Appointment season in the United Methodist Church comes around every year at this time. This June many churches will say good-bye to their current pastor as they greet a new pastor. Change, expected or not, can be stressful for congregations. But, “passing the baton,” pastor to pastor, is part of our Methodist heritage.
Here’s the good news: Change can also become an opportunity for mission focus, reevaluation of church values and growth. A change of pastor is a chance for new eyes to envision otherwise unseen possibilities. As laity, we pray for a smooth transition and that God will embolden us to support and minister alongside our pastors.
Prayer goes a long way toward calming the turmoil of change, enabling acceptance of what is new, and opening our eyes to see what God is doing in our midst.
- Pray that congregations receive pastors sent to new charges in the spirit in which they are sent.
- Pray that PPR committees provide the support and leadership that pastors and congregations need for continuity during a time of change.
- Pray that congregations partner with new pastors and encourage them to minister as John Wesley taught: “Act in all things, not according to your own will, but as a son in the Gospel.”
- Pray that we laity follow suit alongside our pastors.
If a new pastor is sent to your church, please read this excellent resource provided by the Missouri Conference: http://www.moumethodist.org/passingthebaton.
Pay attention to social media. See “Digital Transitions When Pastors Change” at: https://www.churchleadership.com/leading-ideas/digital-transitions-pastors-change/.
Look at this resource from churchleadership.com for 50 ways to welcome your new pastor: https://www.churchleadership.com/50-ways/50-ways-to-welcome-a-new-pastor/.
We are an itinerant church. Wesley’s vision of itinerant ministry encourages a system of sending and sending again. But remember that as these changes occur, the mission of the church stands fast – the mission is unchanging even as leadership changes. Pray for each UMC congregation that the Holy Spirit guides and directs vital change in the local church, new pastor or not. Read more…
On 10, Oct 2016 | In News | By Rebecca
The media has carried news of changes to overtime pay requirements over the last several months. The Department of Labor is reducing the number of employees who do not have to record time and who are not entitled to receive overtime pay.
This reduction means that many employees, including employees of local churches, may now be covered by the overtime rules.
If you did not see the webinar from the conference office, I strongly urge you to go to the conference website and watch it here: http://www.moumethodist.org/fairlaborresources
This new law that goes into effect 12/1 can impact church staff. If you have any questions please contact our office or the conference .
Recent Changes to Overtime Pay Requirements: The Department of Labor is reducing the number of employees who do not have to record time and who are not entitled to receive overtime pay. This reduction means that many employees, including employees of local churches, may now be covered by the overtime rules. Director of Finance & Administration, Rev. Nate Berneking, will conduct a lunch hour webinar on Wednesday, September 21, at 12:00 p.m. to discuss all of the recent changes. He will walk churches through the new rules, attempt to clarify who might be exempt and who must be paid overtime, and answer any related questions. The webinar will conclude no later than 1 p.m. Learn more about the webinar and how to watch it here: http://www.moumethodist.org/eventdetail/fair-labor-standards-act-the-church-webinar-5558583?month=9&year=2016&day=1&display=m
Open to All Clergy
All clergy are invited to attend the Clergy Benefits Academy hosted by the General Board – Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church. The Clergy Benefits Academy will be presented October 24-26, 2016, in Branson, Missouri at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. The Missouri United Methodist Foundation would like to reimburse clergy attending the academy for two nights of hotel room at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. The Clergy Benefits Academy is for all ages and stages of ministry — new ordinands, early-career clergy, mid-career clergy, ready-to-retire clergy, district superintendents, clergy in extension ministries — and spouses. There is something for everyone! This event is an opportunity to learn about the many benefit issues that affect your life and ministry. You can even earn continuing education units (CEUs) for attending. Register for the Academy and reserve your hotel room. Once registered, call the Foundation Office at 800-332-8238 to let us know you will be attending the event. After the event, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail (PO Box 1076, Columbia, MO 65205) your hotel receipt, name and mailing address to the Foundation, and a reimbursement check will be mailed back to you. For more information about the Clergy Benefits Academy and a link to register, visit www.mumf.org/2016/clergy-benefits-academy.
For questions regarding the hotel reimbursement process, call the Foundation office at 800-332-8238.
By the Office
On 11, Mar 2014 | In News | By the Office
Each Life Here Save a Life There is a Southwest District Campaign to involve thousands of our folks in making a major contribution toward the eradication of malaria in a simple way.
How can your congregation help?
The idea is that with a simple invitation that will only take a few minutes in worship, we can save 4000, 5000, maybe even 6000 lives from malaria related deaths. On either March 23 or March 30, whichever works best for your church, let the people of your congregation respond to the challenge to give $10 for every one present that day. Maybe you could widen the impact even more by using your Facebook page to promote this event beyond the walls of the church. Invite your church that day during worship to post an invitation to all their FB friends to make a $10 text donation and save another life!
To make that day even simpler, invite your folks to get their phones out and use the text # to make their donations! Each text is a $10 donation. Already, churches in the Missouri Conference have raised over $580,000 and we are pushing toward the goal of $1M. That would be 100,000 lives saved by Methodists in Missouri! Simply text “malaria mo” to 27722 to make your $10 gift.
Look under the “How can I help” tab at imaginenomalariamo.org for worship, video, and promotional resources.
By the Office
On 30, Jul 2013 | In News | By the Office
Thank you everyone for the warm welcome into my new role here in the Southwest District. I feel privileged and blessed to serve with you for the building of God’s Kingdom in our district. I look forward to getting to know the churches, laity, and pastors of our district. And I’m eager to help your church live out its mission for Christ in any way I can.
I have one important item I want to draw to your attention. This is a required process for all part-time and full-time persons appointed or assigned to a local church.
ANNUAL EVALUATION PROCESS is upon us. The Evaluation Process is about two things:
First, it is a tool to help your church evaluate your ministry in relation to your mission and the mission field that is your community, and the ways that your pastoral leadership is helping your church engage in ministry in the community.
Second, it is a tool that will help paint a larger picture (along with Charge Conference and Appointment Consultation at the end of the year) of the mission, strengths, and needs of churches and pastors of our district, which in turn will help us make better appointments – matching pastoral vision and gifts for leading congregations with the missional needs and vision of local churches.
Steps to do quickly:
- Schedule SPR/PPR to meet in August
- Run a Mission Insight Report and distribute it with the blank Mission Field Study Sheet (new this year) to SPR/PPR in advance. If you need assistance with the Mission Insight Study, please contact Rebecca Courtney at the District Office (contact info is below).
- At the SPR/PPR meeting, complete together the Mission Field Study and then allow the team to complete the Pastor Evaluation Form (which should be reviewed together). Please be sure your SPR/PPR Chair completes and submits the form to the District Office.
- Complete the Pastor Self Evaluation Form and submit it to District Office
- Forms are available on the Conference Website and from the Southwest District Website.
- DUE DATE for forms is ONE WEEK in advance of your interview appointment. Interview appointment slots are available now from the middle of September into the first week of October. Contact Rebecca Courtney or Susan Thomas (417-623-2382) to set up your appointment.
Thank you so much for your attention to these things. I know that sometimes they may feel like more “to do’s” on your already busy schedule, and so I appreciate very much your assistance. My prayer is that the process also bears fruit for you and for your congregations, helping you and your congregation to bear even greater fruit for the mission of Christ!
By the Office
On 22, Apr 2013 | In News | By the Office
Dear Colleagues and Friends, I am now at liberty to announce to you that the Bishop and Cabinet have chosen to appoint me to serve First United Methodist Church in Marshall, Missouri. Tom and I are looking forward to the move to Marshall as we both enjoy living in smaller communities like Marshall. It is near the Katy trail which will provide an opportunity for Tom with his interests in repairing and selling used bicycles. I met members of the Pastor Parish Relations committee last night and am looking forward to joining them in their ministry in Marshall. About seven years ago, the church had the vision to build an addition that includes a gym and additional classrooms and offers a great tool for future ministry
Even as I look forward to serving Christ in Marshall, I want you all to know how much I will miss you. It has been a blessing to share with you in ministry these last eight years in the Southwest District. I hope we can make our final weeks together positive and fruitful as we work to prepare the way for our new superintendent to begin his appointment.
Yours in Christ,
By the Office