Report of Ministerial Standing & Ordination Committee
Metro Association Fall Meeting - November 21, 2009
The MSOC continues to meet on the third Thursday evening of each month at The Church in the Gardens in Forest Hills, from 6pm to approximately 9:30 pm. Our October meeting was rained out. This month we will meet twice (Nov. 19 and again after the Metro Association meeting, Nov. 21, 2 - 3:30 pm).
On our November 19 agenda are three pre-ecclesiastical council ordination interviews, with Ann Kansfield , Arleis Figueroa , and John Yesuratnam. The committee has asked the registrar not to schedule more than three interviews for one evening, which is perhaps slowing down the process for some persons seeking to be taken in-care or receive other status. We are giving priority to persons who are already in-care and are ready to proceed with the ordination process.
At the Nov. 21st meeting the agenda is to discuss and set a policy on the committee's understanding of "what is an ordainable call," taking into full consideration guidelines established by the National UCC, and information garnered from a poll of several UCC associations in the eastern United States. As there are a number of in-care persons who have indicated that they wish to receive calls to ministries other than parish ministry or chaplaincy, the committee strongly wished to set aside time to clarify its thinking on this question before moving ahead with such candidates.
In the New Year, the committee will discuss ways in which it can divide itself into two functioning working groups. This is probably needed because of a) the continuing large number of persons in the metro area who wish to come before the committee, and b) new guidelines from the National UCC that will change the in-care process (turning it into a Member in Discernment process which will be require greater contact between advisor and advisee), and c) the need to establish an on-going process within the association for periodic support consultations, which in essence do not occur at present. Such a plan will be submitted to the Metro Board for approval.
The Board can also expect that in the spring, when the committee creates a plan for dividing itself into two working bodies, there will be a request to the Board for additional persons to be nominated to serve on the committee. At a minimum, it's anticipated that additional Member in Discernment at-large advisors will be needed, as the new procedures make it problematic for any one person to mentor more than at most two Members in Discernment. Currently, most members of the Ministerial Standing and Ordination Committee act as advisors to three, four, and in some cases five in care candidates at a time.
Noel Vanek, Acting Chairperson