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Act 1, 2011 (I) (Class 1) – Act anent Team Ministries. 24th May 2011.

1. The General Assembly enact and ordain that team ministries shall be established to serve groups of more than one congregation. Such arrangements shall be authorised by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Home Missions Board after consultation with the Presbytery concerned.

Team ministries may be set up in any one of the following situations:

a) A group of two or more congregations, at least one of which does not qualify for the appointment of a minister under current legislation and where the appointment of a District Minister is not appropriate;

b) A group of two or more congregations, at least one of which is vacant and at least one of which has a settled ministry;

c) A charge where two or more congregations have been linked and where the linked charge is of sufficient size to require the appointment of more than one minister but where the appointment of an assistant minister is inappropriate.

d) A group of two or more congregations which have settled ministries but who wish to cooperate on a team ministry basis.

2. The Presbytery

2.1 Applications for the approval of a team ministry arrangement shall take the form of a Petition to the General Assembly from the Presbytery / Presbyteries in which the congregations involved are located. The Petition will be accompanied by a Schedule in which the participating congregations’ contributions to the maintenance of the team ministry will be indicated.

2.2 The Presbytery shall, through its Strategy Committee, formulate a clear plan for the team ministry arrangement in consultation with the Kirk Sessions and congregations within the area to be covered by the team ministry plan. The plan shall give details of (a) the number and names of the congregations involved; (b) the number of ministers and auxiliary workers which will form the team; and (c) proposals for pulpit ministry, pastoral ministry, and mission/evangelism in the locality served by each congregation. The plan shall be flexible in order to ensure the exercise of all aspects of gospel ministry in the area to be served by the team ministry arrangement. This plan shall be known as the Team Ministry Plan. The number of ministers in the Team Ministry will be limited by the combined annual remittances of the congregations included in the Plan and the annual direct cost of ministry.

2.3 The Presbytery shall give careful consideration to the membership of the team with particular consideration given to the appointment of a team leader and the preferred location of the team leader.

2.4 Where the proposed group of congregations within the Team Ministry Plan contains one or more settled charges at the time of the creation of the team ministry, the Presbytery shall consult with the Home Missions Board regarding arrangements for ministerial appointments under the proposed Plan.

2.5 Each congregation included in the Team Ministry Plan shall have its own Kirk Session and Deacons’ Court / Finance Committee. Kirk Sessions may meet together if they so desire to dispose of matters of common interest.

2.6 Where the congregations comprising a team ministry cross presbytery boundaries, the Team Ministry Plan will indicate which Presbytery will be responsible for the general oversight of the team ministry. In the case of a minister in a settled charge being appointed to the team ministry, the Petition shall include a crave for the minister to be a general assessor to the Presbytery within which he does not reside.

2.7 Having formulated a detailed plan of the team ministry arrangements, the Presbytery shall bring forward a Petition to the General Assembly through the Home Missions Board. The Petition shall indicate the number of ministers and other workers required, and the general nature of the proposed duties of the members of the team.

2.8 The Sustentation Fund Schedule will indicate: (1) the combined remittances of the congregations in the proposed team ministry arrangement over the last three years; (2) the arrangements for the remuneration and financial support of non-ministerial members; (3) the accommodation to be provided for the ministerial members of the team; (4) the amount of financial assistance required from the Home Missions Board. The terms of the Petition, the Sustentation Fund Schedule and the Team Ministry Plan shall be approved by the participating congregations.

2.9 Funding for auxiliary workers who are appointed to the team will normally be according to the terms of Act X, 2006, regarding Auxiliary Workers.

3. Home Missions Board

3.1 The Home Missions Board shall give due consideration to the Team Ministry Plan in the light of the strategy of the Presbytery and the overall strategy of the Board with regard to the development of existing ministries and the potential for new ministries within the Presbytery bounds.

3.2 The Home Missions Board shall examine the Sustentation Fund Schedule and give due consideration to the ability of the congregations included in the Team Ministry Plan to meet the financial commitment given in the combined Schedule for the five year term of the Plan. The Board may also, at its discretion, and in the light of its overall strategy, consider whether additional financial support can be given to the proposal in order to help achieve the total number of ministers required to fulfil the objectives of the Plan.

3.3 The Board shall give due consideration, in the light of its overall strategy, to the financial support required to fund the appointment of ministerial members of the team and also the level of financial support required to fund the appointment of auxiliary workers to the team in terms of Act X, 2006. If the Plan is approved, the Board shall ensure that annual budgetary provision is made for the five-year term of the Plan.

3.4 Where the proposed group of congregations within the Team Ministry Plan contains one or more settled charges at the time of the creation of the team ministry, the Board shall consider the financial viability of the settled charge or charges in terms of Act I, 2009. If a charge is no longer financially viable under the terms of the aforesaid Act, the minister shall be loosed from his charge in terms of the Act, and the minister or ministers will be available for appointment to the Team. A minister in a settled charge which is still financially viable will also have the terms of his appointment adjusted so that his pastoral relationship is extended to include all the congregations in the team ministry plan but without further induction.

3.5 The Board shall have further consultation with the Presbytery as necessary in order to establish a clear and definite proposal with regard to the appointment and location of the team leader and the relationship between the members of the team.

3.6 The Board shall be fully satisfied with the financial and practical arrangements of the Team Ministry Plan before agreeing to support the Plan.

3.7 The Board, after consultation with the Presbytery, may consult with the Board of Ministry with regard to the placement of students entering their year of probation in terms of Act XLVI, 2008, and the possibility of such students being appointed to assist with the Team Ministry Plan.

4. Implementation of the Team Ministry Plan

4.1 When authority has been granted by the General Assembly for the establishment of a team ministry, the Home Missions Board, in consultation with the Presbytery and the congregations, shall make arrangements for the appointment of members of the Team according to the Team Ministry Plan.

4.2 Ministers shall be appointed by the Board with concurrence of the Presbytery and the congregations involved in the Team Ministry Plan.

4.3 The Team Leader shall be appointed first. His appointment as such shall be with the concurrence of the Presbytery and the congregations comprising the team ministry. If the Team Leader is a minister in a settled charge within the area covered by the Team Ministry Plan, he will be appointed to the position of Team Leader and retain his seat on the Presbytery. If the Team Leader is a minister not in a settled charge within the area covered by the Team Ministry Plan, the minister will be inducted to the team ministry and granted a seat on the Presbytery. The Team Leader will carry out his duties as leader and as a minister in the team ministry according to the terms of the Team Ministry Plan. A minister not previously serving in one of the Team ministry congregations shall be inducted by the Presbytery to the Team ministry.

4.4 The above arrangements for the appointment of the team leader will apply mutatis mutandis to all other ministers appointed to the team ministry. Where a Probationer is appointed he shall be ordained in accordance with the normal practice following ordination trials. Probationers shall not be appointed team leaders.

4.5 Auxiliary workers will be appointed to the Team according to the terms of Act X, 2006, and will be dedicated to the work of the Team Ministry Plan.

4.6 The Presbytery shall appoint a Team Ministry Council which will have the responsibility of implementing the Team Ministry Plan. The Convener of the Presbytery Strategy Committee shall be a member of the Team Ministry Council and act as Chairman of the Council. The ministers appointed under the Plan will be members of the Council. Auxiliary Workers appointed under the Plan will also be members of the Council. Kirk Sessions served by the Team Ministry Plan will each appoint one representative elder to serve on the Council.

4.7 The Presbytery shall make arrangements for the appointment of moderators of the particular Kirk Sessions within the team ministry. All ministers appointed to a team ministry shall be members of each Kirk Session in the Team Ministry Plan. A minister in a settled charge within the area covered by the Team Ministry Plan may continue as Moderator of his previous Kirk Session.

4.8 Ministerial members of the team shall receive the Stipend for the current year. Other workers shall be remunerated and their terms of appointment shall conform to the current regulations for Auxiliary Workers in Act X, 2006.

4.9 During the first five years of a minister’s initial appointment to the team ministry, no Presbytery shall sustain a call to him without the prior agreement of the Home Missions Board. If his appointment is extended beyond the initial five-year period, he shall be eligible for call to another charge in the normal way.

5. Review

5.1 The team ministry arrangement will be for an initial period of five years and will be subject to a full and thorough review commencing twelve months before the five year term is due to expire.

5.2 The Presbytery shall report on the Team Ministry to the Home Missions Board on an annual basis. The Report shall give details of progress in each area of ministry and shall draw attention to any adjustments that need to be made to the Team Ministry Plan. Any changes to the original Team Ministry Plan shall be made with the joint agreement of the Presbytery and the Board.

5.3 In the event of a vacancy occurring in the position of team leader, a review will be immediately put in place by the Presbytery who shall report their recommendations to the Home Missions Board. The Board, in consultation with the Presbytery and the congregations, shall take such steps as they deem necessary for the filling of the vacancy within the terms of the original agreement.

5.4 After a team ministry has been operative for four years from the date of its creation, the Board in consultation with the Presbytery will initiate a Review and report to the next General Assembly. The Report will include (1) recommendations as to the continuance of the arrangement when considered appropriate; (2) recommendations as to adjustments or changes to the Team Ministry Plan; or (3) recommendations as to the terminating of the arrangement and alternative arrangements for ministry in the congregations covered by the arrangement.

5.5 All ministerial appointments to the Team Ministry Plan will be five-year terminable or renewable appointments and the general terms of Act I, 2009, will apply to ministers whose appointment is terminated by the General Assembly. A Minister whose appointment is terminated in this way will have his name added to the Register of Ministers without Charge, Eligible for Call. Ministers appointed to the Team Ministry who were ministers in financially viable congregations at the time of appointment will revert to the original terms of their appointment prior to the setting up of the team ministry.

5.6 The appointment of auxiliary workers will be for a fixed term and the conditions of employment will be according to the terms of Act X, 2006