Grace and Peace to you.
I trust that all of you had a meaningful Easter celebration in this new normal we call physical distancing due to Covid-19. I give thanks to each congregation for finding creative ways to worship and celebrate Easter! You are a blessing to your communities and the wider online communities who are finding your congregation on Facebook and YouTube. God is using this moment in a powerful way.
Over the last several days, the Appointive Cabinet has been meeting virtually seeking to find the best matches for our congregations and pastors for the coming conference year. As I have said before, appointment making is more art than science, and we strive to make the best matches possible.
As we have labored this year in the virtual world of zoom appointment making, we have not been able to conclude our work. Originally, we had hoped to be completed with our work this week and our plan was to announce projected appointments this weekend. However, our work is not completed, and we will not be announcing the projected appointment Sunday.
The new timeline is as follows:
May 8: Pastors receiving a new appointment will be contacted by the District Superintendent.
May 9: SPRC/PPRC chairpersons of congregations receiving a new pastor will be contacted by the District Superintendent to share the projected appointment.
May 10: SPRC/PPRC chairpersons will inform the congregation of the newly appointed pastor. A letter from the bishop will be provided for chairpersons to read or email to inform the congregation of the news of the new pastor.
May 11-16: The District Superintendent will contact the SPRC/PPRC chairperson to set a date for the introductory covenant meeting with the incoming pastor.
May 11-16: Those not moving will be notified by communication from the District Superintendent.
May 17: There will be a webinar entitled “Leaving Well” for moving pastors/retiring pastors/congregations.
June 21: There will be a webinar for congregations receiving a new pastor entitled “Welcoming a New Pastor Well.”
July 28: Moving Day
August 2: First Sunday in new appointment
Thank you for your willingness to be nimble and adaptive in this season. Please continue to pray for your appointive cabinet in this season of distancing.
May Christ be made known to all of us.
(This was sent 4/17/2020 via email from the Office of the Bishop to all currently appointed clergy and those on TNUMC and Memphis conference e-newsletter lists)