The House of Bishops' Task Force on Non Stipendiary Ministry reported on the work it had done since its establishment in the spring. Membership of the task force included Bishop Ashdown, Bishop Atagotaaluk, Bishop Coffin and Bishop Lawrence. Following a presentation of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples at the spring 2002 meeting of the House of Bishops, they had been asked by the Primate to do some work on the topic of the non stipendiary ministry.
Bishop Atagotaaluk began the session with a prayer. Bishop Ashdown, the chairperson of the task force, reminded the House of how the working group had come into being and then gave an overview of the presentation. Bishop Ashdown said that non stipendiary ministry was being examined in the interest of the Church justly compensating its ministers. He said that non stipendiary ministers often have to work full-time in secular employment, and then volunteer up to 40 hours for the Church.
Bishop Lawrence presented the theological reflection he had been asked to write on the non stipendiary ministry. Bishop Lawrence said that it is the responsibility of the episcopate to look after the ordination, employment and deployment of the clergy. He said that the concern about those in the non stipendiary ministry had been brought to the bishops, and that they were the people who were ultimately responsible for those clergy.
Bishop Atagotaaluk said that because the task force's report hadn't yet been presented to the House of Bishops, he had only shared the opinions of the task force with the members of the ACIP at their most recent meeting. He said because he hadn't known the mind of the House about the report, he hadn't felt that he could have a discussion about it with the members of the ACIP. He reported that the ACIP were concerned that whenever there are issues involving aboriginal people, frequent studies done on the topic are then followed by little action. Bishop Atagotaaluk passed on the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples' request that the bishops do more than simply receive the report of the House of Bishops' Task Force on Non Stipendiary Ministry.
Bishop Coffin offered the assistance of his office to the bishops whenever they were in Ottawa. He said that because he was the only member of the task force who was not a member of the Council of the North he had brought a different perspective to its work. He commented that while the presentation of the report to the House of Bishops brought the work of the task force to an end, the members of the task force were still very much committed to the issues of the non stipendiary ministry. Bishop Coffin concluded with a prayer.
Archbishop Peers thanked the task force for their work, adding that he had heard two challenges. The first was to the Council of the North, and the second was about having a conversation with the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples. He said that he couldn't imagine how the latter might occur, except by the two groups meeting together sometime in the future.
Bishop Ashdown said that the ACIP had already named people to represent them on a Joint Working Group on the Non Stipendiary Ministry. They are Ms. Maria Jane Highway, Ms. Lorraine Still, Mr. Andrew Wesley and Ms. Eunice McMahon. He indicated that the members of the House of Bishops' Task Force on Non Stipendiary Ministry were prepared to continue working on the issue. Questions and comments were invited from the floor.
That the House of Bishops request the members of the Task Force on the Non Stipendiary Ministry, Bishop Ashdown, Bishop Atagotaaluk, Bishop Coffin and Bishop Lawrence, to continue their work in liaison with the representatives of the Anglican Council of Indigenous People. CARRIED #HB-02-10-05
DRAFT report for consideration by Council of the North, House of Bishops, Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples
1. The New Agape for the whole church
In order for the New Agape to become a reality that serves the whole Anglican Church of Canada, our whole church needs a justly-compensated aboriginal clergy.
2. Justice principles for the whole church
Principles of justice for aboriginal clergy should apply to all clergy serving in non-stipendiary ordained ministries. At the same time, it is vital that the initial energy for justice, arising out of the experience of aboriginal clergy, continue to be recognized and honoured. A solution for the whole church cannot include continuing injustice for aboriginal communities and those who serve them.
1. For the good of all, each community has a responsibility to be a self-sufficient as possible.
2. The first responsibility for providing resources for ministry rests with the local community.
3. The diocese has primary responsibility for overseeing, encouraging and affirming ministry in its communities.
4. The whole church is responsible for sharing resources to enable all the parts to exercise their fullest ministry.
5. There must be mutual responsibility and accountability at all levels.
A way forward:
1. That Faith, Worship and Ministry be asked to convene a consultation among those who prepare clergy for ministry to explore how such providers can ensure a common standard of preparation for ordained ministries.
2. That the interim commitments of the House of Bishops be actively pursued in the dioceses. (recognition, inclusion, payment of ministry expenses)
3. That a National Fund be established to assist certain dioceses with funding for just compensation for clergy now not receiving a stipend.
The National Fund:
1. The maximum support available from the National Fund would be 50%, on a matching basis for local financial support.
2. Dioceses put forward proposals for funding that include a plan to move towards self-sufficiency.
3. That the National Church, in partnership with dioceses, identify or provide resources (stewardship, congregational development) for self-sufficiency in local ministries.
4. That a moratorium on further ordinations of non-stipendiary priests be established, to be reviewed for the General Synod of 2010.
5. That decisions about support be taken by a board including representatives from ACIP, Council of the North, other affected dioceses, and General Synod.
6. That ordained ministries involving more than ten hours per week of work, or in cases where a person has responsibility designated as or similar to that of a "priest in charge" be understood normally as ministries requiring compensation (cash, housing, utilities, benefits) beyond expenses.
Joint Task Force on Non-Stipendiary Ministry
Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples
House of Bishops, Anglican Church of Canada
October 2, 2003
Priestly Ministry- Qualities, Knowledge and Skills
Exhibits love, compassion and caring and humility
Trusts self and others
A representative of Christ, recognized and accepted by the community as Christ-like
Confirmation of a call, evidence that God is the author of this ministry
Helps people develop a relationship with Christ because he/she lives that relationship
Fees on scriptures as the living Word of God- doesn't just read them
Prayer-filled - doesn't just read prayers or "take services"
Able to model the faith with integrity
Sensitive to a respectful of the community's rituals
Loves to learn and approaches learning with discipline and joy
Knows his/her own limitations; knows when, where and how to ask for help
Knows the tradition of the Anglican Church
"big picture" - chronology, "the story of salvation"
the story of Israel
the story of Jesus, the apostles and the church
Creeds - the teaching of the church across the ages
Order - the shape of ministry and authority
Community - the story of Jesus as it has been known in this local community
Knows what makes people, groups, communities and cultures "tick"
Cultural knowledge of this particular community - language, history, culture, spirituality of those with whom he/she is sharing and interpreting the Christian story
Able to share the story of Jesus and the Christian faith with others in a way that they find themselves in the story
Teaching at critical life events - baptism, marriage, grieving
Teaching the life of prayer
BAS and BCP Eucharist, Baptism, Marriage, Funeral
Planning worship and involving others in leadership
Administration and management
Encouraging teamwork and delegating
Enable people to talk with others across differences of culture, spirituality, values