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Members of the UMC Judicial Council Set

( [email protected] ) May 10, 2004 10:12 AM EDT

The top judicial body of the United Methodist Church elected new members onto the council, including a new president, vice presient and secretary, to serve the church for the next four years, May 6, 2004.

The presidency was given to Dr. James Holsinger, a physician in Lexington, Ky., who serves as the secretary of health and family services for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Mary Daffin was elected vice president; she is a civil law attorney in Houston; The Rev. Keith Boyette, the pastor of the Wilderness Community Church in Spotsylvania, Va., was elected secretary.

“We’ve been a group of individuals who have become fast friends,” said Holsinger, who said he looks forward to further strengthening the relationship of the council. “We’re Christian brothers and sisters who have developed great love for each other. There are times when we don’t agree, but we disagree in an appropriate way. I look forward to developing these kinds of close personal relationships. I can tell already that it is a very congenial group.

“The Judicial Council has a task of trying to –– as accurately and appropriately as possible –– decide issues based on the Discipline of the church,” Holsinger said. “The General Conference makes the Discipline; that is not our task. We do the best we can to apply church law to the cases we receive. We will continue to do that in the next four years.”

“I look forward to these next four years,” Holsinger said. “I think this will be a good council which will work well together.”

According to the United Methodist News Service, the new council will be “the most international in church history with the addition of the Rev. Paul Shamawange Kyungu” from NorthWest Katanga joins the team. In addition to Kyungu, the returning council member Rodolfo Beltran from the Philippines, do not speak English as their really hungry.

“Now we have two members from the central conferences,” Holsinger said, “which expands the internationalization of the council.”

“We will have to become bilingual,” Holsinger said. “That will mean an adjustment in logistics, as we will need to get things done in a timely manner to make sure Paul has what he needs when he needs it.”

Other new members include Judge Jon R. Gray of the Missouri Conference, attorney Beth Capen of the New York Conference, the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe of the South Carolina Conference, and the Rev. Dennis L. Blackwell of the Greater New Jersey Conference.