What Is Charge Conference?

Our Charge Conference is October 23rd at Dumfries UMC at 2 pm.

But what is Charge Conference? And who can/should attend?

Charge Conference is the annual meeting of the church. There are multiple layers of church governance in the United Methodist Church with the local church, or “charge,” at the grassroots level. Churches are bounded within a District (for us the Alexandria District) and within an Annual Conference (most of the state of Virginia makes up the Virginia Annual Conference). Above the Annual Conference is the Jurisdiction (Virginia is a part of the Southeastern Jurisdiction which goes from Virginia to Mississippi) and above that is General Conference.

(By now you might be thinking “does conference refer to a meeting or a geographic area?” And the answer, confusingly enough, is both. Sorry.)

Each of those layers of governance have regular meetings at prescribed times. Churches, Districts, and Annual Conferences have their meetings every year. Jurisdictions and General Conference meet once every four years. These meetings are for the purposes of setting priorities for the coming year (or quadrennia) and conducting the business required by the Book of Discipline which is the set of rules that governs the United Methodist Church.

Charge Conference is the meeting where local churches set clergy salaries, elect their leadership, and set their missional priorities for the coming year.

We discuss where the church has been and where the church is going. We talk about the ways that we have seen God move in the last year. We report baptisms, professions of faith, new members. We talk about our mission and our vision. And we worship with our District Superintendent and hear his guidance for how we can continue to move forward in our work.

So, then, who can/should come?

Only official members of the church are allowed to vote on the business items put before the Charge Conference (which are clergy salaries, endorsing candidates for ministry, and electing church leadership). Sidebar: if you haven’t joined the church but would like to join the church, please contact either Pastor Matt.

But anyone is allowed to attend the meeting. If you want to learn more about how Spirit and Life operates, if you want to hear more about our mission and objectives, if you want to hear about what Church Council has been working on in the past year, come and see.

If you want to experience a piece of the larger United Methodist connection, come and meet our District Superintendent.

If you want to see how churches govern themselves and operate, come to this meeting.

If you just want to learn a little bit more about the church, come to Charge Conference.

Spirit and Life’s Charge Conference is October 23rd at Dumfries UMC at 2 pm. We’d love to see you there.

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