Standing Rules


The Standing Rules of the North Alabama Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church have guided our work and ministry for many years. Each revision of our Standing Rules has not only helped to order our work together, but it has enabled us to live into our call to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Ministry is always evolving and the call of God compels us into new and renewed ways of doing ministry; therefore, the current version of our Standing Rules, adopted in June 2014, amended on June 2, 2015, and editorial updates made in March 2015, 2017, and 2018, have needed minor revisions as it relates to clarity and structure. 

At the request of Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, a Standing Rules Working Group was established to examine and revise the Standing Rules to be presented to the 2020 North Alabama Annual Conference. Members of the Standing Rules Working Group include: Danette Clifton, Rev. Sherill Clontz, Rev. Dedric Cowser (chair), Rev. Ron Schultz, Rev. John Fleischauer, Linda Holland, Terry McElheny, and Rachel Grace McKelvy.

This page contains resources related to the proposed changes, as well as frequently asked questions which will be updated on a regular basis. If you have questions about the proposed  changes, please email

Resource Documents

Use the following links to access resources related to the proposed changes of the Standing Rules:


Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is offered alongside the proposed Standing Rules changes and provides a summary of the proposed changes, as well as an overview of the process that led to those changes.


Proposed Final Text

The proposed final text is the full text of what will become the Standing Rules of the Conference if adopted by the Annual Conference session. UPDATED September 15, 2020 to reflect the additional changes included in the Addendum.


Annotated Markup

 The annotated markup provides a detailed, line-by-line explanation of what changes are being proposed to the current Standing Rules as well as a more detailed rationale for those changes.



The addendum to the proposed Standing Rules update reflects changes to the proposed update that address additional needs identified as a result of the unique circumstances of the 2020 Annual Conference session. 

Frequently Asked Questions

This section will be regularly updated. If you have questions not answered here, please email


Why are these changes being proposed?

The Book of Discipline offers Annual Conferences considerable discretion in a number of areas, ranging from how Annual Conference leadership is identified to procedures for voting during the Annual Conference session. Since the current Standing Rules were originally adopted in 2014, much has changed in how the Conference functions. The hope is that these changes will not only update the Standing Rules to reflect the current context of the Conference, but also to create a framework that will allow for the flexibility to adapt to future changes.


What exactly is changing? 

The full list of changes can be found in the annotated markup, which offers a side-by-side comparison of the current Standing Rules and the changes being proposed. Highlights include:

  • Clarifying details about Conference-level leadership teams such as aligning the Standing Rules with current practices, providing basic rules of procedure for team meetings, and addressing topics such as the election of officers and filling of vacancies in the absence of specific provisions of the Standing Rules or Book of Discipline.
  • Offering more technical details and procedures for the Annual Conference session including the election of officers (such as Conference Secretary, Parliamentarian, etc.), providing updated voting procedures, and developing procedures for special sessions of the Annual Conference. 

It should be noted that the majority of changes do not substantively change the current structure or operation of the Conference. Rather, the goal with these changes was to align the Standing Rules with established procedures and provide greater clarity and consistency across the Conference.


When will these changes go into effect?

If adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Annual Conference members present and voting as required by §2.12 of the current Standing Rules, the proposed changes will go into effect at the adjournment of the Annual Conference session.

Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.