Cabinet Offers Clarity on Relationship of Retired Clergy to The UMC

Policy outlines expectations for connectional life and ministry in retirement

This spring, Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. challenged the Cabinet to evaluate how the North Texas Conference can become more consistent in strengthening and maintaining a deep connection with its retired pastors.

From those discussions, the Cabinet developed a “Clarification of the United Methodist Book of Discipline regarding a Retired Pastor’s Relationship to the Local Church, the District, the Annual Conference, and the United Methodist Church.”

The document outlines how the United Methodist connection extends into retirement, noting the necessity to establish a charge conference relationship and live out their discipleship in a United Methodist community.

It also clarifies that retired clergy and retired local pastors who are under appointment or have been granted a license “are not to serve in a ministerial capacity, whether paid or unpaid, outside of The United Methodist Church without the expressed and written permission of the resident bishop. To do so would indicate that the pastor has withdrawn from ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church according to ¶360.”

See the full text of the Policy for Retired Elders, Deacons and Associate Members and the Policy for Retired Local Pastors.

Published: Thursday, June 15, 2023