Orthodox Church Leader Rekindles Relationship with Anglicans
The leader of the Orthodox Church in North America has re-kindled the oldest ecumenical relationship in Christian history. Addressing delegates and attendees of the inaugural assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, said, “I am seeking an ecumenical restoration by being here today. This is God’s call to us.” This significant gesture represents the possibility of full communion being exchanged between the churches.
Metropolitan Jonah represents the North American branch of the Orthodox Church, a Christian denomination that has a long history of strong relationships with the Anglican Church. “We have to actualize that radical experience of union in Christ with one another,” Jonah said. Speaking for 45 minutes, the Metropolitan addressed the importance of looking past our differences in order to work together for mission. “Our unity transcends our particularity,” he said.
His Beatitude’s message was focused on unity but did not fail to address areas of contrasting beliefs between the two churches. Despite this, the Metropolitan told the audience that “our arms are open wide.”
Following the speech, a representative of an Orthodox seminary, St. Vladimir’s, announced a cooperative effort with Nashotah House, an orthodox Anglican seminary, that would help further these ecumenical relationships and what Jonah described as a “new dialogue between the Orthodox Church in North America and the new Anglican province in North America.
The Texas chapter of the Missionaries of St John, together with their bishop, gathered in Bedford, Texas, heartily rejoice and offer God thanksgiving for this timely address by Metropolitan Jonah and his "open arms" of invitation. Our hearts resonate with his call to the truth of the apostolic faith, and we humbly and joyfully embrace his call to unity in the "faith once given". Lord, hear our prayer.