Our pastor is being moved to another church. How is this decision made?
In The United Methodist Church, clergy appointments are made annually by the bishop, who has the responsibility for setting all the pastoral appointments in the conference. This unique system of assigning clergy dates back to John Wesley. This is not the type of system where the church "calls" or "hires" its pastor.
The pastor parish relations committee consults with the district superintendent and communicates if they desire a change in pastoral leadership. Recommendations of the pastor parish relations committee are advisory only.
Pastors also can indicate whether they wish to stay at their current appointments, wish to move to another appointment, or have no preference. However, they are not assured that they will get their first choice. Pastors in The United Methodist Church agree to serve where sent and to accept and abide by the appointments.
The bishop and the cabinet (all district superintendents in the conference) look at appointment needs throughout the conference, taking into consideration the needs of each church, the gifts and talents of each pastor, and other circumstances in the conference. They then determine the appointments for each church in the conference. The bishop will "fix" the appointments at the annual conference meeting each year. These meetings usually take place about April, May and June.
Your pastor or your district superintendent can answer questions and address any concerns you have about your pastor receiving a new appointment.