Mission field appointments are the priority for the bishop and the cabinet. Often, during the appointive season, the bishop and cabinet are asked "what is a mission field appointment?" Mission field appointments are a strategic and forward thinking way of placing the right pastor at the right place at the right time. Appointments are made for today but with the future in mind.
The cabinet utilizes a consultation process in working with churches and pastors, but also employs the use of demographic data indicating areas of growth and areas of decline. They identify changes in the mission field that require changes in both strategy and structure. Pastors and even superintendents are not just appointed to churches and to districts but with the entire mission field in mind.
It has been announced that, effective July 1, 2017, Rev. Andy Goff will be appointed to serve as pastor of the Gretna United Methodist Church. This strategic appointment creates a vacancy in the cabinet’s structure.
After prayerful discernment and strategic analysis of the needs of the conference and the needs of the district, for the upcoming appointment year, Rev. Ken Irby and Rev. John Cannon have been asked to expand their areas of service to include shared supervision of the New Orleans District.
“I started my ministry in Louisiana on the Northshore,” says Rev. Irby, who will serve the area north of Lake Pontchartrain.”I am grateful for the opportunity to now work with the pastors and congregations there to reach new people with the good news of God's love.”
"Methodists in New Orleans have a rich legacy of vital ministry,” says Cannon who will serve the area south of Lake Pontchartrain, including the River Parishes area. “And I am looking forward to this opportunity to help our churches in two great districts reach new people in creative ways.”
This configuration acknowledges the unique mission field that each area represents, while encouraging continued collaboration and future innovation.
Reflecting on this new model for leadership and supervision, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey commented, “Today's focus must be on the ever-changing mission field which calls for the highest level of creativity, innovation and bold imagination as we respond to the adaptive challenges before us.”