Standing of a Wesley Foundation Pastor
My experience with Wesley Foundation is that from its ranks come pastors and lay leadership. Those still with the church at that point in their life, many of whose generation will not return to the church until they have children of Sunday School age, have often become strong participants in local churches upon graduation from college. Not having someone in leadership in the Wesley Foundation or the higher education program of the conference would be leaving out an important voice related to the future of the Church.
But in this West Michigan case, the bishop felt it necessary to close down that option by noting that the Wesley Foundation was not a church but an adjunct to the conference Board of Higher Education and the pastor only an employee of that Board. The nomination of that pastor who is a Local Pastor was for an open seat on the Leadership Council, and not as a representative required by conference rules.
Church law sometimes works against the best interests of the Church. Most of the time, it saves us from serious problems and provides for the ground rules for us to cooperate in the most effective way, based on long experience. There usually are good reasons for laws to be passed. But there are times laws (conference rules, etc.) are used to prevent legitimate concerns from being handled reasonably.
The Council can only work with what is given and what the law is. They are not always in a position to deal with a possible conference political conflict or other dynamic that might be involved. Hopefully, the parties involved may seek a legislative change in the conference rules or see if there is another way to resolve the concerns of both sides.