1. Plan of Representation
1080. The district conference, as required by the Constitution (317), shall be composed of an equal number of ministerial members and lay members as voting members, chosen in a way that maintains the principle of equal representation, and other non-voting members as listed herewith.
a. Voting Members
1083. Ministers. The ministerial voting members of the district conference are those who meet the following requirements:
- (1) Ordained ministers under appointment (1240:1:A:1-8), retired (1240:1:B; 3370), on reserve (1240:1:C; 3360) or on educational leave (1240:1:D; 3350:1).
- (2) Licensed ministers who are ordained ministers-elect (317)
- (3) Commissioned or licensed ministers who are pastors, associate pastors or assistant pastors of churches in that district (317; 1240:2:A; 1240:3:A; 3059; 3030).
- (4) Ministerial members of the district board of administration who are not voting members by some other right (317).
- (5) Ordained ministers (including licensed ministers who are ordained ministers-elect) who have applied for transfer to another district but whose processes of transfer out of the district are yet incomplete.
1086. Laity. The lay members of the district conference with voting rights are those elected as delegates by the churches or circuits of that district (315:7; 317; 1100–1109) and the lay members of the district board of administration (317). The total number of lay members with voting rights shall be determined as set forth in 1100:1 while maintaining the principle of equal representation of the ministry and the laity. Each established church or circuit is entitled to a minimum of one lay delegate as its constitutional right (315:7; 503), and, according to its number of members, to additional lay delegates allotted by the district board of administration (1100:1-5). A developing church which is judged to be qualified may be allotted one lay delegate (510:5; 1100:2; 1103).
b. Nonvoting Members
1090. The nonvoting members of the district conference, with a voice but without a vote, are (317):
- (1) Ordained ministers without appointment (1240:1:E; 3380).
- (2) Ordained ministers in process of transfer from another denomination (3104; 3390).
- (3) Commissioned or licensed ministers who are not voting members of the district conference as listed in 1083:2-4, including those in process of transfer from another denomination (3104).
- (4) Ministerial students (3015:3b; 3350:2).
- (5) Commissioned and licensed special workers (1240:5:A, B, C; 3460-3470).
- (6) Commissioned lay missionaries (1240:5:D).
- (7) Supply pastors (1240:5:E; 3260:4).
- (8) Interim pastors, unless qualifying as a voting member by some other right (1083; 3261).
- (9) Ordained ministers, commissioned ministers, and licensed ministers whose process of transfer into the district from other districts are pending completion.
2. Forfeiture of Representation
1095. A local church or circuit which is under discipline as provided for in the General Board Policy on Church Discipline shall forfeit all rights to representation by a lay delegate in the district conference (315:7).
3. The Election of Lay Delegates
1100. Allotment. The district board of administration shall assign to each church or circuit the specific number of lay delegates which it shall elect as its representatives to the district conference, in keeping with the provision in 1086 for the total number of lay delegates and subject to the following regulations:
- (1) The district board of administration shall first determine the total number of lay delegates required for the next session of the district conference (1086), which shall initially equal the number of ministerial voting members eligible at the time such determination is made (1083:1-5). The district board of administration may adjust this number of lay delegates downward to be not fewer than the highest number of ministerial voting members who answered the roll call in each of the last three district conferences.
- (2) One lay delegate shall first be allotted to each pastoral charge (315:7; 528:3; 317; 503), including any developing churches deemed qualified (510:5; 1086).
- (3) One shall be subtracted from the number needed to balance the ministerial vote for each lay member of the district board of administration.
- (4) The number of lay delegates yet required for the next district conference shall be allotted to the pastoral charges according to a ratio of representation. In fixing the ratio of representation, the members as listed on the statistical report of the preceding district conference, shall be considered. The district board of administration shall establish the ratio of representation and apply it in such a manner as to assign the exact number of delegates to be elected by each pastoral charge.
- (5) The district shall promptly notify each pastor of the exact number of lay delegates allotted to that particular pastoral charge.
1103. Election. The lay delegates to the district conference shall be elected at any duly called session of the local church conference, by ballot, and by a majority vote of those members present and voting (823; 965). In the case of a developing church, election shall be by the local advisory council, subject to approval by the district superintendent (510:3,5). A person accepting election as a delegate has an obligation to attend faithfully the entire district conference session, unless hindered by unforeseen and justifiable circumstances. The local church secretary shall promptly forward a certified list of the elected lay delegates to the district secretary.
1106. Alternate Delegates. A sufficient number of alternate lay delegates having the same qualifications (1109) shall be elected in the same manner and at the same session as the delegates (1103), and shall fill any vacancies in the order of their election. Whenever an alternate delegate is required to serve, the pastor or local church secretary shall certify this appointment to the district secretary.
1109. Qualifications. A lay delegate must be a member who meets the leadership qualifications (260-268; 558) and in good standing of the pastoral charge represented, both at the time of election and at the time of the district conference. An ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister may not be elected or serve as a lay delegate.