Many regular visitors at Rose Cross attend one or more gatherings or events in the parish without feeling a need to develop a stronger bond with the church and that’s fine. There’s no requirement at all to formalize membership in order to be a part of the community.
Some people are interested in deepening their connection to the Johannite tradition. This can happen in many ways: membership, service and religious vocations.
You can become a member of the AJC by baptism, confirmation (if you’re already baptized), or being received into the church (if you’re already baptized and confirmed). You stay a member as long as you share in the Eucharist (Holy Communion) with us at least once a year. Membership does not involve fees of any kind.
Before becoming a member, you would typically attend a few services, meet with Monsignor Scott to discuss your spiritual journey, investigate the church a little, and get to know other community members. If you’re interested, please contact or talk to either Monsignor Scott or Jason to arrange the process.
Some members and regulars are moved to volunteer time to help out with organizing gatherings and events, assist in services, or start new initiatives. Not only we need help to get better at what we do, we also want to empower our community members in building our parish together.
If you can see a way you’d like to help, or something you’d like to improve, or you just feel you’d like to help but aren’t sure where, talk about what you’re thinking with other community members or Monsignor Scott.
A religious vocation is a recognition in yourself that you feel called to serve the community as an ordained person. This is different from an ambition to serve or a decision to serve, a calling is recognized in the self, but also seems to come from somewhere deeper or somewhere beyond the self.
The Apostolic Johannite Church ordains people to three different kinds of vocation: minor orders, major orders, and monastic orders.
The Minor Orders embody a practical service to the community as well as a dedication to inner growth explored in the world and in community. There are five stages to the Minor Orders: cleric, doorkeeper, reader, healer, and acolyte – each carrying responsibilities for certain parish functions as well as requiring a program of study and work.
The Major Orders (deacon, priest, and bishop) embody a responsibility to maintain the community and the church as a whole, to serve all people and to ensure the community’s access to the Holy Sacraments (baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, unction, matrimony, reconciliation, and ordination). Candidates for the Major Orders enroll in a distance learning curriculum via the the AJC seminary, St. Raphael the Archangel Theological Seminary, to undergo the process of Formation which may take several years. Successful candidates must make their way to the annual Conclave (typically in the USA) to receive ordination from the Patriarch.
Monastic Orders involves entering a religious order as a monk (a term used these days for both men and women). Entering an order involves taking vows to undertake spiritual practice and service. The AJC currently sponsors the Order of Saint Esclarmonde de Foix, a Gnostic, monastic lay order (which means you don’t need to give up your life and family in order to join).
If you feel a strong tug to become involved in a life of deeper service through the Orders, talk to Monsignor Scott.