A wonderful event that will be taking place at Antiochian Village this autumn! As you may know, Antiochian Village is the burial place of St. Raphael of Brooklyn. Many people each year come to visit his burial place as they also attend the St. Thekla Pilgrimage. The 2012 pilgrimage will take place during the weekend of September 21-23. This pilgrimage is sponsored by our Convent of St. Thekla, with the assistance of the Convent's abbess Mother Alexandra, and will be overseen by His Grace Bishop Thomas.
In addition to the usual events of the pilgrimage, this year we will also have a deacon's retreat in conjunction with the pilgrimage. For information about this retreat, please contact Dn. Gregory Roeber (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As Orthodox Christians, our lives are a type of pilgrimage, so why set time aside to attend the St Thekla Pilgrimage? The key is in "setting aside." We invite you "to set aside all earthly cares" and to join us in refocusing and refreshing ourselves in our Orthodox life. Like St Thekla, Protomartyr and Equal to the Apostles, together we will pray at the Divine Liturgy and services, obtain guidance and direction from the Gospels for our lives at home, and enjoy fellowship with other pilgrims.
Through the intercession of Saint Thekla, may this Pilgrimage be blessed!
Questions? Please call 724-238-3677 x425 or email email@example.com.
The Orthodox Christian Association for Medicine, Psychology and Religion (OCAMPR) has announced that its annual conference will be held November 2-3, 2012, at the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois. The title of the conference is "The Child Conceived: Considering Infertility, Miscarriage, and Early Child Loss."
The line-up of speakers includes His Grace Bishop Demetrios, Chancellor of the Metropolis of Chicago (GOA); Matushka Jenny Schroedel, author of Naming the Child; Dr. Betsy Wickstrom, Maternal Fetal Specialist; Allena Barbato, Mental Health Professional; and Dr. Ari Christofidis, Director of Orthodox Christian Counseling Institute.
Attendees will also participate in a reception, a panel discussion, and a "Blessing of Hands" for those who minister in the mental health professions.
The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch is accepting applications for reimbursement from mission priests for expenses incurred in travel to Parish Life Conferences, the Archdiocese Convention or the Bi-Annual Clergy Symposium. Please note that reimbursement of these expenses is for first pastors of small parishes and missions only, and that relevant receipts must be saved for six months. All requests must be submitted to Sameh Khouzam and received at the Archdiocese Headquarters no later than August 31.
The 41st Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America commenced on July 1st in Phoenix, Arizona. Prayers are requested for our brothers and sisters in the faith, as they gather and deliberate.
Jul 2, 2012
PHOENIX – The 41st Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America commenced yesterday with the Orthros service and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy held in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity of Phoenix, Arizona, with approximately 1,200 faithful in attendance. The Holy Metropolis of San Francisco and the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Phoenix are the hosts of this 41st Congress.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America presided over the Divine Liturgy concelebrating with all the Metropolitans of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese. Taking part in the Liturgy were His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, and His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey.
His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto, representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Congress, attended the Liturgy from the Solea along with His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod.
The rocky cliffs of the Atlantic in Ogunquit, Maine were the setting for the 74th Annual Parish Life Conference in New England and the first with Bishop John Abdalah. The PLC took place June 21-24 and was hosted by the parish of Saint George in Norwood, MA. The incredibly scenic location and a new hierarch helped make this one of best attended conferences in many years. The hotel sold out early as did the Lobster Bake and Awards Dinner.
Over 400 clergy and parishioners spent four days at the Cliff House taking care of business and enjoying fellowship. The meetings and workshops were well attended; the Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festival were filled with excitement and the finals of "New England's Got Talent" was an awesome display of the musical abilities of the faithful.
Update, 5/30/12: A small but important change has been made to the logos. Please download and use the currently attached versions. In addition, PDF versions are now available.
Color and black and white versions of the official logo for 2013 Parish Life Conferences are now available online:
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 is a pan-Orthodox organization with Antiochian leadership. Bishop Basil (Essey) of the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America is on the OCTS Advisory Board, and several members of the OCTS Board of Directors attend parishes in the Antiochian Archdiocese: Charles Harvey and David Twombly, St. John in Memphis, Tennessee; and Stacy Shipman, St. Michael in Louisville, Kentucky.
"If an Orthodox text exists that a translator believes can and should be made available in another language, then OCTS exists to assist them in bringing that translation to fruition." notes OCTS Board of Directors member David Twombly.
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.
The deadline for proposal submissions is October 1, 2012. For more information about submitting a proposal, visit the OCTS website.
Fourth Annual Deacons' Retreat
September 21-23, 2012 + Antiochian Village
His Grace, The Right Reverend Bishop Thomas Joseph of The Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic announces The Fourth Annual Deacons’ Retreat at the Conference Center, Antiochian Village, Friday to Sunday, September 21-23. (The retreat will be held simultaneously with the St. Thekla Pilgrimage and priests and laity are invited and urged to attend those sessions.)
“For the Son of man also came not to be served, but to serve. . . .” (Mark: 10:45)
The featured speaker and retreat master will be the Reverend Dn. Paul Zaharas, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Metropolis of Denver (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America).
Amy Stiffler, Director of Event Services and Inside Sales for Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, announces that the information about the Seventeenth Biennial Clergy Symposium is available for download.
The Symposium is being held at the Village's Heritage and Learning Center from July 16-20, and is sponsored by the Department of Theological and Pastoral Education. Registration begins at 2:00 PM on Monday afternoon, July 16, 2012.
This year's theme is "Let No One Despise Your Youth," from I Timothy 4:14. The morning addresses will focus on youth related topics and concerns, and will be offered by noted speakers. Fr. Meletios Webber, a monastery abbot, family therapist and author, will address the issues of alcoholism and substance abuse. Bishop Anthony will speak on youth and sexuality, and Metropolitan Savas will speak on spiritual development in youth.
The website for the All Saints Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana, has announced that former Department of Missions and Evangelism Chair Fr. Peter Gillquist (who is retired and attached to All Saints) was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. Read the full story and post greetings and prayers for Fr. Peter and the Gillquist family on the All Saints website.
***For Immediate Release***
June 14, 2012
The Very Rev. Fr. Peter E. Gillquist has been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma. Fr. Peter survived a diagnosis of stage 3 melanoma in 1999 and another bout in 2010. He, Kh. Marilyn, and family await test results to determine treatment options in the management of this aggressive cancer.
The Gillquists request your prayers as they continue a lifelong journey of faith in the Great Physician, remembering that our communal prayer is for the healing of soul and body, and in the Lord’s time, a Christian ending to life, that is painless, blameless and peaceful.
Fr. Peter retired from 25 years of service to the Antiochian Archdiocese as Director of the Department of Missions and Evangelism in January. He is attached to All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana, where his son, Fr. Peter Jon, serves as pastor.
A further update explains:
June 20, 2012
Houston, TX (IOCC) — The sound of power saws and nail guns mingle with easy laughter and conversation as IOCC Orthodox Action Team volunteers work side by side, building homes and friendships at volunteer home-builds in Houston and Minneapolis. They have traveled from Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and New York to help construct homes for families left homeless by hurricanes in Houston and tornadoes in Minneapolis. Four home building teams have already completed their one-week commitment, with four more summer builds and critical home repairs slated for Minneapolis, Houston, and in Minot, North Dakota, which lost an estimated 1,600 homes to flooding last summer.
The 2012 team builds began in March with a pairing of Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) college students and veterans of previous IOCC builds. The next three builds, including the first ever home built by IOCC volunteers in Minneapolis, also brought together a mix of Orthodox youth with older volunteers.
The Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Youth and Parish Ministries, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, is conducting a survey to better understand the needs and struggles of our young people today, particularly as it relates to alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drugs. The survey is being taken at Parish Life Conferences as well as camps throughout the Antiochian Archdiocese.
Notes Fr. Joseph Purpura, Chair of the Department of Youth, "We are surveying youth in middle and high school. Those that have completed the fifth grade at a minimum will be eligible to participate.The goal of the survey is to help the Department of Youth and the Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY) to establish a baseline as well as provide direction for future programs and ministries."
On Saturday May 26, 2012, His Grace Bishop John Abdalah addressed the graduates of St. Tikhon's Seminary at the institution's 70th annual commencement. The website Oca.org notes that "he gave a moving address on human nature and the freedom of mankind to embody Godly principles or to place himself as a stumbling block to his brother." His speech, published in the June 2012 issue of The Word, has something valuable to say to all graduates of the Class of 2012.
From my youth up, an old lullaby has echoed in my head:
Mumma, see the tiny ducks?
On the shore the old hen clucks.
Mumma, tell me, what’s the matter?
Why she’s making such a clatter?
She is running to and fro,
While the ducklings paddling go.
Mumma, she can’t understand
Why they’re swimming from the land.
She’s afraid the water’ll hurt them.
Into chicks she can’t convert them.
Mumma, see the tiny ducks?
On the shore the old hen clucks.
His Grace Bishop Basil writes:
MEMORY ETERNAL! Florence Kouri (nee Cohlmia) of St. George Cathedral/Wichita, KS, mother of Honorary Archdiocesan Trustee Dr. Sammy Kouri and Dr. Harry Kouri, reposed this morning, June 21st, at the age of 98. Condolences may be sent to the family at SKouri@cox.net
The schedule of divine services, all of which will served at St. George Cathedral, is as follows:
TRISAGION & FUNERAL on Sunday, June 24th at 7:00 PM.
TRISAGION & INTERMENT on Monday, June 25th at 11:00 AM. A Meal of Mercy will immediately follow the interment.
The Diocese teens were blessed to have His Grace Bishop Anthony from the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest visit them in Fort Lauderdale during their Parish Life Conference starting June 13. Members of teen SOYO joined His Grace for a Teen Workshop on Saturday (6/16). SOYO captured the audio and key points from this workshop as well as the audio and key points from his keynote during the Grand Banquet Saturday evening, and audio from his sermon during Sunday's liturgy.
His Grace's words of wisdom included these thoughts:
Find pleasure in your purpose. If you pursue pleasure without purpose, your pleasure will become your pain. "Pursue your purpose, and you'll find your person."
Attach yourself to the church so you will be attracted to the right people and the right things.
Do your best at everything so you can find the one thing you are really good at. "That's how you find your balance and your bliss."
A historic face-to-face meeting of the Assembly of Bishops committee chairmen was organized by the Secretariat’s Coordinator for Committees, Bishop Maxim, and was held on May 30 at the Metropolia Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, South Bound Brook, NJ, and was hosted by Archbishop Antony. Since much of the work of the Assembly of Bishops falls within the purview of its thirteen committees, the success of these committees is essential for the success of the Assembly as a whole.
Ten bishops were present at this meeting, including the Assembly Chairman, Archbishop Demetrios, Archbishop Antony, Archbishop Nicolae, Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan Methodius, Bishop Andonios, Bishop Daniel, Bishop George, Bishop Maxim, and Bishop Thomas. Also in attendance were liaisons from the Secretariat to the committees: Fr Mark Arey, Fr Nicholas Ceko, Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, and Attorney Eric Namee.
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — As the conflict in Syria continues to escalate, disrupting the lives of more than one million Syrians, displacing 56,000 people from their homes according to UN estimates, and leaving thousands of families without access to food and urgently needed medical care, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is intensifying its current response efforts to meet the surging humanitarian needs for emergency medical aid, food and basic necessities for Syrian families displaced in their own country.
Working in partnership with the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (DERD) at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East (GOPA) in Syria, IOCC is coordinating with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and other local relief partners to reach and distribute aid for the affected families in hard hit regions such as Homs, as well as to provide humanitarian relief to displaced families who have made it to relatively safer areas like Damascus. IOCC and GOPA recently delivered much needed medical supplies such as bandages, surgical gloves, sterilizers, stethoscopes, and surgical kits for distribution to Al-Hosn Hospital in the Homs area, a non-profit hospital affiliated with the Orthodox Church that provides charity care, and to other underequipped hospitals and clinics in the Homs region.
The Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black recently held their Annual Ancient Christianity Conference at Antiochian Village, from May 25-May 27. His Grace Bishop Thomas was a featured guest; audio of the Opening Addresses and Sessions is available on Ancient Faith Radio.
The Brotherhood posted the following letter of thanks from Vice-President Carla Thomas:
Greetings in Christ,
Dear Metropolitan Jonah and Bishop Thomas,
How refreshing it is to have the Lord's shepherds to be so supportive of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black.
The 2012 BSMB Annual Ancient Christianity Conference was held at the Antiochian Village 5/25-5/27. The conference is supported by a grant from Christ the Saviour Brotherhood. 75 men, women and children attended the conference. The lectures are available on Ancient Faith Radio.
The Synod of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America will convene their regular Spring meeting on June 8 and 9, at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA. In addition, the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, the Antiochian Village Council, and the Order of St. Ignatius' Governing Council are all meeting over the weekend as well.
We ask all of the faithful to pray for our hierarchs, clergy, and lay leaders who will participate in these most important meetings. May they be blessed for the glorification of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, and His Holy Church.
Brookline, MA - June 1, 2012. The North American OCF Office has launched an exciting new program to reach out to incoming first-year Orthodox college students at colleges and universities throughout North America, named The First Forty Days. As its name implies, during the first forty days of the 2012 fall semester, local OCF student leaders and chaplains will work to make personal contact with all new incoming students. They will be given information regarding the OCF chapter on campus and nearby Orthodox parishes. The intent of this program is to foster a personal connection with our students so that young college students will stay connected to Christ and His Church during their years in post-secondary education.
To accomplish this, OCF needs the help of all Orthodox Parishes in North America. In the coming weeks, OCF will be gathering the contact information of all incoming college freshman students in all of the Orthodox parishes across the continent. Each parish is asked to provide the North American OCF Office with some basic information concerning their high school graduates who will be attending college in the Fall on a downloadable spreadsheet, which is available here.
The staff at Antiochian Village writes:
You may have heard that a tornado hit the Antiochian Village Camp and St Thekla Monastery on Friday, June 1st at approximately 5:20 PM. Thanks to our gracious and loving God, the members of our staff were in St Ignatius Church at the time praying the Paraklesis to the Mother of God when the tornado struck. No one was hurt. However there is extensive damage at the camp. We have hundreds of trees down and eighteen of our buildings were impacted by the tornado and tree debris. We have already started the clean up process. We have much work to do to get the camp back in shape. Please keep us in your prayers. We will provide updates as we have more information.
The staff update from June 3 reads:
Thank you for your love and support as we bounce back from the tornado. We have received many offers of help in the clean-up process. Under the advice of our insurance company, at the present time we are NOT accepting volunteer help. We are using professional services as much of the initial work can be quite hazardous. If we get to a point where we can use volunteer help, we will put a call for your assistance. Thank you again for your outpouring of love. We are so thankful to God for our safety and all of the wonderful people who are ready to pitch in.
The staff update from June 10 reads:
The 2011 annual report for the Committee for Pastoral Practice is available here. This committee is charged with the important tasks of identifying the different answers the various jurisdictions have given to sacramental and pastoral problems, and for figuring out a way to provide a single answer for all of the Orthodox churches in North America. This includes such issues as how the Church handles marriages, divorces, and the reception of converts. This committee will try to find a resolution that is in accord with the Church's theology and her canonical practice. Ultimately, however, this committee will not make any decisions. Its proposals will be presented to all the bishops of the Assembly, who can then determine the best approach. Of course, some of these issues can only be settled by the Mother Churches, and it is this committee's responsibility to help the Assembly develop recommendations for the expected Great and Holy Synod which will include all Orthodox bishops throughout the world.
In addition, the Committee for Legal Affairs, which is chaired by Bishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, held its initial meeting by conference call on April 25, 2012. The work of the Committee is being facilitated by seventeen judges and lawyers who currently act as consultants. The Committee is scheduled to hold a face to face meeting in Atlanta on July 10, 2012.