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Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions

A sacred trust exists between church members and their elected Church leaders. Unity and trust are strengthened as church members and organizational leaders commit to being led by the Spirit to regard and honor the constituted decisions made by fellow church members and leaders. 

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”—Eph 4:3. “We are coming to a time when, more than ever before, we shall need to press together, to labor unitedly. . . In unity there is strength.”—2SM 374. 

Where regard for and practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee actions have not been followed, these principles shall apply:

1. All perceived non-compliance shall officially be identified and reported by the Administrative Committee of a conference and/or union and/or division successively to the next higher organization, beginning with the administrative level of the Church closest to the matter. If any level of organization does not report an issue of non-compliance, it becomes the responsibility of the next higher organization.

2. Planning for and implementing compliance shall initially be the responsibility entrusted to the administrative level of the Church closest to the matter.

3. Administrators dealing with any matter of perceived non-compliance shall exercise Christian due process which will (a) include much prayer and dialogue, (b) provide a clearly written statement defining the perceived non-compliance, (c) provide an opportunity for the executive officers of the perceived non-compliant entity to provide both a verbal and written explanation, (d) create an atmosphere by which compliance and unity may be achieved, and (e) provide a reasonable timeframe to realize change and consistent progress. 

If, in the opinion of the executive officers of the conference and/or union and/or division and/or General Conference, change has been requested but has not been realized or there is no evidence of consistent progress, the General Conference Administrative Committee may request the appropriate General Conference Compliance Review Committee* to implement its terms of reference. If, in the opinion of a General Conference Compliance Review Committee, reasonable time has been given for discussion and review, the General Conference Compliance Review Committee may directly make recommendations to the appropriate Administrative Committee.

An entity seeking appeal may do so directly to the assigned General Conference Compliance Review Committee.* The appeal process made by the non-compliant entity shall be considered part of the work of the General Conference Compliance Review Committee* as defined by its terms of reference. 

4. With sound judgment and prayerful discernment, administrators may use existing General Conference working policies and guidelines as tools for resolving matters of non-compliance.

5. If the matter continues to be unresolved, the next higher level of Church organization is tasked with the responsibility to resolve the matter or facilitate the initiation of a process leading to consequences.

In the event the due process referenced above does not bring about compliance and does not result in the reversal of the action taken by the non-compliant entity and/or the constituency-elected leader of that body (the union president, who represents both the voice of the union constituency and the voice of the world Church and who is an ex officio member of the General Conference Executive Committee), the entity and its duly elected leader may be subject to the following:

1. Warned—By vote of simple majority of the General Conference Executive Committee, unions/unions of churches that have complied with a General Conference Executive Committee and/or General Conference Session actions but have taken actions that are not in compliance with the practices of the Church as defined by the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws and the General Conference Working Policy may be “warned.” Being “warned” applies generally to a non-compliant entity and does not intend to identify individuals for further action or mention.

2. Public Reprimand—By vote of simple majority of the General Conference Executive Committee, the president of such unions/unions of churches that have not complied with General Conference Executive Committee actions and/or General Conference Session actions, including Working Policy that has been voted by the General Conference Executive Committee and/or General Conference Session, may be given a public reprimand. Each time the union president exercises his right of voice to address the General Conference Executive Committee, the members will be informed that the speakerhas been given a public reprimand.

3. Placed on Removal for Cause and Subject to Policy Application—When non-compliance continues after public reprimand, the relevant General Conference Compliance Review Committee,* by virtue of prior General Conference Executive Committee actions and General Conference Session actions, shall have authority to consider and recommend to the General Conference Administrative Committee, division officers, and General Conference Executive Committee, applying the existing General Conference working policies and guidelines, such as removal of the individual member “for cause.”—Bylaws Article XIII Sec. 1. c. and GC B 95. 

In the event that entities that have been “warned” or “reprimanded” take actions that bring their entities into compliance with the practices of the Church as defined by the General Conference Constitution and Bylaws, the General Conference Working Policy, and voted actions of the General Conference Executive Committee and/or General Conference Session, the relevant General Conference Compliance Review Committee* shall recommend to the General Conference Administrative Committee that they be reinstated to regular standing by the General Conference Executive Committee. In the event that entities that have been “warned” or “reprimanded” continue in non-compliance with voted actions of the General Conference Executive Committee and/or General Conference Session, the relevant General Conference Compliance Review Committee* may recommend to the General Conference Administrative Committee to pursue other actions that may be available in the General Conference working policies and guidelines or the Constitution and Bylaws of the General Conference. If, after the organization closest to the matter has been unable to resolve a compliance issue and the General Conference Compliance Review Committee* has recommended consequences, only the General Conference Executive Committee and/or the General Conference in session has authority to implement the recommendation.

Presidents of conferences/missions whose unions have been “reprimanded” shall continue to exercise voice, as provided by the General Conference Bylaws, and the body will be notified that the invitee requesting voice is a constituent representative of a conference/mission of a “reprimanded” union.

In instances where a president has been removed from the membership of the committee “for cause,” other members of the General Conference Executive Committee from that union shall continue to exercise full privileges without mention of reprimand. 

Entities who desire reconsideration of a General Conference Executive Committee and/or General Conference Session action, may seek recourse through processes already provided for in the General Conference Working Policy. The process of seeking recourse and the “Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions” shall run concurrently.

As circumstances warrant, this process may be used as a model by other levels of Church organization.

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* As per General Conference Administrative Committee action of July 17, 2018.

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