Discretion of the Board of Ordained Ministry
The Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference’s Board of Ordained Ministy chose not to recommend a pastor for Elder’s Orders even though it appeared she had fulfilled the first 13 criteria listed in Paragraph 324. When the bishop was asked if the Board could withhold her being recommended even though at one point she had passed by the proper 3/4th vote, the bishop said the Board has that discretion because the 14th requirement is the Board’s written recommendation.
In my experience, such an action is highly unusual. The Boards never do something like that after all the work they and the candidates have put in.
There must be some unusual extenuating circumstance involved. From the text of the decision, it appears that the candidate’s sexual orientation and relationships are in question, something that apparently finally got under someone’s skin after the Board’s vote.
I’ve known of bishops, Board chair persons, and superintendents who have intervened to scuttle a pastor’s attempt to be ordained despite the candidates having excellent records.
But in this case, it appears it was the Judicial Council that caused the switch. The Board’s vote was probably in March, 2017, but the April session of the Council produced rulings that pushed Boards to explore further any indication about each candidate’s sexual orientation and whether or not it extends into actual sexual relationships.
At least this time, a bishop clearly paid attention to things the Council has said.
One more thing: The Council has not spent any time on urging Boards to explore with new candidates their heterosexual orientation and whether or not it extends into actual sexual relationships. Doesn’t that have the potential of sparking speculation!