Appointment Season 2023

The appointive season this year has been the most unusual one in the 17 years that I have been a part of an appointive cabinet. The covenant of guaranteed appointments for elders, the Book of Discipline, and the question “How does this decision participate in the Beloved Community?” have impacted our work.

It has been our practice for the last 11 years for the appointive cabinet to meet in April and make appointment projections for the new conference year. At the adjournment of that meeting, calls would be initiated to pastors who are being appointed and to Pastor Parish Relations Committee chairpersons regarding the projected appointment. Then on the following Sunday, announcements were made in worship.  

Today there are two things I would like to offer you about our ongoing work:

1. We will not be initiating appointive calls this weekend. We anticipate beginning to make some of those calls on April 21 and April 22. We do expect to be able to make those announcements no later than May 1. In those cases where we are able, we will make contacts before that date.

It is interesting to note that we have 60% fewer appointment considerations than in years past. There are several factors affecting this. Certainly, one factor is the number of disaffiliations. We are aware that the called session of annual conference on May 22 is contributing to some churches choosing not to participate in the appointive process.

Your appointive cabinet prayerfully considers all pastors and congregations as we do this important work of discernment. The process is not perfect, but we faithfully consider the needs of clergy and congregations. We seek faithfully to make the best matches between pastors and congregations.

2.  I am pleased to announce that we are officially appointing Reverend Dr. Stephen Handy as Associate District Superintendent. Dr. Handy will continue serving the McKendree United Methodist Church as well as serving on the appointive cabinet and leading a cohort of congregations in our urban contexts.

Please make all that is before us a matter of deep prayer as we continue to discern God’s future in the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference.

Bishop Bill McAlilly