Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: 2021 Appointment-making Process


Dear Friends,

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been reminded that healthy daily and weekly rhythms are essential for well-being and productivity. As United Methodists we understand rhythm, not only in our personal lives, but also in our process for appointing clergy to churches.

Appointment-making is critical to our vision and mission. The North Alabama Conference’s appointment-making rhythm includes consultation, prayer, cabinet deliberations and transitions.

Consultation: District Superintendents consult with all clergy each fall. In addition, each winter they meet with Pastor/Staff-Parish Relations Committees requesting a pastoral change. Through careful listening, District Superintendents identify the unique gifts, graces and life situations of clergy as well as strengths, challenges and hopes of congregations.

Prayer: Many prayers are offered throughout the appointment-making process by clergy and churches anticipating a move as well as the appointive cabinet.

Cabinet Deliberations: During the spring, the district superintendents and I discern appointments for the upcoming Conference year. This involves conversation about moving pastors, receiving churches and overall appointments.

Strategic Transitions: It is important that moving clergy finish well in current appointments and start strong in new ones. This is why we ask each receiving church and moving clergy to participate in an onboarding or other transition process coordinated by their district superintendent in the late spring or summer months.

2021 Key Calendar Dates: Below is the calendar for the 2021 Appointment-making season.

  • 1st Appointment-Making Session: February 22-25
  • 2nd Appointment-Making Session: March 17-18
  • Finalize Appointments: April 6
  • District Superintendents notify moving clergy of theirs new appointments: Thursday, April 8
  • District Superintendents notify Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee chairs of their new clergy: Friday, April 9
  • Appointments are announced and posted: Sunday, April 11
  • Moving pastors last Sunday in current church: June 20
  • Transition Sunday: June 27
  • Moving Day: June 30
  • Moving pastors first Sunday in new appointment: July 4

I invite each of you to pray daily for moving clergy, receiving churches, district superintendents and me as we participate in the final stages of our appointment-making rhythm for the upcoming Conference year. May every clergy appointment lead to fruitful ministry, new disciples and transformed communities.

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.

Debra Wallace-Padgett
Resident Bishop
North Alabama Conference

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