Episcopal Diocese of Western New York

Diocesan Structure

The Bishop12650815_10153763705717931_6746219350686721050_n (1) and the Bishop’s staff are responsible for the day to day implementation of the decisions made by several groups that have responsibility for various parts of the life of the Diocese.

The Canons of the Diocese of Western New York, along with the Canons of the Episcopal Church, outline the basis of our common life.

The Diocesan Convention is made up of 3 lay representatives of every congregation in the Diocese and all the clergy canonically resident in the Diocese.

The Convention meets once a year.  The Convention elects members of the Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, Trustees of the Diocese and the Disciplinary Board of the Diocese and deputies to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

Standing Committee
Diocesan Council
Trustees
Commission on Ministry
Disciplinary Board

The Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania have been working together in a variety of ways for several years.  Beginning in the fall of 2017, we are exploring the possibility of a much closer collaboration.

Collaboration with NWPA

 

Licensed Lay Ministries

Our diocese licenses lay people to serve in a variety of roles. To become licensed, an individual must be a confirmed communicant in good standing within the diocese and complete the recommended course of study for the license they seek.

A lay person may study to become licensed in any of the following areas:

Administrator – A person licensed by the Bishop and appointed by the clergy and vestry of a congregation to serve as custodian of parochial records, when appropriate to administer the operation of a parish or mission, and be responsible for the completion of all reports that are required in compliance with Diocesan and ECUSA Canons.

Catechist – A person licensed by the Bishop and appointed by the clergy and vestry of a congregation to guide the discipleship formation of the faith community, including preparation for the sacraments and training of teachers.

Eucharistic Minister – A person licensed by the Bishop and appointed by the clergy and vestry of a congregation to distribute either the consecrated bread or wine to the people during the celebration of the Eucharist.

Eucharistic Visitor – A person licensed by the Bishop and appointed by the clergy and vestry of a congregation to carry Communion from the gathered community in a timely manner to members who are ill or infirm.

Lector (Reader) – A person authorized by the clergy, or in the absence of clergy the wardens, of a congregation to read Scripture at a service of the Church. Preparation is arranged through your priest.

Pastoral Care Minister – A person licensed by the Bishop and appointed by the clergy and vestry of a congregation to be serve as leader and coordinator of the community’s caring ministries responding to crises or grief and coordinating the efforts of the faith community to respond.

Preacher – A person licensed by the Bishop and appointed by the clergy and vestry of a congregation to be a communicator of the Good News following the proclamation of God’s Word in any prayer office of the church.

Teacher – A person authorized by the clergy, or in the absence of clergy the wardens, of a congregation to instruct others in a church or ministry setting.

Worship Leader – A person licensed by the Bishop and appointed by the clergy and vestry of a congregation to serve as the officiant for any prayer office of the Church in which a clergy person is not required by the Book of Common Prayer.

After licensing the individual functions under the direction of a cleric or other leader responsible for oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.

Training for Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers and Eucharistic Visitors are handled by the individual congregations.  Contact your congregation for more information.

Training for the other ministries are handled by the Prepared to Serve program.

Lay License Application Form
This form may be used by clergy and wardens to request the appropriate license for any layperson completing a course of study through Prepared to Serve.  In addition, it may be used to request local licenses, such as Lay Eucharistic Minister.

The form is a fillable PDF.  It is recommended that you use the latest version of Adobe Reader to access it.  Once you have finished filling it out, print it out so that it can be signed before returning it to the Diocesan Offices.