Decision Number 320
Ruling of Bishop Everett W. Palmer Concerning the Distribution of Funds by the Treasurer of the Local Church.
The Judicial Council affirms the episcopal ruling that Paragraphs 921 and 152.5 of the 1968 Discipline are related and not in conflict.
Statement of Facts
During the session of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference, meeting at Salem, Oregon, on June 7, 1969, David C. Brooks submitted in writing to Bishop Everett W. Palmer a question of law, reading in part:
"In accordance with Paragraph 1712 of the 1968 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, I am requesting an interpretation of those several paragraphs of the Discipline concerning the disbursement of funds by the local church treasurer. The paragraphs which appear to be in conflict are Paragraph 152.5 and Paragraph 921."
Bishop Palmer ruled that the paragraphs cited are related but not in conflict.
The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under the provisions of Paragraph 1712 of the 1968 Discipline.
Analysis and Rationale
By the provisions of Paragraph 152.5 the church treasurer, who is a lay officer and a member of the Administrative Board,
". . . shall disburse all money contributed to causes represented in the local church budget, and such other funds and contributions as the Administrative Board may determine. (See Par. 145.12.) The treasurer(s) shall remit each month to the conference treasurer all world service and conference benevolence funds then on hand. Contributions to benevolences shall not be used for any cause other than that to which they have been given."
Further the church treasurer as a member of the Committee on Finance of the local church (Par. 161.3) has a responsibility to present, to said committee, for inclusion in the annual budget to be submitted to the Administrative Board for review and adoption, the apportionments of Paragraph 921 and similar legislation: "Par. 921. When the apportionments for bishops, district superintendents, conference claimants, and the minimum Salary Fund for the several districts and charges have been determined, payments made to the same in each pastoral charge shall be exactly proportional to the amount paid on the ministerial salary or salaries. (See Par. 885.) The treasurer or treasurers of each pastoral charge shall accordingly make proportional distribution of the funds raised in that charge for the support of the ministry and shall remit monthly if practicable and quarterly at the latest, the items for bishops, district superintendents, conference claimants, and the Minimum Salary Fund to the proper treasurer or treasurers."
The Administrative Board by its adoption of the budget including the apportionments responds to its responsibility to "discharge faithfully any and all duties and responsibilities committed to it by the Charge Conference or by law of the Church." (Par. 151.6)
The ruling of Bishop Everett W. Palmer is affirmed.