Volunteer With Us
Most often the Sisters are seen out having a good time, looking fabulous and enjoying ourselves. However, what is not often seen is a great deal of work that goes on behind the scenes.
Our ministry is to serve, and advocate for the Queer Community in Texas and Beyond. The work of the Abbey includes fundraising, education, advocacy, and entertainment. We organize, plan and throw fundraising events, some of which are very large and complex. From City Halls, to the Capitol Building the Nuns of Texas advocate for progress on issues impacting the Queer Community. The Sisters visit local hospices, bringing joy to the people there. We also have some very intense one-on-one sessions with the people we meet while out. Ours is a "ministry of presence".
There are two paths for members of the Nuns of Texas, Sisters and Lay Members.
Path of a Sister
Fully Professed Sisters, shape the direction and development of the Order. Our Fully Professed Members serve the Order in many different roles; taken as a whole, they make the Order what it is. Fully Professed Sisters in the Abbey of the Third Cumming, serve as the Board of Directors for the Nuns of Texas Inc.
Read more below about becoming a Fully Professed Sister.
Path of a Lay Member
Lay Members are Members of the organization who serve the community and the house without taking vows and the significant responsibility of Fully Professed Sisterhood. They gain voting rights in General Meetings and may chair a committee after six months of active membership in good standing.
There are many different roles that Lay Members can take on.
Roles for Lay Members
The primary role of a Guard is to help ensure the safety of members. Guards watch over members of the Abbey to make sure that the group sticks together when out, walking Sisters to or from cars if needed, watching member’s personal belongings or drinks during performances, easing tensions when the need arises, helping members cross the street or navigate stairs in heals, and/or helping to keep sisters from being overwhelmed in a crowd.
Altar Queers work with the Sisters during events. These members may be asked to help set up/tear down events, run tchotchke sales, take photos, accept event donations, gather tips after performances or other event needs.
Lay Ministers within the Abbey are individuals who work and perform some kind of task, generally behind the scenes.
Becoming a Sister
As with our more traditional counterparts, nearly all Sisters felt a genuine calling to do this work. There is room for a lot of fun in the Order, but we take our callings and our vows very seriously. The majority of Sisters consider this a lifelong vocation; the path may twist and turn, the outer manifestation may change, but the commitment to service never waivers. Being a Sister can be one of the most challenging and demanding things you can ever do but it also offers some rich and enlightening rewards.
If you are interested in becoming a Sister, we recommend that you attend our events, observe Sisters in action and engage them in conversation. Reading about being a Sister on a website pales in comparison to watching a Sister at work or hearing her individual story. Getting a better idea of who we are and what we do will help you to decide if this is the path for you. And getting to know the Sisters can serve you well as you move through the process.
Your path towards Sisterhood starts with a conversation with the Mistress of Novices and filling out the application. During this conversation, the Novice Mistress will assess your motivations for approaching the Order and try to determine if you will be a good fit. If she believes that you have potential, you will be asked to attend one of our general membership meetings. At that time you can declare your Aspirancy. If she feels that you are not a good fit for Sisterhood at this time, do not be discouraged; the desire to do community service is an admirable one and the Abbey offers a lot of opportunities to do so.
Aspirancy begins when you determine your intent to become a Sister. If you are not already a Lay Member of the Abbey there is a minimum one month waiting period after you submit you're application; during this time you should be developing relationships with the Sisters, attending meetings, participating in our events, and watching how we work and operate. After your membership application is accepted you will be considered a Lay Member. If we both decide that you are a good fit, you will need to get the Novice Mistress' recommendation and select a Fully Professed Member to be your sponsor (we call them your Mother). The Fully Professed then vote on your elevation; if you get a majority vote you are elevated to Novice.
The Novitiate begins to manifest the outward appearance of a Sister. A Novice wears the white face and wimple, although she is only allowed to wear a pure white veil. Despite this, the general public still perceives you to be a Sister and your interactions will radically change. During this time you have the rights of a Lay Member. You must attend all of our meetings and nearly all of our events. With you Mother's help, you must also plan, organize and throw an event in the community or a project that betters the Order. Once you complete the requirements and have the Novice Mistress' and your Mother's support, you may ask to be elevated to Fully Professed status. As with the other steps, you will be voted upon by the membership; should you receive the votes required, you will be elevated to Fully Professed.
Although this is the last step in the formal process of becoming a Sister, it is the first step towards being a Sister. As a Fully Professed Member of the Order, you may have all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a Board Member: you may vote, represent the Order and manifest as you feel called to do so. Fully Professed Members also may hold office and help shape the direction and development of the Order. Our Fully Professed Members serve the Order in many different roles; taken as a whole, they make the Order what it is.
What we're looking for
In evaluating a potential new Sister, we look at a number of things. We look for drive, passion and commitment; a desire to perform community service; the ability to handle many tasks with grace; honesty and a genuine character; good people skills and the ability to interact with others in a meaningful way. However, having the drive and skills is not enough. The Abbey is made up of many people who all must be able to work together smoothly and efficiently. We are far from perfect and, like any family, often have our misunderstandings. Despite that, we all work towards our common goals and often can make miracles happen. A new member must be able to mesh with the Order and should add to the group dynamic, not detract from it.
Still interested in becoming a Sister?
Your path towards Sisterhood starts by Completing an application or contacting the Mistress of Novices. Meetings are held on the second Sunday of every month at 2 pm. For location or other questions, please contact our Mistress of Novices.