March 31: Deadline to nominate delegates to 2016 General & Jurisdictional Conferences


By Dr. David B. Russell,
Secretary, Memphis Conference

The various annual conferences of The United Methodist Church are the legislative bodies of the church. When your local Charge Conference elects delegates to Annual Conference, you are sending your representative to speak and act on your behalf on issues that face our Memphis Conference. These lay delegates, alongside the clergy delegates make decisions about programs, priorities, and budgets.
One of those responsibilities is to elect the delegates who represent the Memphis Conference when the General (world-wide) Conference and Jurisdictional (Southeastern United States) Conference meet in the coming year (2016).
There are an equal number of lay delegates and clergy delegates in the Annual Conference as well as at the General and Jurisdictional Conferences.
At Annual Conference that meets May 31-June 3, 2015 in Jackson,TN, your representatives will elect two lay members and two clergy members to be our representatives to General Conference that will meet May 10-20, 2016 in Portland, OR; and two lay and two clergy members to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference that will meet July 13-16, 2016 in Lake Junaluska, NC. The Jurisdictional delegates will also serve as alternate delegates to General Conference. Alternate lay and clergy delegates to the Jurisdictional Conference will also be elected.
Clergy delegates are selected from clergy members in full connection and are elected by deacons and elders in full connection, associate members, provisional members who have completed their educational requirements and local pastors who have completed either the Course of Study or have an M. Div. degree and have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appointment immediately preceding the election.
Lay delegates will be selected from those who meet the criteria as stated in the 2012 Discipline of The United Methodist Church:
36. Article V.—The lay delegates to the General and jurisdictional or central conferences shall be elected by the lay members of the annual conference or provisional annual conference without regard to age, provided such delegates shall have been professing members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years next preceding their election, and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election, and are members thereof within the annual conference electing them at the time of holding the General and jurisdictional or central conferences.
Any member of the Memphis Conference, lay or clergy, may nominate persons to run for these representative positions.
All nomination forms, both lay and clergy, must be signed by one’s District Superintendent.
Here are links to the nomination forms:

The completed form must be received by the District Superintendent by March 31, 2015. This is necessary to print ballots to be used for delegate elections and to publish the slate of lay and clergy nominees to the delegates to the Memphis Annual Conference 2015 session. The election process does allow for write-in candidates during each ballot at Annual Conference. Those submitting nominations by the March 31 deadline will be listed on the printed ballots.