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Bully in the Church Workshop

REMIT IMPLEMENTATION PROPOSAL TEMPLATES


Contents

PROPOSAL NAME: Implementation of three court governance processes 1

PROPOSAL NAME: Repository of Decisions 2

PROPOSAL NAME: Language Used in Investigation and Disciplinary Processes 3

PROPOSAL NAME: Transparency in Investigation and Disciplinary Processes 4

PROPOSAL NAME: Continuation of Processes 5

PROPOSAL NAME: Financial Compensation 6

PROPOSAL NAME: Cause of Investigation 7

PROPOSAL NAME: Clergy Compensation during Transition 8

PROPOSAL NAME: Readmission of DSL(v) clergy 9

PROPOSAL NAME: Call and Appointment with Partnering Denominations 10




PROPOSAL NAME: Implementation of three court governance processes


Origin:


1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has called us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of doing justice and the Holy Spirit continues to call us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the three court model provides an opportunity to enact systems and procedures that will improve opportunities to do justice for individuals, worshipping communities and missions.


2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada is in the process of limiting its decision making authority. While this process has been discerned to be Spirit led its implementation must be seen to be just because it is just.

a. The three court model being proposed is primarily focused on efficiencies and outcomes. This will enhance the financial and business responsibilities of the church. However, such a focus is not always best for pastoral and relational concerns, nor is always best for the recognition of diversity or evangelism.

b. Without the appropriate checks and balances, the reduction in number of courts and the reduction in the number representatives on the governance bodies in each of those courts will result in increased power in fewer hands.

c. The reduction of the number of courts reduces the number of opportunities for reconsideration of decisions and recognition of errors and omissions. The processes of governance must include checks and balances to ensure reduction of harm.

d. The current representation of the three court model does not include a process of implementation, a process of selection, or an explanation of interim processes.

e. The Government of Canada will most likely not approve changes to The United Church of Canada Act until 2019.


3. General Council should forestall the implementation of the three court structure until the processes have been approved by GC #44.

a. The “Devil is in the details” for most structures and their processes. The well being of the church and its members will rely on the processes that enable the structure. For this reason the implementation of the structure should be dependent upon an agreed process approved by General Council 44.


4. The words of the body submitting.


PROPOSAL NAME: Repository of Decisions


Origin:


1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has called us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of doing justice and the Holy Spirit continues to call us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the Office of Vocation offers us the opportunity to study God’s word, pray, be attuned to the Spirit and develop Christian administrative systems that serve the needs of The United Church of Canada and ensure the just treatment of clergy.


2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada must be seen to do justice in the treatment of all its workers. It must be seen to do justice because it is doing justice.

a. The United Church of Canada has a perceived history of supporting workers and their wellbeing.

i. This history began with the General Council endorsement of the Hamilton Statement made by the antecedent Methodist Church in 1918.

ii. The work or Dr. Oscar Cole-Arnal and others has shown that The United Church of Canada does not always afford the principles it articulates for others to those who work within its own structures.

b. The current process of investigation and discipline does not include placing documents pertaining to the process in a central repository.

c. At one time the church did place these documents in the archives.

d. The church believes that it is the guidance of the Spirit that is important in these decisions and not precedence.

e. The church makes other documents and decision-making processes that rely on the guidance of the Spirit available for study.

f. The unavailability of these documents prevents a full examination of the history of church practices.

g. The guidance of the Spirit is not relegated to one situation, as shown in Scripture and other documents of the church


3. General Council should reinstate the practice of submitting all documents pertaining to individual investigations and decision making into a central repository, namely The Archives of The United Church of Canada.


4. The words of the body submitting.



PROPOSAL NAME: Language Used in Investigation and Disciplinary Processes


Origin:


1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has called us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of doing justice and the Holy Spirit continues to call us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the Office of Vocation offers us the opportunity to study God’s word, pray, be attuned to the Spirit and develop Christian administrative systems that serve the needs of The United Church of Canada and ensure the just treatment of clergy.


2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada must be seen to do justice in the treatment of all its workers. It must be seen to do justice because it is doing justice.

a. The United Church of Canada has a perceived history of supporting workers and their wellbeing.

i. This history began with the General Council endorsement of the Hamilton Statement made by the antecedent Methodist Church in 1918.

ii. The work or Dr. Oscar Cole-Arnal and others has shown that The United Church of Canada does not always afford the principles it articulates for others to those who work within its own structures.

b. The current process of investigation and discipline is not clearly delineated. When an investigation begins the clergy in question is said to be “under discipline”. This term insinuates that the individual being reviewed is guilty of something before any investigation has occurred.

c. Discipline of clergy and other workers within The United Church of Canada is often destructive of individuals and family units, and also damages congregations and courts of the church.

d. The United Church of Canada espouses a belief in processes of truth and reconciliation, as well as restorative practice.

e. Research has indicated the power and unshakeability of rumour.

f. The Quantitative Report received by the GCE indicates this matter is of great importance to members of the church even though it is not the most time consuming of Pastoral Relations tasks.

g. If no action is taken injustices will continue.

i. People, families, congregations and other Christian relationships will continue to be damaged (in some cases irreparably)

ii. The institutional church and its reputation will be further damaged as research into its practices continues.

iii. God’s call to do justice will not be followed.


3. General Council should instruct those tasked with developing the processes and procedures of the Office of Vocation to ensure a process of investigation and discipline is appropriately delineated and fair. Each step must be clearly identified

a. Receipt and delivery of allegation/accusation/charge.

b. Review/investigation/examination

c. Adjudication/determination/appeal/determination

d. Exoneration/discipline/punishment.


4. The words of the body submitting.




PROPOSAL NAME: Transparency in Investigation and Disciplinary Processes


Origin:


1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has called us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of doing justice and the Holy Spirit continues to call us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the Office of Vocation offers us the opportunity to study God’s word, pray, be attuned to the Spirit and develop Christian administrative systems that serve the needs of The United Church of Canada and ensure the just treatment of clergy.


2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada must be seen to do justice in the treatment of all its workers. It must be seen to do justice because it is doing justice.

a. The United Church of Canada has a perceived history of supporting workers and their wellbeing.

i. This history began with the General Council endorsement of the Hamilton Statement made by the antecedent Methodist Church in 1918.

ii. The work or Dr. Oscar Cole-Arnal and others has shown that The United Church of Canada does not always afford the principles it articulates for others to those who work within its own structures.

b. The current process of investigation of clergy invites anyone who wishes to say anything they like about a minister to do so to the investigative person/committee.

c. The person sharing information with the is not identified, nor is the content of their submission made known to the clergy until the investigative body is prepared to make a recommendation to the appropriate court of the church.

d. The clergy, or the clergy’s agent, is never given an opportunity to question these individuals.

e. This process takes place in private and the investigative body decides what it will and will not place in its report.


3. General Council should ensure that process of investigation and adjudication is open and transparent. All information should be made available to the clergy, in a timely fashion, so clergy can prepare responses. Clergy, or the clergy’s agent, should be allowed to question those who provide information to the investigative body.


4. The words of the body submitting.





PROPOSAL NAME: Continuation of Processes


Origin:


1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has caused us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of living justice and the Holy Spirit calls us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the Office of Vocation offers us the opportunity to study God’s word, pray, be attuned to the Spirit and develop Christian administrative systems that serve the needs of The United Church of Canada and ensure the just treatment of clergy.


2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada must be seen to do justice in the treatment of all its workers. It must be seen to do justice because it is doing justice.

a. The United Church of Canada has a perceived history of supporting workers and their wellbeing.

i. This history began with the General Council endorsement of the Hamilton Statement made by the antecedent Methodist Church in 1918.

ii. The work of Dr. Oscar Cole-Arnal and others has shown that The United Church of Canada does not always afford the principles it articulates for others to those who work within its own structures.

iii. History has demonstrated that in many instances the disbanding of one process and the implementation of another process can result in constrained resources increased damage to the people concurrently involved in the process.


3. General Council should instruct those governing bodies currently undertaking J12 reviews that these J12 reviews must continue to be fully resourced and the processes be conducted effectively without being overly focused on efficiency while new review methods are being implemented.


4. The words of the body submitting.




PROPOSAL NAME: Financial Compensation


Origin:


1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has called us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of doing justice and the Holy Spirit continues to call us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the Office of Vocation offers us the opportunity to study God’s word, pray, be attuned to the Spirit and develop Christian administrative systems that serve the needs of The United Church of Canada and ensure the just treatment of clergy.


2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada must be seen to do justice in the treatment of all its workers. It must be seen to do justice because it is doing justice.

a. The United Church of Canada has a perceived history of supporting workers and their wellbeing.

i. This history began with the General Council endorsement of the Hamilton Statement made by the antecedent Methodist Church in 1918.

ii. The work or Dr. Oscar Cole-Arnal and others has shown that The United Church of Canada does not always afford the principles it articulates for others to those who work within its own structures.

b. The investigative and adjudicative processes must be completed in a thorough fashion to ensure fashion. During the investigative process a clergy can be removed from a pastoral charge with only three months of compensation (regardless of the years of service). In the case of those who live in manses this also means moving, and with the inability seek a call or appointment elsewhere. These processes can be lengthy.

c. Clergy and their families can be left both financially and emotionally bereft.

d. This disruption to lives and careers is usually devastating, even when allegations prove to be false.


3. General Council should develop processes of financial compensation for clergy and clergy families who have experienced financial loss due to actions resulting from false accusations.


4. The words of the body submitting.




PROPOSAL NAME: Cause of Investigation


Origin:


1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has called us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of doing justice and the Holy Spirit continues to call us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the Office of Vocation offers us the opportunity to study God’s word, pray, be attuned to the Spirit and develop Christian administrative systems that serve the needs of The United Church of Canada and ensure the just treatment of clergy.


2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada must be seen to do justice in the treatment of all its workers. It must be seen to do justice because it is doing justice.

a. The United Church of Canada has a perceived history of supporting workers and their wellbeing.

i. This history began with the General Council endorsement of the Hamilton Statement made by the antecedent Methodist Church in 1918.

ii. The work or Dr. Oscar Cole-Arnal and others has shown that The United Church of Canada does not always afford the principles it articulates for others to those who work within its own structures.

b. The Manual gives only one cause for investigation of clergy -- “ineffectiveness in ministry.” There is no definition of effectiveness.

c. Clergy frequently do not know any specific allegation that has led to a determination to conduct an investigation of effectiveness.


3. General Council should ensure that The Manual or any other governance documents identify clear and specific reasons for investigating clergy personnel and that any clergy facing investigation be given clear, specific and identifiable allegations being investigated.


4. The words of the body submitting.




PROPOSAL NAME: Clergy Compensation during Transition


Origin:


1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has called us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of doing justice and the Holy Spirit continues to call us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the Office of Vocation offers us the opportunity to study God’s word, pray, be attuned to the Spirit and develop Christian administrative systems that serve the needs of The United Church of Canada and ensure the just treatment of clergy.


2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada must be seen to do justice in the treatment of all its workers. It must be seen to do justice because it is doing justice.

a. The United Church of Canada has a perceived history of supporting workers and their wellbeing.

i. This history began with the General Council endorsement of the Hamilton Statement made by the antecedent Methodist Church in 1918.

ii. The work or Dr. Oscar Cole-Arnal and others has shown that The United Church of Canada does not always afford the principles it articulates for others to those who work within its own structures.

b. The United Church of Canada is changing from a voluntary contribution to an assessment system for national governance and administrative purposes. Such change can cause confusion and may inadvertently result in community of faith staff suffering unintended hardship, if paying assessments is deemed to be the priority over paying local staff.

c. Written policies provide necessary information when confusion arises.


3. General Council should instruct ministerial sites to pay clergy and other staff prior to paying assessments.


4. The words of the body submitting.




PROPOSAL NAME: Readmission of DSL(v) clergy


Origin:


1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has called us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of doing justice and the Holy Spirit continues to call us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the Office of Vocation offers us the opportunity to study God’s word, pray, be attuned to the Spirit and develop Christian administrative systems that serve the needs of The United Church of Canada and ensure the just treatment of clergy.



2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada must be seen to do justice in the treatment of all its workers. It must be seen to do justice because it is doing justice.

a. The United Church of Canada has a perceived history of supporting workers and their wellbeing.

i. This history began with the General Council endorsement of the Hamilton Statement made by the antecedent Methodist Church in 1918.

ii. The work or Dr. Oscar Cole-Arnal and others has shown that The United Church of Canada does not always afford the principles it articulates for others to those who work within its own structures.

b. Decision made regarding clergy and other workers within The United Church of Canada are often destructive of individuals and family units.

c. In the past egregious errors have occurred when changes of status in the DSL were implemented without consideration of those involved. This created difficulties and hardship for certain clergy when seeking readmission.

d. Initially there was one DSL. When the DSL was divided into the DSL(disciplinary) and the DSL (voluntary) many people on the DSL(v) were assumed to be on the DSL(d) leading to many difficulties when these clergy applied for readmission to active status.

e. A reverse onus policy is contrary to the teachings of Christ.


3. General Council should readmit all clergy currently on the DSL(v) until/unless those individuals involved indicate otherwise.


4. The words of the body submitting.




PROPOSAL NAME: Call and Appointment with Partnering Denominations


Origin:



1. The issue is the responsible, just, equitable administration of internal justice on the part of The United Church of Canada.

a. We believe that God of scripture has called us to be just and sometimes God’s justice surprises us. The prophets preached the need for justice, Jesus lived examples of doing justice and the Holy Spirit continues to call us to do justice. (Examples are myriad but some may be found in the book of Amos, Matthew 20:1-16, Acts 5:1-5)

b. We believe that our past practices have not always been guided by the Spirit but have been influenced by institutional concern.

c. We believe that the development of the Office of Vocation offers us the opportunity to study God’s word, pray, be attuned to the Spirit and develop Christian administrative systems that serve the needs of The United Church of Canada and ensure the just treatment of clergy.


2. This issue is important because The United Church of Canada must be seen to do justice in the treatment of all its workers. It must be seen to do justice because it is doing justice.

a. The United Church of Canada has a perceived history of supporting workers and their wellbeing.

i. This history began with the General Council endorsement of the Hamilton Statement made by the antecedent Methodist Church in 1918.

ii. The work or Dr. Oscar Cole-Arnal and others has shown that The United Church of Canada does not always afford the principles it articulates for others to those who work within its own structures.

b. The United Church of Canada has had an historic policy of a minister for every church and a church for every minister.


3. General Council should develop a policy to ensure that all efforts have been made to call/appoint a United Church of Canada clergy person prior to calling/appointing a clergy from another denomination.


4. The words of the body submitting.