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RevNancyRev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator of MCC, is preparing to appoint up to five additional MCC members to serve on the Council of Elders, which serves in a pastoral role and directs the spiritual life of MCC. The appointment process will conclude by June 2015, at which time the Council of Elders will consist of the Reverends Nancy Wilson, Darlene Garner, Hector Gutierrez, Mona West, and the new members.

The Moderator is asking for the assistance of current and former Elders, members of the Governing Board, MCC clergy, and Lay Delegates to identify prospective appointees from among lay and clergy members of MCC. To submit a recommendation, complete the on-line recommendation form (Click Here for Form) by 31 July 2014.


In addition to meeting the qualifications of Elders as defined in UFMCC Bylaws, prospective appointees must meet the following selection criteria:

  1. Be loyal to MCC and to MCC’s mission, vision and values
  2. Have demonstrated giftedness in pastoral and spiritual leadership
  3. Be sensitive to cultural difference
  4. Be able and willing to embrace diversity
  5. Be MCC clergy or a graduate of the MCC lay leadership development program (Leadership Empowered for Active Discipleship, L.E.A.D.)
  6. Possess demonstrable theological depth
  7. Be committed to global justice
  8. Model excellence and high standards in ministry
  9. Be capable in ecumenical and interfaith ministry settings

Once the recommendations have been submitted, the Moderator will then ask the prospective appointees to complete an application form and to indicate their willingness to participate in the selection process that has been designed by the Moderator and approved by the Governing Board.


General Conference Mandates regarding the Council of Elders

(UFMCC Bylaws Article V.E.3.a and b)


COUNCIL OF ELDERS:  The Council of Elders of the UFMCC is that body authorized by the General Conference to serve in a pastoral role and direct the spiritual life of the Fellowship.  This Council shall consist of a Moderator and Elders appointed by the Moderator, subject to approval by the Governing Board and affirmation by General Conference.  All UFMCC Elders are deemed professional ministers and are authorized to perform all of the Rites and Sacraments of the church.


QUALIFICATIONS:  Elders must be those individuals of obvious spiritual quality and leadership who are mature, have sound judgment, have a proven record of accomplishment as lay or clergy members within the Fellowship, and have successful experience in envisioning and strategic planning for the future.  Elders must be excellent communicators, skilled motivators and teachers, self-motivated and devoted to continuous learning.  Further, Elders must be capable of understanding and working within sound fiscal guidelines, be sensitive to cultural differences, and be able and willing to embrace diversity.  It is desirable that the Council of Elders reflect the diversity of the Fellowship.


DUTIES:  The primary responsibility of Elders shall be to give pastoral leadership and care to enable the Fellowship in our spiritual journey.  The Elders shall exercise spiritual and pastoral authority to build a shared vision for the UFMCC, prepare the UFMCC for the future, and support UFMCC’s strategic direction.  The Elders serve as official representatives of the Fellowship in the areas of public and community relations; provide oversight and support to congregations; consult with churches on issues related to church development; and fulfill other ecclesial and ceremonial duties.


Further Clarification Regarding the Council Elders


1. All members of the Council of Elders will be volunteers, including Elders who may also be a compensated member of MCC staff. While continuing to be compensated for their work, such Elders would not be compensated for their service as an Elder.


2. By 2015, the Council of Elders will include the Moderator, the Rev. Elders Hector Gutierrez, Mona West, Darlene Garner, and 4 or 5 new Elders.


3. Every effort will be made to ensure that at least one-third of the members of the Council of Elders live outside of the United States.


4. Every effort will be made to ensure parity in terms of gender identity.


5. Every effort will be made to ensure that at least one of the members of the Council of Elders is a young adult (18 to 35 years of age) at the time of appointment.


6. Elders serve for five years as members of the Council of Elders; the Moderator may extend an appointment as many times as seems appropriate:

    • For the purpose of transition, before the end of 2015, the Moderator would modify the appointments of the Rev. Elders Hector Gutierrez, Mona West, and Darlene Garner to serve until 31 December 2018, at which time the appointments could be extended, if deemed appropriate by the Moderator.

7. An appointee who has been approved by the Council of Elders and the Governing Board will join the Council of Elders immediately upon affirmation by General Conference and will serve until 31 December of the fifth year following affirmation.

8. Elders serve at the pleasure of the Moderator and, in accordance with UFMCC Bylaws, the Moderator may remove an appointment at any time, with or without cause.

9. The processes for accountability, discipline, and removal of an appointed Elder (Bylaw Article V.E.3.c) and for filling a vacancy on the Council of Elders (Bylaw Article V.E.3.d) will remain the same.

10. Upon resignation or retirement from the position of Elder, all former Elders (including those who served in former systems, are still on staff in some capacity, or are active in other ministry positions) are referred to honorifically as “Elder,” but do not serve on the Council of Elders unless appointed by the Moderator.

11. All Elders retain the title as long as they maintain active membership in MCC and continue to abide by the Elders Code of Conduct and the Code of Conduct for MCC Ministry Leaders.


Implementing the Role and Responsibilities of Elders


The Role of Individual Elders

Each appointed Elder fulfills specific responsibilities as assigned by the Moderator consistent with those duties as defined in UFMCC Bylaws. Collectively, the appointed Elders fulfill all of the duties of Elders as defined in the UFMCC Bylaws.


The Role of All Elders

All appointed Elders serve on the Council of Elders.  The Council of Elders has three important roles:

  1. To be a discerning, spiritual and pastoral body that assists the Moderator in the role of spiritual, pastoral and prophetic  leader of MCC, as well  as offering spiritual and pastoral leadership to local churches and Networks;
  2. To approve standards for affiliation of MCC churches globally; and
  3. To approve the Clergy Manual that governs MCC clergy globally.

As members of the Council of Elders all Elders fulfill the following responsibilities:


1. As requested by the Moderator, be available to:

      • Support the Moderator and the Senior Leadership  in providing spiritual leadership for MCC
      • Visit Network gatherings
      • Assist with leadership development efforts.
      • Serve as an official representative of MCC in the areas of public and community relations.
      • Undertake ecclesial and ceremonial visits to churches.
      • Counsel with the Senior Leadership Team and the Governing Board.
      • Provide pastoral and spiritual support and mentoring for clergy and lay leaders as needed and requested

2. Participate actively in meetings of the Council of Elders.

3. Participate actively in training and professional development opportunities offered to members of the Council of Elders.

4. Be familiar with MCC Bylaws, policies, procedures, and processes.

5. Ascribe to and actively promote the MCC statements of vision and mission.

6. Be familiar with and actively promote MCC programs and events.

7. Attend General Conference and Network gatherings.


Budgetary Considerations


The budget for the Council of Elders is developed by the Moderator and senior staff assigned by the Moderator in accordance with the policies and processes of the Governing Board. The cost of all appointed Elders to attend and participate in the General Conference and in meetings of the Council of Elders will be borne by the UFMCC within the approved budget.  The cost of fulfilling specific assigned responsibilities are borne either by the UFMCC within the approved budget and authorized by the Moderator, or by local congregations or other organizations per the terms of a mutual agreement.

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