Here are another two petitions, dealing with the least-protected clergy people in our system: certified candidates and licensed local pastors. What happens when someone in this position is discontinued from the process, and then moves– especially given that the Spirit might call people *years* later, in different contexts and settings, and after great transformation? Sometimes, one logistically can’t go “home.”
Reinstatement of Certified Candidate Status
Motion: Amend ¶314.2 as follows:
- Reinstatement of Certified Candidate’s Status– Certified candidates whose status has been discontinued by a district committee on ordained ministry of an annual conference of The United Methodist Church may shall only be reinstated by the district committee of the district in which they were discontinued, or by another district upon transfer of the certified candidate’s file including all possible documentation of the circumstances relating to the discontinuance of certified candidate status.
[Retain rest of the paragraph as written]
Rationale: This amendment opens the possibility of reinstatement to individuals who have changed geographic location, or discerned a new context or calling, while retaining the recommendations and records related to prior discontinuance.
Reinstatement of Local Pastor Status
Motion: Amend ¶320.4 as follows:
- Reinstatement of Local Pastor Status– Local pastors whose approved status has been discontinued from an annual conference of The United Methodist Church or one of its legal predecessors may be reinstated only by the annual conference that previously approved them, its legal successor, or the annual conference of which the major portion of their former conference is a part, only upon recommendation by the district committee on ordained ministry from which their license was discontinued, the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the cabinet. Persons seeking reinstatement shall provide evidence that they have been members of a local United Methodist church since the time of the discontinuance of their local pastor status, or for at least one year prior to their request for reinstatement. The district committee shall require a recommendation from the charge conference where these persons’ his or her membership is currently held. When approved by the clergy members in full connection as provided in ¶ 337, their license and credentials shall be restored, and they shall be eligible for appointment as pastors of a charge. They shall complete current studies and meet requirements as provided in ¶¶ 315, 318.
Whenever persons whose local pastor status approval as local pastors has been discontinued by an annual conference are being considered for appointment or temporary employment in another annual conference, the Board of Ordained Ministry where these persons are being considered shall obtain from the Board of Ordained Ministry of the conference where local pastor status approval has been discontinued verification of their qualifications and information about the circumstances relating to the discontinuance of local pastor status termination of their approval as local pastors.
Rationale: This amendment makes the language more consistent with similar paragraphs of the Discipline, and resolves the apparent contradiction posed by the second paragraph, which allows for local pastor status to be reinstated by a different annual conference.