Priesthood (Community of Christ)

Priesthood (Community of Christ) image

Main article: Priesthood (Latter Day Saints)

In Community of Christ, formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, priesthood is God's power and authority to minister in the church and to conduct God's business on Earth. Although the church believes that all Christians are called by their gifts and talents to the ministry, priesthood is seen as a particular expression of universal ministry to which all are called. In Community of Christ, both women and men can be ordained to the priesthood.:129 All offices are deemed equal in importance, but the duties and responsibilities of each differ.

For a person to be called to the priesthood for the first time, his or her calling is typically discerned by the pastor of the local congregation. These priesthood calls are approved after review by a Mission Center President and vote of a congregational conference. For certain calls, the discernment will come through other church officials and approval will be voted upon at a Mission Center Conference or World Conference. Once the call has been administratively processed it is presented to the individual called. If that individual accepts the call and is sustained by a conference vote, he or she will be ordained to that office.



The priesthood comprises two primary orders, the Aaronic Order and the Melchisedec Order,:21 although these terms are used less frequently than in prior years. The Aaronic priesthood includes the offices of Deacon, Teacher and Priest.:29

The Melchisedec Order includes the offices of Elder, Seventy, High Priest, Bishop, Apostle, President and Prophet.:30 Elders serve in both missionary and administrative roles. Congregational pastors often hold the priesthood office of Elder, however, they may be "set apart" as a congregational pastor from almost any priesthood office.

High Priests are known today as "ministers of vision":30 and collectively comprise the "High Priesthood" of the church. The Evangelist, Bishop, Apostle and Prophet are specialized priesthood offices within the High Priesthood.

The names of the priesthood offices in Community of Christ are similar to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which it shares a common 14-year history. However, numerous dif... more

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