AN ORDER FOR ADMISSION OF CLERGY CANDIDATES TO MEMBERSHIP IN AN ANNUAL CONFERENCE
This order may be used within an Annual Conference service of worship or as a separate service. It may be used when the classes are voted into Annual Conference or at any other time the bishop may designate.
The order may begin with a hymn of praise after which the bishop asks the registrar or another member of the Annual Conference to present persons to be admitted to provisional membership. Following their presentation, the candidates stand before the conference, and the bishop addresses them:
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
this is a solemn hour in your life
and a high moment in the proceedings of this conference.
You are following in the footsteps of those
who have sought to spread scriptural holiness
through the lands of the earth.
There is no calling more sacred than that which you now enter,
and there is no privilege more meaningful
than that which comes to you through this holy ministry.
In the presence of this Annual Conference I ask you:
Are you convinced that you should enter
the ordained ministry of Christ's holy Church?
Are you willing to face any sacrifices that may be involved?
Are you in debt so as to interfere with your work,
or have you obligations to others that will make it difficult for you
to live on the salary you are to receive?
For the sake of a disciplined example,
are you willing to respect the purity of life
in body, in mind, and in spirit?
Are you willing to relate yourself in ministry to all persons
without regard to race, color, or national origin,
including receiving them into the membership of the Church?
Will you keep before you as the one objective of your life
the advancement of the reign of God?
Bishop to congregation:
Let us pray.
accept our thanksgiving for these servants
who have heeded Christ's call to the ordained ministry of the Church.
Fill them with the gifts needed in this sacred calling,
prepare them to be true shepherds of the flock,
and stir up in them prophetic insight and priestly holiness,
that they may become true and faithful pastors in Christ's holy Church.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The newly received provisional members are seated.
A hymn may be sung. Suggested from UMH:
|648–51 Ordination||949 Hymns listed under Ordination Services|
|944 Hymns listed under Installation|
The bishop asks the chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry or another full member of the Annual Conference to present persons to be admitted to full membership and associate membership. Following their presentation, the candidates stand before the conference, and the bishop addresses them:
You have indicated that you are convinced
you should enter the ministry of Christ's holy Church.
You have declared that you are willing to face any sacrifice
that may be involved in the consecration of life.
You have indicated that you are so situated in life
that you can accept the obligations of the itinerant ministry.
You have affirmed that you will respect the purity of life
in body, mind, and spirit,
and that you will keep before you as the one objective of your life
the advancement of the reign of God.
Remember the words of Christ, who said:
"If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
In accordance with the usage and Discipline
of The United Methodist Church
and the historic usages of our communion,
and in the presence of this conference, I ask you:
Have you faith in Christ?
Are you going on to perfection?
I am, by the grace of God.
Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life?
God willing, I do.
Are you earnestly striving after it?
With God's help, I am.
Are you resolved to devote yourself wholly to God and God's work?
I am so resolved.
Do you know the General Rules of our Church?
Will you keep them?
I will so endeavor.
Have you studied the doctrines of The United Methodist Church?
I have studied them
After full examination,
do you believe that our doctrines are in harmony
with the Holy Scriptures?
I believe that they are.
Will you preach and maintain them?
To the best of my ability, I will.
Have you studied our form of church discipline and polity?
Do you approve our church government and polity?
I do so approve.
Will you support and maintain them?
I will, with God's help.
Will you diligently instruct the children in every place?
Will you visit from house to house?
This is my commitment.
Will you recommend fasting or abstinence, by both precept and example?
I will so recommend.
Are you determined to employ all your time in the work of God?
That is my intention.
Are you in debt so as to embarrass you in your work?
I am not.
Will you observe the following directions?
- Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never be triflingly employed.
Never trifle away time;
neither spend any more time at any one place than is strictly necessary.
- Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time.
And do not mend our rules, but keep them;
not for wrath, but for conscience sake.
The Lord being my helper, I will.
Bishop to congregation:
Let us pray.
Most gracious God,
you showed your love in sending Jesus Christ into the world
that all might have life through him.
Pour out your Spirit upon your Church,
that it may fulfill your command
to preach the gospel to every creature.
Send laborers into your harvest,
fill them with the Holy Spirit and with faith,
defend them in all dangers and temptations,
and hasten the time when your will shall be done,
on earth as it is in heaven;
through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A hymn may be sung and a Dismissal with Blessing given.
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Copyright: “An Order for Admission of Candidates to Clergy Membership in an Annual Conference” Copyright © 1964, 1965 by Board of Publication of The Methodist Church, Inc.; renewal © 1971, 1972 by Abingdon Press; Copyright © 1992 UMPH; renewal © 1992 UMPH.
Note: Language in this order has been updated to reflect the action of the 2008 General Conference to refer to “provisional” rather than “probationary” members.