“The Appointed Time”
March 23, 2017
Greetings, brothers and sisters, in the gracious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
I pray this finds you all well in this first week of Spring – a season known for signs of remarkable change: change in the time, change in the weather, changes around us in nature, and yes, even signs of pending change in the leadership of our churches. Spring also marks the time of appointment-making in the United Methodist Church when we, as the Bishop and Cabinet, come together to discern and discuss prayerfully the sending of our pastors to their missional appointments around the Western North Carolina Conference.
Please find below the 2017 Appointment Timeline for your information and prayer focus over the coming weeks and months.
In preparation for appointment-making, I ask that each of you be in prayer for Bishop Leeland, myself as your district superintendent, and all the cabinet as we enter into this sacred time and task together. In the book of Acts, we hear that the believers gathered and united in prayer for the apostles as they faced challenging times and tasks as their leaders. And because the Lord heard their prayers, miraculous things happened for them as the Church:
After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they preached God’s message with boldness. Acts 4:31
When the people of God unite their voices in prayer, foundations are shaken and miraculous things happen! As you unite with other brothers and sisters across this Conference, praying for your bishop and cabinet, I believe and trust that God will move among us and true Missional Appointments will be made on behalf of your churches, our pastors, and foremost for the sake of the coming Kingdom of God.
This is a critically important time for our church. This is not only our appointment time, it is our Appointed Time to be united in prayer and bold in our witness to be the Church in communities through missional engagement. Every appointment is a Missional Appointment where, as John Wesley stated, “the world is our parish” instead of the parish (local church) being our “world.”
We are all called to engage missionally in our communities, and our appointed clergy serve to equip, empower and release us for this shared ministry and service to our neighbors. Together, this is how we will fulfill our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our world. Through these missional appointments and by God’s grace moving in our missional engagement through our churches, we can and will bring about true Kingdom transformation in these nine counties of the Blue Ridge District – and beyond!
Here is a letter from Bishop Leeland about the appointment process and an invitation to prayer.
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer over the coming weeks and months.
Prayers and blessings over each of you and your ministries,