Decision Number 606

SUBJECT TO FINAL EDITING


October 27, 1988

Request From the Red Bird Missionary Conference as to Status of Ordained Ministers in Full Connection Under Special Appointment in a Missionary Conference.

Digest


The 1988 General Conference amendments to  425.1 of the 1984 Discipline ( 426.1, 1988 Discipline) do not affect the provisions of  659.4 relative to status in a Missionary Conference.

Statement of Facts


Par. 425.1 of the Discipline relates to the status of ministers from other Annual Conferences and other Methodist denominations who are appointed in an Annual Conference. The 1988 General Conference removed the following language from  425.1:
While they are not associate members, the Board of Ordained Ministry may recommend that these persons be accorded all the rights and privileges of associate membership in the Annual Conference, except security of appointment.

The 1988 General Conference added the following language to  425.1 of the Discipline:
Appointments are to be made by the resident bishop of the conference in which the minister is to serve. Upon the recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, ministers in such appointments may be granted voice but not vote in the Annual Conference to which they are appointed. Their membership on conference boards and agencies is restricted to the conference of which they are a member. They shall be compensated no less than the equitable salary provisions of the Annual Conference in which they serve, and participate in the pension and insurance programs of that Annual Conference. Such appointments are renewable annually up to a period of five years.

The Red Bird Missionary Conference raises the question as to whether this deletion affects the rights of a member in full connection in an Annual Conference who is appointed to a Missionary Conference.

Jurisdiction


The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under  2615 of the 1984 Discipline.

Analysis and Rationale


The Conference debate regarding this legislation is found in the Blue Book, DCA, pp. 722-723. In the discussion, the question was asked concerning the application of the proposed amendment from the Red Book DCA p. C52, which reads,  426.1:

Appointments are to be made by the resident bishop of the Conference in which the minister is to serve. Upon the recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, ministers in such appointments may be granted voice, but not vote, in the Annual Conference to which they are appointed. Their membership on Conference boards and agencies is restricted to the Conference of which they are a member. They shall participate in the pension and insurance plans of the Annual Conference in which they serve. Such appointments are renewable annually up to a period of five years.

The question was asked, "Did this apply to a Missionary Conference where practically all of the ministers are on appointment from other Annual Conferences, which would disenfranchise everyone?" Bishop Tuell asked for permission to make a comment in which he said, "I believe that that is a different arrangement in a Missionary Conference than we are talking about here under  426.1." The debate ended and the amendment passed. It is clear that 426.1 makes provision for those serving other Annual Conferences. A Missionary Conference is not an Annual Conference. But according to  659:

. . . shall be organized in the same manner with the same rights and powers as an Annual Conference, but with the following exceptions.

Par. 659.4(b) gives the exceptions that govern membership and relation of ordained ministers to a Missionary Conference. These rules govern the relationship of ordained clergy to a Missionary Conference and, therefore, 426.1 as amended has no effect on the service to or organization of a Missionary Conference.

Decision


The 1988 General Conference amendments to 425.1 of the 1984 Discipline ( 426.1, 1988 Discipline) do not affect the provisions of 659.4 relative to status in a Missionary Conference.

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