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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