ABBA MINISTRIES OF CANADA
SEEKING THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME TO SERVE CHRIST AS AN ORDAINED MINISTER?
by Reverend Malachy Egan, National Pastor and Bishop, 2007.
Abba Ministries of Canada seeks like-minded individuals who will work for Christ without pay or reward, digging deep into their own resources in order to spread His Word. [We can, as a politician once said, offer nothing but blood, sweat and tears...]
Do you understand the bible, and are you at least in passing in touch with modern cross-denominational Christian scholarship? Perfect!
Are you familiar-first hand-with the mind-numbing poverty of Africa? Let's talk.
Prison ministry, shelters, outreach, community work, church plants, inner city ministry, missions, youth ministry... the possibilities are endless.
Or do you simply love Jesus, understand His program and want to get to work? Black, Caucasian, First Nations, Chinese, it doesn't matter: Abba even ordained an Irishman! [That would be our National Pastor.] So we invite you to join us to serve God in the name of Jesus.
By the way, Abba Ministries does not seek to bring good folk from other churches; rather, we are looking for those people who perhaps do not relate directly to what is currently out there, but have the vision to develop a truly Christian Church as Disciples of our Lord.
Ordination and credentialing is not completed via the internet, application forms are available for those with a serious calling to ministry: please contact Rev. Malachy (Mike) Egan directly via the Abba website or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that: we are NOT interested in people who are insincere or egotistic. Abba Ministries of Canada is also TOTALLY intolerant of pedophiles, sex offenders or abusers of any stamp or persuasion. If you seek ordination with Abba Ministries of Canada you will give us permission to conduct a rigorous screening process, undergo a police check and 'fast track' screening with the Childrens Aid Society that will reveal any criminal convictions that might bar you from working with children or at risk/vulnerable adults.
Above all you must be motivated to join a non-elite group of servants, who seek only to follow the Lord.
IS THE HOLY SPIRIT CALLING YOU OUT?
by Reverend Malachy Egan, Bishop Emeritus, Abba Ministries of Canada
[Excerpts from Open Letter From The National Pastor,
New Year 2008, Spring 2007, January 2007 and October 2006]
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." [Matthew 9:37]
We are extremely happy to welcome you all to the Lord's vineyard and we can promise you the pure joy and satisfaction that a life of dedication to Jesus of Nazareth offers His faithful servants. All Abba Ministries of Canada clergy are unpaid volunteers who are called to service for the best, and perhaps the only reason: love of the Lord and love and compassion for their neighbour. Not a sparrow falls to Earth...
In the past I have talked at length about what I call: 'The Great Bailout'. The emptying out of church pews that, despite the denials of the establishment, has been underway since the end of World War II: first it was a trickle, then a steady stream then a flood, deny it if you will, but the reality is that now three human generations have passed and there are many young people who have no knowledge of God or Jesus of Nazareth despite the fact that we live in what, at least until very recently, was considered a Christianized country.
Something else is happening 'in parallel' with that bailout that I believe is both crucial to the Lord's work and part of God's plan. The Holy Spirit is nurturing the true Church by 'calling out' honest disciples of Jesus of Nazareth and tasking them to serve the Lord with compassion for humanity, with love for all people and to expect nothing more than God's unending Grace in return.
Indeed, I can share my own 'calling out' experience: week after week, year after year I could see no observable charity except that funded and given by the laity [and even that, pitifully small as it was, often came with 'strings' attached by the establishment clerics who demanded the credit in their process of self-aggrandizement]; there was an elitism among the priesthood that was bad at grass roots and sickening at the levels of higher authority; a focus on taking but not giving; judgmental and discriminatory actions and serious abuse issues, often followed by denial and cover-up. I could go on and on. Eventually, I tired of confronting the priests and I soon learned that writing to a bishop or cardinal would only generate a reply chiding me for my [obviously erroneous] viewpoint at best or hinting at excommunication and eternal damnation at worst. In my thoughtful moments I would return to the Gospel and comb it for words from Jesus that might validate the establishment's position, but to no avail, those words simply were not there. All I could find was The Word. Words of love and acceptance, instructions in parables telling me how I ought to be living my life, instructions to love, to accept; not to judge others and, above all, to love God, our Abba, with all my heart. I felt alienated by the Church and I didn't want to go back: one more pompous, bigoted sermon was more than I could take. I did not realize it back then, but I know for certain now, the Holy Sprit was leading me out.
Is this what your church is like? Do you go to services two or three times a week, seeking a little Spiritual reality in your life: something that has not happened to you yet? If you do not relate to the liturgical presentation, to the dogmas and traditions, to the voice from the pulpit in your church, or to any feeling of sanctuary, sooner or later the Holy Spirit will lead you out too! With a heavy heart, many sound, Bible-believing Christians are now leaving established churches and attending no formal church at all. Some Christians are still falling away [these folk are the last of the 'big bailout'], but a core group of survivors, the true Church, are forming small home groups. They are meeting in living rooms, cellars or garages, in any place large enough to hold a dozen brethren or so, rather like they did before the Emperor Constantine got his clutches on Christianity around 325 AD. Five times in the New Testament we read about where the Church was located. In every case, the Church was in the home of an individual believer, and nowhere in the New Testament are we told that we should meet anywhere else. In the first three centuries the Christians were unsung little groups of believers, meeting in homes where they were hidden by the Lord from the swords and circuses of their persecutors.
For some of us it is frightening to be on our own with just Jesus of Nazareth to sustain us. Fear not, Jesus can handle it. He planned this whole scenario long ago, and you are part of His plan. As Saint Paul said so often, "We are all equal in Christ," and this Christ has been with us, and within us, from the beginning of time, and so he will be with us until the end of time as we know it. If the Spirit is calling you, you are one of Jesus' chosen twenty-first century disciples: your task is to take His simple plan to the nations: "Love God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself, love with acceptance, love with compassion and love without judgment or censure." This way and by example only, in these critical days, months or years you can spread The Word, and lead one, or perhaps more, of those who have fallen away back to the Lord.
This, I believe is our urgent task. This is also the purpose of Abba Ministries of Canada: many of us have been programmed to believe that we cannot worship the Lord, serve the communal meal, baptize, or bury the dead unless some obscure sectarian seminary sends an ordained pastor to do the job in the approved manner. Naturally we will need a church building complete with steeple, pipe organ, stained glass windows, a choir, a music minister, and a hefty ten percent tithe. Well, dear people, this just is not the case. In fact, it is so far from reality to be laughable! Many Christians are already meeting and working outside the pre-conceived structure of the megachurches, a few still attend church because of a strong affinity to centuries of tradition, but work outside the structured bureaucracy; however, the majority has cut the apron strings of dependence.
Abba Ministries of Canada pastors, priests and chaplains work with individuals and small groups, demonstrating a strong focus toward outreach and a very solid commitment to Jesus' program, regardless of whether our pastors witness through music, counseling, compassionate service at hospitals and care homes, youth and children's programs, fellowship or any other form of Christian ministry. Our pastors see no sectarian boundaries, only a burning need to serve all people regardless of colour, creed and affiliation. Ultimately, people find Christ within themselves, they discover the pure love of God in their hearts and let it shine forth, and this may be why Abba Ministries of Canada is Canada's fastest growing Christian group. We are certainly absolutely unique because our ordained ministers do what they do for the love of the Lord and not for money. Yes, we are a one hundred percent volunteer organization that is supported in its work by the love and generosity of its members.
Currently, Abba Ministries of Canada is an established religious denomination in three provinces: Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia [by population this represents perhaps one third of Canada]; however, she is poised to expand into all provinces and territories in the near future. If you reside in Alberta or Newfoundland, for example, our national office staff will work with you as you establish your ministry to ensure that you can also obtain provincial credentialing under the Alberta or Newfoundland Marriage Act; this process usually takes two to three months and is already underway in several new provinces. It is Abba Ministries of Canada's mandate to operate as an umbrella organization, which provides support to local clergy; for example, with federal charitable status, provincial credentialing, liturgical support, resources and fellowship, while, at the same time, allowing the local pastor and the local church group to control their own affairs and focus on the Lord's work. We continue to process applications from men and women who, quite clearly, have been directed to us by the Holy Spirit. In fact, a candidate for ordination struck a chord with me in a description of his call to Ministry, he stated: "I had heard the knocking at my door over the years, but chose to ignore it. Recently it came again, only this time it might be better described as a pounding..."
Yes, Jesus is pounding on doors these days; there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that...
When challenged to define the most important 'rule' for the Church, Jesus [quoting from Deuteronomy] said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind." [Matthew 22:37] He also strongly recommended that you should love your neighbour as yourself. Call to mind also Matthew 16: 28, often referred to as the parable of the rich young man, and remember that man's quandary when Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Today's paid priests; in particular those who live in extravagant, luxury regardless of their denomination or sect within Christianity, might have some trouble with the foregoing. Frankly, it might be good counsel to suggest that they reread the entire parable in Matthew's Gospel and take heed to Jesus' stinging conclusion to his disciples: "But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."
When I look back over six decades as a Christian, if I was asked to frame just one saying from the Master that encapsulates the outward behaviour of most Christian priests it would be this from Luke 6:46: "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" When all is said and done my opponents can wriggle and squirm, twist and reinterpret scripture until the next blue moon yet the bottom line remains patently the same: examine closely the life and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth and compare it with your own. Ask yourself how do I compare? I will leave my detractors to sit in judgement of themselves.
Abba Ministries of Canada is, to my knowledge, the only Christian denomination in North America [and possibly upon planet Earth] whose priests are volunteers and which is entirely self supporting. Our priests reach out into various communities across this country from coast to coast, and internationally, through the word, through music, through deeds, always following the simple teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. We are non-judgemental, we spread the good news of our Saviour and we ask nothing in return. During my time, Abba has never solicited money from the public, although spontaneous donations [with no strings attached, because we are well aware of the current range of scams] are always gratefully received and directed to our charitable programming. [Yes, we are a CCRA registered charity.] I am very proud of the work the Abba Ministries of Canada's priests and chaplains do for the Lord. We are another manifestation of 'the Few', a growing band of truly Christian sisters and brothers who serve without begging for money and whose dedication outshines the tawdry performance of the wealthy mega-churches.
If the Holy Spirit is 'calling you out' we would invite you to join us as we strive to do the Lord's work in these difficult times!
John 14:6 says, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Keep the Faith; the true Faith; the Faith of Jesus of Nazareth.
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