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THE LIVING VISION, MISSION, AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE EAST CENTRAL ONTARIO REGIONAL COUNCIL, AS ADOPTED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING SEPTEMBER 26 2020
Strengthened by God’s grace and refreshed by the Spirit, we follow the way of Jesus in healing our world.
Grounded in the teachings of Jesus to love our neighbours as ourselves,
we nurture and engage our Communities of Faith, including all ministry personnel, members and adherents, staff and lay leadership,
joining our hearts and voices in sacred covenant.
In gratitude for our abundant blessings and in the service of this call,
we pledge to be faithful stewards of our resources
and aspire to be agents of God’s love, compassion and justice
on earth as it is in heaven.
Recognizing our churches’ participation in historic injustices,
we reach out with particular love and care, as Jesus did,
to those who have been ignored, excluded, condemned, silenced or erased.
We seek to uphold high standards of equity and Affirming,
and to encourage these same standards in our Communities of Faith.
Valuing diversity and differences as gifts, we support the full participation of all people in the life and work of our church and in wider society.
We publicly, intentionally and explicitly celebrate and seek justice
for people of every age, gender, racialized experience, culture,
sexual orientation, gender identity, mental and physical health and ability,
economic circumstance or any other diversity.
We promise to walk with, and learn from, Indigenous ministries and Communities of Faith within our church, and to reach out to all Indigenous Peoples. We support and encourage all Communities of Faith to walk this path with us.
As we are called by God to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others and to seek justice, so we are called to respect the deep spirituality
of traditional Indigenous teachings f Mother Earth and All My Relations in the Earth community.
Further acknowledging that cultural prejudices have prevented us
from seeing all people as equally worthy of God’s love and compassion,
we invite Communities of Faith to join our vision of becoming an intercultural church, participating in ecumenical, intercultural and interfaith ministries, partnerships and initiatives in their local communities and in wider society.
As Jesus gathered children in his arms and spoke of their leadership and spiritual gifts, we commit ourselves and our Communities of Faith
to nurturing and supporting children, youth and young adults,
learning from them and celebrating their presence and participation in everything we do.
Hearing God’s call for open hearts and unity in the body of Christ,
we commit to uniting the Communities of Faith and individuals in our Region, inviting all to participate in this Vision and Mission.
Recognizing that meaningful communication is essential to unity,
we will respect all voices, share information and listen for the Spirit’s prompting, that all may be embraced in this work of Love. Diverse, yet One in Christ, we seek to serve and support our Communities of Faith
as they faithfully serve a broken and hurting world.
Nurtured by our heritage and strengthened by God’s grace,
we witness to the healing power of Christ’s love, compassion and justice
on earth as it is in heaven.
We are accountable to all people of the East Central Ontario Regional Council (ECORC) in living out our
vision and mission in ways that can be measured over time. We will know we are doing so when we can
say “yes” to these statements, which are presented by theme rather than by priority or importance:
All Communities of Faith participate in ECORC meetings and initiatives.
Clergy, lay leaders and communities of faith express satisfaction with the support, development
opportunities and communication they receive.
We hold events every year related to outreach and social justice within our Regional Council.
Reports from equity monitors and meeting notes give evidence of a growing awareness of equity
The number of church buildings in our Regional Council that are accessible is increasing.
The number of Communities of Faith designated as Affirming continues to increase.
There is evidence that inclusive language is becoming the norm in the life and work of our church
throughout our Regional Council, especially inclusive language and images of God in worship.
We observe increasing use of land acknowledgments and more participation in learning
opportunities related to Respectful Relations and Indigenous Justice.
An increasing number of Communities of Faith, along with ECORC and the Assembly of Elders,
are developing plans to increase their environmental stewardship.
We can document specific actions we have taken to become intercultural.
Children, youth and young adults are represented on all decision-making bodies.
There are events planned for and by children, youth and young adults every year. A significant
number of these events provide children, youth and young adults with leadership opportunities.
Those involved in any way with ECORC demonstrate awareness of our Vision and Mission
statements, and express a feeling of connection to and commitment to the work of ECORC.
People in all roles and capacities within ECORC are aware of Council decisions and policies, and
know where to find the information they need.
ECORC events take place in a variety of geographic locations within our Regional Council throughout ‘the year.