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Fairhaven UMC Structural Organization


“For as in one body we have many members, and not all members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us… (Romans 12:4-6a, NRSV)


All congregations rely on a strong partnership between the clergy, staff and members to be vital and effective communities of faith. Fairhaven organizes our church administration and ministries through a group of Committees and Ministry Teams.


Administrative Committees:

Council on Parish Affairs (COPA): all committee and team chairs hold a seat on COPA. Together, they determine the vision and strategic direction of the church and direct the operations of the congregation.


Finance Committee: manage the financial affairs of the congregation


Staff-Parish Relations: make personnel decisions regarding the lay staff and consult with the Conference regarding clergy appointments.


Trustees: handle issues regarding the building and capital, with ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the congregation


Lay Leadership: the nominations committee, with responsibility to develop lay leadership within the church


Ministry Teams

Antiracism Team: educate and plan activities to promote antiracism

Community Action: plan and coordinate events, ministries and connections with local partners

Education: coordinate Sunday School, Intergenerational events and Vacation Bible School

Green Team: grounds beautification and care; and, environmental education

Missions and Outreach: coordinate local, national and international outreach

Technology: work with the technological infrastructure of the church

Worship Committee: consult with the pastor regarding the worship life of the church


Fairhaven is blessed with strong leaders in all of these areas. Please contact us if you would like to be a part of any of these teams or create a new ministry.



Local Churches

Local Churches are communities of followers of Jesus who strive to continue Christ's ministry today. They are the redemptive fellowships where the Word of God is preached and the sacraments are duly administered by persons divinely called, according to Jesus Christ’s own appointment. Usually, each local church (or perhaps a group of a few small churches) is in the care of an ordained member of the clergy known as a pastoral charge. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, the church exists for the maintenance of worship, the edification of believers, the outreach to the community, and the engagement in the mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ.

At least once a year, each pastoral charge holds a church conference under the leadership of the district superintendent. This body is the ultimate decision-making organization within the local church given the authority to administer the local church, elect leaders, recommend and approve candidates for ordained ministry; approve lay servants (e.g., those qualified to preach, teach and lead); and make decisions regarding the strategic direction of the church.


Districts are geographical and administrative subdivisions of an Annual Conference and usually consist of several tens of local charges under the guidance of a district superintendent. The number of districts is determined by the Annual Conference. The boundaries of the districts are determined by the bishop in consultation with the district superintendents. Fairhaven belongs to the Central Maryland District and our Superintendent is the Rev. Dawn Hand.

Annual Conference

The Annual Conference is the basic organizational unit in The United Methodist Church. An Annual Conference includes all United Methodist churches in a geographically defined area. The Baltimore-Washington conference is led by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling and contains eight districts encompassing a total of several hundred churches. The membership of the Annual Conference consists of an equal number of lay and clergy members, and at least one lay person from each pastoral charge is to be a member. Members of the Annual Conference have the right to vote on all constitutional amendments and to elect delegates  to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Members also establish the budget for the Annual Conference and vote on all matters related to the organizational life of its agencies and institutions. There are 58 annual conferences in the USA, and seven conferences overseas referred to as Central Conferences.

General Conference

The General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church and convenes once every four years. Its attendees consist of lay and clergy members from each Annual and Central conference. It can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policies and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for churchwide programs.

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