Commission on Ministry
Ministry in the Episcopal Church
In the Episcopal Church, the service of baptism includes five questions put to the person being baptized or by the sponsors of an infant. Each one is answered, "I will, with God's help." Every time we renew our baptismal vows, we make these promises again:
We Episcopalians believe that we keep these promises not only by the work we do at church, but especially by the work we do in the world. All of our congregations in the Diocese of Chicago strive to be places where laypeople can identify their gifts—we often use the word “discernment”--and come to understand how those gifts can be used to fulfill the promises made at baptism. Learn more.
As congregations and other faith communities discern together the gifts of all of their members, they may identify gifts that suggest an individual is called to ordained ministry as a deacon or priest. When that happens, the faith community can undertake further discernment appropriate to their situation and community. Click here for a listing of available discernment resources.
If, as they discern together, the community and individual hear a call to ordained ministry and the community is fully supportive of it, that person can be nominated by the community to begin a period of increasingly public discernment about a call to become a priest or a deacon. For the forms needed to nominate someone to the ordination process, please visit the Commission on Ministry’s website (please note that this site is currently being repaired).
Change in Lay Minister Licensing
Congregations may now nominate, train and commission locally
August 24, 2012--Bishop Lee and the Commission on Ministry have determined that congregations in the Diocese of Chicago may now nominate, train and commission their own Eucharistic ministers and visitors, lay preachers, and other lay ministers. The Bishop will provide licenses in instances where a local congregation wishes to have an acknowledgement of their selection of lay ministers.
“It is my preference and the preference of the members of the Commission on Ministry that persons be nominated, nurtured, trained and commissioned within their own faith communities for lay ministries,” said Bishop Lee. “If a local community desires an acknowledgment of such a selection from my office, I am happy to accommodate by providing a license if it is helpful.”
Over several months this spring and summer, the Bishop and the Commission on Ministry reviewed Canon III, 4.1(a), which governs the selection and training of pastoral leaders, worship leaders, preachers, eucharistic ministers, eucharistic visitors, evangelists or catechists. During their review, they determined that “the teasing out of the ways in which each of us is equipped to fulfill our ministries both within church structures and out in the world is often most effectively done within the local community where such gifts are to be shared,” said Bishop Lee.
For more information on resources for nurturing and training individuals for ministries in your congregation, please talk with Vicki Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-751-4204.
Louisa Hallas, Administrative Assistant - 312.751.4214
Jim Steen, Director of Ministries - 312.751.4210