Petition 81477

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Local Pastors Vote (81477-MH-¶35-C)

Amend ¶¶35, 316.6, 602.1c, and 602.1d as follows:
¶35. Article IV-  The ordained ministerial delegates to the General Conference and to the jurisdictional or central conferences shall be elected by and from the ordained ministerial members in full connection with the annual conference or provisional annual conference by the clergy members of the annual or provisional annual conference as defined by the General Conference.
¶316.6 The membership of local pastors under full-time and part-time appointment is in the annual conference where they shall have the right to vote on all matters except constitutional amendments, election of delegates to general, jurisdictional, or central conferences, and matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy.  Local pastors under full-time appointment who have completed the Course of Study, or have earned a Master of Divinity degree at a university listed by the University Senate, shall have the right to vote on the election of clergy delegates to general, jurisdictional, or central conferences.
¶602.1c.  Associate and affiliate clergy members shall have the right to vote in the annual conference on all matters except constitutional amendments , elections of clergy delegates to the general and jurisdictional or central conferences, and matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy.
¶602.1d.  Full-time and part-time local pastors under appointment to a pastoral charge shall have the right to vote in the annual conference on all matters except constitutional amendments , election of clergy delegates to the general and jurisdictional or central conferences, and matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy.  Only local pastors under full-time appointment who have completed the Course of Study, or have earned a Master of Divinity degree at a university listed by the University Senate, shall have the right to vote on the election of clergy delegates to general, jurisdictional, or central conferences.

Rationale

Associate members and full-time Local Pastors represent an increasing percentage of competent, dedicated, and vital clergy in our annual conferences. These pastors perform nearly the same ministerial responsibilities as elders in full connection. It is appropriate they have a voice in electing the delegates which will decide on church law.