A CONSTITUTION FOR
“THE ORATORY OF THE SACRED FAMILY OF JESUS”
“The Oratory of the Sacred Family of Jesus”, aka OSFJ or the Oratory, is Biblically based adhering to Christian sacraments and is rooted in the Anglican Tradition. It includes the three streams of Catholic, Evangelical, and Charismatic theology and is led by an ordained Rector.
It is under the umbrella of “Pastoral Care Associates Inc.”, aka PCA, whose primary mission is “To care for others as Christ cares for you”.
The Mission of “The Oratory of the Sacred Family of Jesus” is providing ecclesiastical leadership marked by the healing compassion of Jesus to those in relationship with the Oratory including The Good Shepherd Chapel, Associates and Partners.
Vision of The Oratory of the Sacred Family of Jesus:
• Small local groups/congregational ‘Chapels’ around a single pastor/chaplain trained for ministry with the theological and pastoral DNA of PCA are raised up and developed;
• Chaplains are prepared and trained within the pastoral care model of community; and,
• Care giving ministries are supported and nurtured.
It will do this by
• Employing the Pastoral Care Associates methods of training in Active Listening, Internships, Mentoring, Spiritual Reflection and Education. This will be accomplished through the PCA School of Pastoral Ministry.
• Broadening the Christian church by its ministries.
• Providing ecclesiastical leadership to Chaplains and their Chapels, Associates and Partners.
• Out of these Chapels, new ministries will develop, grow and be nurtured.
The PCA School of Pastoral Ministry, aka SPM, is the training and education arm of PCA. The School develops its curriculum and offers courses for the education and training of those who attend its classes, seminars, and conferences. Members of the OSFJ necessarily have access to the SPM. The SPM uses the PCA models of training including but not limited to Lab 1 and Lab 2 listening skills, Internships, Mentoring, Spiritual Reflection, Continuing Pastoral Care Training and education along with Leadership Workshops.
The Rector of the Oratory shall appoint the Dean of the School. The Dean will have completed Lab1 and Lab 2 and be able to effectively teach them along with having at least 2,000 hours of patient care and Intern supervision. The Dean may also be an ex-officio voting member of the Board of PCA.
The Oratory is essentially CHRISTIAN and INTERDENOMINATIONAL. The Oratory will be inclusive of those other jurisdictions who wish to partner with our model of training and ministry. It will build community with any Christian Ministry that partners with the Oratory. The PCA School of Pastoral Ministry will offer its courses, and continue to develop its curriculum, for the education and training of those who attend its classes and seminars.
The Rector may ordain an intern to be a PCA Chaplain. This ordination is certified upon completion of professional training incorporating both education and internship provided through the PCA School of Pastoral Ministry and the recommendation of the Dean of the PCA School of Pastoral Ministry. The candidate must also have an active pastoral ministry in the field with a support chapel.
The ordination is NOT a religious ordination for the Deaconate, Priesthood, or for Bishop. It is strictly understood to be for the purposes of meeting hospitals and other health care communities’ requirements for professional chaplaincy. It recognizes and affirms the work and ministry of the Associate and their calling of service to the Body of Christ. Those seeking ‘Holy Orders’ would do so through their Ecclesiastical authority.
Chapels are small local groups of prayer and community that meet regularly, share a common pastoral care model, and support a Chaplain in their ministry. Small existing congregations may also wish to join the Oratory. Successfully completing Lab 1 training is necessary for the congregation to be recognized as a Chapel, along with participating in regular Chapter Meetings.
OFFICE OF THE RECTOR
The Oratory will be ordered by our common life by living in the Holy Spirit and in the New Creation. (Colossians.1 13-23, Romans 5: 14-18, and 2 Corinthians 5:16-20). The Rector is responsible for making operational decisions and, as needed, in consultation with the PCA Board of Directors and the OSFJ Board of Advisement. The Rector will oversee the ministry of the OSFJ and its clergy and chaplains. The term of office shall be for three years.
The Rector is also responsible for overseeing the staff of the School for Pastoral Ministry, student evaluations, student entrance into the school and the development of Candidates for Ordination and Ministry. The Rector appoints both the Dean of the School of Pastoral Ministry and the Dean of the Good Shepherd Chapel.
The Rector can be reinstituted upon both the majority vote of the PCA Board of Directors and the Board of Advisement for another term with a limit of three terms. The Rector will maintain a pastoral care ministry to the people of God and work to model Christ’s caring and love to all.
THE BOARD OF ADVISEMENT
The Board of Advisement, is made up of those ministry partners who are in communion with the Oratory and wish to participate in its ministry. No member of the PCA Board of Directors may hold a position on the Board of Advisement. The Board of Advisement will meet at least once a year. They are to consider issues to improve its governance, operational policies and procedures and future growth. They will be provided with the reports of the Oratory’s financial affairs and its operation. There shall be no less than three members of the Board of Advisement. New openings will be filled by invitation from the Rector and confirmed by the PCA Board of Directors. Anyone who serves on the Board of Advisement shall have completed Lab 1 training.
An annual budget will be developed by the Board of Advisement and presented to PCA for approval during the PCA Board of Directors annual meeting in April for approval. The overall Oratory financial operation will be included in the PCA regular monthly meetings. Financial decisions will be made by the Board of PCA and all other decisions that may include management of facilities, rents, and all other issues pertaining to the health and welfare of the Oratory. Charges and fees will be collected in the PCA office. All monies collected for training, or services rendered, printed material, personal documents, donations, as well as all expenses will be maintained there. The PCA accountant will provide a monthly statement of the Oratory’s finances to the PCA Board of Directors. Day to day operations of the Oratory will rest in the hands of the Rector and those so delegated to administer the ministry of the Oratory.
Associates are individuals who have attended Lab 1 and who request to join the Oratory and are accepted through its screening process. They agree to attend its regular Chapter Meetings. Students in Intern training with the School of Pastoral Ministry also participate as an Associate. Associates will support the mutual spiritual and professional growth. They will be committed to the values and common life of the Oratory and promote its ministries. They may support its goals by making financial donations.
The Oratory reserves the right to approve or reject anyone for Associate status consistent with above noted requirements, policies, Christian biblical teaching, and moral theology.
Partners are groups, congregations, other ministries or foundations that wish to support the ministry and spiritual values of the Oratory. Partners can join the Oratory by making financial contributions, providing candidates for training, hosting or attending chapter meetings, scheduling training and hosting educational events for the Oratory at their facilities. Representative/s from a Partners group can, by invitation of the Rector of the Oratory, participate on the Board of Advisement.
VACANCY OF THE RECTOR
In the event of a vacancy of the Rector, either the Dean of the School of Pastoral Ministry, Dean of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd or the Executive Director of PCA Chaplaincy shall be the Interim Rector as determined by the PCA Board of Directors until a new Rector can be selected and approved by the PCA Board of Directors. The selection process will include interviews by the Board of PCA in consultation with the Oratory Board of Advisement, Associates and Partners. The candidates shall be working in the Ministry, have established a good record of service to the Oratory and regularly participated in continuing education with the Oratory. Candidates should be able to articulate the pastoral care theology of the Oratory and have a personal and spiritual life that is congruent with the Oratory’s theology. The Rector shall be finally approved by a simple majority vote of the PCA Board of Directors.
RECORDS AND POLICIES
The Oratory will maintain all legal and operational policies and procedures. Policies and procedures must be approved by the PCA Board of Directors and also maintained for The Board of Advisement.
PCA is incorporated in the State of Arizona as an existing 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation; as previously stated, the Oratory is under the jurisdiction of PCA. All personnel related information that requires privacy shall be securely maintained in the office of the Oratory.
The Oratory will seek to build unity within the Christian Churches by fellowship, sharing educational events, promoting dialogue, and working together in training and education for the next generation of church leaders. Unity in the Body of Christ is the hallmark of living in the New Creation. We will provide the pastoral care training that will effect a more profound unity with our associates, partners, communities and ministries.
It is the vision of the Oratory to be the ecumenical arm of PCA by training future leaders, ministers, pastors, priests and deacons, and the people of God. The OSFJ includes people from various Christian jurisdictions who are invited and approved to participate on the Board of Advisement.
Some students, and seminarians may choose to be ordained by the Oratory as Chaplains and to exercise Pastoral ministry in communion with its Rector. Others, may go through training to serve other Christian communities. This is an important element of the Oratory’s stated purpose and vision. Anyone who chooses to be an Associate can maintain both their ordination through their denomination, or certifying jurisdiction, as well as being an Associate. A minister, pastor, chaplain, priest, or deacon, may choose to maintain their professional status under the supervision and fellowship of the Oratory as an Associate.
Chapter meetings are held at least quarterly. If a community is too distant to attend, then the Rector or designate may go there. There may be Special Chapter meetings called by the Rector. Topics for the Chapter will be determined by the Rector or someone delegated by the Rector. Chapter meetings will focus on Spirituality, Community life, Education, and Personal Growth. Missing two Chapter meetings will initiate a letter from the Rector to discern the person’s intention to maintain fellowship as an Associate. The Chapter is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Fees for any speaker, travel costs, facility costs and training resources will be paid by either the School of Pastoral Ministry or by the Oratory.
The Oratory reserves the right to release any Associate or Partner because of failure to meet its stated purpose, policies, Christian biblical teaching, moral theology and/or professional behavior. The Rector is solely responsible for evaluating and making disciplinary decisions. The decision for ‘release’ will be communicated to the individual Associate, the PCA Board of Directors, and the OSFJ Board of Advisement.
PCA provides professional liability coverage that is limited to its Chaplains and Interns who have professional service contracts with PCA and are serving as Chaplains in hospitals and/or other health care centers that have Chaplaincy contracts with PCA.
New content may be adopted, or this constitution may be amended or repealed by a majority vote of the PCA Board of Directors; provided, that ten (10) days prior written notice containing the proposed amendment shall have been given to the members of Board of Directors. Any director may, in writing to the PCA President, waive such notice.
This Constitution was adopted with certain refinements by unanimous vote of the PCA Board of Directors during a regular meeting of the Board of Directors of said corporation held on August 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. The finalized version was unanimously affirmed via email on August 16, 2018 by the Board of Directors.
The Oratory is a concrete way to live out the model of a ‘Pastoral Care’ community. It will enable Associates, Partners and others to prayerfully engage with God by supporting one another in ministry, worship, training, and fellowship.
The Oratory recognizes and depends on the Father’s gift of Divine Providence in Christ to lead and guide it through the power and love of the Holy Spirit.
The Rev. Michael J. Lessard
M. Div. President of Pastoral Care Associates
Certified Trainer of Lab 1 and 2 with LEAD PLUS