Regular practice of group prayer, including Lectio Divina and silent listening should be an ongoing part of CCOM meetings. CCOM members need also to be increasingly aware of and able to talk about the Spirit’s action in their own lives so that they grow in sensitivity to that action in others.
CCOM members should begin by reading, praying with and discussing together the Baptismal (pp. 298-314) and Ordination (pp. 510-555) sections of the Book of Common Prayer and the section of the Catechism regarding The Ministry (pp. 855-856). Ongoing group study of and prayer with at least the scripture passages in Appendix A are highly recommended.
CCOM members should read together and discuss the book, Listening Hearts. Other recommended books are included in Appendix B, the Bibliography, at the end of the guidelines.
Members should become familiar with the “Steps Toward Ordained Ministry in the Diocese of Northern California” and “Lay Ministry Guidelines and License." It is helpful, also, to become aware of the three different tracks for ordination in the Diocese of Northern California.
It is strongly recommended that a day be set aside for the CCOM to spend in a workshop/retreat led by a trainer from the Diocesan Commission on Ministry to explore together the process and ministry of prayerful discernment.
As new members rotate onto the CCOM, they should be joined in their reading and exploration by at least two or three experienced members. An annual shared review of the ideals and practices of the CCOM is recommended. Continued reading and group discussion in the areas of discernment and ministry should be expected of the CCOM.
Discussion with the Rector/Vicar about expectations, limitations and boundaries is essential, as is clarifying the processes to be followed. For example, with whom should members of the congregation first talk if they are sensing a pull toward a particular ministry? Must it always be with the Vicar/Rector or could they approach a member of the CCOM, particularly in the case of lay ministries? At what point must the Rector/Vicar be approached? Could sub-groups of the CCOM meet regularly with a person in the initial stages of exploration? If a person is exploring a possible call to ordination, what are the steps the person will have to take? How is a person who is sensing a call of some sort going to learn about the process of discernment?