Opening new Wells
This is an appendage for understanding to the Rule of the Order of Jacob’s Well
The formal acceptance of a Well into the structure of the Order of Jacob’s Well is the sole right and responsibility of the Convocation of Elders.
Convocations occur annually, or twice yearly where matters for discussion or the need for fellowship may press. They discuss and promote matters of spirituality, outreach, and discipline whilst sharing progress reports of the ministry experiences of individual Wells for their joint encouragement and edification.
Business and legal decisions for the Order are made not by Elders’ Convocation but by its Directors or Trustees.
For the sake of coordination it may be helpful to include representatives of Priors and Elders to be Directors or Trustees of the organisation.
Convocations of the Order of Jacob’s Well are attended only by any Prior or Sub Prior from any State or Province together with Elders of the Order.
Convocations may be held by Province or by State depending on practicalities. Although a Provincial Convocation should be under the Chairmanship of the Provincial Prior, State Convocations may be chaired by a State Sub Prior.
If a State Convocation is held under the chairmanship of a Sub Prior then it may be deemed necessary by that Sub Prior for certain State decisions to be ratified by the Provincial Prior before being enacted.
Any suggested changes to the Rule itself must be debated by Priors and sub Priors, internationally. If agreement to alter the Rule is reached between them then proposals must be submitted to all Elder’s convocations. Priors must then reconvene to review the results of such consultations and agree accordingly.
Priors and Sub Priors are elected by the Elders and the Elders are, largely, elected by Well members according to the Rule of the Order.
Wells are local communities operating under the guidance and leadership of an Elder. Only one Elder is elected per Well.
The Well Elder’s primary function is to ensure the spiritual education and encouragement of that Well’s members.
Elders in Convocation may agree to appoint other Elders without Wells but who may carry specific responsibilities as determined by that Convocation.
New Wells are only accepted into the Order when proposed and introduced to Convocation by two existing Elders. No group of any kind can become a Well without achieving that introduction and by the invitation of the Convocation of Elders.
PROCEDURE FOR INTRODUCING NEW WELLS
This procedure should take about two years from start to finish to give proper time for the State or the Provincial Convocation to measure their commitment.
An individual or group of individuals may be invited to consider, or they may themselves have expressed a desire, to eventually become a Well of the Order of Jacob’s Well.
Once such an interest is declared to any member it must be reported to the Prior or Sub Prior of the Elders’ Convocation so that the interest is discussed and registered.
An elder is then appointed by the Convocation to oversee the application.
That Elder will ensure:
• such training programmes as they feel necessary.
• the keeping of a journal by the group to record details of their ministry.
• their inter church community involvement
• their involvement inter denominationally
• their outreach activities
After the first year of the programme the overseeing Elder may recommend to the Convocation the appointment of certain Brothers or Sisters in the potential Well group to encourage them and from whom they might consider electing an Elder.
This programme is to continue until the overseeing Elder can heartily recommend the creation of a new Well to Convocation, bringing the new Elder to Convocation to be introduced and invited to join that convocation of Elders, using the Order’s recommended service of commitment.