Decision Number 808
Review of Decision of Law of Bishop Susan M. Morrison in the Wyoming Annual Conference Relating to Annual Conference Policy to Discontinue Honoraria for Clergy Members of the Annual Conference.
The decision of law rendered by Bishop Morrison that the recommendation approved by the Wyoming Annual Conference to eliminate honoraria for clergy persons serving in conference positions is not prohibited by the Discipline is affirmed.
Statement of Facts
On June 7, 1997 the Wyoming Annual Conference, meeting in session, passed the following recommendation which was presented by the Conference Council on Finance and Administration:
We recommend the elimination of honoraria for clergypersons serving in Conference positions. This is in keeping with the decision of the Board of Ordained Ministry to discontinue paying stipends or honoraria to clergy members of the Conference. (Wyoming Annual Conference 1997 Pre-Conference Report Booklet, Page A-12 lines 4-6).
A minister of the conference requested Bishop Susan Morrison to render a decision of law regarding the legality of the recommendation. The bishop ruled as follows:
There is nothing in the Discipline that would prohibit the Council on Finance and Administration from making such a resolution and the Annual Conference approving it. There is nothing in the discipline that states that clergy and lay persons should be paid the same.
The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2613 of the 1996 Discipline.
Analysis and Rationale
Par. 31 of the 1996 Discipline states:
The annual conference is the basic body of the church and as such shall have reserved to it the right to vote on...rights as have not been delegated to the General Conference under the Constitution,...
As the basic body of the church the Wyoming Annual Conference had the right to approve the recommendation in question, as that action did not infringe upon any right that has been delegated to the General Conference.
The decision of law rendered by Bishop Morrison that the recommendation approved by the Wyoming Annual Conference to eliminate honoraria for clergy persons serving in conference positions is not prohibited by
This copy subject to final editing and correction.