US National Conference
The United States National Conference shall oversee all affairs pertaining to the ministry of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, United States of America.
¶502 National Conference Covenant
The National Conference Covenant affirms a church’s membership in and support of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA.
1. Responsibilities of Individual Congregations
a. Every congregation shall sign a covenant which includes affirmation of these points:
(1) We commit to the Confession of Faith and Core Values of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, International.
(2) We agree to abide by the Constitution and Discipline of the US National Conference.
(3) We will prioritize our assets, energies, and ministries toward fulfilling the Great Commission.
(4) We will support the broader ministry and mission of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA, through prayer, promotion of its interests, participation in a cluster, and the annual partnership fee.
b. The covenant shall be approved by vote of the highest governing body within the local church.
c. The covenant shall be signed and dated by the chairperson of that governing body and by the senior pastor (or a leading layperson, should the senior pastor be chairperson of that body).
d. The covenant shall be submitted to the national office to be kept on file.
e. The covenant shall be reaffirmed annually by the local board.
2. Responsibilities of the US National Conference
The Executive Leadership Team may, with a majority vote, terminate a church’s membership in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA, in these situations:
a. The church refuses to sign the National Conference Covenant.
b. The church does not keep its commitment to the standards of the National Conference Covenant, and has been advised by the bishop.
¶503 Delegates to the National Conference
1. The voting members of the United States National Conference are:
a. The US bishop.
b. The national directors.
c. The ministerial delegate(s) from each congregation.
d. The lay delegates chosen by each congregation according to ¶423. Churches are eligible to send lay delegates if they have a signed National Conference Covenant on file with the national office.
2. Clergy Representation
Ministers are eligible to serve as voting members if they meet both of these conditions:
a. They hold a specialized ministry license, a national conference license, or are ordained elders in the United Brethren church.
b. At the time of the National Conference, they meet one of these criteria:
(1) Are employed by a United Brethren church in the US National Conference.
(2) Serve the national conference in an appointed or elected position.
(3) Hold a leadership position in a non-United Brethren ministry recognized by the Executive Leadership Team. Persons desiring this recognition must send a letter to the bishop requesting such recognition.
3. Lay Representation
a. The number of lay delegates for each church will be based on the official statistics at the end of the first full year preceding the national conference.
b. Each local church shall determine the method it uses for selecting lay delegates.
c. The following formula will be used to determine the number of lay delegates from each congregation.
Ave. Attendance Lay Delegates 1-150 1 151-250 2 251-350 3 351-450 4 451-550 5 551-650 6 651-750 7 751-850 8 851-950 9 951-1050 10 1051-1150 11 1151-1250 12 1251-1350 13 1351-1450 14 1551-1650 16 1651-1750 17 1751-1850 18 1851-1950 19 1951-2050 20
The local church shall pay the expenses of its delegates.
1. The Bishop
The US bishop shall be chairperson of the US National Conference. In the absence of the bishop, the Executive Leadership Team shall designate an ordained United Brethren minister as chairperson.
2. The Secretary
The Executive Leadership Team shall appoint a secretary to record the proceedings of the US National Conference.
¶505 Responsibilities of the National Conference
1. The US National Conference shall determine the mission and ministry of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA, and provide appropriate plans and policies for its administration.
2. The US National Conference shall review the work of its elected officers, appointed leadership teams, committees, and other personnel.
3. The US National Conference shall consider proposals for revising the Discipline.
4. The US National Conference shall oversee the financial stewardship of the US national church.
5. The US National Conference shall oversee its relationship with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ International.
6. The US National Conference shall guard the church’s historic position of firmly upholding biblical absolutes, allowing freedom in areas not clearly mandated by Scripture, and encouraging tolerance and unity when differences arise.
7. When practices, teachings, or decisions within a local church or by US National Conference officials and institutions challenge the doctrinal integrity (as defined by the Confession of Faith), cooperative relationship, and/or ministry of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA, the US National Conference shall have the authority to apply whatever disciplinary action it considers appropriate.
1. The Executive Leadership Team shall approve the wording of any constitutional referenda to be placed before the membership.
2. The bishop shall, during the month of January prior to the meeting of the US National Conference, provide to each church a copy of any referenda, along with instructions regarding the voting process.
3. Each local church shall vote on referenda items throughout the month of February prior to the meeting of the US National Conference.
4. All adult members of the local church may vote.
5. Members must use a referenda ballot provided by the church in which they hold membership.