Statement on HUB Ministry v3 February 2020
Copy for Congregational consideration – June 2020
You may recall receiving a copy of this paper just before “lockdown.” We had intended to hold a congregational meeting at which Rev. Jenny Adams, Interim Moderator, and I would have been able to answer any questions, provide any clarifications and explain any matters which may be of concern. However, due to the current restrictions caused by the Coronavirus, we are unable to convene a meeting and will be unable to do so for the foreseeable future. It is important, never the less, to try to move ahead with our vacancy and part of that process involves seeking Congregational views on the proposals outlined below. Your Kirk Session has considered this in detail and is recommending approval. However, if you have any questions then please either email or telephone Jenny or me and we will endeavour to provide answers. (Jenny’s telephone number is 01343 830276 and her email is JAdams@churchofscotland.org.uk) (My telephone is 01343 541328 and email is email@example.com)
Once you have considered the proposals, and had any questions answered, please email me or Jenny if you have any significant objections to this being adopted. Please do so by the end of July 2020 at the latest. You need do nothing if you are in agreement with the proposals as your silence will be taken as approval.
The Kirk Sessions of Birnie, Pluscarden linked with Elgin High and St Giles and St Columba’s South affirm our faith and resolve to proclaim God’s Word and serve our congregations and parishes in meaningful ways. We, therefore, commit to forming a HUB Ministry to share personnel, buildings and administration to serve the needs of our respective congregations and the spiritual needs of the whole of Elgin across parish boundaries.
PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS REGARDING THE RUNNING OF THE ELGIN HUB
We proposed that the Hub ministry model can be a way of our joined commitment to the people of Elgin.
We foresee that for the interim (January 2020 onwards, during Birnie & Pluscarden l/w Elgin: High vacancy) a model of ministry staffing can consist of:
• Parish minister, Deon Oelofse – primarily covering the spiritual and pastoral care for the traditional parish boundaries of St Giles and St Columba’s South
• Ministries Development Staff (MDS), Paula Baker – primarily covering the spiritual and pastoral care for the traditional parish boundaries of Elgin High
• Ordained Local Minister (OLM), Sonia Palmer – spiritual and pastoral care for the traditional parish boundaries of St Giles and St Columba’s South
• Locum (2 days/week pastoral cover), Sonia Palmer – primarily covering the spiritual and pastoral care for the traditional parish boundaries of Birnie & Pluscarden
• Interim Moderator, Jenny Adams – primarily providing oversight and moderating meetings of Birnie & Pluscarden l/w Elgin High
• Ministries Development Staff (MDS), Eckhardt Bosch, until summer 2020 – continuing and developing outreach work in New Elgin
• Community outreach worker for New Elgin – part-time staff member funded through Presbytery Discretionary Allowance 2019 & 2020 (pilot for possible Elgin-wide role in Hub) – from summer 2020 for pilot period.
In this interim Hub-ministry model the following services will continue as usual:
• A Sunday service every week, alternating on a monthly basis, between St Columba’s and St Giles
• A Sunday service at Elgin High
• A Sunday service alternating between Birnie Church and Pluscarden Church
• A weekly Midweek service at St Giles on a Thursday
• A monthly evening healing service at St Columba’s
• Bible Studies as usual
• Formal Sunday School at the St Giles/St Columba’s service and Elgin High
• Messy Church six times a year at Elgin High and monthly at Birnie and Pluscarden
• Funerals will be taken by the staff member called by the Funeral Director unless otherwise arranged.
• Outreach to the community will continue to be developed
Weddings will be taken by the OLM and Parish Minister, unless an arrangement was made with the MDS or Interim Moderator.
Sacraments will be served by the OLM or Parish Minister in all the charges with a regular rota. Regarding Communion the follow arrangement can be made: currently Elgin High and Birnie and Pluscarden celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of said month whilst St Giles and St Columba’s South celebrates on the second Sunday of said month. This arrangement can continue in the future.
Combined services between Elgin High and Elgin St Giles can also be held together as in the currently format during Easter and Remembrance Sunday
The school assemblies will be shared by the current staff and for the sake of continuity a staff member(s) will be dedicated as chaplain to a school.
A suggestion to the three Kirk Sessions can be to form a combined Ministry steering committee, comprising of three elders from each session, that can report to all the Kirk Sessions regarding the ministry in the individual congregation. This that also create two-way communication between the Sessions and the Ministry team.
The proposal will be to call the Hub “The Parish of Elgin” with the three parishes keeping their own identity, Board, Kirk Session and charity number.
At this point none of the buildings will be considered redundant. With the property at St Giles and St Columba’s South reaching capacity, it would be good to look at how building resources can be shared.
There will be an investigation into the sharing of administration and booking of venues through shared staffing and a central diary in the office at the Williamson Hall.
The charge of Birnie & Pluscarden linked with Elgin High have been granted the right to call a full-time Minister of Word & Sacrament in accordance with the Presbytery Plan of Moray. The intention would be call someone into a Hub or team ministry for “The Parish of Elgin”, within the staffing levels allowed in Elgin within the Moray Presbytery Plan, but with a specific role within the Hub.
The future Hub ministry staffing model would be:
• Full-Time Minister of Word & Sacrament (FTMWS) – primarily undertaking traditional parish ministry across Elgin, Birnie & Pluscarden; responsible for administration and moderating meetings
• FTMWS – Pioneer ministry, developing mission and new worshipping communities across Elgin, particularly its new housing areas
• Ministries Development Staff (MDS) – primarily undertaking traditional parish ministry across Elgin, Birnie & Pluscarden; responsible for Bible studies and Messy Churches
• Ordained Local Minister (OLM) – primarily undertaking traditional parish ministry across Elgin, Birnie & Pluscarden; responsible for healing services
• Community outreach worker – developing mission and service across Elgin, hopefully funded by Church of Scotland Growth Fund, Presbytery, and congregations – developing from interim pilot post in New Elgin
The intention would be that further Hub conversations would take place, with the possibility of widening the Hub to include ecumenical partners and other Church of Scotland congregations around Elgin.