WHY DOES SCIENTOLOGY HAVE MINISTERS? HOW DOES ONE BECOME A SCIENTOLOGY MINISTER?
Like many other religions, the Church of Scientology has ministers who minister Scientology religious services to its Church parishioners. One becomes a Scientology minister by participating in and graduating a prescribed training curriculum. All Scientology auditors are required to become ordained ministers.
CAN ONE AUDIT AS A CAREER?
Yes. There are many Scientology ministers who audit full time as their life's work. Auditing provides a rewarding career for the fact one is always helping people and constantly seeing miraculous results with preclears. It is very satisfying to know that one is making people's lives happier and saner.
Auditors are very valuable and in great demand.
L. Ron Hubbard's opinion of auditors is well known:
"I think of an auditor as a person with enough guts to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. This quality is rare and this quality is courageous in the extreme.
"It is my opinion and knowledge that auditors are among the upper tenth of the upper twentieth of intelligent human beings. Their will to do, their motives, their ability to grasp and to use are superior to that of any other profession."
OF WHAT VALUE WOULD IT BE TO HAVE MY CHILD TRAINED AS AN AUDITOR?
First of all, it would provide a young person with certainty and knowledge in dealing with every possible type of human problem-be it interpersonal, familial, ethical, moral, and, of course, the spiritual cause of such problems. Second, it would provide a career of fulfillment in aiding people from all walks of life to gain greater awareness and respect for themselves and their fellow beings.
Auditors are in demand in every Church of Scientology and mission throughout the world. Therefore, any young person would be fulfilling a great demand and greatly contributing to making this world a saner, better and more enlightened place by becoming trained to minister auditing.
WHAT IS THE SCIENTOLOGY POSITION REGARDING WOMEN MINISTERS?
The Scientology ministry is open to men and women. Because people are spiritual beings, gender of a minister is not an issue in Scientology. Scientology is a meritocracy. There are no "glass ceiling" limitations based on race, gender, ethnicity or similar criteria for individuals who serve as ministers or as executives in the Church's ecclesiastical management.
As in any religion, its ministry must be composed of the most dedicated and ethical members. Thus, a high ethics level and morality are the most important qualifications for a Scientology minister.
What Goes on in a Church of Scientology
WHAT GOES ON IN A SCIENTOLOGY CHURCH?
Scientology Churches are vibrant centers of activity. Each Church of Scientology provides numerous religious services and materials through which individuals may pursue their studies of Scientology. The following offers a glimpse inside a Church of Scientology.
Public Information Center
In the public information area, a series of multimedia presentations provide answers to fundamental questions about Scientology, the Church's community activities and social betterment programs. Visitors are welcome to explore at their own pace and learn for themselves about Dianetics, Scientology and the Church's outreach activities.
Among the introductory services offered in every Scientology Church is free testing. With the results an individual can learn about themselves and areas in which they could improve. While in answer, the Church provides an array of introductory courses to assist individuals to improve their lives and better conditions.
Auditing (Pastoral Counseling)
Auditing, from the Latin audire, meaning "to hear or listen," is spiritual counseling and one of the core religious practices of the Scientology religion. In that capacity, the minister is referred to as an auditor-meaning "one who listens." Auditing consists of one-on-one sessions with a parishioner cared for by a Scientology auditor trained and qualified to better individuals through auditing. Auditing is also conducted on a congregational basis with a group of parishioners cared for by a Scientology auditor. This is called Group Processing.
All Scientology Churches have rooms designated for this spiritual counseling.
Training is the second core religious practice of the Scientology religion. L. Ron Hubbard's written and spoken words comprise the scripture of the Scientology religion. It is a doctrine of the religion that 50 percent of the spiritual advancement to be had in Scientology comes from the study and application of the scripture. Scientologists study L. Ron Hubbard's books, lectures, films and other written materials in course rooms specially set up for this study. Were one to look in on a Church course room, one would see students studying the written works of Mr. Hubbard, listening to his lectures and applying the principles they are studying.
Students at all levels learn Scientology principles by progressing step by step, at their own rate, through a checksheet. The checksheet provides a sequential guide to learning a subject. Checksheets contain reading assignments, drills and practical application to ensure students not only know the theory but can apply the material. Study of the works of L. Ron Hubbard is not only a regular part of life for Scientologists, it is a vital component to their spiritual progress.
Technical Training Films
In addition to L. Ron Hubbard's writings and lectures, his technical training films also comprise an important part of the scripture of the Scientology religion and are studied by Scientologists as part of their spiritual progress. L. Ron Hubbard scripted 84 films on various aspects of the Scientology religion, from introductory to advanced. Several of his lectures were also filmed and these, too, are available for viewing in Churches.
Scientology Religious Services and Ceremonies
Within all Scientology Churches is a Chapel for religious services and ceremonies.
Every Sunday, the Chaplain conducts religious services that are open to everyone. For someone new to Scientology, this is an opportunity to gain an introduction to the religion and take a first step toward improving spiritual awareness. For a Scientologist, it provides the chance to gain new insights and reaffirm Scientology religious principles in communal worship.
Similar to those in any religion, Scientology also has wedding, naming and funeral ceremonies. All include a distinctly Scientological awareness and affirmation of individuals as spiritual beings.
Friday night graduations are another Scientology tradition-a time when Church staff and parishioners assemble to acknowledge those who have completed auditing or training steps in the previous week.
At other times, one might enter the Chapel and find a group listening to a recorded lecture by L. Ron Hubbard, a congregational meeting, an open house for parishioners and members of the local community or an interfaith service or meeting. In short, the Chapel serves as a communal gathering place for a variety of functions.
Community and Social Betterment Programs
Every Church of Scientology is a central point from which the Church's many community and social betterment activities are coordinated.
The Church and its members are committed to helping others and so provide assistance through a wide range of activities. These programs include anti-drug campaigns and human rights education initiatives, as well as social betterment programs utilizing L. Ron Hubbard's technologies for drug rehabilitation, literacy, criminal reform and morality. Through the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, parishioners offer relief in times of disaster. Churches also serve as central meeting places for parishioners and like-minded community groups with whom Scientologists partner.
WHAT IS THE OXFORD CAPACITY ANALYSIS, ALSO KNOWN AS THE PERSONALITY TEST?
The Oxford Capacity Analysis (OCA) is a self-report test utilized in Scientology Churches since the 1950s to measure changes in how people feel about themselves. People may complete an OCA through the mail or in the Test Center of a Church of Scientology.
The OCA is also a measure of how people feel about themselves before, during and after auditing. It is comprised of 200 questions designed to measure 10 traits common to all beings. These traits rise markedly in auditing, reflecting one's gains.
Because the test measures how people feel about themselves, a person's answers will change as they come to realizations through auditing. These changes, then, are a useful measure of the subjective spiritual gains a person experiences. OCA tests are used throughout a person's progress in Scientology.
WHAT ARE SCIENTOLOGY CONGREGATIONAL SERVICES AND RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES?
Scientology Churches hold congregational services that provide opportunities for parishioners to gather weekly in communal worship.
Scientologists find that Scientology Sunday religious services, which address the spirit in accordance with the religion's teachings, are uniquely suited to their needs and impart a special quality to these occasions.
The Scientology religion, like other faiths, also includes religious ceremonies to recognize events of importance in the lives of its parishioners: weddings, namings and funerals. The religious ceremonies of Scientology impart a special quality to these occasions.
WHAT ARE SCIENTOLOGY SUNDAY SERVICES?
Sunday services are focal points of a united religious community. Scientology services additionally offer workable truths parishioners and visitors can thereafter apply to improve their lives. By participating in these services one can further come to experience the truth of his existence as an immortal soul. That is the message of inspiration and hope each person leaves with after attending a Scientology Sunday service.
The Church of Scientology Sunday service consists of a reading of the Creed of the Church of Scientology, a sermon based on the writings of the Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard or the playing of one of his recorded lectures. Churches also feature the ministration of Scientology spiritual counseling in which the entire congregation participates as well as announcements of Church events and programs. Services always conclude with a prayer.
The Creed of the Church of Scientology
Every Sunday service begins with the reading of the Creed of the Church of Scientology. This document affirms the spiritual aims of the Church, reiterates the Church's social mission and affords members an opportunity to rededicate themselves to the religion.
Scientology holds that Man determines his own spiritual future through the principles and practices contained in the scripture of the religion, his actions towards others and his observance of the rules of conduct as articulated in the Creed of the Church of Scientology. Consequently, the Sunday sermon typically addresses a topic related to an important Scientology principle or practice and explores its relevance to everyday existence. The minister's ultimate goal is for each member of the congregation to leave the Church with a greater level of spiritual awareness as a result of the truths partaken in the service and an increased understanding of how to apply these truths to his or her life.
The L. Ron Hubbard Lecture
Born in the twentieth century, Scientology is unique among the major religions of the world in that all of its scripture is faithful to the Founder's original written and spoken words. These words have been preserved exactly as authored and spoken-and always will be-thanks to the technology available in this era. L. Ron Hubbard delivered more than 3,000 lectures world over. These lectures detailed his discoveries and the research path he walked, and many address Scientology fundamentals. Often one of these lectures is selected and played at the Sunday service.
Spiritual counseling, known as auditing (from the Latin audire, "to hear or listen"), is the central Scientology religious practice. Thus it is only natural that auditing is an integral part of every Sunday service. The minister acts as the auditor for the group, ministering auditing services particularly suited for groups and aligned with the intended sermon of the day. Group Auditing consists of a command (direction) or series of auditing commands which can increase awareness and put one in better communication with one's environment. Most importantly, these help individuals free themselves from adverse material influences of the physical universe and so become more able to regain their own spiritual awareness.
As Scientologists are actively committed to the practice of their religion, including fulfilling Scientology's goal of making this world a better place, many of those attending the service participate in the community outreach and benevolent activities for which Scientology Churches are renowned. Part of the minister's duties, then, is informing the congregation of ongoing community programs in which the Church is participating and engaging members of the congregation to contribute.
The Sunday service is concluded with a reading of the Prayer for Total Freedom.
WHAT IS THE SCIENTOLOGY WEDDING CEREMONY?
Matrimony is a hallowed rite of virtually every religion and culture. The sacred commitment of marriage forms the basis of a stable family, a fundamental building block of any society. Thus, vows taken by the bride and groom build a foundation, not only for their own union, but contribute to that of the community as a whole.
Scientologists recognize marriage as a part of the Second Dynamic (of the Eight Dynamics of existence). The Second Dynamic includes sex, procreating and the raising of children. Marriages are consecrated in the Scientology religion using one of several different wedding ceremonies with varying degrees of formality. Each of these ceremonies includes traditional vows of loyalty and devotion. Read one of the Scientology wedding ceremonies.
Scientology wedding ceremonies are performed by a Scientology minister with similar protocol to weddings in other churches: the bridal procession, the traditional role of the parents of the bride, best man, matron or maid of honor and the traditional seating of respective families and friends.
Above all, Scientology weddings are joyous celebrations of the new union. Scientology contains practical tools that can help any marriage or relationship. The Scientology marriage ceremony itself stresses the very factors that can ensure a successful relationship. These factors are Affinity, Reality and Communication-the component parts of Understanding. This is a fundamental principle of Scientology.
The concept of A-R-C is represented by a triangle. Scientologists refer to it as the ARC Triangle (pronounced "A-R-C Triangle"). The first corner of the triangle is called affinity. The word here is used to mean "love, liking or any other emotional attitude." The second corner is called reality. Reality could be defined as "that which appears to be." It is, fundamentally, agreement. We agree with each other as to what is real and what is not real.
The third point is communication. In understanding the composition of human relations, communication is more important than affinity and reality.
These three corners of the triangle interrelate in that you cannot raise or lower one corner without affecting the others. In other words, without a high degree of liking and without some basis of agreement, there is no communication. Without communication and some basis of emotional response, there can be no reality. Without some basis for agreement and communication, there can be no affinity.
Considered together, affinity, reality and communication are the component parts of understanding.
This can immediately be seen as vital in a close relationship such as a marriage. If a married couple maintains a high level of communication and affinity with each other, they improve the existence of their marriage (i.e., its reality). If they fall out of communication and no longer share common agreements, their feelings for each other will lessen and ultimately there will be no marriage.
Fundamental principles of Scientology such as these provide the couple with practical information to assist them in a successful relationship.
WHAT IS THE SCIENTOLOGY NAMING CEREMONY?
The Scientology religion includes a ceremony to celebrate new parenthood and introduce a newborn to the world. The Scientology naming ceremony has a further importance for members of the religion. Scientologists recognize the immortality of the spiritual being as a fundamental belief and it follows that in starting a new life, a being can experience disorientation. It is therefore important to orient newborns to a new family and surroundings and bring them into communication with their family.
In the Scientology naming ceremony, a child formally receives his or her new identity, is introduced to their parents and godparents and resoundingly welcomed to the congregation. The naming ceremony also reminds parents and godparents of their responsibilities, not the least of which is to impart their own hard-won experience and to provide guidance, while bearing in mind it is for each being to choose his own path in life.
The naming ceremony results in a being welcomed and oriented to his or her new life. Read one of the Scientology naming ceremonies.
WHAT IS THE SCIENTOLOGY FUNERAL SERVICE?
Given the Scientology tenet that the body is mortal but the spirit is immortal, and given the minister's role in comforting those bereaved by loss, a funeral ceremony serves to end the cycle of the life passed and focus on the future. Even more significantly, a Scientology funeral ceremony helps the departed end this chapter of life and move forward to the next.
Scientology is rich in knowledge which can help a person live a happier, more productive life. When that life draws to a close, the religion can also help ensure the being is in the best condition possible and is helped on their way to a new life. It is true that bodies wear out and pass away. But it is also true that the being never does. Scientology funeral ceremonies recognize this truth and impart a profound understanding of the nature of Man.
The Scientology funeral service celebrates the life of the person who has departed his body. Friends and family have the opportunity to say goodbye, to acknowledge and thank the person for what he has done in this lifetime and to wish him well as he moves on to his next. The service is a reaffirmation of the knowledge that we are immortal spiritual beings.
Read one of the Scientology funeral services.
WHAT ARE SCIENTOLOGY WEEKLY GRADUATIONS?
Each week, usually on Friday, parishioners gather for graduation, a time when they acknowledge their fellow parishioners who have completed a course or level of auditing. At this time they have the opportunity to share successes in a spirited assembly that also serves to revitalize others on their progress up the Bridge. These weekly events are important congregational gatherings and usually include a guest speaker and are very lively affairs.
WHAT RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS DO SCIENTOLOGISTS CELEBRATE?
Scientologists celebrate several major holidays annually. These include the birthday of L. Ron Hubbard (March 13); the date marking the initial publication of Dianetics (May 9); the anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Freewinds and what that vessel represents in the development of advanced spiritual levels of enlightenment in Scientology (June 6); Auditor's Day, in honor of all auditors (second Sunday in September); the anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Scientologists, which unites, supports and protects the Scientology religion and Scientologists throughout the world (October 7); and New Year's Eve (December 31).
To commemorate each of these occasions, the Church produces large international celebrations that are attended by thousands of parishioners and replayed to hundreds of thousands more in Churches, missions and groups all over the world. These celebrations are the primary means by which the Church's leadership informs the worldwide congregation of the progress of the Scientology religion into society and plans for the future.
Additionally, Scientologists in particular geographic areas may observe their own significant dates, such as the founding of the Church in their country or city.
Scientologists also observe traditional national holidays and are additionally respectful of the religious holidays of all other religions.
Go to Scientology Attitudes And Practices
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