A Call to Diversify nominations and elections

serro calls on Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church to voluntarily and proactively diversify those nominated and elected as members or delegates to denominational legislative and governing bodies.

The need is clear.

For example, a 2008 breakdown of jurisdictional pools by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) found that, while the comparison of clergy vs laity were relatively even, a look at racial-ethnic women, either clergy or laity, comprised just 17% of the jurisdictional pool. In fact, “one notable exception [was] the Western Jurisdiction, which [had] only one African-American clergywoman in the jurisdictional pool.”

But, it’s not just about representation of people – it’s also about what perspectives and visions of the future of the United Methodist Church are considered legitimate and worthy of attention.

Equity, as a matter of course, requires a multi-factorial way of ordering the life of the church.

Therefore, we suggest the following ways as a starting point for framing the process of nominations and elections in Annual Conferences:

  • Population: Be concrete in representation with numbers such as, “no more than 3 persons of the same racial-ethnic group,” in a delegation
  • Terms: Seek new persons for leadership by considering the number of times a person has been elected and has served before
  • Perspectives: Provide ample time and space for surfacing the nominated’s perspective and vision for the future of the United Methodist Church (including, but not exclusive to, socio-theological matters)
  • Education: Partner with caucuses and commissions to provide education on parliamentary and legislative processes

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