Ordination and Ministers
Nothing! The AFSP does not charge for ordination, or to keep the ordination valid. With AFSP ordination there is the need to study an extensive Minister induction training course or provide evidence of prior training or experience that is at least equal to that required by the The Church of Seven Planes Australia (bachelor in theology minimum).
Once ordained, if you seek membership of the AFSP or a Charter there are annual fee's, but this has nothing to do with your ordination.
You must be at least 18 years of age to be ordained by the AFSP.
NO! The AFSP does not discriminate against anyone based on their sex, race, colour, sexual preferences or even their religious beliefs.
The Fellowship believes that only your God can ordain you and the AFSP is acting only as a vessel to help you accomplish the goals set by your God. We believe that man alone can not ordain anyone.
Yes. Every religious organisation in the world has different rules and guidelines regarding ordination of Ministers and clergy. Some require many years of dedicated training, we ask for an extensive training course in theology. Each is as valid as the next, as it is the acceptance of you by that organisation, and the recording within their official records of the ordination, that makes it valid.
Generally an ordained Minister is referred to as "Reverend", or "the Reverend", as in "the Reverend John Citizen", or "Rev. John Citizen". What you refer to yourself as however is largely up to you and your congregation. As a ordained Minister of the AFSP you are legally entitled to be referred to as Reverend, Pastor, Vicar, Rector, Chaplain, or even Father. Only certain titles used to indicate positions, such as Dean, Archdeacon, Bishop, etc, or to indicate an honorary title such as Monsignor, are restricted by the Fellowship and bestowed upon Ministers as required.
No, not yet. Refer to the Legal FAQ for more detailed information on this subject.
What services you do and do not provide will depend on your own beliefs and the needs of your congregation. There are no set rules of the Fellowship to specify which rituals Ministers must observe and which they should not, it is up to each Minister and each congregation to decide that for themselves.
As an ordained Minister of the AFSP you are authorised to perform all Sacredotal Rites of the Fellowship, including (dependent upon your congregations beliefs) baptisms, confessions, naming ceremonies, blessings, prayer meetings, worship meetings, and even exorcisms.
Yes, of course you can. Many Ministers work full or part time, especially as they usually receive little or no renumeration for their duties.
You must let us know if you move or change name so we can keep the ordination register up-to-date. If you become uncontactable due to moving your ordination may be cancelled, so it is very important to drop us a quick note to let us know. You can send us notice by email.
This is entirely up to you and your congregation. Whilst many independent Ministers prefer to wear only casual clothing, others prefer to wear full robes for worshipping and clergy shirts for normal day-to-day activities. The arguments for and against both are many, but if you have a strong following or presence in your town you may like to consider wearing at least a clerical shirt and collar so people know they can approach you if need be. For those that prefer plain clothes only, the AFSP has a small lapel pin available that you can wear to discreetly identify you as a Minister, without the need for a full collar.
Again, as above the decision whether to wear clergy clothing or not is a matter for each Minister to decide. The only requirement that the Fellowship has is that you must appear neat and tidy at all times when you could be recognised as an AFSP Minister, but this does not mean you must wear a full clergy shirt and collar.
YES! Before you can be ordained you must undergo a Working With Children criminal history check through the relevant state authority. Only those that successfully pass this check can be ordained. Further information on the procedure for undergoing this check in your state will be sent to you before ordination so that any forms can be completed and lodged.