24. The Pastoral Relations

  1. The various pastoral relations are pastor, associate pastor, and assistant pastor.
  2. The pastor and associate pastor are elected by the congregation using the form of call in BCO 22.6. Being elected by the congregation, they become members of the Session.
  3. An assistant pastor is called by the Session, by the permission and approval of Presbytery, under the provisions of BCO 22.1 and BCO 15.2, with Presbytery membership being governed by the same provisions that apply to pastors. He is not a member of the Session, but may be appointed on special occasions to moderate the Session under the provisions of BCO 14.4. A man may serve as an assistant pastor for a term not to exceed two years after which his term may be renewed by the session to continue as an assistant pastor or the congregation may vote to call him as an associate pastor.
  4. The relationship of the associate pastor to the church is determined by the congregation. The relationship of the assistant pastor to the church is determined by the Session. The dissolution of an associate pastor is governed by the provisions of BCO 25. The dissolution of the relationship of an assistant pastor is governed by the provisions of BCO 24.3 and BCO 25.
  5. In order to provide necessary changes in pastorates, a temporary relation may be established between a church and a minister called Stated Supply. If a church is unable to secure a regular pastor or a Stated Supply, then the Session with approval of Presbytery may establish a temporary relation between the church and a licentiate called Student Supply or Ruling Elder Supply.
  6. Such temporary relationships can take place at the invitation of the church Session to the minister of the Word, the licentiate, or the ruling elder. The length of the relationship will be determined by the Session and the minister, the licentiate, or the ruling elder, with the approval of the Presbytery. Stated supply, student supply, or ruling elder supply relationships will be for no longer than one year, renewable at the request of the Session and at the review of the Presbytery. (See also BCO 21.1).

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