March 5, 2018
The AWF District Superintendents, Rev. June Jernigan and I have been working on the appointment process since December and will continue to do so leading up to this year’s annual conference, which will be held June 3-6. Consultations and seminary visits have taken place over the past three months, staff-parish relations committee forms have been submitted, and senior pastors with associate pastor(s) on staff have submitted their requests for the coming year. The District Committees on Ordained Ministry, along with the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, have been hard at work. There have been many, many conversations.
Here is a timeline of the work that has been accomplished and the work to come:
February 21-23: The cabinet met and projected several appointments. The projected appointments related to our conference leadership align with our strategic mission around diversity, new church starts, and congregational vitality. Those changes will be announced soon.
March 11-14: The cabinet will meet to continue its work.
April 3-4: The cabinet will convene again to confirm the majority of the appointments.
April 9-10: Pastors affected by a move this year will meet with their District Superintendents. In churches affected by a move, the chairperson of the staff-parish relations committee will be contacted.
April 11-13: The cabinet will gather to make any adjustments to the projected appointments.
April 15: Public announcements will be made in churches where a move is to take place.
As I said, we will continue this vital and prayerful work leading up to annual conference. The comprehensive list of appointments will be published following the fixing of the appointments at the sending forth service before we adjourn. Please remember that all appointments are projected until annual conference.
We covet your prayers in this process. It is the most important work a Bishop and cabinet do each year. This year, the process is complex for numerous reasons: we have few retirements, we have many pastors who have moved to new appointments during the past three years, we have important family needs to consider, and we have several churches that are lowering their salaries as they have a pastoral change. These salary decreases have been trending since 2008 in our denomination across the United States. To be transparent with you, it is hard work, but not too hard! For we have witnessed the presence of the Holy Spirit in our work thus far. Please join us in prayer as we continue this journey.
I am thankful for you and know the best is yet to come!
Bishop David Graves
Alabama-West Florida Conference