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VIII. REPORTS

Good Morning Bishop, and My Brothers and Sisters in Christ! My thanks to Len for a gentle reminder of the power of our words and my apologies to the Conference for the use of the word “burden.” I greet you this morning excited to share what God has been doing in our Annual Conference these past 12 months! First there is a team of key persons I want to introduce and to whom I would ask you to express your appreciation for their service. They are your Conference Council on Ministries Team. They include: Office Manager Valerie Mossman-Celestine Front Desk Receptionist Kiri Salazar Data Base Manager Kathy Hippensteel Camp Registrar Pam Stewart MARC Director/Receptionist Betsy Weems Ministry Consultant Naomi Garcia Director of Communications: Mark Doyal Communications Team: Jim Searls, (web adm) Kay DeMoss (web writer), RJ Walters (Editor of the United Methodist Reporter). I want to publically thank my wife Linda and our family for their love, prayers and encouragement. That support is a constant source of inspiration. Just 72 hours ago we picked up our daughter Hannah at the Indianapolis Airport. She had spent the last 3 weeks serving with other college students and missionaries in a Mother Theresa Women’s Center in Kolkata, India. Our other daughter Kelsey now serves as a registered nurse in a Pulmonary Critical Care Unit of a hospital here in Michigan. I am honored and blessed, as each of you are, when our children continue legacies of witness and service for the sake of Christ. One of our Cabinet leaders is making a transition from one form of witness and service to another. Would you join me in saying thanks to the Poster Child of the “We can do this with God’s help!” Association of Positive God Praising People –Bob Mayo!! And, I welcome Anita Hahn to the Full Cabinet, as she begins her passion filled ministry as the Grand Traverse District Superintendent. It is my joy to work alongside Jerry DeVine, Detroit Conf. DCM as together we serve the United Methodists of Michigan. You see our articles alternate on the “Page 3” place of prime real estate in the United Methodist Reporter. We have collaborated in the planning of various ministries such as our cooperation on Hispanic/Latino Ministries, which includes the launching of a proposed new Committee here in West Michigan in support of this ministry. Our other major emphasis has been in the implementation of the Vital Church Initiative (VCI) pilot programs. I will say more about this in a minute. We continue to work together to share our common resources of the Michigan Area of United Methodists. I invite you to say thanks to Mike Johnson, the chairperson of the Conference Council on Ministries this past year. Under his leadership the CCOM has worked to create a new structure for our Plan of Organization. It openly dealt with a significant financial crises cause by a, now dismissed, camp director. You can read the details of that crisis and related actions in Vol. I of the Pre-Conference Reports found on-line. The CCOM worked as far in advance as is currently possible, to plan for the distribution of the available financial resources you provide while we still face ever increasing opportunities

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A. DIRECTOR OF CONNECTIONAL MINISTRIES REPORT


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for ministry. There were key expected outcomes of the CCOM’s 2 year visioning process; • The exploration and proposal of a new structure, • “The development and empowerment of visionary leadership.” And • “We consistently noted that we needed to improve our effectiveness!” Goals and accountability are essential components that contribute to our fruitfulness as God’s servants. You need to be aware that we are critically assessing the Michigan Area Resource Center (MARC). We need to make our financial resources extend ministry support as far as possible. Last year only a fourth of our congregations (123 WMC & 37 Det) made use of this service ordering 1,500 items. This $50,000 service may need to be redirected in other directions by the end of 2011. $45/ per item used seems to be a steep per unit cost for a resource used by less than 25% of our churches. A comprehensive study across The United Methodist Church has shown a need for extensive structural change. Neil Alexander (President of the UM Publishing House) has commented on the conclusions of The Operational Assessment which was done by the Connectional Table, writing, “The research accurately asserts that best practices call for smaller boards, populated by people with applicable competencies, that meet frequently enough to perform well-defined governance functions,”. • That assessment also called for a “lessening of the perceived distance between the local church and the district, conference and general church.” The Discipline’s framework shapes our mission, purpose and structures: 1. The mission of the UMC is the making of disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. (¶120) 2. The local congregation is the most effective arena for the making of disciples. (¶201) 3. The purpose of the Annual Conference is to equip and connect the local church for ministry. (¶601) The 2008 General Conference established 4 Foci to help guide us: 1. Developing principled Christian leaders 2. Starting new faith communities and transforming existing Congregations. 3. Being in ministry with the poor 4. Creating global health initiatives to eliminate the diseases of poverty These 4 foci continue to be used as the framework around which the Annual Conference Program Committee is developing each year’s Conference theme. These four areas also faithfully receive the attention of our more than 400 West Michigan Conference congregations in many positive ways. Like other United Methodist Churches in the United States, the churches of the West Michigan Conference have experienced an environment of rapid change. Incredible challenges and opportunities face us today as we live and proclaim the love of God found in Jesus Christ. I have a rather complicated chart that helps show this trend [Stats = big arrow down) During the years of 1985 to 2010 the West Michigan Conference declined in membership by 27,000 persons and in worship attendance by 14,000 persons. This pattern is a stark contrast to the growing national interest in faith and spirituality. Clearly we cannot continue the same approaches to ministry and expect to see incredibly different results to which God calls every one of us. Our goal is a simple one: [Big arrow UP] I trust we can develop a more prevalent culture of evangelistic invitation to match


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our culture of mission giving and service. People today are attracted to meaningful mission in action & authentic life changing faith in God thru Christ.. Last year I told you of the collaboration between the Area Cabinet, Area Boards of Ordained Ministry, the Orders of the Deacons and Elders, John Wesley Association, the Committee on New Church Development and the Conference Lay Leaders. Jerry DeVine and I began convening this team of leaders on the topic of Leadership Excellence. You have a 4 page handout that begins to provide an outline of what congregational vitality might look like. We soon discovered that vitality in our congregations, when they are led by healthy and vital lay and clergy leaders would best contribute to: • Holistic Generosity • Leadership Competency • Accountability with Support • Spiritual Formation and Intentional Continuing Education • Congregational Development • New Church Start Training and Support The Vital Church Initiative (VCI) helps move congregations from positions of maintenance to targeted transformation. The VCI uses a model of collaborative learning by lay and clergy, coaching focused on accountability and clear strategic steps a congregation chooses to take There are more than 3 million persons in the counties that make up the West Michigan conference. Our current membership indicates we have almost reached 2% of them! There is plenty of opportunity for growth! Fruitfulness and Vitality are the words that guide me as I work with others to discover the best ways to help equip and connect our ministries.

There are many success stories in The United Methodist Church (UMC). When you seek to identify why certain congregations are thriving, you find similar characteristics. Those factors help identify what we are referring to as a Vital Congregation. The UMC is called to be a world leader in developing existing churches and starting new vital congregations. Vital congregations are Spirit-filled, forward-leaning communities of believers that welcome all people (Galatians 3:28), make disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthews 28:18-20), and serve like Christ through justice and mercy ministries (Micah 6:8; Luke 4:1721) Color brochures at the entrance depict how we have been called to act. The Call to Action report prepared by the Connectional Table noted the following in regard to Vital Congregations: In the first-century church, Christ’s ministry took root and grew as congregations were established. These congregations became the body of Christ -transforming lives and communities. The United Methodist congregation is a mission center in the midst of the community. The key to our world being transformed is congregations who are engaging disciples in vital mission and ministry. Additional characteristics of vitality include: • Passion for mission and ministry • Inviting and inspiring worship • Disciples engaged in mission and outreach • Gifted, equipped and empowered lay leadership • Effective, equipped and inspired clergy leadership • Small group ministries that are focused outward • Strong children’s programs and youth ministry It has been identified that measurable goals and recognizable fruit are essential for

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ARE YOU A VITAL CONGREGATION?


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the health of congregations, conferences, and our denomination. What we measure, receives our attention. Across the denomination, we want to give attention to, and therefore we seek to measure the 5 following areas: • Worship attendance • Number of professions of faith • Number of small groups • Number of disciples doing outreach in the community and the world • Amount of money given to missions You will note that these are not simply activities, but rather the fruits of our ministries. Activity is not always the best measure. Measuring activity has some value, but it does not indicate if a congregation is achieving the desired outcomes or, in other words, being fruitful. A congregation can be quite satisfied with its activity, but if the activity is not producing fruit, then this may indicate the need for greater congregational vitality. We seek to measure the five fruits I just mentioned for the following reasons. First, congregations tend to assess different activities and results. By utilizing these five measurements, we will have common language for assessing fruitfulness, so that we can better learn from one another as well as focus our resources on achieving particular fruit. There is synergy and power when we do things together. Second, these measures are essential for the body of Christ. They were demonstrated in the early Church (Acts 2:41-47) and they reflect areas of a church’s life that are often described in the New Testament. Third, these measures are core to the values of United Methodism, which include building up the body of Christ and engaging disciples in changing the world. VITAL EFFORTS

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Recognizing this need for vitality, a Vital Church Initiative (VCI) “pilot program” for Small Membership Churches is already underway in the Albion District and a Large Membership Church VCI is scheduled to begin in the Lansing District this fall. Plans are being developed to begin these initiatives across all the districts in the next couple of years. Leadership Training, done in collaboration with the Bishop Ruben Job Center, the Indiana Conference and the Missouri Conference of the UMC, will begin in phases in the next few months. Contact me or your district superintendent if you are interested in knowing more about the Vital Church Initiative. One resource we have put in place, to help revitalize our United Methodist connection, is the investment made in technology for every district. This technology allows persons to meet online and in “Smart Rooms” (computer/video camera/internet/large screen tv). This form of video conferencing helps us to both reduce some meeting expenses and makes valuable use of online capabilities to bring information and training across the Conference. Vital Congregations benefit from having an extensive knowledge of the communities they serve. Nearly one-half of our congregations have signed up for a free demographics tool from MissionInsite.com. The Conference is currently providing this service through October of 2012. This easy to use research tool can quickly help churches identify potential ministry opportunities. If you desire to sign up for this free service contact Rev. Jim Noggle or me for more information “therev@northlawnumc.org” Come to the New Church Committee lunch on Friday to hear more details and see this tool in action. In response to the need to better serve our changing communities, we have proposed the formation of a new Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministry. The persons who have volunteered for this ministry are passionate about helping congregations of every race discover how they can minister to the diverse populations that surround us. Watch the Conference website (www.westmichiganconference.org) for more details on how you can utilize their knowledge and expertise. Or, contact the committee co-chairs of Stacy Cabellero of Battle


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Creek and Fran Grabowski of Parchment. Wesley Campus ministries are being innovative and working toward greater financial self-sufficiency. Visit the new residence hall at CMU and ask about the similar plans for WMU. The Conference Committee on New Church Development is committed to launching new faith communities as a satellite, second campus and/or as new Vital Congregations. The committee is also committed to strengthening existing Vital Congregations. We acknowledge and give thanks for the leadership of Rev. Barb Flory. [Thanks Barb!!] Next year I expect to introduce to you the Director of New Church Development and Congregational Vitality who will continue our strong leadership in this area of ministry. Saturday the Annual Conference will act upon a motion to discontinue three of our congregations; Jones UMC on the Albion District; Grand Rapids Olivet UMC; and Eagle UMC on the Lansing District. Sometimes in our endings are new beginnings. Don’t lose heart! Read the story of Ithaca UMC in your program. Talk to Mary Loring from Twin Lake. There were 8 persons in worship when Paul Doherty began to preach there while in retirement. After his death last July, Mary stepped in to serve the 45 persons who were then part of that congregation. Talk to Mary about the more than 80 who come to praise God each week. A tenfold increase!! The issue of poverty is far too common in our midst. The April 2011 edition of the AARP Magazine reported that Michigan at 19.3% was only slightly behind 5 others (Wash. D.C., MS, NM, OR, LA.) in the % of persons receiving food stamps. How are we helping? Talk to Joe Beavan about the new Free Store in Evart, done in partnership with Cornerstone UMC. Talk to Wayne McKinney about the New Free Store in Boyne Falls. Talk to Melanie Chalker about the new Free Store in Concord. These ministries are fruit from the seed ideas of hope planted at last year’s Annual Conference. Talk to Ron Hansen at Hartford about their computer lab, after school tutoring and food bank. Talk to Jane Ellen Johnson and Bill Haggard about the 5 congregations working together in a cooperative mission venture & refugee resettlement ministry. We are sadly aware that every attempt we have made at starting new congregations or revitalizing existing ones has not been successful. But that doesn’t mean we stop trying. The long term end result is that some of our efforts continue to be very fruitful. Those new starts of the past 20 years now represent more than 4,000 persons in worship. Cornerstone alone had more than 3,000 persons in worship on Easter! Our newest congregations contribute more money annually to the Conference Budget in Ministry Shares than we actually spend on New Church Development. The long term investment in these regions is being blessed by God. Two years ago we sent Matt Bistayi into the orchards, farm land and campus apartments of Allendale. His “fruits of the Spirit” effort has been blessed to the point that the meeting space and 2 worships services can no longer contain the more than 200 persons now in worship and Sunday school!! Good things are happening “For God and For Change at Valley Church”. Listen to this testimony form Matt Bistayi, pastor at Valley Church. I believe our historic passion and witness of sacrificial giving and mission service can equally be matched by our passion for offering an invitation to Christian discipleship and a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ. Imagine personal holiness & social holiness used as the building components of a bridge that connects us, instead of a wall of disagreements that too often divides us. These are a few of the significant changes and investments that are being made by your

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conference leaders. We celebrate the efforts you are making to bring change and growth in your community. All of us faithfully working together can create an environment of vitality for the sake of Christ! Thank you for your generous giving and faithful service. Together, we are making a difference. Amen! Rev. Benton Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministries B. DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS’ REPORT THE UNITED METHODIST JUGGLE

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It was shortly before Christmas. I went with a few friends to a performance of the Grand Rapids Symphony and Cirque de Noel, which is a group of acrobatics, jugglers, and aerialists who do the most unusual and incredible things accompanied by Christmas music. As I sat there, grateful for a few hours to relax after a busy fall season of leading church conference and everything else that superintendents do, I watched a man who could juggle all kinds of interesting objects. I found myself wondering, “Could this be my problem? I can’t seem to juggle all of my responsibilities and keep every ball in the air.” Sound familiar? That led to some soul searching, “If only I could juggle, I could gracefully handle all of the roles that I play.” Now I’m only speaking for myself here. The rest of my superintendent colleagues have it all figured it out. They’re amazing, but I have great difficulty keeping up with everything. I made a decision that day: I need to learn how to juggle. So I went online, found a 6 minute YouTube instructional video, and here’s the result. Granted, my skills are very basic, and I’m limited to 3 balls right now, but I find that if I take just 5 minutes in the middle of the day to juggle, it not only relieves stress, and it not only develops hand-eye coordination, but it’s supposed to increase gray matter in the brain in order to help bishops and superintendents make better appointments. The primary purpose of juggling has always been to entertain others by moving objects, thus bringing a smile to people’s faces. In fact the word “juggle” comes from a Middle English word meaning “to entertain by performing tricks.” Come to think of it, that could be the definition of a preacher, couldn’t it? “Someone who entertains by performing tricks.” Is it too late to get in a petition to General Conference? The earliest known depiction of juggling is from the tomb of an unknown Egyptian prince, dating from the middle kingdom period of 1994-1781 B.C. That’s around the time of Abraham. Of course, the first jugglers were Adam and Eve. “Hm, how can we respond to the snake, eat that luscious fruit in the middle of the garden, and be like God but not upset God?” Didn’t work, did it? The next time they had to juggle with their fig leaves. The Israelites knew about juggling, too. Do you remember the story in Exodus 18 where Moses’ father-in-law Jethro takes Moses aside? He says, “Look, Moses, you’re trying your best to juggle all the responsibilities you have as the leader of the Israelites. But, trust me, it’s not working. You need to delegate the smaller stuff to others, and you can take care of the big stuff. Let others share the burden. Then you won’t burn out, and everyone will live in peace.” Did you know that there is one occurrence of the word “juggling” in the Bible? Well, it’s only in John Nelson Barby’s 1867 translation of 2 Timothy 3:13, “But wicked men and juggling impostors shall advance in evil, leading and being led astray.” Actually, there is no evidence that juggling was ever considered by the Hebrews or early Christians to be the work of the devil. According to some sources, the way David lured Goliath was by his extraordinary juggling. Once he had Goliath mesmerized, David slung a stone and killed him. In the middle ages some religious clerics did frown upon juggling, so jugglers would


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perform only in marketplaces or street fairs, passing the hat for tips. At the same time we do see depictions of jugglers and jesters in illuminated biblical manuscripts of the medieval period. I’m afraid that juggling is here to stay, for to live in this world means to balance different aspects of our personal, professional, and church lives. I would contend that juggling is also part of who we are as United Methodists and is integral to our call to make disciples and transform our world. United Methodists are a juggling people. Sometimes we think that if we just put more balls in the air we’ll accomplish more. If we offer one more class, do one more outreach project, hold only more potluck, then we’ll grow. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way, does it? John Wesley was the ultimate juggler, traveling 250,000 miles on horseback all over England at the same time as he was reading voraciously in the saddle. Wesley preached 40,000 sermons in the mines, slums, fields, prisons, and cities. He wrote books, practiced medicine, administered aid societies, identified and trained lay preachers, and organized new converts into bands, class meetings, and societies. He gave away 30,000 pounds during his life, a fortune at the time. It’s enough to make you dizzy just trying to comprehend the John Wesley juggle, let alone imitate it. But the juggling involves belief as well as action. As United Methodists we juggle sin and grace; freedom and responsibility; hearing and doing the Word; forgiveness and accountability; faith and works; scripture, tradition, reason, and experience; personal and social holiness; and acts of mercy and acts of piety. Our clergy spend much of their time juggling the 4 balls of their disciplinary responsibilities: word, sacrament, order, and service. Should I work on my sermon or visit Suzanne in Hospice care? Should I prepare for my Disciple Bible study class or meet with Tom, who just lost his job? Should I tackle all those church conference forms or support the teens in the church by going to the school play? Should I honor my day off or help with the Gleaners food truck? Should I entertain the congregation in worship by doing tricks or challenge them to greater depths of spirituality? Lay persons become adept at juggling as well. Who needs me more: the church or my family? Can I take a leadership position this year when my job is so demanding? Should I allow my child to play sports on Sunday morning at the same time as confirmation class? Help! I’m on 5 committees, and I can only juggle 3 balls at a time. One of the blessings of being a superintendent is that we have a balcony view of the church. Because we are not in the trenches of local church ministry, we have a more wholistic picture of what’s really happening with our pastors and local churches. But we superintendents practice the United Methodist juggle as well. We are the prime connecting point between the local church, district, and conference. We travel around the districts with our annual church conference juggling act, bringing smiles to people’s faces (we hope) at the same time as we summon our churches to greater faithfulness and fruitfulness. We are pastors to pastors, cheerleaders, coaches, consultants, encouragers, hope-givers, light-bearers, motivators, networkers, program directors, supervisors, and trainers. In our appointment-making process, we juggle the needs of clergy, their families, and our local churches. In our supervision of clergy, we juggle support and accountability. As some of our churches decline, we have to juggle different options. Does the church need to go parttime, do we need to combine it into a 2 or 3 point charge, does the church eventually need to think about closing, or do we challenge the church to grow? How can we encourage more of our churches to get out of a silo mentality and juggle together as one body in Christ: to share resources, cooperate, and partner? How can we mentor, teach, and empower our churches and clergy to be healthy and vital? The most important work that superintendents do, however, may just be helping clergy

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and laity to ask the right questions, “Why are juggling, anyway?” and “Are we juggling the right balls? To address those questions, I want to share 4 observations about United Methodist juggling. First, juggling is a faithful act. Juggling is ultimately not about moving objects for entertainment or sport, it’s about moving churches and people toward the kingdom of God. Juggling is not about choosing between paying ministry shares or paying the gas bill. Juggling is about churches that are so passionate about fulfilling their vision and mission that when people see disciples made, lives transformed, and the world changed through the ministries of their church, they will respond with more financial and human resources than our churches could ever dream. God has provided us with all that we need. Second, juggling is a creative act. Friends, there is no more business as usual in The United Methodist Church. We can no longer afford fluff in our budgets, lay leaders who are not willing to lead, committees that are non-functioning, and pastors who are not on their A game. We can’t afford churches that refuse to be in ministry with the poor, lay people who believe that the only reason their local church exists is so there will be a place for their funeral, and congregations who are not in the least concerned that they haven’t had a single member join on profession of faith in 5 years. We can no longer afford to sacrifice our spiritual lives and the future of our churches on the altar of incessant, unfocused activity. Neither can afford to refuse to engage in holy conversation with people who think, look, believe, or worship in a different way than we do. God has given us hearts, minds, and spirits for creating a new juggling act. If we are going to change the world, the United Methodist juggle must become one of intentional excellence, specific outcomes, and the necessary pruning that accompanies fruitfulness. In the words of our denominational Call to Action Steering Report, our call as United Methodists is to “redirect the flow of attention, energy, and resources to an intense concentration on fostering and sustaining an increase in the number of vital congregations effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” That’s our primary goal as the cabinet: to increase the number of vital congregations and pastors in the West Michigan Conference. Third, juggling is a hopeful act. It took me a while to learn how to juggle. It’s just not the same learning from YouTube as opposed to learning from a coach standing right next to you. The late actor Christopher Reeve, who became a champion for spinal cord research after his catastrophic horseback riding accident, once said, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” I’ve always subscribed to the theory that if you can imagine something, and you summon the will, you can do it. That’s why I’m intrigued by the “imagineers” at Walt Disney Company, who are employed to explore the possibilities and push the limits of reality as they create new rides and attractions. Imagineers at Walt Disney Company come in all forms; artists, writers, architects, engineers, model builders, construction managers, technicians, designers, and a whole range of others. Accomplishing the seemingly impossible is a daily event for this creative and determined company. So it can be for our local churches, the West Michigan Conference, and The United Methodist Church. God calls you and me to summon the will to dream dreams, to juggle new balls, and to imagine and execute possibilities for our churches and our denomination that are so great that without God’s grace, we would surely fail. Fourth, juggling is a foolish act. Who are more foolish than the clergy who were commissioned and ordained last night? Did you hear them? They promised loyalty to The United Methodist Church. They accepted authority to preach a countercultural word to a skeptical world. They agreed to make their own ambition secondary to going where the bishop sends them. To top it off, they gave up a great deal to enter seminary for 3 years, left school with tens of thousands of dollars of debt, went through a grueling Board of Ordained Ministry


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process, and entered this juggling act of family, income, and geographical location, all to follow the high calling of God in Jesus Christ. Our Bishop and cabinet yearn for the day when the very best of our youth, young adults, and second career people choose the foolishness of a United Methodist clergy juggler. “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters,” Paul says in 1 Corinthians, “Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, the things that are not, to reduce to nothing the things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Cor. 1:26-29) When my children were small, I read them a book called The Clown of God by Tomie DePaola. The book is based on an old medieval legend called The Juggler of Notre Dame. The Clown of God is about a poor little beggar named Giovanni, who had a gift of juggling. Giovanni would put on a clown face and juggle at vegetable and fruit stands and fairs. He juggled lemons, oranges, apples, eggplants, zucchini, sticks, plates, clubs, and even burning torches. His last act was always to juggle many colored balls, which looked like a rainbow, with a special golden ball called The Sun in the Heaven that would fly oh so high in the sky. Giovanni became famous throughout Italy for his juggling. One time he met 2 monks on the road, and they said to Giovanni, “Our founder, Brother Francis, says that everything sings of the glory of God. Why, even your juggling. If you give happiness to people, you give glory to God as well.” As Giovanni he grew older, however, people did not stop to watch him anymore. In fact, one day Giovanni dropped the Sun in the Heaven, the rainbow of balls came crashing down, and people began laughing and even jeering at him. Putting aside juggling forever, Giovanni began begging for bread again, just as he did when he was a child. One cold winter night at Christmas, Giovanni slipped inside a church and watched in awe as a long procession of priests, monks, sisters, and townspeople carried beautiful gifts to an altar with a statue of the Madonna and Child. After everyone was gone, Giovanni went to the statue and said to the Mother of Jesus, “Oh, Lady, I wish I had something to offer, too. Your child seems so sad, even with all these beautiful gifts. But wait—I used to make people smile.” Giovanni opened his bag, put on his foolish clown face, and offered his gift of juggling. When Giovanni got to the Sun in the Heaven, he cried out, “For You, Sweet Child, for You!” Then, suddenly Giovanni’s heart stopped, and he fell down and died. When the sexton and the priest found Giovanni, they looked up, and there was the Child Jesus smiling, and in his hand was the golden ball. Why are you juggling? Are you juggling the right balls in your own life and in your church? Can you lay down the balls of scarcity, fear, and status quo and pick up the balls of abundance, bold leadership, and possibility? Are you ready to create a new juggling act, which will lead to rebirth and renewal in the life of our local churches, conference, and denomination? Might the dynamic tension of our United Methodist juggle between the 4 focus areas be our gift to God and to our world? My friends, on behalf of the cabinet, I invite each one of you to become a United Methodist juggler. We challenge you to learn how to juggle, not in order to entertain or become rich but so you may serve faithfully, witness creatively, live hopefully, and become foolish clowns for God. Juggle so that others will be touched, motivated, and inspired to become courageous, adaptive imagineers themselves. Juggle in such a way that all people in our world will crack a smile because they have experienced a personal encounter with the love of Jesus Christ through you, and they cannot contain their joy. Juggle because everything sings of the glory of God. Juggle so that our earth and its people will be changed and the kingdom of God will come in all its fullness. By the way, World Juggling Day is June 16. It’s coming up real soon. It’s not too late

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to learn. Bishop Keaton, I offer to you 3 balls and a book, The Clown of God. As chief juggler of the West Michigan Conference, I want to thank you for your unceasing prayer and tireless efforts to lead us in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Friends, keep up the United Methodist foolishness! Keep smiling, keep focused on Jesus, keep connected, keep striving for excellence, keep making disciples, keep bearing fruit, keep juggling. In the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen. Rev. Laurie Haller Dean of the West Michigan Cabinet, 2011

C. TREASURER’S REPORT The audited financial statement is printed in this journal, in compliance with the Book of Discipline, which requires the Conference Treasurer to prepare annually a report of all receipts, disbursements, and balances of all funds in the conference treasury. (Par. 617.1). The Conference Treasurer’s Office serves the church through the ministry of administration to enable the conference to carry out its purpose to make disciples of Jesus Christ in a fitting and orderly manner. (I Cor: 14:40). Story of A Giving People. – The chart below shows the generous giving of our churches in the midst of difficult economic challenges. The conference received more than $8.4 million in 2010, which were designated 70% to ministry shares, 6% for district ministry funds and 24% for advance special offerings. The rise in giving was mostly due to designated gifts to UMCOR in support of peoples hit by natural disasters worldwide. 12-Year History of Giving

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12 YEAR HISTORY OF GIVING Year

Ministry Shares

District Funds

Designated Gifts

Total Giving

% Min Shares Budget Paid

1999

5,831,246

415,603

2,127,102

8,373,951

93.0%

2000

6,077,069

495,049

1,695,898

8,268,016

93.0%

2001

6,101,954

483,183

2,229,571

8,814,708

89.8%

2002

6,102,615

464,250

1,686,198

8,253,063

87.5%

2003

6,334,732

465,715

1,585,979

8,386,426

87.2%

2004

6,495,492

551,814

1,724,170

8,771,476

85.1%

2005

6,102,417

527,803

2,861,950

9,492,170

89.5%

2006

6,038,584

539,597

1,645,391

8,223,572

93.4%

2007

6,040,628

497,768

1,478,474

8,016,870

92.6%

2008

6,024,180

500,417

1,508,594

8,033,191

91.9%

2009

5,888,021

488,516

1,207,482

7,584,019

87.9%

2010

5,916,148

521,944

1,975,543

8,413,635

95.3%

MINISTRY SHARES: – Ministry Shares is the first priority benevolence of the local church and reflects its financial commitment to the shared mission and ministry of the West Michigan Conference and The United Methodist Church, locally and globally. To model and reflect the deep commitment of our churches in supporting the worldwide ministry of The United Methodist Church, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration paid 100% of our financial commitment to the World Service Fund in accordance with conference policy. SIGNS OF HOPE AND FAITHFULNESS: – The improved giving may reflect the hopefulness and faithfulness of our churches. The rise in total giving also saw increase in the number of churches giving 100% or more to their Ministry Shares reeking a downtrend (see following Table). MINISTRY SHARE GIVING Churches giving 100% or more

2007

2008

2009

2010

301

260

242

282

Churches giving less than 100%

49

51

61

34

Churches giving less than 70%

65

104

104

90

REPORTS

THE ADVANCE: – Our Conference is the recognized leader in per capita giving to the Advance for Christ Fund of the denomination. 00% of money given to the Advance goes to the intended recipient of the gift. The Advance projects include UMCOR, Mission, Community ministries, Evangelization and church growth. Our Conference also has the highest percentage of churches participating in the Advance and the highest amount given to missionary support in the Northeast Jurisdiction. Praise God!


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WHERE MINISTRY SHARES DOLLARS : – Praise God for the provision that is given to administer God’s grace in various forms (1Pe 4:10). MINISTRY SHARES DOLLARS District Superintendent & Clergy Support

25%

1,493,093

Conference Program Ministries

26%

1,521,364

5%

313,741

Administrative Support Ministries

12%

722,075

World Service & General Church Apportionment

31%

1,841,949

100%

5,892,222

New Church Development

SELECTED STATISTICS: – Church membership, worship attendance and school attendance continued a downtrend. Membership at 62,914 was down 1,872 from the previous year. Average worship attendance at 36,994 was down 323; and, church school attendance at 10,092 was down 439. ONLINE ANNUAL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION: – For the second year the Annual Conference session used online registration of attending members. Ours was the first annual conference to use the GCFA event manager system for free. This particular service and the use of the online data reporting of our conference statistics represent one of the benefits of connectional services provided to our churches. PENSION BENEFITS: – In 2010, 591 participants received annuity benefits and total payments to annuitants were $7,026,681 including Disability payments of $317,254. A detailed report showing payments to individual beneficiaries is available upon request at the Conference Treasurer’s Office. The General Board of Pension actuarial report for 2010, showed the Conference has a funding account for pre-82 service in the amount of $72,383,135 for 2010 funding with a projected over funded balance of $27,281,484 which represents 160% funded status based on the Past Service Rate of $697 and surviving spouse benefit of 85%. We will use portion of this excess funding to pay the Defined Benefit portion of the CRSP for as long as possible.

REPORTS

HEALTH BENEFITS: – In 2010, in our effort to continue providing a high level of benefits at a time when other industries and conferences are cutting back, the board implemented a Self-Funded Plan with the approval of the Annual Conference effective September 1, 2009. Benefits remained unchanged except medical coverage for auto related injuries in order to protect the Plan from potentially excessive loss. To effectively administer the self-funded medical plan, the Board hired Ron Stoll as a consultant. POST-RETIREMENT MEDICAL BENEFITS LIABILITY: – Our Health Care Reserve Fund at year’s end 2009 was $16,743,300. (If needed a portion of this amount may be used to contribute to any unfunded liability in pension funds, as the General Board will determine.) The Board of Pension and Health Benefits plan to set aside the amount of $10.7 million for postretirement health care liability. Actuarial study by Watkins Ross and Co. showed unfunded liability of $19,609,000 as of January 1, 2011. The funded ratio based on the stated assumptions stands at 55%. Our long-term funding strategy may be impacted by the possible changes in US federal health care programs.


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PROPERTY AND WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE: – The coverage limits of our insurance have been reviewed and corrected as needed and efforts will be made to renegotiate insurance premium cost. The Safety Group Dividend Plan agreement with Church Mutual resulted in dividend going to churches in the amount of $93,830 in December 2009, which represented half of the total. The remainder of about the same amount will be distributed in 2010. Savings on the Multi-Peril insurance premium of churches joining the Church Mutual program was 25% of their previous plan while churches already in the Church Mutual program saw a 10% savings. The combined annual savings during the first year of the Program was 15% or about $210 thousand. Savings from the Workers Compensation Insurance was less precise to quantify and was estimated to be about 17%. CONFERENCE PROPERTY: – All conference property has been diligently cared for by our trustees. Since 2007, we have reported conference property and equipment on the financial statements at their original cost value. At December 31, 2010, value of property and equipment net of depreciation was $2,392,864 with the original cost value of $5,207,440. I acknowledge with gratitude the support of the treasury staff, John Kosten, Ann Buck and Russ Geske, and all conference leaders on the boards and agencies I serve. “I thank my God every time I remember you as partners in ministry.” (Phil 1:3-4). Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Pros Tumonong, Conference Treasurer

REPORTS

— WMC Photos, Mark Doyal


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IX. LEGISLATION A. LEGISLATIVE ACTION INDEX ANNUAL CONFERENCE PETITIONS

LEGISLATION

ITEM #

PAGE

SUBJECT

ACTION

IMPLEMENTATION

1-R1

144

Response to Item #1 add words after 30 “at the time of their election”

Passed

DCM, CS

1-R2

145

Response to Item #1 – Committee on Hispanic/ Latino Ministry

Passed

DCM, CS

1-R3

146

Response to Item #1 – several amendments

Passed with Amendments

DCM, CS

1

148

Plan of Reorganization – Revision and Reorganization

Passed with Amendment

DCM, CRO

2

178

West Michigan Conference Disaster Response Plan

Passed

DCM, ERC

3

189

Emergency Preparedness Name Change

Passed

DCM, DRT, CS

4

189

Immigration Reform Campaign

Passed

B of Church and Society

5

191

Healthcare Billing and Reporting

Referred

B of Pension and Health Benefits

6

191

Reimbursement of Clergy Travel Expenses for Conference Business

Passed / as amended

CF&A

7

192

Church and Society Coordinator in every Congregation

Passed

BCS, Local Congregations, Cabinet

8

193

District Superintendent Compensation for 2012

Passed

Commission on Equitable Compensation

9

193

Minimum Salary Support for 2012

Passed

Cabinet, CEC

10

194

Guidelines for Equitable Compensation Support

Passed

CEC

11

195

Ministers’ Reserve Pension Fund (MRPF) – For Past Service

Passed

BPHB

12

195

Annual Policy Recommendations for 2012

Passed With Amendment

CF&A

13-R

196

Response to Item #13 – Substitution

Passed

CF&A

13

199

West Michigan Bedget Recommendation for 2012

Passed with Amendment

CF&A

14

201

Jones UMC Discontinuation

Passed

Trustees

15

201

Rules of Order – Add Conf Chancellor to Equalization Formula

Passed

CS, CRO


143

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ITEM #

PAGE

SUBJECT

ACTION

IMPLEMENTATION

16

202

Rules of Order – General & Jurisdictional Conference Division, Depts, Cmtes, Units and other

Passed

CS

17

202

Rules of Order -- General & Jurisdictional Conference Lay Delegates

Passed

CS

18-R

202

Response to Item # 18 --- Amendment

Failed

N/A

18

203

Rules of Order – Conference Lay Members Posted on Conference Website

Passed

CS / DOC

19

203

Rules of Order – Handouts at the Doors to the Bar of Annual Conf

Passed

CS

20

204

Rules of Order – Petitions to Annual Conference

Passed

CS

21

204

Rules of Order – Petitions to General Conference

Failed

N/A

Response to Item #21 – Petitions to General Conference AMENDMENT

21-R 22-R

206

Response to Rules of Order – Limits for Speeches

CS

23

206

Discontinuation of Grand Rapids Olivet UMC

Passed

Trustees

Discontinuation of Eagle UMC

Withdrawn

N/A

24 GC 101

207

Aligning UMC Investments with Resolutions on Israel/ Palestine

Failed

CS

GC 102

208

Peace With Justice Sunday Offering

Passed

DCM

GC 103

209

Episcopal Tenure

Passed

CS

GC 104

209

Marriage

Failed

CS

GC 105

209

Affirm Marriage for All

Failed

CS

GC 106

210

Remove Condemnatory Language on Homosexuality

Passed

CS

GC 107

211

Human Sexuality

Failed

CS

GC 108

212

Update Civil Equal Rights

Not Considered

CS

GC 109

212

Qualifications for Ordination

Not Considered

CS

GC 110

212

End Discrimination Against Homosexual Clergy

Not Considered

CS

GC 111

213

Qualifications for Ordination

Not Considered

CS

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ITEM #

PAGE

SUBJECT

ACTION

IMPLEMENTATION

GC 112

214

Footnotes 3,4th Para – Moral Standards of Homosexual Clergy

Not Considered

CS

GC 113

214

Remove Discriminatory Language about Homosexuality

Not Considered

CS

GC 114

215

Offer the Blessings of Christian Marriage to Homosexual Couples

Not Considered

CS

GC 115

215

Unauthorized Conduct

Not Considered

CS

GC 116

215

Review of Complaints Against Bishops

Not Considered

CS

GC 117

216

Information About Complaints Against Bishops

Not Considered

CS

GC 118-R

216

Response to Item GC 118 – Episcopal Accountability

Not Considered

CS

GC 118

216

Episcopal Accountability

Not Considered

CS

GC 119

216

Transfers of Conference Membership

Not Considered

CS

GC 120

216

End of Discrimination and Confusion in Funding

Not Considered

CS

GC 121-R

217

Response to Item GC 121 – Duties of Conference/Area Committee on Episcopacy

Not Considered

CS

GC 121

217

Duties of Conference / Area Committee on Episcopacy

Not Considered

CS

GC 122

218

End of Discrimination and Confusion in Funding

Not Considered

CS

GC 123

218

End of Discrimination in Clergy Charges

Not Considered

CS

201

219

Rule 9 – Director of Communications

Passed

CS, CRO

202

219

Rule 8.C.1.c – The Lay Members on the Committee on the Journal

Passed

CS

203

219

Rule 33F – Expenses of delegates to General Conference – first and second delegates

Passed

CS, CF&A

ITEM #1-R1 SUBJECT: MOTION:

B. ANNUAL CONFERENCE PETITIONS

LEGISLATION

Response to Item #1, p. 203, Book B, Plan of Organization – Revision and Reorganization: AMENDMENT #1. Conference voted concurrence. We move to amend Item #1 Plan of Organization – Revision & Reorganization in the following ways: Page 203, line 12, between the words “necessary” and “changes” insert the word editorial. It would then read, “…make the necessary editorial changes…” Page 211, line 46: DELETE the word “under”; ADD after the word “30”: or under at the time of their election. It would then read: “At least one of them shall be under the age of 30 or under at the time of their election.”


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These changes provide some clarity and the flexibility that a young adult could continue beyond their 30th birthday. Mike Johnson, on behalf of the Executive Committee of CCOM West Michigan Annual Conference ITEM #1-R2 SUBJECT: Response to Item #1, p. 203, Book B, Plan of Organization – Revision and Reorganization: AMENDMENT #2. Conference voted concurrence. MOTION: I move the following amendment as a substitute to page 216, lines 47-58 of Item #1, Plan of Organization – Revision and Reorganization. Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministry 1. Accountability. The Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministry shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the annual conference. 2. Purpose: The committee: A. will relate to all conference agencies for the implementation of the National Plan for Hispanic Ministry as it may be adapted to meet the specific needs of the West Michigan Conference. B. will provide direction and leadership for Hispanic ministries of the conference C. shall establish governing policies for the committee and its staff. 3. Membership: A. Nine members at large plus a chairperson shall be nominated by the Conference Committee on Nominations and elected by the annual conference. Terms shall be consistent with conference policy. B. The membership shall be composed of persons interested in Hispanic/Latino Ministries with special attention to representation from districts where there is a significant Hispanic population. C. Terms shall be consistent with conference policy. D. The committee may co-opt a maximum of four members. 1) Terms shall be consistent with conference policy. 2) Co-opted members may be asked to fill the following positions such as but not limited to: a) Training Coordinator. b) Grant application coordinator. c) Immigration advisor. E. ex-officio members 1) District superintendent designated by the cabinet. 2) Conference treasurer. 3) Director of Connectional Ministries. 4) Staff employed by the Conference Leadership Team and assigned to the Committee on Hispanic/ Latino Ministry. 4. Organization: A. Chairperson, nominated by the Conference Committee on Nominations. in consultation with the Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministry, and elected by the annual conference. B. Vice chairperson, secretary, and treasurer elected from the membership of the committee. C. Task forces, whose members may or may not be committee members, may be created to help the committee accomplish its work. 5. Meetings: A. The committee shall meet at least four times annually. B. Additional meetings may be held as needed to accomplish necessary work. 6. Responsibilities: A. Interpret and advocate for Hispanic ministries. 1) Secure and share information about the National Plan for Hispanic Ministries and its resources with key conference leaders and focal leaders involved In Hispanic ministries. 2) Promote the related conference Advance Special projects. 3) Find stories that will illustrate various aspects of Hispanic Ministries/National Plan being implemented and share these with local, conference, and national media as appropriate. 4) Advocate appropriate responses to issues and concerns affecting Hispanics and Hispanic ministries. Secure information about the Plan for Hispanic Ministries and its resources and share it with key conference leaders and local leaders involved in Hispanic ministries. B. Planning

LEGISLATION

RATIONALE:


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1) Update the Hispanic population growth trends to develop or strengthen new or existing Hispanic ministries. 2) Reexamine and adjust the conference plan on Hispanic ministries for both Hispanic and nonHispanic congregations based on the assessment and review recommended above in 6.b.1. C. Training 1) Provide training opportunities for lay missioner and pastor teams, (hired) Hispanic ministry coordinators, committee members, and conference and local leaders utilizing the developed curriculum resources. 2) Train Hispanic and non-Hispanic local church leaders to develop Hispanic ministries or to assist them in strengthening and expanding Hispanic ministries utilizing developed resources as necessary. 3) Identify and enlist Hispanic and non-Hispanic candidates interested in ordained ministry and in becoming lay missioners, lay pastors or Hispanic ministry coordinators and refer them to the appropriate conference agencies for follow-up. D. Securing and providing resources 1) Secure and provide educational and evangelical resources for leaders and local congregations. 2) Consult with the Conference Leadership Team in regard to the placement of the necessary personnel who may be hired by the Leadership Team in consultation with the Hispanic/Latino Ministries Committee. 3) Request the Conference Leadership Team provide the necessary financial resources to support needed personnel for specific Hispanic/Latino ministries. E. Monitoring, supporting, and evaluating 1) Provide a support system for leaders involved in Hispanic ministries including networking, crisis management, recognition, and affirmation. 2) The committee shall annually monitor and evaluate the progress of each specific Hispanic ministry, including where sufficient and/or appropriate resources have been assigned. RATIONALE: These details represent the work of the Hispanic/Latino Task Force as they have been meeting the past few months and have the support of the CCOM. Rev. Benton R. Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministries West Michigan Annual Conference ITEM #1-R3 SUBJECT: Response to Item #1, p. 203, Book B, Plan of Organization – Revision and Reorganization: AMENDMENT #3. Conference considered in five parts listed below. Item 1-R3(1) with “handicapping condition” changed to “special needs” conference voted concurrence. 1-R3(2) with “special needs” amendment conference voted concurrence, 1-R3(3) with addition “and the Commission on Religion an Race” and other amendments conference voted concurrence, 1-R3 (4) conference voted non-concurrence, and 1-R3 (5) conference voted non-concurrence. MOTION: I move to amend Item # 1 as follows: 1. Page 204, line 64: Delete the words “… ages, races and cultures” and substitute “… ages, genders, orientations, classes, religions, races, ethnicities, handicapping conditions, marital status and cultures.” Revised lines 64 would then read: “Create and nurture congregations that are seeking and reaching persons of all ages, genders, orientations, classes, religions, races, ethnicities, handicapping conditions, marital status and cultures.” 2. Page 205, lines 29-30: Delete the words “… regard to race, gender, age, and ability…” and substitute “…no discrimination based on age, gender, orientation, class, religion, race, ethnicity, handicapping condition or marital status, …”. Revised lines 29-30 would then read: “Inclusiveness and Openness – Our practices will work toward inclusiveness with no discrimination based on age, gender, orientation, class, religion, race, ethnicity, handicapping condition or marital status, in all places and circumstances.” RATIONALE FOR NO 1 AND 2 ABOVE: The new language proposed above more accurately describes how our conference (Personnel Policies) and our Discipline (¶715.1) affirm our basic values and


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147

beliefs about inclusiveness and non-discrimination. This consistency needs to be part of our declaration of Core Values and Beliefs. 3. Page 211, lines 8-21: Delete the words with strikethroughs and add the words underlined/italicized as follows: 3) Membership: a) The Twelve – Fourteen Voting Members, at least one of whom shall be a voting member of the Commission on Religion and Race (¶643.5): 1. Conference Lay Leader 2. Director of Connectional Ministries (who shall serve as chair) 3. A District Superintendent assigned for a term of no less than two but not more than three years (A District Superintendent chosen by the Bishop may attend in the absence of the assigned District Superintendent.) 4. President Chairperson of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration 5. Eight (8) Members-at-Large 6. Two additional members at-large: the Leadership Team, in consultation with the Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) in consultation with and the Committee on Nominations, may select two additional members at-large, to ensure inclusiveness, diversity, District representation, lay and clergy balance (¶608.6). These persons, if the DCM so chooses chosen to act, will serve one year terms, and may be appointed annually for up to eight years. 4. Page 211, lines 49-55: Delete the words with strikethroughs and add the words underlined/italicized as follows: 4) Organization: a. The Leadership Team shall have a chair and vice chair from among its at-large members, one of whom shall be a lay person and the other a clergy person, nominated by the Conference Nomination Committee and elected by the Annual Conference. Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) shall chair the Leadership Team and its meetings. (A lay member of the Leadership Team, elected by the Leadership Team shall serve as vice-chair, if the DCM is a clergy person. If the DCM is a layperson, a clergy member of the Leadership Team elected by the Leadership Team shall serve as vice-chair.) b. A recording secretary shall be appointed by the Leadership Team in consultation with the DCM for each meeting. This person shall not be a member of the Leadership Team and shall not have voice or vote. 5. Page 211, lines 57-59: Delete the words with strikethroughs and add the words underlined/italicized as follows: 5) Meetings: The team shall meet at least every three months. A quorum of seven (7) voting members is required to take necessary actions. Meetings may be held in electronic forms. The Leadership Team chair (or vice chair in the absence of the chair), the bishop, DCM or Conference lay leader may call special meetings as necessary to respond to the ministry needs of the Conference.

LEGISLATION

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RATIONALE FOR NO 3-5 ABOVE: The chairperson, president and/or primary leader of every other major council, board, committee and group in our annual conference is elected and chosen by action of the annual conference. These persons are selected and recommended by the Conference Nominating Committee. None of these leaders is or has historically been a chairperson or other leader by virtue of an office or position they hold or members of the conference staff. The new Conference Leadership Team will be one of the most important bodies within our conference. The person who chairs this significant body should also be selected though the normal nominating process and elected by the annual conference. The changes in the response petition addresses these matters, proposes other changes for consistency and makes some needed editorial corrections. David Lundquist, member of Kalamazoo First UMC, and Lay Member of the West Michigan Annual Conference ITEM #1

SUBJECT:

MOTION:

Plan of Organization – Revision and Reorganization. Conference voted concurrence with amendments Be it resolved that the following Plan of Organization be substituted for the current Plan of Organization of the West Michigan Conference, as recorded on pages 199-223 of the 2010 Conference Journal of the West Michigan Conference and printed in BOOK C, and be approved and become effective July 1, 2011. Be it further resolved that the Committee on Nominations, in consultation with the existing Conference Council on Ministries, nominate the 8-10 at-large member positions on the Conference Leadership Team and present them for approval prior to the end of the 2011 Annual Conference session. Be it further resolved that the Rules of Order Committee, with the guidance of the newly established Conference Leadership Team, make the necessary changes to the Conference Rules of Order and organizational structure in order to fulfill and implement this new Plan of Organization.

[gray text = new proposed material] XIII. PLAN OF ORGANIZATION Structure of the West Michigan Conference as adopted June, 1990, effective January 1, 1992 Revised, if adopted June, 2011, effective July 1, 2011 OUTLINE INTRODUCTION A. Preamble to the Plan of Organization B. The West Michigan Conference Vision Statement C. Goals and Strategies D. Core Values and Beliefs E. Organizational Principles F. Definitions G. General Provisions H. Changes in the Plan or Organization II. DISTRICT A. District Conference B. District Council on Ministries III. ANNUAL CONFERENCE A. Standing Committees B. Conference Ministries 1. Organization I.

LEGISLATION


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149

2. Meetings 3. Responsibilities 4. Conference Organizational Units: a. Director of Connectional Ministries b. Director of Communications c. Conference Leadership Team d. 1) Purpose 2) Accountability 3) Membership on the Conference Leadership Team 4) Organization 5) Meetings 6) Responsibilities 7) Relationships 8) Conference Program Staff 9) Narrative Summary 10) Implementation d. Agencies amenable to the Conference Leadership Team 1) Conference Ministries a) Board of Christian Camping b) Board of Church and Society c) Board of Discipleship d) Board of Evangelism e) Board of Global Ministries f) Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry g) Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns h) Commission on Religion and Race i) Commission on the Status & Role of Women J) Committee on Disability Concerns k) Committee on Disaster Response Team l) Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministries m) Committee on New Church Establishment and Development n) Committee on Prison Ministry o) Committee on Racial/Ethnic Local Church p) Michigan Area Indian Workers Conference q) UMCOR/Hunger Committee r) United Methodist Men s) United Methodist Women 2) Communications and Records Ministries a) Communications Commission b) Commission on Archives and History 3) District and Local Church Ministries (District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent) e. Finance and Property Ministries 1) Council on Finance and Administration 2) Board of Trustees 3) Board of Pension and Health Benefits 4) Committee on Equitable Compensation f. Human Resources Ministries 1) Abuse Prevention Team 2) Area Committee on Episcopacy 3) Board of Lay Ministries 4) Board of Ordained Ministry 5) Cabinet 6) Committee on Leadership Development 7) Conference Nominating Committee 8) Conference Personnel Committee

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LEGISLATION

9) Joint Committee on Incapacity g. Other Conference Organizational Units 1) Units With Conference Fiscal and Governing Control 2) Units Under Annual Conference Fiscal Control 3) Units Under Conference Governing Control 4) Units With Annual Conference Affiliation 5) Units With Annual Conference Representative Affiliation INTRODUCTION A. Preamble to the PLAN OF ORGANIZATION: “The purpose of the Annual Conference is to make disciples for Jesus Christ by equipping its local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church; all to the glory of God.” ¶601, 2008 The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. The faithful Church remains open to what God is doing in the world. The Church aligns its organizations and practices with a vision of authentic Christian mission. In the spirit of Jesus Christ, disciples – corporately and individually – act boldly and creatively to reflect God’s light to the world, to call persons to learn Christ’s servant ways and to participate in God’s purposes. Throughout history, when the Body of Christ has been open to God’s new creation and willing to journey toward God’s promise, the Holy Spirit has breathed vitality into its forms and blessed its ministry. The radical nature of change today calls for continually rethinking both personal practices and connectional patterns. By God’s grace we can create new paradigms more appropriate to the needs of our present day. The Conference must be grounded in mutual accountability and interdependency to live out its common vision for mission and ministry. As members offer diverse ideas and concerns, each person learns and grows through this interaction with one another. Thus, United Methodism continues to be grounded in the conciliatory principles of conferencing and connection. This Plan of Organization of the West Michigan Conference establishes a structure that is flexible and responsive to the changing world in the 21st century while being faithful to the Conference’s vision and mission. The WMC seeks to support and provide resources to the ministries of local congregations and provide for Conference organizational units that cannot be accomplished by local congregations. B. THE WEST MICHIGAN CONFERENCE VISION STATEMENT: “A living connection of disciples of Jesus Christ transforming the world through vital and fruitful congregations.” C. GOALS AND STRATEGIES The following goals and strategies express specific ways by which the West Michigan Conference seeks to live out its vision: 1. Vitality and fruitfulness will be improved as we: • Create a culture where discipleship means more than membership • Create and nurture congregations that are seeking and reaching persons of all ages, races and cultures • Encourage the constant development and transformation of both lay and clergy leaders • Intentionally develop new congregations, new worship services, and new satellite locations for congregations 2. Discipleship will be fostered through congregations who: • Change lives through effective, engaging and inviting worship • Empower and equip people to call others into a new relationship with Christ • Teach and model effective Christ-like service as a way of life • Pray for healing and wholeness, both inward and beyond • Encourage people to identify and respond to a call of ministry and service 3. Transformation will take place as we create and nurture congregations who strive to: • Identify and engage the needs of their communities • Respond to ministries beyond the local church and throughout our United Methodist connection with both money and service • Work for justice so that all persons experience the peace of Christ


D.

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• Risk change to move forward in mission and ministry CORE VALUES AND BELIEFS This plan of organization is undergirded by the following core values and beliefs that are held by the West Michigan Conference: A biblically based and spiritually centered culture, marked by: • Ongoing Biblical Study – We continually seek and discern God’s will for us through scripture. Through scripture “our faith is born and nourished, our understanding deepened, and the possibilities for transforming the world become apparent to us… Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason.”(¶104, 2008 The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church) • Effective Communication – We will share with each other and the world the promise of new life that is found in Jesus Christ. The outward expression of our faith is contagious and transparent and desires to inform and to equip others who are spiritually lost and seek Christ. The outcome for every Christian is to see the whole world as the people of God. We affirm the Great Commission. (Mathew 28:19-20) • Flexibility and Responsiveness – We will intentionally and effectively respond to changing or new situations with passion and creativity. We expect an attitude of openness to the leading of the Holy Spirit in all matters, and responsiveness to the needs of all persons. • Inclusiveness and Openness – Our practices will work toward inclusiveness with regard to race, gender, age, and ability, in all places and circumstances. Faithfulness to our Wesleyan tradition of personal and social holiness, marked by: • Accountability to a Common Vision and Mission – All conference, district, and local church organizations, boards, agencies and staff will be held accountable to align themselves with the vision and mission of the Conference. • Discipleship – We will help people/churches strengthen their relationship with Christ through study, learning, growing and maturing in a faith that is real and a community that is alive and vital for this day and time. It affirms the talents and gifts given through the leading of the Holy Spirit and each person’s place of service as their lives are transformed. • Evangelism – We will focus on proclaiming the gospel and seeking, welcoming and gathering persons into the body of Christ. (¶122, 2008 The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church) • Social justice – We desire a just world, and will be agents of healing. We reject all systems, structures and attitudes that divide. We pursue those things that will lead us to love our neighbor as ourselves as we “…do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).” A connectional organization, marked by: • Congregational Development – We will focus on starting new churches and revitalizing existing congregations. • Leadership Development – We will provide for the ongoing preparation and development of lay and clergy leaders to carry out the ministry of the Church. • Maintaining Connectionalism – The United Methodist connectional principle, born out of our historical tradition, biblical roots, and shared theological identity, is the basic form of our polity, the way in which we carry out God’s mission as a people. Connectionalism is a network of interdependent relationships among persons and groups throughout the life of the whole Church. (¶112.3, 1992 The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church & ¶131, 2008 The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church) • Ministry Focused on Local Congregations – We will offer support and resources for local congregations as they each offer evangelistic, nurture and witness responsibilities for their members and the surrounding area, and a missional outreach to the local and global community. (¶204, 2008 The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church) • Faithful Stewardship – We take responsibility for the good care of resources entrusted to us such as: the talent, time and gifts of local churches and their constituents; the effective use, definition of and deployment of staff whether paid or volunteer; and the accumulation and distribution of resources facilitating the ministry of the local church, the Annual Conference and the wider connection.

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2011


152 E.

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ORGANIZATIONAL PRINCIPLES The agencies of the West Michigan Conference will be more effective by being functional rather than representative. This structure is team-based rather than committee-based. Each member has a specific role. The organizational principles of the councils, boards, commissions and committees (referred to as agencies) of the West Michigan Conference are that each agency will: 1. Fulfill its responsibilities in a manner consistent with achieving the vision, strategies and goals of the Annual Conference; 2. Organize itself around its functions, and have members chosen on the basis of functional need and passion for the area of the agency’s work; 3. Adhere to the membership and organizational requirements in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church; 4. Allow district conferences and district nominating committees to design their own organizational structures; 5. Recommend that The Conference Nominating Committee seek to achieve in all its nominations, the goal of 1/3 laymen, 1/3 laywomen, and 1/3 clergy with racial/ethnic representation in each organizational unit; 6. Emphasize the importance of nominating persons who expect to serve on a unit for at least four years. Although elections are annual, continuity of leadership is important, especially in smaller units. 7. Encourage the representation of youth and young adults on all organizational units of the Church and to affirm them as vital members of the Church of today. F. DEFINITIONS: • “Ad hoc” – for the purpose of the particular end at hand. • “Agency” – a term to describe the various boards, councils, commissions, committees, divisions, or other units constituted. See ¶610 & 701, 2008 DISCIPLINE for fuller definition. • “At-large” – without regard to geography, specific responsibilities, or any other classification. • “Board” – one of the nine (9) program units of the Conference (Christian Camping, Church and Society, Discipleship, Evangelism, Global Ministries, Higher Education and Campus Ministry, Board of Laity, Ordained Ministry [program only]) each responsible to the Conference Leadership Team and having direct relationship with similar General Church agencies as well; The Board of Trustees, and the Board of Pension and Health Benefits each responsible to the Conference and having direct relationship with similar General Church agencies. • “Conference” – Hereafter the word Conference shall mean The West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church. • “Conference Staff” – Director of Connectional Ministries, Conference Treasurer/Administrator, Director of Communications, and such other program and/or administrative employees. • “Co-opt” – to choose or elect as a member for a particular task or purpose. • “DISCIPLINE” – the word “DISCIPLINE” shall mean The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church as revised each quadrennium. • “Matrix management style” – coordinated system which works with intentional interweaving of operations and cooperation of organizational units to achieve an agreed upon end. • “Ministry Team” – employed leaders of the Annual Conference comprising the Bishop, Clergy Assistant to the Bishop, the District Superintendents, the Director of Connectional Ministries, Director of Communications, the Conference Treasurer/Administrator (all of the aforementioned comprise the Full Cabinet), the Conference Program Staff and the Director of the United Methodist Foundation. • “Organizational Unit” – an officially established council, board, commission, division, committee, task force, council, section of the Conference. This term means the same as “agency”. • “Task force” – a small group selected to work for a designated time not to exceed two years on a designated assignment, then to be dissolved when the task is completed. Membership on a task force may come from anywhere, i.e., is not restricted to membership on the parent group. Persons who have membership on other organizational units may serve on a Task Force, if they choose. In the formation of the task force, attention should be given to inclusiveness (laity, clergy, gender, race and age.)


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• “Ex-officio” – members on an organizational unit because of office or position with voice and vote unless otherwise stated. G. General Provisions: 1. Membership eligibility. Only members of The United Methodist Church shall be eligible for membership on an organizational unit—task forces excepted—unless permitted otherwise by the DISCIPLINE, Conference, or this Plan of Organization. 2. Conflict of interest. No person receiving compensation from a Conference unit shall be eligible to be an officer on an organizational unit from which he/she would receive compensation, unless required by the DISCIPLINE, this Plan of Organization, or the expressed intention of this Conference. Care shall be given to avoid, as much as possible, appearance of conflict of interest of persons serving on organizational units who at the same time work with congregations or other bodies who receive funding from the Conference. No member of an organizational unit shall vote on any matters pertaining to Conference or District funding for any congregation or agency by which he/she is employed. 3. District Superintendency. The District Superintendents shall not be eligible for membership on any organizational unit of the Conference except as required by the DISCIPLINE or the expressed intention of this Conference. A. Superintendents shall serve as voting members of the respective District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent, and the several District Committees, etc. that exist. B. One District Superintendent shall serve as a voting member of the Conference Leadership Team as described herein. C. One District Superintendent shall be named by the Bishop to serve as a member 1) without vote on i. The Board of Ordained Ministry, ii. The Council on Finance and Administration, 2) and with vote on i. The Commission on Equitable Salaries, ii. The Personnel Committee. D. For communication purposes District Superintendents may receive mailings and maintain contact with chairpersons of other organizational units but they shall not be expected to attend meetings of those units. Any person serving on a Conference organizational unit who is appointed to the Cabinet shall end such service at the Annual Conference when the appointment commences, or at least by the next Annual Conference if it is a mid-year appointment. Nothing in these provisions shall be interpreted as preventing a District Superintendent from serving on any Jurisdictional or General Church agency, nor a Board of Trustees (or other governing body) of any group whose essential membership is not selected by this Conference. 4. Tenure. No person elected by the Annual Conference shall serve for more than eight (8) consecutive years from the date of his/her election on any organizational unit, or predecessor unit. Following any service of eight (8) years, there shall be a period of at least two (2) years before re-election to the same unit is possible. Persons elected shall serve until their successors are elected or appointed, even if this extends for a brief period the limit of their eight (8) year tenure. Exceptions to the rule of tenure are: a. the Board of Ordained Ministry who are elected and serve, in accordance with the current provisions of THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE; b. The Rules of Order Committee and the Conference Facilitator who are elected annually; c. Those units listed under Article III., Section C.4.E. Other Conference Organizational Units. On these agencies, their election procedures, tenure, etc. shall take precedence. 5. Membership Restriction. A person shall not serve simultaneously as a member of more than one board. A Chair of any Conference board shall not serve on another Conference agency unless as an ex-officio member; exceptions could occur for missional reasons or when specific expertise is required by an agency. No person shall be elected to serve on an organizational unit in more than one capacity. However, for a limited time, persons who offer a specific missional value may serve in an advisory capacity without vote

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on an organizational unit to which they have not been elected. If a person serving on a Conference unit is elected to serve on a Jurisdictional or General Conference agency that is different than the one they presently serve in the Conference, that person may relinquish membership on the former Annual Conference unit and shall become a member of the Annual Conference unit that corresponds to the one served on a general church level. Vacancies. In the event of a membership vacancy on any organizational unit, the chairperson of such unit shall be entitled to select a person to fill that vacancy for no longer than the current Conference year. Consultation with the Conference Nominating Committee chairperson will occur as this is done, and consideration of other general provisions will be kept in mind. The appropriate nominating body will then in due process act to fill the position that was vacated. Any person selected to fill a vacancy shall be eligible for nomination and election at the ensuing Annual Conference subject to the tenure rules. In the case of the Board of Ordained Ministry, if the remaining tenure of that vacancy was two years or less for a quadrennium, that time shall not apply to the tenure rule. Chairpersons and Membership. Elections of Chairpersons and selection of members of Conference organizational units. Chairpersons and members of organizational units named herein, shall be nominated by the Conference Nominating Committee and elected by the Annual Conference. a. Exceptions to this process are: 1) Members and Chairs of Board of Ordained Ministry, Clergy Committee on Investigation, Joint Committee on Review, and The Conference Nominating Committee who are nominated by the Bishop/Cabinet and 2) Chairpersons of Conference Council on Finance and Administration, Board of Trustees, Board of Pension and Health Benefits, Board of Ordained Ministry, the Area Committee on Episcopacy, the Rules of Order Committee. These Chairpersons shall be elected by their respective organizations. b. The following process shall be used: 1) Organizational units under this process shall be all area and conference boards, commissions, committees, the Conference Leadership Team, the Council on Finance and Administration, Conference Trustees (see above exception), 2) Organizational units may suggest to the Conference Nominating Committee persons to be considered for nomination as members and chairperson on said unit. 3) Not later than March 15 in any year when a new Chairperson is to be selected, (or immediately in the event of a vacancy), a unit may advise the Conference Nominating Committee of one or more persons it would place in nomination for such office; 4) The respective organizational units shall nominate and elect, following the Annual Conference election of their chairperson, such other officers as they deem helpful for doing their business. Such elections will occur at any regular or called meeting for such purpose keeping in mind that presently elected officers continue until their successors are duly elected. 5) While election of chairpersons and other officers may happen at any time, there is a historic process that such elections shall normally occur at the Annual Conference of the year when General Conference convenes. Potentially this would provide training for new leaders, normally occurring after Jurisdictional conferences. 6) Each organizational unit will be intentional in seeking a balance of 1/3 laymen, 1/3 laywomen, and 1/3 clergy and to be representative of age and racial/ethnic persons. The Conference Nominating Committee has the task of seeking these balances. 7) Any positions that are nominated by the Conference Nominating Committee and elected by the Annual Conference and are still open at the close of the Conference shall be filled by the Committee on Nominations in consultation as necessary with the Bishop, the Cabinet and/or the organizational unit affected. Any person selected to fill such an opening shall be eligible for nomination and election at the ensuing Annual Conference subject to tenure rules.


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Executive Committees. Unless otherwise prohibited by the DISCIPLINE, the Annual Conference, or this Plan or Organization, a duly elected executive committee of any organizational unit is authorized to act between meetings on behalf of such unit to implement or effectuate policies and/or actions of the organizational unit. H. Changes in the Plan of Organization This Plan of Organization shall always be changed so as to conform to DISCIPLINE. 1. By submission of a Petition to the Conference as provided for in the Rules of Order, or a Response Petition according to the same aforementioned process; 2. Petitions for a change in this Plan or Organization shall be referred, first, to the Rules of Order Committee for its comment and recommendation in writing; and, second, to the Annual Conference for its action as it is reported to the Conference. 3. When two thirds (2/3) of the members of the Conference present and voting, vote in favor of the amendment or change this Plan shall be so amended or changed. II. DISTRICT A. District Conference There shall be a District Conference on each District in the Annual Conference. 1. It shall meet at the time and place specified by the District Superintendent with at least fourteen (14) days public notice 2. Membership of the District Conference shall be: a. The following persons from each local church on the District: all pastors; lay leader; president of the United Methodist Women; president of the United Methodist Men; chairperson of the Council on Ministries and/or Administrative Council; chairperson of the Finance Committee; church school superintendent; chairpersons of the Missions and Evangelism Work Areas; chairperson of the Trustees; chairperson of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee or Staff Parish Relations Committee; Lay Member(s) of the Annual Conference elected by the congregations of the District; and lay members of Annual Conference elected by District Conference. b. All members of the District Council on Ministries of the District (see Section B following). 3. In addition to such items as shall be determined by the District Conference, Council on Ministries, and/or the Superintendent as being necessarily a part of its order of business and rules of order, there shall be the following: The District Conference shall be held prior to March 10th. At this meeting the District Conference shall place on its agenda these items: a. Annually each District Conference, if requested by the Conference Nominating Committee, shall elect those persons requested to serve organizational units. b. Annually each District Conference shall elect the members of its District Council on Ministries (See Section B following). These shall be elected upon the nominations offered by the District Nominating Committee, providing that at no time shall nominations from the floor of the District Conference be denied. Vacancies shall be filled by the Nominating Committee subject to election at the next meeting of the District Conference. c. The adoption of any goals or priorities of programming may be forwarded to the Conference Leadership Team for coordination into the Conference program and possible funding. d. Any special requests for Conference and/or District finances must be coordinated with both the Conference Leadership Team and the Conference Council on Finance and Administration for the inclusion with the total financial projections within the Annual Conference. 4. Other meetings of the District Conference may be held during the year at the call of the District Superintendent, the Bishop, or one third of the District Council on Ministries, upon notice to the churches of at least fourteen days. B. District Council on Ministries or the equivalent: 1. The District Council on Ministries, or the equivalent, shall be the basic unit of connectional organization for District programming. The authority of the District

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Council, or the equivalent, is limited only by the provisions of The DISCIPLINE, actions of the Annual Conference, and other parts of this Plan of Organization. 2. Each District shall develop those ministries it shall choose to undergird the ministries of the congregations within the District, and those given to it by the Annual Conference. 3. Each District through its nominating process and District Conference shall select the structure which shall best serve that District in order to accomplish those ministries it chooses and are given to it by the Annual Conference. 4. Membership and Organization: a) The following may be members of the District Council on Ministries, or the equivalent: 1) The District Superintendent 2) District UMCOR/Hunger Coordinator 3) District Lay Leader (District Board of Laity) 4) District Lay Members at large of the Annual Conference 5) District President of the United Methodist Women 6) District President of the United Methodist Men 7) District President of the United Methodist Youth 8) District Secretary of Global Ministries 9) District Disaster Response Coordinator 10) Members of the following groups on the District or persons fulfilling these responsibilities a)Finance & Property 1. Board of Church Location & Building 2. Church Extension (New Church Development) Committee 3. Finance b) District & Local Church committees and organizations recognized by The United Methodist Church. c)Human Resources 1. Ordained Ministry 2. District Superintendency Committee 3. Leadership Development 4. Nominating Committee 5. Funding of the District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent. 5. A District, in order to fulfill the responsibilities above, must have control over allocation and use of funds for program purposes in that District. Such funds shall be made available as follows: e. Through regular Annual Conference budgetary processes there may be appropriated from Annual Conference sources to each District Council on Ministries, or the equivalent, an annual operations sum. f. The Conference Leadership Team shall determine annually what programs requested by the Annual Conference are appropriately district related. They may provide funds to the respective District Council on Ministries or the equivalent, to enable these programs. This statement shall be made at the earliest feasible date to assist the District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent, in their ministries. g. District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent, may have the option of submitting program and funding requests for ministries on that District to the Conference Leadership Team for coordination, acceptance and implementation. Any funding requested of Conference monies, shall have been approved by the (1) District Conference, and (2) thereafter by the Annual Conference, including review by the Council on Finance and Administration, for continuation year after year. III. ANNUAL CONFERENCE A. Standing Committees The following shall be the Standing Committees of the Session of the Annual Conference: Agenda, Journal, Memoirs, Program, Reference Committee, and Rules of Order. Membership on the


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aforementioned shall be as provided for by The Rules of Order. As provided for in the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church there shall be the Committees on Investigation respectively for Ordained Ministers and Diaconal Ministers and the Joint Review Committee. B. Conference Ministries: Organizational units of our Conference are grouped with others doing similar kinds of tasks and will function with a matrix style. We designate three such foci of tasks: • Conference Leadership Team: program, direction and guidance oversight tasks of the Conference; • Finance and Property Ministries: administrative tasks of the Conference; and, • Human Resources Ministries: personnel recruitment, support and guidance tasks of the Conference. 1. Organization The following organizational units shall have membership as designated. Unless specified otherwise, all members shall be nominated by The Committee on Nominations and elected by the Annual Conference in accordance with provisions of this Plan of Organization. a. Chairpersons of each organizational unit (except the Chairpersons of Conference Leadership Team, Conference Board of Lay Ministries, Conference Council on Finance and Administration, Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits, Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and the Area Committee on Episcopacy), shall be nominated by in accordance with provisions of this Plan of Organization, and then elected by the Annual Conference. If a vacancy of Chairperson occurs between sessions of the Conference, The Committee on Nominations may select a Chairperson Pro Tem (using I., D., 7. B.) to serve until regularly elected by the Conference. b. Each organizational unit will itself elect a vice chairperson, secretary, and such other officers as it shall determine are needed following the election of the chairperson. c. Each organizational unit shall determine its own internal organization with reference to standing committees such as a Nominating Committee, etc., subject to the DISCIPLINE. Chairpersons of standing committees and task forces shall be selected from the membership of the agency, unless a non-agency member is approved in advance by the agency chairperson. d. Each organizational unit shall have the authority to enlist non-members of that agency in any of their sub-groups and/or task forces. e. In order to provide continuity of leadership, a duly elected chairperson or other officer may continue on that agency, at the discretion of the organizational unit, until the expiration of that person’s tenure even though the originating membership category (District representative, General Conference Board member, etc.) may change during that person’s tenure as an officer. 2. Meetings a. Each organizational unit shall meet at least once annually, and may meet more often to accomplish its work on call of its executive committee or chairperson. Meetings are to be scheduled and when possible published in the Conference calendar of meetings. b. A special meeting of the organizational unit may be called by the chairperson, one third of its membership, or the Bishop upon ten (10) days notice. 3. Responsibilities a. To determine the unit’s goals, priorities and work in light of the goals and priorities adopted by the Annual Conference and transmitted through the Conference Leadership Team and/ or the Conference Staff. b. To develop, plan and implement programs in response to and on the basis of needs and requests of the districts and of local congregations as well as the General Conference. It is understood that: 1) The District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent are responsible for ascertaining and communicating to the Conference organizational units the needs of the districts and of local churches along with program and administrative suggestions where possible; 2) Local churches, or any local church member, may communicate directly with Conference organizational units;

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3) The organizational units may communicate (and promote) the need for program and/or administrative emphases to the District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent, and in such cases the organizational unit shall develop and implement program activities in cooperation with the District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent; 4) The organizational units shall seek, wherever feasible, the cooperation of the District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent, in the promotion of specific projects and/or pilot testing programs. c. To provide, wherever possible, resources of any kind upon request of District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent, or of local churches. d. To fulfill the responsibilities outlined by the DISCIPLINE, and requested by the Annual Conference. e. To be the connecting link between the Annual Conference and the corresponding agencies of the General Church. 4. Conference Organizational Units a. Director of Connectional Ministries: 1) Purpose: There shall be a Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) who shall be the administrator and coordinator of the organization and ministry of the West Michigan Conference, as defined by the DISCIPLINE and outlined here. 2) Accountability: The Director of Connectional Ministries shall be: • chosen and approved by the Bishop and by the Personnel Committee. • guided by the Conference Leadership Team and is accountable to the Bishop and the Personnel Committee. 3) Responsibilities: The Director of Connectional Ministries shall: • Interpret the vision and mission of the Conference; • Ensure alignment of the total resources of the Conference to its vision • Link administrative and program ministries; • Supervise Conference staff and link full-time and part-time Conference staff, with an emphasis on enhancing the ministry of local congregations; • Coordinate the ministry of the Conference Leadership Team and provide linkage among the various entities of the Conference; • Serve, in consultation with the Bishop, as the Conference communicator to public media and other entities within and beyond the Conference; • Promote area, jurisdictional and general church ministry; • Serve as a member of the Cabinet; • Fulfill any other duties given by the DISCIPLINE to a DCM or equivalent position. • Serve as a primary information source for congregational and Conference leaders. • Be a member with voice but not vote of the Council on Finance and Administration, its Executive Committee and the Conference Board of Trustees. • Not have the responsibilities of property management and those duties mandated by the DISCIPLINE to the Conference Treasurer. a. Director of Communications b. 1) Purpose: Build, coordinate and improve the communications ministries of The United Methodist Church within the West Michigan Conference as it carries out the mission of making and empowering disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 2) Accountability: This person is chosen by the Bishop in consultation with the DCM and the Personnel Committee. This position is accountable to the Bishop, the DCM and is a member of the Full Cabinet; the Director of Connectional Ministries is the primary supervisor. 3) Responsibilities: Assist the Director of Connectional Ministries in his/her responsibilities as a communication linkage with the General Boards and Agencies. • Coordinate, in collaboration with the Area Office, crisis communication strategies and develop related training opportunities for local churches and Conference


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leadership. Oversee the maintenance and facilitation of a Conference wide data base system, including the oversight of the Conference web site. • Be responsible for the oversight and proper use of copyright permissions and/or restriction. • Provide oversight/coordination of information technology (IT) support services for Conference and District Offices c. Conference Leadership Team 1) Purpose: The Conference Leadership Team (Leadership Team) shall act on behalf of the Annual Conference between sessions in order to give general direction, guidance, and ensure the alignment of the resources, structure and ministries in support of the mission, vision and strategic goals of the Conference. 2) Accountability: The Leadership Team is a council with governing responsibilities that shall be accountable to, and annually file a written report with, the Annual Conference. It shall request funding through the Conference Council on Finance and Administration. Minutes will be available in a timely fashion. 3) Membership: a) The Twelve – Fourteen Voting Members, at least one of whom shall be a voting member of the Commission on Religion and Race (¶643.5): 1. Conference Lay Leader 2. Director of Connectional Ministries (who shall serve as chair) 3. A District Superintendent assigned for a term of no less than two but not more than three years (A District Superintendent chosen by the Bishop may attend in the absence of the assigned District Superintendent.) 4.. Chairperson of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration 5. 8 Members-at-large 6. Two additional members at-large: the Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM), in consultation with the Committee on Nominations, may select two additional members at-large, to ensure inclusiveness, diversity, District representation, lay and clergy balance (¶608.6). These persons, if the DCM so chooses to act, will serve one year terms, and may be appointed annually for up to eight years b) Other members with voice, but no vote: .1.Area Bishop (or in the Bishop’s absence, the Clergy Assistant to the Bishop) 2 . Director of Communications 3 . The Conference Treasurer 4. Any person residing within the bounds of the Annual Conference with membership on the Connectional Table [The Book of Discipline of the UMC2008 (¶ 901).] c) Characteristics Members at-large of the Leadership Team shall be nominated by the Conference Committee on Nominations, with input from the Conference’s and Districts’ Leadership Teams, based on their ability to: • Think in terms of the future. • Deal with the abstract. • Deal with qualitative ideas. • Give up a desire to make short term concrete decisions. • Give up desire to be involved in day-to-day operations of the boards and agencies. • Be involved in regular monitoring of one’s self and the Leadership Team’s performance. • Think in terms of working for the Annual Conference and its connections rather than for a particular agency of the Annual Conference. d) Criteria for the eight –ten members at-large: • They shall not be chairpersons or employees of Conference boards or

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agencies. They shall be elected for four-year terms in four classes of two persons each and are eligible for a second four year term. • Members at-large who are laity shall be considered members of the Annual Conference in accordance with Rule 8. C, of the Conference Rules of Order, “Equalization of Lay and Clergy Members,” • At least one of them shall be under the age of 30. • All Districts shall have at least one voting member among the eight-ten members at-large 4) Organization: The Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) shall chair the Leadership Team and its meetings. (A lay member of the Leadership Team, elected by the Leadership Team shall serve as vice-chair, if the DCM is a clergy person. If the DCM is a layperson, a clergy member of the Leadership Team elected by the Leadership Team shall serve as vice-chair.) a. A recording secretary shall be appointed by the DCM for each meeting. This person shall not be a member of the Leadership Team and shall not have voice or vote. 5) Meetings: The team shall meet at least every three months. A quorum of seven (7) voting members is required to take necessary actions. Meetings may be held in electronic forms. The bishop, the DCM or Conference lay leader may call special meetings as necessary to respond to the ministry needs of the Conference. Members of the team shall meet the minimum attendance requirement of being present at two-thirds (66 percent) of leadership team meetings. Failure to meet the minimum attendance requirement may result in being declared ineligible to serve as a member of the Leadership Team by a majority vote of the Leadership Team present and voting at a duly called meeting. 6) Responsibilities: In addition to the above stated Purpose, the Leadership Team shall: a) Design a process for implementing the action strategies of the West Michigan Conference. b) Annually convene the leaders of the Conference’s and Districts’ boards and agencies to test the current Conference vision, develop vision/strategic plans necessary for future changes for the Conference and provide an opportunity for training and collaboration. c) Recommend priorities to the Annual Conference on a quadrennial basis d) Hold the various boards and agencies accountable to the boards’ and agencies’ respective processes of visioning, planning, implementation, funding and evaluation, in accordance with the 2008 DISCIPLINE ¶610: “How are we intentionally reaching new people for Jesus Christ through our ministries?”; and “How are we helping new people grow and mature as disciples of Jesus Christ through our ministries and areas of responsibility?” e) Facilitate communication between the boards or agencies as they focus spiritual, human, and fiscal resources to accomplish mission and ministry goals. f) Ensure effective communication to and from local churches through the District and Conference agencies. g) Appoint Task Forces as needed. h) Recommend to the Annual Conference timely changes in the internal structure of the Leadership Team, and any of its organizational units; i) Compile and recommend an overall budget for the program boards and agencies to the Council on Finance and Administration. j) Invite input as necessary from other Conference leaders. 7) Relationships: a) The Leadership Team has a responsibility for making sure that every board and agency is focused on work that relates directly to local congregations of the Conference and the fulfillment of these stated purposes. (¶201 of The Book of Discipline of the UMC – 2008 •

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states; “The local church provides the most significant arena through which disciplemaking occurs.” ¶601 identifies the purpose of the Annual Conference as “equipping its local churches for ministry and providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church...”) b) The Leadership Team, subject to their accountability to the Annual Conference and as limited or granted by the DISCIPLINE, has the authority to approve or deny the continuation of funding for programs in the Conference. c) The Leadership Team may be invited to meet with the Full Cabinet in accordance with the provisions of ¶429.4 of The Book of Discipline of the UMC – 2008; “the Cabinet is charged with the oversight of the spiritual and temporal affairs of a conference, to be executed in regularized consultation and cooperation with other councils and service agencies of the conference.” d) The Leadership Team shall make recommendations to the Conference Council on Finance and Administration based on ministry priorities and measurable outcomes as they work collaboratively on developing and submitting a comprehensive budget to the Annual Conference. 8) Conference Program Staff: There may be employed Conference Program Staff as determined by the Leadership Team. The Conference Program Staff would resource and enable the Conference vision through local congregations and Conference programs. Individual job descriptions shall be proposed by the DCM in consultation with the Personnel Committee, and the Conference Program Staff, as guided by the priorities and annual program of the Conference. These job descriptions shall be confirmed by the Personnel Committee. Conference Program Staff shall be supervised by and accountable to the Director of Connectional Ministries. 9) Narrative Summary of Conference Leadership Team The Leadership Team is a body designed to replace the Council on Ministries. It shall act on behalf of the Annual Conference between sessions in order to give general direction, guidance, and alignment of resources in support of the mission and vision of the Conference. It shall focus on the three strategies and goals of the Conference vision: Fruitfulness, Discipleship, and Transformation. Its primary guiding questions shall be: • Are we creating and nurturing dynamic and fruitful congregations who make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world? • What are the results that help us determine whether we are accomplishing our mission/ministry? • What shall we do to more effectively accomplish our goals and strategies of Fruitfulness, Discipleship and Transformation? The Leadership Team is intended to be a body that will consistently represent the interests of the Conference and its connection (local and general church). It is not to function as though its primary role and responsibility is to represent staff, or the boards and agencies of the Conference. The Leadership Team is a servant of the Annual Conference and its connections and is guided by the Conference’s vision, mission, goals and strategies, core values, and beliefs. The Leadership Team is to act with cohesive integrity, serving as one. It is to speak as a body for the Conference and its connections between sessions of the Annual Conference. It does not speak individually, except where mandated by the DISCIPLINE, for the Conference and its connections. The Leadership Team is to speak with authority when it passes official motions at a properly called meeting. The Leadership Team must give careful attention to the principles of sound delegation, to increase the likelihood that boards and agencies will successfully carry out their responsibilities. Boards and agencies will be accountable to the Leadership Team for the achievement of

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results that fulfill vision, mission, goals and strategies, core values, and beliefs of the Conference and its connections. The Leadership Team will focus on consistency, expectations, clarity and results. It will provide clear measureable expectations regarding performance and results, interpret those expectations to agencies with clarity and hold them accountable for results. 10) Implementation The Plan of Organization of the Conference is to be amended so that the boards and agencies are organized following a primary template of: 1. Accountability; 2. Purpose; 3. Membership; 4. Organization; 5. Meetings; 6. Responsibilities Where this information is missing, the Leadership Team is expected to work with the particular board or agency to complete this information and return those details to the next Annual Conference for action. d. Agencies amenable to the Leadership Team To facilitate their ministries, organizational units are grouped with others doing similar kinds of tasks and will function with a matrix style. We designate three such focuses of tasks: 1) Conference Ministries; ministries having major impact upon and support of the ministries congregations do collectively as a Conference; 2) Communications and Records Ministries; ministries of public relations, communication and promotion, and historical record keeping to help all know and share the programs of the Conference, districts and congregations; 3) District and Local Church Ministries; support, enablement, and cooperation with ministries essentially carried out for, with, on behalf of, and in local congregations, clusters of congregations, and districts. Organizational units relating to each of these three focuses (Conference Ministries, Communications and Records Ministries, and District and Local Church Ministries) have their own several identities and will organize and function as outlined below. Those relating to the grouping of Conference Ministries are not required to meet with each other in the development of their work, but they may meet (as whole units, executive committees, or chairpersons) if they desire, to coordinate programming. Chairpersons of units or Conference Staff may initiate such meetings. Units will operate similarly under the focuses of Communications and Records Ministries, and District and Local Church Ministries. 1) Conference Ministries; ministries having a major impact upon and support of the ministries congregations do collectively as a Conference. There shall be the following organizational units: a. Board of Christian Camping b. Board of Church and Society c. Board of Discipleship d. Board of Evangelism e. Board of Global Ministries f. Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry g. Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns h. Commission on Religion and Race i. Commission on the Status & Role of Women j. Committee on Disability Concerns k. Committee on Disaster Response Team l. Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministries m. Committee on New Church Establishment and Development n. Committee on Prison Ministry o. Committee on Racial/Ethnic Local Church p. Michigan Area Indian Workers Conference q. UMCOR/Hunger Committee r. United Methodist Men s. United Methodist Women DESCRIPTIONS: a. Board of Christian Camping 1) Accountability: The Board shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership


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Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. Each camp has a Site Committee that is responsible for the oversight of the Director at that camp. Each Camp Director reports directly to a Conference Program Staff person and all camps use the Conference Treasurer’s office to manage payments received and due. 2) Purpose: The purpose of the Board of Christian Camping and the Camping program is to provide opportunities for people to encounter the transforming presence of God in the setting of camps. 3) Membership: a) Eleven (11) members at large; b) Ex-officio (voice and vote): one representative from each Local Camp Committee, selected by each Committee, c) A representative from the Lake Louise Group Community, d) Two youth elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries, e) District Directors of Camping or that person’s designee. f) From these members is chosen an executive committee, consisting of the Board chair (selected by the Conference Nominating Committee), a secretary, vice chair, and financial officer, and the chairs of the Program Committee, Properties Committee, and Promotions Committee. 4) Organization: a) The Executive Committee acts as a personnel committee for the purpose of employing directors for the five camps, and leads the board. b) The Program Committee is responsible for the development and implementation of an evaluation process to ensure excellence in programming at the camps. c) The Promotions Committee works with the camp directors and with the Conference Communications Director to develop promotions for the camps. d) The Properties Committee includes the camp directors and a chair who is not a director, and addresses issues relating to the camp properties. 5) Meetings: The Board meets at least four times annually, and the Executive Committee between Board meetings and as necessary. 6) Responsibilities: a) Maximize participation in and the impact of camping on the Church and its ministries, by providing excellent Christian programming, b) Ensure safety for campers and staff, c) Exercise stewardship of camp properties and resources d) Communicate the needs of the camping program to the Conference and to local churches e) Develop and maintain a budget under the umbrella of the Leadership Team. b. Board of Church and Society: 1) Accountability: The Board shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: a) Fifteen (15) members at large; b) Ex-officio (voice and vote): one youth representative elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries; the mission coordinator for the Christian social involvement of the Conference United Methodist Women; any member of a related General Church agency. c) The Conference Chairperson of Homeless Ministries to be nominated by CONALD. d) One representative from each District as nominated by the district nominating committee. 4) Organization:

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5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities: c. Board of Discipleship: 1) Accountability: The Board shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: This Board shall program for ministry as described in the DISCIPLINE including the development of ministries in the areas of children, youth, adult, family, stewardship, witness, and devotional life. 3) Membership: a) Fourteen (14) members-at-large b) Ex-officio, nominated by Conference Nominations Committee and elected by the Annual Conference (voice and vote): Conference Coordinator of Children’s Ministries, Conference Coordinator of Family Life Ministries, Conference Coordinator of Older Adult Ministries, Conference Coordinator of single Adult Ministries, Conference Coordinator of Young Adult Ministries, one person representing Stewardship ministries, and one representative from the Board of Evangelism. c) Ex-officio (voice and vote): two youth elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries, the Conference Coordinator of Youth Ministries elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries, one representative elected by the Conference United Methodist Women, one representative elected by the Christian Educators’ Fellowship, one representative elected by the Forum for Adults in Youth Ministry, one representative elected by the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts (FUMMWA), and any person serving as a member of the General Board of Discipleship. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities d. Board of Evangelism 1) Accountability: The Board shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: To lead the congregations and agencies of our Conference in evangelism ministries. 3) Membership a) Seven (7) members at large, one of whom shall be a representative to the Board of Discipleship. b) One person named by each of the six Districts to represent evangelism ministries. c) Ex-officio (voice and vote): the Director of Connectional Ministries; any member of a related General Church agency. d) Ex-officio (voice and vote) two youth representatives elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities e. Board of Global Ministries: 1) Accountability: The Board shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: This Board shall program for ministry as described in the DISCIPLINE. 3) Membership: a) Ten (10) members at large; b) The Conference Secretary of Global Ministries who shall be nominated by the Bishop and elected by the Annual Conference;


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The Chairperson of the Conference UMCOR/Hunger Committee; The Conference United Methodist Women’s coordinator of global concerns; Any member of a related General Church Agency; Volunteer in Mission Coordinator who shall be nominated by CONALD and elected by the Annual Conference; g) The Missions Secretary from each of the six (6) Districts; h) The Conference Coordinator of Cooperative Ministries; i) Coordinator of Bible Distribution Ministries; k) Coordinator of Refugee Ministries; l) Chairperson of the Hispanic Ministry Plan; m) Ex-officio (voice and vote) one youth representative as elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. n) Health and Welfare Ministries representative 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities: f. Board of Higher Education & Campus Ministry: 1) Accountability: The Board shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: a) Twelve (12) members at large; b) Ex-officio (voice and vote): one student and the chairperson, or representative, selected by each local Wesley Foundation Board and church-related college, and Grand Valley Student Fellowship. c) Ex-officio (voice and vote): any member of a related General Church agency. d) Ex-officio (voice and vote) two youth representatives elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities: g. Commission on Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concerns: 1) Accountability: The Commission shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: a) The Chairperson nominated by the Conference Nominating Committee. This may be a person selected from section (2), below; b) Six (6) members, one from each District chosen by the several District conferences c) Ex-officio (voice and vote): any member of the Standing Committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns; the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA; or those who residing within the bounds of the Conference have been official United Methodist Delegates to the most recent World Council of Churches Assembly; d) The chairperson shall represent the Conference on the state ecumenical agency that may exist. e) Ex-officio (voice and vote) one youth representative elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities h. Commission on Religion and Race: 1) Accountability: The Commission shall be accountable to the Conference

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Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: a) Eight (8) racial/ethnic persons including four African Americans, two Native Americans, one Hispanic American, one Asian American; b) Four (4) other members at-large; any member of a related General Church Agency if not in the above membership; c) Out of all the above members each District shall be represented; d) Ex-officio (voice and vote) two youth representatives elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities i. Commission on the Status & Role of Women: 1) Accountability: The Commission shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: a) Eleven (11) members at large, the majority of whom shall be women; b) One member named by the Conference United Methodist Women; c) Any member of a related General Church Agency if not in this member at large number; d) The Chairperson shall be a woman; e) Ex-officio (voice and vote) two representatives elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities j. Committee on Disability Concerns 1) Accountability: The Committee shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: The committee shall include at least 10 members, representative of all six districts. The committee may be expanded to include additional members whenever this is needed to provide advocacy for persons with various disabilities. Members of the committee, including the chair, shall be nominated by the Committee on Nominations and elected by the Conference. The committee shall be accountable to the Leadership Team. The Committee will also have a representative on the Annual Conference Program Committee. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities k. Committee on Disaster Response Team 1) Accountability: The Committee shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: There shall be a Conference Disaster Response Team Committee whose purpose shall be: a) to work with the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and other organizations, in response to disasters within the bounds of the West Michigan Conference; b) to help provide beyond the boundaries of the Conference personnel and


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equipment as needed in response to emergency need; c) to assist local congregations in being trained and equipped to better handle emergencies within their own churches and communities 3) Membership: a) A Conference Disaster Response Coordinator who shall be the Chairperson. The Coordinator shall be appointed by the Bishop in consultation with the Conference Nominating Committee and with UMCOR. b) Six District Coordinators selected by the respective District conferences. c) The Conference Volunteer In Mission Coordinator d) A representative from the Board of Global Missions 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities l. Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministries 1) Accountability: The Committee shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: The committee will: a) relate to all Conference agencies for the implementation of the National Plan for Hispanic Ministry as it may be adapted to meet the specific needs of the Conference Plan b) provide direction and leadership for Hispanic ministries in the Conference c) establish any necessary policies for its committee and staff 3) Membership: 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities m. Committee on New Church Establishment and Development 1) Accountability: The Committee shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: a) Twelve (12) members at-large; b) Three (3) of the above twelve (12) shall be from congregations chartered within the last ten years. c) Ex-officio (voice and vote): 1. one youth representative elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 2. The Director of New Church Establishment. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities n. Committee on Prison Ministry 1) Accountability: The Committee shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: To empower persons in local congregations to meet the needs of prisoners, their families and returning citizens 3) Membership: a) Nine (9) members, including at least one from each District to be nominated by the Conference Nominating Committee and Leadership. b) Ex-officio (voice and vote) two youth representatives elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 4) Organization: Chair, Recording Secretary, Staff representative and a member from each District

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5) Meetings: At least 6 times per year. 6) Responsibilities: Training (i.e., mentor), Michigan legislative issues, updates on Prison and Jail work, and to fulfill the purpose as state above. Committee on Racial Ethnic Local Church: Accountability: The Committee shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: To strengthen the racial ethnic congregations of the Conference and to assist congregations who have adopted a strategic plan to become more multiracial. 3) Membership: The Racial Ethnic Local Church (RELC) Committee shall consist of eleven (11) members at large as nominated by the Committee on Nominations, and one (1) representative chosen by each Racial Ethnic Local Church congregation. Ex-officio (voice and vote) one youth representative elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities: Financial assistance from the Racial Ethnic Local Church Committee to churches shall be for staff salaries and benefits, program and other needed areas. The definition of what constitutes a Racial Ethnic Local Church shall reside within this committee. Michigan Area Indian Workers Conference 1) Accountability: The Conference shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities UMCOR/Hunger Committee 1) Accountability: The Committee shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: a) Chairperson nominated by Conference Nominating Committee. b) a representative of the Area Haiti Task Force c) Conference Disaster Response Team Coordinator d) No more than eight at large members named by the UMCOR/Hunger Committee, including but not limited to: 1. A youth or young adult 2. A United Methodist Woman e) Care shall be given to diversity and inclusivity in naming committee members. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities United Methodist Men: There shall be a Conference United Methodist Men group as provided for in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. 1) Accountability: The organization shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose:


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3) Membership: a) The Conference Nominating Committee may nominate a man to be chairperson. One of those elected by a District Conference to head United Methodist Men work may be nominated as chairperson; b) The six District chairpersons of United Methodist Men, or persons selected by the several District conferences. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities United Methodist Women: The organization of United Methodist Women as provided for in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church shall comprise the Conference agency. 2) Communications and Records Ministries: Ministries of public relations, communication and promotion, and historical record keeping to help all know and share the programs of the Conference, Districts and congregations. There shall be the following organizational units: a. Communications Commission b. Commission on Archives and History a. Communications Commission: 1) Accountability: The Commission shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: a) There shall be seven (7) members at large; b) One (1) representative for each District named by the district nominating committee. c) Ex-officio (voice but without vote): Conference Staff persons employed in communications or media tasks, the Editor of the United Methodist Reporter, the Editor of the Michigan Christian Advocate d) Ex-officio (voice and vote) two youth representatives elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities b. Commission on Archives and History: 1) Accountability: The Commission shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. 2) Purpose: 3) Membership: a) Seven (7) members at large; b) The Conference Historian, if one is named; c) The Commission may create a Historical Society as a Standing Committee. d) Ex-officio (voice and vote): Curator and Archivist e) Ex-officio (voice and vote) one youth elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 4) Organization: 5) Meetings: 6) Responsibilities 3) District Ministries (District Councils on Ministries or the equivalent): support, enablement, and cooperation with ministries essentially carried out for, with, on behalf of, and in local congregations, clusters of congregations, and districts. Each District shall select/elect its own manner of organization as a District Council on Ministries/Leadership Team to accomplish program ministries within the several Districts. One person from each District shall be designated to work with those from other Districts,

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as needed. e. Finance and Property Ministries: administrative tasks of the Conference. There shall be the following organizational units. 1) Council on Finance and Administration 2) Conference Board of Trustees 3) Board of Pension and Health Benefits 4) Commission on Equitable Compensation

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1) Council on Finance and Administration: a) Accountability: The Council is accountable to and will annually file a written report (including their funding) with the Annual Conference. b) Purpose: c) Membership: 1. Fifteen (15 members at large. The majority of these 15 shall be laity. Of this number of 15 at least five (5) shall come from congregations of less than two-hundred members; 2. Ex-officio (voice and vote): any member of a related General Church Agency; 3. Ex-officio (voice, but without vote): The Bishop (or Clergy Assistant to the Bishop), the Conference Treasurer, the Director of Connectional Ministries (or representative of the Conference Leadership Team), one District Superintendent. 4. Ex-officio (voice and vote) one youth representative elected by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. 5. The Council shall elect from its membership, a President, a Vice-president, a Secretary, and other such officers, as it may deem necessary. d) Organization: e) Meetings: f) Responsibilities 2) Conference Board of Trustees: a) Accountability: The Board is accountable to and will annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. It shall request funding through the Council on Finance and Administration. b) Purpose: c) Membership Twelve (12) members as provided for in the DISCIPLINE. The Conference Treasurer, Director of Connectional Ministry and one District Superintendent assigned by the Bishop, shall have voice but no vote. d) Organization: e) Meetings: f) Responsibilities 3) Board of Pension and Health Benefits: There shall be organized a Board of Pension and Health Benefits as provided by The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. a) Accountability: The Board is accountable to and will annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. It shall request funding through the Council on Finance and Administration. b) Purpose: c) Membership 1. At large, twelve (12) members, six (6) of whom shall be recommended by the Board itself prior to Annual Conference election. 2. Ex-officio and Staff (voice, but no vote): The Conference Treasurer who is designated as Conference Benefit Officer. 3. The Board is authorized to create ad hoc committees or task forces and appoint members who may not be members of the Board. The chairs of said ad hoc committees or task forces shall be from the membership of that Board. d) Organization: e) Meetings:


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f) Responsibilities 4) Commission on Equitable Compensation: a) Accountability: The Commission is accountable to and will annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. It shall request funding through the Council on Finance and Administration. b) Purpose: c) Membership 1. Twelve (12) members at large. In this number there shall be at least one layperson and one clergy person from congregations of fewer than two hundred members. Also in this number there shall be at least three (3) racial/ethnic representatives. Further, there shall be an equal number of laypersons and clergypersons in the total of ten. 2. Ex-officio (voice, but with vote): One (1) District Superintendent. 3. Ex-officio (voice, but without vote): either the Conference Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer. d) Organization: e) Meetings: f) Responsibilities f. Human Resources Ministries – personnel recruitment, support and guidance tasks of the Conference. There shall be the following organizational units: 1) Abuse Prevention Team 2) Area Committee on Episcopacy 3) Board of Lay Ministries 4) Board of Ordained Ministry 5) Cabinet 6) Committee on Leadership Development 7) Conference Nominating Committee 8) Conference Personnel Committee 9) Joint Committee on Incapacity 1) Abuse Prevention Team a) Accountability: The Team is accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. b) Purpose: c) Membership There shall be six (6) members at large nominated by CNC and elected by the Conference. d) Organization: e) Meetings: f) Responsibilities: The Abuse Prevention Team shall have the responsibility of implementing and overseeing the Abuse Prevention Policies of the Conference as enacted in June 1998 and/or changed in succeeding Annual Conference action. 2) Area Committee on Episcopacy: It shall be the policy of the Conference to participate with the Detroit Conference in an Area Committee on Episcopacy as provided in the DISCIPLINE. a) Accountability: The Committee is accountable to and will annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. It shall request funding through the Council on Finance and Administration. b) Purpose: c) Membership: Membership paralleling the Detroit Conference shall be nominated by The Committee on Nominations as follows: 1. the Conference Lay Leader or Associate Conference Lay Leader; 2. seven (7) persons elected at large; and, 3. two (2) selected by the Bishop. Of these ten (10) persons at least four (4) shall be clergy. Representation of racial/ ethnic persons and various ages shall be provided for in the membership. The lay and clergy members of the Jurisdictional Committee on the Episcopacy shall be ex-officio

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members with vote. d) Organization: The Committee shall elect its own officers. e) Meetings: f) Responsibilities: Board of Lay Ministries: a) Accountability: The Board shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. b) Purpose: c) Membership 1. Two (2) members at-large, one of whom shall be a clergyperson; 2. One (1) representative each, elected by the Conference United Methodist Women and the Conference United Methodist Men; 3. The District Lay Leader from each District; 4. The Conference Lay Leader. 5. Associate Conference Lay Leaders. 6. The Conference Director of Lay Speaking, and the Conference Coordinator of Scouting. 7. The Conference Lay Leader or Associate Lay Leader shall be chairperson. d) Organization: e) Meetings: f) Responsibilities Board of Ordained Ministry: a) Accountability: The Board is accountable to and will annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. It shall request funding through the Council on Finance and Administration. b) Purpose: c) Membership 1. Forty-two members shall be nominated by the presiding bishop after consultation with the chairperson of the board, the executive committee, or a committee elected by the board of the previous quadrennium, and with the Cabinet; The membership shall fill the requirements in accordance with the current provisions of the DISCIPLINE. d) Organization: e) Meetings: f) Responsibilities Cabinet: The Cabinet’s personnel responsibilities shall be those described in the DISCIPLINE. Committee on Leadership Development (CLD): a) Accountability: The Committee shall be accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. b) Purpose: c) Membership: 1. eight (8) members at large; 2. Ex-officio (with voice and vote): the President, or designee, of the Conference United Methodist Women and Men, the Conference Secretary, the Conference Lay Leader or Associate Conference Lay Leader, one (1) youth and a volunteer adult worker with youth (both to be named by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries); Ex-officio (voice but without vote): Director of Connectional Ministries, or designee. 3. Members at large shall be nominated by the Cabinet (for four-year terms). As with all nominations before the Conference, additional nominations from the floor shall be accepted before voting. Each nominee shall have signed consent to serve statement, except oral consent will be sufficient for floor nominations. 4. District Superintendents, persons employed by organizational units of the


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Conference (except for the Director of Connectional Ministries, see 2. above), and chairpersons of such units are not eligible to serve on CLD. 5. In the event of a vacancy on CLD the Bishop will appoint a new member, subject to subsequent Conference election. d) Organization: 1. CLD shall meet to organize at the earliest opportunity following election of its Chairperson and its membership. It may elect such officers as it deems necessary to carry on the business assigned to it. Such officers shall serve for a two-year term. 2. Whenever possible, the clerical services CLD shall be provided through the facilities of the Conference Center. Other expenses shall be borne through a budget request for CLD of the Administrative section of the Conference budget. e) Meetings: f) Responsibilities: 1. to educate, develop, and support leadership of the laity and clergy at all levels within the Conference. 2. to provide a program of leadership development for leadership of congregations, districts, and the Conference. 3. to care for adequate leadership development expertise. 4. to consult with and coordinate the leadership development being done in the Conference by groups such as districts, organizational units, local congregations, and Conference lay groups. 5. to evaluate the leadership development opportunities both within and outside the Church to discover the gaps and overlaps and where necessary encourage additional programming. 6. to distribute listings of current leadership development opportunities both within and outside the church-on the model of the continuing education opportunities for professionals in the Church which is distributed in the Conference Coordinated Mailing. 7. to maintain an up-to-date file of clergy and laity in present and past positions of leadership. 8. to maintain a record of leadership development opportunities completed by individuals. They shall make this record available to the various Nominating Committees of organizational units upon request. A system of recording Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) might be developed. 9. to assist groups to do leadership development at their regular meetings or retreat settings. 10. to initiate and develop continuing leadership programs which shall include: clear descriptions of leadership positions; training; support; evaluation; exiting; working with and managing volunteers; group dynamics and effective leadership of a group; alternate ways of doing business in order to hold fewer face-to-face meetings with the attendance travel costs; learn how to write good program proposals; program planning and management; and research on future leadership positions and resources. 7) Conference Nomination Committee (CNC): a) Accountability: The Committee is accountable to and will annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. It shall request funding through the Council on Finance and Administration. b) Purpose: c) Membership: 1. twelve (12) members at large; 2. Ex-officio (with voice and vote): the President, or designee, of the Conference United Methodist Women and Men, the Conference Secretary, the Conference Lay Leader or Associate Conference Lay Leader, two (2) youth (to be named by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries); Ex-officio (voice but without vote): Director of Connectional Ministries, or designee.

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3. Members at large shall be nominated by the Cabinet (for four-year terms). As with all nominations before the Conference, additional nominations from the floor shall be accepted before voting. Each nominee shall have signed consent to serve statement, except oral consent will be sufficient for floor nominations. 4. District Superintendents, persons employed by organizational units of the Conference (except the Director of Connectional Ministries, see 2. above), and chairpersons of such units are not eligible to serve on CNC. 5. In the event of a vacancy on CNC the Bishop will appoint a new member, subject to subsequent Conference election. Organization: 1. CNC shall meet to organize at the earliest opportunity following election of its Chairperson and its membership. It may elect such officers as it deems necessary to carry on the business assigned to it. Such officers shall serve for a two-year term. 2. Whenever possible, the clerical services of CNC shall be provided through the facilities of the Conference Center. Other expenses shall be borne through a budget request for CNC of the Administrative section of the Conference budget. 3. Organizational units of the Conference shall prepare in a timely manner for CNC their nominations, including brief biographical sketches, for membership, etc. as provided for in this Plan of Organization. Meetings: Responsibilities: 1. to identify and recruit volunteer leadership for all Conference organizational units; 2. to nominate one person for each position that is to be elected by the Conference. 3. to monitor the creation and termination of task forces established by organizational units of the Conference; and to establish a networking system for the staffing of task forces that would provide lists of possible members to specific task forces 4. to prepare a slate of officers as described in the Plan of Organization. 5. to care for adequate District representation. Report to the Conference: 1. CNC shall prepare a slate with one nominee for each position in the Conference to be elected by the Conference and present its first draft of nominations to the Cabinet for their consideration not later than 10 days prior to the Conference session. In preparing this slate, CNC is requested to be cognizant of all interests within the Annual Conference, such as theological diversity, urban/rural, large/ small church, youth, young adults, other age categories, gender, and racial/ethnic inclusiveness. It is recommended that the Committee on Nominations seek to achieve in all its nominations the goal of 1/3 laymen, 1/3 laywomen and 1/3 clergy with racial/ethnic representation in each organizational unit. This applies in the nominations of chairpersons of organizational units, as well. Before completing nominating slates, CNC shall consult with the chairperson of each organizational unit for which nominations are being made. 2. There shall be the following exception in (1) above: For the nominations of Trustees for Albion and Adrian Colleges, CNC shall submit a name for each vacancy to be filled. Said names shall be submitted after consultation with the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, and the nomination committee of the respective college pursuant to the DISCIPLINE, paragraph 732.4b(3). 3. The report shall be presented to the Conference at least one day before balloting, unless otherwise ordered by the Conference session, and shall be conducted as a regular election with acceptance by each nominee prior to placing his/her name in nomination. 4. In the nominations report that is presented to the Annual Conference, CNC shall by designation identify whether the nominees are lay or clergy. Replacement of members elected: Any person named or elected to organizational units may be replaced at the subsequent Annual Conference if they have resigned or been inactive during the Conference


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year. The nominating procedure shall be the same as that of the original nomination. The organizational unit that has an inactive member shall notify the nominating unit originating the nomination. Effort shall first be made by the organizational unit to contact the inactive member to encourage either participation or resignation. i) Nominations for General Church agencies: The procedures for nominations to General Church agencies for the West Michigan Conference shall be as follows: 1. Immediately upon receipt of appropriate instructions, the Conference Secretary shall notify the Secretary of the General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation of all General Church agencies for which nominees are required by the West Michigan Conference. The Delegation shall publicize through appropriate channels (Conference coordinated mailing, the “Michigan Area United Methodist Reporter”, the “Michigan Christian Advocate”, or other means) the General Church agencies for which nominees are required. Any United Methodist within the West Michigan Conference may make suggestions through the Secretary of the Delegation for any such nominations, including biographical information regarding such suggested nominees. CNC shall also make suggestions including biographical information for all such nominations through the Secretary of the Delegation. Any United Methodist within the West Michigan Conference may make suggestions through CNC for inclusion in its report. 2. Upon the recommendation from a committee composed of the Bishop and General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation, and having allowed opportunity for nominations from the floor, the Annual Conference shall elect persons to be submitted to a jurisdictional pool used by the Jurisdictional Nominating Committee in selecting persons for election to General and Jurisdictional agencies. If, at the site of the Jurisdictional Conference, it becomes necessary for additional names to be submitted to the Jurisdictional Nominating Committee from the West Michigan Conference, the above committee is authorized to secure and submit such additional names as nominees of the West Michigan Conference. 8) Conference Personnel Committee: a) Accountability: The Committee is accountable to the Conference Leadership Team in matters of program and budget and shall annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. b) Purpose: To hire, evaluate and support staff employed by the Conference Leadership Team. c) Membership 1. Nine (9) members at large. 2. Ex-officio (with voice and vote): the Bishop or Clergy Assistant to the Bishop; the Director of Connectional Ministries; one District Superintendent. d) Organization: Chairperson, Secretary e) Meetings: 2-4 meetings per year f) Responsibilities The Committee on Conference Personnel shall have the responsibility of establishing and coordinating equitable employment policies for all persons employed by all organizational units of the Conference; providing for the hiring, supervision, support, and termination criteria for all such employees by the several hiring agencies of the Conference; and shall themselves provide such personnel governance for the employees of the Conference Leadership Team. 9) Joint Committee on Incapacity, There shall be a Joint Committee on Incapacity as provided for by the DISCIPLINE. a) Accountability: The Committee is accountable to and will annually file a written report with the Annual Conference. It shall request funding through the Council on Finance and Administration. b) Purpose: c) Membership d) Organization: e) Meetings:

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2)

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5)

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f) Responsibilities: g. Other Conference Organizational Units Units Under Annual Conference Fiscal and Governing Control. Definition: The Annual Conference elects, meaning nominated by the Conference Nominating Committee and elected by the Annual Conference, 50% or more of the agency’s governing Board, and provides 25% or more of the agency’s budget. a) “Michigan Christian Advocate”, linked to the Communications Commission; b) “Michigan Area Loan Fund linked to the Board of Global Ministries. Units Under Annual Conference Fiscal Control. Definition: The Annual Conference elects less than 50% of the agency’s governing Board, but provides 25% or more of the agency’s budget. a) The School for Pastoral Ministry, linked to the Board of Ordained Ministry; b) The Area Historical Society linked to the Commission on Archives and History. Units Under Conference Governing Control. Definition: The Annual Conference elects 50% or more of the agency’s governing Board, but provides less than 25% of the agency’s budget. Clark Retirement Community linked to the Board of Global Ministries. Units with Annual Conference Affiliation. Definition: The Annual Conference elects less than 50% of the agency’s governing Board, and provides less than 25% of the agency’s budget. a) Albion College, linked to the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry; b) Adrian College, linked to the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry; c) Methodist Children’s Home Society, linked to the Board of Global Ministries; d) Michigan Commission/United Ministries in Higher Education, linked to the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry; e) Lake Louise Board, linked to the Board of Christian Camping; f) Michigan Council on Alcohol Problems linked to the Board of Church and Society. g) United Methodist Community House, linked to the Board of Global Ministries h) Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO), linked to the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry; Units With Annual Conference Representative Affiliation. Definition: The Annual Conference has representation on the agency’s governing Board, but such representation is completely determined by the agency. a) Peoples Church, East Lansing, linked to the Lansing District; b) United Theological School in Ohio, linked to the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry; c) Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, linked to the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry; d) Center for Parish Development, linked to the Board of Global Ministries. e) Bronson Health Care Group linked to the Board of Global Ministries. f) United Methodist Foundation of Michigan: There may be a United Methodist Foundation serving both annual conferences in the State of Michigan. 1. Accountability: The foundation shall be accountable to the Detroit Annual Conference and the West Michigan Annual Conference. 2. Purpose: To encourage the giving of gifts, conscientious investing and stewardship education for United Methodist churches in the Michigan Area. 3. Membership: a. There will be a board of directors with 12 directors elected at the Foundation’s annual meeting. Six directors will be from the Detroit Annual Conference and six will be from the West Michigan Annual Conference. These directors shall be reported to each Annual Conference and their respective nominating committee. b. Directors are elected by the then-sitting board and serve three-year terms


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unless they are elected to fill an un-expired term. Directors may be reelected for a second full term, but no board director may serve for more than 9 consecutive years. c. Any vacancy occurring in the board of directors may be filled by a majority vote of the remaining directors present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the board. A director elected to fill a vacancy shall be elected for the un-expired term of his or her predecessor in office. d. Ex-officio without vote: (1) Area bishop (or designate); (2) Executive Director of Foundation; (3) Treasurers of each Michigan Annual Conference. 4. Organization: a. The officers of the Foundation shall be: chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary and treasurer. All officers, except the executive director, shall serve without compensation and be directors of the Foundation. b. There shall be an executive committee made up as follows: chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, treasurer, stewardship committee chair, investment chair, finance/audit chair, personnel/management chair, marketing chair and the executive director. c. There shall be a 12-15 member advisory board in addition to the board of directors. The members of this board will be selected for specific skill needs for the work of the Foundation and will be invited to serve by the executive committee. d. There shall be five (5) standing committees: Investment, Stewardship, Finance/Audit, Marketing and Personnel/Management. e. The Foundation Board of Directors upon recommendation of the executive committee shall hire the executive director. f. The Foundation shall meet at least twice annually with additional meetings scheduled and called by the chairperson and executive director. Special meetings may be called by the president or at least three (3) other directors of the board on three (3) days’ notice to each director. 5. Responsibilities: a. Encourage the giving of gifts to United Methodist churches for the support of their ministries. b. Provide resources to United Methodist churches and their members regarding charitable giving and estate planning. c. Teach and encourage biblical stewardship principles to our churches and their members. d. Encourage and receive gifts, trusts and bequests of real and/or personal property on behalf of either the Detroit Annual Conference or the West Michigan Annual Conference. e. Offer responsible choices and opportunities for investing United Methodist financial assets. f. Ensure timely and accurate reporting to congregations on the status of funds held by the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan.

The Conference Council on Ministries (CCOM) has invested a significant amount of time over the past two years reviewing its purpose and effectiveness. It empowered a Task Force (TF) to bring a recommendation of a revised structure to the CCOM for its refinement and eventual recommendation to the Annual Conference. This document is the fruit of the Task Force’s labor and has been approved by the CCOM. Current concerns the TF is seeking to address: • The 58 member CCOM is too large to be able to act swiftly in response to change. • Our current Plan of Organization lacks a consistent pattern of the following in its format: Purpose, Accountability, Membership, Organization, Meetings, Responsibilities, Relationships • There is insufficient clarity of purpose along with a minimal interface of responsibility, authority, measurement and accountability in our existing Plan of Organization.

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• There is too much “budget turf protection” in our existing model. Strategic planning and funding decisions can be made more effectively by a smaller collaborative Leadership Team. • The existing Plan of Organization lacks a coordinated Leadership Team assigned the responsibility to implement and guide the Conference vision and strategies between the sessions of the Annual Conference. The proposed plan establishes a structure that links the responsibilities designated to the position of Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) with both the authority and accountability to implement them. • The TF has identified some components of the structure designed by the 2008 Michigan Area Transition Team which the TF believes were well researched, have been adopted in other conferences and are appropriate to implement at this time. The TF believes these proposals will contribute to greater leadership functions and lessened reporting functions for this new Leadership Team. The TF has designed a Leadership Team whose members are expected to be identified and selected based on leadership skill, insight, and ability, instead of a membership roster primarily based on office or position. The TF believes this leadership body will be able to respond more quickly to changing needs and dynamics in the Church and culture, thereby prioritizing and aligning resources to do a few things well instead of many things less effectively. Members of the Structure Revision Task Force: Rick Blunt (convener), Benton Heisler (Director of Connectional Ministries), Mike Johnson (CCOM Chairperson), Karen Grettenberger (Personnel Committee Chairperson), Ruth Whaley (UMW Chairperson), Carole Armstrong (CCOM member at large), Jana Lynn Almeida (Heartland District Leadership Team Chair), Bill Haggard (Board of Discipleship Chairperson) Structure Revision Task Force, Rick Blunt, Chair, and Benton Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministries ITEM #2 SUBJECT: MOTION: RATIONALE:

Update West Michigan Conference Disaster Plan. Conference voted concurrence. To accept the updated version of the Conference Disaster Plan as presented by the Emergency Preparedness Committee. Emergency Preparedness Committee has brought the West Michigan Disaster Plan up-todate and is bringing it to Annual Conference to approve the Plan. The Plan has not been updated since its inception in 1995. The Emergency Preparedness Committee has updated the plan according to UMCOR. The Conference Plan needed to be brought up to the current UMCOR standards. The committee has worked on the Plan to bring it up to the current standards of UMCOR, adding what needs to take place in our Conference to make it work for the best interest of the Conference and its churches. Every church and District needs to have a Disaster Plan that will apply to the area of that District and/or local church. Emergency Preparedness Committee Don E Tippin, Conference Disaster Coordinator, Chair

WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 1 West Michigan Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Conference Plan for Disaster Response This plan outlines the roles and responsibilities of those involved in disaster response in the West Michigan Conference, as well as processes to ensure the seamless flow of information and assistance to those affected by disaster. Local churches wishing to create a LOCAL CHURCH DISASTER RESPONSE plan should contact the Conference Office or visit the Disaster Response / Local Church Resources section of the West Michigan Conference website. WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 2 LEGISLATION

TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 3 Purpose ................................................................................................................... 3 Scope ...................................................................................................................... 3


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Visibility ................................................................................................................. 4 Whom Do We Help? ............................................................................................. 4 Who Does What When? ........................................................................................ 4 BEFORE DISASTER STRIKES ........................................................................... 5 WHEN DISASTER STRIKES .............................................................................. 6 ORGANIZATION ................................................................................................. 7 Conference Emergency Preparedness Committee ................................................. 7 Conference Disaster Response Coordinator .......................................................... 8 Office of the Bishop ............................................................................................... 8 District Superintendent .......................................................................................... 8 District Disaster Response Coordinator ................................................................. 9 Local Church ........................................................................................................ 10 Pastor .................................................................................................................... 11 Local Church Disaster Response Coordinator ..................................................... 12 FUNDING IN DISASTER RESPONSE ............................................................. 13 Policies and Procedures Related to Funds ........................................................... 13 UMCOR Funding Guidelines .............................................................................. 14 APPENDIX A ...................................................................................................... 15 Management of Volunteers .................................................................................. 15 Early Response Teams (ERTs) ............................................................................ 16 Connecting Neighbors – Local Church Preparedness ......................................... 16 UM-VIM and Disaster Recovery Teams ............................................................. 16 Donated Goods ..................................................................................................... 17 Repair of Damaged Church Property .................................................................. 17 When Disaster Strikes – Checklist ...................................................................... 18

INTRODUCTION A disaster is any specific event, natural or man-made, which results in overwhelming physical, economic and/or emotional damage to a community. It is in these settings that the Church has both the opportunity and the responsibility to reach out in meaningful ways with the love and hope of Jesus Christ. To ensure timeliness, avoid redundancy and provide an effective and appropriate response, the church must be ready, at all levels, when disaster strikes. This means planning and preparation before disaster strikes. With this in mind the West Michigan Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church has organized a structure and guidelines to facilitate the ability of the local church to be in ministry to persons in need as a result of a disaster. This plan establishes guidelines for responding to disasters within the West Michigan Annual Conference. Purpose • To provide immediate relief for acute human need and to respond to the suffering of persons in our communities caused by natural or man-made disaster. • To resource and equip local United Methodist churches and districts as they assist their communities and individuals to prepare, respond to and recover from disaster. • To assist and train District and local church disaster response coordinators to address emerging and ongoing issues related to disaster relief. • To work cooperatively with the appropriate Conference units, ecumenical bodies, and interdenominational agencies in the identification of, advocacy for, and assistance with ministries for disaster response. • To work cooperatively with United Methodist Communications in promotion of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these friends of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40 (modified) Scope In the event of a disaster, resources available to the local church (i.e., volunteers, money, expertise, etc.) are sometimes limited or may not match the need. This is where the connectional system of The United Methodist Church can provide support and resources to the local church to respond effectively and

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appropriately. The following individuals and teams are typically active in disaster response in the West Michigan, depending on the nature, size and location of the disaster: • Local Church Disaster Coordinators and local volunteers • District Disaster Response Coordinators • Conference Disaster Response Coordinator • Conference Emergency Preparedness Committee • Bishop, District Superintendents and extended Cabinet members

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WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 4 Visibility The visible presence of The United Methodist Church is essential in any type of disaster regardless of the scope. Specific responses by agents of the Annual Conference are essential for the on-going well-being of God’s people. These responses deal in three areas of life: spiritual, emotional and physical. • Spiritual response: Addresses the issues of seeing how God’s presence is available in the midst of suffering, despair and grief. The Church’s primary task is to be present in the midst of suffering and to act as an agent of reconciliation. It is the responsibility of the Church to remind people that God really does care and to urge troubled hearts to trust God in times of stress and disaster. • Emotional response: Must address the problems of loneliness, shock, disbelief, delayed grief and a multitude of related emotions that accompany those disasters that affect the lives of people. Pastors should seek specialized training to better equip them for meeting the needs of their people under such trying times. The individual districts and the Annual Conference should be leading the way in providing such training and making it desirable for all pastors and other interested persons to attend. • Physical response: Will be more immediately seen and needed but is no more important than the spiritual and emotional responses to the people. The physical response must address itself to physical needs that are immediate as well as long term: scope of physical loss, finances, facilities and an unending list of needs that are unseen and are unique to a particular situation. Whom Do We Help? We help all persons in need regardless of race, creed, religious affiliation, gender, etc. The love of Jesus Christ knows no limits. Who Does What When? This question is the one to which the majority of this plan addresses itself. In answering the question of “Who Does What When?” the concept of “TURF” must be set aside. “Who is in charge?” is not the primary concern because the plan is in charge of the situation and we all function under its guidance. Laity, local church pastors, Disaster Response Coordinators, District Superintendents, Conference staff persons, Bishops, all must work together to achieve the common goal of reaching out to and helping God’s people in the name of Christian love. WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 5 BEFORE DISASTER STRIKES Every local church in the West Michigan Annual Conference shall develop a disaster response plan for themselves, unique to their particular locale, circumstances and resources, which “dove-tails” into the Conference plan. For assistance in this, please contact the Conference Office. Conference, District and Local Church Disaster Response Coordinators and Organizations will benefit by learning about disaster response needs and resources available in their particular areas. This will be accomplished best as they: • Evaluate their disaster response capabilities. • Develop a relationship with their county emergency management organization. • Develop plans and protocols to assist local congregations in responding to communities following a disaster. • Prepare their facilities. • Train congregation members / staff. • Secure supplies. WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 6 WHEN DISASTER STRIKES It is to be remembered that the first response in a disaster is through the Emergency Management Division of the Michigan State Police. The next line of response is by the American Red Cross and/or


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WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 7 ORGANIZATION The Conference Plan for Disaster Response defines the responsibilities of the local church, the District and the Conference. It also includes an overall plan of ministry towards those who are affected by a disaster. Conference Emergency Preparedness Committee • The Conference Disaster Response Team (CDRT) is that committee of the West Michigan Conference charged with the responsibility of responding to disaster(s) in the Conference. The membership (with voice and vote) consists of: • Conference Disaster Response Coordinator • District Disaster Response Coordinators or Representative • Conference Volunteer in Mission Coordinator • Conference Director of Communications • Representative from the Board of Global Ministries • Cabinet Representative • The CDRT may be activated t • meet the needs of a disaster by: • Bishop or Bishop’s designee • Director of Connectional Ministries • Conference Disaster Response Coordinator • Affected district’s Disaster Response Coordinator / Superintendent • Upon such activation of the CDRT, the following persons shall automatically become ex-offici members with voice and vote: • Bishop or Bishop’s designee • Director of Connectional Ministries • District Superintendent(s) of the affected area • Conference Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer. • The CDRT shall coordinate the Conference response, establish policies, procedures, and funding guidelines, plan for the disbursement of funding, and arrange for evaluation and an accountability report. • In cooperation with District Disaster Teams, assist districts and local churches in the preparation of disaster ministry plans. • Provide training opportunities and resources in all phases of disasters including, but not limited to: • Early Response Teams (ERT)

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the Salvation Army. These groups are responsible for the immediate needs of a disaster including rescue, mitigating the results of the disaster, providing food, shelter and other physical needs. We must be careful not to interfere with the services that they are mandated to provide. 1. The Local Church Disaster Response Coordinator is the point person in the local situation. He/she reports to the District Disaster Response Coordinator and the District Superintendent. Assessment needs to be done as soon as possible. 2. The District Disaster Response Coordinator is the point person for coordinating all relief efforts within the District. He/she maintains contact with the local church pastor(s), Local Church DRC, the District Superintendent, and the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, and makes his/her assessment of the situation as needed. 3. The District Superintendent makes contact with the local church(es) and pastor(s), assimilates reports and forwards them to the Conference level, works with the District Disaster Response Coordinator and provides oversight and support. 4. The Bishop provides pastoral oversight through the Cabinet. An on-site visit within seventy-two (72) hours is highly recommended. 5. The Conference Disaster Response Coordinator coordinates relief efforts within the Conference and calls the Emergency Preparedness Committee together within seventy-two (72) hours to receive reports and coordinate action plans. While needs assessments are immediately necessary, our response depends on what agencies such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, State and Federal agencies are doing. We need not and should not, duplicate their work. We need to respond to those who are left out of the system, meet the needs that the other agencies cannot, and to build on what they have done.


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• • • • •

Connecting Neighbors (Local Church Disaster Planning) Spiritual and Emotional Care (Care Team) Case Management Volunteer Management Work collaboratively with other conferences of The United Methodist Church, The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and other organizations active in disaster as appropriate. • Create and implement a system for tracking, coordinating and deploying trained disaster response volunteers within and outside of the West Michigan Annual Conference. • Collaborate with District Disaster Teams for location of supply depots and distribution and collection sites.

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WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 8 Conference Disaster Response Coordinator • Support the Conference Emergency Preparedness Committee in carrying out the plan. Responsibilities include administrative oversight and implementation of the plan, policies and funding procedures. • Shall see to the provision of reports, materials, and secretarial services to facilitate the implementation of the plan. • Coordinate disaster response / disaster ministry / preparedness training opportunities throughout the Conference. • Assign and deploy Early Response Teams as needed / requested. Office of the Bishop Leadership by the resident Bishop is extremely important. For many, a bishop’s appearance at the disaster site symbolizes the “awesome presence” of Christ and the commitment of his Church to relief of suffering. Don’t dismiss or minimize the value of “symbols” to people in need. The Bishop’s role as the symbol of a caring church cannot be filled by anyone else! Communities receiving a visit are grateful that their pain was important enough for the Bishop to be present with them. Communities not receiving a visit won’t forget the slight. Unfortunately, District Superintendents and other well-intentioned staff members often try to “protect” a Bishop’s time by wrongly advising that it isn’t necessary for him or her to go to the disaster area. This protection does much damage to the Conference in the long run. A disaster is a tragedy, and the Conference cannot conduct “business as usual.” (Don’t delay too long. A visit long after the crisis gives the impression that the Bishop couldn’t be bothered enough to drop everything and come when people needed it.) • The Bishop, the Clergy Assistant to the Bishop, or the Conference Director of Connectional Ministries shall serve as the official liaison with the General Church and contact the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) and arrange for an on-site visit by an UMCOR Disaster Response Coordinator, if necessary. • In consultation with a representative of the CDRT and the Conference Treasurer, shall make a request to UMCOR for relief funds, if needed. • The Bishop, or his/her designee, in consultation with the Conference Committee on Communications, shall become the official spokesperson and information officer. Said spokesperson and information officer will contact the appropriate Conference media outlets. • Offer pastoral care and oversight either directly or through the Cabinet. District Superintendent The District Superintendent (DS) is responsible for oversight and supervision of churches and local pastors in the District where they serve. Therefore, in the event of a disaster affecting their District, it is imperative that the District Superintendents are kept informed so that they, in turn, can inform the Bishop as well as minister to those in their care. Including the DS on the District Disaster Team facilitates communication and ensures that the DS has input into the response effort. • Contact and coordinate response with the District Disaster Response Coordinator (DDRC). • Coordinate the compiling of needs assessment for the area or District. • Develop a disaster plan for the District, in consultation with the District DRC. WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 9 • Provide support and guidance for the pastors involved. • Contact all churches and pastors involved in the disaster as soon as possible. If contact is by


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WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 10 Local Church The point of contact at the community level for all United Methodist assistance in a disaster is the local United Methodist church. However, the local church is not expected to respond alone or in a vacuum. There are many resources available to assist the church. By working with a local church disaster team, the District Disaster Coordinator and the Conference Emergency Preparedness Committee, many of the necessary connections are easily made. The Local Church Disaster Coordinator is the point person for ensuring fulfillment of the roles and responsibilities of the local church. See page 12 for more information. The responsibilities of the Local Church include but are not limited to: • Work with the pastor or designated church leadership to identify a Local Church Disaster Response Coordinator and recruit a disaster response team. If the pastor is not part of the team, ensure that the team includes a process for keeping the pastor informed and updated regarding activities before, during and after a disaster. • Develop a local church plan that includes: • Caring for people • Caring for church facilities

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telephone, a personal contact should be made within twenty-four (24) hours. • Physically survey damage within twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours. • If the DS is not functional an active DS or a former DS will be assigned by the Bishop to the affected area. This Superintendent will assume responsibilities for the District in consultation with the presiding DS and will function as long as necessary. • If the disaster affects more than one-quarter (1/4) of the churches, an active DS or a former DS will be assigned by the Bishop to the affected area. This Superintendent will team with the presiding DS and will function as long as necessary. • Will work out of the District office, if operational. If not operational, the District Superintendent and DDRC will determine an appropriate location, preferably an operational church close to the disaster area. District Disaster Response Coordinator The District Disaster Response Coordinator (DDRC) is the point of contact for coordinating disaster response and disaster-related efforts at the District level. The DDRC is a partner and advocate for the local churches in their District as it relates to disaster issues as well as liaison to the District office and the Conference Emergency Preparedness Team. • Assume primary responsibility for implementing the Conference plan in his/her District. • He/she will operate out of the nearest operational local church. • He/she will coordinate relief efforts in the area: Who, What, When, Where, How. • If DDRC is unable to function, the DDRC from the closest unaffected District will function in his/ her place. • Develop a District Disaster Team that includes your District Superintendent. • In concert with the Conference and your District Disaster Team, develop a District Disaster Response Plan. • Work with local churches and extension ministries to assist them in the preparation of their disaster ministry plans. • Cooperate and coordinate with the District Superintendent, local church pastor(s), and laity on relief efforts. • Participate in and build relationships with agencies active in disaster response in your District (*VOAD, COAD, LTRO, EOC, interfaith organizations, etc.) If you are unable to participate yourself, select a representative from the District team so that The United Methodist Church continues to be recognized, at all levels, as a valuable partner in the disaster response community. • Identify locations for supply depots, identify and inventory available equipment, update forms and procedures as necessary. Collaborate with other District Disaster Teams for location of supply depots, distribution sites, etc… • If not contacted by the local church(s) or the District Superintendent within twenty-four (24) hours of the disaster, he/she shall initiate contact. • Serve as a member of the Conference Emergency Preparedness Committee.


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• Caring for community • Caring for others in the Conference and beyond • The pastor and the Board of Trustees should annually review insurance coverage and make an annual inventory of church property and contents and provide a safe repository of valuable records. • Communicate with the DDRC regularly to ensure knowledge of the church plans in the event of a disaster. This should include any plans the church has to partner with other organizations, such as the American Red Cross as a shelter, the county as a point of distribution, etc. • Send a copy of the plan to the DDRC / District office, as well as the CDRC / Conference office. • Encourage those with special needs to register with the county (most counties have plans to evacuate special needs persons). • Know where the District depot(s) is located. Does the church have a plan to contribute to the depot regularly? • Keep strict and separate accounting of disaster funding and document all expenditures and receipts of money. • Annually receive UMCOR’s One Great Hour of Sharing offering. If a church wishes to become a shelter or work as a service center during a disaster, a written agreement between the American Red Cross and the local church is required. If the church contracts with the Red Cross, a signed copy of this agreement is to be sent to the Conference Office. With an agreement, the American Red Cross covers the liability and damage that might occur in relation to operating the shelter and also provides staff to run the operation. WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 11 Pastor The point of contact at the community level for all United Methodist assistance in a disaster is the local United Methodist Church. However, the local church is not expected to respond alone or in a vacuum. There are many resources available to assist the church. By working with a local church disaster team, the District Disaster Coordinator and the Conference Emergency Preparedness Committee, many of the necessary connections are easily made. • Work with church leadership to identify a Local Church Disaster Response Coordinator and recruit a disaster response team. • Primarily function as spiritual caregiver to his/her local church. In the event that the local church does not have a LCDRC, the pastor would serve as point person for ensuring fulfillment of the roles and responsibilities of the local church. • Provide a general needs assessment within twelve hours to the District Superintendent. * • Provide a specific needs assessment within twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours including names and needs and submit them to the District Superintendent. * • If the pastor is not functional, the church Lay Leader, Chairperson of the Trustees or other specifically named individual will become the primary contact person and assume responsibility for said needs assessment. • Work out of the local church office, if operational. If not operational will work out of the parsonage. If that is not operational, it should be assumed that the local church is unable to provide any type of meaningful leadership. The District Superintendent should then immediately assign another qualified person to go into the charge to serve in pastoral ministry. * unless he/she has specified someone else.

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WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 12 Local Church Disaster Response Coordinator It is important for the coordinator to know that this task is a team effort! By working with the District Coordinator, the Conference Coordinator, the pastor, lay leader, and church officials, many of the connections can be easily made. There are resources available in all of these areas. The Local Church Response Coordinator is the point person when a disaster strikes and should quickly team with the pastor and District Disaster Response Coordinator. • Work with the pastor and Trustees in developing a disaster response plan. • Develop a Disaster Response Committee to help the pastor and Trustees to make an assessment of special needs populations within the community (i.e., the elderly, poor, unemployed, immigrants, disabled, shut-ins, children, etc.), persons often most vulnerable in a disaster.


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WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 13 FUNDING IN DISASTER RESPONSE Policies and Procedures Related to Funds Financial Limitations • UMCOR money is to provide immediate relief of acute human need. • UMCOR money cannot be used to repair or rebuild disaster-damaged church property. • General Appeal money can only be used for its designated purpose. • No money will be given to survivors. All disbursal of funds will be made to approved vendors. • Annual Conference money will be used for needs designated by the Emergency Preparedness Committee. • Conference money must be used first before General Appeal and UMCOR money can be used. • All UMCOR money not used must be returned to UMCOR at time of close out. Resources Available From UMCOR • $10,000 will be sent to the Conference Treasurer as soon as the Bishop makes the request for UMCOR assistance. This is start-up money for disaster relief. • UMCOR money can be requested for any additional amount over the original $10,000. Detailed budgets need to accompany the request. Requests for more than $100,000 need the approval of the entire UMCOR Board of Directors which meets only periodically. • Upon invitation UMCOR personnel will assist the Conference and the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator following a disaster. • Equipment such as generators, pressure washers, ice coolers for bulk ice, etc. can be requested. UMCOR takes care of transporting the equipment to the scene at no cost to the Conference. • Flood Buckets and Health Kits are available through Sager Brown at no cost to the Conference. General Information • All West Michigan Annual Conference churches will be encouraged to participate in the special Sunday offering set aside for One Great Hour of Sharing. Funds will go to the United Methodist Committee on Relief. • Churches will also be encouraged to donate moneys for disaster-response needs before and after a disaster. Unless specified, the moneys collected will be placed in a Conference Disaster-Response Fund and administered by the Conference Treasurer. • Large disasters may generate significant amounts of donated money from within and outside the Conference, most of it arriving during the first one or two months following the event. In such cases, the Conference Treasurer will assign an accounting number for these designated funds. • The Conference Treasurer will keep a record of expenditures based on purpose of expense (i.e., materials/furnishings, utilities, contractor services, etc.), and not according to districts or disasters.

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• Compile a list of persons willing to volunteer to implement the Disaster Plan (i.e., help serve food, do cleanups, provide transportation, child care, reconstruction, organize support groups, etc.). • Keep church plans updated and apprise the congregation of those plans. • Communicate with the District Disaster Coordinator and inform him/her of the scope of the church plans and the church’s availability to help in a disaster that might occur outside of their local community. • Encourage the church’s participation in One Great Hour of Sharing and other special advances for the purpose of disaster relief. • Establish communication with the District Disaster Coordinator and maintain a list of phone numbers to be used to connect with the appropriate Conference Disaster Response Team members. • Develop contacts with local relief agencies (County Emergency Management, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Faith Based Groups, etc.) through participation in the local VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters). If there is no local VOAD, it would be wise to talk with the Conference Disaster Coordinator about either helping set up a local VOAD or working with some other local group. As a Conference we encourage working with the VOAD if at all possible. (VOAD – Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters). • Become familiar with existing community service agencies. (Do they have a plan to help the needy in a disaster as an extension of their normal services?) • Develop an Assessment Team and allow Conference Trainers to teach this team how to effectively do assessment work following a disaster.


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District Disaster Coordinators requesting funds are expected to keep a record of moneys spent on a disaster response under their leadership and make the necessary report. WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 14 • Request for money from the Disaster-Response Fund will follow rules governing check requisition as set forth by the Conference. • Because of the nature of disasters, funds must be distributed during the relief phase in a timely manner. Paper trails and good accounting are essential for all transactions, but quickly launching disaster operations requires considerable flexibility in disbursing money. In most instances, once-a week disbursements work well. • The Conference Treasurer is not responsible for spending decisions for a disaster. • Church funds are needed most during the Recovery Phase, long after contributions have dwindled or stopped completely. For this reason, it is necessary to let government and other agencies spend their money during the Relief Phase while church funds are conserved. Special circumstances may make it necessary to provide small amounts of emergency assistance to a few survivors during the Relief Phase. Any assistance should be based on documented need, and pre-set equal amounts should not be provided to survivors. Assistance should wait until case management is in place to set priorities for genuine needs, before most funds are dispensed. • As soon as possible following a disaster, the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator will use the network of the Conference and District leadership to notify congregations of the need for money. The Bishop will make the decision to request moneys for the disaster response. A Conference mailing to congregations, e-mail to pastor, and the Conference Web site may be used to inform churches of the disaster and ask that an offering be taken during two Sundays following the disaster. Congregations will be asked to help while the news is fresh. Any delay may cause members to assume the church is not involved in the response, and they will donate to other agencies. • It is important to vigorously generate local funds for local disasters. UMCOR expects a conference to spend conference-generated funds first—before denominational money is used. UMCOR Funding Guidelines Part I – Relief Phase • Request for funds must come from the Bishop’s office with the assistance of the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator. • meet immediate emergency needs—food, clothing, and shelter. • begin set-up of response organization. • assist local churches with added burdens caused by the response needs. • Relief Phase request may not exceed $10,000 per disaster incident. Part II – Recovery Phase • Request for UMCOR grants must be accompanied by a preliminary budget and come from the Bishop’s office. Assistance and format for this procedure can come from the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator. • provide direct assistance to clients. • pay salary of conference-hired staff for recovery organization. • help set up the disaster-recovery organization. • cover administrative costs; which will be less than 20 percent of total request • Funds may not be used torepair church owned property unless specified in funding request. WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 15

LEGISLATION

APPENDIX A Management of Volunteers The role of volunteers is to assist people in the devastated area to rebuild their lives, often through rebuilding damaged structures. This work should be done so as to reduce the trauma and chaos of the situation as much as possible. The primary concern should be the survivor! The Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, or designee, in conjunction with the Conference UM-VIM Coordinator, makes all management and deployment decisions for volunteers (including Early Response Teams).


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WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 16 Early Response Teams (ERTs) An Early Response Team is a specialized, trained and certified collection of volunteers that comes selfcontained into an area, if and when requested. The purpose of an Early Response Team is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster. The tasks of an ERT are: • Take steps to prevent further damage to a family’s personal property (stabilize). Such steps may include tarping, debris removal, chainsaw work, and cleaning out flooded homes. • To be part of a caring ministry of listeners who will help the survivors begin to heal. Early Response Teams DO NOT: • Make permanent repairs or begin rebuilding. To do so before insurance and government assessments are done and permission to proceed is given may reduce or eliminate any assistance from those sources. Such action can become a liability issue for team members, churches, and the Conference if teams are thought to hinder or duplicate a person’s access to benefits. • Arrive in a disaster area without an invitation from the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator. • Out-of-conference teams DO NOT come in until invited by the North Central Jurisdiction UM-VIM Office or the affected conferences DRC. • Come in unless they are trained, certified and recognized by the Conference, UMCOR and the UM-VIM Jurisdiction Office. • Make promises to the survivors. Connecting Neighbors – Local Church Preparedness Disaster Response is an effective ministry by which we become instruments of God’s healing and hope. By becoming the hands and feet of Christ, we share in a commitment to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of people in a time of crisis. Local churches are in a unique position to be a positive force in response to disasters. While local church plans can not lessen the impact of a disaster, a well thought out and followed plan can help mitigate the emotional and spiritual impact. At the 2008 UMCOR Academy, Connecting Neighbors, Conference personnel were equipped to return to their respective conferences and share information for developing local church disaster response ministries. Part of this training is working with local churches to develop a written disaster response plan.

LEGISLATION

Volunteers should / must: • Be Safe Sanctuary Certified by the Conference. This is required for all ERT members. • Be willing to listen and assist survivors in obtaining a range of disaster-related services. • Be ready and willing to go when their skills are needed and their team can be accommodated. • Be caring, understanding, sensitive, and nonjudgmental. • Be willing to do the tasks assigned. • Know and understand the disaster stages and timelines. • Contact the UM-VIM Coordinator, Early Response Coordinator or the designated contact in devastated areas to see when and how they can offer assistance. • Check in with local coordinator / authorities for task assignments. • Communicate so adequate time is available to prepare work assignments for skills of volunteers and the time they have to serve. • Leave for the affected area with all sleeping and other personal needs for housing, gasoline and food. • Only work on projects assigned by the appropriate coordinator (Unauthorized repairs can prevent owners from receiving insurance payments or federal assistance). • Relief Phase Volunteers must be ERT-certified. • Be Flexible. Volunteer teams should: • Be led by a trained UM-VIM / ERT team leader. • Not go unprepared, unannounced or uninvited! • Appoint a leader or liaison to coordinate with local response group. • Plan on providing needed materials for rebuilding or cleanup. • (ERT’s) provide own transportation, food, lodging and first aid. • Set aside time for sharing group experiences, rest, and worship. Remember: Volunteers are guests and servants!


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UM-VIM and Disaster Recovery Teams Rebuilding and permanent repairs will be done by UM-VIM Disaster Recovery Teams and others who will work during the Recovery Phase. These teams go in under the direction of the Conference UM-VIM Coordinator. Once the Recovery office is set up, the volunteer teams will work through the recovery office. WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 17 Donated Goods • Do not solicit donations for clothing! Refer all such donations to the Seventh-day Adventists and/or the Salvation Army. • Never send supplies unannounced or unexpected. • In-kind (noncash) donations will be received based on specific needs or otherwise redirected to other agencies. • Location for collection/distribution of donated goods will be determined by local coordinator based on available space and specific needs. • Materials or financial assistance should be distributed through the direction of the local response unit. • Cash donations are recommended and should be sent to the local church. Funds collected are for disaster relief. Some suggestions for use of excess funds: • Forward funds to the Conference Treasurer designated for the West Michigan Annual Conference Disaster Response Fund. • Use for local church disaster response ministry or missions trips. • Forward funds to UMCOR or apply to One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Repair of Damaged Church Property Unless specifically given for that purpose, money from the United Methodist Committee on Relief cannot be used for repairing churches. Under certain conditions, the District may seek to help churches raise money to repair churches damaged in a disaster. The Conference takes seriously the mandate that church-owned properties have adequate insurance, including flood coverage (which requires a separate policy). The task of rebuilding or repairs will rest with each church and its trustees. WMAC – West Michigan Annual Conference Plan for Disaster Response 18 When Disaster Strikes – Checklist Local Church Response Disaster Coordinator And Pastor

! Assesses general situation and physical needs of people and area and forwards initial assessment to the District Superintendent and the District Disaster Response Coordinator. ! Establishes contact with the local Emergency Management Team as soon as possible. ! Provides specific needs assignments within 24 hours. ! Begins seeking response to needs, general and specific. ! Coordinates relief efforts on a local basis.

District Superintendent

! Contacts pastor(s) involved and the District Disaster Response Coordinator as soon as possible. ! Receives report of pastor(s). ! Conducts on-site visit within 24 hours.

District Disaster Response Coordinator

! Conducts an on-site visit with the District Superintendent. ! Coordinates relief efforts for the District. ! Contacts the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator.

Conference Disaster Response Coordinator

! Conducts an on-site visit with the Bishop. ! Coordinates relief efforts, in cooperation with DDRC’s.on a conference level. ! Works in consultation with the Bishop to coordinate communication efforts.

LEGISLATION

Conference Emergency Preparedness Committee Bishop

! Meets within 72 hours of the disaster. ! Receives reports, requests funds and dispenses funds as necessary and available. ! Provides press information. ! Visits area(s) within 72 hours. ! Contacts District Superintendents. ! Requests funds from UMCOR, if needed.


ITEM #3 SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

ITEM #4 SUBJECT: MOTION:

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“Plan of Organization,” III.C.3.d: Emergency Preparedness Name Change. Conference voted concurrence. Change the name of the Emergency Preparedness Committee to Conference Disaster Response Team. [Book C, page 302, line 55; page 310, line 34; page 315, line 7; page 316, lines 1-18; page 327, line 37, and other places it may appear] This will bring us up-to-date with UMCOR guidelines and will conform to the updated version of the Conference Disaster Plan. Conference Emergency Preparedness Committee Don E Tippin, Chair, Conference Disaster Coordinator, EPC Immigration Reform Campaign. Conference voted concurrence. The West Michigan Conference endorses the Immigration Reform Campaign Plan and material that follows and urges all local churches to share it with their congregation and take an active part in it.

THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION CAMPAIGN 2011 HUMANE IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW Reflection, Renewal, Resolution EIGHT WAYS TO PARTICIPATE You are invited and encouraged to participate in one or more of the ways outlined below: 1. EDUCATION – Have five conversations with friends or community members who may have reservations about immigration issues with hopes of deepening their understanding of the need for immigration reform. 2. FRIENDSHIP – Invite immigrants and their families to your home for dinner. 3. PUBLIC WITNESS/LOBBYING – Call your three members of Congress once a week in 2011, asking them to support immigration reform that reunites families and allows undocumented immigrants to earn their legal status. (Note: the main switchboard number for congress is 202-224-3121 – ask for your senators and congress person.) 4. INFORMATIONAL – Attend one of the immigration and faith workshop planned in the Annual Conference and/or call someone to host a workshop in your church or have a study on this issue. 5. MAKE A RESOLUTION – I will fill out the attached pledge card and return it to ( list email contact) so it can be sent to Washington DC and shared with members of Congress to help them understand that people of faith care deeply about this issue. 6. PRAYER – Pray daily for immigrants and their families 7. CHECK OUT RESOURCES On the Web: Visit http://youtube.com/Faith4immigration and hear from faith leaders across the country about their New Year’s Resolutions. After you watch a video you can also post your own video. http://www.youtube.com/faith4immigration#p/f/2/_qBF1BduDJU http://www.youtube.com/faith4immigration#p/f/30/QPTjHT4aXLU http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/ Check out resources you can download: Pledge sheet Tool Kit with worship resources Immigration Game 8. MAKE A RESOLUTION – Sign on with the Michigan Area Immigration Task Force and other people of faith, renewing our commitment to build more welcoming communities and advocate for humane immigration policies in 2011. What’s your Resolution? NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION PLEDGE CARD For Just and Humane Immigration Reform in 2011 Please pick two actions in addition to #1 and ask others in your group/team to sign the Accountability Partner

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list below. At the bottom of the page, fill out the information so that the Party Host can follow up with individuals. These resolutions are to be achieved between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. 1. I will call Congress once a week and tell them, “Hi, my name is and as a person of faith, I urge you to do all you can to enact humane immigration reform that reunifies families and provides a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants.” 2. I will invite an immigrant family to my home for dinner on at least 3 different occasions. 3. I will have 5 conversations with friends or fellow faith community members who have reservations about supporting humane immigration reform in order to deepen their understanding of the issue and bring them along in support of immigration reform. 4. I will volunteer at least 5 times at an English as a Second Language (ESL) ministry or Justice For Our Neighbor (JFON) legal clinic (or other form of immigrant legal clinic). 5. I will host a showing and discussion time of one of the suggested films (in the resource packet) for friends and fellow faith community members who have reservations about supporting humane immigration reform. 6. I will pray daily for protection of immigrants and their families, for the boldness of the faith community to advocate for just and humane immigration reform, and for moral courage for elected leaders to enact legislation that provides a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants and that reunifies families. 7. Other If you have your own ideas write them here! List of Accountability Partners: 1. 2. 3. Name: Email: Phone Number: Please list which resolutions you are committed to by number: *Please send all pledges to yschock@churchworldservice.org or 110 Maryland Ave, NE Ste 404, Washington, DC 20002 RATIONALE:

LEGISLATION

In November 2010, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church actively endorsed the New Year’s Resolution Campaign 2011 calling for humane immigration reform. In these first months of this new year of 2011, you and your local church are invited to participate in this campaign and to continue your participation throughout 2011. Why participate? Throughout Scripture the people of God are called to love sojourners in our midst, treating them “as the citizen among you” and loving them as we do ourselves (Leviticus 19:3334). Love for the sojourner is birthed out of the shared experience the Israelites had as a people in sojourn searching for the Promised Land. The attitudes and actions required of God’s people were to emanate from the reflection of their liberation from slavery by God’s hand. As the people of God were liberated from oppression, they too were charged to be instruments of redemption in the lives of the most vulnerable in their midst – the sojourner (Exodus 22:21; 23:9; Leviticus 19:34; Deuteronomy 10:19; 16:12; 24:18, 22). – From the 2008 Book of Resolutions. As people of faith, we are urged to make a New Year’s resolution to stand with immigrants, mobilize our faith communities, and call on Congress to make its own New Year’s resolution to enact immigration reform in 2011. Many immigrants in our midst continue to live under an immigration system that breaks up families, and is more complex than the US tax code.


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Bishop Keaton has called together an Area-wide task force to join The Council of Bishops and invite others to participate in this campaign. This task group includes: The Michigan Area Episcopal Office, The directors of Connectional Ministries, chairs of the boards of Church and Society, chairs of the commissions on Religion and Race, Justice For our Neighbors (JFON ) representatives, and communications directors from both the West Michigan and the Detroit annual conferences. The Task Force also includes the Grand Rapids District Superintendent, the Missionary for Hispanic Latino Ministries, and the Rapid Response Team Coordinator for Immigration Issues for Detroit Conference.

RATIONALE:

ITEM #6 SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

Healthcare Billing and Reporting. Conference voted concurrence. Change the billing and reporting of the fee charged to those churches with nonparticipating clergy appointments for the Conference Healthcare plan, from the Clergy Compensation form and pastor’s health insurance, to the Ministry Shares, under Connectional Ministries. All other items on the Clergy Compensation form are items which are in fact compensation items for the clergy person; this fee is not. The fee charged to those churches with non-participating clergy appointments for the Conference Healthcare plan is to help cover the cost for the Conference to cover these expense of the clergy who do participate in the Conference plan. Therefore, this fee is more properly a Connectional Ministries item. John W. Fisher, clergy member of the West Michigan Annual Conference Reimbursement of Clergy Travel Expense for Conference Business. Conference voted concurrence. When clergy travel for Conference or District meetings or business, the local church shall reimburse its pastor at the current Federal IRS allowance for business mileage ($0.51 for 2011). The Conference shall then reimburse the local church for all expenses in excess of $50 per meeting. Currently congregations cover clergy travel at the standard IRS rate, and this would continue, but congregations are reimbursed for that clergy travel at the IRS volunteer rate of $0.14 per mile. Therefore congregations cover $0.37 per mile of travel expenses that their pastors do for District and Conference work. This creates a greater burden for congregations on the geographic outskirts of the Conference, and is in essence a hidden “ministry share” that is borne unequally. Not taken into account is the time clergy from

LEGISLATION

ITEM #5 SUBJECT: MOTION:

Members of the Michigan Area Task Force on New Year’s Resolution Campaign: Bishop Jonathan Keaton Rev. Bill Dobbs, Clergy Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Dr. Jerome DeVine, Director of Connectional Ministries, Detroit Annual Conference Rev. Benton Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministries, West Michigan Conference Rev. Ellen Brubaker, chair, Board of Church and Society, West Michigan Annual Conference Rev. Steve McCoy, chair, Board of Church and Society, Detroit Annual Conference, Sonya Luna, Hispanic/Latino Missionary for Detroit Annual Conference Rev. Paul Perez, Regional Coordinator for JFON, SEMI (Detroit Conference) Laura Rampersad, Regional Coordinator for JFON West Michigan Rev. Laurie Haller, District Superintendent, Grand Rapids District, West Michigan Annual Conference Paul Thomas, Director of Communications, Detroit Annual Conference Mark Doyal, Director of Communications, West Michigan Annual Conference Sam Carter, Chair, Commission on Religion and Race, Detroit Annual Conference Rev. Scott Manning, Commission on Religion and Race, West Michigan Annual Conference Rev. Melanie Lee Carey, Rapid Response Team coordinator for Immigration Issues, Detroit Annual Conference. Ellen A. Brubaker, Chair West Michigan Conference Board of Church and Society


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outlying areas spend away from their parishes when doing Conference work. This system would be a step toward a more just sharing of expenses. If we look at meetings at the Conference Center in Grand Rapids, under current system: A pastor from

drives round trip

church reimburses pastor

church gets from conference

actual cost to church

proposed final cost to church

Traverse City

294

$149.94

$41.16

$108.78

$50.00

Albion

214

$109.14

$29.96

$79.18

$50.00

Sturgis

196

$99.96

$27.44

$72.52

$50.00

Mt Pleasant

174

$88.74

$24.36

$64.38

$50.00

Lansing

132

$67.32

$18.48

$48.84

$50.00

Holland

62

$31.62

$8.68

$22.94

$31.62

Lowell

34

$17.34

$4.76

$12.58

$17.34

Under new proposal with all expenses above $50, reimbursed by Conference:

ITEM #7

A pastor from

drives round trip

church reimburses pastor

church gets from conference

actual cost to church

increased cost to conference

Traverse City

294

$149.94

$99.94

$50.00

$58.78

Albion

214

$109.14

$59.14

$50.00

$29.18

Sturgis

196

$99.96

$49.96

$50.00

$22.52

Mt Pleasant

174

$88.74

$38.74

$50.00

$14.38

Lansing

132

$67.32

$17.32

$50.00

saves $1.16

Holland

62

$31.62

$0.00

$31.62

saves $8.68

Lowell

34

$17.34

$0.00

$17.34

saves $4.76

In many, if not most instances, boards and agencies have larger numbers of clergy from the population centers. There is a cost savings to the Conference for clergy traveling about 130 miles round trip or less, by shifting the full cost of that travel to the local congregation, usually in the $10 or less per meeting range. If larger numbers of clergy are within a 65-mile radius of the meeting location, the cost increases for the Conference for a few clergy driving long distances could be offset by savings from more nearby clergy. Rick Blunt, clergy member of the West Michigan Annual Conference

LEGISLATION

SUBJECT:

Church and Society Coordinator in Every Congregation. Conference voted concurrence.

MOTION:

The West Michigan Conference strongly urges every congregation to elect annually a church and society coordinator, who will guide the congregation into involvement in issues of peace and justice in the community, the state, our nation and the world. This coordinator shall be the link between the Conference Board of Church and Society and the General Board of Church and Society on social issues that affect the lives of others. The United Methodist Social Principles shall be a guide for the congregation. The goal shall be for every congregation to work for peace and justice through education, advocacy and action.


2011 RATIONALE:

ITEM #8

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LEGISLATION

Only a small number of West Michigan Conference congregations have elected a church and society coordinator, depriving those congregations of important information and ministry. Especially in these days, it is important for each congregation to be engaged in timely and important issues. West Michigan Conference Board of Church and Society Ellen A. Brubaker, Chair

SUBJECT:

District Superintendent Compensation for 2012. Conference voted concurrence.

MOTION:

1) We recommend the formula to determine the cash salary for District Superintendents and Cabinet level positions be equivalent to the 10 year Average Ratio between District Superintendent cash salary (i.e., DS cash salary divided by the Conference Average Cash Salary), times the current year’s Conference Average Cash Salary. For the ten year period of 2001-2010 the Average Ratio = 1.619 The 10 year Average Ratio x 2010 Conference Average Cash Compensation Comp (1.619 x $46,010 = $74,490). Therefore, the 2012 Cash Salary for District Superintendents and Cabinet level positions shall be $74,490. 2) We further recommend that this formula be revisited in 2015 to review for any unintended consequences that may arise from such a formula. This formula ties the District Superintendent’s salary to the Conference Average Cash Compensation, hence, to other Conference clergy while at the same time looking at a longer window’s average which allows less dramatic aberrations up or down in the amount and therefore the Conference budget in total. We see this as more stable and sustainable formula in the long run. West Michigan Conference Council on Finance and Administration Dale Kimball, President

RATIONALE:

ITEM #9 SUBJECT: MOTION:

Minimum Salary Support for 2012. Conference voted concurrence. The Commission on Equitable Compensation recommends the following Minimum Salary Schedule be adopted for 2012. In addition, the Commission continues to recommend that churches budget a minimum of $1,200 for Professional Expenses, exclusive of mileage reimbursements, for each full time clergy person under appointment. In cases of less than full time appointment, it is recommended that the budgeted amount be prorated in accordance with the appointment (i.e., ½ Time = $600, etc.) 2012 Minimum Salary Schedule

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 YOS

2011 32,134 32,456 32,777 33,099 33,421 33,743 34,064 34,386 34,708 35,030 350

Associate Member

Provisional Member

2012 2011 2012 2011 2012 32,616 * * 35,859 36,397 32,943 * * 36,217 36,760 33,269 * * 36,576 37,125 33,595 * * 36,934 37,488 33,922 34,928 35,452 37,292 37,851 34,249 35,275 35,804 37,650 38,215 34,575 35,622 36,156 38,009 38,579 34,902 35,973 36,513 38,367 38,943 35,229 37,512 36,872 38,725 39,306 35,555 37,512 38,075 39,084 39,670 356 375 381 391 397 $200 shall be added to the Minimum for a 2-Point Charge $350 shall be added to the Minimum for a 3-Point Charge

Full Member 2011 ** ** ** 38,653 39,040 39,430 39,773 40,200 40,587 40,974 410

2012 ** ** ** 39,233 39,626 40,021 40,370 40,803 41,196 41,589 416

LEGISLATION

Years

Full Time Local Pastor


194

RATIONALE:

ITEM #10

SUBJECT: MOTION:

WEST MICHIGAN ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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In accordance with Para. 625.3 of the 2008 Book of Discipline, the Minimum Salary Schedule reflects the mandatory minimum cash salary which pastors shall be paid based on their status and years of service. While not mandatory, local congregations are strongly encouraged to give consideration to paying pastors with more than 10 years of service an additional 1% of the tenth year minimum for each additional year of service they have completed. As examples: A Full Member with 15 years of service must be paid a minimum of $41,589, but the congregation is encouraged to consider paying an additional $2,080 (5 x $416), for a total of $43,669 based on 5 additional years service. A Local Pastor with 20 years of service must be paid a minimum $35,555, but the congregation is encouraged to consider paying an additional $3,560 (10 x $356), for a total of $39,115, based on 10 additional years service. Another option for providing additional support for those clergy with more than ten years service would be for the local congregation to cover the Clergy contribution towards health insurance premiums, which varies from 7-20% of the premium, or @ $1,000 to $2,800, depending upon the actual salary. Counting Years of Service To Determine Minimum Compensation Pastors serving under appointment full or part time will have years of service counted equally for the purpose of moving through the salary schedule. Pastors serving more than six months under appointment in a year will be credited with a full year’s service for the purpose of moving through the salary schedule. Pastors serving six months or less under appointment in a year will remain in the year of the salary schedule they are in. When an additional full year of service is completed, pastors will move to the next year in the salary schedule. For salary schedule purposes, years of service are carried over equally from one category to another as clergy status changes. The proposed salary schedule for 2012 reflects a 1.5% increase to the 2010 minimum compensation rates. This is equivalent to the increase in the CPI for the Midwestern US during 2010. The shaded cell under the Associate Member category was set manually insure that no one receives less than the 1.5% increase over the salary for the prior year. This is the last year we will need to make this adjustment. The recommendation regarding a minimum budget amount for Professional Expenses is offered to help guide SPRC’s and congregations in adequately equipping clergy to meet the Disciplinary requirements for Continuing Education, and to adequately maintain a professional library, journal subscriptions, office equipment (i.e., software, computers, cell phones, etc.), and other expenses related to the conduct of ministry. Nancy Patera, Chair, Commission on Equitable Compensation of the West Michigan Annual Conference

LEGISLATION

Guidelines for Equitable Compensation Support. Conference voted concurrence. The Commission on Equitable Compensation moves that the Conference Guidelines for Equitable Compensation Support for 2012 be approved without any changes to the existing guidelines. Guidelines for Equitable Compensation Support 1. Local congregations shall conduct an annual canvass of sources of support within the pastoral charge. Congregations receiving Equitable Compensation support are expected to participate in ongoing stewardship education and planning through programs such as the Stewardship Academy offered through the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan. 2. Local congregations shall annually counsel with the District Superintendent concerning levels of pastoral support. 3. Requests for support from the Equitable Compensation Fund shall be included in the salary recommendation approved by the charge/church conference. 4. Churches should be grouped, where feasible, in a denominational or ecumenical


RATIONALE:

ITEM #11 SUBJECT: MOTION: RATIONALE:

ITEM #12

SUBJECT: MOTION:

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grouping so as to provide an average attendance of at least 118 under the care of one pastor. 5. Circuit churches that become station charges will usually not be eligible for financial assistance from the commission unless the church seeking assistance has an average attendance of at least 118. 6. Local congregations requesting equitable compensation support shall voucher pastors’ travel and business expenses according to the guidelines of the Council on Finance and Administration. 7. Local congregations may receive base supplemental Equitable Compensation support for up to five consecutive years, with a goal of reducing the original grant amount by 20% each year. 8. Congregations receiving Equitable Compensation are expected to pay Ministry Shares in full. If a congregation receiving Equitable Compensation develops a pattern of failing to meet this expectation, the Commission may request that the Bishop and Cabinet review the continued viability of the current appointment and/or parish alignment, using the ‘Process for Assessment of Local Church Potential’ as outlined in ¶213 of the 2008 Book of Discipline, where appropriate. 9. Churches receiving or applying for Equitable Compensation that have planned or are planning to enter into building or remodeling projects that require permission of the District Board of Church Location and Building, or which exceed 10% of the total annual budget of the local congregation, shall not proceed with proposed projects and/or related capital campaigns until such time as a plan for ending Equitable Compensation support has been presented and approved by the Commission on Equitable Compensation and the District Superintendent. Exceptions to this guideline shall be given greater consideration when proposed projects are related to building accessibility. 10. Exceptions to these guidelines may be considered for missional purposes upon recommendation of the Cabinet. – Approved by Annual Conference 1984, Revised 1993, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2010 The Commission does not believe any significant modifications to the Guidelines are necessary at this time. Nancy Patera, Chair, Commission on Equitable Compensation of the West Michigan Annual Conference

Ministers’ Reserve Pension Fund (MRPF) – For Past Service. Conference voted concurrence. The Annuity Rate in 2012 for clergy service before 1982 service shall be $711 for every year of service. The surviving spouse benefit shall remain at 85 percent. 1) The West Michigan Annual Conference is in compliance with the guidelines set forth in THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE for past service pension which requires a past service rate minimum of 0.8% of the Conference Average Compensation which is determined by the General Board of Pension to be $471 in 2012. 2) Our rate is already the fifth highest in the denomination. 3) The actuarial report of the General Board of Pension showed a decrease in our funded balance to 99% due to market decline and transfer of $12.5 million to the Retiree Health Plan for the benefit of retirees. Retaining the $711 rate will minimize liability by $459,100 and improve our funded status to 110%. West Michigan Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits, Mike Anthes, Chair Annual Policy Recommendations for 2012. Conference voted concurrence with amendment The following shall be the policy recommendation for 2012:

LEGISLATION

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A. Special Sundays: The following Special Sundays will be observed with offerings in compliance with the action of the 2008 General Conference: 2011 2012 Human Relations Day Jan 16 Jan 15 One Great Hour of Sharing Apr 3 March 18 Native American Ministry Sunday May 8 April 22 Peace with Justice Sunday* June 19* June 3* World Communion Sunday Oct 2 Oct 7 United Methodist Student Sunday Nov 27 Nov 25 *or on a date to be determined by the local church These Sundays will be observed with offerings (except as noted): Racial Ethnic Local Church Sunday Feb 6 Feb 5 Golden Cross Sunday May 1 May 6 United Methodist Volunteer in Mission Awareness June 5 June 3 Rural Life Sunday Aug 28 Aug 26 Christian Education Sunday Sept 11 Sept 9 Disability Awareness Sunday (without offering) Oct 16 Oct 28 Bishops’ Initiative on Children and Poverty – To be determined by the individual church Camp Sunday – To be determined by the individual church B. Youth Ministries: From the Ministry Shares $2.00 per youth member will be allocated for the YOUTH SERVICE FUND. 70% is to be used by the Conference youth program and 30% by the general church youth program. A mission share of $50,000 shall be authorized to continue to partially fund the staffing of Conference youth and camping ministries. C. The line of credit, which has been established with Macatawa Bank, shall be continued up to a limit of $300,000. D. The auditor of record of the Conference Treasurer shall be a firm of certified public accountants, to be determined by the Council on Finance and Administration. E. Furnishings allowance according to IRS regulations shall be allowed for the District Superintendents and Conference clergy staff persons as payroll withholding within their approved salary. A similar provision is available for local church pastors in an amount determined by the charge conference. F. District Superintendents and other clergy on the Conference staff shall be allowed to designate the amount of their individual housing allowance within the approved salary and housing allowance in accordance with IRS regulations. West Michigan Conference Council on Finance and Administration Dale Kimball, President / Pros Tumonong, Treasurer ITEM #13-R SUBJECT: MOTION:

LEGISLATION

Response to Item #13, p. 241, Book B, Budget Recommendation for 2012: SUBSTITUTION. Conference voted concurrence Amend Item #13 by substitution. The Council on Finance and Administration recommends the following: 1. The Base Percentage Rate in 2012 shall be 12.9% of Church Income as reported on the 2010 Table III to provide for the Conference 2012 Budget of $5,951,495. 2. This recommended Conference budget does not include the District Ministries Funds budget that is approved separately by the respective district conferences. 3. The World Service and Conference Benevolence budget will be distributed as follows: 37% to World Service, 63% to the Annual Conference Benevolence.


Actual 2010 $5,916,148

Budget 2010 $6,209,076

Budget 2011 $6,159,550

Proposed 2012 $5,951,854

$73,182

$73,182

$73,182

$74,490

$439,092 1,000 3,000 75,000 1,800 83,352 73,508

District Office Expense Albion Heartland Grand Rapids Grand Traverse Kalamazoo Lansing District Office Rentals Misc. Exp/Office Equipment Total District Office Expense Total District Superintendents Fund

$439,092 182 4,587 78,552 1,100 78,248 65,000 141 2,122 1,500 97 $670,621

1,000 2,000 2,000 $681,752

$439,092 1,500 9,000 77,400 1,400 83,608 73,528 3,000 1,000 2,000 5,500 $697,028

$446,940 500 9,000 90,114 1,400 84,918 66,441 1,000 2,000 2,000 5,000 $709,313

$62,130 50,409 56,126 55,581 55,327 43,539 61,056 0 $384,168 $1,054,789

$56,410 56,916 56,132 54,864 56,981 45,261 59,288 0 $385,852 $1,067,604

$60,439 60,981 59,618 58,687 59,527 48,335 62,031 16,800 $426,419 $1,123,447

2. Episcopal Fund 3. Equitable Compensation Fund 4. Retiree Health Care 5. Ministerial Pension & Insurance Reserve 6. Bd. Of Ordained Min/Min Enhancement 7. Clergy Advocacy 8. Moving Expense Fund 9. Clergy Transition Fund 10. Abuse Prevention Team 11. Contingency Fund Total Connectional Ministry Funds

$266,518 164,817 47,185 4,667 67,331 0 144,393 0 692 9,219 $1,759,611

$266,518 185,000 50,000 5,000 65,000 5,000 175,000 5,000 500 10,000 $1,834,622

$260,677 200,000 50,000 5,000 65,000 2,500 175,000

$25,816 104,986 $130,802 17,127

$25,816 104,986 $130,802 18,000

$24,450 101,351 $125,801 15,000

$23,528 102,319 $125,847 25,000

$43,128 85,372 800 2,612 $131,912

$45,685 93,583 800 3,200 $143,268

$45,685 89,271 800 3,200 $138,956

$44,000 88,000 800 3,500 $136,300

$9,987 160,176 14,146 32,524 0

$18,000 170,000 15,000 30,000 500

$15,000 160,000 15,000 32,000 500

$15,000 160,000 12,000 30,000 500

Anticipated Ministry Shares Revenue Expenditures Budget A. Connectional Ministry DS Salary 1. District Superintendents Fund Salaries New Pastor Orientation Continuing Education Health Care Plan Workers Comp Insurance Pension Support Travel Expense & Intro Meetings BOM and Fall Retreat New Superintendent Transition Fund Renewal Leave Contingency

B.

197

LEGISLATION

Administrative Funds 1. General Church Apportionments Interdenominational Cooperation General Administration Total General Apportionments 2. Jurisdictional Conference 3. Michigan Area Administration Area Expense Fund Area Assistant To Bishop’s Office Area Episcopal Committee Area Parsonage Committee Total Area Administration 4. Conference Administration Commission on Archives and History Conference Properties Program Committee Secretary Expenses Statistician Expenses

62,769 $446,033 $1,155,346

$272,890 180,000 50,000 5,000 65,000 2,500 165,000 2,5000 500 500 5,000 0 $1,889,624 $1,896,236

4. Cabinet level salaries are based on new CFA proposed formula in the amount of $74,490 with housing allowance held unchanged at $20,000. 5. Support staff wages are based on new CFA proposed formula using a rate of at least 0.25% above inflation with the inflation rate in 2012 projected at 2%. Therefore, the rate increase over 2011 for support staff wages will be 2.25%.

LEGISLATION

2011


198

RATIONALE:

2011

WEST MICHIGAN ANNUAL CONFERENCE

6. The 2012 budget anticipates 100% Pay-out as a whole including World Service and other general apportionments. The Conference Budget is reduced by $208,055 compared to the prior year. This reduction includes the $45,268 decrease in General Church Apportionment. But the increase in Ministry Shares Percentage Rate is due to a lower Actual Income reported by churches on the 2010 Table! The Projected Income used in the original recommendation (Petition #13) is $53,500,000 but the Actual Income reported on Table III is $52,430,000. Therefore, the Base Percentage Rate was increased from 12.74% to 12.9% in order to meet the required Conference Budget. Following are the calculations of Ministry Shares Revenue based on the 2010 Actual Base Income: Actual Income of All Churches X Percentage Rate X Projected Pay-In Rate = Ministry Shares Revenue A. $52,430,000 x 12.74% x 88% = $5,878,032 B. $52,430,000 x 12.90% x 88% = $5,951,854 MINISTRY SHARES NEEDED = $5,951,495 West Michigan 2012 Budget Recommendation

C.

LEGISLATION

Victim’s Fund Legal Contingencies-Conf Chancellor At Large Lay Members Expense U.M. Foundation of WMC Council on Finance & Administration Treasurer’s Office Auditing Expense CFA Meeting Expenses Administrative Services Total CF&A

Actual 2010 0 1,454 40,596 13,500

Budget 2010 1,000 8,000 28,000 15,000

Budget 2011 1,000 6,000 30,000 15,000

Proposed 2012 0 6,000 30,000 0

$208,602 20,285 1,043 42,622 $272,552

$210,000 19,000 800 47,000 $276,800

$213,130 20,000 900 40,000 $274,030

230,800 19,000 1,200 45,000 $296,000

Conference Committees Nomination & Leadership Development Total Conference Administration 5. Administration Contingency Fund 6. Conference Budget Reserve Total Administrative Funds

134 4,543 $549,612 4,744 10,980 $845,177

1,000 5,000 $568,300 5,000 50,000 $915,370

2,000 4,500 $555,030 5,000 25,000 $864,787

500 4,500 $554,500 0 20,000 $861,647

$968,945

$968,945

$928,799

$895,886

0 3,899 0 149,126 3,252 5,531 306,008 93,036 300,898 47,873 504,931 1,094 318 4,724 898 1,477 5,011 1,101 662 4,971 0 $1,434,810 86,554 $2,490,309

500 5,000 1,000 145,000 5,000 10,000 315,000 95,000 310,000 50,000 520,000 3,000 1,000 5,000 1,000 1,500 5,000 3,500 1,000 5,000 0 $1,482,500 $169,500 $2,620,945

500 5,000 1,000 145,000 5,000 10,000 315,000 95,000 310,000 50,000 524,000 3,000 1,000 5,000 1,000 1,500 5,000 3,500 1,000 5,000 $1,486,500 167,500 $2,582,799

500 5,000 500 162,000 5,000 10,000 305,000 100,000 305,000 60,000 545,000 3,000 1,000 5,000 1,000 1,500 5,000 2,000 1,000 7,500

World Service & Conference Benevolences 1. World Service 2. Conference Benevolences Commission on Christian Unity Commission on Religion & Race COSROW Board of Christian Camping Board of Church & Society Board of Discipleship Board of Global Ministries Racial/Ethnic Local Church Higher Education & Campus Ministry Communications Commission Conference Council on Ministries Board of Lay Ministries Conference Personnel Committee Board of Evangelism United Methodist Men Hunger Committee Prison Ministry Indian Workers Conference Disability Concerns Committee Cong Transform (‘11Vital Church Initiative) Conference Emerging Ministries Total Conference Benevolences 3. WS & Conf. Benevolence Contingency Fund WORLD SVC & CONF BENEVOLENCE

$1,525,000 0 $2,420,886


2011 D. E. F. G.

199

LEGISLATION

New Church Development Ministerial Education Fund Black Colleges Fund Africa University Fund TOTAL CONFERENCE BUDGET Excess Revenue Over Expenditure Budget Increase/(Decrease) vs. Last Year

$321,441 313,741 132,327 29,616

$344,500 331,696 132,327 29,616

$355,400 313,771 125,158 28,011

$330,400 297,238 118,555 26,533

$5,892,222 23,926

$6,209,076 (0)

$6,159,550 (0) (49,526)

$5,951,495 359 (208,055)

Dale Kimball, President / Pros Tumonong, Treasurer ITEM #13 SUBJECT: MOTION:

West Michigan Budget Recommendation for 2012. Conference voted concurrence with amendment The Council on Finance and Administration recommends the following: 1. The amount of $5,996,763 shall be the Conference budget in 2012, which is $162,787 less than last year. The Conference 2012 budget is based on the anticipated income of the West Michigan Conference for 2012 using the projected total Conference Actual Receipts of $53,500,000 as reported in Table III with a Pay-in Rate of 88% and 12.74% Base Percentage Rate. The Percentage Rate will be an increase from 12.63% last year. 2. This recommended Conference budget does not include the District Ministries Funds budget that is approved separately by the respective district conferences. 3. The World Service and Conference Benevolence budget will be distributed as follows: 38% to World Service, 62% to the Annual Conference Benevolence. 4. Cabinet level salaries are based on new CFA proposed formula in the amount of $74,490 with housing allowance held unchanged at $20,000. 5. Support staff wages are based on new CFA proposed formula using a rate of at least 0.25% above inflation with the inflation rate in 2012 projected at 2%. Therefore, the rate increase over 2011 for support staff wages will be 2.25%. 6. The 2012 budget anticipates 100% Pay-out as a whole including World Service and other general apportionments. 7. Adjustment to the budget may be made upon confirmation of the general church apportionment amounts by GCFA.

Anticipated Ministry Shares Revenue Expenditures Budget A. Connectional Ministry DS Salary 1. District Superintendents Fund Salaries New Pastor Orientation Continuing Education Health Care Plan Workers Comp Insurance Pension Support Travel Expense & Intro Meetings BOM and Fall Retreat New Superintendent Transition Fund Renewal Leave Contingency District Office Expense Albion Heartland Grand Rapids Grand Traverse

Actual 2010 $5,916,148

Budget 2010 $6,209,076

Budget 2011 $6,159,550

Proposed 2012 $5,997,992

$73,182

$73,182

$73,182

$74,490

$439,092 182 4,587 78,552 1,100 78,248 65,000 141 2,122 1,500 97 $670,621

$439,092 1,000 3,000 75,000 1,800 83,352 73,508 1,000 2,000 2,000 $681,752

$439,092 1,500 9,000 77,400 1,400 83,608 73,528 3,000 1,000 2,000 5,500 $697,028

$446,940 500 9,000 90,114 1,400 84,918 66,441 1,000 2,000 2,000 5,000 $709,313

$62,130 50,409 56,126 55,581

$56,410 56,916 56,132 54,864

$60,439 60,981 59,618 58,687

LEGISLATION

West Michigan 2012 Budget Recommendation


200

B.

C.

2011

WEST MICHIGAN ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Kalamazoo Lansing District Office Rentals Misc. Exp/Office Equipment Total District Office Expense Total District Superintendents Fund

55,327 43,539 61,056 0 $384,168 $1,054,789

56,981 45,261 59,288 0 $385,852 $1,067,604

59,527 48,335 62,031 16,800 $426,419 $1,123,447

$446,033 $1,155,346

2. Episcopal Fund 3. Equitable Compensation Fund 4. Retiree Health Care 5. Ministerial Pension & Insurance Reserve 6. Bd. Of Ordained Min/Min Enhancement 7. Clergy Advocacy 8. Moving Expense Fund 9. Clergy Transition Fund 10. Abuse Prevention Team 11. Contingency Fund Total Connectional Ministry Funds

$266,518 164,817 47,185 4,667 67,331 0 144,393 0 692 9,219 $1,759,611

$266,518 185,000 50,000 5,000 65,000 5,000 175,000 5,000 500 10,000 $1,834,622

$260,677 200,000 50,000 5,000 65,000 2,500 175,000 2,500 500 5,000 $1,889,624

$260,677 180,000 50,000 5,000 65,000 2,500 165,000 0 500 0 $1,884,023

$25,816 104,986 $130,802 17,127

$25,816 104,986 $130,802 18,000

$24,450 101,351 $125,801 15,000

$24,450 101,351 $125,801 25,000

$43,128 85,372 800 2,612 $131,912

$45,685 93,583 800 3,200 $143,268

$45,685 89,271 800 3,200 $138,956

$44,000 88,000 800 3,500 $136,300

62,769

LEGISLATION

Administrative Funds 1. General Church Apportionments Interdenominational Cooperation General Administration Total General Apportionments 2. Jurisdictional Conference 3. Michigan Area Administration Area Expense Fund Area Assistant To Bishop’s Office Area Episcopal Committee Area Parsonage Committee Total Area Administration 4. Conference Administration Commission on Archives and History Conference Properties Program Committee Secretary Expenses Statistician Expenses Victim’s Fund Legal Contingencies-Conf Chancellor At Large Lay Members Expense U.M. Foundation of WMC Council on Finance & Administration Treasurer’s Office Auditing Expense CFA Meeting Expenses Administrative Services Total CF&A Conference Committees Nomination & Leadership Development Total Conference Administration

$9,987 160,176 14,146 32,524 0 0 1,454 40,596 13,500

$18,000 170,000 15,000 30,000 500 1,000 8,000 28,000 15,000

$15,000 160,000 15,000 32,000 500 1,000 6,000 30,000 15,000

$15,000 160,000 12,000 30,000 500 0 6,000 30,000 0

$208,602 20,285 1,043 42,622 $272,552 134 4,543 $549,612

$210,000 19,000 800 47,000 $276,800 1,000 5,000 $568,300

$213,130 20,000 900 40,000 $274,030 2,000 4,500 $555,030

230,800 19,000 1,200 45,000 $296,000 500 4,500 $554,500

5. Administration Contingency Fund 6. Conference Budget Reserve Total Administrative Funds

4,744 10,980 $845,177

5,000 50,000 $915,370

5,000 25,000 $864,787

0 20,000 $861,601

$968,945

$968,945

$928,799

$928,799

0 3,899 0 149,126 3,252 5,531 306,008 93,036 300,898 47,873 504,931 1,094

500 5,000 1,000 145,000 5,000 10,000 315,000 95,000 310,000 50,000 520,000 3,000

500 5,000 1,000 145,000 5,000 10,000 315,000 95,000 310,000 50,000 524,000 3,000

500 5,000 500 162,000 5,000 10,000 305,000 100,000 305,000 60,000 545,000 3,000

World Service & Conference Benevolences 1. World Service 2. Conference Benevolences Commission on Christian Unity Commission on Religion & Race COSROW Board of Christian Camping Board of Church & Society Board of Discipleship Board of Global Ministries Racial/Ethnic Local Church Higher Education & Campus Ministry Communications Commission Conference Council on Ministries Board of Lay Ministries


2011

Conference Personnel Committee Board of Evangelism United Methodist Men Hunger Committee Prison Ministry Indian Workers Conference Disability Concerns Committee Cong Transform (‘11Vital Church Initiative) Conference Emerging Ministries Total Conference Benevolences 3. WS & Conf. Benevolence Contingency Fund WORLD SVC & CONF BENEVOLENCE D. E. F. G.

201

LEGISLATION

New Church Development Ministerial Education Fund Black Colleges Fund Africa University Fund TOTAL CONFERENCE BUDGET Excess Revenue Over Expenditure Budget Increase/(Decrease) vs. Last Year Percent Increase/(Decrease) vs. Last Year

318 4,724 898 1,477 5,011 1,101 662 4,971 0 $1,434,810 86,554 $2,490,309

1,000 5,000 1,000 1,500 5,000 3,500 1,000 5,000 0 $1,482,500 $169,500 $2,620,945

1,000 5,000 1,000 1,500 5,000 3,500 1,000 5,000

1,000 5,000 1,000 1,500 5,000 2,000 1,000 7,500

$1,486,500 167,500 $2,582,799

$1,525,000 0 $2,453,799

$321,441 313,741 132,327 29,616

$344,500 331,696 132,327 29,616

$355,400 313,771 125,158 28,011

$330,400 313,771 125,158 28,011

$5,892,222 23,926

$6,209,076 (0)

$6,159,550 (0) (49,526) -0.80%

$5,996,763 1,229 (162,787) -2.64%

Dale Kimball, President / Pros Tumonong, Treasurer

RATIONALE:

ITEM #15

SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

Jones UMC Discontinuation. Conference voted concurrence In accordance with ¶2548.2 of the 2008 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, the West Michigan Conference hereby discontinues Jones United Methodist Church, located at 11871 McKinley, Jones, Michigan, effective June 30, 2011. The remaining assets of this discontinued congregation will be held in trust by the Trustees of the West Michigan Annual Conference as they take ownership and responsibility for the disposition of this property. The Bishop and all District Superintendents have approved this discontinuance. At a special church conference held on December 11, 2010, the three remaining members of Jones UMC voted to close the church. All assets (with the exception of the building) were distributed to support of a wide range of ministries, particularly in and around the Jones community. The building – which is located in a rural area that is enduring challenging economic hardship – has been handed over to the West Michigan Conference Trustees, who are attempting to dispose of it as soon as possible. Tamara Williams, Albion District Superintendent West Michigan Annual Conference “Rules of Order”: Rule 8.C.1.c – Add Conf Chancellor to Equalization Formula. Conference voted concurrence I move to Amend Rule 8 C, 1c [Book C, page 327, line 23 thru page 328, line 8] by addition of a new item 1c (12) which will read: “Conference Chancellor” and that all the subsequent items in 1c be renumbered accordingly. Although by Discipline (¶602.10) the Annual Conference Chancellor is seated in the Annual Conference and given the privilege of the floor without vote, the person holding this position may also be a full voting member. It is important that the Conference Chancellor to be able to participate fully in the business and life of the Annual Conference without restriction or limitation in the same way numerous other persons holding important positions within the Conference do. Those persons who are laity are included as members of the Annual Conference through the Lay Member Equalization Formula. This amendment will give the Conference Chancellor those same privileges and responsibilities. David Lundquist, member of Kalamazoo First UMC and lay member of the West Michigan Annual Conference

LEGISLATION

ITEM #14 SUBJECT: MOTION:


202 ITEM #16 SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

ITEM #17

SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

LEGISLATION

ITEM #18-R

SUBJECT: MOTION:

WEST MICHIGAN ANNUAL CONFERENCE

2011

“Rules of Order”: Rule 8.C.1.c(1) – General and Jurisdictional Conference Divisions, Depts, Cmtes, Units, and Other. Conference voted concurrence I move to amend Rule 8 C, 1 c (1) [Book C, page 327, lines 11-12] by addition of the words “or their divisions, departments, committees, units, and other sub-groups” following the word “Commissions. Amended Rule 8 C, 1 c (1) would then read as follows: 1) All lay persons who are members of General and Jurisdictional Boards, Councils, and Standing Commissions or their divisions, departments, committees, units, and other sub-groups who reside within the bounds of the West Michigan Conference. Some people are chosen to serve on a division, department or other sub-unit of a General and Jurisdictional agency but are not members of the agency itself. Recent examples are Conference members serving on the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries and Division on Ministries With Young People of the General Board of Discipleship. Lay persons serving on such agency units should also be included in the Conference lay equalization formula and this amendment accomplishes that objective and clears up an ambiguity in the way the present rule is worded. David Lundquist, member of Kalamazoo First UMC and lay member of the West Michigan Annual Conference “Rules of Order”: Rule 8.C.1.c(19) – General and Jurisdictional Conference Lay Delegates. Conference voted concurrence I move to amend Rule 8 C, 1 c (19) [Book C, page 327, lines 48-49] by addition and deletion as follows: a. Add the word “Conference” following the word “Jurisdictional”, b. Add the words “and reserves” following the word “delegates”, c. Delete the words “for the two annual conferences following General Conference”, and d. Add the words “elected for the last General and Jurisdictional conferences.” Amended Rule 8 C, 1 c (19) would read as follows: 19) All lay General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates and reserves elected for the last General and Jurisdictional conferences. 1. Persons elected as General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates are recognized leaders of the Annual Conference and their experience and expertise is important to the life and work of the annual conferences. Clergy delegates have the opportunity to continue as full participants in the Annual Conference for all four years between General and Jurisdictional conferences. Current Rule 8 C, 1 c (19) denies that same opportunity to Lay delegates, limiting their inclusion in the Lay Member Equalization to only the first two years following General Conference. This is an inequity that should be corrected and this amendment does that. 2. Lay reserve (alternate) Jurisdictional Conference delegates also bring experience and expertise to the Annual Conference and should be included in the Lay Member Equalization Formula as well. 3. Adding the word “Conference” after “Jurisdictional” is an editorial clarification to this sentence. David Lundquist, member of Kalamazoo First UMC and lay member of the West Michigan Annual Conference Response to Item #18, p. 245, Book B, Rule 8.A – Conference Lay Members Posted on Web: AMENDMENT. Conference voted non-concurrence I move to amend Item #18, by addition, so that it reads as follows: As soon as available each year and not later than March 1, the names, addresses, phone numbers and electronic mail addresses of all lay members to the next Annual


RATIONALE:

ITEM #18

SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

ITEM #19

SUBJECT: MOTION:

LEGISLATION

203

Conference from local churches, District members at large and those serving under the provisions of the Constitution and Equalization of Lay Member formula (Rule 8-C) shall be posted on the Conference website, provided that the personal information of each lay member that is to be posted on the Conference website and/ or printed in the Conference Journal has been included only by the written consent of that lay member. If all of this information is not available at the same time, the information that is will be posted and when additional information becomes available it will be added to the website. As the Annual Conference has moved into the information age, we have not yet considered, let alone developed or adopted, appropriate privacy policies that give individual members of the Conference (lay or clergy) the right of control over what personal information, if any, is printed in the Conference Journal or posted on the Conference website. While there may be some valid arguments for sharing this information with other members of the Conference in these forms, publication and/or posting of this private information, especially on the Internet, not only makes it available to other Conference members, but to any and all parties. Members of the Conference may well have valid, and even safetyrelated reasons for not wanting their personal information made publicly available, and should therefore have the right to determine how, when, where, and for what purposes that information is used or shared. Rather than taking a default position that, by having been elected, all members of the Annual Conference have automatically granted approval to have their personal information printed in the journal and/or posted on the Internet, it should be the obligation of the Conference to seek their individual approval prior to publication or posting. Rev. David F. Hills, Heartland District Superintendent West Michigan Annual Conference “Rules of Order”: Rule 8.A – Conference Lay Members Posted on Conference Web. Conference voted concurrence I move to amend Rule 8-A [Book C, page 326, lines 30-38] by addition of a new subparagraph 3 as follows: 3. As soon as available each year and not later then March 1, the names, addresses, phone numbers and electronic mail addresses of all lay members to the next Annual Conference from local churches, District members at large and those serving under the provisions of the Constitution and Equalization of Lay Members formula (Rule 8-C) shall be posted on the Conference website. If all of this information is not available at the same time, the information that is will be posted and when additional information becomes available it will be added to the website. The names and other information about lay members of Annual Conference are published annually in the Conference Journal. However, this information is generally not available until several months following the Conference sessions. The names and comparable information about clergy members are available on the Conference website throughout the entire year and also printed in each year’s Journal. For consistency and equality the same information about lay members of the Annual Conference should be published as early as possible each year when it becomes available following annual local church charge conferences, district conferences, etc. David Lundquist, member of Kalamazoo First UMC and lay member of the West Michigan Annual Conference “Rules of Order”: Rule 9.B – Handouts at the Doors to the Bar of Annual Conference. Conference voted concurrence I move that the present paragraph B., “Printed Program,” [Book C, page 329, lines 10-12] be listed as B.1 and a second paragraph B.2 be added as follows: “only material that is approved by the Program Committee or is from an official United Methodist organization may be handed out at the doors to the bar of the Annual Conference.”

LEGISLATION

2011


204 RATIONALE:

ITEM #20

SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

LEGISLATION

ITEM #21 SUBJECT:

WEST MICHIGAN ANNUAL CONFERENCE

2011

Too much material is handed from a variety of caucus groups or special interest groups that are not official groups or bodies of the Annual Conference. A table is provided for them to have their material displayed. However, it should not be foisted on members of the Conference at the doors of the bar to the Conference. Ward D. Pierce, clergy member of the West Michigan Annual Conference “Rules of Order”: Rule 12 – Petitions to Annual Conference. Conference voted concurrence I move the following amendments to current Rule 12: I. Amend Rule 12-B [Book C, page 329, lines 45-50] by deleting the sentence in parenthesis and amend the last sentence by addition as follows: B. Petitions may be submitted by regular mail or electronic mail. A petition submitted by an individual clergy or lay person shall state the local church, or church organization, of which the petitioner is a member. (When several members of a church or church organization are listed as supporting the petition, only the name of the church or church organization and the number of persons listed will be printed in the legislative material.) All petitions shall include the petitioner’s electronic mail address and telephone number(s) and are subject to verification of their validity. II. Amend Rule 12-D (1) [Book C, page 330, lines 2-4] by addition as follows: 1. All petitions which are filed with the Director of Connectional Ministries by a date set by the Conference Secretary shall be printed and mailed with the pre-conference booklets to Conference members. When several members of a church or church organization are listed as supporting the petition, only the name of the church or church organization and the number of persons listed will be printed in the legislative material. If an identical petition is filed by more than one individual or group, that petition shall be printed only once and the names and other identifying information of each church, church organization and/or individual(s) submitting the identical petition shall be printed below the petition. III. Amend Rule 12 [Book C, page 330, line 20] by addition of a new paragraph G as follows: G. When petitions are presented to the Conference for action, the petitioner or representative of the petitioner shall be given the opportunity to present the petition and speak to it for up to three minutes before other discussion or debate on the petition occurs, and shall also be available to answer questions about the petition. (This opportunity for a petitioner to speak will not apply to petitions which the Conference has approved by action on the Decision or Consent Calendar.) This new Rule shall become effective immediately and apply at this 2011 session of the Annual Conference. These amendments clarify several aspects of the procedures governing petitions to Annual Conference. Item I moves current language about a petition signed by several people and clarifies acceptable use of electronic mail for filing. Item II moves the exact language mentioned above (formerly in Rule 12-B) to a more appropriate location in the Rules and also adds an important provision for publishing the names of groups who file identical petitions addressing the same subject. Item III adds the important and necessary right allowing any petitioner to present, explain and speak to his/her/their petition prior to its consideration, debate and action by the Conference. This provision has similarities to procedures used by the General Conference. David Lundquist, member of Kalamazoo First UMC and lay member of the West Michigan Annual Conference “Rules of Order”: Rule 35 – Petitions to General Conference. Conference voted non-concurrence


MOTION:

LEGISLATION

205

I move to amend the Conference Rules of Order by the addition of a new Rule 35 below and renumber present Rule 35 as Rule 36. [Book C, page 337, lines 32-50] RULE 35 PETITIONS TO GENERAL CONFERENCE A. Committee on General Conference Petitions 1) At the Annual Conference session two years prior to the next General Conference the Conference Nominating Committee shall nominate and the Conference shall elect a Committee on General Conference Petitions consisting of four (4) lay persons and four (4) clergy. 2) The committee’s members shall include: a) At least one (1) lay and one (1) clergy delegate to a General Conference from this Annual Conference. b) At least one member from the Conference serving or having served on a general agency, if possible. c) The Director of Connectional Ministries 3) The organizing meeting of the Committee shall be convened by the Director of Connectional Ministries and shall elect leadership as it determines. B. Duties and Responsibilities 1) The Committee shall solicit petitions to General Conference from United Methodist organizations, churches, clergy and laypersons within the West Michigan Conference. 2) The Committee may also develop its own recommendations in the form of a petition to the General Conference. 3) Any other Annual Conference petitions pertaining to General Conference matters shall be considered by this Committee. 4) When considering and developing petitions to the General Conference, it is recommended that the Committee consult with other persons, such as former General Conference delegates, persons knowledgeable about the general church (i.e., general agency members, staff, etc.) and others with experience and expertise who can assist them in their work. C. Report to and Action by the Annual Conference 1) The Committee shall prepare a report on General Conference Petitions together with its recommendation for concurrence or non-concurrence on each petition as presented. This report shall be printed in the preconference materials and considered by the Annual Conference in the year before the General Conference. 2) If the Committee chooses to develop an alternative petition dealing with the same or similar issue contained in one received from another source, the Committee’s alternative proposal shall be treated as an amendment to the original petition and considered as such when both are before by the Annual Conference. 3) The Conference shall vote on all petitions recommended for concurrence by the Committee. All petitions recommended for non-concurrence by the Committee shall not be considered unless 20% of the members of the Conference present and voting request consideration. 4) When considered by the Conference each petition may be debated and may be amended. The vote of the Conference shall be on each petition directly. The recommendation of the Committee on General Conference Petitions shall be advisory only. 5) Prior to Annual Conference the Committee shall inform each petitioner of its recommendation on her/his/their petition and following Annual Conference advise the petitioner of the Conference action on her/his/their petition. D. Forwarding Petitions to General Conference 1) By the deadline established by the General Conference Secretary, the Annual Conference Secretary shall forward all petitions approved by the

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RATIONALE:

ITEM #22-R SUBJECT: MOTION:

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ITEM #23 SUBJECT: MOTION:

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Annual Conference to the General Conference in accordance with The Book of Discipline and related procedures. This proposal restores the previous process used by our Annual Conference to submit petitions to the General Conference by reestablishing a special committee with limited responsibly and tenure (2-years). This Committee on General Conference Petitions have in its membership those with the broader knowledge and expertise needed for this important work on behalf of our Annual Conference. General Conference petitions are important actions by the Annual Conference and impact the life and ministry of the wider denomination. Developing these petitions requires involvement by those who not only know the Annual Conference well but also have the knowledge, experience and expertise of having served in important roles in the general church, such as having been delegates to past General conferences or work with the church’s general agencies and other denominational groups. Developing General Conference petitions is currently an additional responsibility of the Conference Rules of Order Committee whose primarily role is recommending and administering the rules and procedures that govern the work of the Annual Conference. They do an excellent job in fulfilling this responsibility. However, historically members of the Rules of Order Committee have not generally been persons who have also served in places within the general church. It is important that this special Committee on General Conference Petitions be restored to be able to do this important work. David Lundquist, member of Kalamazoo First UMC and lay member of the West Michigan Annual Conference Response to “Rules of Order”: Rule 27, p. 335, Book C – Limit For Speeches. Not considered I move the following amendment to current Rule 27: Amend Rule 27-B [Book C, page 335, lines 4-5] by changing the word “five” to “two.” The amended Rule 27-B would read: “No member shall speak more than twice on the same subject or more than two minutes at one time unless an exception is granted by the Conference.” Most of the speeches spoken for or against a motion can be concluded within the two minute time frame that is being recommended. A specific example to limit speeches to 2 minutes is during the 2009 West Michigan Annual Conference when five or six people talked the full five minutes and then we voted. One minute after the vote, there was the realization that we had voted on the main motion rather than an amendment. The flow of business then had to be interrupted to revote on the main motion. The two minute limit would encourage people to stick to the point and not expound so much as to lose the delegates’ attention. Gary Wilcox, member of Millville UMC and lay member of West Michigan Annual Conference

LEGISLATION

Discontinuation of Grand Rapids Olivet UMC. [Corporate Session] Conference voted concurrence In accordance with ¶2548.2a, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2008, the West Michigan Conference declares the Olivet United Methodist Church, located at 1933 Buchanan SW, Grand Rapids, discontinued, effective December 12, 2010. Further, in accordance with the motions approved at the November 18, 2010 Olivet UMC church conference, the Annual Conference requests the necessary steps be taken so as to ensure the proper transfer of the property to the Board of Trustees of United Methodist Metropolitan Ministry of Greater Grand Rapids, contingent upon final review of the Conference Chancellor. Further, the congregation requested that the assets of this discontinued congregation be held in trust by the United


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ITEM #GC101 SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

Aligning UMC Investments with Resolution on Israel/Palestine. Conference voted non-concurrence Following the teachings of Jesus Christ and supported by people of every faith, the General Conference calls for The United Methodist Church to end its financial involvement in Israel’s occupation by divesting from companies that sustain the occupation. The General Conference – instructs the United Methodist General Agencies, including the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, to divest promptly from Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett Packard, which have been engaged repeatedly by United Methodist agencies and annual conferences on this issue, until these companies end their involvement in the Israeli occupation. – calls for the United Methodist General Agencies to immediately engage with other companies in their portfolios that have been identified by researchers in United Methodist agencies and annual conferences as being involved in the occupation.[ii] If these companies do not change their involvement within two years, they should be removed from United Methodist portfolios. – requires the GBOPHB to provide updates on its website regarding the process of corporate engagement with and/or divestment from companies that support the Israeli occupation. – directs the GBOPHB to provide a report to the 2016 General Conference regarding its progress toward complying with this resolution. – calls on UMC boards and agencies, annual conferences, local churches and individuals to prayerfully consider corporate involvement in Israel’s occupation when making investment decisions. – encourages United Methodists to partner with Jews, Christians, Muslims and other people of conscience working for corporate accountability, human rights and an end to the occupation. Palestinian Christians have implored Christians everywhere to put actions behind their words to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, which is destroying their lives (Kairos Palestine Document).[i] Although The United Methodist Church (UMC) has long opposed the occupation, UMC boards and agencies still hold stock in companies that sustain it.[ii] In 1996, the UMC General Conference declared that “continuing efforts by the State of Israel to build settlements in the occupied territories violate both international law and the spirit of the Declaration of Principles [the Oslo peace process].”[iii] The 2004 General Conference approved a resolution opposing “confiscation of Palestinian land … the continued building of illegal Jewish settlements, and any vision of a ‘Greater Israel’ that includes the occupied territories and the whole of Jerusalem and its surroundings.” [iv] The UMC Book of Discipline discourages investment in companies “that directly or indirectly support the violation of human rights” (¶716).[v] Palestinian human rights are violated by companies that sustain illegal settlements, segregated roads, checkpoints, the separation wall, home demolitions and other realities of the occupation. Researchers with the General Boards of Global Ministries and of Church and Society, several annual conferences, and ecumenical partners have identified a limited number of US and international companies in the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBOPHB) portfolio that sustain Israel’s occupation.[ii] United Methodists have engaged Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett Packard on this issue for years and have asked them to end their involvement with the occupation.

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Methodist Metropolitan Ministry of Greater Grand Rapids as they take ownership of the property. Rev. Laurie Haller, Grand Rapids District Superintendent West Michigan Annual Conference


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The Book of Discipline requires consideration of divestment when companies do not respond to corporate engagement with changed practices (¶716).[v] At the October 2010 Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Summit, the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits stated that SRI measures it has employed in the past, including screening and divestment, have not violated the board’s fiduciary responsibility to beneficiaries. Divestment is not aimed at Israel itself, but at the occupation of land beyond its internationally recognized borders. As a non-violent moral action, divestment seeks to strengthen the Church’s support for the peoples of Israel and Palestine, whose future can only be secured through a just peace. Many faith groups and organizations around the world have already divested or publicly support divestment.[vi] All UMC mission personnel who have served in the Holy Land since the 1990s support divestment. The Church should lead with prophetic action by publicly and promptly aligning its investments with longstanding church policies opposing the Israeli occupation. [i] [ii] [iii]

[iv]

[v] [vi]

Kairos Palestine. “A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope, and Love From the Heart of Palestinian Suffering” www.kairospalestine.ps/sites/default/Documents/English.pdf Web. 1 May 2010. Holy Land Task Force. “Companies of Concern” http://www.umhltf.org/Companies_of_ Concern.htmlwww.umhltf.org/Companies_of_Concern.html Web. November 2010. General Board of Global Ministries. “Two Resolutions of The United Methodist Church on the Middle East: The Building of Settlements in Occupied Territories.” www.gbgm-umc.org/middle_east/Jerusalem.html Web. 1996. As cited in The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2000. “214. Israel-Palestine Conflict – The Building of Settlements in the Occupied Territories.” (Abingdon Press), 732. United Methodist Church. “Opposition to Israeli Settlements on Palestinian Land” http://archives.umc.org/interior_print.asp?ptid=4&mid=6855http://archives.umc. org/interior_print.asp?ptid=4&mid=6855 Web 2004. As cited in The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2004. “312. Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land.” (Abingdon Press), 789. The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2008. “Socially Responsible Investments” (Abingdon Press), 492. Interfaith Peace Initiative. “Global Actions to End the Israeli Occupation” www. interfaithpeaceinitiative.com/globalactions.pdf Web July 2010. Ellen A. Brubaker, chair, Board of Church and Society of the West Michigan Annual Conference

ITEM #GC102

SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

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Peace With Justice Sunday Offering. Conference voted concurence The West Michigan Conference urges the General Conference to continue the Peace With Justice offering and as an important mission of The United Methodist Church. For more than 25 years The United Methodist Church has carried out a Peace with Justice Program as fulfillment of Old and New Testament heritage and the teachings of Jesus Christ. The annual Peace with Justice Sunday provides local congregations an occasion to observe this important mission and the Peace with Justice Offering gives members opportunity to make financial contributions in support of peace with justice activities. The West Michigan Conference uses its share of the Peace with Justice offering to support projects tailored to local needs and Conference priorities. We have supported Justice For our Neighbors, a ministry designed to aid persons in seeking the path towards citizenship. This funding has also helped us to support peace centers that continue in the Conference. There have also been short-term projects that have reached out to children, the homeless, and the hungry. Our Conference has given support to a special project in Haiti helping persons earn enough money to give access to health care and to education in many instances (HAPI – Haitian Artisans for Peace International).


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The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society uses its share of the Peace with Justice Offering to support important peace with justice activities within central conferences as well as in the United States. Ellen A. Brubaker, chair, Board of Church and Society of the West Michigan Annual Conference ITEM #GC103

RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC104 SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC105 SUBJECT: MOTION:

DISCIPLINE ¶50 – Episcopal Tenure. Conference voted concurrence Delete the first two paragraphs of ¶50, Article VI of The United Methodist Church Constitution and substitute the following: “Bishops of The United Methodist Church shall be elected for terms of four years, and are subject to re-election by the Jurisdictional conferences that elected them. The Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy, in consultation with area committees on episcopacy, shall report to Jurisdictional Conference members no later than 120 days before the Jurisdictional Conference its recommendations on re-election. Individuals and annual conferences can also petition the Jurisdictional conferences concerning the election. Bishops shall be re-elected if they receive a ¾ vote of the members of the Jurisdictional Conference, and those who retire from active service shall remain bishops for life. Those who are not re-elected shall return to their previous clergy membership in the Annual Conference from which they were elected.” The health of The United Methodist Church and its annual conferences and churches depends on effective leadership and accountability on all levels of church life. The effectiveness and competence of bishops should be subject to quadrennial review. George Fleming, clergy member of the West Michigan Annual Conference DISCIPLINE ¶161B – Marriage. Conference voted non-concurrence I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Change Social Principles ¶ 161B to read as follows. (Delete strike through words and add those in underlined italics.) ¶ 161 B) Marriage—We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman two people who love and are committed to each other. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman as the union of two people who love and are committed to each other. God is moving in our midst, through our courts, and policies, to let us know that the pain and suffering caused by denying loving, caring, faithful partners the rights of spouses, is not morally, nor theologically, supportable. Furthermore, one hundred years ago, the church decided that sex is not just for procreation, and thus it is permissible to practice birth control. That is, it is permissible to have sex without the possibility for procreation. Therefore, there is no longer any physiological reason to prevent same-sex unions. John W. Fisher, Pastor, South Haven First UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference DISCIPLINE ¶161B – Affirm Marriage for All. Conference voted non-concurrence I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Amend ¶161B as follows: B) Marriage – We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed

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ITEM #GC106

SUBJECT:

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in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between two individuals a man and a woman. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of two individuals one man and one woman. It is manifestly unchristian to deny any two persons the right to be joined in the sacred marriage covenant and to enjoy all the rights and privileges available in civil society to those joined in the marriage covenant. 1. Michael and Sandra McDonald, members of Traverse City Central UMC 2. Mark Thompson, clergy member 3. Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair 4. Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 5. Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 6. Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 7. David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC 8. Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair

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DISCIPLINE ¶161F – Remove Condemnatory Language on Homosexuality. Conference voted concurrence MOTION: I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Amend ¶161F as follows: F) Human Sexuality—We affirm that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons. We call everyone to responsible stewardship of this sacred gift. Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married, sexual relations are affirmed only with the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. We deplore all forms of the commercialization, abuse, and exploitation of sex. We call for strict global enforcement of laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation of children and for adequate protection, guidance, and counseling for abused children. All persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured and to be protected against violence. The Church should support the family in providing age-appropriate education regarding sexuality to children, youth, and adults. We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons. RATIONALE: This judgmental, condemnatory language is in conflict with the present state of scientific knowledge and societal acceptance. Such language puts United Methodism at odds with the positions of other denominations most closely related to it and with the emerging ecumenical consensus. Most important, this language is manifestly unchristian. Petitioners are the same for Items #GC106, #GC108, #GC110, #GC112, #GC113, #GC114, #GC120, #GC122, #GC123 and are listed in the chronological order in which they were received: 1. Mark Thompson, clergy member 2. West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists / Michael McDonald, Chair 3. Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair 4. Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC


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5. 6. 7. 8. ITEM #GC107

SUBJECT: MOTION:

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211

Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair

DISCIPLINE ¶161F – Human Sexuality. Conference voted non-concurrence I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Change Social Principles ¶ 161.F Human Sexuality to read as follows. (Delete strike through words and add those in underlined italics.) F) Human Sexuality -- We affirm that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons. We call everyone to responsible stewardship of this sacred gift. Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married, sexual relations are affirmed only with the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage.We deplore all forms of the commercialization, abuse, and exploitation of sex. We call for strict global enforcement of laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation of children and for adequate protection, guidance, and counseling for abused children. All persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured and to be protected against violence. The Church should support the family in providing age-appropriate education regarding sexuality to children, youth, and adults. We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching now recognizes that the historical Christian teaching that condemned the practice of homosexuality, is flawed, and we repent of such teachings and ask for forgiveness for the pain and suffering such teachings have caused and are causing. We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons. Throughout all of time, God has sought to guide humankind in how best to live and humans have sought to discern the fullness of that guidance. Occasionally people wrote down their best understanding of that guidance as commandments and laws, other times they simply made them customs. The Bible is full of this struggle as people would do their best to follow and enforce “Laws” they thought were given by God and God would speak through the prophets to help the people have a greater understanding. Even following the “Word” becoming flesh, the followers of Jesus struggled to discern God’s guidance. The place of gentiles, the dietary laws, the need to become Jewish before being Christian, these were but some of the conflicts in our understanding. In recent centuries the church has continued to wrestle with our understanding of God’s guidance. The role of laity (should they have voice and vote in church councils), the abolition of slavery, the rights of women (voting and ordination), and the role of sex (is it only for procreation or is birth control permissible) are some of the traditional Christian teachings we have come to know to be flawed as we have more fully known God’s radical inclusiveness. In our day, the issue of homosexuality has come to the fore. Prayer and Biblical study, as well as the pain and suffering inflicted upon individuals based upon the church’s teaching, have helped us to discern that this teaching is flawed and thus our statement needs to change. John W. Fisher, Pastor, South Haven First UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference

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212 ITEM #GC108 SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC109 SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

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ITEM #GC110 SUBJECT: MOTION:

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DISCIPLINE ¶162J – Update Civil Equal Rights. Not considered I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Amend ¶162J as follows: Equal Rights regardless of Sexual Orientation—Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation. We see a clear issue of justice in protecting the rightful claims where people have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, civil marriage, civil unions, and other such lawful claims attendant to contractual relationships including that involve shared contributions, responsibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law. Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against all persons, regardless of sexual orientation. Civil legal language now includes blocks of contractual rights and responsibilities under the categories of civil marriage and civil unions. These blocks, regionally defined by law, simplify access to basic equality in the civil arena and may include over 1,000 rights and responsibilities. Petitioners are the same for Items #GC106, #GC108, #GC110, #GC112, #GC113, #GC114, #GC120, #GC122, #GC123 and are listed in the chronological order in which they were received: 1. Mark Thompson, clergy member 2. West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists / Michael McDonald, Chair 3. Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair 4. Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 5. Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 6. Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 7. David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC 8. Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair DISCIPLINE ¶304.2 – Qualifications for Ordination. Not considered I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Change ¶ 304.2 Qualifications for Ordination to read as follows. Delete strike through words. 2. For the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness to the Christian gospel, and in consideration of the influence of an ordained minister on the lives of other persons both within and outside the Church, the Church expects those who seek ordination to make a complete dedication of themselves to the highest ideals of the Christian life. To this end, they agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, integrity in all personal relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace and in the knowledge and love of God. Singling out fidelity and celibacy, overly sexualizes morality and distracts us from focusing on the fullness of faithfully living out our relationship with God and Jesus. This statement is full and complete without including the phrase, “fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness.” John W. Fisher, Pastor, South Haven First UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference DISCIPLINE ¶304.3 – End Discrimination Against Homosexual Clergy. Not considered I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012


RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC111 SUBJECT: MOTION:

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General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Amend ¶304.3 as follows: 3. While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church. Homosexual clergy, both single and partnered, have both maintained the highest standards of holy living and served our church in all levels of ordained ministry since our denomination’s formation. This paragraph’s double standard promotes secrecy and erects a barrier to keeping qualified clergy, both homosexual and heterosexual, serving our church. Petitioners are the same for Items #GC106, #GC108, #GC110, #GC112, #GC113, #GC114, #GC120, #GC122, #GC123 and are listed in the chronological order in which they were received: 1 Mark Thompson, clergy member 2. West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists / Michael McDonald, Chair 3. Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair 4. Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 5. Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 6. Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 7. David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC 8. Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair DISCIPLINE ¶304.3 – Qualifications for Ordination. Not considered I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Delete ¶ 304.3 Qualifications for Ordination and renumber the following paragraphs as needed. 3. While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to serve The United Methodist Church. RATIONALE: The opening is redundant with paragraph 2. As for the remainder: throughout all of time, God has sought to guide humankind in how best to live and humans have sought to discern the fullness of that guidance. Occasionally people wrote their best understanding of that guidance down as commandments and laws, other times they simply made them customs. The Bible is full of this struggle as people would do their best to follow and enforce “Laws” they thought were given by God and God would speak through the prophets to help the people have a greater understanding. Even following the “Word” becoming flesh, the followers of Jesus struggled to discern God’s guidance. The place of gentiles, the dietary laws, the need to become Jewish before being Christian, these were but some of the conflicts in our understanding. In the recent centuries the church has continued to wrestle with our understanding of God’s guidance. The role of laity (should they have voice and vote in church councils), the abolition of slavery, the rights of women (voting and ordination), the role of sex (is it only for procreation or is birth control permissible) are some of the traditional Christian teachings we have come to know to be flawed as we have more fully known God’s radical inclusiveness. In our day, the issue of homosexuality has come to the fore. Prayer and Biblical study, as well as the pain and suffering inflicted upon individuals based upon the church’s teaching, have helped us to discern that this teaching is flawed and thus our statement needs to be changed to reflect our new understanding. John W. Fisher, Pastor, South Haven First UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference

LEGISLATION

2011


214 ITEM #GC112 SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC113

SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

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DISCIPLINE ¶311.2(d) Footnote 3, 4th para – Moral Standards of Homosexual Clergy. Not considered I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Amend ¶311.2(d) as follows (Found in the fourth paragraph of the footnote on page 212 of the 2008 BOD): The General Conference, in response to expressions throughout the Church regarding homosexuality and ordination, reaffirms the present language of the Discipline regarding the character and commitment of persons seeking ordination and affirms its high standards. Clergy are required to uphold the highest standards of holy living in the church and in the world. Homosexual clergy are fully capable of fulfilling these standards. The same expectations of Christian conduct apply regardless of sexual orientation. The idea that homosexual persons are inherently immoral is absolutely false. Petitioners are the same for Items #GC106, #GC108, #GC110, #GC112, #GC113, #GC114, #GC120, #GC122, #GC123 and are listed in the chronological order in which they were received: 1. Mark Thompson, clergy member 2. West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists / Michael McDonald, Chair 3. Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair 4. Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 5. Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 6. Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 7. David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC 8. Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair

LEGISLATION

DISCIPLINE ¶311.2(d) Footnote 3, 12th para – Remove Discriminatory Language About Homosexuality. Not considered I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Amend Footnote 3 of ¶311.2 (d) as follows (Found in the twelfth paragraph of the footnote, on p. 215 of the 2008 BOD): The General Conference has made it clear in the “Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task” (Part II of the Discipline) that Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason are our guidelines. “United Methodists share with other Christians the conviction that Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine.” In the Social Principles, the General Conference has said that “we do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.” Furthermore, the Principles state that “we affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage.” Also, “we affirm the integrity of single persons, and we reject all social practices that discriminate or social attitudes that are prejudicial against persons because they are single.” This section seeks to “elevate the standards” of “moral and social responsibility of ordained ministers,” by directing examination by District and conference committees. Stringent moral qualifications for ordained ministry are essential, but they have no relevance to the sexual orientation of the candidate. Such unchristian discrimination should be eliminated. Petitioners are the same for Items #GC106, #GC108, #GC110, #GC112, #GC113, #GC114, #GC120, #GC122, #GC123 and are listed in the chronological order in which they were received:


2011

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ITEM #GC115 SUBJECT: MOTION:

ITEM #GC116 SUBJECT: MOTION:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

215

Mark Thompson, clergy member West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists / Michael McDonald, Chair Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair

DISCIPLINE ¶341.6 – Offer the Blessings of Christian Marriage to Homosexual Couples. Not considered I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Amend ¶341.6 as follows: 6. Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches. Homosexual families bring blessings to our churches. United Methodist clergy have conducted union services for these families since our denomination’s formation. This double standard impedes pastoral care and fulfillment of the clergy covenant. This discrimination undercuts evangelism to all God’s children and our efforts to recruit and maintain qualified clergy. Petitioners are the same for Items #GC106, #GC108, #GC110, #GC112, #GC113, #GC114, #GC120, #GC122, #GC123 and are listed in the chronological order in which they were received: 1. Mark Thompson, clergy member 2. West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists / Michael McDonald, Chair 3. Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair 4. Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 5. Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 6. Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 7. David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC 8. Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair DISCIPLINE ¶341.6 – Unauthorized Conduct. Not considered I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Delete ¶ 341.6 Unauthorized Conduct and renumber the following paragraphs as needed. ¶ 341. 6 Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual union shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches. RATIONALE: This paragraph is now in conflict with ¶340.3 (a) since a growing number of states now allow for marriages between people of the same sex. One hundred years ago, the church decided that sex is not just for procreation, so it is morally permissible to practice birth control; thus we have recognized that marriage is for more than procreation. Therefore, there is no longer any physiological reason to prevent same-sex unions. Finally, the pain and suffering caused by denying loving, caring, faithful partners the full rights of spouses is no longer morally supportable. John W. Fisher, Pastor, South Haven First UMC of the West Michigan Annual Conference DISCIPLINE ¶413 – Review of Complaints Against Bishops. Amend ¶413 by addition of the following sentences: “The decision of the jurisdictional supervisory committee concerning a complaint shall, on request of the complainant, be subject to review by a committee composed of the first three alternates to the United Methodist Judicial Council. This shall include a face-to-face meeting between the complainant and the Judicial Council

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ITEM #GC114

SUBJECT:

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216 RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC117 SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

SUBJECT: MOTION:

RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC118 SUBJECT: MOTION:

ITEM #GC119 SUBJECT: MOTION:

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RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC120 SUBJECT:

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alternates.” In order to make sure that complaints have been properly processed, it is important that there be a provision for review of the process. Alternates to the Judicial Council are persons who have been deemed worthy by the General Conference to serve in such matters, yet they do not have other major responsibilities. John Ross Thompson, clergy member of the West Michigan Annual Conference DISCIPLINE ¶413 – Information About Complaints Against Bishops. Not considered ¶413 shall be revised to include: “Those making the complaint shall receive in writing the response of the bishop against whom the complaint was made, as well as other supporting information.” This brings the procedures for complaints against bishops more in line with the procedures for complaints against clergy members. Craig L. Adams, retired clergy member of the West Michigan Annual Conference ITEM #GC118-R Response to Item #GC118, p. 257, Book B, ¶413.3(b) – Episcopal Accountability: AMENDMENT. Not Considered Amend line 27 by deleting the word “and,” and adding a comma after the word “complainant,” and add the words, “and a support person of the complainant’s choosing.” Such face-to-face encounters, when a complaint has been issued, can be anxious and stressful, and it is helpful for the complainant to have someone with her or him to offer emotional support, as well as an extra set of ears so that the conversations that take place can be clearly heard by all concerned. Michael T. Conklin, Middleville/Snow UMCs, Clergy Member West Michigan Annual Conference DISCIPLINE ¶413.3(b) – Episcopal Accountability. Not considered Amend ¶413.3(b) by adding the following sentence at the end of the first paragraph: “The supervisory response shall include at least face-to-face opportunity for the supervisory response committee, the bishop against whom the complaint was made, and the complainant to meet together to discuss the issues contained in the complaint and other relevant matters.” RATIONALE: The complaint process for bishops should be the same process that is used for other clergy, including a face-to-face meeting between a bishop and those making the complaint and other provisions to insure that complaints are processed in a fair and just manner. Jayne Schuiteman, member of Williamston United Methodist Church of the West Michigan Annual Conference DISCIPLINE ¶416.5 – Transfers of Conference Membership. Not considered Amend ¶416.5 by addition of the following sentence: “If the receiving bishop and the clergy member agree to the transfer, the bishop shall be required to transfer the membership.” Transfer of conference membership should not be subject to being denied by an individual bishop. The goal shall be the most effective ministry for all clergy. Lois and Lloyd Moseley, lay members of the West Michigan Annual Conference DISCIPLINE ¶613.20 – End Discrimination and Confusion in Funding.


MOTION:

RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC121-R SUBJECT:

MOTION:

RATIONALE:

ITEM #GC121 SUBJECT: MOTION:

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Not considered I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Amend ¶613.20 as follows: 20. To ensure that no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of the UMC “not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends” (¶161.F). The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures. This restriction shall not limit the Church’s ministry in response to the HIV epidemic, nor shall it preclude funding for dialogs or educational events where the Church’s official position is fairly and equally represented. Holy conferencing and education are valued processes of United Methodists. This paragraph creates confusion and impairs holy conferencing regarding our relationship with our homosexual brothers and sisters. This deletion frees duly elected, employed, or appointed annual conference boards, agencies, commissions, and councils to resource the church as is their charge. Petitioners are the same for Items #GC106, #GC108, #GC110, #GC112, #GC113, #GC114, #GC120, #GC122, #GC123 and are listed in the chronological order in which they were received: 1. Mark Thompson, clergy member 2. West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists / Michael McDonald, Chair 3. Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair 4. Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 5. Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 6. Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 7. David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC 8. Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair Response to Item #GC121, p. 258, Book B, ¶637.3 – Duties of Conference/Area Committee on Episcopacy: AMENDMENT. Not considered Amend the petition to include the following after the word “step” on line 35: “Persons with complaints against the bishop shall be allowed to have a support person with them throughout the process.” This process can be highly stressful. Persons filing such complaints should be allowed a person of his or her choosing to be with them to offer emotional support, as well as an extra set of ears so that all conversations in this process may be clearly heard. Michael T. Conklin, Middleville/Snow UMCs, Clergy Member DISCIPLINE ¶637.3 – Duties of Conference/Area Committee on Episcopacy. Not considered Amend ¶637.3 to include these duties: 1. To review annually the effectiveness of the bishop’s ministry and to report that review to the Annual Conference. 2. To meet with those who have complaints against the bishop. The purpose of the meeting shall be to seek reconciliation. If reconciliation is not possible, the process in ¶413 shall be the next step. In a local church, the Pastor (Staff) Parish Relations Committee serves this function. It is important that there be a similar process in the area where a bishop serves. The Discipline should clearly state these as responsibilities of the committee. David A. Wiltse, lay member and member of Aldersgate UMC, Grand Rapids

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ITEM #GC122 SUBJECT: MOTION:

DISCIPLINE ¶806.9 – End Discrimination and Confusion in Funding. I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Delete ¶806.9: 9. It shall be responsible for ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The United Methodist Church” not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends” (¶161.F). The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures. It shall not limit the Church’s ministry in response to the HIV epidemic. RATIONALE: Holy conferencing and education are valued processes of United Methodists. This paragraph creates confusion and impairs holy conferencing regarding our relationship with our homosexual brothers and sisters. This deletion frees duly elected, employed, or appointed annual conference boards, agencies, commissions, and councils to resource the church as is their charge. Petitioners are the same for Items #GC106, #GC108, #GC110, #GC112, #GC113, #GC114, #GC120, #GC122, #GC123 and are listed in the chronological order in which they were received: 1. Mark Thompson, clergy member 2. West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists / Michael McDonald, Chair 3. Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair 4. Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 5. Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 6. Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 7. David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC 8. Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair ITEM #GC123

LEGISLATION

SUBJECT: MOTION:

DISCIPLINE ¶2702.1 – End Discrimination in Clergy Charges. I move that the Conference Secretary submit the following Petition to the 2012 General Conference on behalf of the West Michigan Annual Conference: Amend ¶2702.1 as follows: A bishop, clergy member of an annual conference (¶369), local pastor, clergy on honorable or administrative location, or diaconal minister may be tried when charged (subject to the statute of limitations in ¶2702.4)* with one or more of the following offenses: (a) immorality including but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not faithful in a heterosexual marriage;** (b) practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings, including but not limited to: being a self-avowed practicing homosexual; or conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions; or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies;

RATIONALE:

The United Methodist Church repeatedly expresses concern about the recruitment of superior clergy candidates, especially young persons. Probably there is nothing which so impedes the recruitment of young candidates as this section of the Disciple and others similarly discriminatory. Bigotry, hypocrisy, and judgmentalism repel rather than attract. Petitioners are the same for Items #GC106, #GC108, #GC110, #GC112, #GC113, #GC114, #GC120, #GC122, #GC123 and are listed in the chronological order in which they were received: 1. Mark Thompson, clergy member 2. West Michigan Reconciling United Methodists / Michael McDonald, Chair 3. Church Council of Kalamazoo First UMC / Molly W. Williams, Chair 4. Deborah E. Search Willoughby, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 5. Jonathan Richardson, member of Kalamazoo First UMC 6. Susan E. Paul, member of Kalamazoo First UMC


2011

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7. 8.

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David Lundquist, lay member, Kalamazoo First UMC Methodist Federation for Social Action / Susan Hagans, Chair

C. OTHER LEGISLATION AND NEW BUSINESS ITEM #201 Conference voted concurrence RULE 9 [Book C, page 328] – Add “the Director of Communications.” Delete “the Host D.S., as convener” and add “A District Superintendent selected by the Cabinet.” Add: “A chairperson, nominated by the Conference Committee on Nominations in consultation with the Bishop, shall be one of the six (6) members at large.” Add: “The worship and child care liaisons shall be selected by the Program Committee and have voice, but not vote, on the Program Committee.” Rationale: These additions would reflect our current practices and staffing changes already in place. These would offer options in the Cabinet assignments and allow the Cabinet to balance the workload among them. The Committee voted concurrence. ITEM #202 Conference voted concurrence RULE 8.C.1.C [Book C, page 327-328] – Add: “The Lay Members on the Committee on the Journal.” Rationale: Without this provision the Conference either has to select lay persons already attending for another reason, or they have to work but not have their way paid by the Conference and cannot vote. This is suggested by the Nominating Committee. Replace item 12 [Book C, page 327, line 23] with “the Director of Communications, if this person is a lay person.” Rationale: The graphic position no longer exists. Change Emergency Preparedness to Disaster Response Team Coordinator [Book C, page 327, line 37]. Monitor line C.1.c.5 [Book C, page 327, line 16]: This leadership team no longer exists, but if the new one proposed is approved those lay members would vote. Monitor item 21 [Book C, page 328, line 2] “Lay ministries consultants”: If the new plan of organization is approved, they become “Conference Program Staff.” The Committee voted concurrence. ITEM #203 Conference voted concurrence RULE 33 F [Book C, page 337] – reserve delegates: amend to read: “3. As the expenses of the delegates to General Conference (lay and clergy) are paid by the General Conference, the Annual Conference shall pay the first and second delegates’ (lay and clergy) expenses using the same standards used by the General Conference.” Rationale: In 2008 the General Conference did not pay for the “first reserve,” thus that expense needs to be moved to the Annual Conference. The Committee voted concurrence.

MOTION # 204

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MOTION # 205

SUBJECT: MOTION:

Limits of the floor. Conference voted concurrence. That the limits of the floor to be the main floor of the arena; upper level sections are for visitors. Adoption of the Agenda for 2011 Annual Conference. Conference voted concurrence That he adoption of the Agenda for the 2011 Annual Conference as printed in Program Book A with changes as necessary. Enabling motion. Conference voted concurrence That Diane Allarding, Executive Administrative Assistant to the Bishop, Vicki Gibbs, Bill Dobbs’ Administrative Assistant; RJ Walters, Editor of the Michigan Area UM Reporter; and Tom Furgeson (or his designee), Editor of the MCA; Rev. Rudy Rasmus, Dr. Phillip Amerson, President of Garrett Evangelical Seminary; Cynthia Fierro Harvey; James Salley; Thomas Kemper; Bill Mefford; Walter Lii; and Eric Mulanda to sit within the

LEGISLATION

MOTION # 203 SUBJECT: MOTION:


220 MOTION # 205 SUBLECT: MOTION: MOTION # 206

SUBLECT: MOTION:

MOTION # 207

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MOTION # 208

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MOTION # 209

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MOTION # 210

SUBLECT: MOTION:

MOTION # 211

SUBLECT: MOTION:

MOTION # 211 SUBLECT: MOTION: MOTION # 212 SUBLECT: MOTION: MOTION # 213 SUBLECT: MOTION: LEGISLATION

MOTION # 214 SUBLECT: MOTION:

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main floor of the arena and have voice, but no vote. Adoption of Volume 1 Reports. Conference voted concurrence To adopt Volume 1 Reports as printed on the Conference Website. Adoption of Rules of Order. Conference voted concurrence That the adoption of the Rules of Order for the Conference, as printed on pages 323-337. Amendment to Item #18-R .Conference voted concurrence To amend Item #18-R to include “and clergy” on Lines 20 and 22, and change “only by” to “only with” on Line 21. Amendment to Item #18-R. Conference voted non-concurrence To amend Item #18-R by striking “and/or printed in the Conference Journal.” Rob McPherson stated a point of clarification regarding the Conference Journal being printed on the Conference Website. CF&A Report be posted on the conference website. Conference voted concurrence That the Report of CF&A be posted to westmichiganconference.org Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted concurrence To suspend the rules to consider a motion to amend the 2012 Budget. Amendment to the 2012 Budget. Conference voted non-concurrence To amend the budget as follows: “The 2012 Conference Budget shall be increased by 20% for the Board of Christian Camping, the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry and the Board of Global Ministries, increasing Christian Camping from $162,000 to $194,00, increasing Higher Education and Campus Ministry from $305,00 to $366,000, and increasing Global Ministries from $305,000 to $366,000. This will create a total of 2012 Conference Budget of $6,150,763, a slight decrease from the 2011 Conference Budget of $6,159,550.” Election of Conference Facilitators. Conference voted concurrence To elect Laura Witkowski and Joyce Showerman as conference facilitators effective immediately. Motion to Consider. Conference voted concurrence Consideration of Item #21 Amendment to Item #7. Conference voted non-concurrence To amend Item #7 adding “or Outreach Chairperson” after “a church and society coordinator.” Amendment to Amendment to Item #7. Conference voted non-concurrence DeAnne Dobbs moved to amend the amendment from “or outreach chairperson” to “or its equivalent”


LEGISLATION

MOTION # 215 SUBLECT: MOTION:

Motion to Table. Conference voted concurrence To table Item #7

MOTION # 216 SUBJECT: MOTION:

Motion to lift item #7 from Table. Conference voted concurrence To lift Item #7 from the Table

MOTION # 217 SUBJECT: MOTION:

Approval of the Daily Proceedings. Conference voted concurrence That Daily Proceedings of Wednesday, June 01, 2011 be approved.

MOTION # 218

SUBJECT: MOTION:

MOTION # 219

SUBJECT: MOTION:

MOTION # 220

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MOTION # 221

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MOTION # 222

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MOTION # 223 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 224 SUBJECT: MOTION:

MOTION # 225

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MOTION # 226

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221

Motion to Amend. Conference voted to refer To amend Item #5 to include a place on the form to report what the health insurance cost to the church would be if they participated. Motion to Refer. Conference voted concurrence To refer Item #5 to the committee on Pension and Health Benefits. Motion to Refer. Conference voted non-concurrence To refer Item #6 to CF&A Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted non-concurrence That a two-thirds vote be required to approve all General Conference petitions. Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted concurrence Suspension of the rules to consider two motions pertaining to General Conference petitions. Limit Debate. Conference voted non-concurrence That speeches on General Conference petitions be limited to two for, two against, at two minutes each. That No Amendments be made on GC Petitions Conference voted concurrence That no amendments be made to General Conference petitions. To consider Item #1-R3 in five parts. Conference voted concurrence That the five parts of Item #1-R3 be considered individually. Amendment to Item #1-R3 (1). Conference voted concurrence To change “handicapping conditions” to “special needs” in Item #1-R3 (1)

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222 MOTION # 227 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 227

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MOTION # 228

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MOTION # 229

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MOTION # 230

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MOTION # 231

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MOTION # 232

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MOTION # 233

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MOTION # 234 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 235 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 237 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 238

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MOTION # 239

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Amendment to Item #1-R3. Conference voted concurrence To make editorial change “handicapping conditions” to “special needs” in Item #1-R3. Amendment to Item #1-R3 (2). Conference did not consider To delete “religions” from Item #1-R3 (2). Amendment to Item #1-R3 (3). Conference voted concurrence To amend Item #1-R3 (3) adding “and the Commission on Religion and Race.” Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted concurrence To suspend the rule for a motion to reconsider. Motion to Reconsider. Conference voted concurrence To reconsider Item #1-R3. Motion to divide Item #1-R3. Conference voted concurrence To divide Item #1-R3 into five parts. Item #1-R3(1), (2), (3), (4) &(5) Amendment to Item #1-R3 (3) Conference voted concurrence Editorial changes: with line 4 stating President; line 21, delete leadership team, in consultation with the and add back ‘in consultation with; line 25 add back DCM so chooses and take out chosen; adding in line 23 and Commission of Religion and Race. Amendment Conference voted concurrence To amend by deleting “The Board of Ordained Ministry” from G-3C (1), and adding it under G-3C (2). Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted concurrence To consider a motion to limit debate. Limit Debate. Conference voted concurrence as amended To limit three speeches for and three speeches against and a time limit of 2 minutes for remaining speeches. Amendment. Conference voted concurrence To amend motion by addition that no motion to limit the debate be allowed until all speeches are met. Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted non-concurrence To suspend the rules to reconsider Item #1. Grouping of Items on lines 19-36 page 418. Conference voted non-concurrence To consider Items on lines 19-36 on page 418 of Book D as a group for discussion and voting.


MOTION # 240 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 241

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MOTION # 242

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MOTION # 243 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 244

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MOTION # 245 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 246

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MOTION # 247 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 248 SUBJECT: MOTION:

MOTION # 249

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MOTION # 250

SUBJECT: MOTION:

MOTION # 251 SUBJECT: MOTION: MOTION # 252 SUBJECT: MOTION:

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Motion to Refer. Conference voted concurrence To refer Item #5 to Board of Pensions and Health Benefits. Call for a Standing Count. Requested a standing count for #GC104. The results were 249 stood for and 309 stood against. #GC104 failed. Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted non-concurrence To suspend the Rules of Order to consider an alternate way of voting on the Items as a whole. Change the Order of Legislation. Conference voted non-concurrence To change the order of legislation. Change the Order of General Conference Petitions. Conference voted nonconcurrence To change the order of legislation so to consider the remaining General Conference Petitions in numerical order. Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted non-concurrence To suspend the rules to table #GC106. Tabling Motion. Conference voted non-concurrence To table #GC106. Special Order of the Day. Conference voted non-concurrence that a special order of the day be set following the youth report to consider all General Conference Items. Amendment to motion of Special Order of the Day. Conference voted nonconcurrence to amend the motion by adding that Conference would not be adjourned until after discussion and vote on all General Conference petitions. Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted non-concurrence To suspend the rules to consider General Conference petitions. Amendment to Item #6. Conference voted concurrence To amend Item #6 by adding the sentence, “This policy will take effect for the 2013 budget year.” Motion to delay vote on Item #13. Conference voted non-concurrence To delay the vote on Item #13 until votes are taken on the General Conference Petitions. Suspension of the Rules. Conference voted concurrence To suspend the rules to allow a 10 minute extension to continue discussing and voting on General Conference petitions.

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E. POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND RULES OF THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE EXPLANATORY NOTE: At the Thirty-first Session of the Annual Conference, June 2-6, 1999, Conference amended Rule 23.B.7.b.3 of the Rules of Order, by adding the following: “Conference Policies, Procedures, and Rules regarding financial matters need to be considered by Legislative Committees and come before the Annual Conference only if they are changed.” The items listed below are the aforesaid policies, procedures and rules, and are designated with the initials “PPR”, followed by a number. Addresses for the Six Lanes projects plus full bios, country profiles and recent newsletters are available by checking the Conference Mission Web Site at www.westmichiganconference.org. PPR #1 Advance Specials 2009-2010 This is the list of Advance Specials that the Conference Board of Global Ministries recommends for local church support in the next two years. Lane 1 – Missionary Salary Support Robert Amundsen #773737 – pastor of Thousand Sticks UMC, Red Bird Conference Jamie & Susan Brunk #773911 – Jamie’s a pastor and Susan’s a nurse serving Red Bird John & Suzanne Funk #15143Z/#15144Z – leaders at Rio Colorado Technical School in Bolivia Gordon & Ardelle Graner #10835Z/#10836Z – co-directors at Thiu Rancho Project in Bolivia Delbert & Sandy Groves #12150Z/#12151Z – leaders at the New Life Center in Zambia Jeff & Ellen Hoover #07989Z/#07990Z – seminary professors in DR Congo Maria Humbane #12912Z – director of the God-with-Us shelter for Zimbabwe AIDS orphans Elma Jocson #13980Z – surgeon at Ganta Hospital in Liberia Nkemba & Mbwizu Ndjungu #12910Z/#12909Z – direct United Methodist Initiative in Cameroon Sally Wisner Ott #982966 – church and community worker serving in Lancaster, Pennsylvania Helen Sheperd #11810Z – hospice nurse at United Methodist Center in Mongolia Mark & Rebecca Smallwood #773777 – teachers of music and Christian Ed at Red Bird School Ut To & Karen Vo-To #14175Z/#14174Z —leaders of the United Methodist Initiative in Vietnam Paul Webster #11865Z – agricultural specialist serving in Zambia and DR Congo Lane 2 – World Projects

LEGISLATION

Africa Africa Church Growth/Development Fund #08233T – funds strategic ministries in Africa Cameroon Cameroon Initiative #00344A (Ndjungu) – mission evangelism, youth and women’s ministries Democratic Republic of Congo Katanga Methodist University #14433A (Hoover) – Mulungwishi prepares leaders for ministry Mulungwishi Seminary Scholarships #05773A – financial aid for pastors in training English Speaking School of Lubumbashi #10337A (Hoover) – intercultural school Liberia Evangelism & Church Growth #3020613) – ministry to unreached areas and church renewal Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village #11820A – Shelter for children orphaned by war Ganta Hospital #15080N – (Jocson) health services and training in sanitation and nutrition Zambia Front Porch Orphans #14420T – care and education for children left homeless by AIDS Kafakumba Pastors’ School #11438A – equipping pastors from five countries for their ministry Mujila Falls Ag Project #15016A (Webster) – combating hunger thru agriculture New Life Center (Uzima Mupya) #15057A (Groves) – PETs and Evangelism in Central Africa Zimbabwe Babyfold at Old Mutare #11713T – home for abandoned and orphaned infants Emergency Fund for Africa University Students #12931A – assistance with school fees AIDS Orphans Trust #982842 – assisting children to live productive lives

2011


2011

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Ishe Anesu Project (God with Us) #13071A (Humbane) —education for abandoned children Asia: China Amity Printing Press – Bibles in Nanjing, China #11422A – printing of scripture in Chinese Mongolia Mongolia Initiative #00209A (Sheperd).. Mission Center, youth ministry and hospice care Nepal Vietnam Vietnam Initiative #00469A (To) #14932A – house churches, pastor training and street children Middle East Jerusalem Center for Disabled Children #14238A – treatment, rehabilitation and education Hope Secondary School #12018A .. School for Muslim and Christian children in Palestine Eastern Europe: Lithuania Lithuania Initiative #12168A – support churches rebuilding after the Soviet era Rehabilitation Center in Birzai #13545A – substance abuse therapy and after-school programs Russia Russia Initiative #11510A – Leadership training, church development, publishing of resources Latin America: Bolivia Rio Colorado Technical School #12308A (Funk) – skills and education for grades 7-12 Thiu Rancho Project #12309A (Graner) – agriculture project and youth retreat center Urban Santa Cruz Children’s Ministry #12320A – ministries for street children Women’s Enrichment #07779A – Bible, health, evangelism training for women Jamaica PAPA’s Ministries (Pastors and Priests Available for Service ) #3021286 Special Offering World Communion Sunday—Fund #5820; first Sunday in October; supports scholarships Lane 3 – National Projects General Projects A Child #123456 – supports over 70 UMC related community centers that serve children Homelessness in the U.S. #982385 – supports ministries in rural and urban communities Ministries with Women in Crisis #982876 – programs serving women suffering from abuse Native American Children’s Fund #583581— touches the lives of children & youth in 45 tribes NOMADS #982658 – Volunteers in Mission with RVs; contributions go to materials fund P.E.T. #982665 – $250 makes a ships a Personal Energy Transport. (hand-pedaled tricycle) US-2 Program #982874 – 20-30 year olds serving in ministries of justice and outreach North Central UMVIM #901375 – networks and resources work teams in the U.S. and abroad

Alaska Nome Community Center #931610 – counseling, vocational training and recreation for youth Appalachia Appalachia Service Project #982050 – volunteers repair and build homes Kentucky Henderson Settlement #773365 – education and economic development in Frakes, KY

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Regional Projects:


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Red Bird Missionary Conference #773978 (Amundsen, Brunk, Tupper) – supports 27 churches and outreach centers served by 17 pastors Red Bird Mission #773726 – essential services to people in rural Appalachia Red Bird Mission School #773728 (Smallwoods) – education for K-12 in a Christian environment New Mexico McCurdy School Program #581479 – equip Christian leaders to fight poverty in their community Special Offerings Human Relations Day – Fund #5807; the Sunday before Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday Peace with Justice Sunday – Fund #5809; observed on Pentecost Sunday United Methodist Student Day – Fund #5816; the last Sunday of November Lane 4 – Hunger/UMCOR Global Projects Bread for the World #982325 – advocacy for government policies that address hunger Church World Service CROP Walks #982380 – raising awareness and funds for hunger Church World Service Tools of Hope/Blankets #982810 – shelter, tents, pumps and more ECHO #982447 – Educational Concerns Hunger Organization assists small farmers Global HIV/AIDS Program development #982345 – global networking to end HIV/AIDS Heifer Project International #982532— livestock as a sustainable source of food and income International Disaster Response Fund #982450 – undesignated funds for global emergency Landmine Removal #982575 – harvesting landmines to reclaim land for cultivation Landmine Prosthesis Program #982580 – artificial limbs for civilians injured by landmines Medicine Box #982630 – drugs and medical supplies for a kit to serve 1,000 persons World Hunger/Poverty Mission Emphasis #982920 – assists millions in U.S. and around globe Regional Projects Africa Initiative Overcoming Poverty #3020523 – empowering women and youth Nothing but Nets #982015 – mosquito nets for malaria prevention Sudan Emergency #184385 – crisis management and long-term development Asia

Afghanistan Emergency #602225 – restoring the country from war and drought

Caribbean/Haiti Brakeman-Smith Scholarship Fund #515-11 – scholarships for Volunteers in Mission Haiti School Hot Lunch Program #418790 – a meal of rice and beans for students in Haiti Haiti Solar Ovens #418812 – using the sun to cook food and pasteurize water HAPI #3020490 – Haitian Artisans for Peace International International Child Care: Grace Children’s Hospital #418520 – cure and prevention for those suffering tuberculosis Integrated Community Health #418847 – immunization, vitamin distribution, re-hydration School, Health, Sewing and Layette Kits – filling a container at Annual Conference

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United States Food Resources Bank #982493 – U.S. farmers donate a harvest to fund farmers overseas National Disaster Response Fund #901670 – undesignated funds for disaster response in U.S. New Hope for Newcomers #901779 – helping refugees resettle and to become self sufficient North Central UMVIM Disaster Response #901375 – deploys disaster relief managers Society of St. Andrew #801600 – food salvage and distribution to address domestic hunger Sager-Brown UMCOR Depot #901515 – relief supplies center in Baldwin, Louisiana Special Offering One Great Hour of Sharing—Fund #5822; observed the fourth Sunday of Lent

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Lane 5 – Racial Ethnic Local Churches African-American Church Battle Creek Washington Heights UMC – witness and outreach promoting wholesome living Asian-American Churches Grand Rapids Vietnamese UMC – serving the people for the past 25 years Lansing Vietnamese Ministry – spreading the gospel and meeting needs Lansing Korean UMC – worship, Bible study and youth ministry for the university community Hispanic Church La Nueva Esperanza – “New Hope” for the Hispanic community in Grand Rapids Native American Churches Bradley Indian Mission – Shelbyville; worship, youth ministry, Christian ed, and fellowship Greensky Hill Indian Church – Charlevoix; worship, Sunday School, and camp meetings Kewadin Indian Mission – worship, Bible study, youth ministry, work camps and camp meetings. Chippewa Indian Church – Mt. Pleasant; worship, Sunday School, prayer and revival meetings Northport Indian Mission – worship and significant ministries of outreach Salem Indian Mission – Hopkins; worship, fellowship and a vital youth ministry Indian Workers Conference – leader development for Native American clergy, laity and youth Multi-Ethnic Churches Church of All Nations – formerly Michigan Suhbu Korean UMC; located in Kentwood Faith UMC – a new church start in South Lansing offering worship, fellowship and other services Special Offerings Native American Ministries Sunday – Fund #5813; second Sunday after Easter RELC Sunday – Fund #5806; second Sunday in February Lane 6 – Conference Projects

Health and Welfare Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo – Good Neighbor Fund and Pastoral Care Dept. Clark Retirement Community, Grand Rapids – supports the Benevolent Care Fund Methodist Children’s Home Society – safe environment, treatment and adoption services PaWaTing Magedwin Senior Meals, Grand Rapids – weekly meals and food truck

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Community Development Battle Creek: Washington Heights Community Ministries – enrichment, wellness, advocacy Benton Harbor: Harbor Harvest Urban Ministries – tutoring, mentoring, and training Grand Rapids: GRASP – Grand Rapids Area Service Project coordinates volunteers for home repair Martin Luther King Academy – tutoring, child and parent support, after-school activities Justice for our Neighbors – legal counseling for immigrants La Nueva Outreach Ministries – sports, recreation and shelter for homeless North End Community Ministry – food pantry, family training, and senior services South End Community Outreach Ministry – food pantry, personal growth, parent training Trinity Community Ministries – mentoring, recreation, Bible study and life skills United Methodist Community House —help and hope for children, youth and seniors United Methodist Metropolitan Ministry – equipping people for effective urban ministry Kalkaska: KAIR – Kalkaska Area Interfaith Resources food/clothing/household pantry Laingsburg: Looking Glass Services – gardening, recreation, and training Lansing: Open Door Ministry – food, meals, shelter, counseling, financial aid and hospitality Muskegon Heights: Mission for Area People – M.A.P. Supper House, Rx assistance, training


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Outreach to College Students Central Michigan University Wesley Foundation, Mt. Pleasant Ferris State University Wesley Foundation, Big Rapids Michigan State University Wesley Foundation, East Lansing Grand Valley State University Student Fellowship, Allendale Western Michigan University Wesley Foundation, Kalamazoo United Methodist Camps Conference Camps – Albright, Crystal Springs, Lake Michigan, Lakeview and Wesley Woods Lake Louise United Methodist Camp Scholarships for Ethnic Youth – Fund #6910; Camp Scholarships – Fund #7480 Camp New Day Scholarships – Fund 7482; for children and youth of incarcerated parents More Possibilities for Giving Habitat for Humanity – all West Michigan Chapters Michigan Interfaith Council on Alcohol Problems (MICAP) Midwest Distribution Center – disaster relief supply depot in Chatham, IL Volunteer in Michigan In-Conference Construction West Michigan Centers for Peace and Justice: Central District Creative Peace Movement Grand Rapids District Peace With Justice Community Grand Traverse District Swords into Plowshares Peace Center Kalamazoo District Swords into Plowshares Peace Center Lansing District Shalom Center for Justice and Peace Special Offerings Camp Sunday – Fund #5812; any Sunday in March Volunteer in Mission Awareness Sunday – Fund #5850; first Sunday in June Christian Education Sunday Offering – Fund #5442; third Sunday in September Golden Cross Sunday – Fund #5814; first Sunday in May Rural Life Sunday – Fund #5808; on or about the last Sunday of August PPR #2 1. 2. 3.

4.

5. LEGISLATION

Local Church All churches shall submit payments on Ministry Shares and other giving to the Conference Treasurer on a monthly basis. All contributions, whether apportioned or unapportioned, for Michigan Area agencies and institutions, and for all benevolent causes of The United Methodist Church, shall be sent to the Conference Treasurer for distribution. Every church shall assume responsibility for adequate travel reimbursement for its pastor or pastors in its annual budget. Following are guidelines to help a local church administer its travel allowance for pastors: a. Each pastor shall keep an accurate record of the number of miles traveled on church business. b. The payment for mileage driven in any given year shall be by voucher at the maximum rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for that year. Other travel expenses, including room and board at Annual Conference up to Conference rates, shall be at cost. Every church shall assume responsibility to provide in its annual budget for health family rate insurance through the conference group policy for its pastor or pastors. If such provision is not necessary because coverage is provided by some other source (pastor’s spouse), half the savings benefit will remain with the church. Effective dates for salary and Clergy Retirement Security Plan/Comprehensive Protection Plan (CRSP/CPP) payments for Ministerial Appointment changes: a. The salary shall be paid through June 30 when an appointment change is made at the session of the Annual Conference. Salary payments for mid-year appointments will coincide with the effective date of the appointment. b. Payment on CRSP/CPP billing from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits shall be made for the entire month of June for those appointment changes made during the

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session of Annual Conference. CRSP/CPP payments for mid-year appointments with an effective date of the first of the month shall be made for the previous month for the outgoing pastor and for the current month for the incoming pastor. Payments for appointment changes effective the 15th of a month shall be made for half of the current month for the out-going pastor and half of the current month for the in-coming pastor.

3. 4. 5. 6.

7.

PPR #4 1.

2.

3. 4.

Conference and District Travel Expenses Reimbursement All conference and district travel and dependent care expenses shall be by voucher only. Conference personnel who draw travel allowances by voucher shall receive reimbursement equivalent to the Federal IRS allowance for business mileage. All others drawing travel expenses from conference funds shall receive reimbursement equivalent to the Federal IRS allowance for volunteer mileage for car and travel, and $.02 per mile per passenger up to five people. The travel expense of authorized representatives of conference agencies attending meetings convened by conference agencies drawing their full budget from the conference shall be paid by the agency that calls the meeting. The travel expense of authorized conference representatives attending meetings convened by non-United Methodist agencies within the state of Michigan shall be paid by the conference, as provided in item 2, to the extent the expenses are not borne by the convening agency. It is expected that all pastors and local church staff will be reimbursed from their local church travel expense account; therefore, reimbursement checks from the Conference Treasurer shall be payable to the local church. Other reimbursable costs may include approved lodging, tolls, parking and telephone, if the organizational unit has budgeted for them. Reimbursement cost necessary for dependents (children, sick or elderly) may be included in the administrative budget of any organization for members attending board, commission or committee meetings. The amount reimbursed shall not exceed $20.00 per day per member. Finance and Accounting All agencies and institutions outside the Conference central treasury that are receiving money in the total amount of $5,000 or more within a year from the West Michigan Conference shall file a copy of their annual audit report, a financial review by an independent CPA, or other financial statements approved by the Conference Treasurer with the Conference Treasurer’s Office. Depositories for the funds of Central Treasury are as follows: Eaton Rapids: Consumers Professional Credit Union Grand Rapids: Fifth Third Bank Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Macatawa Bank The books of Central Treasury shall be audited annually by a CPA. There shall be no carrying forward of budgeted funds from one year to the next by any agency or board of the Conference without approval of the Council on Finance and Administration. The following exceptions have been approved: a. The Conference Properties budget of the Conference Board of Trustees may accumulate unexpended funds in order to establish a maximum reserve fund of $25,000 for property maintenance. b. The Board of Christian Camping is permitted to establish an insurance Deductible Reserve Fund not to exceed $5,000. The funding of this reserve account will come from the Camp Board budget. c. The Equitable Salary Commission may accumulate up to an amount of $10,000 in a Temporary Disability Fund. d. The Treasurer’s office may set aside up to $7,500 annually for the purchase of computer hardware and systems. e. The New Church Development Commission may accumulate annually its unexpended funds up to the rate of Apportionments received in that year. f. The Connectional Ministry Section, the Administrative Funds Section and the World Service and Conference Benevolences Section of the Conference Budget may accumulate apportioned or unspent funds in a Contingency Fund account from year to year up to a maximum of 10% of the amount budgeted in the current year.

LEGISLATION

PPR #3 1. 2.


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Before the beginning of the year, the Council on Finance and Administration will determine if it will be necessary to restrict spending for the following year. If the spending restriction requires reducing salary levels, the salary changes will be implemented effective January 1 after consultation with and approval of the Conference Council on Ministries and the Cabinet. If there are no restrictions, the Conference Treasurer will distribute the actual amount received for each organizational unit of the Conference on a monthly basis. During the first six months of the fiscal year, the Conference Treasurer will honor vouchers presented for expenditures up to 70 percent of the approved budget for that board or agency. At the end of the six-month period, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration will review the Ministry Shares receipts and the disbursements made to determine if it will be necessary to restrict spending for the balance of the year. If a restriction is found to be necessary and if that restriction involves reducing salary levels, the changes will be implemented after consultation with and approval of the Conference Council on Ministries and the Cabinet. The Conference Council on Finance and Administration will advise all organizational units of the budget reduction through the Conference Treasurer. The World Service Apportionments will be paid at 100% of the amount budgeted, and all other General Church Apportionments will be paid at least equal to the ratio of actual receipts. 6. After consultation with and approval of affected boards and agencies, and the Cabinet, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration may re-designate the use of certain funds to meet the short-term needs of conference boards and agencies. 7. All interest earned on General Funds carried in Central Treasury shall be accumulated in a General Funds Interest Account. (This does not include funds in Central Treasury which are being held for specific purposes and have been designated as Interest Earning Funds by the Council.) At the end of each fiscal year, this General Interest Account shall be transferred and accumulated in the Conference Contingency Fund to be administered by the Council on Finance and Administration. 8. The Conference Contingency account may accumulate funds from interest earnings and budgeted Apportionments not to exceed an amount equal to one month’s operating expenditures of the Conference. This would be 1/12 of the Conference budget. 9. Guidelines for the borrowing of money from financial institutions to fund capital expenditures of certain organizational units of the West Michigan Conference: a. Requests to borrow $75,000 or less will be acted upon by the Council on Finance and Administration. Requests to borrow more than $75,000 will be automatically referred to the next session of the Annual Conference with recommendation. b. Emergency or unexpected borrowing needs will also be referred to the Council on Finance and Administration, which may act on behalf of the Annual Conference. c. The Chairperson and the Secretary of both the Council on Finance and Administration and the organizational unit seeking the funds will sign the promissory note and/or other documents required by the lending institution. If the loan is to be secured by a mortgage, the signature of the authorized officers of the corporation holding title to the property will also be required. NOTE: To the extent not prohibited by The Book of Discipline, the organizational units governed by the foregoing policy shall be all Councils, Boards and Commissions of the Conference and District; all Divisions, Sections, Committees and similar sub-groups of the foregoing; all Wesley Foundations; the Conference Equitable Salary Commission; the United Methodist Foundation of the West Michigan Conference; all District Boards of Trustees, District Boards of Missions, United Methodist Unions and City Missionary Societies. 10. Prior to any request for action by the Annual Conference on a proposal which will require funding by the Annual Conference, such proposal shall be submitted to the Council on Finance and Administration for its recommendation to the Annual Conference. 11. Request for Conference funding of projects, programs, or agencies located within a District shall be presented for information to the District Council on Ministries before being presented to a Conference program board, the Conference Council on Ministries, or the Council on Finance and Administration. The funding request shall include: [1] The amount to be requested from the Conference, [2] The total budget projected, including anticipated income and estimated expenditures, and [3] A separate listing of United Methodist sources of income anticipated or to be solicited. Exceptions to this are the Conference related institutions of Adrian and Albion colleges, Bronson Methodist Hospital, campus ministries, Methodist Children’s Home, Clark Retirement

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PPR #5

Conference Conflict of Interest Policy West Michigan Annual Conference officials, employees and/or members of the various boards and commissions of the Conference shall not, during their term of service, receive any compensation or have any financial interest in any contract, or in any firm or corporation which provides goods or services (excluding publicly held companies where the official, employee, or member owns less than 1% of the voting stock thereof) or in any contract for the supply of goods or services, or the procurement of furnishings or equipment, interest in any construction project of the Conference, site procurement by the Conference, or any other business matter whatsoever, unless approved in advance by the official’s or employee’s immediate supervisor or the board or commission upon which the member participates, after full disclosure of the conflict including the amount of compensation and/or benefit the official, employee or member will receive. The term official, employee or member of the board or commission shall include the officials, employee’s or member’s immediate family. Immediate family shall be defined as any person residing with the official, employee or member and their mother, father, and/or sons or daughters.

PPR #6 A.

Moving Expense Code West Michigan Conference – UMC Eligible Persons and Moves 1. All pastors under Active appointment within the West Michigan Conference structure are eligible to receive moving expense benefits. This will include local church pastors, district superintendents, staff members of conference or district councils, boards, and agencies, treasurers, bishop’s assistants, superintendents or directors of parish development, conference-approved evangelists, and campus ministers. 2. Seminary students and pastors from outside the West Michigan Conference who are accepting appointment in the conference are eligible for moving expense benefits as provided in this code up to a limit of 750 miles. 3. The conference will pay for one retirement move for pastors who have retired or plan to retire from Episcopal appointment in the conference. The designation of a retirement move must be declared in writing before the moving expense is incurred. A move within the state of Michigan shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of this code. A move outside the state shall be paid up to a limit of 500 miles beyond the state border. Pastors called out of retirement and assigned to a charge will be granted an additional retirement move. 4. A disability move or the move of the surviving spouse of an eligible pastor shall be paid in accordance with the policy for retiring pastors. The conference shall pay for the move, out of the parsonage or other approved housing to another residence in the event of an eligible pastor’s death, in accordance with the policy for retiring pastors. 5. When a separation or pending divorce action makes a move advisable, the spouse of a pastor is entitled to reimbursement for one move. Benefits are the same as those available to a surviving spouse of a deceased pastor. 6. Moves within a charge from one parsonage to another are the responsibility of the local charge unless ordered by the Cabinet. 7. Pastors not eligible for moving expense benefits include those: a. Under appointment outside the structure of the Conference b. On sabbatical, leave of absence or location c. Who no longer have membership in the Annual Conference? Policy for Moves 1. Interstate Moves – For interstate moves, 2 or 3 estimates should be obtained before choosing a moving company to get the lowest rate available. 2. Local Zone Moves (8 miles outside of corporate limits) – Local zone moves are not

B.

LEGISLATION

Community, the Michigan Christian Advocate, and state-wide interdenominational bodies which may continue to make requests directly to the related Conference board. These provisions shall apply to emergency askings as well as to annual budget requests. 12. Any requests for a Conference-wide Capital Funds Crusade shall be presented to the Council on Finance and Administration for recommendation to the Annual Conference. Upon recommendation of the Annual Conference, the proposal shall be presented to the Charge Conferences for information and study only and returned to the next session of the Annual Conference for final action.


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C. 1. 2. 3. 4. D.

LEGISLATION

regulated, as are other moves within the state. Therefore, 2 or 3 estimates should be obtained to get the lowest rate available. 3. Family Travel – Family travel for pastors covered by this policy will be paid upon request, for one car, at the conference rate, except the first 100 miles, plus tolls. If used and receipts presented, one overnight lodging will be paid for moves in excess of 350 miles. 4. Expenses covered by this code: a. Normal state tariff provision for loading, transporting and unloading of household goods up to a maximum weight of 20,000 pounds, including professional books and equipment. Hand written weight certificates will not be accepted. b. Up to $125 will be paid by the conference to cover needed packing materials, including wardrobes and dish packs. c. One extra pickup and one extra delivery. d. Reasonable charges for necessary handling of special items such as a piano or freezer. e. Standard liability insurance of 60 cents per pound which is furnished by the moving company, at no extra charge, under basic tariff provisions. NOTE: It is now required that the householder sign a release statement on the Bill of Landing on the day of the move to release the shipment to a value of 60 cents per pound per article. Failure to do this will allow the moving company to charge a premium for insurance to cover the shipment at a value of up to $1.50 per pound. f. Where there are medically recognized physical limitations, up to $1,000 additional shall be allowed for packing. g. Storage charges are the responsibility of the local church if the parsonage is not ready for occupancy. The conference will pay only to the place of storage. 5. Expenses NOT covered by this code: a. Moving of items other than normal household goods and books, such as boats, trailers, autos, building materials, firewood, fishing shanties, dog houses, etc. b. Packing and/or unpacking services, except as noted in 4.f. c. Full value insurance beyond standard liability insurance provided by the moving company. d. Charges for waiting time, extra labor, connecting and disconnecting appliances. Miscellaneous Policies No moving company shall employ a pastor or an immediate member of his/her family to solicit business at any time for the purpose of receiving a commission or other consideration. No company shall be allowed to establish an office at the seat of the conference for the purpose of soliciting business. Each pastor is advised to request a copy of his/her inventory sheet from the mover at the time of loading and that it be signed by both the pastor and the moving company. Pastors may want to check with their moving company or home insurance company and request an All-Risk policy that would cover all damages in the moving of their household goods from one residence to another. Administration 1. The Conference Treasurer shall administer the Moving Expense Fund. 2. Pastors anticipating a move shall consult with the Conference Treasurer’s office to review the guidelines of this code. 3. The pastor shall be responsible for contacting a moving company and for scheduling the loading and unloading of household goods. 4. A written estimate of the Cost of Moving Services shall be made by the moving company and a copy shall be sent to the Conference Treasurer’s office in advance of the move. 5. A letter of authorization shall be sent from the Conference Treasurer’s office to the moving company with a copy to the pastor. 6. Billing for the cost of moving expenses covered by this code shall be made directly to the Conference Treasurer’s office. Moving expenses not covered by this code shall be billed directly to the pastor. 7. Provision for payment of any unusual expenses which are not defined by this code shall be arranged through consultation with the Conference Treasurer prior to the move. 8. Requests for exception to the provisions of this code shall be made to the Conference Treasurer in advance of the move. The treasurer shall review and decide on each exception

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after consultation with the Cabinet and/or CFA, as necessary. Ministry Shares Formula The West Michigan Annual Conference adopted the following Ministry Share (apportionments) effective January 1, 2005. Ministry Shares Formula The projected income of the West Michigan Annual Conference will be based on a Proportional Giving Model built upon the Biblical principle of “tithing.” Our Ministry Shares formula will be based on each congregation sharing a Base Percentage Rate of the Actual Receipts each local church as the basic conference budget. Special Needs funding may be added when necessary. Definitions a. Actual Receipts is the total annual income of the local church excluding receipts for capital fund campaign approved by the District Committee on Church Building and Location. Actual Receipts are funds that are to be used exclusively in support of the annual operating and benevolence budgets and do not include funds used for capital improvements and acquisitions. These funds include: 1. Payment of pledges or other commitments toward the annual operating and benevolence budgets of the church. 2. Receipts from constituents or members who did not pledge or amounts given beyond the amount pledged. 3. Receipts from unidentified givers (for example, loose currency in the offering plate). 4. Interest earned on funds on deposit or investments and used for the general operating or benevolence causes of the church. 5. Proceeds from sale of church assets designated for the general operating or benevolence budget only. 6. Proceeds from rental or fees. 7. Fund raisers for operational and benevolent causes. Exceptions maybe granted by CFA upon request by the pastor for funds raised for special causes like UMCOR, VIM, Youth Mission trips, etc. 8. Amounts received from undesignated grants and contract sources used to fund church programs. 9. In-kind donations recorded in church financial statements. 10. Donations of property, memorials and bequests designated for church operating and benevolence expenses. Bequests and endowments designated for other designated causes are excluded. Note: A local church may request a determination from CFA whether or not certain funds received are to be included as “Actual Receipts” before January 15. b. Base Percentage Rate is ten percent of the annual local church receipts. For 2005 only, the increase or decrease of ministry shares will be capped at 20%. The percentage figure will be reviewed annually and recommended by the Council on Finance and Administration to the Annual Conference churches for adoption, with a 60% vote of members present and voting required to change from the 10% base rate. c. Special needs - Additional connectional giving opportunities may be recommended by CFA to the Annual Conference for special needs or strategic planning emphasis, such as capital funds, new church development, pension plans, or health care, etc. Additional percentage giving opportunities will be presented for churches to pledge their partnership and financial support. Methodology a. Annually, by February 1, each Local Church Treasurer shall submit to the Conference Treasurer, as part of the year end reports, the church’s Actual Receipts information, using a Table III form. b. The compilation of Actual Receipts information from all the churches will provide an objective basis for the Council on Finance and Administration to prepare its Ministry Shares recommendation to the Annual Conference. (For example, 2005 Ministry Shares based on 2003 data.). The Ministry Shares recommendation includes the Base Percentage Rate, any Special Needs and the Conference Budget. c. Within thirty days after approval of the Ministry Shares recommendation by annual

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d. e.

f.

conference, the local church shall submit to the Conference Treasurer a pledge adopted by its administrative council stating the amount of its Ministry Shares based on the approved Base Percentage Rate, any Special Needs and its reported Actual Receipts. If the Conference Treasurer finds a variance between the pledge amount submitted by the church and the expected Ministry Shares amount, he/she shall bring it to the respective church for resolution and if necessary to CFA and Cabinet for final resolution within thirty days. By August 15, the Conference Treasurer shall provide the churches their respective Ministry Shares statement showing the distribution of funds based on the ratio of each fund in the approved conference budget. A congregation in financial distress shall be provided consultation assistance by other churches or advisors within the district or conference staff upon request from the local church with the recommendation of the District Superintendent. Written documentation of the financial issues and the projected solution will be filed with the Council on Finance and Administration through the office of the District Superintendent. As a regular practice, it is recommended that local church treasurers remit at least 10% of their actual receipts or one-twelfth of their annual ministry shares to the conference treasurer monthly.

PPR # 8 District Superintendent Salary Formula The salary of district superintendents shall be recommended by the Council on Finance and Administration annually by taking into consideration factors such as: • The conference average compensation • The consumer price index or inflation rate • The salary of the top 10 highest paid pastors • The salary of district superintendents across the denomination • The salary of district superintendents in the Detroit Conference • Such other factors that are deemed appropriate under the circumstances. PPR #9 1.

LEGISLATION

Tax Relief for Retired Pastors and Pastors on Disability (Ministers of the Gospel) An amount equal to 100% of the pension payments received by a retired pastor, or 100% of the disability benefit payments received by a pastor on disability, during any given year may be and is hereby designated as a rental/housing allowance respectively for each retired or disabled ordained or licensed pastor of The United Methodist Church who is or was a member of the West Michigan Conference at the time of his or her retirement or disability. 2. This rental/housing allowance shall apply to each ordained or licensed pastor who has been granted the retired relation or placed on disability leave by the West Michigan Conference and whose name and relationship to the conference is recorded in the Journal of the West Michigan Conference and in other appropriate records maintained by the conference. 3. The pension or disability payment to which this rental/housing allowance applies shall be the pension or disability payment resulting from all service of such retired or ordained or licensed pastor on disability, from all employment by any local church, Annual Conference, General Agency, or institution of The United Methodist Church or of any former denomination that is now a part of The United Methodist Church, or from any other employer who employed the pastor to perform services related to the ministry and who elected to make contributions to the pension or benefit funds of The United Methodist Church for such retired pastor’s pension or benefits of pastors on disability. NOTE: The rental/housing allowance which may be excluded from a pastor’s gross income is limited to the lesser of [a] the amount of the rental/housing allowance designated the Conference (total pension or disability benefits received), [b] the amount actually expended by the retired or pastor on disability to provide his or her housing, or [c] the legally-determined fair rental value of the housing. The cost of all utilities may also be excluded over and above all other housing costs. This provision does not apply to the surviving spouse unless said spouse is also a retired or ordained minister on disability.

PPR #10 Health Care - Premium Rates That the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits be authorized to establish the annual premium rates for all participants in accordance with the amounts required to provide for the anticipated needs and within the amount provided in the Conference budgets for 2011 AND 2012

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and to evaluate and implement improvement in benefits of the existing plans as opportunity may arise. PPR #11 Special Sundays A. Special Sundays: The following Special Sundays will be observed with offerings in compliance with the action of the 2008 General Conference: 2011 2012 Human Relations Day Jan 16 Jan 15 One Great Hour of Sharing Apr 3 March 18 Native American Ministry Sunday May 8 April 22 Peace with Justice Sunday June 19* June 3* World Communion Sunday Oct 2 Oct 7 United Methodist Student Day Nov 27 Nov 25 *or on a date to be determined by local church The following other Sundays will be observed with offerings (except as noted): Racial Ethnic Local Church Sunday Feb 6 Feb 5 Golden Cross Sunday May 1 May 6 United Methodist Volunteer in Mission Awareness June 5 June 3 Rural Life Sunday Aug 28 Aug 26 Christian Education Sunday Sept 11 Sept 9 Disability Awareness Sunday (without offering) Oct 16 Oct 28 Camp Sunday* *Date to be determined by local church

C. D. E. F.

Youth Ministries: From the Ministry Shares $2.00 per youth member will be allocated for the YOUTH SERVICE FUND. 70% is to be used by the conference youth program and 30% by the general church youth program. A mission share of $50,000 shall be authorized to continue to partially fund the staffing of conference and camping ministries. The line of credit, which has been established with Macatawa Bank, shall be continued up to a limit of $300,000. The auditor of record of the Conference Treasurer shall be a firm of certified public accountants, to be determined by the Council on Finance and Administration. Furnishings allowance according to IRS regulations shall be allowed for the District Superintendents and Conference clergy staff persons as payroll withholding within their approved salary. A similar provision is available for local church pastors in an amount determined by the charge conference. District superintendents and other clergy on conference staff shall be allowed to designate the amount of their individual housing allowance within the approved salary and housing allowance in accordance with IRS regulations.

PPR #12 Abuse Prevention Policy Entrusted to our care: Adults with special needs, children, and youth Abuse Prevention Policy of the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church Preamble Through baptism we renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness and reject the evil powers of this world. We will surround all God’s children with a community of love and forgiveness that they may grow in their trust of God. The faith community lays the foundation for them to grow to be true disciples who walk in the way that leads to life. The occurrence of abuse or neglect within the household of God breaks this covenant. Sadly, abuse remains a reality in today’s society both outside and within the church. The West Michigan Conference accepts its biblical and moral responsibility to address this issue. Therefore, this policy is intended to provide for the safety and health of adults with special needs, children and youth during conference-related functions, events or activities. Abuse and neglect cannot be tolerated or allowed to continue. Our adults with special needs, children and youth must be protected. Too often a victim continues to be abused and/or a perpetrator

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continues the offensive behavior because it goes unreported. The perpetrator is unlikely to report his/her conduct, and adults with special needs, children or youth often do not report it because of fear or a variety of other reasons. Therefore, it is everyone’s moral obligation to report all known and suspected cases of abuse or neglect. The reporting of abuse or neglect must be handled delicately and appropriately while protecting the rights of confidentiality and privacy of all the involved parties. This document hereafter shall be referred to as the Abuse Prevention Policy or, simply, this Policy. The goals of this Policy include: 1. protecting our adults with special needs, children and youth from abuse and neglect; 2. protecting our care providers from false accusations of abuse; and 3. protecting the vitality of our ministries. To reach these goals, the Conference has adopted and implemented this Policy. This Policy is intended to supplement and not replace the continuing need of our Conference to minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of both the victims and perpetrators of abuse. All camp ministry functions, events and activities shall be in compliance with this Policy and the State of Michigan Family Independence Agency Camp Licensing Rules and Regulations for Children and Adult Foster Care Camps. [The definitions of terms used in this Policy may be found at the end of this document.]

LEGISLATION

Section I: Care Provider Selection A. Minimum Requirements 1. All persons working directly with adults with special needs, children, and/or youth shall before the function, event or activity, a. be 16 years of age b. complete a Care Provider Application c. Provide written references d. Submit written permission and pertinent information for a criminal record check to be pursued with local, county, state and/or federal law enforcement agencies. All applications and related documents shall be held confidential and kept by the event director. Persons will be allowed to work at a given event only with a clear background/ crime report, and with the approval of the event director and/or the sponsoring agency’s chairperson. A clear report does not guarantee the privilege to work at a function, event or activity. 2. All potential care providers will complete the Care Provider Application prior to the function, event or activity. Training will be provided by the Abuse Prevention Team or its designee. [See Section II: Care Provider Training and Education.] B. Policy Statement The West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church is responsible for doing all it can to make every conference-related function, event or activity a nurturing environment and safe from potential harm. The West Michigan Conference embraces its calling to provide functions, activities and events which are spiritually and developmentally appropriate and free from abuse. Careful screening is one step to prevent abuse. Screening calls for a careful review of all information (through interviews, written information, personal contacts, and reference checks) in search of persons who can provide a safe and nurturing environment with adequate supervision. All applicants shall satisfactorily complete the screening process required in this Policy before being permitted to work with or provide any services involving any adults with special needs, children, or youth. Anyone who does not satisfactorily complete the required screening process shall NOT be permitted to work with or provide any services involving any adults with special needs, children, or youth. C. Screening Documents 1. Application: The applicant must complete and sign an Application for Care Provider Certification using a form approved by the Abuse Prevention Team. The application shall include an affidavit.

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Reference Check: The event director or designee shall confirm references regarding the suitability of the applicant to work with adults with special needs, children and youth. 3. Background check: No less than one background check shall be pursued for each applicant. The background checks may come from one of the agencies listed below. The processing of the application, references and criminal background checks shall be the responsibility of the event director. The applicant shall not be held responsible for the financial cost of such checks. A criminal record check of the applicant shall be obtained from the appropriate law enforcement agencies located in any state in which the applicant has resided for a period of at least one year within the last15 years while being at least 18 years of age. These law enforcement agencies may include and are not be limited to the Michigan State Police, Michigan State Bureau of Investigation, Michigan Division of Motor Vehicles, the State of Michigan Family Independence Agency, and /or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 4. Six-Month Rule: The applicant shall be a member of and/or participant in a ministry setting for a period of at least six months prior to application. 5. Personal Interview: The applicant must be personally interviewed by the event director designee. 6. Approval: The applicant must satisfactorily complete the screening process. 7. Consent by Parent or Guardian: When provided for in this Policy the care provider shall have the written consent of the parent or guardian for each adult with special needs, child, or youth for whom he/she will be providing care services. This consent shall be on a form approved by the Abuse Prevention Team. 8. Other: The applicant shall submit to any other legal screening requested by the event director or designee. Qualifications 1. No one shall be permitted to serve as a care provider who, in the belief of the leader, sponsoring agency or the event director or designee, may represent a potential threat of committing abuse or violating any of this Policy. 2. No one shall serve as a care provider if she/he is known to have been previously convicted of, or pled guilty or no contest to, any crime arising out of any act or conduct involving sexual abuse, or any act or conduct which is of a sexual, molesting, seductive, or criminally deviant nature, whether or not such conduct involved a child. This includes, but is not limited to, crimes involving pedophilic behavior (molestation of a pre-adolescent child), incest, rape, assaults involving adults with special needs, children, or youth, murder, kidnapping, pornography, and the physical abuse of an adult with special needs, child, or youth. This qualifying rule shall be applicable no matter how long ago the crime occurred. 3. No one shall serve as a care provider who has had a verdict rendered against him or her in any civil action arising out of any personal act or conduct related to sexual abuse of an adult with special needs, child, or youth. This qualifying rule shall apply no matter how long ago the civil verdict was rendered. 4. No one shall serve as a care provider who has acknowledged or admitted that she/he has participated as a perpetrator in any previous act of sexual abuse of an adult with special needs, child, or youth. This qualifying rule shall apply no matter how long ago or whether a civil or criminal verdict was rendered. Screening Procedures 1. The event director or designee shall be responsible for receiving, reviewing, confirming and processing all applications and related documents. 2. The event director or designee shall document the results of all interviews and reference checks of applicants. 3. After all the screening documents and information have been obtained, the event director or designee shall make a determination as to whether the applicant is qualified to serve as a care provider. This determination shall be able to appeal to the sponsoring agency who shall give written notification to the applicant of its decision in a timely manner. 4. All documents and records obtained from applicants not approved to serve as a care provider shall be returned to the applicant. All related documents not received directly from that applicant shall be destroyed. 5. The event director shall submit to the Abuse Prevention Team the names of applicants who did not satisfactorily complete the screening process. The list shall include the dates of the

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screening process, the name of the group sponsoring the related function, event or activity, and the name of the person who conducted the screening. Upon request, the Abuse Prevention Team will confirm if the name of a particular potential care giver appears on this list. This list shall not be distributed. 6. As the status of a care provider changes, she/he must satisfactorily complete any additional screening requirements that may be appropriate as provided above under “Screening Requirements”. 7. Any care provider who fails to meet any of the qualifications of this Policy may at any time have her or his certification revoked by the Abuse Prevention Team. 8. An applicant may request that his or her screening be handled exclusively and confidentially by the West Michigan Conference connectional staff person assigned to the ministries of the sponsoring agency. In such cases, all the duties and responsibilities in the screening process assigned to the event director or designee may be performed by the staff person. The staff person shall give written notification to the event director or designee of the applicant’s final status in the screening process. Confidentiality 1. Except as otherwise provided herein, all documents and information obtained on all care providers shall remain confidential. 2. No Consent by Parent or Guardian, or any file containing such Consents shall be confidential. All such Consents and files shall be a public record, accessible to anyone in the Conference. 3. Notwithstanding the above, all documents and information obtained during the screening process may be disclosed when it is reasonably necessary in the context of any criminal or civil litigation involving the care provider or the Conference. In addition, a care provider’s records, documents, files, and information may be disclosed with the written consent, or at the written direction or request of that care provider.

Section II: Care Provider Training and Education A. The Abuse Prevention Team shall be responsible for training care providers for certification. B. The Abuse Prevention Team shall be responsible for training those responsible for implementing this Policy. C. Care providers shall complete Abuse Prevention training and education for Certification. D. The Abuse Prevention training and education for Certification shall be designed to create and raise awareness of and sensitivity to the issues of abuse. The Abuse Prevention Certification shall include a knowledge, understanding, familiarity, and agreement to implement the Abuse Prevention Policy of the Conference. This training and education shall include how to avoid incidents and the appearance of abuse as portions of the strategy to prevent false accusations. E. The Abuse Prevention Certification training and education shall be provided regularly. Abuse Prevention Certification shall be valid for three years. F. The Abuse Prevention Team shall be responsible for maintaining a current list of all certified care providers. This list may reflect any restrictions or limitations on the services to be provided by each care provider, i.e., only for senior high youth, junior high youth, or nursery. This list shall be a public record and accessible to anyone in the Conference.

LEGISLATION

Section III: Care Provider Supervision A. General Statement Proper supervision of certified care providers is necessary to avoid creating the opportunity for both actual abuse and false accusations of abuse to occur. Proper supervision includes providing care providers with Abuse Prevention Certification. Supervision during the care providers’ performance of their responsibilities shall give special attention to high-risk settings such as nurseries, restrooms, and overnights. B. General Rules and Procedures 1. Adequate Staffing a. All Conference-related functions, activities, and events involving adults with special needs, children and youth shall be staffed to meet the standards of this Policy. The portion of the function, activity, or event which involves care providers as defined in this Policy shall be canceled when staffing required by this Policy is not provided. b. Providing staffing shall be the responsibility of the event director of the Conference-

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related function, activity or event. Certified care providers shall supervise participants as outlined in this policy. Certified care providers shall assist and support each other in implementing this Policy. This includes reminders to avoid conduct that may give the appearance of inappropriate behavior. 2. Two Certified Care Providers Rule c. At least two (2) certified care providers, one of which must be an adult, shall be present at each Conference-related function, activity, or event involving adults with special needs, children and youth. d. The two certified care providers rule in the preceding paragraph maybe waived in the following situations: 1) The certified care provider is an adult and there are at least three (3) children over 12 years of age present; 2) Cabin or tent sleeping during a function, event or activity in which there is only one adult care provider and there are at least three (3) adults with special needs, children or youth present; 3) One (1) certified care provider remains while the other certified care provider temporarily leaves the area or room for a medical, family, or other reasonable necessity, i.e., escorting an adult with special needs, child, youth to the restroom; 4) One (1) adult certified care provider remains when the other certified care provider has to leave for an unexpected medical, family, or other reasonable necessity; 5) A certified care provider is taking an adult with special needs, child, or youth to or from a Conference-related function, activity, or event; 6) A certified care provider temporarily remains with an adult with special needs, child, or youth while waiting for others to arrive at, or while the adult with special needs, child, or youth is waiting to leave, a Conference-related function, activity, or event; or 7) One (1) adult certified care provider is acceptable when a parent or guardian for each of participating adult with special needs, child, or youth signs a Consent of Parent or Guardian, using a form approved by the Abuse Prevention Team. 3. An identification procedure shall be used so that each adult with special needs, child, or youth is released only to a properly identified and pre-authorized person. Additional Nursery Procedures No one other than those receiving care in the nursery, their parents or guardians, approved certified care providers, and the adults with special needs, children or youth of the servicing certified care providers shall remain in the nursery. Additional Overnight Procedures 1. Only in exceptional circumstances with Abuse Prevention Team advance approval and a signed “Affidavit of Non-Certified Care Provider� in advance of the conference-related function, activity or event may an adult without West Michigan Conference care provider certification be present on any overnight with adults with special needs, children or youth only. 2. No males shall sleep in the same sleeping area as an unrelated female adult with special needs, child or youth. 3. No females shall sleep in the same sleeping area as an unrelated male adult with special needs, child or youth.

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Section IV: Policy for Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect Involving Adults with Special Needs or Children or Youth A. Persons Required to Report 1. All Care Providers and conference employees who have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect of an adult with special needs, child or youth shall report all known and suspected cases of abuse or neglect which (1) occur on the Conference premises, (2) occur at a Conference-related function, activity, or event, or (3) are disclosed during Conference-related function, activity or event. All other persons may report known and suspected cases of abuse or neglect in accordance with this Policy and the laws of The State of Michigan.

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If any adult with special needs, child or youth arrives at a conference-related function, activity or event with signs of abuse or neglect, the event director shall immediately implement this Policy’s reporting procedures. 3. The reporting requirements in this Policy are the minimum requirements. This Policy does not preclude anyone from reporting a known or suspected case of abuse or neglect to others for the protection of an adult with special needs, child or youth. Unless such protection requires otherwise, however, confidentiality of the information reported or received shall be respected to protect the rights and interest of the victim, the alleged perpetrator, and their families. 4. Under Michigan law anyone reporting in good faith a known or suspected case of abuse or neglect to the Children’s Protective Services or the Adult Protective Services is immune from civil or criminal liability which might otherwise be incurred thereby. Reporting Procedures 1. The care provider shall immediately report the known or suspected abuse or neglect to the event director. 2. If suspected or alleged perpetrator is on premises he or she is to be isolated from the program and have no contact with adults with special needs, children, or youth. 3. Within 24 hours, the event director shall telephone an oral report to the Children’s Protective Services or Adult Protective Services in the county of the function, activity or event. This oral report shall be made in conjunction with the person having made the observations or received the disclosure. The following information will probably be required in the oral report. a. Name, age and gender of the alleged victim and other family members b. Address, phone number and/or directions to the alleged victim’s home c. Parents’ place(s) of employment d. Description of the suspected abuse e. Current condition of the alleged victim. 4. Within 72 hours, the event director, with the person initiating there port, shall submit a completed State of Michigan “Report of Known or Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect” to Children’s Protective Services or its equivalent to Adult Protective Services in accordance with the directions given at the time of the oral report. 5. The event director and the entire staff of the Conference-related function, event, activity or program shall cooperate with Children’s Protective Services or Adult Protective Services in its subsequent investigations. 6. Following contact with local Children’s Protective Services or Adult Protective Services the event director shall inform: a. The chairperson of the group sponsoring the Conference-related function, activity or event. b. The conference staff person assigned to the ministries of the sponsoring group. The staff person shall inform the Council Director, the Bishop and the District Superintendent of the sponsoring District. c. The facility director, manager or host church clergy person. 7. Notification of a parent or legal guardian of the alleged victim of abuse or neglect which occurred prior to the Conference-related function, activity or event shall be determined by Children’s Protective Services or Adult Protective Services. When it is determined that a parent or legal guardian shall be notified, the event director shall call the parent or legal guardian informing her/him of what has been observed, and what steps have been taken in response to those observations. Unless otherwise instructed by Children’s Protective Services or Adult Protective Services, the event director shall follow the parent’s or legal guardian’s wishes regarding the continued participation of the involved adult with special needs, child or youth. 8. As much as possible, the event director and all others shall keep matters of the known or suspected abuse or neglect completely confidential. The incident is not to be discussed with persons other than those involved in the reporting. Reporting When the Alleged Perpetrator is the Care Provider or Conference Employee When the event director becomes aware of or receives a report of alleged abuse or neglect by a care provider or Conference employee, or the care provider is the known or suspected perpetrator, the event director or the person who received the disclosure or the one witnessing the abuse or neglect shall report the abuse or neglect:

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If suspected or alleged perpetrator is on premises he or she is to be isolated from the program and have no contact with adults with special needs, children, or youth. 2. Within 24 hours to Children’s Protective Services or Adult Protective Services by oral report. 3. To the chairperson of the sponsoring group of the function, event, activity or program. 4. To the Conference staff person assigned to the ministries of the sponsoring group. The staff person shall inform the Council Director and the Bishop. For functions, events, activities or programs sponsored by a West Michigan District group, the corresponding District Superintendent. 5. To the facility director, manager or host church clergy person. 6. Within 72 hours, by a completed State of Michigan “Report of Known or Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect” to Children’s Protective Services or its equivalent to Adult Protective Services in accordance with the directions given at the time of the oral report. Reporting When the Alleged Perpetrator is the Event Director When anyone at a Conference-related function, activity or event becomes aware of or receives a report of alleged abuse or neglect by the event director, she/he shall: 1. If suspected or alleged perpetrator is on premises he or she is to be isolated from the program and have no contact with adults with special needs, children, or youth. 2. Within 24 hours make an oral report to Children’s Protective Services. 3. The chairperson of the sponsoring group shall inform: a. The Conference staff person responsible for the ministries of the sponsoring group. The staff person shall inform the Council Director and the Bishop. For functions, events, activities or programs sponsored by a West Michigan District group, the staff person shall inform the corresponding District Superintendent. b. The facility director or host church clergy person. 4. Within 72 hours, the chairperson of the sponsoring group, with the person initiating the report, shall submit a completed State of Michigan “Report of Known or Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect” to Children’s Protective Services or its equivalent to Adult Protective Services in accordance with the directions given at the time of the oral report. Reporting When the Alleged Perpetrator is a Michigan Area Clergy Person or Diaconal Minister 1. If suspected or alleged perpetrator is on premises he or she is to be isolated from the program and have no contact with adults with special needs, children, or youth. 2. The event director shall: a. Within 24 hours, make an oral report to Children’s Protective Services or Adult Protective Services. b. Inform the Conference staff person assigned to the ministries of the sponsoring group. The staff person shall inform the Council Director and the Bishop. For functions, events, activities or programs sponsored by a West Michigan District group, the staff person shall inform the corresponding District Superintendent. This District Superintendent shall inform the respective supervising District Superintendent. c. Inform the facility director, manager or host church clergy person. d. Within 72 hours, the event director, with the person initiating the report, shall submit a completed State of Michigan “Report of Known or Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect” to Children’s Protective Services or its equivalent to Adult Protective Services in accordance with the directions given at the time of the oral report. 3. The Michigan Area Clergy Sexual Misconduct Policy shall be implemented for Michigan Area clergy persons or diaconal ministers. For cases involving United Methodist clergy from outside the Michigan Area the respective supervising bishop shall be informed. For cases involving non-United Methodist clergy, the respective supervising judicatory authority shall be informed. Reporting When the Alleged Perpetrator is Another Adult with Special Needs, Child or Youth 1. If suspected or alleged perpetrator is on premises he or she is to be isolated from the program and have no contact with adults with special needs, children, or youth. 2. When the event director becomes aware of or receives a report of alleged abuse or neglect by another adult with special needs, child or youth, she/he shall, within 24 hours, make an oral report to the local law enforcement agency and follow that agency’s instructions. 3. The event director shall inform:

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The conference staff person assigned to the ministries of the sponsoring group. The staff person shall inform the Council Director, the Bishop and the corresponding District Superintendent for functions, activities or events sponsored by a West Michigan District. The facility director or manager. The parents or guardians of both parties unless instructed otherwise by the local enforcement agency.

Reporting All Other Suspected Cases of Abuse or Neglect In all other cases of suspected abuse or neglect, the event director and the conference staff person assigned to the ministries of the sponsoring group shall be immediately notified, and the reporting procedures referenced above shall be implemented.

LEGISLATION

Section V: Follow-Up Procedures After Reports of Known or Suspected Abuse or Neglect A. General Goals and Objectives After reporting procedures have been implemented, the following goals and objectives as prioritized below shall be addressed: 1. Protection for the alleged victim and other adults with special needs, children and youth from any continued exposure to abuse or neglect. 2. Care for the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. 3. Respect and preservation of the legal rights of both the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. 4. Safeguarding the privacy of all parties involved. 5. Care for the spiritual and emotional well-being of the Conference. 6. Protection of the legal and financial interests of the Conference. B. Investigation 1. Conference employees and volunteers shall not conduct any investigation of reports or accusations of abuse or neglect. 2. Following the guidance of an attorney representing the Conference, the Conference shall cooperate in any proper investigations by the Children’s Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, law enforcement agency, liability insurer, and the parties involved. C. Response Procedures When the alleged abuse or neglect involves (1) a conference or district employee as the alleged perpetrator, (2) an abuse occurring on Conference premises, or (3) an adult with special needs, child or youth participating in any Conference-related function, activity, event, or program, the following procedures shall be observed: [For alleged abuse or neglect involving Michigan Area United Methodist clergy persons or diaconal ministers see item 8 in this section.] 1. The status of the accused care provider (if applicable) shall be immediately suspended, and he or she shall not be permitted to continue providing any services for adults with special needs, youth or children in any Conference-related function, activity, event, or program. Certification may be re-instated only after satisfactory completion of the screening qualifications set forth in this Policy. 2. The Bishop or designee shall appoint a contact person to handle, oversee, and/or represent the Conference in all communications with the Children’s Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and investigators. 3. The Bishop of designee shall give written notice to the liability insurance carrier for the Conference. 4. If the alleged perpetrator is an employee of the Conference, the Conference Personnel Committee may discharge or place the employee on a leave of absence pending the completion of any investigations by the Children’s Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, any responding law enforcement agencies, and/or the completion on any legal proceedings. A leave of absence may be with or without pay, at the discretion of the Conference Personnel Committee. The employee may be reinstated after a leave of absence or discharge, only if approved by the Abuse Prevention Team following satisfactory completion of the screening qualifications set forth in this Policy. 5. The Bishop or designee shall be the spokesperson solely authorized to respond to the media

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and general public. The designee may or may not be the same person appointed in item 2 of this section. 6. When appropriate the bishop shall inform the Conference of the situation and how the Conference is responding to it. 7. Everyone involved in the response shall document her/his activities and all communications regarding the suspected abuse or neglect. 8. When the alleged perpetrator is a Michigan Area United Methodist clergy person, The Michigan Area Clergy Sexual Misconduct Policy shall be implemented. Response to the Victim(s) and the Accused 1. Pastoral care shall be extended to the victim, the accused and their families. 2. The Conference shall continue to express and share its Christian care, love and support for, both, the victim and the accused, as well as their families. It will be a difficult time for all parties involved and may be when they need the love and support of their Conference family the most. Although the practice of abuse, neglect, or the making of false accusations is not to be condoned, we will continue to acknowledge that God’s grace is available to all. All persons are valued human beings created in God’s image.

Section VI: Revisions A. This policy shall be reviewed annually by the Abuse Prevention Team. B. The Abuse Prevention Team may temporarily adjust this Policy between sessions of the Annual Conference as needed in consultation with the Council Director or designated Conference staff person. Annual Conference approval is necessary to make these revisions permanent. 1. Proposed revisions shall be submitted in writing to the members of the Abuse Prevention Team at least 15 days prior to the consideration of said proposed changes by the Abuse Prevention Team. 2. Revisions shall be effective 120 days after Abuse Prevention Team action unless otherwise specified by the Abuse Prevention Team action. 3. All Conference-related groups shall be informed of the revision(s)within 30 days of the decision giving them 90 days notice.

Definitions For this Policy, the following definitions will apply. “Abuse” means harm or threatened harm to the health or welfare of an adult with special needs, child, or youth by any person responsible for the health or welfare of an adult with special needs, child, or youth that occurs through non-accidental physical or mental injury; sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or maltreatment [State of Michigan Compiled Laws Act No. 238, Public Acts of 1975, Sections 722.622.2(c)]; sexual harassment, sexual contact, sexual molestation, disseminating, exhibiting, or displaying sexually explicit material. “Abuse Prevention Certification” refers to the training and education of Abuse Prevention Certified care providers. “Abuse Prevention Team” means all persons, individually and collectively, who are appointed by the Conference to serve on a committee or task force for the purpose of training care providers and those responsible for implementing this Policy. “Adult” means a person at least 18 years of age. “Adult Protective Services” refers to the Adults Protective Services Division of the Family Independence Agency in the State of Michigan which guards the safety and welfare of persons in Michigan over the age of 18 years. “Adult with special needs” refers to persons overt he age of 18 years of age who are mentally or physically impaired (e.g., mental illness or disability) or incapacitated (e.g., drugged or unconscious). “Applicant” means a person who is applying to be approved as a care provider. “Appropriate” means conduct that one could reasonably assume would be acceptable and permissible by the child’s parent or guardian. “Child” or “Children” or “Youth” refers to a person under 18 years of age [State of Michigan

LEGISLATION

Section VII: Implementation This policy shall be effective June 1, 2000 for all Conference-related functions, events or activities.


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Compiled Laws Act No. 238, Public Acts of 1975, Sections 722.622.2(b)]. “Care provider” means anyone (including employees, volunteers, lay and clergy) charged with supervising adults with special needs, children, and youth during a Conference-related function, event or activity. A certified care provider has completed the Abuse Prevention Certification. “Child neglect” means harm or threatened harm to the health or welfare of an adult with special needs, child, or youth by a parent, legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the health or welfare of an adult with special needs, child, or youth that occurs through either of the following: a. negligent treatment, including the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, and protection from abuse; or b. placing an adult with special needs, child, or youth at an unreasonable risk to the health or welfare of an adult with special needs, child, or youth by failure of the parent, legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the health or welfare of an adult with special needs, child, or youth to intervene to eliminate that risk when that person is able to do so, and has, or should have, knowledge of the risk. [State of Michigan Compiled Laws Act No. 238, Public Acts of 1975, Sections 722.622.2.(d)]. “Child Protective Services” refers to the Children’s Protective Services Division of the Family Independence Agency in the State of Michigan which guards the safety and welfare of children in Michigan under the age of 18 years. “Church” means the local congregation. “Conference” means the West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church. “Conference-related” means any function, event or activity sponsored by, planned and/or implemented by persons representing the Conference, any of its districts or other connectional body beyond the local congregation and within the Conference. This definition includes all camp ministry functions, events and activities. “District Superintendent” means the acting District Superintendent of the respective District of the West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church or her/his designee. “Employee” means any individual receiving a wage, salary or other compensation from the West Michigan Conference for services rendered beyond and not necessarily related to the specific Conference-related function, event or activity, including all full-time and part-time employees. “Event director” refers to the person over seeing all personnel and programming at a Conferencerelated function, event or activity. “Event site” means the location of a Conference-related function, event or activity. This does not exclusively apply to a United Methodist facility. “Leader” means anyone directly responsible for supervising and overseeing the specific Conference- related function, event or activity. “Parent or Guardian” means any parent, step-parent, foster parent, grandparent, or appointed guardian who has the general responsibility for the health, education, or welfare of a child, youth or adult with special needs. “Sexual abuse” means engaging in any sexual contact or sexual penetration with a child, the sexual exploitation of an adult with special needs, child, or youth, the sexual harassment of an adult with special needs child, or youth, the sexual molestation of an adult with special needs, child, or youth, and/or disseminating, exhibiting, or displaying sexually explicit material to an adult with special needs, child, or youth, regardless of whether such conduct is with or without the knowledge or consent of the adult with special needs, child, or youth [State of Michigan Compiled Laws Act No. 238, Public Acts of 1975, Sections 722.622.2(k)].In general, sexual abuse of an adult with special needs, child, or youth includes any form of sexual conduct in which a victim is being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator. It may be violent or nonviolent. It includes sexual behaviors involving touching, such as fondling, as well as oral, genital and anal penetration, intercourse, and rape. It also includes sexual behavior that does not involve touching, such as sexually suggestive comments, obscene phone calls, exhibitionism, displaying pornographic materials, and allowing adult with special needs, children, or youth to witness sexual activity. It includes any conduct that involves adults with special needs, children, youth in sexual behaviors for which they are not personally, socially, emotionally, or developmentally ready. “Sexual contact” means the intentional touching of the intimate parts or the clothing covering the immediate area of the intimate parts of a child, youth or adult with special needs. “Sexual exploitation” means allowing, permitting, or encouraging an adult with special needs, child, or youth to engage in prostitution or in the photographing, filming, creating electronic or

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computer generated images or any other form of depicting an adult with special needs, child, or youth engaged in actual or suggestive sexual conduct. [State of Michigan Compiled Laws Act No. 238, Public Acts of 1975, Sections 722.622.2(l)]. “Sexual harassment” means any unwanted sexual advance or demand, either verbal or physical, which is perceived by the recipient as demeaning, intimidating or coercive. [See The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 1996, p. 482] “Sexual penetration” means sexual intercourse or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of one’s body, or of any object, into any intimate part of the body of an adult with special needs, child, or youth. “Sexually explicit material” means any printed, electronic or computer generated matter, picture, sculpture, or sound recording which can reasonably be construed as being produced for the purpose of stimulating sexual excitement, arousal, or gratification. “Shall, Should, and May” were carefully chosen terms used in this Policy, given recognition to their different meanings. “Shall” is to be considered mandatory, “may” is to be considered permissive, and “should” is to be considered a term of strong encouragement. “Volunteer” means any person receiving no salary, wages or other compensation for providing any services, care, guidance, assistance, or supervision for any adult with special needs, child, or youth in a Conference-related function, event or activity. “Youth” [See “child”] PPR #13 Covenant of Clergy Sexual Ethics A Policy of the West Michigan Annual Conference Statement of Covenant God has called us, through the grace of Jesus Christ, into covenant with God and one another. This covenant is intended by God to be a means of reconciliation, justice, faith, hope, and love. We live out this covenant in the Church. This covenant implies that there are standards to which clergy are expected to adhere and assumes that each clergy person seeks to live according to these high standards. “Ordination and membership in an Annual Conference in The United Methodist Church is a sacred trust” (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2000, ¶359.1). Sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment of any kind is sinful behavior against God and one another. Not only does such behavior violate a person’s integrity but it also constitutes an unjust use of status and power which breaks this sacred trust. Therefore all clergy are expected to exercise the most compassionate judgment and to live out the highest ethical standards regarding the role of human sexuality in all interpersonal relationships. Preamble This policy is intended to assist the ministry of the Church by stating expected standards of behavior and by defining inappropriate sexual conduct by clergy. It is further intended to provide guidance so that when incidents of sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment are alleged, the complainant and the respondent may experience grace, justice, and reconciliation. Grace means unconditional love, but it does not mean escaping the consequences of inappropriate actions. This policy is provided to the lay and clergy members of the West Michigan Annual Conference with the hope that it can assist us in creating and maintaining healthy relationships of integrity and safety for the sake of our common ministry to the people of God in the name of Jesus Christ. Theological Reflections Scripture teaches that male and female are created in the image of God, and are of equal value in Christ. From the beginning God intended that all people live out this equality in relationship with one another. Jesus was sent into this world that all persons might experience whole relationships with God and each other. The BOOK OF DISCIPLINE of The United Methodist Church-2000 (¶161.G) states: “We recognize that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons. We believe persons may be fully human only when that gift is acknowledged and affirmed by themselves, the Church, and society. We call all persons to the disciplined, responsible fulfillment of themselves, others, and society in the stewardship of this gift.” ____________________ I. Definitions A. Clergy – The term “clergy” as used in this policy includes all ordained, commissioned, licensed, and consecrated persons serving in the West Michigan Annual Conference,

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including those serving in extension ministries, on leave, honorable location, retired, and those lay people assigned to pastoral ministry in a local church by a District Superintendent. B. Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Abuse1 – The terms sexual misconduct and sexual abuse as used in this policy include sexual contact or inappropriate sexual behavior (not limited to sexual intercourse) by the clergy with an adult or minor parishioner, client, church staff person, or colleague, abusing their vulnerability, regardless of by whom it was initiated. C. Sexual Harassment1 – The term sexual harassment as used in this policy applies to conduct by the clergy with an adult or minor parishioner, client, church staff person, or colleague, abusing their vulnerability, regardless of by whom it was initiated and is defined as follows: “Sexual Harassment – We believe human sexuality is God’s good gift. One abuse of this good gift is sexual harassment. We define sexual harassment as any unwanted sexual comment, advance, or demand, either verbal or physical, that is reasonably perceived by the recipient as demeaning, intimidating, or coercive. Sexual harassment must be understood as an exploitation of a power relationship rather than as an exclusively sexual issue. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the creation of a hostile or abusive working environment resulting from discrimination on the basis of gender. Contrary to the nurturing community, sexual harassment creates improper, coercive, and abusive conditions wherever it occurs in society. Sexual harassment undermines the social goal of equal opportunity and the climate of mutual respect between men and women. Unwanted sexual attention is wrong and discriminatory. Sexual harassment interferes with the moral mission of the Church” (The BOOK OF DISCIPLINE of The United Methodist Church-2000, ¶161.I). D. These definitions in I. B. and I. C. above are also applicable in the context of ministries in which there are not “parishioners,” but there is a community which acknowledges the authority of the clergy as a spiritual leader, such as, but not limited to, appointments to extension ministries, honorable locations, leaves, or retirements. ____________________ 1Sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse are chargeable offenses in The BOOK OF DISCIPLINE of The United Methodist Church-2000 (¶2702). II.

Standards for Clergy Conduct A. Clergy related to the Annual Conference are accountable for the ways they respond to persons who ask assistance and/or over whom they have authority. A violation of clergy relationship, clergy responsibility, and clergy authority is abusive and unethical and could result in the discontinuance of ordained, commissioned, licensed, consecrated status or assignment. B. Clergy have the responsibility for developing healthy and ethical relationships with other persons. Married clergy have made a vow to nurture and maintain a faithful marital relationship. Single clergy must maintain appropriate sexual conduct in dating relationships as understood in our Christian teaching. C. Personal integrity and mature professional conduct are a part of every clergy relationship. Such standards prohibit any sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment with a parishioner or client entrusted to his/her sacred care.

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III. Expectations A. Clergy often relate to persons who are fragile and vulnerable, and therefore, clergy must exercise special care: 1. To maintain psychological, emotional, and spiritual health; 2. To be properly and adequately prepared and educated, including continuing education, in order to provide appropriate help for those in their care; 3. To seek counsel, advice, and supervision. B. Clergy self-discipline requires self-awareness and a standard of ethics which is implied and described in the vows of ordination and consecration. C. All those within the clergy covenant of the Church are encouraged to discern when particular support, therapy, or other assistance should be sought for clergy colleagues. IV. Misunderstandings and False Accusations – Fear often surrounds the issues of misunderstandings and false accusations. Certain words and behaviors may be heard, seen, and felt in a different way by one person than by another person. False accusations may sometimes be made. It is understood, therefore, that all care will be taken by those involved in the investigation to determine the validity

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of a complaint and the appropriate response. V.

Retaliation – It is important to protect persons who truthfully disclose such misconduct. Retaliation against those persons by anyone is prohibited.

VI. Confidentiality and the Responsibility for Reporting Clergy Sexual Misconduct – Clergy sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment places an unfair and unavoidable burden on the victim of such conduct. Truth-telling may be risky and painful and may also stir up strong feelings of fear and anger for all involved. Even so, truth-telling has the power to release both offenders and victims from the secrecy, denial, and guilt that result from sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment. The Church is a place for healing and justice; therefore, it must recognize, prevent, and stop sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment. All clergy and laity bear sacred responsibility to become informed of appropriate standards of conduct and to address alleged sexual misconduct/ sexual abuse/sexual harassment. Clergy and laity alike bear responsibility for confronting one another with knowledge of sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment. When the covenant of the clergy has been broken by instances of sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment pain and disruption occur. Sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment creates many victims: those directly involved, spouses, families, congregations, and their surrounding communities. In those moments the Church is called to bring about healing, reconciliation, and restoration of all parties. This may include encouragement and support of an aggrieved person, care for one committing the offense, and initiation of complaint procedures as outlined in The BOOK OF DISCIPLINE of The United Methodist Church 2000 (¶359). VII. Procedure – If you have experienced sexual misconduct/sexual abuse/sexual harassment you may contact the office of a District Superintendent or the Bishop. These addresses and phone numbers are available in any local United Methodist Church. The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church-2000 will be followed in response to complaints which are initiated. Every complaint will be taken seriously and treated with integrity and confidentiality. VIII. Final Notes – If any provision of this policy is in conflict with The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church shall prevail. Such conflict shall not be grounds for invalidating the entire policy. Copies of this document are available from the Conference and District Offices.

II.

DOCUMENTATION: The Cabinet shall provide the Conference Treasurer with information of appointment, termination, or change of appointment status of Clergy persons in accordance with the guidelines for The Program. This set of information is contained in the Appointment Change Report of the respective district superintendent. Information for Lay persons shall be provided by the employing agency.

III. MANDATORY CLASS. Persons under the Mandatory Class are: A. All Clergy persons who are appointed half-time or more by the bishop in local churches or

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PPR #14 Conference Policy for the Health Insurance Program I. ELIGIBILITY: There are two classes of eligibility under the Group Health Insurance Program, (or The Program, defined as follows: A. Mandatory Class: Upon enrollment, participants under the Mandatory Class with their spouse, domestic partner and dependents shall be covered automatically during active appointment to and after retirement from a local church or employment in the Conference, unless they waive participation. Waiver of participation by persons in the Mandatory Class is allowed only if coverage for the participant is obtained through the employer of the participant’s spouse, or domestic partner. B. Optional Class: Persons under the Optional Class have the option to request coverage for themselves, their spouse, domestic partner and dependents within 90 days from date of the qualifying event, e.g., employment in a Conference agency or local church, divorce or leave status. If they choose not to participate and then later change their mind, they may enroll only during the open enrollment period. In all cases, it is required that the salary paying unit or the participant remits the premium monthly to the Conference Treasurer.


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B. C. D. E.

F.

Conference Agencies in the West Michigan Conference. All full-time lay employees (minimum 30 hours per week) of the Conference. Clergy persons on Incapacity Leave status who are qualified to receive CPP benefits. Lay employees on Disability Leave who are qualified to receive Workers Compensation Insurance benefits. Clergy on Retired status whose appointment of at least ten years immediately prior to retirement was within The United Methodist Church structure within the Michigan Episcopal Area; however, exemption may be granted by the Board of Pension and Health Benefits upon request by the Cabinet to facilitate clergy appointments. This rule will be effective for those with appointment dates on July 1, 2003 and later. Surviving spouse and eligible dependents of deceased participants in the Mandatory Class.

IV. OPTIONAL CLASS. Premiums for this class of persons during active employment and after retirement are the responsibility of the participant or the employing agency and not of the Conference. Persons under the Optional Class are: A. Full-time employees (minimum 30 hours per week) of a local church during active employment or after retirement. B. Clergy granted voluntary leave of absence or sabbatical. C. District Superintendent Appointees with the recommendation of the Cabinet D. Spouse divorced from a participating clergy of a lay employee for a maximum duration of two years subject to termination upon remarriage or coverage elsewhere, and subject to the provisions of the court decree. E. Retired clergy who are not receiving pension benefits or retired Conference lay employees who are less than 62 years old. V.

DEFINITIONS: A. Eligible Dependents are dependents of the participant as of the date of retirement or disability leave, who are not permanent residents outside of the U.S.A. They are: 1. Spouse, or domestic partner of the participant The definition of domestic partner will be determined by the insurance carrier. 2. Unmarried children under 19 years of age. 3. Unmarried children 19 to 25 years of age who are registered students in regular fulltime attendance in school, provided they are principally dependent upon the participant for support and maintenance. 4. Surviving spouse and/or eligible dependent children of deceased participant. 5. Handicapped children regardless of age who are qualified dependents under the law but excluding their spouse, domestic partner or children. B. Retired participant means a clergy person who has been placed on a retired relationship by the West Michigan Conference, or a lay employee who retired from employment in the West Michigan Conference. C. Clergy on Incapacity Leave means a clergy person who has been placed on incapacity leave status and receives CPP benefits from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. D. Clergy on Leave of Absence or Sabbatical means clergy who has been placed on any of this status by action of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. E. Ineligible Classes: The following persons shall not be eligible to participate in The Program. 1. Clergy members of the Conference who are employed outside the West Michigan Conference structure. 2. New spouse, new domestic partner and new dependents of a participant after the participant’s retirement or being placed on disability leave. 3. Children who are no longer deemed dependents because of age. 4. Married children.

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VI. EFFECTIVE DATE OF INSURANCE. The health insurance of persons in the Mandatory Class are effective on the first of the month following the date of the initial appointment of clergy persons or of the employment of lay persons in the Conference upon enrollment. VII. TERMINATION OF INSURANCE. A. Clergy or Lay Participants 1. Appointment or employment terminates for any reason, except retirement or incapacity

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leave. 2. The Program is terminated 3. Required payment is not made after the 60-days grace period. 4. Death Dependent 1. Person no longer meets the definition of a Dependent 2. Required payment is not made after the 60-days grace period. 3. Participant requests termination of a dependent’s coverage

III. E. Less than full-time service shall earn pro-rata credit. 2. Retirees not qualified to be in the Medicare supplemental program because of age (i.e. less than 65 years old), will pay the applicable premium percentage based on the rate of the active plan. 3. Clergy on Incapacity Leave Status who were actively participating in the Program at the time of being placed on incapacity leave status with Cumulative Protection Plan (CPP) benefits, and their eligible dependents shall be provided coverage under the Program at the expense of the Conference. If such clergy remain on incapacity leave until retirement, they shall be eligible for the benefits as provided in the preceding paragraph (VIII.C.1) and the years on incapacity leave shall be counted as years of service. 4. Premiums for Retired Conference Lay employees who have attained age 65 years and eligible dependents, shall be paid by the Conference at the rate of 5% for every year up to 20 years of full-time service to the church, provided that they shall have served in the Conference for the 10 years immediately preceding retirement. 5. Conference Program coverage shall be Secondary and Medicare Primary. Persons

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VIII PREMIUM BILLING AND CONTRIBUTION. Insurance premium billing and contribution shall be determined as follows: A. Mandatory Class. 1. The premium contribution of a Charge for each clergy participant in the Program shall be a Blended Rate which is a portion of the Composite Rate. The formula for calculating the Composite Rate consists of dividing the total cost of the Program for the following year by the number of participants enrolled as of July 1 of the current year. 2. The premium contribution of participants is the applicable percentage of the composite rate based on the participant’s compensation and the approved sliding scale, as follows: $20,000 and less = 5% of composite rate $20,001 to $25,000 = 6% of composite rate $25,001 to $30,000 =7% of composite rate $30,001 to $35,000 = 8% of composite rate $35,001 to $40,000 = 9% of composite rate $40,001 to $45,000 = 10% of composite rate $45,001 to $50,000 = 12% of composite rate $50,001 to $55,000 = 13% of composite rate $55,001 to $60,000 = 14% of composite rate $60,001 and greater = 15% of composite rate 3. A charge whose pastor’s participation in the Program has been waived because of the spouse’s or domestic partner’s coverage in another plan will be billed $100 each month. B. Optional Class 1. The salary paying unit that is responsible for paying the premium shall pay monthly the actual cost of the premium as determined by the Board. 2. If there is no salary paying unit responsible, the participant shall pay the actual premium cost as determined by the Board. C. Subject to Payment of 10% Minimum Premium Contribution, premium billings of Retired Clergy, Clergy on Incapacity Leave Status and Retired Conference Lay Employees shall be determined as follows: 1. Premiums for retired clergy who have attained age 65 years and 20 years of service to the church or 35 years of service to the church regardless of age, and eligible dependents, shall be paid by the Conference at the rate of 5% for every year up to 20 years of full-time service, subject to the preceding rule under


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6.

under Medicare primary coverage are required to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B at their own expense. All retired participants in the Mandatory Class are required to contribute a minimum 10% of the retiree program cost as determined by the Board.

IX. PREMIUM COLLECTION A. In order to avail themselves of tax exemption benefits, participants in the active plan must complete a Flexible Spending Account enrollment form which authorizes the withholding of premium contribution. B. Local churches shall be required to remit monthly to the Conference Treasurer the total of the blended rate and the amount of the participant’s premium contribution as billed. C. Likewise, Conference lay employees shall be required to pay their premium contribution and the Conference Treasurer is authorized to withhold the amount from payroll based on the completed Flexible Spending Account enrollment form. D. Failure to remit premium payments for participants within the 60 days grace period from the due date shall result in termination of coverage, unless prior arrangements have been made with the Conference Treasurer. E. The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits shall be authorized to arrange with the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits the monthly withholding from pension benefits of retired participants the amount of premium contribution required from each retired participant. F. In the event of financial distress on the part of a mandatory participant, a Medical Benevolence grant may be requested according to the procedures and guidelines established by the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits. The application form shall be furnished by the Conference Treasurer upon request. X. PLAN ADMINISTRATION A. The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits is the designated plan administrator and fiduciary. The Plan is centrally administered through the Office of the Conference Treasurer who acts as the Conference Benefits Officer. The administration of The Program shall be governed by this policy and the Board is granted the authority: 1. To set benefit levels, premium rates, participant premium contributions and Plan funding arrangement including prudent Stop Loss insurance and reserve funding in order to keep The Plan financially sound. The board shall make an annual report on The State of the Plan at Annual Conference and, to the extent practicable, will seek input from the Annual Conference of administrative matters that affect Plan participants. 2. To retain consultants, retain or consult with actuaries and contract third party administrators and to select health care networks and providers of Stop Loss insurance coverage. 3. To invest funds through its Investment Committee in accordance with the social principles in THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE. 4. To interpret Plan provisions through the Conference Treasurer whose interpretation in writing will be considered final unless appealed to the board which has the final authority to decide any issue under the Plan. B. The Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits is amenable to the Annual Conference which has the final authority to amend, suspend or terminate The Program in whole or in part in an Annual Conference session or special session called for the purpose, provided that any proposal that may affect The Program shall be referred to the board for study, and evaluation before any Annual Conference action is taken.

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—WMC Photos, Mark Doyal

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2011 Journal Section 2 Final  

Proceeding of the AC

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