The 59th GC Session approved changes to Church Manual regarding Deaconesses, which can be found on the page for
Changes to Chapter 7: Church Officers and their Duties
The addition to the church manual regarding the Ordination of Deaconesses now reads
|Induction Service for Deaconesses - The church may arrange for a suitable service of induction for the deaconesses by an ordained pastor currently credentialed by the conference. In some cases, if approved by the division executive committee, this may include an ordination service characterised by simplicity and performed in the presence of the church. ( page 78 )|
|If they retain church membership, deaconesses, if ordained, do not have to be ordained again if they move their memberships to other churches. When the term for which they were elected expires, they must be reelected if they are to continue to serve as deaconesses. ( page 78 )|
This change in the Church Manual is significant to two ways,
(1) the ordination of deaconesses may be a prelude to a future change in the church to allow ordination of females as pastors;
(2) this is the place where the Church Manual addresses the question of what happens to elected church officers who continue in their position after their term of office has expired.
Compare this to the Ordination of Deacons (page 56 or 17th edition) which has not been changed, it says,". . . If he has been once ordained as deacon, and has maintained his membership, it is not necessary for him to be ordained again even though he has transferred to another church. When the term for which he was elected expires, he must be reelected if he is to continue to serve as deacon . . .”
Now there are two church board positions, Head Deacon and Head Deasoness, that can not continue to serve in their position after their term in office has expired. This could have something to do with their role in the communion service but that is not made clear. There is nothing to say that other church board members can not continue after their term of office has expired.
This looks like it could be an interesting discussion.
After we have organized and posted the changes to the Church Manual, we will enable the discussion features that will allow for discussion of these issues. The ordination of women is a hotly discussed topic, but there is a real problem that should also be addressed, that of officers who are allowed to continue in their positions beyond the term of office that they were elected to, and therefore are functioning without the authority of the church.
If you want to add a comment - you can post it below.
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