April 2015

Dear Committee on Ministry colleagues,

The United Church Board recently voted to recommend changes in the UCC Constitution & Bylaws to the upcoming General Synod. These recommendations can be found on the Synod website by clicking on “Materials.” Some of the recommended changes relate to authorized ministry, and we want to make you – our partners on Committees on Ministry – aware of those particular changes.

The ministerial changes proposed to the UCC Constitution and Bylaws consist of:

  1. Clarity of capitalization for formal terms including but not limited to Ordained Ministerial Standing, Ordained Ministerial Partner Standing and Local Church.
  2. Consistency of UCC polity and practices through the inclusion of language such as ‘ecclesiastical support,’ ‘ministerial oversight,’ ‘fitness reviews,’ ‘may apply,’ and ‘search process,’ and the removal of language such as ‘disciplinary’ and ‘placement.’
  3. Three changes are recommended to coincide with current ministerial practices. These are:
    • The status of Approved for Ordination Pending Call is granted for a period of two years, renewable.
    • Clarifying language that retired ministers may hold their ministerial standing in an association different than the association where their Local Church membership is held.
    • That Ordained Ministerial Partnership Standing may be granted to a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister who is serving in a Local Church of the UCC or in a ministry setting directly related to the UCC. This change allows for ministers in specialized ministry settings to hold Ordained Ministerial Partnership Standing if qualified and is consistent with Disciples of Christ policy.

If you will be attending Synod this year, please join us on Friday evening, June 26, from 5 – 7pm in the convention center for a meet-and-greet event with members of the Habakkuk Group, the committee that is re-visioning the Manual on Ministry. Hope to see you in Cleveland!

Rachel Hackenberg

The Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg
Minister for Committee on Ministry Resources & Conference Support
Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Team
Local Church Ministries, United Church of Christ

Categories: Column COMma

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