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What is the organizational structure of a United Methodist Church?

You may notice other denominations that have the word "Methodist" in their title, but St. Paul's belongs to the United Methodist type of Methodism! You can tell a lot about the values of an organization based on how it is structured. We are a part of the Christian religion, and all United Methodist churches together form what is called a denomination. Our denomination is sort of arranged like the United States of America - there are local churches that together make up a larger body, sort of like how towns are in a county. Then those larger bodies form yet another level of organization, like counties form a state. And so on from there. At each level there are representatives from the smaller levels that talk and pray and listen to each other to make decisions.The largest body, the General Conference, has representatives from all over the world, and meets every four years. The delegates to General Conference are both ordained ministers and regular church members. The United Methodist denomination has some good resources here if you want to read more. 

At St. Paul's, our minister and our committees work together to help our church be strong and healthy. Once a month, representatives from each committee, plus some members-at-large, staff members, and our clergy meet together at Church Council to conduct business of the church. Minutes from this committee are available to any church member of St. Paul's; just ask the church office!

Once a year we have a "Charge Conference" at St. Paul's in which we look at an overview of how our congregation is doing. Church members are asked to vote at the Charge Conference on the minister's salary. And once a year we send a delegation to "Annual Conference" to represent St. Paul's at the larger body. 

In the United Methodist system, everyone can have a voice, everyone can take responsibility for the health of our church, everyone is welcome to information that the committees have, and everyone can use their gifts to bless our "church family."