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Decision No. 1091

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April 28 2008
In Re: Continuation of Review of Bishop’s Decision of Law in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference Concerning the Application of ¶ 612.19 of the 2004 Book of Discipline to the 2007 Conference Budget as Required by Decision 1081.

Digest of Case

The Council on Finance and Administration of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference reviewed the Conference’s action in giving United Methodist funds to the North Carolina Council of Churches and to the Wesley-Luther Campus Ministry at UNC-Greensboro, and determined it acted appropriately under the provisions of ¶ 612 of the 2004 Book of Discipline. The Bishop’s decision of law is affirmed.

Statement of Facts

In Decision 1081 the Judicial Council retained jurisdiction to review the Bishop’s Decision of Law in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference Concerning the Application of ¶ 612.19 of the 2004 Book of Discipline to the 2007 Conference budget. The record shows that the Western North Carolina Annual Conference Council on Finance and Administration reviewed the funding requests, evaluated the work and activities of the North Carolina Council of Churches and Wesley-Luther Campus Ministry, and made a determination as required by the 2004 Book of Discipline regarding ¶ 612.19. The Council reported its findings to the Judicial Council within the required 60 day timeline. The Conference Council on Finance and Administration of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference reviewed materials related to the two questions raised and the Decision of Law by Bishop McCleskey. Based upon the review the Council reported its findings:

As to Question 1: The allocation of funds to the N.C. Council of Churches in the 2008 Conference budget does not violate Paragraph 612.9 [sic] of the Discipline. As to Question 2: The allocation of funds to the Wesley-Luther Campus Ministry at UNC-Greensboro in the 2008 Conference budget does not violate Paragraph 612.9 [sic] of the Discipline.
Jurisdiction
The Council retained jurisdiction under Decision 1081 under ¶ 2609 of the 2004 Book of Discipline.
Analysis and Rationale
Paragraph 612.1 of the 2004 Discipline authorizes the conference council on finance and administration to “recommend to the annual conference for its action and determination budgets of anticipated income and proposed expenditures for all funds that provide for annual conference clergy support, annual conference administrative expenses, and annual conference benevolence and program causes.” Paragraph 612.19 of the 2004 Discipline states that “no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality. The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures.” The annual conference council on finance and administration is charged under ¶ 612.19 with the responsibility of determining whether United Methodist funds are being used on such expenditures which promote the acceptance of homosexuality. The Western North Carolina Council on Finance and Administration reviewed and determined that the decision regarding the allocation of funds did not violate ¶612.19. The Conference Council on Finance and Administration is authorized by the Discipline and has the authority to make such determination in recommending to the Annual Conference the budget. The Conference Council on Finance and Administration completed its mandated task. The Judicial Council reminds the annual conferences that decisions regarding expenditure of church funds can not violate ¶ 612.19 of the Discipline.
Decision
The Council on Finance and Administration of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference reviewed the Conference’s action in giving United Methodist funds to the North Carolina Council of Churches and to the Wesley-Luther Campus Ministry at UNC-Greensboro, and determined it acted appropriately under the provisions of ¶ 612 of the 2004 Book of Discipline. The Bishop’s decision of law is affirmed. Shamwange P. Kyungu was absent. C. Rex Bevins, the first clergy alternate, participated in this decision.

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