I'm glad I'm a UCC pastor...

...because it means that I'm not a United Methodist one.

I really don't mean any malice in that, so please don't read it that way. Hear me out.

One of my pastoral colleagues recently notified the rest of us in town that he's been reappointed to another church. To those outside the UMC (including myself, whose knowledge of UMC polity could fill a thimble), this type of act is reputed to be a capricious game of Methodist Roulette, where bored bishops throw darts at a map and pull names out of a hat.

I'm sure that there's more to it, and I'd love for a Methodist reader to chime in and tell me that this is a more careful process than that.

But it remains that I'm thankful for the search-and-call process as the United Church of Christ observes it, which can simplistically be summed up like so: you interview, you find what you hope will be a good match, and you stay for as long as you want.

I couldn't stand being forced to move every few years, or even months.

So Methodists, I'd love to hear more about how this actually works. Right now, I have to own some feelings of thankfulness mixed with a little bitterness. The guy who's leaving is a good guy and I'd hate to be jumbled around like that every so often just because someone else says "it's time."

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