| CAW Ministerial Credentials
I [Oberon Zell Ravenheart] am pleased to announce that we are now accepting Ministerial Applications to license Ministers in the CAW! This is in accordance with the following paragraphs of our Canons:
RE: Ministers (from CAW Canons)
10.1. Religious Service. While the program of progressive involvement in the tribe provides for many levels of service to the Divine, to the Church, to the Mission of CAW and to the Curia (waterkin tribe) of CAW, some members of the Church of All Worlds are called to a life of more intense dedication and service to the Divine, the Church, and humanity. After proper training, reflection & vision questing, these persons may be received into the Clergy by way of ordination (Priesthood) or ministerial licensure.
10.3. Ministers. Individuals who desire to serve in a specific capacity may be approved and licensed as a Minister and issued Ministerial Credentials. Licensed CAW Ministers shall function as the equivalent of Chaplains, and be authorized to perform such sacraments as authorized by the Priesthood Council. In order to qualify for this special status, the postulant must present a Ministerial Proposal and submit a ministerial application to the Priesthood Council indicating the nature of the intended Ministry and his/her qualifications to fulfill it.
10.3.1. Clergy, Not Priesthood. Ministers shall be regarded as Clergy, but not as part of the Priesthood, which is a designation reserved for ordained Priests & Priestesses.
10.3.1. Ministry. A Minister may form his/her ministry as a subordinate organization subject to the provisions of Canon 13.
Our first new Minister to be licensed under this program is Julie Epona O’Ryan, who was invested on Dec. 21, 2009 (Yule).
A Ministerial License from the Church of Worlds is a fully legal Clergy credential throughout the United States and Australia, where the CAW is a Federally- recognize d incorporated religious body with the power to ordain and license Clergy. Ministers are legally authorized to perform standard sacraments, such as weddings and funerals, as well as have visitation rights in hospitals and prisons.
Self Employment publication #533 from Social Security states that Ministers are defined as: “individuals who are duly ordained, commissioned or licensed by a religious body constituting a church or church denomination. They are given the authority to conduct religious worship, perform sacerdotal functions and administer ordinances or sacraments according to the prescribed tenets and practices of that church or denomination.”
In some states, such as Tennessee, an organization does not need an IRS tax 501 number to be considered a church (this is stated clearly in TN Code 36-3-301, which discusses “ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis or other spiritual leaders who must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate and responsible act” and have the “care of souls”). Thus folks who get, say, a Universal Life Church ministerial certificate over the web can indeed be accepted as Ministers in such states without any other proof. Other states are not so casual and require Ministers to register, showing proof of either a) Articles of Incorporation or b) tax ID status of the church AND a letter of good standing (i.e. active membership) within that church. You should find out what the laws are in this regard in your own state, and register if that is required.
The laws of all states allow ministers to perform marriages. You will find that many states specify, however, that only “ordained or licensed Ministers” may perform marriages. Here “licensed” means licensed by a legal Church. In addition to being ordained and licensed by the Church, some states require the Minister to be registered with the state or city before performing marriages. The International Clergy Association, based in Monterey, California, has compiled a summary of state marriage laws to let you know what you must do to perform marriages in your state. Under each state they quote or paraphrase what the law has to say about Ministers who may perform marriages. If you wish a copy of this document, titled “Marriage Laws of the Various States,” just send me an email request off-list at Oberon@mcn.org.
Since at the moment the CAW Priesthood Council, which is authorized to approve Ministerial applications, consists of only Morning Glory and me, if you are interested in applying, please email me off-list at Oberon@mcn.org and I will send you by reply an email Application Form. Please understand that to qualify, you will need to be a current member of CAW (at least 2nd Circle), so if your membership isn’t current, please take care of this before applying for your Ministerial License! You will also need to present suitable background and other qualifications as noted on the Application Form. The questions you will be asked include:
* Relevant experience and other clergy qualifications.
* What is your spiritual training? Important teachers? If you have learned through self-study instead of formal training, please describe your personal explorations.
* Why do you want to become a Minister, and how do you intend to serve as one?
* References: Please give us names and eddresses of two or more reputable people (ideally someone known to Oberon and/or Morning Glory) who would be willing to personally recommend you as a Minister.
There is also a $25 processing fee. As well as helping support your Church, this will cover printing and mailing your frameable 8½”x11” Ministerial License, wallet photo ID card, and some business cards identifying you as a CAW Minister (more of these may be ordered later).
I know that many of you have been waiting for this—finally, here it is!
May You Never Thirst,
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