Ruling of Law #2

During the June 21, 2014, session of the Arkansas Annual Conference, Rev. David Orr made the following request:

I request a ruling of church law on the matter of limitations on years of service for those serving on the Appointive Cabinet. Specifically, does Par 418 of the 2012 Book of Discipline apply to non-district superintendents serving on the Appointive Cabinet?


It might be appropriate to declare this request for a ruling of law as inappropriately moot and hypothetical because it relates to a term, “the Appointive Cabinet,” that does not exist in, and is not defined by, The Book of Discipline. Further, since the request relates to “non-district superintendents” and ¶418 applies only to district superintendents, it appears that the question does not concern an issue of law under The Book of Disciplineand is therefore improper for that reason also. Finally, it might be inappropriate because it was not an item related to any business undertaken during the 2014 annual conference, but legislation addressed in a previous annual conference session. See Judicial Council decisions 1214, 1086, 799 and 33.

Nevertheless, I will address the request in a substantive manner.

¶418 limits the tenure of a district superintendent and, therefore, limits his or her membership in the cabinet as a district superintendent. Neither this, nor any other paragraph in The Book of Discipline,states that those who serve in the cabinet and are not district superintendents are bound by ¶418.

 Therefore, I rule that ¶418 is not binding on non-district superintendents who serve in a consultative fashion in cabinet meetings that address the making of appointments.


Gary E. Mueller
Resident Bishop
The Arkansas Conference
The United Methodist Church
June 27, 2014


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See Also: Ruling of Law #1