Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Two or Three Gather Together

On May 21st, the Fifth Sunday after Easter, the continuing Anglican movement will be just a little bit larger.

If God is gracious, a handful of disaffected Anglicans, as well as people who are unchurched, will gather with me in the living room of my home in Nicosia to say Matins.

When they do, a new house church will be born -- the mission of St John the Evangelist.

For the moment, we will be without priestly ministry or episcopal oversight, but I am working toward our eventually being received into a continuing church as a mission parish.

While there literally may be only two or three of us gathered together, we all know what that means. I bid your prayers for us as we seek to move forward.

8 comments:

Robert Hawkins said...

Good for you, Albion! We too started as a mission house church here in Oregon with two families, and even though our numbers remain small, we are blessed to be part of the APA and Bishop Boyce's flock, having recently left the ACA. I have a link to your blog on our website and have enjoyed the postings very much. We will remember the mission of St. John the Evangelist in our prayers at Matins on the 21st and pray for your continued success. If there is anything we can do to help, please let us know. God Bless.
Robert Hawkins, Lay Eucharistic Minister-in-Charge/Postulant for Holy Orders.

albion said...

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your good wishes.

I remember us corresponding some time back, and suggesting you write something about the experience your mission church has had.

I would still welcome it.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

One Caveat. When groups of people seek to build a church in this way congregationalist habits can form, and they can be hard to break. Have the humility to remind yourselves that your situation is irregular, and that you really do need the Apostolic ministry of a Bishop.

poetreader said...

My prayers are with you!
ed

Paul Goings said...

For those who started this way, or are in the midst of a situation like this, what is your opinion about how long such a situation is tenable without a priest? How long should people be expected to do without the sacraments before the effort is abandoned, and something else tried?

(I ask because a friend in a hostile ECUSA diocese is considering this, and has asked me for advice. My worry is that something like this can't go on indefinitely, but I need to quantify it more.)

albion said...

Hi Paul,

I must confess that I have not honestly tackled your question yet. The simple and logical answer is -- not for long.

But I am effectively without a priest now. I am no longer in communion with Canterbury, and not considered kosher by the RCC, even less so by the Orthodox.

Perhaps Robert Hawkins can share some thoughts with us on his experience in Oregon. Of course, I would assume that there he is closer to a church that can provide occasional (eg once a month) priestly ministry. Here in Cyprus there is no one -- at least that I am aware of.

robert hawkins said...

You are right in that we have access to Holy Eucharist on at least a monthly basis. Having moved out of my home to a public hall has been very helpful in making our mission more accessible to inquirers, however, as much as we enjoy choral Matins, it would be a problem if we could not communicate on a regular basis.

You are certainly in a somewhat unique situation, and I agree with Fr. Hart that you need a relationship with a bishop, especially one who is "mission-oriented", though you already know this. Have you made any inquiries to this end?

albion said...

Robert,

Thanks for your comments. Again, I would welcome your writing an account of how your mission parish came to be and of the trials and tribulations, as well as the joys, you have encountered along the way.

I made it clear in my post that we would be seeking episcopal oversight, and indicated that conversations were underway to that end.

As a matter of proper discretion, however, it would be inappropriate of me to elaborate on that. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, I will have a happy announcement to make.

If not, then back to the drawing board.