Church Organization

How are we organized?

The local Church is essentially run by a Church Council and leaders who are all lay members (i.e. not clergy). The pastor is a spiritual leader, adviser and guide. The Church Council includes administration (Staff-Parish Relations Committee, Board of Trustees, Communications, Lay Leadership Development and Nominations Committee and the Finance Committee), worship, (Worship, Music, Christian Education, Congregational Care, UM Men and Women, Youth, Children and Adult Ministries), and outreach and Witness.

The United Methodist Church is a connectional Church, connected to UM churches all over the world and the leaders (lay and clergy) meet in groups called Conferences. General Conference meets every four years and is the official decision-making body of the church. Only General Conference can speak for the UMC. The United States is divided into five Jurisdictional Conferences. Mt. Zion is in the Northeast Jurisdiction. The jurisdictions are divided into Annual Conferences and we are in the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference. Our Conference is divided into eight districts and we are in the Washington East District. The Bishop appointed to our Annual Conference is Bishop Marcus Matthews and our District Superintendent is Rev. Rebecca Iannicelli.

Where does the Pa​​​​​​​​​​stor come from?

The Bishop and Cabinet (made up of the District Superintendents and the Conference Lay Leader) consult annually with the clergy and the Staff/Parish Relations Committee concerning clergy appointments. Hours of prayer and spiritual discernment go into every appointment. Ultimately, the Bishop makes all appointments.

There are two types of ordained clergy: elders and deacons.

Elders preach, order the life of the church, and administer the sacraments. Elders are itinerant, which means they are appointed by the Bishop to a local church. Rev. Ann Strickler is the appointed elder of Mt. Zion.

Deacons are ordained to preach and serve. Deacons usually have a specialized ministry and do not itinerate but seek their own jobs to which they are then appointed when approved by the Bishop.