What's it All About?
FAQ re: Central and First and Cooperative / Shared Ministry
• Are First and Central going to amalgamate?
Are we going to be a two-point charge? In a word, NO. Each congregation will retain its own identity and independence.
• Why are we having conversations about shared / cooperative ministry?
Working together could provide staff and volunteer expertise and diversity that wouldn’t be available to either congregation on its own. There are more energy and resources when our efforts are combined.
• Are we doing this to save money?
No. There is no plan to reduce the number of staff but rather to share staff between us in order to draw on a wider variety of gifts and skills in ministry and leadership.
• Are any other congregations doing this?
Yes, other congregations are experimenting with cooperative / shared ministries. However, each venture will be context and situationally specific.
• When can we get on with calling a minister?
In the United Church, the normal timeline for Intentional Interim Ministry is two years. Given the pandemic, most congregations are planning for an additional year.
• What’s our timeline?
Our congregations are discerning staffing options and how we might work together. An agreement will be drafted and approved by both communities of faith and Antler River Watershed Regional Council. Then search committee(s) will be formed to do their work.
• Who will be on the search committee?
If we decide to share staff, there will be members from both churches. A representative from each the Transition Team would be on the search committee.
• How will the congregations be engaged in this process?
Various teams have been and will be meeting to explore possibilities for different cooperative ventures. Options will be discerned, discussed and offered. These discussions are in the preliminary stages so it’s too soon to have more specific details.
• Do we have some idea of what those options might be?
One example could be a full time, ordained minister and another person (lay or specialized minister) for family ministry or outreach or in-reach.
• Why can’t we just go ahead with calling our own minister?
That remains an option. However, it will restrict both the pool of candidates and the future of ministry for both churches. Unless something impacts the current trajectory, the long-term prospects for both churches is not positive. Hiring the “right” minister will not change that. Participating in church is every congregant’s responsibility.
• Are we looking at a student minister?
No. Not at this time. Students bring specific learning goals. Having a student minister is a way for a congregation to serve the wider church, not a way to get additional ministry staff.
This is not a conversation about Amalgamation, but as you will see in these six less than three minute videos, it is some dreaming and creative thoughts about what it might be like to Share staff position(s) over the next 5,10 and 15 years.
If you missed these on Sunday morning just prior to the service here is a chance to catch up. Join in the conversations after church during the coffee time! Enjoy!
Dream Team videos
The Central and First Shared Ministry Team has been brainstorming ideas around what Ministry Outreach opportunities there are and thinking about staffing the Shared Ministry Position(s) between the two congregations.