Our Method of Church Growth
Appointed Designated Ministers are mandated by Church policy that says: ‘Recognized forms of specialized ministry may include persons appointed to a ministry of life celebrations (weddings, baptisms, funerals), both for members of the general public and also members of the Church.’
The Clergy Support Memorial Church (CSMC) Appointed Designated Ministry (Appointed Ministers) Program is also known as the Relational Evangelism Program of Church Growth.
The primary purpose of this outreach program in our fellowship closely models that of the Unitarian Church program. Like the Unitarian Church program our out reach program is to provide quality rites of passage ceremonies in a manner consistent with CSMC endorsed principles for members of the general public. By conducting these ceremonies for non-members the program also serves :
- to assist non- member couples & families to connect with the CSMC fellowship.
- to promote or showcase CSMC values to non-members.
- to enhance the spiritual growth and development of our ministers themselves.
To implement this program of outreach, CSMC calls upon its Appointed Ministers to perform this ministry of Pastoral Care. (In some contexts, we call upon certain Ordained clergy to help implement the program.)
Conflict of Interest Guidelines
In order to maintain the integrity of this outreach program, those holding the office of Appointed Minister must avoid situations which could create a possible or perceived conflict of interest. It is important to remember the role of the Minister in this context is solely to provide rites of passage.
The following are specific areas of potential conflict of interest that must be avoided:
- Using the role as a primary source of income for the Minister or the Church.
- Providing, a similar service to the public by advertising as an independent business service or providing ceremonies for another commercial organization without disclosure of that dual role to the chief governing official of the Church.
- By agreeing with a couples requests to not identify oneself as a Minister of CSMC. (This contravenes the stated purposes of the outreach program, which are to promote and showcase CSMC values and to assist members of the general public to connect with CSMC).
- Clergy must always identify themselves as a CSMC minister when acting on behalf of their Church.
The Appointed Minister’s Duties
An Appointed Minister’s duties with regards to Life Ceremonies may include:
- officiating at services of rites of passage (weddings, funerals and memorial services, child dedication services)
- preparing the service in consultation with the couple
- arranging for and conduct rehearsals of wedding services as needed with the couple
- ensuring that final arrangements for services are well coordinated
- ensuring that the legal requirements for Provincial registration of marriage are met
- maintaining an e-file or hard copy file on each Life Celebration solemnized (weddings, funerals and memorial services, child dedication services)
- providing the necessary data regarding couples and services to meet the reporting requirements of the Church’s chief governing official.
- volunteering or supporting your community in some way that benefits individuals or the community as a whole.
Training and Enrichment Expectations
An Appointed Minister must:
- be approved by the Board of CSMC
- be actively involved in the life of his/her civil community, prior to acceptance
- articulate why he/she wishes to become a part of this ministry
- Be willing to enter into the Church’s three year continuing education program prior to conducting a Life Celebration.
- be willing to adhere to the Code of Practice for Appointed Ministers
- be willing to adhere to the Conflict of Interest Guidelines
- be willing to conduct all standard rites of passage: weddings, memorial services and funerals and child dedications
- be able to provide or arrange transportation to the service
- be able to work flexible hours, and respond quickly to requests, and be knowledgeable of the internet.
- have certain academic achievements or demonstrate a life experience analogous to academic training.
Because rites of passage mark some of the most important events in people’s lives, and because the Appointed Clergy constitutes a significant outreach to the public by CSMC, all clergy must have:
- a working knowledge and commitment to the principals of CSMC and the ability to articulate and model CSMC principles and practice
- the maturity and ability to cope in crisis situations
- the ability to communicate easily with people in a spirit of empathy, helpfulness and concern
- an effective public speaking voice and manner
- self-presentation and conduct which favorably represent CSMC.
- the ability to conduct rites of passage with sensitivity to and acceptance of varied cultural, spiritual and religious traditions
- a sense of personal responsibility and commitment to the outreach program and the capacity to work both independently and as a team member with the chief governing official of the church.