The United Church of Canada is Canada’s largest Protestant denomination and exists as a national body to contribute to God's mission and to share in the ministry of Jesus Christ. With nearly 400,000 members of record and 2 million Canadians reporting an affiliation with the denomination, the church is a large and complex enterprise, with an extraordinarily broad scope of aims, from individual fellowship, care and spiritual transformation to social justice and cultural change in the wider society. The church supports local congregations, community and social justice ministries, camps, campus ministries, chaplaincies (armed forces, universities, hospitals, corrections), seniors’ homes, theological schools, education centres, and new expressions of ministry. As well as having a national presence through congregations in all parts of Canada, the United Church is an active participant, nationally and globally, in interdenominational and interfaith activities.
In August 2019, marking an important moment in the journey to decolonize the church, a new form of Indigenous self-governance was created as part of the United Church, guided by a National Indigenous Council and the National Elders Council.
The United Church of Canada is a Christian denomination with a rich, progressive and continuing history of welcoming people from all backgrounds and orientations, wherever they may be in their faith journey. Dedicated to its beliefs in Christ’s call to social justice and of giving, generosity and gratitude, the United Church is respectful of the religious practice of all people of goodwill and welcomes all to the full life of a Christian community. The church continues to be one of the most theologically and socially progressive denominations, beginning with the ordination of women in 1936 to its landmark decision in 1988 declaring that sexual orientation is not a barrier to full participation as a member or minister.
At the same time, the United Church is hungry for change and hears the call and challenge to fully embrace racialized and marginalized people. Like all organizations, it also needs to provide for sustainable growth and renewal, adapt to ever-changing circumstances, function effectively and efficiently, provide a healthy workplace, and comply with all legal requirements.
With the pending retirement of the incumbent, the church has initiated the search for the new General Secretary. Appointed by the Executive of the General Council, the General Secretary is the senior staff and administrative officer of the General Council, its executive, and its sub-executive, and provides leadership in the direction, management and coordination of the affairs of the church. In conjunction with the Moderator, who is the senior elected officer of the United Church and its primary spokesperson, the General Secretary has a significant role in articulating the vision, theology and polity of the church, as determined by the General Council, and has responsibility for the coordination and integration of the volunteers, staff, and programs of the General Council. The General Secretary also serves on the Board of the United Church Foundation. The position is based in Toronto, Ontario.
As the ideal candidate, you will bring a blend of knowledge, skills and abilities representative of the assets for this leadership role. Demonstrating an understanding of the church’s theology, polity and mission, you are a member of The United Church of Canada and have an ability to frame policy, practices and programs within a theological perspective. You are skilled at thinking comprehensively and “big picture”, use knowledge of emerging trends and external forces to set direction, and can take a broad-scale, long-term view in assessing options and implications for the future as well as the present. With exceptional interpersonal communication skills, you develop and maintain positive relationships, exchange ideas and opinions in a clear fashion, and communicate vision that sparks excitement in others. Experienced in developing and leading teams of leaders, you can motivate, influence and support others to accomplish team and organizational goals, collaborating with others to plan and organize, solve problems, make effective decisions, and achieve results. You bring knowledge of, and commitment to, the ecumenical and inter-faith processes, cultural diversity, and the principles of Treaty, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and dual belonging. French proficiency or willingness to learn is an asset.
The United Church of Canada is committed to maintaining a fair and just workplace in the calling, appointment, development, and advancement of staff. As much as it is in its power to do so, the church will eliminate discriminatory employment barriers and practices and work to increase the participation of women, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and members of visible minorities, in all occupational categories and at all levels of employment. Women, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and members of visible minorities are entitled to be considered for employment, hired, treated, trained, and promoted in a way that is free of barriers, including systemic and deliberate practices and policies that discriminate against them.
Amrop Knightsbridge has been engaged to support the discernment of the Search Committee appointed by the Executive of the General Council. If you are interested in this exceptional opportunity to provide leadership to the church, please contact:
Ed Perkovic (416 640-4311/ ) or Chris Sawyer (416 640-4312/ ) to receive the full position description and to submit your resume. Ministry personnel should include a Letter of Good Standing from their Office of Vocation Minister.
Applications accepted from April until June 19, 2020.
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