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West Virginia Flood Victims Express Gratitude to Metropolitan Joseph for Support During June Disaster

Flood victims in West Virginia have expressed their gratitude to His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph for offering prayers and support in relief of wide-spread devastation to the state on June 23, 2016.

The V. Rev. Samuel Haddad of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Beckley addressed those assembled at the Archdiocesan Clergy Symposium this week to offer to His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, His Grace Bishop Thomas, all of the hierarchs, and our clergy for their support for the suffering people in West Virginia who were devastated by the recent flood. Twenty six lives were lost and as many as 4,000 homes were catastrophically damaged; 2,000 homes were completely destroyed. The storm has been called a "once in 1,000 year meteorological event."

News from Our Youth: SOYO Members Record CD, Scholarships Awarded to Students

The V. Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, Department of Youth and Parish Ministry, notes that the 32 Teen SOYO members attending the Youth Music Institute at Antiochian Village from July 13–17 recorded many beautiful Orthodox hymns for their upcoming SOYO/SMI Music CD. The CD is a joint project of Teen SOYO and the Department of Sacred Music: watch this fall for more details!

In other youth news, the following young people were awarded a Francis Maria Scholarship in the amount of $2,500, on July 23, 2016 at the Archdiocese Convention Oratorical Festival in Bolivar Pennsylvania.

Orthodox Young Professionals Conference: Interview with Co-Chair Kyra Pelachik

The second Orthodox Young Professionals Conference is coming up on August 18-21, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. After its great success in San Diego in 2014, the conference, designed especially for career-bound and professional young adults, is expecting even more attendees this summer. Hosted by the newly founded Archdiocese Young Adult Ministry, the conference will offer participants the opportunity to network with other Orthodox Christians from across the country. Antiochian.org asked Co-Chair Kyra Pelachik what makes this year different than 2014, and what participants can look forward to in August.

This will be the second conference of its kind.  Why do you think the first one was so successful?

The young professionals who attended the first one were there for all the right and same reasons—to grow spiritually, meet other young professionals from the Archdiocese, and to have some fun together.

Metropolitan Joseph Hosts His Eminence Hierotheos (Vlachos)

L to R: Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan Hierotheos, Bishop NicholasL to R: Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan Hierotheos, Bishop NicholasOn July 15, 2016, Metropolitan Joseph, assisted by His Grace Bishop Nicholas, hosted a lunch at the Archdiocesan Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey. The luncheon was held in honor of His Eminence Hierotheos (Vlachos), Metropolitan of Nafpakos and St. Vlasios. Metropolitan Hierotheos traveled from Greece and is the main lecturer at the Clergy Symposium at Antiochian Village from July 18-22.

Basilica of St. Mary Hosts Diocese of Toledo PLC

By Fr. Joseph Abud and Fr. Andrew Kishler

The Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan, hosted the Diocese of Toledo’s annual Parish Life Conference, June 22–26, 2016.  We had an edifying, successful, and enjoyable conference this year, with over 800 registered attendees!  Our beloved Bishop Anthony continued to inspire us with his teaching, encouragement, and words of wisdom.  Many of our priests preached homilies and taught Bible studies, and of course our youth gave us much hope for the future of our church at the Bible Bowl, Oratorical Festival, and other events. 

Special thanks to the host priests Fr. George Shalhoub and Fr. Jim King, to the conference co-chairs Mr. Walid Matta and Mrs. Arwa Ansara, and their committee, whose tireless efforts, along with the loving and hospitable community of the Basilica of St. Mary, helped make this year’s Parish Life Conference a blessing for all who attended.

Equal of the Apostles and Enlightener of the Russian Land, St. Vladimir + July 15

Icon from St. Vladimir Orthodox Church, Halifax, NSIcon from St. Vladimir Orthodox Church, Halifax, NSTroparion - Tone 4

Holy Prince Vladimir, you were like a merchant in search of fine pearls. By sending servants to Constantinople for the Orthodox Faith, you found Christ, the priceless pearl. He appointed you to be another Paul, washing away in baptism your physical and spiritual blindness. We celebrate your memory, asking you to pray for all Orthodox Christians and for us, your spiritual children.

Kontakion - Tone 8

Most glorious Vladimir, in your old age you imitated the great apostle Paul: he abandoned childish things, while you forsook the idolatry of your youth. Together with him you reached the fullness of divine wisdom: You were adorned with the purity of holy baptism. Now as you stand before Christ our Savior, pray that all Orthodox Christians may be saved.

Read about St. Vladimir's life.

Congratulations to St. Vladimir's Seminary on their patronal Feast Day!

Archdiocesan Clergy Symposium Begins July 18

Every two years, the Antiochian House of Studies host a symposium for Orthodox bishops, priests, and deacons. This year, the Antiochian Clergy Symposium is being held at Antiochian Village from July 18-22, 2016.

Priests and deacons of the Antiochian Archdiocese, in addition to invited clergy and laity, attend lectures and forums relevant to the theory and practice of Orthodox ministry, rooted in the spiritual and historical roots of the Church.

Read about the 2014 Symposium

Axios! Deacon Joseph Abouid is Ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Anthony

Deacon Joseph (Hector) Abouid was ordained by His Grace Bishop Anthony at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cicero, IL, on June 12, 2016. He has been appointed as the Youth Priest at St. George, serving under Archpriest Nicholas Dahdal.

OYPC 2016: Antiochian Young Adult Ministry Hosts Second National Conference on August 18-21

The Orthodox Young Professionals Conference is a four day conference hosted by the Young Adult Ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Young Orthodox Christians from across the country and all jurisdictions are invited to join together in fellowship and fun. The conference committee has been working since 2015 to plan an amazing opportunity for spiritual growth, future friendships, lasting memories and more. The gathering will be held in New Orleans at the Drury Inn and Suites, from August 18-21, 2016.

What is a Young Professional?
A young adult who is beyond the college years navigating through the daily struggles of life as an Orthodox Christian in their mid-twenties through thirties. You are a Young Professional if you want to:

-Grow Spiritually
-Meet other young Orthodox Christians
-Learn practical ways to connect your daily work with Christ and His Church
-Explore your vocation, or
-Find Inspiration from the witness of speakers and other young adults

Visit the Conference website

Diocese of Charleston Bible Study + June 22, 2016

Romans 1:28-2:9
Matthew 5:27-32

Romans 1:28-2:9 (NKJV)
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evilmindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek. 

June 22, 2016 + Why Does the Good Lord Permit Assaults on the Orthodox Church?

by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Why does the good Lord permit assaults and sufferings on the True Faith while He permits the pleasure of tranquility to heresies and paganism? Why? Even St. John Chrysostom asks and immediately replies: "So that you would recognize their weakness (the weakness of the heresies and paganism) when you see that they disintegrate on their own without any disturbance and also to be convinced in the power of faith which endures misfortunes and even multiplies through its adversaries." "Therefore, if we quarrel with the pagans or with the wretched Jews, it is sufficient to emphasize as evidence of divine power that the Faith (Christianity) which was subjected to countless struggles maintained victory" even when the entire world stood against her [the Church]. St. Isaac the Syrian says: "The wondrous love of God toward man is recognized when man is in misfortunes that are destroying his hope. Here, God manifests His power for his [man's] salvation. For man never recognizes the power of God in tranquility and freedom." 

The Prologue of Ohrid: Lives of the Saints, All Sebastian Press Publications

+++

Hieromartyr Eusebias of Samosata

Troparion — Tone 4

By sharing in the ways of the Apostles, you became you became a successor to their throne. Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation,  O inspired one of God; by teaching the word of truth without error, you defended the Faith,  even to the shedding of your blood. Hieromartyr Eusebius, entreat Christ God to save our souls. 

Bishop Basil Offers Thanks for Parish Life Conference

DOWAMA Clergy with Bishop Basil, 2016 Parish Life ConferenceDOWAMA Clergy with Bishop Basil, 2016 Parish Life ConferenceBishop Basil writes: Most sincere thanks to Fr. George and Kh. Claudia Eber, Dn. Michael and Sh. Vivian Miles, Dn. Stephen and & Sh. Cynthia Beasley, PLC Co-chairs A.B. Bayouth and Matthew Eber, and Thom Crowe, and the entire parish family of St. Antony in Tulsa, OK, for hosting an exceedingly blessed Parish Life Conference for our Diocese this past week. We are most grateful for your many kindnesses and gracious hospitality!

Antiochian Priest to Speak at 2016 March for Marriage

Father John Oliver, pastor of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church (Antiochian Archdiocese) in Murfreesboro, TN, has been invited by the National Organization for Marriage to speak at the 2016 March for Marriage. The March will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The peaceful demonstration—convened to express support for traditional marriage and family—will begin at the Capitol Grounds at 11:30 a.m. and end before the U.S. Supreme Court building. In 2015, the March's inaugural year, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph released a letter encouraging the faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America to attend the March.

Postscript: Read Fr. John Oliver's remarks

Bishop Anthony's Annual Mission Appeal

June 19, 2016
Great Feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

Beloved Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest,

Today we celebrate the Great Feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, which the hymnography of our Church describes as the "fulfillment of the promise and the completion of hope." Prior to our Lord's Glorious Ascension into Heaven on the 40th day after His Resurrection, He promised the disciples He would send them His all-Holy Spirit. He also instructed them that, after receiving the Holy Spirit, they should be His witnesses "in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8).

Summer Specials from Antiochian Village Bookstore

It's time to shop for summer resources from the Antiochian Village Bookstore! For kids, there are the new Magic Cubes that fold and unfold to tell the Story of Creation and Life of St. Nicholas. Great for car rides, playing inside or Church School! And there is a new Prayer Book for even the youngest of the faithful.

It’s also time to enjoy summer reading! New books for youngsters, young adults, and young at heart! A good read for young people is a new book about the life and work of Nikola Tesla. The new “it” car is named after this inventor and scientist who was the son of a priest. Emmy winner Jonathan Jackson has written about using creative gifts that always glorify God, even in and especially in “the world.” For those who love gardens, Vigen Guroian presents the great biblical themes of the granduer of God's creation, the senses as "paths" to experiencing God, and the garden as a place of birth, death, and renewal. And Abbot Tryphon offers daily messages to start and keep one mindful of God…even on vacation!

Check out the flyer! Click on the images, and they will take you directly to the Bookstore!

Visit the Antiochian Village Bookstore   

Important Updates: Read the June 2016 Midwest SOYO Newsletter!

Download the newsletter

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! The Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest would like to wish everyone a most joyous and blessed period after Pascha! As June has now arrived, most of us are preparing for an amazing summer! With summer’s arrival, this also brings the 2016 Parish Life Conference, our summer camps, SOYO Special Olympics, but most importantly, a relaxed and blessed time to devote to God.

In less than 15 days, we will all be gathered for the 2016 Parish Life Conference! With this coming up, be sure to make sure you are registered for the convention! St. Mary of Livonia, Michigan has planned an amazing conference, so be sure to get a taste of as much as you can! If you are interested in running for a position on the Midwest SOYO Board, be sure to attend the meeting. You must notify Amal or Father Mousa if you are interested in running by June 15th. Your nomination forms, however, may be turned in at the meeting. Additionally, to be eligible for our Chapter awards, make sure you fill out the chapter reports and submit them to Amal Michael by June 15th. Nomination forms as well as Chapter Report forms can be found online at MidwestSOYO.org.

Ancient Faith Radio Special Features Podcasts on Antiochian Saints

Five talks on Antiochian saints were given at the Annual Conference of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland. Held at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire, UK, from May 23-25, 2016, the Conference featured the theme, "Lights from Antioch," and was recorded for Ancient Faith Radio. The saints featured are: Hieromartyr and God-bearer, Ignatios of Antioch, St. John Chrysostom, St. Ephrem the Syrian, St. John of Damascus, and St. Raphael of Brooklyn.

Listen to Lights from Antioch

Statement of the Secretariat of the Antiochian Holy Synod

Statement of the Secretariat of the Antiochian Holy Synod
Balamand, on the 6th of June 2016

Decision

In the sequence of its seventh exceptional session still open since the 25th of May 2016, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch held a meeting on the 6th of June 2016 presided by His Beatitude Patriarch John X and in the presence of Their Eminencies the Bishops, to study the positions of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches related to the Holy and Great Pan-Orthodox Council (mentioned hereafter as ”The Great Council”) and the issues listed in its agenda, and in order to take the appropriate Antiochian position in this respect, taking into consideration the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of 31st May 2016 about “the formation of a committee of representatives of the Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem, with the Ecumenical Patriarchate as responsible for the coordination, which would meet immediately after the Great and Holy Synod”, to working on a solution to the violation of the Church of Jerusalem of the canonical jurisdictional boundaries of the church of Antioch in the Emirate of Qatar.

Bishop John's Invitation to the 2016 Diocese Parish Life Conference

5/11/2016

Dear to Christ Presbyters and Deacons of the Diocese, Archdiocesan Leaders, Parish Council Members, Members of the Order of St. Ignatius, Parish and Diocese Organization Leaders and Church Leaders within the Diocese of Worcester and New England,

Christ is Risen! I greet you with a holy kiss this glorious Paschal Season.

The Parish Life Conference this year will be held on June 11 and 25. Father Edward and the parishioners of Lawrence have been very attentive to the needs and requests of the Diocesan Conference goers and have planned a very affordable and productive conference. They deserve our cooperation and support.

St. George Cathedral Seeks Youth Director/Pastoral Assistant

Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

Thanks be to God for all things! Due to the many blessings from the Lord and the continued growth He is granting, Saint George Cathedral, Coral Gables, Florida, announces a new full-time position, "Youth Director / Pastoral Assistant," beginning this summer 2016. Resumes may be emailed by June 3rd to the Cathedral Office at Office@StGMiami.org. Qualifications for this position are below the signature. Compensation includes a decent salary, health insurance, and other benefits. May the Lord grant you all many years!

Yours in Christ,
V. Rev. Fr. Fouad Saba, Cathedral Dean 
Chris Farha, Cathedral Council Chairman

Qualifications for the Full-Time position of Youth Director / Pastoral Assistant at Saint George Cathedral, Coral Gables, Florida:

Fordham University Announces New Book Series: Christian Arabic Texts in Translation

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University is proud to announce its latest initiative: the new book series Christian Arabic Texts in Translation (CATT).

Editor: Stephen J. Davis, Yale University

Advisory Board:

Jimmy Daccache, Yale University (formerly of CNRS, Paris)

Mark Swanson, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Alexander Treiger, Dalhousie University 

The goal of this new series is to provide a forum for making the Christian Arabic literary heritage more widely available in the English-speaking world.

St. Anthony the Great in Florida Celebrates a Consecration, Ordination, and Elevation

By Deborah Thieme

On May 7, 2016, St. Anthony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Melbourne, Florida celebrated a Consecration, Ordination, and Elevation. The consecration of a church is a once in a lifetime event for a parish. It was especially eventful for this struggling mission parish, which had been meeting in various rented facilities for its 15-year existence. 

As a convert who only just celebrated my first Pascha as an Orthodox Christian this year, I beheld these events with wide-eyed wonder, and what follows is my feeble attempt to share this wonderful story with you.

But first, you should know how the story almost never came to be…

Memory Eternal! + Adele Helen Abraham

Adele Helen Kaleel Abraham, age 95, fell asleep peacefully in the Lord at her home on Thursday May 19, 2016. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 66 years, Abe, her parents Nicholas and Shafica Kaleel, sisters Mabel and Regina Kanag (George), brothers Naseeb (Elsie), Ernest (Laurece), and George, brothers-in-law Wade Abraham (Margaret), James Abraham (Georgette) and Dr. Thomas Bander.  Adele is survived by her four loving children Alan (Debbie), Cheryl (Sam) Barkett, Carol (Peter) Assaly, Kaye (Mike) Powell, ten very special grand-children Kristen (Fadi) Baradihi, Philip (Mindy) Abraham, Jeffrey (Nicole) Abraham, Brittany Abraham, Lauren Barkett, David (Kate) Barkett, Allison Assaly, Meredith Assaly, Melissa Powell and Rick Powell, nine great-grandchildren who she cherished Maya, Natalie, Alexa, Lea, Allie, Elise, Mark, Rita and Sammy, brother Thomas (Eva) Kaleel, sister-in-law Dolores Bander and many godchildren, nieces and nephews.

Adele was born in Spring Valley, Illinois on February 23, 1921. She graduated from Hall High School. Adele proudly worked for Westclox, a company that during World War II converted from making clocks to grenades to support the war effort. In 1947, Adele married the love of her life, Abe and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Adele embraced her role as a wife and mother; she loved being involved in her children’s school activities. She served as a Girl Scout troop leader and as PTA President.

Saint Katherine College is Awarded Regional Accreditation

Saint Katherine College(SKC), an Orthodox institution of higher learning in San Marcos, CA, has been awarded regional accreditation by WASCUC (WASC Senior College and University Commission). This represents the highest standard of accreditation in the United States. The WASCUC Commissioners commended the College for its outstanding interdisciplinary curriculum, focus on student-centered teaching and learning (9:1 student faculty ratio), and integration of faith and learning.

SKC is the first Orthodox Christian institution of higher education to earn regional accreditation in over 50 years, and is the only undergraduate Orthodox Christian institution of liberal arts and sciences in the nation.

Holy Trinity Seminary Press Releases Major Contribution to Middle Eastern Christian Studies

A comprehensive study of the history of the Orthodox Churches under Ottoman rule is now available. Arab Orthodox Christians under the Ottomans: 1516-1831 focuses on the middle period of the Ottoman Empire spanning the years from the Ottoman conquest of Syria in 1516 to the Egyptian invasion of 1831. It offers a vivid and compelling account of a vital but still little known and frequently misunderstood spiritual and political culture. The book is illustrated with full color pictures and maps. A glossary of terms is also provided.

The new English language edition is complemented by a Foreword from His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and all the East. He writes:

The Church of Antioch has faced many challenges throughout its two thousand year history, but through such hardship firm and unshakeable faith in the Lord is produced. As much as this was the case in the past it is true today, when our Antiochian people in the Middle East are enduring countless trials that cause some to even call into question their continued existence in the land of their ancestors.

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