¶ 636. Conference Committee on Episcopacy-1. There shall be a conference committee on episcopacy elected quadrennially by the annual conference at the session following the General Conference. The committee’s membership shall number at least seven, but no more than seventeen. One-fifth of the committee’s membership shall be appointed by the bishop. In addition to the lay and clergy members of the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy, who shall be ex officio members with vote, it is recommended that the committee consist of the following: one-third laywomen, one-third laymen, and one-third clergypersons, provided that one layperson shall be the conference lay leader. All lay members shall be professing members of local churches. Special attention shall be given to the inclusion of racial and ethnic persons, youth (¶ 256.2), young adults, older adults, and people with disabilities. No member of the staff of the annual conference or any of its agencies, nor an immediate family member of such staff, shall serve as a member of the committee, except that a member of the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy or the conference lay leader shall not be disqualified from membership as a result of this provision.83
Two or more conferences under the presidency of a single bishop may decide to have one committee on episcopacy, in which case each annual conference shall be represented as stated in the preceding paragraph and shall each elect its own representatives.
2. The committee shall meet at least annually. It shall be convened by the bishop and shall elect a chairperson, a vice chairperson, and a secretary. The bishop and/or chairperson are authorized to call additional meetings when desired.
3. The functions of the conference committee on episcopacy shall be:
a) To support the bishop of the area in the oversight of the spiritual and temporal affairs of the Church, with special reference to the area where the bishop has presidential responsibility.
b) To be available to the bishop for counsel.
c) To assist in the determination of the episcopal needs of the area and to make recommendations to appropriate bodies.
d) To keep the bishop advised concerning conditions within the area as they affect relationships between the bishop and the people of the conference agencies.
e) To interpret to the people of the area and to conference agencies the nature and function of the episcopal office.
f) To engage in annual consultation and appraisal of the balance of the bishop’s relationship and responsibilities to the area and annual conferences, the jurisdiction, general Church boards and agencies, and other areas of specialized ministry, including, at all levels, concern for the inclusiveness of the Church and its ministry with respect to sex, race, and national origin, and understanding and implementation of the consultation process in appointment-making.
g) To report needs for episcopal leadership to the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy through the duly elected conference members of that committee.
4. The conference council on finance and administration shall make provision in its budget for the expenses of this committee.
83. See Judicial Council Decisions 711, 778.