Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View When a minister leaves
4 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2011 - 12:29AM #1
CArthur
Posts: 1

Is it true that when a minister leaves a congregation, the minister and the individual members of the congregation are forbidden from staying in touch, socially, as friends?

If so, why?

Is there a written policy on this that I can read?
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2011 - 7:53AM #2
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

I've certainly never heard of any such thing. I'm sure it would depend upon the circumstances of the minister's leaving. If there were suspicion of serious wrongdoing, for instance, perhaps some such restriction might be placed. That would be a rare situation, I'd think. I'm pretty certain that the UUA doesn't get involved in ministerial misconduct unless the congregation appeals for assistance.


Perhaps RevDorris will happen by and comment since he'd be more likely to know than I.


Anyway, I know that members of the last congregation of which I was a member kept in touch with the minister who'd resigned about six months before I joined.


When the new church building was dedicated, that minister was invited but was unable to accept the invitation.

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2011 - 10:35AM #3
biohazard38
Posts: 1

Our minister left suddenly, due to illness. The consulting minister (filling in while we wait for an interim) says that the UU Minister's Association has the policy that a former minister should not visit the church until invited by the new minister, usually after the first year. Nothing about personal friendship.

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2011 - 11:00AM #4
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,370

What? that's not right.

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry



You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Buddha.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Eleanor Roosevelt
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2011 - 11:12AM #5
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

Apr 21, 2011 -- 10:35AM, biohazard38 wrote:


Our minister left suddenly, due to illness. The consulting minister (filling in while we wait for an interim) says that the UU Minister's Association has the policy that a former minister should not visit the church until invited by the new minister, usually after the first year. Nothing about personal friendship.




I can understand restrictions against a minister's visiting a so-recent former church. Seems reasonable in order to give the new minister adequate time to become established with the church. It also makes sense that the former minister not return to the church unless invited by the new minister. I see that as a reasonable policy intended to prevent possible interference by a minister who left under pressure or unpleasant circumstances.


Personal friendships would be just that, personal, one would think. However, considering how nasty church politics can become at times, there might be some policy or stipulation by the minister's association that attempts to regulate such. Some people would relish the opportunity to interfere with internal church affairs after leaving the church voluntarily or being forced to leave, sad though that is to consider.


I waded through the relevant segments of the UUMA's guidelines for ministerial conduct and didn't see anything specific restricting personal friendships being kept up after a minister's departure. I expect that sort of thing is covered in seminary or other instruction about ethical conduct.


Here's a link to the guidelines in case anyone else feels inclined to read through them:


www.uuma.org/?page=guidelines#_Toc265669...

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2011 - 6:53PM #6
RevDorris
Posts: 1,807

When my ministry to a congregation has ended, I will refrain from offering or performing ministerial services for members of that congregation, except at the invitation of my incumbent successor colleague(s).


Where friendship and ministerial services overlap-- there is a big grey area of what is appropriate and what is not.  Members of minister association will stop all contact till such is approved by a new minister serving the congregation.


I have seen former ministers totally banded from any contact or role of service with a congregation by the incumbent minister.  This was not for misconduct but out of fear that the old minister's voice would carry more weight with the congregation than that of the new minister.

With love,

Rev Dorris
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2011 - 5:33PM #7
Dennisde
Posts: 5

I would think that it would be more a case of professional courtesy.  Some of the congregation could see a return of an old minister as a message of one sort or another. That could make for an unintended conflict. Where none may have existed before.


So I do understand the unofficial policy as being one of professional courtesy. More than any real nefarious or a way to exclude the former minister.

Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook