Ministry Personnel and Search Committee
January 8, 2018
Your Ministry Personnel and Search Committee, thanks you for sharing your thoughts, hopes and wonderings through participation in the December 10 gathering or through written comments. We have also reached out to our Ministers, Pastoral Care Team and Finance Team for their wisdom and insight. We value every opinion and the following is a brief summary of the themes we have picked up on, and some answers to some of the questions that have been raised.
First, many of you share a desire for stability and continuity. You said. “Let us keep our shepherds for the new flock.” You value the complimentary styles of Bruce and Janice and say that anchored in their strong leadership we can “embark on innovative, creative endeavours.”
As part of this desire for stability, many of you are recommending with go with a Closed Call, an open-ended hire of existing personnel, Janice and Bruce. As all former congregations have gone through a few years, at least, of term appointments, this desire is understandable.
Other voices caution us not to be so quick to go with the familiar. They say “lets throw the window open!’ Let’s not cut off possibilities that might “limit the ability of the Spirit to engage with us.” Let us go with a Call, but an open one.
Others say it’s too soon to call. We need to get clearer on our long-term vision, on our mission, on our governance model, on our building plans. These voices ask for a three-year appointment of existing personnel for some time- limited stability and a chance to put our house in order before we make a Call.
Comments related to our needs came in three categories: leadership, pastoral care and visioning.
- You are asking for strong, transparent open leadership; an ability to engage with and empower the lay leadership; a willingness to support affirming ministry; and skills to help us meld and create a common vision of our mission.
- You want pastoral care to remain a priority, ministers who can recognize and help those struggling with change, ministers who can help the whole body in its growth as a loving, connected community.
- You want engaging, challenging preaching. A theology that inspires and motivates us to live out the gospel in our daily lives, to use our gifts. You want programming for a new age, holding promise for the generations to come. You want visionary leadership.
Your wonderings, and questions concern affordability, workload, Thirdspace and buildings. You ask for financial accountability and wonder how many staff we can afford. You wonder about the future of Thirdspace.
- The finance team has assured us we can afford at least two full time ministers from our offering plates. This does leave workload concerns and we have heard a number of suggestions to address this, from more support or program staff on term appointments, to visiting preachers throughout the year, perhaps a roster of visiting theologians. We have learned that moving from a pastoral sized congregation to a more regional church brings more challenges of programming for a diversity of needs and as such, we need to allocate more programming budget to meet this new challenge.
- Thirdspace, our emerging spirit enterprise, is still young but very much alive. It continues to get significant funding from the Conference Vision for Mission program and will for a few more years. Evaluation plans are underway. In the meantime, many voices spoke of their support for this bold initiative.
- The buildings question is not within the scope of the MP&S Committee. This is the work of Council, to lead us to decisions of good stewardship around both the buildings and the use of our capital funds. While it seems reasonable to work toward a plan that coincides with the redevelopment of the White Rock site, this doesn’t have a big impact on our present day ministerial needs.
We are still a work in progress. We welcome any further thoughts and comments.
Keep us in your prayers as we work toward completion of our report.