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Decision No. 653

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April 25 1991
In Re: Review of Bishop's Decision Concerning Financial Policies as Related to the Iowa Conference Program of Church Extension and Revitalization.

Digest of Case

The Plan of Church Extension and Revitalization of the Iowa Annual Conference does not violate any provisions of the Discipline.

Statement of Facts

At the 1990 Session of the Iowa Annual Conference the Conference adopted a rather detailed Plan of Church Extension and Revitalization. Among other things, the plan provided for the way apportionments should be made to a new congregation, a method of providing salary support for the new congregation and the method of raising the capital funds to support the program. One of the members of the Conference, James F. Schutter, asked Bishop Rueben Job to render a decision of law as to whether the Conference's Plan of Church Extension and Revitalization was in violation of the Discipline, particularly as it relates to apportionments to a new congregation, salary support for a new congregation, and the manner in which capital funds were to be raised to support the program. The bishop responded to the request for the decision of law by indicating because of the multifaceted nature of the request he did not have sufficient time to do adequate research to make the decision of law prior to adjournment of the Annual Conference Session. He indicated he would make the decision at a later date and forward same to the Reverend Schutter, the Conference Newspaper, the Judicial Council for its review, and to the next session of the Iowa Annual Conference. The bishop subsequently decided that the Conference's Plan of Church Extension and Revitalization is not in violation of any provisions of the Discipline. On April 25, 1991 James F. Schutter appeared for oral argument. JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2612 of the 1988 Discipline. ANALYSIS Par. 36. Article II of the Constitution states: "The Annual Conference isthe basic body in the Church and as such shall have reserved to it ... such other rights as have not ben delegated to the General Conference under the Constitution. . . ." Par. 706.1 of the 1988 Discipline states that: "The Annual Conference shallstructure itself for effective mission in any mode deemed necessary." The Plan for Church Extension and Revitalization of the Iowa Conference sets forth the manner in which it shall provide for the development of new congregations, including its method of capital funding and salary support for new congregations. The Plan was adopted by the Annual Conference for implementation. As set forth the Plan does not violate any provisions of the Discipline nor does it unduly delegate authority to any of its agencies, under provisions of ¶ 706.1. In structuring itself for church extension and revitalization the Conference is consistent with ¶ 706.1.

Decision

The Plan of Church Extension and Revitalization of the Iowa Annual Conference does not violate any provisions of the Discipline. The decision of the bishop is affirmed.

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