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Survey slideshow effective leadership and healthy pastoral relations

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  • For further resources, please visit our online resource on the Church Leadership Network ( http://churchleadership.united-church.ca/page/leadership )
  • These previous reports and research projects, conducted by the Permanent Committee on Ministry and Employment, include: the Isolation in Ministry Steering Group and survey (2005); the Working Group on Isolation in Ministry (2008); the Task Group on Demographics of Ministry Personnel (2008); the Oversight and Discipline of Ministry Personnel Steering Group (2008); the Pastoral Relations Policy Review Steering Group (2009); the Effective Leadership and Healthy Pastoral Relationships Collaborative Research Project and survey (2010).
  • In the Summer of 2010, we posted feedback questions on the United Church Website, and received a range of responses related to the simplification of pastoral relations processes and of the Manual . In Winter of 2011, we initiative a collaborative research project with United Church leaders across Canada. In Spring of 2011, we followed-up on the collaborative research project with focus group , aimed at constituencies that were under-represented in the survey (i.e. ethnic minority ministries, aboriginal ministries, French ministries and ministry personnel who had past experience with oversight and discipline processes). Currently, this is the 4 th round of constituency feedback.
  • Volunteer-based support and oversight of pastoral relationships and of ministry personnel through the Presbytery or congregation is not adequate to meet the standards of due diligence, consistency, justice and accountability that are required today. The current model is not sustainable into the future. It cannot be tweaked to meet the responsibilities. The work of covenant and relationship building among the local ministry, the governing bodies of the church and the ministry personnel, which are so critical to effective leadership and healthy pastoral relationships, is not best done through the implementation of operational or regulatory processes. The current model discourages collegiality and drains people of time and resources to devote to this relationship building.  
  • - The current model discourages collegiality and drains people of time and resources to devote to this relationship building.  
  • This report considers the health of ministry personnel and the local ministry units they serve, by redefining key areas of pastoral responsibilities. s upported by the Presbytery, the congregation would discern their mission (mission statement), determine the nature of leadership required (volunteer, designated, ordered), and set ministry priorities (position descriptions); the Presbytery would have responsibility for pastoral relations policies related to mission, collegiality and pastoral care of active and retired ministers; the Conference would have responsibility for pastoral relations policies related to the credentials of ministry personnel, employment standards and the initiation or ending of pastoral relationships; the processes of pastoral relations and of oversight and discipline of ministry personnel be managed by personnel staff located at the Conference; the processes for nurturing effective leadership and healthy pastoral relationships will be revitalized and designed to respond to the unique geographic, cultural, and linguistic characteristics of local ministries.
  • Congregations and other local ministries: Congregations and other local ministries would continue to be the primary places where the ministry of the United Church of Canada is lived out. Supported by the Presbytery, they would discern their mission (mission statement), determine the nature of leadership required, and set ministry priorities (position descriptions, work plans, etc.) for any ministry personnel in the pastoral relationship. 
  • Presbyteries: Presbyteries would continue to be the primary meeting place for congregations and local ministries. They would provide support for congregations in defining their mission, celebrate the covenant established among the pastoral charge, the governing bodies of the church, the ministry personnel and God, provide pastoral care for ministry personnel and their families, and nurture collegiality among ministry personnel, both active and retired.
  • Conferences: -The Conferences would assume responsibility for the management and implementation of pastoral relations policies related to the credentials of ministry personnel, employment standards and the initiation or ending of Pastoral Relationships. -There would have professional staff to do this work. This work would include regular assessments of ministry personnel serving a congregation or local ministry, ensuring that the minister retains a sense of call to the congregation, continues to develop the skills and gifts needed to provide leadership for the congregation’s mission, is meeting the Ethical Standards and aspiring to the Standards of Practice, and retaining an appropriate balance between vocational and personal life. The Conference, through its Executive, Sub-Executive or Commission established by it, would also assume responsibility for all formal investigative or disciplinary processes related to the pastoral charge, the pastoral relationship, or the conduct of the minister.
  • General Council: The General Council and its Executive would continue to be responsible for the establishment and interpretation of pastoral relations and oversight and discipline policies.
  • Implications Changes in polity will clarify jurisdiction and increase support between presbyteries and conferences What has been done mostly by volunteers would be done by staff. The cost of enormous amounts of volunteer and ministry personnel time have been largely invisible, and in the new model will becomes visible in $. Opportunities Release an enormous amount of volunteer and ministry personnel time, energy and spirit into mission focused work. Presbyteries can become a forum of collegiality and cooperation, of pastoral and spiritual care. Introduce a consistency, quality, and timeliness to pastoral relations processes that cannot be provided in our volunteer-based practices. Search and selection processes would proceed more efficiently, and with professional support. Regular assessment and review of ministry personnel by trained staff could better ensure ministry personnel are supported in their vocational calling and accountable to that calling.
  • Financial implications One personnel staff person for every seventy-five pastoral charges, or thirty personnel staff deployed regionally through the Conferences. There is currently the equivalent of at least one personnel minister in each Conference. It is proposed that that role be evolved into this new personnel role and augmented by seventeen new positions. Approximately $1.2 million for fifteen additional positions (the total cost, including the thirteen positions currently funded, represent less than 2% of the annual payroll for ministry personnel). Associated costs for office space, support staff and travel
  • Possible funding options A payroll-type assessment of local ministry units of approximately $50/month/ local ministry. A variation on this would be to institute a single payroll fee which would cover all administrative costs associated with a paid accountable position. Ear-mark a specific portion of the current Conference grant from the General Council budget. This would require a review of what is considered “core”, giving priority to the personnel support role consistent with the new responsibility. A reallocation of the current General Council Office budget to provide the additional funds. This would require significant reconfiguration of the current funding priorities and reduction or elimination of some existing key programs and services at the General Council Office. Currently, the General Secretary is considering additional funding options.
  • Transcript

    • 1. MINISTRY LEADERSHIP HOW DO WE SUPPORT EFFECTIVE MINISTRY LEADERSHIP AND HEALTHY PASTORAL RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA? An introduction to a proposal from the Permanent Committee on Ministry and Employment Policies and Services November 2011
    • 2. The Mission and Ministry of the United Church
      • This proposal is about the work of the United Church of Canada and our faithfulness to the ministry of Jesus Christ in the world.
      • The ministry leadership model of the United Church involves the training and support of paid ministers: ordained, diaconal and designated lay ministers. There are 2300 paid ministers serving the church.
      • We depend on the effectiveness of these leaders to fulfil the missions of our 3300 congregations, 300 community ministries, 85 Presbyteries, 13 Conferences and the General Council.
      • For paid ministers to be effective, they need:
        • Gifts for leadership, continuous education, skill, commitment
        • Healthy relationships with their communities of faith
        • Support through compensation, resources, colleagues, and oversight.
    • 3.
      • Where did this report come from?
        • May 2010
          • CGE directed that proposals be developed
          • to move some or all pastoral relations responsibilities
          • from the Presbyteries to the Conferences.
        • Many research projects, reports and proposals to General Councils in the last eight years pointed in this direction.
      Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 4.
      • Constituency Feedback
      • Through this fourth round of consultation, the Executive of the General Council hopes to gain further insight and participation in this project from ministry personnel and congregational members.
        • Views on the strengths and weaknesses of the model
        • Feedback about the perceived impact of the changes
        • Suggestions for revisions that reflect the positive aspects of United Church experiences and address the present challenges.
      Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 5.
      • Present Model
      • Research revealed several common concerns about the present model:
        • Volunteers managing employment issues
        • Effectiveness of oversight and discipline practices
        • Sustainability of the current model
        • Potential conflict of peers conducting oversight
        • Need for more collegiality and support for local and regional mission and ministry
        • “ Tweaking” the present model will not address concerns
      Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 6. Research Findings Excerpts from the Collaborative Research Project (Winter 2011) Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 7. Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 8. Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership & healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church? 86.5% Agree
    • 9. Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership & healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church? 43.5% not receiving spiritual guidance they need
    • 10. Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership & healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church? 50.1% not receiving support they need from Church
    • 11.
      • Change: an adaptive challenge
      • Managing the challenges and difficulty of change depends on two factors:
          • The presence of a clear vision for the future and/or outcome
          • The conscious recognition that change is necessary
      • Significant change requires looking at things in totally new ways and doing them in radically difference ways. This is difficult for all of us. Like our ancestors in faith, we can set out on this journey with great expectation but when the way seems unclear or the result not guaranteed, we often want to return to what was familiar back in Egypt.
      Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 12. Adaptive Challenge A New Model for Effective Ministry Leadership and Healthy Pastoral Relationships Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 13.
      • Proposal Summary
      • This report considers the health of ministry personnel and the local ministry units they serve, by redefining key areas of pastoral responsibilities.
        • Congregations and local ministries :
        • support for their mission and ministry leadership
        • Presbytery :
        • pastoral relations policies related to defining mission and assessing leadership needs, and identifying new leadership
        • Conference :
        • policies related to the credentials of ministry personnel, employment standards and the initiation or ending of pastoral relationships, supported by professional staff
      Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 14. Proposed New Model – Local Ministries Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 15. Proposed New Model – Presbyteries Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 16. Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church? Proposed New Model – Conferences
    • 17. Proposed New Model – General Council Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 18.
      • Implications
        • Changes in polity
        • Additional personnel staff
        • Changes for volunteer responsibilities
      • Opportunities
        • Increased time and energy for mission projects and programs
        • Collegiality and cooperation, pastoral and spiritual care
        • Revitalizing pastoral relations processes
        • Increased staff support for the search and selection process
        • Increased vocational support and assessment for ministry personnel
        • Reclaiming an aspect of our Methodist tradition
      Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 19.
      • Financial implications
        • Creation of 15 new personnel staff positions
        • Requires a revised funding approach
        • Potential cost savings by shortening processes and early resolution of conflicts
        • Shorter transition times for congregations
      Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 20.
      • Possible funding options
      • The General Secretary has been directed to develop proposals for funding options including, but not limited to:
        • reallocation of current General Council budget
        • an assessment similar to EAP or Restorative Care
        • earmarking of conference grants
      Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?
    • 21.
      • Action by the Executive of the General Council
        • Received report for information in November 2011
        • Authorized consultation with wider church on the wisdom and viability of all or some of the proposed model
        • Report back March 2012
      • To view and download a copy of the full report, Click Here
      Ministry Leadership How do we support effective ministry leadership and healthy pastoral relationships in the United Church?

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