METHODIST CHURCH IN THE CARIBBEAN
AND THE AMERICAS
The MCCA was legally established in 1967 by a Deed of Church Order as an autonomous body of Christian believers. Its headquarters are located in Antigua, where Methodism first began in the Caribbean.
The Deed of Church Order sets out the Church’s:
Constitution and Discipline
Membership and Ministry
Holding and Management of Property and Funds
Appointment and Functions of officers, committees, etc
Standing Orders to regulate its affairs
The 8 Districts of the MCCA
Leeward Islands District
South Caribbean District
The Connexional Conference
The Connexional Conference is the governing body of the MCCA with full legislative powers. It is made up of 22 ministerial representatives and 22 lay representatives from the 8 Districts of the Connexion. The Connexional Conference has no administrative authority over the District Conferences who regulate their own affairs within the District as mandated by the constitution.The Conference meets once every three years and is administered by a Connexional President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.
The Connexional Council
The Connexional Council is the Executive Body of the Connexional Conference and administers the affairs of the Conference between its triennial meetings. The Council meets twice per year. It comprises of the 4 Connexional Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer), 8 District Presidents, 8 District Lay Representatives, the immediate past Vice-President, and the Secretary of the Commission on Ministry.
The District Conference
The District Conference is the governing body of the District and is made up of all Presbyters and Deacons in the District, all Circuit Stewards and equal numbers of Lay Representatives from each Circuit to match the number of Presbyters. The Conference is divided into two parts: a Ministerial Session attended only by Presbyters and Deacons, and a Representative Session attended by both Ministerial and Lay Representatives. With the option to meet triennially, the District Conference can meet every year or every three years and is administered by a District President, Secretary and Treasurer.
The Standing Committees
The Standing Committees of the District Conference provide reports to the Representative Session of the Conference on the work of Circuit and District organizations, groups and committees over the previous year and highlight recommendations from the subcommittees. They are:
The General Purposes Committee
The General Purposes Committee is the Executive Body of the District Conference and administers the affairs of the Conference in between annual meetings.
The Resources and Development Committee
The Resources and Development Committee reports to and advises the Conference on financial, budgetary, property and investment matters.
The Mission Evangelism and Church Growth Committee
The Mission Evangelism and Church Growth Committee reports to and advises the conference on membership, arrangement of Circuits, chaplaincies, evangelism, Christian social witness, stewardship, faith and order, ecumenical relations, preachers’ affairs, family life, health care etc.
The Christian Education Committee
The Christian Education Committee reports to and advises the Conference on the work among children, youth, young adults, men, women, in church school, groups and organizations. This Committee also reports on Training of Class Leaders, Communication and Information.
The General Education Committee
The General Education Committee reports on various issues in Methodist schools including chaplaincies, Boards of Management, religious education, curricula, discipline, finance, property etc. In addition to the Standing Committees there are other committees such as the Nominations Committee, the Stationing Committee and the Ministerial Training Committee.
Each District is divided into Circuits. The Circuit Meeting is the governing body of the Circuit and meets once per year for “fellowship, education, consultation, information and inspiration.” Each Circuit is under the general oversight of a Superintendent Presbyter. The Circuit Steward is the chief Lay Executive Officer and Treasurer of the Circuit funds. The Circuit Meeting receives reports and discusses the general state of the Work of God in the Circuit.
The Circuit Council is the Executive and coordinating body in the Circuit. It exercises general oversight of the spiritual, numerical and financial condition of the Congregations in the Circuit and all organizations and institutions connected with them. It meets at least twice per year.
The Circuit is further divided into Congregations. The Congregational Meeting is a meeting of all the confirmed members of the congregation and is held at least once per year. It receives reports, elects representatives, and appoints Stewards, Class Leaders and other Officers.
The Congregational Council is the Executive and coordinating body of the Congregation. It meets twice per year, prior to the corresponding Circuit Council meetings. It prepares the Congregation’s annual programme as approved by the Congregational Meeting and Circuit Council.
Connexional President – Bishop Everald L. Galbriath
Vice President – Sis. Yonette Greaves
Connexional Secretary – Rev’d. Jacqueline Liddell (w.e.f. 1st September)
Treasurer of Connexional Funds – Sis. Muriel Peggy Smith
The Cross Crosslet
This is made up of four Latin crosses on a common base pointing North, South, East and West. This indicates that the mission of the Church is in all directions. The World is the field.
The Shield - per pale, per chevron in its divisions – bears the ancestral shield of Methodism on the top right with the top left in sky blue (bleu celeste) which is a blend of the white (argent) and the blue (azure) of the other sections.
There is a sun with the circle of eternity enclosing the IHS indicating that Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness reflected in Malachi 4:2 (cf. also Wesley’s hymns 63 and 495 VIP). Our territories are the Lands in the Sun. HE is risen upon us.
The Wesley or Methodist Shield
This part, with its scallop shells of Pilgrimage, holds our ‘ancestry’. We are of the Methodist family.
The Fisherman’s Boat
The boat is the symbol of the Church, which sails even on the troubled seas. This is appropriate for our area where there is so much sea and the ‘fishers of men’ must sail on the mission of the Church.
The Motto on the Scroll
Our Motto - ‘THE LOVE OF CHRIST CONSTRAINS US’ (2 Corinthians 5:14) – indicates our motivation and power. The text is centered in the Conference Hymn written by the Rev. H. B. Sherlock, 0.B.E.