February 6, 2023
M E M O R A N D U M
TO: All Active Pastors
FROM: Thomas J. Bickerton, Resident Bishop
RE: 2023 - 2024 Appointment Season
Dear Friends & Colleagues,
Grace and peace to each of you. I pray that this letter finds you well and blessed.
As you no doubt are aware, as a Cabinet we are once again embarking upon another appointment season. As we do that, we covet your intentional prayers for us as we discern the gifts and graces needed to facilitate the mission and ministry of our local churches.
As most of you know, our Cabinet has a desire to reach another level in our work as we lean more into our Cooperative Parish ministry model, deal with decreased sustainability within our churches, and creatively address the significant shortfall of pastoral leadership that we are currently encountering. The need for greater transparency on our part, as well as the full disclosure of particular needs and desires on the part of all of our pastors, are key factors in being able to do our work well and also build a sense of mutual trust.
While the actual work of discerning and fixing appointments is reserved to the bishop and her/his Cabinet, it is important for us to affirm that we are in this work together.
As a result, it is my desire to share with you the appointments which are clearly open as we begin this year’s discernment process for assignments. I am sharing this list with you today and inviting you into the initial process of discernment for these appointments.
If you would like to be considered for one of the clear openings currently listed by the New York Annual Conference, I encourage you to contact your District Superintendent directly by e-mail so that she/he may lift your name for consideration. In that e-mail I would like for you to clearly state the reasons why you believe that your gifts & graces fit with this particular congregation.
If you express an interest in a particular congregation, I pledge to you that we will consider your name as well as others that are discerned. We are open to considering your thoughts regarding these and future openings that will occur during this appointment season. Please know, however, that there is no guarantee that you will be called to consider this appointment.
To request a particular church based on geography or salary is not appropriate. What we are most interested in is hearing from clergy who may feel a sense of calling to serve a particular congregation. Our experience has revealed that appointments made based on personal preferences do not, on the whole, achieve the goal of equipping the church for its disciple-making ministry. Our number one goal throughout the process is to match a pastor’s gifts with a church’s need. When this is done successfully, the setting and the pastor are able to work together in order to fulfill God’s calling in exceptional ways.
Throughout the appointment season we will be keeping you abreast on the Annual Conference website of appointments made and clear openings that emerge on our Conference Website.
You may lift your name for consideration at any point during the season. Throughout the process, we encourage you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we attempt to facilitate the ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world through the appointments that are made this year. Adding us to you and your church’s intentional prayer list would be a cherished gift to us.
I look forward to our continued partnership as we strive to fulfill God’s calling together!
The Journey Continues, . . .
Thomas J. Bickerton