OCC has communion with Ministries which fall under “the Christ’s Assembly Worldwide” structure.
The Christ’s Assembly Worldwide Ministerial Definitions
We have listed the levels of ministry of The Christ’s Assembly Worldwide (TCAWW) below and a description of their duties, etc.
Deacons – (diakonoi) are the assistants of the Bishops and have the task of teaching and administering certain church functions, such as the distribution of food (Acts 6:1-6). They are considered community Chaplains and may bear the title of Reverend. Deacons serve directly under the authority of and are accountable to the Bishop. All deacons of a diocese constitute a community of Deacons and shall meet from time to time as needed. An Archdeacon may be appointed by the Bishop to assist the Bishop in the formation, development, supervision and support of the Deacons and the implementation of the cannons. Deacons report annually to the Bishop or the Bishop’s designee on their life and work.
Council of Deacons – The Bishop may establish a Council of Deacons to oversee, study and promote the Diaconate.
Priest – (presbuteroi) are also known as “presbyters” or “elders.” In fact, the English term “priest” is simply a contraction of the Greek word “presbuteros.” They have the responsibility of teaching, governing, and performing the sacraments in a given congregation (1 Tim. 5:17, Jas. 5:14-15). The Priesthood could at some point be divided into orders but we do not see any reason in the near future for that.
Priests bear the most important office ministering to the flocks, and although they’re equal to and interchangeable as a Bishop, they report to, and are under the leadership of the Bishop of their Region or Diocese. As with the interdenominational nature of the church, the Priest and the Bishop can decide together what needs and practices would be best for their community with the local assembly’s needs in mind. If a church is planted in a mostly Protestant community then implementing the Book of Common Prayer and other liturgical requirements might be invasive and should be slowly implemented. This sort of issue can be decided between the Priest and the Bishop as the time and need for such discussions are to arise. The Book of Common Prayer must be utilized for all ceremonies and sacraments though. The Priest is encouraged, but not required to utilize the B.C.P. in their sermons.
Bishop – (episcopoi) are those who have care of multiple congregations and have the task of appointing, ordaining, and disciplining Priests and Deacons. They are often called ‘evangelists’ in the New Testament. Examples of first century bishops include Timothy and Titus (1 Tim. 5:19-22, 2 Tim. 4:5, Titus 1:5). The Bishops would decide on individual matters in each diocese but could not overrule matters that are decided for the denomination such as a Bishop could not decide to ordain a non-repentant sinner, such as self professed sodomite because that goes against the teachings and doctrine of the TCA, to teach and practice obedience to God’s laws. Only a Bishop may ordain Priests or Deacons. Bishops report to and are under the direction of their Archbishop.
General Conference of Bishops – There would be a General Conference of Bishops set up for each State or Country, and they would vote on all matters of conduct, practices and rules for their State. Since Bishops are at the city level, and Archbishops at the county level, it would take more than one Archbishop, or the Presiding Archbishop to sanction a vote for their state. It is preferred for regions to have as many Archbishops as to be able to vote over all practical matters for their state without the need of the Presiding Archbishop.
Archbishop – The Archbishop would be an elected office by the General Conference of Bishops as the speaking voice of the General Conference of Bishops of each Area, or State (Country). He would not hold any extra power over the other Bishops but would rather be an ambassador on behalf of the Bishops in his County. Each Archbishop would also be a member of the Council of Archbishops and would vote on matters of concern to the denomination on behalf of their region or Country. Archbishops report to and are under the direction of the Presiding Archbishop.
Council of Archbishops – The Council of Archbishops would be a yearly conference that would make sure that T.C.A. States are in one accord. They would vote on the matters of conduct, practices and rule for all states.
Evangelistic Prelate – The Evangelistic Prelate is one who presides over multiple states or smaller nations’ evangelistic missions to expand the church. Such regions may be grouped in large jurisdictions such as Africa, Benelux, MidWest USA, etc. It is a temporary office to assist new Priests, Bishops and Archbishops. The Evangelistic Prelate reports directly to the Presiding Archbishop.
Presiding Archbishop – The Presiding Archbishop would preside over the T.C.A.W.W. and would be the person to sign for or speak on behalf of the denomination itself. The Presiding Archbishop is elected from the Council of Archbishops and oversees and guides the Archbishops.
City, County, Region and State Jurisdictions of Jesus Christ.
A local assembly with a Priest, is known as the Christ’s Assembly at *city name*. We do accept older place marker names, or assemblies to be named after a patron saint. However, at least the style, church motto and literature subheadings should also include the name “The Christ’s Assembly”.
A diocese jurisdiction is two or more Assemblies within a region, under a Bishop. If they are in separate cities within the same county, they use the name “The Christ’s Assembly at *county name*”, or if they’re outside of their counties they are called “The Christ’s Assembly at *state name*”. When there are not enough Bishops or Archbishops an entire region may be considered a diocese, and named “The Christ’s Assembly at the jurisdiction of *region name*”.
An Archdiocese jurisdiction is a significant diocese for various reasons, whether historic, etc, and is at the county level or higher within an area that has a prominent Archbishop.
During evangelistic phases where Bishops are lacking, a diocese can be a larger ecclesiastical jurisdiction, depending if there is an Archbishop’s office in their region. However typically if the Archishop’s office is in Santa Barbara, his diocese may only comprise the county “ The Christ’s Assembly at Los Angeles County”. Yet in lack of Ministerial support the diocese or Archdiocese may be as large as neighboring states which have no Bishop or Archbishop. In that case his diocese would comprise those Regions surrounding it until such a time as a Bishop could be placed over that area.
Regional jurisdictions are named primarily when there are simply not enough Archbishops to sustain our county level structure. It would be divided into as much space as needed and would remain simply a region until such a time dioceses are placed over it. These are named “*Region name* jurisdiction”, and shall have Bishops and Evangelistic Prelates during this period.
State jurisdictions would be decided depending upon how many churches and Bishops were in place. If Iceland only had one church and no Bishop or only had six churches and one Bishop then it would fall under the regional jurisdiction of another territory until such a time as it could grow. This way one Bishop could not conspire to vote on behalf of his Country since he does not have other Bishops to keep him accountable.
Once a region such as England would receive for itself at least 2 Archbishops it could be considered its own state and would be required to form for itself the General Conference of Bishops of England and the jurisdiction of England would be born, but would still be under the umbrella and subject to the “The Christ’s Assembly Worldwide” governance.
In retrospect, the jurisdiction of California calls itself “The Christ’s Assembly at California”, and the Jurisdiction of England may call itself “The Christ’s Assembly at Great Britain”, etc.