525. Relationship of Circuit and Church. A circuit is a pastoral charge in which a district conference has grouped two or more local churches under one pastor, and designated them as a circuit, with business to be transacted by a circuit conference. Each church on the circuit shall be organized and shall conduct its business according to the regulations for an established church, and shall exercise its constitutional rights to receive, expel, and discontinue its members, to elect its own officers and trustees, and to have recourse to a proper court of jurisdiction in matters of controversy between itself and other units or agencies of The Wesleyan Church (315:1, 5, 6, 8). The circuit shall exercise all of the constitutional rights of a pastoral charge which are not reserved to the local church (315:2-4, 7), and take charge of all matters of circuit business as given in 525–535.
526. Developing Circuit Conference. When the churches on the circuit are all developing churches, the regulations governing a developing church will be applied to the developing circuit (510).
528. Circuit Conference. The members of the several churches on a circuit, duly called and assembled together to do business, shall constitute a circuit conference. It shall follow the same organizational and procedural pattern as a local church conference (630–650). Its duties and powers shall be to:
- (1) To call the pastor and set the terms of pastoral service (315:2; 690–722).
- (2) To license lay ministers (3410–3420) and to recommend suitable members to the district conference for district licenses as ministerial students and special workers (3015, 3033, 3460).
- (3) To elect lay delegates to the district conference (315:7; 1100–1109).
- (4) To elect a circuit secretary, such members of the circuit advisory council (530) in addition to the ex officio members as the circuit conference shall determine are needed to assure proper representation, and a circuit board of trustees (if such is needed, cf. 532).
- (5) To determine all matters involving two or more of the churches on the circuit, including the authorization of transactions involved in the purchase, erection, encumbrance, sale, or other disposition of a circuit parsonage or other property (4740–4750).
530. Circuit Advisory Council. The circuit advisory council shall direct circuit affairs between sessions of the circuit conference, bearing the same relationship to the circuit conference that the local board of administration bears to the local church conference (750; 782). It shall consist of the pastor as chair, the circuit secretary as secretary, the chair of the circuit board of trustees, the treasurer of each local church, and such other representatives as the circuit conference shall determine are needed to assure proper representation. It shall elect one of its members as vice-chair, and shall meet at least quarterly at such time and place as it shall determine. It shall nominate the pastor, make recommendations on all matters over which the circuit conference has authority, and carry out and administer the decisions of the circuit conference (690).
532. Circuit Trustees. The circuit board of trustees shall consist of three to five members elected by the circuit conference. They shall organize themselves and carry on their work under the direction of the circuit advisory council in the same manner as the board of trustees for a local church (850-859), except that they shall have jurisdiction only over that property owned by the circuit, such as the circuit parsonage (cf. 4740–4750).
535. Circuit Committees. The circuit advisory council may appoint such committees as are necessary to the proper conduct of circuit affairs, including a nominating committee to nominate the circuit officers (cf. 820-823).