Consider this Opportunity!
The Personnel minister of BC Conference, Treena Duncan, has approached James Bay United Church, asking us to consider having a student intern. The student, Ryan Tristin Chapman, has all but completed his studies at Vancouver School of Theology, and is now ready to begin a field placement as the final part of his preparation for ordination. The request has come our way because of our reputation as a welcoming congregation that values diversity, and Treena’s knowledge of Karen and her experience.
The Board met with Ryan Tristin last Sunday afternoon. It was a chance for us to “interview” him and he to interview us, to explore the possibilities and discern if this would be a good fit. The more we talked the more excited we became as we imagined the possibilities for our congregation and neighbourhood, and the benefit to Ryan himself, and to the United Church. The Board was unanimous in deciding to bring this opportunity to the congregation for our collective consideration between now and the Congregational meeting following the service on July 17.
Who is Ryan Tristin Chapman?
From the conversation with Ryan and from his resume, these are some of the things we can say about him:
He is personable, with a fine sense of humour, a listening spirit, an ease in articulating his thoughts and questions.
He is excited by what he knows of JBUC to imagine an opportunity for an internship with us.
His resume shows his passion for social justice and bridge building between organizations and diverse communities; his interpersonal and communication skills, his experience in facilitating programs and events; his work with the Student Christian Movement and university campus groups building partnerships
What’s involved for JBUC?
Provide a rich array of opportunities for Ryan to participate in the full scope of leadership (worship, pastoral care, education, outreach, administration)
Provide onsite supervision through Karen and a Lay Supervision Team who meet with Ryan to reflect with him on his practice of ministry, to offer feedback, encouragement and support
Receive a quality and timely infusion of vision, energy, initiative and leadership, supporting our goals of connecting more widely with the neighbourhood, with people under 40, deepening our sense of community
Provide the salary and benefits outlined by the United Church for a .75 staff position [$51,000, benefits included] for one year (with the possibility of an additional 10 months).
Ideally the internship would begin in September 2016
How would we manage the financial commitment?
The United Church contributes $5,000 per internship year
There are 2 or 3 funds (local and national) that we can apply to for sizable grants ($10,000 -$15,000 each)
Ryan has experience in writing grant proposals and has indicated he will help draft those
JBUC recently received a $40,000 bequest which is not ear-marked for anything specific. The Board has placed it in the Grace Priority Fund making it accessible for expenditures consistent with our current priorities. The Board envisions a portion of this to support the internship.
The Board envisions additional contributions from members of the congregation ($5,000)
Why would we consider this request?
The possibility of increased staff time would allow us to make significant progress on our goals of connecting with a wider swath of people in our neighbourhood and city. Ryan has demonstrated experience in initiating interfaith and intergenerational opportunities to connect with people.
JBUC has some very fine things to offer, and Ryan’s connections will be part of increasing our visibility. The additional mix of people who will connect with JBUC will bring strength and vitality and capacity to the congregation.
In becoming a learning site, we welcome a person who with eager energy and fresh perspectives; so there is the very real possibility that we will learn and grow in depth and breadth as a congregation.
With Karen’s up-coming sabbatical leave in 2017, the internship would be ideally timed to provide the coverage we would be needing during that time.
It is a privilege and a great gift to the United Church to be part of forming a fine minister.