Members for Church Accountability Inc.
2004 September Newsletter
Rocky Mountain Conference Adopts New Accountability Policy
As reported in the second quarter 2003 MCA newsletter, Norm Smith wrote to the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) Executive Committee asking them to take certain steps toward accountability reform. Briefly stated, the request was made that the Conference Executive Committee as the representatives of the members of the RMC, take the initiative on behalf of the RMC church members, to verify that conferrence business at higher conference levels is conducted ethically and honestly in accord with all chruch policies. This seemed like a reasonable request since the local conference is the channel by which the support of members is given to the higher conferences.
While the RMC Executive Committee declined to accept responsibility for taking initiative on their own, they did take the enormous step of offering to be a participant in such verification when an individual member takes the initiative to request it in a given instance. Considerable thanks is due this executive committee for taking this courageous step.
The RMC Executive Committee has several high priority issues with which they are currently dealing. It is not surprizing that they were not able to address this issue immediately. At a later time the following item from the first meetings minutes was presented along with a policy for consideration as proposed by the administration. This policy proposed by the administration was approved.
Accountability in the Church
The following is administration’s proposal for an action on the issue of accountability in the church:
Accountability Policy for Rocky Mountain Conference
The Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) pledges itself to operate with the highest ethical standards and in accordance the NAD Working Policy.
This includes a willingness to respond to requests from our constituent members if and when they have concerns about the operations of the Conference, the ethical conduct of an employee of the Conference, or the decisions of the Executive Committee.
As an Executive Committee, we are also willing to consider requests from our constituent members to the Union, Division and/or General Conference for additional information when concerns arise about the operations or ethical conduct at those levels of the organization. After discussion with the constituent member of their concerns, if the Executive Committee agrees that this is an appropriate concern that needs clarification from a higher level, it may vote to pass on a request for additional clarification to the appropriate entity.
Constituent members of RMC who have issues of accountability with the Conference, Union, Division or General Conference should present their concerns in writing to conference administration. Administration will place their request on the agenda of the next scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee. The individual will also be invited to be present at the meeting of the Executive Committee to explain their concern(s) and dialogue with the Executive Committee about the issue(s).
Depending on the nature of the concern(s) raised, the Executive Committee may vote to go into “executive session” (committee members only present) to discuss what action they may take. The individual who raised the concern(s) will receive a written response as to what action the Executive Committee has taken.
Letters from MCA members:
Bruce Spivey writes: I'm very thankful for your concern for financial accountability among us S.D.A.'s. It's encouraging to see someone take a stand for the high standards that scripture reveals God requires from all who profess to be His children. ... Along with financial responsibility among us is an equally grave concern of many, that of our "retreating toward Egypt" as it were, laxness of piety in Christian standards or action and behavior. Would not financial shenanigans be an outgrowth or indicator of lack of personal piety (accountability to God Himself)? ...
EDITORIAL COMMENT: What you say regarding personal piety may well be true, however, we would emphasize again that MCA is organized to promote accountability regarding financial integrity and honesty, ethical dealings and fair treatment of church employees. We believe that issues of such honesty and ethical behavior are quite clear and straightforward. Mca limits itself to such matters. There are many other worthwhile concerns about doctrine and standards which should be addressed in some other forum. Another unsigned letter raising similar concerns was also recieved.