From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Fri, 7 Feb 2003 14:09:27 -0600
Judicial Council to consider question from bishops
Feb. 7, 2003 News media contact: Joretta Purdue7(202) 546-87227Washington
By United Methodist News Service
When it meets this spring, the United Methodist Church's supreme court will
consider a proposal that would increase the term of the Council of Bishops'
president while relieving that person of the duties of supervising a
Currently, a president of the council serves for one year as president-elect
and one year as president, and at the same time is the spiritual and
administrative leader of an area that may include several states or
countries. Bishops' duties also include presiding at annual (regional)
conferences, and many of them serve on the boards of denominational agencies
and other church-related institutions.
The Council of Bishops has asked the United Methodist Judicial Council to
rule on the legality of a proposal that would give the president a four-year
term and no "residential" duties.
That matter is among a small number of cases that the nine-member court will
consider when it meets April 26-27 in Fort Worth, Texas. The court meets
twice a year, in spring and fall.
The Coordinating Council of the Philippines Central Conference has asked for
a decision on whether a member of the Judicial Council is eligible to serve
as a trustee of Wesleyan University-Philippines.
The court has also been asked to review a bishop's decision on the legality
of a special clergy session held at a different time and place from the West
Ohio Annual Conference's regular session.
The Judicial Council routinely reviews all decisions made by bishops at the
business sessions of the church's annual or regional conferences.
Deferred from the council's meeting last October is the review of Bishop
Edward Paup's decisions of law regarding the discontinuance of St. Paul
United Methodist Church in the Alaska Missionary Conference.
In another matter deferred from fall, the court will review Bishop S. Clifton
Ives' ruling on the West Virginia Conference Board of Pensions' use of funds
invested with the churchwide Board of Pension and Health Benefits.
And the court will review Bishop Joe Pennel's ruling related to retiree
health plan eligibility in the Virginia Annual Conference. This item was
deferred from October to provide more time for obtaining information from the
The church's General Council on Finance and Administration has withdrawn its
request for a declaratory decision related to the number of bishops assigned
to each jurisdiction. That matter had originally been deferred from the
Judicial Council's October session.
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United Methodist News Service
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