Participation in Searches
The bishop expects clergy to notify the TMO (Transition Ministry Officer) when they are involved in a search process outside the Diocese of Texas.
The Canon to the Ordinary is available to assist clergy in deployment within and without the Diocese of Texas. Transition Office (TMO) in the national church office is another resource. (See Links)
Eligibility for deployment in the Diocese of Texas is determined by the bishop and based upon the individual’s qualifications. Deployment is also dependent upon meeting the Expectations of Clergy. No clergy staff member is eligible to be called as rector in the place he or she currently serves.
Staff Clergy Searches
Always consult the bishop before calling any member of the clergy to join a staff.
In calling assistants from outside the diocese, early consultation with the bishop is strongly advised; clergy coming into the diocese become the responsibility of the bishop as well as the calling rector. The bishop may not accept Letters Dimissory if not consulted in advance.
The bishop of the Diocese of Texas makes all ministry assignments for deacons and transitional deacons.
A rector may not recruit or hire a seminarian, deacon, or a transitional deacon without the Bishop’s permission.
Seminarians from outside the Diocese of Texas are required to release their full canonical file from their sponsoring diocese before placement. This includes spiritual autobiography, postulancy letter, candidacy letter, psychological and physical evaluations, evaluations and reports from Commissions on Ministry and Standing Committees. For assistance, contact the Executive for Ministry.
Expectations during Transition
The bishop expects that once a clergyperson leaves a congregation he/she will bring closure to pastoral relationships with members of that Congregation. The health of the congregation is dependent upon how well this transition issue is managed. Former parishioners should understand from the clergy in a positive and affirming way that it is not appropriate to continue a pastoral relationship.
The bishop expects that the clergyperson will accept no further requests from members and former members to provide pastoral services at weddings, funerals, baptisms, or any other occasion of public worship for at least one year.
*After one year, clergy may accept unsolicited invitations from the Interim Rector or Rector.
Documents of Call
Three documents are part of the canonical appointment of a rector or vicar: the Letter of Call to the priest from the vestry, the Letter of Agreement between vestry and priest, and the Letter of Institution by the bishop. Interims also shall have a Letter of Call and a Letter of Agreement. (See Appendix H)
In order to apply for canonical residence, clergy must have a full-time, stipendiary position (40 hours per week) at a church or institution of the Diocese of Texas.
Clergy are required to present Letters Dimissory within three months of their appointment as rector/vicar. (Title III, 9.4)
The bishop will not accept Letters Dimissory until the hourly/stipendiary criteria is met, the bishop has determined that accepting Letters Dimissory is appropriate, and the Bishop has instructed the clergyperson to request them.
Letters Dimissory for Deacons
Unless a deacon has been licensed in the Diocese of Texas, they may not serve as deacon for more than two months.
Deacons may not transfer Letters Dimissory without written consent from the Bishop of Texas. (Title III, 7.6)
Letters Dimissory for Interims or Retired Clergy
The bishop does not accept Letters Dimissory for interim clergy or retired clergy.
Compensation and Review
The Diocese offers, through the Canon to the Ordinary and the Treasurer’s Office, consultation in determining clergy compensation based on a comparative model. Either vestries or clergy may request a comparison and review at any time.
Participation by full-time clergy in the diocesan health insurance is mandatory; premiums are paid through the assessment budget.
Participation in the Church Pension Fund by stipendiary active clergy is mandatory and is provided by the vestry through the parish budget.
Office and business expenses, including auto/travel allowances, are not a part of a clergyperson’s compensation package. These expenses are a part of the church’s cost of doing business.
Mission Clergy Compensation
The bishop and the Diocesan Council determine compensation for mission clergy. The diocesan Treasurer’s Office administers payroll matters.
Clergy should have at least one day a week in which he/she has no scheduled duties or functions. Appropriate compensatory time is encouraged. The congregation should be made aware of the clergy person’s scheduled time off (Sabbath time) and should be encouraged to respect it.
Episcopal clergy receive paid vacation of at least thirty days each year. There are no restrictions on how this time is spent.
Clergy are expected to devote at least fourteen days of each year to continuing education. (See Continuing Education and Appendix C)
Provision should be made in every Letter of Agreement for clergy sabbaticals. In the negotiations leading to a Letter of Agreement, consideration should be given to prior service in the Church, the diocese and the current congregation. There are sabbatical grants available through The Bishop Quin Foundation. (See Appendix C)
Time spent in prayer, professional study, spiritual retreat, and theological reflection is not considered time off. Rather, such activities are essential to the exercise of a priestly vocation.
Deployment of Retired Clergy
The Church Pension Group governs the salary retired clergy may earn. The bishop must submit an application for exemption from these guidelines.
All retired clergy active in ministry must meet the bishop’s Expectations of Clergy.
Supply Clergy Policy
The responsibility for finding supply clergy lies with vestries and bishop’s committees. A list of supply clergy as a resource for congregations in on the website..
Non-parochial clergy and licensed clergy of the Diocese of Texas are eligible to supply, provided that they are in good standing with the bishop and meet the Expectations of Clergy.
All questions regarding interim deployment should be directed to the TMO, who is the Canon to the Ordinary.
Candidates for interim positions within the Diocese of Texas are expected to meet the bishop’s Expectations of Clergy, regardless of canonical residence or active/retired status.