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Decision No. 73

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January 02 1951
In Re: Ruling of Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam in the Newark Annual Conference, May 24-28, 1950, in Bloomfield, New Jersey

Digest of Case

An Annual Conference has the authority to instruct its Board of Conference Claimants to include supply years in computing the annuity years of a member of the Conference. JURISDICTION One of the ways by which a question can come to the Judicial Council is found in Division Four, Article 11, Section 3 (Paragraph 43, 1948 ") of the Constitution of The Methodist Church, viz., "To pass upon decisions of law made by Bishops in Annual or District Conferences." Since the request for a ruling was made in writing and the answer is recorded in the Conference Journal (See Paragraph 40, 1948 Discipline), the matter is properly before the Judicial Council for consideration.

Statement of Facts

At the session of the Newark Annual Conference held in Bloomfield, New Jersey, May 24-28, 1950, the Reverend Hedding B. Leech, a retired member of the Conference, requested a ruling upon the following question: "Many ministers have served as full-time Supply Pastors prior to their Admission on Trial in an Annual or Mission Conference. Has a Conference the authority to instruct its Board of Conference Claimants to include supply years in computing the annuity years of such ministers?" Ruling of the Bishop The Bishop ruled that the Annual Conference has the authority to instruct the Board of Conference Claimants to include supply years in computing the annuity years of such ministers citing as his authority the 1948 Discipline of The Methodist Church, Paragraph 1630, Section 16, which reads as follows: "Yearsserved as a full-time accepted supply pastor may be counted on the same basis as a Special Conference Claimant in determining the annuity or dependency benefit claim of a Regular Conference Claimant."

Decision

Since the phrase "full-time supply" used in the question propounded to the Bishop appears to be well within the intended meaning of the phrase "Accepted Supply Pastors" used in the Paragraph of the Discipline cited, and in particular as applied to those full-time Supply Pastors who served in any one of the three uniting Churches as they existed before union, and before the term "Accepted Supply Pastors" appeared in the Discipline, we therefore judge the ruling of the Bishop to be correct. The ruling is therefore affirmed.

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