LifeSpirit Congregational Church
INDEX of this page.
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Instruction for the Ministry & Ministry Roster
Ministerial Expenses Chart
Privacy & Site Use Statement, privacy.html
Beliefs Regarding Vaccination
Minister Practitioner FAQs
How to become a Minister
Canon Law, Certificate of Ordination, Code of Conduct, Ethics Committees, Annual Renewals, New Ministries, Meetings
Issued by Authority of the Councils of Elders and Priests
Canon One: The church is established for religious, charitable, educational and literary purposes and is a non-governmental organization governed by these Canons, the Rules and By-Laws.
Canon Two: The Founding Trustees and the successors to the Lineage upon which the church is established, are the Ecclesiastical Supervisors of the church and its institutions, including all local congregations, associations of the church, any integrated auxiliaries of the church and church affiliated organizations established for the management of church funds and retirement accounts.
Canon Three: The High Priest and Priestess serve for Life. A majority of the surviving Trustee(s) have authority to appoint a successor. Each successor serves for Life.
Canon Four: The church, its local congregations, associations, integrated auxiliaries and church affiliated organizations, shall be established and governed as autonomous bodies, by Charters, Articles of Association, Letters of Direction, Resolutions and other such appropriate documents issued under the Authority of the Trustees.
Canon Five: The local congregations, associations, auxiliaries and affiliated organizations shall operate within the limits of their establishing documents, the applicable secular law, these Canons and overriding Ecclesiastical Supervision. Whenever the Trustees, unanimously, in their own discretion, determine it prudent, they may intervene by Resolution to reorganize and manage the affairs of any such association, auxiliary or affiliated organization, the terms of its establishing documents not withstanding.
Canon Six: The Trustees have authority to ordain and license ministers and members of the orders of the church, issuing Certificates and Letters of Direction therefore.
Canon Seven: The Beliefs and Sacred Texts of the Church shall be as provided in the By-Laws and as set forth on the official church web site, www.lifespirit.org, and include The Book of Illuminations and The Book of Passages.
Canon Eight: These Canons are the supreme Law of the Church and may be amended only by unanimous Act of the Trustees and Council of Elders. The Acts of the Ministry pursuant thereto are part of the Church's Expressive Association. The Church reserves all rights.
Ralph Fucetola, High Priest & Trustee
Adopted as of January 1, 2000
The Minister's Certificate of Ordination provides the following limitations and guidelines:
"The Ordained Minister Practitioner is hereby Ordained and Directed by the local congregation, under its Rules, and with the approval of the Church Trustees (who also have the authority to suspend or terminate such ordinations) under Church Rules and By-Laws, which limit the use of Church exemptions by such Ministers. The Ordained Practitioner is directed and authorized to act under the jurisdiction of the local congregation or its approved auxiliary, holistically ministering to the sick and suffering by prayer and spiritual means, so long as no drug material remedy is used, and so long as such minister is active in the local congregation. The practices of such Minister shall strictly conform to secular law."
Ministers' Code of Conduct
1. Ministers shall always abide by the injunction, "non-aggression against non-aggressors."
2. Ministers shall, when acting on behalf of the Church, practice "Retreat from the Evils of the World" and not seek confrontation with the instrumentalities of coercion.
3. Ministers shall be guided by the knowledge that Illumination is the Goal of the Free; they shall expose illusion, coercion and falsity, condemning these as violations of the LifeSpirit.
4. Ministers shall, when ministering to others, always act with informed consent and shall Do No Harm.
See also: The Holistic Practitioners Code
By-Law XXXVIII -- Local Congregation Ethics Committee
1. Each Local Congregation is authorized to establish a Local Ethics Committee to enforce (A) the Minister's Code of Conduct, (B) the By-Laws of the Church, (C) the Local Rules and (D) Contractual Relations. The Local Congregation may adopt Rules for the Committee not inconsistent with the Certificate of Incorporation, Church By-Laws and Local Rules.
2. (A) In the event of a dispute in a Local Congregation or Auxiliary, including a dispute regarding a Local Ethics Committee decision, any party may request that the Trustees of the Church appoint a Conciliator or Conciliation Committee from outside Local Congregation to mediate among and reconcile the parties. The Trustees may adopt Rules for such Conciliator or Committee.
(B) In the event any party disagrees with the recommendations of the Conciliator or Committee, such party may appeal to the Church Trustees in writing. The Trustees may recommend that the Conciliator or Committee's recommendations be accepted or the Trustees may revise same. Any party may thereafter invoke the Arbitration provisions of the By-Laws.
By-Law XXXIX - Annual Renewal of Minister Status
Each Local Congregation is authorized to provide, in its Rules, for the Annual Renewal of Local Congregation Minister Practitioner Status.
By-Law XXXX - Codified Process for Establishing Ministries and New Local Congregations
1. When, in the opinion of the Local Congregation Pastor(s) a student of the ministry has qualified, then pursuant to By-Law XXXVI, such person, upon written request of such person and of the Local Congregation Pastor(s), may be appointed and ordained as a Minister Practitioner, under the auspices of that Local Congregation. The Local Congregation is responsible for overseeing the ministerial activities of the Minister Practitioner. Any funds pertaining to ministerial activities shall be maintained in Minister Practitioner Accounts and expenditures from such accounts shall be made solely for proper ministerial expenses, stipends and allowances, pursuant to rule or resolution, or authorization of the Local Congregation Pastor(s).
2. A Minister Practitioner who has demonstrated to the Local Congregation and the Church Trustees consistent ministerial activities in conformity with all applicable laws, rules and requirements, may be ordained as a full Minister of the Church upon written request of the Minister Practitioner and Local Congregation Pastor(s). Such Minister shall continue to function under the oversight of the Local Congregation (and Paragraph 1 hereof), preparing for the establishment of a new Local Congregation.
3. When such Minister has demonstrated the establishment of a local congregation, including the establishment of a Local Board of Trustees, upon written request of the Minister and local Trustees, the Church Trustees may establish and charter a new Local Congregation, with the approval of the Church Congregation of Elders, and no objection from any existing, active Local Congregation, pursuant to the Church By-Laws and Rules. Adopted September 28, 1996.
By-Law XXXXI - Church Business Meetings
In addition to the Annual Meeting, and such Festivals as may be held, the Church Trustees shall schedule (when possible, a year in advance) at least two semi-annual Church Business Meetings of the Congregation and Council of Elders and Trustees (one such meeting shall immediately precede the Annual Meeting). Each active Local Congregation must have at least one Minister or other delegate attend each Business Meeting. Each Minister must attend at least one such meeting annually. Adopted September 28, 1996.
[Additional rules and by-law sections to be posted]
LifeSpirit Religious Beliefs regarding Vaccination.
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ã 1974 - 2001, 2003, 2004