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Decision No. 174

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May 05 1960
In Re: . Election of Voluntarily Located Former Minister as Delegate to General or Central Conference

Digest of Case

1. A former minister who is now under voluntary location can be elected lay delegate to the General or Central Conference by an Annual Conference. 2. A reserve lay member of an Annual Conference or anyone who meets the requirements set forth in Paragraph 25, Article V of the Constitution can be elected lay delegate to the General or Central Conference.

Statement of Facts

At a session of the Northwest Philippines Annual Conference held January 22, 1960, the following request appears in the Conference Records: "REQUEST FOR DECLARATIVE STATEMENT FROM THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL: After furtherdiscussion, Leodegaria Tipay, Jr. moved that this conference request a declarative statement from the Judicial Council to explain further the interpretation of the said Paragraph 25, Art. V of the Constitution, of the 1956 Methodist Discipline, more particularly whether: (1) a former Minister who is now under voluntary location can be elected delegate to the General or Central Conference by an Annual Conference. (2) a reserve delegate to Annual Conference can be elected delegate to the General or Central Conference even though the regular delegate of that respective reserve delegate is within the conference and elected as delegate to the respective Central Conference? The motion duly seconded by Daniel Javier was carried." JURISDICTION We construe the above request to be a petition for a declaratory decision. Under Paragraph 914, sub-section 8 of the 1956 Discipline the Judicial Council has jurisdiction to render a declaratory decision on the two questions submitted by the Northwest Philippines Annual Conference. ANALYSIS 1. In decision No. 173 just handed down by the Judicial Council the subject matter of the first question submitted has been decided. Reference is made to that decision and the citations stated therein. It is clear that a former minister who is now under voluntary location can be elected a lay delegate to the General or Central Conference by an Annual Conference. 2. Paragraph 25, Article V of the Constitution states: "The lay delegates to the General Conference and to the Jurisdictional or Central Conference shall be elected by the lay members of the Annual Conference; provided that such delegates be at least twenty-one (21) years of age and shall have been members of the constituent churches forming this union, or of The Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election, and are members within the Annual Conference electing them at the time of holding the General and Jurisdictional or Central Conferences." So long as the above disciplinary requirements are met, it is not necessary for the elected lay delegate to the General or Central Conference to have been a lay member or a reserve lay member of the Annual Conference. It is immaterial whether or not the member or the reserve member was at the Annual Conference at which the lay delegate was elected.

Decision

1. A former minister who is now under voluntary location can be elected lay delegate to the General or Central Conference by an Annual Conference. 2. A reserve lay member of an Annual Conference or anyone can be elected lay delegate to the General or Central Conference provided he meets all the disciplinary requirements set forth in Paragraph 25, Article V of the Constitution, even though the lay member was present at the Annual Conference.

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