I will celebrate my 49th anniversary as a Methodist pastor at this year's Annual Conference. Within this nearly half a century, much has changed. When I was first appointed, pastors from each district met in a room at conference and the District Superintendent informed us, usually for the first time, where we were to lead as pastor during the next year.
There were no Pastor/Parish Advisory Forms, no consultations and no covenant meetings. The superintendent, church leaders and pastors would have a few conversations over the year, but appointments seemed to be made speedily, unilaterally and with finality. Amazingly, it all worked out despite our experiencing high anxiety.
Today, almost everything is changed -- except for the high anxiety, and our Transitions Committee is hoping to help pastors and churches with that. The plan is to have three separate days apart prior to Annual Conference from which you will choose one: April 26, at Oxford University; May 3, at Hattiesburg Parkway Heights and May 10, at Jackson Anderson. Each event will gather promptly at 9:00 and end by 3:30. All moving full time pastors should choose the most convenient setting and participate. Less than full time and retiring pastors are also invited to participate. Your superintendent will sign you up for your event when you call so that food will be prepared for your lunch, so call soon!
I think this is a huge step in the right direction in making the dreaded pastoral move a lot better.
Carl W. Grubbs