Decision Number 309
Petition of the Board of the Ministry of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference for a Declaratory Decision.
An agency or body of an Annual Conference is not authorized, under the Discipline, to petition the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision.
Statement of Facts
The Board of the Ministry of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, through its chairman, Edwin R. Sells, requested a declaratory decision as to whether a married applicant is ineligible for admission to probationary membership because the spouse of such applicant is already a member of the Annual Conference in full connection.
The 1968 Discipline of The United Methodist Church provides in Paragraph 1715.2 that certain bodies in The United Methodist Church are authorized to petition the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions. An Annual Conference may make such a petition but subordinate bodies of an Annual Conference may not. The subject of concern to the Board of the Ministry may be brought before the Judicial Council only by a vote of the Annual Conference or through a ruling on the question by the presiding bishop.
The Judicial Council is without jurisdiction in this case.