Local Church Turns Charge Conference Reports into Ministry Celebrations
Charge Conference season is in full force! Many pastors view this as a time of paperwork and a necessary meeting, but others have begun to see this as a time to celebrate ministry and the ways God is working in their local church. Rev. Teresa Seevers of Greystone UMC in Dothan, AL, is doing just this. Dr. Ed Glaize, Dothan District Superintendent, led this annual meeting.
The charge conference is defined as the basic governing body of each United Methodist local church and is composed of all members of the church council. All members of the charge conference must be members of the local church. The charge conference must meet at least once per year. The charge conference directs the work of the church and gives general oversight to the church council, reviews and evaluates the mission and ministry of the church, sets salaries for the pastor and staff, elects the members of the church council, and recommends candidates for ordained ministry.
It's understandable how such yearly events can become just another task on the calendar. But thanks to pastors like Seevers, these conferences can become a transformational celebration.
"Charge conference gives the local church the fabulous opportunity to celebrate all that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do as we profess our calling to 'make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," said Seevers. "It allows a time of reflection as we answer the question 'Who are we called to love?' It provides a time of remembrance of the Saints who have gone before us in the past year. Yes, business is conducted, but when you are celebrating the business of the church, there is much to be thankful for and excited about."
In addition to the required reports, Seevers used this valuable time to honor her staff, share a meal and welcome Greystone UMC's new District Superintendent, Dr. Ed Glaize. She also enlisted various speakers to educate those at the conference about the special ministries that they support outside of the church.
Seevers concluded, "I look forward to Charge Conference every year because we turn the page forward with hearts of thanksgiving to the One that unites us in our faith. When the reports are complete and the votes are cast, we rest in the presence of God and simply say, 'Thank you, Lord, for loving us so that we can love one another.' "