The Society of Peter the Disciple exists to equip those who feel called to the ordained ministry with the tools and support they need to serve Christ. The societies founder and current Abbot is Reverend Calli, a moderator at ULC.NET and a long-term ordained pastor in a mainline Christian Denomination. While not ordained by the ULC, Reverend Calli believes in freedom of religion, and has long been concerned about the plight of his brothers and sisters in the faith, who are filled with joy at being able to achieve their dream of being ordained, but often find their attempts at being in an active ministry hampered by having little knowledge or understanding of what a minister does, and how to perform the most basic tasks of being a Christian Minister.
The Society of Peter the Disciple is an ecumenical body of believers. All Christians of whatever faith tradition are welcome to participate and be active members of the society. We have no statement of faith or creed that any member must adhere to save that of the earliest creed of the Christian faith, written down by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians:
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NRSV)
As an ecumenical body of believers, it is vitally important to realize that while we all accept the above creed, we come from many different faith traditions in Christianity, and so represent many different viewpoints about theological issues that have over the centuries worked to divide the Christian faith. While each of us is free to share our individual views in theological matters, it must always be done in a non-judgemental and non-confrontational way. We recognize the fact that we are all in different places on our faith journeys. The faith traditions we grew up in, the cultures we lived in, the influences of our families of origin, our life experiences, and yes even the leading of the Holy Spirit, these all have worked to shape our faith in ways that are meaningful to us, but not necessarily in the same way in others. Rather then arguing over the differences we have in our beliefs, our society exists to help each of us find common ground in our faith, and to work to equip each one of us to share the knowledge and love of Christ with each other and world, so that all may experience the knowledge of the Good News the Paul proclaimed to the church in Corinth.
To be a member of the Society, apart from accepting the statement of faith from 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, is to agree that you will do the following:
Sharing: We share with each other our faith journeys. We share with each other the stories of our struggles and our successes. We share our concerns. We share our faith. In most denominations, clergy get together on a regular basis to do these things. Through accountability groups, covenant groups, lectionary groups, on an almost weekly basis in any town or city with more than one church, the clergy of all the churches in that location gather together to help support one another in their ministry. One of the prime reasons the society was created was to help provide a place for the independent minister to have the same support system that clergy in mainstream churches have readily available,
Caring: We care for each other, rejoicing in each other’s successes, comforting each other in our sorrows. We pledge to hold each other up in prayer each day. We care for the all those with whom we share this world, not only our brothers and sisters of the Christian Faith but of all the many faith traditions that people have used in their paths to be in a relationship with our common Creator. We also care for those who have rejected the very concept of God. We acknowledge that we are all God’s children, and we pledge ourselves to care for all people as our brothers and sisters, working for a world where no one suffers from want, where no one feels unloved, and all can live in peace.
Learning: As a people called to serve others, we acknowledge our obligation to learn how to use our talents in God’s service. We pledge ourselves to the diligent study of Holy Scripture (as our primary means of coming to know Gods word) but we also pledge ourselves to the study of the many disciplines a minister needs to understand to be effective in Gods service, according to the tasks God has led us to undertake in his service.
Teaching: As members of the Society, we pledge ourselves to share our knowledge with each other. Through the use of our website and Facebook page, we will share our experiences, our faith, and our knowledge of how to be in ministry with each other freely so that everyone may learn, and be better equipped to undertake their own ministries.
If you can agree to all of the above, you may apply to become a member of the Society of Peter the Disciple by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, a valid email address, and a statement that you agree to the things above, as well as anything else you would care to share about your life and faith journey. Acceptance into the society is at the sole discretion of the Abbot, who will respond to your request via email with either your acceptance or the reason why he feels your admittance into the Society would not be advisable at this time.
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