Petition 81089

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Trust Clause (81089-FA-¶2503)

Amend ¶2503:  
  
¶2503. Trust Clauses in Deeds – 1. Except in conveyances that require that the real property so conveyed shall revert to the grantor if and when its use as a place of divine worship has been terminated, all written instruments of conveyance by which premises are held or hereafter acquired for use as a place of divine worship or other activities for members of The United Methodist Church shall contain the following trust clause:  
   In trust, that said premises shall be used, kept, and maintained as a place of divine worship of the United Methodist ministry and members of the United Methodist Church; subject to the Discipline, usage, and ministerial appointments of said Church as from time to time authorized and declared by the General Conference and by the annual conference within whose bounds the said premises are situated. This provision is solely for benefit of the grantee, and the grantor reserves no right or interest in said premises.  grantee and the grantor who shall share equal rights to said property.
    
2. All written instruments by which premises are held or hereafter acquired as a parsonage for the use and occupancy of the ministers of The United Methodist Church shall contain the following trust clause:
In trust, that such premises shall be held, kept, and maintained as a place of residence for the use and occupancy of the ordained ministers of the United Methodist Church who may from time to time be entitled to occupy the same by appointment; subject to the Discipline and usage of said Church as from time to time authorized and declared by the General Conference and by the annual conference within whose bounds the said premises are situated. This provision is solely for the grantee, and the grantor reserves no right or interest in said premises.  grantee and the grantor who shall share equal rights to said property.
3. In case the property so acquired is to be used for both a house of worship and a parsonage, the provisions of both trust clauses specified in §§ 1 and 2 above shall be inserted in the conveyance.
4. In case the property so acquired is not to be used exclusively for a place of worship, or a parsonage, or both, all written instruments by which such premises are held or hereafter acquired shall contain the following trust clause:
In trust, that said premises shall be kept, maintained, and disposed of for the benefit of the United Methodist Church and the local church, if applicable, and subject to the usages and the Discipline of the United Methodist Church. This provision is solely for the grantee, and the grantor reserves no right or interest in said premises.   grantee and the grantor who shall share equal rights to said property.
5. When property is acquired from another United Methodist Church entity or organization, whether it is to be used as a place of divine worship, parsonage, or other use, all written instruments by which such premises are held are hereafter acquired shall contain the following trust clause:
In trust, that said premises shall be held, kept, maintained, and disposed of for the benefit of the United Methodist Church and the local church, if applicable, and subject to the usages and the Discipline of the United Methodist Church.  
6. However, the absence of a trust clause stipulated in §§ 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 above in deeds and conveyances executed previously or in the future shall in no way exclude a local church or church agency, or the board of trustees of either, from or relieve it of its connectional responsibilities to The United Methodist Church. Nor shall it absolve a local church or church agency or the board of trustees of either, of its responsibility and accountability to The United Methodist Church and the local church, including the responsibility to hold all of its property in trust for The United Methodist Church and the local church equally;...
[The rest of the paragraph remains unchanged.]

Rationale

For the cause of justice, this revision is important to safeguard the interests of members of local congregations, who have purchased, built, and maintained their church building, parsonage, and other real property. There have been instances when viable, functional congregations have had their property seized by district or conference personnel.