Bethany United Methodist operates under an episcopacy (bishop). The pastor is appointed to the church by the bishop yearly and can be moved each year in July should the bishop of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church choose. Currently, our assigned pastor is Damien C Brooks.
While the pastor in a United Methodist Church may be responsible for the day-to-day operations, theology, sacraments, vision. The United Methodist Church believes in the ministry of all believers and operates under the direction of an Administrative Board, which is supported by the Lay Leader and other boards and committees. All the positions on these boards are filled by lay persons with the pastor serving ex-officio. In addition, Bethany United Methodist also has a small but talented staff of lay employees. Please click the link to meet Our Staff.
Charge/Church Conference is the highest authority within the local church. This committee which meets at least annually retains all power over the buying/selling of property, any major renovations, sets the pastor's compensation, elects the lay leadership, elects delegates to Annual Conference, approves the financial audit, approves the membership audit, reviews all inspection reports, approves all lay speakers, nominates all ministry candidates, reviews the Safe Sanctuaries (child and elder abuse prevention) policy, receives reports from all retired clergy in the charge, retains power over church mergers and sets the mission and vision of the congregation. All Professing Members of the local church have voice at Charge Conference and vote for Church Conference. Two weeks written notice and verbal notice in worship service must be given prior to a Charge Conference being held.
Most decisions are made by Boards, Committees and Teams. The following are links to our Boards and Committees and Teams. In general, Boards govern the church below the Charge Conference level, we generally only nominate people to boards who have been members for over a year and they are elected at Charge Conference. Committees are also usually elected at Charge Conference, but eligibility is immediate upon joining. Teams are not elected, members and non-members alike are welcome to come and go from teams as they feel called.
Boards: Committees: Teams:
Administrative Board (Ad Board) Missions & Outreach Traditional Worship
Trustees Congregational Life Contemporary Worship
Pastor, Staff, Parish Relations Committee Christian Education
Leadership Development (Nominations) Older Adults
Trustees are the legal representatives of the church. They are the "owners" of all church property and govern all building use and rules, though they are not allowed to prevent the pastor from performing normal duties such as conducting worship, offering the sacraments, making disciples and having private space for counseling. The Trustees also invest and monitor all endowments in the absence of an Endowment Committee created by Charge Conference. Their day-to-day responsibilities are to ensure the safety, accessibility and maintenance the church property. These are the members ofTrustees.
Pastor, Staff, Parish Relations Committee is the Human Resources Committee of the local congregation. Their job is to help the parish effectively communicate their needs to the pastor including receiving complaints, assist the pastor in communicating with the parish, ensure that the pastor is meeting all self-care requirements and to work with the pastor in the management of all staff. Additionally, PSPRC serves as a mediator between parishioners, puts forth ministry candidates to the Administrative Board, maintains all personnel records, hires and fires all staff. PSPRC works with the Trustees on the adequacy of the parsonage and makes the recommendation for pastoral compensation directly to Charge Conference. PSPRC also offers their input on behalf of the church to the bishop for pastoral appointments. This committee is made up of members of all churches under a pastoral charge. These are the members of PSPRC.
Finance Committee is responsible for all incoming contributions and accounts payable. They also make recommendations to Ad Board about financial matters, ensure that church is protected from fraud and to encourage and teach members of congregations to be excellent stewards of their money. These are the members of Finance.
Leadership Development Committee is responsible for discerning which members of the congregation would be good to serve on various boards and committees. The committee then recruits these members whether they would be willing to serve prior to nominating them at Charge Conference (or Ad Board in the case of temporary replacements). The committee also encourages laity to develop their gifts and talents through lay classes offered by the conference as well as trying to offer their own trainings to encourage spiritual growth. These are the members of Leadership Development.
Worship Committee assists the pastor in the design of worship as well as helping to select songs that help create an overarching theme for each service. While Bethany currently only offers a traditional service, upon the creation of Contemporary Worship, this committee will expand to include the praise team as well. Traditionally, United Methodists have valued the importance of music for teaching theology and the precepts of Christ and God. The selection of hymns and music is nearly as important as the sermons themselves. Together they can create a powerful worship experience that allow for God's presence to be more easily experienced. These are the members of Worship.
Christian Education is responsible for all Sunday school, Bible study, and religious education. Currently, youth and children's ministries also fall under the purview of Christian Education. Additionally, Christian Education purchases, plans, recruits for and executes Vacation Bible school. It is the goal of this committee to ensure that studies are available for all ages and persons regardless of where they are in their faith walk. It is also their goal to offer both the United Methodist perspective courses as well as a more ecumenical perspective that honors both progressive and traditional beliefs. These are the members of Christian Education.
Congregational Life is the committee that oversees fellowship events, operates Stephen Ministries, and cares for parishioners. Often there work includes a lot of event planning particularly around meals. One of the biggest events they hold each year is the Church Picnic. Equally important is the work that they do to assist the pastor with pastoral care and visitations. They also help communicate with shut-ins and non-regularly attending members in hopes of letting them be assured that not only does God still care for them, but so does their church family. These are the members ofCongregational Life.
Missions & Outreach Committee is responsible for finding ways for Bethany United Methodist to serve the world with its time, talents and gifts just as Christ commanded as well as reaching out into the community and sharing the love of Christ. Like Congregational Life, this committee is involved in a lot of event planning and was responsible for the "in God We Trust" celebration at Bethany on April 27, 2014. This committee's other major responsibility is to help use their budgeted funds to make local community and even the world a better place. This may happen through the support of missionaries, mission trips, service projects, donations, and even occasionally personal assistance. These are the members of Missions & Outreach.
Older Adult Ministries is responsible for meeting the needs of members of the congregation over seventy years of age and serving as advocates for them on boards. This ministry does not meet as a board, however keeps in touch with each other and all members in its purview via phone and personal visits. These are the members of Older Adult Ministries.
United Methodist Men (UMM) is made up of all male Professing members. Traditionally, UMM meets once a month, usually over breakfast and works to assist the Trustees, build relationships with local scout troops and orphanages, sometimes even to offer scholarships. They are meant to help offer ways for men to serve their church, community, denomination and the world. These are the officers of UMM.
United Methodist Women (UMW) is made up of all female Professing members. Traditionally, UMW meets once a month over lunch and hosts a guest speaker related to global missions. They often help raise money to support global missions, missionaries and the Christian movement. Denominationally, UMW also has a book series that read and discuss. These are the officers of UMW.Type your paragraph here.