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Decision No. 928

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April 24 2002
In Re: Review of Bishop's Decision of Law in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference on a Series of Questions Related to the Annual Conference Structure.

Digest of Case

The decisions of law of Bishop Hae-Jong Kim concerning the structure of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference are affirmed in part and reversed in part. The rules of the Conference, both prior to amendment in 2001 and as amended in 2001, created a conference structure which fails to meet the requirements of the Discipline and the decisions of the Judicial Council. The Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference must revert to the last annual conference structure which complied with the terms of the Discipline. Because such a reversion may cause substantial disruption in the operation of the Annual Conference, the Conference will be permitted to operate under the 2001 Rules through its 2002 annual conference session at which time it shall revert to the last annual conference structure which fully complied with the Discipline, unless it has adopted amendments to its rules to ensure compliance with the Discipline. The Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference is required to review the structure, and adopt the required conference rule amendments bringing them into compliance with the Discipline. The complete conference structure and rules are to be submitted to the Judicial Council for review and approval. We retain jurisdiction over this matter for this purpose and direct that this matter be continued on our Fall 2002 Docket to receive a report of the action taken by the 2002 annual conference session. District superintendents and members of the Conference Staff are barred from membership on the conference committee on episcopacy. The Conference Rules permitting the Conference Council to meet in executive session to discuss and decide matters that, in its discretion, are of a sensitive nature, violate 604.14 of the Discipline. The Supportive Ministry Team, the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference's equivalent structure for the conference council on finance and administration, cannot have members who have a right to vote who are also members or employees of a conference agency or members of an agency or institution participating in the funds of any conference budget.

Statement of Facts

At the June 8, 2001 session of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference, a clergy member of the Conference submitted a series of questions of law in writing during the regular business of the Conference. Bishop Hae-Jong Kim issued his decisions of law on the questions within thirty days after the close of the Conference session. The questions of law related to the Rules of the Conference as they existed prior to the 2001 session, and as they were amended at the 2001 session. Jurisdiction The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under 2609 of the 2000 Discipline. Analysis and Rationale Question 1A: Do the current and proposed structures of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements of 15, 15.3, 15.15, 610.2(a) ". . . in every case there shall be at least one layperson more than clergy included on the council", . . .? Bishop's Decision on Question 1A: This question is moot and hypothetical because it is based on the erroneous assumption that there is not one more lay-person than clergy on the Council on Finance and Administration. The 2001 Conference Rules expressly state that there shall be one more lay-person on the Council renamed the "Supportive Ministries Team". Additionally, the Conference's structure meets the requirements of the Constitution 15, 15.3, 15.15 as well as paragraph 610.2(a). Specifically 15.15 permits General Conference to allow annual conferences "to utilize structures unique to their mission, other mandated structures notwithstanding." Finally, all boards and agencies mandated by General Conference are operational and have appropriately adopted budgets approved by the Annual Conference. Finally, these boards and agencies are or will have appropriate membership. The Council's Decision on Question 1A The bishop's decision of law that the question is moot and hypothetical is in error. The question of law pertained to an existing conference rule which was proposed to be amended at the annual conference session. The matter was neither hypothetical nor moot when asked. Although the bishop incorrectly ruled that the question was moot and hypothetical, he correctly held that the current and proposed structure of the Conference with respect to the number of lay and clergy members of the Supporting Ministries Team complies with the Discipline. The Conference Rules adopted at the 2001 Annual Conference expressly provide, "The membership of this team shall be consistent with the 2000 Discipline paragraph 610.2.a." Information supplied by the Conference indicates that the Supportive Ministries Team has a voting membership of six clergy and eight laity. Thus, the membership of the Supportive Ministries Team complies with the requirements of 610.2(a) of the Discipline with respect to the requirement that there be at least one layperson more than clergy included on the council. Question 1B: Do the current and proposed structure of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements of 15, 15.3, 15.15, and 610.2(a) '[that] Churches of less than (sic) two hundred members shall be represented on the conference council on finance and administration'. . . ? Bishop's Decision on Question 1B: Yes. The Conference Rules state that the Council on Finance and Administration known as "Supportive Ministries Team" membership shall be consistent with the Discipline. The Council's Decision on Question 1B The bishop's decision of law is affirmed. Question 2A: Do the current and proposed structures of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements of 15, 15.5, and 15.15, and 404.1 . . . and Judicial Decision 831, . . . in that the bishop is a voting member of the Conference Council? Bishop's Decision on Question 2A: This question is moot and hypothetical as it assumes that the Bishop is a voting member of the Conference Council which is factually untrue. The Bishop is an ex officio member of the Conference Council and, as reflected in the 2001 Conference Rules, has no vote. The Council's Decision on Question 2A Although the bishop incorrectly ruled that the question was moot and hypothetical, he correctly ruled that the question was factually untrue because the bishop has no vote as an ex officio member of the Council. Question 2B1: Is the cabinet membership of district superintendents held at the cabinet (as a bishop's church membership is in the Council of Bishops), 429.1 . . . ? Bishop's Decision on Question 2B1: This question of law did not relate to the business, consideration or discussion of the Conference during its 2001 session, nor was this question raised during deliberations of any specific matters upon which the Conference took action and therefore it is an improper question of law. The Council's Decision on Question 2B1 The bishop's decision of law is affirmed. Question 2B2: Is the cabinet the body to whom district superintendents are accountable, 429.3 'The cabinet is thus also the body in which the individual district superintendents are held accountable for their work, both for conference and district responsibilities; and Judicial Council Decision 763 'May the bishop have the discretion of choosing to use 529.3 (same as 429.3 in the 2000 Book of Discipline). . . to respond to a signed written grievance against a district superintendent or is it unconstitutional under 18 and 2622.4...? Bishop's Decision on Question 2B2: This question of law did not relate to the business, consideration or discussion of the Conference during its 2001 session, nor was this question raised during deliberations of any specific matters upon which the Conference took action and therefore it is an improper question of law. The Council's Decision on Question 2B2: There are actually two questions that are framed in this section. In the first instance the question relates to the accountability of district superintendents. In the second instance it relates to the application of grievance procedures against district superintendents. On one level the issue of accountability is a key item for consideration. District superintendent accountability is significant in relation to the role and participation of district superintendents within the life of the annual conference. The question of district superintendent accountability does relate to the current and proposed structure of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. The question relates to a particular reference within the Rules of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. This question particularly relates to the Conference Council, Episcopacy Committee, Mission Personnel, Witness Team, Spiritual Leadership Team and the Congregational Care Ministry Team. In Decision 917 the Judicial Council determined that there is a separation of powers doctrine, which is within the direction, and authority of the episcopal office. Inasmuch as the cabinet is an expression of superintending leadership in and through the annual conference and functions within the direction and authority of the episcopal office, the activity and role of such is significant with regard to the role played by superintendents. Decision 917 states: "(a)t times, as a result of their role and function as district superintendents and as the cabinet they are clearly exercising executive authority as part of the superintendency of the church." There are times when district superintendents exercise executive authority, which is related to their supervisory role. There are also occasions when this authority necessitates the application of the separation of powers doctrine. Establishing district superintendent accountability is key to the defining their role within the annual conference. This is specifically pertinent in connection with the Western Pennsylvania Conference Committee on Episcopacy. Judicial Council Decision 711 clearly states that a district superintendent is excluded from membership on the Committee on Episcopacy. Furthermore, it prohibits staff members from membership on the Committee on Episcopacy. In the Western Pennsylvania Conference the assistant to the bishop is also within the category of staff that is excluded from membership on the Committee on Episcopacy. The cabinet is the body to which district superintendents relate according to the following provision of 429.3: "[t]he cabinet is thus also the body to which district superintendents are held accountable for their work, both for conference and district responsibilities." This accountability raises the issue of executive authority in relation to district superintendents and their relationship to the annual conference. In essence, persons (i.e. district superintendents and conference staff) who are directly accountable to the episcopal office cannot function on the Committee on Episcopacy because it establishes a conflict of interest. The bishop is not affirmed with respect to his decision of law regarding the accountability of district superintendents. In relation to the second question regarding the application of 18 and 2622.4 concerning a written grievance against a superintendent the bishop is affirmed. There was nothing in the question that related to the business, consideration or discussion of the conference. Question 2B3: Is the ministry of the district superintendent an extension of the episcopacy with an oversight and supervision within the annual conference similar to bishops 404.2? Bishop's Decision on Question 2B3: This question of law did not relate to the business, consideration or discussion of the Conference during its 2001 session, nor was this question raised during deliberations of any specific matters upon which the Conference took action and therefore it is an improper question of law. The Council's Decision on Question 2B3: The bishop's decision of law is affirmed. Question 2B4: Do the current and proposed structures of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements of 15, 15.5, and 15.15, and Judicial Decision 831 . . . n that district superintendents are not members of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference, but members of the Western Pennsylvania Cabinet and are voting members of the Conference Council? Bishop's Decision on Question 2B4: This question is moot and hypothetical as it assumes that the District Superintendents are not members of Annual Conference. District Superintendents are members of the Annual Conference pursuant to 602 of The Book of Discipline. The Council's Decision on Question 2B4 The bishop's decision of law that the question is moot and hypothetical is erroneous. The correct ruling is that the structure of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference which specifies that one member of the at-large clergy of the Conference Council shall be a District Superintendent complies with the provisions of the Discipline. A district superintendent is a member of the annual conference and is eligible to serve as a clergy member of conference boards and agencies, except as specifically prohibited by the Discipline, Judicial Council decisions, or by the doctrine of separation of powers. See Decision 917. Question 2C: Do the current and proposed structure of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements of 15, 15.3, 15.5, 15.15, 610.2(b) 'The following shall be ex officio members of the council in addition to the number set by the annual conference under 610.2a . . . (3) the presiding bishop, without vote; (4) a district superintendent chosen by the cabinet, without vote,' and Judicial Decision 339. . . ? Bishop's Decision on Question 2C: This question is moot and hypothetical as it assumes that the District Superintendents have a right to vote on the Council known as "Supportive Ministries Team". The 2001 Conference Rules expressly state that the District Superintendent shall be an Ex Officio member of the Supportive Ministries Team without vote. The Council's Decision on Question 2C The bishop's decision of law that the question is moot and hypothetical is erroneous. The correct ruling is that the structure of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference which specifies that a district superintendent chosen by the cabinet shall be an ex officio member of the Supportive Ministries Team complies with the provisions of the Discipline. Paragraph 610.2(b) expressly provides that the conference council of finance and administration or such other structure which provides for the functions of this ministry and maintains the connectional relationships shall include a district superintendent chosen by the cabinet, without vote, as an ex officio member. Question 3: Do the current and proposed structure of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements of 608.1a . . . and Judicial Decision 411 . . . in that the current and proposed structures care for the General Church functioning with the annual conference, but is silent on how this functioning reaches to every level of the church, (i.e. district, and charge conference)? Bishop's Decision on Question 3: Yes. The Conference Structure is in compliance with 608.1(a) and Judicial Council Decision 411. The Annual Conference Structure provides for the functions and General Conference connections with all general agencies provided by The Book of Discipline as there are clear connections between the General Conference agencies, annual Conference programs and administrative entities, and the local congregation. The Council's Decision on Question 3 The bishop's decision of law is affirmed. Question 4: Do the current and proposed structures of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements of 608.1a . . . and: Judicial Decision 909 . . . in defining the relationships of the following annual conference boards, agencies, commissions, committees and organizations as they are not addressed in our Conference rules or the proposed legislation? (1) Conference Board of Church and Society (627) (2) Peace with Justice Coordinator (627.2) (3) Conference Board of Discipleship (628) (4) Conference Board of Global Ministries (630) (5) Conference Secretary of Global Ministries (630.3) (6) Conference Committee on Parish and Community Development (630.5) (7) Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry (631) (8) Conference Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns (639) (9) Conference Commission on Religion and Race (640) (10) Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women (641) (11) Conference Commission on the Small Membership Church (642) (12) Conference Commission on Communications (643) Bishop's Decision on Question 4: The Conference Structure meets the requirements of 608.1a. Additionally, many of the named boards and agencies are referenced specifically in the 2001 Conference Rules. Given the overall budgetary constraints, the board and agencies are appropriately funded. Finally, there are "legitimate working connections" with the General Church. The Council's Decision on Question 4 The bishop's decision of law is in error. There are numerous deficiencies in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference structure as set forth in the 2001 Conference Rules when compared with the requirements of the Discipline. In Decision 916, the Judicial Council stated that an "annual conference may restructure itself under 608 as long as other mandated disciplinary paragraphs are complied with and all mandated connections are maintained by the resulting structure. (See Decisions 314, 339, 411, 417, 640, 680, 815, 827, 831, 835, 878, 893 and 900)." The 2001 Rules seek to provide for a relationship between the various entities established in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference and the conference agencies required by the Discipline. For example, under the Rules, the Witness Team is designated to relate to the General Board of Church and Society, General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, the General Commission on Religion and Race, and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. However, neither the 2001 Rules nor the rules which they superseded ensure that the requirements of 627, 639, 640 and 641 are observed in this "other structure." The Nurture Team is designated to relate to the General Board of Discipleship and the General Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry. However, neither the 2001 Rules nor the rules which they superseded ensure that the requirements of 628 and 631 are observed in this "other structure." The Outreach Team is designated to relate to the General Board of Global Ministries. However, neither the 2001 Rules nor the rules which they superseded ensure that the requirements of 630 are observed in this "other structure." The Supportive Ministries Team is designated to relate to the General Commission on Communications. However, neither the 2001 Rules nor the rules which they superseded ensure that the requirements of 643 are observed in this "other structure." Finally, neither the 2001 Rules nor the rules which they superseded ensure that the requirements of 642 with respect to a conference commission on the small membership church are observed. The Rules would make adequate provision for these mandatory provisions of the Discipline if the Rules stated that the requirements of these paragraphs of the Discipline were assigned to entities created under the Rules. When an annual conference elects to combine various functions which are separately provided for in the Discipline, the annual conference must address how the new entity which will be responsible for these various functions will operate to ensure that the requirements of the Discipline are achieved. The annual conference must specifically enumerate the responsibilities of the new entity to ensure that all mandated provisions of the Discipline are clearly assigned. See Decision 835. As stated in Decision 835, the "connectional relationships and functions cannot be on paper only, but must be legitimate, working connections and functions with appropriately adopted budgets finally approved by the Annual Conference." In addition, the "prescribed number of members, the method of nomination and election, fixed terms and diversity of membership must be exactly as stated in the . . . Discipline." Decision 835. In numerous instances, the Conference Rules improperly delegate the responsibility of the annual conference to the conference council. For example, Rule 3.1.3 provides that "Where the Discipline or Conference Rules do not already delegate the functional responsibilities to council teams (as the 'equivalent/other structure'), the Conference Council will provide for or delegate the function." Rule 3.1.3 is an improper delegation of the power specifically assigned to the annual conference by the Discipline. Rule 3.2.4 improperly delegates to the Conference Council the responsibility reserved to the annual conference to organize and form conference agencies and to dissolve those agencies. In several instances, agencies of the Annual Conference such as the Supportive Ministries Team and the Board of Ordained Ministry, are made amenable to the Conference Council when the Discipline prescribes that such entities or the conference's other structure are to be amenable only to the annual conference. The foregoing listing of areas of improper delegation of power is not intended to be exhaustive. Thus, the structure created by the 2001 Rules and the structure which existed prior to the adoption of the 2001 Rules are not in compliance with the Discipline and the decisions of the Judicial Council. Question 5: Do the current and proposed structures of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements of 608.1a . . . and; Judicial Decision 909 . . . in that the following teams established by the current and proposed structures are not addressed in the Book of Discipline? (1) Nurture Team (2) Outreach Team (3) Witness Team (4) Spiritual Trailblazers Vision Team (5) Supportive Ministries Team (6) Monitoring Ministry Team (7) Inviting Ministries Vision Team (8) Transforming Vision Team Bishop's Decision on Question 5: This question is a hypothetical question as there is no Administrative Team, Spiritual Trailblazers Vision Team, Inviting Ministries Vision Team or Transforming Vision Team in the Conference Structure of the 2001 Conference Rules. Notwithstanding, it is my understanding of the question is asking whether the required function of the Book of Discipline are (sic) being carried out in our Conference Structure. Assuming that this is the question, the answer is yes. The Council's Decision on Question 5 Question 5 is a proper question for a ruling of law. At the 2001 session of the Annual Conference, legislation was pending before the Annual Conference which sought to modify the existing annual conference structure. Thus, a question for a ruling of law about the current conference structure and/or the proposed conference structure is germane to the business then pending before the annual conference. The bishop's decision that the question was hypothetical is in error. The conference structure in existence at the time of the question and which was proposed to be changed did include entities identified as the Vision Team for Spiritual Trailblazing Pastors (to be changed to the Spiritual Leadership Team if the 2001 Rules were adopted), the Vision Team for Inviting Congregations (to be changed to the Outreach Team if the 2001 Rules were adopted), and the Vision Team for Transforming Congregations (to be changed to the Witness Team if the 2001 Rules were adopted). A question for a ruling of law about the existing conference structure is appropriate when legislation is pending before the annual conference which would result in a change in that annual conference structure. For the reasons outlined in the analysis and rationale with respect to Question 4, the conference structure as it existed at the 2001 Annual Conference and as it was amended at the 2001 Annual Conference by the adoption of the 2001 Rules does not conform to the requirements of the Discipline or the decisions of the Judicial Council on conference structure. Question 6: Do the current and proposed structures of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements 608.1a . . . and; Judicial Decision 909 . . . in that the position of Conference Steward is created by the annual conference and there is no job description or governing documents on what the Conference Steward's powers, duties, and responsibilities are with existing boards, agencies, commissions, committees, and organizations? Bishop's Decision on Question 6: This question is hypothetical as it assumes that there is no job description for the Conference Council Steward. Pursuant to 607 of The Book of Discipline, the Conference has a Director of Connectional Ministries known as the Conference Council Steward. The Conference Rules have a job description of the Conference Council Steward. The Council's Decision on Question 6 Although the bishop incorrectly ruled that the question was hypothetical, he correctly ruled that the Conference Rules contain an adequate job description for the Conference Council Steward. Question 7: Does (sic) the current and proposed structures of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference meet the requirements of 604.14, in that executive or closed sessions may be held at the council's discretion on matters of a "sensitive nature", where matters of a sensitive nature are defined by the council? Bishop's Decision on Question 7: Yes. 604.14 is a new Disciplinary provision binding upon an Annual Conference, its boards and agencies. Accordingly, the Conference Rules must be interpreted in light of 604.14. The Council's Decision on Question 7 The bishop's decision is in error. Paragraph 604.14 of the Discipline expressly sets forth the authority of the official boards, agencies, commissions, and committees of the annual conference, including sub-unit meetings and teleconferences, to be closed. The Conference Rules, both as they existed prior to the 2001 amendments and as they were amended, provide that the "Conference Council may hold executive session to discuss and decide matters which, in its discretion, are of a sensitive nature." Such a provision exceeds and is in conflict with the provisions of 604.14, and, therefore, violates the Discipline. The Conference Rule contained in 3.2.5.4 of the 2001 Conference Rules is null and void. Executive sessions of the Conference Council are governed by 604.14 of the Discipline. An Annual Conference cannot vote to approve, disapprove or modify the Discipline on matters that have been mandated by the General Conference. Question 8: If the current and proposed structures of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference do not meet the standards raised in the above questions, must the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference use the disciplinary structure of boards, agencies, and other entities? Bishop's Decision on Question 8: This question is a hypothetical question because the structure is compliant with the Book of Discipline and applicable Judicial Council Decisions. The Council's Decision on Question 8: The bishop's decision is in error. In response to Questions 2B2, 4, 5 and 7, the Judicial Council has determined that the structure of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference, as it existed immediately prior to the 2001 amendments to the Conference Rules, and as it exists following the adoption of the amendments, does not comply with the requirements of the Discipline or the decisions of the Judicial Council. In Decision 878 and 900, the Judicial Council stated that an annual conference structure that does not comply with the Discipline is null and void and of no effect. Therefore, the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference must revert to the last annual conference structure which complied with the terms of Discipline. Because such a reversion may cause substantial disruption in the operation of the Annual Conference, the Annual Conference will be permitted to operate under the 2001 Rules through its 2002 annual conference session at which time it shall revert to the last annual conference structure which fully complied with the Discipline, unless it has adopted amendments to its rules to ensure compliance with the Discipline. The Annual Conference must review its structure as set forth in the 2001 Rules for compliance with the Discipline and Judicial Council decisions. Upon its review and adoption of amendments to bring its Rules into compliance with the Discipline, the complete conference structure and rules must be resubmitted to the Judicial Council for review and approval. Question 9: Does the Conference Council on Finance and Administration's equivalent structure meet the standards of 610.2? i.e.: (1) Membership of clergy and laity and number (2) Legislatively mandated small membership church representation (3) No member of or employee of any conference agency participating in funding (cabinet, conference sessions, conference publications, Board of Trustees) Bishop's Decision on Question 9: The Conference Council on Finance and Administration's equivalent structure, the Supportive Ministry Team, meets the standards of 610.2(a). The 2001 Conference Rules specifically provide that membership shall be consistent with 610.2(a). As vacancies are filled throughout the year, actual membership will be brought in alignment with the Conference Structure. The Council's Decision on Question 9 The bishop's decision of law is affirmed in part and reversed in part. The bishop and the clergy member who propounded the question have both represented to the Judicial Council that the current membership of the Supportive Ministry Team now complies with the requirements of the Discipline and with the 2001 Conference Rules. As noted previously, the 2001 Conference Rules expressly provide that the membership of the Supportive Ministry Team is to be consistent with 610.2(a). The record before the Judicial Council, however, is unclear with respect to whether the current membership of the Supportive Ministry Team complies with the following provision of 610.2(a): "No member or employee of any conference agency and no employee, trustee, or director of any agency or institution participating in the funds of any conference budget shall be eligible for voting membership on the council." In Decision 10, the Judicial Council held that the members of a conference board that asks for appropriations from the conference council on finance and administration is ineligible for membership on the council or its equivalent annual conference structure. See also Decision 493. To the extent that the current membership of the Supportive Ministry Team contains members who have the right to vote who are also members or employees of a conference agency or members of an agency or institution participating in the funds of any conference budget, they must immediately be removed from voting membership on the Supportive Ministry Team and be replaced so that the Team otherwise complies with the requirements of 610.2(a).

Decision

The decisions of law of Bishop Hae-Jong Kim concerning the structure of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference are affirmed in part and reversed in part. The rules of the Conference, both prior to amendment in 2001 and as amended in 2001, created a conference structure which fails to meet the requirements of the Discipline and the decisions of the Judicial Council. The Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference must revert to the last annual conference structure which complied with the terms of the Discipline. Because such a reversion may cause substantial disruption in the operation of the Annual Conference, the Conference will be permitted to operate under the 2001 Rules through its 2002 annual conference session at which time it shall revert to the last annual conference structure which fully complied with the Discipline, unless it has adopted amendments to its rules to ensure compliance with the Discipline. The Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference is required to review the structure, and adopt the required conference rule amendments bringing them into compliance with the Discipline. The complete conference structure and rules are to be submitted to the Judicial Council for review and approval. We retain jurisdiction over this matter for this purpose and direct that this matter be continued on our Fall 2002 Docket to receive a report of the action taken by the 2002 annual conference session. District superintendents and members of the Conference Staff are barred from membership on the conference committee on episcopacy. The Conference Rules permitting the Conference Council to meet in executive session to discuss and decide matters that, in its discretion, are of a sensitive nature, violate 604.14 of the Discipline. The Supportive Ministry Team, the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference's equivalent structure for the conference council on finance and administration, cannot have members who have a right to vote who are also members or employees of a conference agency or members of an agency or institution participating in the funds of any conference budget. C. Rex Bevins was absent. This copy subject to final editing and correcting

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