After four years in a rural appointment six miles south of the Kentucky border, but in Tennessee, it looks as though we may be moving this June.
This will be only our third move in nearly 20 years of ministry, though we are second career and had plenty of moves before Mike entered the ministry. I say that we “may move” because, as anyone who has ever been involved with the appointment system knows…it isn’t really over until the bishop reads the appointments out at conference or you see the moving truck in your driveway (whichever comes first.) The UM appointment system is a many-splendored thing—a combination of art, science, and the Holy Spirit. Some appointment cycles go relatively smoothly—some seem designed to make as many clergy and churches unhappy as possible in a single cycle. I think it may be best to know as little as possible about how it really works—sort of like politics and sausage-making.
A life-long United Methodist, I am in the dark about exactly how our cabinet moves through its process but you won’t find me unduly critical of “the itineracy” itself. I am interested here in the experience of the clergy spouse as things unfold—the journey between the beginning of the process and the first Sunday in the new church.
What I intend to do over the next five months or so is to reflect on this pilgrimage from January to June from where I am sitting as a clergy spouse and hope that others will join in and offer some reflections of their own.
So here we are…we don’t really know if we will be moving; we don’t know where we may be going if we do; we don’t know whether we will be moving closer to our work (My job is in Nashville); or further away; we don’t know if that future congregation will be happy that their current clergy person is leaving or sad….the truth is…we all know very little…but it has already begun for us and for our congregation.
Moving through the next months with as much grace and faithfulness as we can while dealing with grief issues, the stress of not knowing, the feelings of those around us (the members of the congregation, our families, our co-workers, etc.) many of whom want answers we will not have for quite awhile—that is what I will be posting about.
You are invited to join in…maybe it will help to keep the “moving crazies” away for as long as possible. I am already beginning to clean out my basement…not in any organized fashion yet, you understand…just setting aside some things that I know need to go to Goodwill (or the dump). It makes me feel as though I am doing something, because, eventually there will be so very much to do and so little time after so much waiting…meanwhile…let us hear from you.
Keep the faith, Becky