Ecclesiastical Structure

 

           

Membership is open to all persons 21 years of age and older, regardless of race, religion, denomination, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation or political affiliation, who feel aligned with the beliefs, creeds, practices and philosophies of the church.

The Church itself is a  multidimensional being composed of the intersections of commonality between the individual members of the collective body of the Church. The Church is the "collective mind" or as know in magical circles: "egregore". This egregore is created by individuals suspending disbelief long enough to engage their imaginations and crystallize these imaginings by infusing them with emotion, desire and actions. As such, the church has its own unique existence, much like a corporation, but being a spiritual entity as opposed to a political entity. Its existence is derived from the collective assembled body of the individual members, fueled and fed by their individual thoughts, feelings and actions. Each individual member has the personal responsibility to decide for themselves that which they think, believe and do.

"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body... For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body... and we were all given the One Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but many...God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be... God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it... And in the Church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking with different kinds of tongues." I Corinthians 12:12-28 (NIV)

Structure of the Church

The church government remains wholly voluntary and is essentially egalitarian reflecting the harmony of paradise. All members of the GUC are encouraged to become members of the clergy and church governing body. The ecleastical structure of the church is egalitarian in nature, believing that each individual has the right to determine how best to live their life. Following this principal, each congregation is allowed the same right being self governing and independent from the mother church. The structure of the church governance is based upon models left by the first century church. 

"He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers; for the perfecting of the holy ones, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Messiah; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah; that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Messiah; from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love."  Ephesians 4:11-16 (HNV)

The new members, called Believers, are those who have embraced the creed and wish to join in fellowship with the greater church. Once baptized into the church they then are called the Perfecti. From the Perfecti are chosen Deacons, who are those who have decided to serve the congregation in practical and administrative capacities. From the Deacons come Priests, those who have fulfilled the necessary preparations and receive the anointing, thereby receiving ordination as a minister. Priests chose a field of ministry that they wish to follow, and dedicate themselves to this role of ministering to others. Priests may form healing ministries, fellowships, congregations and orders within the church. From the priesthood, are selected Bishops. Bishops are the overseers, and oversee congregations and fellowships, in practical and administrative roles. From the Bishops come those who have a desire to devote themselves to the church and its missions, these are called as Disciples. Also from the Bishops are those who are called to become prophets, the Prophets oversee the cultivation, preparation and administration of the sacraments and sacramental substances. Elected by the assembled Bishops, Disciples and Prophets are chosen the Apostles. Apostles have chosen to dedicate their lives to the missions of the church and are official spokespersons for the church.

"Christians, more than all people, are not allowed to correct by force the faults of those who sin [miss the mark  or target; ed.]... the wrongdoer must be corrected not by force, but by persuasion... God rewards those who abstain form evil out of their own choices, not out of necessity... [not] by force, nor restrained by fear... We do not have authority over your faith, beloved, nor do we command these things as your lords and masters. We are appointed for the teaching of the Logos, not for power, nor for absolute authority. We hold the place of counselors to advise you. The counselor speaks his own opinions, not forcing his listener, but leaving full master of his own choice in what is said." - Bishop John Chrysostom C.E. 397  

 

        Believer

 Believers are individuals that are in agreement with the beliefs and creeds of the church and wish to join in fellowship with other members of the church.

Minister

 All Believers are encouraged to become Ministers of the Church. To become a Minister, Believers must undergo a course of training for a year and a day. It the end of the training  period they undergo the Sacrament of Baptism of Fire and receive ordination as a Minister of the Church. The purpose of a religion is to mold, form, nurture, nourish and guide community. As such, the Church functions in this capacity through the efforts of the individual Believers. The Minister is the highest station that can be obtained within the church structure. The minister is autonomous and answers only to the divine. The duty of a minister is to minister to those in need.

 Appointed  by God to guide the Church were Apostles and Prophets.

          Apostles

"So then, Men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself."  I Corinthians 4:1-3

Apostles serve as the High Priests  of the Church. In the first century, what was so radical about the Apostles was that they assumed the duties, privaladge, responsibality and mysteries of the High Priest, but they were not born of the tribe of Levi and schooled in the theological precepts of their time. Instead, they had aquired this knowledge first hand, through  first hand entheogenic gnosis, and shared these mysteries to all who would seek them, not just those with the special training and authorized credentials to be worthy of glimpsing the mystries.  So for us, any who sincerly seek to understand the mystries and teach others of these mystries, can if they do will. Apostles are the ambasators and messangers of the Church, they are spokespersons  and  delagates called and comissioned to gaurd, administer and provide the Sacraments and Sacramental Substances of the Church.

"Everything is permissible for me- but not everything is beneficial.
Everything is permissible for me- but I will not be mastered by anything."
 I Corinthians 6:12

           It was characteristic of the apostles and necessary (1) that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21, 22; 1 Cor. 9:1; Acts 22:14, 15). (2.) They must have been immediately called to that office by Christ (Luke 6:13; Gal. 1:1). (3.) It was essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus secured against all error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Thess. 2:13).  (4.) Another qualification was the power of working miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; 1 Cor. 12:8-11). The apostles therefore could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders.  In 2 Cor. 8:23 and Phil. 2:25 the word "messenger" is the rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered "apostle." -Easton's Bible Dictionary    


           Prophets

Prophets are the poets of the Church , speaking from divine inspiration that bubbles forth like from a sacred fountian, transmiting spiritual truth into symbols and transmissions of information for the edification and exortation of the Church. Prophets are the poets, artists, writers, actors, producers, musicians and performers of the sacred and divine theater of life.

           Perfecti

Individuals baptized into the  membership body of the Church

These are honorary titles bestowed upon the deserving, or at least mildly interested:

Pope

According to Master Therion, every man and every woman is a star. According to Mal5,  every man, woman and child on this Earth is a genuine and authorized Pope, so please treat him or her right. That's right, you already are a Pope. All that is necessary is for you to acknowlage your Popedom.  You can find an official Pope card that you may download and personalize, you may purchase an official Pope card, badge or certificate from the Church Store, or you may go here for the official Pope Ordination Process. Once you establish your Popedom, visit our Church Store and get yourself an official Pope Shirt, so that everyone knows that you have become sufficiantly enlightened to declare your personal Popieness. 

            Saint

 Saints are a complex multidisciplinary field. Please refer to the Church Store for more information...

 

These form the organizational structure of the church:

Deacons

"Shammashim (or, Deacons, or servants ) , in the same way, must be reverent, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for money; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. Let them also first be tested; then let them serve as shammashim (deacons or servants) , if they are blameless. Their wives in the same way must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let shammashim (deacons or servants)  be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For those who have served well as shammashim (deacons or servants)  gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Messiah Yeshua."  I Timothy 1:8-13 (HNV)

Deacons are the administrative body of the Church. As their name implies, they are the servants of the Church and perform the menial and administrative tasks of the Church.

            Bishop

"Trustworthy [is] the word: If anyone aspires to [the] position of overseer [Gr. episkope], he desires a good work.  Therefore, it is necessary [for] the overseer to be blameless [or, above reproach], [the] husband of one wife [or, a one-wife kind of man], temperate, self-controlled, sensible, a friend of strangers [or, hospitable], skillful at teaching, not addicted to wine, not violent [or, quarrelsome], not greedy for dishonest gain, _but_ gentle [or, considerate], peaceable, not a lover of money; leading his own house well, having children in submission with all dignity, (but if someone does not know [how] to lead his own house, how can he take care of an assembly [or, church] of God?), not a new convert, lest having been swollen up with pride he should fall into [the] judgment of the Devil. And it is necessary [for] him also to have a good testimony from the [ones] outside [fig., unbelievers], lest he fall into disgrace and a snare of the Devil."  I Timothy 1:1-7 (ALT)

         Presbateri

The Presbater are the Elders of the Church. Elders are chosen from the Apostels, Prophets and Bishops (Episkope) as overseers, advisors and counselers.



        The Celestial Council

A Council of Bishops and Presbayter form the decision making body of the Church, in contempory terms they comprise the Board of Directors. 


            Evangelist

Evangelists are the "Wandering Monks" of the Church, publishing the glad tiding to the world.

Any Minister may serve as:

             High Priest

            Monk

            Rabbi (teacher)

            Artisan

            Theraputi (healer)

 

The church maintains a hierarchy via. initiation. The leaders of the church are servants of the congregations that they serve and act in the role of counselors and advisers.

 

Congregations

 Congregations are self governing assemblies of three or more believers. Meetings are held in individual congregation members homes, for the purposes of mutual support, worship, edification, merriment, exchange of ideas and fellowship. Congregations may or may not be led by a priest, priestess or bishop.
Congregations may meet in a common space or in an online forum in order to provide mutual support and exchange of resources and/or ideas. There is no physical temple, church or building that represents the congregation. Each congregation is an autonomous and self governing independent entity. 

Fellowships

Fellowships are congregations that come together n a common place to share and exchange ideas and resources, these fellowships may have a common meeting place or may manifest themselves as an online community or other network.