by Rev. Scott Davis, Lead Pastor
On Sunday, February 7, Rev. Danny Kesner, the Charlottesville District Superintendent of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, visited both the 9:00 and 11:00 services to share the news that Bishop Cho has discerned that I am to be the District Superintendent of the Lynchburg District beginning July 1, 2016. This news came as a surprise to everyone at Aldersgate and was a surprise to me when I received the phone call from Bishop Cho on January 28, asking me to prayerfully discern if I also felt called to this leadership role.
As I took time to reflect, pray, talk with my family, and wrestle with this it became clear that this is the next ministry context to which I am being called and so I accepted Bishop Cho’s invitation. I do so with great appreciation for the time I’ve served among you as part of the Aldersgate community and am grateful for the opportunity we have had to journey together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Grace and peace,
You can read more about Bishop Cho’s announcement here (http://www.vaumc.org/pages/
United Methodists have a particular way of placing clergy, so below you’ll find responses to some of the questions I’ve received:
How are United Methodist clergy assigned?
United Methodist clergy are “sent,” not “called,” as some other churches do. This means that while there is conversation each January between the pastor and the Staff Parish Relations Committee regarding whether our ministry together should continue for another year or if it is complete and time for the pastor to move, it is up to the Bishop and the Cabinet (made up of the 16 district superintendents in the Virginia Conference) to ultimately decide where each pastor will serve for the next year.
Did you ask for this new leadership role?
No as the call from Bishop Cho was quite unexpected. When Aldersgate’s Staff Parish Relations Committee and I met in January, we both indicated that we felt called to serve together in the next annual conference year, which begins July 1, 2016. I was very humbled and honored to be asked by Bishop Cho to serve in this way.
What will you be doing as the District Superintendent of the Lynchburg District?
My role will include serving as the Bishop’s representative on our district, mentoring and training the pastors of the 89 churches on the district, conducting charge conferences (annual congregational meetings held during the Fall months,) helping make appointments (where the pastors will serve in the upcoming year) along with the other 15 District Superintendents, being a mission strategist to help congregations be more effective in their mission and outreach, performing certain administrative duties, and also providing leadership in the Annual Conference.
Who will be our new pastor?
Aldersgate’s new pastor will be selected this spring with an announcement made in the coming months. I will do my best, in partnership with our lay leadership, to be sure things are ready for the new pastor so that the congregation will continue to move.
Who should I contact if I have questions?
Key lay contacts include Staff Parish Relations Committee Co-Chairs Pat Daniel (email@example.com, 434.975.1363) and Joan Forrest (firstname.lastname@example.org); and Lay Leader Laura Nelson (email@example.com) Feel free to be in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434.973.5806.