A Seeking Soul

 

As most people, I was raised in the religious way. My Mother is a deeply devoted Roman Catholic who married a Catholic man, but he does not really practice his faith anymore. I would not say I was not religious, because I was forced to go to church until I was 13 or 14 years old. This is the time when one is confirm in to the Roman Catholic church and became a full member of the church. I am not sure, that I did not believe in God. But I was tired of the strict rules of the Roman Catholic Church, which were almost impossible fully to do. Sin is sin, rather then degrees of sins as in the roman Church. Just about every thing could be seen as sin, and maybe there is some truth in that statement by the Church.

The Roman Catholic Church did not even encourage one to read the Bible, unless at the church. One can not forget you need to get only a Bible that the Catholic Church has approved. This is one of the major issues, I had with this church. Many of it teaching were not back up by the Bible. When you question the Church, you were not a good Catholic anymore. This Church tells you what to do and how to think without question the Church.

 I found myself going to a high school in my freshman year, with a bus driver who was deeply religious, but A born again Christian. She told me and another student about the Bible. She show me the book of revelations, which scare me to death.   This book kept me up all night and at this point of time; I only thought the Bible was totally pure fact. It was over time I came to realized that the Bible is in part fact and part myth. Myth did not mean that the Bible was all made up, but that something are just unexplainable to one.  I stay up that whole night up set and I came to read the passage from Matthew from Chapters twenty-Eight verse sixteen to twenty. “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

I knew after reading this I was called to the  service of God in the church and at this time I thought it was in the Roman Catholic church, but over time learned otherwise.  The passage that stood out that night and I would even dare to say now was when Lord Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” At the same time, I thought this met I was called to the priesthood and was looking into it. A Father Francis Hoffman and other local priests were heroes to me. I never  really felt  apart of the church , because it seem to only pick some people over other people. For Example Father Albert Audette was the first priest, I really felt had a connection with the people. He was a married man, before his wife would pass away. So he knew how the real world work compare to other priests. He knew what it was like to be a husband and father. I think many Catholic’s priest miss out and cannot fully do their job. Father Audette is the very reason, I want to be a priest. We sadly had a falling out, when I left the church, but I guess this is how it goes. Catholic for most part do not realized all churches are preaching the same gospel, but without the pope.  I really did not get attach with in the church, until I went Protestant. My Mother always felt that I had a calling, because when I talk about the Bible it was as those, I was not the same person. It is as if the Holy Ghost was speaking through me and I was just the tool to do so. At first I was not sure, if I could agree, but over time I must say I did. There is a presents with me, when come to Bible. My Mother of course felt I was called to Roman Catholic Church, but Protestantism overtime made more sense to me.  I knew over time many of the Roman Catholic teaching was man made and not base on the Bible. There was a church just a cross the street from a grocery store in my home town, but I never knew its name before. It was old fashion and very simpler to The Roman Catholic Church. 

This was Saint Thomas Episcopal Church and over time I would become a member. I thought I was met to be a priest within this tradition.  The Episcopal Church was not the right match for me and over time I look else where. I would say around the age of 18 years old, I started reading all books on theological or just spiritual matters. I never fully felt one church spoke for God over the other, but each one claims that their church was the true church for me. I just know all these churches were preaching the gospel, so they were all doing the same thing. I read some works of Luther and Calvin. I read still many Catholic books and felt a connect with St Francis of Assisi. Later on this connection would lead me to third order of Franciscans. This order would welcome me in and allow me to keep some of my Catholic devotional that other churches would not. In the middle of my college days, I became to be involved with the Third Order of Franciscan, which is an Episcopal order, but allowed Lutheran of ELCA to be members. In this community of I am require to do Daily office, either in the morning or evening, but it must be done. I must follow a rule of life,that I promise to do as example of following Jesus Christ as Saint Francis did back in his time period.  I came to learn about Lutheranism founding out that my great grand uncle was a Lutheran minister in the Germany. I came to enjoy Lutheranism, but the church teaching are not question as much as in other Protestant traditions. This is not say questioning is not good, but it can hurt. Martin Luther’s story spoke to me, because he was once a Roman Catholic too, but felt that some of the teaching were not Bible base. I try to follow the Bible as much as possible and to keep the basic.  I am very active with the church being a lector and usher, when needed so a greeting too, but not as much. People do not realized how a greeting can make church seem friendlier.

 I was going to college, first at Norwalk Community College and then just finished Western Connecticut State University. Coming up this spring of 09, I will have my degree in History. I have come to believe that I am called to Deacon within a church and this why I am writing to you. I am offer my body and soul to the service of the living God and I want to do his service with in this tradition and in this ministry. I would love to work at hospital chaplain , but I could also see myself being  caring soul to those in need at hospital both patient and employee.. I knew when Jesus said these words, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” I have no choice in this, because it God’s will over mine and I must do his will. There was a point in time that I did not really want to talk about God, but somehow his present would come up again and again. Was this God doing or my own will? I like to think both, because, as I said I know I must do his will over my.

My Current understanding on Deacon is a position to make Jesus Christ known, not only in the church, but outside the church walls. Many seem to forget that church building is not the church, but just building. I feel that over time with right training and studying I will be able to express this over time better.   I like that fact that one can do many things with in this ministry. I love to focus on Hospital Chaplian , but I would not mind doing anything else on side service the church. I feel the African American church these days, are doing more with their members.  Men like Dr King and even Jesse Jackson and other great black ministers. Many of them unknown to most people, but God know who they are. Their rewards await them in paradise up above.  I am of course willing to change over time and move into other area, if the church needs it. I know I am just one of many preaching the crucified Christ message and what great message is it. I hope to be a tool for the church, maybe being type that go between churches. Because, I do not mine trying new things and learning new ways of worship. Then the possible sharing with other within our church.

Ecumenical creeds of early church 

The Nicene Creed

WE BELIEVE in one God,

 the Father, the Almighty,

 maker of heaven and earth,

 of all that is, seen and unseen.

 We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

 the only Son of God,

 eternally begotten of the Father,

 God from God, Light from Light,

 true God from true God,

 begotten, not made,

 of one Being with the Father.

 Through him all things were made.

 For us and for our salvation

 he came down from heaven:

 by the power of the Holy Spirit

 he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

 and was made man.

 For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

 he suffered death and was buried.

 On the third day he rose again

 in accordance with the Scriptures;

 he ascended into heaven

 and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

 He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

 and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

 who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

 With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

 He has spoken through the Prophets.

 We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

 We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

 We look for the resurrection of the dead,

 and the life of the world to come.

Amen.[1]

The Apostles’ Creed

 I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

 And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

 Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into

hell:  The third day he rose again from the dead:

 He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

 From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

 I believe in the Holy Ghost:

 I believe in the holy Catholic Church: the communion of saints:

 The forgiveness of sins:

The resurrection of the body:

 And the life everlasting  Amen.[2]

the Athanasian Creed  

 Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

 And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

 For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

 Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

 The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

 The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

 And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

 As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

 So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

 And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

 So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

 And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

 And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

 For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

 So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

 The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

 So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

 And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

 But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

 He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

 God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

 Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

 Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

 Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

 One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood

into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

 For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

 Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day

from the dead;

He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

 At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

 and shall give account of their own works.

And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

 This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.[3]

[1] http://anglicansonline.org/basics/nicene.html

[2] https://www.ccel.org/creeds/apostles.creed.html

[3] https://www.ccel.org/creeds/athanasian.creed.html

Post-denominational Experiment

Do not be fool by the name, this is not a postmodern concept, nor is it a progressive Christian ideal. This is new experiment of the Christian experience in 2014. I grow up a Roman Catholic with  Irish Catholic mind set in America.  I was taught by the Church and that only Catholicism is right church. However, I came to see that all these different churches were really not that different. I say about 80% to 90% is the same theology.I knew from early age I was called to be  servant of God. At this time I felt I was called to be a priest and Catholic one at that. I learned you could not marry those. I was like wait a minute, Let me look at these other churches where you could get marry. I over time went to the Episcopal church and I was rejected over my learning disability and weight. I then looked towards Lutheran and always also reject by them over my learn disabity, but my weight. apparently, if you are slow and fat, you do not have place in the Kingdom of God. This was not told to me by words, but by others actions. I came to believe in God  and less in the churches who had their clicks and if you did not fit in you left just sit and watch others do. Well, I am person of acting, rather than watch others enjoy life.

So, instead of others defining my fate,” I took the bull my horns”. I went to seminary and I got my master in divinity.  I have been out for little over eight months give or take a few months.  I have decided to take fate into my hands again and look for start my own Post-denominational church, which will apply many of positive aspect of the many traditions. If this experiment works, it will be of God. However, if I fail we know it was not of his will.  I think Post Denominational churches should each do their own Jesus’ experience in each and every local churches. I like to have all creeds of the churches be used in each every church. However, one should follow their concise and do what they feel the Holy Ghost is doing within them and their churches. The Bible should always be at the corner stone, but experience and reason should not be the enemy of the churches either. Remember how the disciples learned other were using  Lord Jesus name and they were not followers of their? Luke wrote, John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.” (‭Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭49-50‬ ESV) Jesus did not agree that, they need to stop. He said who was for us is not against us. The Denominations need to put past their petty difference and focus on the Gospel. Jesus came and took away our sins, but not our minds. The Bible is bunch of books, that were inspire by God, but were written by men at different point in time in history. For example for long time Jewish people thought Moses wrote the five books of Moses. However in the two last ones, he already dead. So, how was this possible? Again, tradition can get in the way of reason.  There are four gospels, but one Jesus. He came and died and Rose  again.  Therefore, why are these gospels so different from each other? They were written by different people and were met for different audience. Over time as the early Holy Catholic Church came about, did they collect these gospels and rejected other ones. In fact St, Paul letters were written first and we do not know what the other letters were saying back to him.

I am thinking of keeping it Sabbath base having services on Friday evening and Saturday morning. This will keep with the churches Jewish foots, but follow the liturgy of the modern churches. I like following a format, but each pastor or minister will follow what they are feeling will work for the church. I just personal love the Book of Common Prayer and I feel it will allow the church to have structure.  However, the robes and incense are not necessary per se to good worship experience. Once more, each church must come to term in what that parish is looking for. The churches should have each fully member have vote and be able to voice their point of view respectfully. This is just draft, but I want to see what other people thought about this. Some of you may ask why not just be non-denominational? I have experience was very negative, they are very anti Catholic and this really turn me off. I saw them making fun of Holy Communion and were calling the church McChurch, as a person of Irish descent, I felt they were not mocking the Lord supporter, but Irish people as well. I have learned later on, they were mocking more the churches being like McDonalds cookie cutter format. Meaning all the churches were following the same format and that they were catering to church members taste in beard. I still felt it as disrespectful and really as said before turn me off. So, this church will be different. I want to embrace all the different churches and show the Unity of Christ. For example many suppose Catholic worship Mary, this is not true. They give her the due and proper respect that the Mother of the Lord should be given respected and honor. Now have some worship Mary over the years as goddess ? Possible, but it was never the church teaching of her. She is blessed among all women and has special place in the Kingdom. In Revelation 12:1-6, if the child is Jesus then the woman must be Mary. Why is that not possible ? Now should one ask a saint to pray for them? As you ask someone on earth, why is not possible in the cloud of witiness can we not pray for us down below? I am not saying this need to be requirement, but it is not hurting anyone either. May I ask what are your thoughts on this ? This is just infancy and I hope, if of God this seed will grow into something more.