Petition 80313

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Service Requirements During Probationary Membership (80313-MH-¶326)

Amend ¶326 as follows:
  
¶ 326. Probationary Service of Probationary Members   Commissioned Ministers
All persons who are commissioned ministers  probationary members shall be appointed by a bishop (¶ 430) and serve a minimum of three years following the completion of education requirements for full connection as a probationary member of the annual conference . During the probationary period, arrangements shall be offered by the board of ordained ministry for all commissioned ministers  probationers to be involved in a curriculum that extends theological education by using covenant groups and mentoring to support the practice and work of their ministry as servant leaders, to contemplate the grounding of ordained ministry, and to understand covenant ministry in the life of the conference. Probationary members may be appointed to attend school, to serve as elders in extension ministry, or as deacons in appointments beyond the local church.  Wherever they are appointed, The specialized service of probationary members shall be evaluated by the district superintendent and the board of ordained ministry in terms of their probationary member's ability to express and give leadership in servant ministry.
1. The commissioned ministers  Probationary members planning to give their lives as deacons in full connection shall be in ministries of Word and Service in the local church or in an approved appointment beyond the local church. the entire probationary period . A commissioned person  probationary member preparing for ordination as a deacon shall be licensed for the practice of ministry during probationary membership to perform the duties of the ministry of the deacon as stated in ¶ 328 and be granted support as stated in ¶ 331.14.
2. The commissioned ministers  Probationary members planning to give their lives as elders in full connection shall be in ministries of Service, Word, Sacrament, and Order in the local church or in an approved extension ministry. A commissioned minister  probationary member preparing for ordination as an elder who is serving as pastor of a local church shall be licensed for pastoral ministry (¶ 315).
3. Commissioned ministers  Probationary members who are serving in extension ministries, or enrolled in graduate degree programs, or appointments beyond the local church shall be accountable to the district superintendent and the board of ordained ministry for the conduct of ministry, and for demonstrating their effectiveness in the ministry of the order to which they seek to be ordained. In every  all cases, they will also demonstrate their effectiveness in servant leadership in the local church to the satisfaction of the board of ordained ministry.
4. Probationary members seeking to change their ordination track shall:
a) Write to the board of ordained ministry and inform the district superintendent and bishop of their intention.
b) Interview with the board of ordained ministry to articulate and clarify their call.
c) Fulfill academic and service requirements.
Upon the recommendation of the board of ordained ministry and by vote of the clergy session the person may be received into full connection with the annual conference and be ordained into the order to which they are transitioning.

Rationale

To clarify the status of probationary membership within an annual conference.