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Judicial Council decision awaited

Judicial Council decision awaited

Rev. We Hyun Chang at General Conference
Rev. We Hyun Chang, a pastor in Belmont, Mass., speaks against a plan to eliminate guaranteed appointments for full elders during General Conference in May in Tampa. UMNS photo.

Florida will be among many conferences watching for Judicial Council decisions expected to be released early next week.

One of the questions with the widest reach is a plan to eliminate guaranteed appointments for elders in full connection in The United Methodist Church. That guarantee has been in place since 1956, but the General Conference in May voted to end the practice.

In the Florida Conference, the decision could directly affect 400 to 450 clergy members, as well as have indirect implications for provisional elders and others leading churches.

The council is considering whether that move violates The UMC’s constitution, among other issues, during four days of deliberations in Chicago that end Saturday, Oct. 27. Longtime observers say the council’s ruling is unlikely to be announced until Monday or even Tuesday.

The issue also is receiving coverage in the secular media. In an article published this week in The Wall Street Journal, Bishop Ken Carter likened guaranteed appointments for clergy to tenure for the nation’s schoolteachers, another profession where job security is being hotly debated.

To read that article, click here.

To read a United Methodist News Service report on the Judicial Council meeting, click here.