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Decision No. 206

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May 04 1964
In Re: The Effective Years of Service of Ad-Interim Local Preachers

Digest of Case

Local Preachers may count their years of approved effective service only as defined by the provisions of the Discipline.

Statement of Facts

The Judicial Council received the following letter from the Secretary of the Northern Philippines Annual Conference: March 10, 1963 "The Judicial Council Through the President Sirs: "By action of the Northern Philippines Annual Conference now in session today, Ilagan, Isabela, Philippines, the undersigned, Eduardo B. Garcia, as Conference Secretary is authorized to elevate to your eminent court a motion to wit: " 'A motion to elevate to the Judicial Council for Clarification as to whether the years of service for ad-interim Local Preachers appointed this Conference Year and the Conference years succeeding thereto be counted as their effective years of service.' Approved." "Waiting for your favorable action on the above motion elevated to your eminent court for clarification. Sincerely yours, (s) Eduardo B. Garcia EDUARDO B. GARCIA, SR. Conference Secretary" JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under the provision contained in Paragraph 914.8 of the 1960 Discipline. ANALYSIS In the absence of any mention of specific paragraphs of the Discipline, subject to more than one interpretation, or of doubtful meaning, or application, and there likewise being no reference in the data received to administrative paragraphs of a Central Conference Discipline, as provided in Paragraph 19, Article Four, Section 5, 1960 Discipline, the analysis and decision contained herein are based upon the paragraphs of the Discipline pertinent to the question presented in the foregoing appeal. Inasmuch as Paragraph 315.2 provides for the appointment of a local preacher in the interim between conference sessions, the Judicial Council assumes that this paragraph along with related paragraphs, and paragraphs pertaining to pension legislation, constitute the basis for the appeal. "Between conference sessions a local preacher not on the approved supply pastors list may be appointed as a supply pastor. If he fails to be approved at the following conference session, he cannot thereafter serve as a supply pastor until he is approved." (emphasis added) If he is so approved at the following session of the Annual Conference he is eligible for appointment the following year and succeeding years thereto so long as he continues to be approved each year. Par. 315.1 states the requirements for an approved supply pastor: "A local preacher desiring to become, or to continue, as an approved supply pastor must have his character, fitness, training, and effectiveness passed by a three-fourths majority of the District Committee on Ministerial Qualifications, and by the Annual Conference after reference to and recommendation by the Board of Ministerial Training and Qualifications." The question raised by the Northern Philippines Annual Conference is whether an ad-interim local preacher appointed this conference year, and conference years succeeding thereto, may count these years as effective years of service. It is assumed this means years of approved service for pension purposes. It is obvious that he cannot count the first year of his appointment if he is not on the approved supply list. Likewise it is clear that he cannot be reappointed following his first year except he be an approved supply pastor. Par. 1631.1 clearly defines the basis upon which an approved supply pastor may compute his years of approved service: "An approved supply pastor who shall have qualified under Par. 314-17, and who shall have rendered not less than four consecutive years of full-time approved service in one Annual Conference as pastor of a charge may upon retirement make an annuity claim as a special conference claimant; provided, however, that any period of less than one full year of service in any conference may not be counted. . .Full time approved service for which pension credit maybe given shall mean service under appointment as pastor of a charge for which the pastor's cash support per annum from all church sources shall be not less than the minimum salary established by the conference for full time approved supply pastors." (emphasis added)

Decision

It is therefore the decision of the Judicial Council that a local preacher appointed in the interim between sessions of Annual Conferences may not count said year of his appointment as an approved service year and that he may count his subsequent years only after he has rendered not less than four consecutive years of service in one Annual Conference as pastor of a charge for which the pastor's cash support per annum from all church sources shall be not less than the minimum salary established by the conference for full time approved supply pastors.

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