A Note from the Bishop Regarding Licensed Lay Ministries
Brothers and Sisters,
Our Diocese has a blessed legacy of Lay involvement and ministry in our Church. In past time, which some of us still remember, when all of Newfoundland was one Diocese, a dedicated group of people, known as Licensed Lay readers enabled ministries which could not have taken place without the valued assistance of this dedicated group.
Today, this ministry of the Church remains essential in our rural diocese. More and more, we are being led by the Spirit of Jesus to support, enable and provide resources for Lay Ministry.
In our Diocese, we no longer use the Cultural term “Lay Reader”, but refer to all Baptized Christians as minister of Jesus. In the case of liturgical and pastoral ministries that is licensed by the Bishop we joyfully use the title Licensed Lay Minister.
It is very clear to me that we need to ask the Spirit’s Holy guidance upon all we do in our times.
The idea of Formation, needs to be recovered. By that I mean a process for whatever ministry we feel called to, of personal, community and episcopal discernment which prayerfully agrees upon and acknowledges the call or Vocation. Once a calling is recognized and affirmed, it becomes vital for that person, and their ministry to be built up, supported, tested and affirmed by the Local Church and parish in which they serve.
We are to be responsible for each other for the building up of the Body of Christ.
We thank God for anyone who is offering himself or herself to this special ministry. We expect that person, and all clergy to invest in formation, training and relationship. The privilege of leading God’s people in Sunday worship as licensed by a Bishop, is both a gift and an awesome responsibility. We want to enable our laity to engage and offer their ministries with confidence and dignity. This can only come through training experience and formation.
As Bishop of our beloved Diocese, I offer thanks to those who are licensed in any way, clergy and laity alike, and call you to deep and prayerful commitment and thought as we discover fresh resources, clearer pathways and the blessing of our Saviour upon our offering of ourselves. Look to this webpage as a source for news and online resources as they become available.
I remain, yours in the faith of Christ,
The Right Reverend John E. Watton, Bishop of Central Newfoundland
Licensed Lay Minister Sermons Available Here