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[NOTE.—The questions followed by figures are to be asked only at the Quarterly Conference indicated by the numbers.]
58. Ques. What directions are give en concerning Church Conferences ?
Ans. 1. All the members of the Church, and resident members of the Annual Conference, shall come together once a month, or on circuits at least every three months, at every appointment, to hold a Church Conference, over which the preacher in charge shall preside. It may be held at any time most convenient for assembling the greatest number of members; but if on the Sabbath, it should not interfere with the morning public worship.
Ans. 2. A secretary shall be elected annually, at the first meeting after the
session of the Annual Conference. He shall make a record of the proceedings, and shall keep in a book, and return to the Quarterly Conference, all the statistics which the Discipline requires to be reported to an Annual Conference. He shall enter in chronological order, in a permanent register, the full names of all who shall join the Church, with the time and manner of the reception and disposal of each, distinguishing between local elders, deacons, and preachers, white persons, colored persons, and Indians; and shall make a permanent record of all the baptisms and marriages within the congregation; and shall furnish the pastor with an alphabetical roll of the Church.
Ans. 3. The roll of members shall be called at every meeting, unless otherwise ordered, and the Conference may strike off the names of any who, on account of removal or other cause, have been lost sight of for twelve months: provided, however, that if such member appear and claim membership, he may be restored by a vote of the meeting.
Ans. 4. The following is suggested as the general order of business:
I. Receive reports
1st. From the preachers, of their labors since the last meeting.
2d. From the class-leaders.
4th. From the steward or stewards of that Church.
II. The Conference shall inquire
1st. What is doing for the relief of the poor
of the Church ? 2d. Is the Church here doing its duty for the cause of Missions and other Church enterprises, and for the collections ordered by the Annual Con. ference?
3d. Is our religious literature circulated and read ?
4th. Can the Church extend its work by establishing additional prayer-meetings, Sunday-schools, or in any other way?
5th. Can any thing more be done to strengthen and build up the Church in the community, and to advance the cause of Christ?
Ans. 5. If the observance of this order of business is likely to protract the session beyond a reasonable limit, the president may, from time to time, select the most important matters and bring them forward.
Ans. 6. Let the Church Conference be opened and closed with religious service, and conducted in a devout and prayerful spirit.
Ans. 7. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Church Conference