SECTION I: RULES OF ORDER AND PROCEDURE
A. Applicability and Amendment of these Conference Rules
- The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall apply to any situation not covered by these rules.
- If any part of these rules conflicts with the current edition of the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, the Book of Discipline shall prevail.
- These standing rules for the North Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church shall apply to the annual conference as regularly scheduled and to all called sessions of the North Carolina Annual Conference until superseded.
- The terms “North Carolina Annual Conference,” “Annual Conference,” or “Conference” [note the capital letters] refer to The North Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. These terms refer to an organization. The term “annual conference” [in lower-case letters] refers to the yearly assembly, usually occupying several days in June, at which the North Carolina Annual Conference gathers to worship God and conduct business. The term session refers to one assembly of the North Carolina Annual Conference occurring on any part of one of those days or for a special or called session.
- These standing rules may be amended by a two-thirds vote on the next day after a proposed amendment has been presented in writing.
- These standing rules of The North Carolina Annual Conference shall become effective immediately upon adoption by the Annual Conference.
- The Official Record of the Attendees of the Annual Conference shall be the Registrations recorded by the Conference Registrar.
- Persons appearing on the Agenda, who are not members of the Annual Conference shall have the right to be granted the privilege of the floor in conformity with the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
- The Agenda of the Annual Conference shall be that one that is published in the Conference Workbook, and which is online at the annual conference website, and that it may be changed from time to time, as needed by the presiding officer.
- The annual conference session may begin with a worship service before the Call to Order.
B. Motions, Amendments, Reports and Resolutions
- Main motions presented to the Annual Conference shall be submitted in writing to the Conference Secretary prior to, or immediately following, presentation.
- Reports and recommendations coming from boards, agencies and committees of the Annual Conference to be included in the online posting shall be sent to the Conference Secretary, in a format acceptable to the Conference Secretary, on or before the deadline set by the secretary and published in the Annual Conference calendar.
- Resolutions to be presented to the annual conference, other than those coming from boards, agencies, and committees, shall be submitted to the Conference Secretary and the chairperson of the Committee on Resolutions and Reference and in a format acceptable to the Conference Secretary and the Committee on Resolutions and Reference with the deadline set in accordance to Section I, paragraph B.2 above, but not less than thirty (30) days prior to the opening of the annual conference, to allow time for review by the Conference Secretary, the Committee on Resolutions and Reference, and all members of the Annual Conference. Individuals and non-official organizations may submit only one resolution for consideration. Acceptable resolutions shall have a one thousand (1000) word limit.
- The Committee on Resolutions and Reference shall schedule all properly presented resolutions for consideration by the Annual Conference. The scheduling of resolutions from Conference boards or agencies will not constitute a recommendation for approval, disapproval, or referral. Any resolution coming from a source other than an Annual Conference board or agency will be reviewed by this committee, which shall then recommend to the Annual Conference approval, disapproval, or referral to another board or agency. With each report the Committee on Resolutions and Reference shall state the rationale for the recommendation.
- A resolution, motion, amendment or report is considered presented to the Annual Conference when it is distributed in official Annual Conference publications, and/or on the Conference website, or distributed to members on the floor of the annual conference after authorization by the Conference Secretary or the Assistant Secretary, and chairperson of the Committee on Resolutions and Reference. The expense for distributed copies shall be borne by the agency or person originating the resolution, and all copies distributed shall indicate the source of the resolution. No resolution shall be voted on unless it has been presented at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance. All resolutions shall be referred to the Committee on Resolutions and Reference, which shall report to the annual conference.
- Early in each annual conference, the Council on Finance and Administration shall present a proposed budget for consideration and debate, but not action. After consideration and debate, the proposed budget will lie on the table until the final report of the Council on Finance and Administration. Any motion to change the proposed budget may be considered, debated, and voted on, and if affirmed, will be referred to the Council on Finance and Administration. In its final report on the last day of business (See Section IV:B below) the Council on Finance and Administration will indicate their concurrence or nonconcurrence with any such motion before final passage of the budget.
C. Speeches and Presentations
Speeches from the floor shall be limited to three (3) minutes.
- A member may speak only once on any motion until all who desire to speak have done so, and then he/she may speak only one additional time.
- The chairperson of an agency, or someone designated by him/her, shall be allowed to speak last on his/her report even though the previous questions have been ordered. The presiding officer (bishop) may recognize the maker of a resolution to make one (1) speech in favor of her/his resolution even if the maker is not a voting member of the current annual conference session.
- Presentations and reports shall be limited to ten (10) minutes. This rule does not apply to sermons, orders of the day, or standing committee reports as listed in the Agenda.
- Members shall request the floor by raising the paddle or other similar instrument provided by the Conference Secretary for such purpose.
- Upon recognition by the presiding officer (bishop) the person requesting the floor shall proceed to the microphone designated by the presiding officer to speak.
- Upon obtaining the floor, a member shall clearly speak his/her name, clergy/laity, church/charge, and district before proceeding with debate or other speech.
- A call for the previous question must be stated in the form of a motion and follow the procedure outlined above.
- All votes shall be cast in the announced and scheduled meetings of the annual conference.
- The presiding officer (bishop) may dispense with the viva-voce (voice vote) method in favor of the show of hands or standing vote.
- There shall be no absentee voting, proxy voting, or voting by mail.
E. Election of Delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences
In the Annual Conference prior to the election of delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conference the Annual Conference Rules Committee shall propose the manner of election to be approved by Annual Conference. The method of election for the delegates for to General and Jurisdictional Conference will be by electronic voting device as arranged by the Conference Secretary.
- Prior to the convening of any annual conference that will elect delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences, the Conference Secretary will publish eligibility requirements and voting procedures for election of delegates.
- The election of a delegate becomes final immediately if the candidate is present and does not decline or if he/she is absent but has consented to be a candidate. A person who is absent and has not consented to his/her candidacy as a delegate shall not be elected.
- Episcopal Nominations–At the conclusion of an annual conference that conducts elections for clergy and lay delegates to General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference, the Conference’s presiding Bishop will convene the initial meeting of the entire newly elected delegation (clergy and laity). At this meeting, the officers of the delegation will be elected (chair, vice-chair, and secretary) and another meeting of the entire delegation will be set for the purpose of episcopal nominee selection. The next meeting will occur within a time period of 14 days from the conclusion of Annual Conference. The first clergy elected will be acknowledged as an automatic nominee for bishop. Other nominations will be received from members of the delegation. Such nominations will be made by secret ballot. Nominees can be any Elder in good standing in the NCCUMC. A delegate will be given the opportunity to speak regarding his/her nominee. A secret ballot vote will follow immediately. The vote will narrow the field of nominees to a number not to exceed 10% of the delegation. As soon as possible, officers of the delegation, or those whom they designate, will contact the nominees selected during this process and upon request share with them the results of the vote concerning their nomination. They will be given 10 days to discern God’s will for their ministries. Those who accept nomination must submit by July 5 a one-page biographical statement to the delegation Secretary, who will distribute all such statements to all members of the delegation. Before August 1, the delegation will meet and engage the nominees. This day of discernment will include each nominee’s making a presentation (10 minutes), responding to a set of questions composed by the delegation officers or those whom the officers designate (10 minutes), responding to questions from the floor of the meeting (10 minutes), and offering closing remarks (1 minute). Immediately after meeting with the nominees, the delegation will vote, perhaps several times, by written ballot. The nominee, who earns the delegation’s endorsement, must receive at least 60% of the votes cast. If after 5 votes the delegation present has not cast 60% (or more) of its ballots for one nominee, the delegation and the Annual Conference will not endorse an episcopal nominee in that election cycle. At the annual conference immediately before Jurisdictional Conference, the delegation’s nominee will make a brief speech and be endorsed (or not) by vote of the Annual Conference; endorsement by the Annual Conference requires at least 60% of the votes cast. If after 3 votes the Annual Conference members present have not cast 60% (or more) of their ballots for one nominee, the Annual Conference will not endorse an episcopal nominee in that election cycle. A nominee endorsed by the Annual Conference becomes the Annual Conference’s nominee for bishop.
Section II: DISTRICTS
A. Number of Districts—the number of districts shall be eight (8). A motion to change the number of districts must be presented in writing and must be considered no sooner than the day following its introduction. Any change in the number of districts shall be approved at one annual conference, and will not take effect for at least one year.
B. The Annual Conference shall elect the District Lay Leaders for a four-year term at the beginning of each quadrennium, at the first annual conference after the General Conference of The United Methodist Church upon nomination by each District Superintendent and the Annual Conference Lay Leader. After election, if a District Lay Leader position becomes vacant, it shall be filled by the same procedure, with the nominee serving as District Lay Leader until a District Lay Leader is elected at the next annual conference to complete the four-year term
Section III: CONFERENCE STRUCTURE
A. The membership of the Annual Conference is to be as outlined in the complete Lay/Clergy Equalization Plan presented for adoption at the 2012 Annual Conference. A complete report is in the 2012 Journal.
B. The Annual Conference structure is diagrammed on page 342 in the 2008 Conference Journal with adaptations as approved by the 2016 annual conference.
C. Tenure for membership for all persons on boards, agencies, commissions, committees, and ministry groups shall be four years with possibility of reelection for a second four-year term, except for the Board of Ordained Ministry on which (in accordance with the Book of Discipline) members can serve for three consecutive four-year terms.
D. Committees and Boards
- The Annual Conference Board of Trustees shall meet at least twice a year at times and places designated by the board. The annual meeting shall be held either at the annual conference or within thirty (30) days prior thereto.
- There shall be a Program and Planning Committee for the annual conference consisting of the Bishop; Assistant to the Bishop; the Conference Secretary; Conference Treasurer; the host District Superintendent; the Annual Conference Lay Leader; the Annual Conference Presidents of The United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, the United Methodist Youth Fellowship; the Executive Director of Connectional Ministries, and other persons selected by the Bishop. The committee shall determine the compensation and expense for invited speakers, who shall be paid from the annual conference expense fund. The committee will receive invitations and may also make recommendations for the site of the annual conference.
- On a rotating basis the Cabinet will designate a district each year as the host district for the annual conference. The host district will be responsible for ushers, flowers, and other similar items of hospitality related to the annual conference.
- The Committee on Worship, the Conference Secretary and the District Superintendents shall provide for all the details of the Memorial Service. The Conference Secretary shall serve as the chairman of this group.
- There shall be a Committee on Daily Minutes elected each year to examine and edit the daily minutes of the annual conference.
- There shall be a Committee on Appeals appointed quadrennially by the Bishop, composed of five members, whose duties shall be to hear appeals from the decisions of the several District Boards of Church Location and Building, or any other questions that may properly come before it.
- There shall be a Committee on Annual Conference Rules, which shall provide to the Annual Conference a document of standing rules and structure that the Annual Conference from time to time may adopt. This document shall be presented at the opening of the first session of each annual conference.
- There shall be a Committee on Resolutions and Reference, which shall perform the duties assigned to it in Section I:B, “Motions, Amendments, Reports and Resolutions.”
- There shall be a North Carolina Annual Conference Board of Institutions, Inc. which shall have the responsibility, upon consultation with Methodist Home for Children, Inc.; United Methodist Retirement Homes, Inc., Cypress Glen Retirement Community, North Carolina United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries, Inc.; Louisburg College, Inc.; Methodist University, Inc.; North Carolina Wesleyan College, Inc.; United Methodist Foundation, Inc., and any other related corporations which may be formed in the future, as appropriate, for nominating and electing forty (40) percent of all voting members of each of the boards of trustees of the affiliated institutions with the exception of the Methodist Retirement Homes, Inc. The North Carolina Annual Conference shall elect the trustees of the North Carolina Annual Conference Board of Institutions, Inc. in staggered four-year terms. (See 1992 Journal, page 320). No person may serve on more than one board of trustees of the institutions for which the Annual Conference elects trustees.
- There shall be a Structure Review Team which will annually evaluate the conference structure for effectiveness and faithfulness to the vision and mission of the Annual Conference, working in concert with the Connectional Table to propose changes in structure as needed. Ten persons, one from each Team of Ministry plus the Bishop, Executive Director of Conference Connectional Ministries, the Conference Treasurer, and the Conference Lay Leader, plus two at-large members, will be elected by the conference.
- North Carolina Annual Conference Connectional Table
a. Responsibilities of The Conference Connectional Table:
- to provide a forum for the understanding, casting forth, and implementing of the vision of the conference;
- to coordinate the mission, ministries, and resources of the Annual Conference;
- to link the Teams of Ministry (Leadership Team, Christian Formation Team, Outreach Ministry Team and Stewardship Team) and the agency to which they report;
- to provide for joint planning and the setting of priorities;
- to report to, and be amenable to the Annual Conference;
- to discern and articulate the vision of the conference;
- to provide stewardship of the mission, ministry, and resources of the conference and provide fiscal responsibility and establish policies and procedures to carry out the mission;
- to collaborate with the Council on Finance and Administration by:
- communicating the vision and priorities of the conference in preparation of budgets for apportioned funds that come before the Annual Conference Session;
- setting allocations of budget requests within totals as recommended by the Council on Finance and Administration to the Annual Conference Session.
- working with the Council on Finance and Administration to achieve consensus concerning total funds allocated to program agencies;
- enabling the flow of communication among the boards and agencies, districts and local churches through the Teams of Ministry. To help with the flow of communication one member of the Communications Committee will be assigned to each of the Teams of Ministry.
b. Membership of the Conference Connectional Table shall consist of twelve (12) at-large voting members, in equal distribution of male and female, no fewer than twenty-five percent of whom (25%) shall be from racial/ethnic minorities, with at least one youth. Voting members are the twelve at-large members and Conference Lay Leader. Other members with voice but no vote are:
- The Bishop;
- The following Extended Cabinet Members: Executive Director of Conference Connectional Ministries, Assistant to the Bishop, Executive Director of New Faith Communities, Conference Treasurer;
- Conference Team Coordinators
- Director of Communications.
c. Four Teams of Ministry–The agencies, boards and commissions defined by the current edition of the Book of Discipline will organize themselves according to the requirements outlined therein and will connect through the Teams of Ministry. The Teams of Ministry, using task forces or standing groups to plan and implement ministry and mission, will organize any ministry areas not prescribed by the Book of Discipline. Teams of Ministry are accountable to the Connectional Table for holding up and living out the vision affirmed by the Annual Conference, and for faithfully presenting ministry needs to the Connectional Table. Each Team is represented on the Connectional Table by three (3) at-large members with a chairperson and two rotating members. Rotating members are set in different classes and rotate on a two-year basis from Team to Team. At the end of each quadrennium, the chairpersons will rotate. The Teams are as follows:
- Leadership Team: Serves to equip leaders who implement the vision.
- Christian Formation Team: Serves to form and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ.
- Outreach Ministry Team: Serves to carry forth the ministry that transforms the world.
- Stewardship Team: Serves to empower ministry.
d. Conference Connectional Table Meeting Schedule—The Conference Connectional Table shall meet at least quarterly.
12. There shall be other boards and committees as required by the Book of Discipline including, but not limited to, the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the Conference Board of Laity, the Conference Committee on Episcopacy, the Conference Board of Pensions, the United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, conference council on youth ministry, and others.
E. Annual Conference Officers
- The Annual Conference Lay Leader shall be elected quadrennially at the first annual conference after General Conference. This nomination will be made in joint session of the Board of Laity and Cabinet. The nomination is to be made no later than October of the year prior to General Conference. Should a vacancy occur at any other time, it shall be filled by the same procedure, with the nominee serving as Lay Leader until a Conference Lay Leader is elected at the next annual conference. The Annual Conference Lay Leader shall serve as the chairperson of the Board of Laity.
- There shall be a Director of Ministerial Relations/Assistant to the Bishop with such duties and responsibilities as determined by the Annual Conference or assigned by the presiding Bishop.
- There shall be an Executive Director of Conference Connectional Ministries.
- There shall be a Conference Treasurer/Business Manager.
- There shall be an Annual Conference Secretary: The position of Annual Conference Secretary shall be continued on a part-time basis with those duties stipulated by the current edition of the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church and the North Carolina Annual Conference, with adequate funding provided. The Conference Secretary shall be elected at the beginning of each quadrennium, at the first annual conference after the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. The responsibilities of the Conference Secretary shall be determined by the Book of Discipline, the annual conference, and the bishop.
- The Annual Conference Statistician
- The position of Annual Conference Statistician shall be continued on a part-time basis with those duties stipulated by the current edition of the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, with adequate funding provided.
- The Conference Statistician shall be elected at the beginning of each quadrennium, at the first annual conference following the General Conference of The United Methodist Church.
- Compensation– The Council on Finance and Administration shall determine, subject to the approval of the Annual Conference, the compensation given officers for their services, as well as the methods and amounts for meeting expenses of these officers. The Conference Treasurer shall pay these amounts.
Section IV: FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION
A. The Conference Treasurer and all others receiving and disbursing funds from the Annual Conference shall be required to make audited statements annually, which the Conference Secretary will make available.
B. The Council on Finance and Administration shall present the budget for adoption at the annual conference only after all other matters having claims on the budget have been presented. (See Section I:B.6 above)
C . Tables I, II, and III shall be available in the Annual Conference Journal with individual church reports and charge totals as compiled by the Conference Statistician from each pastor’s reports.
Section V: THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE JOURNAL
A. The Annual Conference shall publish a Journal of The North Carolina Annual Conference each year.
B. The Conference Secretary shall be charged with the responsibility of editing and making contracts for the publication of the Annual Conference Journal, in keeping with regulations of the General Conference and of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. The editor shall have full authority to condense reports, memoirs, and other papers when necessary.
C. The Annual Conference Journal will be posted online, at The North Carolina Annual Conference website, making it accessible to everyone. Copies of the Journal will be provided to those who pre-order it, either in printed format, or computer compatible format, at a cost developed by the Conference Secretary. Order Forms will be available at the Annual Conference. The Conference Secretary shall have the discretionary authority to provide copies to other agencies of the General Church. Monies accruing from the pre-sale of copies will be credited to the Journal Account.
Section VI: DISPLAYS AT THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE
A. Display space shall be allocated by the Conference Secretary only to those agencies, boards, commissions, groups or circles of ministry that are officially sanctioned by the North Carolina Annual Conference or by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. “Officially sanctioned” is defined as having direct, official endorsement from the General Conference of The United Methodist Church or the North Carolina Annual Conference.
B. No board, agency or similar official group granted display space or similar privileges shall offer its display space to a group or agency that is not officially sanctioned by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church or the North Carolina Annual Conference.
C. Space may be provided in a separate “Ministry and Advocacy” area adjacent to the meeting place of Annual Conference for groups not officially sanctioned by The North Carolina Annual Conference or by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church but that are of interest to the members of the Annual Conference. Display tables and similar matters related to the Ministry and Advocacy area shall be allocated by the Conference Secretary.