Important Announcement

Hello members and friends of FUMC Grand Junction,

Our congregation’s Staff Parish Relations Committee, in consultation with the Bishop and Cabinet of the Rocky Mountain Conference, and myself, wish to share the following information that was announced in worship services on Sunday, February 1.  The content of the announcement is within this message below, and it is attached as a document. Following the document information, please continue reading a personal message from me.

Sr. Pastor Transition Announcement

In worship on February 1, a member of the Staff Parish Relations Committee made the following announcement verbatim:

The Staff Parish Relations Committee is a group of church members and our two pastors who oversee the staff and clergy positions.

​ (see committee member roster at the bottom of this message)​

In the United Methodist structure, clergy are appointed to serve a congregation on a year-to-year basis. Therefore, in late Fall of each year, our committee enters into conversation with our clergy, and we send appointment forms on to the Bishop and her Cabinet. The Cabinet consists of 6 District Superintendents, one of which oversees our District, and the Bishop.  Now, each of these three entities has voice and choice in the appointment process. That is, the clergy person, the SPR committee, and the Cabinet. Therefore, following months of conversation, prayer, and mutual consent, our committee was asked to share that Rev. Blaine will be receiving a new appointment as of July 1, 2015.

 

Blaine has served our congregation since 2005, and all three entities have agreed that the timing is of God’s will and that a new appointment for him and for our congregation is appropriate.

 

The SPRC has been working diligently, and is fully prepared to support our clergy and represent our congregation in this important transition. Just recently, we have compiled a profile of skills and gifts we would like in a new senior pastor. This list will be shared with the Cabinet.

 

We will be discussing these priorities with Rev. Sione Tukutau, our District Superintendent very soon.   Meanwhile, we will have months ahead to visit with Blaine, ask questions, and gain information.  The SPRC will keep the congregation informed as new information becomes available.

​ ​

Blaine and Tracy are also in conversation with the Cabinet to discern their next appointment. We’ll be glad to share that information as it becomes available.

 

News like this may be a surprise to some, and expected by others. Each of us responds uniquely to this type of change. So the committee and our pastors ask that you listen and support one another however we may respond to this news. And above all, pray for our pastors and their families, for our congregation and the sprc, and for the Bishop and her Cabinet during this season of transition.

 

​ SPRC Members: Chairperson, Vicki Stites, Les Zetmeir, Janet Brink, Suzie Steel, Abby Landmeier, Bronwyn Smith, Larry Beckner, Amy Gibbs, Luke Gingerich. Lay Leader, Buzz Schoenbeck. Pastors’ Laura and Blaine.

Personal message from me

An announcement like this, sets many thoughts and emotions in to play for all of us, including me. And I’m grateful that we have some months ahead to journey through the stages of grief, work through important transitions, and ultimately celebrate the ways that God has blessed us in our relationships over the past ten years. Right now though, there are more questions than answers. So I just wanted to share a couple of viewpoints from where I sit:

First, I firmly believe that God is calling me to a new ministry setting, which does mean that I must leave my FUMC family. This calling has been confirmed by the Bishop and appointive Cabinet, the SPRC, and me. Therefore, there is no one person or entity to blame as the cause for this transition. ​

Secondly, Tracy and I are in conversation with the Bishop and appointive Cabinet about what my next ministry appointment setting will look like. When we know some concrete outcomes, we’ll communicate it to the congregation; it may be another month possibly. And so the faithful task is to trust God’s leading in the meanwhile.

Thirdlly, the SPRC is prepared with a profile of our congregation’s needs and the gifts & skills that would be highest priority in a new sr. pastor. Please pray for them and the Cabinet as they discern and communicate together. Again, they’ll be sure to inform the congregation as soon as concrete outcomes occur. 

Lastly, for now anyway, I deeply appreciate the love and ministry we have shared together through the years. And I humbly request that you continue to support our congregation’s ministries by being present, praying, giving, and serving through this time of transition. For we must remain as the body of Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill God’s will for each of us in the months to come. God has a powerful future ahead for our congregation, and He needs each of us to fulfill our part. 

With love and prayers,

Rev. Blaine