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All Saints Day: I believe in the communion of saints
Episcoblog ^ | 11/01/2006 | Bp. Leo Michael

Posted on 11/01/2006 7:49:29 PM PST by sionnsar

November 01, 2006

All Saints Day: I believe in the communion of saints
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

William Wordsworth sighed that 'The world is too much with us.' We can rephrase it as 'the ghosts are too much with us.' Ghosts, scary movies, and the like marked the eve of the Hallow. Whereas, the Halo is the round ring around the saints--the glow about or the aura about the holy men and women who have shared the holiness of God. In fact, Halloween is "Halo eve"--that has metamorphosed into Halloween. Old timers recall when, as children, they would dress like saints of their choice, who served as their role model.

Surely this morning, the crazy world is returning back to normalcy. Whereas last night, there was pandemonium and it was acceptable for children to befriend ghosts and evil spirit that no longer scare them - something that the devil has effortlessly won in the hearts and minds of God's children. What is scary is that the world gets too comfortable with evil and the evil one, even camouflaged under the guise of fun.

The feast of All Saints is what a Church triumphant - the saints who were human like all of us, and yet embraced holiness in their own life's circumstances and have crowned it with their life or death for the Lord and for the faith. They have gone before us. They have won this spiritual warfare and been washed by the blood of the Lamb.

All Saints Day is a pointer to what we all ought to be, the epitome of holiness that we all need to strive after.
I sing a song of the saints of God,
patient and brave and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died
for the Lord they loved and knew.

And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.

They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
and his love made them strong;

and they followed the right for Jesus' sake
the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
and there's not any reason, no, not the least,
why I shouldn't be one too.

They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
in church, by the sea, in the house next door;

they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
and I mean to be one too.
There are saints among us, in our church, work place, those who do what is right in the sight of the Lord, live following the dictates of the conscience. These are saints from the Church pilgrim that is still on pilgrimage till it triumphs over the spiritual warfare and joins the communion of saints.

The saints are people of flesh and bones who have walked and still walk the earth to a different drum beat - following the Lord's calling to holiness. Can we be saints today, by accomplishing whatever we do with utmost perfection?

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October 30, 2006

"If you thought this was your grandfather's church...
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

The other day I received a phone call from a local TEC minister. She informed me about a sweet lady in the Washington Regional Hospital who was on the way to a Rehab and preferred that I visit with her. The minister asked me if I could stop in and see her.

I found the patient and her son in her room. “Are you the priest from St. Paul's?” asked her son. His mother recognized me as I said that I was from St.Gabriel's UEC. Her eyes lit up and then she told me, "Well, I’d like to be part of your Episcopal/Anglican church. The lady presiding bishop elect of the Episcopal Church said in an interview, 'If you thought this was your grandfather's church, forget it.' Yes this is my grandfather's church, but I will have to let go as it is not the church that I am proud to belong to anymore."

At times I wondered about our national church bearing the name Episcopal - sadly how pejorative it has become, because of clergy leadership that have hijacked the name to compromise with the values of contemporary society. For many of our members both alive and dead, yes this was their grandfather’s church - a unique tradition that laid the foundation for this great nation and guided its faithful in the faith of our fathers. Sadly enough, they do not care if it’s your grandfather’s church or not. Either way, they are assured of their salary and pension.

But do know we care for you. You need not be ashamed to be an Episcopalian—the church that once was your grandfathers’ and grandmothers.’

Someone had pointed out that our denomination should have been careful in selecting our name ‘United Episcopal Church’. It was intentional that our founding bishop chose this name. It was to UNITE all the Episcopalians and Anglicans who saw these changes transpire three decades ago, when the, then ECUSA, was changing the content of the prayer book.

If what is said above expresses the struggle within the church, what follows is an example of the struggle that the church has to face from our own public authorities, even if the intention is to do good to the community. While promoting one of our community outreach programs, Angel Food Ministry, I tried to call the local school administration so that they could approve sending the information to the school families. The administrator looked at it and said, “We cannot promote a church or a fundraiser.” I had to insist with him that this is an outreach and not a fundraiser and would benefit families by offering grocery relief. Anything to do with a church, even if it’s a benefit to the community and not religious in nature, doesn’t get fair treatment.

Interesting times that we are living in--very unlike our grandparent’s times.

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October 27, 2006

Jingoistic response to an Arkansas Believer
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

Got this email from one of our parish members and also listed here: if what is said is true, apparently there are some websites claiming its veracity, then those responsible are required to be more sensitive to the ethos of the viewers, their Christian faith and belief and reconsider their propoganda and their resonse to the individual concerned.

My name is Jim Neugent. I wrote to ABC (on-line) concerning a program called "THE PRACTICE." In last nights episode, one of the lawyer's mothers decided she is gay and wanted her son to go to court and help her get a marriage license so she could marry her 'partner.' I sent the following letter to ABC yesterday and really did not expect a reply, but I did get one.

My original message was:

ABC is obsessed with the subject of homosexuality. I will no longer
watch any of your attempts to convince the world that homosexuality is OK. ' THE PRACTICE' can be a fairly good show, but last night's program was so typical of your agenda. You picked the 'dufus' of the office to be the one who was against the idea of his mother being gay, and made him look like a whiner because he had convictions. This type of mentality calls people like me a "gay basher." Read the first chapter of Romans (that's in the Bible) and see what the apostle Paul had to say about it.... He, God and Jesus were all 'gay bashers'. What if she'd fallen in love with her cocker spaniel? Is that an alternative life style? (By the way, the Bible speaks against that, too.)
--Jim Neugent
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Here is ABC's reply from the ABC on-line webmaster:

How about getting your nose out of the Bible (which is ONLY a book of stories compiled by MANY different writers hundreds of years ago) and read the declaration of independence (what our nation is built on), where it says "All Men are Created equal," and try treating them that way for a change! Or better yet, try thinking for yourself and stop using an archaic book of stories as your lame crutch for your existence. You are in the minority in this country, and your boycott will not affect us or our freedom of statement .
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(My note:if the above is true true then it is to be condemned. That's JINGOISM It is an arrogant attitude that we have the wherewithal and therefore we can say it all. That's BTW. Now back to Jim Neugent's correspondence)

Jim Neugent's second response ! To ABC:

Thanks for your reply. >From your harsh reply, evidently I hit a
nerve. I will share it with all with whom I come in contact. Hopefully,
the Arkansas Democrat Newspaper will include it in one of their columns
and I will be praying for you.
- -Jim Neugent

How far can liberalism infringe on the rights of conscientious followers of their faith!

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Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

Assasination is not new to human history. Sadly enough history has been punctuated by many a great leaders falling to the bullets of an assasin. Gandhi, whom we cannot forget, in the words of Albert Einstein, 'The most human creature that ever walked the earth' known for his non-violence in bringing down the British Empire succumbs to the bullets of a violent gunman, a fanatic. Our own, former President John F. Kennedy, was gunned down in his motorcade. The list goes on.

The movie, "Death Of A President," could be considered as a vent of those who hate America and hate what we stand for. Ironically, the movie is released in English and Arabic. It is kind of a sado-masochism, which utilises the current world scenario and reaps the harvest of terrorism. Without engaging ourselves into the rationale for war or the conduct of the war, a violent inspiration carries within it a potency for realization.

Maybe its time we reconsidered what we are subscribing to through movies such as D.O.A.P. Not denying how positively inspirational the medium of Cinema has been--love, romance, courage, valour, patriotism and the like that uplift the human spirit. Strangely enough, movies such as D.O.A.P, are certainly not inspiring and enlightening as the distributors of the movie claim. Noah cowan describes such a volatile experimentation thus:

This is easily the most dangerous and breathtakingly original film I have encountered this year. Director Gabriel Range’s 2003 project The Day Britain Stopped – which asked what might happen if Britain’s transportation grid was suddenly halted – was his first experiment with this style...But it’s a long leap from Britain’s trains to a gunned-down Commander-in-Chief
If money and marketing is the ultimate goal of free speach, then it subscribes and tantamounts to the killing of a leader while he is still alive, leaving him into the hands of the vultures that only love to torment the world based on their hideous and fanatical idiosyncracies. While we cherish freedom of speech, let us not give up protecting our values that have nurtured us. Checkout what a British review had to say on the movie.
Poetic licence and imagination are fine as long as they do not cross limits. Creativity is excellent, but when that spark of imagination lands on the minds of terrorists and is mimicked, then we have tragedies like September 11. Where does poetic licence stop and where does moral responsibility begin, let alone who dunit?

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October 25, 2006

Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

“One Night with the King,” an epic based on the book of Esther from the Bible, focuses on the salvation of the Jews through the courage and intersession of one young woman in Israel, Hadessah who changes her name to Esther so that she is not recognized as a Jew. A powerful message of faith is conveyed—that God does hear the cries of His people even through insignificant intermediaries and it takes courage to discern and embrace His will, as Hadesah did.

Magnificent palaces and courtyards, breathtaking waterfalls and vast sandy deserts and typical street scenes compose a picturesque scenario of the Old Testament Israel. The film, shot in India, uses the fine Indian silks and elegant colorful apparels and draperies representative of the Biblical times. This quintessential Biblical story is depicted fairly close to the actual, but for a few poetic licenses, that add flavor and effect to the dramatization of the same.

In the dialogue, while the grandiose language of the royalties is maintained, the main character of Esther, at times, depicts linguistic expressions of a contemporary young American girl.

Against the backdrop of the impending battle and the imminent annihilation of the Jews, and a search for “the queen to be,” a sweet romance between Esther, a simple, yet genuine soul and the majestic King Xerxes, is beautifully woven. In the climax scene, even in the midst of betrayal and treachery, the recognition of true love surpasses everything—the Kingdom, the edict, the thirst for the annihilation of the Jews, tradition and protocol, the King recognizes his true love and spouse.

It certainly does uplift your faith and confidence in God Almighty, who is also passionately loving each one of us!

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October 19, 2006

Ecclesiastical Congress
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

The Ecclesiastical Congress convened at St. James' Anglican Church in Kansas City MO, under the auspices of the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite. This also saw the coming together of HCC Western Rite under Bishop Michael Wright and his counterpart in South Africa Bishop Bonzano. I represented the UECNA and was asked to speak on 'Evangelism and Church Growth.'
The Congress began with Matins and Mass. Archbishop Michael Writer, gave the Keynote address calling for reconciliation and unity. Reaffirming his faith in the Affirmation of St. Louis, he insisted on the four principles, a consciousness that we are part of the Body of Christ, Sound Doctrine, the Structure of the Church (Bishop, Priests, Deacons and Laity) and the Disciplined Christian Life. The acting Metropolitan Bishop Thomas Kleppinger presented "Church Music Demonstration" how one could be resourceful should a church not have an organist or an organ. This was followed by "Church Music Applied" by Peter Wipple.

The afternoon session opened with an address from Bishop Samuel Banzano of South Africa. Their search and desire was to belong to the true orthodox Anglican family. John Getz, an attorney and member of St. James, presented a session on the "Canons" and Lynn Baxter presented "Legal and Church Accounting". I followed with my presentation on Evangelism and Church Growth. The evening was conclunded with Solemn Even Song and Benediction conducted by James Gordon and myself.

The following day opened with Matins and Eucharist presided by Bishop Arthur Rushlow. Bishop David Seeland presented his talk on the Ministry to the Sick. This was followed by Fr. Oren Cyphers devoting a dedicating his presentation on the Acolytes, who are important part of the liturgical ceremony. Bishop Hank King gave a presentation on the "Holy Oils", followed by a short presentation by Mary Elizabeth Gemmill on the concept of a "Parish Nurse" - if there are retired nurses among us in the parish how they could be lifesavers for the church. The evening had the college of bishops meeting, acknowledging Chamber's Succession as the source of all our episcopates and the need to enter into intercommunion.

One of the attendees that I was curious about was a young lady attending College in Kansas City. I wondered what she thought about the Congress and Anglicanism. She said there should be more soul searching in terms of catechism, studying the curriculum in the context of the scriptures. Her input was very important as she was the youngest among those present. The congress concluded with Evening Prayer and Hymn Sing.

Kudos to the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite for organizing this congress in a time when we need to stand together on the principles of Anglicanism that has guided our church in the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church for all these years

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October 13, 2006

Jesus' prayer for unity
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

Wish everone in the continuing movements were on fire with this prayer of Jesus: Father may they be one as you and I are one. I write this note on the Ecclesiastical Congress of the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite in Kansas City, KS.

I see a great willingness and good will among the attendees who want to realize the wish and prayer of Jesus for us all. Actually, people are baffled as to why this has not been realized. Who should realize? Perhaps the leadership. Wish they would! Will post more on the proceedings of the day sometime later.

If there have been misgivings in the past among certain continuing churches, it is time to forgive and let God's Spirit heal the wounds. If we hang to the past hurt, what good is it?

May the Lord lead us all to this unity in working for His kingdom!

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October 05, 2006

The Amish Greatness
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

The Amish folks have risen great in the hearts of us all. After suffering the gruesome slaughter of their children, their willingness to forgive the killer and reach out to his family is very humane indeed! In a world where violence has become so common, forgiveness from the victim's family is not so common. It reminds us of Christ's words: Father forgive them, they know not what they do. Their own imitation of Christ has made an indelible impression of their greatness and their generous forgiveness.

While we pray for God's comfort to the bereaving family as they rest their children in the everlasting peace, we salute their Christian witnessing and the courage in the midst of great suffering.

On another note, while we may argue about gun control, we are forced to accept the reality of insanity unleashed by the assailants and their targeting the most vulnerable of our population, the school children. These children had absolutely no defense. Their future, their dreams, and their hopes have been grounded in their silencing.

Who knows if sanity will always prevail in the mind of those who possess guns? Ironically, while we are attempting to protect the nation from the onslaught of the terrorists, the violent people within our own fold attack and kill.

Appreciation for life, be it one's own or another's, is essential and crucial for our human existence. That's what our religious conviction teaches us. While irrationality dictates otherwise, it is good to question our conscience time and again and modify our conduct after the precepts of our Christian belief that calls for respect of life.

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September 20, 2006

Why seek oversight outside:There is hope within the USA
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

"Silver and gold I have none: but what we have, we give you." These words of the Apostle Peter, are ours now. What we have is a deep faith in Jesus and commitment towards His Kingdom in the traditional Anglican way.

The coffers of our church may not be full, but our hearts are full of love for the Lord and His faithful. This is what you will experience in any of our UECNA churches: traditional God-focused liturgy, sound doctrine reminiscent of the old church, sacramental worship, faithful who travel sometimes great distances to attend the service, exuberant love within the ambience of smallness of the congregation and dedication to one another. You will also find priests who are convinced of their calling, at the service of the people, wanting to foster the families in the Anglican faith tradition.

These days there seems to be a trend toward turning to the global south for oversight. There is still hope within United States among the continuing churches!

Here is one of my earlier blogs in the April of 2005:

The “Faith once given to the saints” has been subjected to so much compromise to fit the convenience of some individuals that the faithful people are constantly challenged by the proponents of such compromise. Those who abide by Scriptures and Traditions are not merely conservatives but the FAITHFUL. Those who abdicate Scripture and tradition are the apostates.

Such faithful ministers of God and the faithful people need not have to look to Africa for an apostolic oversight. There is hope within United States. There is the UNITED EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA, that has rejected ECUSA’s slippery slope right from the start, since 30 years ago: UECNA continues to be faithful to the FAITH AND MORALS codified in the Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition. The 1928 Book of Common Prayer is what we use in the worship, adhering to the theology and liturgy and all the great time honored values that they entail. UECNA is Biblically Sound, Sacramentally Orthodox and Apostolically Valid. We will continue serving the Lord until His Second Coming.

May His blessings be with you as you stand up for the truth. And the TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!

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September 19, 2006

Whither gone the visionary gleam?
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

We read stories of clergy men who have been faithful priests in the Anglican Tradition and leave to join Rome and stories of Laity in search of a lasting place leaving their tradition for Rome. Perhaps the doctrinal security and the conservatism provides a safe haven in Rome! The question remains: Why leave a small Anglican church in order to be lost in the anonymity of numbers when we can foster the faith once given to the saints through our Anglican tradition?

My life has been the other way around. Having been in Rome since my childhood, nay almost until a decade after my priesthood, I have seen the way authority and autocracy have left several priests and seminarians in a make or break situation. I've seen favoritism, powermongering, abuse of authority, etc. destroy a genuine calling to the priesthood. Some of these misguided leaders of the church are under the impression that they have total contol over the other just because the other has given his will over to God under the vow of obedience. This tends to make many naiive ministers, literally slaves, not to Christ and His kingdom, but to the few autocrats. In the case of laity, people who because of their lives' situation have met with divorce, have hope of neither salvation nor any sacramental means to the same. Or the righteous feeling, "nulla salus ex ecclesia" no salvation outside the church - often seems to be exclusively claimed, so that Christians from other denomination are made to squirm. On the part of the self-righteous, somewhere in the subconscious, there is often a feeling that I am one up or better than you. These are not just thoughts but have been true attitudes of some devout Roman Catholics who still think that I am doomed because I am no longer with the Roman church. One of them is still praying for my soul.

Against this backdrop, I think of my mother. If there was one who should have been utterly bitter and angry, it should have been her. A very devout catholic who did not miss the daily mass even up to today, at age 83. She is very proud of my, continuation in the priesthood. She tells me that soon after I met with an accident and I was dismissed from my duties as a priest, she went on her knees on a Maundy Thursday and prayed for my persistence in my vocation as a priest. This was four years ago. Even till today, she remembers her supplication to the Lord and is thankful that He answered her prayers. She saw me off when I was 14 as I left for the minor seminary. Next to God, she knew how much I cherished my calling.

I believe in holy catholic and apostolic church: This is the creed that I professed when I was a Roman and now as an Anglican. The bottom line is that I am a catholic – that I hold on to the universal truth of the historic faith in Jesus as handed down through the apostles and early fathers of the church. This is the bedrock of my belief, the belief that has been fostered by many a martyr with their blood and many a saint with the daily grind of life lived faithfully for His Kingdom and His cause.

No matter what denomination we belong to, the best thing is to leave the judgement part to the Almighty and each of us strive to do our utmost for the Highest. It is sad, that some are called to belong to this elitistic society, where heaven is guaranteed only for self and no other, either by way of attitudinal arrogance or by suicidal accomplishments of terrorists.

Anglicanism, is certainly a mid stream between the Roman church and the protestant church, heading towards the destination, without getting stuck on either side of the banks, having the faith nurtured through Scripture, Sacraments and Reasoning, enabling us to decipher the will of God, we can safely sail across. In the meantime if there are friends whom we have missed, let us remember to pray for them, hoping that we all will meet someday at Jesus' feet. I am still content that we are noticed in the smallness of our churches and are not lost in the obscurity of anonimity. We all can be the mustard seed that Jesus speaks of, tiny yet potent, capable of growing into little trees or shrubs giving nests for the birds of the air. Do not be ashamed if you belong to a small church, keep doing the good job, continue investing into the kingdom to come, by loving God and your neighbor.

Strange, born in India in a populace of 1.2 billion of which only 2.6% is Christian against 82% of Hindus, the land of spirituality, the land of Gandhi and sages that I grew up as a Roman Catholic. Went to an RC school, taught by great nuns and Montfort brothers and faithful teachers--Great teachers, wonderful influences, something that I will never forget. So much so, I remember visiting with this nun who was in her late seventies, whose shoes I used to get in as a kid, of which my sister will still make fun of me. There she was a granny. This nun wanted me to stay after school and she offered me a snack so that I could stay there for the evening eucharist and then go home. My mom certainly knew I was in safe hands. God bless this nun who shared with me His care and kindness.

Wanting to be a priest: That was my calling as a kid and therefore no nonsense! I remember leaving home in March of 1976 for the vocation camp.

I went naively with high hopes. Its strange how authority was an abuse in the middle ages and even now. The saints who recommended a spiritual way of life, saw in one’s will, the willingness to submit to authority and obey. Some of the veterans would know the system of watering the dry stick – just out of sheer obedience and not to ask the reason why. It was that kind of obedience that was inculcated in me or any novice. Could you imagine authority transferring into wrong hands, a person who could care less for God’s will and instead purely reflecting one’s own instinct. That certainly happened in my situation.

So, I am content as an Anglican where authority is reflected in servitude and I am glad to be a servant. If you are an Anglican/Episcopal priest, please do not give up your call. You have so much to offer within this Anglican catholic faith. So many souls to be cared for. And certainly the Good Lord's blessings will be yours.

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September 17, 2006

History's Lessons
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

History has been the record of events of humanity in terms of spatial-temporal categories and cause and events. This contains things that we can be proud of as well as things to be ashamed of. The role of every religion is to encourage its followers in holding on to what is truth, beauty and goodness that is so much the characteristic of God. Whatever atrocities have been done to humanity in the name of belief, philosophy or someone's idiosyncrasy is to be despised. Certainly winning followers for one's religion is not by the annihilation of another human persona.

If there is any religious belief that subscribes to fanaticism, fundamentalism and violence, its belief system calls for reconsideration. If the goal of religion is ultimate salvation of the human person, then it cannot negate itself in the destruction of fellow human beings. Otherwise we are reinventing the barbaric Stone Age, the survival of the fittest and the ideology that might is right.

Moderates in any religion need to speak up and reflect what the tenets of a religion hold out for the benefit of humanity. Burning at stakes, Jihad or killing of missionaries in any part of the world is inhuman. At the end of it all, if we are doing this in the name of Almighty God, wonder if the Almighty will approve of championing His cause by the misguided loyalists.

God has endowed us with reasoning and therefore we need to engage in a civil manner even if we choose to disagree. What kind of a world are we passing on to our posterity, is something worth asking. Devaluing one's life through suicides and that of others by homicide or genocide is not the right seeds of morality that we are sowing in the minds of the young.

If pointing this out warrants an apology, then we all owe an endless apology down the human history for the atrocities committed against ourselves down the centuries as far as we could see. Whether it is sanctioned by one's religion or not, taking out the lives of the others for any reason, is certainly against the mind of the Creator. We need to remember that today's story is a tommorrow's history.

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September 12, 2006

UECNA - Who are we?
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

Some have been wondering about who the UECNA is! In a letter to his flock, our Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Stephen C. Reber Sr. ponders on the identity of UECNA. Read on.

The United Episcopal Church embraces the divine truth that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, the Supreme Head of His Body— the Church. That church is both Catholic and Apostolic. That means we are a Sacramental church in the traditional time honored way. We believe that the sacraments are “of the church” in the double sense that they are “by her” and “for her”. They are “by the Church”, for she is the sacrament of Christ’s action at work in her through the mission of the Holy Spirit. They are “for the church” in the sense that the sacraments make the church, since they manifest and communicate to men, above all in the Eucharist, the mystery of communion with God, who is love, one in three persons. Forming, as it were, one mystical person with Christ the head, the church acts in the sacraments as an organically structured priestly community.

We profess that the sacraments of the new law were instituted by Jesus Christ, our Lord. The sacraments are “powers that come forth” from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his body, the Church. They are “the masterworks of God” in the new and everlasting covenant.

The Apostolically ordained ministry (priesthood) guarantees that it is Christ who acts in the sacrament through the Holy Spirit for the Church.

The saving mission entrusted by the Father to his incarnate son was committed to the apostles and through them to their successors: they receive the Spirit of Jesus to act in his name and in his person. The ordained minister is the sacramental bond that ties the liturgical action to what the apostles said and did and, through them, to the words and actions of Christ, the source and foundation of the sacraments.

The real purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and to give worship to God alone. Because they are signs, they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen and express it. That is why the are called “sacraments of faith”.

As Anglicans, we then accept the components of the faith revealed; the Scriptures, Creeds, Councils, Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, and Tradition. We believe that all of the components are like strands of a rope; a unity which holds the church together. In this belief we share a Catholic ideal way of faith.

The Reformation of the 16th century was the most comprehensive and far reaching effect to return the Christian faith to its legitimate roots of faith and practice. We accept the English Reformation as that which diligently sought the true sources of faith and discredited the many corruptions and distortions of the Middle Ages. Actually, the Articles of Religion found in the Prayer Book were written not as a statement of faith, but to deal with the above mentioned distortions and corruptions of the medieval church.

We do not, however, accept the theology of the Continental Reformation or its uncatholic effort which tried to discard the fundamental principles of the historic faith along with the abuses.

We do not accept private innovations intruding into the Church’s teachings. We honor Luther, Calvin, Knox and others for their efforts to explain the faith, but do not accept them as having prophetic abilities to speak for God.

We celebrate the historic faith-fundamental form of Christianity; its faith, worship, teaching, devotions and life with joy and love and with real thankfulness and real confidence. We believe this catholic approach to be the most comprehensive and satisfying expression of gratitude for God’s unlimited love and mercy.

We believe God has given us a special position as a “bridge church”—a bridge between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. We proclaim a living way of faith and worship that believes in every persons right to life, honor traditional marriage between a man a woman and practice financial policies that allow local ownership of local property (Church, parish house, etc).

The United Episcopal Church of North America, while coming from the American arm of the Anglican Communion and having our apostolic succession from these bodies, does not belong to either of these organizations nor shares their extreme liberal views on morals and their abandonment of orthodoxy.

We are a church truly catholic and evangelical in scope and embrace a broad base of ceremonial practice inherent in the Historic Anglican Tradition. Look us up on the web: or call today 1 704 871 0272 or 479 756 5074. We are just what you are looking for in a faith community.

++ Stephen C. Reber, Sr.
The Presiding Bishop
The United Episcopal Church of North America

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September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11 let us take a moment to pray for...
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For all the dear departed

REMEMBER thy servants, O Lord, according to the favour which thou bearest unto thy people, and grant that, increasing in knowledge and love of thee, they may go from strength to strength, in the life of perfect service, in thy heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever, one God, world without end. Amen.


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September 10, 2006

9/11: God bless America
Posted by Bp. Leo Michael Permalink

Landing in New York JFK airport in August of 2000, was something unbelievable for me, coming from a third world country. I was standing on the ground of the "Land of Freedom" looking at the Statue of Liberty.

In the few days that followed, I boarded with my priest friend who was assisting at the Our Lady of Victory's church on Wall Street. In the evening hours one of the places that we visited was the WTC. Upon the pavement we stretched ourselves and embraced the feeling what literally and figuratively WTC stood for.

A year later, when the planes were used as missiles against WTC towers, I was sitting at the Northwest Arkansas Community College attending my Spanish class. Unbelievable. I got out asap and went to my house on the hospital premises and like all other fellow citizens began to watch and watch and watch the incredible catastrophe that was forced on us by the terrorists.

Checking back with my priest friend on Wall Street, I heard about the heaps of ashes that were strewn from the bellowing towers that lost their anchors. I heard about my priest friend's ongoing involvement in the counseling triages that were set up. The magnitude of the tragedy only began to unfold.

Perhaps at that time we did not know who the culprits were, but five years later, we certainly are aware of the operatives of terrorism that is supported by the religious fundamentalism. Will God ever reward the so-called suicide bombers for their heroism...a world or fundamentalism gone bezurk! If there is heaven to be attained then let us make it happen here.

Sadly enough, all of the families who have lost their dear ones are never going to recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they have to come to terms with their loss at each anniversary. But one good thing happened out of tragedy. At the same time, "One nation under God", "God bless America" resonated the length and breath of the country. We felt united as a nation. There was no political correctness whatsoever. Everyone got down on their knees and prayed for the victims and prayed for the safety of our nation.

Should we only turn to God in times of calamity? How about hoping in Him, anchoring our lives on Him. Good to pray for this great nation that has afforded us everything. Good to think of men and women who have given their lives in defence of freedom. Let us strive to foster this deep seated faith in God, in the hearts and minds of people. That we will turn to Him always, no matter what life brings. God bless America!

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TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 11/01/2006 7:49:35 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 11/01/2006 7:51:45 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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