Psychological Assessment and In Care

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					          Parish Life and Leadership Bulletin
Number 41                                                    March 2004

Psychological Assessment and In Care         Pronouncement and Proposals
                                             for Action. A progress report
As many of you know, the                     will be taken to the LCM board
Massachusetts Conference was given a         meeting in Atlanta in April.
Lilly grant under the “Pastoral
Excellence” category. One of the staff       Engaging the Church Working
involved in that effort is Ann Plumley.      Group: This group is charged
In her efforts to assist Committees on the   with designing a way to help the
Ministry to be better prepared and           whole church understand and
equipped for their ministry, she is          respond to five issues, first raised
interested in hearing of effective models    in a resolution at General Synod
for performing psychological assessment      22, which make up the “Ministry
for In Care students. If you have a          Issues” discussion: (1) describing
system that is working well for your         a theology of ministry and in
Committees on the Ministry, please drop      particular ordained ministry, (2)
Ann an email and tell her about it. You      describing and defining licensed
can reach her at         ministry in relationship to
                                             ordained ministry, (3) looking at
        Ministry Issues Update               ways to ensure UCC identity
                                             and understanding of polity in
In response to the needs of the church       our clergy, (4) looking at the
for leadership, the Ministry Issues          time of In Care as a time of
Project is proceeding towards the goal of    discernment both of the nature of
bringing a Pronouncement and Proposals       call and the appropriate type of
for Action to the next General Synod in      preparation for that call, and (5)
2005. The work is overseen by a              describing potential multiple
Steering Committee with diverse              paths of preparation for ordained
representation from all settings of the      ministry. This Group will have
church, from racial ethnic constituencies,   members from each of the six
from authorized and lay ministers and        geographic regions. They will
from our seminaries. The Steering            meet for the first time in March.
Committee is chaired by the Rev. Pat
Liberty from Rhode Island. Currently,        Constitution and Bylaws
there are three “Working Groups.” They       Working Group: This group has
are:                                         not yet formed. Their task will
                                             be to formulate recommended
       Pronouncement Working Group:          changes necessary to the UCC
       This group, co-chaired by             Constitution and Bylaws if the
       Henrietta Andrews and Jack            Pronouncement is approved at
       Jackson will have its second          General Synod.
       meeting in March. They are
       working on a draft of both the
Please keep those who are engaged in         ministry. The effort is known as the
this work in your prayers. We will           Pastoral Leadership Search Effort or
continue to update you on the status of      PLSE. Our UCC coordinator, based in
this project in the months to come.          Atlanta, is the Rev. DaVita McCallister.
                                             Soon we will be offering a DVD–based
                                             presentation to congregations to help
                           The Pastoral      explain the need for gifted young leaders
                           Leadership        and to enlist the support of
                           Search Effort     congregations and pastors to identify
                                             UCC young people for this effort.
                             Over the next   Names of young people who are
                             few weeks       nominated and consent to participate
                             and months      will be entered into a database. They
you will be hearing more about two           will have access to online support
efforts to encourage more people to          forums with other young people
explore a vocation in pastoral ministry.     similarly exploring pastoral ministry.
The overall effort is entitled Ask the       Opportunities for conferences,
Question. Who was it in your life who        internships and retreats as well as
first asked some version of, “Have you       information about colleges and
thought about the ministry?” When is         seminaries where vocation can be further
the last time you or one of the pastors or   explored and shaped will also be offered.
local churches in your conference
identified a gifted person and directly      Please support our efforts to “ask the
“asked them the question?” In order to       question!” For further information,
help us encourage persons to consider        please contact Lynn Bujnak, Minister for
ministry, we will soon launch a new          Vocation and Formation,
website: This or 216-736-3841.
website is filled with resources for
someone who wishes to explore their            Nurture and Accountability for/with
vocation. We will also create a section          those in Specialized Ministries
of the site specifically for congregations              By Dick Sparrow
who wish to find ways to not only “ask
the question” but then nurture and           According to the Manual on Ministry,
support the discernment process. On          Conference and Association staffs, and
this site you will find links to             their respective Committees on the
conferences and associations,                Ministry, are responsible for overseeing
information about the in care process        the nurture and accountability of all who
and links to our UCC seminaries. Check       hold ministerial standing in their area of
it out and let us know how we can make       responsibility. In the case of those who
the site even better.                        have been endorsed for non-parish
                                             ministries, such as chaplains (military,
In addition, the United Church of Christ     Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal
has entered into an ecumenical               Bureau of Prisons, Civil Air Patrol, and
partnership through the Fund for             in non-government institutions and
Theological Education to identify gifted     agencies) and pastoral counselors,
young men and women for ordained             providing nurture and ensuring
accountability have often proven             John will be in touch with you to hear
difficult. Consequently, many persons in     what you are currently doing to provide
non-parish ministries receive little care,   support for and require accountability
nor are they held accountable for their      from those in specialized ministries and
ministries.                                  to explore additional possibilities. You
                                             may contact him by telephone at (828)
In the past, OCLL, and later PLL,            478-5551, or by email at
provided some pastoral care and support
to these persons through the ministry of
our Deputy Endorser, Rev. John               Fee-for-Service Charges Paid by Non-
Gundlach. Due to recent funding                      UCC Congregations?
cutbacks, however, this will no longer be
possible. While Eileen Norrington,           Do conference/association staff have fee
Minister for Authorization and               schedules when you work with non-
Endorsement, will continue to provide        UCC churches to help find an Interim
administrative oversight for                 and/or a settled minister? There have
endorsements and some pastoral support       been several inquiries of late as to what
to those in government-related               appropriate fees would be – so we’re
ministries, the Associations/Conferences     collecting information from around the
have primary responsibility for nurture      church. Please send an email to
and support for all authorized ministers, with what your fees
including those in specialized ministries.   are. Thanks!

In the next several months, as John                   Search and Call 2004
Gundlach concludes his tenure as
Deputy Endorser, I have asked him to         Search and Call will once again be held
work with Conference and Association         in Orlando, Florida, at the Wyndham
staffs to explore ways to facilitate their   Hotel and Resort. The dates are
provision of oversight to UCC                December 1-5, and our theme this year
chaplains/pastoral counselors working        will be Companions for the Journey;
outside the parish. With your help, he       Moving into the Future in Hope “For
will be looking for ways to enhance the      surely I know the plans I have for you,
covenant relationship between persons in     says the Lord, plans for your welfare
non-parish ministries, Conferences/          and not for harm, to give you a future
Associations, and the local churches         with hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) The
where these persons hold membership.         Planning Team is busily engaged in
Providing effective nurture and              preparing for this event, and we look
accountability is especially critical at a   forward to focusing primarily on issues
time when our active duty military           related to Search and Call in the United
chaplains and some of our Reserve and        Church of Christ, including how we
National Guard chaplains are deployed        arrived where we are and why we do
to hostile areas, their family members       things the way we do, as well as asking
are left behind, and we have churches        if things are still working. In making
whose pastors have been called away for      decisions about who will attend, please
indeterminate periods.                       keep in mind the agenda focuses on
                                             issues for staff working with search and
call and with Committees on the               PLL 2004 Dates to Remember
Ministry. We hope to provide a very
focused and relevant event that allows        Ministry Issues Pronouncement Group,
for real networking and relationship          Mar. 11-13, Cleveland
building, recognizing that this ministry is
ours together. If you have questions,         Ministry Issues Steering Group, Mar.
contact Michelle Hintz at                     11-13, Cleveland or 216-736-3845.
                                              Ministry Issues Engaging the Church,
   Requirements for Commissioned              Mar.14-15, Cleveland
                                              UCC Polity Teachers Network, Mar 18-
Have you developed any requirements           19, Cleveland
for Commissioning in any fields?
Musicians, Educators, and Parish Nurses       Ministerial Formation Retreat for
are frequent candidates, and lately, some     Native American Women,
have sought commissioning as Spiritual        Mar. 26-28, North Dakota
Directors. We are interested in
compiling the guidelines you have             West Coast Seminarian Conference,
developed to share with others who may        April 15-18, California
face commissioning questions for the
first time. Please respond to Christy         East Coast Seminarian Event, Oct. 8-
Trudo, or call 1-866-          10, Cleveland
822-8224, Ext 3840.                           Search and Call Gathering,
                                              Dec. 1-5, Orlando, Florida


                                              You will find with this month=s bulletin
                                              the following items:
                                              ‚ Disciplinary Actions
                                              ‚ Persons Placed
                                              ‚ UCEO