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Monday, June 22, 2009 – Thursday, June 25, 2009
Nothing short of awesomeness can describe the excitement experienced by an intimate 8 members, including our Advisor, Fr. Saba, on the long-awaited FSJD Road Trip this past week. The intention for this trip was to experience Orthodoxy, in fellowship with one another and with our brothers and sisters on the East Coast. This was first and foremost accomplished by accepting an invitation for lunch from His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP and His Grace Bishop ANTOUN at the Antiochian Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey. In visiting the Antiochian Village, other Orthodox Churches and Cathedrals, new friends were made with other Fellowships in the Archdiocese, saw beautiful Church Iconography, and learned about the history of the Orthodox Church and of the Archdiocese of North America.
A few stand-out moments:
Rammy Zanayed’s favorite experience was sitting on the left hand side of Metropolitan PHILIP and listening to His Eminence’s rich stories as leader of the Archdiocese. Rammy says “This is something I will remember for the rest of my life.” The intricate mosaics at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral awe-inspired Rammy as he walked around the Church’s overwhelming number of mosaics, which depicted various events in the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on all four walls and ceiling.
Diana Saba enjoyed the lunch with His Eminence and venerating the relics of St. John the Damascus at St. Paul’s Cathedral. After traveling and walking many hours, Diana enjoyed a nice sharwarma dinner from the infamous Stand at 53rd and 6th in the middle of Manhattan!
“I am surrounded by love. It's not the kind of love you see on TV or in the movies, but love in its most true and simple form. It is the love that can only come from God ... I have already found that love in abundance everywhere I look.” - A 2009 Team member
Now is the time for you to have a Mission Teams experience! In 2010, Teams will be offered during more times of the year and for varying amounts of time (as few as 9 days and as long as 3 weeks) and there will be opportunities for families as well! Be a living witness of your Faith on a Teaching team; provide labor on a Construction team; engage the future of our Church on a Youth team; or take part in the holistic mission of the Church on a Health Care team. Develop deep relationships with others, have a cultural learning experience, and live in response to the Lord’s command to “make disciples of all nations”.
For over 20 years, Team members have proudly served through OCMC to participate in the Holy Orthodox Church’s unending mission effort to bring the saving message of salvation to the ends of the earth. Join the thousands of Orthodox Christians from North America who have been witnessing to the hope and good news of the risen Christ with the world. There will be at least 14 opportunities to participate on a Team in 2010: Alaska – Teaching and Outreach; Albania – Youth camp; Guatemala – Youth camp; India – Teaching; Kenya – Teaching; Korea – Youth camp (ESL); Madagascar – Teaching; Romania – Youth camp; South Africa – Teaching; Tanzania – Construction and Teaching; Uganda – Health Care and Zimbabwe – Teaching.
Team applications and more detailed information are available online at http://teams.ocmc.org or you can call the OCMC at 1.877.463.6787 (ext 142) for more information.
At the 2009 Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, attendees were treated to the excellent speeches prepared by the diocesan oratorical festival winners. An expert panel of judges deliberated before choosing the grand prize winner for the Senior Division, Joel Schaefer.
The Oratorical Festival is a program sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. It was designed to serve as an avenue for our youth to learn, enhance and share the knowledge of their faith based on a given topic by giving an oration. For some youth, it is a door into the life of the Church, and for others, it is an expression of their continuing experience of Christ and His Church.
from The Word, May 2009
Serving the needs of the parish: that is the mission of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. Unlike other organizations of our Archdiocese, the Fellowship’s ministries are developed from the bottom up, since we are serving the needs of our particular parishes with the blessings of our parish priests. The Fellowship of St. John the Divine is living the gospel through witness, worship, fellowship and service. We are defined by need. We serve these needs through our individual talents. We are guided by the Holy Spirit and we serve to the glory of God.
Perhaps to many people, “serving the needs of the parish” is vague, so let’s be more specific: it means donating blankets and clothing at our local homeless shelters; establishing and maintaining a food pantry for those who come to our parish doors hungry; hosting breakfasts to raise money for the missions in our diocese after liturgy; learning more about our Orthodox saints at a new book club called Saints Alive; joining our St. Philip’s Prayer Discipline; meeting the needs of the “20/40” age group, facilitating the transition from Teen SOYO and college contact into the Fellowship; having a parent’s club that meets, socializes and raises money for extras in the Sunday School; holding a Saturday morning men’s Bible study; having a parish-wide Bible study; and much more. Our needs are many and different throughout the Archdiocese, yet many of our projects are the same.
from The Word, May 2009
In late January 2009, the clergy and delegates of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast joined His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN, for the annual meeting of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine (FSJD) at St. Andrew the Apostle Mission in Pensacola, Florida. The clergy arrived on Thursday, January 22, to pray the Akathist to St. Raphael and for a fellowship meal. They then met on Friday morning with Sayidna ANTOUN, preceded by a spiritual talk from Fr. Gregory Rogers, who elucidated some pastoral examples and instruction from his patron saint, Gregory the Theologian. Friday evening saw the arrival of the rest of the delegates and Teen SOYO members, who joined the clergy to pray Vespers at the church. The parish and the local FSJD then provided a delicious meal.
The delegates’ meeting began with a exhortation by Bishop ANTOUN to encourage more lay participation throughout our diocese. His Grace also made clear his expectations for increased attendance at future meetings, expressing his disappointment with the low level of clergy attendance and the lack of financial commitment by some parishes to the Fellowship and missions. During the Fellowship meeting, the Teen SOYO met with their spiritual advisor, Fr. Philip Rogers, as well as with Fr. Joseph Purpura and Bishop ANTOUN. Fr. Andrew Moore also addressed the Antiochian Women with a spiritual talk on the theme, “How to be Sisters of Sarah.”
TAKING THE HIGH ROAD: St. John Climacus and The Ladder of Divine Ascent
When: Friday March 20 - Sunday March 22, 2009
Where: St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cicero, IL
GUEST SPEAKER: Fr. James Shadid (Assistant Pastor at St. George Cathedral Wichita, KS)
EARLY BIRD registration date: March 10, 2009
For registration rates and hotel information check the poster attached.