Fulfill your calling!
In Christ Communion, we recognize the traditional 3 offices of deacon, priest, and bishop. However, we also recognize that those individuals in these offices may have different charism/ministries depending on the type of community they may be serving.
A vocation is God's unique invitation, addressed to individual persons in which a free response is expected. This response is not a single act, but a life-long process, a journey of faith. We do not "have" a vocation; we discover how we "are" our vocation as we journey through life led by the Spirit. In keeping with our view that grace of Christ, revealed in and through the Church, is fully available to all. We do not discrimate on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.
Following the teaching of the Acts of the Apostles, all Deacons are called to serve their Communities and assure that all are being ministered to. In Christ Communion, the diaconate has the same position as in the Acts of the Apostles, that is, a direct and visible service to the Communion. The Deaconate is not necessarily a step to priesthood. There may be as many Deacons in a Community as the Community deems necessary. The Deacons generally are elected by the Community they serve. Following the practice of the Apostolic Church, anyone moved by the Spirit, who has the permission of the Community, may preach during the Eucharists.
Community Priests are generally elected by the Community then acknowledged by the local Christ Communion, or they are selected by the Bishop for evangelization/marketing service in specific fields, and they are presented to their Bishop for ordination. All the decisions concerning ordinations are made by the Bishop, often after the election by candidate’s Community. Since our most important Ministries are to preach and to heal the broken (and – as an integral, reciprocal part of that process – to heal our own brokenness), all our Priests must be able to demonstrate these gifts.
Community Priests – elected to celebrate the Eucharist only for their specific Small Communities of Faith or for their specific field of ministry – do not need as much study as Diocesan Priests who usually will have obtained theological degrees, ideally at least at the Master’s level, but they need the approbation of their Bishop to be ordained. In this way there will hopefully always be a Community Priest to celebrate the Eucharist when the Community gathers. A Bishop may ordain a Priest who has not been elected by the Community for specific ministerial work not associated with Communities of Faith.
All the members of all the Communities generally will be called by their first names, including the Deacons, Priests and Bishops. Any member of any Community is free to approach any Community or Diocesan Priest – as a representative of all the People of God – for what used to be called “confession,” which is more closely appreciated now as a rededication / a reconciliation / a commitment to start over fresh.
Congregational priests may be elected by the Community and presented to their Bishop for ordination, or they are selected by the Bishop for evangelization/marketing service in specific fields. Decisions concerning ordinations are made by the Bishop, often after the election by candidate’s Community. Since our most important ministries are to preach and to heal the broken (and – as an integral part of that process – to heal our own brokenness), all our Priests must be able to demonstrate these gifts.
However, we will always attempt to be gentle and non-judgmental. Congregational Priests with theological certificates – elected to celebrate the Eucharist for various Communities of Faith, and for their specific fields of ministry – require a degree of study which will mark them as Congregational Priests able to communicate effectively with a wider range of people, and on a par with their peers, and who have attained a degree of scholastic recognition, at least equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. Such scholarship could be self-learned, but is generally the product of university training.
All the members of all the Communities generally will be called by their first names, including the Deacons, Priests and Bishops. Any member of any Community is free to approach any Community or Congregational Priest – as a representative of all the People of God – for what used to be called “confession,” which is more appreciated now as a rededication / a reconciliation / a commitment to start over fresh.
Any Bishop not the Principal Bishop of Christ Communion family of dioceses will have as his/her title “Bishop”, i.e. as a friend/bishop for all the people of God, but with loving obligations especially in his/her particular geographic or ministerial “province” of activities.
There are geographic dioceses within Christ Communion, e.g., “Christ Communion in the Philippines” or “Christ Communion in Kenya.” These geographic dioceses are all a part of the overall Christ Communion, and they are headed by the loving leadership of their own bishops, who are themselves also members of the larger worldwide Christ Communion.
An Overview of the Process
All candidates for Ordination/Incarnation must complete the following:
Submit an Application for Ordination/Incardination.
Submit criminal and psychological background checks.
Submit documentation of their spiritual journey, including baptismal and confirmation certificates.
Submit documentation of appropriate theological studies. If the candidate has not already completed studies, these may be done through the church seminary, St. Thomas Aquinas University.
Complete pratical training under the oversight of a spiritual director.
If the candidate has been validly ordained in apostolic succession and is incardinating from a different jurisdiction, documentation of the ordination as well as a letter of excardination must be submitted.