Generic Ecumenical Ministerial Studies
Every person has a Ministry. The first is to the Self. The Greatest Commandment is to love God, and your neighbor, as you love yourself. Defining everyone as a neighbor your Ministry becomes generic and ecumenical. Mother Teresa explains “The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.” Also, in our global village all people are neighbors.
Charity, honoring parents and Elders, dedicated study, hospitality, visiting the sick, supporting weddings, attending funerals, and working for Peace in the Home and Peace on Earth are all elements of our ministry to one another. Study is basic to this ministry, an obligation, before and after ordination. One must choose this ministry, but all are called.
A Christian Minister is authorized by ordination to preach, conduct worship, and administer the sacraments. Priests are professional clergy who represent the Church on the front line. After Vatican Two the Catholic Church expects all baptized members to think of themselves as members of the Ministry. This is another essential reconcetptualization. With God’s help some day women will be accepted as Priests.
Remarkably, Modern Rabbis tend to follow Christian models of leadership and organization in their ministry, in that Rabbis are ordained by the faculty of a theological school to lead prayers, officiate life cycle events like bar/bat Mitzvah, weddings and funerals. In the past leadership was administrated by any knowledgeable community member.
At first glance the Priesthood in Judaism today is different, determined by tribal genetics. The Priests (Cohanim) have a religious obligation to bless the people with Aaron’s threefold blessing (Numbers 22-27). Only a Rabbi who is also a Priest has the hereditary privilege of blessing the people. Many modern Rabbis, however, use the Priestly benediction even though they are not Priests. This is understandable since they say the Kaddish for others, and are the officiate for services, weddings, and funerals.
How do you train to become an Ecumenical Minister? Become a student and teacher. You will never master all the information, so you will always be a student. We learn in the Teachings of the Sages (1:16) from the renowned Rabban Gamaliel “Find yourself a teacher and avoid doubtful teachings.”
This may also be read as “Make yourself into a teacher and you will avoid doubt.” Again, your ministry begins with yourself.
I will guide you on how to acquire skills and leadership tools. Just as the essence of the calling of a physician is to minister to the body and eradicate disease; the generic Minister seeks to eradicate ignorance and heal the soul.
As A Mentor I teach the way of integration and reverence. Physicians who become generic ministers heal body and soul. Psychologists and Family therapists who are generic ministers officiate their client’s weddings. Attorneys who are trained in the ministry focus on the social justice dimensions of the law, in the tradition of the prophets. Every profession does well with a ministry. Those seeking benefit of clergy should have the opportunity to work with generic ecumenical ministers.
Becoming a leader you serve with reverence; and are ordained a Minister.