As noted elsewhere, this might be of interest to those within the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (or LCMS), and perhaps even to those outside of that church, as an insight into what is commonly termed
CRM Status, CRM being used to denote ordained (clergy) and commissioned (teachers, DCE's) members of the LCMS not serving in a usual called position, like parish pastor. Or it might not; your mileage may vary. If, however, you have heard of or been involved in CRM Status, you may recognize a few aspects that have made the CRM categories controversial. For those from a more general background, including those familiar with other churches with a
high view of the ordained ministry, you may find some corollaries as well.
The first weirdness you may note is the title of the form, Application for Inactive Status. The term inactive is strange, because (theoretically) most of those who apply are not inactive at all. Emeritus clergy very often continue to serve in parishes, and candidate clergy are often extremely eager to be more active than they are and want to be back in a usual parish position. Even the dubious category of
non-candidateclergy are often serving in vacancies while pursuing training or advanced degrees. It is likely that changes begun in 1998 and continued in 2004 introduced not just a theological aberration to the church's doctrine of the office of the ordained ministry, but also twisted an earlier nomenclature into something less comprehensible.
But the strangest item the reader may detect is the category that was eliminated by the Synodical Convention of the LCMS in 2016,
non-candidate. Removing this category reflects the earlier (and correct) understanding that all ordained into the office are candidates for called positions, even when they currently hold a usual or called positiion. The reader can decipher for themselves what the application form intends, but good luck with that.
This link has a more readable .pdf version of the original paper document. What follows is an html draft of the original, using Google's OCR app tesseract, further modified.
APPLICATION FOR INACTIVE STATUS
SECTION ONE (Please supply the following information.)
Name: ___[REDACTED]___ Date of this Application ___[REDACTED]___
Home Address: ___[REDACTED]___
Home Telephone: ___[REDACTED]___ E-mail Address ___[REDACTED]___
Last active roster position held (Pastor/Teacher/DCE/DCO, etc.): Pastor
Location: Trinity Lutheran Church, Bemidji, Minnesota
Concluding date of last active roster position held: 1988 September
Present congregational membership: Life in Christ Lutheran Church, Albertville, Minnesota University Lutheran Chapel, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Associate Member)
Are you a member in good standing in the congregation listed above?* Yes
(* as determined by the congregation where you hold membership)
SECTION TWO (Please answer the following questions if you are applying for Candidate Status.)
1. Do you have any health problems that would keep you from performing the duties of a ordained/commissioned minister? NO.
2. If the answer to question 1 is
yes,are these health problems expected to be lifelong?
3. Indicate below the extent of your current involvement on a part-time and assisting basis in your respective ministry.
Ordained Ministers ________________________Commissioned Ministers
___YES___ Pulpit supply __________________________Teach Part-time
___YES___Worship leading _________________________Substitute teach
___YES___Distribution of Holy Communion __________Youth work
___YES___Bible Class teaching ____________________Teach Sunday School
_________ Pastoral visitation ____________________Committee work
___YES___Other (specify) _________Other (specify)
4.___YES___Are you able and willing to consider a Call at this time?
APPLICATION FOR INACTIVE STATUS, PAGE TWO
Inactive members are advisory members of the Synod. As such, they have all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of advisory membership in the Synod as defined in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod, including attending all official conferences (Bylaw 4.8). To remain on the roster of the Synod as an
inactive member,an ordained or commissioned minister of religion must be a communicant member in good standing of a congregation which is a member of the Synod and must qualify and make application for one of the following categories:
A member may also choose to resign from the roster with the right of applying for reinstatement to the roster at a future date.
I hereby request the following status:
______Emeritus Status (Bylaw 220.127.116.11)
emeritusmember is one whose membership is held for retention on the roster upon retirement after reaching the age of 55 or for reasons of total and permanent disability.
___XYESX___Candidate Status (Bylaw 18.104.22.168)
candidatemember is one who is eligible to perform the duties of any of the offices of ministry as specified in Bylaw section 2.11 but who is not currently an active member or an emeritus member. A candidate may be continued on the roster for a period not to exceed four years by act of the president of the district through which the person holds membership. The candidate shall, by January 31, make an annual report to the district president who shall evaluate the member's eligibility for remaining on candidate status. The candidate's report shall include current contact information and address the criteria for remaining on candidate status. Among criteria for determining whether candidate status should be granted or continued are: 1) the health of the applicant; 2) a spirit of cooperation in any efforts to address any unresolved issues involving fitness for ministry; 3) the extent of current involvement on a part-time and assisting basis in his/her respective ministry; and 4) a demonstrated willingness to consider a call or appointment to any of the offices of ministry specified in Bylaw 2.11.
(Please note: Those applying for Candidate Status must be able and willing to consider a Call.)
______Non-Candidate Status (Bylaw 22.214.171.124)
non-candidatemember is one who is eligible to perform the duties of any of the offices of ministry specified in Bylaw section 2.11 but who is not currently an active member or an emeritus member and who chooses not to be a candidate member. The member may be continued on the roster for a period of up to eight years by act of the president of the district through which the member holds membership. The non-candidate shall, by January 31, make an annual report to the district president who shall evaluate the member's eligibility for remaining on non-candidate status. The non-candidate's report shall include current contact information and the member's efforts to fulfill the responsibilities of an advisory member of the Synod. Non-candidate members are eligible to serve in ministry situations upon approval of their district presidents and according to the guidelines established by the Council of Presidents. The Council of Presidents may grant an extension of non-candidate status for a second period of up to eight years upon request of the appropriate district president.
(Please note: Those applying for Non-Candidate Status are those who are not able or willing to consider a Call.)
______Resign from the Roster
(Any person who at any time has held individual membership in the Synod but has resigned that membership, or whose membership in the Synod has been terminated, is eligible to seek reinstatement into membership. All applications by individuals for reinstatement into membership in the Synod shall be addressed to the president of the district in which the applicant last held membership.)
Signature______________________________________________ Date 2008 February 25
APPLICATION FOR INACTIVE STATUS, PAGE THREE
SECTION THREE:(TO BE COMPLETED BY DISTRICT PRESIDENT)
1. APPLICATION FOR INACTIVE STATUS WAS SUBMITTED WHEN WORKER:
____Retired from active service on _________
____Experienced temporary disability
____Left active ministry to pursue advanced studies
____Left active ministry due to congregation/worker tension
____Left active ministry due to personal/family problems
____Left active ministry due to "burnout"
____Left active ministry to pursue other vocational interests
2. THE WORKER CURRENTLY MEETS THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS FOR CANDIDATE STATUS
____No health problems that make active ministry impossible
____Has been involved in ministry on an interim, substitute or assisting basis
____Has demonstrated a willingness to return to active roster
3. DECISION OF DISTRICT PRESIDENT
____Resigned from roster __________________Effective Date of Change in Status 1/1/2001
____Removed from roster ___________________Date Status Expires
(Signature of District President) (Date)
[§03a] I'm happy to give further details to whoever would like them (as I have already done since 2016). Use the contact tab at www.SaintTimothySociety.org for my email. - G.W. Bynum, Chaplain, Saint Timothy Society