The opinion of the court was delivered by: TIMOTHY K. LEWIS
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
After hearing evidence and argument during a non-jury trial in the above-captioned case, and after having reviewed and considered the parties' post-trial submissions, the court enters the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
2. In June and July of 1984, three national church organizations, including the Lutheran Church in America, adopted a plan to merge into one body.
3. As a result of this merger decision, the Synod's operations were scheduled to cease at the end of 1987. The Synod did, in fact, cease operations on December 31, 1987.
4. During the fall of 1984, the Executive Board of the Synod considered the effect of the upcoming merger on its goals and operations. The Executive Board determined, for example, that the merger -- with its consequent centralization of formerly localized activities -- would result in less need for planning responsibilities at the Synod. The Executive Board of the Synod was also aware at this time that the number of Synod inserts to the national church magazine, The Lutheran, would be diminishing. In fact, the number of Synod inserts was reduced from ten to six in 1985.
5. Thus, at a meeting in late November of 1984, the Executive Board decided to eliminate the position of Coordinator of Planning and Communications ("CPC"). This position had been created by then-Synod president Kenneth R. May in the fall of 1974 to handle certain specific planning and communication duties. It was a unique paraprofessional position.
6. In 1984, the Synod had four categories of employees. Category I was for the President (later Bishop) and other officers of the Synod. Category II was for professional employees of the Synod, i.e., the assistants to the Bishop. Category III was a paraprofessional category. Category IV was for office and clerical employees.
7. The CPC job slated for elimination was the Synod's only Category III position.
8. The duties of the CPC consisted of approximately 50% planning responsibilities, approximately 25% communications responsibilities, and approximately 25% miscellaneous duties relating to Christian Associates or meetings of the Executive Board or staff.
9. The CPC's planning duties consisted of working with elected committees of the Synod on Synod consultation teams. Specifically, the CPC worked with the Committee on Budget and Finance in developing the Synod's budget. The CPC worked with the Committee on Research and Planning and the Synod consultation teams in developing the Synod Mission Profile.
10. The CPC's communications duties consisted of coordinating a periodic mailing of a newsletter, and editing the four-page Synod insert to the national magazine, The Lutheran. In addition, once a year the CPC would produce approximately ten pages of highlights of the Synod convention. Finally, the CPC also managed the Synod's audio/visual materials, prepared a catalogue of those audio/visual materials, and worked with the Committee for Media Ministry as liaison to Christian Associates.
11. The CPC's miscellaneous duties consisted of attending meetings of the Executive Board or other meetings of the staff.
12. Plaintiff, a female, was the only person who ever held the position of CPC, having begun in 1974 when ...