¶845 TERMINATION OF CONFERENCE MEMBERSHIP
In circumstances where it is not possible for ministers in good standing to be located, the MEGaP committee may allow them to deposit their credentials with the conference and withdraw from the conference with the understanding that they can be restored to an itinerating ministry as provided above for located ministers.
Conference members who die during the period between conference sessions shall have their names noted and shall be honoured at the following conference.
DISCONTINUED FROM MINISTERIAL CANDIDACY
The names of any ministerial candidate not recommended to be continued shall be noted as discontinued in the MEGaP report to the conference.
GRANTED A CERTIFICATE OF STANDING WITH VIEW TO TRANSFER
The conference, or in the interim, the MEGaP committee, may grant a certificate of standing to ordained ministers who wish to transfer to another conference.
Located ministers are ordained persons who are not available to be appointed and so are located with their membership at a local church. Ministers who are located may either request the place of their membership or it may be determined by the conference upon the recommendation of the MEGaP committee. In the process, the minister to be located and the minister and official board of the church involved shall be consulted.
Located ministers shall be accountable to the local church for their service but, with respect to their doctrine, character and conduct, they shall be accountable to the MEGaP committee. Located ministers in good standing shall be listed in the records of the conference as local elders, local deacons or local ordained ministers, according to their ordinations.
Location is viewed as a termination of conference membership. Located ministers retain ordination credentials but do not have a voice or vote in the conference unless elected by a local church as a lay delegate. Because located ministers’ memberships are fixed at a local Free Methodist Church, they are entitled to vote in the local church.
Located ministers against whom the local church lodges complaints shall appear before the MEGaP committee to answer the complaints. They shall not be disciplined by the local church nor shall they be deprived of ordination credentials without due process being followed by the MEGaP committee.
Located ministers may be restored to an itinerating ministry within the conference as follows:
- The MEGaP committee shall recommend;
- The board of administration shall approve by a majority vote;
- Those who move to reside within the bounds of another conference shall approach the MEGaP committee of that conference requesting that their membership be received. If received, the MEGaP committee of the receiving conference shall locate them;
Between each general conference, the director of leadership development and church health shall contact all located ministers to determine whether they are regularly attending the church where their membership has been located.
Located ministers shall conduct themselves as exemplary members of the society where they are located. Those who are not regularly attending (including those where the church has been closed) will be requested to submit written proposals to the MEGaP as to what should be done with their credentials (e.g., deposited with the conference, transferred to another denomination, surrendered, etc.). The credentials of those who fail to respond with proposals prior to the next general conference will be declared null and void by MEGaP.
MEMBERSHIP IN ANOTHER DENOMINATION
A minister who unites with another denomination (in either a ministerial or lay relationship) without having requested or received proper credentials of withdrawal will, upon satisfactory evidence of that fact, be declared withdrawn by MEGaP.
SUSPENSION LEADING TO EXPULSION
Ministers may receive discipline, be restored and have their credentials returned according to the provisions of ¶925.
Ministers under discipline shall surrender their credentials to be filed in the conference office. Those who refuse or neglect to do so shall have them declared null and void by the conference, or in the interim, by the MEGaP committee. (See ¶830).
Suspended ministers retain conference membership but are prohibited from exercising any ministerial functions or conference privileges while suspended.
The membership of expelled ministers is terminated on the date of their expulsion.
WITHDRAWN FROM THE CONFERENCE AND THE DENOMINATION
A minister who has withdrawn from the conference and the denomination shall be so listed. If a minister requests to withdraw while under discipline, the listing shall add the designation, “under complaint.”
WITHDRAWN UNDER COMPLAINT
Ministers who leave the church after complaints have been lodged against them, and who subsequently regain church membership, shall not be allowed to exercise the functions of the ministerial office until they have satisfied the conference to which they belonged regarding the complaints.