Memorandum Number 439
Editorial Clarification of Decision No. 436.
The Judicial Council on its own motion reconsidered Decision No. 436 for purposes of editorial interpretation.
The category of local pastor has replaced the old category of lay pastor. The new category grants authority to local pastors to administer the Sacraments within the bounds of the local charge to which they are appointed. They are subject to the supervision of an elder, recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the vote of the ministerial members in full connection of the Annual Conference. The local pastor may be available for appointment but may exercise the authorizations granted only while actually appointed to a charge.
Paragraph 409.5 applies to protect the authorization granted to ordained deacons and elders as to administration of the Sacraments and the applicable educational requirements of status achieved prior to the 1976 General Conference. Persons not so ordained but who had enrolled in appropriate studies required prior to January 1, 1977 are allowed "credit" for that attainment. In other words they are not required to repeat the study and may continue under the program outlined in the 1972 Discipline.
All persons certified as local pastors, including the persons who had been enrolled in appropriate studies prior to January 1, 1977 under the 1972 Discipline, are to be subject to the limitations of the 1976 Discipline-namely: certified as available for appointment; if appointed, granted authorization to administer the Sacraments within the charge to which that local pastor is appointed; supervision of an elder; annual review; recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry; and vote of ministerial members of the Annual Conference.
Persons in the category of local pastor have eight (8) years to complete educational requirements to become associate members of the Annual Conference. If such persons fail to qualify within that period of time they will be discontinued unless extensions are granted under the provisions of Par. 409.2 or 409.3.