Title III, Canon 4, Section 3
A Pastoral Leader is a lay person authorized to exercise pastoral or administrative responsibility in a congregation under special circumstances, as defined by the Bishop.
Note: the Pastoral Leader should also comply with the general canons regarding licensed lay ministries found in title III, Canon 4, Sections 1 and 2.
Of all the lay licenses, that of Pastoral Leader requires the most complex qualities. A person given this license is expected to train and demonstrate competence in the following subjects:
· The Holy Scriptures, contents and background
· The Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal
· The conduct of Public Worship
· Use of the voice.
· Church History
· The church’s Doctrine as set forth in the Creeds and An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism
· Parish Administration
· Pastoral Care
A Pastoral Leader may be appointed to meet two kinds of needs. The first is to serve as a substitute for a priest when other solutions are not possible. That may occur where there is a regional ministry, or in other more conventional circumstances where, for whatever reason, a priest is not available to serve. In a regional ministry, that person would assist the priest-in-charge, providing a direct link to the congregation he or she belongs to. The other need is to serve as an executive officer in a large congregation, such as the Cathedral or one of the larger parishes, directly assisting the resident priest and relieving the priest of certain non-priestly duties.
The kind of person needed for the first kind of assignment is someone steeped in the Scriptures, skilled in dealing with difficult personal problems, and possessed of the approval and liking of the congregation. That person should possess as nearly as possible all of the qualities desired in an actually ordained priest, with the single exception of attendance at a seminary. The kind of person needed for the second kind of assignment is someone well versed in the affairs and procedures of the Episcopal Church and the administrative and organizational needs of a large parish. That person must be able to retain the confidence of both the rector and the vestry.
A Pastoral Leader, when needed and available, will be appointed by the common consent of the vestry (or mission committee) and the Bishop.
As with all other licensed people, the Pastoral Leader is expected to attend appropriate lay ministry workshops (or equivalents). Because of the exceptional level of skills and qualifications associated with this license, a mentor will be appointed by the Bishop, in consultation with the vestry or mission committee, to supervise the licensee's on-going training and education. The mentor will report periodically, on an agreed schedule, to both the vestry/mission committee and the Bishop, as to the licensee's progress and needs