Discipline ¶807

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  ¶ 807. Other Fiscal Responsibilities-The council shall have the following additional fiscal responsibilities:
1. To receive, collect, and hold in trust for the benefit of The United Methodist Church, its general funds, or its general agencies any and all donations, bequests, and devises of any kind, real or
personal, that may be given, devised, bequeathed, or conveyed to The United Methodist Church as such or to any general fund or agency of The United Methodist Church for any benevolent, charitable, or religious purposes, and to administer the same and the income there from in accordance with the directions of the donor, trustor, or testator.  
2. To take such action, in cooperation with the Board of Discipleship, as is necessary to encourage United Methodists to provide for their continued participation in World Service, in one or more of the World Service agencies, or in other general Church benevolence funds or interests, through current and planned giving, including wills and trusts.
3. When the use to be made of any such donation, bequest, or devise is not otherwise designated, the same shall be added to and become a part of the “Permanent Fund” of The United Methodist Church. This fund shall be held and administered by the council, as the General Conference shall direct.
4. Where annual conferences, individually or in groups, have established United Methodist foundations, the council may provide staff leadership on request to advise in matters of financial management, to the end that foundation assets shall be wisely managed on behalf of the Church.
5. To make recommendations to the General Conference, in consultation with the Connectional Table and the Council of Bishops, regarding any offerings to be received in connection with special days observed on a churchwide basis. These recommendations shall include the number and timing of such special days with offerings, the amount, if any, to be established as a goal for each such offering, the causes to be benefited by each, the method by which the receipts on each such offering shall be distributed among the causes benefiting from it, and the method by which such receipts shall be remitted and reported by local churches. All such recommendations are subject to the approval of the General Conference.
6. To establish general policy governing the ownership, sale, rental, renovation, or purchase of property by a general agency in the United States. The council shall consider the plans of any general agency proposing to acquire or sell real estate or erect a building or enter into a lease in the continental United States and determine whether the proposed action is in the best interest of The United Methodist Church. On the basis of that determination it shall approve or disapprove all such proposed actions. In the case of such proposed action by a general program agency, it shall solicit and consider the recommendation of the Connectional Table. If either the General Council on Finance and Administration or the Connectional Table disapproves, the agency shall delay the project until it can be considered by the next General Conference. Nothing in the foregoing shall include the operational requirements of The United Methodist Publishing House or the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits.
7. To act in concert with the Connectional Table to establish a procedure for making a quadrennial review, initiating proposals and/or responding to proposals by the general agencies regarding the location of headquarters and staff and reporting the same to the General Conference.  
8. To exercise on behalf of the General Conference a property reporting function by receiving reports annually from general agencies of the Church concerning property titles, values, debts, general maintenance, lease or rental costs, space usage, and such other information as the council may deem relevant. The council may consult and advise with the general agencies concerning any property problems that may arise. A summary of the property data shall be reported to each quadrennial General Conference. This provision shall apply to headquarters buildings but not to properties that are part of the program responsibilities of the General Board of Global Ministries or to any of the properties of The United Methodist Publishing House. Titles to historic sites and heritage landmarks, and such historical properties as may be acquired in the future, shall be held by the General Council on Finance and Administration.
9. To take all necessary legal steps to safeguard and protect the interests and rights of the denomination; to maintain a file of legal briefs related to cases involving the denominational interests of The United Methodist Church, and to make provisions for legal counsel where necessary to protect the interests and rights of the denomination. The council shall recommend to each general agency and unit thereof and to each annual conference council on finance and administration a uniform procedure to be followed by the aforesaid agencies and, where applicable, local churches, relative to the certification and payment of ordained ministers’ housing allowances in accordance with provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States. The council shall have the authority to pursue policies and procedures necessary to preserve the tax-exempt status of the denomination and its affiliated organizations.20
10. To supervise the use of the official United Methodist insignia and preserve the integrity of its design, in cooperation with the General Commission on Communication. It shall maintain appropriate registration to protect the insignia on behalf of the denomination. The insignia may be used by any official United Methodist agency, including local churches, to identify United Methodist work, programs, and materials. In order to preserve the integrity of its design, the insignia should not be altered or modified by those official United Methodist organizations that use it. Any commercial use of the design must be explicitly authorized in writing by an appropriate officer of the General Council on Finance and Administration.21
11. To supervise the use of the name “United Methodist” and maintain the appropriate registrations of this name on behalf of the denomination.
12. To provide direction and coordination in the design and implementation of operating systems in order to maximize the efficiency of operating personnel, equipment, and resources between and within agencies. During the quadrennium, these agencies shall study their respective responsibilities, programs, and internal operations and institute such improvements and economies in their work as they find to be feasible and practicable. They shall cooperate with the council in working out, in advance of these studies, the general areas to be included and methods of carrying out this objective. They shall report their accomplishments in improvements and economies to the council before the close of the third fiscal year of each quadrennium, at a time determined by the council, which shall prepare from this information a combined report for the General Conference.
13. a) The council shall: (1) require each general agency as listed in ¶ 805.4d, including itself, to follow uniform policies and practices in the employment and remuneration of personnel, recognizing differences in local employment conditions (these policies and practices shall be consistent with the Social Principles and resolutions of The United Methodist Church); and (2) be authorized to gather from all general agencies, at such intervals and in such format as it may determine, information regarding salary remuneration and pay equity and the number of agency employees and staff. Information related to the remuneration of specific employees may be released only by the employing agency or employee.
    b) The Committee on Personnel Policies and Practices (¶ 805.4d) shall: (1) prepare quadrennially, review annually, and recommend to the council an appropriate salary schedule, based upon responsibilities, for exempt staff personnel of the councils, boards, and commissions represented on the committee; (2) develop and recommend to the council a schedule of benefits for an employee benefit program for personnel of agencies represented on the committee and any changes required thereto from time to time; (3) receive from agencies and institutions receiving general Church funds (see ¶ 810.2) statements regarding their compliance with the policy stated in ¶ 811.1; and
(4) receive from all general agencies information necessary to evaluate pay equity. Based on these statements, and in consultation with and upon the advice of the General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, the committee shall prepare for the General Council on Finance and Administration reports and recommendations deemed appropriate by the committee.
  In the event it is determined by the council that an agency or institution receiving general Church funds is not in compliance with the equal employment opportunity policies and the salary and employee benefit schedules established by the committee, the council shall notify in writing the agency so named and suspend, after a three-month period of grace, an appropriate amount of future funding until the agency or institution complies.
14. To maintain a consultative service to assist general agencies in planning and making arrangements for national meetings, conferences, and convocations.
15. To maintain an accurate record of the mail addresses of all bishops; ordained and consecrated ministers in effective relation; local pastors, including retired ordained ministers serving charges; charges, local churches, parishes, fellowships, and new church starts; and such lists of general, jurisdictional, and conference boards, commissions, and committees, and officers of same, and of such other officers as the council may determine necessary. No one other than authorized bodies or officers of the Church shall be permitted to use these records.
16. To prepare and analyze the important statistics relating to The United Methodist Church for the General Minutes or such other publications and releases as may be approved by the council. It shall
provide for the distribution of statistical information to annual conferences, the general planning and research agencies of the Church, and other interested parties. The council may establish an appropriate schedule of fees and charges to defray the cost of such information distribution services.
17. To assist and advise the jurisdictions, annual conferences, districts, and local churches in all matters relating to the work of the council. These matters shall include, but shall not be limited to, business administration, investment and property management, information technology, and auditing. Matters related to resourcing the development and implementation of financial programs within the local church committee on finance shall be the responsibility of the General Board of Discipleship. The council may perform certain functions for the jurisdictions, annual conferences, districts, or local churches if the particular organization so elects and a suitable plan of operation can be determined.
18. To provide guidance and consultation in the area of local church business administration, including establishment of professional standards, a training program, certification of church business administrators and associate church business administrators; and to provide assistance to the United Methodist Association of Church Business Administrators.
19. To provide guidance and consultation for continuing education of church secretaries, including establishment of training and certification programs, and to provide assistance to the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries.
20. To provide guidance and consultation to the National Association of Commissions on Equitable Compensation of The United Methodist Church. The association shall provide guidance and counsel to annual conference commissions on equitable compensation in their areas of responsibility (¶ 624) by means of consultations, workshops, development of educational materials and informational resources, and other appropriate means. The council may provide such staff and in-kind services to the association as it deems appropriate.
21. To provide guidance and consultation and to encourage general agency participation in the United Methodist Information Technology Association. The council may provide such staff and in-kind services to the association as it deems appropriate.
22. To institute, manage, and maintain an insurance program available, where approved by regulatory agencies, to all United Methodist local churches in the United States and, where acceptable on an underwriting basis, to all United Methodist annual conferences, agencies, and institutions in the United States .
23. To designate a staff member who, in cooperation with the general secretary, will fulfill such responsibilities as may be needed to assist the Commission on the General Conference with preparation for sessions of the General Conference. In fulfilling this role, the staff member will function as the commission’s business manager and shall be related operationally to the Commission.
20. See Judicial Council Decision 458.
21. See Judicial Council Decision 828.