Lay Leader Lines November 2017

November 2nd, 2017 by Kali Lewis


Q: I hear that we are having some sort of church conference here within the next few weeks. What kind of conference is it? Can anybody go?

A: Every year, usually in the fall, every United Methodist Church in the Marquette District (and in all other districts as well at some point during the year) we have our annual church (also called charge) conference. The church conference is conducted by the District Superintendent or his/her representative, and is held to do the business of the church. At this conference, we hear reports from the various church committees, and vote on a number of issues. A slate of prospective church officers for the coming year is presented by the Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development; additional candidates, if any, are nominated from the floor; and the church members vote on who to assign to various committees and positions of leadership within the church. The Finance Committee presents a proposed budget, which can either be approved or rejected by the church members. Lay servant and lay speaker candidates are presented and either approved or rejected for these positions. Any individual interested in entering the ministry, either as a local pastor or an ordained elder, is also presented and either recommended or rejected as a suitable candidate for such a responsibility. We also hear reports from other committees and the pastor, and adopt goals for the coming year. We usually have a devotional message, along with a hymn or two, prayers, and a short message from the District Superintendent. Anyone may attend the church conference, but only church members in good standing may vote on the issues considered. Church membership is not necessary to hold some of the leadership positions in the church, but such membership is required of individuals serving in some positions such as treasurer, financial secretary, lay leader and the like. If you have never attended a church conference, why not come and see what goes on?