The Bishop will license a lay person at the request of the priest in charge. In order to be considered for licensing, a lay person must be a confirmed communicant in good standing. The license is issued for three years and may require additional training before renewal.
Once the required training is completed and an Application – Licensed Lay Ministries is submitted, the priest in charge contacts the Bishop Office by email to attest to the completion of the training and request that a license be issued.
Licensed ministries include:
- Eucharistic Minister – administers the chalice at public worship services
- Eucharistic Visitor – takes communion to home-bound members
- Worship Leader – regularly leads public worship (e.g. leading Morning or Evening Prayer and Compline) in the absence of a clergy person or leads public worship services in hospitals, prisons, and other institutions
- Preacher – is authorized to preach; lay preachers have at least two years of seminary education, successfully completed Education for Ministry, or other equivalent training or preparation accepted by the Bishop and have had training in public speaking with a priest or other person designated by the Bishop
- Catechist – prepares candidates for Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, and the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows
- Evangelist – shares the Gospel with persons who are not Christian, leads small groups in the community, starts new worshiping communities, etc. Evangelists also inspire, encourage, and equip church members to be effective witnesses to the Good News in Jesus Christ
- Others– the Bishop may designate other ministers in consultation with the Commission on Ministry
In all cases, the lay person functions at the request of and under the authority of the clergy in charge of a congregation or faith community.
Bexley-Seabury Seminary is offering courses designed for those engaged in lay ministries, or discerning a vocation in lay ministry. We have information here.