Petition 80163

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Annual Conference Membership (80163-CO-¶32-C)

  ¶ 32. Article I.-The annual conference shall be composed of clergy members as defined by the General Conference, together with professing57  lay members elected by each charge, the diaconal ministers, the active deaconesses under episcopal appointment within the bounds of the annual conference,58  the conference president of United Methodist Women, the conference president of United Methodist Men, the conference lay leader, district lay leaders, the president or equivalent officer of the conference young adult organization, the president of the conference youth organization, the chair of the annual conference college student organization,59  and one young person between the ages of twelve (12) and seventeen (17) and one young person between the ages of eighteen (18) and thirty (30)60  from each district to be selected in such a manner as may be determined by the annual conference.61  In the annual conferences of the central conferences, the four-year participation and the two-year membership requirements may be waived by the annual conference for young persons under thirty (30)62  years of age. Such persons must be professing63  members of The United Methodist Church and active participants at the time of election.64  Each charge served by more than one clergy shall be entitled to as many lay members as there are clergy members. The lay members shall have been for the two years next preceding their election members of The United Methodist Church65  and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election.66
If the lay membership should number less than the clergy members of the annual conference, the annual conference shall, by its own formula, provide for the election of additional lay members to equalize lay and clergy membership of the annual conference.67
  lay and clergy members as defined by the General Conference.

Rationale

¶32 of the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (Section VI, Article I of the Constitution) has been amended 16 times since 1968. The lay and clergy members are also defined by the General Conference in ¶602 of the Discipline. These amendments have led to confusion about who...