49. Jurisdiction

  1. When a church member shall remove his residence beyond the bounds of the congregation of which he is a member, so that he can no longer regularly attend its services, it shall be his duty to transfer his membership by presenting a certificate of dismissal from the Session of the church of which he is a member to the church with which he wishes to unite. When the church of which he is a member has no Session, or for other good reasons it seems impossible for the member to secure a certificate of dismissal, he may be received by the Session upon other satisfactory testimonials, in which case the church of which he was a member shall be duly notified.
  2. When a church member shall remove his residence beyond the bounds of the church of which he is a member into the bounds of another, it shall be the duty of the Pastor and Ruling Elders of the church of which he is a member, as far as possible, to continue pastoral oversight of him and to inform him that according to the teaching of our Book of Church Order it is his duty to transfer his membership as soon as practicable to the church in whose bounds he is living. It shall also be the duty of the church from whose bounds the member moved to notify the Pastor and Ruling Elders of the church into whose bounds he has moved and request them to take pastoral oversight of the member, with a view to having him transfer his membership. If a member, after having thus been advised, shall neglect for one year to have his membership transferred, the Session shall then proceed, according to BCO 41.4, except in special cases such as: servicemen, students, etc. The name of any member whose residence has been unknown for one year to the Session shall be removed from the roll and such names are not to be counted in the annual statistical reports, though act of removal should be recorded in the Session’s minutes. If such a person at a latter date should appear or desire transfer of his letter, the Session will inform the governing body of the inquiring church of their action in removing said person from their roll.
  3. Members of one church dismissed to join another shall be held to be under the jurisdiction of the Session dismissing them until they form a regular connection with that to which they have been dismissed.
  4. Associate members are those believers temporarily residing in a location other than their permanent homes. Such believers may become associate members of a particular church without ceasing to be communing members of their home churches. An associate member shall have all the right and privileges of that church, with the exception of voting in a congregational or corporation meeting, and holding an office in that church.
  5. When a Presbytery shall dismiss a Minister, licentiate, or candidate, the name of the Presbytery to which he is dismissed shall be given in the certificate, and he shall remain under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery dismissing him until received by the other.
  6. No certificate of dismissal from either a Session or a Presbytery shall be valid testimony of good standing for a longer period than one year, unless its earlier presentation be hindered by some providential cause; and such certificates given to persons who have left the bounds of the Session or Presbytery granting them, shall certify the standing of such persons only to the time of their leaving those bounds.
  7. When a Presbytery shall divest a Minister of his office without censure, or depose him without excommunication, it shall assign him to membership in some particular church, subject to the approval of the Session of that church.


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