To the laity: How do you prepare yourself for the possibility of pastors being moved each year at annual conference?greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
During Annual Conference there were is always wonderment regarding who the pastor will be for the next church year. How do you as laity prepare for new pastors and the moving on of pastors? Does it get easier the longer you are A.M.E?
-- Anonymous, August 15, 2001
First, I pray -- (sometimes FOR a change, but I won't really go there for this response).
Secondly, this has not been a major problem for our congregation. OUr current pastor has been with us eleven or 12 years; the pastor before him was with our congregation for over 15 years before being "promoted" to Presiding Elder of our district. Before him, the pastor served only 7 or 8 years and his predecessor was there for 12 or 13 years.
I know that the AME Church has guidelines for informing pastors before moving them and that dictate limits on where they can be moved. One pastor in our city has been with his congregation for over 20 years. The surprise elements that existed way back yonder just are not applicable anymore...at least, not around here.
-- Anonymous, August 20, 2001
Larry it is good to hear from you, you have been missed on the board. I just returned home from my first Annual Conference, the Pacific Northwest Conference of the fifth district. There was concern from laity that their pastors would be moved. Our Bishop is Rev. Dr. John Bryant. Three pastors will be moved in October, plus we will be getting a new presiding elder. As a pastor my primary concern is my congregation, and helping them understand the A.M.E system. When I answered my call to serve God, I said I will go where he needs me. (My friends from seminary point out that I was the ONLY one who constantly said that, and I ended up in Montana;-) My feelings have not changed. Though I feel called to rural ministry. I understand that at some point in tenure as a pastor I may be placed in an urban setting. When I write my Bishop, I always sign my name with "A foot soldier in the army of the lord" that is how I see myself, I know I may be called at any time by God and my Bishop to do service. Being in any of the Methodist denominations always means "wearing spiritual marching boots!" As a founder and pastor of a new A.M.E church with brand new christians. I am teaching my congregation to have their eyes and hearts on Jesus and to know whatever happens they are to continue the work of the lord. The only "Personalities" in church should be God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I hope a church's heart will be on spreading the good news. A United Methodist minister in the state of Montana had pastored his church for 12 years and his Bishop moved him. He was shocked, mad, etc. And refused to go to the new church he was assigned. He has since relocated to another conference. I have been reading our discipline and the sections about "promotions" of clergy. For me as a servant of God, any church that I get to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ is an honor.
-- Anonymous, August 20, 2001