The Syro-Chaldean Church of North America, known for a short time as the Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America (Syro-Chaldean), is a small communion of congregations in New York, Connecticut, and South Carolina, that came from a mission movement of the Syro-Chaldean Church in India in the late 1800s. 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 1800s, 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)."
Its 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, 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.
The 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.
The local congregations are in New York, Connecticut, and south Carolian, with clergy involved in mission work elsewhere.
The Syro-Chaldean Church of North America's basic beliefs are those of the ancient Church as summarized in the Nicene Creed, also called the Symbol of Faith.
The church believes strongly in God's call to repentance and salvation, to love and service, to worship and prayer. The church believes 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.
The Syro-Chaldean Church believes 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 people repent of all their sins, 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, people worship with hearts filled with gratitude and, using the power and the gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit, people do the mighty works of God.
Believers live out our Spirit-powered lives within the community of faith on location in our parishes. They are joined to Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church through baptism and in sharing His Body and Blood in our Communion, the Eucharist.
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 perspectives, 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.
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