Itinerant Ministry's Lessons for UMC's Way Forward



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Long Tenure

Keith Tonkel served Wells Memorial UMC in Jackson, MS from 1969 until his death in March 2017. Keith reached mandatory "retirement" age in 2008, but continued as senior pastor for almost nine years.

Jon Altman more than 3 years ago


It may be the way we do itineracy changes. Rather than attempting to move all pastors (at least those who feel led to move) greater consultation and moves throughout the year may be more effective. This would include utilizing those trained in interim ministry following long tenures and more than a phone call on the part of district superintendents to discover the various churches' needs. The fit of pastor and congregations may be better if more time was spent on finding the "best" match instead of one "that will work." This seems to shorten tenures of pastors.

Rev. Warren Coile more than 3 years ago

Longest Tenure

I followed the Rev. Philip A. C. Clarke at the Park Avenue United Methodist Church in NYC. Rev. Clarke was appointed to the church the year I was born, 1956. He reached mandatory retirement in 1999 when I moved into the pulpit. His tenure was 43 years. However, I think Ralph Sockman, at Christ Church in Manhattan served for more than 45 years.

Bill Shillady more than 3 years ago


For itinerancy to work, a congregation has to be able to trust its DS and its Bishop to follow the Discipline. Failure of many DSs and Bishops to follow the Discipline on the lgbt issue leads me to wonder if they will follow it in the appointment process.

In Christ,

The enemy hates clarity

theenemyhatesclarity more than 3 years ago