Midwest Antiochian Women’s Retreat
Friday-Sunday May 17-19, 2013
AT DORMITION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD ORTHODOX MONASTERY, 3389 RIVES EATON ROAD, RIVES JUNCTION, MICHIGAN.
1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
FR. JOHN KONKLE from the Dormition Monastery as he discusses Orthodox worship with us.
On October 18-20, 2013, the parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Troy, Michigan will host their Centennial Anniversary Celebration, the burning of the mortgage on the most recent building of their beautiful church and its surrounding facilities (1994-2013), and the annual meetings of the Antiochian Archdiocese Board of Trustees, Governing Council of the Order of St. Ignatius, and the Governing Council for Antiochian Village.
It all began approximately 100 years ago from 1905 thru 1913, when a group of blessed founders emigrated from the Middle East countries to find religious freedom and a new life for their families in America. They met in their homes to celebrate Divine Liturgy and finally organized a small church in Detroit, (1913).
On Saturday, March 2, 2013, under the guidance of Fr. Nicholas Dahdal and with leadership from Fr. Musil Shihadeh, Dn. Saed Rihani and Sdn. Joseph Hazar of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine at St. George Antiochian Church in Cicero, IL, the group pioneered an innovative project in respect to community outreach and humanitarian aid. Titled "Care Packets for the Needy," the program brought Walgreens Drugstore and Einstein Bagels in a creative partnership.
With donated food from Einstein Bagels and well over a thousand dollars worth of goods from Walgreens generously assembled and donated by store employees, Fellowship members were able to assemble and distribute care packets to the needy over the course of the Saturday in early March.
Fr. Daniel Hackney, rector St. Ananias Orthodox Mission of Evansville, IN, writes:
Annah Ruth Hackney fell asleep in Christ Friday, March 15, 2013. A founding member of St. Ananias Orthodox Mission in Evansville, she was as active as she could be in its life and work in her latter years.
Annah was born February 5, 1925 in Providence, Ky. During WWII she was a "Rosie the Riveter" helping grind diesel rods for the war effort. With respect to her church service she served as a Sunday school teacher, sang in choirs, and participated as a member of women's groups throughout her life. In addition Annah served as a lay missionary to Guatemala in 1997. Space does not permit all the other ways in which she served her Lord, family and friends. Most of all she knew that she was a sinner in need of God's forgiveness.
Annah is survived by her daughter Nancy Cagle (James) of Monroe, Michigan, son Robert Hackney (Brenda) of Murray, Ky, and son Fr. Daniel Hackney (Khouria Carole) of Evansville. She had eight grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. She is preceded by her husband Owen Marce Hackney, her parents Charles Owen and Annah Lurah Birchfield, and siblings William, Dorothy, and James.
The Visitation Wake was held Monday, March 18 at St. Ananias Orthodox Mission, 4411 Washington Avenue in Evansville. The Funeral Service was Tuesday, March 19 at the parish as well. The Liturgist was Fr. Nabil Hanna, and the Homilist was Fr. Daniel Hackney. Afterwards, she was buried at Rowland Cemetery in Fredonia, Ky.
Memorial gifts may be made to the "Saint Ananias Building Fund", 4411 Washington Ave., Evansville IN 47714 .
The Very Rev. Gregory Robert Allen Buss of Spring Valley IL, passed away at 10:15 p.m. March 19, 2013 in his home, after a three-month battle with cancer. He was 71.
A Divine Liturgy was held at 10 a.m. Saturday March 23 in St. George Orthodox Church, Spring Valley and was followed by the regular funeral service, conducted by Economos Fr. Nicholas Dahdal, rector of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cicero, IL, and other area priests. The burial followed at St. George Cemetery.
Father Gregory was born April 6, 1941 in Kalamazoo, MI to Robert and Emily (Malmstone) Buss. He married Katherine (Kay) Wedge at St. Luke’s Parish in Kalamazoo in 1965. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Kalamazoo College, a Master of Arts degree from Seabury-Western Theological Episcopal Seminary, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Math from Dickinson State University, and he was ordained in the Orthodox priesthood and served as the priest of St. George Orthodox Church in Spring Valley for 18 years.
Organized through the efforts of a committee of young adults representing Greek, Serbian, Antiochian, Russian, Romanian, and other parishes throughout the region headed by Michael Pacurar, the event will include a round-robin soccer tournament, ethnic dance competition, corn-hole tournament, and international festival. The event is slated to coincide with the International Festival sponsored by the Presentation of Our Lord Orthodox Church in Fairlawn, Ohio.
In addition to Michael, weekend organizers include William Qaqish, Natalie Jovich, Victor Frunza, Maria Koulioufas, Peter Young, Mark Bleahu, Walid Qaqish, Roger Muresan, Laura Pancoe, Nicole Fatu, Bianca Rebrisorean, Bethany Avramaut and Kyra Tabak.
For additional information please contact Michael at PanOrthodox2013@gmail.com or 330.962.2969.
His Grace Bishop Anthony, who oversees the diocese of Toledo and the Midwest in the Antiochian Orthodox church, had the opportunity to attend St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Goshen, Indiana on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. It was the Bishop's first visit to the parish since his consecration in December of 2011. The parish was honored to have Bishop Michaels lead Divine Liturgy at the church, which has seen the recent completion of a two-month beautification project including the installation of several large-scale icons by parishioner Reader Brian Matthew Whirledge.
While in attendance, Bishop Anthony tonsured two parishioners, Adrian Sharp and Charles Bussard. Sharp was ordained a reader and Bussard was ordained a subdeacon.
For more information on the church and the Bishop's visit, go to www.stmarysorthodox.org.
Now is the time to register online for your diocese's "family reunion" this summer, your regional Parish Life Conference (PLC)! The theme for this year, "The End of History...The Last Judgment," will be the focus of the Creative Festivals, a highlight of the conferences. Youth and organizational meetings, spiritually edifying speakers and services, and social events for kids and adults alike, all make the PLCs one of the Archdiocese's most established and popular traditions. Visit the Conventions and Conference Planning page for full information.
The 2013 PLC schedule begins June 5 in Kansas City and ends July 3 in Montreal:
Diocese of Wichita, June 5-8: St. Basil Orthodox Church hosts the PLC at the Westin Kansas City Hotel in downtown Kansas City, "one of America's Best downtowns" according to Forbes magazine.
Diocese of Miami, June 12–16: St. Basil Antiochian Orthodox Church hosts the PLC at the Hilton New Orleans, where guests will sample the history and cuisine of this historic city.
The Mariam Center, located on the campus of St. Mary Orthodox Church in Livonia, MI, is hosting a public Parenting Seminar, "Meeting the Critical Challenges of Effective Parenting," on March 2, 2013, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The keynote speaker is Dr. John Chirban, a well-known expert and author of several books on the topic. Dr. Chirban maintains special interest in integrative studies of medicine, psychology, and religion and serves as clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School at The Cambridge Health Alliance. In 2003, he was named Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. He also serves as professor of psychology and chairman of the Human Development Program at Hellenic College. Dr. Chirban serves as Director of Cambridge Counseling Associates and Director of the Institute of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion in Cambridge, MA.
There is a $10 registration fee that includes lunch. Register online, or contact Fr. Jim King at 734-422-0010 for more information.
On February 8 and 9, 2013, Fr. Constantine Nasr, pastor emeritus of St. Elijah Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the author of Mastering the Art of Marriage published by Conciliar Press, conducted a marriage preparation seminar at the Antiochian Orthodox Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, MI. The event was sponsored by the Mariam Center of Marriage and Youth Development, and the audio of all three sessions has been posted to Ancient Faith Radio (AFR).
Dear Young Adults,
With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Anthony, we are very excited to announce the 2nd Annual Midwest Young Adult Retreat to be held April 5-7, 2013 at the Maranatha Retreat Center in Muskegon, MI, on beautiful Lake Michigan. This year, we welcome Fr. Michael Nasser, the Pastor of Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, KY, as our guest speaker for the weekend. Many of our young people remember him for his many years of service as the former Camp Director at the Antiochian Village and his mission work at Project Mexico. Fr. Michael is a dynamic speaker, whose talks will surely challenge and inspire us in the faith.
The 2013 Climacus Conference is scheduled for February 22-23 at St. Michael Church in Louisville, KY. In its fourth year, the conference is a pan-Orthodox intellectual and spiritual event featuring scholars and voices across the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Patristics, Classical Education, Literature, History and Politics. It is unique in that it provides an opportunity for people to be enriched by thinking well across disciplines. It furthers the life of the mind through scholarly engagement with the classic liberal arts, but approaches such an endeavor through the spiritual nous, the mind of the heart, enabling our ascension "of the ladder" (κλίμακος), as inspired by St. John Climacus and his Ladder of Divine Ascent.
For more information, contact:
David Wright, Climacus Conference Founder and Director
The parishioners of St. Nicholas Church in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, enjoyed a multitude of blessings the weekend of January 4-6, with the first visit of our new beloved spiritual leader, Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. Saedna Anthony came to meet his cherished flock for the first time, celebrate with them the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of St. Basil and the Great Blessing of Water, ordain two parish members, and bless the church's beautiful new iconostasis.
Members of parish council enjoyed a dinner with the bishop on Friday evening, and many met with Saedna Anthony on Saturday afternoon for an open, informal meet-and-greet and question-and-answer session. The friendly, edifying discussion covered a wide range of topics, from politics to the place of men and women in the church, to the growth of secularism and radical Islam throughout the world, to genetically modified organisms and the environment, to daily prayers and study. Parish members delighted in and found inspiration in the bishop's gentleness, warmth, wisdom, and good humor.
On Saturday during the celebration of Hierarchical Great Vespers, parish member Curtis John Dowling of Menomonee Falls was ordained as subdeacon, with laying on of hands by the bishop and repeated calls by parishioners of "he is worthy" in English, Greek and Arabic. All celebrated a banquet afterwards in the fellowship hall. On Sunday during Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, Dn. David Moga was ordained to the priesthood with more calls of "he is worthy." With His Grace Bishop Anthony and the Very Rev. Fr. William Olnhausen, the newly ordained Fr. David celebrated the Eucharist as priest for the first time. Bishop Anthony and the clergy and people next celebrated the Great Blessing of the Waters, sanctifying them again through the baptism of our Lord. Finally, the new iconostasis was blessed with holy chrism. A festive coffee hour and reception afterwards was enjoyed by all. Saedna Anthony stayed and presided from the throne as Fr. David celebrated Divine Liturgy on Monday morning.
Memory Eternal! Linda Simon was the longtime secretary for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and was also involved in numerous other ministries throughout the Diocese and in her church of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, Cleveland, Ohio.
Linda was the wife of Richard (deceased); loving mother of Ruth Lynch, Shirley Dheel (Michael), Richard, Jr. (Kathleen) and George (Christine); beloved grandmother of Jason, Nicole, Joseph, Stephanie, Jaclyn, Jenna, Justin, Sara, Michael, Jeremy and Matthew; cherished sister of Joan DuPuis and Sandra Morgan, and Aunt Linda to all. Interment was at St. Theodosius Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Linda's family suggests memorial tributes to St. George's Sunday School.
January 17th is the celebration of St. Anthony the Great and the name's days of His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and of His Grace Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo. May God grant them many years!
APOLYTIKION OF ST. ANTHONY THE GREAT, TONE 4
Thou didst become like the zealous Elijah in his condition, and followed John the Baptist in his upright ways, becoming a dweller in the wilderness and an establisher of the universe by thy prayer, O Father Anthony. Wherefore, intercede thou with Christ God to save our souls.
Des Plaines, IL – More than 60 parents, clergy and youth leaders attended a breakfast forum titled “How To Talk To Your Kids…and save your child from substance use/abuse” on Saturday, December 8 at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, IL, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY), the forum hosted people from seven Orthodox jurisdictions representing fifteen parishes in the Greater Chicago area.
Following a prayer and welcome from OCCHY Director Fr. Nicholas Dahdal, and brief introduction to OCCHY by Project Coordinator Gordana Trbuhovich, the program began with a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) video presentation, featuring Dr. Nora Volkow. Three dynamic speakers followed, beginning with Fr. Athanasios Papagiannis, LCSW, a licensed social worker and assistant priest at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago. Father Athanasios stressed positive and spiritual relationships in his presentation, “You and Your Child." “The way you bend the young branch,” Father stated, “is the direction in which the tree will grow."
His Grace Bishop Anthony writes:
Your Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Beloved in Christ,
Christ is in our midst!
My father Anthony Michaels fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday December 17th, the commemoration of Daniel and the three holy youths: Ananias, Azarias, and Misail.
Funeral arrangements for Anthony Michaels are as follows:
Friday, December 21st
5:00 - 7:00 pm - Visitation
7:00 pm - Trisagion Prayers
Saturday, December 22nd
11:00 am - Funeral
Lunch to follow
St. Simon Orthodox Church
226 E. Harding Ave.
Ironwood, MI, 49938
I ask your prayers for the repose of his soul and your continued prayers for my family. May his memory be eternal.
On Saturday, August 25, 2012, Fr. Nabil Hanna and about 350 parishioners and friends of St. George Orthodox Church, Indianapolis, joined together for the service, "Founding a New Church," and the subsequent groundbreaking ceremony. Presided over by His Grace Bishop Anthony, the service took place on the new property where the parish will relocate once the new building is completed, in the neighboring community of Fishers, Indiana.
On September 19, construction commenced as the big diesel engines fired up in the earth moving machines. Construction continued despite the rain and the foundations were poured and progress was made, all under the able supervision of the construction manager, Mr. David Mouck. Forms for the lower level walls were up and filled with concrete.
On Saturday, November 17, the lower level slab was blessed and the Cross, icons, photos, prayers and mementos were placed into the foundation, under where the altar will be, before the workers poured the concrete for the floor. Next the bell tower was poured. Completion is expected by the summer of 2013.
On December 10, 2012, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that since mid-November, "piece by piece," Soleiman Shalhoub has been installing a stone iconostasis at St. George Orthodox Church. Last January, he began the project with the aid of fifteen employees, sketching out his designs and then carefully carving the Syrian stone quarried from mountains in the Holy Land.
“There’s no one else who does this kind of work,” Shalhoub said, noting that his technique has been passed down through his family for generations. Six tons of stone traveled by ship to New York in 1,700 pieces, arriving at about the same time as Hurricane Sandy made landfall. It was then transported via truck and train to Cedar Rapids.
Members of St. George's community have assisted with the project, providing meals and labor. The parish will celebrate with an open house in the spring once the icons are mounted in the completed stone iconostasis. "The finished piece, which will include red oak doors also designed by Shalhoub, will be unlike any other piece of art in Iowa," noted the Gazette.
On Oct. 12-14th, 2012, the Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan celebrated a historic weekend commemorating 40 years of dedicated ministry and service to the greater southeastern Michigan area. The theme for this Ruby Jubilee celebration was “Dare to Dream.” The weekend was filled with moments of joy, reflection, and fellowship, as the community remembered the milestones that had been reached throughout the church’s history. However, it was also a time dedicated to the anticipation of what the future holds for the parish, as we heard from the youth, regarding their hopes and dreams for what lies ahead for this blessed community. Presiding over the event was His Eminence Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, as well as His Grace Bishop Anthony (Michaels), Bishop of Toledo and the Midwest.
Early Registration: $45 by January 11
Registration: $55 (Includes all meals and events)
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
1118 Cherry Ave. NE Canton, OH 44704
Hotel Information: Courtyard by Marriott
4375 Metro Circle NW
N. Canton, OH 44720
Group Rate: $80/night (Mention St. George Canton)
Margaret Abraham, age 83, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 5th 2012. Margaret was born on December 4th, 1928, in Grand Rapids, MI. She was preceded in death by her parents, Nicholas and Rose Howard and her sister, Laurece Kaleel. Margaret will be deeply missed by her husband Wade, an honorary member of the Antiochian Archdiocese Board of Trustees; her children Dan (Kathy) Abraham, former Chair of the Order of St. Ignatius; Marilyn (David) Vaillancourt, Diane (Patrick) Coleman, Linda Abraham, Janet (Mark) Ansara, and her grandchildren, Andrew, Lindsey (Patrick), Maggie, Joseph, Benjamin, George and Rosie. She will also be fondly remembered by her sisters, Mary Howard, Gladys Howard and her brother Dr. George Howard from Charleston, West Virginia, and a large extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Margaret dedicated her life to being a proud and loving wife and mother. She was a life-time member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church where she served in many capacities. As a devoted and loyal friend to many, she touched the hearts of all who knew her. Margaret brought love and laughter to her church family as well as friends in the community and always reached out to those less fortunate.
Funeral Services will be held 11:00 A.M. Monday, October 8, 2012 at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, 2250 E. Paris SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Interment is in Woodlawn Cemetery. The family will greet relatives and friends Sunday at the funeral home from 2-4 & 7-9 pm with a Trisagion Service at 8pm; and also from 10-10:45 am in the chapel at St. Nicholas on Monday. The family wishes that in lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Nicholas Orthodox Church.
May her memory be eternal!
Fr. George Shalhoub, priest at the Basilica of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Livonia, Michigan, recently offered four "Meditations on Mercy" at the 2012 Antiochian House of Studies Residency Program. The talks were presented each evening after the final benediction of Great Vespers during the first week of the program in early September, and were very well received by the 100 students and faithful present. Ancient Faith Radio has posted each talk, as well as an interview with Fr. George.
"I teach Liturgical Practice and I chose a theme every year and speak from my experience as a priest for over 40 years," Fr. George said. "In my talks, I asked, what does it mean when to use mercy with each other? Mercy is to listen, to comfort, to forgive, to strengthen, to encourage, all set in the context of prayer."
Father urged his audience to avoid becoming "professional" priests or deacons, because in doing so "we lose the art of being priests. And this subject can apply to everyone," he added. "In our world today, we find a breakdown occurs when communication dies; we're wired up but we're still not communicating with each other."
MEMORY ETERNAL! Paul Saba, 88, of Largo, Florida, passed away on August 15, 2012. Paul was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 1, 1923 to Gabriel and Pauline (Asha) Saba. Paul was a member of the Order of St. Ignatius and a founding member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, St. Petersburg, Florida. A veteran of the US Air Force, Paul was currently attending Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Safety Harbor, Florida. He was very active in the Orthodox Church and was president of the SOYO club several times.
The Fellowship of St. John the Divine's Midwest Diocese Fall Gathering is scheduled for October 5-7 at St. Elias Orthodox Church in Sylvania, Ohio. Our parish is honored to host the clergy and laity of our diocese, including our own Bishop Anthony, and is pleased to present Katrina Bitar, the director of YES North America, as our featured speaker.
Please help us make this event a success by including this downloadable flier and information in your weekly bulletins, monthly newsletters, parish e-mails, parish social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and Sunday announcements. Most importantly, please pass this information along to the leaders of your parish Fellowship of St. John, Antiochian Women, SOYO, and Christian Educators.
Hotel and registration information is also on our website.
It is our hope this weekend will be an opportunity for the Diocese to come together in Christian unity for prayer, fellowship, meetings, and workshops that inspire and edify. With your help and cooperation, I have no doubt the 2012 Fall Gathering will be a success.
Please note the deadlines for Hotel Reservations (September 21st) and Early Registration (September 29th).
If I can provide any additional information or be or any assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know. I look forward to seeing all of you in October!
Abe Abraham, the longest serving member of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, celebrated his 100th birthday on August 21. A celebration was held on Saturday August 18 with Vespers at St. Nicholas Church in Grand Rapids and a gala dinner at The Cultural Center at St. Nicholas. Almost 300 guests attended the tribute to Abe.
Abe was born in 1912 in Rashaya Al Wadi in Lebanon. At the age of nine, he and his mother, Zahia, crossed the Atlantic to meet up with his father, Sleyman, who had established a home and business in Towanda, KS. Abe three siblings were born in Kansas, the family returned to Lebanon for several years before returning to America and settling in Grand Rapids, MI. There, Sleyman established a retail candy and “five and dime” store. With the help of his sons, the business grew into a tobacco and candy wholesale distribution company. Today the company distributes groceries to convenience stores in eight Midwestern states.
The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth [OCCHY], a national alliance offering communities an opportunity to heighten awareness of how to combat substance abuse, prevent bullying, encourage sexual abstinence outside of marriage, and encourage respect for the sanctity of the human body, recently established headquarters in Cicero, IL.
Founded by the Department of Youth Ministries of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, in conjunction with Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, OCCHY was awarded a five-year Drug Free Community matching grant of $125,000.00 per year, according to Archpriest Nicholas Dahdal, OCCHY Director.
His Eminence Metropolitan Philip
The V. Rev. Archpriest Joseph Antypas of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Troy, Michigan, has released the book Reflections on The Kingdom of God, as Experienced in the Local Parish. Fr. Joseph has been a faculty member in the Antiochian House of Studies, and a mentor at St. Stephen Course of Theological Studies.
Reflections consists of four chapters dealing with theological and pastoral topics as follows: 1) Emulating Christ's Life of the Kingdom, 2) A time to build our souls and bodies, 3) the modes of Christian being and 4) sharing the glory of the Kingdom. Each chapter is broken down into short, focused articles, making it easy to pick up in spare moments.
“How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
From June 27th thru July 1st, the clergy and laity of the Midwest gathered in Chicago for the 65th Annual Parish Life Conference of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, hosted by St. Mary Orthodox Church of Palos Heights, IL. His Grace Bishop Anthony was warmly welcomed to his very first PLC as Bishop of the Midwest by over 750 participants, eager to meet their new Bishop.
The fellowship, camaraderie, and positive spirit were apparent throughout the entire Conference. The beautifully designed chapel was filled to capacity for church services, the meetings and workshops were well attended, the Friday Night Dinner & Comedy Show and the Saturday Grand Banquet were sold out, and the long awaited Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festival did not disappoint: 24 Bible Bowl teams and 11 oratorical participants competed in two of the most anticipated PLC events, with avid supporters cheering on, with the help of drums and trumpets (literally!).
Archpriest Peter E. Gillquist, retired chairman of the archdiocese's department of missions and evangelism, chairman of Conciliar Press, speaker, and the author of numerous books including Becoming Orthodox, reposed on Sunday evening July 1, surrounded by his family.
Fr. Peter and his wife of 52 years, Kh. Marilyn, had lived for many years in Santa Barbara, California, but as of June 2009 they relocated to Bloomington, Indiana, where their son Fr. Peter Jon Gillquist serves as pastor of All Saints Orthodox Church.
Condolences may be posted on the All Saints website, where tributes have been pouring from all over the United States and abroad. A recent Ancient Faith Radio retirement interview with Fr. Peter, Kh. Marilyn and Fr. Peter Jon, is available here. The schedule of services is as follows:
Over the long weekend of June 28-July 1, the Dioceses of Toledo and Ottawa will enjoy worship and fellowship as they gather for their Parish Life Conferences. His Grace Bishop Anthony and His Grace Bishop Alexander will preside over the full slate of activities which include meetings for organizations such as SOYO, and events unique to the local settings.
St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Chicago is hosting the Midwestern attendees at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Oakbrook, Illinois. Bishop Anthony is the keynote speaker and event highlights include a Friday comedy show, tours of Chicago and Oakbrook, and an offsite teen service project.
Further north, the parish of Ss. Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, has planned a SOYO Nature Walk and an Antiochian Women's tour and luncheon which includes stops at the Anne of Green Gables House and a gallery/cafe. Featured Speaker Carole Buleza, Director of the Department of Christian Education for the Archdiocese, will discuss "Ideas for Lively Bible Studies."
The website for the All Saints Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana, has announced that former Department of Missions and Evangelism Chair Fr. Peter Gillquist (who is retired and attached to All Saints) was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. Read the full story and post greetings and prayers for Fr. Peter and the Gillquist family on the All Saints website.
***For Immediate Release***
June 14, 2012
The Very Rev. Fr. Peter E. Gillquist has been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma. Fr. Peter survived a diagnosis of stage 3 melanoma in 1999 and another bout in 2010. He, Kh. Marilyn, and family await test results to determine treatment options in the management of this aggressive cancer.
The Gillquists request your prayers as they continue a lifelong journey of faith in the Great Physician, remembering that our communal prayer is for the healing of soul and body, and in the Lord’s time, a Christian ending to life, that is painless, blameless and peaceful.
Fr. Peter retired from 25 years of service to the Antiochian Archdiocese as Director of the Department of Missions and Evangelism in January. He is attached to All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana, where his son, Fr. Peter Jon, serves as pastor.
A further update explains:
June 20, 2012
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of Akron, Ohio, celebrated 95 years and dedicated its new Family/Youth Center the weekend of April 27. Presiding over the busy schedule of events, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip joined parishioners at the hafli on April 27, at a banquet on April 28, and also celebrated liturgy with the community on Sunday, April 29.
Reporter Kathleen Folkerth of Akron Leader Publications, noted that "Mimi Hicks, president of the Ladies Society, gave Mahashie (Fr. Louis Mahshie) a $25,000 check for the Family/Youth Center building fund, bringing its total donation to $100,000." The Center was built to accomodate the growing and active youth group of St. George, recently named the Teen Club of the Year during a recent youth convention.
Fr. Nabil Hanna writes:
William George Kafoure was a faithful member of St. George Church [in Indianapolis, IN]. Over the years Bill served on the Parish Council, the Building Committee, and he was our Church Historian. Bill was a founding member of the SOYO youth movement and was President of Midwest SOYO from 1955-56. He was also a member of the Archdiocese Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch.
Bill was the inspiration behind our 85th Anniversary musical, entitled "He's been there the whole time!," which was dedicated to his memory this past weekend.
Bill is survived by his children, William Paul (Coleen) Kafoure, Steven George (Dory) Kafoure, and Leslie Ann (Thomas) Kafoure Baas, grandchildren, Kelly C. Baas, William S. Kafoure, Lynne Herendeen, and Brett Herendeen and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in departure from this life by his wife, Frances H. Risk Kafoure, siblings Richard, Michael and Isabel Kafoure.
Great and Holy Pascha
April 15th, 2012
Dear Beloved clergy, brothers and sisters in Christ:
Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!
May God's blessings and my joy at His Resurrection be given, first, to our beloved Metropolitan Philip and to the local Synod of this God-protected Archdiocese!
I wish I could be with all of you in person, but I am with you in the Spirit and in my heart.
St. Macarius the Great has written: "When God created Adam He did not give him bodily wings like the birds, but prepared for him in advance the wings of the Holy Spirit - the wings He desires to give him in the Resurrection to lift him up and carry him wherever the Spirit wishes."
Yes, in the great prophesies of Isaiah concerning the Savior, we read: "The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. . . . They that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. (Is. 40. 28b, 29, 31)"
When we grow faint and weak and die, He comes to us to carry us up to Him, because He will not lose the loved ones who He has made to be like Him.
After the Fall Fellowship of St. John Gathering in 2011, His Grace Bishop Anthony (then Bishop-elect) encouraged the young adults that were at the Fall Gathering to continue to meet on a regular basis. With no spring meeting scheduled, we decided to plan a Spring Retreat to focus on spiritual renewal and fellowship with other young adults from our Diocese. The weekend of March 30-April 1, 2012 was chosen, and the Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, MI, graciously offered their facility as the host location. Over 60 young adults from 13 parishes in our Diocese came together for our Young Adult Spring Retreat, sponsored by the Diocese of Toledo Fellowship of St. John the Divine.
The weekend began as we prayed the Akathist service with the parishioners of St. Mary’s. Following the service, His Grace Bishop Anthony began the retreat by introducing the topic “Following in the Footsteps of Christ.” The evening concluded with a Coffee House social in the church's Activity Center so we could relax from the long drive and to get to know each other. We thank Tom and Lillian Saba for planning and organizing the evening social.
St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church once again has the honor of hosting the Anne & Theodore Phillips Lecture Series. This year’s lecture will be on April 28th from 3-5pm.
Our speaker, Archimandrite Meletios Webber will address the topic, "Finding Silence in a Noisy World: The Role of the Monastery in Modern Day Orthodoxy in America."
Archimandrite Webber holds a Masters degree in theology from Oxford University and the Thessalonica School of Theology in Greece and an earned doctorate in psychotherapy from the University of Montana. His two most recent books, Bread and Water, Wine and Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God (2007) and Steps of Transformation: An Orthodox Priest Explores the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (2003) are published through Conciliar Press.
On February 10-12, 2012, The Basilica of St. Mary, in Livonia, Michigan hosted their annual Marriage and Family Encounter weekend, led by Father Constantine Nasr, pastor emeritus of St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City. This was Fr. Constantine’s second visit to the Basilica for this retreat, and he once again shared with the participants his extensive research on what he’s learned over the years as a priest, regarding what it takes to maintain a successful and faithful marriage. Fr. Constantine is the author of the Conciliar Press book entitled, Mastering the Art of Marriage: Staying Together When the World Pulls You Apart, and much of his research is documented within the pages of this spiritually enlightening and engaging book.
The Diocese of Toledo Fellowship of St. John the Divine invites all young adults (ages 18-40) to our spring Young Adult Retreat hosted at St. Mary Basilica in Livonia, MI, the weekend of March 30-April 1, 2012. His Grace Bishop Anthony will be our guest speaker for the weekend leading us in workshops about our faith, along with church services, good food, activities and fellowship time together to enjoy each others company. We invite all young adults (married or single) from our diocese and beyond to join us for this retreat. It is going to be a fun and spiritually fulfilling retreat in which we hope all young adults from our diocese will participate.
The retreat will take place at St. Mary Basilica in (18100 Merriman Road, Livonia, MI). Out of town guests may book lodging at the Detroit Marriott Livonia (17100 Laurel Park Drive North, Livonia, MI) where a block of rooms is reserved under the group code: FSJFSJD at a special rate of $96 per night.
The weekend will begin at 7pm on Friday March 30 with the Akatahist/Madeyeh service at St. Mary's, and conclude with a light luncheon after Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday April 1. The final schedule is attached.
On February 24 and 25, St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky will host the 2012 Climacus Conference, titled "Byzantium, You Are Not Forgotten." Authors, academics and broadcasters will speak to the enduring legacy of Byzantium and its continuing impact on the Church today.
The conference is billed as "a pan-Orthodox event featuring scholars and voices across the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Patristics, Classical Education, Literature, and History/Politics." The flyer explains, "It is unique in that it provides an opportunity for people to be enriched by thinking well across disciplines. It furthers the life of the mind through scholarly engagement with the classic liberal arts, but achieves such by placing the mind in the noetic heart, where freedom, knowledge, and vision exist, enabling our ascension 'of the ladder'."
Early Registration: $45 by January 13
Registration: $55 (Includes all meals and events)
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
1118 Cherry Ave. NE Canton, OH 44704
Hotel Information: Courtyard by Marriott
4375 Metro Circle NW
N. Canton, OH 44720
Group Rate: $75/night (Mention St. George Canton)
Fr. Thomas Zain writes:
On Sunday, December 11, 2011, three new auxiliary bishops were consecrated for the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, Balamand, Lebanon. Their Graces, JOHN, ANTHONY and NICHOLAS were consecrated as bishops of Worcester, Toledo, and Brooklyn and will serve as auxiliaries to His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP.
Editor's Update, December 9, 2011:
We ask that our faithful pray for the delegation currently travelling to Lebanon for the consecrations of our new bishops. May God grant them many, many years!
The Middle Eastern media resource Noursat will be broadcasting online the consecration services with His Beatitude Ignatius IV. See this link for additional information. More details will be added as they are made available.
Original Post, October 11, 2011:
His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East has confirmed the date and location for the consecration of our three newly-elected Auxiliary Bishops, namely:
Bishop-Elect John (Abdalah) – Auxiliary Bishop for Worcester and New England
Bishop-Elect Anthony (Michaels) – Auxiliary Bishop for Toledo and the Midwest
Bishop-Elect Nicholas (Ozone) – Auxiliary Bishop for Brooklyn and assisting the Metropolitan in Englewood, NJ
from the December 2011 issue of The Word:
The Very Reverend Father John Estephan, retired priest of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, completed his earthly journey on May 1, 2011, at the age of 92. He has left behind hundreds of families forever grateful to him for his strength, compassion, commitment and love.
He is survived by wife of 62 years, Khouria Soad, and their five children: Salam, Salwa, Sanaa, Soad, and Elias, and their families, including 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. He faithfully served St. George from 1962 to 2002, during which period he led our parish through two major renovations and the addition of a stunning, award-winning banquet and conference center.
As the leader of the oldest Orthodox church in West Michigan, Father John was always a forward thinker, encouraging women to read the epistle and serve as ushers at St. George. In addition to being our spiritual leader, Father John was a well-known leader in Grand Rapids, where he was often interviewed for news articles about our faith and the Middle East.
Beloved in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our incarnate God and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ!
When Augustus became supreme ruler of the earth, the multiplicity of rule among men ceased. And when Thou becamest human from the spotless one, the worship of many heathen gods also ceased. Then the cities came under one worldly rule; and the nations believed in one divine supremacy. The nations were enrolled by an order of Caesar; but we believers were enrolled in the name of Thy Divinity, O our incarnate God. Wherefore, great are Thy mercies, glory to Thee. (Vesperal Doxastikon for the Nativity)
We are once again reminded by this beautiful hymn that the Good News of the coming of the God-man Jesus Christ into the world is a message not just for certain people, but for all people. We are also reminded that Christ’s Gospel is what unites us all together, no matter what our color, culture, birthplace or language may be. Likewise, the incarnation calls us forth from all our former delusions and idolatry to worship only the one true God, Who has become incarnate as a human being just like us, yet without sin.
As we celebrate the great feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ, let us be again inspired to become evangelists and apostles bearing the Gospel to everyone around us; to pray and work together in true unity with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what they look like or where they are from; and most especially always to turn away from anything that keeps us from dedicating ourselves totally to the worship and service of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Yours in Christ,
Rt. Rev. Bishop THOMAS (Joseph)
The Fall Session for the St. John Chrysostom Academy will start on Wednesday, October 19th and last until December 14th. This Fall's course is the "The Letter to the Romans," and will be offered on Wednesdays from 7:30-9:30pm at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 1220 S. 60th Court, Cicero, IL 60804. The St. John Chrysostom Academy is an Adult Lay Educational Ministry of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine at St. George.
Download the Registration Form, attached here, and please feel free to distribute to your parishioners. Thank you!
Also, for more information about ongoing Biblical studies and resources, visit the newly redesigned website of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS).
The event, described by the flyer as "Midwest Fellowship and Fun," will take place over the weekend of October 28-30, 2011, with an informal clergy gathering kicking off the weekend on October 28th.
A full schedule of services will be observed, and SOYO, Christian Education, Antiochian Women and the Fellowship of St. John will all hold meetings.
WESTWOOD, Massachusetts - The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY), Very Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura and Kathleen A. Purpura announce the award of a five-year grant for its Greater Chicago Coalition. OCCHY – Cicero/Greater Chicago was awarded a $125,000 Drug Free Communities Support Program FY 2011 grant by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Coalition serves the Villages of Lincolnwood, Niles, and Skokie, IL, as well as the eighty-plus Orthodox parishes of the Greater Chicago area. ONDCP and SAMHSA offer the potential of an additional five-year extension of the grant. Under the excellent guidance of the Very Rev. Nicholas Dahdal, Pastor, the Grantee is St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, Cicero, IL.
Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth is a national alliance founded by the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. Fr. Joseph Purpura, Chairman of the Department of Youth, and Kathleen Purpura, Youth Consultant and Executive Director of OCCHY, trained with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), worked with the White House Director of Drug Free Communities and also the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
CICERO, IL [Synergy] — Orthodox Christian Synergy, the Chicago-area Pan-Orthodox association, will host its 17th annual Symposium at Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cicero, IL, on Saturday, October 15, 2011. Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko will address the symposium theme, “Orthodoxy and Homosexuality.”
According to Michele Hagerman, Synergy President and member of the Diocese of the Midwest’s Holy Resurrection Church, Palatine, IL, “the scope of this symposium is a frank presentation about homosexuality as an issue of Orthodox faith and life facing the faithful. The intention is to focus on how Orthodoxy understands the phenomena of homosexuality, how Orthodox Christians with same-sex attractions are to deal with their condition, and how Orthodox Christians, especially clergymen and family members, are to relate to Orthodox Christians and all people who are same-sex attracted, rather than focusing on related cultural, social, or legal issues.”
Father Thomas will offer two presentations: “Theological Vision: Orthodox Christian Faith and Human Sexuality” and “Spiritual Practice: Orthodox Christian Life and Homosexual Attraction and Behavior.”
Thursday, July 21, proved to be a day of celebration for many reasons. In addition to being the last day of a sizzling heat wave across the Midwest, an excitement filled the air in the courtyard of St. George Church, Cicero, Host Parish of the historic 50th Archdiocese Convention beginning this Sunday, July 24th. Balloons and banners, posters and streamers, food and music, people young and old, witnessed a great announcement! Fireworks lit up the sky brightening the smiling faces as they all heard:
The Convention begins this weekend!
The Committee gathered to celebrate several years of tireless planning and a very anticipated week-long journey called the Archdiocese Convention. The full schedule is available at www.archdioceseconvention2011.org and awaits the entire Archdiocese.
Now that summer is in full swing, His Grace Bishop Thomas reminds all families that camp season is here! Urges His Grace, "Visitors to Antiochian.org should be linking onto the Camp website in order to see the children of their Diocese enjoying the Antiochian Village Camp."
Go here for regular Camp updates and new photos.
Fr. Joseph Antypas, the Archpriest of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Troy, Michigan, has released Reflections on the Field of a Local Parish. In his book, Fr. Antypas speaks not only from a deep theological knowledge of the Church, but also from a lifetime of pastoral experience of over 35 years of ministry. The book tackles various theological, liturgical, pastoral and contemporary topics of interest for every clergy and laity. Fr. Antypas examines such topics, not only in a theologically profound approach, but also in pastoral and practical manners.
Says His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip, "The topics which the V. Rev. Father Joseph Antypas discusses in his book...are of utmost importance. St. Ignatius of Antioch, in his letter to the Ephesians, speaks about the harmony and perfect Christian relationship among the members of the Church. As a matter of fact, the congregation must work together, like a symphony, in order to ascend harmoniously to the Throne of God and bask in His Eternal Light. It is not enough to be baptized in the Church. Your baptism is a process of renewal which must permeate your soul all your life."
May 27-29 was a weekend like no other! For months we prepared for this holy consecration event…not knowing what to expect. But we knew we had to be ready! We built a new iconostasis! We had new icons written for the occasion! We re-constructed the altar area to be suitable for Orthodox worship! And we built a new altar table! And now the weekend was upon us. Sayidna Philip was to consecrate the Church of the Virgin Mary in Alsip, Illinois!
Words cannot express the extent of our happiness at having His Eminence, Sayidna Philip consecrate our Holy Church. It was the wishes of our Pastor, the Rev. Father Mousa Haddad, and the entire congregation that he visit us. Also, since this would be his first visit to our community, it was befitting that he would consecrate our house of worship. Committees worked hard to prepare for this holy and historic visit. We welcomed Sayidna Philip and we were honored to have Sayidna Antoun also join us for this historic weekend. Also, we were grateful for the presence and assistance of Archdeacon Hans El-Hayek.
Take a moment for an audio visual meditation on the theme, "The earth is the Lord's and its fullness, the world and all who dwell therein," Psalm 23. This presentation of the photos, artwork, and words of the children in the Diocese of Toledo from the Creative Festivals 2010 is brought to you by the Department of Christian Education, and the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.
If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast.
If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord.
If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.
If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.
If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast.
If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in no wise be deprived therefore.
If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing.
If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.
Beloved brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, God-fearing Monastics, and all my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ our True God:
Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!
We are again drawn to contemplate and stand in awe at the holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-man and our Savior. This year, I pray that we will not mark Pascha as a mere remembrance on the calendar, a happy annual festival that is anticipated and enjoyed but whose power does not provoke us to a radical change in ourselves, a challenge toward holiness and perfection in the Holy Trinity. Indeed, I think many times we enjoy these delightful feasts but have so “institutionalized” them within ourselves that we do not actually let them touch us.
Fundamentally, Christ’s Resurrection is a cataclysmic event. It marks not merely the beginning of a religious movement, but truly the utter reversal of history, the moment that death itself was turned back, when the ultimate catastrophe befell the powers of darkness and bright hope came again into the world. When the God-man died, as St. Basil tells us, “the Author of life could not be held by corruption.” And so He rose again! And so we can be saved from death and from all corruption.
May we ourselves be not simply emotionally moved or cheered by this Gospel; may we never be the same! If even time and history could not stand to remain as they were, how can we ever be content with a mere recollection of past events? Let us once again shout out in victory to the Conqueror of death, casting aside all of our earthly entanglements and entering with Him into that glory that will never fade.
Yours in Christ,
The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest invite women to their sixth annual retreat Friday-Sunday, May 13-15, 2011 at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery, located at 3389 Rives Eaton Road in Rives Junction, Michigan. On Saturday, Kh. Maggie Hock will present the retreat program on the Holy Myrrhbearing Women. She will talk about who the Myrrhbearing Women are, what they did in the early Church and how we can be “Myrrhbearing Women” today. Kh. Maggie is North American Director of the Antiochian Department of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries.
For more information, including schedule and registration form, please download the retreat flyer (PDF).
Twenty-six presbyters and three deacons from the Midwest Diocese enjoyed three stimulating days of prayer, reflection and rejuvenation March 1-3 at the Dormition Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan.
As we kept with the nuns—and their heavenly, harmonious Byzantine chant—the full monastic cycle of offices, His Grace, Bishop Thomas, led the gathered clergy with his wit and words of encouragement. We also drew inspiration from the nuns as they radiated their joy in the Lord. They also gave us a tour of the new temple, presently under construction, standing at the center of the Monastery quadrangle. The nuns astounded us as they related how they have been doing much of the work themselves, including making forms and pouring concrete.
Teen SOYO of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest proudly announces the launch of its newly designed Website: www.midwestSOYO.org.
Burr Ridge, IL – The Third Annual Pan-Orthodox Sanctity of Life Prayer Service and Presentation was attended by Orthodox Clergy and faithful from the Chicago area. The event was held on Sunday, January 30th, 2011, at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church and was organized by the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Greater Chicago (OCCA).
After the prayer service, the Church community hosted a fellowship for all those in attendance which was highlighted by a presentation, given by Linda Couri, a former employee of Planned Parenthood, who has both professional and personal experience with abortion issues, who presented an inside perspective on the Pro Choice mindset.
She eloquently spoke about this approach which more often than not has become the manner in which society is run. What are the values, goals and motivations behind those who are Pro-Choice and what can we do to best address this complex and often hostile audience?
The Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan was blessed in the month of February 2011 to have several world renowned influential Christian leaders visit its community. Over the course of two weeks, the parish hosted Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, a world-renowned Orthodox bishop and theologian from Cambridge, England, Bishop Augustin Ahimana, an Anglican bishop from Rwanda, and Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglia, a Catholic priest from Syria.
The first event took place on February 18th, 2011. Fr. George Shalhoub hosted a lecture luncheon for world renowned scholar, professor, and contemporary Eastern Orthodox academic author, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware during his visit to the Detroit area. Joining Metropolitan Kallistos was Metropolitan Nicholas of the Greek Diocese of Detroit, and Bishop Irineu, Auxiliary Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, along with close to fifty clergy from various Orthodox jurisdictions from throughout Michigan and the entire Midwest. Metropolitan Kallistos spoke to the clergy about the necessity of Orthodox Christian unity and cooperation here in America, and on diversity in general, and how we as Christian leaders in America, need to recognize not only the diverse nature of our country regarding the Christian faith, but we need to work towards creating ways to help open the doors of communication between all Christians. In addition to visiting the Basilica, Metropolitan Kallistos visited several other Orthodox churches in the Detroit area and addressed the body of Sacred Heart Catholic Major Seminary, on the topic of current and future Orthodox/Catholic dialogue.
This year’s Midwest Basketball Tournament was by far the largest ever with over 400 teens and young adults from across the Midwest gathering together in Canton, Ohio. 16 churches sent a total of 30 teams that competed in 3 divisions: junior (12-15), senior (15-18) and young adult (19-26). On Friday night, the participants gathered for the Midwest Teen SOYO delegates meeting and for a lively discussion led by guest speaker Alex Younes from Toronto, Canada. The topic of his discussion was ‘A New Commandment.’
After Morning Prayers on Saturday morning the teams embarked from the hotel to 4 different basketball gyms where they competed throughout the morning and afternoon. Following Great Vespers, the Awards Banquet and Hafli was held with over 500 in attendance. A Farewell Brunch was held after Sunday Divine Liturgy and the participants departed for their homes with no doubt a few more friends than they had when they arrived. A special thank you to all the volunteers from St. George in Canton who take pride in hosting this annual tournament and to all the participants who journeyed from 7 different states to be with us on this special weekend.
Don’t forget about the upcoming Midwest Parish Life Conference from June 15-19 in Cleveland, Ohio! Visit www.stgeorgecleveland.com for more information. We hope to see everyone in attendance!
On the weekend of December 17-19, 2010, His Grace Bishop Thomas made a pastoral visit to the Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan. On Friday evening the Bishop's dear friends, Ken and Kathy Harb, hosted a gathering at their home to officially welcome His Grace to the Detroit area. On Saturday morning, Fr. George Shalhoub hosted a brunch for the area clergy in the St. Mary Cultural Center, and Fr. James King and his family hosted a dinner for the Bishop prior to Great Vespers.
The highlight of the weekend was the Divine Liturgy on Sunday Morning, where Bishop Thomas, on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, ordained Fr. James King to the Holy Priesthood. This was the first time in the forty year history of the Basilica that anyone had ever been ordained to the priesthood, and the community came out in full force to witness the event. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Grace inducted twelve new members into the Order of St. Ignatius. Following the Liturgy, a special banquet was held in the St. Mary Cultural Center in honor of the newly ordained Fr. James, his wife Audrey, and their children. The banquet was generously attended by the entire Basilica of St. Mary community.
We wish to thank all those who helped to make the weekend such a special occasion for the community, and especially Bishop Thomas for his love, spiritual guidance, and for blessing us with his presence.
Antiochian professor Dr. Brad Nassif is encouraging the Orthodox faithful in the Chicago area to attend North Park University’s Zarley Lectures on February 22-23, 2011. This year's lectures will feature Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Professor Emeritus in Eastern Orthodox Studies, Oxford University, and Bishop of Diokleia. Metropolitan Kallistos is highly regarded as a world renowned theologian of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Topics will include: "Word and Silence in the Philokalia" and "Orthodox and Evangelicals: What Do We Have to Learn From Each Other?" The lectures are free to the public and will begin at 7:00 pm both nights in Anderson Chapel, on the campus of North Park.
The Bible and Theology Department at North Park hosts the annual lecture series. Notes Dr. Nassif, "It was my turn to invite a speaker. The choice was obvious. The occasion of Metropolitan Kallistos' coming dovetails nicely with the release of a book that will be published next year sometime. It's titled The Philokalia: Exploring a Classic Text in Orthodox Spirituality, edited by Brock Bingaman and myself, and published by Oxford University Press. We have a stellar cast of contributors including Metropolitan Kallistos, Fathers John McGuckin, Andrew Louth and John Chrysavghis, among others."
February is a season for conferences, as Orthodox Christians go indoors to escape the cold while enjoying fellowship and spiritual enrichment.
In a cyberspace gathering on February 11 and 12, the organization Illumination Learning ("Bringing Together Orthodox Christian Resources to Share with Each Other") will be hosting "Orthodoxy in the Home" in the first annual Orthodox Christian Online Education Conference. The line-up of speakers includes Fr. Luke Veronis, who will talk about how to teach children about missions; the sister singers of Eikona, who will discuss "Teaching Our Families the Hymns of Our Church"; and Antiochian priest Fr. Joseph Huneycutt, who will expound on how humor and the funny moments of family life are teachable moments too. Go here to register virtually, for this virtual conference!
The following weekend, February 18 and 19, The Climacus Conference will tackle great themes in philosophy, theology and literature in their series of lectures held at St. Michael Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Clothing, food, Plato, marriage, Dostoevsky, a movie screening and more, will be discussed by academic notables such as Vigen Guroian and by popular authors such as Conciliar Press writer Molly Sabourin.
That same weekend, the pan-Orthodox coalition North Texas Orthodox Missions, is sponsoring the 2011 Festival of Orthodoxy Conference in two Texas cities, Fort Worth and Dallas. Featured guests Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green and Dr. H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr. will speak to the theme, “From Conception to Dying: Orthodox Christian Views in Today’s World.” Go here for information and registration.
PITTSBURGH, PA (Jan. 25, 2011)—Speaking to over 450 people at the Jan. 25 FOCUS Pittsburgh fundraising dinner, Theodora Polamalu challenged those present to put their hope and desire to help those in need into action.
Theodora and her Super Bowl-bound Pittsburgh Steelers husband, Troy Polamalu, are committed to caring for those in need. Theodora, FOCUS North America Advisory Board Member, said during her address to the crowd, “to treat every person as an icon of Christ is the foremost principle of FOCUS, the heart of its mission.”
Seeing that mission realized is what brought such a large crowd to the event, which was hosted by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church’s Philoptochos Chapter and sponsored by the Pittsburgh Clergy Brotherhood. Through tickets sales, auction items, sponsorships and general donations, the event raised nearly $65,000 to further the good work of serving those in need.
DESCENDENT OF DANIEL BOONE SPEAKS AT THIRD ANNUAL EVENING IN THE EAST
Iowa City, IA – January 19, 2011 – On Saturday, February 5, St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Mission is hosting their third annual Evening in the East at Old Brick, 26 Market Street, Iowa City. The benefit runs begins at 5:30 PM, includes authentic cuisine from Greece, the Middle East, Romania, Georgia, and Russia, prizes, silent auctions, a performance by St. Raphael Church Choir, and this year will feature speaker Fr. Moses Berry presenting “Linking Ancient African Christianity to the African American Experience.”
Fr. Moses Berry is President of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black and founder of the Ozarks Afro-American Heritage Museum. Fr. Moses is a descendent of frontier legend Daniel Boone through his son Nathan Boone and Nathan's slave Marie Boone. At a moment of crisis as a young man, Fr. Moses began a search for his religious heritage that took him from the church of his youth to the Orthodox Christianity found throughout northern Africa.
The Theophany celebrations of Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky were recently featured in the local newspaper, the Bowling Green Daily News:
A centuries-old ceremony was performed in Bowling Green on Thursday as members of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission gathered on the banks of the Barren River to participate in the Blessing of the Waters.
“We come here today to celebrate the Blessing of the Waters and in so doing, we join with our brothers and sisters around the world,” said the Rev. Michael Nasser, pastor of Holy Apostles....
“What we’re celebrating is the baptism of Jesus,” Nasser said. “For us, it’s not just an event that happened 2,000 years ago. It still affects us.”....
“This beautiful service reminds us that as Christ was a blessing to the waters of the Jordan and to the whole world, we should also be a blessing to our planet and not a curse, and especially to that part of the world right around us,” Nasser said.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13: 34-35.)
St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church is located in Berkley, MI. We are a small community known for welcoming others. We are a family, and as a family care about each other, and are very supportive of one another. For the past fifteen years St. Mary's has been blessed with the ministry of Father George Baalbaki and his wonderful wife, Khouriye Iman. During their ministry the church has grown and been energized.
Greetings in the name of our incarnate God and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ!
As we turn our thoughts once more to the birth into this world of the God-man Jesus, let us consider what God has given us to witness. While His conception at the Annunciation to the Virgin was in secret, His birth reveals Him openly. And what is revealed?
It is that our God, the Maker of all things, eternal, invisible, untouchable and incomprehensible to mortal man has now become one of us, a member of the human race. He retains His eternality while stepping into time. He remains the invisible God while becoming visible. He is beyond touching yet is now touchable. And though His essence as God is forever incomprehensible to us, in His incarnation as man, He has become truly knowable.
DETROIT, MI [COCC] -- A fall benefit concert sponsored by the Council of Orthodox Christian Churches of Metropolitan Detroit [COCC] raised more than $5,000.00 for International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC].
The concert of "Music from the Twelve Great Feasts” was presented by the Orthodox Choir of Metropolitan Detroit on Sunday, October 17, 2010 at Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Troy, MI.
The choir was conducted by Artistic Director Vickie Kopistiansky, who also conducts the choir at Holy Trinity Church [OCA], Detroit. Archpriest Paul Jannakos of Saint Mary Magdalene Church [OCA], Fenton, MI, provided commentary.
Burr Ridge, Illinois – A Prayer Service marking National Sanctity of Life Day will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 30, 2011 at the Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Burr Ridge, Illinois. Believing that all human life is sacred, the worship service will include prayers addressing issues such as capital punishment, euthanasia and abortion, and will emphasize forgiveness and the tragedy of 50 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. The Service will be sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Greater Chicago, on behalf of the 80 Orthodox Christian Churches in the Greater Chicago area.
13th Annual Canton Basketball Tournament
January 28-30, 2011
Download Event Flyer (PDF)
Division I: Ages 12-15 / Division II: Ages 15-18 / Division III: Ages 19-26
Retreat Leader: Alex Younes
“A New Commandment”
Josephine Katzbach ("Josie"), a parishioner at St. Matthew Orthodox Church in North Royalton, Ohio, has returned from Haiti, where she successfully delivered 2200 flip flops for those in need.
An experience in Haiti was the source for Josie’s idea. Months ago while she worked there in a clinic building project, several aid workers had to escort an ill woman from a clinic in town back up the mountain. Struck by her lack of material possessions, Josie literally gave the woman the clothes off her back, with the exception of her ﬂip-flops, the only shoes that would fit Josie's swollen feet. So when she and her friend returned to Chicago, inspiration struck and Josie said, “Hey, I have an idea. Let’s do ‘ﬂip-ﬂops for Haiti.’”
Josie is no stranger to helping others. She takes food and water to the homeless in Cleveland twice a month with parishioners from St. Matthew’s or St. George of Cleveland. A “life-changing experience”– that’s how Josie describes her first trip to Haiti. Although the city’s poverty and devastation are great, the poverty is even more extreme in the mountains. “They are the poorest of the poor,” says Katzbach. The earthquake did not have as much of an effect on them; instead, poverty is a way of life.
On October 26, 2010, St. Matthew's held a fund raiser: "Flip Flops For Haiti All You Can Eat Italian Dinner." All proceeds went to benefit shipping and the distribution of flip flops. Josie's husband Mark and her sister Antonette chaired the affair, and the people of St. Matthew came forward and ate and gave, enabling Josephine to return to Haiti with several thousand shoes. Josie was able to distribute several hundred, while a Catholic priest and nun offered to deliver the remaining shoes to those in need.
The History of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of West St. Paul, Minnesota
Adapted from our history compiled by Dr. George Droubie
The first Syrian and Lebanese immigrants arrived in Minnesota in the 1890's. In the St. Paul area they settled primarily on St. Paul's West Side. Dating from the arrival of the first Orthodox immigrants in St. Paul, they were informally organized as a religious group. Visiting priests held services in private homes. St. George Syrian Orthodox Church was formally organized and founded in 1913 on St. Paul's West Side. An Episcopal Church located at Clinton and Isabel streets was purchased and adapted for Orthodox liturgical needs. The church was officially dedicated in 1915 by Metropolitan Germanos Shehadi, at which time our first parish priest was ordained. Since then eighteen priests have served our parish, among them, V. Rev. Essa Kanavati and V. Rev. John G. Khoury. As the church building on the West Side began to deteriorate and parishioners moved out of the area surrounding the church, five acres of land in our current location were purchased in 1968 for a future complex. A multi-purpose hall was constructed during 1973 and our first service was held in February 1974.
Urgent Communication from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Regarding the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT AND PUBLISHED IN THE CHURCH BULLETIN
October 27, 2010
To: The Clergy of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
From: His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP
Re: Appointment of His Grace, Bishop THOMAS as Locum-Tenens of the Diocese
Beloved in the Lord:
Greetings in the name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you are in good health. As you are no doubt aware, our Local Synod of the Archdiocese met on Friday, October 22, 2010 in Jacksonville, FL. Among the things we discussed was the deteriorating situation in the diocese. As such, it was determined that the best thing was to transfer His Grace, Bishop MARK to the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest. A majority of the bishops of the synod agreed with the decision that this was in the best interest of the Archdiocese so that both the Diocese of Toledo and His Grace, Bishop MARK could have a fresh start. Citing health reasons, Bishop MARK said he could not live in that part of the country and subsequently requested to be released to the Orthodox Church in America. The synod agreed to his request and, at present, he is working out the details of his release with His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH. During this interim period, Bishop MARK asked to remain in the Toledo chancery until the end of the year. I agreed to this request and we will continue to pay Bishop MARK his stipend until the end of December.
Now Available, Hot Off the Press!
A Modern, American Orthodox Pastor
Bishop Mark writes: “Without reservation, I recommend this wonderful collection of homilies.”
- What are the qualities of “the best priest” in the Antiochian Archdiocese?
- Does St. Nectarios find keys, fill gas tanks and manage travel itineraries?
- Does the icon of St. Nicholas of Myra “speak?”
- How does a pastor equip his people to relate to other Christian and non-Christian faiths?
- What does it mean to “enter eternity” in the Liturgy?
- Can a pastor be vulnerable about his own sins?
- What does one say to a mother and her five young children who just lost their husband and father?
- Does modern psychotherapy have anything to do with Orthodox spirituality?
Proceeds benefit St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Cedarburg, WI
In a special, limited first print run, St. Nicholas church is offering a set of five (5) copies of A Modern, American Orthodox Pastor for just $14 per copy —for a total of five (5) for $70. Single copy retail price is $20. With the purchase of set of five (5) copies, shipping is FREE!
On the weekend of September 17-19th, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip consecrated St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. St. John Chrysostom was founded by His Eminence in 1978 as a Pan-Orthodox Mission in northeast Indiana. After over 30 years of growth in the Fort Wayne community, the parish erected a new church complex with a grand worship space, classroom education facilities and a large family room area for fellowship of the Orthodox Community. The new church's altar was consecrated on September 19th by Metropolitan Philip, with Archdeacon Hans Elhayek; parish priest Fr. Anthony Michaels; Fr. Nabil Hanna, dean of the Indiana deanery; Fr. George Smith, priest in residence; Fr. Joseph Rahall, founding priest of the mission; and clergy friends from around the Midwest.
For more information, including schedule, hotel reservations, event and vendor registration, souvenir journal entries and downloadable forms, please visit the St. George Church web site.
15471 Royalton Road
Strongsville, OH 44136
Room rate: $90.00/night
Queen-double or King
Mention “St. George” block code SGA when making reservations, or visit our website at stgeorgecleveland.com to reserve online.
This is advance information. Please make your plans to be in Strongsville in June 2011. More details on the St. George, Cleveland website.
The 2010 Diocese of Toledo Fall Gathering took place over the weekend of October 1-3, and was hosted by St. Nicholas Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Pictured are Kareemeh Simon, His Grace Bishop Mark, Rose Mary Sears (daughter of Fr. Philipou Abou-Assasaly, the first priest ordained in Grand Rapids, MI by St. Raphael of Brooklyn in 1908) and Margaret Simon.
St. Nicholas Church traces its history back to the early 1900’s, when Orthodox immigrants from the part of the Ottoman Empire then known as “Syria” began to come to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many of these immigrants made their living initially as “peddlers,” selling their wares door-to-door as the city grew into a center of commerce and industry. As they became more prosperous, they opened stores of their own. Others found employment in the city’s well-known furniture industry.
As early as 1906, the community was visited by traveling priests who served the recently arrived Orthodox immigrants scattered around the Midwest and concentrated in growing cities like Toledo and Fort Wayne. At least twice, Grand Rapids was visited by St. Raphael Hawaweeny, who encouraged the faithful to establish a church and who ordained and trained St. Nicholas’s first pastor, Father Philipous Abu-Assaley. Father Philipous was ordained in 1908. His youngest daughter, Rosemary Sears, still faithfully attends St. Nicholas.
Midwest Clergy Brotherhood Retreat
November 30-December 2, 2010
Holy Dormition Monastery + Rives Junction, MI
Pastoral Integrity: The Path towards Theosis
Dr. Albert Rossi, Presenter
Attention all Priests and Deacons of the Diocese:
We are pleased to announce at this time initial details regarding our Annual Clergy Brotherhood Retreat with His Grace, Bishop MARK, for the Midwest Diocese.
Saidna Mark has discussed with his Presbyters’ Council the importance of continuing to develop this Clergy Retreat to encourage our clergy to gather for a focused time of prayer, renewal, and fellowship, and to support us in the many spiritual and ethical challenges we face in our priestly ministries.
Please mark your calendar to attend this important event, and e-mail reply to register and reserve accommodation at the Monastery (first-come-first-served).
Bishop Mark writes:
Dear to God, Christ is in our midst! As our faithful continue to raise money to support the Missions of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, I want to forward you these notes of thanks and gratitude for the strong support our diocesan faithful have shown for missions. Our giving to missions has increased from a few thousand in 2004 to $40,000 for this year alone. Well done good and faithful servants. Well done!
Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky:
Greetings from Bowling Green, KY! As the southern-most community in the Diocese, autumn has not arrived here yet, but we hope you are all enjoying this beautiful time of year in good health.
We have just received the funds offered to our community by the Mission Endowment Fund, and words cannot express the appreciation our Mission family has for your love and support.
All Saints Orthodox Church, with the co-sponsorship of the Early Music Institute of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Department of Sacred Music of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, is presenting “The Musical Heritage of the Orthodox Church: Music, Liturgy, and Beauty in Orthodox Christianity” on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus on Saturday, 16 October 2010 from 8:30am until 2:30pm. This first-ever symposium on Orthodox sacred music at Indiana University will feature lecture recitals from the following:
-John Michael Boyer, protopsaltis of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, artistic director of the Koukouzelis Institute for Liturgical Arts, and principal singer for Cappella Romana
-Alexander Khalil, PhD, psaltis of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego, CA, postdoctoral fellow at University of California at Riverside, author of the dissertation “Echoes of Constantinople: Oral and Written Tradition of the Psaltes of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople”, singer for Cappella Romana and the Mt. Lebanon Choir
-Kurt Sander, DM, psalomchik and choir director at St. George Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, OH, Professor of Music and Department Chair at Northern Kentucky University, composer of many liturgical works in the Slavic style, author of the dissertation “The Musical Icon”
-Richard Toensing, DM, Professor Emeritus of Music at University of Colorado at Boulder, choir director emeritus of St. Luke’s Orthodox Church in Lafayette, CO, composer of Kontakion for the Nativity of Christ and other Orthodox liturgical works in English
SOUTH CANAAN, PA [OCA/STOTS] -- Archpriest Alexander Atty will be formally installed as Dean and Chief Operating Officer of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary here on Saturday, October 30, 2010.
The formal installation Service of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at Saint Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Wilkes Barre, PA, at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow at the parish center.
Father Alexander brings with him over 30 years of experience as a parish priest and chief administrator. For years, he served as pastor of one of the nation’s largest pan-Orthodox parishes, Saint Michael the Archangel Antiochian Orthodox Church, Louisville, KY.
Father Alexander is joined at the seminary by his wife, Khouria Olga, and their two children, Katherine and Alexander. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Philadelphia, a Master of Divinity from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, and a Doctorate in Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
As reported on the OCA web site on March 25, 2010, STS Board of Trustees gave its approval to the recommendation of a search committee to engage Father Alexander on March 12, 2010. The Holy Synod of Bishops gave its blessing at its Spring Session March 16-18, 2010, along with a decision to permit Father Alexander to remain attached to the Antiochian Archdiocese while serving as the Dean of the Seminary, an institution of the Orthodox Church in America.
Father Alexander officially assumed duties on July 1, 2010.
On Tuesday, September 21st His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received the Officers of the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. His All Holiness had invited the Officers through the cooperation of Archbishop Demetrios of America, the Chairman of the Assembly, who also led the delegation to the Phanar for the substantive and detailed meeting. The other Officers included Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk (Moscow Patriarchate, Vice-Chairman), Archbishop Antony of Hierapolis, (Ecumenical Patriarchate-UOCUSA, Treasurer) and Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America (Patriarchate of Antioch–Antiochian Archdiocese, Secretary). Also in attendance at the meeting were Archimandrite Bartholomew Samaras, Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archpriest Igor Vyzhanov of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Frs. Mark Arey and John Chryssavgis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
Come join us for a Retreat with Fr. Meletios Webber on the themes of Orthodox Spirituality and Prayer
“Stop listening to your thoughts – not the thoughts you have, but the thoughts that have you. They have nothing beneficial to offer you, and besides you have heard them all before. Brush them aside, and gently continue to brush them aside. Beyond their clamor and din there is available to you a level of greater awareness – a place of love, joy, peace and compassion. At first, it is difficult to “hear” it (since it is expressed in silence) but with practice you will start to recognize its voice, and a deeper state of presence will be yours.” ‐ Fr. Meletios
A pan-Orthodox gathering of spiritual refreshment and fellowship in memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah
Kh. Joanne Abdalah served as an inspiration in her life as the wife of a priest and as a counselor to many. She understood the joys and trials of this life, and the need for finding strength in Christ and each other. She believed that every clergy wife needs to discover and develop her own Christian vocation. In her memory, her family and several clergy wife friends planned the first Clergy Wives Weekend in 2009 as a fitting tribute and way to carry on her work and commitment to clergy wives.
Last November more than 70 Orthodox clergy wives from jurisdictions across the United States enjoyed the inaugural Clergy Wives Weekend at the Antiochian Village. The schedule reflected Joanne’s holy and holistic approach to life – we need to pray; we need to play. We need to enjoy the fellowship for this short time without parish responsibilities, family responsibilities or other cares of this world. The Weekend was a tremendous success, and so we announce the 2010 Clergy Wives Weekend!
- Date: October 29-31
- Theme: Everywhere present and filling all things: The Holy Spirit or the Clergy Wife?
The Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of Truth, is everywhere filling all things. But do clergy wives with the best of intentions get caught trying to do that, too, juggling marriage, family, parish, education and job beyond realistic expectations? How do we listen to hear what the Spirit is leading us to do in life? How can we nurture our relationship with God? What do the gifts and fruit of the Spirit look like in our lives and situations? How do we discern? And what do we do with all our life includes?
Fr. Athanasius Dresdow writes from St. Barnabas Mission in Columbus, OH:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
We want to extend our most sincere thanks to all of you for your generous support of our mission through the Mission Endowment Fund. The $18,000 that we received over a period of several years has helped us to be able to get our own building which, God willing, we will eventually be able to purchase. We would also like to thank the many churches and individuals who have donated liturgical items for our use. We greatly appreciate your generosity and thank God for the blessing that you all are to us. May the Lord bless and keep you all in His loving care, and may He grant you all many years!
By early 1989, an Episcopalian priest named Father Bill Olnhausen and about twenty of his parishioners had discovered the wonders of Orthodoxy. They left their former church and, guided by Fr. Peter Gillquist, began preparations for a new Orthodox mission in the northern suburbs of Milwaukee. In September 1989, when His Grace Bishop Antoun came to chrismate us and ordain Father Bill, he looked at our little group and whispered to Father Peter, “Is this all?” But we were quickly joined by about fifteen “cradle” Orthodox, and so our Orthodox Mission began.
For five years we rented space: first at a women’s club which was sold giving us only three weeks notice to move out, then since nothing else was available, in a dingy basement in a former schoolhouse out in the country. We had to set up and take down everything each weekend; even drinking water had to be carried in. Our first thought was that we must get out of here quickly; we’ll never grow here. But we did grow. One of our members said, “This basement is more ‘church’ to me than anywhere I’ve ever attended.” During those five years, all of us learned what the Church really is - the people, not the building.
In December 1994 we purchased a spacious old former Lutheran church building in downtown Cedarburg. Saint Nicholas of Myra had been intimately involved in our founding, and as it turned out our first services in the new building were on Saint Nicholas Day. Then, to our delight, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip named us Saint Nicholas Church.
by His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Recently a historic event took place in New York: a pan-Orthodox Assembly of the Fullness of God’s Church on the North American continent, represented by the Hierarchs of the local Orthodox dioceses. The most important goal of this body is to witness Orthodox unity in a “new world” and to secure a more effective organization of mission, witness and cooperation of the local Orthodox Churches in diaspora.
In accordance with the decision of the Fourth Pre-conciliar pan-Orthodox conference held June 6-12, 2009 in the Orthodox center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland, and at the invitation of Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the first Assembly of canonical Orthodox Hierarchs of North and Central America was held in New York May 26-28, 2010. Of sixty-six hierarchs of this region, fifty-five were present at this historic gathering.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios presided over this Episcopal Assembly, having Metropolitan Philip (Antiochian Orthodox Church) and Russian Archbishop Justinian (Moscow Patriarchate) as co-chairs. Bishop Basil of Wichita (Antiochian selfruling Archdiocese) was elected secretary. His Eminence Metropolitan Christopher of Libertyville/Chicago and His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western American diocese represented the Serbian Orthodox Church. (The other three Serbian hierarchs here did not attend this historic event because of prior commitments).
St. Paul the Apostle Church in Dayton, Ohio, is hosting an exhibition of more than ancient and new 100 icons. Located at 4451 Wagner Road, St. Paul will allow viewing of the free exhibition from August 20-22, 2010, 10 AM to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 12-5 p.m. on Sunday.
Forty of the icons in the Exhibit are historic, dating from 1650 on, and hailing from Russia, Greece, Ukraine and Ethiopia. Among them are a 17th century Russian miniature iconstasis with more than 20 individual figures, as well as a large 18th century Icon of the Virgin Mary, "The Joy of All Who Sorrow."
Viewers will also be able to see the 36 large new icons that respected Russian-American iconographer Dmitri Shkolnik of San Francisco has recently installed on the walls of St. Paul’s, including icons detailing scenes from the life of Christ, the life of St. Paul, as well saints of the 20th century - including several martyrs from the Midwest who were executed in Russia for their faith during the years of Soviet oppression.
Explains oca.org, "In keeping with the theme, 'The Gift of Transfiguration: Changed Life and Lives', the exhibition also concludes with a number of recent icons by Daryl Cochran, an American iconographer who is currently an inmate at the London Correctional Institute in London, Ohio. 'Daryl became an Orthodox Christian a few years ago while in prison,' explains Fr. Ted Bobosh, rector of the parish. 'A talented artist, Daryl is in the process of becoming a unique iconographer as well.'"
For the Dioceses of Toledo, Ottawa, Charleston and New York, and Los Angeles and Eagle River, the Fourth of July holiday weekend ushered in the long-planned for Parish Life Conferences. With the Creative Festivals, liturgical worship, fellowship, and special speakers as the reward, the faithful of each diocese traveled long distances to convene over the holiday weekend. The Cathedral of St. George in Perrysburg, Ohio hosted the Diocese of Toledo faithful at the Hilton Garden Inn, where the teens participated in a community project, and attendees gained insights through the talks given by the special speaker, St. Vladimir's Seminary professor Dr. Albert Rossi. As an additional treat, M*A*S*H actor Jamie Farr was in Toledo for a golf tournament and he made a special appearance at the Saturday night banquet. He welcomed the faithful to his hometown, and his home parish, and did a short standup comedy routine. Afterwards, many of the PLC attendees enjoyed chatting with him and having their photos taken with him.
On the 31st year anniversary of the establishment of St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Orthodox Church in Fort Wayne, IN, we were blessed to have Bishop MARK of Toledo with us to open the doors of our new church. This new church was the fulfillment of a commitment that the families of St. John Chrysostom Church made in 1979, when Sub-deacon (now Archimandrite) Michael Evans was sent to help coordinate the people into a Mission of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America.
Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the efforts of Sdn. Michael, Fr. Joseph Rahall (then pastor of St. George – Indianapolis), and several founding families, the parish of St. John Chrysostom was opened in a small building purchased from a local Presbyterian church. From the beginning, this building was referred to as our “temporary church." Our parishioners, with their own hands, tore down walls and repaired others; they replaced flooring, and duct work and electrical lines, but the building continued to fall short of the needs of the parish.
This special video was recorded in Oklahoma City, June 17, 2010, at the Parish Life Conference of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. In this 45 minute address, His Grace Bishop Basil explains for the gathered faithful the historic importance of the May meeting of American canonical bishops from all the Orthodox jurisdictions in New York City, and the path forward for all the Orthodox Christians of this land.
(From the June 2010 WORD magazine)
By Camille Patrick
“Flip-Flops for Haiti”? That’s a popular phrase at St. Matthew’s of North Royalton and all around Cleveland, since one of our parishioners, Josephine Katzbach, ventured on a four-day trip to Haiti in early March with a friend of hers, to help build a clinic for the mountain people.
The ladies made the trip to work with a nun and a priest afﬁliated with a church in Chicago called Fraternité Notre Dame. Josie returned from Haiti with an ambitious goal of raising 2,000 ﬂip-ﬂops for the 1,500 or so impoverished inhabitants who live around a primitive camp at the top of a mountain near Port-au-Prince. She and her friend plan to return sometime in July to distribute the ﬂip-ﬂops to the people there.
Just around the corner!
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry
Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 4:00 PM
Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM
At the Embassy Suites, Philadelphia Airport Hotel, Pennsylvania
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the official prison ministry of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) announces its 2010 Convocation. The convocation will bring together the many Orthodox clergy and laity from throughout North America who are participating in prison ministry or are interested in participating in prison ministry, for a time of fellowship, education, encouragement, communal worship and the free exchange of ideas.
Recently, Bishop Basil spoke with AFR correspondent Matthew Namee about the historic assembly of bishops which took place in the week following Pentecost. His Grace was elected Secretary of the Assembly. Below are excerpts from the interview, which can be found here in full:
"The bishops delighted in being together and doing the work of the Church."
"The ultimate task was to prepare the Orthodox (Church) of this region...to constitute itself as a canonical, single Church.…It is a huge task, one that a vast majority of Orthodox Christians in America have been praying for, hoping for, talking about, for a long, long time."
"It’s as if the Mother Churches have said to us, ‘Look, you have been asking for this. Before we give it to you, we would like to know, what is your plan?’"
"We were blessed by the work of SCOBA….the work of the Episcopal Assembly was made quite easy by the 50 years of preparation."
"The Episcopal Assembly is comprised of every Orthodox bishop, not just the primates. We had 55 in attendance, (in New York) where the maximum of SCOBA members would have been 8."
Ancient Faith Radio has also posted an extensive interview with Fr. Mark Arey, General Secretary of SCOBA, titled Unraveling the Episcopal Assembly. Additionally, Antiochian.org has compiled a summary of online Assembly articles.
Message of the Episcopal Assembly Of the Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs of North and Central America, May 26-28, 2010
We glorify the name of the Triune God for gathering us at this first Episcopal Assembly of this region in New York City on May 26-28, 2010 in response to the decisions of the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference held at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland, from June 6-12, 2009, at the invitation of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Gathered together in the joy of the Feast of Pentecost, we humbly recognize our calling, in our unworthiness, to serve as instruments and disciples of the Paraclete, who “holds together the whole institution of the Church” (Hymn of Vespers of Pentecost).
We honor and express gratitude to the Primates and Representatives of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches who assembled at the Ecumenical Patriarchate from October 10-12, 2008 to affirm their “unswerving position and obligation to safeguard the unity of the Orthodox Church” (Chambésy Rules of Operation, Article 5.1a) and emphasized their will and “desire for the swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements” (Message of the Primates 13.1-2)
We call to mind those who envisioned this unity in this region and strove to transcend the canonical irregularities resulting for many reasons, including geographically overlapping jurisdictions. For, just as the Lord in the Divine Eucharist is “broken and distributed, but not divided” (Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom), so also His Body comprises many members, while constituting His One Church.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Dear to God,
Christ is in our midst! By the grace of God we have completed our First Episcopal Assembly, chaired by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America and attended by 57 of the 65 Hierarchs of North and Central America. He is truly a gracious, loving and patient man and certainly a gift to our Church in North America. May God grant him good health and many years!
Recommendations were made to separate Mexico and Central America from our Episcopal Assembly as their needs linguistically and culturally are quite different. Hopefully, Mexico and Central America will be absorbed into the Episcopal Assembly of South America. Likewise the Bishops of Canada asked to form their own Episcopal Assembly and both requests will be forwarded to the Ecumenical Patriarch per the procedures out-lined in the Chambésy Documents.
The agencies of SCOBA were received by the new assembly which considers itself the successor of SCOBA. Monthly updates to a data base will assist in identifying Canonical Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Parishes. Joint Committees have been identified to ad-dress the common needs of the Orthodox Church here in the United States which will assist us in uniform articulation, discipline and expression of the One Orthodox Faith.
Also, click here for a selection of articles on this historic gathering.
Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky has received heavy damage to its mission chapel from the recent flooding in the region. No further services are planned in the current location. Weekly Bible studies and Vespers on Saturday evening will be held in members' homes. The Mission is currently working to secure a new location for services.
Donations to may be sent directly to the Mission:
c/o Kevin Burt (Mission chairman)
357 Cedar Ridge Rd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Dear to God,
Christ is in our midst! I trust you had a blessed Pascha. Now that we have enjoyed the blessings of the Great Fast and the Feast of Feasts, let us begin to look towards the next Great Feast, Pentecost. Traditionally in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest we take an offering to support our Diocesan Missions. Given the reversals in the economy and the various missions we are supporting we need your help even more so that the message of the Holy Gospel may continue to spread in our Diocese. Sadly, our missions may end up choosing between paying their rent/mortgage and being able to support a priest. Our mission priests make great sacrifices and we will need to revisit the current level of support offered at the Parish Life Conference due to our adverse economy. We do not want one mission to fail, especially in our college towns.
By the grace of God some parishes have added a line item to their parish budget and already sent a check. For this we are most grateful. Other parishes have sponsored fund raisers to support our mission fund as well as a local mission they adopted. Most importantly, we are incredibly blessed and we have a responsibility to support the work our Lord.
On the Great and Holy Feast of Pentecost please take a special offering to support our missions. Every parish can do something. You may send your checks to the “Midwest Mission Fund”, c/o Keith Haddad, St Elias Orthodox Church, 4940 Harroun Rd. Sylvania, OH 43560. Have a blessed Feast and may the Lord bless you as you remain faithful to him.
Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest
The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest invite women to the fifth annual retreat Friday-Sunday, May 14-16, 2010 at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery located at 3389 Rives Eaton Road in Rives Junction, Michigan.
Mother Abbess Alexandra of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village will present the retreat, “Create in Me a New Heart,” focusing on the Holy Spirit in our lives. She will bring together reflections on the actions of the Holy Spirit through salvation history from the Scriptures and the Fathers with emphasis on our practical, daily synergy with the Holy Spirit.
Many years to His Grace Bishop MARK!
We extend our prayers and love to His Grace, Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest on the occasion of his Name's Day on April 25 (Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark). May God grant him many years!
Let Mark, that most excellent of men, be extolled by us with songs and with divine hymns as Egypt’s fair and brightly shining light, as the all-wise preacher of the Father’s Son and Word, and also the divine author of the Holy Gospel of the Lord; for he intercedeth with Christ God that He grant peace and Great Mercy to our souls.
--Orthros of the Feast, Tone 1
Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.
We celebrate the abolition of death, the destruction of Hades and the first fruit of everlasting life.
And as we leap with joy, we praise the Cause of these good gifts, the God of our fathers who alone is blessed and most glorified.
Beloved of God,
Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! El Messieh kahm! Hakken kahm! Khristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese! Let God, arise and let His enemies be scattered! As smoke vanishes so let them vanish! So the sinner will perish before the face of God, but let the righteous be glad! This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us embrace one another and forgive all things for the sake of Christ’s Holy Resurrection. Christos anesti! Alithos anesti! Cristos vaskres! Vaistinu vaskres! Cristos a inviat! Adevarat a inviat!
Yours in Christ,
Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest
April 10, 2010
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Presents
Jail & Prison Ministry 101 Training
Training for any Orthodox Christians who are Interested in Jail and Prison Ministry
When: Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time: 9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Where: St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
4020 N. Sherman Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46226-4464
Special Guests include:
His Grace, the Right Reverend Bishop MARK of Toledo and the Mid-West, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Stephen Hall, D.MIN, Director of Religious Services, Indiana Department of Corrections.
More information will be forthcoming. Please check the OCPM web site for future updates.
The Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of Greater Toledo and the Orthodox Christian Council of Greater Toledo invite you to join them for a very special evening event:
Benefit Dinner and Concert
Saturday, 5 pm, May 1st, 2010
St. Elias Church, Sylvania, OH
Concert performance of musical compositions influenced by the Orthodox Christian Church's spirituality and traditions
Featuring Dr. Gregory Kostraba, Iona Galu, M.M., Jessica Precop and Corey Pappas
The evening begins with Vespers at 5pm (combined clergy with His Grace Bishop MARK of Toledo), followed by a sumptuous meal of appetizers, entrees and desserts representing our diverse cultural cuisines.
$40.00 per person: All proceeds to benefit Orthodox Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God, Rives Junction, MI building project for their new church.
See your local parish priest or council member for tickets. For more information, please contact St. Elias Church.
The 2nd Annual Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy Conference presents…
Let God Arise (and let His enemies be scattered):
The RESURRECTION of CHRIST in Eastern Orthodox Theology & Worship
with Deacon Nicholas V. Belcher, M.Div., Dean of Students, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology - Boston, MA, and guests, including His Grace Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
+For complete description & campus map, please visit www.hope.edu.
St. John Chrysostom Academy
Reverend Father Fouad Saba, Director
The St. John Chrysostom Academy is an Adult Lay Educational Ministry of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine at St. George Church, Cicero, IL
The Book of Genesis
April 16-June 4, 2010
This course will explore The Book of Genesis within the overall structure of the Pentateuch (Torah) and the Bible as a whole. The Book of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, in which the story of the relationship of God and man begins, defines the rest of scripture through vocabulary, narrative and structure.
Faculty: Fr. Fouad Saba
Tuition is $30.00 per semester course.
Please complete form and submit with payment to Registrar at St. George Church.
St. George Orthodox Church of Indianapolis was established and a church building erected and consecrated in 1926.
As a charter member, St. George Progressives contributed greatly to the SOYO movement. St. George parishioners Nick Coba and John Daniluck, who had been founders of the Federation of Russian Orthodox Clubs (FROC), were instrumental in guiding the SOYO movement of their adopted parish and Archdiocese. In the fall of 1947, the newly organized group met in Indianapolis to complete a draft of the constitution and by-laws.
His Grace Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo visited Houston for the first weekend of Great Lent. Fr. Joseph Huneycutt posts here about the visit, and includes links to the following audio:
For Men and Women of the Central Indiana Orthodox Churches:
Love Thy Neighbor: Reflections from the Holy Land
With Special Guest Speaker Dr. Maria Khoury
On Saturday, March 20, 2010, St. George Church in Indianapolis, Indiana will host a Lenten retreat from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A panel discussion will apply principles of the struggle in the Holy Land to our spiritual struggles in Indiana. The retreat will include breakfast and a Lenten lunch.
Please RSVP at 317-547-9356. For more information, please contact St. George Church.
The faithful of St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana invite all to attend their opening weekend celebration as they move into a new facility. The opening weekend will take place March 13-14, 2010. His Grace Bishop MARK will attend and celebrate Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. For more information, please contact St. John Chrysostom Church.
In a project initiated by the Charity Ministry Team, the parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, gathered materials together for the IOCC health kits for the suffering people of Haiti. Each health kit contains soap, towels, a comb and nail tool, and band aids, and parish members managed to assemble around 1000 kits that will be delivered directly via the IOCC, to Haitians in need. "We can never have too many of these," noted an IOCC representative.
St. George blogger Sarah Childs described the experience on her blog, Place of Verdure.
"I was really looking forward to doing a lot of knitting, watching the Colts on Saturday evening, and doing a little house cleaning. Then about 4 pm, James called me to say that we had been asked to help at church with an effort to put together health/hygiene kits for Haiti, and my plans immediately seemed pretty trivial. I felt really blessed to have this opportunity to do something with my own hands, beyond praying and writing a check, to help those affected by this terrible earthquake. And I have to add that with many hands working together, we got it done so quickly that it didn't encroach on my own selfish plans at all."
"It was really heartwarming for me to see all our parishioners getting into this," adds the Very Rev. Fr. Nabil Hanna, priest at St. George.
A Contemplation of Noble Ideas
Friday and Saturday:
February 5-6, 2010
Saint Michael Orthodox Church, Louisville, Kentucky
Classical Education • Poetry • Orthodoxy and Postmodernism • Patristic Thought • Logic and Rhetoric • Motherhood • Health and Medicine • St. John Climacus • The Great Books • Theology and Spirituality
$15 per day/$20 for both days.
Discount available for students and families.
Includes coffee and bagels (AM) and lunch on Saturday.
Speakers include Antiochian author Molly Sabourin and Ancient Faith Radio operations manager and podcaster Bobby Maddex, as well as many others. For more information, detailed schedule, or to register, please visit www.climacusconference.org.
January 14, 2010
IOCC URGENT ACTION APPEAL: Relief for the Beleaguered People of Haiti
For the people of Haiti, the hemisphere’s poorest country, life was difficult enough before the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated the capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.
Since news of the earthquake came to light, IOCC staff have been contacting partners active in Haiti and attempting to reach Orthodox parishes on the island to coordinate our response to the growing need. Like many Haitians who have been struggling to reach their loved ones, IOCC is finding direct communication difficult – symptomatic of the widespread destruction and ruined infrastructure that is now beginning to be revealed.
Given the magnitude of the quake and the poverty that already existed before the disaster, IOCC has mobilized its disaster response team and is preparing to respond to the tremendous needs in close coordination with our Orthodox and ecumenical partners. Listen to Ancient Faith Radio's interview with IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou here.
Please help the people of Haiti!
- Make an online gift to assist the victims of disasters around the world, like the Haiti Earthquake, by giving to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund, at www.iocc.org.
- Assemble hygiene kits and emergency clean-up buckets to be shipped to places like Haiti – or wherever disasters strike. For information on hygiene kits, go to www.iocc.org/kits.
- Pray for the people of Haiti and those who have lost loved ones in this disaster and for the safety of those who are working to assist them. See: http://www.iocc.org/prayers/
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)
St. Mary’s Church was founded in Iron Mountain, Michigan in the mid 1930’s by immigrants of many nationalities. It is a jewel of the north, in what the Archdiocese could call “America’s Midwest Alaska.” It was visited by St. Raphael himself on regular occasions. It has deep snowy winters, scenic wilderness, unlimited wildlife and short picturesque summers. Our church serves people of all backgrounds and nationalities in a 48,000-square-mile area. Michigan's Upper Peninsula contains almost one-third of the state's land area, but just three percent of its total population. Parishioners travel as far as 100 miles on any given Sunday (even in deep snow) to attend Liturgy.
The Diocese of Toledo is in the process of starting a new mission in Evansville, Indiana. Fr. Daniel Hackney and his family have moved to the area, and a regular schedule of services is beginning. For information, go to: evansvilleorthodox.org.
Fr. Daniel Hackney writes:
My wife Carole, our three boys, and I are privileged to come to Evansville in order to share in the founding of a Mission in the largest city in the United States without an Orthodox Church. This effort is actually a fruit of the many years that Fr. Nabil Hanna and others labored for in the late nineties and early years of this decade, as they did Liturgies when they could for those in this area. Many seeds were planted during that era.
Feast of the Nativity 2009
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Rev. Fathers, esteemed members of the parish council and faithful of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest,
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord, proclaiming the present mystery; for He hath broken the middle wall of partition, and the flaming spear shall turn about, and the cherubim shall admit all to the tree of life. As for me, I shall return to enjoy the bliss of paradise from which I was driven away before, by reason of iniquity; for the likeness of the Father, and the Person of His eternity, which it is impossible to change hath taken the likeness of a Servant, coming from a Mother who has not known wedlock; free from transubstantiation, since He remained as He was, true God, and took what had not been, having become Man for His love of mankind. Wherefore, let us lift our voices unto Him crying, O Thou Who wast born of the Virgin, O God, have mercy upon us.
Have a blessed Feast of the Nativity and a joyous New Year! May our Lord bless you with good health, length of days! I ask your God-pleasing prayers that we continue to grow closer to Christ Jesus, our Incarnate God and to one another.
Yours in Christ,
+ Mark, Bishop of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
His Grace Bishop MARK has recently provided a collection of articles and resources pertaining to proper governance and financial procedures in Orthodox parishes. These PDF, Word and Excel files are available for download at www.antiochian.org/toledo/parish_council_guidelines.
Early Registration: $40 by January 20 Registration: $45
Please earmark checks ‘Spring Gathering’ and send to:
St. George Orthodox Church
Call or e-mail with any questions…
Download event flyer (PDF) (Updated 1.07.10)
Father Peter Gillquist
author of The Physical Side of Being Spiritual, Designed for Holiness, and Becoming Orthodox
November 9 + 7:00 P.M.
Bettendorf Public Library
2950 Learning Campus Drive
at 18th Street, Bettendorf, Iowa
Hear Fr. Peter recount how he and 2,000 evangelical Protestant Christians discovered early Christianity in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Fr. Peter is an internationally sought after speaker on the Orthodox Christian Faith. Engagements have included an address before the World Council of Churches in Ethiopia and an evangelistic tour of Romania, during which Fr. Peter spoke to crowds numbering in the tens of thousands.
For more information, call 563-514-1931 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click the links below to download registration material for the 2010 Diocese of Toledo Parish Life Conference.
Adobe Reader is required to view these PDFs. Download Adobe Reader here.
Using an informal and informative format, Fr. John Winfrey and Fr. John Fenton will lead four structured discussions on how the Christian Faith is lived in the Orthodox Western Tradition.
St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Lexington, KY had its beginnings with 5 pioneering families meeting at a members home on the Feast of St. Andrew Nov. 30, 1979. Later the community asked the Archdiocese for the patronage of St. Andrew due its founding significance. From the beginning St. Andrew has been a Pan Orthodox, multi ethnic, English speaking, and mission minded community desiring to share the Orthodox faith with the greater Lexington area. From its humble origins of 5 families it has grown to serve a community of more than 100 familles with origins in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Greece, and converts from many Western European roots. Its diversity in ethnicity's are united by its Christ centered allegiance and the mission to both live out and spread the teachings of the Gospel.
On Saturday, October 17, the Chicago area Orthodox organization SYNERGY is hosting a seminar entitled, “The Future of Orthodoxy in America.” Speakers include the Rev. Dr. Stanley Harakas, Professor Emeritus and renowned author, and the Rev. Dn. Nicholas Belcher, Dean of Students at Holy Cross Seminary.
SYNERGY consists of lay and clergy members from Chicago-area parishes who seek to make Orthodoxy known to the broader community. Working together with its parent organization, the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Greater Chicago, SYNERGY operates with the blessings of the Chicago hierarchs.
The conference is going to be held at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 1220 S. 60th Court in Cicero. Prior to October 9, 2009, individuals may register for $35.00, and married couples for $50.00; afterwards, the fee is $40.00. High school and college students are discounted at $20.00. Registration includes coffee service and lunch, and attendees may register at the door.
For more information go to: chicagosynergy.org/symposium.html or call: (847) 647-8889 or (630) 230-0079.
St. James Church in Loveland, Ohio is composed of several Arabic nationalities. The majority of its congregation are Jordanians. Prior to 1993 the Arabic Christian Orthodox community in Greater Cincinnati attended services at different churches in the area. Following the urge to found their own church, the community sought the aid of the Antiochian Archdiocese. In turn the Archdiocese provided Fr. George Shaheen as a temporary priest. Thanks to the commitment and dedication of the parishioners, the former Branch Hill elementary school was bought in 1995. The school's gym was converted to house the new church and Father Shaheen performed the dedication service in the presence of the parishioners and the media.
Iowa City, IA – August 11, 2009 – On Saturday, August 22, at St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Mission is hosting an open house in their new location at 722 East College Street, Iowa City. Since purchasing the historic building, St. Raphael Orthodox Mission has been working diligently to renovate this historic building and convert it into and Orthodox Christian house of worship. The open house is an event for the whole community, including food, a bouncy castle for the kids, and short choral performances of exquisite Byzantine, Russian and Georgian sacred melodies from the St. Raphael Choir and other local musicians. All attending are invited to attend Vespers, an Orthodox evening prayer service, beginning at 6 PM.
Founded by a Saint
The parish of St. George of Cedar Rapids, Iowa has a long and rich history. Started in 1914 by a group of 25 Syrian and Lebanese immigrant families, St. George has evolved over the years into a multi-ethnic parish serving close to 200 families. The founding families had gathered in Cedar Rapids from several nearby farms and small towns and sought to build a church in order to help them raise their children in the Faith. Under the spiritual guidance of our Father among the Saints, RAPHAEL of Brooklyn, who presided at the first Divine Liturgy, those founding families managed to collect $4,000 in donations and borrow an additional $6,000 to finance the construction of their beloved St. George Church. Today, a shrine housing the icon of St. RAPHAEL, along with his Holy relic, stands along the north wall of the church sanctuary in recognition of his role in the founding of our parish.
St. Luke the Evangelist Mission began in 2002 under the guidance of Archpriest Elias Meena to provide an Orthodox Christian witness to the East side of the greater Cleveland metropolitan area. There are over two dozen Orthodox parishes in the region, but most of them are located either in central Cleveland or on the West side. The mission’s initial efforts under Fr. Meena included founding a community in the greater Solon area, the purchase of property for a permanent location, and the preparation of architectural plans for a church temple and hall.
Sadly, Fr. Meena’s untimely death in the summer of 2005 significantly curtailed the momentum of St. Luke’s. After Fr. Meena’s repose, the mission was served by two more priests on a part-time basis.
St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Mission in Peoria, Illinois began in 2005 under the guidance of Fr. Peter Gillquist, Mission Director of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, and Fr. Nicholas Dahdal, pastor of St. George Orthodox Church in Cicero, Illinois to spread the word of God’s truth through the teachings of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, with an invitation for all to become followers of the Orthodox Christian faith and members of St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Mission.
In June 2005, His Grace Bishop Mark ordained Fr. Habib Ghantous into the priesthood during the Parish Life Conference hosted by St. George Orthodox Church, Cicero, Illinois where he was serving as a Deacon.
On July 16, 2005, His Grace, Bishop Mark came to Peoria, IL to bless the newly renovated building where we currently hold our worship services.
In 1993 a group of Episcopalians lead by Reverend Father Antony Bell were chrismated in Toledo and soon formed St. Mary’s of the Dormition in Goshen, Indiana. For years the young group of Orthodox converts met in various places, including homes, the upper room of a local funeral home, and store-front rental facilities. The parish grew with their beloved priest Father Antony. Eventually they were able to purchase property in Topeka, Indiana, where they stayed for several years. Many of the faithful drove many miles to attend services out in the country area surrounding the small town of Topeka. The beloved people remained faithful and believed.
Unfortunately, their beloved leader and priest became ill with an aggressive form of cancer. After a long but gracious battle with cancer, the beloved Father Antony reposed in June of 2006. His wife Kh. Melanie moved on to Pennsylvania and settled there with family. Soon after, Father George Smith and his wife Kh. Anna (Charlotte) faithfully pastored the church until His Grace Bishop MARK would appoint another priest.
Roberta Royhab writes:
Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery, in Rives Junction, MI, is “a place that serves the spiritual needs of the Orthodox Christian community in the United States,” their website reads.
Dormition was a perfect place—a holy place, a “retreat” from the stress of the secular world—for the Midwest Antiochian Women’s retreat that was held there the weekend of May 15-17. The monastery for women is located on 120 acres in a rural area of south central Michigan.
His Grace Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest joined us on Friday and for a half day on Saturday. Fr. John Abdalah of Pittsburgh, PA, Spiritual Advisor for Antiochian Women-North American Board, served as Retreat Master.
For more information, please visit www.allsaintsbloomington.org.
When a group of Orthodox Christians began meeting once a month in 1999 to celebrate the Divine Liturgy mostly in Arabic, little did they imagine they would grow into a dynamic, all-English-speaking mission comprised of people from all ethnic backgrounds. Located between two large universities, St. Catherine of Alexandria Mission in Ann Arbor, Michigan has become a spiritual home for students and faculty, young and old, “cradle” and “convert.” St. Catherine’s is dedicated to participatory worship, spiritual growth, education, evangelism, and service – but it is best defined by its members’ warmth and hospitality.
From humble beginnings in 1999, this mission grew with fits and starts. For much of its history, it did not have a resident priest and the times and places of worship varied from month-to-month, or even week-to-week. But a core group of dedicated Orthodox faithfully tended to the seedling of the Church that God had planted. Bp. MARK appointed Fr. Benjamin Johnson as its resident priest in 2008.
In the summer of 2003, due to the large number of faithful living in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Metropolitan PHILIP blessed the faithful in this area to move forward and establish the mission of the Church of the Virgin Mary. In December 2004, we purchased the property where we currently worship, in Alsip, Ilinois. In the spring of 2007, His Grace Bishop MARK assigned Fr. Mousa Haddad as the first full-time pastor of the Church of the Virgin Mary in May.
At the Church of the Virgin Mary, our mission is to serve God in all that we do, and to make Jesus Christ a real presence in the hearts of the faithful in Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs. The Virgin Mary is our protector, and she intercedes on our behalf to her Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She stands as our example of faith and commitment to serve the Lord. As she received the calling of the angel Gabriel to bear the Son of God, and to commit her life to the Lord, so we too must receive the word of God, accept His Will, and serve Him to the best of our ability. As we pray in the Divine Liturgy, “Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us!”
April 19, 2009
Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.
We celebrate the abolition of death, the destruction of Hades and the first fruit of everlasting life. And as we leap with joy, we praise the Cause of these good gifts, the God of our fathers who is alone blessed and mostly gloried.
Beloved of God,
Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! El Messieh kahm! Hakken kahm! Khristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese! Let us embrace one another and forgive all things for the sake of Christ’s Holy Resurrection. May Christ’s Holy Resurrection strengthen us for a life of purity and Holiness. Let us say with St. Paul “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2: 20) Let us guard this gift of eternal life so freely bestowed! Forgiving as Christ forgives. Let us love as Christ loves. Christos anesti! Alithos anesti! Cristos vaskres! Vaistinu vaskres! Cristos a inviat! Adevarat a inviat!
Yours in Christ,
Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest
Anthony J. "Tony" Thomas Sr. THOMAS, ANTHONY J. "TONY" SR., 92, passed away Thursday, April 9, 2009. He was born in Hamat, Lebanon and immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1923. He and his wife, Jean, founded A. Thomas Meat Market on the Haymarket. He was a charter member of St. Michael Orthodox Church where he served on its parish council as president for many years. He also served as a member of the Archdiocese board of trustees and was a member of the Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. He was a founding member of the Lebanese American Country Club and also served on its board as president. For decades Tony greeted his customers at the Haymarket with a smile, a joke or a song and children sought him out because they knew he had a piece of candy for them. You knew he was the kind of person we all strive to become when you heard countless stories from people telling you what he had done to help them or what he meant to them. Tony was preceded in death by his loving wife of 61 years, Jean George Thomas; his parents, John and Mary Thomas; brothers, Nicholas and Louis Thomas; sisters, Henrietta Thomas, Carrie George, Sue Gabriel and Emerald Coleman. Left behind to cherish his memory are his children, Phyllis Miller, A.J. Thomas Jr. (Sarah), Dennis Thomas (Kim) and Gayle Hobbs (Ken); 11 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and sisters, Martha Asseff (Jim) and Nancy Owen (John), of Nashville, TN. Expressions of sympathy may be made to either St. Michael Orthodox Church, 3701 Saint Michael Church Dr., Louisville, KY 40220 or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis, TN 38105.
Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in Warrenville, Illinois began in 1988 through the mission work of Fr. William Caldaroni, who during his seminary years became committed to the fullness of the Faith in the Orthodox Church. Under the guidance of Fr. Peter Gillquist, Mission Director of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, and Fr. Nicholas Dahdal, pastor of St. George Orthodox Church in Cicero, Illinois, the work of establishing a parish in the Wheaton, Illinois area began. From the first location rented on the campus of Wheaton College to our present location in Warrenville, Holy Transfiguration has offered the vision of the salvation through Jesus Christ to hundreds of people: some who came without faith, some who were Orthodox from infancy and some who came to Orthodoxy from Evangelical, Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions.
“Oh Lord, save thy people ….”
In July 2005, thirty three people made a life-changing pilgrimage from Wittenberg (birthplace of Lutheranism) to Antioch. We spent our first year at St. Nicholas in Grand Rapids, Michigan under the tutelage of Fr. Daniel Daly, aided by Fr. John Winfrey from St. George. Our priest, Fr. Gregory Hogg, was ordained to the holy priesthood in March, 2006 at St. James/Williamston (see picture at left) and a few months later we began services as Holy Cross Mission in Dorr, Michigan.
By the blessing of God and the prayers of his people, we purchased our first building in the summer of 2007. Several months’ hard work, guided by the wise counsel of Bishop MARK, has given us a home of our own in which to worship God, love each other, and serve our community. We want to be an active and living witness for Orthodoxy in a region of West Michigan that is presently not served by an Orthodox church: to bring the fullness of the faith to people who need to know the life-changing power of the cross of Christ.
Holy Cross is served by Fr. Gregory Hogg, who works as an Affiliate Professor in the Philosophy department of Grand Valley State University. In addition, Fr. Steven Van Bronkhorst is attached to our mission as a priest. Fr. Steven works with the Grand Rapids Area Transit Authority. Both Frs. Gregory and Steven are active in campus ministry, having founded chapters of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship on the campuses of Grand Valley State, Hope College in Holland, and Calvin College in Grand Rapids.
|The Board of Directors of OCPM with new director Chaplain Patrick Tutella|
February 10, 2009
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the official prison ministry of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) announces the appointment by the Board of Directors of its first full-time Executive Director, Chaplain Patrick Tutella. Chaplain Tutella, who has been in prison ministry for thirty years, is a member of the St. Matthew parish (GOA) in Blandon, Pennsylvania. For the past twelve years, he has been the Supervisory Chaplain for the Berks County Prison in Leesport, Pennsylvania.
At a board meeting which took place in Wichita, Kansas February 6 and 7, Chaplain Tutella and the Directors charted a strategic plan for the next twelve months that includes the following key components: 1) development of a training program for parishes that would like to be involved in prison ministry, 2) the expansion of OCPM’s correspondence ministry, and 3) a convocation for Orthodox prison workers and volunteers to be held in the summer of 2009. Also present at the board meeting was His Grace, Bishop Mark of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest of the Antiochian Archdiocese, who provided his spiritual guidance and support.
St. Nicholas Church in Urbana, Illinois began in 1995 with the chrismation of two families who wanted to be Orthodox Christians, share the faith with others, worship in English, and not have to uproot their families to do it. We began meeting in a living room with priests visiting us, initially for catechism and later for Sunday evening liturgies. We moved first to a rented chapel on the University of Illinois campus, and three years later to our present location, a remodeled existing church building.
An astute observer of church growth once noted that planting a church is a lot like life as a pioneer in the American West. First the explorers come, the individuals who are venturing out into areas where no one has been before. Then the pioneers who move into unsettled territory and have to establish the initial structures that support those who will hopefully follow. And then the settlers come, the ones who turn a wide place in the road into a place to live and work for generations to come. Our experience was not unlike this. Two families who wanted to be Orthodox because they believed it to be the fullness of the faith but really didn’t know what they were getting into came first. Then a few others joined them who could see the outline of liturgical life because of the priests that traveled through and who could tolerate the conditions of inconsistent pastoral care, no choir music, no one to teach church school, or bake the bread except them. They did the work of setting up and tearing down while we met in temporary space. They dealt with dance music blaring in the next room while we sat in the dark, hoping the secular party would end, so we could start the Paschal Nocturnes. And now those who are more like settlers, with the gift of a place to meet, teach, and worship are being added to our number. There are those who are drawn by the ancient worship and centuries-old doctrine, who are working to establish a more complete witness to the kingdom of God. There are those who come from traditionally Orthodox lands, yet because of conditions there have had little opportunity to know why they believe and worship the way they do. God-willing these will become our teachers and singers and servants as God entrusts with even more good work which He has prepared for us.
Saint Mary of Egypt Mission is located in Greenwood, Indiana, a city south of Indianapolis. The mission is supported by our offerings and the prayers and assistance of our sister church, St. George of Indianapolis and the guidance of their pastor, the V. Rev. Fr. Nabil Hanna. Our pastor is the V. Rev. Fr. Athanasius Wilson, formerly of All Saints Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana. We are presently worshiping in a rented facility at the Knights of Columbus in Greenwood.
The Saint Mary of Egypt mission began on April 22nd, 2007 with seven souls. Since the early nineteen-seventies, when Fr. Athanasius was a member of St. George, he had always dreamed of an Orthodox parish on the south side of Indianapolis. All of the area's five other parishes were on the north side of Indianapolis. After his retirement the Lord afforded Fr. Athanasius the opportunity, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Mark, to begin a mission there. There has never been an Orthodox parish in this area, and the opportunities for witness to the Holy Faith are unlimited.
Come Spend the 4th of July weekend with us in the Greater Cincinnati area for the 2009 Midwest Parish Life Conference. Activities include Fellowship, Christian Education, workshops, and many fun activities for everyone to bond with family, friends, and loved ones.
For complete details, please visit St. James' Parish Life Conference web site by clicking on the links below:
Enjoy your stay at Sheraton Cincinnati North ($99 per night including free parking). Sheraton Hotel has one of the newest indoor water resorts in Ohio: CocCo Key Indoor Water Resort (Resort rates: $15 per day conference guest special).
Spend fun times at Paramount Kings Island, The Beach Water Park, Newport aquarium (Sharks), Cincinnati Zoo, OmniMax, Museums (Creation, Natural, Children's, Art), and Theaters. Restaurants, shopping centers are within walking distance.
Please offer prayers and help for the Aramouni family in their present crisis. Their 16-year-old son Andrew recently suffered severe brain damage in an accident, and the family is in great financial need.
Donations of any size would be greatly appreciated.
Update from fr. Andrew Harmon (Dec. 6th, 2008):
Andrew continues to improve, thanks to everyone’s prayers. He is now home and is 100% physically recovered. He will have to be readmitted to the hospital in January for a follow-up surgery to insert a steel plate in his head. He is continuing to go back to the hospital very frequently for speech therapy. The doctors have said full speech recovery may be as long as 6 months to two years, but we hope it will be quicker as there is good progress. He is now beginning to use some simple sentences and it seems to be continually improving.
The doctors have recently told Andrew’s parents, Roger and Lisa, that no one thought Andrew would survive and that it is nothing short of a miracle. Thanks be to God for his miraculous healing power. Please keep praying for a full and quick recovery of his speech. And it looks like Andrew won’t be able to play in the Diocese basketball tournament in Canton this winter, but he plans being back on the St. Matthew team in 2010---he’s eager for another trophy!
----Father Andrew Harmon
Bishop MARK writes:
Dear to God:
Our Spring Gathering is rapidly approaching. We look forward to seeing you all as we prepare to enter the Lenten Season of Repentance, Forgiveness, Prayer and Fasting. In anticipation of this wonderful journey, let us gather as a Diocesan Family to be reconciled one with another so that we might draw ever nearer to Christ.
Please publish the flyer in your weekly bulletin and on your parish web sites.
Spring Delegates Meeting and Clergy Gathering
Featured Speaker Dr. Harry Boosalis
"Knowing God, Suffering for Him and Loving His People: The Personal
Experience of the Parish Priest"
Friday, February 6—Sunday, February 8
- Basketball Tournament
- Dinner and Hafli
- Divine Liturgy
We look forward to seeing you for this weekend of spiritual growth, worship, athletic fun and fellowship!
Come and help make this our best one yet!
IMPORTANT - CHANGE IN HOTELS
PLEASE NOTE: Because of circumstances beyond our control we had to change hotels.
Courtyard by Marriott
4375 Metro Circle NW
N. Canton, Ohio 44720
Phone: (330) 494-6494
The Cape Girardeau Orthodox Mission is a new eastern-rite mission of the North American Antiochian Archdiocese, under the direction of Bishop MARK in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. The endeavor to establish a mission in southern Missouri began in the spring of 2008 when Father Steven Salaris of All Saint of North America began developing contacts.
The effort took a big step forward in June 2008 when Jim Mackoul (now Deacon) began traveling to Cape Girardeau to investigate the possibility. Contacts were made with several Orthodox Christians living in the surrounding area. It was easy to see that there was high level of interest among the faithful. We hit the ground running. By early July 2008 we offered daily Vespers on Wednesday evenings. By late July, we had found a location in which we could hold services and began scheduling Great Vespers, Orthros, and Divine Liturgy. The mission consists of American, Syrian, Greek, and Bulgarian Orthodox. Everyone is welcome, inquirers and non-Orthodox alike. We’re here to serve. With God’s help we’ve planted our little mission. By the grace of God, we’ll nurture it and make it grow. By spring of 2009, we hope to make the next step and move into a semi-permanent location near the downtown in Cape Girardeau, somewhere close to the university.
From the Holy Resurrection web site:
The faithful of Holy Resurrection Antiochian Orthodox Church now worship at the corner of 6th and Water in Hobart, Indiana, under the loving care of Fr. Gregory Owen. In this story, our former pastor, Fr. Gregory Rogers (St. Catherine Mission) recounts a time when we worshipped at 45th and Harrison in Gary, Indiana. We thank God for those early years and the love and dedication that Fr. Gregory displayed for his parish.
On the outside the building wasn't beautiful. It looked like an old brick warehouse, having gone through numerous incarnations and transformations. Originally built as an auto repair garage, it became a printing business, a hot dog stand and video arcade, a warehouse for storage, and finally, an empty and vacant monument to a more prosperous era. The brick didn't match, old with new, white with red, in spite of the tuck pointing and repair that had been done. The neighborhood itself was dreary, across the street to the north, a cemetery, to the east, a convenience store with its transient clientele, to the south, an eighty year old house long past its prime. Like most early spring days in Gary, IN, this one, March 21, 1987, was chilly and overcast, and a trifle gloomy.
Inside, though, was a different story. The building had been stripped to the walls and redone...new studs, new wiring, new drywall, painted, carpet on the floor, new furnishings, redone windows. The accoutrements of worship had been added - a wooden altar, a cross suspended on the wall behind it, huge icons of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God. In the rear of the church an old Russian icon of the Resurrection of Christ hung, candles burning before it, calling down the grace of God upon the people gathered there.
As an honored guest of the OCA Hierarchs I was blessed to be with my brother Hierarchs of the OCA and witness the Lord moving in their midst! Thank God our brother and sisters in Christ have remained unified through their struggles and emerged, strong, steadfast and full of hope. May our Lord grant unto His Beatitude JONAH, Many, Many, Many Years. May He also grant unto each of their beloved Hierarchs many years!
Dearly beloved by the Lord,
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever! The community of St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Mission in Iowa City, IA has a very urgent opportunity that we would like to share with you. As you will see in the accompanying pamphlet, we have a wonderful chance to purchase a building that would allow us to continue to grow and serve God in our Midwestern college town. I cannot speak highly enough regarding the generosity and sacrificial giving that has characterized our own members, but I rejoice that we are not in this alone. We are, perhaps, a little toe on the Body of Christ. You are part of that Body as well. We are all connected to the Head through our common baptism and the reception of the same Eucharist.
Simply put, we have 75 days to raise $275,000. This will allow us to complete the purchase and renovate the interior so that it is a fitting place for Orthodox worship.
Holy Incarnation is a Western Rite mission serving metropolitan Detroit, Michigan under the leadership of Fr. John Fenton. Prior to the spring of 2008, Holy Incarnation had been leasing space from a local Episcopal church, but in February the mission concluded the purchase of a building to serve as its permanent home.
The new church building is an important step in the re-establishment of a Western Rite Orthodox parish in metropolitan Detroit. From 1975-2001, Incarnation Orthodox Church in Detroit served the liturgical needs of Western Rite Orthodox Christians in and around Detroit, and was the cornerstone of the Western Orthodoxy in the Midwest. Fr Fenton explained that Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church builds on the legacy of the former Incarnation parish. “We are the beneficiaries of years of sacrificial giving,” said Fr. Fenton, “because the funds held in trust after the closing of Incarnation have helped finance the new facility for Holy Incarnation.” Fr. Fenton stated the new building will further the permanent re-establishment of a Western Rite presence in Detroit.
From the St. George Church web site:
Orthodox Christians from the Middle East began to arrive in Illinois in the early part of the 20th century. At first, they were served by itinerant priests from Michigan City, Indiana, and later from Spring Valley, Illinois. However, for decades, there were never enough families in Chicago to constitute their own parish. Many in the Chicago area worshipped in the local Greek Churches or belonged to the common Melkite/Maronite parish of St. John the Baptist.
In 1960, several families petitioned the late Metropolitan ANTONY (Bashir) to send them a priest to serve the Divine Liturgy. Services were held at the Syrian-Lebanese Club House on Washington Boulevard and Laramie Avenue on Chicago's West Side or in rented quarters. Among the first priests to serve on a weekend basis was the Rev. Fr. Philip Giffin, who commuted from Buffalo, New York. Later, priests from the Greek Diocese of Chicago served periodically at St. George. The Rev. Fr. John Newcombe served as the first resident priest for the parish from 1965 to 1966.
On Saturday, Nov. 15, Fr. Alexander Atty will conduct a workshop at St. George Church, Indianapolis, IN. All are encouraged to attend and learn about the work that Christ gave His Church to do and about the role of clergy and laity in this work. Note that attendance in at least one parish council workshop is a prerequisite for nomination for parish council. However, attendance is encouraged regardless of whether participants intend to seek to serve on the council. As we learn more about the work Christ calls us to do and role each is to play, we have the potential to work together in peace and harmony for the building up of the Body of Christ. The workshop will start at 10 a.m. and will finish by 3 p.m.
Please enjoy these collections of photographs from Bishop MARK's pilgrimage to Russia in August 2008. Accompanied by a group of pilgrims, Bishop MARK spent eight days in St. Petersburg and six days in Moscow.
|Bp. MARK with Patriarch ALEXI II & Bp. NIPHON||Visit to St. Catherine's Church|
Bowling Green, KY
Holy Apostles Mission is a mission of the Midwest Diocese of the North American Antiochian Archdiocese. The mission's congregation, which currently consists of Americans, Greeks, Serbians, Egyptians, and a growing compilation of other ethnicities, first began working toward a mission in the spring of 2008, with a small group of diverse and dedicated Orthodox Christians who long to see Holy Orthodoxy brought to southern Kentucky. Holy Apostles held its first Vespers service in April 2008, and celebrated its first Liturgy in June, the first Divine Liturgy ever to be held in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It received the name Holy Apostles in July 2008.
Antiochian Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
Orthodox Christian Fellowship
Clergy and Laity Fall Meeting
Indianapolis, Indiana + October 16-19, 2008
Special guests include:
Special guests include:
- Metropolitan ISAIAH of Denver SCOBA Overseer of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship
- Fr. Kevin Scherer, Executive Director of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship
- and special Teen SOYO Speaker, NFL quarterback Jeff George
Scheduled highlights of the meeting include the dedication of new OCF offices, Teen SOYO activities and meeting, meetings of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine and the Antiochian Women, music, multi-ethnic dance, and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday.
St. Elias Orthodox Church
Founded by St. Raphael of Brooklyn in the early 1900’s, St. Elias Orthodox Church in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, is a parish renewing, rebuilding, and seeking to grow as vital Orthodox community in the scenic “God’s country” of southwestern Wisconsin.
Originally a parish comprised of immigrants from the Middle East and Greece the community, which went without a resident Priest for decades, was reborn in the 1970’s through the care and devotion of Orthodox Christians who desired to see the Faith reestablished where three rivers meet and over 100,000 people work and live.
While we cherish our heritage and the distinct honor of being founded by a Saint of the Church we believe the best expression of that heritage is to be a living, thriving, and life giving Orthodox Church. To that end we are currently repairing and expanding our facilities and seeking, as well, to grow in our Faith in preparation for inviting our friends and neighbors to experience the joy and life of Orthodoxy.
On Saturday, August 30, 2008, group of 20 pilgrims, led by His Grace, Bishop MARK of Toledo and the Midwest of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America visited St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church – the Moscow Representation of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
Read the entire article and see more pictures at St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church's web site.
Iowa City, IA
Since our beginning in 2002, God has blessed our mission with “growth” in multiple senses of the word. From an initial handful, our group has grown to include a roster of about 100, with Sunday liturgy attendance averaging 50-60. A large percentage of us are children. Our members include “cradle” Orthodox and converts, representing many nationalities including Syrians, Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians, Greeks, Lebanese, Georgians and Americans, all worshipping together in English. We usually have a group of catechumens and several inquirers. We are blessed to be truly pan-Orthodox!
Whether you live in Iowa City or elsewhere, we invite you to share in our life of prayer and worship and the building of this church. If you live far away, you can participate through your prayers and donations, both to our mission and to missions across the archdiocese. We benefit every time you pray for us and commemorate us in the liturgy. And of course, we would welcome you with open arms if you ever happen to pass through our community!
The Fall Gathering of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest to be held October 16-19, Indianapolis, IN
The Fall Gathering of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest will focus on ministering to our teens and college students. His Eminence Metropolitan ISAIAH, SCOBA Overseer of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and Fr. Kevin Scherer, Executive Director of OCF, will be present for the dedication of the new OCF offices in Indianapolis.
For more information please see the attached flyer.
His Grace Bishop MARK sends his appreciation for the outpouring of prayer and support during his father's illness and repose.
On June 30, His Grace writes:
First of all I want to thank the V Rev John Winfrey for the wonderful job St George of Grand Rapids, MI did in hosting this year’s Parish Life Conference. I trust we all had an enjoyable time of fellowship, enlightenment and spiritual renewal.
Second, let us offer our prayers for the newly departed servant of God, the V Rev Fr David Lynch. MEMORY ETERNAL. More information is available here.
Please join me in praying a rope for our brother and concelebrant, The Archpriest David, saying, "O Lord Jesus Christ, grant rest to the soul of Thy departed servant." May his memory be eternal and may you be granted long life.
Your unworthy father in Christ,
John Maymon, father of our Bishop MARK, passed away this morning, Thursday June 19, 2008, at 8:15 AM, after a prolonged illness. Please keep Bishop MARK, his mother and his siblings in your prayers.
Arrangements are as follows:
The 61st Annual Midwest Parish Life Conference, hosted by St. George, Grand Rapids, will be held June 25 to June 29, 2008 at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
Download Adult Schedule
Download Teens' Schedule
Download Youth Schedule
Download High School Graduates Invitation
Download Souvenir Journal Information
Hosted by St. George Cathedral in Toledo, the 2007 Fall Gathering will focus on the vision of our North American Saints.
All required forms are available below.
Below are photos from the Myrrh Streaming Icons of All Saints in Bloomington, IN and St. George, Indianapolis, IN. These photos were taken after the Sunday Liturgy August 5, 2007 when the icon of the Platytera began to exude Myrrh.