I was at a place in my journey where I needed to go further. I was discovering many wonderful things, but I hadn't really shared it with anyone- not even my wife. I really didn't quite know how to articulate what I was thinking.
One of the things I was thinking was that I wanted to know how to implement my new-found discoveries into my own life, but also into the life of my church. We had already been observing weekly communion (something uncommon in the AG) just because that's what we saw in the Bible. We already emphasized knowledge of the Scriptures, relationship with Christ, power of the Holy Spirit, and holiness of living. What else did we need? The answer wasn't long in coming. We needed sacrament and liturgy.
Now trying to bring those two things into a Pentecostal church is asking for trouble. But I was too enamored with it all to really consider that. The problem was I didn't know how to go about it. I understood what the early Church was like, and I understood what we were like. But I didn't know how to bring the two together. I didn't know who to ask either. Pentecostals would think it strange that anyone was interested in these things and I was still convinced that Catholics were in a cult and couldn't be trusted.
About this time I found a new denomination on the internet called the Charismatic Episcopal Church. They were a newer, small denomination that held many things in common with the Catholic Church, but was not part of that Church. They were more of an Anglican persuasion with charismatic and evangelical elements as well. This really appealed to me because they sounded like they were exactly where I was.
I finally e-mailed one of their priests and began asking my questions. He answered promptly and was interested in helping me with the issues I was raising. That began a year and a half e-mail dialogue on an almost daily basis. I'm sure he didn't realize what he was getting himself into. But it was helping me fuse the two ideas, ancient and modern, together.
The more I began to investigate, the more I understood. I was also discovering that I really had a desire to be part of this denomination. I had met personally with the priest and even worshiped at the church where he pastored. Eventually, I met the bishop of the diocese and some others.
I had by this time told my wife what was going on in my head and my heart. It was hard for her. She had no idea. We had many prolonged "discussions". It was hard on both of us. She wasn't in the same place I was. She didn't agree with some of my perspectives. But eventually it became clear that we would need to make a move. I wasn't going to force her into joining me in any new church or denomination. I knew that would require some time of prayer and discernment for both of us. But I could no longer continue as pastor of the church where I was. I no longer held to everything I was required to believe to continue ministering in the Assemblies of God. It was with great sadness that we bid farewell to our precious little church family and moved into the unknown. For the first time in our married life, we were poles apart on a major decision. To my wife's credit, she submitted to the decision because she knew it was the right thing to do. No man could ever ask for a greater demonstration of love than she gave.
I didn't know where we were going. I was truly blind and in the dark. I wasn't very happy with what was happening, but I believed God was at work and I knew I had to trust Him.