The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church recognizes the need for clergy to take a respite from the normal exercise of pastoral ministry. Clergy serving local churches need times of refreshment that often goes beyond the disciplinary requirements for continuing education and spiritual growth.
Renewal Time is not “empty” or unstructured time. It fits the guidelines of the early church as reflected in the Gospel of Mark where after returning from their missionary journey, Jesus invited the disciples to “come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while ” We believe that the respite or renewal time was not intended to be task oriented.
Renewal Time is desired for clergy who need time for rest and reflection making for growth in ways other than those defined by The Book of Discipline (¶351).
Renewal Time is to allow clergy the necessary space away from normal duties in order that they may regain a lost or fading perspective on ministry.
Approval of Renewal Time
Applications for Renewal Time shall be addressed to Office of Ministry Support of the Board of Ordained Ministry. An application must be received 120 days prior to the date requested for the Time of Renewal. Notification of approval of application will be made as soon as the request is reviewed and approved. Pastoral supply covering the period of time granted will be funded through the budget of the Commission on Equitable Salaries. Depending upon the amount of money available in the budget, funds shall be made on an equitable basis among the approved applicants. Each application shall be considered carefully and prayerfully by representatives of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Commission on Equitable Compensation, and their decision will be reported to both bodies and to the District Superintendent of the pastoral charge.
Criteria for Approval
- Applicants must be full members, associate members, or full-time local pastors who have completed Course of Study. Applicants must have served a minimum of five (5) consecutive years under appointment prior to their application. Applicants may request up to 90 days of renewal time.
- Applicants who have been granted Renewal Time previously may apply additional times. Renewal Time may be granted one time every eight years of ministry. However, first-time applicants shall be given priority.
The following shall be carefully considered:
- The particular circumstances of each applicant.
- The recommendations of the District Superintendent, the Pastor-Staff Parish Relations Committee, and the Administrative Board/Church Council.
- The availability of sufficient funds to underwrite the request.
Steps for Approval
Prior to making application, the applicant must do the following:
- Meet jointly with the District Superintendent and the Pastor-Staff Parish Relations Committee of the local church/charge being served at the time of the request.
- Secure the approval of the Administrative Council(s)/Church Council(s) and the Pastor Staff Parish Relations Committee of the church/charge being served at the time of the request.
- Secure the written approval of their District Superintendent at the time of the request.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the application, secure all required signatures, and forward the application to the Office of Ministry Support 120 days prior to the date requested for the Time of Renewal.
- Adequate funding shall be made by the local church/charge to pay the pastor’s salary during the period of time she or he is on Renewal Time.
- The Commission on Equitable Compensation shall provide an amount equal to that of a full member, associate member, or full time local pastor as listed in the report of the Commission to the annual conference (see Conference Journal) to an interim pastor for the agreed upon period in which the pastor under appointment is on Renewal Time.
- Authorization of salary payments to the interim pastor shall be made to the Commission on Equitable Compensation through the District Superintendent. A completed voucher shall be sent to the Conference Treasurer’s office which shall, in turn, remit payments according to the arrangement made between the District Superintendent and the interim pastor.
- The District Superintendent shall name the interim pastor in consultation with the Pastor Staff Parish Relations Committee of the local church/charge involved.
- Detailed arrangements of housing, dates, etc., shall be made by the District Superintendent, the pastor who is on Renewal Time, the local church/charge, and in consultation with the interim pastor.
APPLICATION FOR RENEWAL TIME
The West Virginia Annual Conference
PART I (to be completed by the applicant):
Name: _________________________________________ Date of Application:_________________
Address: __________________________________________ Telephone(s): ____________________
Membership Status: ________________________________ Date Admitted: ____________________
Current Appointment: _____________________________________ District: ____________________
Address: _________________________________________ Telephone(s): _____________________
Have you ever received a previous grant for Renewal Time? [ ] Yes [ ] No
If yes, please give date(s): ____________________________________________
Reasons for request at this time: (use extra sheet if necessary)
Have you conferred with your District Superintendent? [ ] Yes [ ] No
Have you conferred with your Pastor-Parish Relations Committee? [ ] Yes [ ] No
Have your conferred with your Administrative Board/Church Council? [ ] Yes [ ] No
Period for which Renewal Time is being requested: From ________________ Until _______________
Part II (to be completed by the chairs of the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee and the Administrative Board /Church Council):
|Pastor-Parish Relations Chair||Administrative Board/Council Chair|
|Date of Meeting:||Date of Meeting:|
|Decision:||Strongly approved||Decision||Strongly approved|
|Approved with reservations||Approved with reservations|
PART III Signature of District Superintendent
Recommendation: [ ]approved [ ]denied by the West Virginia Annual Conference District Superintendent.
PART IV (to be completed by the BOOM/CEC/):
Date – application is received: _____________________________________
Application recommended: [ ]Yes [ ]No Date: ________________________________
Reasons for action taken:
Recommendation: [ ]approved [ ]denied by the West Virginia Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.
Recommendation: [ ]approved [ ]denied by the West Virginia Annual Conference Commission on Equitable Compensation.
Recommendation: [ ]approved [ ]denied by the West Virginia Annual Conference Cabinet.
Return application to:
Office of Ministry Support
PO Box 2313
Charleston, WV 25328
Applications must be received 120 days prior to the date requested for the Time of Renewal.