¶ 607. Connectional Ministries-Each annual conference is responsible to focus and guide the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church within its boundaries by: 1. envisioning the ministries necessary to live out the mission of the church in and through the annual conference; 2. creating and nurturing relationships and connections among the local, district, annual conference, and general church ministries; 3. providing encouragement, coordination, and support for the ministries of nurture, outreach, and witness in districts and congregations for the transformation of the world; 4. ensuring the alignment of the total resources of the annual conference to its mission; 5. developing and strengthening ethnic ministries, including ethnic local churches and concerns; 6. providing for advocacy and monitoring functions to ensure that the church is consistent with its stated values.
It is recommended that each annual conference have a director of connectional ministries or designated person to focus and guide the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church within the annual conference.
a) The director may be lay or clergy.
b) The director shall serve as an officer of the annual conference and shall sit with the cabinet when the cabinet considers matters relating to coordination, implementation, or administration of the conference program, and other matters as the cabinet and director may determine.
c) In partnership with the bishop and cabinet and the elected leadership of the conference, the director of connectional ministries shall have the following primary responsibilities:
(1) to serve as steward of the vision of the annual conference, including the development, clarification, interpretation, and embodiment of the vision;
(2) to serve as leader of the continuous process of transformation and renewal necessary for the annual conference to be faithful to our Christian identity in a changing world;
(3) to ensure alignment of the total resources of the conference to its vision;
(4) to ensure the connections among the local, district, annual conference, and general church ministries for the purpose of networking, resourcing, and communicating their shared ministry.
The Conference Lay Leader-1. The conference lay leader is the elected leader of conference laity and will have responsibility for fostering awareness of the role of the laity both within the congregation and through their ministries in the home, workplace, community, and world in achieving the mission of the Church and for enabling and supporting lay participation in the planning and decision-making processes of the annual conference, district, and local church in cooperation with the bishop, district superintendents, and pastors.
2. The conference lay leacder shall relate to the organized lay groups in the conference such as United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Youth, and Scouting Ministries, encourage and support their work, and help them coordinate their activities. The conference lay leaders shall also have the general responsibility in: (1) developing the advocacy role for laity in the life of the Church; (2) increasing the participation of laity in the sessions and structure of the annual conference; and (3) encouraging laypersons in the general ministry of the Church.
3. The conference lay leader shall be the chairperson of the conference board of laity, or its equivalent structure, and shall be a member of the annual conference, the conference council on ministries or equivalent structure, the executive committee, if any, of the conference council on ministries, the conference committee on nominations, the conference committee on episcopacy, and the committee planning annual conference sessions; and may be designed by virtue of office to membership on any conference agency by the annual conference.
4. The conference lay leader shall be responsible for presenting a report to the annual conference.
5. The conference lay leader may serve on the conference board of ordained ministry and will participate in the Service of Ordination at annual conference.
6. The conference lay leader shall meet with the cabinet when matters relating to the coordination, implementation, or administration of the conference program, or other matters as the cabinet may determine are on the agenda.
7. The conference lay leader will meet regularly with the Bishop to discuss the state of the annual conference, the Church, and the needs for ministry both locally and globally.
8. The conference lay leader shall ensure that the annual conference has a conference director of lay speaking ministries filled in the manner determined by the annual conference and the conference lay leader shall participate in Lay Speaking Ministries.
9. The conference lay leader shall be elected for a term of not less than four years by the annual conference as the annual conference may determine. The method of nomination and term of office shall be determined by the annual conference. Associate lay leader(s), to work with the conference lay leader, may be elected by the annual confernece as it may determine. The conference lay leader and associate lay leader(s) will receive reasonable reimbursement or approved dues and expenses necessary for their ministry.
10. The conference lay leader shall be a member of the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders.
11. This legislation shall take effect immediately upon adjournment of the 2004 General Conference.