Tomorrow I am discussing paternity leave with my DS. I think it is wonderful that the UMC offers the same amount of time for fathers as they do mothers. I took time off with my first child and plan to do the same with my second (more details to come). Has any other father taken this time to be with their family? What message does this give the congregation (positive and negative) ?
Here is what the policy is as found in paragraph 356 of the Discipline states:
Maternity or paternity leave, not to exceed one fourth of a year, will be available and shall be granted by the bishop and the cabinet, and the executive committee of the board of ordained ministry to any local pastor, probationary member, associate member, or clergy member in full connection who so requests it at the birth or arrival of a child into the home for purposes of adoption.
1. Persons desiring maternity or paternity leave should file their request with the committee on pastor-parish relations after consulting with the district superintendent at least ninety days prior to its beginning to allow adequate pastoral care for the churches involved to be developed.
2. During the leave, the clergy member’s annual conference relations will remain unchanged, and the health and welfare benefit plans will remain in force.
3. A maternity or paternity leave of up to one-quarter of a year will be considered as an uninterrupted appointment for pension purposes.
4. Compensation will be maintained for no less than the first eight weeks of leave.
5. During the leave time, pastoral responsibility for the church or churches involved will be handled through consultation with the committee on pastor-parish relations of the local church(es) and the district superintendent.
6. Special arrangements shall be made for district superintendents, bishops, and those under special appointment.