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The Legal Services Department at GCFA has a number of disciplinary responsibilities. We take all necessary legal steps to safeguard and protect the interests and rights of the denomination; in addition to maintaining a file of legal briefs related to cases involving the denominational interests of The United Methodist Church. We desire to make provision for legal counsel where necessary to protect the interests and rights of the denomination. We take the responsibility to recommending uniform procedures for clergy housing allowances and to preserve the tax-exempt status of the denomination's constituent organizations. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to supervise the use of the official United Methodist insignia, the Cross & Flame and to supervise the use and maintain registrations of the name “United Methodist”.
In addition to our disciplinary responsibilities, we are responsible for serving as legal counsel to GCFA. In doing so, we provide general legal guidance to GCFA’s council members, executive team, general secretary, and staff to assist them in carrying out the mission and operation of GCFA. Additionally, it is our responsibility to initiate and defend litigation in the civil courts, when and where necessary to protect the interests of the United Methodist denomination. Legal Services is responsible for identifying and monitoring litigation of interest to the United Methodist denomination. In doing so, we are prepared to assemble “friend of the court” briefs in litigation matters and appeals in cases of interest to the denomination. In summation, it is our responsibility to serve as a resource to annual conference chancellors (the locally-licensed attorneys for the annual conference) and treasurers and to provide training for bishops, annual conference officers, chancellors, treasurers, district superintendents, general Church agencies, and other groups on matters of church and civil law.
Contact the GCFA Legal Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.