Worried yet hopeful about the removal of guaranteed appointments

I have to admit, I am worried about the removal of guaranteed appointments. I am a young, white clergywoman who is in my sixth year of my ministry. My first appointment was a very difficult church. It was wrought with dysfunction and was closed in 2009. I wonder if a few of the most destructive members had enough wherewithal could, under this system, complete sink my vocation as a clergy. What is even more frightening is that I served that church as a provisional elder. They had more opportunities to critique my “effectiveness” because the ordination process requires it. But while I may be afraid of what this new decision means for our future, the same situation where my first church closed makes me feel hopeful too. Throughout it all, I was completely supported by District Superintendent and Bishop. Even though I was crucified, they never abandoned me. This is a perfect example of how my “effectiveness” could have been challenged. After all, the church closed. Isn’t that what we are all afraid of? Like the rest of us, I am processing the implications of this decision. For that manner, we will all be processing and living into this decision for at least the next four years… together.

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General Conference
On Jan. 3, a 16-member group of United Methodist leaders offered a proposal that would preserve The United Methodist Church while allowing traditionalist-minded congregations to form a new denomination. UM News will host a panel discussion on the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation proposal at 9:30 a.m. EST on Jan. 13. Graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Video archive: UM News interviews protocol developers

Leaders who helped develop a separation plan for The United Methodist Church answered questions about their proposal during a live event Jan. 13.
General Church
Delegates pause for prayer at the 2019 special General Conference in St. Louis. A group of 2020 General Conference delegates and other church leaders from Africa, Europe and the Philippines is proposing a new form of unity. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News.

Delegates offer proposal for church unity

United Methodist leaders from Africa, Europe and the Philippines are offering a “Christmas Covenant” and inviting others to sign on.
General Conference

Church future under negotiation before GC2020

United Methodist leaders of varied perspectives on LGBTQ status struck an optimistic note about conversations that aim to find consensus before the next General Conference.