What’s unique about this year’s Annual Conference?
June 9, 2021 / By The Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding, Assistant to the Bishop and UNY Director of Connectional Ministries
As is true at every Annual Conference, members will be asked to elect a variety of leaders to new terms of office at this year’s Annual Conference, held virtually, June 17-19. This year, though, there are several unique situations of which we wanted you to be aware.
The first deals with the election of equalization members.
To comply with our Conference rules, the first action of the Conference will be to elect equalization members, both at-large and those serving by virtue of office. Click here to see the slate of equalization members. Voting on the slate of equalization members will be limited to lay and clergy members who were also members of our last Annual Conference held in October. After the election of equalization members, our next action will be to consider our Organizational Motion.
The second deals with the election of Conference officers and committee members.
Once again, the postponement of General Conference extends the current quadrennium to January 1, 2023 and, with it, the terms of several Conference leadership roles and committees defined in the Book of Discipline with reference to the General Conference. The affected roles and committees include the Annual Conference Secretary, the Conference Chancellor, the Conference Treasurer and the members of the Council on Finance & Administration Conference, the Administrative Review Committee, the Conference Committee on Episcopacy, and the Committee on Investigation. Because of these extensions, these roles and committees will not be elected this year.
The election of the Board of Ordained Ministry is also affected by the postponement of the General Conference.
To address this, the Conference will be asked to elect an interim board. A board will be elected for the new quadrennium at the 2022 session of the annual conference with the new board being seated the first day of the month following the postponed 2020 General Conference.
In addition to the roles and committees covered by the Book of Discipline, there are several additional committees named in our Conference rules whose terms would also be extended because of the postpone General Conference and quadrennium extension. These include the Hispanic Ministries Committee, the Social Holiness Committee, the College Ministries Committee, and the Young Adult Committee. Because the terms of these committees are defined by our conference rules, conference has the ability to adapt. The nominations committee will ask Conference to suspend its rules in order to allow the conference to elect new persons to these committees.
Because we are not able to meet in person this year, we will not be able to elect new members to the Conference Board of Trustees.
New York State law requires trustees be elected by written ballot. Because the Book of Discipline allows the Bishop and Cabinet to appoint trustees “ad interim,” i.e., between sessions of Annual Conference, the nominations report will list persons who will be appointed to serve as trustee until next year’s Annual Conference.