Charge Conference 2020
Resources to help you prepare for a virtual Charge Conference.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that works across any device. Learn more on Zoom’s website.
What to do if no one in our congregation has access to the internet?
Call or email your Assistant to the District Superintendent (AADS) who will help you decide if your church members will use the call-in feature of Zoom or whether it will be best to use a free conference call service that your AADS can set up for you.
What to do if only part of our congregation has internet access?
With Zoom, church members can either call into and listen to the Charge Conference or with access to the internet, you will be able to view the Charge Conference by video through Zoom.
If I call into the Charge Conference, how will I be able to see the matters before us for voting purposes?
Your pastor or church office will mail you a copy of the Charge Conference Minutes in advance of your Charge Conference.
I have never used Zoom before. What do I need to do in order to participate in a Zoom meeting?
Please download and install the Zoom app before your scheduled meeting. Once it’s time for your meeting, click the link or call the number provided to enter the meeting. If needed, view the tutorials above for further information.
Is there a cost for me to participate in the Zoom meeting?
There is no cost for participating in the Zoom meeting via the internet and a video connection. However, there may be long distance charges when calling in to participate in a Zoom meeting via your phone if you don’t have free long distance on your landline. Most cell phone plans include free long distance service.
How do I know the date of the Charge Conference for our church/charge?
You can find a list of Charge Conference dates above under “For Charge Conference.”
What if I need to change our Charge Conference date?
The Pastor will need to contact another pastor in your District and see if they are willing to change dates with you. It is imperative that you notify your Assistant to the District Superintendent (AADS) immediately to make them aware of the change.
How can I get individual help with Zoom?
Learn more about Zoom from the tutorials and videos above.
What to do if I don’t know the Conference Online Data Collection System (OLDCS) password for my church?
If you are the Pastor, please click on the forgot my password on the OLDCS login page and follow the instructions. The password or username reset links will be sent to the pastor’s Conference email. The reset link is only valid for one hour.
If you are not the Pastor please contact your Pastor and ask for the login information for the Church OR ask the Pastor to click on the forgot password on the login page and follow the instructions.
Do all the Charge Conference reports have to be completed by the date of the Charge Conference?
Yes – actually all Charge Conference reports must be completed 14 days before the date of your Charge Conference. The Charge Conference Minutes is the report which will be projected during your Zoom Charge Conference. Much of the information on the Charge Conference Minutes report auto-populates from the other required Charge Conference reports. Your Assistant to the District Superintendent (AADS) will be checking for completeness on all your reports preceding the date of the Charge Conference. If your Charge Conference reports are not completed 14 days prior to the date of your Charge Conference, it may be necessary to reschedule your Charge Conference. Please contact your AADS immediately if you foresee not being able to complete all reports 14 days before your scheduled Charge Conference.
How far in advance of my Charge Conference should all required reports be completed?
All Charge Conference reports must be completed 14 days before the date of your Charge Conference. The Charge Conference Minutes is the report which will be projected during your Zoom Charge Conference. Much of the information on the Charge Conference Minutes report auto-populates from the other required Charge Conference reports. Your Assistant to the District Superintendent (AADS) will be checking for completeness on all your reports preceding the date of the Charge Conference. If your Charge Conference reports are not completed 14 days prior to the date of your Charge Conference, it may be necessary to reschedule your Charge Conference. Please contact your AADS immediately if you foresee not being able to complete all reports 14 days before your scheduled Charge Conference.
What are the responsibilities for the pastor/Zoom screen sharer and recording secretary after the Charge Conference?
The pastor/Zoom screen sharer should be present on the Zoom meeting 15 minutes before the start time to greet church members and assist with any technical issues such as difficulty with audio or video and to identify any callers.
During the Charge conference, the pastor/Zoom screen sharer will need to be able to access the church(s) Online Data Collection page and project the Minutes report as well as a Worship PowerPoint, which is found above.
At the conclusion of the Charge Conference, the pastor, the Zoom screen sharer and the recording secretary will need to remain on the Zoom meeting with your DS for a few minutes to make sure that the Charge Conference attendees are properly entered into the Minutes report and that there are no corrections or additions to the Minutes that need to be entered into the Minutes report. When everything is entered you will click the “Form Complete” box and the red save button on the Charge Conference Minutes Report.
You will then be asked to go to the church’s main Charge Conference page and seeing all green check marks indicating that all the church’s Charge Conference reports have been completed, including the Report of the Pastor, you will be asked to to to Step 4 and click on the red button to “Finalize and Submit” the Charge Conference reports.
If reports cannot be finalized and submitted due to incomplete work, the DS will instruct you to complete the reports ASAP and contact the AADS to let them know that all reports have been finalized and completed within 7 days of the Charge Conference.
The DS will officially end the Zoom call.
I’m a first-time candidate to be recommended to the District Board of Ordained Ministry by my Charge Conference. I know that a written vote has to be taken for my referral. How will that occur since the Charge Conference will be held by Zoom this year?
It is the responsibility of the pastor to make sure the AADS knows that the church has a first time ministry candidate requiring a vote during the Charge Conference. The AADS will email the instructions to those pastors and work with them to make sure that pastor/Zoom screen sharer knows how to enable the Zoom polling feature for those attending the Charge Conference through Zoom video. For those who call in to participate in the Charge Conference, a ballot will be mailed to voting members and will be returned to the church so they can also participate in the voting process.
How do I know what minimum salary is for 2021?
Read about minimum salary in the Pastoral Compensation letter.
Who can vote at the Charge Conference?
¶246.2 (Book of Discipline 2016) states that the membership of the Charge Conference shall be all members of the Church Council or other appropriate body, together with retired ordained ministers and retired diaconal ministers who elect to hold their membership in said Charge Conference and any others as may be designated in the Book of Discipline. If more than one church is on the pastoral charge, all members of each church council shall be members of the Charge Conference.
Who can attend the Charge Conference?
Any member of the church can attend the Charge Conference. However only members of the Church Council or other appropriate body, together with retired ordained ministers and retired diaconal ministers who elect to hold their membership in said Charge Conference and any others as may be designated in the Book of Discipline may vote on Charge Conference matters.
Why are Charge Conferences necessary each year?
The charge conference is the basic governing body of each United Methodist local church and is composed of all members of the church council. All members of the charge conference must be members of the local church. The charge conference must meet at least once per year. The charge conference directs the work of the church and gives general oversight to the church council, reviews and evaluates the mission and ministry of the church, sets salaries for the pastor and staff, elects the members of the church council, and recommends candidates for ordained ministry.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by permission.