Priorities of Leadership

Priorities of Leadership

By Treena Duncan

United Church communities of faith and ministry initiatives in BC and Yukon are served by the body of The United Church of Canada called Pacific Mountain Regional Council. As a region, we invest heavily in our leaders; we have a strong commitment to leadership development and to fostering positive and professional collegial relationships. By tuning into the skills that leaders require in order to lead spiritually, creatively, and Biblically, my aim as Executive Minister is for those serving PMRC United Churches to be empowered in faithful leadership – always, and in challenging, turbulent times.

Many of our United Church candidates for ministry are formed at the Vancouver School of Theology, and in our robust partnership with VST, we learn together how to best ready leaders for the church of today. ‘Relationship is the Medium of the Art of Ministry’. This grounding sentiment is the driving value in our connection with VST. We believe that achieving a solid theological education, combined with on the ground leadership, pastoral, and management skills provide candidates with all that they need for success in their ministry. The Pacific Mountain Regional Council is committed to support for Field Education and mentorship through the process of formation, and we are grateful to VST for the work that they do on our behalf.

In the work of the priority of leadership, the Pacific Mountain Regional Council has identified three other important areas of work:

  • Identity: We identify as a church with a call to social justice. Now, more than ever, we are committed to living into our commitment to Reconciliation. At our recent annual meeting, we passed a motion highlighting our commitment to take action to undo some of the harm we caused by participating in the running of Residential Schools. We also voted to become an affirming region, signifying our desire to provide a safe space for all. We are also committed to being an anti-racist church.
  • Healthy Communities of Faith: We believe that when communities of faith are healthy, the whole church is healthy. Our goal is for all Communities to be connected to their mission and to community: to practice their faith – in worship, in prayer, in scripture study, in justice making and mending the world, in whole life stewardship.
  • First Third Ministry: We have committed resources for ministry with people in their first third of life, which we believe will contribute to the well-being of communities of faith, and play a significant role in the formation of the future leaders of our church. We seek to CONNECT EQUIP IMAGINE with United Church communities of faith so that all may know the Way of Jesus Christ and the Love of God.

Passion for effective and supported leadership is the foundation of my call in my role as Executive Minister, and the resilience of our church leaders during this pandemic has been humbling and inspiring. I’m energized by the opportunity for creativity and the engagement of people across the region, and I’m grateful. This year has been like no other; I’ve found that in bringing United Church leaders and people together with opportunities like the Regional Council Townhalls, creative use of online platforms and technologies for our gatherings, and timely, relevant trainings and workshops from our LeaderShift initiative, Indigenous Ministry, and First Third Ministry (to name a few), we are ever-more living the way that God desires – for us to be together as people of God.

Treena Duncan is the United Church of Canada Regional Executive Minister for Chinook Winds and Pacific Mountain Regions. A lifelong member of the United Church, Treena has served as the Conference Personnel Minister for what was BC Conference in 2002, and the Director of Human Resources and Leadership Development for Pacific Mountain Region.