What denomination are you?
The name of our denomination (or ‘movement’) is Via Apostolica. That is a Latin phrase that translates to “The way of the Apostles”. Before the early believers were known as Christians, they were referred to as those of “The Way” – a reference to Jesus’ statement in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”
What is Via Apostolica?
Via Apostolica is a growing movement that was founded on the eve of the Ascension 2012. We have deep roots in the historic, evangelical, and charismatic expressions of the Christian faith; and a desire to see those expressions come together as one. By looking to the foundations that are laid in scripture and the apostolic Tradition, we seek to help serve the healing of wounds and divisions in the Body of Christ and to be a part of building Christ’s glorious Church.
What is convergence?
Convergence refers to the coming together, or reunification of the three major streams of Christian expression that have developed over the centuries. Today, we mostly see expressions that are predominantly one or the other – our desire is to bring the good from each of the streams together into one unified expression. From the Historic church we learn of ritual and Tradition, and a love for the sacraments. From the Evangelical church we learn our dependency on grace, our elevation of the Scriptures and our mandate for mission. From the Charismatic church we learn freedom in worship and a love for the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Each of these expressions is beautiful and valuable; and has roots that stretch back to the early apostolic church.
What do you believe about the Bible?
The Scriptures are a gift from God to his People. The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and contains all things necessary for salvation. It is our foundation for truth and a source of communion with God, for all Scripture has Christ at its center and works to reveal his nature to his people and to the world.
Why do you wear collars?
Clerical shirts and collars are common amongst ministers of many Christian traditions. While the collar does allow clergy to be easily identified and there are practical advantages to that, its primary purpose is as a symbol of servitude to Christ and his Church. Via ministers are not required to wear collars at every occasion, but many of them choose to because they find them to be a meaningful reminder of the vows that they have taken in being called to ordained ministry.
What do you mean by ‘sacrament’?
A sacrament (also sometimes referred to as “mystery”) is a visible, tangible means of receiving the grace of God. Our understanding of the sacraments is rooted in our understanding of the incarnation of Jesus. Just as Jesus is both fully God and fully man, so the sacraments are both completely ordinary and completely divine. As Eve was taken from the side of Adam as he lay in deep sleep, so the Church was born from the side of Christ, pierced on the cross; and is continually nourished by the water (baptism) and blood (Eucharist) which was poured out there for our salvation. The sacraments enable God’s People to encounter his divine presence through very physical, ordinary means.
How many sacraments are there?
The Church has two principle sacraments – baptism and Eucharist; as well as five other sacraments – chrismation/confirmation, marriage, reconciliation, ordination, and anointing the sick. While we can see sacramental principles at work in a myriad of ways, these seven sacraments have long been recognized as having a special status. They are each rooted in the New Testament and have been sustained by the practices of the Church through the ages as the ongoing means of grace for God’s holy People.
What do you believe about water baptism?
Water baptism is the sacramental rite of initiation into the Christian faith. Which is another way to say that in baptism, something actually happens. Baptism is a means of receiving the grace of God. In baptism we participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:3-5). We are united to Christ in a covenantal relationship that endures for all eternity. Baptism is the point at which we are formally adopted into the family of God.
What do you believe about the Eucharist?
Like baptism, the Eucharist is a sacrament – a tangible means of receiving the grace of God. It is a meal of covenant renewal in which all who are in covenant with God through water baptism are able to participate in the body and blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16). At the last supper when Jesus instituted the Eucharistic meal, he said the words “This is my body” and “This is my blood” referring to the bread and wine that he had blessed. Although we do not fully understand the mystery, we unequivocally affirm these words of our Saviour. In the Eucharist, Jesus is present.
Why can't people take the Eucharist before baptism?
Baptism is the means by which one enters into a covenant relationship with Jesus, and the Eucharist is a covenantal meal – a place to remember and renew covenantal vows and to unite ourselves again with our Saviour. This practice of administering the Eucharist only to those who have been baptised is consistent with the instructions given to God's people throughout the Scriptures. At the inauguration of the Passover meal in Exodus 12:43-49, it is clearly stated that no uncircumcised people may partake of the Passover meal. The reason for this is the same: the Passover is a covenantal meal, and circumcision is the means by which a Jewish man and his household entered into the covenant. In the new covenant, the Eucharist is the fulfillment of the Passover meal, and baptism has replaced circumcision as the sign and seal of the covenant. This being the case, the Eucharist is reserved for those who have entered into a covenantal relationship with Jesus through water baptism.
What is a bishop?
A bishop is someone who has been ordained into the line of Apostolic Succession. A bishop is responsible for safeguarding the message of the gospel and for overseeing the ministry of the people of God, as well as being an agent of unity and presiding over the sacraments of the church. Typically, a bishop oversees the work of the Church in an entire region.
What is a priest?
A priest is someone who has been ordained by a bishop to share in his ministry by presiding over the sacraments, preaching and teaching, and providing pastoral care for the people of God. A priest will usually serve as the primary leader or as a support figure in a local church.
What is a deacon?
A deacon is someone who has been ordained by a bishop to share in his ministry by serving Christ and his Church and by acting as a bridge between the Church and the world. The foundations of this office are found in Acts 6 where “the seven” are set apart to wait on tables. A deacon usually serves with the priest in a local church.
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