“Ministry, in all its forms is challenging and holy work,” said the Rev. Amy McCullough, chair of the BWC’s 49-member Board of Ordained Ministry. The Board works as “caretakers of treasure of the Gospel that shines through the lives of licensed, commissioned and ordained persons as they serve Christ and Christ’s church.” Its members create frameworks of exploration, support, and accountability to enable persons to answer God’s call, live into their vocation, and flourish in ministry.
During BOOM’s report to the Annual Conference, McCullough reported that nine Elders and three Deacons will be ordained on June 3; and nine Elders and three Deacons will be commissioned as provisional members.
Bishop Easterling did receive a request from the floor of Annual Conference calling for a ruling of a law concerning one of the candidate’s suitability to be ordained. The bishop reported that matters of the candidates' character and effectiveness rested solely within the purview of the Clergy Session. The clergy, she said, made their decision with respect to the character and effectiveness of the candidates before them and approved all of the candidates for ordination.
Later in the session, the bishop clarified her decision even further, citing the Separation of Powers clause in Para. 33 of the Book of Discipline and Judicial Council Decision 1368, which states that a bishop can cannot intrude on the rights of the clergy session.
This year, BOOM also welcomed 18 students to the License to Preach school.
In other highlights, BOOM leaders:
- Launched the inaugural Living Well program for clergy self-care with 16 participants and eight facilitators.
- Built on efforts to create a culture of call by inviting people to more fully explore God’s call upon their lives and give pastors opportunities to deepen their relationships with God and with colleagues and friends.
- Updated the BWC’s sexual misconduct and professional ethics policy for clergy. See Keeping our Sacred Trust: Professional and Sexual Misconduct Policy for Ministry Professionals.
- Updated the policy on Continuing Education Credits for clergy and created a Clergy Experience/Process in the Conference's Arena Database that automates and enhances the process for submitting CEUs.
- Began an in-depth research study on Gender, Race and Ministry in the BWC with more than 300 people completing the initial online survey. Initial results from the study will be released later this year.