Proposal GCE 06 Summary: Thoughts from Zoom Workshop

Re: GS 128 and GCE 06 Thursday April 28, 2022 @ 4 pm EDT

25 participants from Victoria Island in British Columbia to Newfoundland. Opened and closed with “One More Step Along the World, I Go”.

Clarification:

  • GS 128 was the original document and has been withdrawn and replaced by GCE 06.
  • The General Council Executive after Canada Wide consultation with Designated Lay Leaders (DLM), Congregational Designated Ministry (CDM) and Licensed Lay Worship Leaders (LLWL) has introduced GCE 06 as a Resource Document for General Council 44 Commissioners.
  • It seems to have split and arranged the issues as per topic:
    • Better Supporting Rural and Smaller Communities of Faith
    • Lay-led Communities of Faith
    • Licensed Lay Worship Leaders
    • Congregational Designated Ministry
    • Pastoral Charge Supervisors
    • Technology
    • Designated Lay Ministry
    • For Current Designated Ministers
    • For Future Designated Ministers

  • Discussion:
  • Why not leave it as it is?
  • DLM Candidates are concerned about the future of the DLM Program, especially as this is the last year for the Training Program at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon.
  • Many DLMs entered into the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program (LPM) before 2000. (The requirements: you were over 40 and had suitable life experiences.)
  • DLMs may not have been aware that chances were made in 2000 (at GC 37), especially changes related to only home-church availability. This has not been the practice (in reality) in Presbyteries and Conferences and now Regions.
  • Until 2010 or so, In-Community Ordination Programs were only available in test places (and underserviced) areas of Canada.
  • Felt the sense (Call) to take the next step – where does that leave us now as DLM Students?
  • CDM Leadership of a Lay-led Congregation – good opinion with at least LLWL training.
  • We feel Called to Lay Ministry, not Ordained Ministry.
  • Justice, Equality and Dignity concerns – especially when retired.
  • The present systems works – especially when the Church needs ministers.
  • Definitions can be confusing CDM, DLM and LLWL and their meaning and educational requirements.
  • Access to the DLM program has been so successful, that most congregations do not see any difference between a DLM Minister and an Ordained Minister.
  • I signed up for a LPM (pre DLM), as I felt I had gifts in Pastoral Ministry.
  • Educational requirements are reasonably lengthy.
  • Salary differences is about $2,000 per year less for a DLM (only minimum salary)
  • Salary is not an issue with most DLM (in different professions, more experienced or with more education get paid more).
  • Congregations (Pastoral Charges) decides the terms based on the Minimum Salary Schedule
  • In some Regions (Conferences) CDMs work with the rules of LLWLs – only so many Sundays per period, etc.
  • For smaller rural churches; ministry happens with whomever you have or can get – many times it seems the Church Bureaucracy gets in the way of their ministry.
  • Most DLMs do not necessary want to be Ordained – as we feel our gifts are lay centered.
  • Many DLM’s (CDMs and LLWLs) bring skills, secular and training which may or may not be Ministry related; such as nursing, teacher, music, Chaplaincy, etc.
  • –  Some feel that GCE 06 (and this overall proposal) is an attack on our Lay-call to Ministry versus an attempt to support lay-led ministry.
  • Called to Lay Ministry – not Ordained or Commissioned Ministry
  • Canadian Revenue Agency determining that those doing the same consistent ministry – they need to be on payroll.
  • Many LLWLs have had 6 classes of 30 hours each class, plus local courses from the community or local hospital (such as pastoral care).
  • Many DLMs learn as they do (experimental learning)
  • Technology to support small membership churches. Many rural communities have sparse Internet coverage – even when they have good Internet, they may not have tech-minded operators.
  • Clusters of 5 congregations – started with two ministers. Five years later – only one minister. Two in-person services per week – using Zooms at both services – Hybrid services. Minister not getting much downtime.
  • Is this DLM proposal similar to how the General Council is addressing Rural Churches and Rural Ministry?
  • What needs to happen (what shift/ pivot) to be the church in Ministry versus trying to “fix” how we are already being the Church. Seems like “Thumbs in the dyke” when the typhoon has already arrived.
  • More hours, less Ministers – systematic of a bigger problem.
  • We are working to be the “Church of the Privileged”.
  • Justice issues ???? Much bigger than just this proposal.
  • Edge” has a toolkit to start round table conversations in your own experiences in your own community. Or “Rural Café” (see UCRMN.ca under workshops).
  • The WWW is looking at web 3 – decentralized from each other – working outside our own box. Who is my community neighbour? Are they United, Anglican or Catholic?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s