Appendix E: Diaconal Covenants
E1 The original copy of the Covenant will be submitted to the Bishop for authorization.
E2 A Parish Covenant will normally have the following elements:
E2.1 The Mission statement of the Parish
E2.2 A statement that identifies the area(s) of Parish ministry and that identifies how the Deacon will provide leadership and/or support related to these area(s).
E2.3 A specific statement about working conditions, how many hours the Deacon will engage in these ministries, how many Parish meetings will he/she be expected to attend, etc. The areas of ministry would normally include Diocesan, Regional, and National Church commitments, as well as workplace ministries. There should be a statement noting that the Deacon is non-stipendiary and noting what expenses are to be covered by the Parish. For example, mileage incurred when engaged in diaconal ministries, help with the costs of conferences and other diaconal training events, and provision of holiday time and study leave. The statement should also note that the Parish must recognize the Deacon’s paid employment and family commitments. These matters will be determined consistent with policies set by the Compensation Committee of the Diocese of Kootenay.
E2.4 A time and method by which an annual review of the covenant will take place. The Covenant must be submitted to the Bishop, on or before Thanksgiving Sunday, for authorization. The Deacon, at ordination, promises to accept the authority of the Bishop and the canons of the Diocese. As well, the Deacon is accountable to the Incumbent in matters related to the Parish. That accountability will include consulting with and reporting to the Incumbent and in the absence of the Incumbent, to the Wardens. The responsibility for regular meetings with the Deacon resides with the Incumbent (Wardens).
E2.5 It is expected that the Deacon will keep the support group for one year after she/he is ordained. The guidelines for support groups will continue to apply.
E2.6 The Covenant is to be signed by the Deacon and by the Incumbent and the Wardens on behalf of the Parish. The Deacon, Incumbent/Missioner, and Wardens will review the Covenant annually, and send a report to the Bishop. The report should include input from the Deacon and the Incumbent, about the Deacon’s ministry in the Parish. It may also include input from the Deacon’s support group.
E3: SAMPLE COVENANT BETWEEN A DEACON AND A PARISH/CONGREGATION
Note: This sample is NOT policy.
A COVENANT BETWEEN THE PARISH OF ______________________________
THE REVEREND DEACON ___________________________
A. Parish Mission Statement
“We are an Anglican community that worships God, welcomes anyone who seeks to know Christ, and serves people in ________ and the world.”
The Parish of St. _______ is a parish in transition. A recent parish survey has shown that St. ________’s is searching for ways to move from survival mode to become a thriving, growing parish. The people seek to grow spiritually and in their sense of community in order to effectively minister to themselves and to the surrounding community. The people seek vision for the future so they may serve God faithfully in this parish.
C. Diaconal Statement
I, __________, having been called to the Order of Deacons, feel particularly called by the Bishop and the people of this Diocese to support diaconal ministry both in the Diocese and in the Parish of St. _________. It is my strong conviction that the deacon’s presence, bringing the needs, concerns and hopes of the world to the church, is to be a living reminder of the community’s call to servant hood. I feel especially called to provide leadership which will support the people of the church as justice makers, truth tellers, advocates and reconcilers in the world. Within the life of this parish I offer my skills in work that encourages, strengthens and enables lay ministry, thus building the body of Christ, and supporting the Parish Mission Statement.
D. Work of the Deacon in the Parish
The Reverend _________ will:
Encourage the baptismal ministry of all and offer support and encouragement to the clergy, and lay leaders of the present outreach projects of the Parish, namely:________________________
Assist the Parish to learn about and engage issues of social justice by bringing them forward through preaching, Christian education and in the context of committee work in the parish.
Support the pastoral ministry of the Parish and deepen Parish life by calling members of the Parish to a prayer ministry as well as training them for, and supporting them in, that prayer ministry.
Be a full, voting member of the following Committees: Church Committee, Outreach Committee and other committees mutually decided upon.
Attend Clergy and Wardens meetings
Participate in the 10:00AM service each Sunday when extra-parochial work does not require presence in another place. Deacon ______ will inform the Incumbent in advance of each absence.
Preach once per month as arranged with the Incumbent at both the 8:00 and 10:00 am services, and at other facilities if required.
Work an average of ______ hours per month (week) with a maximum of __________ hours per month (week).
Take a minimum of _____weeks vacation each year, and a sabbatical time of _____ within every _____ years of service.
In respect of the foregoing and the demands of personal life, offer ______ hours per week to Parish ministry, including Sunday morning services.
E. Work of the Deacon in the Wider Church:
The Reverend _______ will:
Participate as a representative of her/his order on the Diocesan Committees for ________________.
Participate in the activities of the Anglican Association of Deacons in Canada. To facilitate this will occasionally necessitate absence from the Parish on Sundays.
Seek to co-mentor, with the Incumbent, an EFM (Education for Ministry) group in the parish.
Participate as appropriate and able in the life of the diocese through the Synod, gatherings of clergy in the region and local clericus, and attend other clergy events in the diocese.
I agree to continue my education to enhance my ministry by taking further education in __________, following Diocesan guidelines and procedures on continuing education. The maximum cost to the Parish/Congregation will be ___________.
The historical relationship between the Deacon and the Bishop is one of oversight, as in all ordained ministries. The Reverend _______ will be accountable to the Bishop through the Incumbent and in his/her absence to the Wardens of the Parish/Congregation of St. _______’s, in her/his work related to the Parish/Congregation and will follow the doctrine and discipline of the Anglican Church and the Canons of the Diocese of Kootenay.
G. Parish Covenant
The parish of St. ________ will support Deacon _________’s ministry for the next year as follows:
The incumbent, wardens, and parishioners of St. __________’s will recognize the gift of time and leadership in ministry that he/she offers. While changes to this covenant may be negotiated, from time to time they will not expect Deacon ________ to routinely exceed the hours of her/his commitment nor the nature of the responsibilities he/she has assumed.
Subject to the recommendations of the Administration and Finance Committee, the parish will include appropriate funds in the annual budget, from which The Reverend Deacon ________ may claim actual expenses related to ministry.
Will include an appropriate amount in the annual budget of the parish for continuing education participating where possible in the Continuing Education Fund of the Diocese, should one be implemented.
Provide keys to the church building and access to meeting space, office space and equipment on a shared basis.
Be recognized as a full member of the clergy leadership team of the parish
Undertake to support The Reverend Deacon ______ by praying for her/him, and by ensuring that there is excellent communication within the leadership and the Parish including a public recognition of this covenant and his/her continuing ministry as a deacon in this parish.H. Annual ReviewThe incumbent, The Reverend Deacon ________, and the wardens will review this covenant collegially, each year in September. This review is of the performance of both the deacon, the parish represented by the wardens, as herein set down, and the outcome will be reported to the Church Committee. A copy of this covenant will be sent to the Bishop of Kootenay.We agree to support this Covenant:Deacon___________________________ Date__________
Rector’s Warden_____________________ Date__________
People’s Warden_____________________ Date__________
Bishop of Kootenay___________________ Date__________