In the beginning of this month we were graced with a visit from Most Revd. Tau Stephanus (Stephan Hoeller), the Bishop of our Church (Ecclesia Gnostica) , Revd. Lance Owens of Salt Lake City and Bobbie Tropp.
On Friday August the 1st , Stephan Hoeller held a lecture at Handtverkeren, Oslo titled “Gnosticism Today” Gnosis after Occultism, Jung and Post-Modernism , it drew an audience of around 55 people and I trust each one of them went home with a better idea of what Gnosticism represents and what its teachings and myths contain. Stephan Hoeller`s stamina, scope of vision and passion for the subject he was treating in his lecture were quite impressive.
I had the pleasure of attending an informal shindig after the lecture at Revd. Jan Valentin Saether`s home, where I got the opportunity to get to know our friends from America, and drink expensive and quite smooth Scotch and smoke Havanna Cigars.. reminding me of the line which both Stephan Hoeller in his lecture and later Lance would repeat on Sunday in his lecture – “ reportedly.. the Gnostics in Alexandria threw the best parties around“, addressing the prejudice of many who assume that since the Gnostics had preciously little confidence and trust in the world and its system, they were pleasure-haters as well. I am quite relaxed over this question, last time it popped up it were an university professor at the conservative Christian college who “booked” radio-time and censored away an interview scheduled to be aired in a Christian sunday programme on the state Radio channel NRK 1 – whose urgent message to all listeners were that they should know that a Gnostic Wedding (my friend Jacob and my friend Teresa`s wedding ceremony in Asker, 15th August 1997) , which were the topic of the interview/programme initially, before he put his big foot down and got the editor to remove all trace of the original feature for a bit of music and a 15-minute rant by the aforementioned (some of which were , ironically, not suitable for family listening, but nevermind, we know these fellows from their predecessors almost 2000 years back, and all we can do is guffaw..)..I suppose I should move onwards..
On Saturday 2nd August Bishop Tau Stephanus I consecrated and dedicated our Chapel and Altar, the Capella Santa Sophia with the assistance of Revd.Jan Valentin Saether, Revd.Lance Owens of Salt Lake City and myself around noon, following a marathon Service of the Gnostic Holy Eucharist under which I was raised into the Order of Subdeacon, followed by my ordination to Deacon In the Church of the Gnosis (Ecclesia Gnostica).
As the article (Deacon-link) states the title Deacon is derived from the ancient Greek usage of diakonos, which means minister,”steward” or simply “servant”.
His role is to assist in the ministry of the Presbyter and Bishop – he may also administer a pre-consecrated communion, baptize and preach whensoever it is necessary, such as when a Presbyter or Bishop is travelling, is sick or in any other capacity cannot tend to the community. The charge is quite serious, once you have entered the Major orders (Subdeacon, Deacon,
Priest and Bishop) , in the view of the traditions which uphold sacramental and apostolic ministry, you have comitted yourself to this specific service, it is a lifetime commitment which is sealed by your assent to the charges formally given at ordination and consecration, and reception of the imposition of the Bishop`s hand and an invocation upon the Holy Spirit to descend upon him or her (The Gnostic Christian Ekklesia, since the time of Mary Magdalene the Apostle, has had female ministers (Deacons,Priests and Bishops – in the Eglise Gnostique the women consecrated
to Bishops were called Sophia, a honorary title which amplify the importance of the divine feminine in the Gnostic traditions) as well, in fact, the New Testament epistles of St.Paul addresses several women as diakonos – something the purportedly orthodox traditions have had a hard time explaining away..).If you enter the ministry of the Diakonate, you remain its subject the rest
of your life. In the Eastern Orthodox Tradition the vesting procedure during the ordination amplifies this, practically and symbolically :When ordained a priest, the priest’s vestments(Chasuble) are put over the deacon’s vestments (Dalmatic) ; when consecrated a Bishop, the Bishop’s vestments go over the priest and deacon vestments.
I hope I shall be able to serve well in this capacity. I do feel I have had a calling, but with almost everything else, I have hesitated a long while, until reaching a decision.
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To all my brethren and sistren in the Gnosis, and especially those who are my colleagues in the ministry of the Church of Gnosis, I give you my fraternal greetings and wellwishes.