In 2015 General Church Council approved the LCA Standards of Ethical Behaviour for use across the Lutheran Church of Australia and Lutheran Church of New Zealand. The concise pamphlet outlines behaviours expected of ‘God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved’. Inspired by Colossians 3:12–14, the Standards cover personal and pastoral life, communication, and financial/administrative matters. A section is dedicated to the care of children.
A comprehensive church-wide training program supporting the Standards is being developed by the LCA Professional Standards Department for implementation from early 2017.
The pamphlets will be sent to LCA/NZ congregations and agencies for distribution to all members and regular contacts. It applies to every aspect of church agency and congregational life, including youth and children’s ministries, men’s and women’s fellowships, outreach events, sporting groups and clubs, volunteer activities and community service auxiliaries. A video outlining the key aspects of the Standards is also being prepared for distribution and will form part of the induction program for new church employees and volunteers.
In 2010 General Church Council asked then LCA Professional Standards Director Mrs Liz Crawford to develop a proposal for a national Professional Standards unit. This work supports the LCA’s constitutional object to ‘take action as is necessary for the protection of the congregations, pastors, teachers and other church workers in the performance of their duties and the maintenance of their rights’. The LCA Standards of Ethical Behaviour has grown out of this earlier work.
Mr Tim Ross, who took up the role of Professional Standards Manager after Mrs Crawford’s retirement in July, says God’s call to live as his ‘chosen people’ applies to every member of the LCA/NZ. ‘The Standards provide practical encouragement for us to live as God’s chosen people in everyday life’, he says.
Distribution of the Standards is expected to commence in February 2017.
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