​The Emmanuel  Communion

                                     Constitution of the Emmanuel Communion

Preamble

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

                                                                                Article I

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)


                                                                                Article II  

Our Vision


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.
 

                                                                        Article III

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.

 
                                                                          Article IV

Our Doctrine

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.


                                                                    Article V  

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.

                                                                      Article VI

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.

 
                                                                            Article VII  

 Our Founding Document

Declaration of the First House of Bishops of the Emmanuel Communion held on May 23, 2016;

We, the undersigned Bishops, having travelled 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




The Canons of the Emmanuel Communion will be published here in the very near future.