Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The Church in Central New York founded and consistently fostered by the GLBTQIS community. October 31, 2017 - 34th Anniversary.  Our 35th Year in Ministry.
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The following is a copy of the section of the Church By-Laws that concerns Ministry Training Candidates. Most of the information one needs to start the application process is found here.

 


9.09 Ordination Process to becoming a Clergyperson of Ray Of Hope Church.

The process of Ordination shall begin when a person interested in the program states verbally to the Director of the Vocational Ministry Training Program, and followed by a letter to the Ray Of Hope Church Council that he or she desires to participate in the Ray Of Hope Church Vocational Ministry Training Program.

9.10 Initial Period. 

During a minimum of six months, each such person will be expected to be involved in the life of Ray Of Hope Church, thus providing time for its local community to become acquainted with the person and the person to become acquainted with the congregation. Knowing that each person is unique and has special attributes, needs, desires and concerns, the Director will work with each to define the level of involvement and the period of time appropriate for this process. Persons who have been involved with Ray Of Hope Church for at least six months at or shortly after the time they declare their interest in the Vocational Ministry Training Program may be able to shorten the six month period if the Director considers that the local congregation and the person have already become sufficiently acquainted that the purpose to be served by the six month period already has been or can be achieved within a reduced period. When the Council has decided sufficient time has passed to know the depth of the intentions, sense of commitment and demonstration of stability, Application #1 will be presented to him or her for completion by the Council. After it has been completed, signed and returned with all required attachments the candidate will be known as an Applicant.

9.11 Review of Application #1. 

Upon receipt of Application #1 the Council shall review the document and direct contact with all listed References, obtaining any releases for information as may be required. If there are complications with release of information, the Applicant will be informed and shall have sole responsibility to resolve the difficulty. Any legal or other fees and costs incurred in obtaining this information is the sole responsibility of the Applicant. If payment is to be made through the Church, the Applicant shall advance the money needed. Completion of additional forms may be required of the Applicant during the process of checking references and documenting facts. If so, the Applicant will complete and sign them upon the request of the Director. Failure to cooperate with this process shall result in refusal to admit the person into the Vocational Ministry Training Program.

9.12 Entry Into Program. 

After the fully completed Application #1 has been reviewed by the Council, the Applicant will be advised by the Director if an invitation to enter the Vocational Ministry Training Program is to be extended by the Church. If invited to commence training, the Applicant thereupon shall be known as a Vocational Ministry Candidate. 

9.13 Assignments and Education. 

Each Vocational Ministry Candidate will be assigned educational and practical activities and studies by the Director. Each Candidate will fill out "Ray Of Hope Church Ministry Training Planners" that outline his or her involvement in the local extension of Ray Of Hope Church in terms of practical ministry and assigned leadership. If not already a member of Ray Of Hope Church, the Candidate will be required to complete membership classes during the first six months of the candidacy and become a member of Ray Of Hope Church. 

9.14 Participation in Vocational Ministry Colloquium. 

Among the educational activities in which participation is required is the Vocational Ministry Colloquium. This commitment, potentially, is life-long. All Vocational Ministry Candidates, persons holding Temporary Licenses, Licensed and Ordained pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, apostles, Appointed pastors, Appointed teachers, Appointed evangelists, Appointed prophets and Appointed apostles are required to participate in the Colloquium. Each participant is responsible for all Colloquium and other educational and programatical expenses incurred in the Vocational Ministry Training Program.

9.15 Temporary License. 

Upon successful completion of a minimum of four years in the Vocational Ministry Training Program, or satisfactory proof of equivalent training, the Vocational Ministry Candidate’s participation and achievements during candidacy will be reviewed by the Director who, if they are considered satisfactory and it is determined that the requirements of the Program have been met, shall recommend to the Council that a Temporary License to practice Authorized Ministry in public at Ray Of Hope Church be granted. This review and assessment shall include a written and oral examination with the oral examination being taken in the presence of the Council at open meetings called for this purpose. Upon satisfactory completion of the examinations and other requirements, the Council shall grant a Temporary License and assume oversight responsibility regarding the licensed person. 

9.16 Purpose of Temporary License. 

Licensing occurs on a temporary basis (the Temporary License) when it is obvious to the Vocational Ministry Candidate, Council, Director and the Congregation that the Holy Spirit has adequately prepared the person for a testing time of public authorized ministry. A Temporary License will be prepared that specifies the scope of the licensing and authorized ministry. The Temporary License will be drawn up by the Council and will be signed and conferred during a regularly scheduled worship service of Ray Of Hope Church, after the sermon and prior to the prayers of the people and the offering. 

9.17 Authorization Granted. 

The Temporary License will authorize the Vocational Ministry Candidate to perform the duties specified in writing in the Temporary License in public ministry for a stated period not to exceed one year, and will be considered for renewal one time or otherwise as determined by the Council. The Temporary License may be revoked for reason.

9.18 Steps Following Request For Ordination. 

Upon completion of the period of Ministry authorized in the Temporary License and upon request for Life-Long Ordination to public authorized ministry, a review of the candidate of Ordination shall commence that includes written and oral examinations, interviews, essays and whatever else the Council deems necessary to make an informed and spiritually based decision to affirm God’s Ordination on the life of the candidate, so that Ordination may be recommend to the entire Body of Christ. 

9.19 Timing of Ordination. 

Ordination occurs at such time as it is obvious to the Vocational Ministry Candidate who holds a Temporary License, the Council, Director, and the Congregation that the Holy Spirit has adequately prepared the Vocational Ministry Candidate for Life-Long Ordination to public authorized ministry and a License To Practice Ministry. At such time, Ray Of Hope Church will hold a public worship service that will include questions from the People Of God, promises by the Ordination Candidate, the Laying On Of Hands for blessing into public ministry and the issuing of Ordination Credentials. At this ceremony the person becomes a "Licensed and Ordained Minister of the Gospel." The License To Practice Ministry shall be renewed annually, after review by the Council and input from the congregation. It is possible for a person to retain Ordination but lose the License to Practice Ministry and thereby be barred from public worship leadership in Ray Of Hope Church. While Ordination may not be revoked, License to Practice Ministry may be revoked for a period of time or permanently.

9.20 Transfer of Professional Clergy Credentials. 

Ray Of Hope Church is not obligated to accept, without question and investigation, credentials proffered by the one holding them as a justification for automatic granting of a License To Practice Ministry by Ray Of Hope Church. Each person shall be entitled upon presentation of Credentials/License/and Ordination Certificate to a review by the Ray Of Hope Church Council and the Director of the Vocational Ministry Training Program Director of such credentials and records. A recommendation shall be made after the review regarding the issuance of such License as the Council shall deem appropriate. All standard applications and criteria for Licensing and Ordination shall be the same for all Clergypersons at Ray Of Hope Church.

9.21 Indications of Commitment to Service of the Lord. 

Ordination is not a climatic goal in Ray Of Hope Church. A participant in the Vocational Ministry Training Program does not sit around and do little until the day of ordination. Vocational Ministry Candidates are expected to exemplify a willingness to serve and participate in all aspects of the life of Ray Of Hope Church. Each Vocational Ministry Candidate may be as involved as any "licensed and ordained" clergyperson while growing into this level of commitment through the Program. When ordination occurs it will happen because it is so obvious to the entire family of Ray Of Hope Church that this way of life is God Ordained. Ray Of Hope Church teaches that God Ordains a person to public ministry. It publicly endorses and supports Godís call and Godís intentions on someoneís Life for public ministry and when this is obviously what God is doing in a personís life, Ray Of Hope Church will take a public stand with the person and the Church Community by recommending her or him to the Body Of Christ in all places and everywhere. 

9.22 Deacons. 

Ray Of Hope Church recognizes, may choose to call, license, and ordain Deacons and Deaconesses according to the Christian Testament model expressed in Acts 6:1-6, Romans 12:8, 16:1; Philippians 1:1, and 1 Timothy 3:8-15. All believing Christians are invited to participate in the ministries that the diaconate gives the Church. Ray Of Hope Church will license, set apart and may ordain Deacons and Deaconesses by a ceremony of public call and laying on of hands upon completion of training and discernment of Spiritual Calling. The policies and standards of the diaconate are outlined in the PMVM.

9.23 Apostles/Bishops/Pastor to the Pastors.

Ray Of Hope Church recognizes and ordains Apostles (Bishops, Pastors to the Pastors) according to the Christian Testament model as stated in the cited Scriptures. (Acts 1:20; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-8; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 2:25; Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28; Acts 2:43; 1 Thes. 5:8-24; 1 Peter 5:2,3; Rom. 12:8; 1 Tim. 3:4,5,12) Apostles help establish new churches and new ministries, coordinate and advise the ministry of Ray Of Hope Church and serve as pastors to the local pastors. The policies and standards of the Apostleship are outlined in the PMVM. 

9.24 Evangelist. 

Ray of Hope church recognizes, may choose to call, license, and ordain Evangelists according to the Christian Testament model as stated in the Scriptures. (Ephes. 4:11; Acts 21:8; 2 Tim. 4:5) All believing Christians are invited to participate in the ministries that the evangelist gives the Church. Ray Of Hope Church will license, set apart, and may ordain Evangelists by a ceremony of public call and laying on of hands upon completion of training and discernment of Spiritual Calling. The policies and standards of the Evangelist are outlined in the PMVM. 

9.25 Prophets.

Ray Of Hope Church recognizes, may choose to call, license, and ordain Prophets according to the Christian Testament model as stated in the Scriptures. (Eph. 2:20; 4:11; Acts 11:27-30; 13:1-4; Luke 2:36) All believing Christians are invited to participate in the ministries that the Prophet gives the church. Ray Of Hope Church will license, set apart and may ordain Prophets by a ceremony of public call and laying on of hands upon completion of training and discernment of Spiritual Calling. The policies and standards of the Prophet are outlined in the PMVM.

9.26 Teachers.

Ray Of Hope Church recognizes, may choose to call, license and ordain Teachers according to the Christian Testament model as stated in the Scriptures. (Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28; 1 Tim. 3:2; 2 Tim. 2:2, 24; Rom. 12:7) All believing Christians are invited to participate in the ministries that the Teacher gives the Church. Ray Of Hope Church will license, set apart and may ordain Teachers by a ceremony of public call and laying on of hands upon completion of training and discernment of Spiritual Calling. The policies and standards of the Teacher are outlined in the PMVM. 

9.27 Pastors/Shepherds. 

Ray Of Hope Church recognizes, may choose to call, license and ordain Pastors according to the Christian Testament model as state in the Scriptures. (Eph. 4:11; John 10:16, 21:15-17; 1 Pet. 5:2,3; Rom. 12:8; 1 Thes 5:1-24) All believing Christians are invited to participate in the ministries that the Pastor gives to the Church. Ray Of Hope Church will license, ordain Pastors by a ceremony of public call and laying on of hands upon completion of training and discernment of Spiritual Calling. The policies and standards of the Pastorate are outlined in the PMVM.

9.28 Clergy Confidentiality. 

One of the most sacred duties of all Licensed Clergy of Ray Of Hope Church is to adhere to the most strict and "traditional" understanding of Clergy Confidentiality (i.e. "seal of confession). The only persons allowed to extend confidentiality at Ray Of Hope Church are the Licensed Clergy. No Ray Of Hope Church participant, therefore, has a right to ask another participant who is not a Licensed Clergyperson to hold a confidence, including members of the Council, Leadership Committees, Committees, other "leaders", or staff persons. The Clergy will expect to receive the information when asking for it regardless of personal promises made to maintain confidentiality. This is for the protection of all who attend Ray Of Hope Church. Clergy Confidentiality is to be maintained even in a court of law in any country. Confidentiality is no longer mandated when:

1) The Clergyperson is compelled to reveal the information for the benefit of the safety of Ray Of Hope Church, Inc., or any of its attendees and participants.

2) The information indicates possible intent to mortally harm oneself, or another person, or there is an indication of an intent to commit a crime.

3) The information indicates possible awareness or participation in the physical, mental, or sexual abuse of a minor or of another incapable of consent as described in New York State Law.

4)The person imparting the confidence reveals the content or import of the information to any other.

5) The person imparting the confidence waives the privledge of confidentiality in writing or verbally to the Clergyperson holding the confidence, by virtue of signed releases of information, or to the person or body which is to be informed.

9.29 Other Gifts and Callings That May Be Licensed or Ordained for Authorized Ministry. 

Ray Of Hope Church celebrates the diversity of ministry gifts the Holy Spirit may give us at any time. We celebrate Romans 12:5-7; "..so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:if prophecy, let us use prophesy in porportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering..."

Therefore, the Council of Ray Of Hope Church may recognize other gifts or callings and license them in the appropriate Christian Testament model. We also look to many new gifts of ministry yet to come, for Jesus said: "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." (John 16:12)

9.30 Church as Spiritual House. 

The Church is the spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5) made of living stones, the believers, forming the royal priesthood, the chosen people, the Holy Nation, the Body Of Christ on earth and in Heaven called out to proclaim the praises of God who has brought us out of darkness into Godís marvelous light (1 Peter 2:4-5, 9). We recognize all believers as equal members in the Body Of Christ, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12). We at Ray Of Hope Church willingly recognize and accept the responsibilities of the Priesthood Of All Believers as being an important factor in the equipping and sending forth the People Of God in ministry in the Name Of Jesus. At Ray Of Hope Church we maintain that within the Body Of Christ, the Clergy and the Laity are equal in standing. 

9.31 Annual Clergy Credentials Renewal.

In accordance with procedures and standards specified in the PMVM, credentials as Professional Clergy will be issued on an annual basis. In the month of May of each year the Council shall survey those persons in attendance at worship service over at least a two week period to ascertain the level of satisfaction with the services each licensed clergyperson has provided during the review period. Other instruments may be used in addition to this survey as deemed advisable by one or both of the Council and House of Clergy. The purpose of this annual review is to measure the quality of performance and lived evidence of the Call of God in the life of each Licensed or Ordained clergyperson. If the Annual review is favorable, the Council will issue credentials for a stated time period, preferably June 15 of the year during which the review is instituted to June 15 of the next year. The Council may exercise any number of options regarding re-licensing as described in the PMVM.

 

ADDITIONALLY THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS ARE ALL MINISTRY TRAINING CANDIDATES:

 

This memo was originally distributed on March 8, 1998, Updated and revised on April 7, 1999, and distributed again on December 18, 1999.

 

Each time it was distributed to the entire attending Congregation for their review. The Congregation stands united in all the requirements on this web page, and on the ones contained in the following memo:

 

These requirements have been confirmed by the Ray Of Hope Church Council in representation of the Congregation. These are only the very minimum requirements.  Other requirements are tailored to individual educational and experiential needs as outlined in writing for each Vocational Ministry Training Candidate.

 

The following are expectations of all Vocational Ministry Training Candidates.

 

Attend weekly Bible Study.

 

Attend one “full” weekend liturgy service.  Currently, 5/25/16, there is one “full worship service” on Sunday mornings at 380 W. 1st St. in Elmira, NY.  The Sunday worship service is webcast on Skype.  Many weekends this service may also be attended in Syracuse at the home of Robb Bacon where we have the live webcast through Skype.

 

Attend the Vocational Ministry Colloquium and complete assignments.

 

Stay in regular contact with the Director, and pre-announce all absences, this is your responsibility.

 

When you are going to be absent from the Colloquium, send your assignments to the Director in time for your assignments to be distributed at the Colloquium.

Set appointments as needed with the Director.

 

Attend any and all special worship services planned by Ray Of Hope Church.

 

Attend and successfully complete the Scofield Bible Course. (*5/25/16 – this may not be a requirement for individualized programs.  Not all individualized programs will require the Scofield Bible Course.*)

 

Be present at the start of the meetings listed above, be on time – not tardy, and to stay until the meeting is concluded.

 

You are responsible for completing all educational requirements as outlined for your particular program of progress.  

 

Candidates may appeal any part of the requirements set for them. Requests for an appeal are submitted in writing to the Moderator of Ray Of Hope Church Council. The Council will hear and address the appeal.

 

Candidates may discuss the direction of their Vocational Ministry Training at any time with the Council. Candidates should speak to the Council with all Council members present.  Individual conversations with members of the Council may be detrimental to successful progress. Candidates are protected by speaking with the Council as a whole group, and are encouraged to be in regular contact with the Council.  Candidates may request in writing to conference with the Council as often as needed.

 

Ultimately, the Ray Of Hope Council administers all Professional Clergy Credentials for the Congregation in the Name of Jesus Christ. The more the Council and Congregation are familiar with the Candidate’s sense of progress, the more they will be equipped to make the appropriate decisions when the time is right.

 

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Benedict +

Revised and updated 5/25/2016

 

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