¶ 334. Ministry, Authority, and Responsibilities of an Elder in Full Connection-An elder in full connection is authorized to give spiritual and temporal servant leadership in the Church in the following manner:
1. Elders in full connection shall have the right to vote on all matters in the annual conference except in the election of lay delegates to the general and jurisdictional or central conferences (¶ 602.1a) and shall share with deacons in full connection responsibility for all matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy. This responsibility shall not be limited by the recommendation or lack of recommendation by the board of ordained ministry, notwithstanding provisions which grant to the board of ordained ministry the right of recommendation.13 They shall be eligible to hold office in the annual conference and to be elected delegates to the general and jurisdictional or central conferences under the provision of the Constitution (¶ 35, Article IV). Every effective elder in full connection who is in good standing shall be continued under appointment by the bishop provided that if the elder is appointed to serve in an affiliated relationship in a missionary conference (¶ 586) and that appointment is terminated by the bishop who presides in the missionary conference, then the responsibility for meeting this obligation rests with the bishop of the conference of which the elder is a member.14
2. There are professional responsibilities that elders are expected to fulfill and that represent a fundamental part of their accountability and a primary basis of their continued eligibility for annual appointment. These shall include:
a) Continuing availability for appointment.
b) Growth in vocational competence and effectiveness through continuing formation is expected of conference members. The board of ordained ministry (¶ 634.2n) shall set minimal standards and specific guidelines for continuing formation for members of their conference and ensure their availability. Further specificity of priorities for current appointments shall be arranged in consultations with appropriate bodies in that setting.
c) Annual participation in a process of evaluation with committees on pastor-parish relations or a comparable body.
d) Annual participation in evaluation with his or her district superintendent.
e) Willingness to assume supervisory and mentoring responsibilities within the connection.
3. If an elder fails to meet these professional responsibilities, the provisions of ¶ 362.4c may be invoked.
4. Clergy who are retired, on incapacity leave, or on sabbatical leave may at their own initiative apply to the conference board of ordained ministry for affiliate membership in the annual conference where they reside. By a two-thirds vote of the executive session, such clergy may be received with rights and privileges, including service on conference boards, agencies, task forces, and committees, with voice but without vote. Voting membership shall be retained in the clergy member’s home annual conference for the duration of affiliate member relationship. Such persons may serve on the board, agency, task force or committee of only one annual conference at any one time.
13. See Judicial Council Decision 690.
14. See Judicial Council Decisions 462, 473, 492, 534, 552, 555.