watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy
Spirit has made you overseer, to Shepard the church of God that
he obtained with the blood of his own Son.” ( Acts 20:28
As you may have read in the Anglican or in the Rector’s Report
to Vestry, The Diocese of
Toronto is joining with other charitable organizations who are required
by law to enter a
process of volunteer management for all clergy, staff and volunteers.
The Rector referred to
this when he said, “The way people volunteer at St. George’s
will be reshaped and developed
through job descriptions, clear expectations, appropriate screening
for the level at which you
volunteer and good support for the role you do.” This process
is called Responsible Ministry
: Screening in Faith, and I have been appointed Co-ordinator by
the Rector and the Wardens
who fully support this Ministry.
me tell you a little about it. The screening process is an important
and intentional step,
designed to support parish leaders and volunteers. It will be set
up to enhance open
communication and transparency so that volunteers clearly understand
the responsibilities of
their role and the support provided. Each ministry will be assessed
a level of risk.
Determining the risk in a particular ministry is part of the process.
A fundamental obligation
is to look after the welfare of all members of the community but
especially those who are
vulnerable through age, (youth and elderly), infirmity or particular
dependence. This is a sacred trust which must be responsibly and
safely managed. It will also
be necessary that St. George’s inquire into the screening
procedure of outside groups using
the facilities we offer.
goal in the end is to provide a safe trusting environment for all
of us, where our
volunteers are matched according to their talent and those they
are hopeful of serving. This
undertaking appears to be a natural follow-up to our Stewardship
Vision of Time, Talent
and Treasure. Although this process is not designed to recruit volunteers,
it will serve to
acknowledge what we are doing well and where we need to make changes.
The Wardens and
Advisory Board will continue to have input.
the near future, I will be speaking with groups and individuals
about implementation of the
process, regarding the ministry positions of higher risk. We are
setting mid-June as a
completion date for high risk positions ( as noted above in italics
close with a prayer written especially for the screening process.
of abundance and God of life, infuse your children with courage
and love, that we may
build communities of hope which are healthy, thriving and safe.
Help us to be responsible
with our ministry so that both the weak and the strong find their
home in our churches,
through the profound love of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Pamela Fleming, Former Responsible Ministry Coordinator
more information please access the website –www.toronto.anglican.ca/screening
the church at (905) 723-7875, Donna Short is the current Coordinator for Responsible Ministry