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Act 6, 2023 – Cooperative Agreement with Mission to the World

The General Assembly, desiring to revise and update the terms of the Cooperative Agreement with Mission to the World set out in Act 34, Class 2, 2006, enact and ordain as follows: 

  1. The General Assembly welcome the continued cooperation of Mission to the World (MTW) workers with congregations of the Free Church of Scotland and express their gratitude for over twenty years of fruitful cooperation.
  2. The General Assembly receive and adopt the Cooperative Agreement as drawn up by the Mission Board in consultation with the MTW Regional Director of the UK.

Agreement for Cooperation and Relationship between the Free Church of Scotland of Scotland and Mission to the World of the Presbyterian Church in America

PREAMBLE

Whereas we are churches sharing the same biblical and theological roots, Reformed heritage, and confessional standards, namely the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Whereas the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned his Church with the words: “Go into all the world to preach the Good News to all creation,” (Mark 16:15) “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8), we reaffirm our missionary calling.

Whereas we are motivated by the glory of God in the extension of his Church and Kingdom through pointing people to Christ as he is found in the Gospel.

Whereas our current cultural and moral climate present to us great needs, challenges and opportunities that can only be resolved in relation to Christ and his Gospel.

Whereas we are not able to complete the great task of proclaiming the Gospel and expanding the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in an isolated, unilateral, and self- sufficient way but rather as Churches united in one cause.

Whereas we recognise, value, and celebrate our different cultural, national, ethnic, and historical identities.

Whereas we respect the integrity, jurisdiction and policies of our respective Churches.

Whereas we desire to help, support, encourage and stimulate each other to love and serve Jesus Christ in obedience to the Great Commission.

For that reason, we affirm together the obligation of the Great Commission in its application to the life of our Churches today and enact the following:

PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

1. Purpose. The purpose of this agreement is to facilitate cooperation in mission using the joint resources of the Free Church of Scotland and Mission to the World (MTW) of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in Scotland. Mission opportunities exist in church planting, church development, and in both administrative and diaconal support.

2. Application – General

2.1.There shall be quarterly meetings held between the Mission Director of the Free Church of Scotland (hereinafter referred to as “Mission Director”) and the MTW Regional Director of the UK (hereinafter referred to as “Regional Director”). Each meeting shall include discussion of missional opportunities within the Free Church and missionary availability within MTW. The Mission Director shall report on these meetings to the Mission Board.

2.2. The Mission Board shall make each Presbytery of the Free Church of Scotland aware of the potential for MTW partnership on an annual basis.

2.3. The Mission Director and Regional Director shall maintain an up-to-date list of congregations that are interested in or may benefit from MTW partnership. 

2.4. The initiation of a specific placement of a prospective MTW worker may be triggered by:

2.4.1.The Regional Director or MTW Team Leader receiving notice of a prospective MTW worker’s interest in serving with the Free Church of Scotland.

2.4.2. The Mission Director and/or Church Planting Director approaching a presbytery or congregation regarding the availability of a prospective MTW worker. 

2.4.3. A congregation contacting the Mission Director to request a prospective MTW worker. 

3. Application – Specific

3.1. The Regional Director shall conduct an initial interview with any prospective MTW worker who is interested in partnering with the Free Church of Scotland to assess his/her spiritual gifts, ministry interests, calling, and potential compatibility with the Free Church.

3.2. If the Regional Director determines the prospective MTW worker to be a potentially suitable candidate, he shall inform the Mission Director, who may conduct a subsequent interview to further ascertain his/her spiritual gifts, ministry interests, calling, and compatibility.

3.3. Upon the Mission Director’s approval, he and the Regional Director shall select a congregation(s) who may benefit from the placement of this prospective MTW worker. 

3.4. The minister(s) of any selected congregation(s) shall communicate with the prospective MTW worker (via video conference, email, or other appropriate means) in order for assess the prospective MTW worker and share specific ministry needs and opportunities. 

3.5. If a minister(s) and prospective MTW worker are interested in pursuing a potential partnership, an in-person pre-commitment visit to the congregation(s) shall be arranged with the approval of the Mission Director and Regional Director.  It is highly recommended that the prospective MTW worker visit more than one congregation during his/her visit. 

3.6. Following an in-person visit, if a minister and prospective MTW worker agree to future partnership, an initial written agreement shall be made by both parties, which shall include a preliminary list of roles and responsibilities to be submitted to the Mission Director and Regional Director.

3.7. A prospective MTW worker shall receive a field invitation upon the agreement of the local minister, Mission Director and Regional Director.   

3.8. The Mission Director shall be responsible for notifying the Free Church Compliance Officer of the field invitation.  The placement congregation will write to the Compliance Officer requesting visa sponsorship. The Compliance Officer will guide the placement congregation and the MTW worker through the process. 

3.9. The prospective MTW worker shall be responsible for completing MTW’s approval process prior to coming to the field.  He/she shall provide quarterly progress updates to the Mission Director and Regional Director regarding his/her support raising and estimated date of arrival. 

3.10. It is expected that the support-raising process shall be completed within twenty-four (24) months of the field invitation.

4. Oversight and Accountability

4.1 The MTW Worker shall be under the legal and administrative oversight of MTW.

4.2. The PCA church court having oversight for the MTW Worker shall be kept informed concerning the worker’s training and work.  Such court will maintain basic oversight for the worker’s doctrine and morals. 

4.3. The MTW Worker shall, at all times, abide by the MTW Personnel Code of Conduct.  Any misconduct shall be reported to the MTW Safeguarding Manager.

4.4. MTW shall maintain responsibility for taking disciplinary action against any MTW worker guilty of misconduct, up to and including termination and, where appropriate, referral to PCA church courts and law enforcement agencies. 

4.5. The MTW Worker shall submit an annual evaluation in June of each year to the Mission Board, which shall include, but not be limited to, a personal assessment of his/her partnership, changes in his/her roles and responsibilities, ministry successes and struggles, and future ministry goals. 

4.6 If service is terminated by the MTW Worker outwith the agreed term of service, a notice period of one (1) month shall be given.

4.7. The MTW Worker shall comply with all terms and requirements set by the UK Visa and Immigration department.

5.Finance

5.1 The MTW Worker shall be responsible for raising and maintaining all required financial support in keeping with all relevant visa requirements and MTW policies and guidelines.