EXECUTIVE ACTION WITHOUT LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL
The concerns raised at the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference were divided into four separate decisions, of which this is the second.
The second concern is that without Annual Conference prior approval, executive actions which set up agencies under the aegis of the United Methodist Church could turn into a free field for the executive branch (bishop’s office) to direct finances, staff, and authority, leaving the Annual Conference in the position of being a rubber stamp. In fact, because the agency set up to meet the emergency of last year’s superstorm, A Future with Hope corporation, is already an independent legal incorporated entity, the fact that it was formed under illegal circumstances would have no effect.
Again, no sanctions are suggested, just as no direction is offered to give a path to legal actions in emergency situations. Maybe it is presumed that an emergency session of the conference could be called and plans for agency development, financing, and staffing could be presented for review, possible adjustments, and approval.
My contention is that bishops are moving toward more and more control and away from control being within the annual conference where it has resided for the history of the Methodist movement. The Judicial Council is drawing a line in the sand as a reminder that there is such a thing as separation of powers and bishops must not forget it.
Watchdogs beware. Bishops somehow do not remember Judicial Council Decisions that they would not like if they even read them in the first place.