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Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 4:10-11)
Peter clarifies that the term ministry applies to all types of special services, or intellectual pursuits as long as it serves or benefits a community (even outside of church.) It means you are bringing your unique talents to serve the community at large.
In the United Catholic Church we embrace the fact that all women and men are called by their baptism to ministry. The ministries include:
Hospital and Hospice Chaplains
HIV and Aids Ministers
Social Justice Action
Small Faith Communities
These are but a few of the ministries currently in practice in the United Catholic Church.
Do all of these ministries require ordination? NO! But, they do require special training and certification.
Are you one of those who wants to share your gifts with others? If you feel the urge to serve your community, contact Bishop Hollis Dodge to assist in your discernment and discover the possibilities serve others through the power of the Spirit.
Bishop Robert J Mueller
United Catholic Church
One of my favorite Bible stories is the one about two mothers claiming the same baby. They lived together in the same house, and both had given birth to babies about the same time. One baby died. The mothers came to King Solomon. One said that the other woman’s child had died in the night, and that woman arose and took her living son from her side and laid the dead child next to her. When she woke up and saw the dead child after carefully looking at the child, she realized it was not the one she had given birth to. However, the other woman said, “No that did not happen; it was her child who died and not mine.” So they asked King Solomon to settle the dispute as to who was the rightful mother of the living child.
Solomon, being a very wise man, immediately saw the way to settle the issue. He said, “Bring me a sword.” The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.”
One of the women agreed to that settlement, but the other mother began to cry and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and in no way slay it.” The king decided that she was, in truth, the mother of the child, so he awarded the child to her. He realized that the one who would rather give up the child than see it killed was the real mother. You can read this story in 1 Kings 3:16-28. It is not only a story with great human interest, but also one that teaches us some of the most important lessons in life.
UNITED CATHOLIC CHURCH
We are often asked why we chose the United Catholic Church in our quest to find a community home. Our first response, generally speaking, is come and see? Recently, some of us discussed how we came to be in the UCC and decided to share our stories.
Below is the first of many stories of "How We Got Here." The first offering is from Bishop Hollis Dodge.
How I Ended Up in the UCC
I spent twenty years in ministry with the denomination I joined as a college student. Parish ministry suited me, and Christian community sustained me; the sacraments nurtured me, and the antiquity of the Church conveyed a Mysterium Tremendum. Neo-traditionalism gained ascendancy in the denomination, and I felt increasingly edged to the fringes of the church. In the and I began looking elsewhere for the spirit of tolerance and ecumenism I sought.
I was led to the United Catholic Church by an Episcopal deacon who was taking a course in spiritual direction from an Old Catholic bishop. I contacted this bishop, was referred to the then-presiding bishop, and eventually granted standing. It combined the Apostolic Tradition with the Sacramental life, but with flexibility.
It takes a bit of getting used to -- the American Old Catholic theology and mentality: less structure, less status, less oversight. But imagination and elasticity are encouraged and sustained. We enjoy personal ties with one another at every level of ministry and membership and we don’t worry overmuch about titles and prerogatives since we are small and poor. We concentrate on person-to-person ministry and the ties that bind us.