Report of Kootenay Presbytery

Published on Dec 4th, 2015 by Webminister | 0

Kootenay Presbytery

“Building Capacity to Lead”

The Fall Presbytery meeting was hosted by the Invermere Shared Ministry at Christ Church Trinity on November 6,7, and 8.  David, Leah, Nancy and Robin attended as representatives of Nelson United Church.  treenaOur guest speaker was Treena Duncan, BC Conference Personnel Minister and one of the leads in the “Effective Leadership” pilot. 

She addressed us in 3 sessions. 
          The first was called Healthy Boundaries and its goal was how to maintain the integrity of the ministerial relationship.  There was an excellent discussion on what boundaries should be in place in order to help build and enable the best relationships within the church.  The sexual abuse policy and the new (2016) Anti-bullying, Anti-Harassment policy were also discussed. 
         The second session was “What Came Down at General Council”.  There is a good document available on the UCC website and a very excellent outline in the last Observer.  The decisions by General Council will go to congregations for study and voting and then back to the next General Council with new commissioners.  For the purpose of expediency, there may be a ‘virtual’ conference within two years.  One notable decision was to explore the possibility of an Office of Vocations instead of a College of Ministers.  There will be a task force working group to work out what this would look like. 
          The third session, “Take Me to Your Pilot,” explained the 2 initiatives of BC Conference—The Candidacy Pathway and the Leadership Pilot.  The first is a restructuring of the system of bringing in new candidates for ministry removing the one year discernment period with the recognition that discernment happens throughout the whole educational process.  Designated lay ministers will now be certified by BC Conference and a Circle of Accompaniment will be the responsibility of Presbytery, providing support to student ministers.  Policy Development, Pastoral Relation matters, Human Resources Practices, Oversight and Discipline of ministry staff has been moved to Conference from Presbytery.  The Joint Needs Assessment Process is no longer in place.   A Commission will give aid to a congregation looking for a new minister.  The Presbytery is more becoming a body of support while conference will deal with the more formal aspects of employment.  There was little time to discuss The Leadership Pilot but information can be found on the BC Conference Website.

Treena asked these questions of us:
          1. Would BC Conference be a good place to implement a Pilot Project on the new structure of UCC?
          2. Could we try moving to 3 Courts from 4?
          3. Are we willing to start to do the work on the new structure?
          4. Would we have a greater ‘say’ nationally if we agreed to the pilot?

There are many questions and concerns that members of Presbytery expressed regarding the Restructuring such as: What happens to assets and how many staff would be hired for the new Regional structure? If we change our structure as a Presbytery, what happens if the whole plan is scrapped in the end?  Perhaps not all answers are needed at the beginning of the process.  We were also notified that BC Conference Spring Meeting will be held in Nelson on March 10-12.

The main business items of Presbytery involved reports from the various teams.  All reports are found on the Presbytery website but here is a short version:

Support to Congregations—Jody Dudley, Chair
      a. Pastoral Care Survey is being done to help communicate what each charge is doing and to determine how help can be given.
     b. There will be a Festival of Faith event with Keith Simmonds as the guest speaker in the fall of 2016 in Nelson.

Nomination—Jean Daniels, Chair
     There will be changes in the Executive members at the Spring Meeting.  There is an immediate need for a Pension Convener.

Outdoor Ministry and Youth—Robin Murray, Chair
       November 6-8     Evolve Conference for Youth
       November 20      Fundraising Dinner in Trail—Camp Koolaree
       November 28     AGM for Koolaree—Castlegar

         The Financial Statement and Budget was circulated.  The 2015 year indicates a deficit of $4636.00 and the 2016 Budget indicates a $3875.00 deficit.   There is, however, still a relatively large reserve account available. 
         Costs for Presbytery Registration will increase from $45.00 to $56.00 and meal costs will increase to $8.00 for lunch and $15 for supper.  Mileage support has gone up to 40cents/km.

frankMission Support—Frank Lewis, Chair
        Frank discussed dispersal of the Mission Support grant awarded annually by the National Church.  (Due to dwindling resources, it is likely that this will be downsized over the next few years)
        $167000 goes to Native Ministries  (51% of moneys)
        $85500 is awarded to First United in Vancouver
        $37000 is awarded to Our Place in Victoria (these 2 amounts account for 38%)
        $38250 is divided between all other BC congregations (11%)

Justice and Peace
         The team discussed the proposals that went to General Council and how to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by Presbytery and individual churches.  There was a question about what can be done to support a coordinated effort to bring more refugees to B.C.  David cautioned everyone to do careful research if they are planning to provide United Church Sponsorship.

Spiritual Care Network—Therese Descamps, Chair
         What are the ways to support the minister?

BC Conference Rep—Cheryl Swedburg
        Cheryl described the work being done regarding the decisions of General Council and how it affects BC Conference.

The Spring Presbytery will be held in Nakusp on April 8, 9 and 10.

A pleasant and fond farewell was given to George Meier on Saturday evening as he retires soon to enjoy his lovely property, time with partner Therese, continued outreach in his Silverton/New Denver community, and possibly to write a book.

This was an information-filled meeting.  The winds raged in Invermere, perhaps an indication of our changing times.  We will choose to travel with the wind feeling its strength and flow!

Please check out the Kootenay Presbytery Website and find a short documentary called Fishing for a Future.  This is about the General Council and is a good explanation of the proposed new governance model of the church.

Submitted by Leah and Nancy
NUC Lay Reps

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