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“Clergy shall be appointed by the bishop, who is empowered to make and fix all appointments in the episcopal area of which the annual conference is a part. Appointments are to be made with consideration of the gifts and evidence of God’s grace of those appointed, to the needs, characteristics, and opportunities of congregations and institutions, and with faithfulness to the commitment to an open itineracy.”

– The 2016 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. ¶425

Appointments List

The Desert Southwest Conference Appointments list is updated throughout the year. To view the current appointment list, click this link: Appointments 2022-2023 effective 08-01-22

 

Appointment Process 

  • Value Priorities in Appointment Making: The philosophy of appointments in the Desert Southwest Conference as used by the Bishop, Cabinet, Clergy, and Local Church Leadership follows a strict value system that is based on the following diagram:
    1. Our first consideration is the Will of God, so we seek to discern what God wishes for every appointment. This means we are in deep prayer and discernment over every appointment.
    2. Our second level of priority is the Kin-dom of God through the surrounding mission field and neighborhood where the church is located. Clergy appointments are made to the mission field as much as to the local church, as John Wesley advocated for, and as practiced in early Methodism.
    3. Our third priority is the local church and the laity, as they are the heart and soul of every single appointment.
    4. Our fourth priority is the clergy themselves. As we practice servant leadership, we acknowledge that we are called to serve and not be served.
    5. The lowest priority is the Annual Conference, Bishop and Cabinet, as we exemplify what it means to serve.

  • Expectations: As mentioned earlier, the Cabinet will be in prayer to deeply discern the match between the mission field, the local church and the gifts and graces of the pastor asked to serve.
    1. There is an expectation that the Cabinet will share with a pastor the complete rationale of why we believe the pastor is being matched with a particular church.
    2. There is also an expectation of an open itinerancy, and if a clergy person cannot move because of significant family issues, we will enter into a “Covenant of Limited Itineration,” whereby full-time appointment may not be possible, as we discern what is available in any given local area.

We hope and pray that this way of appointment making will continue to be both liberating and helpful to our annual conference and God’s Kin-dom that we are pledged to serve.

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Phoenix Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church

Appointment Announcement April 22, 2022

McPherson, Rev. DavidGrace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ!

It is my privilege to share news of an appointment change with you. After prayerful discernment, the Rev. David McPherson, Director of New and Vital Faith, has decided to retire from active ministry. Dave has served with distinction on conference staff, first as the Director of Connectional Ministries and then as the Director of New and Vital Faith since 2006. In that time, he has supported and cared for the programs and ministries of the conference and guided the work of revitalization of churches in our conference and jurisdiction. I have appreciated Dave’s wisdom and deep faith which he always brought to every team and committee he has been assigned to serve on, both in the Desert Southwest Conference, in the Western Jurisdiction and in the church at large.

Although I am saddened to receive his request for retirement, I honor his desire to spend more time in more leisurely pursuits including fishing and spending time outdoors.

I trust that you will find ways to express your gratitude to Dave and to hold him in prayer during this transition.

In Christ,
Bishop Grant

Appointment Announcements April 11, 2022

The Rev. N. Susan Brims, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the East District, announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya intends to appoint the Pastor Adriana Hernandez as associate pastor, less than full-time, of First United Methodist Church, Gilbert, AZ, effective July 1, 2022, per ¶ 318.2 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Pastor Hernandez is currently serving as the Pastor at St. Paul’s UMC in Globe, AZ.

Let us be in prayer for Pastor Hernandez, First UMC, and St. Paul’s UMC during this time.

Appointment Announcements March 28, 2022

The Rev. Dan Morley, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the North District, announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya intends to appoint the Rev. Diamond Pate as pastor of Federated Community Church, Flagstaff, AZ, effective July 1, 2022, per ¶ 326.2 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Rev. Pate is currently serving as the Associate Pastor at First UMC in Gilbert, AZ.

 

 

Rev. Paul Caseman has been serving as the interim pastor since February 1, 2022 and will return to retirement.

Let us be in prayer for Rev. Diamond Pate, Rev. Caseman, Federated Community Church, and First UMC during this time.

 

 

The Rev. Matt Ashley, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the South District, announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya intends to appoint the Rev. Michael Kerr-Osman as senior pastor of Catalina UMC, Tucson, AZ, effective July 1, 2022. Rev. Kerr-Osman currently serves as Pastor at The Bridge UMC in Phoenix AZ.

Let us be in prayer for Rev. Kerr-Osman, Catalina UMC, and The Bridge UMC during this time.

Appointment Announcement February 21, 2022

Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,

Grace and peace to you in the name and spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I am writing to share news with you of a decision I have made regarding the appointment of the District Superintendent for the East District of the Desert Southwest Conference of The United Methodist Church. Through prayerful discernment, I have determined that the gifts and skills of Rev. Melissa Rynders are needed for the position of District Superintendent for the East District of the Desert Southwest Conference of The United Methodist Church. It is my intention to appoint Rev. Rynders to this position as of July 1, 2022.

Rev. Rynders is currently appointed to Catalina UMC in the South District. Over the past year during her time at Catalina, she has quickly became a part of the Catalina church family and led the congregation with a deep spirituality and a positive spirit. She has helped the church meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating a pastor’s heart in her care for the congregation, and has led difficult conversations with grace while effectively helping people with different opinions feel heard and valued.

At the same time, Melissa has been serving as a respected leader at the District and Conference levels, most recently chairing the work of the Board of Ordained Ministry and leading a new task force charged with the responsibility of forming a positive and healthy conference culture. As your bishop, I have come to know Melissa’s commitment to building vitality at Catalina, in the Desert Southwest Conference, and throughout The United Methodist Church.

As has been our practice, Rev. Rynders will spend the next few months continuing her pastoral leadership at Catalina UMC and becoming acquainted with her new role by meeting with the cabinets. Let us include in our prayers, Rev. Melissa Rynders, her spouse, Rev. Rob Rynders, and their family, as well as the congregation of Catalina UMC, and their colleagues and friends who surround them with love and encouragement in this time of transition.

Be the Hope,
Bishop Grant Hagiya

Appointment Announcement February 15, 2022

The Rev. N. Susan Brims, District Superintendent of the East District, announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya intends to appoint the Rev. Deborah Lerner as Senior Pastor of Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church,  Sun City West, AZ, effective July 1, 2022, per ¶ 357.6 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline.  Rev. Lerner has served at Shepherd of the Hills UMC since 2018 and in the coming appointment year will continue in her new retirement status.

This appointment is the first as we live into our clear opening process, inviting clergy who feel called to express an interest in an open appointment. Every clear opening allows all of us the opportunity to prayerfully consider an appointment from a fresh perspective.

Let us be in prayer for Rev. Lerner, her family and Shepherd of the Hills UMC.

 

Appointment Announcement February 7, 2022

Photo by Barry Doyle, DSC CommunicationsGrace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ!

It is my privilege to share news of an appointment change with you. After prayerful discernment, the Rev. N. Susan Brims, Superintendent of the East District, has decided to retire from active ministry. Susan has served with distinction as the East District Superintendent since 2016. In that time, she has served as the Dean of the Appointive Cabinet, as well as the Cabinet representative on Sessions and many other ministry teams. Susan has shared her considerable administrative and organizational gifts with the churches in her district and with the entire conference. She has a wonderful way of writing beautiful devotional materials that have blessed us in so many ways.

Susan has also dedicated herself to uplifting the laity, the clergy, and the churches of her district. She has taken to heart her responsibility to care for others and has given much of herself to her ministry. She has served with wisdom and integrity, always seeking the good of the people she is working with, the local church, her district, and the Desert Southwest Conference.

Susan prayerfully considered my invitation to serve another year on the Cabinet but has discerned that it is the right time for her to request retirement. Although Susan’s husband, Randy Bowman, will continue his service as the Treasurer of the Desert Southwest Conference, Susan’s transition into retirement status will free her to spend more time with him and to explore interests beyond the demands of active service as a United Methodist Elder. I know you will join me in praying that Susan will be blessed in this new season of her life.

I will be meeting with the East District Committee on Superintendency to talk about the transition of a new District Superintendent. Meanwhile, I trust that you will find ways to express your gratitude to Susan and Randy and to hold all the churches, laity, and clergy in prayer.

Be the Hope,
Bishop Grant

Appointment Announcement February 1, 2022

Aldersgate UMC and Dayspring UMC have been in conversation about a creative and new vision for ministry in the Arcadia neighborhood. Dayspring UMC is preparing to develop a second campus, building on the legacy of Aldersgate UMC. With excitement for this new day the Rev. N. Susan Brims, East District Superintendent is pleased to share that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya has appointed the Rev. Joel Bullock as campus pastor at the new Dayspring Arcadia location, less than full time, effective February 1, 2022. His task is to care for the people who have been members of the closed Aldersgate UMC until the full transition takes place July 1, 2022. Rev. Bullock will continue in his position at Dayspring UMC, less than full time.

 

 

Kiracofe, Rev. TomThe Rev. Tom Kiracofe, who has served Aldersgate UMC, will be returning to inactive status as retired clergy.  We are grateful for the faith-filled and caring work Rev. Kiracofe has provided as he worked to shepherd the vision forward. His commitment to the people of the church has been a blessing to all.

We are also grateful for the dynamic partnership present between these two communities of faith, their pastors and lay leadership, along with a grant and support from the Conference Vital Faith Committee.

We ask for the prayers of the Desert Southwest Conference as we take next steps to make the vision a reality. It takes all of us working together to be instruments of transformation in our world.

Clear Openings

As the Bishop and Appointive Cabinet for the Desert Southwest Conference prepare of the appointment year 2022, the Cabinet has agreed to use a practice that Bishop Grant has used for most of his episcopal career. This is the practice of posting clear opening of churches so that clergy are able to put their names forward if they are interested in a church on the clear openings listing.  It is our prayer that people experience a stronger sense of transparency and collaboration in the appointment process.

The Bishop and Appointive Cabinet as that we join together in prayer, that all of us may listen to the spirit of God as we move into this appointment-making season.  Click here to view the list of Clear Openings for you to review and be in prayer about.

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Phoenix Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church

Appointment Announcement January 31, 2022

The Rev. Dan Morley, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the North District, announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya intends to appoint the Rev. Paul Caseman as interim pastor of Federated Community Church, Flagstaff, AZ, effective February1, 2022 through June 30, 2022, per ¶ 357.6 and ¶ 338.3.b of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Rev. Caseman is a retired elder in the Desert Southwest Conference.

 

 

Rev. Jonathan Scanlon, Presbyterian pastor serving since August 2019, is entering a time of leave.

Let us be in prayer for Rev. Caseman, Rev. Scanlon, and Federated Community Church during this time.

Appointment Announcement January 18, 2022

Fuchs, Rev. KatieThe Rev. Javier Olivares, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the West District, announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya has appointed the Rev. Katherine Fuchs as Church Administrator of First United Methodist Church, Yuma, AZ, less than full time, effective January 1, 2022, per ¶ 331.1.c of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Rev. Fuchs will continue to serve as Ministry Associate of Trinity United Methodist Church, Yuma, AZ, less than full time.

Let us be in prayer for Rev. Fuchs, First UMC, and Trinity UMC during this time.