Drawing on a recent influx of donations, the Office of the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop is helping provide some holiday cheer to dozens of non-stipendiary Anglican clergy across the country.
The office recently received a grant from the New England Company to assist non-stipendiary (unpaid) clergy, along with several individual donations made out through Gifts for Mission. An unidentified clergy member also committed in late November to provide a monthly donation to support one or two non-stipendiary clergy.
Putting the word out to several bishops in dioceses with a high number of non-stipendiary clergy, the office asked them to nominate some of their clergy who are most in need. In response, they received the names of 32 individuals, each of whom will receive $500, a certificate of appreciation, and a card to thank them for their ministry.
Indigenous Ministers Coordinator Ginny Doctor underscored the vital role that non-stipendiary clergy play in the ministry of the church, particularly in Indigenous communities.
“Most of them serve in remote areas … We’re talking about places where the first language is that of Oji-Cree or Cree, and those are the people that we rely on to go out and preach the Word to the people,” Doctor said.
“The real importance is that they they are delivering the gospel to the people in a contextual manner and a culturally appropriate manner,” she added. “I think that’s really important in this day and age, especially as we talk about self-determination and what that means in our remote communities.”
While the Advent assistance provides some short-term support, Indigenous Ministries hope to begin planning and discussion in the new year on how to support and recognize the work of non-stipendiary clergy on a more long-term basis.
For the moment, some funds remain available from the recent donations. Non-stipendiary clergy serving Indigenous communities can contact the Office of the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop to inquire about the possibility of assistance.