Who We Are Not
Sometimes the distinction of what something is can be found in describing what it isn't. This is especially true if there are preconceived ideas involved, such as with a group that is named Catholic, or a group named Old. Listed below are a few things we are not, and may be helpful to see how our group can be a part of your life.
We are not the Roman Catholic Church or affiliated with that Church in any way, shape, or form. The Roman Catholic Church is complete, whole and perfect in and of itself, just as the Anglican Communion, the Baptists, The Congregationalists, the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Moravians, the Presbyterians and other religious groups are. Each group has a distinct ministry and a necessary part in Gods plan, as is described in 1 Cor 12:12-14:
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves ro free - and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many."
Perhaps you are looking for a community in which to minister. Be open to see how the gifts of the Spirit are at work in our community.
We are not a Church of people who long for the good old days, or to change the world to make it better. God is guiding us, and will transform the world of today into the household of God through us as we seek out who we are in the face of justice, mercy, and love. The world as it is now is exactly where it is supposed to be as God presents us with the possibility to make a difference in our lives and the lives of all we meet.
We are not a Church of liberal-minded or conservative-minded people. Rather we are a Church of People, people who are willing to be part of making a difference in their lives and the lives of others.
We are not a straight Church, a gay Church, a Church of the young or the elderly, or of any particular race or ethnicity. We are a Church that recognizes the extreme privilege we have in each and every person whom we touch and by whom we are touched.
We are not a Church of yesterday or of tomorrow; we are a Church living in the present. Living in the present means we can choose for each moment who we are going to be in light of the Good News of Salvation.
We are not a Church of dogma or doctrine. Yes, we have scripture, the creeds, the first seven councils of the Church, as well as the Declaration of Utrecht. As a part of the catholic Church, however, 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. Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumlbing-block or hindrance in the way of another."
God speaks to us - each of us - in our daily lives. So as the Church can decide what it does and does not believe as a whole, so too this is our journey, ours to believe or not to believe.