Page 4 - Congregational Withdrawal
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Brethren and shall not imply a right on the part of the district board to otherwise affect or
               control the use of the property by a congregation of the Church of the Brethren.

               In cases where the aforementioned restrictive covenant providing for the divestiture of title
               to property owned by a congregation results in the title being vested in the district board, in
               trust, it is understood that this action is taken only as a means of preserving property for the
               purposes of the Church of the Brethren. This property has been purchased and developed
               by consecrated effort, and in many cases at great sacrifice, by individuals who have been
               loyal to the principles of the Church of the Brethren. If the district board determines that
               circumstances warrant, the district board may return the property to the congregation. If the
               district board determines that circumstances do not warrant the return of the property to the
               congregation, the district board shall use or dispose of the property in the best interests of
               the Church of the Brethren.


            ARTICLE 4
               Property Holdings, Financial Resources, & Dissolution Statement
                   4.1 Property Holdings. All members of the Southern District of Pennsylvania Church of
                   the Brethren acknowledge they are brothers and sisters of the same family through
                   Jesus Christ. Though all of the same family, the District is comprised of individual
                   congregations. Historically, the Church of the Brethren has encouraged individual
                   congregations to control their own future and affairs within the parameters of the
                   teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines of the Church of the Brethren. Though each
                   congregation legally owns its own real and personal property, recognition is given that
                   the family of the Church of the Brethren has equitable title.  In light of present legal
                   realities, in the absence of formal recognition by each congregation of this balance of
                   legal and equitable title, and in the event of a fragmentation of a congregation, a civil
                   court could award the property to a majority of the congregation. To avoid this potential,
                   congregations are encouraged to acknowledge a trust/fiduciary relationship between the
                   District and the congregation. This can be accomplished, either through amendment of
                   the congregational by-laws or a formal Trust Agreement, to be effective and binding in
                   the event a majority of the membership of any congregation wishes to disassociate itself
                   from the Church of the Brethren. To that end, the District would avail itself to serve as
                   Trustee for such purposes. For all other issues regarding property holdings and financial
                   resources, the District will defer to the Denominational polity as a guide. (SEE CHURCH
                   OF THE BRETHREN “Manual of Organization and Polity.)

            4   2016 Manual of Organization and Polity, Chapter 6, Property Holdings and Financial Resources, I,
               E, pg. 4.  This portion states that the District Board has the authority to return property to a church
               which is withdrawing from the denomination at its discretion.
            5    District Plan of Organization, Southern District of Pennsylvania, Church of the Brethren, 9/18/2010,
               pgs. 13-14

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