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Verse of the Day

1 Corinthians 15:20-22

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
Glossary of Methodist Terms
Annual Conference
The basic organizational body in The United Methodist Church. Each annual conference includes all United Methodist churches in a geographic area and consists of an equal number of clergy and lay members.
Annual Conference
A regional, organizational unit of The United Methodist Church and the yearly business meeting of that unit, both presided over by a bishop. The business session is composed of equal numbers of clergy and laity. At least one layperson from each pastoral charge is a member. There are 66 annual conference in the United States. The conference is a time to review ministry, adopt policy and resolutions, and strengthen spiritual life.
The share each annual conference or local church pays to support international, national and regional (annual conference) mission.
Apportionment Formula
A plan, defining how local churches or annual conferences will share the responsibility for an approved budget, usually based on specific factors such as previous financial performance or membership.
Baptism (Holy Baptism)
Sacramental act whereby a person is cleansed by the Holy Spirit and becomes part of the body of Christ--the church universal.
Monetary gifts to causes that carry out United Methodist mission, ministry and program.
A general superintendent of The United Methodist Church. An elder who is elected to the office of bishop is elected by a Jurisdictional or Central conference and is duly consecrated by other bishops.
Bishops' Appeal
A churchwide emergency appeal for a designated nation, continent or disaster. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) secures the agreement of the General Board of Global Ministries president and general secretary and the General Council on Ministries Advance Committee chairperson and director. Consultation follows with the General Commission on Communication. After consultation with the Council of Bishops secretary and the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) general secretary, UMCOR makes a simultaneous request to the Council of Bishops and the GCFA, according to paragraphs 811.4 and 1365 of The Book of Discipline 2000 for a Bishops' Appeal (Churchwide Emergency Appeal).
Book of Discipline (The)
A fundamental book outlining the law, doctinre, administration, organizational work, and procedures of the Methodist Church. Each General Conference amends The Book Of Discipline, and the actions of the General Conference are reflected in the quadrennial revision.
Book of Resolutions (The)
The volume containing the text of all the resolutions or pronouncements on issues approved by the General Conference and currently valid. It contains not only the resolutions and policy statements passed by yhr most recent General Conference, but also all such statements still considered to represent the position of the United Methodist Church. The text of any resolution is considered the official position of the denomination on that subject.
Book of Worship (The)
Book containing the rituals, sacrements, and orders of worship related to the United Methodist Church.
The bishop, district superintendents and, sometimes, other conference staff. The cabinet, under the bishop's leadership, is the expression of superintending leadership in and through the annual conference.
Central Conference
One of six geographic areas outside the territorial United States, each composed of annual conference as determined by the General Conference. Central Conferences have responsibilities similar to those of Jurisdictional Conferences.
Charge Conference
Basic policy-making body of the local church. It reviews the congregations minisries, endorses candidates for ministry, and sets clergy compensation.
Communion (Holy Communion)
This sacrament is often called the Lord's supper. Eucharist, from the Greek word for "thanksgiving," is another traditional name for the sacrament. It recall s the Last Supper of Jesus with the dicsciples. It celebrates and remebers God's grace and mercy in Jesus, the Resurection of Christ, and Christ's continuing presence with us.
The act by which persons baptized as infants or young children (or, because of other special circumstances, could not take the baptismal vows themselves) make their first public statement of their declaration or profesion of faith.
The principle, basic to The United Methodist Church, that all leaders and congregations are connected in a network of loyalties and commitments that support, yet supersede, local concerns.
Connectional Giving
A method of giving that involves an amount assigned to a local church, annual conference or other United Methodist body by a proper church authority to be raised as its share of church funds. The General Conference establishes budgets for various general funds of the denomination. These are divided on the basis of a specific formula to each annual conference. Each annual conference, using its own approved formula, divides these fund requests, along with conference administrative and benevolence fund requests, to local churches.
The fundamental constituting and legal document of The United Methodist Church. The Constitution was approved as part of the Plan of Union for the merger of The Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church in 1968. It establishes the basic outline for the organization of the denomination as well as establishing the office and role of the bishop. The Constitution establishes the Judicial Council as the body to rule on matters of church law as passed by the General Conference. A two-thirds majority of the General Conference and a two-thirds affirmative vote of the aggregate number of members of all annual conferences may only amend the Constitution. The Constitution is printed in The Book of Discipline.
Council of Bishops
All active and retired bishops of The United Methodist Church. The council meets twice a year. According to The Book of Discipline 2000, "The Council of Bishops is…the collegial expression of episcopal leadership in the Church and through the Church into the world. The Church expects the Council of Bishops to speak to the Church and from the Church to the world, and to give leadership in the quest for Christian unity and interreligious relationships."
An ordained clergyperson who is called to serve all people, particularly the poor, the sick, and the oppressed, and to equip and lead the laity in ministries of compassion, justice and service in the world. In this capacity, he or she leads the church in relating the gathered community to their ministries in the world, thus connecting the church’s worship with its service in the world. A deacon has the authority to teach and proclaim God's Word, to lead in worship, to assist elders in the administration of the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, to perform the marriage ceremony where the laws of the state permit, and to bury the dead.
Designated gift
A contribution for a specific purpose or project selected by the giver. The Advance for Christ and His Church and World Service Special Gifts are two avenues of designated giving in The United Methodist Church.
A regional group of churches or charges, supervised by a district superintendent.
District superintendent
An ordained elder appointed by the bishop to administer the work of the church within a particular geographic area.
A person ordained to a lifetime ministry of service, word, sacrament and order. He or she is authorized to preach and teach God’s word, to administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and to order the life of the church for mission and ministry.
An office within United Methodist organization whereby bishops serve as general superintendents and exercise certain authority within the denomination. In The United Methodist Church, this authority is constitutional, but subject to definition by the General Conference.
Episcopal Fund
Apportioned fund used for salaries, pensions, office operations, official travel and other expenses of the bishops.
Episcopal area
The annual conference or conferences to which a bishop is assigned by the Jurisdictional or Central conference. The bishop lives within the bounds of the episcopal area and presides over the work of one or more annual conferences.
General Administration Fund
Apportioned fund that supports general agencies whose work is administrative in nature, the cost of General Conference and other items essential to the operation of The United Methodist Church.
General Conference
The highest legislative body in The United Methodist Church. The voting membership consists of an equal number of clergy and lay delegates elected by the annual conferences. General Conference convenes every quadrennium (four years) to determine the denomination's future direction. It is the only body that can speak officially for the denomination.
General agency
A term used generically to refer to any council, board, commission, committee or other unit established to carry out denominational work. General agencies are accountable to the General Conference.
General benevolence funds
Funds approved by the General Conference for mission around the world through persons, agencies and institutions; e.g. World Service Fund.
General board
At the general level of the denomination, a continuing body created by the General Conference to carry out certain functions of program, administration and service. Four general boards are related to program: Church and Society, Discipleship, Global Ministries, and Higher Education and Ministry. Two general boards perform service functions: Pension and Health Benefits, and Publication. The chief staff officer of a general board is a general secretary.
General commission
At the general level of the denomination, a continuing body created by the General Conference to accomplish a specific task. Occasionally, the General Conference will establish study commissions for a limited period of time to prepare reports and recommendations for consideration by the General Conference. It also established six permanent general commissions: Archives and History, Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, Communication, Religion and Race, Status and Role of Women, and United Methodist Men. The chief staff officer of a permanent commission is a general secretary.
General council
A continuing body created by the General Conference or established by the Constitution charged with review or responsibility over an aspect of the life and work of The United Methodist Church. The two councils established by the Constitution are the Council of Bishops and the Judicial Council. The two established by the General Conference are the General Council on Finance and Administration and the General Council on Ministries.
General funds
Funds approved by the General Conference to support various aspects of denominational work. Some funds are apportioned while others, such as churchwide Special Sundays with offerings, the Advance for Christ and His Church and World Service Special Gifts, are not.
Between, among, shared by, or involving different religious denominations.
Interdenominational Cooperation Fund
Apportioned fund that supports United Methodist participation in the World and National councils of churches, Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) and the World Methodist Council. It also pays the travel expenses of United Methodist delegates to those bodies.
The official program magazine of The United Methodist Church.
Judicial Council
Nine persons elected by General Conference who rule on questions of constitutionality in church law and practice.
The five geographic areas in the United States, each composed of several annual conferences as determined by the General Conference: North Central, Northeastern, South Central, Southeastern and Western.
Jurisdictional Conference
The quadrennial meeting of clergy and lay delegates from the annual conferences within the boundaries of one of five U.S. jurisdictions: North Central, Northeastern, South Central, Southeastern and Western. Jurisdictional Conferences convene every four years.
From laos, meaning "people of God," and used to describe members of a congregation or parish.
Local church
A congregation of persons who have joined together as Christians and as United Methodists to carry forward the message of Christ and to witness to and serve the world. It is the fellowship of persons who have professed their belief in Christ, have been baptized and have taken the vows of membership of The United Methodist Church. Congregations are organized and chartered by annual conferences.
Local pastor
A licensed pastor, annually approved by the district committee on ordained ministry, who is authorized to perform all duties of an ordained minister, including the sacraments, while assigned to a particular charge under the supervision of a district superintendent. A clergy mentor oversees the local pastor's work in the course of study for ordained ministry and advises on matters of pastoral responsibility.
Ministerial Education Fund
Apportioned fund that provides educational support for ordained elders, ordained deacons and diaconal ministers of the church through funding for theological schools, recruitment, professional development and continuing education.
(a) A layperson or representative minister who, upon offer of service in response to a commitment to mission and on recommendation, is commissioned by the General Board of Global Ministries and assigned to fulfill a task with colleagues in the church or related institutions in the United States or in other parts of the world.
(b) An ordained or consecrated minister or layperson from the Christian community outside the United States, resident and participating in the mission of an annual conference by invitation of that conference in consultation with the General Board of Global Ministries.
Missionary Conference
A conference that has particular missionary opportunities, limited membership and resources, unique leadership requirements, strategic regional or language considerations, and ministerial needs. The United States includes three missionary conferences: Alaska Missionary, Oklahoma Indian Missionary and Red Bird Missionary conferences.
{C}National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
Founded in 1950, the NCC is the preeminent expression of the movement for Christian unity in the United States. It includes Protestant and Orthodox member communions.
Petition (to General Conference)
Any organizational representative, ordained minister or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition a formal writing or document embodying a request to the General Conference by following the guidelines in The Discipline.
The official four-year period beginning January 1 following each General Conference, during which The United Methodist Church implements General Conference legislation.
Regional Emergency Appeal
A United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Regional Emergency Appeal is generally understood to be for a regionalized (including USA domestic) need. UMCOR initiates a Regional Emergency Appeal after securing the agreement of the General Board of Global Ministries president and general secretary, the General Council on Ministries Advance Committee chairperson and director, and the General Council on Finance and Administration general treasurer.
Something consecrated or Holy. Traditionally, a Christian ordinance manifesting an inward, spiritual grace by an outward, visible sign or symbol. United Methodists recognize two scaraments: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.
The devout investment or use of money, time and ability. In biblical times, a steward supervised a household or an estate. Today, as God's children, we deem God the source of all we have, seek to hold it in trust for God and desire to be "good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1 Peter 4:10a)
The Book of Discipline
A fundamental book outlining the law, doctrine, administration, organizational work and procedures of The United Methodist Church. Each General Conference amends The Book of Discipline, and the actions of the General Conference are reflected in the quadrennial revision. Often referred to as The Discipline.
A biblical standard, usually one-tenth of one's annual income, paid as a contribution to support a church and its clergy.
World Council of Churches
Founded in 1948, the WCC is "a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ and God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfill together this common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit." (WCC Mission Statement)
World Methodist Council
The World Methodist Council (WMC) connects churches in the Wesleyan tradition by listening to and learning from one another and finding mutual support and ways to engage in united witness. The WMC endeavors to strengthen international ties, promote understanding, clarify theological and moral standards and identify priorities for the Methodist movement.
World Service Fund
The primary source of support for ministry through the general agencies. The World Service apportionment allows United Methodists to participate in God's global mission. Basic to the financial program of The United Methodist Church, it represents the minimum needs of the church's general agencies.
World Service and Conference Benevolences
An annual conference's share of the total World Service Fund and its approved annual conference benevolences.
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