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Clergy Retirement

“Retired clergy members are those who have been placed in the retired relation either at their own request or by action of the clergy session upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry.   Requests for retirement shall be stated in writing to the bishop, cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry at least one hundred twenty days prior to the date on which retirement is to be effective unless waived by the bishop and cabinet.  The Board of Ordained Ministry shall provide guidance and counsel to the retiring member and family as they begin a new relationship to the local church.” 
Paragraph 357, 2016 Book of Discipline

In the Virginia Conference, requests for retirement should be made in a letter addressed to the Bishop, with copies submitted to the Center for Clergy Excellence and the District Superintendent (copies may be received electronically).  For retirement requests to take effect after Annual Conference this coming June, the letters should be received no later than February 15. This deadline is set so that the Bishop and Cabinet may be informed to make appropriate appointments in light of your request. If you make a retirement request after this date, please include a request for an exception to the Book of Discipline’s timeliness requirement.  

In your letter requesting retirement, please include the following:

  • Your current ministry status (e.g., elder in full connection, deacon in full connection, full time licensed local pastor, etc.) 
  • The age you will have achieved by the date of your effective retirement
  • Your years of service
  • If you have particular plans for how you hope to be in ministry in God’s Kingdom in retirement
  • If there are special circumstances around your request that the Bishop, Cabinet, or Board of Ordained Ministry should know about

Following receipt of a copy of your letter, the Center for Clergy Excellence will connect you with a representative of the Retirements Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry. This colleague will set with you a mutually convenient interview time.  These interviews are generally conducted via telephone conversation.   

In the spring, Virginia United Methodist Pensions, Inc. (VUMPI) and the Center for Clergy Excellence will invite you to an orientation session around your intended status as a retired clergyperson.  To schedule a private conversation around your Pensions and Benefits status, please contact VUMPI directly.

In June, the Annual Conference will celebrate God’s work through your ministry at the Retirement Service, and the worship planners will be in touch with you to invite you to share materials and memories for that service of thanksgiving.As you ponder entering the season of retirement, God’s blessings be with you.

Charge Conference Membership
All retired clergy need to designate a charge conference within the bounds of the Virginia Conference for your charge conference membership.  If you know the charge conference you will choose at the time you register for Annual Conference, please make note of that on your registration card. At any time after June of the year you retire, to designate or change your Virginia charge conference: 
1. Speak with the pastor in charge of the church to which you wish to affiliate and gain their approval.
2. Send an email stating your new charge conference affiliation to both the former and new pastors, with a copy to both district superintendents and [email protected]

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