UMC High Court Upholds Guaranteed Appointment for Clergy

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couldn't agree more with Ande Emmanuel!!!!!!

William Clegg more than 9 years ago

Can we Re-brand UMC?

The UMC Judicial Council in it just concluded fall 2012 sitting has upheld the long stand guaranteed appointment of UMC clergy. Though I am a huge fan of clergy excellent performance, yet I still felt the General Conference “missional purpose” which calls for abolishment of guaranteed appointment is ambiguous. The next questions are: what mechanism do we have in place that will insure effectiveness of our clergy? How can the General Church adequately help the ineffective clergy in meeting the expectation of the church? What are we doing to make the pastoral vocation attractive for young generation of clergy who are contemplating joining this ministry? We all agree that we need congregational vitality, but still we are not able to diagnose the real problem that is causing decline in our church before offering solution. We are captivated in treating secondary causes while the primary cause lays beneath untouched. We read to rise up to reality and stop treating church like a business center.

Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel more than 9 years ago

Judicial Council Ruling on Guaranteed Appointments

Thank God for uplifting the call that we have and cannot abandon even when others are blinded by so many other things. We are not all ineffective if we look closely at the work that must be done to revitalize struggling churches that have struggled for years. What goes on for years cannot be undone in two or even more years depending on the immensity of the problem. Once called, God will not release us from that call even when people say no (the church). We have no unemployment since the church and nonprofits do not pay into the unemployment insurance. Thank God,
God is faithful. We are thankful that the Judicial Council has upheld the Constitution of our church and, yet, God has had a voice in this matter.

Deborah Turman more than 9 years ago

Judicial Council Upholds Guarantee Appointment

Dear Members of the Judicial Council,
I salute and thank each of you for a biblically sound decision! I was totally appalled upon hearing that the highest decision making body of our denomination had voted to deny the very people who are empowered and entrusted with the tasks of making and nurturing disciples of Jesus Christ the right to do so! Let's assume the issue of "Ineffectiveness" is true. My question then is where in scripture are we told to abandon the weak and those who are falling by the wayside? It's just the opposite! Over and again in both the Old and New Testaments, we are warned and encouraged to care for the weak, down trodden, aliens, and to have compassion on all who need our help! I do not see how we can be true to the authority of scripture when we are not able to help hold the hands and raise up a fallen brother/or sister! I don't believe a bit that by saying there's no more room for you in our community would lead to pastoral "effectiveness" and subsequent Church growth, whatever "effectiveness" and "Church-growth" mean!
Denying ordained ministers of their right to guaranteed appointment for wherever reason other than as a disciplinary measure would be a huge contradiction. It calls into question the ability of the Board of Ordained Ministry numerous annual conferences that initially examined and declared those concern qualified for the work of Ordained Ministry. We will do well by trying to show a little of Christ's compassion in our decisions, especially as they eventually impact the lives of the people with whom God has called us into relationship as servant leaders!
Again, I say thanks so much to the brothers and sisters at the Judicial Council for allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them to put our denomination back on the track of scriptural truth and teaching.

Blessings now and forever

Rev. Jakes Sei Voker
Pastor, Oshkosh Wesley

Jakes Sei Voker more than 9 years ago

Guaranteed Appointments Upheld

Thank God for the Judicial Council and its decision to uphold guaranteed appointments.

Barbara J Paulson more than 9 years ago

Judicial Council Decision on Guaranteed Appointments

Thanks is to God for all who believe in tradition and matters in the denomination that work for the good of all! Yes, there needs to be more accountablilty, but we can find other ways to solve that concern. We give our lives to God and to the Church. That which is not broken can be repaired, but not totally discarded. This is God's world and we are but servant/stewards in it.

Mamie Alethia Williams more than 9 years ago

Guaranteed Appointments

Thank you Judicial Council for your leadership and expertise. Many clergy were concerned and anxious to hear your findings. As an ordained elder and woman of color who has been faithfully committed to our denomination, I am certain I wasn't the only one holding my breath concerning this issue! It feels good to finally exhale!

Robin Dease more than 9 years ago

Judicial council decision

I want to weep tears of joy. Thank God for the judicial council

Rev. Dean more than 9 years ago

Guaranteed Appointments

I know that there are probably lots of people who are dissapointed that the judicial council struck down the legislation to give the bishops the power to put fully ordained clergy in the unemployment line. I do think there needs to be something done about church killing clergy so the cabinet need no longer pass them along to a series of unexpecting churches to take a little damage until the inept retire but this wasn't the solution. The solution is a call system which allows churches to choose their pastor from among the pool of clergy who are guaranteed appointments. That system is self leveling. The guarantee would still be in place and churches would get the person they thought was best for them rather than a cabinet making an appointment according to where inept clergy should go so that they do the least amoung of damage. Another good reason for this provision being shot down is that it would put a chillling affect on clergy being about to be a prophetic witness. Whether it be a liberal or conservative witness and involve either social justice issues or trying to protect our evangelical foundations and doctrines that some would like to completely destroy. With this new directive left in place with one decree a bishop could shut down the minister's calling and witness just because they don't like what you say. Some might think that would help progress but that all depends on what your particular views are now doesn't it?

Rev / CH Kent Svendsen more than 9 years ago

Guaranteed Appointments Upheld

The Judicial Council has upheld guaranteed appointments. The decision of the General Conference has been vacated.

Jerry Harrison more than 9 years ago

Judicial Council Ruling on Guaranteed Appointments

Based on our Constitution, there was nothing else the Judicial Council could do. If we are to have a "sent" system (as opposed to a "call" system) of clergy deployment, we have to have a guarantee of a job for a clergy, lest s/he decides that they cannot take to risk to go to a troubled, or far-out-of-the-way church.

The sad thing is that we currently have a system to deal with clergy who have become ineffective, that with good will on all sides, can work very well. (¶¶361-363) It's just that we have trained ourselves that "filing complaints" against a clergy, absent malfeasance or serious misconduct, just "isn't nice." It also isn't nice to keep a clergy who can no longer effectively do the job in appointment after appointment, without someone (not a DS or a Bishop) asking the big questions: What is going on in your life. You don't seem to be doing as well as you used to. Has something changed? In my experience of serving as a clergy advocate for 17 cases in my own annual conference in the last quadrennium, we were able to work out just resolutions in every case. More often than not, the clergy who are perceived to be "ineffective" turn out to have a physical (not psychological) illness that saps so much energy that the clergy doesn't have enough energy left to keep body, mind and soul together. Some of them don't even know how sick they are; they have tried to remain faithful and tried to serve even when their illness keeps them from serving effectively.

No one in the Superintendency (General or District) can meet with a clergy and his/her spouse, and ask those questions: they have power over the clergy's life and work. Rather, responsible Advocates can do the job that cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry folks cannot do: find out the total story, and work to craft a holistic and just resolution that can be a win-win resolution for both clergy and conference.

Let responsible Advocates do the job they can do best: work out resolutions that work for both a clergy and the conference. If you don't have any trained or experienced Advocates in your conference, ask someone who knows some of those folks. Ask the Legal Department at GCFA. Look on the website for "Associates in Advocacy." They are scattered all around the denomination in the United States, and probably also in Central Conferences.

Taking away guaranteed appointment was a solution in search of a problem that the General Conference has already provided---if we are willing to use it.

Tom Griffith more than 9 years ago

Victim of injustice at Desertsouthwest

My name is Jeremiah L. Castorillo would like to file before the Judicial Council about my case that happened 2010. I was illegally terminated as local Pastor without justifiable reason. I passed my evaluation following a recommendation by the SPRC. Two weeks after our charge conference instead of reaapointment I receive a letter of termination, saying that I only have till December to finish my term (i received the DS letter on Nov. 22) please help me in looking for ways to elevate the case before the judicial council. Thank you very muh.

Jeremiah L. Castorillo more than 9 years ago

judicial Council

This is a fair decision. After reading it I can’t help but ask, “Do those who supported the change in guaranteed appointment fully understand the very heart of our Church.” Several years ago our cabinet presented a report in which they expressed concern in the disparity between the very wealthy and least among us in the world. In that same annual conference several persons on that cabinet supported a substantial raise in salaries for district superintendants while supporting the first freeze on minimum salary in many years. Yes, there is a word for it. I really don’t think some of our leaders get it! How will they respond to this? Will they reexamine their thinking and their spiritual posture? Will they question themselves at all?

David Spaulding more than 9 years ago

Judicial Council Decision 1226

The Judicial Counsel reasons closely and cogently. Some legislative changes require prior constitutional changes; this appears to be one of them. Can the restrictive rules themselves be amended?

Richard Edwards more than 9 years ago