Today we welcomed Brenda and Stephen Mosedale, who are taking up a shared position as superintendent ministers for the Milton Keynes Methodist Circuit.
Brenda is a doctor and wants to find part-time work in her specialist area - which includes drug abuse and issues of exclusion. Stephen is busy finishing off a PhD.
As part of this appointment process, the circuit has noted that Watling Valley and Cornerstone have not had a historic input of Methodist ministry. The Mosedales will therefore be providing a proportion of their time to these two communities - which will need to be paid for in the 2009 budget...
While this is a good idea, it has implications for the organisational life of local partnerships. The methodist circuit (and probably increasingly the URC in MK) think in terms of the city/borough/area as a whole. The Anglican deanery has also begun to contemplate half/quarter posts as a way of providing small pockets of mission investment. I suspect that this appointment (from a Watling Valley point of view at least) represents part of a shift from entirely local teams to ministry teams made up of a range of partial/non-stipendiary posts. This will have implications for planning, strategy and team-building - although it may take a while for consequences to become clear - and many of them will be positive - just different - prepare for change... (For those who have read "Joining the Rainbow" could I refer you to my chapter on non-local ministry - "The Big Picture")
Anyway, putting such thoughts to one side for a moment, I wish Brenda and Stephen well for the next period of their Christian ministry and look forward to working with them.