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Decision No. 188

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October 25 1961
In Re: Whether Rally Day Funds May Legally Be Absorbed Into the Total Annual Conference Council Budget, Which Includes the Budget Askings of the Various Agencies, Boards and Commissions of the Conference and Also the Administrative Expenses of the Conference Council

Digest of Case

The Church School Rally Day offering is received for the Board of Education for the program of its local church division and may not be absorbed into the General Budget of an Annual Conference Council in which all the agencies, boards and commissions share.

Statement of Facts

Under date of April 4, 1961, the secretary of the Judicial Council received the following communication from Oscar M. Adam, Executive Secretary, Program Division of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference: "In the Pacific Northwest Conference, Rally Day Funds received in accordance with Paragraph 250.2 of the 1960 Discipline, are included as income in the Conference Council budget which includes the budget askings of the various agencies, boards and commissions of the conference and also the administrative expenses of the Conference Council. It does not go directly to the Board of Education for the program of its local church division, but is absorbed into the total budget of the Conference Council with other income from the Commission on World Service and Finance and other sources, in which all the agencies, boards, and commissions share. "Questions have been raised concerning the legality of this operation and at the 1960 session of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference a report was adopted recommending that 'the facts concerning the Rally Day Funds, along with a description of the present staff organization be reported with a request to the Judicial Council for a decision on whether such use is in harmony with the Discipline.' "I am now bringing this to your attention. "The present staff organization in the program division is as follows:Executive Secretary and two associate secretaries, one with responsibilities for children's work and the other with responsibilities for youth work. Each staff member of the program division is assigned to one or more agencies, boards, or commissions, which may, in turn, name the staff member assigned to it, as its executive officer. "Accordingly, the Executive Secretary of the Program Division has been assigned to The Board of Education, which he serves as Executive Secretary; The Adult Work Committee of the Board of Education which he serves as Conference Co-ordinator of Adult Work; the Board of Christian Social Concerns, which he serves as Executive Secretary; the Board of Lay Activities, which he serves as Executive Secretary; The Commission on Higher Education and TRAFCO both of which he serves as Executive Secretary. "The Associate Secretary with responsibility for Children's Work has been assigned to the Deaconess Board, Board of Missions, Children's Work Committee of the Board of Education which she serves as Conference Director of Children's Work; the Family Life Committee and Leadership Education Committee. "The Associate Secretary with responsibility for Youth Work has been assigned to The Board of Evangelism, Board of Hospitals and Homes, Conference Camping Commission, Commission on Christian Vocations, Town and Country Commission, Service Projects Committee, Urban Life Committee, and Youth Work Committee which he serves as Conference Director of Youth Work. "The Conference Program Division Staff receives no allowance from the Board of Education Budget; staff salaries are paid from the Conference Council Budget. No separate allotment is made by the Commission on World Service and Finance to the Board of Education, but is a lump sum amount allotted to the Conference Council which compiles its budget, including askings of all agencies, boards, and commissions and presents it to the Commission on World Service and Finance for approval. "Actually the budget askings allowed in the Conference Budget to the Board of Education for its work through its various committees is less than the amount received by the Conference Council from Rally Day offerings. "It is argued that if the Board of Education's share of responsibility for staff salaries were taken into consideration, it would be getting more than the Rally Day offerings. "On the other hand, it is pointed out that all agencies, boards, and commissions share in the services of the staff and that they are not employees of any agency, board, or commission but of the Conference Council which pays their salaries. "There appears to be an inconsistency in the solicitation of funds in the Rally Day offering for the Conference Board of Education for the program of its local church division and the application of those funds to the total work of the Conference through its Conference Council. "Is there not a law of the church which says that funds solicited for a particular use may not be diverted to some other use? Paragraph 267.6 states that 'contributions designated for specific causes and objects shall be promptly forwarded according to the intent of the donor, and shall not be used, even temporarily, for any other purpose.' I realize that this applies to the local church, but does it not also apply, in principle, to the use of funds received by the Conference Council? "On behalf of the Pacific Northwest Conference, I respectfully request a declaratory decision on the legality of the use of Rally Day funds as indicated above. Cordially yours, Oscar M. Adam" In reply to a request of the secretary of the Judicial Council for clarification of the issue involved in the original request for the declaratory decision, the following letter under date of May 10, 1961, was received from Oscar M. Adam: "Your letter of April 19 in response to mine of April 4, 1961, regarding the use of Rally Day funds in our conference, is before me. "The issue I raised in my letter is whether or not the use of Rally Day funds by our conference is permissible under paragraph 250.2 of the Discipline. "This paragraph states that Church School Rally Day shall be observed in each school . . . for receiving an offering for the Conference Board of Education for the program of its local church division . . . These funds shall . . . not be charged to the share of the Conference Board of Education in the conference apportioned benevolences. "Rally Day funds collected in our conference go to the Conference Council and not directly to the Board of Education. The Board of Education receives an allocation from the Conference Council budget for the items in its own budget. The issue is whether this Rally Day collection should go directly to the Board of Education or to the Conference Council and if it should go to the Board of Education, should it receive less of an appropriation from the apportioned benevolences of the church. Cordially yours, Oscar M. Adam" JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction in this case under the provisions of Paragraph 914 (8) of the 1960 Discipline. ANALYSIS The correspondence herein cited defines in part the policies and organization structure of the Conference Council of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference. The question on which a declaratory decision is requested refers only to the use of Rally Day funds and whether they should go directly to the Board of Education and the bearing this may have upon the allotment of apportioned benevolence funds for the work of the Conference Board of Education by the Conference Commission on World Service and Finance. The relation of the Conference Board of Education to the Conference Program of Christian education is defined by the Discipline as follows: Par. 1441: "Ineach Annual Conference there shall be a Conference Board of Education...." Par. 1442: ". . . It [Conference Board of Education] shall be responsible fordeveloping and promoting a conference program of Christian education which will provide guidance and help for all the agencies of Christian education within the bounds of the Annual Conference." Par. 1448 (1): "The executive secretary shallhave responsibility for the general oversight and promotion of all the work of the Board and for the direction and supervision of its salaried and other workers, who shall report to him as may be required." (2): "The executivesecretary shall give leadership and direction to the program of Christian education in the local churches, enlisting the cooperation of the District Superintendent and the district directors." The procedure of the Conference Board of Education in the financing of its program is spelled out in the following paragraphs: Par. 1447: "The executivecommittee shall act as the finance committee of the Board, and shall prepare a statement of its financial needs for the next year." Par. 1450: "The President,or someone designated by him, shall present to the Commission on World Service and Finance of the conference the financial needs of the colleges and Wesley Foundations related to the conference (as determined by the Board on recommendation of its Committee or Commission on Christian Higher Education), of the work of the Board in its field program of Christian education in the local churches of the conference and of other work in which the Board may be engaged. In accordance with the financial plan of the church, an apportionment shall be allotted to the churches within the conference for the work of the Conference Board of Education. Other sources of income shall be gifts, returns from special days. . . ." In regard to "returns from special days" Paragraph 250 (2) defines how the income from Rally Day offerings shall be applied. Par. 250 (2): "Church SchoolRally Day shall be observed in each school for the purpose of emphasizing the importance of Christian education and for receiving an offering for the Conference Board of Education for the program of its local church division. The funds raised on this day shall be remitted as may be determined by the Annual Conference. These funds shall . . . not be charged to the share of the Conference Board of Education in the conference apportioned benevolences." Paragraph 250 (2) is clear concerning the Rally Day offering and its use. The Discipline contains no confusing statement in this regard which can be construed as contradictory. Whether the funds raised by the Rally Day offering are to be remitted directly to the Conference Board of Education or channeled otherwise may be determined by the Annual Conference. Regardless of how the Annual Conference may determine the funds are to be remitted, the Discipline clearly states that, "Church School Rally Day shall be observed . . . for receiving an offering for the Conference Board of Education for the program of its local church division." On the question of whether the Conference Board of Education shall receive less of an appropriation from the apportioned benevolences of the church on account of receiving the Rally Day offering the Discipline is clear: the RallyDay funds "shall not be charged to the share of the Conference Board of Education in the conference apportioned benevolences . . ." (Paragraph 250 (2) ). It is to be recognized, however, that the Commission on World Service and Finance may take into account the Rally Day funds available to the Board of Education for the program of its local church division, as it reviews the budget askings of that board and determines the amount of apportioned benevolences to be allotted to the work of the Board of Education.

Decision

It is therefore the decision of the Judicial Council: 1. That funds received from the Church School Rally Day offering are to be used by the Board of Education in its field program of Christian education in the local churches of the conference and may not be absorbed in the general budget of an Annual Conference Council; 2. That the Annual Conference may determine how the funds received from Rally Day offerings shall be remitted; 3. That Rally Day funds shall not be included in the apportioned benevolence funds allotted to the Board of Education by the Conference Commission on World Service and Finance.

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