Skip Navigation

Judicial Council Decisions Search


Decision No. 1000

Back to Search

October 28 2004
In Re: IN RE: Request for a Declaratory Decision by the Northern Illinois Annual Conference for Review of its Revised Plan of Structure and as Required by Decision 909.

Digest of Case

The Revised Plan of Structure of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference complies with the 2000 Discipline and the Constitution of The United Methodist Church and may be implemented as soon as practicable.

Statement of Facts

The minutes of the June 12, 2004, session of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference include a resolution "702-02 Change in Standing Rule III.D.2 - Council on Ministries" as well as a request for a declaratory decision based on Judicial Council retention of jurisdiction in Decision 909. The purpose of the change in this standing rule was specifically to adapt the Conference's rules to meet changes in the Discipline that have occurred since the Conference's current rule pertaining to the Conference Council on Ministry was adopted. Decisions 831, 893, and 909 all disapproved of restructuring efforts by the Conference. No request concerning the action was made to the bishop for a ruling of law. The Conference plan establishes a Conference Council on Ministries designed to be in ministry with the Director of Connectional Ministries "in carrying out the priorities of focusing and guiding the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church within the Northern Illinois Annual Conference. . . .” By doing so, the Conference has met the requirements of ¶607 of the 2000 Discipline. The Conference Council on Ministries is the connectional unit that relates broadly to the general church. Membership on the Council is divided into individuals elected by the Conference with voice and vote and ex-officio members with voice only to serve as resources as appropriate. The Plan calls for four ministry teams – nurture, outreach, witness, and advocacy – each of which has specific responsibilities, including relating appropriately to general church agencies, thus providing the appropriate connectional interaction. Jurisdiction The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under ¶ 2610 of the 2000 Discipline and Decision 909. Analysis and Rationale The intent of the rules revision is to specifically tailor the program life of the Conference to meet the evolving focus of ministry as set forth in ¶ 607 of the 2000 Discipline. This paragraph recommends that each annual conference have a director of connectional ministries. The Revised Plan of the Conference establishes such a position and establishes a Conference Council on Ministries to assist the Director in carrying out the requirements of the position. The Conference Revised Plan is designed to meet the requirements of ¶ 608.1 to provide "clear connections" between conference agencies and those of the general church. The action of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference in adopting its revised plan complies with the 2000 Discipline, the Constitution of the United Methodist Church, and may be implemented as soon as practicable. It should be noted that the Northern Illinois Annual Conference has abandoned its previous effort at restructuring the conference. Decisions 831, 893, and 909. Although the Conference has requested a declaratory decision based on retention of jurisdiction by the Council under Decision 909, the Conference revised plan does not address the questions posed by the Council in Decision 909. Since the Conference has abandoned its previous attempts at restructuring, the questions in Decision 909 are moot insofar as this declaratory decision is concerned.

Decision

The Revised Plan of Structure of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference complies with the 2000 Discipline and the Constitution of The United Methodist Church and may be implemented as soon as practicable.

Back to Search