Bishop Graves and the Appointive Cabinet have released the 2022 appointment making schedule. It includes important information regarding forms, meeting dates and timelines related to the appointment making process. Also included are announcements about our 2022 Annual Conference Session, apportionments and statistical tables. Click here to view.
Colleagues and friends,
Currently the Cabinet, pastors, staff-parish relations committees, and churches are working on the upcoming appointment year which runs July 2022 to June 2023. I have found that Cabinet transparency is vital in building trust. To inform you of our process, but most importantly to ask for your prayers, I want to share the following.
The Cabinet, consisting of the six district superintendents, Dr. Jay Harris, and myself, will be working to make more than 540 appointments between now and Annual Conference, scheduled for June 5-8. We are still living and moving through a pandemic. This adds to the complexity of the process.
There are many factors that go into this process: retirements, appointments open due to the death of a pastor, pastors leaving our annual conference, local church needs and concerns, pastors’ needs and concerns, and family considerations, to name a few. The combination of these circumstances leads to many emotions. Our United Methodist appointment process is like no other mainline denomination.
What I have come to learn and have experienced is that the Holy Spirit is in this process. As unusual as it may seem, I have been so blessed by my appointment-making time both as a district superintendent and as a bishop. It is sacred work, and the South Georgia Conference has a Godly Cabinet that makes our work deep and rich. Please pray for us!
To help guide your time of prayer, let me share how we will complete our work:
We have begun discussions around possible clergy couple moves, seminary students graduating and seeking their first appointment, and those attending licensing school and seeking their first appointment. Senior pastors with an associate have shared with the district superintendent and me their needs around the associate pastor appointment. We have people wanting to transfer into the conference and those who seek to transfer out. The list of parameters we encounter is endless.
February 10-11: The Cabinet begins to make some appointment projections even though they may not be communicated out of the Cabinet immediately. For the past several years, we have used a helpful online appointment system/tool that has streamlined the process. As consultations take place, the district superintendent marks each pastor as “remain,” “must move,” “should move,” “could move,” or “retiring.” Approximately 75-80% of pastors will be marked “remain.”
February 23-24: Appointment making continues.
March 14-16: The Cabinet projects most of the appointments during these days.
March 21-22: Pastors who are moving will get a phone call from their district superintendent to set a meeting to go over their projected appointment. The staff-parish relations chairs will be called and told of the projected appointment, and the full SPRC will be informed and instructed to keep the appointment confidential.
April 4-5: The Cabinet meets to review all projected appointments and make any necessary adjustments.
April 5- June 5: The Cabinet continues to work at filling part-time appointments and other situations that might arise as pastoral introductions are made.
April 10: Pastors and churches are free to publicly communicate the new appointment unless otherwise directed by the district superintendent.
April 21: All pastors who are moving or beginning a new appointment are required to attend the Moving Pastors Workshop from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in Macon. This workshop provides helpful information so all may have a successful start. Pastors receiving a new appointment will be contacted by the superintendent of the district they will be serving with additional details, including the location.
From May to September, churches receiving a new pastor will be invited to participate in a process called on-boarding to help the new pastor move into his/her new appointment. More information will be forthcoming.
As you see, the appointment process is the most important work we do as a Cabinet, and one that I want to live into God’s will. I feel it is important to be transparent to all our clergy and congregations. Please be mindful that as the bishop for both the Alabama-West Florida and South Georgia Conferences, I have two cabinets and two appointment processes to complete during the next three months.
I need and appreciate your prayers.
Bishop David Graves