Who We Are

The Upper Valley Presbytery is at the second level of Church Governance in the United Church of Canada.  The first level is the Pastoral Charge which is where we go to worship on Sunday mornings.  The third level for us is the Bay of Quinte Conference.  Our Conference consists of eight (8) Presbyteries and covers an area from about Brockville to Oshawa to Minden (almost to Orillia) to Deep River in the Ottawa Valley.  There are thirteen Conferences in the United Church of Canada.  The fourth level of Governance is the General Council.  The full court of General Council meets every third year.

Governance Structure

Executive: Past Chair, Chair, Chair-Designate, Secretary, Treasurer, three Commission Leaders

The Executive is to function primarily as a visionary oversight gathering of elders rather than a decision–making body. They will provide spiritual guidance and coaching and will be responsible for planning and facilitating the full meetings of Presbytery.

The full Presbytery is divided into three Commissions which will have full decision-making power. Each Commission determines how often and how they meet (within budgetary limits). The three Commissions are:

Pastoral Charge Commission, including the work of:

  • Ministry Personnel Support

  • Oversight

  • Vocations in ministry

  • Pastoral relations

  • Pensions

  • Manse Inspections

Presbytery Administration Commission, including the work of:

  • Nominating

  • Finance (approval of Full Court required)

  • Communications and Web management

  • Property

  • Archives

Shared Ministry Commission (beyond the bounds of Upper Valley Presbytery), including the work of:

  • Partnering in Mission

  • Stewardship

  • Mission and Service

  • Christian Formation

  • Camps

There are also two Committees on which Presbyters may serve.  The two committees are HEART (Harassment Education Advisory Response Team) and the Worship Committee.  The HEART team deals with issues of workplace harassment.  The Worship Committee plans and leads the worship services integrated into the full court Presbytery meetings.

All members of Presbytery (lay and clergy) are expected to participate in one of these five Commissions/Committees.

Nomination Policy including Terms of Office

Chair to be elected for a one-year term plus one year as Chair-Designate and one year as Past-Chair, all terms renewable once.

Treasurer and Secretary to be without time limit, but subject to review every two years

Commission Leaders to be elected for two-year terms, renewable twice

Every Presbyter is a member of a Commission or one of the Committees.  Presbyters will self-select to Commissions/Committees.

Frequency and Times of Presbytery Meetings

At present the Full Court of Upper Valley Presbytery meets five (5) times each year. The meetings include a blend of business, worship and workshop activities.  These meetings are held on the third Tuesday of September, November, February, April, and June unless otherwise approved.  Normally the meetings begin with fellowship, refreshments, and registration at 9 AM and are usually finished by 3 PM (lunch break at noon to 1 PM).  Occasionally the June meeting begins in the mid-afternoon and finishes at 8 PM (supper break from 5 to 6 PM).