Sisters and brothers in Christ, I continue to lift you in prayer during this time. We are truly living in a liminal space, as we seek to plan for the future. In his June 1, 2020 article, entitled “Begin in person gatherings with care” (https://michiganumc.org/begin-in-person-gatherings-with-care/) Bishop Bard shared that for this year only all annual meetings will be Charge Conferences.
This document will serve as guidelines for the Fall 2020 Charge Conferences.
The description of the Charge Conference are outlined in Paragraphs 246-251 in the United Methodist Book of Discipline.
For reference, Paragraph 247.2 states: “The membership of the Charge Conference shall be all members of the Church Council or other appropriate body, together with retired ordained ministers and retired diaconal ministers who elect to hold their membership in said Charge Conference and any others as my be designated in the Discipline.”
Staff Parish and Charge Conference meetings will be held via Zoom. As we cannot predict whether the COVID-19 infection will increase in the Fall months or not, it will be safer to continue to follow CDC guidelines for staying safe.
Liz and I will be developing the schedule for Charge Conference meetings. We ask that if you know dates that you are unavailable due to vacation or attendance at workshops or other reasons, please let us know as soon as possible, so that we may accommodate your availability in the schedule of Charge Conferences.
In consideration of those who may be vulnerable in your congregations, only church leaders are required to attend Charge Conferences. If other church members wish to attend, that is permitted. You know your faith communities best and would be able to facilitate who would still like to be part of the Charge Conference gathering.
Each meeting will last approximately 1:15 hours.
Meeting with Pastor and Staff Parish Committee, followed by
Meeting with Church leadership to present action items for a vote
The Action Items are included in the Business of the Church Conference document
A recording secretary is still required for the Charge Conference
Note: It is imperative that all documents be completed at least 10 days before the Charge Conference. Click HERE to visit the Forms page located on the Michigan Conference website under the Resources tab.
Charge Conferences will be scheduled on weekday evenings, all day Saturdays and Sunday afternoons.
If your church does not have strong internet capabilities, please reach out to another church in the area which has stronger signals in order to participate in a Zoom meeting.
This will be a new process for all of us. Please be patient and understanding as we begin to work through the possible complications online Charge Conferences may cause. Feel free to ask questions as we journey through this process together.
Rev. Dr. Margie R. Crawford
Midwest District Superintendent