Can anyone attend a committee meeting?
The Book of Discipline requires open meetings as often as possible. "In the spirit of openness and accountability, all meetings of councils, boards, agencies, commissions, and committees of the Church at all levels of the church, including subunit meetings and teleconferences, shall be open. Portions of a meeting may be closed for consideration of specific subjects if such a closed session is authorized by an affirmative public vote of at least three-fourths of the voting members present...Great restraint should be used in closing meetings; closed sessions should be used as seldom as possible...." (¶ 722, 2012 Book of Discipline)
The pastor-parish relations committee is the only committee that is required to be closed. The 2012 Book of Discipline says in ¶ 258.2 e), "The committee shall meet in closed session, and information shared in the committee shall be confidential."
Generally, the required and elected members of the committee are able to vote.
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2012. Copyright © 2012 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.