eastcentralontario@united-church.ca

Even in the midst of a pandemic, the business of the Church continues! As we look around the church over these past 7+ weeks, we are seeing incredible, gifted ministry happening in an unfathomable variety of ways. Our ministry leaders are working hard as they shepherd communities of faith and the Regional Councils through these challenging times. It is with a grateful heart that I acknowledge you, and the work you are doing, all the while you, too, are living in uncertain and challenging times.

We are hearing that this is a marathon and not a sprint we are on. It is vital that you look after yourself, find refreshment, rest and Sabbath time, so that you can continue to lead, healthily, for as long as these days go on.

Resources for supporting communities of faith, employees, ministry personnel and their families can be found on the Regional Council and General Council websites in the COVID-19 sections. Please reach out; we are not alone.

Annual Declaration re: Police Background Checks

It’s that time of the year again! From April 1 to June 30, Ministry Personnel (including Candidates in Supervised Ministry Education appointments or other appointments) will be able to submit their annual declaration on criminal charges form on ChurchHub. This form needs to be filled out no later than June 30, 2020 to remain compliant, including being eligible for calls or appointments and for licenses for sacraments and marriages.

To fill out the annual declaration, log in to ChurchHub and “My Ministry Page.” Look to the right for the “My Professional Requirements” box and then select the “Annual Declaration 2020” link. You will need the date of your last Police Records Check to complete your declaration. A helpful tip! You can upload a copy of your last Police Records Check to your “Private Documents” folder in ChurchHub for you to refer to later, so you don’t need to search for it every year. Note that only you have access to this folder.

If you completed your annual declaration anytime from January to March 2020, then you actually were completing your 2019 annual declaration. You will need to log in to ChurchHub and complete your annual declaration for 2020.

Are You Ministry Personnel Looking for a new Call/Appointment? Wanting to be Re-appointed?

No more paper! Calls/appointments/re-appointments are all done through ChurchHub now. Hopefully by now you have completed your ChurchHub profile and your annual declaration. This profile is the way in which you access Communities of Faith that are seeking a new pastoral relationship. It is also the mechanism that those same Communities of Faith use search for their next ministry personnel. So ministry personnel that have been approved as available for call/appointment can see community of faith profiles, and communities of faith that have an approved position can look at approved ministry profiles.

The key phrase is “ministry personnel that have been approved for as available for call/appointment.” What does that mean and why do you have to be “approved?” It means that when you log in to your ChurchHub profile, and click the “Find a New Ministry” button (Select “My Ministry Page” from the main landing page, then it’s the one with the green magnifying glass), you are taken to a page where you must “Request to be Available for Call or Appointment.” Once you click that button (red + sign) then you receive a message that says “Pending – Your request to be made available for call or appointment is under review.”

If you are already in an appointment and a re-appointment is being sought, you will still need to be approved by your Office of Vocation Minister (using the same criteria listed below), however you do not need to “Request to be Available for Call or Appointment.” Your Pastoral Relations and Office of Vocation Ministers will work together to facilitate the ChurchHub process. You must have an active profile on ChurchHub in order to be re-appointed.

Your Office of Vocation Minister is now reviewing your request and we are looking for three things:

  1. that you are in Good Standing as defined by The Manual (2019);
  2. that you have done your mandatory training in Racial Justice (once) and Personal and Professional Boundaries for Church Leaders (within past five years); and,
  3. that you have completed your Police Records Annual Declaration.

Good Standing

Good Standing as defined by The Manual (2019) = There are no outstanding Office of Vocation orders for you; and that you are not on the Discontinued Service List Voluntary or Disciplinary, nor on the Discontinued Lay Ministry Appointment list. Items 2 and 3 can be found on your ChurchHub landing page at the top labeled “My Professional Requirements.” Your date of completion may not be visible yet as we’re still manually entering data from in person workshop information in the paper files. Don’t worry, your Office of Vocation Minister will cross-reference with your former Conference paper file to find a copy of your certificate. If all three things are completed per policy, we will then “approve” your request to be made available for call/appointment and communities of faith will now receive access to your profile.

If you are in good standing as defined by The Manual (2019), yet lack an Annual Declaration or do not have mandatory trainings, then we cannot approve your request until you are compliant. We will contact you first if we cannot locate certificates of completion/police records check in your file in case you have valid copies at home. The easiest, most affordable and quickest way to become compliant is to take a few moments today and note the date of your most recent Police Records Check. Use this to submit your 2020 Police Records Annual Declaration, available April 1 – June 30, 2020. Then move to your mandatory trainings – if you haven’t completed them then register right away at the link below! And if it’s been more than five years since your last Personal & Professional Boundaries then sign up for an introductory course or maybe a refresher in Social Media and/or Finances & Gifts – or all 3! They are all offered this spring and new 2020 dates will be added soon.

Also, if you prefer learning in person with a group, watch for more news about sessions when we can again gather in person.

If you decide over the summer that it’s time to seek a new call/appointment and then realize that your mandatory training is out of date, we cannot approve you to search until the courses are completed – which may mean you miss out on a great ministry opportunity. The next round of webinars will be offered fall 2020, so consider taking some spring 2020 continuing education at the link below:
https://www.united-in-learning.com/index.php/webinars

May the budding trees and fresh blooming flowers remind you of God’s love each and every day.

Karen Valley
Minister for the Office of Vocation
Quebec and East Ontario
1 800 268-3781 ext. 6107
kvalley@united-church.ca