Name:
Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

SUBJECT: RELIGION!!!

The collapse of the Charismatic Episcopal Church.

For all intents and purposes, the Charismatic Episcopal Church is dead.

This is a difficult post for me to write, as I was a member of that body for more than 11 years, having first become acquainted with the denomination in 1992, just a few short months after the founding. I was formally received in July of 1993, was ordained deacon in August of 1995, was ordained priest in October of 1998, was created "Canon Theologian" in November of 2002, and resigned in July of 2004 -- although my resignation was not accepted until December of that year (an issue for another post). I was formally received into the Catholic Church in February of 2005.

The experiment which was "Three-Streams Christianity" or "The Convergence Movement" has come to a painful, if not unexpected, conclusion. The Great Lakes diocese is in utter disarray, having lost 10 or 11 churches, one of its 2 bishops, and most of its clergy. The Diocese of Maryland has lost its bishop (full disclosure: Bp. Philip Zampino is my father) half of its churches and the majority of its clergy. The South Central diocese gives every evidence of being about to implode. Serious and credible charges concerning moral behavior and financial mismanagement are flying thick and fast at the very highest levels. And, sadly, the denominational "spin doctors" are working overtime. All of this grieves me more than I can express.

But I'm not surprised.

More than 5 years ago, I presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies entitled "The Emgergence of Convergence" detailing the history of the Convergence Movement and the Charismatic Episcopal Church. A re-birth of authentic Catholic thinking and practice among Evangelical and Charismatic Protestant Christians seemed to be a distinct possibility. Authentic avenues for greater unity in the Body of Christ were being explored.

What changes the last 5 years have seen!

This past March, I presented another paper at the annual meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies entitled "The End of Convergence?" in which I detailed the development of the movement as a whole (and the CEC in particular) since the original paper was presented. I raised several serious concerns which have already begun to prove frighteningly accurate.

I based my 2001 paper on the structure of the "Chicago Call" -- an evangelical statement, or manifesto, signed in 1977 by several dozen key evangelical leaders. The "Call" called for 8 things to happen:

1. Historic Roots and Continuity -- A Recovery of "Full" Christian Heritage

2. Biblical Fidelity -- A respect for the "Historic Understanding of the Church" in Biblical Interpretation

3. Creedal Identity -- A Need for a "Confessing" Church

4. Holistic Salvation -- A Need for Full Participation in God's Saving Activity

5. Sacramental Integrity -- A Need to "Awaken the Sacramental Implications of Creation and Incarnation"

6. Spirituality -- A Need to "Rediscover" the Devotional Resources of the Whole Church

7. Church Authority -- A Rejection of Autonomy, Individualism, and Competitiveness and a Need to Rediscover Biblical Models.

8. Church Unity -- A Rejection of Ahistorical Sectarianism and the Need to Recognize the Desire of Christ.

I based my 2006 paper on how well the Convergence Movement in general and the CEC in particular have followed through on these commitments.

The results have not been, in most cases, encouraging.

I concluded my paper with four suggestions as to how the Convergence Movement could move forward from its place of stagnation and more fully participate in the Greater Church. These were:

1. The Convergence Movement as a whole, and especially the emerging denominations, must determine whether it is a means to an end, in and of itself (i.e., the permenant creation of new denominational structures, etc.) or a bridge to greater unity within the Body of Christ (i.e., being a conduit to more traditionally historic Christianity like Orthodoxy or Rome). In other words, the movement must understand its own identity. Ecumenical dialogue should be taken in a spirit of humility and genuine desire for Christian unity.

2. The Convergence Movement as a whole, and especially the emerging denominations, must end the hostility -- and I say end, because the hostility is already there -- toward those who have found the movement to be a bridge and not an end in and of itself. Libel and slander, open shunning of church members who have been called elsewhere, degregations and depositions of clergy without due process etc., are abominations which must cease at once. Such actions destroy lives, scandalize the faithful, and are unworthy of those who bear the Name of Christ.

3. The Convergence Movement as a whole, and especially the emerging denominations, must realize (as many Pentecostal groups have had to address) that adopting an episcopal model of ministry does not excuse those in ministry from oversight and from accountability. Such accountability needs to occur not only in moral and financial matters, but also in the discernment, education and mentoring of candidates for public ministry. When the accountability does not begin with such discernment, unfit persons are often raised up, creating situations which can and do cause scandal in the Body of Christ.

4. Finally, if the various parts of the Convergence Movement, especially the emerging denominations, determine that they are an end, in and of themselves, requiring their own permanent denominational structures, etc., doctrinal and disciplinary consistency are an absolute necessity. Confusion about what is to be believed, what is to be taught, and what standards of behavior are considered normative are unacceptable and will ultimately wreak havoc and destruction within the movement.

I don't hate the CEC -- I hate what I see happening. I have many friends still in the denomination, and I wish them nothing but the best. But I do not see the denomination -- as it is currently known and understood -- surviving as anything more than a shadow of its former self for more than a few months longer.

If anyone is interested in the full text of my 2006 paper, please let me know.

Papa Z

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63 Comments:

Blogger collin_nunis said...

Greetings!!! I would like a copy of your paper as I believe that it would be very interesting to me as I am new to the CEC. I am curious however, about what is happening to the CEC as I have heard some very unpleasant and disturbing news regarding it. I promise to keep all details in confidentiality. Hope to hear from you soon. God bless!

8:13 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Collin,

I'll be glad to e-Mail you a copy of the paper. Blessings to you.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Fr Rick Herlacher said...

I think the isolation I felt as a priest in the CEC was the worst part of it. We started on a "trajectory" toward the ancient faith, and we ended up camping outside the city....building our own.

"take this city...the city should be standing on a hill....take this city...if it be your will"

We started to hear from our leadership that "we don't need Rome or Orthodoxy, but that they need us." It took me a awhile to begin to understand that we weren't connecting ourselves to the ancient faith, but that we were "digging a well that is already dug".

"sometimes you can't make it on your own."

Our parish resigned from the CEC this past week. Our future is in God's hands....and so is the future of my dear brothers who are still there. My fellow priests in the CEC will always be my brothers.

"I'm on an island in a busy intersection, I can't go forward and I can't turn back. Can't see the future...it's getting away from me. I just watch the taillights glowing....."

"One step closer to knowing...
One step closer to knowing"

2:00 PM  
Blogger The Singing Claymore said...

Collin,

Wait and watch. It is as unpleasant and disturbing as you have probably heard. There are charges of immoral conduct at the highest level(head archbishop). To date, they have formed a closed circle around the head of the denomination and rather than acting in concert with the canons of the church and instituting immediate change of leadership (for the sake of the sheep), have surrounded and protected him and counter-accused the accusers.

Wait for about 3 months to see what remains. It may not be worth it at that point and you will have saved yourself some heartache. However, if the problems are resolved - and they change the leader - it may come out stronger than before.

Be wise and cautious right now. Let the battle unfold for a bit and see who is glorified through it; the present leader? or Christ Jesus. AND hold your shield out in front of you to avoid the incidental damage.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Fish CampMore said...

I think that Z's and Fr. Rick's comments make some good points. Is the convergence movement an end in itself? If it's heading somewhere, then where, exactly? Personally, as a convinced Catholic who believes the Church's claim to possess the fullness of the means of salvation, I believe that all roads lead to Rome; and I believe that in the early days of the ICCEC, it was headed there...but once that fact was foreseen by the hierarchy, I believe it was then resisted and suppressed. And so, no longer is the ICCEC animated by a spirit of discovering something greater than itself--an innocent and honest search for the ancient faith. It seems to me that the ICCEC has chosen to be an end in itself.

3:50 PM  
Blogger collin_nunis said...

[quote]We started to hear from our leadership that "we don't need Rome or Orthodoxy.[/quote]

Hmm, thats quite arrogant a statement for a church who wants to lay claim to the apostolic heritage. I, and many of us who want to join the CEC, always had the idea that we complemented Rome and the Eastern Church, and that whatever pastoral letters they came out with, we would take it as our own. To say that the CEC does not need Rome or Orthodoxy is not right. This is not the CEC I knew but something has to be done nonetheless. I will bring the CEC back to the right path if I have to!

I will not allow this scandal of theological and doctrinal inconsistency in my country's CEC. This is uncompromisable. I am not saying this out of my Catholic upbringing but because I find much consistency, rationale and scriptural justification (90% of it)in Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, rather than any other tradition combined. Catholicism and Orthodoxy ingrains great fundamentals of faith.

As for leaders (some allege the Patriach)who are immoral, I would say, God is just and will restore integrity to our church leadership one day. I am in no place to say whether my elder is guilty or not, but if he is, God will act and reveal all things in favour of what is right (Romans 8:28).

I hate thinking about this issue as it is but it is happening. I know nothing or no one is perfect and just as we hope for the best, let us prepare for the worst. Amen.

4:02 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Collin,

Thank you for your continued comments. Sadly, the quote that the CEC doesn't need Rome or Orthodoxy is valid. As are the theological and doctrinal inconsistencies. It has gotten to the extent that even if I were still in the CEC, there are places I could go where the Eucharist would probably not be valid -- nor the ordinations. Why? Because of the lack of belief on the part of some of the bishops -- and the lack of those bishops to take their teaching office seriously.

9:38 AM  
Blogger David B. said...

David,
I just found out you have a blog and have linked over to you from a group blog I help run, since there is an interesting discussion on the CEC that has developed there.

I remember you from your Amazon.com book reviews. I reviewed many of the same books you have, and I always enjoyed reading yours. A lot has changed since we both began reviewing books. We have both become Catholic for one. Glad to see such a great mind/person in the Catholic Church.
God bless,
David Bennett

4:31 PM  
Blogger Fr Matt Mirabile said...

David I would love a copy of your paper.

Fr Matt M

9:35 PM  
Blogger PadreT said...

David,
We appreciate your efforts at charting your course of faith and for sharing your heart and work. I would love to have a copy of your paper (or both if available)...it sounds like a much needed and long overdue assessment of where we are (or have been) in the CEC. It is hard to escape the sense that much of what we are experiencing in the CEC (regardless of the offense or charge) could have been avoided if the foundational theological groundwork had been faithfully laid. And that would include knowing who we are and where we should be heading. Early success can lead to laziness and a resting on laurels instead of rising to the situation and being the servant leaders needed. Thank you for your (and your Father's) clear voice amid the chaos.

9:38 PM  
Blogger collin_nunis said...

[quote]Sadly, the quote that the CEC doesn't need Rome or Orthodoxy is valid.[/quote]

Well, then its time to straighten things out. Looks like the CEC is suddenly becoming all the things it never wanted to be, or tried to run away from.

PS: David, does Marquette have a Fundamental Theology degree program? I'm thinking of majoring in either these few lines, if there are:

-Sacramental Theology
-Liturgical Theology
-Fundamental Theology

12:10 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

To David Bennett,

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement -- it's interesting how old friends keep popping up in odd places! Many blessings to you.

To Padre T,

I would be more than happy to send you both my 2001 paper and my 2006 paper -- but I need your e-Mail address.

To Collin,

Marquette has a fine theology program. Yes, there are some losers in the department -- but there are some great winners as well. If you're interested, let me know and I'll give you any information I can.

Blessings to all!

7:52 AM  
Blogger collin_nunis said...

Well, send me whatever info possible on the Marquette theology program. I consider it an honour to be part of a Jesuit theological faculty in the near future. Please do not forget the 2001 and 2006 papers as well. My email address is collin_nunis@yahoo.com. Cheers mate.

8:05 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Collin -- I've sent copies of both papers. If, by chance, you cannot open them, please let me know.

Information about Marquette will be forthcoming.

Blessings,

David

7:33 PM  
Blogger Fr. Tim said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:35 PM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Thanks to all that have responded -- please keep the commentary up! I've sent copies of my 2001 and 2006 papers to all that have requested them (if I have the E-mail addresses).

Unfortunately, the earlier paper is written in WordPerfect (which I GREATLY prefer) so if someone cannot open it, please let me know, and I'll convert to Rich Text or something.

Thanks again,

David

8:44 PM  
Blogger Fish CampMore said...

David...would you mind sending me copies of your papers @ examiningtheiccec@hotmail.com?
Thanks!
Fish

10:24 PM  
Blogger collin_nunis said...

Recieved the email already. Thanks again.

10:03 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Fish -- papers have been sent.

11:32 AM  
Blogger PadreT said...

David,
Email address Padret@neo.rr.com, sorry about not getting it to you earlier.
PadreT

5:36 PM  
Blogger fatherjim said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Ken Follis said...

David,
How are you doing? It's been a very long time since our days at St. Michael's Seminary in Sherman. I, too, entered the Church in 2000. I don't know if you recall Mike Cumbie but he followed a while after.
Here is a blog I left on Per Christum's site: KenFollis@Juno.com said...
Former Bishop Malcolm Smith, popularly known for his early Charismatic Renewal ministry, introduced me to the CEC 12 years ago. It was a glorious moment to me for which I will forever be grateful. However he was removed from the episcopacy when he stated he wanted to remarry a third time after his second divorce. The CEC House of Bishops discerned he could remarry in the CEC, remain a communicant, perform sarcedotal ministry as a priest in the CEC but would have to stop functioning as an Auxilliary Bishop (whatever that meant, he was likely unsure himself). In the end, he left the CEC and has a small following here in Texas where he holds retreats featuring pop psychological pep talks while wearing vestments. It seems this is the route the CEC, as a whole, took. Malcolm Smith should rejoin the CEC. He'd be right at home for what it has become. The CEC leadership has been at the the year 1054 since its conception. Peter Gilguist, representing submission to the Orthodox Church, was even at Adler's ordination. They have known they must choose to join one of the two lungs to truly honor our Lord Jesus. Many came into the CEC making great sacrifices and the majority enter the ICCEC out of deep conviction. Bishop Ken Myers of Texas, my former bishop, is one example of giving up much to join. However Jesus is asking for more as we have learned more. I made a hard decison seven years ago to give up my years of theological training and expectation to follow what I knew of the one reason the Apostolic Father's taught as to why Peter's See alone had the Keys to the Kingdom. St. Cyprian states it was "for the sake of unity". What is happening to the CEC is heart breaking but inevitable since so many within her truly love Jesus and desire to worship Him with their tripartheid being. Every denomination old and new will continue to split and splinter until they find their way back to Rome. One group to illustrate this is the Chaldaen Catholic Church of Iraq whom I was recently acquainted with after serving in Iraq with the US Army in 2004 for a year. The Assyrians/ Chaldaens returned to the Roman See centuries ago. They could practically be considered the first "Protestants". (Anyone familiar with Nestorius knows the story.) The groups that refused to return has continued to splinter until all that is left is a sliver of each group. I am certain that is what will come of the CEC if it wishes to remain an autocephalous group. (www.ind-movement.org)I "swam the Tiber" and came "home to Rome" and I can assure you it wasn't easy. I am still seeking to remove my Protestant rebellion and familiarities. But what I asked the CEC seven years ago still begs to be answered. If we no longer soundingly doctrinally disagree with Rome or Constantinople then isn't our argument or protest really one of rebellion? Are we not just another Restoration movement of the likes of the Assemblies of God, Church of Christ or worse, the Mormon LDS. Every true student of history finds himself at the year 1054 with three choices: go East, go West or choose your own path. The word "heresy" comes from the Greek αιρεσις, hairesis (from αιρεομαι, haireomai, "choose"), which means either a choice of beliefs or a faction of dissident believers. It was given wide currency by Irenaeus in his tract Contra Haereses (Against Heresies) to describe and discredit his opponents in the early Christian Church. He described his own position as orthodox (from ortho- "straight" + doxa "thinking") and his position eventually evolved into the position of the early Christian Church. The only reason I could graciously assess as to why the CEC Bishops would not go East or West as they undoubtedly would have found themselves out of a job since neither allow for married Bishops. Again, it is a submission issue. With much love I state this: rebellion is at the heart of the CEC. Rebellion, as we know, is as the sin of witchcraft and may explain why we are seeing these flakey things taking place in the CEC. I asked the CEC seven years ago when I resigned from my pastorate, "What good is Apostolic Succession if we we do not have Apostolic Success? Apostolic Succession is only good is there is Apostolic Submission which guarantees Apostolic Success." (Acts 2:42) I believe most of the CEC founders had right intentions but choices made along the paleo-orthodox path have lead them astray. I close with a kind request to look at Psalms 133. Unity of the Body, annointing and blessing starts from the head down. When the Christians outside Rome repent and reunite we will see such a powerful move of God that the Charismatic/ Pentecostal Movement will be pale in comparison to it's vibrancy! My brothers and sisters, come home...the Father is running to meet you now, the fatted calf is ready to be eaten and the servants are ready to robe you and place the signet ring on your finger.

8:16 PM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Dear Ken,

Yes, I remember you and I thank you for your kind words. A lot of water has passed over the dam in the last 10 years! I pray that you and your ministry are blessed -- and I hope that you remember me in my prayers as well.

Blessings,

8:38 PM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

I removed a comment today by someone who "claimed" to be a priest in the CEC diocese of San Clemente. However, upon examining the CEC website, his name -- in any of the churches of the Province of San Clemente -- could not be found. This individual attacked my academic scholarship and my personal integrity.

I want to make something very clear: I do not intend this blog to be a "Let's bash the CEC". I have many dear friends in that body -- and that is not -- and never has been -- my intent.

I WANT open and honest dialogue.

BY THE SAME TOKEN -- like Fish Camp More has suggested on his blog, I am NOT interested in playing a "let's see how ugly we can be" game.

In spite of much personal pain, I am doing my best to keep my remarks as civil and as rational as possible. It does not bother me if someone disagrees with me -- to me, that is "iron sharpening iron". However, I will not put up with "ad hominim" attacks -- either against me, against Rome, against the CEC -- or against any other ecclesial body.

Such behavior is not helpful; is not godly; and does not foster the unity of the Church -- as Jesus Himself prayed for in St. John 17.

SO -- love me, hate me -- that's fine. Agree with me, disagree with me -- that's also fine. Express your disagreements -- that's also fine!!! Hate my guts -- feel free to (knowing that you will encounter the Almighty one day!)

Engage in "ad hominim" personal attacks -- that is not fine -- and I don't intend to tolerate that.

If the person whose post I deleted (and you know who you are) wants to engage in mature, Christian discussion -- jump right on in. I welcome you.

Many blessings,

David

8:54 PM  
Blogger Ken Follis said...

David,
You are certainly in my prayers and my family was encouraged by your testimony on the EWTN Journey Home. May the Lord grant you many open doors to share the joy and pain of obedience to His will. Being Catholic certainly isn't for cowards.
Never has "Non Nobis, Domine" been more applicably a prayer for us all. May it be answered for all the dear saints in the CEC who have prayed it in song over the last decade and a half.
When folks ask me to give them one good Biblical reason to be Catholic, I respond with two: Pope JPII and Mother Theresa. It isn't exactly what they expect from this once southern Fundamentalist, Charismaniac redneck who would split hairs over Biblical verses- I am sure you recall some of my confrontational approach. However, I now have a third reason that makes the Roman Catholic Church so beautiful: What other Church believes in the Eucharist so deeply it offers perpetual Eucharistic adoration?

9:54 PM  
Blogger fatherjim said...

Papa Z;
That is a real loving CHristian thing to do in condemning the CEC and then removing my opinion. God have mercy on you. Obviously you don't think any opinion counts but one that goes along with yours!For shame.
Fr. Jim

10:40 PM  
Blogger collin_nunis said...

Fr. Jim, condemning would usually include incredible accusation and unChristlike criticism. If you cannot come up with good, substantial evidence to say that we have been "condemning" the ICCEC, do not start saying anything at all.

As a fellow member of the ICCEC, I'd suggest you read between the lines of whatever that's been said here, before you comment. Venting out past frustrations, pinpointing out the mistakes made the ICCEC hierarchy, and hoping only the best for the ICCEC in the Lord is not condemnation. It is merely constructive criticism and encouragement, although there are some things which the ICCEC should not have approved in the first place.

Condemning the ICCEC would sound like "The ICCEC is a Church of Satan" or "the members of the ICCEC are heathens". Obviously there's a difference. God bless!

11:55 PM  
Blogger fatherjim said...

Just to let you know, that I am in the CEC, pastor St. Luke's Church in Phoenix and am a mission church since December. I do not think that talking about the demise of the CEC is encouraging for anyone. I will not post any more but just let me say that it is not right that someone attack a family unless you are part of it. You have attacked the CEC and you are no longer a part of it. I think you should consider that we DO have apostolic succession(through the Brazilian church) and have and do desire communion with Rome as others have done. Please leave us alone and if you feel you belong to the true church(as the Eastern Orthodox also do,) then be about your work, which is the salvcation of souls. Pray for us but do not criticize us.
Fr. Jim Obermeyer

11:03 AM  
Blogger collin_nunis said...

Unfortunately Fr. Jim, we are not commenting nor even being critical on what you have mentioned. The problem is bigger than that. It is "how are we maintaining the dignity and sanctity of Apostolic Succession, the liturgy and the Sacraments?" I think the historical side of the Church is very much a problem for the ICCEC as many members come from Charismatic/Evangelical backgrounds. To make the transition itself to a sacramental church is not easy as these are very foreign or in some cases, "satanic" to say the least to most Protestants.

However, when we were being critical of the ICCEC, I only meant for it the better of the ICCEC. On another note, as far as I am concerned, I came because I was attracted to the beauty and truth found in Charismatic, Evangelical and Sacramental worship. This "fullness" or "holistic" worship is a real testimony of 2 things:-

i) That whatever is God's way, it can be brought together and become one. God cannot in anyway, contradict Himself. We can look at Him as a fool but I'd prefer to think of ourselves as fools instead.

ii) An analogy of the Holy Trinity. The mystery of the Holy Trinity can never be explained but let us examine this: Charismatic, Evangelical, and Sacramental worship have 3 very different natures and procedures, but all worship the same Person and still comes from the same Person. Likewise, the Trinity has 3 distinct beings but all the same person.

Of course, what I say here is fallible but I would like to arrogate myself in saying such a thing. It is not meant to be a teaching but merely a personal theory. There, this shows how much the CEC means to me. God bless.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Fr Rick Herlacher said...

Correct me if I'm wrong....but didn't the Brazilian church (the church from whom the ICCEC recvd it's line of succession) excommunicate the ICCEC because they were miffed at not being invited to the consecration of the CEC bishop in Brazil? I don't know if this is true....it could have been rumor. Anyone know?

10:12 PM  
Blogger fatherjim said...

Fr. Rick;
How can you be excommunicated from a church that you are not part of? Don't believe rumors, they ruin peoples reputations.
Fr. Jim

12:27 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

The CEC was, for awhile, in communion with Brazil. Again, for awhile, there were, in some places, cooperation between in two bodies, including joint participation in ordintion and eucharstic celebrations.

The problems between the two churches were many-fold. largely, but NOT entirely on the CEC side. On the Brazilian side, the bishop working most closely with the CEC turned out to be a closet homosexual -- and was repudiated, not only by the CEC but by Brazil as well. On the CEC side, in order for mutual recognition of orders to continue, the CEC agreed to use the Roman Ordinal for ordinations and consecrations (subject, of course, to the necessary adjustments.) This was not done to demonstrate communion with Rome (as Brazil is not at this time in communion with Rome) but to make sure that the very real deficiencies in the ordinal in the BCP were corrected, especailly as it relates to the sacrificial nature of the priesthood.

In many places in the CEC, this agreement has not been followed, causing some in the leadership of the Brazilian church to wonder of some in the leadership of the CEC had acted/were acting in good faith.

Furthermore, Fr. Rick is right. The CEC did receive a very large (several thousand member) church in Brazil -- without courteously informing the Brazilian leadership of their actions -- and compounded that by consecrating a bishop in Brazil -- without informing the Brazilian leadership -- and without inviting them to the consecration.

I don't want to impugne motives of anyone, but the impression that was given by the CEC to Brazil was something along the lines of "Thanks for the valid orders -- now go away." NOT an attitude consistent with the very precious gift the CEC received.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Fr. Aidan's Pulpit said...

I am interested in reading both of your papers for the the Society for Pentecostal Studies "The Emgergence of Convergence" and "The End of Convregence" if you can provide me with a copy or info on how to get one.

Thanks,

Fr. Aidan

7:08 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Fr. Aiden,

If you will give me your E-mail address, I will gladly send you copies.

Blessings,

7:39 AM  
Blogger the Joneses said...

I would like a copy of your papers. Please email them to thebookbeast@juno.com

Thanks.

8:42 AM  
Blogger collin_nunis said...

Well, I have heard someone comment before that the apostolic succession is invalid if one does not use the Roman Ordinal?

I am in the midst of restructuring the BCP's Holy Order (for bishop, priest and deacon) rites to incorporate the Consecration Prayer, Examination, vesting, and investiture rites from the Roman Ordinal (pre-Vatican II texts in contemporary English). I hope I am doing the right thing.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Seraph said...

How good to find your website! I did not realize you have been in communion with Rome for a while now. Best of blessings, David, on your path in Jesus.

I look at the CEC with great interest. I have hoped for a wellspring of the Holy Spirit, a body of men and women anointed for ministry in the NT mode of "apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers" (Ephesians 4). I have also hoped it would be a restoration of the best of Catholicism -- including honoring the bishop of Rome and prayerfully revering his teachings, in the Gospel -- but without the (IMHO) misunderstanding of his office that has characterized the papacy since the 11th century at least.

In fact, the CEC bishops and priests I know revere all three "streams" deeply and are very Catholic at heart, even mentioning Benedict and Bartholemew (as well as Luis) by name at every Mass.

I do not know God's will for the CEC. If he does not favor it, it will run into the sands and perish; if he does favor it to reunite Christ's Body *in its earthly manifestation*, then it will emerge stronger out of this crisis.

And out of this crisis, I will also be discerning God's will for my life, whether to be a "gatekeeper" Roman Christian, an Orthodox Christian (maybe priest), or -- as I have hoped -- a partaker of what promises to be a catalyst toward a greater unity in the whole Body.

I do believe the CEC "consensus" model could be a witness to both Rome and the Orthodox -- but I also believe the CEC desperately needs both Rome and the Orthodox. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of thee". And that argument cuts all ways. As long as there are baptized and believing Christians who call on Christ's name but are not fully manifest and mutually recognized as One, the task will remain unfinished.

Again, thanks David Zampino, or may I call you "Father": "you are a priest forever, in the Order of Melchizedek".

12:51 AM  
Blogger BonnieBeeZ said...

Hello Fr. Brother David!

I am so excited to read your blog and all of the comments here. As much as I hate to admit it, I still continue to learn a lot from my big brother :) But don't tell anyone :)

I would also love to read your papers. As you know, I have left the CEC as of 3 weeks ago. My heart is broken by what I've seen. I don't know where I'll go...never really felt called to Rome...but I'm praying that I'll find out where God is leading me.

I love you! Give hugs and kisses to Michelle and the kids.

Bonnie
BonnieFrmn@aol.com

6:44 PM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Collin,

Are you familiar with the "Book of Divine Worship"? Is it available where you live? I think that you will find, when examining this book, that many of your concerns have been addressed.

Many blessings,

5:22 PM  
Blogger Cate said...

David, I wrote to you at ancient-future but did not receive a response.

I respect your desire to protect your father and not speak in his place. I wonder if he has spoken in any public forum regarding his decision to leave the CEC. Many of us are very anxious to understand his thoughts on this.

Could you direct me to any place where I might find some explanation -- in your father's own words?

Thanks,

Cate

7:15 PM  
Blogger collin_nunis said...

Its the Anglican Use Catholic Liturgy right? Well, I have been through it once but it is not available in Malaysia.

6:38 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Cate,

Thanks for your kind comments. No, I cannont comment on my dad at this point. His discernment process is his own, and I am respecting that. To my knowledge he has put nothing in writing which would be available here in "cyberspace" -- and, honestly, I don't think that he will.

Please continue to keep him and the entire Life in Jesus Community in your prayers.

Many blessings,

8:18 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Collin,

Yes, the Book of Divine Worship is what has been approved for the "Anglican Rite" in the United States. It contains both a traditional-language and a contemporary-language rite for the Eucharist, marriage, burial, etc., as well as two complete editions of the Psalter. The Eucharistic liturgies contain most of the elements in the BCP, along with specific language in the Eucharistic prayers making them licit in a Catholic sense.

It's not a perfect document -- but is a very good one.

Many blessings,

8:21 AM  
Blogger bonniebeez said...

Hello again, Brother-Father!

I was reading the Virtue Online paper and was reading an article about ECUSA. I read this quote and was wondering what your thoughts were on it...

"In a broad Church, comprehensiveness must be principled, otherwise there is the risk of disintegration. It is this risk which is becoming actual as more and more people argue that the Anglican Communion is just a loose federation with few, if any, firm doctrinal and moral moorings. In the past, Anglican comprehensiveness has been grounded in acknowledging the supremacy of the Bible, the authority of what Christians have always and everywhere believed, and of the Anglican formularies, such as the Book of Common Prayer, the Articles of Religion and the Ordinal, which bear witness to this faith. Such foundations are more and more dispensable these days, and it is this which has produced our present crisis.

What then is to be done? Unity for Christians is precious and not easily given up but we cannot have unity at the expense of truth. If the truth is seen so differently by the various groups, and there is little hope of convergence, let alone agreement, would it not be better to take different paths rather then pretending to be on the same one? I sincerely pray that it does not come to this and that, even in the face of such differences, there will be the determination to walk in the same way. But if not, separation may actually lead to less bitterness, a greater willingness to converse and, perhaps, even some scope for cooperation in areas where this is possible.

As Christians, it is our duty to pray for the unity of all those who call themselves followers of Jesus but unity does not come at any price and it as well to be prepared for the worst. "

---The Rt. Rev Michael Nazir-Ali is Bishop of Rochester in England

Is this part of what is going wrong with the CEC as well...that, ignoring the moral and ethical problems, the foundations are dispensable, if they ever existed to begin with? Is the Church better off as separate groups? Is there really any hope for unity..for One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? I was wondering your take on this.

Love you!

Bonnie

12:33 PM  
Blogger collin_nunis said...

Well, I have used the Catholic Eucharistic Prayers for both the Eucharist liturgies from the BCP and the Church of England's Book of Common Worship. I have also incorporated elements of the Benediction to be used after the distribution of Holy Communion.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Father David Epps said...

David,

I would like a copy of your papers.

David Epps
frepps@ctkcec.org

3:17 PM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Dear Fr. Epps,

Papers have been sent.

Blessings,

11:25 AM  
Blogger jdshingl said...

davi I would very much like to read both your papers
my email is jdshingl@cox.net

10:23 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Papers have been sent. I would greatly appreciate commentary.

Blessings,

11:00 PM  
Blogger Roy_Edw said...

David, I too would like a copy of your paper. I have found CEC in Kansas through OK City and I love the three streams! I say that as an Episcopalian who knew the "charismatic wing" of that church, then left with a congregation in Denver to follow AMiA (Anglican Mission in America)then had to move here. Talk about confused!! CEC has filled the void for me and now I need to know all that is going on. A CEC Priest I know asked me today to pray the Prayer for the Church on PPg 816 in the BCP, substituting "Catholic Church" with "Charismatic Episcopal Church". If indeed there have been immporal acts, we cannot let those destroy the work of God among us. As stated earlier in the blog, if CEC is God's work, it will survive. I am trying to go through catechism in the CEC church I attend and one question I have was about being linked to Rome. I was assured we would cover that later in the course. I may be new, but I'm not a youngster and I'm ready to give up!

6:33 PM  
Blogger Mike Baldwin said...

David, thanks for your blog and the civility of it. I pray for you and your father and the life in jesus community often. Peace, Mike Baldwin

4:54 PM  
Blogger Roy_Edw said...

David,

This is a 2nd post, looks like its been a while since you've been here,.. but, may I please have aq copy of the paper as well? Thanks!

Roy

10:11 PM  
Blogger Fr. Coleman said...

David:

I would also appreciate a copy of your paper.

Fr. Coleman
email STMICHAELSCHAT@aol.com

11:01 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Roy,

Please advise as to your E-mail address, and I'll send the papers promptly.

Mike,

Thanks so much for your words of support. They are greatly appreciated.

Fr. Coleman,

Papers have been sent!

To all of you,

Thanks, and many blessings!

10:47 AM  
Blogger justdawn said...

Hi...

I am not a member of the CEC, but my Father is a CEC priest (who incidentally studied at life in Jesus) and I know that this shake-up in the CEC has had a profound impact on my family.

I would love to read your papers, if for no other reason than to more fully understand...

Blessings to you and I hope that everyone who is/has left the CEC finds what they are looking for.

4:38 AM  
Blogger soundguy said...

Father David,
I am a very good friend of both your Father and brother Mark Z. I have been reading your blog and have found it very informative and educational. I am saddened also by the spin that has been rampant in CEC circles. and am praying for everyone in the CEC who can still hear the Holy Spirit.

I would greatly appreciate a copy of your papers also, if you have the time.

Your dad is greatly loved by many folks here in Maryland. And I for one am part of that group. I know of no one who has a higher level of integrity than your father. He keeps himself painfully accountable to his clergy, and the community members of which he is abbott. He frequently honors your mother publicly, and is often seen walking the grounds hand in hand with her. He models Church unity through his relationship with his wife, his immediate family, and his church family.....in that order! The Church needs more Bishops like him!

Anyway, thank you for your blog site, and may the Lord richly bless you and your family......including your new Eagle Scout!

Your brother in Christ
e-mail address: bpwilhite@comcast.net (this will soon change due to a future move to LIJ on August 9th)

8:47 PM  
Blogger sharonkay said...

Father David,

As a member of the CEC I would very much like a copy of your 2001 and your 2006 papers. I am heartbroken at what is going on in my church and want to understand what is happening. My e-mail address is thecarters01@charter.net. Thank you and blessings be upon you.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Christoph said...

Hi,
I had the impression, that the CEC and the Convergence Movement are seen here sometimes as the same thing. For example: The CEC falls apart and the Convergence Movement ends?
I'm a Deacon in the CEEC since last year. But right now I'm in Austria, Europe and so I really don't know whats going on in the states. Does anyone know how the CEEC is doing?

David, I would love to read your 2001 and 2006 papers.

2:53 AM  
Blogger John Roberts said...

Christoph,

In response to your question... terrible! I would urge you to exercise great caution about affiliation with this group. There was much initial cross dialogue with the CEC in the beginning days but it deteriorated into an attempted hijacking of the CEC vision including plagiarizing their vision documents. Without going into details you need to closely examine the personal lives of it's leaders, it's founding, subsequent defections, financial backing and constant shuffling of names, leaders, and affiliations. An attorney friend was asked by an international congregation to look into this on their behalf and what was unearthed was significant and very negative. In all possibility, you may be young, sincere and godly, lacking divinity training, and this group made promises and offered you ordained ministry etc. I would encourage and advise you to find a way to quickly end your ordination plans with the said group and pursue a legitimate continuing body or godly TEC Bishop, or perhaps train for the orthodox ministry. If you are overseas then find a godly denomination you can serve with for now. God's blessing and mercy towards you.
John

4:16 AM  
Blogger jw said...

With all due respect, David, your father believes in authority, only when he is the ultimate authority. I am not surprised that he, himself, cannot come under authority. He must run things himself and will always seek to do so. Whatever the details behind what I've been reading in your blog (though I'm a bit late to the conversation), it comes as no surprise that your father has separated himself, whatever his justification. Of course, he can justify anything. He's his own ultimate authority.
John Wienholt

11:58 PM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

John,

I appreciate your comment, and your right to express your opinion, but your comment contributes nothing to the discussion. Yes, obviously, it is something I've heard before -- but what is your point?

If you have one, please make it. If not, why comment?

11:02 PM  
Blogger albrecht said...

To Christoph:

I have been a member of the CEEC for over ten years (a presbyter actually), and it was very helpful since I left an established pastoral ministry and salary for another type of ministry. I just about lost everything, but have always consoled myself about the apostolic nature of my communion.
Well...I'm not so sure anymore.

First of all, the North American Province spun off into the Communion of Convergence Churches without most of my friends in my diocese or other ones being made aware before the event. Most of us had a jolting, negative reaction! Secondly, our set of founding documents were cut back to 3 Creeds (for which I am grateful), but then another modern, evangelical statement has been added. I didn't sign up for either option!
Third, the new group has created a Presiding Bishop (with all the power), a Primate (with only ceremonial powers), and a Servant Bishop! Again, no one asked, and no one told!
Fourth, they are developing a "Magisterium"! Shades of Rome! It's not that I don't think a Magisterium isn't necessary (ask Canterbury and New York!), but this seems so arrogant as to be unbelieveable! And if I read the Canons correctly, it will ONLY be the bishops!
Finally, I have discovered that as a Presbyter (with more theological education and experience than some bishops) that I have no voice! The laity, I guess, can't even signal or grunt to indicate a differing opinion. That with the very real history of isolation, neglect, lack of communication, and our continual "morphing" towards either Catholicism or independent Charismaticism (?), makes our future nil. The only continuation of this Province will be in the new Presiding Bishop's megachurch and a few scattered gatherings.

All of this is IMHO. If you can join the RC Church and purpose holy orders or religious orders, do it! Don't waste your youth, talent, intellect, or passion for Christ on this dead end.

Albrecht.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Vie4Integrity said...

I left the TEC in 2003 and periodically travel to attend a CEC congregation in Kansas. As part of my search I am requesting a copy of each of your papers on the the Convergence Movement ( 2001and 2006). Send to violaheskett@sbcglobal.net
Thank you.

7:04 PM  

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