Sacramental Community of the Coworkers of Christ

A Brief History: Our Beginning

The Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion began out of necessity but not as a breakaway from any other particular Christian denomination nor from another jurisdiction within the Independent Sacramental Movement. It also wasn't started by someone who had been turned down for one reason or another for ordination by any other Christian church, which is often a fairly common reason separated denominations and jurisdictions form.

The EFCC began when a group of folks in the Ozarks Mountains sought a safe place to "be church" within the historic apostolic succession of the age old sacramental Christian church. It was born out of a ministry of providing sanctuary for the turnaways, throwaways, and runaways of various mainstream churches and or ISM jurisdictions.

We had all wandered looking for a church home and ultimately shared similar experiences of abuse, trauma, in-hospitality, and or outright intolerance in one form or another from the church groups we individually and, in a couple of cases, collectively sought out.

Some of us were more liberal in our social positions, some more conservative. Some were more traditional in our approach to liturgy and worship and others more innovative and or free form. We were a group of folks from various traditions of the church universal: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, Southern Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Unitarian, and some from no particular tradition at all but who identified as Christian. None of us left a church to start a new church. We had simply been drawn to one another and gathered together having found ourselves looking for a church home outside of our respective traditions for one reason or another

Though not all of us were native to the Ozark Mountains we all had found ourselves together in that Promised Land. The Ozarks had originally been settled by the Scotch-Irish and the Irish Catholics. In fact, large swaths of the Ozark Mountains were often referred to as the Irish Wildness, such was our connection with the Celtic peoples. That Celtic culture of the Ozarks was deep in our social, spiritual, and religious DNA. The Christian church had evolved here out of a fervent dedication to the "free church" ideal brought to us from Ireland, Scotland, and England as evidenced not only through the Protestant church but also the Celtic part of the Catholic church that developed in Ireland, Scotland, Whales, and Northumbria.

Several of us were members of a Celtic Christian based religious order and our Rule would help us discover the charism of this new group. We would look to the wisdom of the Celtic saints and our Rule to help us understand how to be a diverse and yet unified community. Part of our Rule called us to a deep respect born of love.
"Do not ever think yourselves better than the rest of your companions who share the same faith." -St. Cuthbert

"Do not be deceived by those who seem to seek perfection, yet do not keep the basic commandments of God. There are people who eat little, who live simply, and who are celibate; yet show no love and compassion toward their neighbors. Before seeking perfection, a person must first learn to love others and to be generous towards them." St. Morgan of Wales (Pelagius)

"My neighbor is lonely; my friend is frightened; both are struggling to do the best they can to find love and happiness. From a gentle heart be gentle with them. See their frail humanity, created for glory by God, and love it for what it is, respect it for what it can become.

Accept those around you for who they are. Accept but this doesn't always mean to agree. Respect for your own integrity will not allow you to always agree with others." -From the Rule: Chapter VII A Respect Born of Love
This new jurisdiction would be based on respect and acceptance. It would be a safe place for folks to discover and live out their faith journey within the context of a shared community and that of a "free church" reality. It would also be ecumenical in scope because we were naturally a very diverse group of believers from different traditions. We also, everyone of us, had come to a deep devotion to the traditional sacraments or sacred acts of the universal or catholic church.

The vision behind the group we hoped to form would be one that offered us a centering point of theological unity that we could all agree upon. As our discussions took place we realized that we shared a three point agreement as to what was essential to each of us: a love of Christ, His Church, and the Sacraments. In many ways those three things were the only essential elements that we could all agree upon during that humble beginning, so that's where we began.

What had started out as a dream, took shape over a couple of years through heavy soul searching, passionate conversations, thoughtful deliberations, some hair-pulling, quite a few tears, but many more laughs.  Our community finally became a sacramental reality when on June 3, 2006 a bishop was consecrated specifically for our new autonomous and autocephalous community and the Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion was born.

*There will be more history added so please check back.