The focus of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Program Assistant’s role will be on providing support to the Program Coordinator, Faith and Witness, including:
• Supporting the Canadian Writing and Animation Team in preparing yearly Canadian WPCU resources
• Connecting with local Canadian experiences of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
• Liaising with the website administrator to update and improve the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity website (weekofprayer.ca / semainedepriere.ca)
•Raising the visibility of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity activities across Canada through Council media channels
Overview of Church and Community
The Commission on Faith and Witness (CFW) of The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) provides a forum for member churches to (a) articulate the Christian faith they hold in common and to seek greater mutual understanding and witness; (b) identify and explore theological questions of mutual concern and share resources for dialogue and common understanding; (c) collaborate with other
Commissions and agencies of the Council in the exploration of mutual concerns and the expression of theological understanding; and (d) reflect theologically on the direction of ecumenism.
Church Purpose | Mission Statement
Through the Commission on Faith and Witness, CCC member churches participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) by:
▪▪ Mandating and directing the Canadian WPCU Writing and Animation Team to produce yearly Canadian WPCU resources and support national, regional and local celebrations of WPCU in Canada;
▪▪ Maintaining a dedicated website to share yearly resources, local celebrations and news of WPCU in Canada: www.weekofprayer.ca / www.semainedepriere.ca;
▪▪ Animating national and local ecumenical expressions of Christian unity, particularly those connected with WPCU;
▪▪ Maintaining a relationship with the international WPCU writing team (created by the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity);
▪▪ Liaising with the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism to support and promote the celebrations of WPCU in Canada;
▪▪ Liaising with other ecumenical partners – e.g., the National Council of Churches in the USA; the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement – to support and promote WPCU celebrations
▪▪ Providing CFW staff support to the above tasks through Program Coordinator, Faith and Witness.
Qualifications and Education Requirements
Candidates for this position should demonstrate proficiency and/or comparable experience in, or capacity to learn, the qualifications and competencies listed below. Reasonable accommodation will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
• Background in theological or pastoral studies from an accredited post-‐secondary educational institution
• Fluency in English and French required
• Comfort with, or capacity to learn, video conference, WordPress, Drupal, and Mailchimp platforms
• Good communication and writing skills
• Good computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and related components of Microsoft Office Suite
• Passion for the priorities of the Commission on Faith and Witness and the Canadian WPCU Writing and Animation Team
• Experience in pastoral, denominational, worship or related fields
• Experience and/or interest in ecumenical movement
• Good interpersonal skills to network with a variety of Canadian ecumenical expressions
• Ability to responsibly follow direction and work independently
• Commitment to the mission of The Canadian Council of Churches
• Member or adherent of a member church of The Canadian Council of Churches preferred
• Eligible to work in Canada
This position works from The Canadian Council of Churches Office located at 47 Queen’s Park Crescent East, Toronto or from a home office (remotely). Attendance at occasional weekday, evening and weekend meetings may be required. Some travel within Canada may be required.
Role and Responsibilities
Contract (September 1, 2020 – June30, 2021; 7 hours a week)
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (traditionally January 18-‐25) is a worldwide annual ecumenical celebration that invites Christians to pray for the unity of all, reflect on scripture together, participate in jointly-‐organized ecumenical services, and share fellowship. This lived experience of Christian unity is both the seed and the fruit of our striving to embody ‘unity in
diversity’, as well as a call to Christians of different traditions to live, witness and work together throughout the year.
Since 1966, a writing team of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) has prepared yearly international WPCU theme and resources. Since 1968, The Canadian Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and
Witness has convened and mandated a WPCU Writing and Animation Team to contextualize these international materials for Canadian communities.
Historically, the CCC/CFW WPCU Writing and Animation Team made international WPCU resources available to CCC member churches, adapted international texts for the use of Canadian churches, and crafted original resources for local committees that plan WPCU worship services and events.
The CCC/CFW WPCU Writing and Animation Team does this work in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism (Montreal, QC) and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism (Saskatoon, SK) and maintains connections with WCC/PCPCU and other international partners.
Since 2016, the focus and mandate of the Team’s work shifted to (a) producing Canadian WPCU resources, which contextualize and augment the yearly international materials for Canadian churches, and (b) animating local experiences and expressions of WPCU in Canada via maintaining a dedicated website that serves as a ‘hub’ for sharing resources and stories, photos and news from local celebrations.
Going forward, the Team aims to build and deepen connections with local, regional and national ecumenical expressions of Canadian churches to (a) raise the visibility of WPCU in Canada; (b) support and encourage local, regional and national celebrations of WPCU; (c) be responsive to the ‘on-‐the-‐ ground’ experiences, needs, and feedback of Canadian ecumenical communities; and (d)
promote WPCU as a focal point that expresses and nourishes ecumenical faith sharing, dialogue, relationships, and outreach throughout the year.
Structure and Reporting Relationships:
This position reports to the Program Coordinator, Faith and Witness and is directed by the Commission on Faith and Witness through CFW Chair, Program Coordinator and Associate Secretary.
Specific Outcomes and/or Key Position Functions:
This part-‐time, flexible contract with The Canadian Council of Churches includes the following responsibilities:
• Attend and support meetings of the Canadian WPCU Writing and Animation Team
• Assist the Program Coordinator in preparation and publication of yearly Canadian WPCU resources
• Assist the Program Coordinator in maintaining and improving Canadian WPCU website (weekofprayer.ca / semainedepriere.ca)
• Assist the Program Coordinator in creating and maintaining a database of local, regional and national communities that participate in Canadian WPCU celebrations
• Assist the Program Coordinator in connecting with local and regional WPCU planning committees across Canada to gather their stories, experiences and feedback to inform the work of the Canadian WPCU Writing and Animation Team
• Assist the Program Coordinator in connecting with Canadian seminaries and theological schools to learn about their WPCU experiences and promote the celebrations of WPCU in their contexts
• Based on connections made, begin identifying new places and communities in Canada which might wish to host and experience WPCU and other related Christian unity initiatives
• Assist the Program Coordinator and the CCC Communications Coordinator in showcasing cross-‐ Canada experiences of WPCU and raising the visibility of WPCU in Canada via Council media channels
• Participate in other Commission activities as time allows
• Other duties as assigned