Section VI. Annual Conferences
¶ 32. Article I. -The annual conference shall be composed of clergy and lay members. The clergy membership shall consist of deacons and elders in full connection, provisional members, associate members, and local pastors under appointment. The lay membership shall consist of professing56 lay members elected by each charge, the diaconal ministers, the active deaconesses, and home missioners under episcopal appointment within the bounds of the annual conference,57 the conference president of United Methodist Women, the conference president of United Methodist Men, the conference lay leader, district lay leaders, the conference director of Lay Speaking Ministries, conference secretary of Global Ministries (if lay), the president or equivalent officer of the conference young adult organization, the president of the conference youth organization, the chair of the annual conference college student organization,58 and one young person between the ages of twelve (12) and seventeen (17) and one young person between the ages of eighteen (18) and thirty (30)59 from each district to be selected in such a manner as may be determined by the annual conference.60 In the annual conferences of the central conferences, the four-year participation and the two-year membership requirements may be waived by the annual conference for young persons under thirty (30)61 years of age. Such persons must be professing62 members of The United Methodist Church and active participants at the time of election.63 Each charge served by more than one clergy shall be entitled to as many lay members as there are clergy members. The lay members shall have been for the two years next preceding their election members of The United Methodist Church64 and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election.65
If the lay membership should number less than the clergy members of the annual conference, the annual conference shall, by its own formula, provide for the election of additional lay members to equalize lay and clergy membership of the annual conference.66
¶ 33. Article II. -The annual conference is the basic body in the Church and as such shall have reserved to it the right to vote on all constitutional amendments, on the election of clergy and lay delegates to the General and the jurisdictional or central conferences, on all matters relating to the character and conference relations of its clergy members, and on the ordination of clergy and such other rights as have not been delegated to the General Conference under the Constitution, with the exception that the lay members may not vote on matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy except that the lay members of the conference board of ordained ministry and the committee on investigationmay vote on matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy, with the further exception that lay members of the district committee on ordained ministry be full participating members of the district committee on ordained ministry with vote.67 It shall discharge such duties and exercise such powers as the General Conference under the Constitution may determine.68
¶ 34. Article III.-The annual conference shall elect clergy and lay delegates to the General Conference and to its jurisdictional or central conference in the manner provided in this section, Articles IV and V.69 The persons first elected up to the number determined by the ratio for representation in the General Conference shall be representatives in that body. Additional delegates shall be elected to complete the number determined by the ratio for representation in the jurisdictional or central conference, who, together with those first elected as above, shall be delegates in the jurisdictional or central conference. The additional delegates to the jurisdictional or central conference shall in the order of their election be the reserve delegates to the General Conference.70 The annual conference shall also elect reserve clergy and lay delegates to the jurisdictional or central conference as it may deem desirable. These reserve clergy and lay delegates to the jurisdictional or central conferences may act as reserve delegates to the General Conference when it is evident that not enough reserve delegates are in attendance at the General Conference.71
¶ 35. Article IV.-Theclergy delegates to the General Conference and to the jurisdictional or central conference shall be elected from theclergy members in full connection and shall be elected by the clergy members of the annual conference or provisional annual conference who are deacons and elders in full connection, associate members, and those provisional members who have completed all of their educational requirements and local pastors who have completed course of study or an M. Div. degree and have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appointment immediately preceding the election.
¶ 36. Article V.-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 with-out regard to age, provided such delegates76 shall have been professing77 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,78 and are members thereof within the annual conference electing them at the time of holding the General and jurisdictional or central conferences.79
56. Amended 2000.
57. Amended 1996.
58. Amended 1996.
59. Amended 2000.
60. Amended 1968, 1970, 1980, 1984.
61. Amended 2000.
62. Amended 2000.
63. Amended 1988.
64. Amended 1972.
65. Amended 1976.
66. See Judicial Council Decisions 24, 113, 129, 349, 378, 479, 495, 511, 553, 561; and Decision 7, Interim Judicial Council.
67. Amended 1996.
68. See Judicial Council Decisions 78, 79, 132, 405, 406, 415, 524, 532, 534, 552, 584, 690, 742, 782, 862.
69. See Judicial Council Decision 592.
70. See Judicial Council Decision 352.
71. Amended 1992.
72. Amended 1996.
73. Amended 1996.
74. Amended 2000.
75. See Judicial Council Decisions 1, 308, 403, 473, 531, 534, 875.
76. Amended 1972.
77. Amended 2000.
78. Amended 1976.
79. See Judicial Council Decisions 403, 887.
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church--2012. Copyright 2012 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.