The Emmanuel Communion
Constitution of the Emmanuel Communion
The CONSTITUTION Adopted in the House of Bishops of the Emmanuel Communion, August 25, 2017.
SOLEMN DECLARATION: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
WE, the Bishops, of the Emmanuel Communion assembled in the House of Bishops at Stuart, Florida, USA, make the following Solemn Declaration: WE declare the founding vision of this Communion to be “Emmanuel…God with us”, and desire that this communion shall continue as an integral portion of the One Body of Christ composed of Churches and Ministries which, united under the One Divine Head, Jesus Christ, and in fellowship of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, hold the One Faith revealed in Holy Scripture which was once for all delivered to the saints, and defined in the three Creeds, The Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed, as maintained by the undivided primitive Church in the undisputed Ecumenical Councils; receive the same Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as containing all things necessary to salvation; teach the same Word of God; partake of the same Divinely ordained Sacraments, through the ministry of the same Apostolic Orders; and worship One God and Father through the same Jesus Christ, by the same Holy and Divine Spirit who is given to them that believe to guide them into all truth, to hold and maintain the Sacraments, and Worship of the general Anglican tradition, although this Communion is not now, nor has ever been, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
AND WE are determined, by the help of God, to hold and maintain the Doctrine, Sacraments, and Discipline of Christ as the Lord has commanded in His Holy Word, and as this Communion has received and set forth the same in the American Edition of the approved Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, appointed as they are to be sung, or said in Churches, and the Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons; and in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion of 1801, as well as the Canons and by-laws of this body, and to transmit the same unimpaired to our posterity.
Signed and attested to this date:
The Rt. Rev. Geoffrey William Ames The Rt. Rev. Omomaro A. Okekaro
The Rt. Rev. Abbot Barry B. Becchio The Most Rev. Edward Joseph Skiba
The Rt. Rev. David Francoeur The Rt. Rev. Daniel Thomas
The Constitution of the Emmanuel Communion
A Declaration on the Sanctity of Human Life.
1. Life begins in the will of God and He alone has absolute dominion over all human life, and over the process by which it comes into being. Since human life begins at conception, the human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of fertilization, that is, the union of an ovum and sperm. The respect and protection of all innocent human life is necessary for the establishment and maintenance of a moral civilization.
2. The church has the duty and the obligation to proclaim to all the earth the sanctity of human life, the dignity of human life, and respect for human life.
3. The deliberate and direct destruction of innocent persons, preborn or born, through all forms of direct abortion, infanticide, euthanasia or any other means is considered to be unethical, immoral, evil and sinful. Nutrition and hydration are considered “ordinary care” not “medical care” and cannot be withheld. The ending of human life through abortion is considered by the church to be immoral and sinful, and is contrary to the Scriptures as well as the consistent teaching of the historic church.
4. Therefore, we affirm that no government has the right to alter the law of God.
a. Any legislation by any government that demeans or goes contrary to the law of God concerning the sanctity of life is immoral.
b. We affirm the teaching of Holy Scripture and the tradition of the church throughout the centuries that God is the giver of life and thus human life belongs to Him.
c. We affirm that this declaration on the sanctity of human life, which is rooted in the teaching of the church and the Holy Scriptures, is not in conflict with good and moral science.
5. The public support of, or participation in the intentional violation of the sanctity of human life by a member of the Emmanuel Communion will result in an automatic referral to the Diocesan Bishop. This would especially include being employed by having or holding the ownership of an abortion facility, or running for a public office as a pro-abortion or pro choice candidate, or working in any such campaign to promote the agenda of abortion. Refusal or failure to take part in a process of reconciliation and restoration may result in excommunication by the Bishop. This statement, though containing punitive elements, should never be used as a hindrance to any communicant seeking and receiving the mercy and forgiveness of Christ and His church through the ministry of repentance and reconciliation.
6. Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous". The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and every one, always and everywhere
7. The purpose of defining and clarifying the deep commitment to the sanctity of human life must always be redemptive in order that mercy and truth would meet one another. (Psalm 85)
1. Who we are:
We are people of faith gathered from diverse backgrounds seeking an expression of the church that is fully sacramental, liturgical, evangelistic, Spirit led, and primarily Christ glorifying. These elements converge, not in confusion but in unity. We are a Church that is submitted to the authority of Scripture, as interpreted by the continuing witness of the ancient church and governed by consensus. Our worship is Biblical, Liturgical and Spirit-led, ancient and contemporary, holy and joyful. We live to show forth God’s praise, not only with our lips but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to His service, and by walking before Him, in holiness and righteousness, all our days. We are committed to advancing God's kingdom by proclaiming the Gospel to the least, the lost, and the lonely.
2. What Our Communion is:
a. A Church fully sacramental/liturgical: At the center of worship is the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion) which we believe is the real presence of Christ. We celebrate the living historic forms of the liturgies of the church and the seven Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion), Confession, Healing, Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony.
b. A Church that is evangelistic: We are a church holding to a high view of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, believing them to contain all things necessary for salvation; nothing can be taught as necessary for salvation that is not contained therein. We are committed to the preaching of the Gospel to fulfill the great commission. We believe that we are saved by grace alone and justified by faith in Christ who is calling us into His life through a personal and corporate relationship with Him.
c. A church fully Spirit led: We are a church open to the continued working of the Holy Spirit. We believe that through the Holy Spirit all believers are empowered to participate in the fullness of ministry. The Holy Spirit produces in the believer both the fruit and gifts of the Spirit for the building up of the church and the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
d. A Church that glorifies Christ: We are a Church that seeks to glorify Christ above all else. It is His glory we seek, not our own that His glory is published in all the earth. “Not to us, O Lord, but to Your name give glory” (Ps. 115.1).
e. Consensus government: We are a church governed by Bishops in Apostolic Succession who are humbly submitted to the leading of the Holy Spirit and to each other. At all levels of government, we are a house of prayer, desiring to hear the voice of God. Decisions are made in council upon coming to consensus. The church is administered by the threefold order of bishops, clergy, and laity. All baptized Christians are members of the royal priesthood.
What we do:
We make visible the concept of “Emmanuel…God With Us.” The Emmanuel Communion is a Eucharistic community that exists to make known the truth of “Emmanuel…God With Us” to the nations of the world; to provide a home of fatherly care, loving community and evangelistic outreach. The church is the Household of God and visible expression of the Kingdom of God on earth.
We recognize the Apostolic Succession and fatherly leadership of our bishops. The EC is led by Bishops in apostolic succession. These Bishops are fathers leading the family of God. They speak the truth to the children of God. They are fathers who guide, guard and govern the people of God to bring the Gospel to them and to help them develop their gifting and release them into the destiny God has provided for the
We live a Eucharistic life. Our life together is founded upon celebrating the Eucharist, where we are made one body in Christ, who gave Himself sacrificially for the life of the world. All worship, pastoral care, education, works of mercy, preaching, teaching, government, everything that encompasses the ministry of the church flows, from the sacrificial love of God made flesh and suffering for us on the Cross. Our life together is therefore sacramental, offered back to God in this thanksgiving.
We remain in fellowship with our bishop, and with the body of believers to build families, trust, and relationships. We believe that where the bishop is, there is the church. The visible unity of the church is in each congregation, where the bishop or his representative celebrates the Eucharist. We take seriously Our Lord’s command to love one another and to seek the unity of the church.
We create a caring community. We are a caring community to reach the least, the lost, and the lonely with mercy and love. We bring them to the fullness of the blessing God has for them. We build residential ministries, birthing centers, homes for unwed mothers, refugee and feeding programs and other ministries. Our local congregations provide pastoral care throughout all the seasons of life.
We speak with a prophetic voice. We speak with a prophetic voice into the church and the culture. We are a voice for the voiceless, the unborn, downtrodden, and oppressed. We are uncompromisingly Pro-Life and committed to the building of strong traditional families. We speak strongly against injustice and oppression, particularly when it impacts the poor. We oppose slavery in any form, whether domestic, or sex trafficking, or any other form in which it may be found
We experience the Gifts of the Spirit. The Gifts of the Spirit, such as knowledge, wisdom, faith, healing, miracles, teaching, evangelism, administration, bishops, pastors, and etc. are a normative part of our life and worship. We bring God’s grace to those who are lost and oppressed, providing a home for those held captive by life-controlling problems, crime, and sickness. We desire to see the captives set free by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the peoples in the world through the means of grace and the hope of glory. We are intentional in our evangelistic efforts, believing that evangelism is at the very heart of the church, and that the great commission is the motivating call from our Lord Jesus Christ.
We foster lifelong learning for the ministry of both clergy and people; We offer to development of the mind and character of each person in the EC. We offer a curriculum of academic excellence in each local parish and diocese. We seek the transformation of both the heart and mind into the character of Jesus Christ. We provide seminary education for those seeking ordination. We offer training for clergy, and practical training in Christian discipleship, marriage, parenting and other day-to-day life skills.
Doctrine Summary: The Emmanuel Communion holds to the truths of the Holy Scripture as the minimum standard of catholicity, and seeks for theology to be not only an intellectual assent, but also a living experience with the Holy Trinity and the church. We speak the truth in love as received from the Apostles, Scripture and the Councils of the early church.
The EC believes : The Communion affirms the Holy Scriptures as the inspired, inerrant Word of God. The 66 universally accepted books of the Old and New Testament are the inspired Word of God containing all things necessary unto salvation. With regard to those several works commonly referred to as the Apocrypha or DeuteroCanonical Books, we further reaffirm the position, that while beneficial for education and teaching, they are not considered part of the primary Canon of Holy Scripture. They may, therefore, be read in public worship, but not used to establish dogma or doctrine. Further, we hold that:
a. The Holy Scriptures serve as the final authority on all matters of faith and practice.
b. Scripture is to be understood in light of apostolic tradition, sound hermeneutical principles, and the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
c. Where Scripture does not speak, we defer to apostolic tradition.
2. Bible Version: We hold that Bible translations that are translations of the original Greek and Hebrew are valid for church readings and study. Bible versions that add to or subtract from the original text are not authorized for EC worship.
3. We hold to the Founding Document of the Emmanuel Communion agreed upon in Stuart, Florida May 23, 2016:
a. In earnest anticipation of a future revelation of the fullness of the unity of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, the Emmanuel Communion adheres to these articles of unity exemplified by the undivided Catholic Church during the first eleven centuries.
b. The Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the written Word of God, are the chief witness to apostolic teaching, and the source of the church’s nourishment and strength.
c. The Apostles’ Creed is the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed is the sufficient statement of the Christian faith. The so-called Athanasian Creed is an acceptable outline of Trinitarian doctrine.
d. There are Seven Sacraments of the church. The two dominical sacraments are Baptism and Holy Eucharist and are required of all. There are five minor sacraments that are required for some people: Confirmation, Confession/Reconciliation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, Healing/Unction.
e. The historic episcopate in Apostolic Succession is the gift of Christ’s authority to the church and the trustee of the church’s fidelity to apostolic teaching.
We hold the spirit of the Family
1.We believe and affirm:
a. That all life is sacred.
b. That Holy Matrimony is between a biological man and a biological woman: that it is a covenantal relationship between a man and a woman and God.
c. That Holy Matrimony is a sacrament ordained by God.
d. That Holy Matrimony is a divine picture of the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the church.
e. That all children are a blessing from God.
1. We hold the Spirit of Theology.
a. The Emmanuel Communion recognizes that doctrine is not only an intellectual assent, but a living relationship with Almighty God and His church.
b. It is incumbent upon the leadership of the Emmanuel Communion to develop and maintain an atmosphere for growth and understanding in theology and doctrine.
2. We adhere to the classical statement of ecumenicity: “In essentials unity, in nonessentials liberty, in all things charity.” While celebrating the diversity within orthodoxy, we also strive to avoid a schismatic spirit which would elevate nonessential or non consensual beliefs and practices above the Father's will that there be a spiritual and visible unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
3. We adhere to Scriptural, Traditional, Apostolic views on ordination: Ordination is for the biological male; female ordination being foreign to Scripture and Apostolic Tradition.
Our Founding Document
Declaration of the First House of Bishops of the Emmanuel Communion held on May 23, 2016;
We, the undersigned Bishops, having traveled from our heritage in the various liturgical, evangelical, and spirit filled expressions of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church today forge a new path in our journey: The creation of the Emmanuel Communion. Our founding vision is to make real the concept of “Emmanuel…God With Us” to the nations of the world; to bring the rich sacramental and liturgical life of the early church to searching believers and non-believers; to carry the power of Pentecost to our brothers and sisters in the historical churches; and, finally, to provide a home for all Christians who seek a catholic, evangelical, Spirit-led church and a foundation for their lives and gifts of ministry. We affirm our collective will that our brother, Bishop Edward Joseph Skiba, become our first Archbishop. He has been duly elected and affirmed by the founding House of Bishops and is seated this day. We openly seek and invite ecumenical dialogue, in the spirit of koinonia, with all churches who profess the necessary tenets of the Faith as outlined in the Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1886, 1888. We agree with the spirit of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (1801) and of the approved Book of Common Prayer, and accept them, provisionally, as our primary texts for rite, form and order. We recognize this meeting as the first House of Bishops of the Emmanuel Communion. We affirm this statement and the actions taken today and affix our signatures as witness, in this the city of Stuart, Florida, on the Twenty-Third day of May, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Sixteen.
The Rt. Rev. Geoffrey William Ames
The Rt. Rev. Abbot Barry B. Becchio
The Rt. Rev. David Francoeur
The Rt. Rev. Omomaro Okekaro
The Most Rev. Edward Joseph Skiba
The Rt. Rev. Daniel Thomas
Ratified Canons of the Emmanuel Anglican Communion, Inc. doing business as:
The Emmanuel Communion
Canon 1. Of the General Council Section
Section 1. Annual Meetings
a. The Presiding Bishop, hereafter referred to interchangeably as the Archbishop, in consultation with House of Bishops and the General Council will establish a time and place for the Annual Meeting of the General Council of the Emmanuel Communion. The initial Council officers, President (Presiding Bishop), Secretary and Treasurer, shall be the officers listed on the initial Articles of Incorporation of the Emmanuel Communion for a four year period from the date of incorporation. Consequent four year terms shall be voted on at the time the Presiding Bishop is voted on.
b. At the time and place of the Annual Meeting of the General Council, the Secretary will call the meeting to order. The Secretary will determine if there is a quorum; a quorum shall consist of a majority of the sitting Bishops Ordinary, Suffragan, Assistant Bishops or Bishops-Abbot, clerical and lay delegates, either appearing in person or represented through some form of media-communication. Having determined that a quorum exists, the Secretary or acting Secretary shall then turn the meeting over to the Presiding Bishop. An agenda for each Annual or Special Meeting of the General Council will be circulated to delegates one month prior to the meeting which will cover the election of General Council officers; members of the General Council; proposed revisions, if any, to the Canons or the formularies; and such necessary business as may be expedient to be considered.
Section 2. Special Meetings.
a. Special Meetings may be called by the Presiding Bishop, or by a majority of the House of Bishops, or by a majority of those elected or appointed members of the Primate’s Council.
b. Delegates to the previous Annual Convocation shall constitute the delegates to a Subsequent Special Meeting unless, at subsequent diocesan meetings, new delegates have been selected or elected.
Section 3. Officers
a. The chief administrative officer of the Emmanuel Communion will be the Presiding Bishop, or Archbishop, who will preside at all annual or Special Meetings of the General Council.
b. A Secretary shall be elected to keep the minutes of all Annual or Special Meetings, notify the Ecclesiastical Authority in each Diocese of agenda items, call all meetings to order and determine the existence of a quorum, and serve until a successor is elected.
c. A Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual Meeting and remain in office until a successor is elected. The Treasurer will receive all monies due or contributed to the Emmanuel Communion, and, with the consent of the House of Bishops and the permission of the Archbishop, pay such bills as may be due. The Treasurer will, with the advice of the House of Bishops and the Presiding Bishop, present to each Annual Meeting a proposed budget for the ensuing year, and report to the Annual Meeting the expenses and receipts of the previous year, if there are any.
Canon 2. The Presiding Bishop and the Council of Bishops
Section 1. Presiding Bishop
a. The House of Bishops shall elect one of their numbers to serve as Presiding Bishop. The term of office shall be for four years. A Bishop so elected may be reelected and if no election is held within the House of Bishops at an Annual Meeting of the General Council at the end of the term of the sitting Archbishop, the current Archbishop will continue to serve until a successor is elected.
b. If the office of Archbishop becomes vacant due to the incapacity of the incumbent to perform the duties of office, or by virtue of resignation, or death, or disinclination to serve, the preceding Archbishop will resume the title and office and serve until a special meeting of the House of Bishops is called to vote on a new Archbishop. If the preceding Archbishop has died or declines to serve, the House of Bishops shall then elect one of their numbers to serve as Presiding Bishop until the special meeting for the purpose of election can be called. The special meeting of the House of Bishops for the purpose of electing a new archbishop will be held within one month, and not more than two months if circumstances require, of the vacation of the office of Archbishop.
c. The Archbishop shall preside over all meetings of the House of Bishops, all Annual and Special Meetings of the General Synod, and arrange for the consecration of all Bishops elected to serve as Diocesans, Coadjutors, Suffragans, Bishop Abbots, and/or as special Assistant Bishops.
d. The Archbishop shall be the Official Endorsing Authority of this Church. Any priest with five or more years of pastoral experience and who desires to serve in a chaplaincy in the Civil Air Patrol, the Armed Forces of the United States, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or other agencies of the Federal, State or Local government, may apply to the Archbishop for the appropriate recommendation. The Archbishop may appoint another Bishop or other clergyman to administer the Endorsing Program in his stead, but the Archbishop retains the authority for the endorsement.
Section 2.House of Bishops
a. The House of Bishops shall include all Bishops Ordinary, all Bishops Suffragan, all Bishops who are heads of Religious Orders, and all Assistant Bishops. Bishops of other denominations in relationships, concordats, or affiliation with the Emmanuel Anglican Communion who are in attendance shall have no vote in the House of Bishops and will have no voice in the proceedings.
b. The House of Bishops, under the direction of the Archbishop, may develop programs, policies, and plans for planting churches, developing additional relationships of denominational affiliation, propose educational initiatives, and create reports regarding liturgical practices, theological developments, and the state of the Church to the General Council as a whole.
c. Upon the recommendation of the Archbishop, the House of Bishops may enter into intercommunion agreements, concordats, and/or affiliation agreements with other orthodox Christian bodies.
Canon 3. General Council Section
1. Function of the General Council.
a. The General Council, under the leadership of the Archbishop, shall implement the decisions and resolutions adopted by an Annual Meeting or a Special Meeting of the General Council.
b. The General Council has no authority to make or implement decisions which would contravene decisions made or resolutions adopted at General Synod meetings. c. The General Council may meet in person or through electronically mediated systems for the transaction of business.
Section 2. Membership in the General Council.
Every Bishop Ordinary, and every Bishop who is head of a Religious Order, shall have a voice and vote on the General Council.
Each diocese shall be entitled to one clerical member and one lay member selected according to individual diocesan canons and each member shall have a single voice and vote.
Canon 4. Dioceses and Religious Orders
Section 1. Organization
a. There is an elected Archbishop to head the Emmanuel Anglican Communion elected from the Provincial and Diocesan bishops.
b. The Emmanuel Communion is organized around Provinces with a Provincial Metropolitan Archbishop.
c. Under each Province shall be different dioceses with a diocesan bishop.
d. Each diocese shall be a defined geographic entity. Provision for non-geographical Provinces or dioceses may be made by a vote of the House of Bishops.
e. Each diocese shall be incorporated in one of the states within its diocesan boundaries or operate under the corporate authority of this denomination.
f. Each Province and diocese shall have its own bishop, canons, and provide for a chancellor, treasurer, secretary and a diocesan court.
g. A Chapter House of a Religious Order may be dissolved by petition of a majority of the members of a Religious Order, if that petition is presented to an Annual or Special Synod or House of Bishops Meeting and is adopted by that body.
h. No diocese or Religious Order may be dissolved without the consent of a majority of its parishes and the Archbishop, in the case of a diocese; or without the approval of a majority of its members and the Abbot Gen., in the case of a Religious Order.
i. At the request of a majority of the parishes of a diocese, one diocese may be combined with another diocese, if that is agreeable to the other diocese; in that case, The Archbishop, with the concurrence of the House of Bishops, will determine appropriate assignment of the Bishop and suffragan of the combined diocese.
j. At the request of a majority of the members of a Religious Order, that Religious Order may be combined with a different Religious Order, if that is agreeable to the second Religious Order; and in that case the Abbot Gen. would determine who would be appointed Abbot-Bishop and Vicar General of the combine Religious Order, each retaining his voice and vote in the House of Bishops. k. No action by the General Synod to combine dioceses or Religious Orders, or to change boundaries of existing dioceses or the Rules of existing Religious Orders, shall be executed until and unless such a merger, alteration or change has been ratified by the individual dioceses or Religious Orders effected.
Section 2. Diocesan Canons.
a. Each diocese shall provide through its own canons for a Council of Advice, or Standing Committee, or some similar organization to assist the Ordinary to develop and execute plans, programs and policies.
b. Each diocese shall provide through its canons for the inability of the Bishop of that diocese to function in that office, denoting the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese and the means by which the episcopal office may be sustained.
c. Each diocese shall provide, through its canons, for the governance of parishes, missions, chaplaincies and/or charities.
d. No diocesan canon may conflict with any national canon in substance or intent, nor shall a diocesan canon take precedence over a national canon.
Canon 5. Missionary Districts
Section 1. Creating Missionary Districts. Upon recommendation of the Archbishop, the House of Bishops may establish a Missionary District in any area where there is no organized diocese.
Section 2. Missionary District Episcopate. The Archbishop, with the concurrence of the House of Bishops, may choose a Bishop for a Missionary district, arrange for the consecration of that person. The person so chosen, consecrated and installed will serve at the pleasure of the House of Bishops, and shall have equal voice and vote and membership as any diocesan bishop. As an alternative, the House of Bishops may assign an existing diocesan bishop oversight of the Missionary District until such time as the growth of a Missionary District is sufficient to require permanent episcopal oversight. In the meantime a Canon Missioner may be appointed for the Missionary District from the existing clergy of that district.
Section 3. Canons of a Missionary District. The canons of a missionary district shall be provided by the House of Bishops as required to accommodate special circumstances.
Section 4. Becoming a Diocese. Upon petition from bishop of a missionary district supported by a reasonable number of parishes and missions within that missionary district that are of a sufficient number that can financially support the bishop and the diocese, the House of Bishops shall recommend to the General Council that the missionary district becomes a Diocese.
Canon 6. On Authority and Responsibility
Section 1. The authority in the Church rests with the Bishops. Bishops have the final responsibility for all matters as the Vicars of Christ on earth. The EC holds that the bishop is responsible for all matters pertaining to the Church and its parishes, regardless of the position, class, income, or social standing of other members of the Church. After prayerful consideration and detailed discussion with all relevant parties, all decisions by the bishop are considered as final authority.
Section 2. The priests are the representative of the Bishop and as such, have authority in all matters pertaining to their assigned areas of responsibility, whether a parish, mission, or para-church organization.
Section 3. Deacons serve the Bishop and as such, hold positions of responsibility and authority in the places they are appointed to serve. If appointed to a parish, they will serve the priest, if there is one, and will serve as the clergy in the parish if there is no priest.
Section 4. The Rector’s/Vicar’s Council
a. The priest is the ex officio head of all committees and shall chair all committee meetings when he is present.
b. The Rector’s/Vicar’s Council shall consist of an even number of members, half selected by the Rector and half by the congregation. A maximum number recommended is six persons and the Rector/Vicar.
c. The Rector’s Council is to represent the people’s needs to the priest and keep the priest informed of all sick, hospitalized, or deceased members. They are to inform the priest of all matters of life problems, such as financial problems, loss of jobs, engagements, and all other life events. The Rector’s Council is responsible for all maintenance of parish property, church decoration (working with the altar guild), and supervising the verger and grounds keeper. The RC shall be persons of unquestionably good character and shall not be chosen because of station in life.
d. The secretary is to keep the records of all RC/church council meetings. He or she shall make accurate records. Recording the meeting so as to be able to write down accurately what was said and decided upon is acceptable. The secretary shall give a copy of all such meetings to the bishop, at least quarterly, or monthly, as the bishop desires. The minutes shall be provided to the clergy in the parish within ten days of the close of the meetings. The minutes of all vestry meetings shall be made available to the congregation within ten days after the meetings. The secretary shall be a person of good moral character.
e. The treasurer shall be a person of good moral character. He or she need not be an accountant. The treasurer shall make all bank deposits of church funds and shall keep a record of all deposits and expenditures. The treasurer shall be one of the signatories on the parish bank account and shall maintain said account properly. The use of a computerized bank account balancing program is encouraged. The treasurer shall not hold the church hostage with the finances, but is to assist the priest in the fulfillment of his ministry. A priest’s discretionary fund shall be maintained. The treasurer will make certain the tithe to the Province/diocese is paid.
f. Additional council members shall be of good reputation and serve with the knowledge that they are to assist the priest in the fulfillment of his ministry.
g. All Rectors Council members shall serve at the pleasure of the priest. Any vestry members failing to uphold their offices may be removed by the priest.
Canon 7. Diocese, Church, and Parish Property
Section 1. All property and buildings of the Province, diocese, or archdiocese shall belong to these entities.
Section 2. All property owned by these corporations or entities shall remain with said entities if any decided to no longer affiliate with the EC.
Section 3. All property and buildings shall belong to the local parish if purchased by them, and not the diocese/province.
Section 4. All property owned by the parish corporation shall remain with the parish if the parish decides to no longer affiliate with the EC.
Section 5. If a parish dissolves, the Rectors Council shall sell the property and any buildings and shall give ten percent of the price to the province/diocese. If there is no one left to sell said property, it shall be deeded to the province/diocese and this may be done if, in the view of the Rector’s Council, this is the best manner to dispose of said property and or buildings, as well.
a. The bishop shall then decide what to do with the property/properties and buildings.
b. No parish property shall be sold to a member of the parish, unless the bishop, having obtained legal counsel, shall approve.
c. No parish property shall be taken from the parish by any means other than by those contained in these canons.
Canon 8. Clergy and/or Congregations seeking Affiliation
Section 1. Requirements Governing Clergy Seeking Affiliation
a. A male minister who has been ordained by a bishop of a denomination which is not in communion with the Emmanuel Communion and whose ordination is nonetheless considered valid (Apostolic Succession), may be admitted as a minister of this Church subject only to the requirements for licensing of by the bishop of any diocese in which he may thereafter function as a priest, deacon, or monastic.
b. A minister who has not received episcopal ordination and who desires to serve a congregation in the Emmanuel Communion shall conform to the provisions of the canons on ordination. Such an individual may, after due examination, be ordained by any Ordinary under whom that individual would serve.
Section 2. Requirements for Bishops Seeking Affiliation
a. A bishop who has been consecrated by bishops in a jurisdiction other than the Emmanuel Communion but a denomination with which this Church has an intercommunion agreement or concordat, may be received as a Bishop Suffragan by the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese in which the applicant resides. Such Bishop Suffragan may subsequently be elected Ordinary of any diocese in the Emmanuel Communion or appointed as Bishop of a Missionary District. b. A bishop who has been consecrated by bishops in a jurisdiction other than the Emmanuel Communion, but a denomination with which this Church has no intercommunion agreement or concordat, may be received as a Bishop by the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese in which the applicant resides with the consent of the House of Bishops. In that case the scope and function of the Bishop so received will be determined by the House of Bishops.
Section 3. Requirements for Congregations Seeking Affiliation
a. Any congregation of Christian people who assent to the faith expressed in the Apostles and Nicene Creeds, that agrees that Holy scripture contains all things necessary for Salvation, professes their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and evidences a willingness to accept the discipline of this Church, may be received by the bishop of the diocese in the area in which that congregation exists, or by the bishop of the nearest diocese thereto.
b. If any congregation covered in subsection a. above, wishes to keep its previous minister, and if that minister is willing to conform to the requirements of Section 1, above, said minister may be retained by that congregation, and accepted by the bishop under whom he would then serve.
Canon 9. Canonical Residency
Section 1. Normative Canonical Residency Defined: The normative relationship with the Church assumes that a parish, vicarage, mission, preaching station, or religious organization exists within and is subject to, the canons of the diocese within whose geographical boundaries that entity exists and to which that entity is, essentially, subordinate. When a bishop of a diocese licenses or assents to the ministry of a priest, deacon or sacristan at a facility within the geographic area comprising that diocese, that minister is said to be canonically resident within that diocese. Such minister may transfer his service to another diocesan jurisdiction or to another denominational entity without losing his canonical residency in that previous diocese unless that minister informs the bishop ordinary of the first diocese by letter of his desire to sever that connection. And in that case, the bishop of the first diocese will issue that minister a letter of separation.
Section 2 Provision for Alternative Canonical Residency There may arise circumstances in which the relationship between a bishop ordinary and a member of the clergy or the laity within a parish, vicarage, mission, preaching station or religious institution which is located within the geographic confines of an organized diocese of missionary district become attenuated. In the interest of avoiding discord and promoting harmony, an individual clergyman or a parish, vicarage, mission, preaching station or religious institution may inform the Archbishop by letter of his desire to be assigned to another bishop as his Episcopal visitor and spiritual director. Such letter shall specify to whom the writer wishes to be assigned. Such reassignment shall be made by the Archbishop without prejudice to any of the parties contingent only on the acceptance of the requested bishop. Should the bishop named by the writer decline to accept the canonical residency of the petitioner, the minister, parish, vicarage, mission, preaching station, or religious institution shall become the ward of the Archbishop.
Canon 10. Ecumenical Relationships
Section 1. Ordained clergy in the Emmanuel Communion may participate in worship services and ceremonies with members of other Christian denominations. Participation includes not only active leadership roles such as Pastor, celebrant, concelebrant, assisting clergy, preacher, and lector, but also participation as a member of the congregation or audience. While we respect those who embrace religious traditions other than our own, and desire to reach out to them with the love of Christ, we must ensure that our relationships with them honor and uphold our own Christian scriptural tradition and belief.
a. Great care must be taken when inviting ordained and lay members of other Christian traditions to minister from EC pulpits. After careful vetting by the Rector/Vicar to discern the degree of Christian orthodoxy to which the speaker/preacher or worship leader ascribes, and being satisfied that the belief is consistent with Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition, the Book of Common Prayer, and the beliefs of the EC. The Rector/Vicar will obtain the permission of his Bishop prior to invitation.
b. Since EC clergy minister in relation to, and with the permission of, their ecclesiastical authorities, the Bishops are the final arbiters of these policies and procedures.
Section 2. Clergy from the EC may not participate in the religious ceremonies of non-Christian religions in a ministerial capacity. They may, for example, observe or visit a funeral to give respect, or attend a wedding or other ceremony. However, they shall not participate in the religious activities of said religions.
a. Such participation will lead to disciplinary action.
b. Military Chaplains may be required to oversee non-Christian services by their command and if so, are exempt from this requirement as long as it is it clear that they are Christians and not adherents of the supervised religions’ beliefs.
Section 3. Lay members of the EC are strongly urged to follow the same requirements as their clergy. They may not participate in non-Christian religious services. Participation in non Christian worship rituals will damage the witness we are called to give as Christ’s followers. It may give the impression that the participating Christian believes there are other viable paths to God aside from the Cross of Jesus.
a. Such participation may lead to counseling and disciplinary action.
Canon 11. The Clergy Records
Section 1. The Archbishop shall maintain a book entitled "Records of the Bishop of the Emmanuel Communion." In a section thereof entitled "Record of Clergy of the Emmanuel Communion," the Archbishop shall list all Clergy canonically resident in this Archdiocese, giving the date of their ordination in this Archdiocese, or of their reception from another Communion of the Catholic Church, or of the issuance of their Letters Dimissory, together with the name of the Bishop issuing such Letters Dimissory, and designating those with Pastoral Cure by the title of such Cure. Persons holding non-parochial positions shall be listed by position and residence. Changes in such record shall be made promptly.
The Provincial and Diocesan Bishop, likewise, must maintain a book entitled “Records of the Bishop of __________________________.” He shall keep a record of all clergy canonically resident in the Province or Diocese, giving the date of their ordination in this Archdiocese, or of their reception from another Communion of the Catholic Church, or of the issuance of their Letters Dimissory, together with the name of the Bishop issuing such Letters Dimissory, and designating those with Pastoral Cure by the title of such Cure. Persons holding non-parochial positions shall be listed by position and residence. Changes in such record shall be made promptly.
Section 2. Upon receiving notice that a Parish/Cure is to become or has become vacant, the Bishop or his appointee shall notify all Clergy canonically resident in the Province or Diocese of that fact in writing within two weeks. A member of the Clergy may notify the Bishop in writing of a desire to be considered for election or appointment as appropriate.
a. He may notify the Archbishop of the vacancy so that he may publish it to the clergy in the EC.
b. The Bishop shall provide a list of eligible clergy available to the vacant parish/cure so the pastor search process may begin.
Section 3. The Bishop of the Province/Diocese/Religious order shall enter in the Records of the Bishop of __________________, in a section thereof entitled "Letters Dimissory," all Letters Dimissory issued or accepted by him, the date of issuance or acceptance, and a brief statement of the action taken thereon. A member of the Clergy shall be deemed canonically resident in this Diocese for all purposes declared in these Canons from the date of ordination or reception in this Diocese or of acceptance by the Bishop of Letters Dimissory as recorded, and not before.
Section 4. The Bishop shall enter in the Records of the Bishop of __________________, in a section thereof entitled "Election of Rectors," a brief report of every notice of the election of a Rector, together with the date of his receipt of such notice.
Section 5. The Records of the Bishop of ______________________, together with the record of the Bishop's official acts as may be required by the Provincial Canons, shall be the property of the Diocese and shall remain in the custody of the Bishop of ____________________ and his successors in office.
Section 6. Transcripts of the records herein named, or parts thereof, duly certified by the Bishop and attested by the Secretary of the Synod, shall be admissible in all proceedings or trials in the Diocese.
Section 7. Priests shall also maintain a record in the parish to which they are assigned of all baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals. These records will remain with the parish.
a. The priest shall provide the Province or diocese with a copy of the records for all baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals monthly.
b. The priest shall issue a certificate of baptism or confirmation that records the person’s name, the location, the date, and the priest or bishop performing the rite.
c. The priest shall sign the certificate of marriage as required by law. But note, in some locales, a government official may do this. In such a case, the priest will issue a certificate of marriage stating the location, date, names of the couple getting married, and the priest or bishop who performed the rite.
Canon 12. Marriage Section
1. Holy Matrimony Marriage is a sacrament of the Church and Holy Matrimony celebrates the life-long union of a biological man and a biological woman neither of whom have had sexual re- identification medical procedures, blessed by God for the purpose of procreation of children, their care and nurture and for the purpose of the development of mutual love, comfort and honor between the husband and wife.
a. The solemnization of any marriage shall be in accordance with these Canons and the laws of the civil jurisdiction in which the wedding ceremony is performed.
b. The capacity for either party to enter into marriage must be weighed against the following impediments which preclude the blessing of the marriage:
1) Failure of either party to have reached the age of majority in the state in which they reside or the state in which the wedding ceremony is to be performed.
2) No marriage shall be allowed that was the product of adultery.
3) Mental deficiency in either party which prevents the exercise of intelligent choice.
4) Insanity in either party.
5) A previous marriage by either party which has not been legally dissolved and annulled by a Bishop in the EC or other canonical bishop.
6) A violation of the following degrees of blood relationship as stated in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, whether by whole or half blood relationship: a) One may not marry one’s parent or child.
b) One may not marry one’s brother or sister.
c) One may not marry one’s uncle or aunt, nephew or niece.
d) One may not marry one’s first cousin.
e) One may not marry one’s step father or step mother.
f) One may not marry one’s step brother or step sister.
7) One or both parties have used a false identity not as a result of legal Witness Protection Program.
8) Impotence when it is undisclosed, unwillingness to physically consummate the marriage, sexual perversion by either party, unhealed venereal disease, or known undisclosed sterility by either party (fraud).
9) That the marriage is the product of duress, or coercion.
10) That one or both parties are entering into marriage to further or perpetrate legal fraud. Also, that one or both parties are using a false identity for the sake of deceiving the government or the person they intend to marry, excepting those in the Witness Protection Program.
11) That one or both parties suffer such defects of personality as to make competent consent impossible.
12) That one or both parties may suffer from severe personality disorders that may render a stable and or safe marriage impossible.
13) Multiple marriages as a result of divorce are not permitted and those who have been married more than twice shall not be permitted to remarry in the Church. Those married more than once and divorced both times shall be required to petition the Ordinary.
14) At least one of the parties to the marriage must be baptized.
15) At least two competent witnesses, in addition to the priest, are required, except in a dire emergency such as in time of actual warfare or combat, which, in the bishop’s or priest’s opinion, obtaining such witnesses would not be possible or would not be safe.
Section 2. Duties of the Priest
a. A priest may decline to perform any marriage ceremony without giving cause.
b. The priest performing the wedding ceremony shall record in a proper register the date and place of the ceremony, the names of the parties and their parents, the names of the witnesses, which record the priest, will sign. The priest will sign any legal documents required by the government.
c. All persons who desire to be married in the Church must have undergone premarital counseling. If the priest or deacon in the parish does not perform such counseling, a signed document by the competent person who performed the counseling must be provided to the priest indicating the competence of the couple to be married and that there are no serious emotional or mental or lifestyle impediments to a biblical union.
d. The Minister shall require the parties to sign the following declaration: "We, A.B. and C.D., desiring to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church, do solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. We believe it is for the purpose of the procreation (if it may be) of children, and their, and our, spiritual and physical nurture, for mutual fellowship, encouragement, and understanding, and for the safeguarding and benefit of society, and we do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God's help thereto. Section 3. Remarriage
a. No Minister, knowingly after due inquiry, shall solemnize the marriage of any person who has been or is the husband or wife of any other person then living, whose marriage has been annulled or dissolved in any way by the civil court for any cause arising after marriage; Provided, however, in any case of a person who has been the husband or wife of any other person then living, whose marriage has been annulled or dissolved by a civil court, who shall apply to a Minister of this Church for solemnization of his or her marriage, the Minister shall ascertain all pertinent facts concerning the dissolution, including matters of record, and the actual causes of dissolution, and forward these facts, in writing, to the Ordinary with his recommendations, and letters from both parties indicating their understanding of marriage, and by their agreement to abide by Section 2.d of this Canon, at least thirty days before the proposed date of marriage. In every case, the Minister shall deliver his personal opinion to the Ordinary. Such application shall not be made until a period of not less than one year shall have elapsed since the civil dissolution of the previous marriage. The ordinary shall consider both godly discipline and justice and Christian mercy and charity, and shall deliver his judgment on the petition within thirty days of receiving the same. Should he not deliver his judgment within the stated time, the proposed marriage shall be considered valid and may proceed. In every case, the proceedings shall be held confidential.
b. In the case of an ecclesiastical annulment by a canonical diocesan bishop, such remarriage shall be without hindrance.
c. Remarriage may take place in the following cases:
a. Adultery on the part of one’s previous spouse.
b. Abandonment by the previous spouse or in the case of effectual abandonment when the proposed married had no choice in the divorce proceedings by law.
c. In the case of homosexuality by one’s former spouse, sexual
reassignment, transgenderism, incest, pedophilia, bestiality,
necrophilia, nymphomania, or other serious sexual perversions of the
d. Finding after the fact a near blood relation, such as brother, sister,
father, mother, first cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent, step father,
step mother, step brother, or step sister.
e. The former spouse used a false identity and perpetrated fraud on
the spouse or legal fraud. Or, that the former spouse perpetrated
legal fraud, such as in the case of marriage for the purpose of
immigration or in order to obtain access to financial means
f. The divorce occurred because of a safety issue, such as abuse or
g. Undisclosed Impotence or unwillingness to physically consummate
h. The former spouse was legally insane or had a severe personality
disorder, such as, but not limited to, psychopaths, narcissism,
Machiavellianism, sadism, or dangerous borderline personality disorder.
i. The divorcing spouse was unbaptized or the divorce was because
one spouse joined another religion other than Christianity.
j. The person was forced into marriage, or the person was under age at the time of the marriage and therefore not legally competent to enter into a marriage.
k. In the case of rape and forced marriage.
l. Due to the depth of the darkness of sin in human souls, there may be other issues not covered in this section that would entail a valid, moral and biblical justification for divorce that would allow for remarriage. In such cases, an appeal must be made to the Ordinary.
Section 4. Ecclesiastical annulment
a. The Bishop Ordinary has the authority, based upon the Bible, Church Tradition, and the Canons of this Church, to grant an ecclesiastical annulment in the case of the dissolution of any marriage that allows for the remarriage of the innocent party whose marriage was so annulled. The Bishop must seek guidance from the Bible, Church Tradition, the Canons of this Church, and the Bishop’s Guide Book on Marriage.
b. The Bishop Ordinary shall undertake this consideration with all gravity. He shall prayerfully seek wisdom in prayer, the Bible, Church Tradition, and the Canons of this Church and make his decision pastorally and conservatively, realizing he may not be in possession of all the facts of the case.
c. Any person who wishes to remarry, who having been properly civilly divorced, if they think they have good and sufficient reason for an ecclesiastical annulment, shall be able to make application to the Ordinary, whose decision shall be final in the matter.
d. Those wishing to apply for such an annulment shall provide the Ordinary with a letter stating the reasons, history of the previous marriage, court documents, and other information the Ordinary shall desire.
e. In no case shall an annulment be granted or a remarriage be permitted in the Church that the previous marriage was dissolved based upon not getting along, falling out of love, being too young (unless they were, in fact, under age minor children), not being happy, trying to find oneself, adultery on the part of the person seeking the annulment, finding one’s true soul mate, unhappiness, or other such excuses.
Section 5. Clergy divorce and remarriage
a. Clergy must be held to a higher standard than the laity.
b. Clergy divorced for the following reasons shall not be retained in the ministry:
a. Adultery on their part, sexual perversion (as defined in the above section), abandonment of his spouse, severe personality disorders (as defined above), fraud, rape, and other such issues.
b. Clergy are allowed to remarry after being widowed. They may be allowed to remarry in the case of divorce if they are the innocent party (see sections 3 and 4). However, in no case shall more than one marriage due to divorce be allowed, nor remarriages after such divorces.
c. The Ordinary shall be very strict but pastoral in dealing with clergy divorce.
Canon 13. Standards of Worship
Section 1. The Due Celebration of Sundays.
All members of the EC shall celebrate and keep the Lord's Day, commonly called Sunday, by regular participation in the public worship of the Church, by hearing the Word of God read and taught, and by other acts of devotion and works of charity, using all godly and sober conversation. The norm for the principal liturgy of the Lord’s Day in the churches of the EC is a celebration of the Holy Eucharist, with the administration of the Sacramental Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful. No person who is neither canonically resident in nor licensed by the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese shall celebrate or administer the Eucharist without the written consent of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese.
Section 2. The Calendar and Lectionary.
The Calendar and Lectionary for use in the Diocese shall be that approved by the Provincial or Diocesan Bishop, consistent with the EAC Constitution and Canons.
Section 3. Approved Translations of the Bible.
The Lessons prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer, or in such Lectionary as approved by the Bishop, consistent with the Provincial Constitution and Canons, shall be read from one of the following translations of the Holy Scriptures, except as otherwise approved by the Bishop: The King James or Authorized Version (with Apocrypha) The New King James Version The New American Bible The New American Standard Bible The English Standard Version (with Apocrypha) The New Living Translation (when simple English is needed; Apocrypha available) Bibles in Native Languages The use of any other versions may require the assent of the Ordinary of the Diocese. The use of translations that contradict the teachings of the Church are not permitted. The use of the name Allah for God is to be severely discouraged.
Section 4. The Standard Book of Common Prayer.
The House of Bishops shall, consistent with the Provincial Constitution and Canons, approve a recognized edition of the Book of Common Prayer for standard use in the Diocese; provided that the Bishop may approve other editions of the Book of Common Prayer, including any Missal editions, trial editions of a pending revision, or translations in other languages for use in a particular congregation or ministry. These shall be in modern English, or other language spoken by the congregation. The normative prayer book of this Church shall officially be the 2012 Book of Common Prayer in Modern English based on the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible, which is the updated 1662 Book of Common Prayer with alternate 1928 Holy Communion provided. a. Any Bishop Ordinary or Abbot–Bishop of a Religious Order may authorize the use of any formulary based on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of this Church and of the Church of England and in keeping with the theology expressed therein. b. Notwithstanding the differences in form or structure, the use of Godly material for special occasions that are of an extemporaneous nature which is orthodox in theology and that is in keeping with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer cited in Subsection a, above, may be used with the assent of the Bishop or the AbbotBishop of the Religious Order for the jurisdiction in which it is proposed to use such material. c. Other services not specifically provided by the Book of Common Prayer may be co-opted from other orthodox approved sources. Such sources must be approved by the Bishop prior to use.
Section 5. Rubrics.
The Altar must be kept holy and the altar area kept sacred as befitting a holy place. No person that is not clergy, shall be permitted in the altar area unless by permission of the bishop or priest for specified duties. No person may be in the altar area unless by special permission of the bishop or priest.
a. All clergy must be vested in a stole at the minimum when serving at the altar, but normally vested in choir dress of black cassock with white surplice and stole in the seasonal color; or alb, rope belt, and stole, with the chasuble being allowed. Likewise, Bishops shall dress in choir dress consisting of cassock, rochet, chimere, seasonal stole, or wear a cope, alb/rochet, rope belt, stole in seasonal color, and chasuble. Bishops normally shall wear a crown (Mitre) except when consecrating the Eucharist. A white cassock may be allowed in tropical climes. Members of the Order of St. Benedict may wear the black scapular. The use of the maniple is not allowed.
b. The bishops, priests, and deacons shall wear appropriate stoles and vestments in the color of the season. The white cassock may be permitted in tropical climes with black being the norm. Commissioned ministers shall wear the blue stole at a minimum, and normally along with a white alb or choir dress of cassock and surplice with blue stole. All ministers may wear the cassock.
c. Nothing shall be placed upon the altar except the vessels, bread, wine, Gospels, lectern, cross, and candles.
d. The Altar shall be properly clothed in the color of the season. Excepting the case of unavailability or poverty, this should constitute an altar cloth at a minimum. A cerecloth, frontal in the seasonal color, and fair linen cloth may be used instead,
e. All activities in the altar area are to be done with the decorum befitting such a holy place. No person, regardless of rank, should enter the altar area without first obtaining the blessing of the Bishop or the priest and saying a prayer of access.
f. It shall be the deacon’s responsibility, under the priest’s authority, to make certain all is correct in relation to the altar, and to direct and train acolytes or altar servers.
g. Clergy shall normally face liturgical East when serving at the altar. The exception to serve facing liturgical West, facing the people, may be allowed by the bishop in parishes where this was already the norm.
Section 6. The Music of the Church.
It shall be the duty of every member of the clergy in a cure to ensure that all music used glorifies God and helps the people worship in accordance with the approved liturgies of the Diocese. The priest in charge of the congregation, or in his absence, the assistant or associate minister or deacon shall have general oversight and final authority in all matters pertaining to music, in consultation with persons skilled in music, to ensure that music is appropriate to the context in which it is used. In the event of the entirety of the clergy being absent, the Senior Warden and Music Director shall have the authority.
Canon 14 Doctrine
Section 1. The 66 universally accepted books of the Old and New Testament are the divinely inspired inerrant Word of God containing all things necessary unto salvation. Those books called the Apocrypha or Deutero-Canonical Books are a secondary level Canon and we further reaffirm the position, that while beneficial for education and teaching, they are not for doctrine and not inspired on the same level as the primary 66 books. They may, therefore, be read in public worship, private devotion, and spiritual development. There are no other recognized book of Scripture other than the following:
The Old Testament Canonical Books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
b. The New Testament Canonical Books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation
c. The Deutero-Canonical Books: 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Rest of Esther, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Song of the Three Children, Susanna, The Idol Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Manasses, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees Section 2. We hold the Authority of Holy Scriptures as the divinely inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God to Mankind. The Holy Scriptures serve as the final authority on all matters of faith and practice. Scripture is to be understood in light of apostolic tradition. Where Scripture does not speak, we defer to apostolic tradition. Section 3. There are three authoritative Ecumenical Creeds that are summaries of the Nicene Orthodox Trinitarian Christian Faith: The Nicene Creed as the normal statement of Faith, the Apostle’s Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.
Section 4. There are two major Sacraments of the Church which are clearly commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ for all people: Baptism and Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion. There are five minor sacraments that are not commanded of all people: Confirmation, Confession/Reconciliation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Healing/Unction. (See Canon 15)
Section 5. There is an historic episcopate in Apostolic Succession, the gift of Christ’s authority to the Church and the trustee of the Church’s fidelity to apostolic teaching.
Section 6. The Doctrine of this Church is Trinitarian Nicene Orthodoxy. There is One Being called God, who exists in Three Persons of the same substance, same glory, same power, God the Father Almighty, and One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, who is God and of the same substance with the Father, the same glory, same power, who came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became human, existing eternally fully God and fully human, and God the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life.
Canon 15. The Major Sacraments
Section 1. The major sacraments are called “major” because they are specifically commanded by the Lord Jesus and are binding upon all people.
Section 2. Baptism. Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian people are discerned from others that are not baptized, but it is also normal means of Regeneration or New-Birth or Born Again event (e.g. Mark 16.16; John 3.5; Matt 28.19; Gal 3.26-27), whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Spirit, are visibly signed and sealed; Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.The Baptism of young infants and children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.
a. Baptism shall be by immersion three times in water in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
b. Pouring is permitted if immersion cannot conveniently or readily be used. In this case, water will be poured three times over the head of the person being baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
1) In the case of a severely burned person, or for one who is ill, and for which water could be the cause of death or infection, if the fear of death is immanent, the person may be baptized by waving of the hand three times in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit since there is water, in fact, in the air.
2) If the person survives and recovers, if in the opinion of the bishop it should be required, then the person may be baptized in water at a later date.
Section 3. The Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, or the Eucharist.
The Lord’s Supper, or Holy Eucharist is required of all baptized believers. In it, the bishop or priest so consecrates the elements of bread and wine that they become mysteriously the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus. The bread and wine are still bread and wine, yet in some mysterious manner, they are so transformed that Christ is present, even as his physical body on earth was still fully human, yet in a manner mysterious to us he was fully God.
a. The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ’s death: insomuch that to such as properly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ, as He intended when He said”...this is my body”... and …”this is my blood.”
b. Any baptized person, regardless of age, may receive the bread and wine in Holy Communion/The Lord’s Supper. No one has the authority, without due cause for moral lapse, to withhold Holy Communion from any member of Christ’s Church.
c. If any priest or pastor withholds the Holy Communion (excommunicates) anyone who is a member of the EC, the priest or pastor shall, within one week, communicate such to the Bishop. He shall give valid reasons for such action and explain whatever other actions were taken.
d. Any baptized person, who is not a heretic or member of a cult may receive Holy Communion in the parishes of the EC. Generally, those who are members of the following Churches may receive Holy Communion: Eastern Orthodox Syrian Orthodox Mar Thoma Roman Catholic Maronite Anglican Lutheran Baptist Conservative Presbyterian churches Conservative Methodist churches
e. People seeking to partake of Holy Communion who are members of denominations not listed in d above, including Charismatic, Pentecostal, and other bodies, shall be interviewed by the priest on a case by case basis because of the rise of heresy in modern times. Such persons must have been baptized scripturally in the Name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. They must be orthodox in their beliefs.
Section 4. Sacrament of Confession
1. Only a bishop or priest is authorized to act as minister of the sacrament of confession.
2. The sacramental seal of confession is inviolable. However, according to the conscience of the bishop or priest, in the case of preserving life or preventing a crime the bishop or priest may inform relevant authorities.
3. A confessor is completely prohibited from using knowledge acquired during confession in a punitive manner against the penitent.
Section 5. Confirmation. Only a bishop may perform the rite of Confirmation. However, he may grant the performance of this rite to a priest.
Section 6. Marriage. See the Canon on Marriage.
Section 7. Ordination. See the Canon on Ordination.
Section 8. Holy Unction. Only a bishop or a priest may perform the rite of Holy Unction. However, any baptized Christian may pray for another person to be healed.
Canon 16. Holy Orders
Section 1. Commission on Ministry.
The Commission on Ministry shall oversee all individuals who apply to the Diocese for discernment of a vocation to Holy Orders, and shall oversee all rules and process for an individual seeking ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood.
Section 2. The Commission shall advise the Bishop on all matters related to the discernment of individuals and those in the ordination process. The Commission may establish committees consisting of its own members or others to carry out its duties.
Section 3. No individual shall be recommended to the Bishop and Standing Committee for ordination to the diaconate or priesthood until the person has met all requirements of the Commission on Ministry and has received a positive approval from a majority of all members of the Commission.
Section 4. Every Bishop who accepts a postulant will be responsible for setting forth the preparation and study for the same, whether that involves formal seminary training or reading for orders. Under direction of the Bishop, The Commission on Ministry shall work in consultation with the Director of the EC or Provincial School For Ministry to ensure that appropriate training is available to those in the discernment process for Holy Orders at the local level.
Section 5. The Commission on Ministry shall liaison with seminaries approved by the Bishop to coordinate requirements for training for those receiving seminary education for full-time ministry.
Section 6. The Commission on Ministry shall provide training and resources for diocesan congregations to develop local ministries and the process of discernment for all persons seeking direction in their call to ministry, whether lay or ordained.
Section 7. The Bishop may license any adult communicant in good standing to serve within the person’s congregation of record as Pastoral Assistant, Lay Reader, Lay Preacher, Lay Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor, or Lay Catechist, subject to any requirements established by the Commission on Ministry.
Section 8. While any Bishop has the authority to ordain, the ultimate authority rests in the Provincial or Diocesan Bishop. All ordinations by Bishops must be duly recorded and reported to the Provincial or Diocesan Bishop.
Section 9. The process for Postulancy, Candidacy, and Ordination shall be as set forth in the current Diocesan Handbook For Holy Orders.
Section 10. Postulants. Before being admitted as a postulant for Holy Orders, the applicant shall submit to the Commission on Ministry appropriate records showing the person’s fitness and readiness for Holy Orders. Such records shall, at a minimum, include the following:
a. The person’s full legal name, date of birth, and place of birth, showing the person to be at least 21 years of age.
b. Evidence of the person’s Baptism and Confirmation, and that the person is an active communicant in good standing in a church in the Diocese, or a church in Communion with the Diocese.
c. Whether the person has previously been an applicant, postulant, or candidate for Holy Orders in this or any other church.
d. A personal letter detailing the person’s perceived call to Holy Orders and the process of discernment to the date of application.
e. A letter of support from the priest or minister in charge of the person’s sponsoring congregation, including an approval of the local discernment committee, if any.
f. A certified record of the person’s educational background and other relevant training.
g. General requirements.
1) No one shall be accepted as a postulant unless that person meets the standards for ministry expressed in the New Testament. Which is to say that the person must be male who has an active prayer life, feels called to the ministry, has an informed moral consciousness, lives an exemplary life of charity, wholesomeness, and devotion to God, and who is prepared to live a life of sacrifice for the Gospel.
2) No one shall be accepted as a postulant, ordained to the ministry or consecrated to the episcopate who cannot publicly and wholehearted subscribe to the historic Creeds, acknowledge that the Holy Scripture contains all things necessary for Salvation and is the inerrant Word of God, that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through faith in Jesus as Lord.
3) No one may be accepted as a postulant, or ordained as a deacon, unless that person is male and has reached the age of twenty-one; no one may be ordained or received as a priest until he has reached the age of twenty-four and is male; no one may be consecrated a bishop who has not been a priest for at least five years and who has not reached the age of thirty and he must be male.
4) No one can be accepted as a postulant, ordained to the ministry or consecrated to the episcopate whose lifestyle and sexual conduct flagrantly violates heterosexual standards of morality or eschews voluntary celibacy as an alternative to marriage.
5) No one may continue as a postulant unless he is actively studying to meet the educational requirements for ordination.
Section 11. Before a person is recommended for Postulancy, the Commission on Ministry shall cause the following background inquiries to be made and their results received:
a. A thorough personal background check, including a criminal records check, a driving privilege check, and an investigation into the person’s financial responsibilities and debts.
b. Thorough medical and psychiatric examinations conducted by licensed professionals, with attention to the person’s abilities or limitations as they relate to suitability to the exercise and responsibilities of ordained ministry.
c. A letter of recommendation, in a form set by the Commission on Ministry, from the person’s priest and congregation endorsing the person for Postulancy.
Section 12. If the Commission on Ministry is satisfied that all requirements are met, and following a personal interview with the applicant, the Commission on Ministry shall recommend to the Standing Committee whether or not the person should be accepted as a Postulant. If the person is approved by the Standing Committee, the Bishop may then admit the person to Postulancy and assign the person to a sponsoring congregation.
Section 13. No Postulant may advance to Candidacy until having served satisfactorily in the sponsoring congregation for a period of 12 months; provided that for good cause the Bishop, with the approval of the Commission on Ministry, may shorten that period.
Section 14. The Bishop may, at his sole discretion, remove a person from Postulancy for good cause, and shall promptly notify the Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee of such action, and the reason thereof.
Section 15. Candidacy. When applying for Candidacy, the applicant shall present to the Commission on Ministry evidence of completion of the required period of Postulancy, and satisfaction of any specific requirements set forth during the Postulancy by the Bishop, the sponsoring priest, or Commission on Ministry.
Section 16. The applicant for Candidacy shall inform the Commission on Ministry of any significant change in the applicant’s Canons of The EC of status as set forth in the original application for Postulancy.
Section 17. The applicant shall present a letter of recommendation, in a form set by the Commission on Ministry, from the person’s priest and congregation endorsing the person for Candidacy.
Section 18. The Commission on Ministry, following a personal interview with the Postulant, shall recommend to the Standing Committee whether or not the Postulant should be approved for Candidacy. If the person is approved by the Standing Committee, the Bishop may then admit the person as a Candidate for Holy Orders.
Section 19. The Bishop, in consultation with the sponsoring priest and congregation, may assign the Candidate to a congregation other than the sponsoring congregation, as is convenient, during the completion of the period of Candidacy.
Section 20. No Candidate shall be approved for Ordination to the Diaconate until having satisfactorily completed a period of Candidacy of at least 12 months; provided that the Bishop may, upon the recommendation of the Commission on Ministry and with the consent of the Standing Committee, shorten the period.
Section 21. The Bishop may, at his sole discretion, remove a person from Candidacy for good cause, and shall promptly notify the Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee of such action, and the reason thereof.
Section 22. If a person approved for Candidacy has been previously ordained in another church by a bishop in apostolic succession, the Bishop, upon recommendation of the Commission on Ministry and with the consent of the Standing Committee, may amend the requirements for preparation for Ordination normally observed, based upon the person’s previous training and experience in ordained ministry.
Section 23. The Bishop may, with the recommendation of the Standing Committee, transfer a person who is a candidate in this diocese to another diocese or jurisdiction in communion with the diocese, if such transfer is needed to facilitate the process of ordination and ministry.
Section 24. Ordination to the Diaconate. No person shall be approved for ordination to the Diaconate unless the person is at least 24 years old, has met all training and spiritual formation requirements set forth by the Bishop and the Commission on Ministry (COM), and has provided the COM verification that the person has successfully completed all required canonical examinations.
Section 25. Prior to recommending any Candidate for Ordination to the Diaconate, the Candidate shall present to the Commission on Ministry a letter recommending Ordination from the priest and congregation to which the Candidate was assigned.
Section 26. No one may be ordained a deacon unless he has completed at least 30 Semester hours of theological study, that includes, at a minimum, Introduction to the Old Testament; Introduction to the New Testament; Systematic Theology 1,2,3 (God, Creation, Scripture, Christology, Soteriology, Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, etc.); Church History 1, 2; Old Testament Theology; New Testament Theology; and Church Polity.
Section 27. If the Commission on Ministry is satisfied that all requirements have been met, it may recommend to the Standing Committee that the Candidate be ordained.
Section 28. No person shall be ordained to the sacred Order of Deacons until the person has subscribed to the following declaration in the presence of the Bishop and 2 priests canonically resident in the Diocese: “In the Name of God, I, NAME, swear solemnly that I believe the Old Testament and the New Testament to be the Word of God, infallible (incapable of error or being wrong), written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that this Holy Scripture contains all that is necessary for salvation, doctrine, and faith. With the help of God I will order my life in compliance with the Holy Scriptures. I do believe and accept the body of doctrine, discipline, and worship of this church, as set forth in the Constitution and Canons of the same, and will conform thereunto, the Lord being my helper. I do swear by Almighty God that I will pay true and canonical obedience to the Bishop of _______________ and his successors in all things lawful and honest: So help me God. Amen.”
Section 29. Ordination to the Priesthood. No man shall be ordained to the sacred Order of Priests until the person has met any further training or preparation required by the Bishop or Commission on Ministry and has provided the COM verification that the person has successfully completed any further required canonical examinations.
Section 30. Any candidate for the Holy Priesthood, at a minimum, must complete a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, or equivalent, of at least 60 Semester hours duration. A Master of Divinity, while not required, is encouraged.
Section 31. No man shall be ordained Priest until the person has faithfully ministered as a Deacon for at least 12 months; provided that the Bishop may, with the consent of the Standing Committee, shorten the period.
Section 32. No man shall be ordained Priest until he has subscribed to the declaration set forth in Section ______. in the presence of the Bishop and 2 Priests canonically resident in the Diocese.
Section 33. No person shall be ordained to the priesthood unless he is a biological heterosexual male.
Section 34 The priest candidate shall sign the oath. “In the Name of God, I, NAME, swear solemnly that I believe the Old Testament and the New Testament to be the Word of God, infallible (incapable of error or being wrong), written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that this Holy Scripture contains all that is necessary for salvation, doctrine, and faith. With the help of God I will order my life in compliance with the Holy Scriptures. I do believe and accept the body of doctrine, discipline, and worship of this church, as set forth in the Constitution and Canons of the same, and will conform thereunto, the Lord being my helper. I do swear by Almighty God that I will pay true and canonical obedience to the Bishop of _______________ and his successors in all things lawful and honest: So help me God. Amen.” Section 35. Consecration of a Bishop. No priest shall be consecrated Bishop, Bishop Coadjutor, or Bishop Suffragan until such person has been duly elected in accordance with the Canons of the Diocese and has been duly approved by the Provincial authority of the Province with which the Diocese is affiliated.
Section 36. No priest duly elected Bishop, Bishop Coadjutor, or Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese shall be consecrated Bishop until he has subscribed to the declaration set forth in this Section in the presence of the President of the Standing Committee and at least 3 Priests canonically resident in the Diocese. a. “In the Name of God, I, NAME, swear solemnly that I believe the Old Testament and the New Testament to be the Word of God, infallible (incapable of error or being wrong), written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that this Holy Scripture contains all that is necessary for salvation, doctrine, and faith. With the help of God I will order my life in compliance with the Holy Scriptures. I will adhere to and defend the orthodox Christian faith and holy traditions of the Church. I do believe and accept the body of doctrine, discipline, and worship of this church, as set forth in the Constitution and Canons of the same, and will conform thereunto, the Lord being my helper. So help me God. Amen.”
Section 37. Clergy Definitions and Forms of Clergy Address
a. The Archbishop. This is the presiding, leading, or chief bishop in the Emmanuel Communion. He is addressed as The Most Reverend (name).
b. Provincial Metropolitan Bishop. This is a bishop that is over a large geographical location or a large city. Such a bishop will have other diocesan bishops under his authority. This is the same as, and may be referred to as, a Metropolitan Archbishop. He is not the Archbishop of the Emmanuel Communion unless elected to that position. He is addressed as The Most Reverend Metropolitan (Name) of (Province).
c. Diocesan Bishop. This is a bishop who is in charge of a diocese. This is also called the Bishop Ordinary because he has ordination powers. He is addressed as The Rt. Rev. (Name) of (Diocese).
d. Suffragan Bishop. A suffragan bishop is a bishop who assists a Metropolitan or a Diocesan Bishop. He is the same as an auxiliary bishop. He normally has no jurisdiction of his own, but may be assigned to a suffragan diocese by a Metropolitan under whom he serves. A suffragan bishop may be the bishop chosen to succeed a diocesan bishop upon the retirement or other vacating of office by the diocesan. He is a fully consecrated bishop and is able to do everything required of the bishop he serves. He is addressed as The Rt. Rev. (Name).
e. Assistant Bishop. This is a bishop who has no diocese, but rather assists a Provincial/Metropolitan or Diocesan Bishop in the operation of his province or diocese. He has no right to succeed to a diocese, unless the House of Bishops or the Provincial Metropolitan changes his status. His office ends when the bishop that appointed him retires or dies, unless renewed by the new bishop. He is a fully consecrated bishop. He is addressed as The Rt. Rev. (Name).
f. Vicar General. A vicar general is the principal deputy of the bishop of a diocese for the exercise of administrative authority and possesses the title of local ordinary. As vicar of the bishop, the vicar general exercises the bishop's ordinary executive power over the entire diocese and, thus, is the highest official in a diocese or other particular church after the diocesan bishop of suffragan. He acts as an assistant bishop. This person is normally a bishop suffragan or assistant bishop, but may be an archpriest who may or may not be pending ordination as a bishop. His office as vicar general ends either with the vacating of office of the bishop that appointed him, or with ordination to the bishopric. They serve only under the authority of a bishop and not their own authority.
g. Episcopal Commissary. This man is normally a bishop, but may also be a ranking priest who is appointed to rule a diocese temporarily, or part of a diocese, or represent a bishop on a particular issue. His office ends at a prescribed time. They serve only under the authority of a bishop and not their own authority.
h. Archdeacon. This is the ranking priest and is the same as an archpriest. He is the diocesan bishop’s assistant and is the highest authority under a bishop. These men may be appointed to either assist the bishop in operating his diocese or appointed to an archdeaconry where he will administer several churches or an area, as the bishops needs require. They serve only under the authority of a bishop and not their own authority.
i. Canon. A canon is a title that may be given to a senior clergyman. He is under the authority of the archdeacon or the vicar general, etc. They serve only under the authority of a bishop and not their own authority.
j. Canon Missioner. This is a canon normally assigned to a cathedral, but may also be a canon who has the responsibility of missions and outreach. They serve only under the authority of a bishop and not their own authority.
k. Vicar and Dean. A vicar is a clergyman the bishop appoints to be in charge of a mission or a parish. A dean is the priest in charge of a cathedral. These men are the pastors in charge. They serve only under the authority of a bishop and not their own authority.
l. Priest. This is a man who is fully sacramentally ordained to perform the sacraments and other works of the ministry. This is one of the three major orders in the Church; the others being bishop and deacon. They serve only under the authority of a bishop and not their own authority.
m. Deacon. This man is not fully sacramental. They are one of the three ordained major orders of the Church; the others being bishop and priest. However, they may not perform sacraments such as the Eucharist or Confession or Unction, nor do they have the charisma to bless. However, they may baptize and perform marriages, if the priest is not available.
n. Sub-deacon. A subdeacon is not ordained, nor may he perform any sacrament. He is a layperson who is tonsured or set apart with prayers, with the bishop’s permission. He assists with the parish services, reading of scriptures (if he is qualified), and other assisting roles. He may be under the direction of the deacon or the priest. He wears a simple black cassock, unless he is a member of the OSB, in which case it will be a white cassock with black tunic scapular. He wears a bright blue cincture tied on the right side. They are not called reverend.
o. Ordinand. This is a man pending ordination. They are not called reverend.
p. Postulant. This is a man who is receiving training for ordination. They may wear a clergy shirt with a black stripe through the white collar if the bishop allows. They are not called reverend
Canon 17. Offices Not Requiring Ordination
Section 1. Office of Commissioned Minister. The office of a commissioned minister is for those who do not need to be ordained to a sacramental office to fulfill their ministries, such as some chaplains, or who do not qualify due to education or gender. The office of commissioned minister may be constituted under such provisions as the Council of Bishops may hereafter provide. The office of commissioned minister involves a teaching ministry, missions, and other duties, but it may also include the function of a Eucharistic Minister. Commissioned ministers may not perform the consecration of Holy Communion, ordinations, marriages or any sacrament except baptism, which though usually done by a sacramental minister, may be done by any baptized Christian. Also, the commissioned minister may perform the healing ministry and rites related to the chaplaincy.
Section 2. Eucharistic Minister. A Eucharistic Minister is on who is licensed under appropriate diocesan canons to administer the Chalice at Holy Communion, although neither a Deacon or a Priest, and/or one who may, by special licensee be permitted to take the Sacrament of Communion in the form of consecrated elements to persons who cannot come to church.
Section 3. Sacristan. A Sacristan is one who has received training preparatory to being a candidate for ordination but is not yet ordained and by special license, under appropriate diocesan canons, is authorized to serve in a remote location in the absence of an ordained priest or deacon. A Sacristan is restricted in his function to one and only one location and may not preach or perform any sacerdotal act in any other place than that for which he is licensed.
Section 4. Lay reader. A Lay reader may be licensed to read the Lessons at Morning and Evening Prayer, and perform such other functions as the Ordinary may allow by license.
Canon 18. Ecclesiastical Discipline
Section 1. Cause for Presentment. A bishop, priest, or deacon shall be liable for Presentment, trial and, if found guilty, punishment, for the following offenses:
a. Criminal activity resulting in conviction in a secular court.
c. Teaching, either publicly or privately, any doctrine contrary to that held by this Church
d. Violations of the Canons of the General Council or a Diocese thereof.
e. Violation of his or her ordination vows.
f. Habitual neglect of public worship according to the use of this Church
g. Conduct unbecoming of a clergyman.
Section 2. In the Case of Clergy Found Guilty in a Secular Court A bishop, priest or deacon convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony in a secular court may be subject to deposition without the necessity of a presentment and ecclesiastical trial, excepting in cases where the secular law for which he was convicted is in opposition to biblical law.
Section 3. Form of a Presentment. A Presentment must be made in writing setting forth the nature of the offense, citing the time, date, and place where the offense occurred and it must be filed with the Bishop of the jurisdiction in which the offense occurred or with the Moderator, if the Presentment is against a Bishop.
Section 4. Presentment of a Priest or Deacon A Presentment may be made against a priest or deacon and such Presentment shall be filed with the Ordinary who will then bring the priest or deacon to trial as provided by diocesan canons.
Section 5. Presentment of a Bishop A Presentment may be made against a Bishop by any other Bishop in this Church or by ten or more communicants of this Church. The Archbishop will then convene the Council of Bishops and the General Council as an ecclesiastical court before whom the matter will be adjudicated.
Section 6. Cross Jurisdictional Cases The Presentment of a priest or deacon in a jurisdiction for an offense in a jurisdiction other than that in which he is canonically resident shall be tried before the Council of Bishops sitting as an ecclesiastical court over which the Moderator shall preside.
Section 7. Appeal from conviction Any bishop, priest or deacon found guilty under the terms of a Presentment may appeal his conviction and sentence to the next Annual Meeting of the General Council. The decision of the Annual Meeting of the General Synod to affirm or overturn either the conviction or the sentence will be final and no bishop, priest or deacon can be tried subject to Presentment a second time for the same offense.
Section 8. Sentencing following Conviction
a. In any case involving a priest or deacon, only the Ordinary in the jurisdiction having control of the trial shall pronounce sentence following conviction. With the advice and consent of the Council of Bishops, the Ordinary may shorten or suspend the original sentence.
b. In any case involving a bishop, only the Council of Bishops may determine the appropriate sentence, as decided by a consensus vote, and such sentence shall be pronounced in their name by the Presiding Bishop . With the advice and consent of General Council and the Council of Bishops, the Presiding Bishop may shorten or suspend the original sentence.
c. The range of sentences which may be inflicted upon any bishop, priest or deacon shall include:
2) Censure in writing
3) Suspension from clerical office for a definite period but not to exceed five years.
4) Suspension from clerical office for a definite period but not to exceed ten years.
5) Suspension from clerical office for life
6) Suspension from clerical office and deposition from the sacred ministry.
Canon 19. Clergy Leaving the Ministry
Section 1. Voluntary Withdrawal of a Priest or Deacon Not Under Presentment
a. Any priest or deacon who is not under Presentment or who has not been found guilty of any offense in a secular or ecclesiastical court who wishes to withdraw from the ministry per se, may so declare his intent and desire to cease being a priest or a deacon. Such declaration shall be in writing and addressed to the bishop of the jurisdiction in which the clergyman is canonically resident.
b. Upon the receipt of such a renunciation of Orders, the Ordinary shall inform the Diocesan Council of Advice or Standing Committee of its contents. The Ordinary will invite the clergyman to meet with him and with members of the Council of Advice and/or the Standing Committee to see if this decision is Spiritually driven. If following such Godly discussion among the parties, the clergyman is still resolved to return to being a member of the laity, the Ordinary shall issue a certificate attesting to the return of the applicant to lay status and so record that fact in the records of the jurisdiction.
Section 2. Request for Voluntary Withdrawal of a Priest or Deacon Under Presentment No priest or deacon can voluntarily withdraw from ordained ministry while under Presentment, or following trial for offenses of which he has been found guilty, and from which he has not filed an appeal to the Annual Meeting of the General Synod.
Section 3. Voluntary Withdrawal of a Bishop Not Under Presentment A Bishop who is not under Presentment may apply to the Council of Bishops after the manner of a priest or deacon as in Section 1, above.
Section 4. Request for Voluntary Withdrawal of a Bishop Under presentment. As in Section 2, above, no Bishop can voluntarily withdraw from ordained ministry while under Presentment, or following trial for offenses of which he has been found guilty, and from which he has not filed an appeal to the Annual Meeting of the General Synod.
Canon 20. Enactment, Amendment, and Repeal of Canons
Section 1. No new canon shall be enacted, and no existing canon shall be amended or repealed except by action of the General Synod. The General Synod shall vote in orders and a majority vote in each of the three orders shall be necessary to enact, amend or repeal any canon.
Section 2. The form for enactment or repeal of any canon shall be as follows: “Canon No. ___ Section ___ Sub-Section __ is hereby amended to read as follows: (insert new text)” If the enactment, amendment, or repeal is adopted and if this requires the renumbering of Canons, Section or Subsections, these will be accomplished without formal amendment.
Section 3. Amendments to these canons shall come into force as of the first Sunday in Advent following the Annual or Special Meeting of the General Council at which they were adopted.
Section 4. These canons were adopted by the House of Bishops in ------, ratified by the General Council in -----, and subsequently amended in----.
Canon 21. Tithing and Finance
The biblical tithe (10% of income/proceeds) is the normal amount to be given for support of the church’s work. This amount is a recommendation as giving should be from the heart and each according to their ability to contribute. Each member’s tithe shall be presented in worship to the Parish/Congregational office, which operates under the direction of the Priest and/or local Bishop. The received tithe shall serve as the principle operating fund of the Parish/Congregation. A person in dire financial straits is not expected to tithe until the situation improves.
The Priest, Bishop, or Treasurer shall present a tithe of all proceeds (tithes, offerings, and other income) to the Diocesan office at regular intervals of not principle operating fund of the Diocese.
Each Diocese or Province shall tithe to the Emmanuel Communion National account. The amount tithed to the Communion from each Diocese shall be recommended by the House of Bishops and Treasurer. Each diocesan Bishop shall establish norms for church support and tithing based on parish/church ability and needs of the Diocese/Communion keeping the House of Bishops recommendation in mind.
Canonically resident, non-parochial Emmanuel Communion clergy shall tithe to the Diocese in which they are resident.
At no time will these financial obligations/recommendations inhibit or deprive the local parish/church of its ability to maintain its own financial solvency nor deter it from its mission to disseminate the Gospel effectively.
(*Tithing is a matter between God and His people. Either we trust Him, or we do not.)
Addendum: Foundation Day Offering
The Emmanuel Communion recommends an annual Foundation Day offering, from each affiliated congregant of $10.00, collected on the Sunday closest to May 23rd, the day the Emmanuel Communion was founded. The Foundation Day offering amount is merely a minimum recommendation and is not required of any congregation.
All Foundation Day offerings will be directed to the National Treasurer who will place it in a special fund for use in assisting new church plants with no-interest loans and other emergent needs as the House of Bishops and Presiding Bishop determine.
a. The first Sunday in Lent shall be designated as Missions Sunday. A free-will offering will be received and directed to the National Treasurer who will place it in a special fund for use in support of the Emmanuel Communion overseas mission effort. The “overseas missions effort” is defined as clergy and lay people that leave their own home country and travel to another country for the purpose of evangelization and spreading of the Gospel.
b. A Missions Board shall be set up comprised of one Bishop, one Priest, one Deacon and three lay members. This board will act as the Missions authority under the House of Bishops and shall vet all mission requests, evaluate mission projects and qualify and commission missionaries as the need arises.
Ratified and passed August 25, 2017 by unanimous vote.
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