Another pastor shares a story of ministry:
I was appointed 1/4 time, unpaid as assistant pastor and food/crisis ministry director. I am a single woman, 52 years old, caring for my disabled adult son who lives with me. I am living far below the federal poverty level. As a LLP there are no paid appointments in my district available (or apparently in my conference). As director of the crisis ministry I oversaw a $25,000 annual budget, many volunteers, procurement of food and funding, saw a dozen of the ministry clients and families join the church, counseled on average 7 people in my office every week, began a thriving soup kitchen, assisted senior pastor in all aspects of a growing church plant, and after 4 years of pouring my heart and soul into this church and ministry (over 3 years under appointment), I was asked to resign because I wasn’t putting my heart and soul into that congregation or attending evening meetings. Or dressing well enough. Or attending a small group.
Oh, forgot to mention, I am a full-time undergrad student in my 6th semester, paid for through student loans, going on to my MDiv. After I resigned as requested, DCOM refused to continue my candidacy based on the fact that they (SPPRC) asked me to resign! There was no complaint of misconduct or bad theology. No one on the district or conference level has reached out to me for followup in any way, in spite of the letter of appeal I sent in over three months ago. I am willing to go and serve anywhere I am needed, in any conference that has a need. But it seems I’ve worked myself out of a job! For nothing. (Oh, OK, they gave me food and gas money! 1099)
I understand that the recession caused problems for LLP’s. I understand that because of the guaranteed appointment system, the Elders had to be placed first. What I don’t understand is how I worked so hard, for so long, in a wildly successful appointment and they discontinued my candidacy, with no complaint of misconduct of any kind.
My question is this, can you tell me what’s wrong with this picture? I feel as if the Licensed Local Pastor is the ugly stepchild of the UMC. Am I wrong to feel this way? If so, please tell me why.