The Diocese of Toronto is committed to making sure our Church is a holy place where the love of Christ can be modelled and learned. Our baptismal covenant calls us to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbour as ourselves (Book of Alternative Services, p.159). A fundamental obligation of that call is to look after the welfare of all members of our community, especially those who are vulnerable through age, infirmity or circumstances of dependency. This is a sacred trust that must be responsibly and safely managed.
In company with the bishops, clergy and people of the Anglican Communion, the Diocese of Toronto “affirms that every human is created in the image of God who has made us for loving, covenant relationships with our Creator, others and the world. We believe that our peace arises out of right relationships. Our personal dignity, freedom and bodily integrity are ensured by faithfulness to just covenants of mutual trust, care and respect. Such covenants undergird the moral framework of our communal life, responsibilities and entitlements.” Lambeth Conference Report, 1988
Ministry is a privilege. Through our baptism, we are all called to ministry using our varied and different gifts. (BAS pp. 158-160) The process of matching an individual’s gifts with the Church’s needs requires church leaders to use gifts of discernment, insight and courage and to speak the truth in love. From time to time, some may feel a stronger call to a ministry than the Church is able to affirm. Only those who are perceived to have the appropriate gifts for the position will be permitted to minister. This principle is important to make sure the recipients of the ministry, the individual who feels called to the ministry and the Church are safe from harm.
Those who offer themselves for ministry must have an attitude of servanthood and be willing to be trained, mentored and possibly reassigned, as needs dictate.
God of abundance and God of life, infuse your children with courage and love, that we may build communities of hope, which are healthy, thriving and safe. Help us to be responsible with our ministry so that both the weak and the strong find their home in our churches, through the profound love of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.