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
Pastoral Relations Guide Books
Pastoral Relations: Ministry Personnel
Pastoral Relations: Guidelines for a Community of Faith Profile
Pastoral Relations: Policy for a Community of Faith
• Pastoral Relations: Supporting the Pastoral Relationship
• Pastoral Relations: Guidelines for Search and Selection
Discussions Around Changes in Pastoral Relationships
There are two specific changes in pastoral relations—amalgamations and provisional calls or appointments—where a liaison can help the community of faith navigate a modified process of calling or appointing ministry personnel. However, it is up to the regional council to decide how the pastoral relations process should be followed during these two specific instances.
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.
When two communities of faith amalgamate, the current pastoral relationships end. If the amalgamating communities of faith plan to create new ministry positions and fill these positions internally from their existing ministry personnel, they do not necessarily need to complete all the steps of the pastoral relations process. A liaison can help a team from the amalgamating communities of faith develop new position descriptions and guide teams through the process.
Community of Faith Profiles
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.
Searching for a New Minister
This section is still under construction.
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.
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.
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
Holy Manners (PDF | 1 page) June 2019 – For liaison’s and/or search team’s use.
Church Hub Cheat Sheet (June 2019 | 7 pg) Step by step assistance with posting their Profile PDF
How to fill out a Call or Appointment Form using ChurchHub (April 2020 | 3 pg) A step-by-step guide for a Community of Faith filling out a Call or Appointment form on ChurchHub. PDF
Short Term Appointments Policy (January 2019 | 1 pg) The policy for length of appointments that the Pastoral Relations Commission in Shining Waters Regional Council will approve. PDF
Training Resource: Hiring a Student for a Supervised Ministry Experience (June 2020) A YouTube video resource from the Office of Vocation, for liaisons to use with Communities of Faith that are considering hiring a student minister. How to OV – Becoming an SME
Community of Faith Meeting Template Presentation of Ministry Personnel by Search Team (June 2019 | 2 pg) Outlines the agenda for the meeting and wording of motion Word
United Fresh Start (June 2019 | 2 pg) An overview of modules PDF
United Church of Canada Links
- Record of Call or Appointment Form is now only available online through your community of faith Church Hub account.
- Pastoral Relations: Policy for A Community of Faith (December 2019 | 18 pgs) Policy COF
- Pastoral Relations: Guidelines for a Community of Faith Profile (December 2019 | 43 pgs) Guidelines for CofF Profile
- Pastoral Relations Guidelines for Search and Selection (December 2019 | 51 pgs) Guidelines for Search and Selection
- Pastoral Relations: Regional Council Liaison Reg.Council Liaison
- All United Church Pastoral Relations Resources
Pastoral Relations Minister, Shining Waters Regional Council
Fosters healthy pastoral relationships by assisting the Regional Council to serve, support and provide oversight to the Communities of Faith, and by encouraging and supporting ministry personnel toward health, joy and excellence in ministry practice. Responsible for all the Communities of Faith and ministry personnel in the region that are located south of highway 407.
Pastoral Relations Minister, Shining Waters Regional Council
Todd fosters healthy pastoral relationships by assisting the Regional Council to serve, support and provide oversight to the Communities of Faith, and by encouraging and supporting ministry personnel toward health, joy and excellence in ministry practice. Responsible for all the Communities of Faith and ministry personnel in the region that are located north of highway 407.