Extracts from His Holiness’ Apostolic Letter of 15 February 2003
Since my installation as the Catholicos on 14 April 1991, I have witnessed the various outpourings of Holy Spirit upon the Spiritual Communities in their various stages, and especially recently I have come to recognise the diversity that exists in the Body of Mshikha.
The Spiritual Assemblies consist of a body of faithful believers who each have their own identity and culture in the Canonical life to serve the Lord in the method that they feel is appropriate to them and their cultural needs and in accordance to the Scriptures, Canon and Traditions of the Assembly as a whole. There are those who hold and cherish the ancient traditions of the Assembly in a “Catholic” sense, and those who hold to more of a Spirit filled, “Charismatic” manner of worship, while others hold to other liturgical forms. All of these traditions are good and sensible for our times as long as the True Messiah and the Word of God is the absolute focus for each one of them along with the Three Pillars of the Faith. It is for this very reason I write this letter today.
Because the Spiritual Communities worship in various manners and within different cultures around the world, such diversity should never be interpreted as being division within the Body of Messiah. This structure allows for a great deal of freedom for each individual and congregation to express themselves, yet united in Spirit, and especially in their goal to proclaim Messiah to all persons of all faiths without petty tribalism.
I hereby instruct that at no time shall any Rite or ministry that has settled into one form of worship within the Spiritual Communities ever deride or ridicule another part of the Body who may worship in a different way. This would not be in the spirit of love and unity if such thoughts and actions took place among any of our brothers and sisters. The Body of Messiah is united yet diverse just as the ancient Church was in its beginnings in Israel.
May the Lord God bless you, and make you worthy to renew your spiritual relationship with Him, glory to Him. May He accept your prayers and alms-givings, and give you joy, happiness, good health, and great success. May His grace be with you always.
As a pledge of this desire of mine, I impart to each one of you, and to all those who belong to the Spiritual Communities within the Assembly of Jerusalem, my special Apostolic Blessing.
15 February 2003