Role of the Licensed Lay Minister

1. Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) are locally trained and are licensed by the Bishop to one or more of five specific ministries under the supervision of an incumbent or priest-in-charge. The specified ministries are:

A. Leading public worship in Morning and Evening Prayer, including the reading of sermons or homilies authorized by the incumbent priest.
B. Leading services with Reserved Sacrament in hospitals, nursing and care homes, and home communions.
C. Preaching in public worship.
D. Laying-on of hands and anointing sick or distressed persons.
E. Bishops and priests preside at the Eucharist. Under exceptional circumstances, the Bishop may license others to public distribution of Holy Communion according to rites authorized by the Diocesan Bishop.

2. LLMs perform a valuable and honoured leadership role in the church. They undertake the work of the laity in a publically visible way, in the context of the church’s worship and work. As such, they are representatives of God’s church – in its Anglican aspect in Canada – to the church and the wider community. The licence granted by the Bishop of Kootenay indicates that LLMs are specially trained for particular tasks, and bear a special responsibility to the church which is fulfilled under the authority of the Bishop and clergy. Bearers of such a licence undertake a ministry representative of the whole church; in the process, they relinquish some of the freedom of action that is available to Christians who hold no formal office in the church, just as the ordained are constrained by their vows and licences.

3. The church is entering into a new phase of life. The number of stipendiary clergy, either full or part time, is declining. There is a blessing in this, a sense that the church is being forced to do out of necessity what should be done as a matter of theology. The church is, first and foremost, a participant in God’s mission in the world; although the institution requires ordained leaders and administrators, its work is truly done by all the baptized – all of whom, ordained and lay, should be formed in the gospel and committed to sharing the life of God with the world.

4. In this new way of being, many congregations will be sustained by the work of Locally Trained Priests, Deacons, and LLMs. These people will share the work of church leadership in the community. This new way of being involves new responsibilities and new standing in the community for LLMs.

5. Preparing to be licensed as an LLM, therefore, is a significant process and not to be undertaken lightly. Suitable preparation includes the acquisition of skills and knowledge not ordinarily expected of laypeople, in addition to ongoing cultivation of personal gifts. The Diocese of Kootenay, therefore, has identified competencies that are necessary to the proper fulfillment of LLM responsibilities and assembled a training programme to enable prospective February 21, 2013

LLMs to attain the relevant competencies. All who wish to become LLMs, including those who have served in prior lay ministry capacities, are invited and required to undertake the training.

Preliminary Requirements

 2.1 The applicant needs to be a person who:

  • is baptized and a voting member of the local congregation

  • is an active member of the worshipping community and has been for a minimum of one year

  • has an understanding of baptismal ministry consistent with that of the Anglican Church of Canada

  • has an understanding of the orders of bishops, priests, and deacons consistent with that of the Anglican Church of Canada

  • is mature and stable

  • demonstrates an ability to care for people, both as individuals and in groups

  • has high moral and ethical standards

  • has a good reputation in the community and in the parish

  • has potential for leadership

  • has the recommendation of her/his incumbent and church council

  • has a mature spirituality and disciplined prayer life

  • will have the time and resources necessary to carry out his/her licensed lay ministry

  • is committed to, and has the capacity for, the training and education involved in the process

  • can articulate a sense of call

2.2 The applicant must provide the Diocese with an acceptable criminal record check (The Diocese can assist with this process)

Expectations

 3.1 A Licensed Lay Minister is a person who is licensed by the Bishop to lead worship in the name of the church. An LLM functions within a congregation under the supervision of the incumbent and at the incumbent’s pleasure, and represents the local congregation of the Anglican Church of Canada in the community.

3.2 After approval by the incumbent and congregation, the incumbent will send the application for a licence to the Bishop.

3.3 The applicant will be required to undertake appropriate LLM training before beginning this ministry.

3.4 The applicant will:

3.4.1 Manifest a personal spirituality which demonstrates an integration of body, mind, and spirit working towards wholeness. This spiritual maturity is not only demonstrated in regular participation in the liturgical life of the community, but also in an explicit commitment to spiritual growth and a disciplined life of prayer.

3.4.2 Have a healthy attitude towards his/her own personal well-being.

3.4.3 Have an ability to reflect critically and creatively on his/her spiritual, theological and behavioural assumptions, as well as her/his own ministry practice.

3.4.4 Support the ministry of the incumbent.

3.5 Competencies expected of people who are licensed as a Licensed Lay Minister include:

3.5.1 Competencies expected of all applicants for a licence:

1. Be able to think theologically.
2. Be able to talk about the content of scripture and explain the basic teachings as understood within the Anglican Church of Canada.
3. Explain the basic teachings in the Apostle’s Creed, Nicene Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.
4. Be able to share faith with others.
5. List the sacraments as recognized in the Anglican Church of Canada and be able to explain what they mean.
6. Be able to identify and explain the ethos of Anglicanism.
7. Be able to talk about the orders of bishops, priests, and deacons and explain their roles in the Anglican Church of Canada.
8. Be able to talk about the biblical, historical, and theological basis for lay ministry; and the Anglican context of lay ministry, including structure and parameters.
9. Understand appropriate use of vestments, according to Diocesan norms.
10. Be able to work with other volunteers.

3.5.2 Leading public worship in Morning and Evening Prayer, including sermons or homilies authorized by the incumbent (Licence A).

1. The competencies as listed in section 3.5.1.
2. Have a working knowledge of the structure, purpose, and theology of the offices.
3. Be able to locate and employ appropriate services in the Book of Alternative Services (BAS) and Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and in locally developed service books approved by the Bishop.
4. Be able to locate appointed readings for services. February 21, 2013
5. Be able to choose appropriate hymns for the service.
6. Be able to compose and lead Prayers of the People.
7. Be able to find and use appropriate sermon resources.
8. When planning worship, the applicant will be able to choose appropriate sections, taking into account the context and the season in the liturgical year.
9. Be able to speak and read clearly in public, and know how to operate a microphone if one is used.
10. Be able to demonstrate appropriate posture for leading worship.
11. Be able to adapt services appropriately to meet pastoral needs.
12. Have an understanding of institutional protocols and regulations in regard to visitors, when leading services in hospitals, nursing and care homes, and other facilities.

3.5.3 Leading services with Reserved Sacrament in hospitals, nursing and care homes, and for sick and shut-in persons (Licence B)

1. The competencies as listed in sections 3.5.1 and 3.5.2.
2. Have a basic understanding of the theology and practices associated with the Eucharist.
3. Understand the purposes and parameters of services with Reserved Sacrament.
4. Be able to use authorized service materials, in accordance with the policies of the Diocese of Kootenay.
5. Be able to find and use appropriate sermon/reflection resources.
6. Be able to use locally adapted services. Services must be approved by the local incumbent, in accordance with diocesan policy.
7. Be able to use practices that reduce the risk of choking when giving communion to people who may have difficulty swallowing, and also people with dementia.
8. Be able to adapt services appropriately to meet pastoral needs.
9. Have an understanding of institutional protocols and regulations in regard to visitors.

3.5.4 Preaching in Public Worship (Licence C)

1. The competencies as listed in section 3.5.1 and 3.5.2.
2. Have a good understanding of scripture. The anticipated knowledge level will be equivalent to that ordinarily reached by taking the first two years of Education for Ministry.
3. Have a basic understanding of biblical interpretation and its application to preaching.
4. Have an intermediate knowledge of the central beliefs of Christianity.
5. Understand the place of preaching in the life of the Christian church and the world.
6. Be able to explain how the Anglican Church of Canada and Anglican Communion are organized.
7. Be able to compose and deliver a homily suitable for anticipated ministry contexts.
8. Be able to demonstrate suitable public speaking skills.
9. Be able to find helpful preaching resources, and know how to use them.
10. Understand the ethics of using other sources. February 21, 2013

3.5.5 Laying-on of hands and anointing sick or distressed persons (Licence D)

1. The competencies as listed in section 3.5.1.
2. Have a basic understanding of the theology and practices associated with laying-on of hands and anointing.
3. Be able to use authorized service materials.
4. Understand the Bishop’s policy on laying-on of hands.
5. Understand the Bishop’s policy on anointing.

3.5.6 In exceptional circumstances, leading a service that includes the distribution of Holy Communion in regular public worship in a Church (Licence E).

1. The competencies as listed above in sections 3.5.1, 3.5.2 and 3.5.3.
2. Understand the standards established by the Anglican Church of Canada, as contained in the booklet Public Distribution of Holy Communion by Deacons and Lay People.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the standards included in Diocesan policy.
4. Be able to demonstrate the liturgical movements (where to sit, stand, kneel) when leading the service from both the BAS and BCP, according to local custom and remaining consistent with Diocesan policy on the public distribution of Holy Communion and with the Anglican Church of Canada’s document, Public Distribution of Holy Communion by Deacons and Lay People.

Parish Discernment Process

 4.1 The process for becoming a Licensed Lay Minister is as follows:

1. Applicant discusses interest in Licensed Lay Ministry with Incumbent.

2. The Incumbent presents the application to Church Council for approval.

3. The Incumbent meets with applicant to clarify expectations of the Licence, including the expectations of education, formation, and training, as well as the financial commitment of Parish/Congregation to applicant’s discernment and training process. Minimum required financial support includes: 50% of required course fees (not including books), 50% accommodation if billets are not available, and 100% of fuel for travel, for applicant’s attendance at all required courses and interviews.

4. Applicant shall complete required training, as provided by Kootenay School of Ministry (KSM).

5. Having met all requirements, the Incumbent, shall at his/her discretion, apply to the Bishop for a Licence in the specific lay ministry for which the applicant is suited and qualified.

6. The Parish/Congregation will also be required to provide financial support for continuing education, as required, after licensing. Minimum required financial support includes: 50% of required course fees (not including books), 50% accommodation if billets are not available, and 100% of fuel for travel, for applicant’s attendance at all required courses and interviews.

LLM Training Process

There are specific modules for the licenses:

 5.1 All applicants for LLM must complete the required training before receiving a licence. Applicants seeking any licence are required to complete the basic introductory course Understanding Anglican Lay Ministry, an 8 contact-hour course offered through KSM.  This course, by itself, provides no accreditation.  Additional training expectations are as listed below.  With the exception of the preaching course, all will be offered as contiguous modules in a one-weekend LLM course.

5.1.1 Applicants for a licence to lead Morning and Evening Prayer services will attend the course Basics of Liturgy (4 contact-hours), offered through KSM.

5.1.2 Applicants for a licence to lead services with Reserved Sacrament in any context will attend the courses Basics of Liturgy and The Eucharist and the Life of the World  (6 contact-hours), offered through KSM.

5.1.3 Applicants for a licence to preach in public worship will complete the O104 Preaching course, offered through KSM. Preaching is a standard 21 contact-hour KSM course.

5.1.4 Applicants for a licence to perform laying-on of hands and anoint sick or distressed persons will attend the course Laying-on of Hands and Anointing  (3 contact- hours), offered through KSM.

5.2 After completing these required educational and training events, an applicant will have attained competencies suitable to the ministry applied for. The competencies are as listed in the Expectations section. 

Post-License Education

 6.1 LLMs are expected to undertake annual continuing education. The form of continuing education will be at the discretion of the Incumbent.

Three Year Review

 7.1 LLMs are expected to meet with their Incumbents for a review every three years.

7.2 The review shall be conducted by the Incumbent, who shall submit a written report and submit it to the Synod Office for the Bishop’s consideration. Receipt of an acceptable report is a condition of re-licensing.

7.3 The review shall discuss:

a. Does the LLM still feel called to this ministry?
b. Do the Incumbent and Church Committee support the continuance of the LLM in this ministry?
c. Do significant others in the life of the LLM continue to support the LLM in this ministry?
d. What are the specific joys and challenges in this ministry?
e. Does the LLM feel adequately supported in this ministry?
f. Have continuing education requirements been fulfilled?
g. Are there areas in which the LLM feels inadequately equipped?
h. What learning does the LLM need or want over the next 3 years?
i. What will be the continuing education requirements for the next 3 years?
j. Please comment on the process of becoming an LLM and renewing your licence. Note that submissions in reply to this question (and this question only) will be submitted to the LLM liaison on the Bishop’s Committee on Ministry, to help with the Committee’s planning.

Application for Licensed Lay Ministry 

Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe to receive email updates with the latest news.