A LAY MEMBER to Annual Conference Session (ACS), is elected by their congregation to represent the congregation at the yearly Annual Conference. Every recognized church is entitled to at least one lay member (pastors are clergy members to ACS). One can also be a lay member to Annual Conference by virtue of office, i.e., as a District Lay Leader, the Conference President of the United Methodist Women or Men, lay delegate or reserve lay delegate to Jurisdictional Conference, etc. (Refer to the Conference Journal for a complete list.)
The Discipline requires that the lay member of annual conference shall have been a professing member in good standing of The United Methodist Church for at least one year.
The lay member to annual conference:
Annual conference is a unique geographic area of The United Methodist Church. Each annual conference is assigned a bishop (sometimes called the episcopal leader) and elects a conference lay leader. Shared resources (including itinerant clergy) and policies connect all local churches within the annual conference.
Annual Conference Session (referred to as Annual Conference or ACS) is the annual meeting of the lay and clergy members of the geographical area. This meeting sets directions and budget for the area, and the bishop appoints clergy members to their place of service for the next year.
However, annual conference is also commonly, if improperly, used to refer to an annual all church charge conference, which is the gathering of local church members to elect local church officers, approve lay speaker applications and local ministerial candidates, fix the local church pastor's compensation, and conduct other local church business. Charge conferences can also be held at any time necessary to conduct business for which they are required, with the concurrence of the District Superintendent. All charge conferences are conducted by either the District Superintendent or a designated elder in full connection, who is not appointed to the local church.
Study the pre-conference materials that are submitted for action by the annual conference. These materials are available on the annual conference website.
To prepare, you should:
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