Local Church Structure
"It is primarily at the level of the charge consisting of one or more local churches that the church encounters the world. The local church is a strategic base from which Christians move out to the structures of society…Therefore, the local church is to minister to persons in the community where the church is located…to cooperate in ministry with other local churches…and to participate in the worldwide mission of the church..." (2012 Book of Discipline)
The local church is governed by the Church Council as outlined in the Book of Discipline. The Church Council envisions, plans, implements, and evaluates the mission and ministry of the church. Members of the Church Council include the lay leader, pastor, and the chairpeople of the committees representing the people of the congregation. Within the church a number of committees and ad-hoc committees may be developed and people may volunteer or be selected to oversee or participate in specific areas of worship or mission.
District and Conference Structure
Each Methodist Church or charge (may include two or more churches) is part of a District. The District is under the administrative oversight of the District Superintendent. The church reports to the district through yearly Church (or Charge) Conferences which report on mission, worship, and budgetary goals. In turn each District is assigned to one of 56 conferences each of which is overseen by a Bishop. Bridgewater UMC is a part of the New England Conference.