The United Methodist Church voted in May to end guaranteed clergy appointments. They had been guaranteed since the 1950s, instituted to protect ministers from discrimination or arbitrary abuse, supporters say.
But critics say those original goals have helped mediocre clergy retain their posts. A commission studying the appointments said a more "nimble" process was necessary. A Study of Mission Commission recommended the change in policy, as the UMC searches for ways to stanch a decades-long decline in U.S. membership.
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