About the American Orthodox Catholic Church
As part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, our mission is rooted in the gospel and living example of Jesus Christ. We provide an affirming evangelical and sacramental presence to all in their diversity.
As an ecumenical and inclusive community, we strive to exemplify the prophetic work of fostering unity while celebrating the various faith traditions among Christians in accord with Jesus' prayer "...That we may all be one."
As a servant people of God, we are called to ministries that are loving, inclusive, and justice bearing for the sake of God's reign by breaking down the divisions among the human family.
We invite you to join us!
Part of the Universal Church. This organization is a constituent member of Christ's one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church ("the Church"), which unites all Christians throughout the world and throughout history."
The American Old Catholic Church faith community is founded on the teachings of the Christ as brought to us through the scriptures and traditions of the varied communities throughout the ages. Our shepherd is the Messiah, the Christ Jesus, who together with our Holy Father and the Holy Spirit unites all believers in the household of faith.
In the Gospel we all are one in Jesus the Christ; the oneness of all humanity. Each of us is made in the image of the Creator God, who breathes life and purpose into our souls.
The evangelical mission of the Faith Community of American Old Catholic Church is to serve the spiritual needs of all God's holy people. Each person is called by the Spirit to receive the welcome, comfort, shelter, and redeeming love of the Community; to partake in the gifts of the Word and Sacrament; and share in the mission and ministry of the Community. All members are call to LIVE the Sacraments to the fullest as we were taught by our Shepherd, Jesus.
Following the faith tradition handed down through the Gospels, this faith community rejects distinctions among people for reasons of race, ethnicity, color, gender, physical challenges, sexual orientation, cultural heritage, marital status, or any other attributes when they result in divisions to the family of God - the very diversity of humanity reflects the image of our Creator God.
Our existence proclaims the greatness of the Lord through the celebration of diversity in person. We celebrate differences as blessings; where all God's people mingle in a universal dance of light, gathering together in mystery, love, and Sacrament. Together we comprise the Body of the Christ.
Our faith communities are also founded on the 7 Ecumenical Councils. We follow the teachings outlined by our Lord Jesus the Christ through scripture as well as the creeds, the first seven councils of the Church, and the Declaration of Utrecht.
Our beliefs are founded in scripture, both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, as well as the life, teachings, and example of the Christ Jesus. Our "faith" is based in the three creeds - the Apostle's, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. Together they form a foundation of a common faith, belief, and trust.
The term "universal" is often used to refer only to the Church as being one whole complete being, no matter the distance of each individual community, however it also refers to the universality of God's love and our unity through the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught us to love all people as we ourselves wish to be loved - in essence to accept all people universally in spirit.
We are a part of the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church" in the truest sense in that we are universally committed to bring the sacraments to all who are in need. We are a pilgrim church guided by the Spirit and formed by the needs of the People of God.
Though we are catholic, we are not under the authority of the Bishop of Rome and assert our unity with the whole of the Universal Church. Our Community is founded on the teachings of the Christ, Jesus; who guides us to the fullness of communion with one another and the Father through the Sacred Mysteries and life giving Sacraments.
Since we share equally at the table of our Lord, we open ourselves to share communally with other faith communities who espouse the traditions of open celebration of the teachings of our Lord.
Our celebrants may draw from the Book of Common Prayer, the Roman Missal, and the Old Catholic Missal, or Ritual based on the needs of the individual faith communities. As a part of the Catholic tradition, we fully believe that the primary judge for our own actions is the review of the individual conscience. Paul chides us in Romans 14, 10-12:
"Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, 'As I live,' says the Almighty, 'every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.' So then, each of us will be accountable to God alone. Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another."
The Catholic Nicene Creed
This is the Catholic Nicene Creed. This creed is usually called just the "Nicene Creed." It is also called the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, after its origin in the first two Church ecumenical Councils in 325 and 381.
We believe in one God, the Father,
the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father
and the Son. With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one, holy, catholic
and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen
God speaks to us - each of us - if we are willing to listen. Just as the Church can decide what it does and does not believe as a whole, so too, the individual can decide what they believe as individuals, but none shall be separated from the Sacraments. This is known as "Informed Conscience." One resource is: "Reason, Informed By Faith" (book by Richard Gula, Paulist Press), 1989.