Lay Ministry: General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegate Elections at 2014 Annual Conference

December 04, 2013

General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegate Elections at 2014 Annual Conference

In June, our North Alabama Annual Conference will elect delegates to the 2016 General Conference and the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference.   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, our 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, at the 2013 North Alabama Conference we voted to hold our delegate elections at the 2014 Annual Conference session.

North Alabama has a system of self-nomination for laypersons interested in serving on the delegation. I encourage you to read the information below and then complete your online nomination form by February 1, 2014.  Also, please share this information with other North Alabama United Methodist laity who may feel called to serve in this capacity.

Steve Lyles
Conference Lay Leader


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.  At the 2014 North Alabama Annual Conference (to be held June 1-3 at Birmingham-Southern College), North Alabama will elect four lay delegates and four clergy delegates for the 2016 General Conference. This is a decrease from 2012 when the Conference elected six lay and six clergy delegates.

In addition to General Conference delegates, 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.  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.

We will also elect three reserve lay and three reserve clergy delegates for Jurisdictional Conference in accordance with the standing rules of the Annual Conference.

According to the 2012 Book of Discipline, laypersons who have been a member of a United Methodist church within the bounds of the North Alabama Conference for at least two years and active for at least four years are eligible to serve as delegates. 


Deadline for Nominations is February 1, 2014

Lay Delegate nomination form:

Lay Delegate Process

  1. Any nominee must qualify in accordance with the 2012 Book of Discipline ¶36.
  2. Each person should submit her/his nomination on the Lay Delegate Nomination Form. This form is available online at All information must be provided as requested on the form.
  3. Following the submission of the web form, a photo of the nominee should be e-mailed no later than February 1, 2014, to, or mail photo to:
    Office of Communication
    Attn: Lyn Cosby
    898 Arkadelphia Road
    Birmingham AL 35204
  4. The 2014 PreConference Book will include nominees’ statements and pictures. All members of 2014 Annual Conference will receive a copy of this publication prior to the Annual Conference gathering.
  5. Nominees’ statements and pictures will also be posted on the North Alabama Conference website ( by March 1, 2014.
  6. In addition, all lay nominees who turn in a self-nomination form by February 1, 2014, will be invited to record a 90 second video to be posted on the Conference website with their submitted nomination statement. The Office of Communication staff will record each nominee’s video and post it online. There will be three opportunities for a nominee to have her/his video recorded – Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at the United Methodist Center in Birmingham; Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at the United Methodist Center in Birmingham; and Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at a location TBA north of Birmingham.

Procedures at Annual Conference Session

  • 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.


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