Who We Are
The Holy Synod of St. Athanasius Congregation for Egyptian and Middle Eastern Christians Orthodox ( HSSAC) is a community of Christians comprising an autonomous reformed Orthodox Church. Founded in the United State of America. The church holds itself to be fully Christian and fully Orthodox, maintaining the seven sacraments and apostolic succession . It has established spiritual, educational and social programs designed to feed those who are in need. Its dedication courage and love of service to Christ is through serving His people. His Grace, Archbishop Maximus I is the Presiding Hierarch of the HSSAC, who was consecrated by the Metropolitans of the Holy Synod of the American Diaspora in America of True Orthodox Christians canonically established through the Old Calendar Greek Tradition.
Beliefs and Organization
The Holy Synod of St.Athanasius Congregation for Egyptians and Middle Eastern Christians Orthodox HSSAC beliefs that the church is One because it is one with its founder, Jesus Christ and in His mystical body is one with all believers. It is Holy because Christ is Holy and sanctifies the church by his continuing presence in the sacraments and his work. It is Catholic as it is universal as being open to all races, all sexes and all nationalities. It is apostolic because it is linked to the faith, teachings and authority of the Apostles and the Early Fathers of the church both sacramentally and historically through the apostolic succession of the bishops and clergy. HSSAC accepts the Nicene, Apostles and Athanasian creeds and observes seven sacraments((Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Penance, Unction, Ordination, Matrimony ). HSSAC Practices open communion for all Christians who acknowledge the real presence of Christ in Eucharist.
Bible, Holy Tradition, and the Patristic Consensus
The Orthodox Church considers itself to be the historical and organic continuation of the original Church founded by Christ and His apostles. The faith taught by Jesus to the apostles, given life by the Holy Spirit at Pentacost, and passed down to future generations uncorrupted, is known as Holy Tradition. The primary and authoritative witness to Holy Tradition is the Bible, texts written or approved by the apostles to record revealed truth and the early history of the Church. Because of the Bible’s inspired origin, it is regarded as central to the life of the Church. The Bible is always interpreted within the context of Holy Tradition, which gave birth to it and canonized it Other witnesses to Holy Tradition include the liturgy of the Church, is iconography, the rulings of the Ecumenical Councils, and the writings of the Church Fathers. From the consensus of the Fathers (consensus patrum) one may enter more deeply and understand more fully the Church’s life. Individual Fathers are not looked upon as infallible, but rather the whole consensus of them together will give one a proper understanding of the Bible and Christian doctrine.
The Theology of the Church
Orthodox Christians all over the world believe in a God who is both three and one (triune). The Father is the cause or origin of the Godhead, from whom the Son is begotten eternally and also from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally. The Holy Trinity is three, distinct, divine persons (hypotases), without overlap or modality among them, who share one divine essence (ousia)—uncreated, immaterial and eternal. Orthodox doctrine regarding the Holy Trinity is summarized in the Symbol of faith. In discussing God’s relationship to his creation, Orthodoxy used the concept of a distinction between God’s eternal essence which is totally transcendent and his uncreated energies which is how he reaches us. It is also necessary to understand that this is an artificial distinction, not a real one. The God who is transcendent and the God who touches us are one and the same. The Resurrection of Christ is the central event in the liturgical year of the Orthodox Church and is understood in literal terms as a real historical event. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified and died, descended into Hell (Hades in Greek), rescued all the souls held there through sin; and then, because Hell could not restrain the infinite God, rose from the dead, thus saving all mankind. Through these events, he released mankind from the bonds of Hell and then came back to the living as man and God. That each individual human may partake of this immortality, which would have been impossible without the Resurrection, is the main promise held out by God in his New Testament with mankind, according to Orthodox Christian tradition.
The Eucharist is at the center of Christianity. In practice, it is the partaking of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the midst of the Divine Liturgy with the rest of the church. The bread and wine are believed to become the genuine Body and Blood of the Christ Jesus through the operation of the Holy Spirit. Communion is given only to baptized.