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STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE

The Believers Eastern Church adheres to the governance and structure embodied in the Holy Scriptures, the writings of the Church Fathers and the canons of the Orthodox Church. Our administration is in conformity with the teachings of St. Ignatius of Antioch (35-108 A.D.) and St. Cyprian of Carthage (200-258 A.D.), who taught, "As the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do you anything without the bishop and clergy." (The Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Magnesians, ch.7).

the metropolitan

The supreme head of the Believers Eastern Church is its Metropolitan. He is appointed by and from among the duly consecrated bishops (episcopas) of the church. The Metropolitan is responsible for the overall leadership of the church. However, the Believers Eastern Church follows the traditional and Orthodox practice of multiplicity in leadership, which means that the Metropolitan leads as the first among equals. The present Metropolitan of the Believers Eastern Church is Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan I Metropolitan.

holy episcopal synod

The Holy Episcopal Synod is the chief governing body of the Believers Eastern Church. It consists of episcopas appointed by the Metropolitan from among the senior and experienced episcopas of the Conference of Bishops to assist him in the governance of the Church worldwide. Ordinarily, the Holy Episcopal Synod meets two to three times each year.

conference of bishops

The Conference of Bishops is a council consisting of all episcopas actively serving in an office of the church and provides leadership for all her spiritual and temporal matters. The Metropolitan is the President of the Conference of Bishops. Various boards, councils and commissions, both permanent and temporary, are appointed to assist the Conference of Bishops.

Episcopas

synod secretariat

The Synod Secretariat is the coordinating office of the Believers Eastern Church situated in the St. Thomas Community, located in Tiruvalla, Kerala, India. It functions as the headquarters of the Church worldwide, both for ministry and general administration. It also houses the Office of the Metropolitan and the administrative offices of all the boards and ministries.

synod secretariat

Archdioceses, Dioceses and Mission Provinces

An Archdiocese is an ecclesiastical region comprising multiple dioceses over which a senior Episcopa is appointed to provide ecclesiastical and administrative leadership.

The spiritual oversight, administration and ministries of the church are organized by dioceses, which consist of multiple parishes in a specific geographic location. An Episcopa gives spiritual and temporal oversight to a diocese. The Vicar General, the Diocesan Executive Council and the Diocesan Council serve by assisting the Episcopa with the administration and functions of a diocese.

Larger Dioceses are divided into a number of smaller divisions called Mission Provinces which are led by Provincial Vicars.

Parish Leadership

Each parish is part of a diocese and the Synod, yet has an independent governance structure. According to our Constitution, each parish is led by a priest, who is assisted by a Parish Council. Depending on the size of the congregation, the Parish Council has seven or more members, including the priest, the secretary and treasurer.

The parish priest is appointed by the diocese, and the Council is elected by the congregation and consists of elders and lay members. The names of the elected members are sent to their diocesan episcopa for approval. The normal term of the Council is one year.

The diocese provides oversight and accountability to each parish. This is to allow each church to function independently while remaining connected to the rest of the Church in an interdependent manner.

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