¶210 RESTRICTIVE RULES AND METHODS OF AMENDMENT OF THE COMMON CONSTITUTION OF FREE METHODISM
The Preamble, Articles of Religion, Membership Covenant, General Organization, Restrictive Rules and Methods of Amendment of the Common Constitution of Free Methodism (¶¶100-240) together constitute the Common Constitution of Free Methodism. This Common Constitution of Free Methodism shall be binding upon all general conferences and shall be part of each Book of Discipline.*
These provisions may be translated into various languages and dialects, including colloquial and idiomatic English, provided the meaning is not changed. Paragraphs 100 to 240 inclusive, except for ¶213 may be altered, changed, or revoked only by concurrent approval of two-thirds of the aggregate votes cast thereon in all the general conferences as provided for in ¶230.2. Paragraph 213 may not be amended or changed in any way.
Proposals to amend ¶¶100-212 and ¶¶220-240, whether by a two-thirds majority vote of a general conference or by a two-thirds majority vote of the Free Methodist World Conference, are provided for in ¶230.2. Proposals shall be referred to the World Conference Executive Committee. It shall then supervise the referendum voting on the proposed amendment(s) in all the general conferences according to the provisions of ¶230.2.
No general conference of the Free Methodist Church may enact on its own, either by vote of the general conference or by concurrent vote of its general and annual conferences, any order, policy, or legislation that conflicts with, changes, subtracts from, or adds to:
- The Articles of Religion, the Membership Covenant, any condition or standard of membership, any standard or rule of doctrine, as set forth in ¶¶100-160, or
- Any part of ¶¶220-240 or any rule of government so as to do away with substantially equal (meaning within one) lay and ministerial representation on boards and committees (except for the Council of Bishops), or to do away with an itinerant (conference appointed) ministry, or the general superintendency; but
- Any such change as designated in 1 and 2 preceding may be made only by the procedures set forth in ¶¶210-211 above.
No general conference of the Free Methodist Church nor all of the general conferences of Free Methodism by any procedure or method whatever (including deletion or amendment of this paragraph, number 213), shall have the power to deprive ministerial or lay members under discipline of the right of trial by an impartial committee, or the right of appeal.