Decision Number 79
Ruling of Bishop J. Ralph Magee in Illinois
The Annual Conference has no authority to delegate its responsibilities and powers to Quarterly Conferences except as explicitly given that authority by the General Conference. Therefore the Illinois Annual Conference had no authority to delegate to the Quarterly Conferences the power to determine whether or not the Annual Conference would adopt the Reserve Pension Plan.
Statement of Facts
At a special meeting of the Illinois Conference held in BIoomington, Illinois, on February 12, 1951, for the purpose of voting upon a Reserve Pension Plan for the Illinois Conference, a Report was made by a Commission to study the Reserve Pension Plan. (Pp. 804-5, Journal and Year Book, Illinois Conference, 1951.) A motion was made to adopt the Report of the Commission.
The following motion was made to amend the Report: "That the plan, when approved, shall be subject to ratification by three-fourths of the Quarterly Conferences of the member churches of the Illinois Conference, and shall be in effect and a campaign undertaken following such ratification."
The amended Report was adopted by a vote of 236 for and 178 against.
On May 21, 1951, Bishop Magee was requested in writing to rule upon the validity of the above action in a Special Session of the Illinois Conference.
On June 7, 1951, at the regular session of the Illinois Conference, Bishop Magee ruled as follows:
"It is my judgment and I rule that the Annual Conference has no authority to delegate its responsibilities and powers to the Quarterly Conferences, except as explicitly given that right by the General Conference. . . . It was moved that the plan, when approved, be subject to ratification by a three-fourths majority of the Quarterly Conferences of the member churches of the Illinois Conference before the plan becomes operative or a campaign be undertaken. This was clearly out of order. The Illinois Annual Conference must determine by its own vote whether it will enter the Reserve Pension Plan."
The question is presented: "Is the ruling of Bishop Magee valid?"
The above ruling was made in open Conference and is properly before the Judicial Council for review.
While the facts presented in this case differ slightly from the facts presented in the matter of the ruling of Bishop Lloyd C. Wicke in the Pittsburgh Conference, heretofore decided by the Council at this session (Decision 78), the question of law involved is the same.
The ruling of Bishop Magee is accordingly affirmed for the reasons heretofore set forth in the decision of the Council in re the Pittsburgh Conference case above cited.