(See Aramaic Church)
The Evangelical Apostolic Church of the North America, formerly known as the Syro-Chaldean Church of North America, is a small communion of congregations in New York and Connecticut that came from a mission movement of the Syro-Chaldean Church in India in the late 1800's. Though not a part of Messianic Judaism, the Church takes great interest in both the "Hebrew roots" movement and its own Semitic heritage. In the late 1800's, the Indian Church sent out missions to the north of India, in Hindu areas, and a mission to England - to be somewhat of a bridge church; not a Roman Catholic nor a Protestant church, but a reconciliation of the two by centering on the ancient apostolic and evangelical faith at once. This Church in England spread to Canada and then the U.S. east coast. Though the church is strongly evangelical and biblically oriented, it retains its understanding of being an apostolic body in succession from the Apostle Thomas and its understanding of its call to be a sacramental body of reconciliation. The following is from its self-description from its website:
"We are a community of believers in Jesus Christ. We are one part of His universal (catholic) Church. We are a family of congregations known as the Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America (EAC).
Our roots are in the ancient Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church of the East in the Middle East and India. We trace our family line (Apostolic succession) back to Christ’s Apostles through this church. In 1902, the Metropolitan of India had consecrated a British priest to be a missionary bishop from the Church of the East to the West. Given the episcopal name of Mar Jacobus, the Rev. Ulric Vernon Herford was made Bishop of Mercia and Middlesex, England. He then consecrated successors and the line was brought to the United States in the 1960s.
The EAC in the United States began from a home prayer group in Scarsdale, New York. This prayer group became the Congregation of the Messiah and its first pastor, Bertram Schlossberg User:BertSchlossberg, was ordained to the priesthood in the line of the Church of the East in 1973. In 1976, the Church was incorporated under the name of the Syro-Chaldean Church of North America. The name was changed in 1992.
Our congregations or parishes are organized into dioceses, each of which is overseen by a senior pastor or bishop. Each congregation is cared for by ordained priests or the bishop who serve as local pastors.
We have local congregations in New York and Connecticut and our clergy are involved in mission work elswhere.
Our basic beliefs are those of the ancient Church as summarized in the Nicene Creed, also called the Symbol of Faith.
We believe strongly in God’s call to repentance and salvation, to love and service, to worship and prayer. We believe that all men and women suffer from bondage (addiction, if you will) to self-destructive and society-destroying sin, that this sin separates us from God, Himself, and all the fullness of joy that He intends for each one of us.
We believe that Jesus Christ, out of His great love for us, came into our world and took to Himself all our hurts, sins, guilt and shame. He died to pay the price for all this and to set us free. He then rose again from death enabling us to share in His victory over the grave and restoring our relationship to God. “In Him, we live and move and have our being.” [Acts 17:28]
As we repent of all our sin, all that for which He died, and acknowledge that He is the supreme authority in our lives, we receive the salvation that He has bought for us. He then, as we ask, gives to us a new life powered by His Holy Spirit, a life filled with joy, characterized by love and service. In response, we worship with hearts filled with gratitude and, using the power and the gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit, we do the mighty works of God.
We live out our Spirit-powered lives within the community of faith on location in our parishes. We are joined to Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church through baptism and in sharing His Body and Blood in our Communion, the Eucharist. “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” [1 Corinthians 10:17] As we are one in Him, we love one another; caring for, supporting, encouraging, nurturing, teaching and helping each other in whatever way we can."
The church sees itself and operates more as a community than an organization. It cares for its members at the same time as promotes the responsibility of its members to be caring for themselves and others. The church understands that rectification according the desiring of Christ is part of belief in Him. This also involves involvement in the society around us. Aspects of this is opposition to abortion, and alertness to the dangers that attack our nation, the United States of America, and the fabric of our families. Due to the church's origins, Biblical understandings and persectives, and to the particular and clear leading of the Lord to the Church, the present nation of Israel, with its ingathering of the Exiles, is seen as fulfillment of the intentions of God, and to a future yet to unfold.
The present Metropolitan Bishop of the Church is Mar Uzziah bar Evyon User:BertSchlossberg . Relocated from Israel, he now resides in Florida, U.S.A.
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