Trinity Guide Team
October 22, 2020
An Overview of the Trinity Leadership Structure by Senior Pastor Daphne Johnson
I have had a lot of questions from folks on how our Single Board administration of the church works. When I have received those questions I have given information but have also said that soon I would write a letter in The Link to get everyone up to date. Today is that day. So, if you have been a United Methodist for any length of time you probably already know that we work within a democratic process. The members of a church are the decision makers. Yes, your membership is important. The membership of the church, as a whole of course, cannot easily make day to day decisions. Therefore the membership elects leadership. Those leaders, through the direction of the church membership, make the decisions for the day to day running of the church for a year at a time. There are certain large decisions that even in the middle of a year would come back to the membership but most of the time the elected leadership handles the administrative work of the church. So, now you may be wondering, well then, how does all of this take place?
Typically every year a Nominations and Lay Development Team comes together and through prayer and discernment they contact persons who they feel would best fill open positions. We want these persons to be persons who have a close relationship with God, who serve in the ministries of the church and who have proven common sense, wisdom, discernment and or trained skills in different areas. These names are then brought before a Church Conference where they are then discussed and elected. A Church Conference is a meeting (usually annual) where the members of the church are invited to come and exercise their right to vote on issues involving the church. Our Book of Discipline also allows for a Charge Conference to take the place of a Church Conference when this is needed. A Charge Conference is a meeting of the elected leaders. This year we did not hold a Church Conference. Our Florida Conference and our District encouraged Charge Conferences to keep down the risk of Covid-19 exposure that could happen by meeting in large groups.
Up until almost two years ago Trinity ran the Church through the traditional committees which would have been a Church Council or Administrative Board, the Finance Committee, the Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee and the Board of Trustees. Of course then there were many ministry teams as well. Those ministry teams still exist but the church moved over to what is called a Single Board which allows decisions to be made more quickly. In order to move to this form of administration you had to have a Church Conference where you voted on this decision. Trinity’s single board is called the Guide Team. Each single board must be run in such a way that it still follows all Book of Discipline requirements. Each single board must also have Guiding Principles or directions on how the church, that is the membership, wants the board to run. These must first be approved by the District Superintendent and then they are also to be approved by the Church Conference and abided by throughout the year. There are times in which all rules need to be tweaked and so the Guiding Principles may be looked at during different annual Church Conferences to make needed changes.
Our Guiding Principles have just been approved by the District Superintendent and our Charge Conference this past week. Good communication and transparency are always important traits that any faith community should use and so we wanted to let you know these Guiding Principles exist and what they are. They will be attached to this newsletter. If you have any questions on how this newer way of administering church works please feel free to ask.
Also, United Methodist Meetings are open meetings so you may attend a meeting if you wish. Our Guide Team meets every third Thursday of the month at 6:00 pm and at other times as needed. Meetings are closed when discussing staff issues due to privacy. You are welcome to attend as an onlooker at any time, without voice or vote, but if you wish to speak or, in some way, address the Team you must contact the Chairperson of the Guide Team. Minutes are kept of all meetings. Those minutes are always available to any member who would like to see them. Minutes will be available after they are corrected and accepted in the following meeting. Remember your leadership is here to serve you and more importantly we are here to help all of us reach out into this community and the world serving God’s children.
I want to thank all of you for supporting Trinity UMC with your membership, with your gifts, with your presence in worship and in ministry, with your prayers and your witness. It is through the body of Christ that we continue to do the work Jesus has given us to do.
Rev. Daphne