Roles in the Thomasine Community
The Thomasine School of Thought is approved under the headship of Bishop Mansell Gilmore. He serves as head and presiding bishop of the Universal Church of Autogenes, a multi-tradition Gnostic Community of which the Thomasine School of Thought is a part. His spiritual lineage (apostolic succession) goes back to Jesus though multiple lines including through Thomas. Under Bishop Mansell's leadership, there are those who are authorized to teach, train and initiate in local communities as a priest called an Abba (male) or Amma (female). One begins on the path of Thomasine Gnosticism when a student is initiated into the community with an authorized teacher by pledging themselves as a student. After this initiation, the student is called a devotee and student in the community. The devotee commits to the practices of our community. The role of the Abba is to guide and instruct the disciple on the Thomasine path, by teachings and individual guidance. In the The Thomasine School upon initiation, the devotee will be assigned to take on some of the basic practices employed by members of the community. He or she will also receive a sacred phrase or word, which is kept secret to use in meditation and contemplation. No one is required to learn nor take initiation from only one teacher. There are many teachers who God may send our way of many paths. Each teacher teaches and guides in their own unique way.