WITHIN OUR TERRITORY
The Territory of the People has hosted and facilitated various initiatives and programs over the years. The pandemic has increased our use of ZOOM and our comfort with web-based training opportunities. This has been a blessing considering the mostly rural disposition of the TOTP and the hazards of winter travel conditions. Presently, some require new leadership or other rejuvenation. That said, historically or in the present moment, our witness has included: (Links are included in the text below)
The raising up, training, and support of Lay Ministers of Word and Sacrament who are licensed annually by the Bishop and commissioned in one or more of four categories:
- Officiate at Morning and Evening prayer
- Take the reserved Sacrament to the sick and shut-in
- Conduct a public service of the Word with the administration of communion from the Reserved Sacrament.
We continue to develop a robust understanding of collaborative ministry with the view of forming teams of locally trained priests and deacons to serve in parishes. In consultation with senior clergy, the Bishop continues developing a new model for community-based theological education. We use the Licentiate in Theology program through Huron college, which is particularly beneficial to the Council of the North Dioceses and WECAN (Western Educational Collaborative Educational Network). The renewed position of Ministry Developer in the Fall of 2022 will, we hope, reinvigorate our work of identifying and raising up the next generation of priests, vocational deacons, and lay leaders in the Territory. 2022 also saw the introduction of workshops and ongoing lay groups focused on developing a culture of invitation in our parishes under the mentorship of Michael Harvey from Unlocking The Growth.
Every second year a community building program event called EQUIP gathers interested participants for a three-day program at various locations throughout the Territory. This is a non-business meeting. Resources from EQUIP 2018 can be viewed here. The pandemic changed our schedule for EQUIP, but we hope to get back to a biannual offering as soon as possible.
Education for Ministry Canada continues to be offered in the Territory; most participants take the online offering. Historically we also sent teams to Living Stones Partnership, a collaborative leadership initiative, most recently in 2016.
A Territory Bulletin is sent out monthly to an extensive distribution list to keep parishes and individuals updated on current news, activities, and prayer needs of the whole Territory.
Since 2016 we have dedicated resources and time to developing a Territory website with local parish pages. This ministry is currently overseen by Territory staff and volunteers; additionally, social media is coordinated by a lay volunteer.
The Territory is blessed to be close to the Sorrento Centre for retreats and courses and to have the opportunity to connect with the Sisters of St. John the Divine, who visit the BC interior regularly.
ECUMENICAL SHARED MINISTRY IN OUR TERRITORY
Ecumenical shared ministry allows a more unified Christian witness to a community; may be more economical; may provide more opportunity for programs; may allow a Christian congregation to exist where it otherwise would not.
Within the Territory, we have three ecumenical shared ministry parishes. There are two in the South Thompson Deanery - The North Thompson Shared Ministry, the people of The Church of St. Paul, Barriere and Trinity Shared Ministry, Clearwater (Anglican, Lutheran, and United), and St Andrew’s United and St Mary the Virgin Shared Ministry in Lillooet (Anglican – United). In the northern deanery is the Robson Valley Shared Ministry (Anglican – United) in both Valemount and McBride.
CONNECTIONS BEYOND OUR TERRITORY
For many years we have enjoyed a companion relationship with the Diocese of Montreal. The Bishop, Dean, and other clergy and laity have exchanged visits, and a regular prayer cycle is maintained. We enjoy a close working relationship with the Sorrento Centre, where we occasionally meet together, sometimes with our neighbour Diocese of Kootenay. Territory folks attend other courses throughout the year.
In many significant ways, the Anglican Foundation of Canada has supported many programs and projects throughout the Territory in recent years.
Many parishes and individuals are connected with the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer, supported by Territory volunteers.
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund is especially valued by many in the Territory. Especially with the wildfire experience, we have received generous support from the PWRDF, and we regularly welcome PWRDF staff and volunteers to our Territory. Volunteers can be found in many parishes, all coordinated by a Territory coordinator.
Given our history and our close connection with national healing and reconciliation initiatives (including the Anglican Healing Fund as both recipients and contributors), the work of healing and reconciliation is ongoing, no less so than through our Assembly gatherings and, most recently, at Assembly 2022.
In concert with the Provincial Safe Church Committee, the Territory is committed to promoting Safe-Church initiatives. Territory policy is regularly updated, and the online training will replace in-person conferences.
 An ecumenical shared ministry is people working together and serving God in a unified way while maintaining their denominational identity and connections. There are many forms shared ministry can take such as sharing programs and staff, or congregations may share a building only and maintain their denominational ministry and services, or have one ordained minister and alternate forms of worship of the participating denominations, or have one minister, one common service which meets the needs and requirements of each denomination, or share and maintain church buildings in a number of locations and rotate services. Ecumenical shared ministries are most often formed when there are two or more small congregations which cannot support themselves but have a need for Christian fellowship and a strong desire to worship God together. However, there a number of centres where the planting of new ecumenical partnerships may bring new life and opportunities for the church.