Petition 80004

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Clarify the Status of Retired Local Pastors (80004-MH-¶320)

Amend ¶ 320 by inserting a new paragraph at ¶ 320.6 as follows:
  
6. Status of Retired Local Pastors -- A local pastor who retires or is no longer approved for appointment by the annual conference as required in ¶ 318 prior to completing the Course of Study and is not appointed in accordance with ¶320.5 shall be considered a layperson for all purposes of this Discipline.  A local pastor who retires after having completed the Course of Study or is no longer approved for appointment by the annual conference as required in ¶ 318 and is not appointed in accordance with ¶320.5 may elect, by notification to the Bishop and the board of ordained ministry, to be recognized either as a layperson, or as a "Retired Local Pastor."  A Retired Local Pastor shall have the right to attend Annual Conference with voice and such voting privileges as are accorded active local pastors.  Retired Local Pastors shall be counted as clergy for equalization purposes.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to change in any way a local pastor's pension status or rights.

Rationale

The status of retired Local pastors is not spelled out in the DISCIPLINE.  This paragraph would make the maximum flexibility available to such persons.  The church is a whole would benefit by having committed people available to serve where they feel most useful.