PLAN OF ORGANIZATION AND RULES OF ORDER
Setting of Time and Place for Jurisdiction Conference, Call to Order, Service of Communion and Memorial
The North Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church shall meet at the times set by the Council of Bishops and at the place determined by the Local Arrangements Committee, continuing the rotation shown in the 2016 Advance Journal. The conference shall have the power and duties as specified in The 2016 Book of Discipline.
The resident bishop of the Episcopal area in which the conference is held shall call the conference to order followed by a Celebration of Holy Communion and Memorial. The names of bishops, bishops’ spouses, and members of jurisdictional standing committees who have died since the last Jurisdictional Conference, plus delegates-elect who have died since their election, and others who in the judgment of the Local Arrangements may appropriately be remembered, shall be read.
- ORGANIZATION AND AGENDA OF THE OPENING SESSION
The president of the College of Bishops shall preside at the opening session of the Jurisdictional Conference at which the agenda will be:
- Greetings and Introductions by the Bishop of the Host Area
- Roll Call
The roll shall be called by the secretary of the Jurisdictional Conference in the following manner:
- The secretary of the College of Bishops of the jurisdiction shall report the names of the bishops who are present and who are absent.
- The roll of delegates shall be called according to annual conferences. The chairperson of the delegation will report to the conference the number of delegates and reserves present.
- The general or executive secretaries of the general church councils, boards and commissions of The United Methodist Church, who are members of annual conferences within the bounds of the North Central Jurisdiction, but who are not elected delegates of the Jurisdictional Conference, shall be seated within the voting area of the Conference and report their presence during roll call.
- Report of the Rules of Order
- The Plan of Organization and Rules of Order shall remain in effect until amended by a Jurisdictional Conference in regular or special session. Any amendments or additions recommended by the Jurisdictional Mission Council for action by the Jurisdictional Conference must be in accordance with the Rules of Order.
- A majority of the Jurisdictional Conference delegates shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
- The committee shall report any proposals to change the election process or any question of credentials before the first ballot is taken.
- Confirmation of the Jurisdictional Conference Committees and Secretarial Staff:
- The secretary of the Jurisdictional Conference shall present, for confirmation, membership on the various on-site and standing committees as elected by the appropriate Episcopal areas or annual conferences.
- The secretary of the Jurisdictional Conference shall present, for confirmation, those who are serving as members of the conference secretarial staff.
- Report of the Committee on Episcopacy
The Committee on Episcopacy shall report on the number of bishops to be elected.
- Report on Elections
Appropriate Disciplinary materials and the balloting procedure shall be explained.
- Taking the First Ballot
The first ballot shall be taken. (See Rules of Order II, Procedures for Episcopal Elections).
- Report of the Local Arrangements Committee
- Report of the Jurisdictional Treasurer
- PROCEDURES FOR EPISCOPAL ELECTIONS
The Committee on Episcopacy, shall recommend the procedures for Episcopal nominations and elections.
- Episcopal Nominee Information Forms for supplying biographical and other information regarding nominees shall be developed by the Committee on Episcopacy. These forms shall include but not be limited to requests for: name and address; date and place of birth; family; formal education and continuing education; previous vocational record prior to ordination; ordination date(s) and conference(s); appointment and pastoral record, current annual conference membership and appointment; membership on boards and agencies: a) church (denominational and ecumenical) and b) community activities; publications, awards, and honors.
No later than September 1 of the year in which General/Jurisdictional Conference delegations are elected, the Jurisdictional Conference Secretary shall send the Episcopal Nominee Information Form and proposed procedures to annual conference secretaries and chairs of annual conference delegations. The annual conference secretary shall have responsibility to inform the population of the respective annual conferences of the availability of the forms through such means as will reach the widest possible audience. The Jurisdictional Conference secretary shall distribute a press release to the director of communications in each conference specifying when and where Episcopal Nominee Information Forms will be available.
Delegations are free to engage nominees beyond their Annual Conference after January 1 of the year of General Conference.
The Jurisdictional Conference secretary shall duplicate the Episcopal Nominee Information Forms which have been signed by the nominee and properly submitted. Seventeen days prior to the opening of Jurisdictional Conference, copies of all Episcopal Nominee Information Forms received shall be distributed via first class mail or email to delegates, first reserves, members of the College of Bishops, and other persons with Jurisdictional Conference responsibilities.
Nominees must submit the Episcopal Nominee Information Forms immediately after the close of their annual conferences, and no later than June 25, in order to be included in the packet of nominee information sent to all the Jurisdictional Conference delegates. The secretary of the jurisdiction shall assign a voting number to each clergy delegate and any others who have properly submitted an Episcopal Nominee Information Form.
A person who has not been assigned a voting number may secure one by requesting such in writing from the secretary. The bishop presiding shall report the additional name(s) and voting number(s) to the Jurisdictional Conference.
- Balloting and Procedures
A 60% majority of the valid votes cast on any ballot is needed for the election of a bishop (see Rule 25-E).
Prior to every ballot, a bishop or member of the Committee on Episcopacy will lead the conference in prayer.
- Reporting the first ballot:
- a) In the event of an election, the name and vote tally of the elected person shall be announced first and that person introduced to the conference by a member of the Committee on Episcopacy. After such introduction, the bishop presiding will continue reading the names only on the rest of the first ballot.
- b) All persons receiving ten or more votes shall be introduced alphabetically by the chair of the Committee on Episcopacy. Upon introduction, each nominee will give name, community where presently residing, and current appointment. An opportunity for withdrawal from nomination shall be given by the bishop presiding.
If any of these nominees has not completed an Episcopal Nominee Information Form previously, one will be furnished by the secretary. The nominee will have thirty (30 minutes) to return the form to the secretary who will copy it for distribution to the delegates prior to the next ballot.
- c) The names and vote totals of the nominees will be read in descending order of votes received following the interviews and before the second ballot is taken.
- All nominees, having been introduced to the conference will be assigned rooms for interviews. Space for these interviews will be arranged by the Local Arrangements Committee. The interview moderators shall be the lay members of the Committee on Episcopacy with additional lay members of the Jurisdictional Conference being selected by the committee as needed. Three twenty-minute periods shall be scheduled with ten-minute breaks between each period, providing every delegate an opportunity to hear and question three candidates. This process will be followed by a thirty-minute period for delegation meetings.
- After the interviews and report of first ballot votes, balloting shall continue for the second and subsequent ballots in this manner: In the event of an election, the name and vote tally of the elected person shall be announced and that person introduced to the conference by a member of the Committee on Episcopacy. After such an introduction, the bishop presiding will continue the reading of the results of the ballot in descending order of votes received by those who obtained ten or more votes.
- Balloting shall continue until the elections are completed by 12:00 noon on Friday (unless the conference shall suspend this rule). To facilitate the election process, a variety of opportunities for dialogue shall be offered: nominee interviews, spot conversations, delegation meetings or other processes determined by the jurisdictional conference.
- Spot conversations are for those situations when delegations might need a brief time together.
- Delegation meetings provide opportunity for delegations to converse among themselves regarding the election and to receive further information regarding any of the nominees.
- A nominee may formally withdraw his/her name before the beginning of any ballot by either:
- submitting a withdrawal in writing to the Jurisdictional Conference secretary who will immediately notify the bishop presiding and who, in turn, will report the withdrawal, or
- submitting their withdrawal orally through a point of personal privilege (two-minute limit recommended).
III. THE OFFICERS OF THE JURISDICTIONAL CONFERENCE
- Secretary of the Jurisdiction
- The Jurisdictional Committee on Nominations shall present a nominee from the clergy or lay membership of the North Central Jurisdiction for secretary-designate. Other nominations may be made from the floor. The Local Arrangements Committee shall schedule a time for election to be held during the session of the Jurisdictional Conference. If there is more than one nominee, the election shall be by ballot. If, in the interim of the quadrennial sessions of the Jurisdictional Conference, the office of the secretary shall for any reason become vacant, the College of Bishops shall appoint a secretary to serve through the next session of the Jurisdictional Conference.
- The secretary designate shall assume the responsibility of the office of secretary as soon after the adjournment of the Jurisdictional Conference as all work in connection with the session, including the preparation, printing and mailing of The Journal has been completed. The exact date of transfer of responsibility to the secretary-designate shall be determined by the College of Bishops, but shall not be later than twelve months after the adjournment of the Jurisdictional Conference. The secretary of the Jurisdictional Conference shall serve through to the end of the next Jurisdictional Conference.
- The secretary of the jurisdiction is authorized to perform the following tasks:
- Nominate assistant secretaries from the membership of the United Methodist church within the North Central Jurisdiction as is deemed necessary, to be presented to, and confirmed by, the Jurisdictional Conference at the opening session.
- Edit and arrange for the publication of The Advance Journal prior to the conference, and carry out the same tasks for The Journal following the conference.
- Prepare and send by November 1 preceding the opening of the next Jurisdictional Conference the nominating forms with instructions for jurisdictional councils, boards, and committees to each annual conference delegation chair.
- Prepare and send the nominating forms for general church councils, boards, and committees to each annual conference secretary as may be necessary.
- Notify the members of the Committee on Nominations of the time and place of the meeting held at least one day prior to the opening of Jurisdictional Conference. Compile the notebooks necessary for the work of this committee based on The 2016 Book of Discipline and The plan of Organization.
- Work in consultation with the Committee on Episcopacy to develop the Episcopal Nominee Information Forms.
- No later than September 1 of the year in which General/Jurisdictional Conference delegations are elected, the Jurisdictional Conference Secretary shall send the Episcopal Nominee Information Form and proposed procedures to annual conference secretaries and chairs of annual conference delegations. At the same time, a press release is to be sent to directors of communication in each conference as to how these forms can be obtained.
- Edit and make copies of the Episcopal Nominee Information Forms, and no less than 17 days prior to the start of Jurisdictional Conference, send a packet of the Episcopal Nominee Information Forms via first class mail or email to every delegate, all first reserves, members of the College of bishops, other persons with Jurisdictional Conference responsibilities, and annual conference communicators.
- Prepare for the registration packets a list of voting numbers assigned to all clergy members of delegations eligible for the office of episcopacy and for any clergy not in a delegation who have submitted an Episcopal Nominee Information Form.
- Make the conference floor seating assignments for delegations and reserves.
- The secretary will provide a daily form on which to report in writing the attendance of the members of the delegation. Absence of delegates and substitutions by reserve delegates shall be recorded.
- The secretary in conjunction with the Chairperson of the Committee on Episcopacy and the Chairperson of the Local Arrangements Committee will determine the presiding officers for sessions of the NCJ Conference. The President of the College of Bishops will preside at the opening business session.
- Serve as a full member of the Jurisdictional Missions Council and in advisory capacity to the Local Arrangements Committee.
- Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer
- The conference shall elect, on nomination of the jurisdictional Committee on Nominations, a treasurer and, if needed, an assistant treasurer. Consultation prior to the nomination with the Jurisdictional Association of Conference Treasurers is recommended.
- The treasurer of the Jurisdictional Conference is authorized to perform the following tasks:
- Pay the bills incurred in connection with the quadrennial session of the Jurisdictional Conference upon the approval of the chairperson of the Local Arrangements Committee or the chairperson of the Jurisdictional Mission Council or a designee of the Council.
- Make other disbursements as may be authorized by the Jurisdictional Conference.
- Pay travel and per diem expense to the duly elected delegates of the Jurisdictional Conference upon receiving properly completed and signed vouchers from them.
- Execute contracts on behalf of the Jurisdictional Conference.
- Pay travel and other expenses incurred during the quadrennium by the Jurisdictional Mission Council, the Local Arrangements Committee, the Committees on Appeals, Investigation, Episcopacy, and other committees authorized by the Jurisdictional Conference upon receipt of properly completed and signed expense vouchers from the members of these committees. All other expense vouchers must receive approval from a designee of the Jurisdictional Mission Council before payment can be made by the treasurer.
- Prepare financial reports at least quarterly for the Jurisdictional Mission Council.
- Send quarterly invoices and statements to annual conference treasurers for North Central Jurisdictional apportionments.
- Prepare financial records and reports for an annual review of the books and a quadrennial audit.
- Prepare such reports as are required by the IRS and other government agencies.
The Jurisdictional Conference shall have on-site and standing committees with functions as prescribed and other committees as it may order. Each committee shall develop a handbook of practices and procedures, a copy of which shall be retained by the Jurisdictional Conference secretary and treasurer. The delegation from each Episcopal area or annual conference shall nominate and elect from their delegation their representatives to these jurisdictional committees unless otherwise prescribed. These names shall be forwarded to the Jurisdictional Conference secretary by February 15 prior to the convening of the Jurisdictional Conference.
- On-Site Committees
The College of Bishops shall select the chairperson of each on-site committee with due consideration given to geographical spread, the selection of racial and ethnic minorities, and women to serve in these areas of responsibility. The chairperson shall be chosen from the membership of these committees, and shall be responsible for convening their committees at the site of Jurisdictional Conference. At that time, they may elect other officers as needed.
There shall be a Committee on Nominations for the purpose of nominating the Jurisdictional Conference secretary and treasurer, and persons to general church councils, boards and commissions, to the Jurisdictional Missions Council, and other positions necessary to fulfill jurisdictional structure. It shall be composed of:
- The active bishops of the jurisdiction;
- One clergy person from each annual conference;
- One lay person from each annual conference;
- One representative of the Division on Ministry with Young People with voice only;
- One representative with voice only from each of the following four racial/ethnic minority groups, to be elected by the group represented for assignment to the Jurisdictional Committee on Nominations: Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Native American International Caucus, MARCHA, and the Asian American United Methodist Caucus.
The Committee on Nominations shall hold its first meeting at the site of the Jurisdictional Conference at least one day prior to the opening of the Jurisdictional Conference. The Jurisdictional Conference secretary shall notify the members of the time and place of the meeting.
- Standing Committees
The Jurisdictional Conference shall have the following standing committees with the term of office beginning, unless otherwise specified, with the adjournment of the Jurisdictional Conference, and continuing until their successors have been confirmed. Each committee shall be convened on call by a member of the College of Bishops and shall elect its own chairperson.
There shall be a Court of Appeals appointed in accordance with provisions of The 2016 Book of Discipline.
There shall be a Committee on Episcopacy with membership, functions and terms of office as provided in The 2016 Book of Discipline.
- The bishop of each area shall make a written report to this committee not less than thirty days prior to the convening of the Jurisdictional conference. The report shall include, but not be limited to:
- A review of the bishop’s Episcopal administration during the quadrennium;
- A report on annual conference program emphases, goals and achievements;
- Evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the area; a statement on the major issues facing the Church in the area; matters of concern regarding the bishop’s Episcopal assignment.
- The Committee on Episcopacy assumes the responsibilities of caring and honoring functions of the bishops which includes: ceremonial recognition of those bishops entering the retired relationship following Jurisdictional conference, attention to the needs of newly-elected bishops, a responsibility which begins at the moment of election, and recognition and hospitality for all Episcopal leaders within the jurisdiction in consultation with the Local Arrangements Committee.
- The Chairperson of Committee on Episcopacy in consultation with the NCJ Conference Secretary and the Chairperson of the Local Arrangements Committee will determine the presiding officers for sessions of the NCJ Conference. The President of the College of Bishops shall preside at the opening business session.
- Committee on Investigation
There shall be a Committee on Investigation consisting of seven elders in full connection, with not more than one elder from each annual conference and two lay observers. Five reserve elders and one reserve lay observer also shall be elected. The committee shall be elected on nomination of the college of Bishops, and shall elect a chair at the site of Jurisdictional Conference. See The 2016 Book of Discipline.
- JURISDICTIONAL MISSION COUNCIL
The Mission of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church is, by the call of God, to make disciples of Jesus Christ by providing spiritual leadership.
The Vision of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church is of holy, bold disciples of Jesus Christ living in unique and connected faith communities energized by dynamic spiritual leadership, both lay and clergy.
The Core Process of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church is to:
- Provide connections for unique leadership, spiritual and outreach development across the North Central Jurisdiction, and
- Provide for the election and assignment of bishops in the North Central Jurisdiction.
- The Jurisdictional Mission Council shall consult with the College of Bishops and the North Central Jurisdiction Association of Conference Directors of Connectional Ministries in order to:
- Support the vision and mission of the Church and the development of models for that mission within the jurisdiction.
- Constantly test the structures against the stated vision and mission.
- Establish criteria for funding and evaluation of programs receiving funding.
- Make annualized budget allocations to programs in the jurisdiction.
- Prepare a financial budget for the succeeding quadrennium to submit for NCJ Conference action.
- Oversee the investments within the jurisdiction.
- Review, each quadrennium, the NCJ Plan of Organization and Rules of Order and propose amendments to the same to the Jurisdictional Conference for its consideration.
- The membership of the Jurisdictional Mission Council shall consist of the following:
- One person elected by each annual conference within the jurisdiction.
- Seven (7) to ten (10) members-at-large at the discretion of and nominated by the Jurisdictional Committee on Nominations from the pool of names submitted by annual conference delegations and elected by the Jurisdictional Conference;
- Two Directors of Connectional Ministries as selected by the NCJ Association of Directors of Connectional Ministries.
- In addition, the following designated persons will serve the quadrennium in which they are named:
- One bishop selected by the College of BishopsThe NCJ Treasurer
- The NCJ Conference Secretary
- The NCJ Coordinator of Communications as selected by the NCJ Mission Council Executive Committee.
- The Jurisdictional Committee on Nominations shall be faithful to the commitments of the United Methodist Church to racial and ethnic inclusiveness, shall give consideration to the expertise needed to fulfill the functions of the Mission Council, and shall provide for full participation of clergy and laity.
- Organizational Structure and Meetings
- There shall be an Executive Committee of the Mission Council comprised of:
- a) A chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary elected by the Jurisdictional Mission Council;
- b) One of the two (2) DCMs serving on the Mission Council as selected by the NCJ Association of Directors of Connectional Ministries;
- c) The bishop selected by the NCJ College of Bishops to serve as a member of the Mission Council;
- d) The NCJ Treasurer;
- e) The NCJ Conference Secretary;
- f) The NCJ Coordinator of Communications as selected by the Mission Council Executive Committee.
- The Jurisdictional Mission Council shall meet to organize by October 30th in the year of the Jurisdictional Conference. It shall have the authority to organize as it deems necessary. Organization shall include the election of officers and orientation of the membership. In addition to the organizational meeting, the full council shall meet two additional times during the quadrennium:
- a) The agenda for the second meeting shall include evaluation of the effectiveness of the ministry programs funded in the current quadrennium.
- b) The agenda for the third meeting shall include establishing recommendations for the allocation of funds for the quadrennium and setting the budget. Representatives from funded ministry groups, emerging ministries, networks, and other appropriate resource persons shall be invited and encouraged to be present for all full council meetings at their own expense. They shall have voice but not vote except when invited to do so.
- c) The Executive Committee shall have the discretion to meet as needed.
- Periodic consultations with the College of Bishops and the Jurisdictional Association of Conference Directors of Connectional Ministries would be highly desirable for exchange of information and resources and opening of possibilities for new ministries to be supported. These may be arranged at the behest of the Mission Council, the College of Bishops, or the council directors. Consultations between any of these bodies shall be coordinated in such a manner as to minimize travel and the total number of jurisdictional meetings.
- In order for the Jurisdictional Mission Council to understand the scope and nature of its ministry across the jurisdiction, each funded committee, agency or program of the North Central Jurisdiction shall have a member of the Jurisdictional Mission Council as its link or liaison to the Mission Council. During the quadrennium, the liaisons shall attend meetings and events of the committee or agency, receive its minutes, publications and financial reports, and act as a reminder to the affiliated groups of their “goal integrity” in regards to funding.
- Financial Administration and the Jurisdictional Conference
- On the first day of the Jurisdictional Conference, the Mission council shall present a proposed budget for the ensuing quadrennium, and based upon that proposed budget, determine the amounts to be apportioned to the annual conferences. All additional requests for funds shall be referred to this council.
- At the final business session of the Jurisdictional Conference, the council shall present for action a revised budget with appropriate adjustments in conference apportionments. The Jurisdictional Mission Council shall recommend to the Jurisdictional Conference for action the per diem and travel expense of all jurisdictional delegates and others attending Conference in an official capacity.
- a) The report of attendance by the NCJ Conference secretary shall be the basis for paying the per diem to the delegates to the Jurisdictional
- b) The total expense for travel shall be paid to the delegate who is present and seated. If, during the session of the conference, a reserve delegate is seated in the delegate’s place, the delegate shall adjust the travel reimbursement with the reserve delegate on the basis of the time served by
- PROCEDURES FOR ANNUAL CONFERENCE NOMINATIONS TO GENERAL AND JURISDICTIONAL AGENCIES
The annual conferences shall select the nominees for membership on the various general and jurisdictional councils, boards and commissions in accordance with the requirements of The 2016 Book of Discipline and the Plan of Organization of the Jurisdictional Conference. It is strongly urged that bishops be full participants in this process.
- To secure nominations for general church councils, boards and commission, the Jurisdictional Conference secretary shall prepare and send as may be necessary the nominating forms for general church councils, boards, and committees to the Annual Conference secretaries. All nominations from the various conferences shall be returned to the Jurisdictional Conference secretary within one week after the close of the annual conference session and no later than fifteen days prior to the convening of Jurisdictional Conference.
- To secure nominations for jurisdictional councils, boards and committees, the Jurisdictional Conference secretary shall send nominating forms with instructions to delegation chairpersons by November 1 preceding the opening of the next Jurisdictional Conference. All nominations from the various conferences shall be returned to the Jurisdictional Conference secretary by February 15 prior to the Jurisdictional Conference.
- The Committee on Nominations shall utilize worksheets prepared by the Jurisdictional Conference secretary proving the following information relative to the general church councils, boards and commissions;
- Number of persons to be nominated; tenure if other than the quadrennium;
- Names of incumbent members identified as being eligible or ineligible and including the conferences which they represent;
- The names of persons each annual conference is nominating and the particular general church councils, boards or commissions to which they are being nominated;
- Number of nominees from each annual conference in ratio relative to annual conference membership within the jurisdiction;
- Relative representation as indicated in The 2016 Book of Discipline.
- Each annual conference nominating group shall be encouraged to give strong consideration to returning effective agency members for a second four-year term. No person shall be eligible to serve on any general church council, board or commission for more than the time provided in The 2016 Book of Discipline.