Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño on the Desert Southwest Annual Conference presides over General Conference as the ‘security of appointments’ is discussed on Tuesday, May 1 2012

This morning the General Conference body did away with ‘guaranteed appointments’ without significant debate. More news on this coming very soon. In the meantime…  – PWS

The following article  was originally published on the Alaska Missionary Conference  website by Jim Doepken — second reserve clergy delegate & director of communications.

During this General Conference we have seen the end of “guaranteed appointments” for clergy in the UMC. This has been, in essence, an agreement between the denomination and its clergy that, if there were appointments available in their conference, they would be guaranteed job security. There were, as you could assume, exceptions: gross negligence, misconduct, etc. And, in return, clergy had job security for being faithfully prophetic in an appointment. If one church were to run a pastor out because they wanted to welcome Hispanics or wanted their boards more inclusive or took on a social issue with the backing of the annual conference, the pastor knew she or he could still get a job.

However, we live in a world with very little job security for the people with whom we minister. And, with a greater push for effective clergy there has been a sense, whether true or not, that there was little recourse in dealing with ineffective clergy.

Today I’ve been paying attention to Twitter, following the reaction of clergy and seminary students today and, while there are some passionate persons, the overwhelming consensus is: MEH!

Here are is a sampling of some of the Twitter comments:

  • #gc2012 It is confirmed. The General Conference has passes the end of guaranteed appointment by striking language for para 337.
  • I didn’t even realize guaranteed appts were voted down. That’s how non-issue-ish the vote was.
  • And with that…. The social contract between the UMC and it’s pastors is broken…goodbye to guaranteed appt #gc2012
  • Elimination of guaranteed appointments makes clergy like the rest of us who work but have no job assurance for tomorrow. Welcome!
  • guaranteed appt. gone. Another step down in the almighty clergy union. Yea
  • Strange, younger folks seem alarmed by not having guaranteed jobs while older folks are not
  • Keep in mind that Deacons in the UMC do not have guaranteed appointments either.
  • Guaranteed Appointment is passed on a consent calendar! Seriously! Not even a word of debate

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