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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 09-19-22

 

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

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.

Appointment Making Process

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.

This is how it works:

    • Listing of Clear Openings:
        1. Churches in need of a new pastor through a retirement, ending of an interim period, or change in appointment status will be listed as a clear opening.
        2. The listing includes a brief descriptions of the churches’ ministry settings. Specific statistics about a church and community are available through the Annual Conference Journal and MissionInsite. You may obtain MissionInsite data either through the Director of New & Vital Faith, Rev. David McPherson – or your District Superintendent:
        3. This initial list of clear openings will be posted one time. There will be no additional postings as subsequent openings are created due to appointment changes.
        • Process for Clergy Inquiry:
          1. Clergy members who feel called by God to put their names forward for a specific opening are to contact both their current District Superintendent and the District Superintendent who oversees the church where the opening has occurred. Notification to both Superintendent is required.
          2. Clergy putting their names forward are to enter into a time of deep and prayerful discernment before contacting the District Superintendents. A clergy person should only take part in the process after a careful consideration of where God is leading to consider and be affirmed by God that this is both realistic and a true calling.
          3. Clergy are to send a statement to the Superintendent of the open church sharing why they feel called to the appointment and what experience, gifts, and skills they have that are needed by the church.
          4. Strict confidentiality will be practiced. Pastors who are considering to put their names forward as an inquiry are not to contact their own local churches, nor the pastors or laity of the churches in which they have interest, as this has the potential to harm current church appointments. The Cabinet will hold all inquiries in confidence and will not release any information regarding those who put their names forward.
          5. The Bishop and Cabinet will deeply discern the gifts and graces of the clergy members putting their names forward, and the needs of the mission fields and the local churches. There is absolutely no guarantee that an inquiring clergy member will be selected for an appointment based solely on the request,but we are committed to making appointments based on the match between what is needed in the local communities and churches, and the gifts and skill sets of the potential pastors. 

         

        • 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 December 21, 2021

The Rev. Javier Olivares, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the West District, announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya intends to appoint the Rev. Jean Newell as interim Minister of Pastoral Care of Dove of the Desert United Methodist Church, Glendale, AZ, less than full time, effective January 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022, per ¶ 357.6 and ¶ 338.3b of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Rev. Newell is a retired elder in the Desert Southwest Conference.

Let us be in prayer for Rev. Newell and Dove of the Desert UMC during this time.

Appointment Announcement December 13, 2021

Colvin, Rev. RulaThe Rev. N. Susan Brims, Missional Strategist Strategist and Superintendent of the East District, announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya intends to appoint the Rev. Dr. Rula Colvin as Minister of Congregational Care of Red Mountain United Methodist Church, Mesa, AZ, less than full-time, effective January 1, 2022, per ¶357.6 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Rev. Colvin is a retired elder in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference.

Let us be in prayer for Rev. Colvin and Red Mountain UMC during this time.

Appointment Announcement December 8, 2021

A Vision for New Life

Wesley United Methodist Church, one of only two historic Black congregations in the Desert Southwest Conference, has a vision for greater vitality, and greater impact for ministry.  Like many other churches, the years have led Wesley UMC to experience a period of decline.  With all of the ups and downs of church life, the members and friends of Wesley UMC have not lost hope.  Instead, they have used the strength of their faith to take steps to move in a new direction.

As a part of their vision, Wesley UMC has entered a covenant relationship with the Strengthening the Black Church organization within The United Methodist Church.  Strengthening the Black Church will walk alongside Wesley UMC for the next two years.  The cost of this coaching program is being covered by a partnership with the Desert Southwest Conference Commission on Religion and Race, the Ethnic Local Church Concerns Committee and The Desert Southwest United Methodist Foundation.

Harris, Pastor Sylvia

The church recognized that it would be difficult to take the steps needed without a full-time pastor.  Currently their pastor is appointed only ½ time.  The SPRC, leaders and members of the church appreciate the gifts and graces of Pastor Sylvia Harris, who was appointed initially for only 7 months as an interim pastor.  They have asked Bishop Grant to appoint Pastor Harris as their full-time pastor.  Bishop Grant Hagiya and the appointive cabinet received this request, and after prayerful consideration it is exciting to know that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya intends to appoint Pastor Sylvia Harris as the pastor of Wesley UMC, full time, starting January 1, 2022.

To make this appointment possible the Desert Southwest Conference Vital Faith Committee has made a commitment to partner with the church in providing financial support to cover the additional expenses of paying for the full-time pastor for the next two years.   The Vital Faith Committee believes in the vision that Wesley UMC shared with them and looks forward to a new future for the church.

Wesley United Methodist Church has an important history in our Conference.  They also have an important future, one that will impact their community and the Conference in wonderful ways.

We ask that you join together in supporting Wesley United Methodist Church in their dream for a vital and fruitful new life ahead as they take strategic steps into a new day.

Appointment Announcement November 30, 2021

The Rev. Dan Morley, Missional Strategist and Superintendent of the North District, announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya intends to appoint Pastor Erna Snukis as pastor of First United Methodist Church, Winslow, AZ, less than full time, effective December 1, 2021, per ¶318.2 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Since July 1, Pastor Snukis has been serving as the Lay Person Assigned to First UMC, Winslow, AZ.

 

 

The Rev Cheryl Mothershed will complete her less than full time supportive appointment to First UMC of Winslow on November 30, 2021, and will continue in service in her appointment with Holbrook UMC in Holbrook, AZ.

Let us be in prayer for Pastor Snukis, Rev Mothershed, and First UMC, Winslow, AZ.

Bishop’s Briefing Clear Opening of Churches

by Bishop Grant J. Hagiya

As we prepare for the appointment year in 2022, the Cabinet has agreed upon a practice that I have been using for almost my entire episcopal career:  the posting of clear openings of churches so that clergy can put their names forward if they are interested in a church listed.

This is how it works:  When there is a clear appointment opening at a local church due to retirement or transitionary move for a variety of reasons, we will post the church and a brief description of that setting. Clergy are free to discern if there is a call to this local setting, and can confidentially put their name forward to be considered by the Cabinet. There is absolutely no guarantee that a clergy will receive that specific appointment, but as the Cabinet makes a list of candidates, all clergy who put their names forward will be prayed over and considered. Clergy who wish to put their name forward will contact their District Superintendent of record, and then the DS who oversees the appointment where they would like to be considered. Clergy have the option of confidentially sharing this inquiry with their current Staff-Parish Relations Committee or Chairperson, but this is not required. We will only post the clear opening churches once as we start the appointment process, and as we make appointments, additional churches will not be listed. The reason for this is it becomes too complicated to track and post openings in the middle of the appointment process.

We want to emphasize that this is not moving to a “Call System” as in other denominations, as the Cabinet has the sole responsibility to make appointments based on the best possible match between clergy and local church. It does open up a transparency about the appointive process, and we hope that it allows clergy to feel a part of the appointment process.

My own philosophy of making appointments is that we try to follow a strict value system that is based on the following diagram:

As a Cabinet, our first consideration is the Will of God, and we try to discern what God wishes for every appointment. This means we are in deep prayer and discernment over every appointment, as we attempt to seek God’s will. Our second level of priority is the Kin-dom of God through the surrounding mission field and neighborhood where the church is located. We would like to make appointments to the mission field and not just to the local church, as John Wesley advocated for, and Asbury and Coke practiced in early Methodism. Our third priority is the local church and laity, as they are the heart and soul of each single appointment. Our fourth priority is the clergy themselves, as we practice servant leadership, we are there to serve and not be served. The lowest priority for us is the annual conference, Bishop and Cabinet, as we should exemplify what it means to serve.

Our UMC appointment system isn’t perfect by any means, but we seek to follow these tenants as faithfully as we can, and there is a constant call to match our clergy’s gifts and graces with those of each local church so that the best possible spiritual match can be made.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call your own District Superintendent, or reach out to me if I can be helpful. We pray that you will be open to this new way of doing appointments and that it will be healthy and life-giving.

Be the Hope,
Bishop Grant

Appointment Announcement November 1, 2021

The Rev. Daniel Morley, Superintendent of the North District, announced that Bishop Grant Hagiya intends to appoint Deaconess Jane Murray to serve the Congregational Care Ministry of St. Michael’s United Methodist Church in Lake Havasu City, AZ, less than full time, effective November 1, 2021 per paragraph 1913 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. Deaconess Murray will also continue in her position with Operation Christmas Child.

Let us be in prayer for Deaconess Murray and St. Michael’s United Methodist Church