Eastern Shore District of The United Methodist Church
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The United Methodist Church began as a movement and loose network of local societies with a mission. The church has grown into one of the most carefully organized and largest denominations in the world. The United Methodist structure and organization began as a means of accomplishing the mission of spreading Scriptural Holiness over the land. John Wesley recognized the need for an organized system of communication and accountability and developed what he called the 'conexion', which was an interlocking system of classes, societies, and annual conferences. (UM Member's Handbook, p. 24) History of The United Methodist Church
The General Conference of the United Methodist Church is an international body of nearly 1,000 delegates that meet for 10 days every four years. The delegates are elected by annual conferences at their annual conference session to attend General Conference. They represent all annual conferences around the world. Half of the delegates are laity (non-clergy members) and half are clergy.
The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference is the quadrennial meeting of clergy and lay delegates from the annual conferences within the boundaries of southeastern jurisdiction. Jurisdictional Conferences convene every four years. The business includes the election and assignment of bishops. (U.S. jurisdictions: North Central, Northeastern, South Central, Southeastern and Western)
The Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church is the largest conference in United Methodism. The conference is composed of 18 districts serving 1209 local United Methodist congregations across most of the state of Virignina. The conference is lead by an appointed Bishop and the Conference Staff at the Virginia Conference Center in Glen Allen, Virginia.
The Virginia Annual Conference Bishop is an elder (ordained minister) who is elected to the office of bishop. It is a responsibility of the bishops to see that the rules, regulations, and responsibilities developed by the General Conference are understood and effectively carried out within the Virginia Conference.
The Eastern Shore District of the United Methodist Church (Virginia Conference) is a regional group of churches or charges, supervised by a conference appointed district superintendent. The district oversees the 53 United Methodist Churches located in Accomack and Northampton Counties on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The Eastern Shore of Virginia is the southern most tip of the DELMARVA Peninsula and connected to the rest of Virginia via the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel.
The Eastern Shore District Superintendent is an ordained minister appointed by the bishop to oversee the pastors and local churches in the district. The superintendent carries out a wide range of responsibilities for the local churches in the district and throughout the Conference. Responsibilities include overseeing the work of the local churches, presiding at Charge Conferences and supervising the work of the pastors. The superintendent assists the bishop in making appointments of pastors to churches in the district.
The Charge Conferences of the Eastern Shore District are 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 a local church. The charge conference must meet at least once per year and directs the work of the church and gives general oversigh to the church council or administrative board. The charge conference reviews and evaluates the mission and ministry of the church, sets salaries for the pastor and staff, elects members of the church council or administrative board and recommends candidates for the ordained ministry.
The Local Churches of the Eastern Shore District are congregations of persons who have joined together as Christians and ans United Methodists to carry forward the message of Christ and to witness to and serve the world. It is the fellowship of persons who have professed their belief in Christ, have been baptized and have taken vows of membership of The United Methodist Church. Congregations are organized and chartered by the annual conference.
The Pastor is a licensed pastor, annually approved by the district committee on ordained ministry, who is authorized to perfrom the duties of an ordained minister, including the sacraments, while assigned to a particular charge under the supervision of a district superintendent.
The Lay Leader is a local church official, elected by the charge conference, who serves as the primary lay representative of the local church. The lay leader has specific responsibilities detailed in "The Book of Discipline".
The Administrative Council or Board (Church Council) plans and implements the programs of the local church as well as oversees the administration of the church.
The local church member are those persons who have been baptized and who have been received into membership in a local church through confession of faith or by transfer of membership and who have taken the vows of membership. A person who is a member of any local United Methodist chruch is a member of the United Methodist denomination as a whole. It is the obligation and the responsibility of the pastor of the local church to decide who will be admitted into membership.