Insight: Eliminating the Guarantee of an Annual Appointment for Elders
With this new legislation, bishops and cabinets will be allowed to give elders less than full-time appointment. The legislation also would permit bishops and their cabinets, with the proper approvals, to put elders on unpaid transitional leave for up to two years. Each annual conference will name a task force to develop a list of criteria to guide the cabinets and bishops as they make missional appointments.
Additionally, the cabinets are asked to report, on the number of clergy without fulltime appointments, to the executive committees of Board of Ordained Ministry. Cabinets also will be asked to report their findings as appointment-making is conducted in a new way.
This legislation has been referred to the Judicial Council for a ruling on its constitutionality. Each conference will set the criteria for missional appointments and receive a monitoring report of those who are on transitional leave or in a part-time appointment. Notes Bishop Huie, “The wording of this legislation attempts to balance the needs of congregations with the rights of pastors.”