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  • GS 128 was the original document and has been withdrawn and replaced by GCE 06.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?

3 thoughts on “Proposal GCE 06 Summary: Thoughts from Zoom Workshop

  1. Thank you for Summary of the GC44 Proposal GCE 06.
    For me the key isssue in the rural and urban UCC is: 1. if all of us as friends, companions or followers of Christ are called to a ministry, how do we effectively live out this ministry as laity and ministry personnel serving rural and urban communities of faith?

    2. do we care whether all rural and urban UCC churches or communities of faith are served as well as possible?

    3. will we find multiple creative, innovative and supportive ways of doing this?

    4. do we really want to professionalize the UCC ministry like the Canadian Nurses Association has done: RN, RPN, NP, Licensed Practical Nurses and Continuing Care Assistants? (see 8 pages, B1–B8 on the National Nursing Week 2022 inserted in the in the Regina Leader Post of Tuesday, May 10, 2022).

    5. let’s find or discern guidelines and policies that accomplish numbers 1-3 above.

    Like

  2. Thank you for the Summary of the GC44 Proposal GCE06.
    For me the key issue in the rural and urban UCC is: 1. if all of us as friends, companions or followers of Jesus Christ are called to a ministry, how do we effectively live out this ministry as laity and ministry personnel serving rural and urban communities of faith?

    2. do we care whether all rural and urban UCC communities of faith are served as well as possible?

    3. will find multiple creative, innovative and supportive ways of doing this?

    4. do we really want to professionalize the UCC ministry like the Canadian Nurses Association has done: RN, RPN, NP, Licensed Practical Nurses and Continuing Care Assistants? (cf. 8 pages, B1-8 on the National Nursing Week 2022 in the Regina Leader Post, Tuesday, May 10, 2022).

    5. let’s discern or find guidelines and policies that accomplish numbers 1-3 above.

    Like

  3. The UCC is pivoting away from humility into elitism and it seems to be driven by ordained/staff..unfortunately.. I do hope they don’t feel threatened by merger DLM. I was called to LPM stream, encouraged by humble ordained ministers. What has happened to the church I fall in love with in the early 2000’s. I miss it and have moved away from volunteering at Presbyery, Conference now Regional as well as National… my heart is broken. You are no long the church I joined. I had the opportunity to be a delegate at the CCC in the late 90’s; it was concerned about social justice but now on the outside you are, but not internally. There willing be a reckoning at some point I fear. Please fine your humble old self…it has become the arrogant Anglican church I was a member of for years and left because of it.

    Like

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