"The primary responsibilities of the charge conference in the annual meeting shall be to review and evaluate the total mission and ministry of the church, receive reports, and adopt objectives and goals recommended by the church council that are in keeping with the objectives of The United Methodist Church," The Book of Discipline, paragraph 247.3.
An increasing number of churches are moving to a simpler governance structure as allowed for by The 2016 The Book of Discipline, to learn more about these various structure and view a one-page resource guide with a number of linked references, click here.
You can access the video tutorials to assist you in this year’s submission process on YouTube by clicking here.
Charge Conference Forms and Process
All pastors whose email address is properly listed in the alternate email address field of their church information will receive email instructions by August 1st each year. This email will include a hyperlink to connect directly to your church's "Church Dashboard" in the conference's Brick River database system. If you inadvertently deleted this email or did not receive a copy, contact your district office who will help you.
1. The office of connectional ministries and communications facilitates the charge conference process. Please carefully read the directions sent to you or on the linked web pages that you will use in this process. While we understand that many of you will be assisted in this process by various members of your church or church staff, the senior pastor should be the final person to review the information and ensure the correct information is submitted for your church.
2. If you are serving a multi-point charge, you will receive a separate email for each church with a UNIQUE link to access that church's online dashboard (details in paragraph 4 below). This process is very similar to what you did in completing your church and clergy profiles.
If your church no longer has access to this email, contact your district office who can assist you with your church's login information which you can use to access your Church Dashboard and these forms.
3. If you submitted charge conference information during 2018 or later, the process is very similar.
4. The Church Dashboard streamlines much of your work. The Church Dashboard is where you will enter your church leadership names and contact information for the required lay leadership positions. In fact, if someone is continuing in a given leadership role, you can simply change the end date of an assignment directly on the dashboard. You can also update your church's general information that is automatically published on the Our Churches section of the conference website.
5. You will again use a Consolidated Charge Conference Form. You will access this link from the email sent to the pastor on August 1st. To view a PDF version of this entire form click here. To view a single non-editable PDF of all required and optional forms click here. Please note that links to editable versions of each form are available on the online Consolidated Charge Conference Form if you want to type your responses prior to saving, scanning or uploading them.
6. You will access your church's online form by clicking on the blue hyperlink to your church dashboard towards the bottom of this email to the pastor. This link will launch your Church Dashboard where you can click on a Charge Conference Forms link on the left-hand navigation bar. From this page, you can launch your Consolidated Charge Conference Form.
7. You may find it helpful to review the video tutorials posted on YouTube. The videos will primarily address how to navigate the online Consolidated Charge Conference Form and the Church Dashboard. Finally, options will be shared for scanning and uploading your documents if you are not familiar with that type of data submission. While much of the information is required for final submission, you can start, stop and save your work as you collect your information. Simply click the Save button at the bottom of the form before exiting your browser after you make any changes. If you have intermittent internet connectivity, you should save your work often.
8. Thank you for your continued help in this process. As always, your first call for questions should be to your district office.
Technical Notes regarding editable PDF forms: In order to type and save your church's information on the editable PDF forms, your best option is to use Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Please note, that you can print out the forms and hand-write your information (neatly) and scan that copy onto your computer if you prefer. You can download this free program at https://get.adobe.com/reader/. Be sure to download the select correct version for your computer's operating system (Windows 10, Windows 8, MAC OS 10.xx, etc.). On this linked page, you should see your computer's operating system on the left side of this page. You may want to uncheck the other extensions and optional offers that are selected for you by default on this page—they are NOT required for Acrobat Reader to work correctly or complete your charge conference forms. To type the information on these forms and upload them, follow these directions:
Open each link for each PDF form.
Save each file to your computer, prior to beginning to fill it out.
*If you enter data into the PDF form while it is open on your internet browser and not the saved one from your computer, you will lose the data.
Complete each form.
Save the completed form.
Scan the form if a 'wet' or original ink signature is required and save the file to your computer. Follow the directions on the Consolidation Charge Conference Form as to what forms can be combined together in scanning for uploading and which ones need to be submitted separately.
Upload the form(s) as required in the Consolidation Charge Conference Form.