Wandering and Wondering: Composing an Itinerant's Guide to Appreciation of Place Open Access

Largen, Jabe (Spring 2021)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zp38wd894?locale=en


One of the defining characteristics of pastoral (non-deacon) ministry in the United Methodist Church is itinerancy. In an itinerant system, pastors are subject to being appointed to a particular church and community each year at the discretion of the presiding Bishop of their area. Often times, pastors are appointed to areas where they are not familiar with the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the new place. As a result, some pastors in itinerant systems struggle to feel as if they belong in the place that they have been appointed to. Many clergy members in itinerant systems, especially those in places they find foreign, long for the day that the Bishop appoints them to a community more familiar, thus making certain communities (often times rural communities) mere training grounds for other pastorates in other places. Ultimately, such an approach to certain communities by clergy persons is detrimental to the appointed church, the community itself, and the pastor.

           With a vast number of training resources already available to pastors in The United Methodist Church in North Carolina, I recommend and construct a guidebook that can be used as additional curriculum in trainings that seeks to promote a theological understanding of all places in an appreciative fashion.

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