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Diocese of Charleston Bible Study + September 7, 2016

II Corinthians 6:11-16
Mark 1:23-28

II Corinthians 6:11-16 (NKJV)
"O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

2017 Creative Festivals Material Now Available

The Department of Christian Education has published resources for the 2017 Creative Festivals. Creative Festival categories include Art, Creative Writing, Poetry, Photography and Media.

Several items are available for download to assist you as you introduce the theme, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Mark 11:17)

Lesson Plans: The plans are designed for one (or two) 40-minute classes, and written at four levels: Preschool and Kindergarten, Grades 1-3, 4-6, Middle School and High School. More than enough material is offered, choose what will work for your class.

September 14, 2016 + On Silence and the Priesthood

by St. Ambrose of Milan ca. 338-397

Now what ought we to learn before everything else, but to be silent, that we may be able to speak? Lest my voice should condemn me, before that of another acquit me; for it is written: By your words you shall be condemned. Mat. 12:37 What need is there, then, that you should hasten to undergo the danger of condemnation by speaking, when you can be more safe by keeping silent? How many have I seen to fall into sin by speaking, but scarcely one by keeping silent; and so it is more difficult to know how to keep silent than how to speak. I know that most persons speak because they do not know how to keep silent. It is seldom that any one is silent even when speaking profits him nothing. He is wise, then, who knows how to keep silent. Lastly, the Wisdom of God said: The Lord has given to me the tongue of learning, that I should know when it is good to speak. Justly, then, is he wise who has received of the Lord to know when he ought to speak. 

September 7, 2016 + On the Priestly Office

by St. John Chrysostom

The priestly office is indeed discharged on earth, but it ranks among heavenly ordinances; and very naturally so: for neither man, nor angel, nor archangel, nor any other created power, but the Paraclete Himself, instituted this vocation, and persuaded men while still abiding in the flesh to represent the ministry of angels. Wherefore the consecrated priest ought to be as pure as if he were standing in the heavens themselves in the midst of those powers. Fearful, indeed, and of most awful import, were the things which were used before the dispensation of grace, as the bells, the pomegranates, the stones on the breastplate and on the ephod, the girdle, the mitre, the long robe, the plate of gold, the holy of holies, the deep silence within. But if anyone should examine the things which belong to the dispensation of grace, he will find that, small as they are, yet are they fearful and full of awe, and that what was spoken concerning the law is true in this case also, that what has been made glourious has no glory in this respect by reason of the glory which excels (2 Corinthians 3:10).

2016 Feastday Vigil at St. Thekla Antiochian Orthodox Monastery, Glenville, PA

Celebrate the feast of St. Thekla at her monastery in Glenville, Pennsylvania, on 23-24 September, 2016!

Friday, 23 September 2016
6:30 pm - 9th Hour
6:40 pm - Vespers with Litya & Artoklasia...
7:40 pm - Small Compline with Akathist
8:15 pm - Fellowship & Refreshments

Saturday, 24 September 2016
8:00 am - Nocturnes
8:15 am - Matins
10:00 am - Divine Liturgy
11:30 am - Fellowship Brunch
1:00 pm - St Thekla Supplication Service

Please, let me know if you are coming so we have enough food. Please, email or call for further info. Also, in preparation for our Feast Day Celebration on 23-24 September, if you're available, come help clean, cut, fix, cook and generally prepare on both Saturdays of September 10 and 17 anytime between 9 am til 3 pm. If here around noontime, please bring something to eat. If able, bring brooms, cloths, buckets, cleaners, gloves, weed trimmers, axes for splitting logs, creativity, muscles and enthusiasm.

May our Lord Bless you,

Fr. Mark Sahady, Convent Chaplain
724-557-5311
FatherMarkSahady@yahoo.com

September 2016 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Please remember our prisoner-students. Let them know we care. They grow with us, but we need your special donation to help them. (Mat. 25:34-40)

Photoni - Gospel of John 4: 11 - 14
New Testament Servant of the One Who is the Living Water

Our summer letters focused on the fine qualities of just a few excellent women, whose living faith in the "I AM" of the Old Testament, was exemplary. As we begin the new calendar Church Year, let us give careful consideration to another fine women. This one is of the New Testament, St. Photini, the Samaritan woman at the well.

In particular, let's review John 4:10-14. Here we gain some additional insight into the waters of Creation, the waters of Baptism, the water from the side of Jesus on the Cross, and the water that became the good wine at the Marriage Feast.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

Antiochian Archdiocese Mourns Mr. Khalid Jabara

The Antiochian Archdiocese continues to mourn the murder of Mr. Khalid Jabara, a faithful parishioner of St. Antony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church of Tulsa, Oklahoma. News coverage of his passing has been extensive. In his letter to the Jabara family, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph said: “We live in a material world that is encouraged to commit evil all the time. ‘Sin no more!’ are the words of Christ’s warning that should be the principle, founding motto, of our human existence.”

Sayidna Joseph has asked the clergy and laity to remember Mr. Jabara in their prayers for the departed for his eternal life, and to remember his loved ones in their prayers for the living, especially within the first 40 days of his falling asleep in the Lord. May God receive Mr. Jabara in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.

Diocese of Charleston Bible Study + August 31, 2016

II Corinthians 3:4-11
Matthew 23:29-39

II Corinthians 3:4-11 (NKJV)
And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

Recent Ordinations, Appointments, Retirements and Assignments + September 2016

From the September 2016 issue of The Word:

Ordained

ABOUID, Deacon Joseph, to the holy priesthood by Bishop Anthony on June 12, 2016, at St. George Church in Cicero, Illinois.

HAZAR, Deacon Joseph, to the holy priesthood by Bishop Anthony on the Ascension of Our Lord, June 9, 2016, at St. George Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

JACOBS, Deacon David, to the holy priesthood by Bishop Thomas on June 26, 2016, at St. Mary Church, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

MARX, Archdeacon Meletios, to the holy priesthood by Bishop Basil on May 29, 2016, at St. Joseph Church in Houston, Texas. He is assigned as the second priest at that parish.

Elevated

MAKOUL, Priest Joshua, to the dignity of Archpriest by Bishop Thomas on July 17, 2016, at St. George Cathedral, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

RETIRED

TRENT, Deacon Samuel, of Christ the Savior Mission, Jacksonville, Texas. He remains attached to that Church.

RETURNED TO THE LAITY

DAOUD, Theodoros, formerly Priest at St. Mary Church,
Hunt Valley, Maryland.

ASSIGNMENTS

BARBERG, Priest Raphael, Assistant Pastor of St. Elijah Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, effective July 1, 2016.

FINO, Priest Nabil, Pastor of St. James Church, Loveland, Ohio, effective July 1, 2016.

HOULI, Priest Amin, Pastor St. George Church, Vicksburg, Mississippi, effective July 1, 2016.

JACOBS, Priest David, Pastor of St. James the Apostle Mission, Westminster, Maryland, effective July 1, 2016.

KHAYAT, Archpriest Boulous, Pastor of St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, effective July 1, 2016.

Nurturing Children for Service

by His Grace Bishop John, from The Word Magazine, September 2016

Metropolitan Joseph strolled into the meeting of the North American Board of the Antiochian Women after spending over an hour with the archdiocese teen leadership. With what at least one of our women described as "a heavy heart," Metropolitan Joseph shared with the women that the Archdiocese will need more clergy to serve when our aging clergy retire, and we need monastics, people to build and maintain homes for the aged, people to take care of the unborn and their mothers, Christian educators for the young, as well as people to do all kinds of other ministries.

Learning About the Saints: St. Phanourios

(Commemorated on August 27/September 9)

This morning when I checked my plans for what I would be writing about for this blog post, I immediately got goosebumps. Months ago I had planned that today I would write about St. Phanourios, but I had forgotten that plan until I was ready to begin. Mind you, St. Phanourios is one of my favorite saints, and I frequently request his prayers for myself and for my family. I am indebted to this saint for his multiple intercessions on our behalf. Time after time, his prayers have worked miracles for us, and we are grateful. But the reason for my goosebumps was because St. Phanourios' prayers just worked a miracle for our family yesterday, so the timing is impeccable. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you about this wonderful saint!

Very little has been passed down about the life of St. Phanourios. Around 1500, a previously-forgotten chapel was unearthed in a building project in Rhodes. All the icons in the chapel were disfigured or crumbling, but one was still intact. In fact, it almost looked freshly-painted, it was in such good shape. It features a young man named as "St. Phanourios," holding a candle-topped cross. Surrounding the central icon are a series of twelve smaller icons depicting the saint's refusal to give up his faith and the tortures that he endured in the process.

Creative Festivals Posters 2017

Download these to a flash drive and take to an office store to print. Each one comes in 8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 14 and 11 x 17 sizes. Change these up every few months to remind the children of the theme.

Logo (Color)

Candles

Children

August 31, 2016 + The Way of a Christian

by St. Herman of Alaska

Without exalting myself to the rank of teacher, nonetheless, fulfilling my duty and obligation as an obedient servant for the benefit of my neighbor, I will speak my mind, founded on the commandments of Holy Scripture, to those who thirst and seek for their eternal heavenly homeland.

A true Christian is made by faith and love toward Christ. Our sins do not in the least hinder our Christianity, according to the word of the Saviour Himself. He deigned to say: not the rigteous have I come to call, but sinners to salvation; there is more joy in heaven over one who repents then over ninety righteous ones. Likewise concerning the sinful woman who touched His feet, He deigned to say to the the Pharisee Simon: to one who has love, a great debt is forgiven, but from one who has no love, even a small debt will be demanded. From these judgements a Christian should bring himself to hope and joy, and not in the least accept an inflicted despair. Here one needs the shield of faith.

August 24, 2016 + On the Two Characteristics of Love

by St. Cosmas of Aitolia

If you wish to be saved, seek no other thing here in this world as much as love.

Know my brethren that love has two characteristics, two gifts. One of them is to strengthen man in what is good and the other is to weaken him in what is evil. I have a loaf of bread to eat; you do not have. Love tells me: Do not eat it alone, give some to your brethren and you eat the rest. I have clothes; love tells me: Give one garment to your brother and you wear the other one. I open my mouth to accuse you, to tell you lies, to decieve you; but at once I remember love and it deadens my mouth, and does not allow me to tell you lies. I stretch out my hands to take what belongs to you, your money, all your possessions. Love does not allow me to take them. Do you see, my brethren, what gifts love has?

August 17, 2016 + Committing Ourselves to the Lord's Will

by St. Silouan the Athonite

Father Lazarus, who had been a captain in the army, used to tell the story of how a certain peasant went to fetch wood for the furnace. Exhausted by his labors, he lay down to rest under a giant oak-tree, and looking up at the branches of the oak and seeing the masses of fat acorns growing on them, thought to himself, '"It would have been better had pumpkins grown on the oak-tree." With this thought he shut his eyes, and suddenly an acorn fell and hit him hard on the lip. Whereupon the peasant said, "I was wrong: God is smarter than I am, and did well to make acorns and not pumpkins grow on oak-trees. If that had been a pumpkin, it could have killed me with its weight!"

Diocese of Charleston Bible Study + August 10, 2016

I Corinthians 10:12-22
Matthew 16:20-24

I Corinthians 10:12-22 (NKJV)
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

Summer 2016 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Summer 2016 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast. The issue contains:

  • A message from President Dawn Evancho
  • For All The Saints by V. Rev. Stephen Rogers
  • Profiles of diocesan officers
  • Chapter reports, photos and happenings

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

2017 Creative Arts Festival Lesson Cross-Reference

"My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Mark 11:17)

Kindergarten- Together with God

Lesson 2 "God's House" The church is God's house. As God's family, we meet in the church building to worship Him.

Lesson 3 "The Cross" This lesson mentions ways we reverence the cross.

Lesson 4 "Icons" This lesson discusses the importance of icons and how we show reverence for them.

Lesson 5 "The Sanctuary" The sanctuary is the most holy part of the church where the priest offers our prayers and gifts to God.

Lesson 6 "The Priest and His Helpers" Because the priest is a special member of God's family, we need to treat him with respect.

Lesson 7 "We Pray to God" While we can pray anywhere, the teacher can emphasize that the church is a holy place to pray.

Lesson 14 "The Divine Liturgy" Every Sunday we have a special service in which we give thanks to God.

Lesson 15 "The Church Prays" We pray for everyone and everything during the Divine Liturgy.

Lesson 16 "We Receive Holy Communion" Holy Communion is like being invited to a great banquet in God's house.

Lesson 24 "Jesus Comes to Jerusalem" Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem took place right before He cleansed the Temple. Palm Sunday is an event with which the children may be familiar, so the teacher can make this connection.

Grade 1- God Loves Us

There are no specific lessons that relate to the theme.

Grade 2- New Life in Jesus

Lessons 13-18 enable the students to recognize the various parts of the Divine Liturgy.

Grade 3- New Life in the Church

Diocese of Charleston Bible Study + August 3, 2016

I Corinthians 7:24-35
Matthew 15:12-21

I Corinthians 7:24-35 (NKJV)
Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called. Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy. I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress—that it is good for a man to remain as he is: Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away. But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

August 3, 2016 + The Expulsion of Sorrow

by St. John of Kronstadt

Wherever I am, as soon as I raise the eyes of my heart in my affliction to God, the Lover of men immediately answers my faith and prayer, and the sorrow immediately departs. He is at every time and every hour near me, only I do not see it, but I feel it vividly in my heart. Sorrow is the death of the heart, and it is a falling away from God. The expansion, the peace of heart through lively faith in Him, prove more clearly than the day, that God is constantly present near me, and that He dwells within me. What intercessor or angel can set us free from our sins or sorrows? None, but God alone. This is from experience.

The Great Feast of the Transfiguration + August 6

"Thou hast been transfigured, O Saviour, on Mount Tabor, indicating the transformation of mankind which shall take place at thy dreadful Second Coming. Moses and Elijah did converse with thee. But thy Disciples, whom thou didst call, when they beheld thy glory, O Master, were dazzled by thy brightness. Wherefore, O thou who didst at that time cause thy light to shine on them, lighten our souls."

+ First Kathisma of the Feast

"O thou holy One who hast sanctified the whole universe by thy light, thou hast been transfigured on a high mountain, and hast shown thy Disciples thy might and that thou shalt deliver the world from transgression. Wherefore, do we cry out to thee, O compassionate Lord, save our souls."

+ Idiomelon of the Feast

2016 DOWAMA Basketball Tournament

September 23rd-25th, 2016
St. Elijah Church + Oklahoma City, OK

The 10th Annual DOWAMA SOYO Basketball Tournament will be hosted at St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma over the weekend September 23rd-25th, 2016. Attached are the flyer, individual registration form and team registration form. If you have any questions, please contact DOWAMA Youth Diretcor Erin Ghata at erin.ghata@gmail.com.

 

 

August 2016 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Please remember our prisoner-students. Let them know we care. (Mat. 25:34-40)

THE FAITHFUL BRIDE OF JESUS OUR CHRIST
JUDITH - THE LIONESS OF JUDAH

In honor of the many wonderful women living the gift of His boundless grace.

The Book of Judith ( OSB - Septuagint Old Testament, pages 578 - 595) speaks of the true beauty of a woman whose first love and only faith, is in the One Lord God of Israel - the I AM of the Old Testament. Her sincere devotion and great courage of faith, was revealed most brightly when King Nebuchadnezzar brought his war of revenge against Israel. Interestingly, the name Judith is the feminine form of the word Judah - the lion of the tribe. Lioness is a name she wears well.

While most leaders in the town of Bethulia, preferred to negotiate - even test the Lord - after Nebuchadnezzar sent the ruthless Holofernes to war against them, thankfully and with great courage and conviction, Judith thought and declared otherwise.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

Letters from Metropolitan Joseph Regarding Mr. Theodore Daoud

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph recently sent the following communications to Mr. Theodore Daoud:

July 25, 2016

Mr. Theodore Daoud

Dear Mr. Daoud,

Blessings and greetings to you in the name of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.

On March 11, 2016, we sent you a letter informing you of your immediate suspension from the active priesthood. The letter (attached) had specific information on our decision.

Our decision of your suspension was necessary for you in order to concentrate on your repentance and spiritual growth as a priest. However, instead of taking this decision as an opportunity for you to focus on your salvation, you continued to manipulate people including some parishioners of St. Mary Church, Hunt Valley, MD, by calling them and visiting them despite my strict directive to you to refrain from doing so. Furthermore, on July 24, 2016, you visited the Patriarchate of Jerusalem with which we are not in Communion and celebrated a Divine Liturgy at the monastery of St. Elias, Bethlehem, Palestine. Mr. Daoud, you knowingly and completely ignored the decisions of the Patriarchate of Antioch, our directives, and certain Apostolic Canons.

Therefore, after many prayers, reflections, and thoughts about your persistent disobedience, you leave us with no choice except to return you to the rank of the laity (i.e. you are laicized) effective immediately. We pray that you will be close to God and His Church, as you continue your life as a layperson in prayer and repentance.

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