Boy, if you thought good ‘ol American politics could get crazy, you ain’t seen nuthin until you’ve seen the Methodist Church’s system for appointing ministers.
For those that don’t know, the Methodist have an itinerancy system in the tradition of John Wesley. Minister’s get moved around every so often. It certainly has its good and bad points. I know in North Carolina, Ministers pretty typically get moved at about four years on average. It seems appointments are a little longer in Florida.
The church I joined in Tampa, Palma Ceia United Methodist, has had a great pair of Ministers. The Senior Minister is Dr. Earle Rabb. The Associate Minister, who is not in the rotation but hired by the church, is Rev. Mac Steinmeyer. I feel fortunate to have become good friends with both of them. Dr. Rabb is retiring on June 19th, and he and Mrs. Rabb are moving to a home they’ve just built in the North Carolina Mountains.
Of course this means a new appointment for the Senior Pastor position at PCUMC. According to the Methodist Discipline (the rulebook for Methodism), the Bishop makes appointments, but is supposed to “consult” with the local church. Unfortunately, Florida has an incompetent and arrogant Bishop. Bishop Timothy Whitaker has made an appointment that is going to prove devastating for the church.