Pastor Jim Doepken has been officially appointed to The United Methodist Church of Chugiak for another year by Bishop Elaine Stanovsky at the close of The Alaska Annual Conference Session Monday. In The United Methodist Church, clergy are officially assigned to their ministry settings on a yearly basis.
While this is (pretty much) a formality, having known there would be no pastoral change for quite some time, it wasn’t always this way. There are stories of clergy finding out where they are going during “The Reading of Appointments” at Annual Conference Sessions. Fortunately, for both the pastors and the church, there is a whole lot of dialogue that happens before any announcement is made and both our church and pastoral family celebrate Pastor Jim’s appointment as a welcome “non-surprise.”
(You may notice that the YouTube caption says, “Bob Smith.” Bob Smith is appointed to Turnagain UMC in Anchorage and his name was read right before Pastor Jim’s as “Turnagain” is right before “UMC of Chugiak” alphabetically.)