Connectional Table in The Book of Discipline
Below is the section in The Book of Discipline that articulates the creation of the Connectional Table:
SECTION III. CONNECTIONAL TABLE
¶ 901. Name—There shall be a Connectional Table in The United Methodist Church where ministry and money are brought to the same table to coordinate the mission, ministries, and resources of The United Methodist Church. Effective January 1, 2005, the Connectional Table shall be assigned the primary responsibilities, general policies and practices found in the relevant 700 paragraphs.
¶ 902. Incorporation—The Connectional Table shall be incorporated in such state or states, as the Connectional Table shall determine. This corporation shall be the successor corporation and organization to the General Council on Ministries of The United Methodist Church, an Ohio corporation, and the Program Council of The United Methodist Church.
¶ 903. Amenability—The Connectional Table shall report and be amenable to the General Conference.
¶ 904. Purpose—The purpose of the Connectional Table (CT) is for the discernment and articulation of the vision for the church and the stewardship of the mission, ministries, and resources of The United Methodist Church as determined by the actions of the General Conference and in consultation with the Council of Bishops. As part of the total mission of the church, the CT is to serve as a steward of the vision and resources for mission and ministry, provide fiscal responsibility, and establish policies and procedures to carry out the mission of the church.
¶ 905. Objectives—The essential functions of the Connectional Table are:
- To provide a forum for the understanding and implementation of the vision, mission, and ministries of the global church as determined in consultation with the Council of Bishops and/or the actions of the General Conference.
- To enable the flow of information and communication among annual conferences, jurisdictions, central conferences, general agencies, and the Council of Bishops.
- Consistent with actions of the General Conference, to coordinate the program life of the church with the mandates of the gospel, the mission of the church, and the needs of the global community by listening to the expression of needs, addressing emerging issues, and determining the most effective, cooperative, and efficient way to provide optimum stewardship of ministries, personnel, and resources.
- To review and evaluate the missional effectiveness of general program-related agencies and connectional structures of the church as they collectively seek to aid annual conferences and local churches as they fulfill the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ and transform the world.
- To recommend to the General Conference such changes and implementing legislation as may be appropriate to ensure effectiveness of the general agencies.
- To provide leadership in planning and research, assisting all levels of the church to evaluate needs and plan strategies to carry out the mission of the church.
- In order to be accountable, along with the General Council on Finance and Administration, to The United Methodist Church through the General Conference, the Connectional Table shall have the authority and responsibility in the following matters:
a. To collaborate with the General Council on Finance and Administration in the preparation of budgets for the apportioned funds (¶ 806), to submit to each quadrennial session of the General Conference budgets of expense for each of the general funds of the church, and to make recommendation regarding all other funding considerations to come before the General Conference.
b. To receive from the General Council on Finance and Administration and approve all general agency budget reviews.
c. To review and approve special offerings and churchwide appeals.
d. To monitor the tenure of General Secretaries to ensure the proper implementation of the rule limiting service to 12 years (¶ 714.1).
¶ 906. Organization of Connectional Table—1. Membership—The voting members of the Connectional Table shall consist of 47 persons as follows:
- 28 persons elected through jurisdictional and central conferences, one from each of the central conferences by their own nomination processes and 21 from the jurisdictional conferences elected by the jurisdictional nomination process. Jurisdictional membership shall include one person from each jurisdiction and the balance of the jurisdictional members shall be allocated by the Secretary of the General Conference so as to insure to the extent possible that the members represent the proportionate membership of the jurisdictions based upon the combined clergy and lay membership.
- An effective bishop, selected by the Council of Bishops, serves as the chair of the Connectional Table.
- The presidents of the following agencies: General Board of Church and Society, General Board of Discipleship, General Board of Global Ministries, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, General Commission on Religion and Race, General Commission on Status and Role of Women, General Commission on United Methodist Men, General Commission on Communications, and General Commission on Archives and History, program-related agencies that are accountable to the Connectional Table (as expressed in ¶ 702.2), and the president of the General Council on Finance and Administration shall also sit with voice and vote on the Connectional Table.
- One youth and one young adult from the Division on Ministries With Young People shall serve on the Connectional Table.
- One member from each of the racial ethnic caucuses as elected by the Connectional Table upon nomination from: Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Methodists Associated to Represent Hispanic Americans, Native American International Caucus, National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, and Pacific Islanders National Caucus United Methodist.
- The general secretaries of the above named agencies and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits and the president and publisher of The United Methodist Publishing House shall sit at the Table and have the right of voice but no vote.
- Jurisdictional, central conferences, and other groups involved in the nominating and election of persons to the Connectional Table shall ensure the diversity objectives of, insofar as possible, fifty percent clergy, fifty percent laity, fifty percent female, fifty percent male, not less than thirty percent members of racial/ethnic groups (excluding central conference members), and not less than ten percent youth and young adults, ensuring diversity as otherwise provided in ¶ 705.5b.
- Vacancies of members elected from central and jurisdictional conferences occurring between sessions of the general conference shall be filled by the College of Bishops where the vacancy occurred, in so far as possible from the same annual conference.
- Members shall meet all the membership qualifications as expressed in ¶ 710. 2. Meetings—The Connectional Table shall meet at least semi-annually and at such other times as are necessary on call of the president or on written request of one-fifth of the members. One more than half of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum. 3. Officers—The officers of the Connectional Table, other than the chair, shall be elected from the Connectional Table and shall serve for a quadrennium or until their successors are duly elected. 4. Internal Structure—The Connectional Table shall determine its own internal structure as it deems appropriate for the performance of its duties. 5. Staff—The Connectional Table shall determine the support staff that it deems appropriate to facilitate its work.
¶ 907. Effective Date—The organizational plan for the Connectional Table shall be effective January 1, 2005.
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church — 2004. Copyright © 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.