A Letter to the Church in Nicomedia

Blessed people of Nicomedia,

It is I, Eusebius of Nicomedia. I come bearing exciting news of a new Creed, although it was not initially the first Creed that Arius wrote because it went through many revisions. As most of you may know I have been away for some time at the Council of Nicaea with Emperor Constantine along with many bishops from around the Empire. This was a long and strenuous process to get through, but I believe that the progress that we made will be beneficial not only for us, but for future Christians. Since most of you were unable to attend, I have provided an explanation of the events of the council, so that you all may see how it all played out.

On the first day of council, the nature of God was discussed. There was a general consensus between the Arian and Alexandrian factions that there was one God, but the problem was in regards to what do we call God other than God. I was a part of the Arian faction and we argued that God should be referred to as “the Father” because in various parts of scripture Jesus refers to God as the Father. However, Theclus, another council member proposed that we remove the “Father” because his argument was why should God have a gender. I voted “nay” to this part of the Creed, but because we as Arians are outnumbered, we did not win the vote. It was during this time that we also formed an alliance with Meletius, a fellow bishop.

The second day of council was perhaps one of the most intense out of all the days because it was the discussion of the nature of Jesus Christ and it was on this day that I received the Imperial Boon, which allowed me to have 5 extra votes, which came in handy during future council sessions. My fellow Arians and myself believed that Jesus Christ did not exist in the beginning, but was created by God and therefore a creature, which is what we argued for. However, once again that language, which was seen as Arian was taken out of the Creed, but there was one phrase within the Creed that did remain, which was “Son only-begotten before all time”. This indirectly relates to the position that we as Arians fought for, so that is why we were able to vote on this part of the Creed. The third day focused on the Holy Spirit, so there was not much debate about it because both sides came to a quick agreement about the issue.

During council days, four, five and six, the council generally focused on the passing of canons since the Creed was already agreed upon. The fourth day of Council was about the role of future councils and the role of Metropolitan bishops. After reading both drafts canons ( I wrote the canon on the role of future councils), it was decided that there would no longer be any councils in the future, but that a Pope will settle disputes between the Metropolitan Bishops and to promote unity. This was almost a followup to the first canon about Metropolitan bishops still having primary authority in the church. For both canons I voted nay

The fifth day of council was focused on when to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection as well as celibacy of the clergy. For the canon on Jesus’ Resurrection, also known as Easter, it was decided that it would be on celebrated on the first Sunday following the beginning of the Passover. I was a strong advocate for this argument and I was proud when our canon was passed. In regards to the celibacy of the clergy, I was an indeterminate on that matter, but I sided with the majority that voted all clergymen must practice celibacy and if they have a wife and she dies, he must remain celibate for the rest of his life

For council day six, the discussion turned to the role of women of in the church and the role of the lapsed. I was also indeterminate on both of these issues, so there was not a problem for me in voting for the majority of each issue. The canon for the role of women was not officially established, but for the role of the lapsed is that they shall be forgiven and let back into the church, but a period of repentance was recommended for them.

Many things went on in this council that caused me to turn closer and closer to God asking for guidance and he guided me through all of these council sessions. I thank God for all that he has done during this Council. Fellow members of the Church back in Nicomedia, I look forward to telling you more about my adventures here at the Council of Nicaea.

Yours truly,

Eusebius of Nicomedia