Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Guidelines for Retired Rostered Ministers
Throughout this document the terms “rostered ministers” and “ministers” refer to ministers on the ELCIC Roster of Ordained Ministers and the Roster of Diaconal Ministers.
Retired rostered ministers are honored in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in appreciation of the years they have served in ordained or diaconal ministry under the call of God and church.
Retired rostered ministers are a valued resource to this church. Bishops and congregations rely on the assistance of many of them in a variety of situations from leading worship in congregations to providing full-time pastoral leadership on an interim or term basis by call or appointment. Synod officials and church related agencies and institutions have turned to them for specialized assistance or other services from time to time. In various ways, many retired ministers continue to serve under the mandate of their ordination or consecration.
The retirement of a rostered minister from service in a congregation raises some questions touching on relationships established in the course of active service before retirement. These guidelines are set forth in order to facilitate the continuation of good relationships and to avoid misunderstandings. Both the official documents of the church and accepted ministerial ethics apply. It is important for both congregations and rostered ministers to understand the need for good relationships in retirement and do everything to assure their continuation.
Cordiality and mutual affirmation are expected of the relationship between retired ministers, their successors and the pastors and congregations where they are members. Retired ministers contribute in many ways to the life of the congregation which, in turn, contributes a support of love and concern. The ministers involved are expected to do everything possible to assure this mutual affirmation.