Church of Jesus Christ, Paragon

In the early days of the Breakout, rumors arose in Manhattan of miracles at the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, an Eastern Orthodox church on the Lower East Side. At first dismissed as Breakout hysteria, the rumors became more and more compelling. People had gone to the cathedral terminally ill and left completely healthy. Others witnessed a priest giving doves instructions outside the cathedral—to hold an icon of the Virgin Mary aloft for the feast of the Annunciation—and the doves obeyed. Still others listened to the cathedral’s bishop, Archbishop Theodosius, give a sermon in ancient Greek and understood it, despite not knowing a word of the language. And many had seen the icons of the saints that, when kissed or touched with veneration, animated and recited the saints’ most beloved sayings or told their tales of martyrdom.

Theodosius soon captured the city’s imagination with his proclamation that everyone could work such wonders if they would devote themselves to Jesus Christ and a life of spiritual discipline. The New York Times verified the cathedral’s paranormal phenomenon, including the fact that Theodosius himself was a paranormal. Theodosius’s teaching did swell the cathedral’s numbers by hundreds, and reports confirmed some of the cathedral’s laypeople that had devoted themselves to prayer, had subsequently manifested paranormal powers.

As the years went by, Theodosius spoke of a deeper understanding of the Christian faith, of a truth that had eluded the church for centuries: Jesus Christ himself was a paranormal, the paragon of paragons, who had come to the world to set people on the path toward their full potential, which was to become paragons themselves, humbly sharing in God’s divinity. Many people wondered why miracles had subsided in the modern age. Theodosius’s answer was simple: “Our hearts have grown cold. In the two thousand years since the Holy Spirit’s outpouring at Pentecost, we have struggled to feel the holy fire within, much less share it with the world. But the Holy Spirit has come again!”

Other bishops began to grumble about and then openly oppose these teachings. In a sharply worded letter, Theodosius’s peers demanded he immediately cease his teachings or face charges of heresy. “You risk misleading all the faithful,” the letter stated. Theodosius responded with a letter reminding them that the Orthodox churches had affirmed the doctrine of deification for centuries, that God had become human so humans could become divine.

After several fruitless attempts to persuade the bishops, Theodosius chose schism rather than renounce his beliefs. To the other bishops’ disappointment, parishes throughout the United States and Canada left the church with him. Today whole communities of Orthodox and Catholics, as well as Pentecostals and other Protestants, have converted to para-Christianity. There are now nearly a million para-Christians, though it is unknown how many of them are paranormals.

Agenda

To guide normals toward holiness, which para-Christians believe includes paranormal power. To counsel paranormals in the godly use of their miraculous abilities. To admonish and stop those who misuse such gifts for wickedness.

Structure

Religious hierarchy, governed by Archbishop Theodosius and three other bishops.

Symbol

A Christogram (the Greek letters chi and rho) enclosed in a sunburst, symbolizing Jesus Christ and the glory he and other paragons bring to the world.

People

Church of Jesus Christ, Paragon

Paradigm Shift RMiiller