Standing Rules I-III

I. PREAMBLE: The Standing Rules are intended to guide and govern the mission and business of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference. They provide order and structure for the Annual Conference.

      A. Standing Rules

  1. The Standing Rules, as adopted, shall be the rules governing all matters and proceedings coming before the Annual Conference.
  2. The rules shall be published annually in the Annual Conference Journal-Yearbook and be reasonably accessible to Annual Conference members.
  3. The rules shall not conflict with the General Conference Rules set out in the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church currently in effect. If there is a conflict, the current edition of the Book of Discipline shall take precedence.
  4. For matters not coming under the Standing Rules or the General Conference Rules, the most recently published Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.

      B. Policy and Procedure Statements

  1. Annual Conference structures shall develop policy and procedures and present them to the Standing Rules Committee for review, referral to the Annual Conference for action (if necessary), and submission to the Annual Conference Secretary.
  2. Policy statements define the conduct of Annual Conference boards, councils, committees, commissions, ministry teams, and other groups.
  3. Procedure statements define the internal operations of annual conference boards, councils, committees, commissions, ministry teams and other groups.
  4. The Annual Conference Secretary shall be the custodian of all policy and procedure statements and shall make them available upon request. An index of all policy and procedure statements in effect, containing the date and volume in which they were printed, will be included in each Journal-Yearbook.

      C. Amendments to Standing Rules

  1. For inclusion and consideration in the Annual Conference’s Pre-Conference Workbook, proposals to amend the Standing Rules shall be submitted to the chairperson of the Standing Rules Committee by Feb. 15 (preceding the next regularly scheduled Annual Conference Session).
  2. Amendments to the Standing Rules must be approved by a 2/3 vote of annual conference members present and voting.
  3. New or amended policies of conference boards, commissions, committees, councils, ministry teams, offices, and other groups must be approved by a simple majority of those present and voting.
  4. Changes to the Standing Rules adopted by the Annual Conference become effective Jan. 1 of the year following adoption, unless otherwise specified.
  5. New or amended Conference Policies adopted by the Annual Conference become effective July 1 of the year of the adoption.
  6. Any proposal presented at the annual conference session to change the Standing Rules or Conference Policies shall lay on the table at least overnight for consideration by the Committee, and then its passage shall require a 2/3 vote of those present and voting.
  7. All IGRC standing rules will be reviewed quadrennially immediately following the publication of each new Book of Discipline. All references to the Book of Discipline will be updated to reflect the current Book of Discipline. All other standing rules will be reviewed by the Committee on Standing Rules for relevance. Changes in Standing Rules that require a vote of the annual conference will be presented as part of annual conference legislation.

      D. Suspension of Standing Rules

  1. For good cause, the Standing Rules may be suspended during an Annual Conference
    session by an affirmative 2/3 vote of the members present and voting.
  2. Proponents of a motion to suspend the rules shall identify (1) the good cause
    warranting the suspension and (b) the absence of any reasonable alternative
    to accomplish the proponents’ purposes within the framework of the standing


      A. Purpose: The members of the Annual Conference shall convene in session, as called by the bishop, to                 decide the matters brought before them ( ¶s 601, 603.2, 604, and 605.2, 2016 Book of Discipline).
      B. Agenda: The bishop, in consultation with the Committee on Annual Conference Sessions and/or other               persons/groups so delegated, shall develop the agenda for the session of the Annual Conference.                      (¶605.2, 2016 Book of Discipline)
     C. Members of the Annual Conference

  1. All clergy persons, as defined in ¶ 602, 2016 Book of Discipline, are members of the Annual Conference. These include elders and deacons in full connection, provisional members, associate members, affiliate members, and licensed local pastors under appointment.
  2. Lay members of the annual conference shall include (¶ 32, 2016 Book of Discipline):
    • Professing members elected by each charge, equal to the number of clergy appointed to the charge
    • Diaconal ministers
    • Active deaconesses and home missioners under episcopal appointment within the bounds of the conference.
    • Conference President of United Methodist Women
    • Conference President of United Methodist Men
    • Conference Lay Leader
    • Conference Associate Lay Leader
    • District Lay Leaders
    • Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries
    • Conference Associate Director of Lay Servant Ministries
    • Conference Secretary (if lay)
    • Secretary of Global Ministries (if lay)
    • President of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries
    • Chairperson of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries (if lay)
    • Chairperson of the Conference Council on Young Adult Ministries (if lay)
    • Professing members, either students or board members, from each Wesley Foundation or campus ministry equal to the number of clergy appointed to the ministry. Special consideration should be given to young adults. (¶ 602.1.e, 2016 Book of Discipline)
    • From each district, to be determined by the superintendent in consultation with district leadership.
    • One person between the ages of 12 and 17.
    • Three youth from each district elected by their district council on youth ministries (or equivalent structure)
    • One person between the ages of 18 and 30.
    • Chancellor of the Annual Conference
    • Assistant to the Bishop (if lay)
    • At-large members of the Connectional Table (if lay)
    • Chairpersons or presidents of conference boards, councils, and commissions, committees (if lay)
    • Lay persons serving on any General Board or Agency
    • Lay delegates to General and Jurisdiction Conferences for the four years subsequent to their election.
  3. All lay members shall have been, for the two years preceding their election, members of The United Methodist Church and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years preceding their election.
  4. Equalization of lay and clergy members:
    a. Each pastoral charge shall have one lay member. Each charge served by more than one clergy member shall be entitled to as many lay members as clergy members under appointment.
    b. The conference secretary shall determine the number of lay members needed for equalization by subtracting the number of lay persons under C.2. from the number of clergy in C.1.
    c. Allocation of the balance of equalization members needed shall include:
    1. Ten (10) additional members-at-large from each district determined by the superintendent in consultation with district leadership. The district members-at-large shall include lay Wesley Foundation Directors. Special consideration should be given to lay persons who are district officers of United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, and United Methodist Youth. Consideration shall also be given to lay representatives of any annual conference agencies and institutions within the district.
    2. Additional members, who are assigned to the larger local churches (one each), in order of decreasing size, who have paid 100% of their annual conference apportionments in the previous year.

          d. Lay members of the annual conference elected for the purpose of lay/clergy equalization shall serve                    to the end of the quadrennium as long as the congregation continues to pay 100% of their                                      apportionments.

          e. The annual conference secretary will determine if any local churches have failed to pay 100% of their                    apportionments in the prior year and adjust the equalization members so that all of them represent                      local churches that have paid 100% of their prior year apportionments.
5. Expenses shall be paid in the following manner:

     a. Each charge shall reimburse appropriate expenses of lay and clergy members from that charge as                        identified in sections 4 (a) and 4 (c)(ii)

     b. The annual conference sessions committee shall annually consider the reimbursement of expenses for              equalization members as identified in section 4(c)(i) above and propose the appropriate budget for the                same.
D. Legislative Duties
     1. An early matter of business for the convened Annual Conference session shall be to take action on the                proposed agenda from the Annual Conference Committee on Sessions for the business of                                     the annual conference session.
     2. The proposed agenda shall be published each year in the Pre-Conference Workbook.
     3. Any group or individual presenting an item for action by the Annual Conference that has fiscal                               implications, either on a continuing basis or a one-time basis, shall submit the material two weeks prior               to the normal deadline for submission (see Conference Secretary’s Policies: Reports and Resolutions,                 Journal-Yearbook) to the Pre-Conference Workbook. The Annual Conference Secretary shall forward                   the item to the Council on Finance and Administration (CCFA), which will review the resolution at a                       scheduled meeting and submit a statement of fiscal impact to the annual conference secretary to be                   published with the resolution in the Pre-Conference Workbook or the Supplemental Packet.
    4. Motions from the floor of annual conference that have implications for the proposed budget, once                         approved by vote of the annual conference, shall be considered as referrals to CCFA, whose comment to             the annual conference shall be required prior to the final vote on the budget.
    5. Any group or individual presenting an item for action by the Annual Conference that has implications for            pensions and health benefits, either on a continuing basis or a one-time basis, shall submit the material              two weeks prior to the normal deadline for submission to the Pre-Conference Workbook. The Annual                    Conference Secretary shall forward the item to the Conference Board of Pensions (CBOP), which will                    review the resolution at a scheduled meeting and will submit a statement of impact to the annual                          conference secretary to be published with the resolution in the Pre-Conference Workbook
        or the Supplemental Packet.
        a. Any proposal or amendment impacting Annual Conference health benefits must be accompanied by a                formal evaluation of the costs involved, certified by an independent insurance underwriter, actuary or                    other recognized expert.
        b. If the healthcare and/or health insurance environment necessitates a change in conference policy, the                Conference Board of Pensions is empowered to establish policies, plans and programs to respond to                  the current reality, or to amend policies, plans and programs currently in place in-between sessions of                  the annual conference, subject to annual conference approval at the next regularly scheduled session.
E. Election of Members to Serve on Agencies, Boards, Committees, Councils, Commissions and Ministry Teams
      1. The Annual Conference Committee on Nominations shall prepare a recommended slate of candidates to             fill the positions on various agencies, committees, boards, councils, ministry teams, and commissions                 of the annual conference.

      2. In the nomination and election of membership for all Annual Conference structures, special attention                  shall be given to inclusiveness as outlined in ¶610.5, 2016 Book of Discipline.
      3. The members of the Annual Conference shall elect persons to its various agencies, committees, boards,            councils, ministry teams, and commissions.
F. Election of Delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences:
Election of delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences shall be conducted in the following manner:
      1. All clergy members in full connection will be assigned a number for the purpose of electronic balloting                by the annual conference secretary prior to the Annual Conference Session. Clergy who submit their                    picture and a biography of not more than two hundred (200) words will be included in the material                        published and distributed by the annual conference secretary, provided the materials have been received            prior to a deadline established by the annual conference secretary.
      2. Lay persons eligible to serve as delegates may submit a biography of not more than two hundred (200)              words and a picture that will be published and distributed by the annual conference secretary, provided                that the materials are received prior to a deadline established by the annual conference secretary.
          All lay persons who submit materials shall be assigned a number by the annual conference secretary for            the purpose of electronic balloting. The names of lay persons willing to serve may also be received from           the floor of the Annual Conference session.
      3. In the case of both laity and clergy, election shall be by a majority of the votes cast in each ballot.
G. Annual Conference Displays and Sessions Information Material: Displays and distributed materials at Annual Conference shall be governed by policies developed by the Committee on Annual Conference Sessions and adopted by the Annual Conference.
H. Records (¶ 606, 2016 Book of Discipline)
      1. The Annual Conference shall maintain records of its proceedings.
      2. The Annual Conference shall publish a Journal-Yearbook and distribute copies to all members.
      3. The Standing Rules shall be printed in the Annual Conference Journal-Yearbook each year.
      4. The Annual Conference Journal-Yearbook shall contain all new or revised policy statements approved by             the Annual Conference and a reference index to previously-published policy statements.
      5. The annual conference secretary or historian, if one is elected or appointed, shall archive the Annual                     Conference’s records and materials consistent with prudent business practices.