- The one who shares in Divine election and receives from God a special gift and privilege of membership
. It is a highly positive vocation, radically different from the one we find defined in Webster. We can say that in our Orthodox teaching each Christian, be he a Bishop, Priest, Deacon or just member of the Church is, first of all, and before everything else a layman
, for it is neither a negative nor a partial, but an all-embracing term and our common vocation.. Before we are anything specific we are all laymen because the whole Church is the laity — the people, the family, the community — elected and established by Christ Himself.