At the 2014 North Alabama Annual Conference (to be held June 1-4 at Bill Battle Coliseum on the campus of Birmingham-Southern College), North Alabama will elect four clergy and four lay delegates for the 2016 General Conference. In addition, North Alabama will also elect four lay and four clergy delegates for the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference to be held at Lake Junaluska on July 13-16, 2016. Finally, North Alabama will also elect three reserve lay and three reserve clergy delegates for Jurisdictional Conference in accordance with the standing rules of the Annual Conference.
North Alabama has a system of self-nomination for laypersons interested in serving on the delegation, as well as a self-nomination process for clergy who feel called to serve as a delegate.
The deadline for self nominations was February 1, 2014.
Please read the information below and share this information with other North Alabama United Methodists who may feel called to serve in this capacity.
Only those nominees who are listed in the PreConference Book will be introduced at the 2014 Annual Conference Lay Orientation Session.
Any person who receives five (5) or more votes who has not submitted a Nomination Form must immediately complete one before the next ballot is taken. It is the responsibility of the person to request a Nomination Form from the Conference Lay Leader. Copies will not be duplicated for distribution at the sessions unless the nominee does so at her/his own expense.
All persons are urged to follow the process. Distributing late Nomination Forms at the site of Annual Conference is not encouraged.
According to the 2012 Book of Discipline, ¶35: “The clergy delegates to the General Conference and to the jurisdictional or central conference shall be elected from the clergy members in full connection and shall be elected by the clergy members of the annual conference or provisional annual conference who are deacons and elders in full connection, associate members, and those provisional members who have completed all of their educational requirements and local pastors who have completed course of study or an M. Div. degree and have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appointment immediately preceding the election.”
This means all North Alabama ordained elders and deacons in full connection are eligible to be elected as delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conference and therefore each clergy name will appear on the official ballot. In an effort to highlight those clergy who feel a calling and desire to serve as a clergy delegate and who are willing to make the commitment to serve on the North Alabama Conference delegation, they are encouraged to fill out the self-nomination form to help other clergy learn more about them. This submitted information plus a picture of that clergyperson will be printed in the 2014 PreConference Book.
In the past, Annual Conferences elected delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conference at the Annual Conference session held the calendar year preceding General Conference. However, in 2012, the North Alabama Conference delegation to General Conference proposed legislation, which was adopted by the General Conference, to allow Annual Conferences to elect delegates two annual conference sessions before the General Conference session. (2012 Book of Discipline ¶ 502.3) Last June, the 2013 North Alabama Conference voted to hold delegate elections at the 2014 Annual Conference session.
The 2016 General Conference, the top policy-making body of the United Methodist Church and the only body that officially speaks for the denomination, will meet in Portland, Oregon, on May 10-20, 2016. The 2016 General Conference will consist of approximately 850 delegates from all over the world who will vote on petitions and resolutions and revise the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. Each annual conference is allotted an equal number of lay and clergy delegates to General Conference based on the total number of laity and clergy in each conference.
The 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be held at Lake Junaluska on July 13-16, 2016. One of the important tasks of the Jurisdictional Conference is to elect and assign Bishops. Those elected to the Jurisdictional Conference serve as reserve delegates to General Conference in order of election.