Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lay Preachers, Servants?

Followers may have noticed that for the past several months our church has been drafting lay homilists from members of the congregation, most of whom have been involved in Christian Education in the past, to give one Sunday sermon a month. Most of these sermons have gone over well (with one notable exception which was a classic example of modern revisionism). This is an experiment at our church, and I am not sure how long it will last. This may be a case of our new priest in charge getting to know more about the congregation than this becoming a new standard operating procedure. Whatever it may be, I am hearing some rumblings from the congo.

                       (Scroll to 1:00 for a little chuckle)

It was appropriate that today's Gospel reading contained the following verses about the servant ministry.

"So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’" Mark 10:35-45

So, all you potential servant ministers sitting out there in the pews, be on the alert, and check your draft cards.


  1. Anonymous2:49 PM

    I believe it is against the Canons for sermons to be preached by one who is not licensed (other than to read one prepared by licensed clergy)!!!

  2. I don't see that in the canons of Upper SC. Interestingly though, it appears that while an interim rector is described, there appears to be no canonical provision for the "Priest in Charge" position.

  3. Anonymous6:04 PM

    Look up the definition of preacher in the canon/constitution of TEC and I believe the PIC is covered by the same documents.

  4. The closest I can find is written for congregations without clergy, and that allows only for lay reading.

    It shall be the special duty of the Wardens to provide whatever may benecessary for the due celebration of divine worship (as books, vestments, etc.); also for the decency and comfort of the church buildings and furniture, books for church records, and the elements of The Holy Eucharist, and to put down all disorder during public worship. They shall be ready to collect"the alms and other devotions of the people," and in case the Congregation is without Clergy, shall disburse them; and also provide for public worship by occasional Clerical services, or by lay reading, as circumstances will permit.

    The constitution is found here and is silent.

  5. Anonymous8:25 PM

    Annon 2:49 -

    Canon III.4.5 of the Episcopal Church USA

    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.

  6. That's what you get for acceeding to TEc Canons.

  7. I wonder if GC created the PiC too?

  8. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Pewster -
    Canon III. 9.3.(b) of the Episcopal Church USA

    Priest - in- Charge
    After Consultation with the Vestry, the Bishop may appoint a Priest to Serve as Priest - in - Charge of any congregation in which there is no Rector. In such congregations, the Priest-in-charge shall exercise the duties of Rector outlined in Canon III.9.5. subject to the authority of the Bishop.

  9. Then why couldn't our PiC run for D.E.C.?