Lay Member of Annual Conference
An effective lay member of annual conference informs the congregation about The United Methodist Church in the conference and around the world. This person attends annual conference sessions as a member from the congregation and interprets the actions to the congregation. An effective lay member builds the connection between the congregation and all United Methodist churches. An effective lay member is especially interested in connecting the church of God with people who are not yet part of it.
Responsibilities of the Position
- The lay member of annual conference needs to become knowledgeable about the structure and ministries of the annual conference, The United Methodist Church, and the congregation.
- This leader will attend all sessions of annual conference or arrange for an alternate to be seated. During the conference session, this leader will participate in discussions, debates, voting, and all other activities of annual conference.
- This leader needs to engage in spiritual practices that build attentiveness to God’s will and direction. Business sessions of the church can divert attention from spiritual discernment into parliamentary procedure and political positioning. Members of annual conference need to hold one another accountable to the mission and vision of the church.
- Lay members are also members of the annual conference for the year they are elected. The lay member, along with the pastor, serves as an interpreter of the actions of the annual conference session.
- Lay members play a key role in linking the mission and vision of the local congregation with the mission and vision of the annual conference. In having this link, the church is even more clearly focused, and the responsibility of laity in the call to ministry is more clearly set forth.
- Lay members are to serve on the church council, the committee on finance, and the committee on pastor-parish relations in addition to being a member of annual conference.
- An important part of being the link with the annual conference is for lay members to report to the local church council on actions of the annual conference as soon as possible after the close of the conference. Communication truly improves connection.
- This leader is accountable to the charge conference through the church council.