchasing or selling property, building programs, or church council restructuring.

Whether your charge conference is online or in person, the recording secretary should submit notes, minutes, any handouts, and an attendance list to the District Office. Signed copies of the clergy compensation form must be submitted to the District Office. It is the pastor’s responsibility to make sure this happens.

Signatures Needed for the Clergy Compensation Report:

  • Presiding Elder 
  • Pastor
  • Treasurer/Finance Chairperson 
  • Staff-Parish Chairperson
  • Recording Secretary 
The District Superintendent will sign the Clergy Compensation Report once the paperwork is delivered to the District Office.

You will be contacted when Apportionment Figures and Health Insurance Premiums are posted.

Please see the reference below concerning charge conference membership (who is a voting member of the charge conference) from the 2016 Discipline: 

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 Methodist 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 professing members of the local church, except where central conference legislation provides otherwise. ¶ 246. General Provisions— 1. Within the pastoral charge the basic unit in the connectional system of The United Methodist 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 annually for the purposes set forth in ¶ 247. It may meet at other times as indicated in § 7 below. 2. The membership of the charge conference shall be all members 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 any others as may be designated in the Discipline. If more than one church is on the pastoral charge, all members of each church council shall be members of the charge conference….

 6. The members present and voting at any duly announced meeting shall constitute a quorum.

United Methodist Church. The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016 (Kindle Locations 3797-3804). United Methodist Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

Thank you for attention to the work of Charge Conference preparation. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the District Office.

Additional Information

Accessing Online Admin site

  • https://wnccumc.org  Click on Administration

  • Click Clergy Dashboard

  • Login 

    • Church Dashboard - Username is GCFA number; Password is WNCC2018! (unless you have updated it) 

    • People/Clergy Dashboard (Username and Password for clergy is the same as the old system. If you have trouble logging in, contact the District Office)

As you work on online Church Leader Information, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you provide accurate and complete contact information.

We especially need email addresses for all of your church leaders who have email. Information is shared by email at various times with different groups of leaders. We especially need email addresses for the following offices:  Lay Leader, Pastor Parish Relations Chairperson (or a PPRC contact person if on a multi-point charge), Finance Chairperson, Treasurer. For those four offices, if the actual leader does not have an email, it would be helpful if they could have another person with email to agree to receive email on their behalf. It could be another committee member, or church council member, etc.


CHARGE CONFERENCE GUIDELINES
FOR ONLINE SESSIONS

As required by ¶246.8 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, “Notice of time and place of a regular or special session of the charge conference shall be given at least ten days in advance”.

  • Notice must be given by two or more ways. We encourage use of as many of these methods as are possible in your local church situation. Two or more of the following methods will work:

    • Spoken notice during live streamed or recorded online worship services

    • Written notice posted on your website in a prominent location, a bulletin type document, and/or a newsletter

    • Email notice sent to all congregation members for whom you have email addresses. If you have a website, the email can also point to a notice and information posted on your website.

    • Phone tree applications or plans that allow you to call all congregation members 

    • Texting applications that allow you to text all congregation members for whom you have cellphone numbers

    • Notice by mail. We realize this method has a cost, and could be difficult for many churches right now, but it is an available option if that works for your situation.

  • The notices to the congregation shall include the purpose of the charge conference, the date & time, and the information that the charge conference will be happening in a virtual meeting using Zoom or some other virtual conferencing application. 

  • Separately, share the instructions for joining the virtual meeting with the members of your church council/charge conference body. It is not necessary (or even advisable for security reasons) to share those specific instructions publicly in online notices of the meeting.

  • So that we can accomplish our United Methodist Church policy of open meetings when a charge conference is in session, even virtually, the following additional language needs to be included in your notice:

    • As is always the case, charge conference sessions are open meetings in The United Methodist Church. If you are not a member of our church council / charge conference, but wish to observe this charge conference session, please contact ________________________ at ___________________ for the information about how to join the online meeting. However, only elected church council / charge conference members will be able to participate in the meeting and vote.

Holding a Virtual Charge Conference:

  • Holding a charge conference via Zoom or another virtual conferencing application is the appropriate way to do these meetings during this time. We need to follow all state and local guidelines,  and make our best efforts to keep everyone safe. Virtual meetings make it possible to do that while accomplishing our necessary business.

  • Per the Book of Discipline, the only business that can be transacted is that which is in harmony with the purpose(s) stated in the call/notice. The district superintendent or their designee shall join the meeting to preside. If necessary, the district office will  provide a Zoom invitation for you to share with your church council / charge conference members. The members present and voting at a duly announced meeting shall constitute a quorum. The membership of the charge conference shall be as defined in ¶246.2 of the Book of Discipline.

  • Attendance should be taken by the charge conference/recording secretary, and voting should be done in such a way as to allow votes to be appropriately recorded and observed. If you are dealing with a matter like voting on a candidate for ministry which requires a written ballot, you can use the Zoom polling feature or arrange for ballots by mail. 

  • Minutes should be taken to record the actions of the charge conference, and any reports, presentations, and “handouts” shared should become a part of the minutes.

  • The complete minutes of the charge conference session should be forwarded to the District Office immediately following your charge conference.

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