Petition 80191

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Involuntary Leave of Absence (80191-MH-¶354.1)

Add a new paragraph after ¶ 354.1 b) and re-alphabetize the remaining as follows:
c) Involuntary Leave of Absence due to ineffectiveness—The district superintendents may request an involuntary leave of absence due to ineffectiveness without the consent of the probationary, associate, or full member, at least ninety days prior to the annual conference session. They shall give to the probationary, associate, or full member and the board of ordained ministry in writing specific reasons for the request. The fair process for administrative hearings as set forth in ¶ 362.3 shall be followed in any involuntary leave of absence procedure. The clergyperson has the right to a hearing before the bishop, district superintendents, and executive committee of the board of ordained ministry prior to being placed on involuntary leave of absence. Written notice of the board's action should be sent to the respondent and the administrative review committee's chairperson. Involuntary leaves of absence shall be approved by two-thirds vote of the clergy session of members in full connection with the annual conference.  By two-thirds vote of the clergy session of members in full connection with the annual conference, upon recommendation of the bishop, district superintendents, and board of ordained ministry, the ninety-day notice requirement may be waived.  This is an  indefinite leave and not time limited.
The administrative review committee (¶ 635) shall ensure that the disciplinary procedures for involuntary leave of absence were properly followed. The entire process leading to the recommendation for involuntary leave of absence shall be reviewed by the administrative review committee, and it shall report its findings to the clergy session of members in full connection with the annual conference.

Rationale

This petition is written to address ineffectiveness of probationary, associate, or full members and to offer an effective yet compassionate process to remove those persons who have been shown to be ineffective.  It also does not have the 3 year limitation as does the current Involuntary Leave of Absence.