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Decision No. 533

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October 27 1983
In Re: Use of Ministerial Education Fund for Administrative Expense of theConference Board of Ordained Ministry in Light of Discipline Par. 920.1.

Digest of Case

Par. 920. 1 of the 1980 Discipline is incomplete. Omitted is General Conference legislation that states, "Administrative costs of the Board of Ordained Ministry shall be a claim on the Conference budget." An Annual Conference may not use funds from the Ministerial Education Fund for administrative expenses of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

Statement of Facts

The Central Illinois Annual Conference, in session June 6-10, 1983, passed unanimously the following Resolution: ... that the Central Illinois Conference request the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church for a Declaratory Decision relating to Pars. 920 and 920.1 in reference to use of the Ministerial Education Fund for administration of the work (travel and administrative expenses) of the Board of Ordained Ministry. A brief opposed to the use of the Fund for administrative purposes was submitted by the Division of the Ordained Ministry of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The brief calls attention to pages 1489-90 of the Journal of the 1980 General Conference which record amendment of Par. 920.1 to include the statement, "Administrative costs of the Board of Ordained Ministry shall be a claim on the conference budget." Further, the brief reports that the Committee on Correlation and Editorial Review could not track the legislation (Report No. 118, Calendar No. 1216) through the legislative process to their satisfaction and thus omitted it from the Discipline. Additionally, the Judicial Council is in receipt of a copy of a letter from the Assistant Editor of the 1980 Book of Discipline addressed to Mr. Donald H. Treese of the Board of Higher Education and Ministry and explaining why the amended portion of 920.1 was not included in the 1980 Discipline. JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2615 of the 1980 Discipline. ANALYSIS Inasmuch as "use" of the Ministerial Education Fund within the Annual Conference is before the Judicial Council for consideration only Par. 920.1 needs be dealt with. At the 1980 session of the General Conference the Council on Finance and Administration, in its Report No. 4, under Item 4, "Distribution," proposed an amendment to what in the 1976 Discipline appears as Par. 920. 1. Pertinent changes would alter 920.1 to read, Twenty-five percent shall be retained by the Annual Conference which raised it, to be used in its program of ministerial education as approved by the Annual Conference and administered through the Board of Ordained Ministry. The Board of Ordained Ministry may support continuing education of diaconal ministers. Administrative costs of the Board of Ordained Ministry shall be a claim on the conference budget (Emphasis added) (DCA, Advance Edition, pp. C, 28 f.) Similarly, the Board of Higher Education and Ministry proposed an amendment to Par. 920.1 which would change the paragraph to include the directive that "administrative costs of the Board of Ordained Ministry shall be a claim on the conference budget." (DCA, Advance Edition, pp. F. 123 f.) On April 19, 1980, the Committee on Financial Administration voted concurrence with Par. 920, page F 123-4 Advance DCA (Calendar Item 1216, Report No. 118, DCA, April 22, 1980, page 544. (See also Journal, Vol. II, pp. 1489 ff., wherein it is recorded: "Calendar No. 1216, concurrence agreed under termsof omnibus motion adopted April 25, 1980, Journal page 564" (Emphasis in original). On April 21, 1980, the committee voted concurrence, as amended, with the reports printed on pages C-18 through C-41 of the Advance DCA (Calendar 1650, Report No. 140 (DCA, April 23, 1980, pages 668 f.). Calendar Item 1650, Report No. 4, was presented to the General Conference for consideration on Thursday morning, April 24, 1980, with amendments only to section 3, "Apportionments." (DCA, April 25, 1980, pages 900 f., 904-8). The Report was adopted as presented. (See also Journal, pages 459 f., 467 f., 1754-56). Par. 920.1 thus was amended (apart from any legislation adopted under an omnibus action) to include the stipulation, "Administrative costs of the Board of Ordained Ministry shall be a claim on the conference budget." The 1980 Discipline should be corrected at this point. (Compare Judicial Council Decision No. 453 which states, in part, "The omission of substance from legislation as printed in the Discipline does not affect the legislation passed by the General Conference. The legislation passed by the General Conference prevails . . .")

Decision

Par. 920.1 of the 1980 Discipline is incomplete, having omitted General Conference legislation that amended it to include the directive "Administrative costs of the Board of Ordained Ministry shall be a claim on the conference budget." An Annual Conference may not use funds from the Ministerial Education Fund for administrative expenses of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

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