The Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer teaches that: “The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests and deacons.” While all are called to follow Christ in worship, work, prayer and outreach for the spread of God’s kingdom, some are called in particular to ordained ministry in the Church.
The call to ordained ministry is experienced by different people in different ways. It is vitally important to understand that discernment regarding the calling to ordained ministry is not merely between an individual and God. The Church too must hear and affirm a person’s call to ministry. The process of formation around clarifying and responding to a call begins in your local parish.
To enter the ordination process you must be baptized and be a member in good standing in a parish. The first step in discernment is for an individual to approach the priest serving the parish where you are a member to express the sense of call to ordained leadership. The local priest will guide the discerner to the initial steps in the local diocese. Each diocese has their own guides for meeting the expectations of the Episcopal Church Canon.
Canon III.3.1 of the Episcopal Church states: The Bishop and Commission (on Ministry) shall provide encouragement, training, and necessary resources to assist each faith community in developing an ongoing process of community discernment appropriate to the cultural background, age, and life experiences of all persons seeking direction in their call to ministry.
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