“Ministry Leadership to Meet the Needs of the Church in the 2020’s”
To be presented to General Council 44 (GC44) delegates this summer
Is GS128 too little and too late? It proposes changes to the Designated Lay Minister (DLM) stream, the possible opening up of the lay ministries of Licensed Lay Worship Leaders (LLWL) and Congregational Designated Minister (CDM), and further support for collaborative (cluster) ministries and the use of technology to link congregations for worship services. This requires appropriate oversight from Regional Appointed Community of Faith Supervisors (RACFS).
Many of our Regions all across Canada are experiencing high numbers of Communities of Faith without appointed or called Ministers. These pulpits are filled by LLWLs, CDMs and retired supply (United Church and from many other denominations). To facilitate these pulpit supplies, each Community of Faith requires a RACFS. In some Regions, one RACFS is appointed to many Communities of Faith (word is 6 or 7). This seems to be far more Communities of Faith than is reasonable.
GS 128 proposes action on 4 areas:
- The Statement of Ministry (2012).
- Indigenous Ministries.
The last two Proposals are “For Action” at GC44:
- Better Supporting Rural and Smaller Communities of Faith.
- Designated Lay Ministry.
Items c & d are the two proposals we feel we have something to offer as Rural Church ministers and lay folk. We know the situation first hand. We love and care for our small rural communities. We DO have something to add to this conversation.
Although we cannot change the Proposal, we CAN inform our Regional General Council delegates (RGCd) about Rural Ministry, rural communities and the situations we are so well aware of. Have a conversation with your RGCd to share your experiences with your Communities of Faith and their struggles. Many of us are finding that this will not only impact Rural, but also many small city and town Communities of Faith as well.
The United Church Rural Ministry Network is very interested in your experiences – share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org