Welcome to the resource page for Staff-Parish Relations Committee! We have compiled information and resources that we hope will be helpful as you explore and navigate your position as a committee member. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact your District Superintendent or their Administrative Assistant. (https://www.cnumc.org/district-offices).
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the job description for SPRC?
The Mini Version: SPRC connects your pastor, staff, congregation, and district superintendent.
The Short Version: The key word for SPRC is “relations.” The SPRC focuses on building a strong relationship between the staff and the congregation, and between the congregation and the district superintendent so that the mission of the church moves forward. As well, this committee works with the pastor and staff to fulfill legal and ethical responsibilities related to the staff. It is important for SPRC to strike a balance between building relationships and handling administrative tasks. The committee must maintain confidentiality and members should be good listeners and keep a focus on the mission of the church.
The Easy-to-follow 3-page Version: See the “Pastor/Staff-Relations Committee Job Description” on the The UMC Discipleship Ministries’ website:
The Official Definition: The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2016
The Discipline is the current statement of what The United Methodists Church believes and how we govern ourselves. See paragraph 258.2 for the full-length duties of SPRC. https://www.umc.org/en/content/book-of-discipline-2582-staff-or-pastor-parish-relations-committee
A “Must” for your committee: Guidelines: Pastor-Parish Relations
Each member of your committee should have a copy of this extremely helpful and highly recommended booklet with an overview of the year and step-by-step instructions.
2. Where can I find updated information?
Standing Rules: The Standing Rules can be found in the Conference Journal, which is published after each California-Nevada Annual Conference Session. Information on such issues as new requirements for SPR/PPRC are noted and so should be referenced. The Conference Journal is available either online or in print.
3. Where can I find the required forms to fill out?
All forms can now be found on the Church Dashboard known as the People Portal. Portals allow users to easily log in to gain access to important forms and update/submit information for the conference office. Many of the SPRC-related forms, such as forms for Charge Conference and Appointment, can be accessed here by the chair of the committee. Please see the following link for detailed information and instructions.
Forms are available in the Church Dashboard around August of each year.
It is a good practice to complete your forms no later than two weeks after your church/charge conference.
All forms must be completed by December 1 each year.
For questions or problems, please contact your district administrative assistant: (https://www.cnumc.org/district-offices).
4. How do we create an Employee Policy Manual?
As the congregation’s Staff-Parish Relations Committee is charged with managing employee relations, it is essential to have employee policy written out. This article gives an outline for such a manual.
Sample Employee Policy Manual: This sample was kindly provided by Central Valley District’s United Japanese Christian Church (a federated church of both the United Methodist and United Church of Christ denominations). You are free to make use of it, but please be sure to edit in your own church’s information and give credit to UJCC. SPRC – Employee Handbook (PDF)
5. Who covers our property insurance?
Most local churches in our Annual Conference are covered by Berger & Jones. If you are a new chairperson for your committee, we recommend calling your agent or Berger & Jones directly to introduce yourself and simply ask “What do I need to do?”
6. What is itinerancy?
Itinerancy (ī-ˈti-nə-rən(t)-sē) is a system used by the United Methodist Church of re-assigning pastors where the bishop appoints them.
Chuck Knows Church: Episode 53, Itinerancy (4-min. video)
A fun take on itinerancy by UMC expert “Chuck.”
To be United Methodist: What is “itineracy”?
A short, written explanation.
‘What do you mean, we’re getting a new pastor?’
The appointment process explained by a bishop. The bishop makes the appointment; the church’s mission comes first.
7. When do we know if we will have a pastoral change?
There are many elements for the Cabinet (the Bishop, District Superintendents) to consider when appointing pastors to churches. The appointment season is, in general, January – June. In some special circumstances, appointments can take place outside this period (e.g., health issues, etc.).
8. What do we have to do for a pastoral transition?
A resource on pastoral transitioning will be available in Spring 2023.
9. Do you offer trainings or webinars?
We highly recommend all church officers and committee members enroll in the Basic Lay Servant Ministries course as well as the Spiritual Gifts class in the conference’s Lay Servant Ministry program. These courses help us become servant leaders and to live into God’s mission and purpose for our lives. For the schedule of classes, click here.
We offer various courses throughout the year that will be announced on our conference’s weekly newsletter, Instant Connection (subscribe here: https://www.cnumc.org/news).
Church Leadership Training, Jan. 27 & 28, 2023 – SPRC Track: This training covered the positions of Lay Leader and members of SPRC, Finance and Trustees. This training is highly recommended for those new to a position.