As the Bishop and Appointive Cabinet of the California-Pacific Conference, we would like to continue the practice of posting our clear appointment openings. We have received positive feedback from this process, and people feel there is a stronger sense of transparency and collaboration in the appointment process.
As we begin the appointment process, we usually start with those churches in need of a new pastor through a retirement, ending of an interim period, or a change in status of the previous pastor. We know that a set group of churches will need a new appointment. We have listed below those churches with brief descriptions of their ministry settings. Specific statistics about the churches are available through the Annual Conference Journal, and demographics of the surrounding communities are available through MissionInsite.
Clergy members interested in putting their names forward for specific openings should contact both their current District Superintendent and the District Superintendent of the district with the church opening. In some cases, it might be the same D.S. who supervises both appointments. As a courtesy, if the D.S. is not the same, notification to both is required. There is absolutely no guarantee that the clergy member will be selected for an appointment based solely on the request, but the Bishop and Cabinet will deeply discern the gifts and graces of the clergy members putting their names forward, and the needs of the mission fields and the local churches. We are committed to making appointments based on the match between what is needed in the local communities and churches, and the gifts and skill sets of the potential pastors.
This initial list of clear openings will be posted one time. There will be no additional postings as new appointments become available through movement of pastors to new churches.
All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. Pastors wishing to put their names forward are not to contact their own local churches, nor the pastors or laity of the churches in which they have interest, as this has the potential to harm their current church appointments. The Cabinet will not release any information regarding those who put their names forward.
We do ask that clergy who plan to put their names forward to enter into a deep and prayerful discernment before contacting the District Superintendents. One should only take part in the process after a careful consideration of where God is leading one to consider, and be affirmed by God that this is both realistic and a true calling.
For those the Cabinet eventually asks to move to new appointments, we are committed to providing the specific reasons why we are asking for this new opportunity. As mentioned earlier, the Cabinet will deeply discern the match between mission field and local church, and the gifts and graces of the pastor asked to serve. There will be the expectation of a complete rationale of why we believe this match is necessary. There is also the expectation of an open itinerancy, and if one cannot move because of grave family issues, we will enter into a “covenant of limited itineration,” whereby full time appointment may not be granted, as we see what is available in any given local area.
We hope and pray that this way of appointment making will continue to be both liberating and helpful to our annual conference and God’s Kin-dom that we are pledged to serve.
Be the Hope,
Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church
Clear Openings by District
La Habra UMC – Average Worship is 60. La Habra is a full time Lead Pastor appointment. This church is a strong, small church with active lay people. They have a growing preschool with 85 children and the congregation is intentionally building relationships with the preschool families. The congregation looks forward to continued ministry with and for young families as well as the community.
Grace Vietnamese – Average worship is 35-40. The Box Springs Cooperative Parish has a 50% appointment for their Vietnamese language ministry. The congregation meets at the Grace UMC campus for Sunday worship and an afternoon Bible study. This ministry is a vital part of the Box Springs Cooperative parish. It serves the Vietnamese community in the Riverside area with some families commuting 20 to 30 miles to attend church.
Morongo Basin Parish – Serves the churches of Yucca Valley (average worship attendance 38), Twentynine Palms (average worship attendance 30), and the Community UMC of Joshua Tree which is in the process of being merged with Yucca Valley. These congregations are looking to revitalize with creative ministries and property development. This would be a 50% to 75% appointment.
Hilo UMC – Average worship attendance is 120. This is a fulltime Lead Pastor position for the English ministry. The community requires someone who has multi-ethnic and multi-cultural understandings especially for Pacific Islander culture. The position is seeking a pastor who has the ability to build the youth and a young adult ministry, and increase membership through strong pastoral care, outreach ministry, and musical talents for creative worship.
Aiea UMC – Average worship is 170. Aiea is a full-time Lead Pastor position for their English ministry. The church is located near a military base and the residence consists of longtime Hawaii locals. The church also has an Associate Pastor who does the Samoan language ministry. This community requires someone with multi-ethnic and multi-cultural understandings with creative worship skills and educational expertise in the area of children and adult ministries.
Glendale First UMC – Average worship is 174 with a full-time Lead Pastor. This historic United Methodist Church sits in the heart of Glendale and has been a huge presence both physically and spiritually for many years. With changes in the ethnic makeup of Glendale and post-church culture, Glendale First UMC has increased its mission and outreach work. The front walls have come down, literally, and the courtyard is becoming a welcoming space. Now the mission of the church must embrace the changes and new persons. This is the time for a new hospitality and new ministry to begin.
Malibu UMC – Average worship is 45 with full time Lead Pastor. The Malibu UMC is located on the coast, which has been historically a community of great wealth, beauty, and beachcombers. Since the Woolsey Fire, with more than 450 homes destroyed, the Malibu community is recovering slowly with many families relocating to other places. MUMC has continued to expand its care for the disenfranchised and homeless with weekly feedings on the beach. The congregation is seeking to find connections with younger adults and is beginning to connect to younger families through their preschool. The lay leadership has provided a safe place for all.
St. Mark’s UMC of San Diego – Average worship is 160-165. St Mark’s is a full time Lead Pastor appointment. The church is experiencing a resurgence of young families that have chosen to move to the more affordable neighborhood surrounding the church. The preschool is in overflow capacity and the youth and children’s ministry is strong.
El Centro First UMC – Average worship is 50-55. El Centro is a full time Lead Pastor appointment. The church is located in the Imperial Valley and known for its community outreach and advocacy for immigrant families and those impacted by the issues at our border with Mexico.
La Jolla UMC – Average worship is 110-115. La Jolla is a full time Lead Pastor appointment. The church has a strong preschool program and developing young adult ministry. The congregation is made up of active and strong lay leadership actively engaged in re-visioning their ministry to the community surrounding them.
First UMC of San Diego Associate – Average worship is 725-730. San Diego First church is a dynamic Reconciling congregation. This multi-site ministry setting is poised for dynamic new ministries with a gifted ministerial team and dedicated lay leadership. The role of this position will be a collaborative effort teamed with the new Lead Pastor, the Rev. Trudy Robinson.
La Mesa Foothills UMC Associate – Average worship is 340-350. Foothills is located in the East County of San Diego. A multi-site ministry combined with the Good Shepherd Ministry Center in El Cajon. Foothills is a community mission focused church. Foothills has a strong history of ministry to and with young people from Pre-School through Young Adults. A pastor with strong discipleship program skills is sought to partner with Lead Pastor Greg Batson.
Westwood UMC of Los Angeles, Associate Full Time – Westwood is a progressive, reconciling congregation with two distinctive worship gatherings each Sunday morning: Our Sanctuary Gathering draws from our rich liturgical tradition to create space for worship that engages contemporary challenges and issues. The Loft Gathering uses an open-ended conversational approach in an informal space as a way of connecting diverse voices in the work of the church. Westwood UMC values diversity and the pursuit of social justice. We are currently seeking people with skill and passion to guide the Loft Gathering and our Children’s Ministry, as a part of a collaborative team, working with Senior Pastor, Rev. Molly Vetter.
Norwalk First UMC – Membership is 100+, average Sunday worship is 50+. Norwalk is a very diverse, multi-racial congregation that has much potential to grow. The church buildings and grounds are adjacent to the Norwalk civic center, and the congregation opens its doors to community groups during the week. This appointment is LFT (50-75%), with potential to be a full-time appointment.
First UMC of Santa Monica, Associate Full Time – Membership is 1,000, average Sunday worship is 325-375. Santa Monica First is a progressive congregation that celebrates Sunday morning worship in a lively Traditional format, while also providing Messy Church and Simple Church during the week for those seeking additional expressions of worship. The church offers a multitude of ministries across all generations and for the larger Santa Monica community. This position will serve with a pastoral team that is led by Senior Pastor, Rev. Patricia Farris.