Policies of The Free Methodist World Conference

 

INDEX

Books of Discipline........................................................ 2 

Accuracy, Compliance, Filing............................... 2

Outside review of Book of Discipline changes..........2

 

Crisis Need Assessment and Response Protocol.............3

Complaints  .................................................................. 3

  • Process and Criteria for Accepting Requests or Complaints Submitted to the World Conference Executive Committee

Nominating Committee Procedures.......................... 4

Provisional General Conferences...............................5

·        WCEC Representation at Inauguration of a Provisional General Conference..... 5

·         Referenda Voting for Provisional General Conferences................... 5

Scholarships................................................ 5

  • International Scholarship Program of the Free Methodist World Conference..... 5

Books of Discipline

Accuracy, Compliance, Filing

Paragraph 230.3 of the Common Constitution mandates that the World Conference be responsible to ensure that the Common Constitution of the Free Methodist Church (Chapters 1 and 2 of the Book of Discipline) is kept consistent in meaning regardless of language.

To assure accuracy and compliance among all Free Methodist Books of Discipline the World Conference Executive Committee will identify people knowledgeable in both the appropriate language and Free Methodist Church theology and polity to review new versions of general conferences’ Books of Discipline. They will be asked to attest that in the Book of Discipline under review, the sections for the Common Constitution fairly represent the principles of the Free Methodist Church. The Executive Committee will keep a record of these actions.               

Copies of Books of Discipline for Free Methodist General Conferences will be kept at the Marston Memorial Historical Center, Free Methodist World Ministry Center, 770 North High School Road, PO Box 535002, Indianapolis, Indiana USA 46253-5002.  (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

Outside review of Book of Discipline changes

To ensure that the Common Constitution sections (chapters one and two) fairly represent the principles of the Free Methodist Church, the sponsoring general conferences shall attest for the accuracy of the contents of the first edition of a new general conference’s Book of Discipline.  

Subsequent editions of Books of Discipline shall be reviewed by the Area Fellowship.  The World Conference Executive Committee who will keep a record of reviews including the reviewer(s) and the date of review. (Approved - WCEC – Butuan City, The Philippines, October 6, 7, 2009)

 

Crisis Need Assessment and Response Protocol

 

A communication and response procedure is to be followed through the Council of Bishops so that crisis needs can be quickly communicated around the world.  Whenever there is a critical need (spiritual, financial, human resource) requiring a partnership response from other General Conferences, this need will be communicated to all bishops with a request for a response.

It is agreed that all will respond so that every General Conference helps with prayer, financial aid and/or personnel assistance, as each is able.  From their involvement with each other in the Council of Bishops, the bishops will know each other and understand the strength of their partnership relationship.

For this to work well, everyone understands that a “crisis need” is defined as one that goes beyond the control of a General Conference’s ability to cope. Subsidization of normal operations does not qualify for this kind of action. Every general conference is encouraged to develop a crisis resolution system to meet unexpected crises within their general conference, and beyond to other general conferences. 

The decision to communicate a crisis need and the dissemination of information about the crisis need shall be made by the president of the Council of Bishops in consultation with the Executive of the Council of Bishops. (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

 

COMPLAINTS

 

The Process and Criteria for Accepting Requests or Complaints Submitted to the World Conference Executive Committee

 

1. Process for Receiving Requests or Complaints

 

a.       Complaints and other requests for consideration by the World Conference Executive Committee that come from individuals or organizations other than General Conferences shall be directed to the Secretary-Treasurer for the record.

b.      The Secretary-Treasurer will, by letter, acknowledge receipt of the complaint or request and ask that items a, b, and c of the assessment criteria (Section 2, below) be answered. The Secretary-Treasurer will indicate that, when these are answered satisfactorily, the Executive Committee will evaluate the request or complaint at an appropriate meeting and determine, at its discretion, if it should be considered.

c.       A copy of the acknowledgment and the incoming letter will be sent to the President of the World Conference. Copies of any other correspondence the Secretary-Treasurer receives relating to the request or complaint also will be forwarded to the President.

d.      After consideration by the World Conference Executive Committee, the Secretary- Treasurer will, through the bishop, inform the Board of Administration of the General Conference in question (see ¶230.7.1 in the Constitution) and respond with a brief summary of the action taken to the person(s) who has made a request or complaint.

 

2.      Criteria for Assessing Requests or Complaints Submitted

 

a.       Has the correspondent pursued the issue through all appropriate channels within his own General Conference?

b.      Is the leadership of the General Conference in question aware that the request or complaint is being submitted to the World Conference Executive Committee?

c.       What is the response of the leadership of the General Conference regarding the request or complaint being made?

d.      If this is a constitutional issue, what sections of the Constitution speak to the request or complaint being raised?

e.       Have previous World Conference bodies (World Conference Executive Committees, World Conference itself) or their predecessors (World Fellowship, Constitutional Council) studied and ruled on the request or complaint previously? If so, has the situation changed sufficiently and/or has new information become available since the most recent review to warrant reopening this question?

(Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

 

NOMINATING COMMITTEE PROCEDURES

 

  1. The delegates of the General Conferences of each Area Fellowship will meet in a caucus convened by the Area Fellowship President to elect a representative and a reserve representative to the Nominating Committee from its Area Fellowship. 
  2. In advance of the meeting of the World Conference, the World Conference Executive Committee will draft a slate of nominees for the Executive Committees of the World Conference and the Council of Bishops to submit it to the Nominating Committee. 
  3. A Nominating Committee Facilitator appointed by the Executive Committee will convene and facilitate the work of the Nominating Committee.  The Facilitator may not be nominated for any position.
  4. The Nominating Committee will review the draft slate of nominees and after discussion may adjust the slate of officers.
  5. If the Nominating Committee wishes to nominate a member of the Nominating Committee for election as an officer of the World Conference Executive Committee or of the Council of Bishops, that member must resign immediately and be replaced by the reserve representative from the member’s Area Fellowship.
  6. If the Nominating Committee wishes to nominate individuals who are not present, it must ensure that they agree to serve before presenting them as nominees.

(Approved - WCEC – Butuan City, The Philippines, October 6, 7, 2009)

 

 

PROVISIONAL GENERAL CONFERENCES

 

WCEC Representation at the Inauguration of a Provisional General Conference

 

When possible, a member of the World Conference Executive will be sent to the inauguration of a Provisional General Conference to represent the Free Methodist World Conference and to warmly welcome the new Provisional General Conference into the international fellowship of the Free Methodist World Conference. (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

Clarification of Referenda Voting for Provisional General Conferences

The Common Constitution calls for a Provisional General Conference to be directly accountable to its sponsoring General Conference and indirectly related to the World Conference through its sponsoring General Conference.

 

Since the vote count of delegates from any General Conference may include delegates from sponsored annual and provisional general conferences, the total membership of a General Conference will include the members of the annual conferences, provisional general conferences and mission districts it sponsors.  This combined membership will be included in the weighting of the sponsoring General Conference delegate votes per Par. 230.2.1 of the Common Constitution. 

(Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

 

SCHOLARSHIPS

 

The International Scholarship Program of the Free Methodist World Conference

 

Purpose and Scope

The International Scholarship Program’s purpose is to assist the development of well-trained church leaders for the Free Methodist Church in the developing nations and mission areas of the world. It is administered by the World Conference Executive Committee. The program provides financial assistance to promising ministerial leaders for graduate-level education in Bible, theology, Christian education and leadership. In special circumstances, with the approval of the Executive Committee, awards may be made for undergraduate training in these areas. 

 

Role of the Area Fellowship

The Area Fellowships of Asia, Europe, East/Central Africa, North and South Latin America, Southern Africa, and West Africa identify and recommend individuals for financial assistance. The North America Area Fellowship is not eligible for the International Scholarship Program.

Each Area Fellowship shall have a Scholarship Committee, composed of the Area Fellowship executive committee, Area Bishop(s), and the Area Director. This committee will identify potential recipients of support, collect and review applications and select the individual(s) from their area to receive financial assistance.

The Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee shall provide to the Secretary–Treasurer of the World Conference Executive Committee the name of the recipient, the name and location of the school to which the recipient will be attending and a brief description of the study plans the student has chosen. This information is often useful when making application for grants from foundations and other donors.

Awards

The International Scholarship budget will be based on a total amount set each year by the World Conference Executive Committee. In general it will come from income received the previous calendar year but every attempt will be made to keep annual amounts level or increasing to assist in supporting students in multi-year programs.

The numbers of ministerial candidates and ordained ministers in the General Conferences of some Area Fellowships are much larger than others. Therefore, the total amount determined by the World Conference Executive Committee will be allocated among the Area Fellowships, excluding the North America Area Fellowship, according to the following plan:

a.       The total amount to be distributed will be divided by 9 equal shares.

b.      Shares will be distributed to the Area Fellowships as follows:  Asia (2), East/Central Africa (2), Europe (1), Latin America (2), Southern Africa (1), West Africa (1).

Awards are made on an annual basis only. It is expected that multi-year awards may be needed for extended periods of study but no promise can be made that funds will be available for any subsequent year. Multi-year awards must be confirmed each year by recommendations by the sponsoring Area Fellowship.

Area Fellowships may use all or part of their annual allotment in any year and may distribute it to one or more recipients as they choose. If more than one person is to receive funds, the Area Fellowship must identify the amounts to be awarded to each person. If an Area Fellowship does not use all its allotment in one year the World Conference Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the balance in reserve for up to the third year. After that period, unused allotments will be returned to the overall scholarship fund for distribution among all Area Fellowships in later years.

 

Recipients

Recipients of the scholarships are expected to receive their education within their own country or region. The World Conference Executive Committee must approve deviations from this.

 

Recipients are expected to report their progress annually to the Secretary–Treasurer of the World Conference Executive Committee. This should include a summary of the course of study followed, progress toward study-plan goals and any plans for succeeding work.

Individuals receiving assistance through the International Scholarship Program must be members of the Free Methodist Church. As a condition of the award of a scholarship or other assistance, the candidate must commit himself or herself to serve in a position proposed by the conference of the student’s origin and approved by the Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee for a period of time equal to the period for which financial assistance was received. Acceptance of financial aid from the program constitutes an agreement to repay the amount of the scholarship or other assistance to the Free Methodist World Conference if this service agreement is not fulfilled.

Funds

Funds may be awarded at any time in a calendar year. The World Conference Executive Committee will determine the amount to be allotted to each Area Fellowship by March 1 of any year. Funds will be available to recipients within thirty days of the allotments being announced.

 

Funds will not be released until the Secretary-Treasurer of the Executive Committee receives a paper or electronic directive from the chairperson of the Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee. Preferably this will include a copy of the minutes of an Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee recommending grants for specific students.

If at all possible, funds should be dispersed directly to the school attended by the scholarship recipient. When this is not practical, the scholarship grant will be sent to the sponsoring general conference to administer funds. As a last resort, funds may be sent directly to the student but the sponsoring general conference is expected to be accountable for the use of the funds.  (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)