Pastoral Relations Council
Terms of Reference
The Purpose of the Pastoral Relations Council is:
- to support the mission of the Pacific Mountain Region as it works toward the creation of healthy communities of faith, thriving ministries, effective leadership, and faithful public witness related to pastoral relationships; and
- to create and embody the practices and procedures that reflect the ends policies of the Pacific Mountain Region that are in alignment with the polity of the United Church of Canada related to pastoral relationships.
Responsibilities and opportunities
The Pastoral Relations Council has four roles:
- it acts as a decision-making body to establish operational policies/procedures, and oversee the work of its sub- committees;
- through the Executive Minister, it recommends the establishment of or change in Regional policies related to pastoral relations, to the Executive Council as well as identify gaps and pastoral Relations trends;
- it reviews existing operational regional and denominational policies to ensure coherence and continued relevance; and
- it functions as the oversight body for each of the associated and sub-committees.
Specific tasks include, but are not limited to:
- recommending Regional policy as it relates to Pastoral Relations, i.e.
- Marriage Licenses, Sacraments, and Licensed Lay Worship Leaders;
- assuming control of Communities of Faith in extraordinary conditions [C.2.3
- ordering, receiving, and responding to reviews of Communities of Faith [J.8];
- receiving evaluations of Interim Ministry for matters related to pastoral
- relations [I.1.10];
- providing input into the Regional Council budget [C.2.5(c)]; and
- assisting the Regional Council/Regional Council Executive with the processes
- related to the discipline of Congregational Designated Ministers (J.6).
Note: It is recognized that there is a need to work with the Community of Faith Support Council on matters of inter-related responsibilities. It is also recognized that collaboration with LeaderShift will be important to ensure growth in capacity related to areas of pastoral relations.
There are three (3) Sub-Committees that are coordinated through the Pastoral Relations Council.
- Pastoral Relations Working Group. (PRWG) acts on and/or make decisions on behalf of the Regional Council (RC) in regard to the following:
- approving Community of Faith profiles and declaring vacancies;
- approving all ministry positions [I.126.96.36.199, I.1.3.2];
- approving changes in terms of calls or appointments (I.1.9);
- receiving and approving requests from ministry personnel to end pastoral relationships [I.3.1.4];
- ending calls or appointments with ministry personnel and other staff in cooperation with the Community of Faith [C.2.8 (a & b)];
- initiating the ending of pastoral relationship when notified by the Office of Vocations (OV) [I.3.1.7];
- deciding whether a position is accountable to the governing body or region, e. categorizing Congregational Designated Minister (CDM) positions [I.1.11.2];
- approving any leave more than three (3) months [I.2.3.6] and sabbaticals [I.2.3.5];
- appointing Interim Ministers;
- approving supply appointments [I.1.8] and approving the renewal of supply appointments [I.1.8]; and
- licensing and re-licensing Sacraments Elders, DLM, candidates to administer the sacraments (C2.9).
- Committee on Ministry Personnel Support (also known as Spiritual Care Network/Pensions) oversees and coordinate the Region’s responsibility to encourage and support Ministry Personnel toward health, joy and excellence in ministry practice in regard to the following:
- caring pastorally for ministry personnel and families experiencing loss and hardship in partnership with Regional Ministers;
- initiating programming that enhances health, joy, and excellence in the practice of ministry in partnership with LeaderShift;
- caring pastorally for retired members [I. 3.2];
- celebrating the retirements of ministry personnel [C.2.10]; and
- welcoming and orienting new ministry personnel to Pacific Mountain Region.
- Lay Leadership (Support) Committee oversees and coordinates the Region’s responsibility to provide ongoing leadership training for lay leaders in regard to the following 188.8.131.52):
- building the capacity of lay leaders who are called to serve in communities of faith;
- training, educating, and resourcing lay leaders;
- supporting the growth of theologically literate and spiritually grounded lay leaders;
- creating networks of support for lay leaders in similar roles across the region; and
- working with Licensed Lay Worship Leaders and Sacraments Elders by recommending action on licensing, providing ongoing support/oversight of Licensed Lay Worship Leaders, (LLWL [I.1.11.15];
- providing training and assessment of Sacraments Elders [I.2.4(c)];
- maintaining lists, supporting networks and clusters related to LLWL and Sacraments Elders; and
- maintaining the list of licensed lay worship leaders and Sacraments Elders.
Accountability and reporting relationships
The Pastoral Relations Council is accountable to the Regional Executive Minister
- Members of the council will include between six (6) and eight (8) members from across the Pacific Mountain Region chosen for their skills, interest, background and knowledge while honouring geographic, gender, ordered and lay representation balance.
- There will be at least one staff person.
- The Chair of the Pastoral Relations Working Group is a voting member ex-officio.
Term: Members are asked to participate for a term of three (3) years, July 1 to August 31 per year. Members can serve for two (2) terms.
Selection: Membership is achieved through the nominations process of the Pacific Mountain Region where applicants are selected by the nominations committee of Pacific Mountain Region.
Reimbursement and compensation: Travel, accommodation and meal expenses will be coordinated and compensated by the Pacific Mountain Region in accordance with the Pacific Mountain Region policies associated with travel for Pacific Mountain Region work.
- to call and chair meetings;
- to develop the meeting agenda with the staff liaison;
- to review and revise meeting minutes;
- to communicate with council members;
- Initiate any correspondence required on behalf of the Pastoral Relations Council
- to confer with the Regional Executive Minister and through the Regional Executive Minister to the Executive when necessary;
- to write an annual report summarizing the council’s activities and achievements during the year; and
- to represent and speak on behalf of the Council.
- to ensure that the Regional Executive Minister and other affected by decisions are advised in a timely fashion.
- to record minutes of the meetings,
- to distribute minutes of meetings, and
- other tasks arising from the Pastoral Relations Council work that are consistent with the Pastoral Relations Coordinator role of the Pacific Mountain Region.
Frequency: The Pastoral Relations Council will meet at least four (4) times a year. Meetings may be via conference or video call or in-person. At least one meeting will be in-person per year.
Notice: Meeting dates will be selected during the previous meeting. A reminder of meeting dates will be issued one week prior to meetings.
Decision-making: We strive for consensus
Quorum: At least 51% of the voting members must be present for a vote to take place.
Minutes: Within three weeks of each meeting, minutes will be sent by email to:
- All members of the Pastoral Relations Council,
- The Executive Minister,
- Pastoral Relations Regional Ministers,
- The Spiritual Care Network,
- The Lay Support Committee, and
- The Community of Faith Council.
- The Pastoral Relations Council ’s records are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and are governed by The United Church of Canada Records Retention Practice.
- British Columbia Personal Information Act: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/03063_01 This provincial act is unique to BC although it exists in other provinces in different forms.
- The council will review these terms of reference every two (2) years by July 31, and Recommend approval of any revisions to the Regional Executive Minister.