FOR THE ORDERLY EXCHANGE OF
PASTORS AND PRIESTS
The Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
This document is intended as an aid to synods, dioceses, congregations and church-wide ministry offices in
furthering the process of the exchange, on an occasional or extended basis, of pastors and priests. This exchange
is an important part of the full communion relationship established between the Episcopal Church (EC) and the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The authors look to the Constitutions and by-laws/canons of the two churches
for guidance regarding the exchange. Diocesan canons and/or synodical procedures, which vary to a degree around
the country, will also be important.
Both the EC and the ELCA have taken votes in their respective national legislative bodies to amend constitutions,
canons or by-laws as needed to enable the exchange. (See p.10 for information about EC canonical changes passed
at the 73rd General Convention, Denver.)
The ELCA has gained first hand experience in the sharing of leadership resources in the past two years by virtue
of the several other full communion relationships to which it is committed. This document benefits from and builds
upon that experience.On the following pages are presented a brief background to the adoption of Called to Common
Mission and a statement of principles that shape the possibilities of exchange. Later in the document there
is an elaboration of procedures/guidelines and resources specific to each denomination. Individual dioceses and
synods will no doubt supplement these broad guidelines with additional procedures that apply to the local context.
Staff of the Division for Ministry of the ELCA, and of the Office for Ministry Development and the Church Deployment
Office of the EC, are grateful to all those in our two churches who assisted in the creation of this document.
In 1983, the Anglican-Lutheran Joint Working Group, meeting
in Cold Ash, Berkshire, England, defined "Full Communion." It was defined to mean that "members
of one body may receive the sacraments of the other"; that bishops from each church participate in consecrations
of bishops from the other church, "thus acknowledging the duty of mutual care and concern"; that clergy
from each church "may exercise liturgical functions in a congregation of the other"; and that there be
organs of consultation "to express and strengthen the fellowship and enable common witness, life and service."
Through adoption of Called to Common Mission (CCM) the ELCA and EC entered into a relationship of full communion. CCM
speaks of full communion as a relationship between distinct churches in which each recognizes the other as a catholic
and apostolic church holding the essentials of the Christian faith. It is the ministry of the whole people of God
in service to God's mission that is the context of this shared life.
As the Cold Ash definition of full communion clearly shows, the exchange of pastors and priests is only one aspect
of the process by which our two churches will, over time, come to share fully their life and mission. However,
given the close regulation by both church bodies of pastors and priests, respectively, the need for a document
clarifying the principles and guidelines regarding exchange is evident. This document is designed to address as
many questions as practicable at this early stage so as to simplify and ease the process of exchange in a variety
Orderly exchange (provisions for availability) of pastors and priests is for the sake of participation in the mission
of God, and can be an important sign of our unity in Christ. This particular aspect of full communion seeks to
allow and encourage more effective use and deployment of our churches' ordained leaders in order to enhance our
shared ministry and mission. It encourages those who are responsible for the deployment of pastors and priests
to draw on the available ministers in both churches to meet mission needs.
Pastors in the ELCA may be invited or may express their desire to serve in the EC. Priests in the EC may be invited
or may express their desire to serve in the ELCA. Pastors and priests do not have a right to serve in the other
church2 . We therefore speak of the "inviting church" (sometimes called
the receiving church) and the "sending church." The orderly exchange of pastors and priests is understood
to be at the discretion of the inviting church and subject to that church's polity and procedures.
One salutary aspect of the full communion relationship is that it fosters the exchange of pastors and priests in
ministries at the congregational, diocesan, synodical and churchwide level, while they remain ministerial members
of their own churches. Thus, this document primarily addresses situations of service on a temporary basis -- in
the form of occasional
service or extended
placement3. For an explanation of these terms in context, see pages 5 and 6, and 9
through 11 below. This document does not, however, address the permanent transfer of ministerial membership in
As full communion partners, we acknowledge the full authenticity of ministers ordained in the other church. (CCM,
par. 14, 15, 21) As of January 1, 2001, the ministry of such pastors and priests is fully interchangeable. After
that date, the churches begin a process of consultation to explore how "some functions of ordained deacons
in the EC, and consecrated diaconal ministers and deaconesses in the ELCA, can be shared insofar as they are called
to be agents of the church in meeting needs, hopes, and concerns within church and society. The churches will over
time come to share in the ministry of bishops in an evangelical, historic succession." (CCM, par. 8)
The means of implementing orderly exchange need not be identical in each denomination. The existing polity of each
church continues to be respected. It is important, however, that provisions parallel each other as much as practicable,
and that each church be familiar with and conversant about the provisions of the other.
By early 2001, the ELCA and the EC will establish a Joint Coordinating Committee (formerly the Joint Commission).
This committee will have a consultative function and will be fully accountable to the decision-making bodies of
the two churches. The committee will assist in joint planning for mission. Its members will work with the appropriate
churchwide boards, committees, commissions and staff of the EC and ELCA concerning ecumenical, pastoral, liturgical
and doctrinal issues as may arise.
of Orderly Exchange
Seeking to promote greater understanding among the participants
in Called to Common Mission,
representatives of the EC and ELCA offer the following principles to guide implementation efforts.
to Common Mission intends an interaction of structures of
leadership between our two churches for the sake of God's mission in Christ. As full communion partners, the ELCA
and the EC may develop common mission plans in order to be able to use resources more effectively and to promote
more fruitful outreach ministry. These principles aim to assist the two churches to develop a process that encourages
this common mission.
2. The orderly exchange of pastors and priests is understood to be at the discretion of the inviting church and
subject to that church's polity and procedures.
3. A pastor or priest may be eligible to engage in temporary, i.e., occasional or extended, service in any position
open to a pastor or priest in the inviting church except as noted otherwise in the policies of either church.
4. It is important to the faithful and orderly exchange of pastors and priests that one who would serve in any
ministry setting of the other church first be formed and educated for ministry in one's own tradition and have
experience in serving in that church's ordained ministry. Such experience and grounding in one's own tradition
are seen to be essential prior to serving in a setting of another tradition; therefore, such service is not intended
for a first call or first curacy.
5. To be eligible for extended service in the other church, a pastor or priest will demonstrate to the appropriate
synod, diocese or churchwide office of the inviting church knowledge of and an appreciation for the history, polity,
theological and liturgical identity, practices of ministry, and discipline of that church. The pastor or priest
will also be expected to preach, teach, administer the sacraments, and participate in the governance of the church
in a manner consistent with that knowledge and appreciation.
6. Placement, review of credentials and background, authorization/licensing, supervision, and evaluation procedures
of the inviting church shall be observed for temporary service, i.e., occasional and extended.
7. Approval for extended service shall occur only in consultation with, and concurrence of, the sending body.
8. A priest or pastor serving in the other church will continue to participate in the pension and benefits program
of the sending church. The inviting church should therefore be expected to participate fully in that minister's
pension and benefits program.
9. Responsibility for pastoral care of pastors and priests is shared by the inviting and sending bodies: in the
ELCA, the synod; in the EC, the diocese. The primary responsibility for pastoral care rests with the inviting church.
10. The inviting diocese or synod will be responsible for assessment of an individual's suitability for service.
However, the pastor or priest remains accountable to the sending body for continuation of ministerial status.
11. In an ecclesiastical disciplinary review or judicial process, the pastor or priest remains under the jurisdiction
of the sending body, but the inviting body may be asked to participate as appropriate.
12. The ELCA has made provision, in its continuing resolutions (of the Constitution,
Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions), so that an ordained
minister from a church with which the ELCA has a relationship of full communion may be granted the privilege of
both voice and vote in the Synod Assembly during the period of that minister's service. The dioceses of the EC
are urged to develop a provision whereby an ELCA pastor serving an EC congregation may be granted full participation
in diocesan convention, which would include the privilege of voice and vote, without the requirement of canonical
POLICY AND PROCEDURES
RELATED TO THE AVAILABILITY OF ORDAINED MINISTERS
BETWEEN THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA
AND CHURCH BODIES WITH WHICH
A RELATIONSHIP OF FULL COMMUNION HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED
Background. In accord with the governing documents of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, policy related to the orderly exchange of ordained ministers between the
participating church bodies is developed by the Division for Ministry, reviewed by the Conference of Bishops, and
adopted by the Church Council. Such policy would apply to ordained ministers of this church4
[see footnote] who, while being retained on the roster of the ELCA, would serve temporarily in a church body with
which a relationship of full communion has been established, and to ordained ministers of a church body with which
a relationship of full communion has been established who would serve temporarily in a congregation or other ministry
setting of this church.
I. Ordained Ministers of Another Church Body Serving in the ELCA
An ordained minister of a church body with which a relationship
of full communion exists may be asked to preach or administer the sacraments in an ELCA congregation on an occasional
basis with the authorization of the synodical bishop.
An ordained minister of a church body with which a relationship
of full communion exists may be invited by the synodical bishop to serve as the pastor of an ELCA congregation
for an extended period of time, yet remain an ordained minister of another church body. Such a person will be expected
to preach, teach, and administer the sacraments in an ELCA congregation in a manner that is consistent with the
"Confession of Faith" of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and to live in a manner consistent
with the expectations of this church as stated in "Vision and Expectations-Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America." Such service shall be rendered only as authorized by the synodical bishop in
order to serve the ministry and mission needs of the ELCA or its ecumenical partners in a given situation.
Service in a congregation of this church or employing entity shall be rendered under a contract between the congregation
or employing entity and the ordained minister, for a stated period of time in a form proposed by the synodical
bishop and approved by the congregation. Extended service is reviewed annually by the Synod Council or Church Council.
Upon the recommendation of the synodical bishop and approval by the Synod Council, the synodical bishop authorizes
an extended service ministry.
A. Upon such authorization the ordained minister enters service
in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through an entry rite to be developed which acknowledges the ordained
minister's service as pastor in a congregation or other setting of ministry in this church.
B. The Rite of Installation is not used as that rite is for use only for a regularly called ordained minister of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
C. An ordained minister who is approved to serve in an extended service ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America may be granted voice and vote in a synod assembly.
At any time for the sake of the ongoing ministry, the synodical
bishop may withdraw authorization for service-or the congregation, employing agency or ordained minister may terminate
a contract for extended service-after consultation with the other parties to the contract.
Transfer of Roster Status.
An ordained minister of a church body with which a relationship of full communion exists who seeks to serve indefinitely
within the ordained ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may apply for admission to the roster
of ordained ministers of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America under the policy of "Admission to the
Roster of Ordained Ministers of Persons Ordained in Another Christian Tradition" for consideration of approval
by a synodical candidacy committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Such an ordained minister would
then become an ELCA pastor upon receipt and acceptance of a regular call and installation in an ELCA congregation
or other approved setting. Roster status in more than one church body [i.e., denomination] at a time is precluded
in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
II. Ordained Ministers of the ELCA Serving in Another Church Body
An ordained minister of this church, serving for an extended
period of time in a church body with which a relationship of full communion exists, may be retained on the roster
of ordained ministers upon the recommendation of the synodical bishop and by action of the Synod Council in the
synod in which the ordained minister is listed on the roster.
III. Procedures for Availability of Ordained Ministers
The Division for Ministry recommends resources such as the following to assist synodical bishops in familiarizing
ordained ministers of another church body with the life and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
Book of Concord;
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, particularly
chapters, 2-7 , and 9;
· Vision and Expectations-Ordained Ministers in the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America;
The Use of the Means of Grace;
Lutheran Book of Worship;
With One Voice;
Christian Dogmatics (Braaten and Jensen);
· The Lutherans in North America
· One Great Cloud of Witnesses
B. Assessment.Authorization for extended service is given
by the Synod Council, on the basis of the synodical bishop's assessment of the ordained minister's suitability
for service. The bishop may wish to appoint a panel to assist in this determination. The Division for Ministry
recommends that this not be a responsibility of the full synodical candidacy committee, although members of the
committee may serve on the panel.
C. Pension and Medical Insurance. A determination of the
ordained minister's medical and disability insurance will be made. It is anticipated that a congregation of this
church will be able to contribute to the plan of another church body in order to provide appropriate medical coverage
and a pension plan. Similarly, an ordained minister of this church serving in another church body will need to
determine that Board of Pensions (or another comparable plan) coverage is provided by the employing body.
D. Accountability and Pastoral Care. An ordained minister
of another church body is accountable to the jurisdiction or judicatory in which the ordained minister is "rostered"
or in other ways a member. Similarly, an ordained minister of this church serving in another church body remains
on the roster of this church and is accountable to the synodical bishop of the synod in which rostered. The synodical
bishop is responsible for appropriate pastoral care and leadership for a congregation served by an ordained minister
of another church body in the same manner as when the congregation is served by an ordained minister of this church
(ELCA constitutional provision l0.31.a.3).
E. Exchange of Information. The assessments, authorizations,
and reviews necessary to the orderly exchange of ordained ministers between church bodies with which a relationship
of full communion exists require the complete and continuing disclosure to the synod of all information concerning
the past and present ministry of ordained ministers serving in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or of
ELCA ordained ministers serving under call from the Synod Council or Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America. Such disclosure must include any disciplinary proceedings concerning such ordained ministers,
including discipline related to conduct during service in the ELCA by an ordained minister of another church body.
F. Source of Call. An ordained minister of this church serving
in a congregation, local, or regional ministry setting of another church body serves under a letter of call from
the Synod Council in which the ordained minister is rostered. An ELCA ordained minister serving in a national ministry
setting of another church body serves under a letter of call from the ELCA Church Council. This call is subject
to annual review by the Synod Council or Church Council.
G. Recognized Status of an Authorized Minister. An ordained
minister of another church body serving in a congregation or other ministry of this church needs to be appropriately
recognized. While not a member of this church nor included in the Roster of Ordained Ministers of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, an ordained minister of another church body shall have a recognized status within the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Division for Ministry, in consultation with the Office of the Secretary,
will develop a recommended nomenclature for this status.
The usual title "pastor of (insert name of congregation)"
would be used for ordained ministers serving in an ELCA congregation. The professional title of "The Rev.
" for an ordained minister also would be understood as applicable, in view of that ordained minister's officially
recognized status in a church body with which the ELCA has a relationship of full communion.
Adopted by the Church Council
as policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
Glossary of (Selected) ELCA Terms
Associate in Ministry. One of the three categories of rostered
lay ministers in the ELCA. Associates in Ministry are called and commissioned for service in congregations, agencies,
schools and institutions of the ELCA. Their primary areas of service are education, music and the arts, administration,
service and general ministry.
Bishop. A bishop is an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament
in the ELCA, given the responsibility to provide pastoral care and leadership in a synod and its congregations
and to seek to strengthen the unity of the Church. The bishop is the chief executive officer of the synod, elected
to a term of six years and may be reelected.
Bishop's Assistant or Associate. A person who assists the
synodical bishop in carrying out the responsibilities of the office. A bishop's assistant or associate may be an
ordained minister, a rostered lay minister, or a lay person.
Bishop, Presiding. An ordained minister of Word and Sacrament
who is a teacher of the faith of this church and provides leadership for the life and witness of this church. The
Presiding Bishop is the chief executive officer of the churchwide organization, and is the chief ecumenical officer
of the church. The presiding bishop is elected to a six-year term and may be reelected.
Book of Concord. The Book of Concord is the 16th century statement of the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church (the most recent edition was published in 2000). Within it is the Augsburg Confession, which the ELCA accepts
as a "true witness to the Gospel," as well as other confessional writings that the ELCA considers "further
valid interpretations of the faith of the Church."
Church Council. The Church Council of the ELCA is its board
of directors, serving as the interim legislative authority between meetings of the Churchwide Assembly. The Church
Council meets at least two times each year, and is composed of the four churchwide officers (presiding bishop,
vice-president, secretary and treasurer) and 33 other persons, elected to six-year terms by the Churchwide Assembly.
Churchwide Assembly. The Churchwide Assembly is the highest
legislative authority of the churchwide organization. It reviews the work of the churchwide officers and churchwide
units. It establishes churchwide policy and adopts the budget for the churchwide organization. It has the sole
authority to amend the constitution and bylaws of the ELCA. The Churchwide Assembly meets biennially in regular
Churchwide Organization. The churchwide organization functions
interdependently with the congregations and synods of the ELCA. It is responsible for developing churchwide policy,
standards for leadership, including ordained and rostered lay ministries, and the coordination of the work of the
ELCA both globally and throughout the territory of the ELCA.
Conference of Bishops. The Conference of Bishops is composed
of the bishops of the 65 synods, the presiding bishop, and the secretary of the ELCA. The conference meets at least
two times each year and is a forum in which goals, objectives, and strategies may be developed and shared concerning
pastoral leadership, care and counsel for the synods. The Conference of Bishops reviews recommendations from the
Division for Ministry pertaining to policies and programs related to the rosters of ordained ministers, and the
three rosters of lay ministers (associates in ministry, deaconesses and diaconal ministers).
Confession of Faith. The ELCA Confession of Faith confesses
the Triune God, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the
written Word of God, accepts the Apostles', Nicene and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this
church, and accepts the Augsburg Confession and the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord as valid
interpretations of the faith of this church.
Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions. The basic
commitments of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as its organizational outline, structural patterns,
and rubrics of governance are expressed by its constitutions, bylaws, and continuing resolutions. These documents
govern the life of the ELCA as congregations, synods, and churchwide organization.
Deaconess. One of the three categories of rostered lay ministers
in the ELCA and an outgrowth of the European Deaconess movement of the 19th century. ELCA deaconesses are called
and consecrated, and serve in congregations, agencies and institutions of the ELCA. They are members of the Deaconess
Community of the ELCA, and participate in the life of that community.
Diaconal Minister. One of the three categories of rostered
lay ministers in the ELCA, established in 1993. ELCA diaconal ministers are called and consecrated, and serve in
congregations, agencies and institutions of the ELCA. Their focus for ministry is the extension of the church's
ministry of witness and care into the world.
Evangelical. From the Greek word for "gospel"
and its German derivative. Original designation for the early reformers that is still used in German-speaking areas
for non-Roman and non-Orthodox Christians. Historically unrelated to twentieth-century evangelical movements in
the United States.
Lutheran Book of Worship. The Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), is the primary worship resource for use within the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America and its liturgical texts and patterns of worship are considered the norm within the ELCA. It
is supplemented by the worship resources, With One Voice (1995), Libro De Liturgia
Y Cantico (1998), and This
Far by Faith (1999).
Manual on the Liturgy. Manual on the Liturgy, published in 1979, is the primary interpretative resource based on the
Lutheran Book of Worship. This manual provides a commentary and explanation of Lutheran liturgical practices.
Membership. The 1999 membership of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America is 5.2 million baptized members in 10,862 congregations. There are 17,631 ordained ministers
(11,335 active and serving under call), 1,074 associates in ministry (667 active and serving under call), 77 deaconesses
(32 active and serving under call), and 36 diaconal ministers (34 active and serving under call).
Ministry. The ELCA affirms the universal priesthood of all
its baptized members and commits itself to the equipping and supporting of all its members for their ministries
in the world and in this church.
Occasional Services. Occasional Services, published in 1982, is a companion to the Lutheran
Book of Worship and provides services for specific occasions
and specific situations, as distinguished from services of worship of a more general character.
Ordained Ministry. The ELCA confesses that within the people
of God and for the sake of the Gospel ministry entrusted to all believers, God has instituted the office of ministry
of Word and Sacrament. To carry out this ministry, the ELCA calls and ordains qualified persons.
Pastor. The normal term used to describe an ordained minister
of Word and Sacrament. A parish pastor serves in a congregational setting. The term pastor may be used to describe
an ordained minister serving in a non-congregational setting as well.
Principles of Organization. The Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America understands itself as one church, recognizing that all power and authority in the Church belongs to
the Lord Jesus Christ. The congregations, synods, and churchwide organization of the ELCA are interdependent partners
sharing responsibility in God's mission.
Representational Principle. Among the principles of organization,
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has determined that at least 60 percent of the members of assemblies,
councils, committees, boards and other organizations shall be laypersons; that, as nearly as possible, the lay
members shall be 50 percent female and 50 percent male, and that, where possible, the representation of ordained
ministers shall be both female and male. It is also determined that a minimum goal of 10 percent of the membership
of its assemblies, councils, committees, boards, or other organizational units be persons of color and/or persons
whose primary language is other than English.
Region. There are nine geographic regions within the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, recognized as a partnership among groups of synods within the region and the churchwide
Sacramental Practices. The Use of the Means of Grace (Augsburg Fortress, 1997) was adopted for "guidance and practice"
by the Fifth Biennial Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a "statement on
the practice of Word and Sacrament."
Synod. There are 65 synods (similar to Episcopal Church
dioceses) in the ELCA. Each synod, in partnership with the churchwide organization, bears primary responsibility
for the oversight of the life and mission of the ELCA in its territory.
Synod Assembly. The Synod Assembly is the highest legislative
authority of the synod, with a regular meeting held at least biennially (with most synod assemblies meeting annually).
All ordained ministers and all rostered lay ministers are voting members, as are representative lay members from
every congregation within the synod.
Vision and Expectations. The document "Vision
and Expectations - Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America"
was adopted by the ELCA Church Council in 1990 as a statement of this church about the vision for ordained ministry
in the life of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the expectations of those who serve in that ministry.
It is used primarily in the candidacy process.
For further information from the ELCA regarding the exchange
of pastors and priests please contact:
The Rev. Joseph M. Wagner
Executive Director, Division for Ministry
The Rev. A. Craig Settlage
Associate Executive Director, Division for Ministry
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
8765 W. Higgins Road
Chicago, Illinois 60631-4195
FOR THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
RELATED TO THE EXCHANGE OF
PASTORS AND PRIESTS
UNDER CALLED TO COMMON MISSION
The Office of the Presiding Bishop with assistance from
the Office for Ministry Development and the Church Deployment Office of the Episcopal Church articulated the guidelines
in this section. These guidelines are based upon a review of the Constitution
and Canons and typical practices of the EC.
A draft of the entire Orderly Exchange document was submitted to the Presiding Bishop, his Chancellor, the President
of the House of Deputies, the Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, and representatives of the Church
Pension Group for review and comment. The document was received by the Executive Council at its October 2000 meeting
and commended by the Presiding Bishop and the Council to the Episcopal Church.
I. Information in Brief about ELCA Polity
As synods, dioceses, congregations, agencies and churchwide
ministries offices consider the possibility of exchange in order to promote mission, it is important for members
of the Episcopal Church to understand certain similarities and differences in polity and practice between the ELCA
and the Episcopal Church. A few key aspects of ELCA polity are described below.
- Pastors and priests are recognized as ministers of Word and Sacrament
in both denominations and are therefore fully interchangeable.
- Before a possible exchange of deacons, deaconesses and diaconal
ministers, the churches will engage in a process of consultation to determine how some of the functions of each
of these distinct callings may be shared. Diaconal ministers in the ELCA are called to speak God's Word, the gospel
and the apostolic faith to God's world. They also are called to public witness and service that exemplifies Christ-like
self-giving and leads the church and all its members to witness to Christ in the world. They are not ordained but
rather are consecrated lay ministers. Diaconal ministers are stipended professionals in the ELCA. Deaconesses in
the ELCA are women in community who are consecrated and called into service. In the liturgy in the ELCA, diaconal
ministers may serve as assisting ministers, a role that is open to other lay members as well.
- The churches will over time come to share in the ministry of bishops
in an evangelical, historic succession. In the ELCA, bishops are pastors who are elected for six-year renewable
terms of service as bishops.
II. Relevant Canonical Structure
This document is intended to give guidance to the church
regarding the exchange of clergy with the ELCA for service in the EC on an occasional or extended basis.
A rector in an Episcopal congregation must be a priest of the EC, therefore extended service by an ELCA pastor
in an Episcopal congregation would of necessity occur under circumstances other than that of "rector."
Given the wide variety of contexts for mission in the dioceses of the Episcopal Church, it is difficult to anticipate
the many types of exchanges that may take place as a result of the passage of CCM. This document will nevertheless
outline guidelines that should be helpful in facilitating exchanges in the most common circumstances.
The 73rd General Convention of the Episcopal Church adopted two revisions to the Canons of particular application
to the exchange of clergy between the EC and the ELCA on a temporary, i.e., occasional or extended basis, to implement
Called to Common Mission.
First, Canon III.19 (i.e., Title III, Canon 19), which pertains to the authorizations necessary if persons not
ordained in the EC are invited to officiate (even on a single occasion) in an EC congregation, was amended by adding
a new subsection (b) (4) which authorized, with the consent of the Bishop,
- a Member of the Clergy of this Church or the Wardens, in case of
clergy vacancy or absence, to invite Clergy ordained in another Church in communion with this Church to officiate
on an occasional basis, provided that such clergy shall teach and act in a manner consistent with the Doctrine,
Discipline, and Worship of this Church.
By articulating the circumstances in which members of the clergy
ordained in other churches in communion with the EC may be invited to serve in the EC on particular occasions,
this provision is intended to make our canons consistent in this regard with those of the ELCA.
Second, Canon III.12 specifies the requirements to be met before a member of the clergy ordained in other churches
in communion with the EC may be permitted to officiate in an EC congregation as vicar, curate, on-going supply
pastor, interim, assistant or pastor-in-charge for a specified term under a contractual arrangement. To make this
provision fully applicable to ELCA clergy, General Convention amended this canon by adding a new subsection (d)
to read as follows:
- (d) The provisions of this Section 1 shall be fully applicable
to all members of the Clergy duly ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or its predecessor bodies
before January 1, 2001, as well as those ordained after that date by Bishops of that Church.
III. Further Explanation of Temporary Service of ELCA Pastors in the
Pursuant to the canons, temporary service may take two forms,
occasional and extended:
Occasional Service. For a number of years prior to the adoption
of Called to Common Mission,
the EC and the ELCA engaged in a process of sacramental sharing: opening pulpits to each other's preachers, holding
joint eucharists where pastor and priest would stand together at the altar, etc. It is assumed that an EC priest
may invite an ELCA pastor in good standing to preach or celebrate or in other ways participate in EC liturgies
when the EC priest is also present without any further authorizations.
The canons provide that without a license no priest shall officiate (i.e., in the absence of the priest of the
parish) more than two months by preaching, ministering the sacraments, or holding any public service, within the
limits of any diocese other than that in which the priest is canonically resident.
A diocesan bishop may desire to establish a general policy that allows for the occasional service i.e., for a period
of less than two months, of an ELCA pastor in an EC congregation without the need for prior approval by the bishop.
If a congregation desires an ELCA pastor to serve for a period over two months, the pastor would be required to
obtain a license to officiate (or other similar documentation) from the diocese in which the congregation is located.
Extended Service. An ELCA pastor may serve in an EC congregation
with appropriate authorization of the bishop and the congregation. Extended service, it is expected, will ordinarily
take place under a contractual arrangement. The pastor would remain an ordained minister of the ELCA during his/her
time of service. In fulfilling a sacramental role in a congregational setting, or other leadership role in the
EC, the pastor will be expected to teach and act in a manner consistent with the doctrine, discipline, and worship
of the Episcopal Church. (See CCM, par. 22)
IV. Serving in the EC
A. Church Deployment Office Profiles
Typically in the Episcopal Church, a priest in active service
will obtain registration materials from the Church Deployment Office (CDO) in order to create a Personal Profile
that is maintained on a computer database in New York. Congregations and other church bodies that are in a search
for leadership typically file a Search Request with CDO. The Deployment Office completes computer searches to match
specific ministry needs with appropriately gifted persons as one step in the calling process. The CDO profiles
are primarily used for permanent or long-term ministries, particularly rectorships, although they are also ordinarily
used for certain non-tenured extended positions (such as assistant, interim pastor, etc.). The latter use will
be of interest to an ELCA pastor.
At present, before a member of the clergy from one of our Anglican Communion partners can register with CDO, the
sponsoring bishop of the EC (USA) must request such registration. ELCA pastors seeking other than occasional service
in the EC are likewise advised to contact the Ordinary (bishop with jurisdiction) of the diocese in which they
would like to serve and request the bishop to sponsor their registration with CDO. Once that bishop submits the
pastor's name to CDO, the pastor will be eligible to register.
Exchanges of clergy may, in some cases, take place without resort to CDO profiles, just as Episcopal clergy at
times fill positions without use of the churchwide deployment system. Moreover, service in the Episcopal Church
on an occasional basis often occurs without use of CDO profiles. ELCA pastors therefore may not need to register
Should an ELCA pastor seek to serve indefinitely within
the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church, the pastor may apply for transfer. The pastor would be required
to subscribe to and make the following declaration:
- I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments
to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to
the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Episcopal Church. (Article VIII, Constitution)
In making this declaration, the pastor thereby would relinquish
membership in the ELCA in order to become canonically resident in the diocese in which the clergy person seeks
to serve. Among other requirements, a thorough examination by professionals appointed by the bishop of the diocese
covering both medical and psychological condition must be submitted and satisfactorily passed. (Canon III.12 (c))
C. Exchange of Information
In order to insure the complete disclosure of information
concerning the past and present ministry of ordained persons serving in the EC, dioceses normally require reviews
including any or all of the following: review of credentials and background, proof of completion of sexual misconduct
prevention training, statement of good standing from one's bishop, letters of recommendation, and an interview
with the bishop of the receiving diocese. Dioceses of the EC normally will use these same reviews prior to placement
of an ELCA pastor in an EC congregation or other EC employment setting. Naturally, the more extended that the contemplated
service is, the more thorough the exchange of information should be.
D. Continuance in Pension Plan
An ELCA pastor serving in the EC will need to determine
that the ELCA Board of Pensions coverage will be provided by the employing EC entity.
Note: The Church Pension Fund (CPG) of the Episcopal Church will be establishing a process designed to enable EC
priests serving in the ELCA to continuing earning Credited Service, and to promote the timely payment of contributions
to CPG by an ELCA employer. It is anticipated that a form similar to the current "extension of ministry"
form used by the Pension Fund --which requires the signature of the priest's diocesan bishop-- will be developed
as of January 1, 2001. It will be essential for all parties involved in an exchange of clergy to insure that the
Pension Fund is notified in a timely fashion about a change of employment.
No rules of the EC require the use of any title by priests/presbyters.
The title "The Reverend" is applied to priests and deacons in the Episcopal Church (used as an adjective
in formally addressing a member of the clergy). Some priests use the title "Father." Its counterpart
for female priests, used by some, is "Mother." "The Very Reverend" indicates a dean of a deanery,
a seminary, or a cathedral. "The Right Reverend " indicates a bishop. "The Most Reverend" indicates
F. Glossary of (Selected) EC Terms
Many of the definitions below are based on An
Episcopal Dictionary of the Church: A User-Friendly Reference for Episcopalians
edited by Don S. Armentrout, Robert Boak Slocum. Church Publishing Corp., NY, 1999. Used with permission of the
A number of the other definitions used are based on A Dictionary
for Episcopalians by John N. Wall. Published by Cowley Publications,
28 Temple Pl., Boston, MA 02111.
www.cowley.org (1-800-225-1534). Copyright 2000, John N.
Wall. All rights reserved.
Anglican Communion, The. Churches in communion with the
See of Canterbury throughout the world. Member churches exercise jurisdictional independence but share a common
heritage concerning Anglican identity.
Archdeacon. A clergy person with a defined administrative
authority delegated by the diocesan bishop.
Bishop. One of the three orders of ordained ministers in
the church, bishops are charged with the apostolic work of leading, supervising, and uniting the church. They stand
in the historic succession, maintaining continuity with the ministry of the early Church and between Christian
communities today. Bishops serve as chief pastors of the church, exercising a ministry of oversight and supervision.
They are consecrated bishops for life.
Bishop, Assistant. A bishop, ordinarily a full-time member
of the diocesan staff, who is appointed rather than elected and assists in carrying out the episcopal ministry
of the diocese.
Bishop, Assisting. In common usage, a bishop who aides the
diocese by providing additional episcopal services on a temporary basis. Appointed by, and serves at the pleasure
of, the diocesan bishop, or the Standing Committee if there is no bishop.
Bishop Coadjutor. The elected bishop, with the right of
succession upon the resignation of the diocesan bishop, who serves with the diocesan bishop.
Bishop, Diocesan. Also known as the Ordinary of a diocese.
A diocesan bishop, as distinct from a suffragan, assistant, or coadjutor bishop. The term apparently springs from
the understanding of "ordinary jurisdiction" which is held in canon law to be the jurisdiction "permanently
and irremovably annexed to" the office of bishop. By canon, a bishop may not resign jurisdiction without the
consent of the House of Bishops. A bishop must resign from all jurisdiction at the age of seventy-two.
Bishop, Presiding. Chief Pastor and Primate of the Episcopal Church. The
current presiding bishop is The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold.
Bishop Suffragan. A bishop who does not automatically succeed
a diocesan bishop. Elected by the diocese to serve indefinitely at the direction of the diocesan bishop.
Book of Common Prayer. Official book of worship of the Episcopal
Church. (Abbreviated "BCP".)
Book of Occasional Services. Book of optional services and
texts prepared by the Standing Liturgical Commission.
Hymnal 1982. The collection of hymn texts, tunes, and service
music authorized for use in the Episcopal Church. Also widely used: Lift
Every Voice and Sing (LEVAS); and Wonder,
Love and Praise.
House of Bishops. Part of the two-house legislature of General
Convention. All diocesan, suffragan, coadjutor, assistant, and most resigned and retired bishops are members of
this body, which also meets periodically between General Convention.
Canon. The word has several different meanings in the church.
1. The canon of scripture
2. Church Law
3. As an ecclesiastical title, a canon may be a member of the clergy or laity on the staff of a cathedral, diocese
or other institution
4. In liturgy, the fixed portion of the Great Thanksgiving
Canon to the Ordinary. Clergy
or lay person who serves as assistant to the diocesan bishop.
Canonical Residence. Clergy serving under the jurisdiction
of the ecclesiastical authority of a diocese are canonically resident in that diocese. Clergy may move from jurisdiction
to jurisdiction pursuant to canonical procedures.
Celebration of New Ministry. Form of service for the installation
or recognition of a priest as the rector of a parish. May also be used for a wide variety of other parochial and
ecclesiastical ministries of assisting clergy, vicars of missions, bishops, lay canons, etc. (Book of Common Prayer
(BCP), p. 558).
Church Deployment Office. A national registry (database)
of Episcopal clergy, lay professionals, and church positions which are open. CDO seeks to match persons with required
skills and talents to opportunities for ministry in order to assist the church (congregations, bishops, dioceses)
to practice good stewardship of God's gifts.
Commission on Ministry (COM). Pursuant to Title III, Canon
1, each diocese is required to establish a COM to assist the bishop in determining the present and future needs
for ministry in the diocese.
Constitutions and Canons. The Episcopal Church has a Constitution
and a set of canons adopted and amended from time to time by the church's triennial General Convention. These,
together with the additional directions or "rubrics" of the Prayer Book, generally constitute the written
"law" or rules of the church that guide its ministry. Each of the church's more than 100 dioceses also
has a Constitution and set of canons that supplement those of the National Church and provide for local governance.
Curate. The term typically refers to an assisting priest
in a parish.
Cure. The pastoral and geographical responsibility and charge
of a member of the clergy.
Deacon. One of three offices to which people can be ordained
in the Episcopal Church, along with priests and bishops. The deacon's vocation lies in serving --especially the
weak, the poor, the sick, the lonely-- and in interpreting to the church the needs and hopes of the world. The
sign of the office of deacon is a stole worn over the left shoulder and fastened under the right arm. In the eucharist,
deacons read the gospel, lead the Prayers of the People, introduce the confession, prepare the altar, assist with
the distribution of the bread and wine, perform the ablutions, and dismiss the people.
Diocese. A geographical area that serves as the primary
unit of organization in the Episcopal Church. A bishop and a legislative body --a convention or council-- oversee
Diocesan Convention. Annual meeting of lay and clerical
representatives from the congregations of a diocese to elect members of committees and deputies to General Convention,
make decisions about diocesan policy, conduct other diocesan business (e.g., budget, program) and from time to
time, elect a bishop for the diocese.
Diocesan Deployment Officer. The clergy or lay member of
the diocesan staff responsible for assisting the bishop, congregations and individuals with deployment.
Ecclesiastical Authority. The responsible individual or
body in a church institution. In a diocese, this authority rests with the diocesan bishop. Should the episcopate
be vacant or the bishop be incapacitated, the responsibility falls upon the Standing Committee or other bishop.
Episcopal Church Center. The churchwide ministries office
of the Episcopal Church housing the office of the Presiding Bishop, his staff, and other church-related offices.
Located in NYC.
Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. The national
body that administers the program and policies adopted by the General Convention.
General Convention. The national legislative body of the
Episcopal Church. It consists of a House of Bishops and a House of Deputies (four lay persons and four clergy persons
from each diocese). Convention meets every three years.
Pastor (as used in the Episcopal Church). Term for a member
of the clergy. It evokes one aspect of the priestly role, which is that of pastoral ministry: caring and protective
responsibility for the sick, the grieving, the needy, and those in pain. It is a term especially appropriate for
bishops, since they are ordained to "feed and tend the flock of Christ," who is the Good Shepherd. (It
does not normally mean a clergy person in charge of a parish as in the ELCA.) The laity shares in the pastoral
role of the clergy, and a growing number of parishes have lay pastoral care teams.
Priest. Derived from Greek presbyteros, "elder." The ministry of a priest is to represent Christ and
his Church, particularly as pastor to the people; to share with the bishop in overseeing the church; to proclaim
the gospel; to administer the sacraments; and to bless and pardon in the name of God. (BCP p. 856) The term presbyter
is preferred by some.
Priest, related terms:
Local Priest. Clergy
ordained under Title III, Canon 9 (sometimes referred to as locally ordained ministers or as Canon 9 clergy). Priests
educated, ordained and licensed primarily to serve only the congregations and communities out of which they were
called. To be considered for ordination, among other requirements, they must be recognized as leaders in their
congregation and be firmly rooted in the community.
Priest-in-Charge. Practices vary widely among dioceses.
In a parish without a rector, the priest-in-charge generally contracts with the vestry, in consultation with the
bishop, to perform many of the functions of a rector.
Rector. Elected by the vestry of a parish in consultation
with the bishop, and serves as the leader of the parish with respect to its spiritual life and mission. In charge
of liturgy, music, education, outreach, and pastoral care, the rector has full use of the parish property to carry
out his or her office, hires and supervises lay and clerical staff, and is generally entitled to preside at all
vestry and parish meetings.
Vicar. The title applies to the priest-in-charge of a mission
congregation, serving at the pleasure of and representing the bishop.
chief bishop in an Anglican Province is called a primate. The term relates to primacy, which in ecclesiastical
terms is the status of being first, or presiding, among other bishops.
Province. 1) An internal division of an autonomous national
church of the Anglican Communion. There are nine provinces in the Episcopal Church, including overseas jurisdictions.
2) An autonomous national church member of the Anglican Communion.
Rector. See "Priest, related terms" above.
Regional Missioner. A priest, usually seminary trained,
to whom the bishop has delegated certain oversight responsibilities for a cluster of congregations. A locally ordained
priest may serve some or all of these congregations.
Rite I, Rite II. The 1979 BCP provides the services of Morning
and Evening Prayer, the Holy Eucharist, and the Burial Office in both traditional language (Rite I) and contemporary
language (Rite II).
Standing Committee. A body that shares the ecclesiastical
authority of the diocese with the bishop in certain defined areas (e.g., clergy discipline, property of parishes,
ordination). In the absence of a bishop it sometimes becomes the sole ecclesiastical authority. Its members are
elected by the diocesan convention. It also serves as the bishop's council of advice.
Supplemental Liturgical Materials (SLM). A booklet published
by Church Hymnal Corporation in 1991 to supplement the existing Rite II liturgies of the BCP.
Vestry. The vestry is the legal representative of the parish
with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property. Vestry persons are elected from among the membership
of a congregation at the annual parish meeting. The rector is ordinarily the presiding officer of the vestry (unless
otherwise specified in state law or diocesan canons). The basic responsibilities are to help define, articulate
and insure support of the mission of the congregation and the larger church.
Wardens. A congregation usually has two wardens who are
members of the vestry. The senior warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person to the rector.
The junior warden often has responsibility for church property and buildings.
G. Resources for Information about the Episcopal Church
Any pastor invited to serve in an EC congregation or other
EC setting is advised to carefully review Called to Common
Mission. Related documents such as the Commentary
on CCM, and key historical documents in the ecumenical dialogue
between our two churches (Implications of the Gospel, Toward
Full Communion, and Concordat of Agreement), are also useful
sources of information.
The resources listed below are suggested as useful to diocesan bishops in familiarizing pastors of the ELCA with
the life and practice of the EC. The staff of the Offices for Ministry Development, Church Deployment, and Liturgy
and Music compiled this list. Several of the reference documents (e.g., national canons, Called
to Common Mission, etc.) are available on the web site of
the Episcopal Church at www.ecusa.anglican.org. The Office for Ministry Development has a site at www.ecusa.anglican.org/ministry.
The Church Deployment Office web address is www.ecusa.anglican.org/cdo.
Several documents related to the full communion relationship can be found on the web site of the ELCA at www.elca.org/ea/archives/index.html.
Key Printed Resources
of Common Prayer
· Constitution and Canons
(as revised by the 2000 Convention)
· Book of Occasional Services
· The Supplemental Liturgical Texts
· Hymnal 1982
· The Ceremonies of the Eucharist, by Howard Galley
· Lent, Holy Week and Easter,
by Lee Mitchell
· What Makes Us Episcopalians?,
by John Booty
· The Spirit of Anglicanism,
by John Booty and Stephen Sykes, ed.
Additional Printed Resources
Every Voice and Sing II (hymns, gospel and spirituals)
· El Himnario
(hymns especially suited to Spanish-language congregations)
· Wonder, Love and Praise
· A Hymntune Psalter
· Total Ministry,
by Stewart Zabriskie
· The New CHURCH'S TEACHING SERIES
· Welcome to the Episcopal Church: An Introduction
to Its History, Faith and Worship, by Christopher L. Webber
· Continuing the Reformation: Re-Visioning Baptism
in the Episcopal Church,
by Ruth Meyers
· Commentary on the American Prayer Book, by Marion Hatchett
· Praying Shapes Believing,
by Leonel L. Mitchell
· Enriching our Worship I: Canticles, Eucharistic
Prayers, Daily Office Resources
· Enriching our Worship II: Ministry with the Sick
or Dying and The Burial of a Child
· Lord, Open our Lips: Musical Help for Leaders of
· Children at Worship: Congregations in Bloom, by Caroline S. Fairless (coming soon)
· CD-ROM Series:
The Rite Brain
The Rite Word
The Rite Song
The Rite Light
The Rite Stuff (coming soon)
the Furniture: Liturgical Theory, Practice and Environment,
William Seth Adams
· As We Gather to Pray: An Episcopal Guide to Worship, by Marilyn Haskel
and Clay Morris
· Shaped by Images,
by William Seth Adams
· Baptismal Moments, Baptismal Meanings, by Daniel Stevick
· Liturgical Studies I: Baptism and Ministry, Ruth Meyers, ed.
· Liturgical Studies II: How shall we pray?, Ruth Meyers, ed.
· Liturgical Studies III: A prayer book for the 21st
Century, Ruth Meyers, ed.
· Eucharistic Celebration 1789-1979, by Byron Stuhlman
· An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, edited by Don S. Armentrout, Robert Boak Slocum
· A Dictionary for Episcopalians,
by John N. Wall
|The Rev. Melford "Bud" Holland
Office for Ministry Development
1(800) 334-7626 ext. 5246
|The Rev. Lynne A. Grifo
Office for Ministry Development
1(800) 334-7626 ext. 6164
|The Rev. James G. Wilson
Church Deployment Office
1(800) 334-7626 ext. 5251
The Episcopal Church Center
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Quoted in >"Toward Full Communion" and "Concordat of Agreement"
> Lutheran-Episcopal Dialogue, Series III , p. 73. Edited by William Norgren, William Rusch.
Augsburg Fortress, 1991.
"Church" in this paragraph refers to the denomination, EC or ELCA.
 For these purposes, the phrase "to officiate on a temporary basis" used by
the EC in its amended Constitution, Article VIII, and the phrase "to officiate on an occasional basis"
used in its amended Canon III.19 (b) (4) are the equivalent of "occasional"
 This section on Policy and Procedures was written by the ELCA Division for Ministry in
connection with all the ELCA full communion relationships, and approved by the ELCA's Church Council. Therefore,
on pages 5 to 8, wherever the phrase "this church" appears, the reference is specific to the ELCA.]
The phrase "long-term ministry" used in CCM (p.8 par.22) is equivalent to the
term "transfer" as used in this document.