Covenant in Ministry

Covenant in Ministry
Between
The Parish of St Nicholas in Westwood Hills
And
The Rev. Tammy L.C. Hodge

“The gifts God gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
Ephesians 4: 11-12

PREFACE
This covenant affirms such documents as the Bishop’s Expectations of Clergy working in Parish Ministry; the Bishop’s “Expectation of Parishes’; the Constitution, Canons, and Guidelines of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and the Parish Profile received by Parish Council.
In a dynamic and young congregation we must all work to develop liturgies, programs, space and outreach that are accessible and relevant to the realities and the lived experiences of our congregation and those who would choose to join us. By illuminating the humanity of Christ we celebrate our own humanity as community and as individuals by proclaiming the worthiness and value of all persons; recognizing that all Christian Ministry is rooted in that which is granted through the sacrament of Baptism. Our goal is to provide a variety of sustainable ministries. We hope to pursue this goal by balancing respect for traditional patterns of ministry with the development of new patterns of ministry appropriate for our time and place. It is this model of mutual service, love and support, which the people and clergy, as members of one body, represented in the parish of St Nicholas, Westwood Hills, undertake in the following covenant.
We affirm our Baptismal Covenant in the context of Parish life as it is described in Canon 35, Parochial Government, in the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, recognizing in its provisions the vital parts of our Baptismal ministries. The Office of Rector provides for leadership throughout the Parish, and is best expressed through a consultative, shared ministry in the community of the baptized.
GENERAL
The Rector and People, together covenant to:
Communicate with one another honestly and openly, respecting the dignity and self-worth of each person;
Recognize the importance of clergy wellness and encourage balance of work, prayer, study and recreation time in the life of all parishioners, lay and ordained.

PASTORAL MINISTRY
As Rector I covenant, with God’s help:
To diligently say the daily office, and to pray for the parish family, the community and the world;
To make visiting parishioners a regular part of my ministry, to regularly spend pastoral time with the individuals and groups that compose the parish and to gather the stories, hopes, dreams, skill, talent and concerns of individuals and discern trends within the parish and the community as a whole;
To visit, as a priority, shut-ins and those in crisis;
To make connections with organizations and centers that minister to those in crisis within our local community;
To discern and develop through the gathering of story and with cooperation of the Parish Council and Parish teams, a mission that is tangible, engaging and relevant to the members of the parish, presenting clear and attainable goals whose success is measurable and transparent;

As a Parish family we covenant, with God’s help:
To diligently pray for the Rector and her family, the people of the parish, the community and the world;
To affirm the importance of pastoral ministry as the responsibility of all baptized persons;
To share in pastoral visiting;
We commit ourselves to assess the needs of the larger community and determine where St. Nicholas can best help in the community either as a host for existing programs or to develop new programs.

SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
As Rector I covenant, with God’s help:
To diligently preach the Word in dynamic and engaging ways; focusing on the humanity of Christ, promoting the value of all people, and relating the Word to our lived realities and how our faith can be put into action;
To ensure that worship is well planned, prepared and conducted with balanced appreciation for traditional and newly developed Anglican liturgies licensed for use in the diocese. This will involve a system of worship planning that is careful, collaborative, inclusive and creative;
To diligently study and read Holy Scripture and to read widely sharing the fruits of this study through parish preaching, Bible studies, educational opportunities and by living a life of example;
To be attentive to private prayer, spiritual disciplines, spiritual direction and mentoring;
To prepare parents, sponsors and candidates seeking baptism, to catechize and prepare those seeking confirmation by the Bishop, to prepare couples seeking Holy Matrimony, and to provide pastoral support and guidance to persons facing illness and those preparing for the burial of the dead;
To regularly and duly administer the holy sacraments, and teach of their meanings as the authority of my office prescribes.
To discern and develop through the gathering of story and with cooperation of the Parish Council and Parish teams, a mission that is tangible, engaging and relevant to the members of the parish, presenting clear and attainable goals whose success is measurable and transparent;

As a Parish family we covenant, with God’s help:
To support a variety of active liturgical roles for the whole parish community by the offering of our time and gifts;
To participate in the planning, preparation and conduct of worship and Christian education programs.
To provide prayer, support and encouragement to each other and to all ordained and lay leadership in the parish.
To have our parish council model lay leadership to the rest of the congregation by leading team ministries.

STEWARDSHIP
As Rector I covenant, with God’s help:
To help the congregation in the discernment of their gifts and to encourage them for the building up of the body of Christ, in the communities in which we live and beyond;
To act as an example and give of my substance to support the work of the Church in the Parish, the Diocese, the National Church and overseas;
To provide spiritual leadership to support initiatives which enable broad based support of the parish, and to educate and inform concerning the parish’s goals and resources in a way that is upfront and transparent.
To discern and develop through the gathering of story and with cooperation of the Parish Council and Parish teams, a mission that is tangible, engaging and relevant to the members of the parish, presenting clear and attainable goals whose success is measurable and transparent;

As a Parish family we covenant, with God’s help:
To be receptive to the discernment of our gifts and to apply them for the building up of the body of Christ, in the community in which we live and beyond;
To exercise good stewardship so that adequate support, staffing and facilities will continue to be in place for the provisions of ministry in the parish;
To affirm the priority to deepen the understanding of the responsibility we have to the just use of our earthly resources, promoting social justice and the sharing of our God-given talents and treasure (including our church facility).

CONGREGATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
As Rector I covenant, with God’s help:
To help present liturgy, space and theology that ignites current members and invites growth. This will support and develop membership and help ensure we have the resources needed to more fully enact our faith within the parish family, and more effectively minister to the communities around us and beyond.
To connect with visitors and help to develop programs that will allow new members to connect, gain a sense of belonging and allow new membership to engage within our parish family.
To discern and develop through the gathering of story and with cooperation of the Parish Council and Parish teams, a mission that is tangible, engaging and relevant to the members of the parish, presenting clear and attainable goals whose success is measurable and transparent;

As a Parish family we covenant, with God’s help:
To maintain records of, and keep in touch with the parish family. This includes effective communication by various means such as the Parish web site, e-mail notices, newsletters, bulletin announcements, and mentoring for new parish families; To publicize the ministries of St. Nicholas through better public relations and advertizing to expand our sense of community
Create a mentoring program for new members of the congregation
To initiate and advise Parish Council of programs to encourage the strength and growth of the Parish;
To nurture existing small groups and to encourage and support the formation of new groups that will serve to foster supportive relationships, spiritual nourishment, and a deepened faith.PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATION
As Rector I covenant, with God’s help:
To make the resources of the Parish stretch as far as they can by making good and careful use of those resources;
To work closely with The Rev Lynda Downing and the other clergy of the parish to develop a mutually supportive working relationship that would allow for the open and safe sharing of hopes, suggestions, dreams and concerns;
To provide support for all other paid and unpaid ministry team members and to carry out the administrative requirements of the community in a timely manner, respecting the roles and functions of other persons;
To work with the Parish Council and to meet regularly with the parish wardens in this regard.
To discern and develop through the gathering of story and with cooperation of the Parish Council and Parish teams, a mission that is tangible, engaging and relevant to the members of the parish, presenting clear and attainable goals whose success is measurable and transparent;

As a Parish family we covenant, with God’s help:
To provide administrative support as need may arise;
To care for and use in a responsible manner, the property of this parish;
To be active members of Parish Council and the leaders of Parish teams and committees.

FINANCE
As Rector I covenant, with God’s help:
To discern and develop through the gathering of story and with cooperation of the Parish Council and Parish teams, a mission that is tangible, engaging and relevant to the members of the parish, presenting clear and attainable goals whose success is measurable and transparent;
To be transparent about the finances of the Parish with the Parish as a whole and to teach and live by example the ways in which our goals can be attained.
As a Parish family we covenant, with God’s help:
To provide the financial resources needed to carry-out our mission;
To commit ourselves to overseeing the distribution and management of financial resources, in Ministry Teams, in a collegial and spiritually faithful manner.
CONCLUSION
We commit ourselves to worship, pray, work, and learn together inviting the Holy Spirit into all that we do;
We covenant to carry out our ministries in partnership with the Bishop in the framework of the Region and Diocesan structure and the whole Church as the People of God in the Parish of St. Nicholas in Westwood Hills.
We commit ourselves to review annually our performance within the Covenant, and to the bi-annual renewal of the Covenant under the oversight of our Bishop through our Archdeacon.
Together, and on behalf of the Parish Council and Family, we make this covenant commitment on this 3rd Day of December 2010.

_____________________________________
The Rev. Tammy L. C. Hodge

_____________________________________
Susan Parker
Warden

_____________________________________
Allan G.Jost
Warden

_____________________________________
Archdeacon Mark Kingsbury