Memorandum Number 531


October 27, 1983

Eligibility of a Retired Ministerial Member of an Annual Conference for Election to General and Jurisdictional Conferences.


At the 1983 session of the Southern New Jersey Annual Conference, Bishop C. Dale White received a written request from members of the Conference to rule on the following question: Can a retired member of an Annual Conference be elected to the General or Jurisdictional Conference?

In his ruling, Bishop White cited Article IV (Division II, Section VII) of the Constitution of The United Methodist Church (Par. 39, 1980 Discipline), which requires that ministerial delegates to the General Conference and to the Jurisdictional Conference shall have been traveling ministers in The United Methodist Church for at least four years preceding their election and are in full connection with the Annual Conference when elected and at the time of holding the General and Jurisdictional Conference.

He also made reference to Judicial Council Decision 88, in which it was ruled that a retired minister who meets the requirements is eligible for election.

The bishop then concluded: "Since the foregoing decision of the Judicial Council was based on an historical analysis of Article IV of the Constitution of The Methodist Church, which remains unchanged in its present form in the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, and since there is no opinion of record reversing this decision, I conclude that it is a precedent of continuing persuasive relevance and that a retired minister of an Annual Conference in 1983 is eligible for election to the General Conference and to the Jurisdictional Conference."

The bishop's ruling is affirmed.

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