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Decision No. 186

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October 18 1961
In Re: Ruling of Bishop Alejandro on Whether St. Paul's Church Is Entitled to Two Lay Members to the Philippines Annual Conference When One of the Ministers Appointed to It Belongs to Another Conference

Digest of Case

The ruling of Bishop D. D. Alejandro that St. Paul's Church is entitled to an additional lay member in the Philippines Annual Conference is reversed.

Statement of Facts

In response to the written request of William M. Pickard, Jr. at a meeting of the Philippines Annual Conference, the presiding bishop, Bishop D. D. Alejandro, made the following ruling: "The facts of the case are as follows: Rev. Norman Duncan, a minister infull connection with the Northwest Philippines Annual Conference, is assigned as a professor at Philippine Christian Colleges and at the same time to take charge of the English work at St. Paul's Church, Tondo, Manila. Both the college and St. Paul's Church are within the bounds of the Philippines Annual Conference. The present presiding bishop of the Philippines Annual Conference believes and thus rules that St. Paul's Church under this peculiar condition should be given equal representation in ministerial and lay membership in the Philippines Annual Conference for the following reasons: "lst. The basic philosophy of equal representation of ministerial and lay members in an annual conference would be violated if Brother Duncan's membership in another conference is to be followed strictly. It would mean that St. Paul's Church will have only one lay member in the Philippines Conference when in reality it is being served by two ministers in full connection with the Annual Conference. "2nd. Rev. Duncan is teaching at Philippine Christian Colleges not as a lay missionary but as a missionary minister and is thus considered fulfilling his ministerial function according to the rulings of the Judicial Council number 166 and 167, pp. 676 and 677 of the 1960 Discipline. The presiding bishop therefore believes that when Rev. Duncan exercises his ministerial function in St. Paul's Church as English pastor within the bounds of the conference, the church he serves should not be deprived of an additional lay member in the conference to keep the balance of equal representation of ministerial and lay members in the annual conference undisturbed. February 25, 1961" JURISDICTION The ruling of Bishop Alejandro is properly before the Judicial Council under Paragraph 909 of the 1960 Discipline. ANALYSIS The constitution in Sec. VII, Annual Conferences, Article 1 and being Paragraph 21 of the 1960 Discipline states: "The Annual Conference shall becomposed of all the traveling preachers in full connection with it, together with a lay member elected by each pastoral charge. The lay members shall be at least twenty-one (21) years of age and shall have been for the four years next preceding their election members of one of the constituent churches forming this union, or of The Methodist Church." Amendment X, set forth in Paragraph 45 of the 1960 Discipline, reads as follows: "Article l. - The Annual Conference shall be composed of all thetraveling preachers in full connection with it, together with a lay member elected by each pastoral charge. Each pastoral charge served by more than one minister in full connection shall be entitled to two lay members. The lay members shall be at least twenty-one (21) years of age and shall have been for the four years next preceding their election members of one of the constituent churches forming this union, or of The Methodist Church." This amendment became effective April 8, 1958. Each paragraph refers to "the traveling preachers in full connection with it." The second sentence of the amended article referring to "minister in full connection" by implication would refer to the traveling preachers of the particular Annual Conference concerned. In order to have a pastoral charge entitled to two lay members, it would be necessary for it to be served by more than one minister in full connection with that particular Annual Conference. Attention is directed to Decision No. 159 of the Judicial Council adopted October 7, 1959, in which it was held that a church served by three ministers or traveling preachers, only one of whom was in full connection with the Newark Annual Conference, was entitled to elect and be represented by only one lay member in that Annual Conference.

Decision

Therefore the ruling of Bishop D. D. Alejandro that St. Paul's Church is entitled to an additional lay member in the Philippines Annual Conference is reversed.

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