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AC 2019 General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegate Guidelines for Submissions

General Conference, which convenes every four years, is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. Church law states that no person or organization except the General Conference has the authority to speak officially for the denomination. The 2020 General Conference will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 5-15. Church law further provides that the delegation be half clergy, half lay; in 2020, there will be approximately 850 delegates.  It mandates that each annual conference must have at least one clergy delegate and one lay delegate. Beyond that, a conference's representation is based on the number of lay members and clergy members in the conference.

The Jurisdictional Conferences are held the same year of General Conference. The primary function of these regional gatherings is the election and assignment of bishops to their Episcopal areas. The Louisville episcopal area is the location for the bishop of both the Kentucky Annual Conference and the Red Bird Missionary Conference. The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will meet at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, July 15-20.

We will elect our delegation at the 2019 Annual Conference which will be held June 10-12 in Covington. Kentucky’s General Conference delegation will have 10 delegates (5 lay, 5 clergy) plus alternates. That group, plus a second group of equal size, will be the Jurisdictional Conference delegation.


HOW DOES ONE GET ELECTED TO THE DELEGATION?

The procedure is described in Conference Standing Rule #25: 

Rule 25. Elections for General and Jurisdictional Delegates. In the year preceding the General and Jurisdictional Conferences, the Conference elects delegates and reserve delegates to the General Conference and Jurisdictional Conferences as prescribed by the Discipline ¶¶ 34-36.

(a) Those standing for election as clergy delegates shall submit to the Director of Connectional
Ministries a photograph and a written personal profile by the published deadline. The profile
should be typed, single-spaced, and must not exceed a total of 300 words. The content of the
profile should contain a brief biographical sketch and a statement of your position on matters
relevant to the connectional life of the United Methodist Church.

(b) Those standing for election as lay delegates shall submit to the Director of Connectional
Ministries a photograph and a written personal profile by the published deadline. The profile
should be typed, single-spaced, and must not exceed a total of 300 words. The content of the
profile should contain a brief biographical sketch and a statement of your position on matters
relevant to the connectional life of the United Methodist Church.

(c) The Director of Connectional Ministries shall assemble the clergy profiles and the lay profiles and send the clergy profiles to the clergy members of Annual Conference and the lay profiles to the lay members of Annual Conference at least fifteen days before the annual session convenes.

Qualifications for clergy and lay delegates are noted in The 2016 Book of Discipline.  Paragraph 35, Article IV addresses clergy delegate qualifications:   “The clergy delegates to the General Conference and to the jurisdictional or central conference shall be elected from the clergy members in full connection” (note: this includes deacons and elders).  Paragraph 36, Article IV addresses laity delegate qualifications:   “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.”


BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT SUBMITTING A PROFILE

  1. Profiles & pictures are due by March 30th.  This will allow us to include them in the Pre-Conference Report Book which is the most economical way to provide these for our members. 
  2. Profiles & pictures must be submitted electronically – please register online.  Clergy Registratrion
  3. You will receive a return email stating that your information has been received.  IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A RETURN EMAIL WITHIN THREE DAYS OF SUBMITTING YOUR PROFILE, PLEASE RESEND AND/OR CALL Connie Offutt at coffutt@kyumc.org or 1-800-530-7236, ext 324.
  4. Photos should be at least 300 dpi and in a JPEG (.jpeg) or TIFF (.tif) format.  Please contact Cathy Bruce with questions about photos.  cbruce@kymc.org or 1-800-530-7236, ext 332. 
  5. Please use the word count feature on your word processing program to confirm that your profile does not exceed the 300 word maximum.  Please note that if a profile is submitted with more than 300 words, only the first 300 words will be published.

If you have any questions about registering online, please contact Connie Offutt at coffutt@kyumc.org or (502) 425-3884 ext. 324.


BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT OUR VOTING PROCESS

Voting will be by an electronic system this year and instructions will be given at the Annual Conference session.


ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA TO VOTE FOR THE CLERGY DELEGATION

¶316.6 – The membership of local pastors under full-time and part-time appointment is in the annual conference where they shall have the right to vote on all matters except constitutional amendments, 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 central conferences.

¶321.1Associate members shall have a right to vote in the annual conference on all matters except the following: (a) constitutional amendments; (b) all matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy.

 

The persons who are eligible to cast ballots as electors in choosing the clergy delegates to the General Conference, the jurisdictional conference, or the central conference are (a) the persons who are eligible for election, (b) the associate members, (c) the provisional members who have been judged by the annual conference to have completed the educational requirements and have been elected to provisional membership, and (d) the local pastors who have met two criteria: they have, by either of two options as determined by the annual conference, completed the constitutionally specified level of education; and they have been appointed by the bishop and served for two consecutive years, immediately preceding the election, during which time no withdrawal of the appointed status has occurred.

 

Our Office of Ministerial Services is developing the list of persons who fit the above criteria.  A letter will be sent to these persons and the list of names will be posted here.  If you think you are eligible and do not receive a letter or see your name on the list, please contact Kevin Burney,kburney@kyumc.org  or call 1-800-350-7236, ext. 311.

 

Please contact Julie Hager Love, Director of Connectional Ministries & Conference Secretary, with questions jlove@kyumc.org or 1-800-530-7236, ext 305.