Resident Clergy Guidelines

DRAFT

St. Margaret’s is blessed to have many Resident Clergy from throughout the Episcopal Church and other Christian denominations. Some are retired, and some aren’t. Some like to exercise worship leadership, and some don’t. Some appreciate having their ordained status and presence in the congregation known, and some don’t. St. Margaret’s desires to be as flexible and hospitable as possible to facilitate the continued exercise of ministry for non-staff Resident Clergy. We also want to be fair and equitable in the invitations we offer Resident Clergy to preach and lead worship, while maintaining appropriate professional boundaries and compliance with Episcopal Church and Diocese of San Diego canons and policies.


Let us know!

If you don’t see your name listed on our Resident Clergy page, it may be that we don’t yet realize that you’re ordained, or that we simply made a mistake. Some of our Resident Clergy prefer not to be identified or listed, and St. Margaret’s respects your privacy and will honor your preferences. Please call the Rector any time you want to discuss your own participation in the life of St. Margaret’s.


Clergy group, social events, and clergy recognition

When you identify yourself to the Rector as a clergy colleague, you will be invited to participate in continuing education and social gatherings throughout the year sponsored by St. Margaret’s, other congregations, or fellow clergy. Clergy are invited annually on the Second Sunday in Lent to vest and process for the 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist, and to be recognized and thanked by the congregation for their ministry. A well-tenured non-staff member of the Resident Clergy normally is invited to preach that day.


Published profile invited

St. Margaret’s invites but doesn’t require Resident Clergy to submit a digital photograph and introductory profile of any length, which we will publish on our website. The profiles are very helpful to members of the congregation.


Exercise of ordained ministry outside of worship

St. Margaret’s welcomes your exercise of ministry  and leadership in other areas where you are well qualified, including teaching and offering spiritual direction. Offering counseling services or spiritual direction to members of the congregation requires review by the Rector and is governed by insurance restrictions.

 
Roles and boundaries

When clergy appear at St. Margaret’s wearing a clerical collar or a stole, or identify themselves by clerical address (i.e., Reverend, Pastor, Father, Bishop, etc.), that sends a message to other people in the congregation, and invites some reasonable, if not always accurate, assumptions on their part. The people in the pews do not differentiate between staff and non-staff clergy, Episcopal or non-Episcopal clergy, clergy in positions of leadership and authority or fellow members of the congregation. St. Margaret’s, and ultimately the Rector, is responsible for the safety and spiritual welfare of all the members of the congregation. Members of the congregation who see someone wearing a clerical collar or stole or identifying himself/herself by clerical address will assume that the person carries accountable authority in the congregation delegated by the Rector and ultimately from the Bishop, and has been properly vetted. For that reason, St. Margaret’s strictly observes Episcopal Church and Diocese of San Diego canons and policies, and requires anyone who presents as clergy to do the same. A working understanding of Title III of the Canons of the Episcopal Church is essential.


Authority

St. Margaret’s is a Parish of the Diocese of San Diego, and all exercise of ordained ministry in the Parish is subject to the authority of the Bishop of San Diego, as delegated to the Rector. In any case involving a difference agreement about the appropriate exercise of ordained ministry at St. Margaret’s, the final decision rests with the Rector, subject to the authority of the Bishop of San Diego.

Licensing and the exercise of ordained ministry

Some, but not all, exercise of ordained ministry in a congregation of the Episcopal Church requires licensing by the Bishop. Licensing does not apply to clergy in good standing canonically resident in the Diocese of San Diego. A license to exercise ordained ministry requires completion of a request to the Bishop that must be signed by the Rector, and must be renewed every three years. Licensing requires submitting to a background check administered by the Diocese of San Diego at the applicant’s expense, and satisfactory completion of Safeguarding God’s People training. The application and renewal process are the responsibility of the applicant. Licensing information for the Diocese of San Diego is available at http://edsd.org/equipping-leaders/clergy-resources/.

  • Deacons in good standing of the Episcopal Church or member churches of the Anglican Communion may exercise their diaconal ministry at St. Margaret’s at the invitation of the Rector for a period not to exceed two months. Beyond that, exercising diaconal ministry requires licensing by the Bishop of San Diego, in accordance with Episcopal Church canon III.7.6(a).
  • Priests in good standing of the Episcopal Church or member churches of the Anglican Communion, and Pastors in good standing of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may exercise their sacramental ministry at St. Margaret’s at the invitation of the Rector for a period not to exceed two months. Beyond that, preaching and exercising sacramental ministry requires licensing by the Bishop of San Diego, in accordance with Episcopal Church canon III.9.7. “Sacramental ministry” is defined here to include presiding at Holy Eucharist or officiating any public worship, including weddings and funerals. Serving as a Eucharistic Minister constitutes “sacramental ministry” if the member of the clergy wears a stole or clerical collar during the exercise of that ministry. If not, policies respecting Lay Eucharistic Ministers apply.
  • Bishops in good standing of the Episcopal Church or member churches of the Anglican Communion, and Bishops in good standing of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may exercise their sacramental ministry at St. Margaret’s only at the invitation or license of the Bishop of San Diego, in accordance with Episcopal Church canon III.12.3(e). This restriction governs all acts that apply to priests in the prior paragraph, and to any exercise of episcopal ministry.
  • All Episcopal clergy who move to the Diocese of San Diego (or anywhere outside their canonical residence), regardless of whether or not they exercise ordained ministry here, are required to report that move to their own Bishop within 60 days, in accordance with Episcopal Church canon III.9.2.
  • Exceptions: Clergy who have renounced or abandoned their ministry, or whose ordination is recorded in a denomination that explicitly renounces the legitimacy or authority of bishops of the Episcopal Church are not eligible to exercise their ordained ministry at St. Margaret’s or to identify themselves as clergy by clerical collar, stole, or clerical address.
  • All other clergy (that is, clergy whose ordination is not recorded in the Episcopal Church or member churches of the Anglican Communion, or Pastors in good standing of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) may exercise their ordained ministry subject to Episcopal Church canon Title III. You may officiate any service of worship except Holy Eucharist, Holy Baptism, Holy Matrimony, or Sacramental Confession at the invitation of the Rector for a period not to exceed two months, but thereafter must be licensed by the Bishop in accordance with Episcopal Church Canon III.4. You may preach, wear a stole or clerical collar, or identify yourself by clerical address at any time, including while serving as a Eucharistic Minister, for a period not to exceed two months. Beyond that, continuing to preach or identify yourself as clergy exercising ministry at St. Margaret’s requires licensing by the Bishop of San Diego. Our recognition of your ordained status assumes that your ordination is in good standing with the denomination in which your ordination is recorded. You may not exercise any ministry at St. Margaret’s that is not permitted by that denomination. At all times, you may exercise any ministry that is available to a lay person, so long as you do not wear a clerical collar or stole, or identify yourself by clerical address.
 
Preaching

The Rector trusts that your preaching is consonant with the discipline and teaching of the Episcopal Church, and does not require that you submit a text for review prior to preaching. However, the Rector also appreciates advance notice if a visiting preacher intends to make provocative “prophetic” statements, and will withdraw future invitations to preach if, in the Rector‘s sole judgment, a sermon is disruptive to the health and vitality of the Congregation. No one may preach at the 10 a.m. Sunday Eucharist unless that person also agrees to preach at the 8 a.m. Sunday Eucharist.

 

Officiating

The Rector reserves the right to define and insist on adherence to established practice of St. Margaret’s whenever a member of the Resident Clergy officiates worship. In addition to the Sunday 8 and 10 a.m. Eucharists, non-staff clergy are encouraged to lead worship at our 10 a.m. Wednesday Chapel Eucharist, our 5 p.m. Saturday Chapel Eucharist, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and throughout Holy Week. Clergy Eucharistic Ministers are in very high demand on Christmas Eve and Easter Day. Clergy who are willing to serve in these roles receive preferential scheduling in more visible roles, including Sunday 10 a.m. Eucharist.


Frequency of invitation to preach or officiate

Preaching invitations are extended to non-staff clergy on a round-robin basis. That is, the next non-staff person invited to a particular role (including preaching and celebrating) will be the person who has waited the longest in that role. From October 1 through Trinity Sunday, a non-staff member of the clergy is invited on a round-robin basis to preach an average of once every six weeks. From the Second Sunday after Pentecost through September 30, a non-staff member of the clergy is invited on a round-robin basis to preach an average of once every two weeks. A a non-staff member of the clergy is invited on a round-robin basis to celebrate Holy Eucharist at the 10 a.m. Sunday Eucharist an average of once every four weeks. The Rector reserves the right to make exceptions, and preferential scheduling always is afforded to clergy who serve in chapel services and other special services.


Relationship to the Rector

Congregational life is complex, and valid opinions about the right exercise of ministry abound. Diversity of opinions is welcome, especially when communicated directly to the Rector. However, gossiping or excessive criticism of the Rector‘s ministry or that of the congregation creates division and unrest in the parish, undermines our common life, and imperils the Rector‘s continuing consent to invite your exercise of ordained ministry at St. Margaret’s.