The signs of the Fall season are beginning to surround us as the leaves change, the weather cools and the smell of Pumpkin Spice fills the air. The arrival of the Fall season is also marked for us in the Methodist realm by the fact that this is the time of year that we gather together for our annual charge conferences. This year, ours will be taking place this Sunday after worship under the leadership of our District Superintendent, Rev. Staci Current.
So what exactly is a Charge Conference?
According to The Discipline (the United Methodist rule book), “the primary responsibility of the Charge Conference in the annual meeting shall be to review and evaluate the total mission and ministry of the church, receive reports, and adopt objectives and goals recommended by the church council that are in keeping with the objectives of The United Methodist Church (par. 247.3).”
This meeting includes the election of leaders of the local congregation; examination and recommendation of all clergy or church-related vocations candidates, lay ministers, lay servants and speakers; the setting of the compensation of all clergy appointed to the charge; receiving a membership report from the senior pastor; and any other responsibilities designated by the General, jurisdictional, or annual conferences.
Perhaps the most important piece of charge conference is that it gives us all the opportunity to evaluate where we are as a church in the present and what opportunities we are seeing in the future. During our time together on Sunday, there will be an opportunity for everyone who is a part of the Mt. Tam UMC community to voice their fears, desires, hopes and joys for our church and to pray together asking God to provide divine insights to us as well. Of course, holding these conversations requires an important participant: YOU.
So it is my hope that YOU can set aside a little extra time and join us in this important work on Sunday. Your voice and insight matters and I really hope it will be part of the beautiful chorus of voices that makes up our congregation.
In Peace, Joy and Hope,