Rev. Smith is currently serving as Minister of Discipleship at Portland First UMC in Oregon.
from Lyda Hawes, Chair of the Committee on Staff-Parish Relations (COSPAR)
For those of you who are new to the Methodist tradition, congregations within the United Methodist Church do not “hire” pastors. Rather they are appointed by the Bishop assigned to that region (in our case, the Greater NW area).
After Rev. Moe shared her decision to retire, Rev. Rich Lang, the Seattle District Superintendent, met with the COSPAR team to validate his understanding of the needs of our congregation. Rev. Lang takes his collective knowledge of the congregation to the Cabinet (the leadership council of the conference), where they enter a discernment process and the Bishop makes a decision about an assignment. This person is then introduced in person to COSPAR. The team and the incoming pastor are able to ask questions and learn a bit more about each other. Upon the successful completion of that introduction meeting, the assignment is confirmed.