Petition 80316

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Duties of Elders (80316-MH-¶332)

Amend ¶332 as follows:
  
¶ 332. Ministry of an Elder—Elders are ordained ministers who, by God’s grace, have completed their formal preparation and have been commissioned and served as a probationary member, have been found by the Church to be of sound learning, of Christian character, possessing the necessary gifts and evidence of God’s grace, and whose call by God to ordination has been confirmed by the Church. Elders are ordained to a lifetime ministry of Service, Word, Service, Sacrament, and Order. By the authority given in their ordination, they are authorized to preach and teach the Word of God, to provide pastoral care and counsel, to administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and to order the life of the Church for service in mission and ministry. The servant leadership of the elder, in both parish and extension ministries, is expressed by leading   the people of God in worship and prayer, by leading persons to faith in Jesus Christ, by exercising pastoral supervision in the congregation, and by leading  ordering the Church in obedience to mission in the world.  
  
As members of the Order of Elders, all elders are in covenant with all other elders in the annual conference and shall participate in the life of their Order. Only elders may be appointed as superintendents and elected as bishops.

Rationale

To distinguish between the duties and authority of an elder and the duties of a local pastor.