Friday, June 15, 2007

Fathers' Day and Methodist Pastors

In the Methodist faith Fathers' Day is the first Sunday when newly appointed and transferred clergy give their first sermons at their new church. For many they will be coming into a congregation where the church is in the midst of having Vacation Bible School or some other summer ministry. It can be awkward for some and awesome for others.

My hope and prayer is that those who are meeting their congregations for the first time this Sunday will quickly find a rhythm and move forward with their church towards doing the work of Our Lord. Congregations will have to adjust to a new pastor, as the pastors will have to adjust to their new congregations. I pray that all look to God for guidance and seek His will to further the body of Christ.

9 comments:

flyawaynet said...

Maybe I'm misunderstanding... Methodists don't replace pastors until Fathers day? or if they do replace them, the new pastors don't start until Fathers day?
Did I miss something? Why would they do this?

David said...

Minor correction Marty...
In your neck of the woods, the conference year begins Father's Day...FYI, Cal-Pac and other Conferences begin the Conference year July 1, and so the pastor takes a new pulpit then, though it may take another week, as the church is encouraged to give the new pastor one week to get settled before beginning the preaching.
Peace,
DC

PS. Sorry to be the "appointment Nazi", I usually find great passion , support and encouragement from your blog, but I am afraid you may have caused a wave of panic among many that the new Conference year was starting early.

Brother Marty said...

David,
Thanks for the point of clarification. Heck, down here, kids get out of school in May and everything else happens a little earlier. Again, thanks for the point of clarification, but in this neck of the first Sunday for the new pastor is, indeed, Fathers' Day.

Brother Marty said...

Flyawaynet,
In the Methodist faith, the ministers are in an itinerant ministry, that is, they move around. New people in congregations make for change...hopefully for the good. (Hope I've represented that correctly) Anyhow, where I live the first Sunday that the new ministers serve is Fathers' Day. So we pray for them in their new appointments (ministers are appointed by a higher authority that deems to put the right pastor with the right congregation). It is ever-so-non-Baptist as it is done by the authority of the bishop in a given "conference".
I hope this explanation is accurate and meaningful to those outside our faith.

Brother Marty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brother Marty said...

Flyawaynet,
In the Methodist faith pastors are considered part of an itinerant ministry (that is, they move from congregation to congregation). It is normal and customary for people to move from one congregation to another, to better serve our Lord.

I hope that I represented this well, could be wrong, but think it is so.

That is our way, and I hope I answered your question.

flyawaynet said...

So do they do this on a schedule (like a 4 year presidential term) or just when they see a need for a congregation to change?

I appreciate you're taking time to explain... I had no idea about this and I really like learning about the other denominations out there and how they run things.

dissenter said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of the Christian faith was people going into the world to spread the good news.

What is the relevance of a minister standing in front of a congregation once a week? Wouldn't that tend to lead to apathetic & consumeristic Christian approaches? Isn't that model a failure in the Western world?

Where in the New Testament is the minister-preaching-to-a-congregation model strongly supported? Why do you participate in such a degenerate and corrupt form of Christianity?

Brother Marty said...

Dissenter,
I've put off responding to your posts for a while mainly due to wanting to lash out at you. That is the wrong motivation.
You deem "church" to be a corrupt version of true Christianity. When I take your perspective into an embrace, I tend to agree. But, what of those who aren't front line evangelicals, but the "sheep" who need a shepherd. Do we ignore them...or do we feed them? The mainline "church" chooses to feed them, while taking every opportunity to glean from their ranks those who will spread the message...spread the Good News, to those outside the faith.
I very much appreciate your comments, as they challenge me and strengthen me, but at the same time, hurt me, in my ministry.
Please, keep it coming...and keep challenging me. Ya know...there are those who are not in the forefront of ministry...those who need ministered to. Let us not forget them. They may, very well, be the purpose for a "church".
Marty