Appealing Differences to the next level - - added to Chapter 3
There is a major change in the procedure to appeal differences between churches and conferences when a misunderstanding or difference of opinion arise.
On June 27th the 59th GC Session approved the following paragraph to be included in Chapter 3 - page 31
Church Manual, Chapter 3, Organization and Authority
When differences arise in or between churches and conferences or institutions, appeal to the next higher constituent level is proper until it reaches an Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee of the General Conference Session. Between these meetings, the General Conference Executive Committee constitutes the body of final authority on all questions. The committee's decision may be reviewed at a General Conference Session or an Annual Council. When organizations review the decisions of other organizations, they do not assume the responsibility for the liabilities of any other organization.
This text was approved by the 59th GC Session on June 27, 2010 (see 400GS SDA Church Manual – Church Manual Revision ). Now appears on page 31
The 17th Edition described a procedure for clarification of differences
Church Manual, page xxii (17th Edition)
· "Churches should look to the local conference for advice pertaining to the operating of the church or on questions arising from the Church Manual. If mutual understanding or agreement is not reached, the matter should be referred to the union for clarification." ( Revised: 18th edition, page 20 )
The 17th Edition made no provision to bring any appeal that started at the Church/Conference level, beyond the Union Conference level. It is not clear what will happen to asking the local conference for advice pertaining to the operating of the church or on questions arising from the Church Manual found in the text on page xxii. It seems that the Introduction (pages xix to xxiii) has been removed and the new Church Manual has the Table of Contents followed by Chapter 1, titled 'Why a Church Manual' - Since removing part of the church manual is a change, which has not been recorded, it is more likely that this text will still appear in another part of the manual and that the appeal process has been added.
The last sentence of this addition is also significant in that it is the first time that the Church Manual addresses the 'liabilities of church organizations'
- - Please see the page for Liabilities of Church Organizations
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