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Decision No. 581

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October 22 1987
In Re: Eligibility of a Minister for Appointment While on Leave of Absence.

Digest of Case

During the 1987 session of the North Indiana Annual Conference, a written request was submitted to Bishop Leroy C. Hodapp for an episcopal ruling on this question: "Can a pastor who is on leave of absence be appointed or assigned to alocal parish?" The bishop ruled, on the basis of 450 and 523.10 of the 1984 Discipline, that a minister on leave of absence retains the right to "perform ministry so long as that ministry is limited to the charge in which Charge Conference membership is held," but that the minister does "not remain in full-time itinerant ministry and therefore cannot be appointed." He further ruled that a minister "on leave of absence who places his/her Charge Conference membership in a church without an appointed pastor, may perform ministry in that charge under the supervision of the District Superintendent, but not as an appointed itinerant pastor." The Annual Conference voted to appeal the ruling to the Judicial Council. The appeal came to the Judicial Council for determination as provided in 2611 of the 1984 Discipline. The bishop's ruling accurately interprets the meaning and effect of the paragraphs cited, and is affirmed

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