2016 General and Jurisdictional Conference elections and petitions

2016 General and Jurisdictional Conference elections and petitions

November 17, 2014


At the 2015 Iowa Annual Conference, the lay and clergy members will be electing delegates to the 2016 General Conference, North Central Jurisdictional Conference, and reserves to those delegations.
As the chief legislative arm of the church, the General Conference meets every four years to determine program emphases and budgets and to review church law and the church’s position on matters of social justice. It is the only body that can speak for the denomination.
The ten day meeting, May 10-20, 2016, in Portland, OR, will bring together approximately 850 delegates – half clergy and half laypersons – from around the world.
The North Central Jurisdictional Conference, July 13 - 16, 2016, in Peoria, IL, will bring together delegates from the nine-state upper Midwest region. Members of this conference will elect bishops to fill vacancies within the region.
The Iowa Annual Conference will elect six lay and six clergy delegates to the General Conference, and an additional six lay and six clergy delegates to the Jurisdictional Conference, as well as reserve delegates. Those elected to the General Conference are automatically delegates to the Jurisdictional Conference.
Those persons seeking election should carefully read the following procedures for election and complete each requirement:

  • Nominees may submit a 250-word (maximum) biographical sketch/position statement.
  • There will be no write-in nominations for this election.
  • The photograph and biographical sketch/position statement must be submitted to the Conference Secretary electronically. Please email those materials
  • Materials must be submitted by February 1, 2015.
  • A maximum of twelve ballots will be taken for this election.

The nomination form is available from your District Superintendent, the Conference
Secretary, or the Forms section at the Conference website ( ). This form must be signed by the nominee and his/her District Superintendent, and then sent electronically to the Conference Secretary. All materials must be submitted by February 1, 2015.
1. Procedures for the Nomination and Election of Delegates to the 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences.
A. Qualifications.

  1. The qualifications for clergy delegates and lay delegates are defined in The2012 Book of Discipline, Section VI, Article II, Article III, Article IV and Article V of The Constitution pages 33-35.

B. Nominating Process

  1. To become a nominee, submit the nomination materials, as defined below, to the superintendent of the district to which the nominee relates by February 1, 2015. The District Superintendent will confirm the eligibility of the nominee and forward the nomination materials to the Conference Secretary.     
  2. Members of Conference are encouraged to continue a tradition of concern for inclusiveness in its elected delegation. Members of Conference are reminded that surveys and questionnaires are unable to reflect fully the qualifications of nominees and those nominees are not obligated to respond to such instruments.    
  3. Nominees should consider carefully their own abilities to give the necessary time and effort to prepare carefully for and to participate fully in the conferences.

C. Nomination Materials

  1. The Conference Secretary shall prepare a nomination form and distribute it to all district offices. The form shall ask for:
    1. necessary personal data,  
    2. a 250-word (maximum length) biographical sketch and/or statement of the nominee’s position on critical issues facing the church,
    3. a recent photo of the nominee, and
    4. the signature of the nominee.
  2. Nomination material received by February 1, 2015, shall be distributed by the Conference Secretary prior to Annual Conference by such print and electronic methods as s/he deems most effective.
  3. Nominees are to limit promotional material to the 250-word sketch distributed by the Conference Secretary.
  4. As good stewards and in the interest of fairness to all nominees, mass mailings and other distribution of materials by nominees or their supporters is strongly discouraged.

D. Balloting Procedures

  1. The Conference Secretary or his/her designee shall coordinate the balloting process.
  2. Each nominee shall be assigned a number and all voting shall be by the assigned numbers.
  3. All voting must take place within the bar of the Conference.
  4. A printed report of each ballot shall be delivered to the platform and shall contain the names and assigned numbers of those nominees who received at least twenty-five valid votes and the number of votes each received.
  5. The Bishop shall announce the results of each ballot and shall set the time of the next ballot, until all delegates and reserves have been elected.
  6. A majority of all valid ballots shall be necessary for an election.
    1. If more than the number to be elected at any one time receives a majority, those receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.
    2. In case of a tie on this occasion, those nominees with tying votes shall be declared not elected and shall become the only names to be voted on in a following and separate ballot.
  7. If by the twelfth ballot all of the General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates have not been elected, then on the twelfth ballot those receiving the highest votes shall be declared elected in order of the total votes received, including reserve delegates.

E. Delegation Meetings. Following election of the General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation, including alternates, the presiding Bishop shall call a meeting to select leadership for the delegation, to set times and format for future meetings, and to collect and share information
2. Guidelines for Petitions to the 2016 General Conference

A. Petitions submitted for Annual Conference approval.

  1. Persons or groups seeking Annual Conference endorsement for petitions must submit the petition to the Conference Secretary by February 1, 2015. Petitions must originate with or be sponsored by individuals or groups who are members of or related to the United Methodist Church in Iowa.   
  2. Each petition must be typed, double-spaced, and on a separate sheet of paper. Petitions may be submitted electronically to .   
  3. Petitions should be checked for accuracy in spelling, terminology, punctuation, and should be succinct, using as few words as possible.      
  4. For Disciplinary material, indicate proposed additions by underlining and proposed deletions by lining through.
  5. After February 1, 2015, the Assistant to the Bishop for Administration will convene a meeting of the chairs of the following annual conference agencies to review the petitions for accuracy, duplication, and compliance with Disciplinary guidelines: Boards of Ordained Ministry, Church and Society, Global Ministries, Higher Education and Campus Ministry, and Discipleship. In addition, the Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries, Conference Treasurer, and Conference Secretary will be included. The committee may refer the petitions to annual conference agencies for review but will not express an opinion on the subject nor change the substantive content of the petition.
  6. The petitions will be printed in their entirety in the Pre-Conference Manual.
  7. Petitions endorsed by the Annual Conference are sent by the Conference Secretary to the General Conference Petitions Secretary for inclusion in the Advance Edition of the Daily Christian Advocate.
  8. Petitions not approved by the Annual Conference may be submitted by individuals or groups directly to the General Conference Petitions Secretary, by the assigned date as set by General Conference.

B. For instructions on how to submit a petition for which Annual Conference endorsement is not sought (or which was not endorsed by the Annual Conference) please refer to the 2012 Book of Discipline, ¶ 507.