Memorandum Number 591


April 24, 1988

Review of a Ruling by Bishop James S. Thomas in the East Ohio Conference Concerning the Adoption by an Annual Conference of a Unified "Administrative Budget" Which Prioritizes Apportionments for Ministerial Support.


At the 1987 East Ohio Annual Conference, Bishop James S. Thomas was asked to rule on the following question:

"May an Annual Conference, when adopting a unified "administrative budget" with single figure apportionment which includes apportionments for ministerial support items, namely, apportionments for bishops, district superintendents, Conference claimants (pensions and benefits) and the Equitable Salary Fund establish a priority claim for such items of ministerial support and direct that the remittances from a local church treasurer shall be credited fully to ministerial support items until the apportionments for the ministerial support items for the local church shall have been met?

Relying on the provisions of 710.1 and 715.2 of the 1984 Discipline, the Bishop ruled that such action would violate the Discipline.

Pars. 710, 711, and 715 require that the amounts contributed in each local church for each of the budgeted funds be remitted to the Conference and applied by the Conference to such fund. These provisions are mandatory. The ruling of Bishop Thomas is affirmed.

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