|**IF YOU HAVE A SACRAMENTS ELDER SERVING AT YOUR COMMUNITY OF FAITH, PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO THEM AND ENSURE THAT THEY ARE REGISTERED BY YOUR COMMUNITY OF FAITH WITH THE CSRC AS A SACRAMENTS ELDER - PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE:
January 17, 2022
Dear Communities of Faith served by Sacraments Elders,
On behalf of the Pastoral Relations Commission of the Canadian Shield Regional Council I would like to take this opportunity to offer my prayers and blessings to your communities of faith as we enter this new year. I know that these last two years have not been easy and the future continues to look uncertain but we trust that the One who calls us Beloved is faithful and will walk with us wherever the journey takes us.
I imagine that many of you have had to be creative when offering the sacraments during this season of Covid-19. I am very grateful for the many faithful men and women of our communities of faith who offer their leadership in presiding over the sacraments when there is no called or appointed ministry personnel.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the license for each Sacraments Elder is only valid for one year. The Commission approves licenses from July 1st
of the current year to June 30th of the following year. If your community of faith would like to continue to have the support of a Sacraments Elder than you will need to apply to have that license renewed before June 30th.
The renewal process is very simple and can be completed on-line. Here is the link to the application for relicensing. 2022 CSRC Sacraments Elder Application Form | Canadian Shield (canadianshieldrc.ca)
This does not apply to those of you who have student ministers. We have a different process for them. The Pastoral Relations Commission grants students permission to preside over the sacraments for the duration of their student appointment.
To make the process as simple as possible I would suggest that you make it a regular item at your annual meeting to approve your Sacraments Elder/S and assign someone from your governing body to make the application. If you any questions or concerns about the process please contact me.
Blessings on your continued ministry in the path of Jesus,
From our CSRC Pastoral Relations Policies and Procedures Manual:
Some congregations do not regularly celebrate the sacraments because no licensed minister is available to preside. The policy and procedures for sacraments elders are one way of ensuring that each congregation can celebrate its sacramental life: by licensing trained lay members of the United Church to administer the sacraments within their own congregation.
A Sacraments Elder is a full member of a pastoral charge who has been licensed by the Regional Council to administer the sacraments within their pastoral charge, which is without a settled or appointed member of the order of ministry or designated lay minister. When a congregation is in need, it may identify and invite those who have gifts and interests for becoming a Sacraments Elder to act in this capacity once they have received the required training which is provided by the Regional Council. The Handbook can be viewed at https://www.united-church.ca/sites/default/files/handbook_sacraments-elders.pdf This application is the formal request of the pastoral charge for the appointment of a sacraments elder.