At the start of the new year, Conciliar Press is offering a unique 2010 Icon Calendar featuring women saints. Written by three contemporary iconographers from North America--Michael Kapeluck, Matthew Garret, and Cheryl Ann Pituch, the full-color calendar measures 11" X 12" and features large calendar boxes for recording important date reminders. It also lists major saint and feast days traditionally celebrated in Orthodox countries around the world, with dates according to the new calendar. Popular and beloved saints such as St. Xenia and St. Brigid are featured, as well as less familiar saints such as Holy Martyr Natalia of Nicomedia.
To order, go to www.conciliarpress.com.
At the initiative of the canonical Orthodox Bishops of the West, 106 priests and deacons gathered at Saint Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center in Dunlap, California, December 1-3, 2009 for a retreat.
His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos [Greek Archdiocese]; His Grace, Bishop Joseph [Antiochian Archdiocese]; His Grace, Bishop Benjamin [OCA]; and His Grace, Bishop Maxim [Serbian Patriarchate] encouraged their clergy to participate in this historic gathering. Each hierarch addressed a reflection to the group during one of the services.
Church Calendar for the Year 2010
|Holy Pascha||April 4||April 24||April 15|
|Western Easter||April 4||April 24||April 8|
SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- On Friday, December 18, 2009, His Eminence, Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest unexpectedly fell asleep in the Lord.
His Eminence, Archbishop Job was born Richard John Osacky in Chicago on March 18, 1946. He completed university studies at Northern Illinois University and, after graduating from Saint Tikhon Seminary, South Canaan, PA, in 1970, he served as cantor and youth director at Saint John the Baptist Church in Black Lick, Pennsylvania. He assumed responsibilities in leading Divine Services in the prescribed manner for readers, conducting religious education and youth work, and painting icons. It was his extraordinary affinity with Orthodox youth that gained him the recognition of the Church at large.
In 1973 Reader John was ordained to the holy diaconate and consequently to the holy priesthood by Bishop Theodosius of Pittsburgh [later Metropolitan Theodosius of All American and Canada]. He was assigned to the parish in Black Lick, where he also served as spiritual director for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at nearby Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
As a celibate priest, he maintained a zeal for the monastic life in all his endeavors. In 1975 he was made a riasaphor monk, and later was tonsured a monk in the Lesser Schema by [then] Bishop Herman in August of 1982. In November of that year he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.
March 11-14, 2010
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 available 1/11/10.
Sacred Image, Sacred Marriage
The guest speaker will be Presvytera Kerry Pappas, MA , MA, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist who works primarily with Orthodox couples. She and her husband, Fr. Harry Pappas have been married for 28 years and have three grown children. Presvytera Kerry will be speaking on the topic of incarnating the images of marriage that are given to us in the church.
Weekend Package is $274/couple if postmarked by 2/1/10, $299 per couple after 2/1/10
*additional Sunday night lodging available*
For more information or to register, please visit www.antiochianvillage.org.
CRESTWOOD, NY [SVS] -- On Saturday afternoon, January 30, 2010, the Most Rev. and Rt. Honorable Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury and senior bishop of the worldwide Anglican communion, will deliver the annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. The archbishop will speak on the topic "Theology and the Contemplative Calling: The Image of Humanity in the Philokalia."
Saint Vladimir's Seminary will also confer upon the archbishop a Doctorate of Divinity honoris causa, in recognition of his contribution to the academic study of Eastern Orthodox theology and spirituality. The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir's, was examined for his own doctoral degree at Oxford University by the archbishop, then a professor of theology there.
"Many Orthodox Christians may be unaware of Rowan Williams's research and contribution to the field of Orthodox theology," said Father John. "But he was a pioneer in this field, with outstanding breadth and depth. The subject of his own doctoral thesis, for instance, was the work of the great Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky, the first academic study of the émigré theologians. He has also written beautifully on the icons of the Theotokos and the Transfiguration, and, most recently, has published a highly regarded volume titled 'Dostoevsky: Language, Faith and Fiction.' In recognition of his outstanding work and contribution to the study of Eastern Christianity, we are very pleased that he has accepted to deliver the 2010 annual Schmemann lecture."
December 15, 2009 – Kansas City, MO
One of the missions of FOCUS North America is to aid existing Orthodox Christian social action ministries Recently, the organization, based in Kansas City, added several new Orthodox partner ministries including Sheltering Tree, Inc.; ReEngage, Inc.; St. Herman House of Hospitality, Martha and Mary House and St. Nicholas Orthodox Church Kid’s Club.
FOCUS North America gave away a total of $15,000 in grant money to these new partner ministries and to its existing partners St. Brigid’s Fellowship, St. Xenia Sisterhood, and Philoxenia House.
And in an effort to further bless Philoxenia House, FOCUS North America raised an additional $10,000 in support for them.
Each organization is grateful for both the partnership and the grant.
Ed Malouf, of the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church Kid's Club said, "In these difficult economic times, uniting together to serve is all the more important in order to accomplish our common Gospel mandate to love our neighbor. We are excited to partner with FOCUS North America to extend the ministry of the St Nicholas Kids Club to help even more families in need this year. Because of the tough economy and the number of struggling families, we anticipate an increased demand at our Christmas breakfast and toy give away, but our budget was also limited.
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.
Students can sign up for Real Break at: www.ocf.net/realbreak.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is extending registration for College Conference 2009 until December 10. College Conference 2009 is December 27-31, 2009. The Antiochian Village in Bolivar, Pennsylvania is the home to OCF's largest conference. Reconnect with old friends and make new ones at this dynamic 5-day event. This year's theme is "Building Community," (II Corinthians 13:14). OCF is very honored to have His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah as this year's Keynote Speaker, as well as several dynamic workshop speakers. Cost is $325 for students and $375 for alumni.
FOCUS North America announces pilot FOCUS Kansas City Center in partnership with Reconciliation Services - extending hands-on ministry nationally
December 4, 2009 – Kansas City, MO
Through a unique alliance with Reconciliation Services, FOCUS North America has launched FOCUS Kansas City - the first such center of a national initiative to provide more local opportunities for volunteers and Orthodox Christian faithful to participate in hands-on ministry in the spirit of Matthew 25.
Reconciliation Services has not just chosen to be renamed Reconciliation Services – FOCUS Kansas City but has partnered with FOCUS North America for mutual support and encouragement, standing side-by-side in service of the hurting and hungry in Kansas City.
Unlike some umbrella organizations, FOCUS North America is an active, operational ministry. Reconciliation Services-FOCUS Kansas City is a pilot program – a model that FOCUS North America is actively working to replicate in 10 communities in the next five years.
Since 1987 over 1,000 people have offered a living witness to the Orthodox Christian faith through their participation in an Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) Mission Team. These Team members have taught catechism, built churches, schools, and hospitals, offered healthcare, worked with youth, and provided outreach in 27 countries around the world.
There have been exceptions, but for reasons that include liability, the risks and rigor inherent in serving abroad, and the specialized nature of mission work, Team members have traditionally been at least 18 years old. Over the years, OCMC has heard from many sources including past Team members, missionaries, board members, staff, and supporters about the importance of enabling youth participation on OCMC Mission Teams.
With board approval, OCMC has opened up four of its 2010 Mission Teams to youth participation with the condition that Team members would not be under 13 years of age and that they would be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
“The motivation behind this decision was to expose youth to the work of making disciples while giving eligible families the ability to experience service for the Church in a cross cultural setting,” offers OCMC Mission Teams Director Andrew Lekos.
The Teams in 2010 that are open to youth and families have been carefully chosen to allow youth to develop relationships with their Orthodox peers and learn about new cultures. “It is hoped that language barriers melt and horizons are broadened as families put their faith into action and share their Orthodox faith,” adds Mr. Lekos.
Over Thanksgiving weekend in 2004, John and Tonya Maddex quietly began a revolution on the back porch of their Chicago-area home. Ancient Faith Radio, an internet-based streaming radio station, began broadcasting Eastern Orthodox Christian liturgical music and readings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It soon became an outreach of their Antiochian Chicago parish, All Saints Orthodox Church, and later a department of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese.
Today, five years later, the station provides two streaming radio stations, about 50 podcasts, and audio recordings from conferences all across the country. Ancient Faith Radio has become an important resource for Orthodox Christians and many people interested in Christianity worldwide. What began as a few hundred listeners has grown substantially, with visitors to the website from 127 countries and an average of 250,000 downloads of podcasts each month.
John Maddex now serves full-time as the President and CEO of the parent company, Conciliar Media Ministries, overseeing operations of both Ancient Faith Radio and Conciliar Press, an Orthodox Christian publishing house. Currently, AFR is in the midst of their annual appeal. Supportive listeners have offered matching funds, so that end of the year gifts will be doubled, in order to increase the internet radio ministry's reach. Donate funds at: www.ancientfaith.com.
When asked what the future holds for Conciliar Media, Maddex said, “As technology develops and more and more people consume digital media in the form of internet radio and e-books, Conciliar Media and Ancient Faith Radio are positioned to provide high-quality audio and reading materials for Orthodox as well as other liturgically minded Christians worldwide.”
God bless us all with health and happiness this season and always. This month throughout our Archdiocese parishes will be adorned in red as members of The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch don their membership crosses suspended by a red ribbon, a symbol of the blood which the Martyr Ignatius shed for Christ. The Cross and ribbon remind us that sacrificial giving is our obligation as an Antiochian Orthodox Christian.
In celebration of St. Ignatius Sunday, which falls this year on December 20, members of The Order in each parish will wear their crosses and pins, act as greeters, read the Epistle, take up the collection, help with the Communion line, give a homily, host the coffee hour for their parish that day. It is hoped that members will speak with those in their parish unfamiliar with The Order and explain the good works that are accomplished through membership.
Music is a divine act and science concerned with tones, which aids us in expressing the sentiments of the heart by means of voice and instruments. —S.J. Savas
So he who sings well puts his soul in tune, correcting by degrees its faulty rhythm, so that at last, being truly natural and integrated, it has fear of nothing, but in peaceful freedom from all vain imaginings may apply itself with greater longing to the good things to come. For a soul rightly ordered by chanting the sacred word forgets its own afflictions and contemplates with joy the things of Christ alone. —St. Athanasius, The Letter of St. Athanasius to Marcellinus on the Interpretation of Psalms.
A Message From Christopher Holwey
Chairman, Department of Sacred Music
Greetings to you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray all is well.
This is simply a quick reminder to you that this coming Sunday, December 6th, is the Sunday that we honor our chanters and choir members throughout our Archdiocese. It is known as Choir & Chanter Appreciation Sunday.
So therefore, I would like to ask that you do something in recognition of the choir members and chanters in your parish. It might be a special acknowledgement of thanks after Liturgy, or a coffee hour planned in their honor, or whatever else you might creatively think to do for them. As you know, we not only need our priests for each and every service that is done in the Church, but we also need someone, or a group of people--our dedicated chanters and choir members--there to chant and sing the responses and special hymns for whichever service is being offered. They are a vital part of every service that is prayed. As Metropolitan ANTONY, of thrice-blessed memory, once said, “A church without a choir is like a body without a soul.”
November 24, 2009
Beloved in Christ,
God bless you.
As I promised you a couple of days ago, we are forwarding you information on the Orthodox approach to issues that have been recently addressed in the Manhattan Declaration. Below I offer a few comments on subjects relevant to that document:
MANY YEARS! This past Sunday, November 22nd, 2009, the Archdiocese's Silver Antonian Medal of Merit was presented to Chris Farha of St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas in recognition of her twenty-five years of service as director of the Cathedral choir and her work as a member of the Archdiocesan Department of Sacred Music and coordinator of the DOWAMA Sacred Music Committee.
The Classical Learning Resource Center is offering 4 new classes for Spring Semester (January 11th – May 14th 2010). In addition to new Latin 1 and Greek 1 classes the CLRC will offer two new high school level courses for the Spring Semester: “Critical Thinking”, and “God and the Philosophers”. Noted Christian author Matthew Gallatin (Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells) will be the instructor for both classes. These will complement current CLRC courses for Middle School and High School students in Latin and Greek, as well as Greek Mythology and Homer. Students with some previous background in Latin or Greek may be eligible to join ongoing CLRC classes in these subjects. New sections of Homer and Greek Mythology are also being offered. Registration for the Spring Semester (January 11- May 14) opened on November 5. Class sizes are limited for the purpose of quality instruction so early enrollment is encouraged.
The Classical Learning Resource Center, founded by Subdeacon John and Anne Van Fossen and Reader Matthew Gallatin is an online Resource Center for teachers and homeschoolers, dedicated to Christian education through Classical Learning. A classical education not only prepares students for the practical responsibilities of life, but also opens the door to a deeper understanding of humanity and faith.
To learn more about the school and/or to register for classes, visit the CLRC online at http://www.facebook.com/l/53825;www.clrchomeschool.com.
His Grace Bishop BASIL, a signatory to the Declaration, highlights this news release:
Washington, D.C., Press Conference Unveils 4,700-Word Statement Signed by More Than 125 Orthodox, Catholic & Evangelical Leaders
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2009—Today a group of prominent Christian clergy, ministry leaders and scholars released the Manhattan Declaration, which addresses the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty. The 4,700-word declaration issues a clarion call to Christians to adhere to their convictions and informs civil authorities that the signers will not - under any circumstance - abandon their Christian consciences. Drafted by Dr. Robert George, Dr. Timothy George and Chuck Colson and signed by more than 125 Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical Christian leaders, the Manhattan Declaration is available at DeMossNews.com/ManhattanDeclaration.
The feature article in the December 2009 issue of National Geographic Magazine is entitled "Called to the Holy Mountain" and is about Athonite monasticism. The entire article, with text by Robert Draper and photography by Travis Dove, may be accessed on-line. Be sure to check out all three links on the page: Feature Article, Photo Gallery, and Map of Mount Athos.
The holy peninsula of Mount Athos reaches 31 miles out into the Aegean Sea like an appendage struggling to dislocate itself from the secular corpus of northeastern Greece. For the past thousand years or so, a community of Eastern Orthodox monks has dwelled here, purposefully removed from everything except God. They live only to become one with Jesus Christ. Their enclave—crashing waves, dense chestnut forests, the specter of snowy-veined Mount Athos, 6,670 feet high—is the very essence of isolation.
November 16, 2009
The Most Reverend Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER
Serbian Orthodox Church in North & South America
The Venerable Hierarchs and the Clergy and Laity
of the Holy Serbian Orthodox Church
We are deeply saddened by the news of the falling asleep in Christ of His Beatitude, +PAVLE, Patriarch of the Holy Orthodox Church of Serbia. We were blessed to receive his blessings during one of his visits to the United States of America. His Beatitude, PAVLE has lived a holy, long and fruitful life. His contribution to education and the monastic life will never be forgotten.
We will never forget his courageous voice against the unfortunate wars between Orthodox Serbs, the Catholic Croats, and Bosnian Muslims. He was a catalyst for peace and understanding amongst all these groups. “Blessed are the peacemakers.” His departure from this temporal life is a great loss, not only to the God-loving people of Serbia, but to Orthodox Christians all over the world.
On behalf of myself, our venerable hierarchs, the clergy and laity of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, we convey to you, your venerable hierarchs, clergy and laity and the Holy Synod of our sister Patriarchate of Serbia, our deepest sympathy. May our gracious Lord receive His Beatitude, PAVLE in His holy mansions where the faces of the saints shine like the stars of heaven. May his soul rest in peace. Surely his memory will be eternal.
+ Metropolitan PHILIP, Primate
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Each year during the Nativity season, all congregations in the Diocese of Wichita are requested to solicit contributions from all of their individual parishioners and parochial organizations for this worthy endeavor, which provides assistance to mission priests throughout the Diocese.
Every year we have the opportunity to celebrate the feast of St. Basil the Great and honor our own Bishop BASIL by donating to the Bishop BASIL Missions Endowment Fund.
It began in 1975 when the Southwest Region (name at that time) wanted to increase awareness of the need for mission work in the Region. At that time, the Southwest Region consisted of only 8 communities (our Diocese now numbers 51 congregations). Pledges were made to the "Missions Fund", and in 1977 Father Michael Wellborn was partially funded by the Region and assigned to the Region's first mission, Three Hierarchs in New Orleans, Louisiana (renamed St. Basil and relocated to Metairie, Louisiana). In 1978 a "Region Missions Blitz Weekend" was held in Dallas, Texas, resulting in the founding that very weekend of the Region's second mission, Ss. Constantine and Helen in Dallas. The Region also helped fund their first priest, Father Anthony Nelson. Over the years, the Region has funded many missions and helped fund their priests.
FOCUS North America has announced the launch of a new website and video for its youth-based domestic outreach program “Youth Equipped to Serve” (YES). The website can be found at http://www.yesnorthamerica.org/ The video can be found at www.yesnorthamerica.org/yesvideo.
"We are so excited for you to get to know the YES Program through our new website and YES video! Read testimonies from students, view videos that they made and hear firsthand how God is working in the lives of the youth that become His hands and feet in service to the poor," said Katrina Bitar, FOCUS North America YES Program Director.
Feedback from student participants has been enthusiastic.
“The website is fantastic and lively. The new YES video does an excellent job showing the many encounters that happen on a YES trip.” - Peyton Powers
“The website is awesome! The bright colors are great and show how fun these trips are. The video perfectly captured our trip!” - Grace Farha
FOCUS North America believes that engaging all of the faithful, especially our youth, in the Gospel work of serving the poor in our own communities is essential in keeping the youth faithful to Christ and active in the Church for a lifetime. The YES Program has dramatically influenced the spiritual lives of its hundreds of participants. For more information on the YES program or to schedule a trip, visit: www.FOCUSNorthAmerica.org/YES.
FOCUS North America and its programs are committed to serve those in need, support Orthodox Christian social action ministries and supply parishes and others with the education, resources and training to initiate social action ministries in their own communities. In all of this, FOCUS North America continues its work in Restoring Living Icons.
His Holiness PAVLE (Paul), Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac, and Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Serbia, reposed on Sunday, November 15, 2009 at the age of 95.
The Patriarch was born Gojko Stojcevic on September 11, 1914 at Kucanci, a village which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire but is now in Croatia. After attending the Fourth Male Gymnasium in Belgrade, he studied at a seminary in Sarajevo. During the Second World War he took refuge in a monastery at Ovcar, and then returned to Belgrade, where he briefly worked in the construction industry. In 1946 he became a monk at Blagovestenje monastery in Ovcar, taking the name Pavle (Paul). For 11 years he lived as a monk at the Raca Monastery in central Serbia, and from 1950 lectured at the Prizen Seminary in Kosovo. From 1955 to 1957 Pavle studied Orthodox Theology at the University of Athens, where he discovered a particular gift for liturgics – he was later to become one of the most prolific liturgical writers in the Serbian Church.
On completion of his studies he was elected Bishop of Raska-Prizren (the diocese includes Kosovo), remaining in that post for 33 years until his election as Patriarch on December 1 1990. Pavle had by this time experienced at first hand the hatred that was to consume the former Yugoslavia: in 1989 he had been beaten up by a group of Albanian youths in Kosovo, receiving injuries that required three months' hospital treatment.