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Decision No. 755

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October 26 1995
In Re: Review of Bishop's Decision of Law in the Minnesota Conference Concerning Right of the Annual Conference to Vote on a Motion to Grant Retired Relationship to a Clergy Member Whose Prior Withdrawal Has Been Ruled Null and Void.

Digest of Case

The bishop's decision, that an Annual Conference may vote on a motion to grant the retired relationship to a clergy member whose prior withdrawal has been declared a nullity and void, is affirmed. Her ruling that the decision does not apply to the case in question is reversed.

Statement of Facts

During the 1995 session of the Minnesota Conference, the following question of law was submitted to the presiding bishop, Sharon Brown Christopher: "May anAnnual Conference be prevented from voting on a motion to grant the retired relationship to a clergy member whose prior withdrawal has been ruled null and void?" The bishop ruled that, "it would be my decision that generally an Annual Conference may not be prevented from voting on a motion to grant the retired relationship to a clergy member whose prior withdrawal has been ruled a nullity and void." The decision also ruled that it did not apply to the specific case from which the question arose, because "by the Board of Ordained Ministry action his withdrawal was not a nullity and void." JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2513 of the 1992 Discipline . ANALYSIS The bishop is correct in her decision of law that an Annual Conference has the right to vote on a motion to grant the retired relationship to a clergy member whose prior withdrawal has been ruled invalid. That portion of her decision is affirmed. She was incorrect in her ruling that the decision does not apply to the specific case which gave rise to the question submitted to her for a decision of law. (See Judicial Council Decisions Nos. 691, 704, 741, and 753). That portion of the decision is reversed.

Decision

The bishop's decision, that an Annual Conference may vote on a motion to grant the retired relationship to a clergy member whose prior withdrawal has been ruled a nullity and void, is affirmed. Her ruling that the decision does not apply to the case in question is reversed. This copy subject to final editing and correction.

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