Annual Charge/Church Conference Information


It's annual charge/church conference time. We're excited about the new tools of the People Portal and Church Dashboard to help you in this process. Below, you'll find a message from the dean of the cabinet as well as detailed directions to help you.

Clergy, Staff, and elected lay leadership of the local churches,
 
On behalf of Bishop Bard and the Cabinet, I thank you for your leadership in your congregations and for your commitment to our mission as United Methodists to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” I share with you today important information about your church/charge conference forms.
 
As you know, it takes a lot to keep a church running effectively. Part of our covenant in our United Methodist connectional system involves excellent stewardship of our resources and holding one another accountable by being transparent with each other. Just as the annual conference shares our strategic direction, our budgets, and other important numbers, we also need that kind of transparency from our local churches.
 
While it is the pastor’s responsibility to make certain that these forms are completed each year, lay leadership and staff often are involved in the completion of the charge/church conference forms. We want to ensure that everyone has access to needed and helpful information.
 
With that goal in mind, we are using the new tools of the People Portal and Church Dashboard for the charge/church conference materials this year. These tools allow for improved delivery of information from the conference to you. These tools also allow the conference staff to process, access, and use information received from you more efficiently. For the local church, in 2023 and each subsequent year, your previous year’s forms will be easily accessible on the People Portal or Church Dashboard. We hope this will be helpful, especially if your church experiences pastoral, staffing, and/or lay leadership changes.
 
The 2022 Charge/Church Conference forms are now available. Links to most of the forms are on the People Portal. Others will be found on the Church Dashboard which you can reach via your People Portal. You also will find more detailed information to help prepare for the annual charge/church conference along with links to additional resources to assist in completing the reports on the People Portal and/or Church Dashboard.
 
Find information on how to log into the People Portal.
 
In addition to the pastor, people in certain leadership roles should have access to the charge/church conference forms/materials via the People Portal. While these may not be the position titles your church uses, people who have the responsibilities usually associated with the following titles should have access to the People Portal:

  • Church Administrator
  • Church Secretary/Administrative Assistant
  • Treasurer
  • Finance Chair
  • SPRC Chair
  • SPRC Vice-Chair
  • Trustee Chair
  • Mission Chair
  • Council Chair
  • Membership Secretary
  • Payroll Contact

This access, however, is dependent on your church having provided to the conference office the names and contact information for those in leadership roles. See the information below on Church Leaders about how you can update the conference office on your leadership information at any time.
 
In addition to the charge/church conference materials, clergy and the church administrative assistant will find the link to the Church/Charge Conference Request form on their People Portal. This is the way to request authorization for your charge or church conference.
 
The church needs to complete the reports and retain them as part of the permanent records. We also are asking that all completed forms be submitted to the conference office this year. By doing this, then all of your 2022 charge/church conference forms will be available on the People Portal or Church Dashboard for easy access throughout 2023…and for consultation when it’s time to complete the next round of annual charge/church conference reports in late 2023.  
 
It is very important that the clergy compensation form be submitted to the conference office by December 1, 2022. The deadline for other reports is usually associated with the deadline for The Tables. Although you have been offered a “pause” on submitting Tables for year-end 2022, we would appreciate you honoring the usual expectation of submitting the annua charge/church conference forms to the conference office no later than two weeks after the charge/church conference or February 28, 2023, whichever occurs first. Your annual reports provide important information to the conference staff which they need to perform their duties in a timely manner.
 
While a nominations report needs to be prepared as part of the process of electing church leadership at the charge/church conference, the conference office is not asking the church to submit a leadership list this year. Instead, please report those in leadership roles using the Church Leaders link on the Church Dashboard. It is especially important that this information be entered no later than two weeks after the charge/church conference or February 28, 2023, whichever occurs first. It also important to update this whenever there is a change in leadership so that the leaders have appropriate access to needed materials.
 
In the past, the Church Conference Candidacy Recommendation - Form 3 has been considered a charge/church conference form. However, it really is part of the candidacy for ministry process, so this form now is going to be provided by Conference Registrar Janet Beard. If you need access to the form, please contact Janet at janet.beard@minnesotaumc.org.
 
God bless you and your churches and the important work that you are doing in your communities to reach new people, help folks grow in their faith, and heal a broken world.

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dan Johnson
Twin Cities District Superintendent and Dean of the Cabinet


Annual Charge/Church Conference Information

The primary responsibilities of the charge/church conference in the annual meeting are 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 charge/church conference forms are provided to assist in preparing for your annual meeting.

It is the pastor’s responsibility to make sure that these forms are completed each year. However, lay leaders and staff are often involved in the completion of the charge/church conference forms. Please be certain that this information is shared with those in leadership roles.

Authorization to hold a charge or church conference

  • Which are you going to hold? In a church conference, all members have voice and vote. In a charge conference, while all members have voice, only those on the church council and retired clergy and clergy in extension ministry appointments who have their charge conference relationship with the church have vote.
  • A charge or church conference must be authorized by the district superintendent and an authorized ordained elder must preside. To request authorization for the conference, submit your request using the link to the Church/Charge Conference Request form on your People Portal. A formal conference authorization letter will be issued when your request is approved.
  • The conference also must be announced in advance. The “in advance” requirement depends on the church’s incorporation. If the church is a 315 corporation, it is 15 days in advance unless sale of property is involved when it then is 30 days. For a 317A incorporation, it needs to be announced two weeks in advance. 
  • The conference also must be announced in at least two of the following methods: from the pulpit of the church, in its weekly bulletin, in a local church publication, or by mail.

Reports/Forms

Links to the reports/forms as well as helpful resources are on the People Portal or Church Dashboard (which can be reached via the People Portal). Information about how to log in to the People Portal can be found here.

What needs to be done by when and what body needs to act on it

Report/Form Body that needs to act on form/report Please submit to conference office How to submit the form to the conference office Additional Information
Clergy Compensation - Form 5/7 charge or church conference By December 1, 2022 – we will be very happy to receive it before that Attach the Clergy Compensation Form 5/7 to the 2023 Clergy Compensation Submission form (link found on Church Dashboard). Automatically submitted when you click on the submit form button.   The payroll worksheet portion of the document does NOT need to be completed before sending form 5/7 to the conference office.
Parsonage Allowance Resolution – Form 8a church council no later than 2 weeks after it is approved – best practice is to approve before 1/1/2023 as it can only be applied prospectively Attach the Parsonage Allowance Resolution Form 8a to the 2023 Parsonage Allowance Resolution Submission form (link found on Church Dashboard). Automatically submitted when you click on the submit form button.   If the church does not have a parsonage or if it is being rented out to someone other than the appointed clergy, this form does not need to be completed.
Housing Allowance Resolution – Form 8b church council no later than 2 weeks after it is approved – best practice is to approve before 1/1/2023 as it can only be applied prospectively Attach the Housing Allowance Resolution Form 8b to the 2023 Housing Allowance Resolution Submission form (link found on Church Dashboard). Automatically submitted when you click on the submit form button.   If the pastor does not receive a housing allowance, this form does not need to be completed.
Certified Lay Speaker, Certified Lay Servant, and Certified Lay Minister Reports – Form 2 charge or church conference no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Automatically submitted to conference office & conference lay ministry team when you click on the submit form button. If your church does not have any certified lay speakers, servants, or ministers, these reports do not need to be completed. This online form needs to be completed in one sitting as it cannot be saved in progress.
Report/Form Body that needs to act on form/report Please submit to conference office How to submit the form to the conference office Additional Information
Inactive/Unresponsive Membership Report – Form 4 charge or church conference no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Automatically submitted when you click on the save form button.  
Annual Parsonage Evaluation – Form 9 to be given as a report to charge or church conference but no action required no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Automatically submitted when you click on the save form button. If the church does not have a parsonage, this form does not need to be completed.
Report of the Trustees – Form 10 to be given as a report to charge or church conference but no action required no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Automatically submitted when you click on the save form button.  
Checklist for Protection of Church Finances – Form 11 church council no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Automatically submitted when you click on the save form button.  
Fund Balance and Certification of Annual Audit – Form 12 to be given as a report to charge or church conference but no action required no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Automatically submitted when you click on the save form button. Located on the church dashboard.
Annual Budget church council no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Attach the budget to the 2023 Budget Submission form (link found on Church Dashboard). Automatically submitted when you click on the submit budget button.   Submit the budget in whatever format the church uses but as an attachment to the 2023 Budget Submission form.  
Report/Form Body that needs to act on form/report Please submit to conference office How to submit the form to the conference office Additional Information
Missions Report – Form 13 to be given as a report to charge or church conference but no action required no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Automatically submitted when you click on the save form button.  
Appointed or Assigned Clergy Report - Form 14 to be given as a report to charge or church conference but no action required no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Automatically submitted when you click on the save form button. If clergy prefers to submit a personal narrative, please attach it to the online form 14.
Retired Clergy Report (not serving under appointment or assignment) - Form 15 to be given as a report to charge or church conference but no action required no later than 2 weeks after the charge/ church conference or by February 28, 2023 (whichever is first) Automatically submitted when you click on the save form button. If retired clergy prefers to submit a personal narrative, please attach it to the online form 15.

 
Two forms that seem to be missing
While a nominations report needs to be prepared as part of the process of electing church leadership, the conference office is not asking the church to submit a Leadership List – Form 1 this year. Instead, please report those in leadership roles using the Church Leaders and Church Contacts links on the Church Dashboard. It is very important that this information be entered no later than two weeks after the charge/church conference or by February 28, 2023, whichever occurs first, AND whenever there is a change in leadership or their contact information.
 
In the past, the Church Conference Candidacy Recommendation - Form 3 has been identified as a charge/church conference form. It really is part of the candidacy for ministry process so that form is now going to be provided by Conference Registrar Janet Beard. If you need access to the form, please contact Janet at janet.beard@minnesotaumc.org.
 
Logistics
Printing a copy of an online form to use in gathering needed information may be helpful. However, your final information needs to be submitted using the online form.  Please remember to hit the “Submit Form” or “Save Form” button at the bottom of the form so that your form is actually submitted. To save a copy of your completed online form for your own records, proceed as though you are going to print a copy but change the printer option to “save as PDF”.
Please do not mail or email charge/church conference forms to the conference of district office. Reports need to be submitted using the online forms to allow for efficient processing of the information by the conference staff. If your church cannot complete the online forms, please contact Lead District Administrative Assistant Laurie Huston at laurie.huston@minnesotaumc.org to discuss potential alternate arrangements.

Additional Information and Resources

Compensation (Form 5 & 7)

  1. Pastoral Compensation Considerations and Clergy Time Off Guidelines and Considerations are two important documents for the SPRC to use.  
  2. The Equitable Compensation Schedule for 2023 has increased. Be certain to consult the "Salary Sched & Yrs of Service" tab on the compensation form.
  3. The church’s share of the health insurance premium has increased significantly. However, the pension (CRSP) defined benefit cost is reduced as the Minnesota Conference Board of Pension, Inc. (MCBPI) will use reserves to fund half of the cost for 2023.
  4. The payroll worksheet does not need to be completed before submitting forms 5 and 7.
  5. If your pastor is an assigned lay pastor, please contact Laurie Huston at laurie.huston@minnesotaumc.org to obtain the lay minister compensation form template. 

Parsonage Evaluation (Form 9)
Section 300.4 of the Minnesota Conference Policy & Procedures Manual should be consulted.
 
Trustees Report (Form 10)
These resources will be help you to complete the report:
GCFA Legal Manual
Memo on Incorporation
Minnesota Secretary of State website
Current Minimum Insurance Requirements
Accessibility Audit example
 
Checklist for Protection of Church Finances (Form 11)
You will need to consult the Records Retention information provided by the conference archivist.
 
Missions Report (Form 13)
For question 8, you will need to consult the The Advance e-catalog for information on General Advance Programs and UMCOR appeals.
 
Certified Lay Servant, Certified Lay Speaker, and Certified Lay Minister Reports (Form 2)
In addition to the links on the People Portal and/or Church Dashboard, the various Form 2 templates may be reached using these links:
Certified Lay Servant Report
Certified Lay Speaker Report
Certified Lay Minister Report

Retired Clergy Report (Form 15)
In addition to the link on the People Portal and/or Church Dashboard, the Form 15 template can also be found here.

Remember the minutes and attendance roster
A copy of the minutes and attendance roster from the charge/church conference are to be forwarded to the district administrative assistant. It is preferred that they be forwarded as an attachment to an email directed to the district administrative assistant.

May the time spent completing these reports/forms and preparing for the charge/church conference help you gain a deeper awareness of the important work that you are doing in your communities to reach new people, help people grow in their love of God and neighbor, and heal a broken world.
 


Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

info@minnesotaumc.org

(612) 870-0058