Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, as a way of life

Vocational Handbook

After a multi-year revision process, the Commission on Ministry has published a new Vocational Discernment Handbook for the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester.  We acknowledge that discernment is the lifetime work of all baptized Christians as we seek the movement of the Holy Spirit, leading us to be the Body of Christ in the world using the gifts we have been given by God. Accordingly, we have written a brand-new section on discerning the ministry of all the baptized within your congregations.

The handbook outlines the theology as well as current process, procedures and timelines for each step of the ordination process for those discerning a call to ordination to the Vocational Diaconate or Priesthood. Clergy may present the appropriate sections to parishioners who are seeking clarity on these topics and contact the people noted in the handbook for further questions and clarifications.

Introductory Brochure: So you think God may be calling you to an ordained Ministry? 

Cover

God says “yes” to all who seek to offer themselves: God’s “yes” comes as we submit ourselves to the leading of the Spirit who enables us to make decisions that match the will of God for our vocation. This relational journey is what discernment is all about.

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God is Calling Us to Ministry: A Vocational Handbook for all the Baptized

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Section 1 & 2

Forward by Bishop Prince G. Singh; Introduction by the Rev. Peter Peters, Ph.D.

The primary call for all ministry is baptism. In our baptisms, we are brought into the ministerial understanding of what it means to be human: we are created in the image of God, redeemed into the fellowship of Christly reconciliation, and empowered by the unyielding love of the Spirit. In short, baptism means that we no longer live for ourselves but for the sake of others.

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Section 1 & 2

Section 1: The Ministry of the Laity

The primary call for all ministry is baptism. In our baptisms, we are brought into the ministerial understanding of what it means to be human: we are created in the image of God, redeemed into the fellowship of Christly reconciliation, and empowered by the unyielding love of the Spirit. In short, baptism means that we no longer live for ourselves but for the sake of others.

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Section 1 & 2

Section 2: Licensed Ministries

The primary call for all ministry is baptism. In our baptisms, we are brought into the ministerial understanding of what it means to be human: we are created in the image of God, redeemed into the fellowship of Christly reconciliation, and empowered by the unyielding love of the Spirit. In short, baptism means that we no longer live for ourselves but for the sake of others.

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Section 3

Section 3: The Ordination Process

This central question in the Ordination service is in keeping with Anglican tradition whereby all ordained clergy have their call to this vocation within the life of a congregation, and the bishop ordains with the consent of the congregation. All ordained ministry comes out of the corporate life of the church. 

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Section 4

Section 4: The Ministry of Deacons

The deacon is an icon of Christ’s bold love of the disenfranchised and his prophetic call for justice. The deacon inspires the baptized to claim their authority as ministers of Christ in the world, especially in places of greatest need. The deacon is to have eyes for the world and a heart to empower the baptized. 

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Section 5

Section 5: The Ministry of Priests

All priestly ministry takes its root in the fundamental priestly ministry of Jesus Christ through whom “God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19) and from the fundamental priestly role of the church whose role in God’s mission is to “restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” (Catechism, BCP p. 855) Any call to the ordained ministry of priest must be grounded in these foundational realities: ordained priesthood is both Christocentric and Ecclesial in its shape. A priest is one who both embodies and enables the priestly work of the church as the Body of Christ. 

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Section 6

Section 6: Continuing Education/Formation

The COM encourages all clergy to engage in appropriate Continuing Education throughout their ministry. This may include, but is not limited to, conferences, retreats, reading days, lectures, diocesan clergy days, on-going programs, peer study groups and sabbatical time. Funds are available through application to the COM to support these endeavors in conjunction with funding provided by the clergy and their parish.  

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Appendices

Appendices

Glossary, charts and other helpful materials. 

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