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SOYO Special Olympics Awareness Day is Sunday, October 15

On October 15, 2017, the North American Council of Teen SOYO sponsors the 37th Annual Special Olympics Awareness Day. Every August, Teen SOYO hosts and funds an annual week‐long camp for Special Olympics Athletes at the Antiochian Village. Over the past 36 years, Teen SOYO has fostered a camping experience like no other. Our camp demonstrates a unified environment where teen SOYO members from across the Archdiocese come together with coaches from Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) and enthusiastic athletes for an intense week of sports training and witness to Christ. All resources may be downloaded on SOYO's Special Olympics web page.

Through your generous donations, SOYO Special Olympics Sports Camp has grown immensely through the years. This year, we experienced a record number of athletes in attendance, and have accomplished an astounding 36 years of SOYO Special Olympics Camp. Over these 36 years, we have hosted more than 8,000 athletes and coaches, and over 1,150 of our teens have been blessed by working as SOYO Coaches or Volunteers. It is our pleasure to have the opportunity to serve, pray, and play with these Special Olympics Athletes, and we look forward, with your help, to continuing this important ministry.

Liturgical Texts Posted for Canadian Thanksgiving, October 9

His Grace Bishop Alexander serves Holy Communion during the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Church in Montreal, Quebec.His Grace Bishop Alexander serves Holy Communion during the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Church in Montreal, Quebec.Each year, on the second Monday of October, Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving holiday as "a day of general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed." Its origin dates to 1578.

The Antiochian Archdiocese has 18 Canadian parishes. For the holiday, they are encouraged to open and offer worship and thanksgiving to God for all of His gifts. To that end, the Online Liturgical Guide has provided Liturgical Texts of Great Vespers with special hymnography for the holiday, as well as "Glory to God for All Things: An Akathist of Thanksgiving," composed in Russia under Communistic oppression as a reminder to the suffering clergy and faithful of God's blessings in this life and the life to come. Parishes can offer one or the other service on Sunday night, October 8.

On Monday morning, October 9, parishes can celebrate the Eucharist, which literally means "to give thanks," in the Divine Liturgy. The Variables contain Epistle and Gospel readings that are a call to thanksgiving, as well as the famous Thanksgiving Day sermon "Thank You, O Lord!" delivered by Fr. Alexander Schemann just weeks before his repose in 1983.

In the coming weeks, the Online Liturgical Guide will also post Liturgical Texts for American Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23.

Real Break Registration Opens for College Students

During the 2018 Spring Break, college students have the opportunity to make a real change for those less fortunate through Orthodox Christian Fellowship's Real Break program.

Real Break is an alternative spring break service-learning program designed to provide college students with life-transforming experiences that strengthen their faith and broaden their Christian world-view. OCF offers several trips to locations all around the globe where students have the opportunity to serve and minister to the poor with compassion and humility.

Register today!

Memory Eternal! + Lorraine Husson-Ferris

Memory Eternal! + Lorraine Husson-Ferris, daughter of the late Fr. Nicholas and Kh. Mary Husson, quietly fell asleep at the age of 95 early this morning in Wichita, KS. She was preceded in death by her husband George and her three sisters: Beulah Farha of Wichita, KS, Vivian Coury of Garden Grove, CA, and Virginia Farah of El Paso, TX (whose Virginia H. Farah Foundation has supported numerous Antiochian Orthodox projects for many years).

Lorraine is survived by five children and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. The funeral will be served this Saturday, September 30, 2017 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Wichita, KS. Condolences may be sent to the family at contact@farahfoundation.org.

Midwest Clergy and Laity Fall Gathering + October 12-15, 2017

Download the flyer

Bishop Anthony proudly announces the Diocese of Toledo's upcoming Clergy Retreat and Fall Gathering, hosted by Fr. John Winfrey and the faithful of St. George Church in Grand Rapids, MI.

This event is for all of our clergy, and members of our Antiochian Women, Teen SOYO, and Young Adult ministries.

Please see the flyer for details.

 

Many Years to His Grace Bishop John!

September 26th is the celebration of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist St. John the Theologian and the namesday of His Grace Bishop John. May God grant him many years!

Apolytikion of St. John, Tone 2

O Apostle John, speaker of divinity, the beloved of Christ God, hasten and deliver thy people powerless in argument; for He on Whose bosom thou didst lean accepteth thee as an intercessor. Beseech Him, therefore, to disperse the cloud of the stubborn nations, asking for us safety and the Great Mercy.

Calling All Parishes: Archdiocese Rewards Program Benefits Retired Clergy and Your Community!

The Antiochian Archdiocese Rewards Program team is encouraging all parishes to commit to this Archdiocese-wide initiative that supports the Clergy Retirement Fund as well as each local parish. Endorsed by Metropolitan Joseph and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, this program generates income "painlessly," as parishioners register and make online purchases at participating retailers. A percentage of each online purchase is allotted to the Clergy Retirement Fund with the remaining percentage being allotted to the parish of each consumer's choice.

Over 4,000 retailers now participate in the awards program, including hotels, Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Neiman Marcus, gas stations, The Gap, grocery stores, and many, many more. To register, log on to the web site, indicate your Diocese and parish, and insert your email and a password. It's that easy!

Additionally, the simple instructive video enables individuals and parish webmasters to install the "Support" button via one of three browsers: Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

The Conception of St. John the Baptist + September 23

John the Forerunner, the fruit of prayer, hath budded from a barren womb today. Rejoice, O wilderness, and dance for joy, O mankind! Behold, the preacher of repentance beginneth to take flesh in his mother’s womb. Come, as we rejoice over his glorious conception, O ye feast-lovers, let us form a choir, crying: O thou greatest of them that are born of women, cease not to intercede for us who with faith honor thy divine conception, that we may find forgiveness of sins and Great Mercy.

--Doxasticon from Great Vespers, Tone 6

Rejoice, O barren one, who had not given birth; for behold thou hast conceived clearly the one who is the dawn of the Sun Who was about to illuminate the whole universe, blighted with sightlessness. Shout in joy, O Zacharias, crying in favour, Verily, the one to be born is a Prophet of the High.

--Troparion, Tone 4

Fr. George Shalhoub Addresses Suicide Prevention Awareness in University of Michigan Panel

In August 2017, Fr. George Shalhoub, pastor of The Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, MI participated in a panel discussion at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, on the pastoral issue of suicide prevention. After his presentation at the University, "Preventing Suicide in Middle Eastern Communities," Fr. George answered questions and said there is "the need to speak of this spiritual darkness that can affect all of us."


Q: Father George, what were you doing at the University of Michigan-Dearborn today?

A: The Middle Eastern Law Enforcement Officers Association invited me, along with religious leaders Rabbi Daniel Syme of Bethel Temple and Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni of the Islamic Center of America, for an interfaith perspective panel which addressed addiction and suicide in our communities. A panel discussion discussed the topic of suicide prevention and substance abuse in the Arab American community.

Q: How did you contribute to this discussion?

A: The Arab American community in this country suffers from drug abuse and faces cases of suicide and suicide attempts, just as many other communities do. The number one difficulty is to break the stigma or taboo associated with suicide. Most immigrants in the Arab American community do not realize that these crises do exist within one’s own church, mosque, or temple. This goes beyond ethnicity, economic status and religious background. Families, in particular, do not want to hear that they have children who are less than perfect or that their children are capable of taking drugs or contemplating suicide.

A Prayer for September 11

September 11, 2017 is the sixteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks upon our nation in New York, NY, Washington, DC and Shanksville, PA.

A service appropriate to the day is the Akathist to the Mother of God 'Softener of Evil Hearts'
We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick

A Prayer for September 11

O Lord our God, Who art Thyself, the Hope of the hopeless, the Help of the helpless, the Savior of the storm-tossed, the Haven of the voyager, the Physician of the sick; be all things to our land which fifteen years ago on this date was devastated by the cowardly and hateful acts of false martyrs; who imitated wicked Herod in his slaughter of the 14,000 innocents. To those who lost loved ones, grant the comfort thou didst impart to Mary and Martha before Thou didst raise their brother Lazarus from the dead, and care for them as Thou didst care for Thy Mother from the Cross, putting her in the care of the Apostle John. To the survivors, grant healing in every sense, as thou didst strengthen and heal the confessors.

Memory Eternal! + Gloria Kevorkian

Gloria Kevorkian, age 92 of Staten Island, NY, fell asleep in the Lord on September 6, 2017. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She and her husband Edward Kevorkian, who passed away in 2012, were married for 60 wonderful years.

Her surviving family are: son, Very Rev. George Kevorkian and wife Kh. Hend, daughter Donna Stephan and husband Bassam, grandchildren Amy, Adam, Daniel and Christopher, and great grandchildren Steven, Hanneh, Elena, Ava, Edward and Samia.

Viewings will be from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday, September 8, 2017 and 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday September 9 with the funeral service immediately following at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral,  355 State Street, Brooklyn, NY.  Both the viewing and funeral will be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral.

Burial will be at Ocean View cemetery, 3315 Amboy Road, Staten Island, NY  followed by a meal of mercy.

Donations may be made in her memory to St. Nicholas Cathedral.

Arrangements are being coordinated by  Clavin  Funeral Home, (718) 745-1445.

"Engaging our Youth" September Workshop and Retreat in Colorado

St. Elias Orthodox Church in Arvada, Colorado welcomes Fr. James and Kh. Gigi Shadid for a workshop and retreat on Friday and Saturday, September 29–30!

Father James will host an "Ask Abouna" session on Friday evening, and an energetic retreat for teens and young adults on Saturday. Khouria Gigi will discuss "Season of Faith," "The Nuts & Bolts of Teaching" and "How to Engage Our Children," with the adult attendees. Print the attached flyer to promote this event in your parish, and submit the registration form to secure your place at this exciting conference. Please forward registration materials to St. Elias Orthodox Church or contact Fr. George Shawareb at 303-949-5809 or frgeorgeshawareb@yahoo.com for more information.

Prayers for Deliverance from Hurricanes

(photo: UPI/Newscom)(photo: UPI/Newscom)On August 26, 2017, His Grace Bishop Basil, Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, wrote: Prayers are requested for the people of Texas as it is expected that millions of them will continue to suffer the adverse effects of former-Hurricane now Tropical Storm Harvey for the next several days. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is preparing to send response teams to the area, and included among them will be Fr. Raphael Barberg (frraphaelbarberg@gmail.com), second priest at St Elijah in Oklahoma City, OK, who is a trained "IOCC Frontline Clergy."

Read Metropolitan Joseph's letter about relief efforts.

Listen to the August 30 Ancient Faith update with Fr. Joseph Huneycutt, pastor of St. Joseph Orthodox Church in Houston.

O LORD JESUS CHRIST HAVE MERCY ON US SINNERS!
As you saved your apostles from perishing in a storm by calming wind and waves on you command, so now keep us safe and sound in this hurricane season.  Grant us favorable and benign weather.  Protect us from the unpredictable elements of nature.  Steer us from storm, flood, fire, illness, injury, disaster and sudden death.  Preserve us from all evil and harm for we, though sinful, are nonetheless the work of Your hands.  And You together with your Father who has no beginning and Your all holy good and life giving Spirit are our God in whom we live, move, and have being. Now and ever and unto ages and ages. Amen.

MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS SAVE US!
Seeing how your holy and powerful maternal intercessions and safe haven for the storm tossed, count us worthy of your prayers during this season of uncertain and threatening weather.  Beg your divine human Son to grant us mercy, forgiveness, health, safety and salvation over the coming months.  For He is sure to listen to you, His mother, the woman whom all generations call blessed.  Amen.

Annual Clergy Wives Weekend to be Held at Antiochian Village, October 20-22, 2017

Byzantine wedding ringByzantine wedding ringDownload the Registration Form

Come to this pan-Orthodox gathering and be refreshed and restored! As always, this weekend offers an opportunity for clergy wives to rededicate ourselves to our own personal spiritual journeys as we participate with our husbands and families in the various vineyards where God has led us. We are reminded of the efforts and the memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah, for whom care and nurturing of clergy wives was always a priority. Likewise this year we will celebrate and remember Kh. Stefanie Yazge, whose dedication to clergy wives and their families will be remembered on Friday evening specifically by her children—Matt, Mark, and Alexis—as we open our session.

Details

Speaker: Mother Christophora, Abbess Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA

Group Facilitator: Deacon Seraphim Moslener: Gifts for the Journey: Faith, Hope and Love

Memory Eternal! + Khouria Mary Sue Henderson Walker

Khouria Mary Sue Henderson Walker, age 84 of Nashville, TN, passed away August 27, 2017. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Preceded in death by her husband, The Very Reverend Gordon Walker, she described herself as "ridiculously happy" to be his faithful wife for 63 years. 

Her surviving family are: son, Gordon Thomas, Jr. (Kibble) Walker; daughters, Deborah (Michael) Amick, Melissa (Dn. Gary) Braun, Grace (Collin) Monk and Jacqueline (Robert) Menish; brothers, George Henderson, Jr. and Ret. Col. Robert L. Henderson, M.D.; sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Beard; sixteen grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be conducted 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at St. Ignatius Orthodox Church, Franklin, TN, with Fr. Philip Begley officiating. Visitation will be 1:00-4:00 p.m. prior to the service at the church. Interment is at St. Ignatius Cemetery and her grandsons will serve as pallbearers. Memorials may be made to St. Ignatius Orthodox Church, 3535 St. Ignatius Lane, Franklin, TN 37064. Williamson Memorial Funeral Home, (615) 794-2289.

Antiochian Women Update: August 2017 Letter From NAB President

August 26, 2017

Dear Sisters in Christ –

Christ is in our midst!

Two years ago as NAB President, I sent my initial correspondence on the Great Feast of the Dormition of Our Most Holy Theotokos.  Now, two years later, I am sending you this letter as we approach another wonderful day in her honor, the Placing of the Most Venerable Belt of the Theotokos (August 30), as well as the start of the Ecclesiastical New Year on September 1.  Thank you for allowing me to continue as NAB President over these next two years and continuing to serve in this magnificent ministry.

Our thanks to the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast and St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida for hosting the Archdiocese Convention that was held from July 25–30 at The Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida.  We had about 120 attendees at the Antiochian Women’s breakfast on Wednesday, July 26, which was followed by the NAB General Assembly.  That same evening, the re-elected NAB Officers and His Grace Bishop John as our NAB Spiritual Advisor were sworn into office by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.

Report: Diocese of Los Angeles and the West's 2017 Parish Life Conference

Send us your PLC information--we'd love to publish a report about your diocese's summer family reunion!

The Diocese of Los Angeles and the West held their Parish Life Conference at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel from July 5-9, 2017. The PLC was well attended with 823 registrants. It was hosted by St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church of the San Fernando Valley.

A beautiful chapel that was the focal point of the Conference worship services highlighted our theme: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations" (Mark 11:17). This year three keynote speakers addressed the conference theme: Fr. Joseph Copeland, pastor of Holy Cross Church in Yakima, Washington spoke on "God's house as a house of prayer, an icon of His Kingdom, and place of the Sacraments." Father Alban West, pastor of St. George Church in Portland, Oregon, spoke on "What we must do to properly prepare in entering God's House and receiving the Sacraments," and Fr. Calinic Berger, assistant pastor of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles, spoke about "God's House as the place where we pray '...for all nations' and as the universal home of the members of His Kingdom."

Memory Eternal! + Kh. Harbeih Harb

Khouria Harbeih Harb fell asleep in the Lord peacefully on Friday, August 18, 2017 in her home. She was the wife of the late Very Reverend George Harb of San Diego.

Born on February 9, 1924 in Ramallah, Palestine, Khouria immigrated with her family to the United States in 1960 to help establish the first permanent ministry at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Portland, Oregon, where they served until 1970. She will always be remembered in the church communities that she belonged to, including Haifa, Portland, San Diego, and Jacksonville, Florida.

She will always be remembered as the warmest and most sincere lady, always welcoming people with an open and sweet heart. She was a very loving and generous person who always opened her home to all.

Khouria is survived by her children Elias Harb and Mary Harb. Her three other children have reposed: Samira, Joseph, and Samir Harb. Khouria Harbeih had five children, twelve grandchildren, twenty-two great grandchildren, and four great great grandchildren. She is known by all her grandchildren simply as "Teta."

Memory Eternal! + Archpriest Joseph Sakkab, Emeritus

Memory Eternal! With sadness and with hope in the Resurrection, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, and the Sakkab family, wish to convey the news of the falling asleep in the Lord of Archpriest Joseph Sakkab, Emeritus, after fifty-seven years of faithful service in the holy priesthood.

Father Joseph reposed on Thursday, August 10, 2017, at the age of 95. He leaves behind his faithful wife Khouria Samira; his children, Deacon Simon, Laila, Pauline, and Fady; and nine grandchildren. Viewing will be held on Sunday at 6 p.m. at St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church and the funeral service will be held on Monday, August 14, 2017, at 10 a.m. at St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church in Edmonton, Alberta.

Read a reflection by Fr. Joseph, "Share Your Faith with Confidence."

Faithtree Resources Releases "13 Reasons: Why We Must Engage with Our Teens"

Van Nuys, California. (August 4, 2017)  Faithtree Resources, a teaching ministry of St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Van Nuys, CA, has released their latest resource for clergy and families, a free eBook entitled: 13 Reasons: Why We Must Engage with Our Teens. (Download a free copy) 

The 20+ page resource is Faithtree’s response to the popular Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," a teen-oriented drama about a high school student who takes her own life. The series aired this year and has not only caused a national stir, but as new research indicates, may have significantly increased the number of teens now researching and contemplating their own suicides. In an article in The Atlantic, Google reported queries about suicide rose by almost 20 percent in the 19 days following the wake of the show’s release. This represents between 900,000-1.5 million more searches than usual regarding the subject.

Orthodox Christian Translation Society Accepting Proposals for Translation Projects

The Orthodox Christian Translation Society (OCTS), a non-profit organization committed to facilitating the entire process of creating high-quality Orthodox translations from project conception to publication and distribution, is accepting proposals for future translation projects.

OCTS accepts proposals from skilled translators and then selects projects to support. Once a project is chosen, OCTS commits to support that project financially from beginning to end. This includes translation, editing, publication, and distribution. Each translator is supported financially according to a method which best suits his or her needs; this may include hourly compensation, compensation based on length of the text, or royalty payments made at the time of sales. In this way, OCTS provides opportunities for skilled translators to commit their time to Orthodox translation work while also supporting themselves and their families or monastic communities.

Convention Audio Now Available at Ancient Faith Radio

Ancient Faith Radio has released several audio recordings from the recently concluded biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention in Miami, in their "Specials" podcast section. Hosted by St. George's Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Coral Gables, the 53rd Convention was held from July 23–30, 2017 and commemorated the ministry of His Grace Bishop Antoun, who was retiring after decades of service to the Archdiocese. The audio recordings include the spiritual talks of Fr. Andrew Damick, the Bible Bowl contest, and the Keynote Address by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.

Listen to all five presentations on Ancient Faith Radio.

Worcester Diocesan Family Camp is October 13-15 in Contoocook, NH

The Diocese of Worcester and New England Family Camp is an opportunity for your family to get away from everyday life and take a weekend as a family to grow closer to Christ, in the beautiful setting of the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH on the shore of Clement Pond. At Family Camp, eating a meal together as a family is the norm, not the exception.

Not your typical vacation, Family Camp offers a mini-vacation without maps, lines for popcorn, or decisions over where to eat. Our flexible schedule gives you the choice of "doing it all" from canoeing to volleyball, or just taking it easy and savoring a good view from the waterfront.

Memory Eternal! + Georgia Marx

Memory Eternal! + Georgia Marx, mother of Fr. Meletios Marx of St. Joseph Orthodox Church in Houston, TX, reposed on Monday, July 24, 2017, and will be buried from St. Joseph on Thursday, August 3.

Born in Galveston, Texas on March 27, 1941, Georgia received a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology from North Texas State University in 1962. She dedicated a large part of her life to working with children who had speech impediments. She had a strong love of God and was very active in church. She had ten green thumbs and was a member of a neighborhood garden club where she won numerous blue ribbons for floral design. Needlepoint was another passion of Georgia’s, and her stich mastery was often displayed at local shops. She loved good food, socializing with friends and family, and old movies, particularly, John Wayne’s The Quiet Man. Equal to her love of family was her love of cats and the fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

Memory Eternal! + Kh. Helen Kahle

Memory Eternal! + Khouria Helen S. Kahle, 87, of Emmaus, PA, passed away July 26, 2017 at Lehigh Center, Macungie. She was the wife of the late Very Rev. John (Robert) Kahle (+2008), the founding pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Emmaus, PA.

Born in Emmaus, Helen was the daughter of the late John and Kathryn (Slota) Sikorski. She was a graduate of Emmaus High School, Class of 1948, and Sacred Heart Hospital School of Nursing in 1951. Helen served several medical practices as a registered nurse for many years.

She is survived by her sons, Robert Kahle and his wife, Karen, James Kahle and his wife, Rebecca; and daughters Anne Boyle, Susan Crouthamel and her husband, David, Karen Buss and her husband, Mark, Patricia Domyan and her husband, Mark, Barbara Parker and her husband, Peter; fourteen grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and her sister, Julia Kooker. 

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

  • Sunday, July 30: Viewing 3-5 pm at Bachman Kulik Reinsmith Funeral Home in Emmaus, PA (225 Elm St.), with a Trisagion Memorial at 4:30pm
  • Monday, July 31: Viewing 10-11 am, Funeral 11 am at St. Paul Orthodox Church in Emmaus (156 E. Main St.)

Khouria Helen's obituary can be read on Legacy.com. Contributions in her memory can be made to St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Emmaus, PA.

May her memory be eternal!