“Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

In response to repeated requests for direction from regional council staff and communities of faith, on September 29, 2021, the Board of Vocation passed the following motion unanimously:

The Board of Vocation expects all ministry personnel who are actively serving to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless medically exempt. Unvaccinated ministry personnel, without a medical exemption, may be found to be acting contrary to the ethical standard that calls upon them to be sensitive to the vulnerabilities of all.

This motion does not establish a new requirement or a standard for accreditation where compliance will be tracked by the Office of Vocation. This motion confirms the link between the expectation of ministry personnel being fully vaccinated and the existing Ethical Standard for Ministry Personnel number 6, “Relationships with Persons Served.” The Board of Vocation is collaborating through offering this Interpretive Memorandum as another tool to assist regional councils, communities of faith and ministry personnel to understand their responsibilities during this pandemic.

The United Church of Canada is committed to providing safe environments for work, worship, and study, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The church also seeks to support ministry personnel towards health, joy, and excellence in ministry practice.

Read the full text of the interpretive memo and a frequently asked questions document.


If you have questions about this interpretive memo, please contact your Office of Vocation Minister or e-mail officeofvocation@united-church.ca .