+ Why Join?
In an age when denominationalism and church organizations are believed to be dying, why might one choose to join the CEEC? There are a number of reasons why so many have chosen to join the CEEC, including its mission toward church unity, emphasis on spiritual formation, and the continual support of its members.
+ What is the Focus of the CEEC?
The central focus of the CEEC is spiritual formation. From presbyters to lay people, the CEEC has pathways for formation no matter your individual calling. Everyone is at a different place on their journey and we are determined to not only help you discern where that place is, but how to get where you feel God is calling you.
+ A Communion vs. A Denomination?
The CEEC is a communion, not a denomination. In contrast to a denomination, a communion expresses the organic unity found within the Church. Rather than clinging to divisions created by historic differences over doctrine and practice, a communion represents a return to the unity that Christ desires for his Church - "that they may be one," as Jesus stated. The CEEC embraces both protestant and catholic traditions, as well as a wide spectrum of expressions of worship spiritual practice that have proven faithful throughout the history of the Church.
+ What is the Great Tradition?
- The Great Tradition of the Church is ground in the apostolic witness to Christ as ultimately revealed in the Holy Scriptures and living on in the Church’s anamnesis – its memorial – expressed in liturgy, tradition and witness.
- The Great Tradition of the Church is defined and shaped by the ecumenical creeds (Nicene, Apostolic and Athanasian) of the ancient and undivided church.
- The Great Tradition of the Church is fundamentally catholic in the sense that it aims at incorporating the faith of the church in all its richness across time as well as space.
- The Great Tradition of the Church is sacramentally, ecclesiastically and liturgically based, which means that it insists that participation in the fruit of Christ’s sacrifice takes place through word and sacrament in the space of the church.
- The Great Tradition of the Church realizes that the people of God are a structured people in the sense that pastoral leaders and shepherds as well as laity are included. (Here he is drawing a distinction between the ministry of the ordained and the ministry of the people).
- The Great Tradition of the Church is based on the firm conviction that the Church, in accordance with its nature, is one.
- The Great Tradition of the Church holds God’s will to be binding and obligatory for human life in its totality. And it acknowledges its commission to preach God’s law, which is to affirm its responsibility to confront all violations of the goodwill of God the creator with his call to repentant lives renewed to his glory for the benefit of all humankind.
- The Great Tradition of the Church places significant weight on the church’s sending, mission and service in the world. Strong social commitment is a hallmark of the Great Tradition.
- The Great Tradition of the Church realizes that the dialectic between creation and redemption provides the framework for the church’s mission. The aim of this mission is not only that a number of souls be saved, but that God’s creation will be redeemed. The Church must make room for and provide a voice for the world’s longing for redemption.
- The Great Tradition of the Church should never be perceived as a purely nostalgic project. Being firmly fixed in the witness and shape of the ancient church, it also looks both outward to the people and the world it is called to serve, and forward to the time of eschatological fulfillment, when Christ returns in order to bring his work to completion.
(Ola Tjørhom, Visible Church-Visible Unity: Ecumenical Ecclesiology and "The Great Tradition of the Church")
+ Is the CEEC for Me?
- If you desire spiritual formation, not spiritual assimilation
- If you think the whole story of the church matters
- If you take Jesus' prayer, "that they may be one" seriously
- If you are searching for unity, not uniformity
- If you identify as an evangelical but feel drawn toward a more liturgical, historically-oriented spirituality
- If you crave a deep and meaningful spiritual connection to others on a similar journey by way of gatherings and retreats
- If you believe the creeds, the Great Tradition, and the historic structure of the church should be in communion with evangelical and charismatic spirituality
- If you are a church planter that agrees with the above statements
- If you are a pastor that agrees with the above statements
- If you are an academic looking to take seriously your spiritual formation alongside other academics