The Council of Bishops (COB)
The Connectional Table (CT) works in consultation with the Council of Bishops (COB), a body comprised of all active and retired bishops of The United Methodist Church.
The collaboration between the CT and the COB is cemented by the COB's appointment of the CT's chair. As well, the ecumenical officer of the COB serves on the Connectional Table. The CT continues to enhance its partnership with the COB by joining representatives from the United Methodist Foundations and the agencies in a new Missional Strategy Team directed by the Council. That team will be tasked with fostering innovation and developing processes for determining new missional direction and strategy.
The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters
The Connectional Table works closely with the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters as it seeks to develop the General Book of Discipline. The Standing Committee also partners with Faith and Order and the Ministry Study Committee in this work to determine which parts of the Book of Discipline truly apply around the globe. Specifically, the CT is working with the Standing Committee on Chapter 5, "Administrative Order," which addresses the connectionalism that binds United Methodists around the world. In the 2016 quadrennium, this partnership was enhanced by the appointment of the Standing Committee's chair as vice chair of the Connectional Table.
The Agencies, Boards and Commissions
The General Secretaries of each of the program-related general boards, agencies and commissions, as well as the general secretaries of United Methodist Women, Wespath, and the General Council on Finance and Administration and the president and publisher of the United Methodist Publishing House are members of the Connectional Table with voice but no vote. The presidents of the boards and agencies serve on the CT and have vote. The CT also works closely with the General Secretaries Table, a body comprised of all of the general secretaries, to ensure a collaborative relationship around issues of effectiveness and budget.
The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA)
The CT works closely with GCFA in setting the quadrennial budget and in making allocations to various apportioned funds. CT and GCFA members serve on the collaborative Budget Advisory Team that gives direction to deciding factors that determine apportionments. The CT and GCFA must agree on the budget submitted to General Conference.
Commission on the General Conference
The secretary of the General Conference (GC) and the chair of the Commission on the General Conference are members of the CT. CT staff attend Commission meetings and collaborate as needed with the Commission on various issues related to general conference.
Other Key Partners
The CT works closely with many other partners throughout the connection, including the annual conferences, the National Plans, Africa University, the Black College Fund, and the ethnic caucuses. Such collaborations help the CT "…enable the flow of information and communication" and are part of its role in providing "…a forum for the understanding and implementation of the vision, mission, and ministries of the global church." (Book of Discipline ¶905)