Methodists/Trustee Responsibility


The Methodist 2013 Discipline says the following(I added the notes in parens):
¶ 2533. Board of Trustees’ Powers and Limitations —1. Subject to the direction of the charge conference, the board of trustees shall have the supervision(observe and direct the execution of (a task, project, or activity), oversight(an unintentional failure to notice or do something), and care(the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something) of all real property owned by the local church and of all property and equipment acquired directly by the local church or by any society, board, class, commission, or similar organization connected therewith, provided that the board of trustees shall not violate the rights of any local church organization elsewhere granted in the Discipline; provided further, that the board of trustees shall not prevent or interfere(prevent (a process or activity) from continuing or being carried out properly) with the pastor in the use(take, hold, or deploy (something) as a means of accomplishing a purpose or achieving a result; employ) of any of the said property for religious services or other proper meetings or purposes recognized by the law, usages, and customs of The United Methodist Church, etc.

1.   There seems to be a conflict between the Trustee’s Supervision Oversight and Care, and Pastor’s Interfere or Use provisions.
2.   Does the Administrator provision give them the authority to override Discipline or Trustee specifications/decisions?
3.   Do any of them have the authority to order Trustees to alter the building or contents, or how to decorate it, including decoration of the sanctuary or it’s alter or order the provision of a table instead of the alter for communion?

This is my opinion.  Please note that I am NOT a lawyer.  My opinion is based on 35+ years involvement in the UMC.

1.  It looks clear to me that the Pastor has the final word.

2.  I don't understand who the Administrator is - not mentioned in the Discipline.

3.  I would say no.  Actually, the decoration of the altar is the responsibility of the Worship committee.

Hope this helps.  Sorry I took so long to answer, I've been ill.



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Carl Fuglein


General questions about the United Methodist Church - its history, Book of Discipline, its stance on current issues, church politics and administration, etc.


I've attended United Methodist Churches for 40 years and been an "official" member for 33 years. I've held many lay positions within the church and am considered a church "leader".

I've attended the UMC lay speaking academy and am a recognized conference preacher.

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