Discipline ¶247

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  ¶ 247. Powers and Duties-1. The charge conference shall be the connecting link between the local church and the general Church and shall have general oversight of the church council(s).
2. The charge conference, the district superintendent, and the pastor shall organize and administer the pastoral charge and churches according to the policies and plans herein set forth. When the membership size, program scope, mission resources, or other circumstances so require, the charge conference may, in consultation with and upon the approval of the district superintendent, modify the organizational plans; provided that the provisions of ¶ 243 are observed.
3. The primary responsibilities of the charge conference in the annual meeting shall be to review and evaluate the total mission and ministry of the church (¶¶ 120-124), receive reports, and adopt objectives and goals recommended by the church council that are in keeping with the objectives of The United Methodist Church.
4. The charge conference recording secretary shall keep an accurate record of the proceedings and shall be the custodian of all records and reports, and with the presiding officer, shall sign the minutes. A copy of the minutes shall be provided for the district superintendent, and a permanent copy shall be retained for church files. When there is only one local church on a charge, the secretary of the church council shall be the secretary of the charge conference. When there is more than one church on a charge, one of the secretaries of the church councils shall be elected by the charge conference to serve as its secretary.
5. a) It is strongly recommended that the charge conference elect a church historian in order to preserve the history of each local church. The responsibilities of the historian are to keep the historical records up to date; serve as chairperson of the committee on records and history, if any; cooperate with the annual conference commission on archives and history; provide an annual report on the care of church records and historical materials to the charge conference; and also provide, with the pastor and the committee on records and history, if any, for the preservation of all local church records and historical materials no longer in current use. Records and historical materials include all documents, minutes, journals, diaries, reports, letters, pamphlets, papers, manuscripts, maps, photographs, books, audiovisuals, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, or any other documentary material, regardless of form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to any provisions of the Discipline in connection with the transaction of church business by any local church of The United Methodist Church or any of its constituent predecessors. The church historian may be a member of the church council. This person may also hold another elected position on the council.  
    b) There may be a local church committee on records and history, chaired by the church historian, to assist in fulfilling these responsibilities.
  6. Each charge is encouraged to be inclusive in the make-up of the council so that all segments of the congregation are represented.
7. The charge conference may establish a limit to the consecutive terms of office for any or all of the elected or appointed officers of the local church, except where otherwise mandated. It is recommended that no officer serve more than three consecutive years in the same office.
8. The charge conference shall examine and recommend to the district committee on ordained ministry, faithfully adhering to the provisions of ¶ 311.2b, candidates for the ordained ministry who have been professing members in good standing of The United Methodist Church for at least two years; whose gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and call to the ministry clearly establish them as candidates; and who have met the educational requirements. It is out of the faith and witness of the congregation that men and women respond to God’s call to ordained ministry. Every local church should intentionally nurture candidates for ordained ministry and provide spiritual and some financial support, including the Ministerial Education Fund, for their education and formation as servant leaders for the ministry of the whole people of God.
9. The charge conference shall examine and recommend, faithfully adhering to the provisions of ¶ 312, renewal of candidacy of candidates for the ordained ministry.
10. The charge conference shall examine and recommend to the responsible Church agency any candidates for Church-related vocations.
11. The charge conference shall inquire annually into the gifts, labors, and usefulness of the lay speakers and certified lay ministers related to the charge and recommend to the district and/or conference committee on lay speaking those persons who have met the standards set forth for a local church lay speaker and/or for certified lay speaker  and certified lay minister (¶¶ 267-270).
12. The charge conference shall receive reports annually on all local church organized Volunteer In Mission (UMVIM) teams, and the total number of local church participants in any UMVIM team, and shall forward the combined report to the annual conference and the general church through the regular annual local church statistical report.
13. The charge conference shall in consultation with the district superintendent set the compensation of the pastor and other staff appointed by the bishop.6
14. As soon as practicable after the session of annual conference, each district superintendent or designated agent shall notify each local church in the district what amounts have been apportioned to it for World Service, conference benevolences and other general Church, jurisdictional, and annual conference funds. In preparation for and at the charge conference, it shall be the responsibility of the district superintendent, the pastor, and the lay member(s) of the annual conference and/or the church lay leader(s) to interpret to each charge conference the importance of these apportioned funds, explaining the causes supported by each of them and their place in the total program of the Church. The World Service Fund is basic in the financial program of The United Methodist Church. World Service on apportionment represents the minimum needs for the mission and ministry of the Church. Conference benevolences represent the minimum needs for mission and ministry in the annual conference. Payment in full of these apportionments by local churches is the first benevolent responsibility of the church (¶ 812).  
15. The charge conference shall receive and act on the annual report from the pastor concerning the membership. (See ¶ 231.)
16. In those instances where there are two or more churches on
a pastoral charge, the charge conference may provide for a charge or parish council, a chargewide or parish treasurer, and such other officers, commissions, committees, and task groups as necessary to carry on the work of the charge.
17. In those instances where there are two or more churches on a pastoral charge, the charge conference may elect a chargewide or parish committee on lay leadership, a chargewide or parish committee on pastor-parish relations, a chargewide or parish committee on finance, and a chargewide or parish board of trustees in such instances where property is held in common by two or more churches of the charge. All churches of the charge shall be represented on such chargewide or parish committees or boards. Chargewide or parish organization shall be consistent with disciplinary provisions for the local church.
18. In instances of multiple church charges, the charge conference shall provide for an equitable distribution of parsonage maintenance and upkeep expense or adequate housing allowance (if annual conference policy permits) among the several churches.
19. The charge conference shall promote awareness of and
concurrence with Policies Relative to Socially Responsible Investments (¶ 716), the Social Principles (¶¶ 160-166), and The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church.
20. If any charge conference initiates, joins, monitors, or terminates a boycott, the guidelines in The Book of Resolutions, 2004, should be followed. The General Conference is the only body that can initiate, empower, or join a boycott in the name of The United Methodist Church.
21. When authorized by the district superintendent and the district board of church location and building, the charge conference may provide for the sponsoring of satellite congregations.
22. The charge conference shall have such other duties and responsibilities as the general, jurisdictional, or annual conference may duly commit to it.
  
6. See Judicial Council Decisions 213, 252, 461.
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