Information for Clergy

Clergy relationships within the Conference are ordered through the Order of Elders, the Order of Deacons, and the Order of Local Pastors & Associate Members.

Order of Elders – Sifa Hingano, Chair, pastor@genesischurch.org
                                                                            
Order of Deacons - Susan Grace Smith, Chair, susan@wgumc.org
 
Order of Local Pastors & Associate Members -

 
WHAT IS THE ORDER OF ELDERS?
In cooperation with the Board of Ordained Ministry and under the spiritual leadership of the Bishop, the work of the Order of Elders according to Paragraph 311 of the 2004 Book of Discipline:
 
Covenant community within the church to mutually support, care for, and hold accountable its members for the sake of the life and mission of the church.
 
Paragraph 312
Purpose of the Order (a specific and limited function)
1.    Provide for regular gatherings of the Order of Elders for continuing formation in relationship to Jesus Christ through such experiences as:
           a) Bible Study
          b) Study of issues facing church and society
          c) Theological exploration in vocational identity and leadership
2.    Assist in plans for individual study and retreat experiences
3.    Develop a bond of unity and common commitment to the mission and ministry of th UMC and the annual conference
4.    Enable the creation of relationships that allow mutual support and trust
5.    Hold accountable all members of the Order in fulfilling these purposes.
                                                                                       
WHAT IS THE ORDER OF DEACONS?
In cooperation with the Board of Ordained Ministry and under the spiritual leadership of the Bishop, the work of the Order of Deacons according to Paragraph 306 of the 2004 BOOK OF DISCIPLINE:
 
Covenant community within the church to mutually support, care for, and hold accountable its members for the sake of the life and mission of the church.
 
Orders of deacon and elder separately or together seek to respond to the spiritual hunger among clergy for a fulfilling sense of vocation, for support among peers during this stressful time of change in the church, and for a deepening relationship with God.
 
Paragraph 307
Purpose of Order (specific and limited function)
1.    provide for regular gatherings of order of elders for continuing formation in relationship to Jesus Christ through such experiences as:
a.      Bible Study
b.     Study of issues facing church and society
c.      Theological exploration in vocational identity and leadership
2.    assist in plans for individual study and retreat experiences
3.    develop a bond of unity and common commitment to the mission and ministry of the UMC and the annual conference
4.    enable the creation of relationships that allow mutual support and trust
5.    hold accountable all members of the order in the fulfilling of these purposes
 

 
For Local Pastors
California/Nevada Conference
Process Outline
From Licensed Local Pastor to Associate Membership
July 2007
By August 1, the local pastor shall make a written application for admission to associate membership, on an application form provided by the Board of Ordained Ministry. On the application, the candidate shall declare that he/she has completed or expects to complete the 5 year Course of Study and the 4 years of full time service within one year of application and has met the conditions in 2004 Discipline Paragraph 322. He/She shall have:
·         reached age 40;
·         completed a minimum of 60 semester hours toward a Bachelor of Arts or an equivalent degree in a college or university listed by the University Senate;         
·         declared their willingnessto be in the itinerant ministry and will accept continuing full time appointment; and
·         satisfied the Board of Ordained Ministry regarding their physical mental and emotional health (The annual conference shall require psychological reports, criminal background and credit checks, and reports of sexual misconduct, and /or child abuse to provide additional information on the candidate’s fitness for the ministry).
 
Having met those conditions, the candidate shall:
  • send the application to the Chair of the District Committee on Ordained Ministry and to his/her advisor.
  • also send copies to the Chair of the Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members, and the Candidacy Co-Registrars.
The candidate will be under the supervision of the District Committee at least one year and then at least one year with the Resident's In Ministry Committee.
 
The District Committee on Ordained Ministry shall:
  • confirm the candidate has a clergy mentor assigned; 
  • require the candidate to submit a written response to the doctrine questions in Paragraph 324.9;
  • interview the candidate;
  • recommend the candidate for associate membership, confirming that the candidate has met the requirements of Discipline paragraph 322 (Form provided by BOOM);
  • recommend candidates to the full Board at its spring meeting; and
  • deliver the candidate’s file to the probationers’ committee by the June Board meeting.
This is parallel to the process for those on elder track.
 
The Resident's In Ministry Committee shall:
  • receive the file;
  • appoint a liaison for each candidate for associate membership;
  • requires the candidate to
    • submit a learning covenant
    • submit a Christology paper and 
    • a manuscript and video of a delivered sermon on a specified biblical passage.
    • require the candidate to attend the Resident's In Ministry retreat and mentoring groups
  • interview the candidate; and
  • make a recommendation for associate membership or continuance of supervision by the Resident's In Ministry (RIM) Committee at the spring Board meeting.
The Board of Ordained Ministry shall vote on each candidate for associate membership at its spring meeting, and make recommendations to the clergy session. 
 
Each candidate for associate membership will give a homily on a specified biblical passage to the Clergy Session.  A ¾ vote by the voting participants in clergy session is required for admission.
 
Admission should be celebrated in a ritual/ceremony in conjunction with the ordination ceremonies (to be designed by BOOM).

 
Doesn’t Change:
Voting rights stay the same as Local Pastor. Cannot vote on
  • constitutional amendments,
  • election of delegates to general, jurisdictional or central conferences or
  • all matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy.
Serve on any board, commission, or committee of an annual conference. Not eligible to be delegate to the general or jurisdictional or central conferences.
 
New Rights:
  • granted the same security of appointment as probationary members and members in full connection.
  • Subject to the provisions governing sabbatical leave, leave of absence, location, retirement, minimum salary and pension.
  • Associate members may retire under the provisions of Discipline 359.
  • Retain license for pastoral ministry for service in the local church and maintain their relationship as retired clergy member of the Annual Conference.                                                           Final 7/31/07
FORM: