Thursday, April 12, 2007

The New Preacher

The Methodist Church practices itinerancy - that is, pastors are not hired or fired by individual churches, they are appointed to a particular church for a particular season by the Bishop and a council of elders. Each June, throughout the NC Conference, some pastors will pack their belongings, bid farewell to their congregations, and head off in a moving van to become part of a new church family. As the van disappears around the corner, the old congregation waits and wonders, "Wonder what our new preacher will be like?"

I am happy to say that this year, my family and I are not moving. At least not as of today - this is the week we receive appointment phone calls, and it's now late Thursday afternoon so I think we can leave our packing boxes stored in the attic of the parsonage for at least twelve more months.

I did receive a letter today from the pastor of my home church, announcing that he is leaving for a new appointment. I mention him here today because he is the one who helped get me started in the ministry. It was under his pastoral care that I was confirmed at charge conference to enter the ministry of the Methodist Church, and it was under his leadership that I received my first appointment. The last Sunday I was in my home church was a beautiful service, and felt like a sending off or commissioning... I'll never forget that morning as long as I live.

Oh yeah, he also married Cheryl and I, and baptized Aspen. He's been an important part of my lfe. I wish him well in his new appointment, and I pray that those in his new flock realize what a good man they're getting to shepherd them.

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