Pastoral relations policies govern search, selection, calls, and appointments between ministers and United Church communities of faith.
For new pastoral relations resources and contact information for your regional council pastoral relations staff, see Downloads, below.
In the church,
some are called to specific ministries of leadership,
both lay and ordered;
some witness to the good news;
some uphold the art of worship;
some comfort the grieving and guide the wandering;
some build up the community of wisdom;
some stand with the oppressed and work for justice. (A Song of Faith)
A community of faith, like any community, changes.
When a minister comes into a community of faith
a covenant is made; a promise to walk together as God’s people,
deepening our commitment to Jesus Christ
and growing closer to God.
God’s covenant with us never changes,
but our covenants with one another do change.
(Adapted from the Book of Worship, United Church of Christ © 1986, United Church of Christ Office for Church Life and Leadership, New York, New York. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
To embody God’s love in the world,
the work of the church requires the ministry and discipleship
of all believers. (A Song of Faith)
Guidelines and Policies
What is pastoral relations policy?
“Ordered ministers and designated lay ministers while in paid accountable ministry positions are office holders within The United Church of Canada. While there may be elements similar to employment, the essential nature of the relationship is a covenant.” From Statement on Ministry in The United Church of Canada (2012).
The special status of ministry personnel requires the church to write policy that governs the paid accountable ministry relationship between ministry personnel and communities of faith. The policy that governs this relationship is pastoral relations policy.
Pastoral relations policy governs search, selection, calls, and appointments between ministry personnel and communities of faith within The United Church of Canada. Pastoral relations policy is set by the General Council and implemented cooperatively by communities of faith and regional councils.
ChurchHub is established and regularized as the required process for ministry personnel and communities of faith to search for calls and appointments. The United Church of Canada will support the Indigenous Church in being self-determining in whether or how they use ChurchHub.
For more information about ChurchHub, see our webpage about it.
To learn more:
- Watch these videos:
- Read the Pastoral Relations Transition FAQs: June 2018 available under Downloads, below.
- Read the slides from ChurchHub training (November 2018) under Downloads, below.
- As you examine the presence of power and bias in your search process, you may find this video series from our full communion partner The United Church of Christ (USA) helpful in raising your awareness of the presence of ableism, racism, heterosexism, and sexism in your search process. The four-video series Stretching Beyond: Diversity in the Search and Call Process is available online.
For more information please contact: