17. ADMISSION OF FORMER MINISTERS (Standing Committee)

That the Assembly

authorize the Assembly Standing Committee, on the advice of the Legal Reference Committee, to amend Regulation 2.5.2 (Admission of a Former Minister) such that the application shall be dealt with in a similar manner to an application from a person to be a candidate for one of the ordained ministries of the Church.

 

Rationale: 

The current process used for the re admission of a Minister is to follow as closely as possible the process used for the admission of a Minister from another church. If adopted by the Assembly the proposed changes to the process for the admission of Ministers from another denomination will significantly change that process. Whereas the previous process leant itself to adaptation for the admission of former Minister; the proposed changes make this less likely to be the case. For example the new normative practice that a person will serve in a placement before consideration of their application may not be helpful. In addition to the impact of the changes on the process, the opportunity to think afresh about the best process in this situation has given an opportunity to ask what is working and not working well in regard to former Ministers seeking readmission. It has been noted that there is no provision for the provision of references, psychological testing, or place for the Presbytery in the current arrangements. There seem to be many features in the candidature process which are useful in assessing the application of former Ministers for readmission. It is not anticipated that all the provisions will be relevant but it sets a useful framework; and as the Standing Committee does its work the particular aspects that do not apply will become apparent. It is not yet clear whether the Standing Committee will come to a process that is generally expressed as is presently the case, or will prefer a specific process in the regulations for former Ministers who are seeking readmission. The referral sought will enable that view to be reached and enacted.