Some words and terms

This is a short glossary of some of the more common terms you may find used at Joint Assembly,

apostolicity that characteristic of the church that shows that it shares the faith of the apostles and continues the life of the same community that bore witness to Christ’s resurrection and received the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost.

bishop: coadjutor an Anglican bishop elected as an assistant who will become the next diocesan Bishop when the present bishop retires

bishop: diocesan an Anglican Bishop who has jurisdiction for a whole diocese.  There may be additional bishops with various titles: assistant, coadjutor, suffragan.

bishop: suffragan an Anglican bishop elected by a diocesan synod who serves as an assistant in a diocese, possibly with responsibility for a particular geographical area within the diocese

bishop: synod a Lutheran bishop elected by the synod convention to preside over that synod for a renewable term of four years

conference a Lutheran term for a geographical area within a synod, comprised of a group of congregations

convention a Lutheran term for a meeting of representatives of clergy and laity at the synodical or national level; each synod meets every two years; in the alternate year there is a National Convention with representation from every parish

deacon see diaconate

deanery an Anglican term for a geographical area within a diocese, comprised of a group of parishes

diaconal minister a Lutheran term for a person who exercises a ministry of service such as social outreach, education, music or administration; they are not, at present, ordained

diaconate for Anglicans, one of three orders of ministry.  For much of the Anglican history a person served as a deacon only for a brief time before being ordained a priest, but the order is being re-examined and renewed.  In some places people are being ordained as “intentional” or “vocational” deacons, chosen from parishes to serve in particular ministries of service in the world.  Deacons are ordained and have a particular role in the liturgy.

diocese an Anglican term for a geographical area under the jurisdiction of a bishop.  In Anglican polity, a diocese, and not the congregation, is considered the basic unit of the local church.  Each diocese has a synod that meets periodically (some once a year, some every two years, some every three).  The synod is composed of laity elected from every parish, (normally) all the clergy, and the bishop(s).

episcope the task of oversight, or supervision, which is exercised primarily by a bishop but which is also exercised by governing bodies and other appointed or elected persons

episcopate for Anglicans, one of three orders of ministry; for both, the state of being a bishop.  Bishops of a church together are called “the episcopate”.

historic episcopate the collectivity of bishops throughout the ages; in Anglican understanding it has referred to the continuity in succession in the office of the bishop

incumbent an Anglican term for someone licensed to be in charge of a parish; this is usually a priest

license an Anglican term for the permission that a lay or ordained person has from a bishop to exercise a particular ministry; “licensed clergy” are those recognized to be in good standing and filling a particular role within the church

metropolitan an Anglican term for an archbishop who presides over an ecclesiastical province (a group of dioceses).  There are 4 metropolitans in Canada.  He or she presides at a provincial synod and ordains the bishops in the province.

ordinal the liturgical texts and the “rubrics” (instructions) that accompany them, used for those being ordained as bishop, priest, or deacon.  The ordinal has a particular place in the canon (church) law of the Anglican Church

ordinary the bishop who has jurisdiction in a diocese

pastor the usual Lutheran term for an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament; he or she is “rostered” and normally serves in a congregation or a particular ministry such as campus or institutional chaplaincy

presbyterate for Anglican, one of three orders of ministry, to which priests are ordained; Lutherans consider pastors to be part of the presbyterate, although this would not be a usual way of speaking

priest the usual Anglican term for an ordained minister of Word or Sacrament.  He or she is ordained for life but must be licensed to a particular ministry.

Primate the Anglican archbishop with a ministry of oversight for a province or national church; the Canadian primate presides at the General Synod and at the House of Bishops but does not exercise jurisdiction in a diocese

province a geographical area comprised of several dioceses; Canada is a province of the Anglican Communion but is in turn composed of four provinces, each of which is presided over by a metropolitan

rector technically an Anglican term for a priest in charge of a parish, or an incumbent, with particular rights

roster the Lutheran list of clergy in good standing

synod for Lutherans, a geographical area that includes a number of congregations, under the jurisdiction of a bishop.