2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 520
From Wesleyan Discipline
520. Organizational Meeting. When the organization of an established church has been authorized by the district board of administration, the district superintendent shall consult with the pastor and the local advisory council, or if there are none, with those interested in forming the church, and appoint a time for an organizational meeting. The organizational meeting shall be conducted by the district superintendent or a representative appointed by the district superintendent as follows:
- (1) The reading of the Summary of the Articles of Religion (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:299) and the Membership Commitments by the presiding officer.
- (2) An examination of each of the candidates for membership, conducted by the presiding officer, using the questions commonly addressed to such candidates (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5560–5570), and the baptism of such as have not previously been baptized. When the organization involves a church previously organized as a developing church, those who have been accepted as members of the developing church need not be reexamined.
- (3) A mutual pledge of purpose and fellowship on the part of all members, including those being received. The presiding officer shall ask each one:
- Question 1: “Are you in Christian fellowship with all those who present themselves for membership in this church organization?”
- Answer: “I am.”
- Question 2: “In that Christian fellowship will you promise to walk with each other in love, giving and receiving counsel, sympathy, and instruction in the Spirit of Christ?”
- Answer: “I will.”
- (4) A declaration made by the presiding officer: “On the basis of these mutual pledges in the presence of God, I proceed to give you each the right hand of fellowship, and declare by this act that you are a Christian church organized on the basis of The Discipline of The Wesleyan Church, and are invested with all the rights, powers, and duties assigned to an established church by The Discipline.”
- (5) The first session of the local church conference, with the election of officers who shall serve for the remainder of the year, or until specified, and the installation of the officers (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5915) by the person presiding over the organizational service.
- (6) The report of the organization by the district superintendent to the next regular session of the district board of administration, and to the next regular session of the district conference (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1180:24; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:14).
- (7) The taking of steps to provide for the pastoral oversight and care of the new church, if such has not already been done.