We are a Communion
A communion reflects the unanimity and singularity of the Apostolic and Patristic Church while encompassing both Protestant and Catholic traditions, as well as embracing a multiplicity of expressions of worship and practice. In contrast to a denomination, a communion expresses the organic unity Jesus Christ originally established in His body, the Church. Rather than emerging from divisions created by historic differences over doctrine and practice, a communion represents a return to unity based on the recovery of the essential oneness of the ancient, medieval and contemporary church.
Standing within the Celtic and Anglican spiritual traditions, The Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches was created by a convergence of the great historical expression of faith and practice: the Evangelical, the Charismatic, and the Liturgical/Sacramental traditions. The fundamental principles defining inclusion in the Communion are detailed in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1886 and 1888 Resolution II.
The CEEC was birthed as a more general work of the Holy Spirit among the Christian churches now known as “the convergence movement”, or “convergence of the streams” renewal. This, as most of you are aware, is the spiritual vision, rooted in the New Testament revelation and experience of the early Christians, that saw the Church as one Body with many diverse and contribution parts. Or, to put in another way: one river with many streams. In 1940’s the well-known mission pioneer of the union Church of South India, Bishop Lesslie Newbigin, wrote a seminal work called “The Household Of Gods”, examining the spiritual and functional nature of the Lord’s one Church from a mission perspective.
His Prophetic observation at one point in the book was that the revelation of Scripture in Ephesians 4 is that there is one Body, one Faith, one Lord, one Spirit, one Baptism, one Hope of our calling, one God the Father of us all. However, through history this one Body of Christ has been fragmented into separated and often competing groups, camps, or streams, all having been originally part of the one river of God’s saving grace poured out into the world through the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A . The Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC) is a communion of the holy catholic church whose identity and self-understanding is rooted in the Anglican spiritual tradition of being Catholic, Evangelical and Protestant. We attempt to maintain and practice the faith as given to us by the Apostles through the mother Church of the worldwide Anglican family- the Church of England.
B . The CEEC envisions a communion whose parishes are fully evangelical, fully charismatic, and fully liturgical and sacramental.
C . We believe, as Evangelicals, that the Holy Scriptures are the inspired Word of God, and that they contain all things necessary for salvation and godly living. We are committed to faithful reading, studying, teaching, and preaching from the scriptures. We believe the Holy Scriptures are a wellspring for spiritual maturity. We also embrace the Evangelical distinctiveness that underlines the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a holy life, and a commitment to evangelism and mission.
D . We believe, as Charismatics, that we are to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit, that God’s people have always been a spiritually gifted people. From the Apostles to the modern church, Christians have been endowed with power beyond themselves, a power from the Holy Spirit. This means that we encourage our parishes to allow and anticipate His presence and working (through the spiritual gifts) in both our worship and daily acts of service and in personal relationship with him.
E . The CEEC is a communion in unity with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church. This means that at the very center of our worship we are historically liturgical and sacramental. We also retain historic creeds, episcopacy and three-fold ministry. We believe, as in the Anglican spiritual tradition, that our worship is to be liturgical, and for us that is best expressed and informed by the various Books of Common Prayer. We draw our worship practices and liturgy from different pints of time- from the ever evolving, rich and comprehensive traditions of the Catholic faith and practice, to the influence of the Protestant Reformation.
F . The CEEC vision is to be a contemporary Church where there is a convergence of ministry, rooted in the ancient and historical truths of the Church Universal, with contemporary worship and spiritual renewal, while reaching to the future in relevant ways, meeting the needs of unchurched and churched people. It is a via media, accepting both Catholics and Protestants as “one in Christ”.
CONTINUING COMMUNION AVERTS MAJOR SCHISM,
MAINTAINS EXISTING CANONS
After three years of internal debate over the necessity of an overarching Canon Law, the CEEC’s largest provinces have unanimously agreed to stand together.
They continue to operate under their current version of Canon Law, adopted in 2016.
In a decision guaranteeing the continued historicity and validation of the CEEC, 98% of original churches and clergy choose continuing communion and remain globally united, with only slight adaptation to their name.
Abp Duraisingh James (left) and Abp John Sathiyakumar (right) of the CEEC Province of India sign the Concordat of Full Communion with the Continuing Evangelical Episcopal Communion House of Bishops
The mission of the
Continuing Evangelical Episcopal Communion
is to :
• Make visible the Kingdom of God to the nations of the world;
• Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ;
• Walk in obedience to the Great Commandment:
to “‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ And ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Mark 12:30-31);
• Work with the whole Church in discipling all nations, that the Great Commission may be fulfilled;
• Serve the least, the lost and the lonely in Christ’s name;
• Bring the rich liturgical and sacramental life of the apostolic church to searching charismatics and evangelicals;
• Share the power of Pentecost to those in the historic churches;
• Provide an ecclesial home for all who seek convergence and apostolic reformation;
• Contribute to the unity of the Church of God, that the world may see Jesus;
• Establish interdependent ecclesial jurisdictions, congregations, and ministries throughout the nations of the world;
• Pray that God’s will may be done “on earth as it is in heaven”;
• Worship that the glory of the King is manifested throughout the earth;
• Build on the apostolic foundation of the ancient Church that the glory of the future church may be revealed;
• Train and release millions of Christians into their callings and ministries, that the Body of Christ may be unleashed in every locality;
• Raise up generations of Christian leaders to further the mission of the Church;
• Embody and promote the faith, order, worship, ministry, and vision of the Church established by Christ and his apostles.