Responsible Ministry: Screening in Faith

Keep 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.

Let 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 circumstances of
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.

The 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.

In 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 ).

I close with a prayer written especially for the screening process.

God 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. Amen

Yours in Faith,
Pamela Fleming, Former Responsible Ministry Coordinator

For more information please access the website – or call
the church at (905) 723-7875
, Donna Short is the current Coordinator for Responsible Ministry

©2006 St. George's Memorial Anglican Church