The Christian Churches of the 21st. century agree that when Jesus prayed “that they all may be one,” (John 17:21) he was expressing to us Divine Hope in the face of contemporary faith communities divided over history, theology and practice.
Within that 2,000 year-old Catholic story we see the community nurtured by the Apostles has become a tradition carried by two main “trunks,” (Roman and Orthodox,) with many, many “branches” feeding, sometimes in parallel ways, the pastoral needs of specific communities and groups, in and out of communion with each other. Our Catholic tradition is rich and, in fact, much more diverse and varied than often taught. Yet many people continue to hunger and thirst for a new Apostle Paul to speak that story again, if not because of their different language and cultural perspective, then due to their pain and feelings of abandonment by an old story that passed them by.
In so many ways, what the world does not need is another Church. Yet there are many in North America alone that still search for a local community or minister to answer their need to hear Good News. It is through them that we feel called into service by the Gospels, reaching into the roots of our story and out to the world.
In the face of these realities and the Divine Hope expressed by Jesus our Christ, we, the members and ministers of The ACC, Diocese of California, commit ourselves:
To seek the Unity of God’s love and wisdom for All, believing that God’s Spirit will complete what was prayed for by Jesus and the
subsequent work done “by human hands” in his name.
To service of others in whatever ways present themselves to us as individuals and as a community, believing that God’s Spirit moves
continuously throughout creation, and the gifts, talents and opportunities we embrace and share.
To creating community among ourselves in order to better discern and nurture God’s call and our ability to minister.
To build communities, formal and informal, in the world that exemplify the Good News message of hospitality and welcome, regardless of the realities of people’s past, present or future.
To break down artificial barriers, welcoming to the Gospel and ministry all people of good will. This is particularly to be expressed in our openness to share ordination, once a call has been tested, with women as well as men, with married as well as single persons, and regardless of a candidate’s sexual orientation.
We are not limited to any ideology, worldview or philosophy other than those proscribed and prescribed by the Gospels, recognizing Jesus’ proclamation of Truth, Justice and Compassion for all, and his practice of radical table hospitality and communion. We seek to embrace therefore all Christians, non-Christians, and people of goodwill everywhere, and, while not blurring the differences, we respect the truth that exits in all religions.