The Commission on Ministry (COM) assists the bishop in developing, recruiting, forming, and assessing those called to ministry in the church. Their work encompasses those called to lay or ordained ministry.
The role and functions of the Commission on Ministry are described in the Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
There are 12 members appointed by the bishop to staggered three-year terms; the chair is appointed by the Bishop. The COM meets monthly. Based upon the canons of the church and best practices, the COM has developed a process to help individuals discern their call to ministry, lay and ordained. Documents have been created to explain this process. The COM trains parish discernment groups and sponsoring priests in their roles in the process. Members work as a team and as individuals in relating with people exploring the ordination process. The COM provides recommendations to the bishop. If an individual has been discerned to have a call to ordained ministry, a member is assigned as a liaison to that person during his or her formation.
The COM helps to empower people to live out their own baptismal ministry. They strive to remind people that one does not need ordination to do ministry and raise more awareness of the varied opportunities for ministry within the diocese.
For more information, take a look at some of these resources:
- Handbook on Licensed Lay Ministry (download a Word or pdf document)
Resources for vestries and sponsoring congregation
- Basic process, illustrated (above)
- Download and read the Ordination Process Handbook
- Forms to fill out
- Detailed chart (carefully note the columns for home parish, parish discernment group, and vestry)
- Rector Checklist (for the clergy member having oversight of the person seeking discernment)
- Vestry Checklist
- Who does what in the ordination process: Sponsoring Congregation – a document describing the roles of people in a congregation that plans to sponsor someone through the ordination process: the member of clergy having oversight, the parish discernment group, the vestry, and the clerk of the vestry.
- Menu of support options – for congregations sponsoring a person through discernment