Could You Help with the Discipline Process?
Aside from my day job as the Minister for Digital Worship I work, as a volunteer, with the Ministerial Incapacity and Discipline Advisory Group. This group has introduced changes to our discipline process which looks into complaints of misconduct against Ministers and Church Related Community Workers. We are currently seeking to recruit 8 more people to serve on the Investigation Team and 10 more people to serve on the Assembly Commission.
The Investigation Team has two roles. First, working in a team of three, it investigates complaints to see if there is any substance to them and, if there is, presents the case to an Assembly Commission for Discipline. In addition, one member of the team is made available to the accused minister/CRCW to help with preparing their case. You will need to have experience in investigations – maybe as part of the police or as part of some civil role, have the time to offer – this would be your main wider church commitment – and you need to be a member of the URC or a congregation which is a local ecumenical partnership which includes the URC. In particular we are seeking more lay members of this team.
The Assembly Commission for Discipline hears cases against ministers and CRCWs in teams of three, has to evaluate the evidence and make both findings of fact and, if matters are proved, decide on a sanction. You would need to be experienced at working in a team, unafraid to make difficult decisions, and process a lot of written and oral information at a reasonable speed. You probably wouldn’t be used much more than once every other year but a hearing might last two or three days and take place away from your own locale. Of course you’d need to be a URC member or member of a Church in a local ecumenical partnership which includes us.
If you are interested in exploring this further please contact me via telling me a little about yourself. I will then get back to you to arrange a Zoom chat with you, myself and the Rev’d Dr Janet Tollington – another member of the MIND Advisory Group – to explore your gifts and skills further. We will then make recommendations to the Nominations Committee.
Those appointed will receive both online and in-person training before taking up their role.
with every good wish
The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Training Officer, Ministerial Incapacity and Discipline Advisory Group