UCG Legal Opinion On Withdrawal of Resolution

More on the resolution that purportedly started the latest set of problems between Mr Kilough and the COE.  Many members had been asking for transparency, and it appears that, while they are taking quite a bit of time to do it, the COE and those involved are putting out more information.

I have echoed others’ concerns about not only why the proposed resolution caused an uproar but why should the COE be seeking outside counsel.  Larry Darnell, legal counsel for UCG, addresses both in these issues in “Legal Opinion Regarding Withdrawal of Resolution".

IANAL, and I don’t claim to know if the statement is enough to satisfy the majority of people who are upset or not, but at least it is a step in the right direction.  I’m not convinced I agree entirely with all the points in the document, but there are a couple of good ones to consider:

1. The proposal deals with governance.  While I disagree that “the whole point of the Resolution is to bring about changes in governance”, I can see where some safety mechanisms might be bypassed in the way it was handled, and how it might be a violation of the established procedure.

2. Approval by simple majority vote.  This is probably the strongest argument in the document.

There also are a couple of puzzling statements, though:

1. “Bylaw Section 7.9.2 allows the Secretary to include in an agenda an item requested by an officer without the prior approval of the Council. However, the fact that the Sponsoring Officers had the power under Section 7.9.2 to require the Secretary to include an item does not give them unilateral authority to place items on the agenda that conflict directly with the Bylaws.”  I’m not sure what the point is, then.  What good is the power to include an item if the agenda item can later be yanked?  Sorry, but this argument seems to make that bylaw totally irrelevant.

2. “The Council is ‘To select and remove all officers, agents and employees, to prescribe duties for them, to approve their compensation and to require from them their faithful service’ (Bylaws, § 8.6.2(1)).”  So, does this strict interpretation mean that no one gets hired except by an act of the council?  I’m not sure if the interpretation is flawed or if this bylaw is too vague.  I’m totally unaware how administrative admins and mail clerks get hired at the Home Office.

In the end, though, it basically says that the COE has overall authority to interpret the Constitution and Bylaws of  UCG.  I would still question if their actions were wise or not, however.  Naturally, the same could be said for the ministers who tried to introduce the resolution as well.

Still, agree or disagree, communication is finally starting to flow, and that is important if any healing is going to happen.


  1. My UCG Pastor had little to say about the tension during today's service — except that he's saddened by some of the online writers who seem to want a church split. (He didn't name names; I'm not accusing you of being one of them.)

    Beyond that, the pastor expressed concern his comments might "wind up on the Internet." Hmmmm – what would give him that idea? 🙂

  2. John D Carmack

    @Richard: Thanks for the update. Maybe your pastor reads this blog? 🙂 Probably not.

    Hopefully, everyone including your pastor realizes I am not in favor of a split. Furthermore, I still think that talk of a split is making a mountain out of a molehill. Most of the ones talking about a split aren't even in UCG!

    I think most of the ministers have laid low throughout this. That is wise, IMO, since most of the contention seems to be amongst ministers. I am also sure they don't want to fan the flames if it isn't necessary.