Pastoral Relations policies govern search, selection, calls, and appointments between Ministry Personnel and United Church of Canada Communities of Faith.
Rev. Whit Strong, Regional Minister for Pastoral Relations, leads the Pastoral Relations Leadership Team, which is responsible for all pastoral relations activities with our EOORC. The team is also responsible for appointing Pastoral Charge Supervisors to Communities of Faith with a regularly appointed or called minister, and for appointing a Pastoral Relations Liaison to assist Communities of Faith in all aspects of their life, including the creation of Profiles (Needs Assessments) and the search for new Ministry Personnel. Liaisons are also available to assist Pastoral Charges as they ponder their short- and long-term future.
Rev. Strong also works with Communities of Faith and Pastoral Charges in all aspects of their life His work includes, but is not limited to:
- Providing support to Communities of Faith as they live out their ministry, including Intentional Interim Ministry, cooperative arrangements, innovative ministries, Ecumenical Shared Ministry, lay leadership, amalgamation, disbanding, and closure
- Support to Communities of Faith without regularly called or appointed ministry personnel
- Training and accreditation of Lay Licenced Worship Leaders and Sacraments Elders
- Support Communities of Faith with regards to training M&P Committees and Councils, as well as preventative dispute resolution
- Support to Communities of Faith and Ministry Personnel in early interventions in pastoral conflict and J8 (congregational) Reviews
- Support other work that will help the life of Communities of Faith with respect to their pastoral relationship
- Support clustering of Communities of Faith as needed with respect to oversight, pastoral relations, M&P work, and other ministry-related areas
- Foster support and collegiality for ministry personnel, such as facilitating local gatherings of ministry personnel
For more info, visit: United Church of Canada – Pastoral Relations
General information about denominational Pastoral Relations policies may be found in The Manual, particularly in the sections noted below:
- Section I – “Pastoral Relations” (page 137)
- Section J – “Oversight, Conflict Resolution and Discipline” (page 161)
Other denominational resources that are helpful include:
- Changes of Pastoral Relations that happen at times other than July 1st. Section 4.23 (page 50)
- Clergy Residence Deductions. Section 4.19 (page 45)
- Compensation for Ministry Personnel. Section 4.16 (page 42)
Gatherings of Ministry Personnel
In order for Ministry Personnel to have the chance to come together for support and conversation, there will be a number of gatherings held each year in various locations throughout our Regional Council and will be announced in the weekly EOORC Newsletter and the Events section of the website. These gatherings are open to all Ministry Personnel no matter where in our Regional Council you might be serving.
Communities of Practice
Smaller “Communities of Practice” may also be created by Ministry Personnel who may want to gather with other Ministry Personnel who share more specific concerns or commonalities. These informal smaller communities are meant to be places of support and reflection, and are generally self-created and self-directed. If you are interested in creating a Community of Practice feel free to be in direct contact with other Ministry Personnel, or be in touch with Rev. Whit Strong firstname.lastname@example.org who will provide any support needed to get underway.