Who are we?
This information comes to you from the Association of Ministers Committee for Region 15. At present the Committee members are Chair: Ross Bartlett, Secretary: Linda Yates, Members: Lori Crocker (Diaconal) and Bill Drysdale (DLM). Obviously, this is a big piece of work and it will not happen overnight. In our first meeting as the Association of Ministers Committee, we felt that a starting point would be to contact the ministry personnel of Region 15 and gather them.
How did this Committee come to be?
The General Council has delegated the responsibility for the Association of Ministers to the Regions. Ross Bartlett was asked by the Regional Council to Chair the committee for Region 15. The Regional Council asked that the Association of Ministers Committee be made up of five people, including at least one diaconal, one DLM and one ordained.
Where did the idea for an Association of Ministers Come from?
The work of the Comprehensive Review Task Group (CRTG), led to a series of remits resulting in major changes to the organizational structure of the church. One of those changes was to abolish the Presbytery and place the tasks of oversight and discipline with the Office of Vocations. The collegiality and support functions of Presbytery were assigned to the Regions:
“encourage regional councils to gather ministry personnel within their bounds into circles for support, the nurturing of collegiality and possibly professional development and continuing education.” General Council Executive, Nov. 17, 2018
In response to this decision of the GCE, the Regional Council Executive for Region 15 (Nova Scotia & Bermuda) has established an Association of Ministers Committee within the Division of Faith, Nurture, and Support (Source: Governance Handbook, Region 15, v 1.16 approved Jan 15.19)
What is the mandate of Region 15’s Association of Ministers Committee?
The Regional Council has given the following mandate: explore and develop possibilities for an Association of Ministers within the understandings of the United Church. The membership of the committee is composed of: Chair, Secretary, 3 Designated Individuals, with the Regional Minister providing staff support.
- develop a framework, principles and process for an Association of Ministers in consultation with ministry personnel in the Region and with other Association of Ministers groups across the country
- participate on behalf of the Region, in any discussions or consultations that may occur on this subject
- inform ministry personnel on the development of the Association concept and ways to participate
- receive suggestions from ministry personnel on ways an Association might benefit them
- create collegial circles or clusters and develop opportunities for clusters and/or networks necessary for the functioning of the Committee/Division
- provide accompaniment with ministers as they engage with the Office of Vocation Processes
- support for colleagues undergoing difficulties
- help develop mentor linkages
- keep in focus support to ministry personnel in unusual employment situations (chaplains, etc.) and those retained on disability in the Region
So, as a beginning, we would invite you to respond to the following through the email address below:
- Would you like to see such membership be mandatory or voluntary?
- What would you like such an association to do for you and your colleagues ?
- Would you consider being involved in gathering together ministers in your local area to form a “chapter” of such an association?
Reply to AssociationOfMinisters15@gmail.com
Thank you so much for your attention to our first letter to you and for your response to the above questions. We appreciate your responses by April 5, 2019. And, we hope to see you in May!
Please click the appropriate link to register for our iaugural meeting of the Region 15 Association of Ministers
Yours – in the spirit of “encouraging and supporting ministry personnel towards health, joy and excellence in ministry practice”,
The Association of Ministers Committee:
Ross Bartlett, Linda Yates, Lori Crocker, Bill Drysdale.