About Shining Waters Regional Council
Encouraging and connecting communities of faith from Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario.
Three Courts: a new governance model for The United Church of Canada
As of January 1, 2019, The United Church of Canada adopted a three-council structure, consisting of communities of faith, regional councils and a denominational council. Shining Waters Regional Council is one of 16 new regional councils in The United Church of Canada, replacing former conferences and presbyteries. Information about the wider United Church transition is available on the General Council Remit Implementation website.
Shining Waters Regional Council Boundaries
Our northern most point is Knox United Church in Dunchurch just north of Parry Sound; our southernmost points are Alderwood United Church and Beach United Church along the north shores of Lake Ontario; furthest east we are Knox United Church in Caledon; and to the west Heritage United Church in Markham marks our boundary.
We are situated upon traditional territories of the Wendat, the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and the Métis Nation. This area is subject to the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes region. There is a map and more information on the more than 40 treaty and land agreements in Ontario on the provincial government treaty website https://www.ontario.ca/page/map-ontario-treaties-and-reserves.
Vision and Mission
The vision of Shining Waters Regional Council is Encouraging and Connecting Communities of Faith.
To fulfill this vision, the Regional Council and the Regional Council Executive will encourage and engage in
- joining our collective hearts, voices, and resources to witness to the gospel and vision of Jesus for a compassionate and just society, both in Canada and around the world;
- local, regional, national, and global initiatives and partnerships (community, ecumenical, and interfaith) for ministry, mission, and justice work;
- ministry with children, youth, and young adults;
- honouring and living into intercultural mission and ministry; (Vision for Becoming an Intercultural Church, a GC resource)
- living in covenant with Mother Earth and All My Relations in the Earth community. (The Manual C.2.4 Purpose)
- The Regional Council consists of members of the order of ministry, other ministry personnel, lay members of the United Church, and leaders of associate member ministries, all as set out in sections. (The Manual C.1.1 to C.1.3.)
- The president and secretary of the regional United church Women or their designates will be members of the Regional Council.
- The Region has power / authority to add members to the Regional Council.
The Regional Council will meet in person for the first 3 years, 2019, 2020 and 2021. In 2020, the Executive will make a recommendation to the Regional Council regarding future regional meetings. (The Manual C.4.1)
Role and Responsibilities
A regional council is an administrative grouping of communities of faith in a local area. Laypeople and ministers meet to oversee the work of the church within each region. The regional council is responsible for appointing an executive to do the continuing work of the regional council between regular meetings. (The Manual C.3.1.1) For a full description of the polity of regional councils see The United Church of Canada 2019 Manual (pages 37-39).
The Regional Council is responsible for:
- celebrating the approval of applicants for candidacy;
- ordaining and commissioning members of the order of ministry;
- recognizing designated lay ministers;
- celebrating admissions and re-admissions. (The Manual C.2.7)
The Regional Council may meet only if a minimum number of members is present. (The Manual C.4.3)
For meetings of the Regional Council:
- If there are 60 or more members, at least 20 members must be present; and
- there must be at least one ministry personnel and one lay member who is not ministry personnel present.
- Corresponding members are not counted for this purpose.
The executive may make a recommendation to the Regional Council in 2020 regarding quorum.
The Regional Council Executive respects the journey of the Indigenous Church towards a new relationship with the wider United Church and commends the Calls to the Church to every member of our region. The Calls to the Church, adopted at General Council, articulate the Indigenous Church’s vision for the ongoing development of Indigenous Peoples’ mission and ministry and communities of faith within The United Church of Canada.