by Kelley Fenelon
We must also attend to the race and ethnicity of district superintendents if we hope to gain an understanding of representation among their ranks and ensure that we do not perpetuate discriminatory attitudes in their appointment. These data show that our church leadership remains largely white: 79% white, in fact.
Bishops serve in our church’s highest leadership role, providing spiritual and institutional guidance both within their Annual Conference and across the connection. Given bishops’ importance to the well-being and direction of the church, it seems important that a diversity of perspectives and experiences be represented among them.
by Amanda Mountain & Rev. Leigh Goodrich
A total of 865 delegates were elected to the 2016 General Conference, the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. This group of 505 US Delegates and 360 Central Conference delegates will meet from May 10-20th in Portland, Oregon to revise or adopt church laws and approve plans and budgets for church-wide programs. It is legislated by the 2008 Book of Discipline that half of the delegates be laity and half clergy, and that the number of delegates representing each jurisdiction and each annual conference be proportional to the jurisdiction and annual conference’s membership. For the next three months, Women by the Numbers will be taking a closer look at who will be at this decision-making table in May, especially regarding the representation of women at General Conference. This month we will provide a general overview of the delegates based on US and Central Conference membership, notably, the numbers of lay and clergy delegates and the numbers of male and female clergy and lay delegates.
To close out 2015 we have chosen to let the numbers tell the story. The statistics contain a powerful message.