Discipline ¶705

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  ¶  705. General Agency Membership-The people of God are called to faithful discipleship in the name of Jesus Christ. “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). In response to God’s call, some are called forth from local congregations to fulfill the common mission of The United Methodist Church as an expression of the Church made visible in the world. This call includes the invitation to some to be in ministry with others who together seek to fulfill the vision for the Church as members of general agencies. Such persons come to this ministry as servants of the whole Church.
The following provisions shall govern the nomination and election of the voting membership of those general agencies to which the jurisdictional conferences elect and central conferences nominate members.5  All lay voting members of boards and agencies shall be professing members of The United Methodist Church and active in local churches unless otherwise specified by the Book of Discipline. All provisions pertaining to the nomination and election of general agency members shall take effect immediately upon the adjournment of the General Conference that enacts them. The secretary of the General Conference shall coordinate the processes pertaining to nominations and elections of general agency members.
1. Nominations by Conferences-a) Each annual and missionary conference in the United States, upon recommendation from a committee composed of the bishop and the general and jurisdictional conference delegation, and having allowed opportunity for nominations from the floor, shall elect persons to be submitted to a jurisdictional pool. The jurisdictional nominating committee shall select persons for election to the following general agencies: Connectional Table; General Board of Church and Society; General Board of Discipleship; General Board of Global Ministries; General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; General Board of Pension and Health Benefits; The United Methodist Publishing House; General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns; General Commission on Communication; General Commission on Religion and Race; and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Jurisdictional conferences may decide that persons elected by the annual and missionary conferences in the United States for inclusion in the jurisdictional pool shall not serve as members of the jurisdictional nominating committee.
    b) Each annual and missionary conference in the United States shall nominate the persons most recently elected as delegates to the General Conference to the jurisdictional pool. In addition, it shall nominate at least fifteen and not more than forty-five persons to the jurisdictional pool, including, where available, at least two racial and ethnic persons from each of the ethnic groups Asian American, African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Pacific Islanders; and where available at least one and not more than five persons in each of the following seven categories: (1) clergy (including at least one woman), (2) laywomen, (3) laymen, (4) youth
(¶ 710.3), (5) young adults (¶ 710.3), (6) older adults, and (7) persons with disabilities. Elected members of General and Jurisdictional Delegations, and others nominated by their Annual Conference shall list all of the categories for which they qualify, i.e., nationality, age, gender, ethnic origin, etc., and shall be eligible to be nominated by the Jurisdictional Nominating Committee to a General Agency in any one of the categories for which a delegate is qualified.
c) Each central conference or a body authorized by it shall nominate to each general program board membership at least one person from each of the following three categories: (1) clergy, (2) laymen, and (3) laywomen to form a pool from which each board is to elect the additional members that are to come from the central conferences pursuant to ¶ 705.5.c. These lists shall be sent to the Connectional Table for use by the general agencies in electing additional members.
d) All nominees shall list one to three preferences for agency membership. In addition all nominees shall prepare an up to one-hundred-word biographical statement listing experience, gifts, training, and other qualifications for general agency membership. Biographical statements for all persons in the central and jurisdictional conference pools shall be available to the nominating committee members in the meeting at which they make their nominations. Names and biographical data of all persons nominated by the annual and missionary conferences in the United States or the central conferences, but not elected, shall be forwarded by the jurisdictional or central conference secretary to the Connectional Table to be used by the general agencies as a pool from which additional members may be elected (§§ 5e, 6b).6
  2. Additional Nominations-In addition to the foregoing provisions (¶ 705.1), the Division on Ministries With Young People of the General Board of Discipleship shall nominate ten youth and ten young adults (¶ 710.3) to each jurisdictional pool, inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, size of church, and persons with disabilities.
3. Members of the general agencies shall be elected using the following formula:
    a) Five persons from each annual and missionary conference in the United States. At least thirty of these persons will be women elected by the Women’s Division process as members on the General Board of Global Ministries.
b) Five persons from each central conference.
c) Supplemental members-Each annual and missionary conference whose membership exceeds 75,000 (as determined by the official records of the denomination on December 31 of the year immediately preceding the General Conference) shall have the following supplemental members of general agencies:
  75,001-150,000: one supplemental member;
150,001-225,000: a total of two supplemental members; and
225,001 or more: a total of three supplemental members.
    d) A total of 124 additional at-large members for inclusiveness and expertise.
e) Fifty-three effective episcopal leaders.
f) The total membership of all general agencies shall not exceed 667.  
g) Each general agency shall elect at least one, but not more than three, member(s) with vote and voice from among the member churches of the Commission on Pan Methodist Cooperation and Union. In addition, it is recommended that each general agency elect at least one member without vote from among the other member churches of Churches Uniting in Christ. These members would be in addition to those otherwise specified in ¶ 705.3(a-f) above. The General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns shall assist general agencies in their compliance with this provision.
h) It is recommended that the membership of general agencies include both youth (¶ 256.3) and young adults. It is recommended that, wherever possible, at least 10 percent of the membership of each general agency be equally divided between youth and young adults. The youth and young adult membership of each general agency should be inclusive (consistent with ¶ 705.3i).
i) It is recommended that the membership of each of the general agencies seeks to be inclusive based on gender, racial and ethnic persons, age, persons with disabilities, and size of church. In order to ensure adequate representation of racial and ethnic persons (Asian American, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders), it is recommended that a jurisdiction’s membership on each general agency be at least 30 percent racial and ethnic persons and incorporate one-third clergy, one-third laymen, and one-third laywomen (except as provided in ¶¶ 1105, 1311). The episcopal members shall not be counted in the computation of the clergy membership.
j) The membership of the General Commission on United Methodist Men shall be elected in accordance with ¶ 535 and
¶ 2303.3. Other paragraphs of the Discipline notwithstanding, members of the Commission holding membership by virtue of office may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms. This legislation shall take effect upon the adjournment of the 2004 General Conference.
  4. Members identified in § 3a-e will be elected as follows:
    a) categories a and c (as applicable) shall be elected by the jurisdictional and central conferences, except for the members elected by the Women’s Division process;
b) categories b and c (as applicable) shall be elected by the central conferences;
c) category d shall be elected by the general agencies for inclusiveness and expertise.
d) The secretary of the General Conference shall assign the number of members to be elected to each general agency by each jurisdictional conference and the central conferences. The number of members will be determined on an equitable basis taking into consideration the total number to be elected by each jurisdiction and central conference.
  5. General Program Board Membership-a) Each general program board shall have the number of members specified in ¶¶ 1006, 1105, 1311, and 1407, or as determined by the secretary of the General Conference (see ¶ 705.4d).
    b) Jurisdictional Membership-Each jurisdiction shall elect the number of persons listed in the specific legislation for membership on each of the four general program boards. In the jurisdictional nominating process for membership on those boards, special attention shall be given to the inclusion of clergywomen, youth (¶ 256.3), young adults, older adults, people with disabilities, and persons from small membership churches. In order to ensure adequate representation of racial and ethnic persons (Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders), it is recommended that at least 30 percent of a jurisdiction’s membership on each general program board be racial and ethnic persons. It is
further recommended that the jurisdiction membership on each program board incorporate one-third clergy, one-third laymen, and
one-third laywomen (except as provided in ¶¶ 1104.1, 1311.2; see also ¶¶ 1311.6, 1407). The episcopal members shall not be counted in the computation of the clergy membership.7
c) Central Conference Membership-The total central conference membership in general agencies shall be 10 percent of the total membership of the general Agencies, allocated as follows: at least one from each region (Philippines, Europe, Africa); three each on the General Council on Finance and Administration, the General Commission on Archives and History, the General Commission on Communication, the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, the General Commission on Religion and Race, the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, the General Commission on United Methodist Men, and The United Methodist Publishing House; five each on the General Board of Church and Society and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; and seven (one from each Central Conference) on the General Board of Discipleship and the General Board of Global Ministries. It is recommended that the central conference membership on each program board incorporate one-third clergy, one-third lay men, and one-third lay women. The remainder shall be allocated asdetermined by the Commission on Central Conferences. GCFA will provide the expenses for the additional central conference members.
d) Episcopal Membership-The episcopal membership of the general program boards shall be not less than six nor more than eight members nominated by the Council of Bishops and elected by the General Conference (see exception, ¶ 1311.6). At least one of the episcopal members of each general program board shall be a central conference bishop.
    e) Additional Membership-(1) Additional members shall be elected by each general program board in order to bring into the board persons with special knowledge or background that will aid in the work of the agency, to consider differing theological perspectives, and to perfect the representation of racial and ethnic persons, youth (¶ 710.3), young adults (¶ 710.3), older adults, women and men, people with disabilities, and persons from small-membership churches. After the election of central conference members as provided in
¶ 705.5c, the remaining number of additional members shall be allocated by the secretary of the General Conference so as to insure to the extent possible that membership of each board reflects the proportionate membership of the jurisdictions based upon the combined clergy and lay membership. In so far as possible, the nominating committee shall select from the jurisdictional nominating pool for the election of persons to fill the additional membership positions from their jurisdictions insuring diversity as otherwise provided in The Book of Discipline (¶ 705.5b). Each general program board shall elect additional members as specified in general program board membership paragraphs. Insofar as possible, no more than one person shall be elected from each episcopal area. It is recommended that such additional membership shall maintain the one-third laymen, one-third laywomen, and one-third clergy balance.8
  (2) Consultation Membership-It is recommended that each general program board elect at least one member without vote from among the member churches of Churches Uniting in Christ, other than The United Methodist Church, as an additional member.
    f) Liaison Representatives-The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico (Iglesia Metodista Autonóma Affiliada de Puerto Rico) will have one liaison representative, at its own expense, to each of the general program agencies of The United Methodist Church.
  6. Other General Agencies-a) Each jurisdictional conference shall elect members from the jurisdictional pool nominated by the annual and missionary conferences in the United States (¶ 705.1) in accordance with the specific membership provisions of those agencies as set forth in the Book of Discipline: Connectional Table (¶ 906), General
Board of Pension and Health Benefits (¶ 1502.1a), The United Methodist Publishing House (¶ 1602), General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns (¶ 1906), General Commission on Communication (¶ 1807), General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (¶ 2104), and General Commission on Religion and Race (¶ 2003). The number of additional members to be elected shall be allocated by the secretary of the General Conference so as to insure to the extent possible that membership of each agency reflects the proportionate membership of the jurisdictions based upon the combined clergy and lay membership. In so far as possible the nominating committee shall select from the jurisdictional nominating pool for the election of persons to fill the additional membership positions from their jurisdictions insuring diversity as otherwise provided in The Book of Discipline (¶ 705.5b). This petition shall become effective at the end of the 2004 General Conference.
    b) Episcopal and additional members, if any, of the general agencies listed in ¶ 205.5a shall be nominated and elected by the procedures specified in the paragraphs listed in ¶¶ 705.1b, 705.1d, and 705.5a. The agencies shall consider names forwarded to them by the Connectional Table as having been nominated by the annual and missionary conferences in the United States or in the central conferences, but not elected by these conferences to general agency membership. Additional names may be considered in order to perfect the representation as provided in ¶ 705.5e.
  
5. See Judicial Council Decision 467.
6. See Judicial Council Decisions 520, 538.
7. See Judicial Council Decisions 451, 467.
8. See Judicial Council Decisions 377, 446, 520, 601.