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Decision No. 158

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October 16 1959
In Re: Ruling of Bishop Jose L. Valencia Anent the Eligibility of Mr. Lingkod A. Juane to serve as a Lay Member of the Philippines Annual Conference in Its Session of March 4-8, 1959

Digest of Case

On the basis of factual data supplied him, Bishop Valencia ruled that Lingkod A. Juane had been a member of The Methodist Church for four years prior to election as a lay member of the Philippines Annual Conference and was therefore eligible to sit as a lay member of the Philippines Annual Conference in its 1959 session. His ruling is hereby affirmed.

Statement of Facts

On April 27, 1959, Bishop Jose L. Valencia of the Philippines Central Conference, acting under the mandate of the Constitution of The Methodist Church, Division Three, Article VII, being para. 40 of the 1956 Discipline of The Methodist Church, reported to the Judicial Council a decision rendered in the Philippines Annual Conference during its session in Knox Memorial Methodist Church, Manila, Philippines, March 4-8, 1959. This report showed the following: "The Quarterly Conference of Knox Memorial Methodist Church in its fourth regular session on November 9, 1958, elected Mr. Lingkod A. Juane lay delegate to the Philippines Annual Conference. On January 11, 1959, in a regular monthly Official Board meeting of Knox Memorial Methodist Church, the question was raised as to whether Mr. Lingkod A. Juane was eligible to serve as lay delegate under the membership requirement of Paragraph 21, Article 1, of the 1956 Discipline of The Methodist Church. "The matter was referred by the Official Board of Knox Memorial Methodist Church to the District Superintendent of the Manila District, as Chairman of the Quarterly Conference which elected Mr. Lingkod A. Juane. The District Superintendent looked into the records of Knox Memorial Methodist Church and, in a Special Session of the Quarterly Conference of said church held on February 15, 1959, ruled ... that, on the basis of records obtainable, Mr. Lingkod A. Juane failed to meet the membership requirement and was, therefore, ineligible to serve as lay delegate to the Philippines Annual Conference. "Mr. Lingkod A. Juane, on February 28, 1959, presented the Presiding Bishop of the Philippines Annual Conference an appeal . . . from the Ruling of the District Superintendent of the Manila District based on the claim that, the records of Knox Memorial Methodist Church being incomplete, there was additional evidence which might alter the Ruling of the District Superintendent. "Evidence presented to Bishop Valencia indicated the membership rolls of Knox Memorial Methodist Church to be very incomplete. While the name of Mr. Lingkod A. Juane first appeared on a nonofficial roster (the Knox Memorial Methodist Church seeming to have no permanent church register as required by Par. 131(l) of the 1956 Discipline of The Methodist Church) entitled 'Revised List of Members for 1955,' evidence was submitted indicating that Mr. Juane could on the basis of this unofficial record have been a member of The Methodist Church as early as March, 1954, the beginning of the Annual Conference year of 1954-55 for the Philippines Annual Conference. Other testimony submitted attested that Mr. Juane had been an active participant and presumably a member of the Knox Memorial Methodist Church as early as 1952-53." On the basis of his investigations Bishop Valencia ruled that: "Said records, being incomplete, are insufficient to warrant the disqualification of Mr. Lingkod A. Juane. Also there is information and evidence which make it reasonable to conclude that Mr. Juane was a member of The Methodist Church for four years prior to his election on November 9, 1958. This information and evidence are attached. "In view of the fact that Mr. Lingkod A. Juane was elected properly by the fourth regular session of the Quarterly Conference of Knox Memorial Methodist Church on November 9, 1958, I recognize the action of said Quarterly Conference which elected Mr. Lingkod A. Juane; and, therefore, rule Mr. Juane eligible to sit as lay member of the Philippines Annual Conference in its Twenty-First Regular Session, March 4-8, 1959." JURISDICTION The Judicial Council assumes jurisdiction in this matter under the Constitution of The Methodist Church, Division Four, Article II, Section 3, being Par. 43(3) of the 1956 Discipline of The Methodist Church. and Par. 909 of said Discipline. ANALYSIS The statement of facts indicates that the District Superintendent of the Manila District, Philippines Annual Conference, was acting under authority vested in him and made a legal ruling under Par. 362 (14) of the 1956 Discipline of The Methodist Church, that a legal appeal was taken from his ruling under provisions of the same Paragraph, and that the president of said conference, Bishop Jose L. Valencia, made a legal ruling under the provisions of the Constitution of The Methodist Church, Division Three, Article VII, being Par. 40 of the 1956 Discipline of The Methodist Church. On the basis of factual information Bishop Valencia ruled the evidence indicated that, prior to his election on November 9, 1958, as a lay member of the Philippines Annual Conference, Mr. Lingkod A. Juane had been a member of The Methodist Church for four years and was consequently eligible to sit as a lay member of said conference in its twenty-first regular session, March 4-8, 1959. Although the matters involved may well have become moot through the lapse of time and by circumstances, nevertheless accepting the factual evidence upon which the decision is based and acting under Par. 909 of the 1956 Discipline of The Methodist Church, the Judicial Council considers the decision of Bishop Jose L. Valencia in this matter to be correct.

Decision

Therefore the ruling of Bishop Jose L. Valencia is affirmed.

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