Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Christian Church, a Western Rite congregation in the Antiochian Archdiocese, hosted The Right Rev. Bishop Basil (Essey), Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, for its first Divine Liturgy in its new church temple in Park City, KS, on April 7, 2013. This service on the third Sunday in Lent was a significant milestone in the life of the parish which has experienced many challenges and successes in the nine years of its existence.
St. Michael’s began when Fr. John Flora and a group of his former Episcopal parishioners sought to become members of the Orthodox Church. Father John and 37 members were accepted as catechumens by Bishop Basil in the narthex of St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Wichita on Dec. 31, 2003.
During the time St. Michael's parishioners were catechumens, they attended services in the Cathedral and later held morning prayer services in the chapel at St. George. Father John was ordained on Pascha, 2004, and St. Michael’s then celebrated Divine Liturgy in the cathedral chapel until it moved into a rented space of its own in March 2010.
From July 19 to August 1, 2013, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) is sending a team comprised of Orthodox families from North America to offer parent workshops, children’s programs, family activities and ministry outreach to Albanian church leaders and their families. Three to four families are still needed to serve on this team that will strengthen and encourage Orthodox Christians in a country that is predominantly non-Christian.
Another immediate need is for support staff to participate on the short-term mission team scheduled to offer healthcare in Uganda from May 29 to June 12, 2013. Two to three nurses, pharmacists, medical students, or those interested in providing much needed health services as a witness to their Orthodox faith are desperately needed for this team.
Those able to share and teach the faith are also needed for teams serving in Kenya and Tanzania in July and August. These are profound opportunities to share Orthodox Christianity with our African brothers and sisters who may be new to the faith.
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 February 7-9, 2013, Orthodox Christian mental health professionals, clergy, professors, lay ministers and seminarians gathered on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology for a conference entitled "Pastoral Challenges in Marriage: O God, Replenish Their Life with All Good Things." Sponsored by the Center for Family Care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the conference tackled some of the most serious pastoral challenges in marriage facing the Church today. The Right Rev. Bishop John Abdalah, auxiliary for the Antiochian Diocese of Worcester and New England, offered this first keynote address on Thursday morning entitled "Marriage: An Opportunity for Spiritual Growth and Discovering the Living God." His Grace holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care and has worked as pastoral counselor and therapist for 30 years.
The editors at Antiochian.org recently updated the section of the site which hosts resources related to the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese's patriarchal home, The Church of Antioch. A link to the memorial section for Patriarch Ignatius IV is available, as well as a link to a new page containing the biography and Curriculum Vitae of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, which was originally published in the April 2013 The Word.
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 .
MERCER, PA -- Camp Nazareth and Orthodox Christian Fellowship are proud to announce the "Second Annual Overcome the World College Retreat," will take place at Camp Nazareth in Mercer, PA on May 19-21, 2013.
College Students are invited to come and recharge their spiritual batteries, make new friends and experience Orthodox Christianity in a deep manner. There will be guest speakers, group workshops, evening social events, food, fun and plenty of opportunity for faith enrichment.
This year's theme is "If anyone desires to be first, He shall be last of all and servant of all." (Mark 9:35)
Manager Archdeacon Hans Elhayek of the Department of Publications for the Antiochian Archdiocese announces the release of the new Book List and Order Form for 2013-2014. The comprehensive Book List includes Christian Education curriculum and supplementary material from preschool age through high school, youth group and adult study texts, children's books and cds, items for family home worship, catechism materials, service books in Arabic and English, music books, regular book titles, periodicals and audio/visual materials.
All orders may be sent to:
Antiochian Archdiocese - Publications Department
P.O. Box 5238
358 Mountain Road, Englewood, NJ 07631-5238
Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) announces that its flagship program "Come Receive the Light" is launching a Spanish-language program, "Vengan a Recibir la Luz." Each monthly program will be approximately thirty minutes in length and will present talks on different theological topics by Fr. Aristidis Arizi and Fr. David Wooten, hymns in Spanish, Epistle and Gospel readings, and a sermon by Fr. Michael Marcantoni.
Father Christopher Metropulos, the executive director of OCN, stated, "We are truly blessed to be welcoming a team of five clergymen who have dedicated their lives to the historical Church of Christ. OCN is now reaching out to touch the hearts of so many, and the Spanish speaking version of Come Receive the Light is another poignant way. This program joins the other CRTL offerings in English, Greek, and soon in the Russian language."
April 4-7, 2013
Make plans now to bring your family and join us for 3 days and nights of:
- Inspiring Speakers
- Enlightening Workshops
- Lenten Liturgical Services
- Curriculum Vendors
- Comfortable Lodging
- Delicious Lenten Meals
- Family Fun and Fellowship
with other Orthodox Homeschoolers.
Check our website www.antiochianvillage.org for the conference schedule and registration information:
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.
March 22, 2013
South Canaan, PA: The Board of Trustees of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA announces a vacancy in the office of Dean, to be filled effective July 1, 2013. Applications, nominations, and expressions of interest for the position of Dean are now being accepted.
Saint Tikhon’s Seminary is an institution of professional Orthodox Christian theological education, affiliated with the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), chartered by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and nationally accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. St. Tikhon’s Seminary offers the Master of Divinity degree, as well as the Bachelor of Arts in Theology degree, and a certificate in diaconal formation studies.
The primary purpose of the Seminary is to provide the necessary theological, spiritual, and moral foundation for Orthodox men to become good shepherds of Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church and for others to pursue advanced theological study and personal enrichment.
Tanya Schillawski, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Student Advisory Board Praxis Coordinator, has announced that the OCF Day of Prayer will begin on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 8. For twenty-four hours, college students at OCF chapters around the country will be praying continuously. The OCF website will post the prayer service, with versions that can be used with and without the presence of a priest. Insructions on setting up a live feed will also be posted, so that students from around the country can pray with the designated chapter.
For those OCF chapters unable to participate in the program, leaders are requested that their lists of names of the living and departed be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The cut off day to submit names is Friday, March 29th, with no exceptions allowed. These lists will then be posted on the OCF's website.
Every year on the Sunday of Orthodoxy during Lent, a special tray offering is conducted for all Antiochian Seminarians.
A significant portion of the funding that is required by the Archdiocese comes from the assessments and Special Trays which are paid by each parish to the Archdiocese on an annual basis.
Beginning in 2006, the Archdiocese implemented a new Proportional Giving System for parish contributions. With this new system, a parish contributes a percentage of the total parish income that it realized in the previous year. Certain allowable deductions (such as mortgage payments and charitable contributions) are subtracted from the total income before the percentage calculation is made. The percentage that is currently in effect is 10%. Under the new system, parishes with fewer than 50 baptized souls are expected to contribute, but missions remain exempt.
For more information go here.
by Judy Terry
St. John Church + Memphis, TN
Download complete PDF document
You have found this link because you have volunteered or been asked to organize your church’s library. Get ready for a fun job! I say fun, because you get to wear many hats: storyteller, public relations specialist, creative director, detective, CEO, and data-entry clerk!
The bad news is that the job is time-consuming on the front end and the pay is low, or probably non-existent. But the good news is that you are bringing the life of the Church and the lives of holy men and women to adults and children seeking the Kingdom of God. And there’s even more good news! You don’t have to do this alone, and you are probably the only person who will know if you make a mistake.
This article will take you step-by-step through setting up your library. Some of you are starting from scratch with a box full of books in the parish hall. Some of you have a room with a bunch of old books that have been gathering dust for ten years. Some have inherited a functioning library from someone who has moved out of town. Managing a library can be very intimidating. Most of you are volunteers, perhaps former or active school teachers or just folks who like to read. Notice, I did not say you need to be a professional librarian!
Lent is almost upon us so is the perfect time for a new Orthodox fasting & feasting cookbook! Plus, for this week, it's ON SALE! Save $2 on every cookbook ordered by Friday March 22, 2013. Orders must be placed online via PayPal or mailed and postmarked by March 22 to recieve the discount. Please see the ordering info below.
Taste & See II: More American Orthodox Cooking is a sequel to the much loved Taste & See Cookbook published in 1999. With the help of 150 contributors at 63 parishes in 27 states across America, this ALL-NEW cookbook has been published by the Women of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The Taste & See Cookbooks have been created to help American cooks prepare meals that conform to traditional Orthodox fasting guidelines while appealing to an American palate. Preparing meals during the fast should be as simple and stress-free as possible to allow ourselves more time for prayer, almsgiving and attending the services.
The first Taste & See Cookbook was published in 1999 by the Women of St. Ignatius in Franklin, Tennessee, and touched countless lives.
This edition carries on with the tradition of the first one with 500 ALL-NEW RECIPES. The proceeds from this cookbo ok will go to the Antiochian Women's charity efforts and the St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church building fund (we're currently in rented facilities).
This book contains almost 50% MORE recipes than the first one. The first 85% of the cookbook contains fasting recipes, with the remaining book featuring Our Best Feasting Recipes.
New to this edition
Monday, March 18, 2013: The Assembly of Bishops website has announced that scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year are now available for graduating high school students and for college students pursuing a non-theological graduate degree. These scholarships are administered by the Chancellor’s Office of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and are open to students from any Orthodox church affiliated with the Assembly of Bishops. They are specifically the Malta Scholarship, awarded for undergraduate studies, and the Paleologos Graduate Scholarship, which is for graduate work of a non-theological nature.
Further details, including complete instructions and applications, can be accessed on-line on the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Applications may also be requested by e-mail at email@example.com. The deadline for applying for both of these scholarships is April 26, 2013.
The parish of St. Antonios Antiochian Orthodox Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia was blessed to have Fr. Joseph Purpura, chairman of the Antiochian Department of Youth Ministry, join us for a weekend full of inspiration, motivation and faith.
On Friday March 8, Fr. Joseph met with the parents of the youth in the community and informed them about issues that have become a serious problem within society. This includes sex, drugs and alcohol. Sadly, these common activities observed within society also affect teens in the Orthodox Church.
Increasing parent and teen awareness to these issues was an extremely important aspect of the weekend, as many parents were not updated with the latest science about the harm that results from the use of alcohol and drug substances.
March 29-30, 2013
St. Mary Orthodox Church + Wichita, KS
Topic: Becoming a Healing Presence
Speaker: Dr. Albert Rossi
This event is free to the public at 344 S. Martinson (near Seneca and Maple) in Wichita, with no registration required. Childcare is provided.
For more details, please download the event flyer (PDF).
Brian Gerich, Senior Vice President of Public Storage and a well-known Orthodox philanthropist, has been named the new chairman of the Board of Directors for FOCUS North America, or Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve. Gerich succeeds Charles Ajalat, who completed a four-year chairmanship in January, 2013.
"FOCUS is a dynamic ministry and an expression of Christ's love, offering jobs, housing, feeding programs, and other human services to the homeless and working poor of America," said Gerich, "FOCUS also plays a vital role in bringing Orthodox Christians into direct relationship with the poor, positively impacting their own lives while helping those in need."
Under Ajalat's leadership as founder and first board chairman, FOCUS grew into a vibrant and strong organization with eight flagship FOCUS Centers across the country and a dedicated volunteer corps of more than 6,000 people. In 2013, FOCUS has forecasted an annual budget of $10 million, with service outreach programs planned for 29 cities.
Gerich said he is humbled to succeed Ajalat. "I have worked with Charles for over 25 years. Charles is an amazing man whom God has blessed with many gifts and talents. His commitment to serving the poor is amazing."
"In just four short years FOCUS has touched the lives of so many, and we're growing daily," said Executive Director Nicholas Chakos, "It's an exciting time in FOCUS' history."
FOCUS North America is a national movement of Orthodox Christians, united in faith and joined by a desire to provide action-oriented and sustainable solutions to poverty in communities across America.
“Our Roots Run Deep” was the theme for St. George Orthodox Church’s 100th Anniversary Celebration which was celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm on the weekend of November 3, 2012.
The 100th anniversary celebration actually had kicked off a year prior, on November 5, 2011, with our Fourth Annual Sacred Arts Festival (see article on p. 28 in May 2012 issue of The Word magazine). It was a successful event and a great opportunity to share our Orthodox faith and Syrian heritage with the local community. The event included speakers, iconographers, vendors, our own bookstore, and a Byzantine choir concert.
Next, we remembered our heritage at our annual St. George Day Brunch held on May 12, 2012. At this annual feast day celebration, we recognize church school students, altar servers and high school seniors. Additionally, we recognized a couple of parishioners who were nominated for having admirably served the church.
The Assembly of Bishops convened a meeting to share ideas and discuss collaboration between the Assembly’s communications team and the internet staff of member jurisdictions. The meeting was held on the campus of St Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, NY on March 6 and brought together representatives from the Assembly’s Secretariat, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, the Orthodox Church in America, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese. All of the Assembly’s member jurisdictions were invited to attend.
A main topic of discussion was how the Assembly’s website can be enhanced to include Orthodox news and resources on the Orthodox faith. The group agreed that the Assembly’s website and the jurisdictions’ websites can support each other in reaching the Orthodox faithful.
The group touched on other relevant topics including sharing parish information so that the Assembly's parish directory remains up-to-date; the creation of a clergy directory; the importance of providing the faithful with resources on internet safety for youth and adults; and mechanisms by which Orthodox news and information can be disseminated directly to parishes.
The group will meet periodically by phone to continue vital conversations related to information, technology, and faith.
Mr. Paul Cowan writes:
Memory eternal for the handmaid of God Leah Cowan of St. Joseph Orthodox Church in Houston, TX. Leah ended her struggles with long time illnesses and medical complications at the young age of 44. She was born in September 1968 and was laid to rest at Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Monastery in Kendalia, TX. Leah was surrounded by family and friends as she passed away Monday February 25, 2013, and leaves behind her husband Paul of 15 years, Michele Garey her cousin, who put her life on hold to help us these last 6 months (an angel in the flesh), her father Billy Graham and Donna Graham of Odenton MD, her step father Jim Landing and Brenda Landing of Houston TX, grandparents Jim and Evelyn Landing, Berdie Britton, uncles and aunts Howard and Yoko Garey and John and Martha Garey, cousins Lisa, Monica, Terry, Yolanda, Martha-Ann, Bobby, Michael, and her two dogs.
Leah worked in advertising most of her life but her passion was her vegetable garden and starting new business ventures. She had a successful nut-butter business as well as a profitable eBay business. She loved going to yard sales and networking with other vendors at craft shows. Paul would like to thank all those who have prayed for Leah at St. Joseph and literally around the world for her recovery. If you are of the mind to make a donation in her name, please send it to Fr. Joseph Honeycutt at St. Joseph Orthodox Church 10644 Hammerly Blvd Houston, TX 77043.
May God bless you for your prayers for the repose of my beloved wife, Leah.
As part of a growing partnership between Ancient Faith Radio (AFR) and Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), audio field reports are being posted from select Real Break Trips on Ancient Faith Radio, including ministry to: Guatemala, Honduras, Constantinople, Mexico, Toronto, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Tune in to AFR to listen on demand as they become available.
Other joint projects include the OCF Podcast, Special College Student Editions of Orthodoxy Live ( a live call in program) and coverage of other special OCF events.
Ancient Faith Radio seeks to deepen and enrich the faith of Orthodox Christians around the world with streaming audio programming and on-demand podcasts. It features liturgical music from a variety of Orthodox traditions, as well as prayers, readings, lectures, and interviews.
Over the weekend of February 23-24, 2013, St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, CA and its Rector The Very Rev. Dr. Josiah Trenham, hosted the first Southern California Symposium of the Saints Cyril & Athanasius of Alexandria Institute for Orthodox Studies. Titled "Prayer in the Church Fathers," the event featured His Excellency the Most Reverend Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, St. Vladimir's Seminary Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, Institute Director The Very Rev. Dr. Irenei (Steenberg) and The Rev. Daniel Meyer (Antiochian Archdiocese, West Chester, PA), addressing the topic "Prayer and the Church Fathers."
On Sunday, His Eminence The Most Reverend Archbishop Joseph concelebrated with Metropolitan Kallistos for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. A photo gallery of His Eminence serving with Metropolitan Kallistos is posted on the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West website.