Administrative Standards for Community and Social Justice Ministries The United Church of Canada L Église Unie du Canada - PDF

Community Ministry Standards and Best Practices Administrative Standards for Community and Social Justice Ministries Community Ministry Standards and Best Practices Administrative Standards for Community

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Community Ministry Standards and Best Practices Administrative Standards for Community and Social Justice Ministries Community Ministry Standards and Best Practices Administrative Standards for Community and Social Justice Ministries Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be photocopied, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or otherwise, without the written permission of. Exception: Permission is granted to photocopy for United Church related work. Please credit the source. All biblical quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. Care has been taken to trace ownership of copyright material contained in this text. The publisher will gratefully accept any information that will enable it to rectify any reference or credit in subsequent printings 3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 300 Toronto, ON Canada M8X 2Y Design: Graphics and Print Cover photos: North End Community Ministry, Winnipeg Printed in Canada Contents Introduction...5 Why Do We Need a Set of Standards and Best Practices?...5 Definition of Ministry...5 Background...5 Theological Rationale...7 How to Use This Set of Standards and Best Practices...10 Administrative Standards and Best Practices...11 Mission Statement...11 Accountability...11 Relationships and Partner Organizations...14 Programs and Activities...15 Staffing Standards and Best Practices (for Staff, Volunteers, and Students)...16 Health and Safety...19 Environment...20 Property...21 Insurance...22 Funding, Fundraising, and Donor Relations Policies and Practices...23 Media/Public Relations...23 Accreditation Site Visit Tool...24 A. Mission Statement...24 B. Accountability...24 C. Relationships and Partner Organizations...27 D. Staffing Standards (for Staff, Volunteers, and Students)...27 E. Health and Safety...30 F. Property...32 G. Insurance...32 Appendix I: Glossary of Terms...34 Appendix II: Resources...38 Appendix III: Trial Community Ministries Introduction Why Do We Need a Set of Standards and Best Practices? Ministries within that provide programs with and for the most vulnerable in our society have a duty of care. As such, a United Church of Canada community or social justice ministry (formerly, outreach ministry), either individually or corporately, that engages in a relationship with an individual must take reasonable measures to protect that person from harm. To fulfill that obligation, this set of standards and best practices is offered to assist community and social justice ministries in designing and delivering programs. Its intent is to ensure that a minimum set of standards is adhered to in the operation of a ministry using the name of. Definition of Ministry In The Manual, outreach ministry (hereafter referred to as community ministry) is defined as a ministry other than a pastoral charge or mission that is recognized by the presbytery or the Conference in which it is located or by a General Council unit (The Manual 2004, p. 421). This includes those using name and receiving funding from United Church of Canada sources. The definition excludes programs operated directly by local churches, and financed and supervised by their councils or official boards. Hence, this set of standards and best practices does not apply to those programs. They might, however, find it to be a useful resource to ensure that a duty of care is exercised by their committee or governing body. At the 2005 Energy from the Edges consultation with community and social justice ministers from across Canada, it was decided to change the name of outreach ministries to community ministries. This name change was approved by the Executive of the General Council in fall The Manual will be formally updated in a future revision. Background In, a commitment to the social gospel tradition of care and challenge runs deep. Out of that commitment, a variety of ministries have developed across the country. These ministries range in size and scope from a once-a-month program in a local congregation, to large, multi-service agencies, to organizations primarily engaged in advocacy and the transformation of oppressive systems. In response to recognized human needs, outreach ministries have delivered their programs in the best possible ways with the resources available to them. Over time, demands for more services have grown and expectations of better quality services have increased. In recent years, court rulings have clearly established that ministries such as these can be held accountable to provide a high standard of care. The evidence of physical and sexual abuse as witnessed by lawsuits connected with Indian Residential Schools is sobering for all of us. Related to our legal liability is growing anxiety about the adequacy of insurance protection. 5 Introduction But overall, the greatest desire of community ministries has always been to develop and maintain quality programs and services and to develop mutual accountability with the church and the community with which we work, and to the larger public that supports us. To meet those goals, it became necessary to develop an agreed set of standards. The Division of Mission in Canada within the General Council Office initiated a process to prepare a set of standards for United Church of Canada affiliated ministries: camping, community ministries, and seniors housing programs. Over the history of the biennial community ministry consultations, Energy from the Edges, issues of fair and just working conditions, mutual accountability within the church, as well as a concern for duty of care have frequently arisen. Therefore, at the 2001 Energy event, a steering committee representing various ministries across the country was established to guide the development of community ministry standards. Two part-time staff were given contracts to support the work of the committee and draft a set of standards for review. Using the draft Camping Standards as a guide, and additional resources as needed, this draft set of standards was presented to a large national consultation in 2003 for feedback and revised. As further work on the document took place, the committee realized a need to develop and clearly identify minimum standards requirements, as well as recommendations for best practices for healthy ministries. After much consultation, this set of standards and best practices for healthy ministry has been approved by the Executive of the General Council as a statement of the rights, responsibilities, and practices for community ministries of. Work is now proceeding on a system for implementing these standards and evaluating the quality of our ministries. We commend this set of standards and best practices to you for guidance in developing and delivering programs in your ministry. As a living document, it will be open to further revision based on feedback from community ministries throughout the implementation process. 6 Theological Rationale As ministries of, we believe that our work is rooted in a theological framework. This theological rationale, based on A New Creed of The United Church of Canada, is the context in which this set of administrative standards and best practices for healthy ministry has been created. We are not alone, we live in God s world. In the complex and beautiful world God created and is still creating, there is much turmoil and oppression with many hurting and vulnerable people. Into such a world we are called to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly...with God (Micah 6:8b). In response to God s call and with the assurance that God is with us, we work in a broken world with confidence and courage. in us and others by the Spirit. In the mystery of this relationship, God empowers us, and others, to grow and become partners with God in bringing in a new world of peace and justice. The Spirit offers comfort, encouragement, challenge, and new insights to enable us to move forward. We are called to be the Church: Where there is solidarity with the poor and oppressed, there is the heart of the Church. Therefore, the community ministry has a special calling to witness the integration of faith and justice in the world. This coming together provides the community ministry with a unique opportunity to challenge theological presuppositions and practices in the institutional church and give leadership in developing a new way of being the celebrate God s presence... God s presence is celebrated directly as the hungry are fed, the stranger is welcomed, the naked are clothed, the sick and imprisoned are cared for, and as the systems of oppression are challenged. Recognizing the face of Jesus in the oppressed, we find ourselves fed, clothed, welcomed, healed, and set free. Indirectly, through the creation of safe and secure places, we open up the possibilities for God s presence to be celebrated and for transformation to take place in people s lives. 7 Theological live with respect in Creation... As God s stewards of the created world, we are called to honour the social and physical environment, to use material resources diligently, and to renew and recycle goods and services. We recognize the gifts people bring in the care and protection of the social and physical world, and we strive to employ their creative abilities in a continuous process of living with respect in love and serve others... Out of God s love for us, we love others as we would wish to be loved (see 1 John 4:19 and Matthew 19:19). Our love finds expression through acknowledging the dignity of others and creating spaces where people may grow and empowerment may happen. We seek to serve in such a way that we are able to empathize with others and yet respect the boundaries between us. While we love the people with whom we share in ministry, we do not love the systems that oppress, disempower, or seek justice and resist evil... God calls us to work for justice and for the well-being of all people, especially the oppressed and disadvantaged. Justice demands that all people share in the equitable distribution of material resources and have the same rights to choose what is appropriate for them. All people must have spaces where they may live in safety, their dignity is respected, and there are opportunities for growth. We are therefore called to constant vigilance against systems that oppress and in which we are all caught up in varying degrees. We recognize that this struggle does not prevent us from mutual love and respect for one another. 8 Theological proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope. In the social gospel tradition out of which our ministries have evolved, there was a recognition that Jesus, in his ministry, proclaimed that his reign of peace and justice had already come; the possibility of a new, more abundant life was already happening. He judged the power brokers and the oppressive systems, and to those oppressed he offered hope for a new heaven and a new earth. Following his example we are called to love our brothers and sisters and offer them hope for the future. At the same time, we are called to judge and transform oppressive systems. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We live and work in the midst of communities of people who experience suffering and death every day. We are there as the Church Incarnate offering support, witnessing to the power of the resurrection, celebrating God s continuing presence, transforming systems, and promising hope for the future. We know we are not alone; God is with us. Experiences of the trial ministries have found that it has been beneficial, especially to staff who are not familiar with, to hold workshops or discussions about the theological rationale. 9 How to Use This Set of Standards and Best Practices 1. First determine whether your ministry falls under the current definition of community ministry (outreach ministry) as outlined in The Manual and explained on page 5 under Definition of Ministry. 2. Then arrange for this document to be read thoroughly by the community minister or executive director, senior staff, and the governing body of directors, or equivalent, such as steering or presbytery committee. Note: In the Administrative Standards and Best Practices section (p. 11), standards that are required by The Manual and the Duty of Care Advisory Committee for accreditation are in bold type, and best practices for healthy ministry are in regular type. The standards are then repeated as a separate checklist in the Accreditation Site Visit Tool (p. 24). 3. If a statement of policies and standards (or a similar document) is already in place in the ministry, develop a process, including community participants, to compare the standards that are in place with these guidelines to ensure minimum standards are met. 4. If the ministry does not have such a document in place, establish a process to use this set of standards to develop one. 5. To assist your organization, additional information and resources will be available online at and from the General Council Office. 6. Constructive feedback for improvement of these standards and additions to the resource list (Appendix II, p. 38) are welcome, and should be sent to the Duty of Care Program Advisory Committee at the General Council Office. Feedback will be addressed at regular meetings of the Community Ministries Reference Committee. 7. We recommend that each community ministry s document be reviewed every three years by the Community Ministries Reference Committee. The composition of this committee is determined every two years at the community ministries consultation Energy from the Edges. This document will be introduced through a series of regional workshops for community ministries senior staff and board members, to orient them to the administrative standards and best practices as well as the accreditation process. The workshops will be a cooperative endeavour by the staff of the Support to Local Ministries Unit and the Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit working with the Community Ministries Reference Committee. The workshops are the first step in the implementation process. It is hoped that all community ministries will have had the opportunity to attend a workshop by June The accreditation process is anticipated for Note: At time of publication, The Manual, 2004, was in effect. Please refer to the most current edition of The Manual as you use these standards. Duty of Care Program Advisory Committee Support to Local Ministries 3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 300 Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4 10 Administrative Standards and Best Practices Standards that are required by The Manual and the Duty of Care Advisory Committee for accreditation of community ministries are in bold type below, and best practices for healthy ministry are in regular type. The required standards are then repeated as a separate checklist in the Accreditation Site Visit Tool (p. 24). Mission Statement Develop a Mission Statement Taking into account the above theological rationale, the community ministry has a mission statement, developed in collaboration with its governing body, staff, volunteers, and community participants, that reflects the overall goals and direction of the ministry. Use the Mission Statement The statement is familiar to governing body members, staff, and volunteers, displayed prominently, and used in promotional materials. Review the Mission Statement In order to keep the mission statement a living document, it is reviewed, at minimum, every three years and revised as necessary to reflect the organization s strategic planning and visioning for the future as it continues to strive to meet the needs of the community. Accountability Organizational Structure The community ministry which holds itself out as being connected with or in any way related to is organized in a way that is compatible with The Manual and accountable to a court of the church. In turn, a church court is accountable to the ministry in a way that is mutually supportive and beneficial. As well, the community ministry has the freedom to pursue partnerships with ecumenical agencies, and faith or humanitarian groups. A covenanting process between the presbytery or Conference and the community ministry should take place. This is to ensure that there is a healthy relationship between the ministry and presbytery or Conference, and that the presbytery or Conference has a sense of ownership of its mission in the wider community. In some cases, it may be helpful to re-covenant to reaffirm the relationship. 11 Administrative Standards and Best Practices Incorporation Community ministries that are separately incorporated must meet the requirements set out in The Manual as well as the requirements for a non profit corporation within the province or territory in which they are located. Community ministries that are not incorporated, and are under the umbrella of The United Church of Canada, must have a responsible board or council (herein referred to as the governing body ), approved by the court of the church to which the ministry is accountable. While ultimate accountability rests with the governing body (i.e., board or council and in some cases presbytery or Conference), some duties of accountability may be delegated to appropriate committees. Oversight The community ministry receives a triennial oversight visit from the court of the church to which it is accountable in accordance with section 332 (d) of The Manual. The purpose of the triennial oversight visit is to reinforce the mutual accountability that exists between the ministry and its corresponding presbytery or Conference and to re-covenant in that relationship if necessary. Members of the Governing Body The composition of the governing body shall comply with the provisions of The Manual of. Following our theological rationale and our commitment to partnership with ecumenical agencies and community participants, we recognize a need to develop more balanced representation in our governing bodies. Therefore the recruitment and active involvement of community members and other faith partners is encouraged. As well, program or steering committees that oversee day-to-day work are strongly advised to include a majority of community members. Such a committee remains accountable to the governing body. All members of the governing body are approved by the supervising court. Terms of Membership The governing body establishes a process for rotation of governing body members to allow for both continuity and change. Duties of the Governing Body The governing body approves and regularly (at least once every three years) reviews the mission statement. (see Mission Statement, p. 11) The governing body develops and regularly reviews policies and procedures for the operation of the community ministry and its programs. 12 Administrative Standards and Best Practices The governing body annually approves and monitors a budget, including provision for adequate liability and other insurance coverage. (see Insurance, p. 22) The governing body ensures that reports are prepared as required by the appropriate bodies to which the community ministry is accountable and for use in educational/promotional activities. The governing body ensures the general governance and well-being of the community ministry. The governing body ensures the community ministry meets any licensing requirements of the jurisdiction in which the community ministry is located. The governing body ensures that minutes of meetings are taken and kept on file. Code of Conduct The governing body or delegated staff establish a code of conduct of appropriate behaviou
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