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Decision No. 422

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April 22 1977
In Re: Petition from the Philippines Annual Conference for a Declaratory Decision Regarding the Constitutionality of its Action in Reducing the Number of Districts within the Annual Conference from Two to One.

Digest of Case

To an Annual Conference is reserved the right to determine the number of districts within its bounds.

Statement of Facts

On May 14, 1976 the Philippines Annual Conference in regular session voted to reduce the number of districts within its bounds from two to one. Thereafter the conference voted to request of the Judicial Council a declaratory decision with respect to the constitutionality and/or legality of its action in reducing the number of districts. Both actions were reported to the Judicial Council by the Secretary and attested by the President of the Conference. JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Paragraph 2515.2 of the 1976 Discipline. ANALYSIS Constitutionally the Annual Conference is the basic body in the Church and as such has certain rights reserved to it including such rights as have not been delegated to the General Conference under the Constitution (Paragraph 37, Article II, 1976 Discipline). Nowhere in the Constitution is the right of determining the number of districts within an Annual Conference delegated to the General Conference. Further, The Discipline, Paragraph 514, in enumerating the duties of the president of an Annual Conference, sets forth among those duties that of "forming the districts after consultation with district superintendents and after the number of the same has been determined by vote of the Annual Conference." (Emphasis added).

Decision

The Philippines Annual Conference had the right to reduce the number of districts within its bounds from two to one. TOM MATHENY, President HOOVER RUPERT, Secretary

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