How often do we think of what we do in this world as the living out of our baptismal promises? The members of the Commission on Ministry (CoM) in the Diocese of Chicago hope that we all recognize that the impetus for ministry is baptism and therefore we are all, indeed, ministers. One of our continued hopes is that the communities in our diocese will increasingly become ‘discernment centers’ – environments in which a shared responsibility abounds for helping every person identify gifts and realize the importance and impact of the work they do in the world. We believe that our congregations will thrive – even more fully – as the gifts of all members are continually discerned, celebrated, and unleashed.
Members of the CoM are reaching out to our congregations to share the work we are doing and to ask what they might need from us. While the CoM is very much interested in the ministry of all the baptized, some of the more frequent questions we have heard when reaching out relate to the nomination process for ordained ministry, so we’d like to also point out where relevant information may be found on our website. In some cases, the discernment we hope every community makes a centerpiece of their life together might lead to a faith community wishing to nominate someone for ordained ministry. In those instances, a community must be fully supportive of a nominee, who upon accepting a nomination agrees to begin a period of increasingly public discernment, especially if made a Postulant. Detailed information about the process for nomination, postulancy, candidacy and ordination may be found here on our website.
-Douglas VanHouten, Former Vice Chair, Commission on Ministry