Bylaw revision to be voted on at Gathering 2024

Proposed change to reversion clause gives district conferences flexibility in addressing a church’s capital assets if the church dissolves or leaves the conference

0
136
Photo: Getty Images

Congregations have been notified of a proposed change to the U.S. Conference of MB Churches bylaws to be voted on by delegates to the 2024 National Convention, July 25-27 in Omaha, Nebraska.

USMB bylaws stipulate that congregations be given 90 days advance notice of any proposed bylaw changes. A letter about this change was sent to churches April 16.

The change to Article IV Conference Relationships, Section 1 Relation to Member Churches concerns the reversion clause. The proposed change gives district conferences flexibility in addressing a church’s capital assets if the church dissolves or leaves the conference and indicates that no legal action will be taken if a church denies a reversion request.

The current by-law reads: Should a member church withdraw from the Conference or be dissolved, its capital assets shall become the property of the district conference of which the church is a member. If the church is not a member of any district conference, its assets shall become the property of the U. S. Conference.

The proposed change reads: Should a member church withdraw from the Conference or be dissolved, the Conference may request that the church’s capital assets become the property of the district conference of which the church is a member. If the church is not a member of any district conference, its assets may become the property of the U.S. Conference. In keeping with Scripture (1 Corinthians 6:1-8) and the USMB Confession of Faith (Articles 8, 10, and 13), to deny this request may not result in legal action on the part of district conferences or the U.S. Conference; however, there will remain an expectation that a return of or a remuneration for assets will be provided by the withdrawing/dissolving member church.

In the letter sent to all USMB churches, Leadership Board chair Luke Haidle gives the board’s rationale for recommending the change.

  • Feedback from constituents indicates that having a reversion clause on the national level serves the districts.
  • Districts have addressed each relevant case in ways unique to the situation and the recommended change allows for that flexibility.
  • There is a desire to “allow districts to avoid taking fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to court while still appealing to their conscience in matters of commitment,” according to the letter.

Haidle also notes that there is still the need for a reversion clause and so the Leadership Board recommends that districts continue to retain a reversion clause in their district by-laws.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here