Social ministry is an activity aimed at resolving social problems and ensuring social justice. It covers a whole range of social activity and includes providing volunteer support, charitable assistance and organized forms of providing social service to individuals and groups in need, in order to ensure their integral development.
In the Church social ministry is based on and flows from faith, and expresses the diaconal nature of the Church, being part of the three-fold mission of Church: to proclaim the Good News (Kerygma), to sanctify (Liturgical life) and to serve (Diakonia).
The present strategy was formed with a view towards developing the capability of the UGCC to provide an adequate response to existing and future social challenges, and to promote for our Church an increasing role in the propagation of Christian values in society, communities, families and individuals.
The strategy of social ministry of the UGCC has the following priority goals:
- Promotion of a spirit of sacrifice and social responsibility;
- Service for the benefit of people in need;
- Institutional development and professionalization of social service in the UGCC.
Strategic goal №1. PROMOTION OF A SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
1. Popularization of social ministry.
- Presenting and popularising social service in society and among the faithful of the UGCC, with a particular view towards forming a positive attitude and encouraging others to social service. Promoting social service through the media, in films, articles, books;
- Disseminating information on the social service of the UGCC, and, among other things, establishing the practice of conducting «Social service days» in parishes with witnessing and presentations;
- Providing encouragement to social service (diakonia) through evangelization («faith is dead without works» James, 2.26);
- Providing education (formation) for a greater understanding and awareness of the importance of social service among the laity, the priests and bishops. Stressing the importance of their personal witnessing.
2. Systematic development.
- Promoting a spirit of sacrifice by involving the faithful in planning, financially supporting and directly engaging in social service ;
- Clarifying social needs and priorities on parish, eparchial and Church levels;
- Developing a volunteer movement;
- Developing charitable activity in the parish;
- Developing a sense of social responsibility among business on local and Church levels;
- Promoting social entrepreneurship;
- Influencing the formation of state policy in the social sphere;
- Providing financial, material and human resources for social service activity.
Tasks\ Expected results:
1.1. Increased capacity and quality of volunteer activity in the framework of social service of the UGCC.
1.2. Increased amount of financial and material contributions from donors.
1.3. Increased number of businesses conscious of their social responsibility.
1.4. Regular sharing of information on best practices, projects and programs of social serving of the UGCC with church communities and society
Strategic goal №2. SERVING PEOPLE IN NEED.
- Systematic development of service.
- Evaluating needs for social services and types of social service activities in communities (parishes, eparchies) on a permanent/regular base;
- Developing professional services (social, medical, educational, juridical etc.) for providing needs of vulnerable groups;
- Developing standards for services and types of activity;
- Systematizing the formation and motivating of persons engaged in social service;
- Providing professional development and expansion of services by experts from among Christians;
- Broadening funding sources and types of social service activities;
- Providing staff for new projects;
2. Advocacy for people in need.
- Developing the position of the UGCC in regards to current social problems, strategies for addressing these in Ukraine and in the world, lobbying mechanisms;
- Establishing policies and practices to support people in need for the family, society and state.
Tasks\ Expected results:
2.1. Increased capacity and better quality of services and care for the destitute on local and Church levels.
2.2. Introduction of new services and types of care/support in response to the needs of the destitute and the challenges of the day.
2.3. Development of advocacy services on a local level on behalf of individuals and groups from vulnerable segments of society.
2.4. Promotion of new norms of action and/or the introduction of changes to existing regulations that address the rights and needs of the destitute on national, regional and local levels.
Strategic goal №3. INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROFESSIONALIZATION OF SOCIAL SERVICE OF THE UGCC.
1. Establish norms and principles for social service.
- Setting priorities in the social ministry of the UGCC for the next five years, in response to external challenges / opportunities, internal strengths;
- Developing a normative base of documents (canonical and juridical) regarding the development of social ministries. Prepare a “Social directory” (training materials, best practices, foundational documents);
- Developing an organizational structure in the UGCC to support/coordinate activity in social service (policies, programs, projects, personnel, practices);
- Working out strategies for all structures (commissions, departments) regarding their activity, and noting where each structure can/should engage in social ministry. Elaborating a strategy (for commissions, eparchies and the UGCC as a whole) for specific areas of activity (orphans etc.);
- Ensuring transparency and accountability, systematic dissemination of information on social action;
- Introduction of international (Caritas Internationalis) standards for services, management, procedures, organizational processes, value-based/ ethical principles (standards).
2. Coordination of activity.
- Compilation of information on social ministry projects, services and activities;
- Assessment and appropriation of existing positive experiences in the social service of the UGCC;
- Coordination of different forms and directions of social service of different structures and organizations on eparchial and all-Church levels;
- Creation of councils/commissions bringing together different organizations and projects of social service on an eparchial level. Appointment of person responsible for the coordination and monitoring of social service on an eparchial level. Appointment of persons responsible for social service in parishes;
- Integration of diakonia into the broader society through the active involvement of UGCC social organizations and initiatives in nationwide and local platforms, coalitions and forums of non-governmental organizations and authorities working in this field;
- Creation of an informational electronic platform on eparchial and all-Church levels in order to disseminate information on projects, methodologies, technologies, sources of funding, training possibilities, etc.
- System approach to forming human resources in projects of UGCC social service (Personnel Commission). Practicum for seminarians in Caritas and other organizations;
- Organization of training for persons involved in social service. Promotion of the practice of training for laity, leaders. Cooperation with educational establishments (seminaries, Ukrainian Catholic University (social pedagogy etc.)) for training and ongoing professional development.
- Development of expertise reagrding the sustainability of organizations, projects and other various kinds of social service activity. Introduction of ongoing professional formation for priests, heads of organizations and projects, practical workers (social workers and employees, social pedagogues, psychologists etc).
Tasks\ Expected results:
3.1. Compilation of information and constant assessment of different types of social ministry activities, services, programs and projects in the UGCC.
3.2. Standardization of social ministry services and types of activities in the UGCC.
3.3. Development, improvement and systematization of policies regulating social service in the UGCC.
3.4. Ensured transparency, accountability and adherence to international standards for social service activity along with the adaptation of practices found in international organizations (Caritas Internationalis).
3.5. Support for activity of those responsible for developing social service in the UGCC: persons, offices, departments, on national, eparchial and parish levels.
3.6. Development of parish Caritas and social ministry activity on a parish level.
3.7. Improvement and ensured functioning of training system for seminarians, priests, directors, employees and laity in regards to development and social service.
3.8. Functioning of a national web–resource to disseminate information on the social ministry of the UGCC, on management and administration of projects and programs, exchange of experience, professional development etc.
3.9.Participation of organizations, institutions and representatives of the UGCC in national and local platforms, coalitions and forums of non–governmental organizations and state authorities, professional associations working in the social field.