"'Kyrie eleison,' the congregants intone, while at the altar, a retired cop-turned-Orthodox priest performs rituals as old as Christianity. When he steps down to face the crowd, he delivers a sermon like a country preacher, sweat beading on his forehead. 'Some of us here are former Methodists,' says the Rev. James Hamrick, wearing white vestments over a black cassock, addressing two-dozen worshippers scattered sparsely through the pews. 'Some of us were former Lutherans. Some of us were former Episcopals. Evangelicals. Non-denominational Christians. Pentecostals. But the one single factor that is common to all of our journeys — no, not where we come from — is that fact that we pursued the truth of God’s self-revelation.'"
From the Department of External Relations, Russian Orthodox Church:
The Primates and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, who came to Moscow for the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia, adopted the joint Statement. The main theme of the Statement is the situation of Christians in the Middle East. On 25 of July 2013, the Primates and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. On behalf of all those present at the meeting, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia handed over the text of the Statement to Mr. Putin.
We, heads and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, who have come to Moscow on the occasion of the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia at the invitation of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, consider it our duty to raise our voice in defense of our Christian brothers subjected to persecution for their faith in various parts of the world today.
Every day thousands of believers in Christ are being tortured and driven out of their native lands; many people meet their death. Read the full statement of the Primates.
Khouria Krista West, owner of Krista West Vestments and an Ancient Faith Radio podcaster ("The Opinionated Tailor"), has released a new book with St. Vladimir's Press titled The Garments of Salvation. The first comprehensive book on this topic in the English language, the text invites readers to explore the fascinating and colorful world of Orthodox Christian vesture and church adornment. Wife of Fr. Alban West, the rector of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Portland, OR, Kh. Krista is unveiling her new book at the 51st Annual Archdiocese Convention in Houston throughout the week of July 21-28. The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is also airing an interview with Kh. Krista about her book on the podcast "Come Receive the Light."
Praise for Kh. Krista's book:
The Garments of Salvation will fascinate anyone who loves "the beauty of Thy house" with its insight into the meaning and making of liturgical vestments and fabrics. Most importantly, it returns to us our own holy tradition, a tradition of great beauty, which threatens to be lost to the temptations of cheap materials and hasty production. Beauty matters, and The Garments of Salvation will make you hungry to see it in your own church. ~Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green
A ministry supported by The Order of St. Ignatius and many individual Antiochian parishes, Project Mexico is in the midst of its busy summer in Tijuana, Mexico. Home building crews have been working each week since May.
Two types of homebuilding groups participate each summer: small groups, and Orthodox Basic Training (OBT) groups. During small group weeks, teams from one, two, or three parishes construct a single home for a needy family and spend the afternoons interacting with the boys of St. Innocent Orphanage. During OBT weeks, larger groups travel to Tijuana to construct between four to seven homes in one week, and evening speakers each evening discuss a variety of Orthodox Christian topics. Two of this year's presenters are Antiochian priests Fr. Michael Nasser from Bowling Green, KY and Fr. John Bethancourt from Santa Fe, NM.
It is with saddened hearts that we inform you of the passing of our sister and aunt, Helen Thomas. Surrounded by family and friends, she died peacefully in her Washington, D.C. home Saturday morning, July 20, 2013.
Helen Thomas devoted her nearly 70-year career in journalism to the pursuit of the public's right to know. She was a champion of the First Amendment, fervently advocating for the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. For years, she proudly occupied her front row seat in the Press Briefing Room at the White House, considering it the people's chair in the people's house. She always acknowledged the privilege of being the eyes and ears of the public, and she boldly and unabashedly asked the hard questions to hold our leaders accountable.
The Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology & Religion (OCAMPR) has announced the theme of its 2013 Conference in Falls Church, VA at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church on November 1-2, 2013: "The Clinical and Pastoral Care of the Aging Patient."
Speakers include The Right Rev. Bishop John, Diocese of Worcester and New England, Dr. Helen Kales, geriatric psychiatrist at the University of Michigan, Dr. Brenda O'Reilly, a clinical psychologist in private practice, and The Rev. Dr. Anthony Ugolnik, Emeritus Professor of Ethics and Humanities at Franklin and Marshall College.
Khouria Jacqueline "Jacqui" (Tomey) Rados, age 75, of Potomac, MD, passed away on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 after a long, courageous battle with an extended illness. Jacqui was born on January 20, 1938 in Canton, Ohio to Mike and Peggy (Albert) Tomey. She married and moved to Terre Haute, IN where she raised five sons before moving to Maryland and working over 20 years in the Montgomery County School system while performing her most beloved role of mother and grandmother.
Khouria Jacqui was preceded in death by her parents, Mike and Peggy Tomey; son, Christopher Rados; and sisters, Marlene Booth and Kathryn Martinez. The survivors include her husband of 52 years Fr. George Rados; son and daughter-in-law George and Hanada Rados; son and daughter-in-law Mark and Dana Rados; and sons, David and Paul Rados; grandchildren, Corey, Paul, Christopher, Nicholas, Alexi and Michael Rados; brothers, David, Michael and Alan Tomey all of Canton, OH; sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Don Boord of Massillon, OH, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Khouria Jacqui loved to bake and cook for all who visited her kitchen and was the adopted mother of many. She will be sadly missed by all whose lives she touched. Friends were received on Monday, July 15th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Ss. Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Potomac, MD. Funeral Services were held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Interment was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery on Tuesday In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Ss Peter & Paul for the benefit of the Memorial Garden Fund.
Ancient Faith Radio (AFR) has released an interview titled "Correcting a Canonical Anomaly." AFR's Website explains that "One Bishop per city or region is what the canons call for. Yet, here in North America we have multiple bishops in one location. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops is working to correct that, and today we speak with Protodeacon Peter Danilchick (Orthodox Church in America) who is the liaison for the Canonical Regional Planning Committee. Learn about the importance of this task and how long it will take to get it done."
For more information on this issue, visit AFR's documentary section and the page, "Unravelling Chambesy."
On Saturday in the Fourth Week after the Octave of Easter on June 8, 2013, His Grace Bishop John ordained Subdeacon James Tochihara to the office of Deacon at St. Mark's Orthodox Church in Denver, CO, . Deacon Patrick is assigned to St. Mark in Denver. Three young men were also ordained Readers. Father John Connely celebrated Mass following the ordinations. Axios! Ad multos annos! Many Years!
On the Feast of Pentecost on June 23, at St. Peter's Orthodox Church in Ft. Worth, TX, His Grace ordained Deacon Robert Weber to the Holy Priesthood. Father Robert is the non-stipendiary curate at St. Peter, and Fr. Daniel Keller sponsored Father Robert for ordination. Axios! Ad multos annos! Many Years!
On Ember Saturday in Pentecost, June 29 at the Parish Life Conference (PLC) for the Diocese of Worcester and New England, His Grace Bishop John ordained Subdeacon Benjamin Kjendal to the Holy Diaconate. Then on Trinity Sunday, June 30, His Grace ordained Deacon Benjamin Kjendal to the office of Priest in the Orthodox Church. Father Benjamin is assigned to St. Stephen Orthodox Church in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Antiochian Orthodox Basilica of Saint Mary in Livonia, MI, praises God for all His blessings, as the Lord provides us with multiple opportunities to serve our beloved children—God's inheritance. They are our greatest gift from the Lord.
Every summer, the Basilica of St. Mary hosts both a weekly "Camp St. Mary" ministry program for our children 13-17 years of age, and a one- week Vacation Bible School ministry program for children 3-12 years of age. The goal of the summer programs is to teach the children the meaning of Christ's two greatest commandments: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. All the activities are designed to instill these spiritual truths into the lives of our children by teaching them how to be strong in their faith, and how to represent Christ to the world.
In July of 2013, the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is featuring the evangelistic theme titled "Faith and Nations," an exploration of "...the richness of the diversity within the Orthodox World," notes OCN's website. On the podcast "Journey to Orthodoxy," convert to Orthodox Christianity Christa Belyaev shares how she fell in love with Russian culture, went to Russia to win converts to Protestantism, and instead found the Orthodox faith.
Continuing this monthly theme, Fr. Bill Mills shares excerpts from his book Baptize All Nations on the podcast "Theologically Thinking. The book refers to the Gospel of Matthew readings which the Church proclaims throughout the summer months.
View OCN's video newsletter for a further explanation of July's theme.
July 2, 2013
As the communities of Prescott and Yarnell, Arizona, mourn the loss of 19 firefighters and the destruction of 200 buildings by the wildfires that have already scorched 8,400 acres and are still raging out of control in the area northwest of Phoenix, please join IOCC in praying for the impacted families and lost loved ones.
IOCC has been in contact with the Orthodox community in the affected area as well as its ecumenical partners, and at the request of the local Orthodox priest, has sent a team of its Frontline trauma counselors to assist in spiritual and emotional care as well as further assess the emerging needs for any appropriate future responses that IOCC might offer.
For more information or to find out how you can help, visit the IOCC's Website.
Calling all parents, Sunday School teachers, youth workers, parish priests, and Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) alumni!
OCF is in the midst of collecting names for its First Forty Days program and it needs the help of each parish, to help high school graduates seamlessly join the OCF network. First Forty Days aims to integrate new collegians into the life of an OCF chapter during the first forty days of college. Please submit student information on OCF's website by June 30th to ensure that each students will be directly contacted by the OCF North American Office and greeted on his or her college campus by an OCF family and local parish at the beginning of the fall semester.
Questions? Please contact North American Chapter Relations Coordinator Christina Andresen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 28, 2013
Imagine if you or your children could not attend school or stay healthy because you did not have a sturdy pair of shoes. Children should be able to have the freedom to run and play with durable soles and their feet protected. Throughout the country, children who are experiencing homelessness and poverty have inadequate or no shoes at all, which leads to being unable to go to school, participate in sports, play on the playground, and pose numerous health risks.
In response, FOCUS is launching Operation: Lace Up, a national shoe distribution program that will begin in the summer of 2013. Hundreds of thousands of children affected by homelessness and poverty will receive two new pairs of high-quality shoes each year. The goal of the program is to ensure that all school-age children have comfortable, properly-fitting shoes and are able to attend school. Operation: Lace Up will work with public school districts in 28 metropolitan areas across the United States to reach kids in need.
The first shoe distributions will begin in August 2013, in preparation for the new school year. Details are available on the FOCUS website.
Antiochian Village announces that "Session One of camp is underway and the campers are loving it...all thanks to God. This year we are using a new website for our photography and we are excited to provide the campers and parents, per request, with many more photos from every day this summer! At present we have our 2013 Family Camp album and our Staff Training Week album full uploaded. The Session One Album is up and running and we are keeping it updated with hundreds of pictues every day!"
The Archdiocese has received the following authoritative information:
"Executive Order 13528, signed by President Barack Obama on 17 August 2011, includes an exemption under General License No. 6 authorizing U.S. registered financial institutions the ability to transfer funds to individuals in Syria. Attached is a copy of General License No. 6 signed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). As parishioners encounter challenges in transferring funds, they may provide this documentation to their financial institution or call OFAC's hotline (202) 622-2480. It is important to have all relevant information on the intended transaction, including the names of the financial institutions in the U.S. and Syria."
Beloved in Christ,
May God grant you many years!
I wanted to remind you about some excellent Orthodox educational opportunities that are presently available to you and the beloved of your dioceses. Next week there will be a Parish Life Conference in Eastern Pennsylvania. I strongly recommend that you pass this on to the faithful. If they have the opportunity to participate, they will never regret it.
Secondly, there are a number of Orthodox parochial schools and camping programs that are available to your young people in the United States. The number is surprising. If you're interested in looking into this in the future, a list can be secured from Fr. Joseph Purpura (email@example.com) or through the Department of Camping.
By Dr. Doreen D'Angelo
Dorothy Elizabeth Rothman Fluty passed away on June 16, 2013 at the age of 96. She was a member of St. Mary's Orthodox Church in West Palm Beach, FL. Dorothy was pre-deceased by her loving husband, Nicholas Michael Fluty (Flutie), who was born in Lebanon and passed away in 1984.
She was born in the Bronx, New York in 1916, where she lived with her parents, Nathan & Carrie-Ethel Rothman. Most people didn't know that our mother Dorothy was of Jewish background (both parents). One day she and I sat down and had a serious discussion. She wanted what I had, and I said, "Momma, what do I have that you want."? She said she noticed that I could handle situations that were coming my way with a godly attitude, something she never experienced in her life up till that point. I told my momma, that we can talk with Dad and see about her taking lessons and being baptized into the Orthodox Church Dad belonged to. I was Catholic, and my Dad was Orthodox, so it only seemed fitting to choose my Dad's church.
Mother, for the first time in her life, belonged, and she soon volunteered for everything she could possibly do for the church. Momma gained many friends who are still remembering her and the wonderful selflessness she put forth in all she did. Dorothy (Momma) has two children: her loving daughter Dr. Doreen D'Angelo, and Fred, her younger child. Both have been married for many years to their loving spouses: Doreen's husband is Joseph D'Angelo, and Fred's wife is Ann Fluty. Doreen and Joseph have four children. Fred and Ann have no children. She also had two Grandchildren, Stephanie, and Stephen. Two Great Grandchildren, Joey and Nina (from Canada). A Great-Great Grandchild named Talia (from Canada). Dorothy also has two step-Grandchildren named, Darlene & Francene D'Angelo (son, Chris).
MEMORY ETERNAL! Our beloved and highly esteemed brother and concelebrant in the sacred mysteries Fr. Anthony Miller, proistamenos at St. Peter Church in Fort Worth, Texas, fell asleep in Christ around midnight after a long and heroic battle with cancer at the age of 54. Fr. Anthony is survived by his wife Khouriya Kim and their three children Carla, Luke and Matthew. Fr. Anthony was also the spiritual advisor for the Order of St. Ignatius in the Diocese of Wichita.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) marks World Refugee Day in remembrance of the sacrifices made by refugee families all over the world.
June 19, 2013
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — When violent clashes suddenly erupted in his Aleppo neighborhood, Faruk, 33, his pregnant wife, Mona, and their three children left their home in Syria and the only life they had ever known to make the exhausting, 160-mile trek to Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Arriving safe but penniless and alone in a foreign land, the former construction worker fashioned a small shelter out of scavenged scrap metal for his family. The long and difficult journey made Mona seriously ill. Faruk took her to several hospitals in search of help, only to be turned away from each one because he couldn't pay for her care.
With his wife's life at stake, he pleaded with strangers for any help they could give and eventually scraped together enough money to cover the hospital fees. Mona gave birth to a little girl, but the long journey and harsh living conditions in their makeshift home took their toll on her weakened body and she passed away four days later. A devastated Faruk, who left Syria out of fear for the safety of his family, was now a widower filled with a new fear – how to care for a newborn and three more children with no means to support them.
Letter sent to President Obama
June 11, 2013
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write you as leaders of Christian Churches Together in the USA, an organization comprised of 43 denominations and organizations representing the full spectrum of Christian faith - Catholic, historic Protestant, Evangelical/Pentecostal, Orthodox, and Historic Black churches. We wish to share with you our deepest concern over the kidnapping of two prominent archbishops in Syria, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi of Aleppo and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of Aleppo. As you know, they have been missing since April 22, and the driver of their car, a deacon in the Syriac Orthodox Church, was killed.
The members of our churches and organizations deeply lament the ongoing and horrible tragedy in Syria, with the deaths of tens of thousands, the displacement of millions, and the bitter sectarian hostility which seems to grow daily. Our prayers for comfort are with all who suffer, and our prayers for wisdom and courage are with all who are working for peace.
But we are addressing you in particular about the fate of these two courageous and well-loved Archbishops in Syria because of what they mean to the Christian community in that country and around the world. While we understand that there may be limitations on what the U.S. government can do directly to secure their release, we also know that the U. S. and its allies have considerable influence with a number of governments and factions on the ground who could make a difference in the fate of these two kidnapped church leaders. The fact that they were traveling on a humanitarian mission makes this matter all the more tragic and horrific.
Joensuu, Finland – The Fifth International Conference on Orthodox Church Music was held 3-9 June 2013 here, at the School of Theology, University of Eastern Finland. The conference, hosted by the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM), featured participants from fifteen different countries presenting papers on a variety of topics related to the conference's overall theme of "Church Music and Icons: Windows to Heaven."
"This year's conference built on the four previous, and also expanded our range, in linking the discussion of church music with iconography," said the Rev. Ivan Moody, board chairman of ISOCM, "Not only were musicians discussing their work and its relationship to icons, but we also had a number of joint sessions in which musicologists and iconologists presented their work together."
The week-long gathering affirms the mission of ISOCM as a place in which like-minded people can come together and share their vision, and learn from others. Conference participants included musicologists, singers, directors, graduate students, composers, researchers, iconographers, iconologists, and those who have an appreciation of the liturgical arts. "One of the highlights of conferences hosted by ISOCM is the gathering of participants from around the world," said Deacon Petri Nykänen, vice-chair of the ISOCM board. He added, "The presentations were of the highest caliber, and coupled with the divine services provided each of us with the opportunity to worship, learn, and sing together."
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese reports:
The Communications Department of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) have launched www.faithandsafety.org, a resource for adults to help children safely navigate online. The website and complementary social media channels (Twitter and Facebook) address safe use of the Internet, mobile devices and other technology, emphasizing the positive use of technology to support children's faith.
Doreen Essey + June 8, 2013
Doreen E. Essey, of Monessen PA, died June 8, 2013, at the age of 77. She was the daughter of the late George and Eva Nyrhinen Stofka. Doreen is survived by her husband of 58 years, George Essey, the choir director and cantor at St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church: a son, George (Marian) : daughters Lori and Susan: eight grandchildren: eleven great-grandchildren: sister Donna Dudas (Richard): brother-in law Samuel Essey (Elmunda). Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her in-laws, Esper and Rashida Essey: brothers-in-law Norman and Gerald Essey: niece, Linda Essey.
After graduation from Monessen High School with the Class of 1953, Doreen worked in the Darling Shoppe and then became a full time homemaker. She loved and adored her children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and excelled in the art of Syrian cooking until her stroke in 2005. Mrs. Essey was very active in her church, St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church of Monessen, PA, serving as secretary and treasurer of the Ladies Society, and a member of the Parish Council during the purchase of the present church on Patton Ave. Friends were received at the Robert Billick Funeral Home, Monessen, on Tuesday, June 11. Trisagion services were held at 7:30, with The Rev. Fred Pfeil officiating. Funeral services were held at St Michael AOC. 1201 Patton Ave., Monessen, Wednesday, June 12, at 10:30 AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest that memorial donations be made to St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church, c/o 189 Pacific Blvd, Monessen, PA 15062.
One of the early pioneers of Antiochian Village, Eddie Joseph, or "Cuz" as he was affectionately known, fell asleep in the Lord on June 12, 2013. Eddie was the athletic director (now known as the Afternoon Program Coordinator) for many years in the early years of the camp. A lifelong member of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, PA, Eddie sang in the choir and was a member of Order of St. Ignatius
Service information is as follows: Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 14, at the Frank Duca Funeral Home, Westmont Chapel, 1622 Menoher Blvd., Johnstown, where Trisagion prayers will be sung at 7 p.m. Trisagion prayers will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home with the funeral service following at St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church with The Very Rev. Father Donald E. Shadid officiating. The Joseph family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Antiochian Village Camp as part of the Edward Joseph Memorial Scholarship Fund.