For those who would like to read resolution 7-17, but don’t want to download the multi-mb file from the synod’s servers, here it is, as submitted: Feel free to tell the Secretary and President of synod how important something like this is.
Whereas, the 2013 Lutheran Annual lists 217 ordained ministers as holding the status of “Candidate”, indicating that they are Candidates for the Reverend Ministry, but currently not serving a call, and
Whereas, the church has a responsibility to care for all, especially those who have given of their time and talents to full-time service in the church, and
Whereas, when graduating from the seminary, candidates have a formal process for placement, and
Whereas, there is no similar placement process for those who are candidates at some point after their initial placement, and
Whereas, candidates may wish to serve a parish, but have no formal process for doing so, and
Whereas, congregations that might wish to call those who are on Candidate status have no official mechanism to do so, and
Whereas, the District Presidents already handle placements for seminary and university candidates, and so could administer a formal process for seeking to place those who are currently on Candidate status but willing to serve a congregation, therefore be it
Resolved, that the bylaws of the synod be amended thusly:
126.96.36.199 A “candidate” member is one who is eligible to perform the duties of any of the offices of ministry specified in Bylaw section 2.11 but who is not currently an active member or an emeritus member.
(a) A candidate may be continued on the roster for a period not to exceed four years by act of the president of the district through which the person holds membership.
(b) The candidate shall, by January 31, make an annual report to the district president, who shall evaluate the member’s eligibility for remaining on candidate status. The candidate’s report shall include current contact information and address the criteria for remaining on candidate status.
(c) Among criteria for determining whether candidate status should be granted or continued are
(1) The health of the applicant;
(2) A spirit of cooperation in any efforts to address any unresolved issues involving fitness for ministry;
(3) The extent of current involvement on a part-time and assisting basis in his/her respective ministry; and
(4) A demonstrated willingness to consider a call or appointment to any of the offices of ministry specified in Bylaw section 2.11.
(d) To assist candidates in resolving issues involving fitness for ministry, the president of the district through which the person holds membership, or at his request the president of the geographical district in which the candidate resides, shall meet at least annually with the candidate to asses any outstanding issues, and to evaluate fitness for ministry.
(1) The candidate may request a report, in writing, detailing specific steps to taken to address any unresolved issues.
(2) The candidate will have the opportunity to report quarterly on steps taken as recommended in the report.
(3) In the case of disputes regarding fitness for ministry, the candidate may request dispute resolution as outlined in bylaw 1.10. Such a request can be made no more than once every two years.
(e) Candidates that do not have unresolved issues regarding fitness for ministry may apply for Assignment as if they were receiving their first call, as outlined in bylaw 2.9, with the following changes:
(1) Any candidate requesting placement under this bylaw will consult with the president of the district through which the person holds membership, or at the request of that president, the president of the geographical district in which the candidate resides. Such consultation shall take the place of consultation with the placement officer of the respective institution.
(2) Candidates will be informed of their placement by the District Office in which they are placed, or of the failure of the synod to place them by their own district president.
(3) Candidates may request placement under this bylaw according the schedule for placements of the institution through which their first placement was made.
(4) Congregations who are calling a candidate will specify if they wish to call a candidate under this bylaw, or under bylaw 2.9.
(5) In the event that there are not sufficient calling congregations to place all candidates, those candidates who are seeking placement under bylaw 2.9 will receive priority.
(6) The Council of Presidents shall report at least annually in an official periodical of the synod: The number of candidates who have requested placement under this bylaw, the number of placements made, and the number of candidates who have requested placement, but have not yet been placed.
(7) Congregations are encouraged to request candidates under this bylaw, when such candidates are qualified and available.