Selecting a New Lay Chaplain Candidate
It is the role of the Congregational Lay Chaplaincy Committee (CLCC) to search for and interview potential candidates, ultimately selecting a new Lay Chaplain.
This process varies between congregations, where size and availability of candidates change drastically. Some congregations do not have LC Committees and leave these jobs up to a member of the board, the minister, or a single Lay Chaplaincy liason. Regardless of your congregation’s system, here are our recommendations for the selection process:
1. Begin early. Anticipating the need for a new Lay Chaplain allows for the important transition time before a previous Lay Chaplain retires. Begin your search in the 4th or 5th year of the previous Lay Chaplain’s 6-year term.
2. Stay Organized. Committees often have high turnover rates, so to avoid confusion, keep all your Lay Chaplaincy documents together.
3. Review the process with your LC candidate. This way everyone is aware of their role in licensing your congregation’s newest Lay Chaplain.
Process for Licencing New Lay Chaplains Through the CUC Lay Chaplaincy Steering Committee
These steps take place following the selection of a candidate by the congregational committee
1. Select Candidate and Submit Online Forms
- Congregation – Vote to appoint candidate at a congregational meeting. Lay Chaplains are representatives of a congregation, and as such they should be approved by the membership.
- Congregational Lay Chaplaincy Chair – Submit Online Application for Endorsement and Registration of Lay Chaplain to CUC LC Steering Committee for approval of new LC candidate.
- Candidate – Submit Online Lay Chaplain Information Sheet to CUC to accompany application.
Once both these forms are received, they will be reviewed to make sure all the necessary information has been submitted, so it is important that the LC Candidate and the Congregational Authority coordinate and submit their forms in a timely manner.
2. Attend Basic Training
- CLCC Chair – Join the LC e-mail list, check the LC workshops page, or contact your LC Steering Committee Liason to find out when the next basic training will be available for your candidate.
- Candidate – Attend next available Basic Training workshop and begin shadowing a current Lay Chaplain.
Basic trainings are available once or twice a year, usually in Fall or Spring. The CLCC Chair should try to be aware of upcoming trainings and notify LC candidates promptly so they can attend the next available workshop.
3. Affirm New Lay Chaplain
- Congregation – Affirm the new lay chaplain as a representative of the congregation, and sign a contract reflecting that relationship.
4. Wait for Licence to Perform Weddings
- LC Steering Committee – Receives application and approves new candidate at a monthly meeting. CUC Lay Chaplaincy Committees review applications to ensure that congregations have submitted all the necessary documentation.
- CUC Office – Applies to province for officiant licence. Once the LC Steering Committee has approved the application, the information is forwarded through the CUC Office to the province for licensing.
Lay Chaplain Candidate is now approved to perform child dedications and memorial services. Once the licence from the province is received, they may begin performing weddings.
Maintaining Lay Chaplaincy Program
Once your new Lay Chaplain begins working, continue with the following steps.
5. Maintain Records and Remit Fees
- CLCC Chair – Keep track of the number of rites of passage rituals performed by lay chaplains throughout the year.
Each congregation must remit a $15 per ritual fee to support the Lay Chaplaincy Training Fund. This small fee is crucial to providing continued access to relevant trainings for Lay Chaplains across the country.
6. Reaffirm Your Ongoing Lay Chaplains
- CLCC Chair – Submit the Online Annual Renewal Form and the Reaffirmation Form (pdf) to the CUC, for each continuing lay chaplain.