Skip Navigation

Judicial Council Decisions Search


Decision No. 825

Back to Search

April 24 1998
In Re: Request from the Norway Annual Conference for a Declaratory Decision on Whether an Annual Conference May Meet Every Other Year Rather than Annually.

Digest of Case

There is no authority for an Annual Conference to meet less often than annually. Par. 15 does not relate in any way to the frequency of meetings of an Annual Conference. Until such time as enabling legislation related to the 1996 amendment of ¶ 15 of the Constitution is passed, there is no authority for an Annual Conference to restructure on the basis of that amendment.

Statement of Facts

At the 1997 session of the Norway Annual Conference a motion was adopted to request a declaratory decision from the Judicial Council on the following question: The Norway Annual Conference, in session in Porsgrunn, Norway, hereby petition the Judicial Council to make a declaratory decision whether an Annual Conference (in this case within Northern Europe Central Conference) has the right to make a decision to holds its conference session every other year, instead of meeting annually? Further, does the Constitutional Amendment approved by the 1996 General Conference to ¶ 15, Article IV, after the ratification by the Annual Conferences, allow the Annual Conference to thus change the frequency of its meetings? Jurisdiction The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under ¶ 2616 of the 1996 Discipline. Analysis and Rationale Scattered throughout the Discipline are references to Annual Conferences. The word "annual" means once each year; therefore, the very name Annual Conference indicates that the meeting must take place each year. While the desire of the Norway Annual Conference to respond to the needs of its members and to conserve funds by meeting every other year is understandable; there is no legislative authority at present which would allow this. Decision 815 states, "There is no General Conference legislation adopted which enables an Annual Conference to restructure in accordance with ¶ 15.15 of the Constitution.." In this case the council was specifically asked if ratification of ¶ 15.15 would allow the Norway Annual Conference to change the frequency of its meetings. The answer to that question must be no as ¶ 15.15 does not in any way relate to the frequency of meetings of an Annual Conference.

Decision

There is no authority for an Annual Conference to meet less often than annually. Par. 15 does not relate in any way to the frequency of meetings of an Annual Conference. Until such time as enabling legislation related to the 1996 amendment of ¶ 15 of the Constitution is passed, there is no authority for an Annual Conference to restructure on the basis of that amendment. This copy subject to final editing and correction.

Back to Search