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Mississippi Synod Information
Information and guidance for clergy
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Terms and Definitions

Ordination and Function

About Ordination

Ordination is the act of investing an individual with the functions of a minister, priest, rabbi or equivalent. Ordination in the Church may be conducted by the e-mail process used on the UCTAA web site, or it may be performed in person by one of the Church's Bishops or Patriarchs.

It is the responsibility of the ordaining authority to create and retain records of those ordained in the event an ordination is questioned. Should your ordination be challenged, then contact whoever ordained you. As far as the UCTAA is concerned, ordination is for life. There is no process to revoke an ordination. However, there is no guarantee that a church to which you may transfer your beliefs will recognize your ordination.

Functions of the Clergy

Members of the clergy have three main functions: introducing others to the teachings of the Church; conducting ceremonies; and pastoral duties.

1. Advocacy

Traditionally, agnostics have been reluctant to communicate what agnosticism is all about. We have always been less activist in spreading our ideas than have believers or atheists. And this attitude is reflected, tongue-in-cheek, in our name and our motto. But we do expect those who seek ordination in the Apathetic Agnostic Church to seek out way to communicate our message/

The UCTAA is supportive of a low-key approach to introducing others to its teachings. We do not ask our clergy to go door-to-door, nor to stand on street corners handing out tracts. So what do we expect? There are any number of approaches. Simply framing your ordination certificate and hanging it on your wall where it can be seen by others is a minimalist approach. It invites questions and comments, and provides an opportunity to send interested people to our web site.

2. Ceremonial

Traditionally, religious officials have conducted ceremonies to mark the various stages of human life and other significant events. Ordained clergy in the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic may conduct such ceremonies.

Ceremonies may be conducted to celebrate events such as Birth, Adoption, Naming, Adulthood, Joining / Commitment, Marriage, Divorce, Funerals, Dedication of a Home, Changes of the Season, Changes of the Year. These are just a few examples. Feel free to celebrate other occasions.

In conducting ceremonies, it is important to remember the purpose is to celebrate the participants and to meet their needs, not to overtly promote the church. To this end, we suggest you work closely with those involved to develop the details of a particular ceremony. While you do not have to do anything you personally might find offensive [suggest they find another cleric] you should be prepared to be somewhat flexible, even to the extent of accepting some general elements of spirituality in the ceremony. However, the focus of any ceremony should be to obtain the blessing and support of those in attendance for the event [as differentiated from other religions where the blessing of a Supreme Being is sought.]

3. Pastoral Duties

Pastoral duties apply to those with an active ministry. This includes visiting the sick and shut-ins, provision of counselling on a variety of issues including ethics, family matters, dealing of grief, and preparing the terminally ill to accept death. Such responsibilities should not be taken on lightly, and an appropriate course training should be undertaken first.