The Ordained Orders
While all baptized Christians are called to ministry and gifted by the Holy Spirit for service in various capacities, some are called to ordained ministry, and have been set apart by the Church, and blessed for this particular role.
The presumption in the ADOSC is that if one is being called to an ordained ministry of the church, that calling will be apparent not only to the Aspirant, but the larger Body of Christ as well. Consequently, a careful process of discernment has been created that begins with discernment with one’s parish priest, then a Parish Discernment Committee and finally the diocesan Commission on Ministry. Each is a necessary aspect of bringing to bear the discernment of the entire Body of Christ.
Those wishing to begin this process are directed to have initial conversations with their parish priest. With their affirmation, the individual should then schedule a meeting with the Canon to the Ordinary to discuss the expectations of the rest of the discernment process. After further steps, and only with the Bishop’s express permission, a parish discernment committee may be formed. If that discerning body recommends, and the parish vestry concurs, an invitation may be extended by the Bishop to participate in a discernment retreat with the Commission on Ministry. Based on their report, the Bishop will decide if the individual will be made a Postulant for ordination and begin the formation process to prepare them for ordination.
Those participating in this discernment process should anticipate it will normally require 12-18 months to complete. Those who have questions about the process and how to begin should contact the Canon to the Ordinary (The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis) for more information.
Ordination to the Priesthood
Among the vows taken by those ordained to the Priesthood is the commitment to, “minister the doctrine, sacraments and discipline of Christ, as the Lord has commended and as this Church has received them, according to the Commandments of God, so that you may teach the people committed to your charge will all diligence to keep and observe them” (2019 BCP, p. 490). It is the setting apart of the one ordained for a special role characterized by LEADERSHIP in the Church. Those wishing to know more about that path may read further HERE.
Ordination to the Vocational Diaconate
The ministry of those pursuing the Vocational [permanent] Diaconate is characterized at their ordination as to, “interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. It is the Deacon’s office to encourage and equip the household of God to care for the stranger, to embrace the poor and helpless, and to seek them out, so that they may be relieved.” (2019 BCP, p. 478). The calling of the deacon is to a ministry of SERVANTHOOD. Those wishing to know more about that path may learn more HERE.