Covenant of Ordination of Clergy
- Any supporting member who has met the requirements for and been Ordained into the Deaconry of The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas, and who, having attained the minimum age of 21 years and a Bachelor's degree from a recognized institution of higher learning, or its equivalent background and life experience, may become eligible to be Ordained as a Minister by and in the name of The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas, regardless of sex, ethnicity, social or economic background, adverse life experience, or physical impairments. Due to the uniqueness in form and style of worship, the Clergy of The Sacred Well Congregation are conferred the title of Cleric Priest or Cleric Priestess. For convention and legal purposes, the Cleric may or may not use the title of Reverend, at the discretion of the individual Cleric. Ordained Ministers of the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas are duly recognized Clergy under statute, Common Law and Spiritual Obligations, and will function with the same responsibilities, rights and privileges of the Clergy of any other lawfully constituted church, denomination, faith, sect, or religious order. That is, they shall conduct religious worship ceremonies; engage in religious education; perform Rites of Passage consistent with social custom at times of birth, maturity, marriage, and death; provide religious counseling; and render such help and assistance to the congregation and community as they are able to provide in time of sickness and distress. Ministers of the Sacred Well Congregation will be ordained only by the authority and proclamation of the International Executive Council of the Council of Clerics. Local and Provisional Congregations may not ordain ministers independently of the International Executive Committee.
Any eligible Deacon or Deaconess of The Sacred Well Congregation may apply in writing to the International Executive Council of the Council of Clerics of The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas, or to the local Council of Clerics of any future local body organized by and under the sponsorship of, but geographically removed from the main Congregation of the Sacred Well Congregation of Texas. Should the application be submitted to a local Cleric or Council of Clerics, the application will be forwarded as written to the International Executive Council with a recommendation for favorable or unfavorable consideration attached by the local Cleric or Local Council. The application may be accepted at any time, but will be considered for action only at the Annual Convocation of the Council, except in exigent circumstances as determined by the International Executive Council. The application shall be in such format as prescribed by the IEC. The application will, as a minimum, include an affirmation of the spirit of the Declaration of Intent and Practice and profess support of the Tenets of The Sacred Well Congregation and its Constitution and By-Laws, and support of all current and future Covenants lawfully adopted by the Council of Clerics; a brief, personal biographic and experiential narrative; and a concise statement of the applicant's reasons for and factors contributing to the decision to become a Cleric of the Sacred Well Congregation. The International Executive Council of the Council of Clerics, in closed council, will evaluate the application and the applicant based on the moral character and maturity of the applicant, sincerity of the applicant, and content of the narrative. The applicant shall personally appear before the International Executive Council of the Council, or a committee appointed therefrom, for the purpose of oral examination and resolution of any issues held by either the Council or the applicant. Acceptance of the applicant requires the unanimous affirmation of the Council by secret ballot. The applicant shall, as soon as possible, be informed of the decision of the Council. The notification of acceptance or declination shall be in writing duly delivered to the applicant either by the person of a Cleric of the Council or by the US Postal service, or the postal service providing mail delivery to the country or area in which the applicant maintains residence. There shall be no charge or fee for the application, nor will the applicant, if accepted, receive any salary or personal compensation during training or after Ordination.
After the applicant has been accepted by the Council and declared a Cleric Candidate, he or she will be assigned a Cleric Mentor, based on the availability, suitability, and compatibility of the apprentice and the mentor. The apprentice will receive an intensive program of instruction from the mentor, and will in addition be required to complete a course of independent religious study and training approved by the Council. The apprentice must demonstrate mastery of the material to the satisfaction of the mentor and the Council. Successful completion will require self-discipline, diligence, and motivation on the part of the apprentice, and will usually require a minimum of one year and one day to complete.
After successful completion of the Apprenticeship, the Candidate will be advanced to Internship, and may retain the same Cleric Mentor, or be assigned another, by mandate of the Council. During the internship the Candidate will be required to conduct the full cycle of public Rites of Seasons according to custom of the Congregation. The candidate will also continue in advanced studies of the duties and responsibilities of the clergy, and must demonstrate competence to the satisfaction of the mentor and the Council. The internship will require a minimum of one year and one day to complete. Upon satisfactory completion of this phase, the Intern will be declared an Eligible Cleric Candidate.
Any time after successful completion of the Internship, the Candidate may request Ordination as a Provisional Cleric under the supervision of the Council. Upon favorable determination of the request, the Candidate shall be ordained as a Provisional Cleric. During this period, the Provisional Cleric will function and fulfill all duties and responsibilities and enjoy the rights and privileges of the clergy, to include those requiring legal mandate or authority of the civil jurisdiction under which the Provisional Cleric is residing. The Provisionary period is one year and one day, without waiver. Upon successful completion of the Provisionary period, and competency demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Council, the Candidate will be declared an Eligible Cleric, and may anytime thereafter petition for the Rite of Ordination.
- Conditions, Terms of Service and Communication
- The Clergy shall be appointed in tenure, and shall remain in voluntary compliance with the Constitution, By-Laws, Tenets and Covenants of the Sacred Well Congregation. Every Ordained Cleric Priestess or Cleric Priest shall communicate with the International Executive Council of Clerics as necessary, but no less frequently four times per Ritual Year not later than twenty-eight days following each Cardinal Festival. Every Ordained Cleric shall make every effort to attend the Annual Convocation of Clerics as convened by the International Executive Council of Clerics (IEC). In the event that an Ordained Cleric cannot attend the Annual Convocation, he or she shall communicate in writing with the IEC. The Communication shall be in a format specified by the IEC, and at a minimum the Communication shall contain a synopsis of activity of the previous period and declaration of intent for the coming Ritual Year. Failure to remain in compliance with the Constitution, By-Laws, Tenets and Covenants of the Sacred Well Congregation, or failure to meet the communication requirement shall be cause for removal from the Clergy.
- Any Cleric may voluntarily resign that status, without prejudice, by submitting a written notification to the IEC.
- Any Cleric may be suspended for cause by an edict issued by two or more members of the IEC. Clerics so suspended will immediately cease and desist any representation of the Sacred Well Congregation until the case is heard by the full IEC in Convocation. The Cleric shall have the opportunity to refute or rebut the suspension before the IEC. Final resolution of the case shall be made in closed Convocation at which time one of the following actions shall issue from the Council:
- The suspension shall be declared valid, and the Cleric shall be permanently removed from status;
- The suspension shall be declared valid, and the Cleric shall be admonished, and the suspension shall hold for one year and one day, or for such period as determined by the Council;
- The suspension shall be declared valid, and the Cleric shall be censured, returned to status and placed on probation for one year and one day, or for such period as determined by the Council;
- The suspension shall be declared invalid, and the Cleric shall be returned to status without prejudice.
- Clerics removed from active status, either by voluntary resignation, or removal for cause, may within one year from the date of termination, make application for reinstatement to good standing with this Congregation. The application will follow guidelines set forth by the Council and must be in writing and must provide adequate justification for reinstatement. The request will be considered at the next Annual Convocation of the IEC, and the decision of that body shall be final.
- Upon petition in writing by an Eligible Cleric Candidate, the International Executive Council of the Council of Clerics will vote by secret ballot upon the petition of the Candidate. Upon unanimous decision by the International Executive Council, a Proclamation of Provisional Ordination will issue to the Candidate, and the Candidate will be considered Ordained in token, and shall remain a Provisional Cleric until the provisional period of one year and one day shall be satisfied, and the Rite of Ordination be conferred. The Rite of Ordination shall be conferred by two or more Ordained Clerics, at least one of which must be a member of the International Executive Council. The Rite of Ordination can ensue either during or after the provisional period, at the discretion of the International Executive Council. Upon Conferral of the Rite of Ordination, The Sacred Well Congregation shall issue a Proclamation of Ordination and Letter of Charge in testimony thereof. Upon receiving the Rite of Ordination, the Cleric is spiritually and legally recognized as Clergy with full parity of the clergy of any other legally organized and recognized religion, faith, denomination, sect, or order. The Cleric may then petition for a Charter to establish a Local Congregation or a Warrant to establish a Provisional Congregation, geographically separated from the Main Congregation, but under the agency and sponsorship of The Sacred Well Congregation of Texas. Clerics who leave the Congregation, or fail to maintain membership in good standing at the Supporting Member level will be placed on inactive status without prejudice.
In Convocation, Yule, 1994, Hainin, Belgium
Amended In Convocation Midsummer, 1998, Hulst, Netherlands