Connections through our giving and appointments


Dear Friends in Jesus Christ,
I greet you in the strong and unfailing name of Jesus – light of the world. I want to visit with you about two things in this column – Apportionments and Appointments.

I want to express my deep joy and profound gratitude to you for really coming through on 2008 Apportionments giving. Your faithfulness and generosity help to strengthen our common work as United Methodists here in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, throughout the U.S. and globally. Your performance was made possible because of your clarity of vision, mission focus, sense of connection and regular giving across the years.

Every day, we hear more and more disturbing news about the U.S. and global economy. The problems and threats are real. However, you have chosen to make sure that the ministry of the church remains strong and available to all. In reality, in hard economic times, the ministry of local congregations and of United Methodists connectedly is needed even more not less. Thank you. Elsewhere in the issue of The Current you will find more detail about 2008 apportionment giving.

We are not only connected through our giving. We are connected through appointment making. While it is true that appointments can and are made year round as necessary, it is also true that there is a season of the year in which this work is focused and intensified. As the District Superintendents and I are earnestly engaged in that work now as we work on appointments for the upcoming calendar year, I ask that you hold us in prayer as we give ourselves to this good and important work.

Every congregation needs and deserves effective pastoral leadership that is focused on the mission, “equipping the saints” for that mission and is partnered with the laity to accomplish the mission. Our mission as United Methodists is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

However, as we serve in the church this mission must be in us, around us and before us. Clergy are also appointed to ministry settings which “extend the ministry of The United Methodist Church.” This is a vibrant living part of our life built upon our Wesleyan heritage.

Through appointment making we see the connected nature of the United Methodist Church. Through appointment making we give expression to the church’s desire to participate with the Holy Spirit in helping persons to be fully formed in Jesus Christ. Through appointment making we extend God’s transforming grace to all whether they be in a local congregation, a particular community, or another context.

Pray with us that this will be a fruitful season of appointment making and that every appointment of a clergyperson will grow forward our mission of “Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Yours in Christ,
+ Gregory V. Palmer