Wednesday, April 29 2020 by Matt Horan
As many of you know, clergy in the United Methodist Church serve under one-year appointments to their local church made by the Bishop of the Annual Conference in consultation with the District Superintendents. Clergy can be re-appointed as many years as the Bishop deems appropriate and effective, but we also commit to move if ever the the time comes when the pastor is needed elsewhere.
The appointments of pastors to Florida United Methodist Churches in 2020-2021 were announced this week!
At Heritage, we are in the Gulf Central District, led by our District Superintendent, the Rev. Dr. Candace Lewis. The Gulf Central District is in the Florida Annual Conference, led by Bishop Ken Carter.
In the United Methodist Church, there are a series of preparatory stages that clergy candidates go through. Heritage has had many candidates go through this process and are now serving as clergy or other church staff roles around the Florida Conference–the most recent of which is Trevor Johnston, serving as the associate pastor at Community of Hope United Methodist Church! The steps are:
Local Church Level
- Affirmation of call by your Pastor
- Affirmation of call by your Staff-Parish Relations Team
- Affirmation of call by your Local Church Charge Conference
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Ministry Specialty Certification (Curtis Paige is currently at this stage.)
- Lay Servant Minister Certification (We actually have a certified lay servant minister at Heritage, Dan Byrd, who gives volunteer leadership in congregational care small groups and our new member classes. He was elected at change conference to to serve as Assistant Lay Leader this year.)
- Participation in a clergy mentoring process
- Psychological evaluation
- Application for Certification as a Candidate for Ordination to the District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM)
- DCOM Certification Interview
- Certification as a Candidate
- Ministry Licensing School
- Licensing as a Local Pastor at Annual Conference (John Silkauskas is currently at this stage.)
- Master of Divinity Degree/Internships
- Application for Commissioning as a Provisional Elder or Deacon to DCOM
- DCOM Commissioning Approval Interview to apply to the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM)
- Application for Commissioning as a Provisional Elder or Deacon to the BOOM.
- BOOM Commissioning Interview
- Commissioning as a Provisional Elder or Deacon at Annual Conference
- Appointment by the Bishop to a local church for Provisional Elders, approval by the Bishop of specialized ministry positions for Provisional Deacons
- Participation in the Residency in Ministry Program
- Application for Ordination as an Elder or Deacon in Full Connection to the BOOM.
- BOOM Ordination Interview
- Ordination as an Elder or Deacon in Full Connection at Annual Conference.
Heritage has a unique situation different from other United Methodist churches, as we actually have leaders who gone through some of these pastoral leadership development processes while already serving on our team. So while they did not arrive at Heritage the way pastors usually do, they have achieved much and gone through a number of important steps to learn new strategies and best practices to put into their pastoral work, so updates and kudos are in order!
- Age 46; married to Susan with two daughters
- Appointed the old-fashioned way in 2018.
- Currently in his second year at Heritage.
- Was just re-appointed for 2020-2021–year number three!
- Currently writing a book about ministry lessons he learned while at Seminole Heights United Methodist during the 51 days that the Seminole Heights Serial Killer was at large.
- Younger than Matt, married to Emily with five children
- John is currently in his seventh year at Heritage, hired as an assistant pastor in 2014, coming to thaw out in Florida after serving for seven years leading a highly effective youth ministry in Ohio.
- John serves as your Director of Evangelism and Hospitality Innovation, and also offers ministry leadership in areas including: primary preaching responsibility for our modern “Ignite” worship services, backing up Matt in preaching responsibility for our sanctuary services, providing leadership in our worship design and communications work, serves on the church’s Executive Team and Finance Team, and generally fills in for Matt just about any time Matt isn’t around.
- He’s now at the stage where he’s becoming eligible to be appointed to a church by the Bishop, but John will be back for year number eight in 2020-2021!
- John is a student at Asbury Seminary in Orlando working on his Master of Divinity degree.
- Slightly older than John, married to Barbara
- Curtis is currently in his fifth year on staff at Heritage, hired in 2015 as an assistant pastor after retiring from a career in the optometry industry. One more way that Curtis is like Jesus–he helped people see who couldn’t before!
- Curtis serves as your Director of Congregational Care, and also offers ministry leadership in areas including: counseling, platform leadership during sanctuary worship, coordination of our Grief Sharing and Divorce Care ministries, coordination of our visitation ministry for hospitalized and homebound members, coordination of our ministry for funerals, and providing leadership in our worship design and logistics work.
- Curtis will be back for year number six in 2020-2021!
- Curtis just finished his studies for certification in congregational care and counseling, so he’s ready for you to bring him the biggest problems you can muster!
All three of us are privileged to serve on the awesome staff team at Heritage, and look forward with great hope for the ways God will continue to use this church in the year to come!
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