Judicial Council Decisions Search
Decision No. 1014
April 28 2005
In Re: Request from Kansas East Conference for a Declaratory Decision on the Meaning, Application, and Effect of ¶¶ 246.12 and 333 of the 2000 Discipline to a Requirement that Full-Time Clergy Contribute to the Cost of Health Insurance.
Digest of Case
Paragraphs 246.12 and 333 of the 2000 Book of Discipline do not preclude the Kansas East Annual Conference from implementing the health insurance contribution policy adopted at its 2004 session.
Statement of Facts
In response to concerns over the increasing cost of health insurance for clergy, the Kansas East Annual Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits conducted an inquiry to determine the best way to remedy the problem of rising premiums and the ensuing financial strain put on the Conference to cover the gap between the cost of those premiums and the amount paid by individual churches. After reviewing the recommendations of the Board, the 2004 Kansas East Annual Conference adopted the following recommendation:
2. In addition, it is the recommendation of the Board that the church/charge deduct from full-time clergy's compensation an amount (equal to 4% of full-time clergy's annual compensation) as a contribution to the cost of the conference-sponsored health insurance plan. . . .With regard to this recommendation, a concern was raised as to whether this requirement was legal in light of the Conference's minimum base salary for clergy. A member of the Conference moved “to refer the decisions just made to the Judicial Council because of his concern that ¶ 246.12 and 333 of The Book of Discipline prohibit this.” Thus, the 2004 session of the Kansas East Annual Conference requested a declaratory decision as to the meaning, application and effect of ¶¶ 246.12 and 333 of the 2000 Book of Discipline as to the requirement that full-time clergy contribute to the cost of health insurance.