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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.

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.

 

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!

Classical Learning Resource Center Joins Forces with St. Raphael School

 

 


Listen to the Ancient Faith Radio interview about CLRC and St. Raphael

The Classical Learning Resource Center (CLRC) was founded eight years ago by Antiochian Orthodox Christians, Subdeacon John and Anne Van Fossen of Naples, ID, with the blessing and encouragement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. The CLRC provides live, interactive, online classes in a wide variety of subject areas. It serves both homeschooled students and students in public and private schools. Eager learners connect with outstanding instructors in a dynamic educational community. CLRC teachers currently include six instructors with PhDs, ten with MAs, an abbess, and a priest. All of the administrative staff, eighteen of the twenty-two teachers, and about half of the students are Orthodox.

This year the CLRC is joining forces with another Orthodox provider of online classes – the St. Raphael School. Saint Raphael School is a warm community of Orthodox educators, parents, and students. The center of the St. Raphael school is its integrated, literature based, liberal arts curriculum which is firmly rooted in the Orthodox faith.

Summer 2017 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Summer 2017 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Worcester and New England. The issue contains:

  • Greetings from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and His Grace Bishop John
  • A message from Spiritual Advisor Fr. Ed Hughes
  • A message from the Diocesan President Cindy Hayes
  • Profiles of Worcester officers
  • Chapter reports, photos and happenings

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

Bishop John and Nicholas Mamey to Launch Book on Marriage at Miami Convention

[SVOTS Communications / Yonkers, NY] Orthodox Christian couples are often seeking sage advice on how to strengthen their marital bond, and St. Vladimir's Seminary Press (SVS Press) has just released a book to help them do so: Building an Orthodox Marriage: A Practical Commentary on the Eastern Orthodox Marriage Rite. Written by a long-time married but now widowed bishop and a newly married layman, the book prepares couples to understand marriage as "a great mystery" akin to the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church (Eph 5.32), while coaching them in practical ways to strengthen their union.

His Grace the Right Reverend John Abdalah, bishop of the Diocese of Worcester and New England of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA), and Nicholas G. Mamey, a newly married seminary graduate, are coauthors of the volume. In their work, they first establish a grounding for marriage, using Scripture and texts from the Orthodox Christian wedding ceremony, and then go on to offer practical guidance to couples.

Celebration of 125 years of Orthodox Christianity in Greater Chicago

Proclaiming 2017 as the 125th year of Orthodox Christianity in Greater Chicago, the ruling bishops of Chicago have endorsed a historic celebration to take place Saturday, September 30, 2017. Sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association [OCCA] of Greater Chicago, the commemoration will include the celebration of a Pan Orthodox Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Lane Tech Auditorium, 2501 W. Addison @ Western Sts, in Chicago, followed by a celebration banquet at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare, 8535 W. Higgins Rd, Chicago.

Chairing the event is Archpriest Nicholas Dahdal, rector of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cicero. Chicago area hierarchs along with all area clergy will gather to concelebrate the historic liturgy. His Grace, Bishop Irinej (Dobrijevic), Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America, former Director of Education at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, will deliver the homily. Responses will be sung by the Pan Orthodox Choir of Greater Chicago, under the direction of Gordana Trbuhovich.

For College Graduates: Parishes Seeking Full-time Youth Directors

The V. Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministry reports that several parishes in the United States and in Canada are seeking to hire full-time youth directors for our Antiochian Orthodox parishes. If you are an Orthodox Christian young man or young woman who has graduated college and is looking to work full-time in youth ministry, please send your resume and complete contact information to: frjoseph@orthodoxyouth.com.

Memory Eternal! + Kh. Stefanie Yazge

UPDATED June 30: Funeral Arrangements

With great sadness, and with the hope of the Resurrection, Khouriyee Dr. Stefanie Yova Yazge suddenly fell asleep in the Lord on the morning of June 29, 2017, the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. Kh. Stefanie is the wife of Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Yazge, director of the Antiochian Village Camp. They have three children: Matthew, Mark and Alexis.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, the Diocesan Bishops, the Board of Trustees, all the organizations, and all the clergy and the faithful of the Archdiocese offer their condolences to the Yazge and Yova families.

Atlas of American Orthodox Monasteries (Second Edition) is Now Available for Download

The electronic version (PDF) of the Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries is now available free of charge from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, and can be downloaded here. The hard copy of the Atlas can be purchased directly from the publisher, Holy Cross Orthodox Press. 

The Atlas includes:

Reflections for Father's Day

These two thoughtful reflections from a new father and a seasoned father and grandfather, offer insights into the importance of Orthodox Christian fathers, as we celebrate Father's Day on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

Who Else Will Raise the Second Generation of Orthodox Christians?

By Fr. George Shalhoub

On June 18th, we will celebrate and honor every father again on Father's Day.

In the Holy Orthodox Church, no man is defined without a woman, no woman is defined without a man, and no man or woman is defined without God. A mother is not more important than the father and neither is the father more important than the mother. The two cannot be separated. They are like railroad tracks; one cannot exist without the other. They become one flesh in marriage (Ephesians 5:31) and share the responsibility for their future.

I recall that even when my mother took me to church, my father was no less important. On many occasions, I tagged along with my father as he was one of the builders of St. George Cathedral in my hometown of Hama, Syria. It took ten years to build this church which was next to our old church, the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.

Read the whole reflection.


Fatherhood, A Kind of Asceticism

By Deacon Thom Crowe