Petition 80182

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Authority of Licensed Clergy (80182-MH-¶316.1)

  Amend ¶ 316.1 of the 2004 Book of Discipline as follows:
1.    Probationary members approved annually by the board of ordained ministry and local pastors approved annually by the district committee on ordained ministry may be licensed by the bishop to perform all the duties of a pastor (¶ 340), including the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion as well as the service of marriage (where state laws allow), burial, confirmation, and membership reception, within and while appointed to a particular charge or extension ministry. For the purposes of these paragraphs, the charge or extension ministry will be defined as “people within or related to the community or ministry setting being served.”...
    

Rationale

  Paragraph ¶ 316.1 is often understood to mean that the clergy authority of local pastors and licensed probationary members is limited to the charges and ministry settings to which they are appointed. This is a critical difference between these persons and elders in our polity. The current language of ¶316.1...