NAD Working Policy L-60 section 15
Known events where this policy failed
( ♦ = matter still not resolved)
|Local Conference Level
Notes and discussion about this policy:
Regarding the text “the process to be followed to safeguard the integrity of the ministry shall be as set out in the division policies."
It seems that there is more to this policy than what is written here. Something is “set out in the division policies” that define and explains the process.
There is a small list of church leaders at the Union Conference and the North American Division who can answer questions about this policy. Here is the list
Atlantic Union Conference: G. Earl Knight, President
Pierre Omeler, Executive Secretary
North American Division: Dan Jackson, President Jackson,
G. Alex Bryant, Executive Secretary
Carolyn Forrest, Associate Secretary
Alvin Kibble, Chairman of the Policy Review Committee
Should those processes fail . . .”
In the case where the President of a local conference is accused of moral or professional misconduct, the people involved find themselves in a situation where the one who is accused of misconduct is in the position to control or influence the agenda of the Executive Committee that is proper venue for investigating the accusations against him. The accused Conference President could avoid investigation by keeping the matter off the agenda of the next Executive Committee meeting.
The writers of the Church Manual assume that the church leaders who are in positions to administer the church manual will follow what the manual says. (for example see Section for Settlement of Grievances of the Church Against Members, page 61). The delegates at General Conference sessions have not seen fit to correct this or add language that condemns violations of these proceedures. The Working Policies are written with the same assumption that church administrators will follow the church policies.
We notice recent awareness that injustice does happen in the church. The 59th GC Session made two interesting changes to the church manual. Page 67 balances the right of the church to administer discipline with the "rights of the member to seek fairness." and adds a new right to the members on page 64, "the right to prior notification of the disciplinary meeting" both rights were not mentioned in the 17th edition.
It is interesting to study the definition of "should those processes fail . . ." to consider a Conference President who fails to put on the agenda of the next Executive Committee meeting an investigation into accusations against himself. If this happens, does it mean that the process has failed? Can the process get stuck in limbo because this is not written into the division policies as a definition of when "the process fails"?
Accusations of misconduct should not be treated by the Administrators as a “request” because the person who is accused of professional misconduct is in the position to control or influence the agenda of the Executive Committee meeting and that if the committee fails to resolve the matter the working policy defines a process that continues without the accused person being able to control or influence the agenda because the next step is for the Union Conference President to call a meeting of the same Executive Committee which was prevented from dealing with these charges (when it was kept off the agenda).
The writer of this article asked the people on the list above and only Carolyn Forrest was willing to address the issue. She informed me that there is no separate written definition of when the "process fails" and there is no written policy how to procede when a Conference President fails to allow accusations of his own misconduct to be addressed at the next Executive Committee meeting. It depends on the interpretation of the wording of the policy.
These is more to this story, so come back to this page again for updates.