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Lay Licensing

Lay Licensing requirement suspended through 2021

The requirements for submission of lay license applications to the diocesan office (worship leader/eucharistic minister/eucharistic visitor/catechist/preacher) will continue to be suspended for the remainder of 2021. Clergy and wardens may continue to make the best decisions for their congregations regarding lay ministries with special attention to the continual flux of pandemic conditions and best COVID-19 practices.
 
Safe Church requirements are NOT suspended.  
  • Recent (within four years) Safe Church training is required for all lay ministers. Safe Church training is completed in two online parts.

“Part A” is the system we’ve been using for the past several years. The certificate is issued from “Praesidium”.

“Part B” is the state’s online course on Mandated Reporting. The certificate is issued by “State of Maine”.  

  • Congregations are responsible for keeping Safe Church certificates for their parishioners on file. If you are a parishioner who has been asked to complete Safe Church training, please provide your church office with a copy.  Churches should keep these in a secure place in their parish office.  

     

  • Clergy should expect that from now on, the records the bishop will review during an episcopal visitation will include records of Safe Church compliance. 

For more information about Safe Church policy, requirements and learn how to access training, please click here.
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Barbara Martin, Canon for Administration.  

Commissioning

 

Canons

CANON 4: Of Licensed Ministries

Sec. 1 (a) A confirmed communicant in good standing or, in extraordinary circumstances, subject to guidelines established by the Bishop, a communicant in good standing, may be licensed by the Ecclesiastical Authority to serve as Pastoral Leader, Worship Leader, Preacher, Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor, Evangelist, or Catechist. Requirements and guidelines for the selection, training,continuing education, and deployment of such persons, and the
duration of licenses shall be established by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry.

          (b) The Presiding Bishop or the Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Forces may authorize a member of the Armed Forces to exercise one or more of these ministries in the Armed Forces in accordance with the provisions of this Canon. Requirements and guidelines for the selection, training, continuing education, and deployment of such persons shall be established by the Bishop granting the license.

Sec. 2 (a) The Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith may request the Ecclesiastical Authority with jurisdiction to license persons within that congregation or other community of faith to exercise such ministries. The license shall be issued for a period of time to be determined under Canon III.4.1(a) and may be renewed. The license may be revoked by the Ecclesiastical Authority upon
request of or upon notice to the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.

          (b) In renewing the license, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall consider the performance of the ministry by the person licensed, continuing education in the licensed area, and the endorsement of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith in which the person is serving.

         (c) A person licensed in any Diocese under the provisions of this Canon may serve in another congregation or other community of faith in the same or another Diocese only at the invitation of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight, and with the consent of the Ecclesiastical Authority in whose jurisdiction the service will occur.

Sec. 3. A Pastoral Leader is a lay person authorized to exercise pastoral or administrative responsibility in a congregation under special circumstances, as defined by the Bishop.

Sec. 4. A Worship Leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.

Sec. 5. A Preacher is a lay person authorized to preach. Persons so authorized shall only preach in congregations under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.

Sec. 6. A Eucharistic Minister is a lay person authorized to administer the Consecrated Elements at a Celebration of Holy Eucharist. A Eucharistic Minister should normally act under the direction of a Deacon, if any, or otherwise, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.

Sec. 7. A Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the Consecrated Elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration. A Eucharistic Visitor should normally act under the direction of a Deacon, if any, or otherwise, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community
of faith.

Sec. 8. A Catechist is a lay person authorized to prepare persons for Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, and the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows, and shall function under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.
 
Sec. 9. An Evangelist is a lay person who presents the good news of Jesus Christ in such a way that people are led to receive Christ as Savior and follow Christ as Lord in the fellowship of the Church. An Evangelist assists with the community's ministry of evangelism in partnership with the Presbyter or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation, or as directed by the Bishop.
 

 

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