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Author Topic: It’s Spring, and a young woman’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of . . .
dkw
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Reappointment.

[Big Grin]

A lesson in United Methodist polity:

Clergy in the UMC are not members of a local congregation, nor are we hired (or called) by the local congregation. We are members of an Annual Conference, which sounds like an event, but is actually both a geographic area and a body of people within that geographic area. The boundaries of an Annual Conference are not always the same as state boundaries, but in the case of this Annual Conference (Iowa) they are.

Each conference has a Bishop, and each is further divided into districts with a District Superintendent (DS). Collectively, the Bishop, the Superintendents, and the Assistant to the Bishop are known as the Cabinet. Round about February of each year the Cabinet gets together and starts looking at the churches and clergy in the Conference – prayerfully deciding how to match the gifts and graces of the available clergy with the needs of each church, and the gifts and graces of the churches with the needs of each clergyperson.

Which means that if you’re a United Methodist clergyperson, especially one who’s been in the same appointment for five years or more, you start to get a little jumpy when the phone rings ‘round about the end of March. Even more so when your current appointment was originally a two-year part time appointment while you finished your MDiv, which was extended to full time for another three years. And even more so when in conversation with your DS, and on your annual review form, you’ve checked the little box that indicates you’d prefer a move this year. Moving week is the last week in June, and the appointment process can run right up until the Annual Conference meets the second weekend in June. One hopes, of course, to be in the earlier part of the process and know where one is moving by April or early May. One is also glad that the process has shifted from fifty years ago, when one didn’t find out where one was moving until the last day of the Annual Conference session and moved the following week. And one is extremely glad that one doesn’t live in the days of the circuit riders, when one would pack all ones belongings to take to the Annual Conference and go directly from there to one’s new appointment or back home if one was re-appointed to the same circuit. The Cabinet has been meeting regularly for about a month now, and the first “string” of appointments were announced last Monday.

Which is all to say that one (and one’s fiancé) are getting antsy about more than a wedding this week.
[Angst]

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TheTick
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You know, I was wondering about that. What are the chances they'll move you?

Hmm, our church isn't too happy with the Pastor right now... [Wink]

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rivka
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Good luck! Maybe the next kitchen won't be signal-flare orange.
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dkw
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‘Tis always a guess, but I’d give it a greater than 85% chance this year.

Edit: rivka, I won’t miss the color, but I will mourn for my acres of countertop.

[ March 25, 2005, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: dkw ]

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Zalmoxis
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acres of countertop...

Mmmmmmrgghhhghh. [or however you represent the Homer Simpson drooling-thing].

-------
dkw:

Why don't you and Bob simply embrace the idea of constant relocation and start a traveling tent-revivalist ministry? [Big Grin]

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TheTick
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Methodists need a real church...where would they plug in all the crock pots at the potluck dinner?
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Elizabeth
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Dana, my husband just floored over our orange, brown and gold 70's floor. I don't think I could ever go back, even with promises of extra counter space. A pantry, on the other hand...
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Zalmoxis
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Heh.

Crockpots rock. I need one.

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Boon
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I could send you one. I have four.
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Zalmoxis
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Boon:

That's a lovely offer, but ::points up:: there's that whole acres of counterspace thing.

Plus my wife just cashed in a Williams Sonoma gift card from a generous relative and we have an oversized lasagna pan and ramikins and kitchen torch to play with.

AND: [Eek!]

Four crockpots!!! How did that happen?

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TheTick
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Wedding gifts, I'd wager.
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rivka
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I have three. (Little, medium, and big. Some day I hope I'll have room (and need) for one of the really big ones.
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Boon
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Umm...raised FUMC? [Big Grin]

Seriously, my mother used them in her restaurant and I sort of inherited them by virtue of living in a house instead of a motorhome. And actually, I have six...four of which I don't use.

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fiazko
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Somehow I missed the fact that you're UM, Dana. My mom played at being a UM pastor for a while (loooong story). The point is, I totally understand everything you said. Whatever happens will be for the best, I'm sure. Keep us posted.
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Shigosei
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I'll be praying that you get an appointment someplace nice and warm. No, not *there*! I mean, specifically, Phoenix, for completely selfish reasons.
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dkw
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Reappointments are within the same Annual Conference (unless one changes one's Conference membership).

So we'll be in Iowa. And we're pretty sure that at least it can't be a smaller town that where we are now. [Big Grin]

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dkw
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And I have four crockpots. I think Bob might have one too, so that would be five total.
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Myr
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You have an orange kitchen??

*swoon*

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dkw
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Quite.
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Myr
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WOW.

And nice floor [Big Grin]

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rivka
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Oh, I forgot to count the milchig (dairy) one!

Although, that one's not a crock pot, really. It's a slow cooker, but the pot part isn't crockery.

Anyone, if you count that one I have four. And I used to have a fifth (for Pesach), but I don't anymore. I probably will replace it at some point.

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Elizabeth
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Myr, with Dana's counters, and my floor, you would be in 70s heaven. And that scares me.
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Annie
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What kind of things does one cook in a dairy crockpot? I've only ever used crockpots for meat.
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Myr
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*beams*
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TheTick
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You guys should've seen our bathroom. Green (think institutional color) linoleum walls and ceiling, with fake tiles on the bottom half.
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rivka
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Same sorts of things, only with soy-based "meat"s.

Also, some casseroles do ok in mine.

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Zalmoxis
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ramekins + kitchen torch = creme brulee!

sorry for the outburst, but it's all very exciting

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Elizabeth
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"Which is all to say that one (and one’s fiancé) are getting antsy about more than a wedding this week."

Well, this thread has wended its way through your kitchen, Dana, but back to the point.

Ouch!

As if you don't have enough to think about. Arn;t you guys planning to buy a house? How will that figure in?

Good luck!

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Bokonon
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I was interested in how ministers are in UMC. as I'm sure dkw knows, the UCC is similar in that the ministers aren't members of the local congregation, but that the congregation (especially in congregationalist New England) specifically calls them.

I hope whatever happens is great outcome dkw!

-Bok

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dkw
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No, we definitely won't be buying a house. Housing is always provided as part of my appointment, and we'll be moving every 5-7 years.

Bob didn't sell his house in Texas (he's renting it out) so we're building equity there and will have a place to live (or a house to sell so that we can afford another somewhere else) when I retire.

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Elizabeth
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Oh, well that is one worry off your mind. I am trying to think of a worse kitchen color. Even avocado, or our lovely autumn gold, would be easier to decorate around than the orange.

OK, so I have to rethink your wedding present completely now.

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dkw
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Well, yeah, that’s really why we requested the move. We registered for this really neat dinnerware and it clashes with the counters.
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dread pirate romany
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Wishing you an appointment to someplace lovely....

( I am obviously way behind in my corck pot ownership).

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Zalmoxis
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dkw:

I know that you are busy, but I'm curious to know your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of this process.

It seems like a good thing to me -- this way ministers don't burn out and congregations don't become too lax or comfortable with a particular style. But, of course, I'm coming from the vantage point of a faith where local clery changes every 3-7 years.

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Elizabeth
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You know, I am thinking that a new sub-religion is going to develop here. The Methodist population of this town in Iowa will move, caravan style, to Dan;s new town. Wherever she moves, there will be a townsworth of refugees from the previous church. Methodists-in-Motion.
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dkw
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Liz: that’s one of the reasons people are usually moved into a new district. The cabinet doesn’t want the previous pastor to be in easy driving distance – it’s not fair to the new pastor.

Zal: Advantages: The cabinet can look at the conference as a whole and make the appointments based on the most good matches rather than individuals competing for the “best” jobs. Churches are never without a pastor – in denominations that use a call system the search process can take years and some small rural churches can’t find anyone willing to take the position. Clergy are never without an appointment – no sending out resumes, no job interviews.

It’s harder for a church to develop into a “personality cult” around a specific pastor. The average appointment is 5-7 years, so a lot of the long-range vision and continuity of programming has to come from the members rather than the clergy. When a bad match happens, if either the church or pastor aren’t happy with the appointment, it’s possible to change with no guilt on either side – no one has to be fired and no one has to quit. Moving is a normal part of the process.

Disadvantages: A pastor can screw up pretty badly and the local church can’t do anything about it, unless it’s something serious enough to bring the person up on charges. Being ineffective isn’t enough. We have one of the more stringent ordination processes specifically because there is no “job interview” analogue when pastors move between churches. Being ordained an elder is a bit like getting tenure – you’re guaranteed an appointment.

The itinerancy is also hard on families. Especially now that most spouses work outside the home. The cabinet tries hard to take the spouse’s career into consideration when making appointments, but it’s not always possible and some people end up with commuter marriages for a few years if the spouse just can’t relocate. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have fallen in love with a guy who can telecommute.

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Zalmoxis
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Thanks.

And, yes, that's very cool. I wish that telecommuting had taken off like everybody said that it was going to. My wife and I would love to be part of revitalizing a small town -- we both have small town experince as part of our childhoods.

But small towns don't really need pr professionals, and I don't know very many nonprofits and universities that would allow telecommuting -- even though 95% of the work I do is on the computer and via phone, e-mail or fax.

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Wendybird
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Those orange countertops aren't really too bad [Big Grin] Its the dark wood cabinets that do me in. If you could paint them a nice creamy white and antique them that might look nice. My fiestaware plates would look cool in that color scheme [Razz]

May your move be a smooth one.

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Icarus
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[Grumble]

For a minute I got my hopes up that y'all might move to Central Florida.

[Frown]

[Razz]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
My fiestaware plates.
I hope you are aware that fiestaware plates are radioactive.

link

[ March 25, 2005, 08:26 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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