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Can the pastor-parish relations committee meet in closed session without the pastor?

The PPR committee is required to meet in closed session. The pastor is required to be present, but can voluntarily excuse himself or herself.

¶ 258.2 e) of the 2016 Book of Discipline states,

"The committee shall meet only with the knowledge of the pastor and/or the district superintendent. The pastor shall be present at each meeting of the committee on pastor-parish relations or staff-parish relations except where he or she voluntarily excuses himself or herself.

The committee may meet with the district superintendent without the pastor or appointed staff under consideration being present. However, the pastor or appointed staff under consideration shall be notified prior to such meeting with the district superintendent and be brought into consultation immediately thereafter.

The committee shall meet in closed session, and information shared in the committee shall be confidential."

From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Copyright © 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.