Discipline ¶344

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  ¶  344. Provisions for Appointment to Extension Ministries-Elders in appointments extending the ministry of the local United Methodist church are full participants in the itinerant system. Therefore, a conference member in an appointment beyond the local United Methodist church must be willing upon consultation to receive an appointment in a pastoral charge. When either the conference member or the annual conference requests appointment to a pastoral charge, the request shall be made in writing to or from the bishop, the cabinet, and the board of ordained ministry. Such a request should be made at least six months prior to annual conference. In both instances, consultation shall give due regard to the individual’s special training, experience, skills, and leadership potential.
1. Categories of Appointment-In order to establish a clear distinction between the work to which all Christians are called and the tasks for which ordained ministers are appropriately prepared and authorized, the following categories are established for appointments of elders within the itineracy of The United Methodist Church.
    a) Appointments within the connectional structures of United Methodism:
    (1) Appointments for which the annual conference provides for pension contributions to the Ministerial Pension Plan, amended and restated effective January 1, 2007, as the Clergy Retirement Security Program, such as district superintendents, staff members of conference councils and boards, treasurers, bishops’ assistants, superintendents or directors of parish development, general evangelists, and campus ministers. Only elders in full connection may be appointed district superintendents;
(2) Appointments to a general agency for which the general agency provides pension contributions through December 31, 2006 to the Ministerial Pension Plan and, effective January 1, 2007, to the Retirement Security Program for General Agencies of The United Methodist Church;
(3) Appointments to a United Methodist institution or other ministry, such as superintendents or directors of parish development, general evangelists, campus ministers, missionaries, faculty and administrators of United Methodist schools of theology or other educational institutions approved by the University Senate; and
(4) Appointments to an ecumenical agency.
    b) Appointments to extension ministries of elders in full connection under endorsement by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and other ministry settings which the bishop and conference board of ordained ministry may designate.29  The board shall annually verify the appropriate employment of persons under its endorsement and request their reappointment.
c) Elders in service under the General Board of Global Ministries may be appointed to the ministries listed in a) and b) above. They may be assigned to service either in annual conferences or central conferences, or with affiliated autonomous churches, independent churches, churches resulting from the union of Methodist Churches and other communions, mission institutions, or in other denominational or ecumenical ministries. They may accept such rights and privileges, including affiliate membership, as may be offered them by central conferences or by other churches to which they are assigned without impairing their relationship to their home annual conference. If appointment is to a missionary conference, the terms of the appointment shall be as provided in ¶ 586.4.
d) Elders may receive appointments beyond the ministry
usually extended through the local United Methodist church and other institutions listed above in a) and b)30  when considered by the bishop and the annual conference board of ordained ministry to be a true extension of the Christian ministry of the Church. They may be appointed to pastoral ministry in other Christian denominations at the request of appropriate judicatory officers of that denomination. These ministries shall be initiated in missional response to the needs of persons in special circumstances and unique situations and shall reflect the commitment of the clergy to intentional fulfillment of their ordination vows to Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service. These appointments may involve clergy with expertise from other vocations. Conference members in such appointments retain conference membership, and the annual conference may choose to extend financial support and benefits for its clergy by vote of the annual conference. (See ¶ 624.3, .5.)
  Conference members who serve as staff members of ecumenical agencies or as pastors of non-United Methodist congregations may also be considered as holding an extension ministry, provided their position is approved by the bishop and the conference board of ordained ministry. They shall remain accountable to their vows as members of their annual conference.
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, in order to assist boards of ordained ministry, will provide standards and consultation to assist in validating the appropriateness of special ministry settings. In addition, it will provide advocacy for persons serving in settings approved under this paragraph and shall encourage the development of emerging ministries that extend the ministry of the Church into the world.
Those seeking such an appointment shall submit a written statement to the cabinet, and the board of ordained ministry, describing in detail the proposed setting for their ministry, sharing a sense of calling to that ministry and their gifts and evidence of God’s grace for it, and expressing the intentional fulfillment of their ordination vows. This material will be submitted not later than 120 days before desired appointment to the proposed setting. On recommendation of the cabinet and the board of ordained ministry, such positions are to be confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the clergy members of the annual conference.
The bishop may make ad interim appointments in this category after consultation with the cabinet and executive committee of the board of ordained ministry, the position to be formally acted upon by the next session of the annual conference.
  2. Relation to the Annual Conference-a) Accountability to the Annual Conference-Elders in extension ministries are amenable to the annual conference of which they are members and insofar as possible should maintain close working relationship with and effective participation in the work of their annual conference, assuming whatever responsibilities they are qualified and requested to assume.
Elders under appointment in extension ministries shall submit annually to the bishop, the district superintendent, and the board of ordained ministry a written report on the official form developed for the Church by the General Council on Finance and Administration for use by the annual conference. This report shall serve as the basis for the evaluation of these clergy in light of the missional needs of the Church and the fulfillment of their ordination to be minister of Service, Word, Sacrament, and Order. Elders formally evaluated by the institutions in which they serve will provide, instead of an evaluation, a narrative report reflecting their ministry. Elders serving in appointments outside the conference in which they hold membership shall furnish a copy of their report also to the bishop of the area in which they serve. Annual conferences shall review the qualifications of persons in extension ministry status and integrate them into the ongoing work of the annual conference.
    b) Responsibility of the Annual Conference-The bishop, representatives of the cabinet, and an endorsed representative from extension ministries within the board of ordained ministry shall provide an opportunity to meet annually with ordained clergy in extension
ministries who perform their ministry within the bounds of annual conference, both of that annual conference and those who hold membership elsewhere. The bishop shall convene the meeting, which is to be planned by the cabinet and the board of ordained ministry. The purpose of this meeting is to gain understanding of one another’s role and function in ministry; to report to other ordained ministers appointed to extension ministries and discuss with them matters concerning the overall approach to ministry in the episcopal area; to interpret the role and function of extension ministries to the larger church through the offices of the bishop and his or her representatives; to nurture the development of various ministries as significant in assisting the mission of the Church; and to discuss specific programs and services that the bishop and his or her representatives may initiate, in which the various ordained ministers serving in appointments beyond the local church may be qualified as consultants and supervisors. Using the appropriate resources and personnel of the annual conference, the bishop shall provide for an annual visit to
the ministry setting of all persons under appointment in extension ministries assigned within the geographical bounds of the annual conference and shall provide a report of the visit to the bishop of persons from other annual conferences.
  3. Relation to the Local Church-a) Elders appointed in extension ministries shall establish membership in a charge conference in their home annual conference in consultation with the pastor in charge and with approval of the district superintendent and the bishop. They shall submit to their home charge conference an annual report of pastoral duties and the fulfillment of their ordination through their special appointment, including ministerial activities in the charge where they have an affiliate membership relation and in other units of the Church at large, as well as continuing formation experiences completed and anticipated. This report may be the one submitted to the bishop, district superintendent, and board of ordained ministry (¶ 344.2a). District superintendents, because of the nature of their work and the relationship defined in ¶¶ 429.3, 362.1a, and 659, shall not be required to have a charge conference affiliation.
All conference members who are elders in full connection, including those in extension ministries, shall be available and on call to administer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as required by the Discipline (¶ 340.2a) and requested by the district superintendent of the district in which the appointment is held.
    b) Affiliate Relation to a Local Church-Ordained elders under appointment to extension ministries and serving outside of the geographical bounds of their home annual conference shall promptly notify the bishop of the area in which they reside of their names, addresses, and the annual conferences in which their credentials are held. They shall be affiliate members without vote of a charge conference either within the district where they carry out the primary work of their appointment or within the district where they reside. Persons serving outside the geographic bounds of any annual conference are exempt from this requirement. The selection of the charge conference shall be made after consultation between the elder and the pastor of the local United Methodist church.
  These ordained elders under appointment in extension ministries and serving outside the geographical boundaries of their home annual conference shall submit to the charge conference of which they are affiliate members a copy of the report submitted to their home charge conference and/or an oral report concerning their ministry and the fulfillment of their ordination. The district superintendent shall be responsible for the notification to these ministers concerning the time and place of the charge conference.
4. Affiliate Relation to Annual Conference-Ordained elders appointed to extension ministries outside the boundary of their annual conference may at their own initiative apply to the board of ordained ministry for affiliate membership in the annual conference in which their appointment is located or in which they reside. By a two-thirds vote of the clergy session,31 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 appointee’s home annual conference for the duration of affiliate member relationship. Nomination to general Church boards and agencies and election as delegates to general and jurisdictional conferences shall originate in the appointee’s home annual conference. Such persons may serve on the board, agency, task force, or committee of only one annual conference at any one time.32
5. General Provisions-a) These appointments shall be made only to positions related to adequate accountability structures, according to guidelines established by the board of ordained ministry and cabinet in the annual conferences in which membership is held.
    b) For information regarding pensions, the conference will
continue to list the source of annuity claim for each of its clergy.
c) All conference secretaries shall submit to the editors of the General Minutes a list of such appointments beyond the local church made in their annual conferences, and there shall be published in
the General Minutes a list of ordained ministers in the Church serving in the major categories under these appointments.
d) Elders appointed to extension ministries shall attend the annual conference in which membership is held.
e) Individual participation in Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard units and part-time employment with the Veteran’s Administration shall be reflected in annual conference journals.
29. See Judicial Council Decisions 321, 325, 329.
30. See Judicial Council Decisions 380, 877.
31. See Judicial Council Decision 555.
32. See Judicial Council Decision 554.