Thecla, with a heavy heart

Thecla to the members of the parish and brothers and sisters in God,

On the events of the council of Nicaea. I went to the council with the hope of convincing them of the need to keep the person of God and the people of God whole and equal within Him. I tried to keep the creed gender neutral so as to prevent the dividing of the God person and then only looking to the male aspect of Him. However, I found no friends among the council members. As a parishioner without a vote they did not desire to heed my warnings about a divided Christianity. I was eventually forced to sign a creed that referred to God as the Father, but otherwise the creed was Alexandrian in nature, stating that Jesus is the uncreated son of God.

As to the cannons passed I cannot say that the council voted as I had hoped. On the issue of the lapsed I advocated for allowing them fully back into the church with no punishment or waiting period. The council decided that a small waiting period and rebaptism ceremony would be ideal in dealing with the temporarily unfaithful despite the potential for social division within the church. The clergy was not held to a separate, stricter, standard.

As to the issue of bishop equality I was unable to convince the men of the council that power struggle creates a more human divide between the people and the Lord. As long as a person holds spiritual gifts they should be allowed to gather the people of God and preach no matter if their parish is large or small. However, the hierarchy of metropolitan bishops remains with the addition of two leading metropolitan bishops; the bishops of Rome and Jerusalem. The only good thing coming from this cannon is that together the two men will make any final decisions on doctrine, therefore no more councils to decide upon mandatory church policy will be held.

On the matter that women might become more fully members of the church I tried my hardest. I pleaded with the council as a woman and learned member of the church that as long as a person has spiritual gifts it should not matter who they are, God calls all of us to serve Him. However, the council had not listened to my hopes and ideas for the future of Christendom before and they would not do so then. The council specifically voted into cannon “that women have no place nor authority to be in the clergy and shall not be ordained.” This is clearly a blow to the equality and future of our church as a whole and disappoints me most deeply.

I return home intensely sorrowful with the overall outcome of the council and fearful for the future of this great church. I hope you all will remain devout in your faith in these difficult times, and I look forward to being with you all once again.