ARTICLE VII -THE PASTOR
Section 1 Ministerial Standing and Termination of Ministerial Position
The Pastor shall serve the Church in a professional capacity:
A. Only as long as Ministerial Standing is maintained within the Sacramento Valley Association of the Northern California-Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.
B. At the pleasure of the Church. If a change is desired by either party, the one desiring the change shall give the other ninety (90) days’ notice in writing, unless otherwise agreed upon.
Section 2 Duties
A. Be a member of the congregation.
B. Be in charge of the spiritual welfare of the Church.
C. Preach the Word, administer the sacraments, and conduct services of public worship.
D. Oversee, with the Church council, all church organizations and committees.
E. Be ex-officio member of all Church organizations and committees except the Nominating committee, or committee which meets concerning the Pastor’s relationship to the church.
F. Minister to persons in the congregation as well as to persons in the community.
G. Attend meetings of the Church Council and congregation.
H. Supervise Church staff.
Section 3 Guidelines for Taking Leave
The Pastor shall receive an annual vacation leave of four (4) weeks at full pay. This leave need not be scheduled all at one time. At least two (2) weeks’ notice shall be given for each segment of this leave to allow for the scheduling of pulpit supply. Study leave and sabbatical leave, if any, shall be as negotiated at the time that the Pastor is called.
Section 4 Ethics
The Pastor shall be expected to evidence good moral and ethical character. Any coercive or exploitive sexual contact or any other moral or ethical lapse by the Pastor(s) with parishioners / clients in a professional relationship shall be addressed as follows:
A. Allegations of any such violation of professional ethics that may have any validity, or that may be multiple in nature, will be immediately referred to the Moderator. In addition to any legal reporting required by the State of California and/or local governing agencies, the Church Moderator will contact the Conference to seek support and assistance in investigating and adjudicating this matter. The Conference will immediately initiate an investigation as stipulated by the Policy on Sexual Harassment as adopted in September, 1987.
B. The Council, following consultation with the Conference, shall immediately place the Pastor on paid leave, without prejudice, pending resolution of such charges. This can be done in conjunction with, or independent of, related Conference action.
C. One of the church’s first concerns if for the support, welfare, and protection of the complainants and immediate prevention of further possible abuses to others. Equally important is the need for the accused Pastor(s) to have an opportunity for a fair hearing. If the accused is found guilty, but is penitent, the Church shall support a petition for treatment and rehabilitation.
D. These policies and procedure will be communicated with maximum candor and caring to the whole congregation. (All necessary information can be found in the “Supplement and Appendices of the Northern California-Nevada Conference to the VCC Manual on the Ministry,” pages 91-92).
Section 5 Procedures for Filling Vacancy of Ministerial Position
In event of a vacancy in the position of Pastor, the following procedures shall be followed:
A. The Council shall appoint a search committee for an interim pastor (Interim Committee) and a Search Committee for a permanent pastor (permanent Committee). The make-up of the Permanent Committee shall follow the guidelines of the Conference.
B. The Interim Committee, acting with the Conference office, shall secure pulpit supply until an Interim Pastor is called.
C. The Interim Committee, working with the Conference office, shall review profiles of available ministers and recommend a suitable candidate to the Council. The Council, if they approve of the candidate, shall negotiate a contact and hire the candidate. If the Council cannot negotiate a contract with the candidate, the matter is returned to the interim committee for selection of another candidate.
D. The interim pastor may not seek the position of Pastor unless he/she has resigned and has not been in contact with the Church for six months.
E. The Permanent Committee, acting with the Conference, shall determine the needs and preferences of the Congregation and the resources available to compensate a pastor. With this information the Permanent Committee shall define the Church’s profile and file this profile with the Conference and begin reviewing profiles of candidates for the position. When a suitable candidate is found, the Permanent Committee shall recommend the candidate to the Council. The Council, if they approve of the candidate, shall present the candidate to the congregation at a special meeting of the congregation at which time the congregation shall vote on the candidate. If the candidate secures a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present, he/she shall be hired.