Saturday, July 23, 2011


Decision No. 696 In Re: The Legality of Holding Membership in Two Denominations Simultaneously.
There is no disciplinary provision authorizing an ordained United Methodist minister to hold membership simultaneously in another denomination. Upon joining another denomination, membership in The United Methodist Church is terminated.

While there is a lengthy chronology relating to this matter, the essential facts are as follows:

William Farmer, a member in full connection with the North Texas Annual Conference and serving under due assignment to St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, entered full communion with the Roman Catholic Church at Holy Cross Catholic Church on January 26, 1990, as a lay member.
This matter was the subject of consideration by Bishop Bruce Blake, the Conference Relations Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, the Joint Review Committee, the Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and the Clergy Session of the North Texas Conference, all of which took various actions and all of which made various recommendations. In any event, the matter came before the 1993 Session of the North Texas Annual Conference on a motion by the 1992 Clergy Session that William Farmer's membership be terminated. Bishop Blake ruled that the motion to terminate would be acted on at the next Clergy Session of the North Texas Conference.
At the opening of the 1993 Clergy Session of the North Texas Annual Conference, Bishop Blake ruled a substitute motion in order, which motion reversed the previous action of the 1992 Executive Session terminating William Farmer's membership and embraced the dual witness.
Subsequently, the positive answer to the disciplinary question, "Are all members of the Conference blameless in their life and official administration?" including William Farmer was approved by the Clergy Session. This action precipitated submission of a written question to the bishop. The response was Bishop Blake's decision that such an answer relating to William Farmer was illegal inasmuch as he was in disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church by joining the Roman Catholic Church and being in full communion therewith.
Zan Holmes recused himself and did not participate in any of the proceedings related to this decision.
The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2613 of the 1992 Discipline.
While there has been considerable discussion of due process and rights under ordination, this matter is one of membership. The General Conference is vested with the authority to set forth the terms and conditions of membership in The United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church in some instances has sanctioned a member in full connection serving in a position requiring Word, Sacrament and Order in other denominations, e.g. Par. 443.1(d). These instances are carefully authorized by disciplinary provisions and are well defined.
There is no disciplinary provision authorizing an ordained member of The United Methodist Church to hold membership in another denomination as a lay person. The Discipline speaks directly on the subject of lay persons who join another denomination and who fail to follow the procedures of transfer of membership. Par. 241 of the Discipline states that "upon receiving confirmation of a member's reception into another congregation ... the membership shall thereby be terminated." Par. 242 of the Discipline further provides that if a person joins another church the word "withdrawn" shall be entered after the person's name on the membership roll and be reported to the next Charge Conference.
In the case of ordained ministers, provisions in Par. 453.2, under the heading "Withdrawal to Unite with Another Denomination," and under Par. 453.5 entitled "Withdrawal Between Conferences," clearly lead one to the conclusion that joining another denomination constitutes a voluntary WITHDRAWAL by the clergy member from the denomination. These two paragraphs, coupled with the language of Par. 241, constitute the fact that a person cannot belong to another denomination and remain a member of The United Methodist Church. To hold otherwise would create a situation wherein ministers could hold dual membership with other denominations and lay persons could not.
Bishop Blake's decision that one cannot hold dual membership is correct. However, we deem irrelevant and immaterial that portion of his decision that William Farmer's "joining the Catholic Church constitutes a disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church." We further find immaterial and irrelevant his decision "that the action of the North Texas Conference in Clergy Session that William Farmer is blameless in his life and official administration is illegal." Additionally, a bishop does not have authority to make such decisions.
The admitted action of William Farmer in entering full communion with the Roman Catholic Church at Holy Cross Catholic Church on January 25, 1990, as a lay member constitutes William Farmer's withdrawal from The United Methodist Church and thereby terminates his membership therein. Decision
Bishop Blake's decision that William Farmer cannot hold dual membership as modified herein is affirmed.
Saturday, October 30, 1993.

An Open Letter from the COB of the UMC in MEA dated 07/20/2011

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Palawan Rose for Autonomy

PICTURES taken from

Lay & Workers Forum

Posted by Thommy Reyes for METODISTANG PILIPINO Group in Facebook
 People of Palawan rose in faith declaring independence!
 Palawan Declaring Independence!
wounded healers with Palawan workers! (BLT,Atty JFZ,Art Millan,Ace Bote)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Philippine Church Groups Made Alliance Towards an Autonomous Church

                  JESUS' KNIGHTS
On July 14 to 16 while the attempt to take over Capitol UMC at Puerto Princesa was brewing, the members of the Wounded Healers headed by Chita Millan, the president of the World Federation of Uniting and Methodist Women and Atty. Joe Frank Zuniga, the conference lay leader of the West Middle Philippines Annual Conference, held a working session with the galant leaders of the so called "Red Group" of Davao Area as well as the members of the autonomous movement of Bukidnon.

Said session was held at Waig Crystal Spring resort at Maramag,Bukidnon. They were able to forge alliance and came up with various courses of action.

They had shared their own ideas on how to establish the indigenous autonomous Methodist church in the Philippines. The autonomous movement is growing fast and in the next coming months a national conference of the autonomous conferences will be held to draft its constitution and by laws as well as the Tagalog version of the Book of Discipline called Aklat ng Batas Kaayusan.

By the way we really admire these groups in their clamor for autonomy of the Methodist church in the Philippines, a truly reformed and patriotic church free from American meddlings. We likewise acknowledge the galant stand and faith of the members of the Capitol UMC in Puerto Princesa.

May the Good Lord bless our cause.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Philippine UMC Bishops' Pastoral Statement (May 16, 2011)

(ref. Rev George Buenaventura's Email)

Philippines Central Conference
College of Bishops
UMC Headquarters, 900 U.N. Avenue
Ermita, Manila, 1000 Philippines

A Pastoral Statement

To : The UMC Community in the Philippines
From : The College of Bishops
Date : May 16, 2011

There are some recent developments in our church about which we want to inform you and to suggest to you how we might regard and handle them.

First, on May 7, 2011, some members and pastors of our church have decided to withdraw officially their membership in The United Methodist Church and organize themselves into a separate church which they name “The Philippines Methodist Church”. This was done in Carmen United Methodist Church in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija and was attended by some 200 people – lay and pastors and Bishop Lito Tangonan.

This is a sad event in the history of our church. This is the third time that there is schism in the Methodist community in the Philippines. We deeply wish that it should never have happened.

However, for whatever reasons these people are formally breaking membership relation with us, we must acknowledge that they have the right to do so. Membership in our church is voluntary, and withdrawal of that membership is equally voluntary. Such a choice is an expression of the right to religious freedom.

Should they wish to restore their membership with us later on, we must welcome them.

Second, it appears that these people have proclaimed officially that the first bishop of their schismatically organized group is Bishop Lito Tangonan. By all indications in terms of his participation in the preparation of the Carmen event, the proclamation of the schismatic group, and the structuring of the schismatic church, Bishop Tangonan appears to have accepted this offer. Given his active participation in establishing the schismatic group, he could not deny the offer, and he did not. The only reasonable
conclusion is that he now heads the schismatic church. This means that Bishop Tangonan has renounced his membership in the United Methodist Church, has vacated the office of Bishop of the United Methodist Church, and terminated his membership in both the College of Bishops of the Philippines Central Conference and the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church.

This is also a very sad event in the history of our church. We regret it very deeply.

However, Bishop Tangonan has the right to make this choice. We must respect both the right and the choice in which it was exercised.

It is only proper that in our respect of his right and of his choice, we shall no longer, from hereon, regard Bishop Tangonan as a bonafide member of our church and a bishop in our church.

Thirdly, The pastors and district superintendents who have joined in organizing the “Philippines Methodist Church” in exercise of their right and by the choice they have made are to be treated officially as having formally terminated their membership and ministry in The United Methodist Church.

The restoration of their membership and ministry – while welcome – may, however, depend on some conditions being met in accordance with the Discipline of The United Methodist Church.

Fourthly, the organizing of the Philippines Methodist Church as a schismatic group may entail questions of claims to properties. These questions may become legal issues that may entail court litigation and action. We shall do our best in protecting the interests and properties of The United Methodist Church.

Fifthly, we have no information that whole local churches or congregations are withdrawing from being a part of The United Methodist Church connection.

It may be that only members of local churches are seceding, not whole local churches. If this is the case, then the local church from which some of its members are withdrawing their membership remains and continues to be a local church of the entire UMC connection. Moreover, local churches are parts of annual conferences which are legally incorporated. And so their legal status is unimpaired by some of their members terminating their membership. If a whole local church and its entire membership decide to terminate their connectional and incorporate status, this may require an action of approval by the annual conference of which it is a member.

Finally, if a local church or some local churches decide to terminate their connectional and corporate status and the annual conference agrees, that does not impair the connectional and corporate status of the annual conference concerned. It retains legal authority over its properties, since properties of local churches are held in trust of The United Methodist Church – and are therefore connectionally held – and at the same time held corporately by the annual conference.

In conclusion, schism in the church is always a sad and troublesome affair. They have immediate and long-term consequences. In view of this, let us not make the situation become any worse than it is. Let us refrain from hurting words and harmful deeds. Let us act in good faith always speaking the truth in love. And with every opportunity that comes, let us together work toward preserving and promoting the unity of the church.

God bless you all!

(Sgd.) Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan
(Sgd.) Bishop Leo A. Soriano
(Sgd.) Bishop Emerito P. Nacpil
(Sgd.) Bishop Jose A. Gamboa, Jr.
(Sgd.) Bishop Daniel C. Arichea, Jr.
(Sgd.) Bishop Benjamin A. Justo

Thursday, July 7, 2011


The United Methodist Church West Middle Philippines Annual Conference Inc. Magsaysay St., San Jose, Balanga City, Bataan PAHAYAG NG LIDER NG LAYKO NG KUMPERENSYA PARA SA LAHAT NG METODISTA: Isang pagbati po sa ngalan ng ating Panginoong HesuKristo, Noon Hulyo 1, 2011 isang retiradong Obispo na nagngangalang DANIEL C. ARICHEA ang nagpalabas ng isang Pastoral Letter na diumano ang mga dumalo sa kumperensya ng Luacan UMC noong Mayo 29-31, 2011 ay hindi na kaanib ng United Methodist Church, samakatuwid ay wala ng karapatang gumamit ng mga ari-arian ng nasabing iglesia. Ito po ay isang malaking kasinungalingan. UNA: Ano po ang karapatan ng isang retiradong Obispo na magsabi nito sa mga tunay at lehitimong Metodista na hindi umaasa sa mga AMERIKANO para sa SWELDO? IKALAWA: Sa pahayag niya na ito ay isang maliwanag na paglabag sa Book of Discipline na sila diumano ang nagpapatupad. Ayon po sa par.2714 (6) ng Book of Disciplie "If the trial court finds that the charges are proven by clear and convincing evidence, then it may impose such penalties as it may determine, including that the professing membership of the charged layperson in the United Methodist Church be terminated, provided that the trial court shall first consider other remedies that would fulfill the _________" Ibig pong sabihin ay kailangang dumaan sa proseso ng katarungan bago magdesisyon ang hukuman ng iglesia na itiwalag na ang mga miembro. Ganito din po ang proseso para sa mga pastor at dyakonesa. Hindi po OBISPO ANG NAGDEDEKLARA nito.. Samakatuwid ay maliwanag na naman ang paglabag ng nasabing Obispo sa Book of Discipline gaya ng ginagawa nila, kalakip po dito ang desisyon ng Committee on Investigation kaugnay sa mga paglabag ng mga OBISPO sa disiplina ng iglesia bilang ANNEX "A". IKATLO: Bakit sasabihin na ng nasabing OBISPO na hindi na magagamit ang ating iglesia na diumano ay pag-aari ng UMC? Siya po ba ang bumili nito? Ano po ang kapangyarihan niya para magsabi ng ganito at gawin ito? Tayo po na mga layko katulong ang mga manggagawa ng iglesia ang bumibili ng mga lote at nagpapatayo ng mga gusaling sambahan hindi po ang mga OBISPO ni ang mga amerikano. Hindi po sila tumutulong sa pagpapagawa ng mga gusali. Tayo po ng mga miembro ang nagpapakasakit sa mga itinatayo nating mga gusali at sa maaming pagkakataon kabalikat natin ang mga Koreanong Metodista, na ''autonomous churches'' at hindi sila na mga OBISPO. IKAAPAT: Ang ordinasyon po ng mga pastor at commissioning ng mga dyakonesa ay magagawa natin sa pamamagitan ng ating TUNAY NA HALAL AT LEHITIMONG OBISPO na si OBISPO LITO C. TANGONAN, kaya wala pong dapat ipangamba ang mga pastor at dyakonesa at ito ay magagawa natin sa mga iglesia local. IKALIMA: Maliwanag na ayaw ng mga OBISPO na ariin na ng mga iglesia local ang ari- ariang dapat sana ay sa atin, subalit hindi na nila tayo mapipigilan sapagkat ito ay isang magandang prinsipyo ng METODISTA ang pagiging mabuting katiwala ( CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP). Dinadaan ng liderato ng iglesia sa pamamagitan ng pananakot, pagsuhol at panlilinlang upang sila ay suportahan ng mga manggagawa at layko. Wag na tayong matakot sa kanila labanan natin ang mga katiwalian sa iglesia at tumayo sa prinsipyo ng katarungan batay sa Banal na kasulatan. Manindigan tayo sa kasarinlan ng ating minamahal na iglesia. Ako po ay nananawagan sa malawakang '' civil disobedience'' o hindi pagsunod sa mga OBISPO bilang protesta sa mga kawalan ng KATARUNGAN at KATIWALIAN . Ito po ay karapatan natin batay sa SALIGANG BATAS o 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. 
 Kay Kristo, 
Ito po ang inyong Lingkod
 Atty. JOE FRANK E. ZUNIGA Conference Lay Leader

FACEBOOK/PINOY METODISTA: Start of Witch Hunting in the Church Workers of the UMC

Post by Atty. Freddie Roxas 07/072011
Please click the files to download for easy reading.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bishop Arichea's Pastoral Letter to All UMC Churches, Church Workers and Members in the West Middle PAC July 1, 2011 .

Please click the document to download.

Pinoy Metodista post on Facebook

To all church workers of the United Methodist Church: The pastoral statements that were recently issued are mere ploys to sow fear among you. Do not believe the same because only the church trial court can decide on that not the bishops, remember they are salaried by the american general conference and they are not even members of our... church here because they are members of the council of bishops.They are not even members of any church in the Philippines. They deserve civil disobedience, let us unite to refuse this kind of leadership, we are the church not them. The local church people are the ones buying lots and building church buildings and the bishops dont even lift fingers to help us. We will be the ones to decide on these issues not the bishops. Let us read the statement of Rev. Nathaniel Manuel which was posted in this site also. GOD bless our cause.-Atty JFZ (from Jesus Knights)

See comments thread in facebook/pinoy metodista

  • CLICK: Pinoy Metodista

    Complaint Involving Bishops Concerning the Multi-million peso Anomaly in PCU

    From Atty Roxas' Google Docs
    Please click the link below for easy reading

    Click here: THE DOCUMENTS


    Bishop Tangonan's Motion for Reconsideration to the Judicial Council .

    13 June 2011

    F. Belton Joyner, Jr.
    Secretary, The Judicial Council
    The United Methodist Church
    1821 Hillandale Road, Suite 1B, PMB 334
    Durham, North Carolina  27705

    Dear Secretary Joyner,

    I received a copy of Judicial Council Memorandum 1183 dated 29 April 2011, to which I am seeking for reconsideration. I am sending this e-mail letter with attached sets of evidentiary documents (Batch 1-7). Please advise me if I need to send all the copies by courier service or email would be enough.

    With reference to the “Concurring Opinion” of JC Memorandum 1183, specifically,

    “we have some concern about the six suspensions of Bishop Lito Tangonan.   We do not have a complete record of all of the matters in regard to those suspensions, but, from the information we have requested and received, it is not clear that fair process has been adequately provided...we would expect to have a more complete record to determine if there has been a failure of fair process” 

    I respectfully submit herewith a compilation of official records we have on file regarding the series of Resolutions of complaints and suspensions promulgated by the Philippines Central Conference – College of Bishops (PCC-COB) and The United Methodist Church - Council of Bishops (UMC-COB) and a letter-advice terminating payment of my salary by The General Board on Finance and Administration (UMC-GCFA) during the period, 5 December 2009 to 23 April 2011.

    Of the nine (9) complaints filed against me, only two were seriously pursued by the PCC-COB through the investigation stage. Both complaints were dismissed by the Philippines Central Conference – Committee on Investigation (PCC-COI), the first complaint, on 16 June 2010 and the second, on 3 February 2011.

    The succeeding complaints were not seriously pursued by the PCC-COB as evidently, the information claimed by the complainants issued from the first and second complaints and would only constitute double jeopardy. The PCC-COB however, relentlessly implemented the corresponding orders of suspensions one after the other and each for a period of sixty days. Clearly, the PCC-COB’s intention is to exclude me from the College of Bishops and restrain me from performing my Episcopal duties and prematurely end my term of office as duly elected Bishop of the Philippines Central Conference of The United Methodist Church assigned to the Manila Episcopal Area. The Philippines Central Conference – Committee on Episcopacy (PCC-COE) rendered their official Reports to the Philippines Central Conference – Coordinating Council (PCC-COCO) of August 2010 and February 2011 claiming that the PCC-COB violated the UMC Book of Discipline requirement on CONSULTATION (¶413) regarding processing of complaints against a Bishop and promulgation of order of suspension (¶413 &¶413.3a).

    The report of the PCC-COE on the lack of consultation before the PCC-COB issued and implemented their orders of suspension against me should raise serious concern. “Consultation” is a mandatory requirement in the procedure for suspension of a member of the College of Bishop. A perusal of all the records reveals that indeed no such consultation was ever made. As a matter of practice, the PCC-COB simply send text messages to the members of the PCC-COE, and claimed that these constitutes “consultation”. In the first suspension, which was issued against me on December 5, 2010, the so called “consultation” was held in full view of the delegates to the special session of the Coordinating Council of the PCC. The members of the PCC-COE were summoned before the Presidium and were informed of its decision to suspend me. The order of suspension was issued on the same date.

    Obviously, these do not constitute “consultation” as contemplated in the Book of Discipline. “Consultation” is a requirement, not only in the procedure of suspending Bishops, but also in all other processes under the Book of Discipline. One process which requires “consultation” (among several other processes) is the determination of the Church assignment of workers. Judicial Decision No. 1174 dated October 30, 2011, citing previous decisions, this Honorable Court held:

    “In Decision 101, the Judicial Council confirmed this principle as set forth in the1952 Discipline of The Methodist Church, by ruling that ‘while the authority in appointing preachers to their charges rests upon the Presiding Bishop, it does not relieve the District Superintendent of the responsibility of consulting with the preacher . . . .’ ‘Consultation’ in that Decision was defined as the exchange of ideas between the District Superintendent and the Pastor, not necessarily agreement. The consultation process is to occur before the appointment decision is made, and its length or brevity may be determined by different situations.

    “Decision 501 stated that the consultation is to take place prior to the appointment decision and parties involved are to be informed prior to any public announcement. Neither a time sequence for consulting the pastor or the committee, nor the length of time needed for the consultation process is specified. The bishops are required to inquire annually of their Episcopal colleagues about the implementation of the consultation process.
    Paragraph 433.1 indicates the process of consultation shall be mandatory in every annual conference. Paragraph 433.3 states when a change in appointment has been determined, the district superintendent should meet together or separately with the pastor and the committee on pastor-parish relations where the pastor is serving, for the purpose of sharing the basis for the change and the process used in making the new appointment.

    “In the record provided there is disagreement as to whether the district superintendent consulted with the pastor and the Staff-Parish Relations Committee as outlined in the Discipline ¶ 431. The record is not clear as to whether the consultation process was followed in the manner specified in the Discipline. The Judicial Council is not a fact finding body. Notification of an appointment is not consultation.” (Emphasis supplied)

    There are two essential points in the above-cited decision. To qualify as a “consultation”, there should be an exchange of ideas, and that such consultation should be held before a decision is made. In short, the ideas exchanged during the consultation should be considered in arriving at a decision. In this case, the PCC-COB simply “informed” the PCC-COE of their decision to suspend me. There was no exchange of ideas as interpreted by this Honorable Court, and that decisions were already arrived at even before the PCC-COB communicated with the members of the PCC-COE. This is a blatant violation of my rights under our constitution and under the Book of Discipline.

    The PCC-COB would request the UMC-COB to approve each order of suspension they promulgate and would also ask the UMC-COB to designate an Interim Bishop for the Manila Episcopal Area.  The UMC-COB granted all such requests by the PCC-COB in violation of ¶623 of the UMC Book of Discipline (2008) and Judicial Council Decisions 475 and 1149. Again, it must be pointed out that the appointment of the Interim Bishop is made without “consultation” with the members of the Cabinet, PCC-COE and the annual conference COE as mandated by the Book of Discipline.

    The conflict in Carmen, Nueva Ecija (subject of Judicial Decisions/Memorandum 1152, 1162, and 1183;) and similar conflicts in other annual conferences in the Manila Episcopal Area all resulted from the suspensions, designation of the Interim Bishop and his subsequent abusive acts and manipulation of schedule of annual conferences and fixing of District Superintendents’ and Pastors’ appointments, hence –

    Although we agree that Wesleyan University Philippines was the legitimate site of the February 2010 regular session of the Middle Philippines Annual Conference, we are disturbed by the asymmetrical way in which that decision was made. The context of a deeply divided annual conference has led all parties to work in new and difficult ways. The Judicial Council has no authority to engage in the resolution of those divisions, but only to rule on the bishop’s decision of law. In a matter as convoluted as this circumstance, there are many peripheral issues that could be addressed, but to do so is beyond the jurisdiction of the Judicial Council.
    (Concurring Opinion, JC Decision 1152, May 22, 2010)

    We have some concern about the six suspensions of Bishop Lito Tangonan.   We do not have a complete record of all of the matters in regard to those suspensions, but, from the information we have requested and received, it is not clear that fair process has been adequately provided.  It may be that our concern over an incomplete record in this regard is misplaced, but when a bishop of The United Methodist Church is suspended six times since December 2009, and several attempts have been made to obtain reconsideration of our decisions in regard to the various matters surrounding this very troubling situation, we would expect to have a more complete record to determine if there has been a failure of fair process. 
    (Concurring Opinion, JC Memorandum 1183, 29 April 2011)

    With all due respect with its concurring opinion, it is evident that this Honorable Court is likewise of the opinion that there were irregularities in the issuance of the several orders of suspension. With this opinion, it is incumbent upon this Honorable Court to rectify these errors. In ¶ 2701 of the 2008 Book of Discipline, the purpose of the fair process provision is to have a “just resolution of judicial complaints, in the hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation and healing may be realized”. This is then the opportune time for the rectification of these errors so as to achieved “God’s justice, reconciliation and healing”.

    While “ours is a government of laws...” still we remain a nation under God. I believe not one among us will be held guiltless as we allow one innocent man to suffer just because the letter of the law does not allow us to go beyond its fine print to consider the real world time and space and scene of his alleged “crime” and the character and integrity of his accuser and those of the witnesses –

    No one brings suit justly, no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity...

    Their feet run to evil, and they rush to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, desolation and destruction are in their highways.
    The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths...

    The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene...
     (Isaiah 59)

    Let us again consider Martin Luther King’s admonition: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    As such, I move for a reconsideration of the assailed Decision.

    May your honest expression of concern and search for truth lead us all to justice, reconciliation, healing and God’s enduring peace which “passeth all understanding.”

    Sincerely in Christ,

    Bishop Lito Cabacungan Tangonan
    Manila Episcopal Area