Saint Hildegard's Narthex
The Saint Hildegard's Narthex is a community of the Apostolic Johannite Church in Plano Texas.
What is a Johannite
Many of us seek a real spiritual community which is loving, inclusive, spiritually lively and empowering of people of all genders, races and sexualities, both rich and poor.
The Johannite tradition represents just such a community: founded by Saint John the beloved disciple of Jesus, rooted in the tradition of John the Baptist and guided by direct, experiential contact with the Divine, this tradition encourages personal responsibility and freedom of thought and practice.
The Apostolic Johannite Church is a global network of Johannite communities that focus on supporting individual and direct experience of the Divine through fellowship, meditation and prayer, service and ritual, lively discussion and study.
We fully embrace the beauty and mystery of the living Christian tradition: candles and incense, ancient rites such as baptism and the eucharist and robed male and female priests. We also delight in the freedoms to choose how we understand our tradition and to explore other paths that are among the particular gifts of our modern world.
Your journey to come to personal knowledge of the Divine is yours alone but it is our experience that we all benefit from companions on the road, good books to read, educated conversation and a place to gather with others to share the fruits of our journey in prayer, praise and blessing.
We draw inspiration from many sources: the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament, the Corpus Hermeticum, and Gnostic Scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Secret Book of John. We understand these texts as inspiration, poetry and symbolism, rather than making a literal reading of them as books of rules.
We have parishes and study groups across the USA, Canada, Spain, Australia and New Zealand and we welcome anyone who comes respectfully and openly to our service.
Come as you are, and stay as long or as little as you like and share your pilgrimage toward the Divine.
AJC Statement of Principles
We affirm that there is one Great, Unknowable, and Ineffable Godhead that made manifest the Universe through Emanation and that while the Universe is contained within this Divine Godhead, the Godhead transcends it.
We affirm that every Being contains the ‘Sacred Flame,’ a Spark of the Divine and that Awareness of the Sacred Flame within constitutes the highest level of Self-Knowledge and the Experience of God simultaneously. This act of Awareness, which is held to be liberating, transcendent and experiential, is called Gnosis.
We affirm that there are many ways in which Gnosis may be experienced. Thus, we promote freedom of thought in pursuit of one’s inward Path towards the Divine, whether that pursuit is modern or ancient in origin, or individual or communal in experience.
We affirm that the Godhead is composed of three Persons, which are one in substance – God, the Father Almighty; the Son, the Logos or Xristos Sother and the Holy Spirit or Pneuma Hagion.
We affirm that God guides us towards Unity by the loving example of the Incarnate Xristos, manifested in the life of Jesus, and the ongoing experience of the Holy Spirit as the source of continued Inspiration and Revelation via Gnosis.
We affirm the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that is built upon the message and authority of the Incarnate Xristos and that the same lives from age to age by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the stewardship of the Successors of the Apostles.
We affirm the Seven Sacraments of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which act with the Holy Spirit and the Sacred Flame within us to promote unity with the Divine and in the community of Believers.
We affirm the use of sacred writings that reveal the Divine message of love and compassion throughout history. We especially revere the Christian New Testament, the writings of the Old Testament and others, the Nag Hammadi Library texts and the Corpus Hermeticum as potent sources for this teaching.
We recognize the Sacred Flame to be present in all Beings and therefore our Offices are open to all humanity without discrimination on the basis of gender, race, social status or sexual orientation.
What I need to know
Bill Branch is a husband and father of four. He grew up in Arizona and learned to appreciate the mystery found in nature and its various processes. He discovered Gnosticism indirectly through the experience of the movie “The Matrix”. Upon following up on various internet links and books he clicked his way to the writings of ancient Gnostics and intuited a hidden undercurrent in art, literature and the movies. He eventually started a Gnostic oriented meetup group in Dallas to get together with others who shared an interest.
After a year and desiring to not merely talk “about” the topic but walk the walk, he joined The Order of Saint Esclarmonde, a monastic lay order sponsored by both the Gnostic Church of Mary Magdalene and the Apostolic Johannite Church. He later attended a Johannite Conclave and was confirmed a member of that church. He looks forward to spending time continuing the Gnostic journey as well as sharing that path with fellow travelers.
Email Bill Branch.
meeting times and location
We meet the second Sunday of every month for worship and study.
The meeting location is at the Community Unitarian Universalist Church in Plano Texas at 2875 East Parker Road at 7PM.
For more information and questions email Bill Branch.
“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a hope. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”
Hildegard of Bingen