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Pastor's Corner

Our Pastor...................

                                                                                    Rev. Keith Dunn

                                      Listen to a short welcome from our pastor:   Click Here
Listen to a recent Sermon by Pastor Keith  "Finish The Task"   Click Here
                             Listen to one of Pastor Keith's Children's Sermons:   Click Here

         Our Mission Statement................

           To Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and bring people into a saving
           relationship with him.

           To Nurture the spiritual growth of the congregation and:

           To Serve as Christ would in meeting the spiritual and physical needs
           of our community and world.

                                                                    Pastor's Page
Dear Friends,

     Greetings in the name of Jesus!   I have been thinking a lot lately about the way pastors are deployed in the United Methodist Church.  Since this is a year in which I am getting a new church and you are getting a new pastor, it makes some sense that I have been reflecting on our appointment process.
     The United Methodist Church way of deploying pastors is quite different from what other denominations do in this regard.  Those churches use a process in which pastors are hired or "called" by a local congregation.  The church has completed some sort of self-study, which takes months to do while they are without a pastor.  The result of this prayerful deliberation is a profile that is used to describe their church to clergy, who may be looking for anew opportunity to serve.   A search committee is formed to examine resumes of perspective clergy, who are finally interviewed and hired.
     The local congregation does not hire a United Methodist pastor.   Instead, we are appointed annually be the resident bishop.   Every year, the pastor parish relations committee updates and reviews their church's profile as part of the preparation for the annual church conference.  Each pastor has a profile, which is updated annually and has conversation with their district superintendent regarding the pastor's gifts for ministry.
     When an opening for a pastor is created in a church by death, retirement, or a change in appointment, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and her district superintendents meet to prayerfully discern, who she should appoint to that church.  The needs of the church are as expressed on the profile are concidered as are the gifts of the pastors in the annual conference.  When a decision is made, a pastor is contacted to meet with the PPRC and, barring any unforeseen issues, an appointment is made.
     I have recently been thinking about our appointment process as a spiritual discipline.  When the Bishop and Cabinet meet to make appointments, they do so in an attitude of prayer and discernment.  It is not a draft process like those used in building a professional sports team.  It is not a lottery or random activity.  It is a Spirit led process.
     For those of us receiving an appointment, whether church or clergy, we too are partaking in a spiritual discipline.  We are trusting that God is in charge.  God is leading us into the next step of our ministry as a pastor or as a congregation.  This can be difficult because of the natural fear involved with change and the unknown.  That is why it is a spiritual discipline for us as well as for the Bishop and the Cabinet.  We are being challenged to walk not by what we see or can control, but by faith in God's love for us in Jesus Christ.
     In the days and months ahead, I hope you will join me in continuing to pray for our Bishop and Cabinet, our church, myself, and Pastor Jean Smith, and for my new congregation.  As we do, I pray we will be blessed by this spiritual discipline.

                                                                                                                   Pastor Keith


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