Laity invited to self-nominate for two lay vacancies for the 2024 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference
The Upper New York (UNY) Conference elects delegates for the Northeastern Jurisdictional (NEJ) Conference and the General Conference the year prior to each General Conference, which ordinarily takes place every four years. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 General Conference was postponed twice and is now slotted for 2024. Due to the unprecedented length between General Conferences, the United Methodist Judicial Council will be allowing conferences to fill delegate vacancies. The UNY Conference currently has two lay vacancies for the NEJ delegation.
The ruling to allow for new delegates to be elected
The United Methodist Church’s highest court has opened the door for some new delegates to be elected to the long-postponed and potentially momentous General Conference, now set for next year. The court explained that “a lot has changed in the interim. Some delegates can no longer serve for various reasons including disaffiliation from the denomination amid what is already a slow-motion separation. Some delegates have seen their status change from lay to clergy or vice versa. Some conferences that were separate entities when elections took place have since merged into one.”
With changes that have taken place since the UNY 2019 delegate elections, there are currently two lay vacancies in the NEJ Conference delegation in UNY.
How the elections take place
According to the 2016 Book of Discipline, “The lay delegates to the General and jurisdictional or central conferences shall be elected by the lay members of the annual conference or provisional annual conference without regard to age, provided such delegates shall have been professing members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years next preceding their election, and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election, and are members thereof within the annual conference electing them at the time of holding the General and jurisdictional or central conferences” (¶36, Article V).
To nominate yourself as a lay delegate for the NEJ delegation, click here to fill out the form and submit it by May 14.
The election for these two delegate vacancies will take place at the 2023 Upper New York Annual Conference laity session, presided by Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, on June 1.
Prior to the lay elections, lay members at the UNY Annual Conference will be invited to adopt rules to limit voting to four ballots. If any vacancies remain after conducting three of these ballots, a fourth and final ballot will be taken, and all vacancies will be filled by the top one or two votes even if they receive less than 51% of the vote.
What prospective delegates need to know
Carmen Vianese, the head of the delegation discussed a few key responsibilities for delegates, including:
- There is a time commitment that will increase as the year unfolds.
- You need to have access to email and a computer regularly.
- You need to be able to devote time to reading materials as appropriate to the work of a NEJ Delegate from UNY.
- You need to be available for Zoom meetings, in-person meetings, and for days off with the ability to travel to the NE Jurisdictional Conference in July 2024 ( NEJ Dates = 7/7/24 - 7/12/24).