Thank you for your willingness to be a regional council liaison to the community of faith group (a team developing the community of faith profile, a search team, the governing body, or the whole community of faith) offering leadership in the pastoral relations process, as the community of faith seeks a new pastoral relationship through a new call or appointment.
A regional council liaison or another regional council representative will, at minimum, touch base with a community of faith and a ministry personnel at the following times:
- for any discussion about the pastoral relationship
- any time support is needed to explore a living faith story, whether or not the community of faith is experiencing a change in pastoral relations
- when a change in pastoral relations has been requested
- when the community of faith begins writing their profile
- when the community of faith is ready to post their profile
- when a search team is appointed
- when the governing body calls a meeting of the community of faith to hear the recommendation of the search team
- at the covenanting service
Most importantly, please see the Pastoral Relations: Regional Council Liaisons (PDF | January 2020 – 30 Pages) resource handbook for best practices that provide information, guidance, and advice on the recommended ways to live out mandatory policies and procedures.
Discussions Around Changes in Pastoral Relationships
As a member of the covenant that is foundational to the pastoral relationship, the regional council participates in any conversation about the pastoral relationship. During these conversations, a liaison represents the regional council. A liaison is a resource to the community
of faith during their process to begin a new pastoral relationship. In addition, a liaison engages in conversations around either of the following:
• a request by either the community of faith or ministry personnel to renegotiate the terms of the current pastoral relationship
• an addition of ministry personnel to the community of faith to form a team ministry, and subsequent changes to the job descriptions of existing ministry personnel.
COVID-19 Policy Changes
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recognizing that the pandemic impacts the ability of some congregations to meet (not all have the capacity or ability to meet electronically), on April 15, 2020, the Executive of the General Council temporarily amended pastoral relations policies in The Manual to allow the governing body, rather than a congregational meeting, to make certain pastoral relations decisions. Please see the links below for details on these temporary changes.
Regional Council Implementation of Temporary Change to Pastoral Relations Policies | PDF (2 pages) April 2020 – Interpretation and Implementation information related to the temporary bylaw dealing with what constitutes proper consultation, considerations around temporarily ending a pastoral relationship, and other matters.
Community of Faith Profiles
A liaison can guide the team through the pieces they will need to knit together for the community of faith profile. If they have further detailed questions about the search portion of the process, those questions can be included in your training of the search team.
When a community of faith is not searching for a new pastoral relationship, the profile must
include the following:
• living faith story
• financial statement
• manse report, if applicable
• real property
• learning site requirements, if applicable
When a community of faith is experiencing a change in pastoral relations, its profile needs to be updated. A community of faith profile that is ready to post for search and selection must include the following additional elements:
• financial viability review
• position description(s)
Descriptions of the elements of the community of faith profile can be found in Guidelines for a Community of Faith Profile.
Overview of the Profile and Search Process – (PowerPoint | 10 Slides) November 2020 – This can be used to present the “big picture” process to the Search Team when you first meet them. This presentation is much like the stepping stone image that Todd presented at the training event – shows all the steps to the covenanting service with a new minister.
Overview: Do’s and Don’ts (PDF |1 pg) June 2019
Bad Example of a Position Description (PDF | 2 pages) June 2019
Living Faith Story
The living faith story articulates the community of faith’s ministry focus. This story is your opportunity to share why you exist as a community of faith. All communities of faith are expected to develop a living faith story, review it regularly, and share it with the regional council so that support can be programmed. The living faith story is an opportunity to tell where God is leading your community of faith. Creating this story is an invitation to articulate, assess, and perhaps even reframe how you are being church.
Living Faith Story ( Word | 16 pages) June 2019 – A companion to the Pastoral Relations: Community of Faith handbook, this resource helps a Search Team create their Living Faith Story.
A community of faith can update its profile at any time, even when it is not experiencing a change in pastoral relations. The regional council uses this profile as part of their oversight of the community of faith and as part of a self-assessment. Completing a profile can help to articulate your community’s beliefs, ministry needs, and financial realities. Please see the Pastoral Relations: Guidelines for a Community of Faith Profile for more guidance.
ChurchHub is the new national database for information for every community of faith and all ministry personnel in The United Church of Canada. ChurchHub is part of a significant shift in the life of our church and how we live out our call to ministry and discipleship. It is both a policy that was passed by the General Council to be “regularized as the required process for ministry personnel and communities of faith to search for calls and appointments” and the support structure for communication between the denomination, ministry personnel, communities of faith and members who participate in regional and denominational ministry.
ChurchHub requires a login using a unique e-mail for each account to keep your data safe. We recommend community of faith administrators use an organizational address if possible, such as office[@]firstunited.on.ca or info[@]trinityunited.net, and others use their personal email.
FOR LOG IN OR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE WITH CHURCH HUB CONTACT email@example.com
Statistics and Assessment Tools Added in 2021
- The annual blue statistical forms: Revamped with new, more helpful features and feedback options.
- The annual assessment invoices have been added and will be updated regularly.
- Officer and lead Roles can now be updated anytime throughout the year when there are changes.
- Communities of faith will receive additional logins sent to their charge treasurers.
- More roles will be added soon!
Searching for a New Minister
A search process may begin once a community of faith profile and additional elements (position description and financial viability review) have been completed and filed on ChurchHub and approved by the regional council. The governing body is responsible for naming a search team. This may be the same group of people who put together the profile, including the living faith story, or it may be a different group.
The regional council is responsible for training the search team. The search team begins holding interviews only once its members have been trained by a pastoral relations liaison. Please see the Pastoral Relations: Guidelines for Search and Selection for more guidance.
Additional Resources for Search Team Training
Holy Manners (PDF | 1 page) June 2019 – For liaison’s and/or search team’s use. Also see page 9 of the Pastoral Relations: Regional Council Liaisons handbook for more details on how to help search team’s establish guidelines for their conversation and behavour with each other.
How to Search for Short Term Appointments ( PDF | 2 pgs) April 2020 – A step by step process for how a community of faith can search for a short appointment of a eligible United Church minister while they do their search.
Short Term Appointments Policy (PDF | 1 page) January 2019 – The policy for length of appointments that the Pastoral Relations Commission in Shining Waters Regional Council will approve.
Ministers’ Salary Schedule and Cost of Living Group Map – The salary schedule is updated annually and can be found on the national website. There is also a link to the Cost of Living Group Map to check that the pastoral charge’s cost of living group is correct.
Becoming a Supervised Ministry Education (SME) Site
You may be asked by a Search Team about the possibility of becoming a Supervisor Ministry Education (SME) site. Here are some resources you might want to share with the Search Team:
1. Go to the Candidacy Pathway website page and watch their video: How to OV – Becoming a Supervised Ministry Education site (SME): What a community of faith should consider if they have a vacancy and are wondering about hiring a student.
If you’re on a Zoom call, you can share this video to talk about expectations.
2. Share this handbook ahead of the meeting: Candidacy Pathway: Supervised Ministry Education PDF | January 2019 (18 pages) – Especially point the Search Team to “Lay Supervision Team”: on pages 8-9.
3. Finally, walk them through the responsibilities for becoming a SME site on page 11-12, Pastoral Relations: Guidelines for a Community of Faith Profile PDF | April 2020 ( 43 pages)
A liaison is present for the meeting of the community of faith that considers the search team’s recommendation. You can attend in person, by telephone, or electronically.
Community of Faith Congregational Meeting Template for Presentation of Ministry Personnel by Search Team (Word | 2 pg) June 2019 – Outlines the agenda for the congregational meeting and the wording of motion.
Covenanting With Our New Minister
After the new pastoral relationship begins, a liaison participates in the covenanting service. You are the representative of the regional council as the covenant among God, the community of faith, the ministry personnel, the regional council, and other parties that are integral to living out the gospel in community is celebrated. The ministry personnel and a member of the search team will ask you to coordinate the best time to hold the covenanting service.
A sample liturgy for recognizing the covenant that provides the foundation for the new pastoral relationship can be found in the Milestones and Transitions worship page of the United Church website.
Covenanting Service Template | Word (5 pages, 2 column layout) Sept 2019 – A covenanting service sample template
Pastoral Relations Minister
Serves in: Shining Waters Regional Council
Location: Teleworks and works in the Toronto Office. Please call ahead to ensure the office is open.
Role: Dale encourages and supports ministry personnel toward health, joy, and excellence in ministry practice.
Contact Dale about: Conflict Resolution; Finding A New Minister; Lay Employees; M+P Committees; Licenses To Administer Sacraments; Pastoral Relationships Policy; Resources for Transition Times; Retirement; Sabbaticals; Sick Leave; Short Term Supply Ministers; Visiting Minister Options. Dale is responsible for all the Communities of Faith and ministry personnel in the region that are located south of Highway 407.
Pastoral Relations Minister
Serves in: Shining Waters Regional Council
Location: Teleworks and works in the Guthrie Office.
Role: Todd encourages and supports ministry personnel toward health, joy, and excellence in ministry practice.
Contact Todd about: Conflict Resolution; Finding A New Minister; Licensed Lay Worship Leaders; Licenses To Administer Sacraments; Pastoral Relationships Policy; Resources for Transition Times; Retirement; Sabbaticals; Sick Leave; Short Term Supply Ministers; Visiting Minister Options. Todd is responsible for all the Communities of Faith and ministry personnel in the region that are located north of Highway 407.