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Homosexuality and Religious Denominations
Homosexuality and The Bible

 
 
Connections are a good thing...

Our Church Today in Pictures
Our Church History in Pictures
Iconography of Our Church

Our History - The beginnings

A small group of men and women gathered in the Pilgrim House Chapel in Brunswick, Maine in June of 2001 following the ordination to the diaconate of †David Christopher Bellville. David was ordained through the Evangelical-Anglican Church in America (EACA) at its cathedral church in Tulsa, OK. Weekly Eucharist began at 5:00 p.m. every Sunday, and afternoon worship has continued since. We are men and women together -- old and young, gay and straight.

What is the CCC?

The Converging Community in Christ is a group that we are a part of. Rather than define an affiliation as how we are different from others, we seek to find where we share common ground and visions in Christ. Our group is an emerging post-denominational family of believers from diverse religious backgrounds and experiences. We believe in the convergence of Christianity, unified by our common understanding of Christian calling but enriched by our points of diversity of how we follow that path to our faith. We are a fairly new community, and we are followers of Christ scattered around the world; most of us are from North America. We seek to walk with Jesus, recognizing that what we share in a common Christ with each other is more important than our individual differences, or ways of professing our faith in creed, liturgy, or worship. This statement does not mean that the creeds, liturgy, and the sacraments are not central to our spiritual lives, but we seek to find common ground –in belief, mission, and respect for the dignity and inherent worth of all persons. We come from various denominational backgrounds – Anglican, Lutheran, and Catholic, to name just a few. Within our community we have individuals and subgroups – some of which are more conservative in terms of theology and creed, and others that are more progressive. The Converging Community of Christ emerges out of traditions in the church that are strongly creedal and liturgical with a strong commitment to social action and ecumenism. We join our sisters and brothers of many different denominational bodies in declaring the salvific love of Jesus, the Christ, known to us and who is working among us. We also value and walk with those from other religious traditions, knowing that we can learn from each other. We believe that our faith is informed and nurtured by Scripture, reason, tradition, and experience. We believe that the scriptures of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament inform us and challenge us, and are at the core for our faith, sustaining us and nurturing us on a weekly, and daily basis. We also engage Scripture with the Judaic concept of “midrash,” understanding the progressive revelation of God moving and breathing in our interpretation over time.

Our openness to hearing God’s word among us and listening to each others' reflections on Scripture are imperative to our growth as children of God. We believe that reason is an important part of our understanding of both our world and of ourselves. Scientific and sociological/psychological research illuminate our understanding of God’s creation as well as informing the evolution of our theology, human understanding, and approaches to ministry. The traditions of the church are central to our walk as well, and we embrace liturgies, prayers, creeds, the sacraments, and forms of both traditional as well as innovative ministry. We also value the importance of experience, knowing that our encounters with God and each other inform and strengthen our faith.

We consider ourselves to be radically inclusive; reaching out to those who have had experiences that have alienated them from the church or from God or even from humankind, and those that may feel that there is no place for them in the Church. With us, there is a place for everyone; we welcome all persons who wish to provide and receive mutual acceptance and support under the protective and encouraging wings of God. As followers of Christ, we believe that the mission and ministry of God express themselves in the loving presence of persons who seek God and the Holy Spirit's guidance on a regular basis through liturgy, prayer, meditation, contemplation and reflection; who care for the sick, the lonely and the bereft, those who seek justice for all persons, God’s creatures, and our planet earth. We minister together as ordained and non-ordained persons, acting as family gathered under the purpose of spreading Christ’s unconditional love and radical hospitality.

We understand that our members are called to traditional and non-traditional ministries, to different lifestyles and types of ministry in varied geographical locations and social strata. Most of us feel called to walk with, empower and care for the outcasts, the suffering and those who feel alone. We believe that our baptismal covenant calls all people of God to bring the good news of God’s love to a world that can be broken and torn by violence, abuse, prejudice and injustice. We believe that all persons who follow Christ are in ministry, and that the affirmation of persons in their ordained or lay ministries is paramount to spreading the love of God in our world. Our ordained clergy serve as servants to both our denomination and the world. These include bishops, priests, and deacons, as well as those who have named and acknowledged roles in the church or outside of it as well as those saints that love and serve in ways often not seen or publicly acknowledged by human eyes or ears. We prefer that the authority of our clergy, although conveyed through ordination, is pastoral in nature; and resist the notion of anyone holding a “superior” office to others or believing that an episcopacy is “in command." Our governance is by consensus, which is quite different than in many more traditional churches, although members have areas of responsibility to which they are assigned.

With all of this stated, we once again welcome you to read through our website and to contact us with any questions that you might have about our ecclesial body. Many, many blessings this Church season and always.

In Christ,
Bishop David Bellville

How Was the Name of the Church Chosen?

Possible names for the church were solicited from those involved with the church. From a list of about 25 names, the church went on retreat and got involved in discernment for a name. The name "Church of the Good Samaritan" was suggested on the retreat (it was not part of the original list). It seemed to express the mission of the church — which was to reach out to those at the side of the road; those that had been rejected by others. The church has had a special outreach to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community from its beginnings.