The Christian Orthodox Church Of America (C.O.C.O.A.) is a communion of Eucharistic churches/believers around the world.
We defines Christian Orthodoxy as the continuation of ancient apostolic Christianity, developing from the very beginning of the Christian faith in the Middle East and enduring to the present age. Therefore, in our usage, Christian Orthodoxy is inclusive of its eastern (Antiochene) origins, Patristic roots, and modern expression of worship.
Orthodoxy in the COCOA is not shaped by its connection to the See of Antioch, but by its relationship to history.
The elements of Christian Orthodoxy in the C.O.C.O.A. are:
a) The priority and authority of Holy Scripture as the source of our knowledge of God;
b) The doctrinal guidance of the Catholic Creeds: Apostle’s, Nicene, and Athanasian;
c) The truth that salvation is, in the final analysis, the gift of God and by grace alone;
d) The use of liturgy which is faithful to Scripture and embodies the experience of the church in worship over the centuries; Liturgical rites are subject to Episcopal approval.
e) The historic episcopate, or the order of bishops, as a sign of the unity of the one Church of God;
f) The threefold ministry of bishop, presbyter (priest), and deacon as that ministry which God has led the Church to adopt since primitive times;
h) The unity of the ministry of the Word and Sacrament in the Service of Holy Communion;
i) The need for regular preaching and teaching from the Holy Scriptures;
j) The need for religious education for people of all ages.
k) The practice of rites of passage such as reaffirmation of Eucharistic vows and confirmation.
l) The recognition that the visible unity of the Church on earth is God’s will;
m) The need for a regularly reviewed Canon Law, to respond to the unfolding needs of the people and the church;
n) The priesthood of the whole church as a worshiping and praying society
o) The recognition of the continuing ministry of the Holy Spirit and the impartation of gifts and ministries in our time;
p) A commitment to fulfill The Great Commission to winning the world to Jesus Christ into the Third Millennium;
3) The Communion’s approach to liturgy and worship is based on the historic practice of the Church as expressed in the liturgical texts of both the eastern and western apostolic churches.
4) We anticipate liturgical practice to be expressed in diverse ways according to local customs, but recognized and determined by its relationship to the Holy Synod and Presiding Archbishop.