St. Vladimir's Seminary’s Board of Trustees, under the leadership His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and Board Chairman, met on the seminary campus November 5–7, 2009 for their 61st annual meeting. A highlight of the trustees’ decisions included appointments and elections to the board in accordance with the Seminary’s vision for cooperative effort and exchange among Orthodox Christian jurisdictions and churches globally. The board concluded its meeting looking optimistically toward the future.
Metropolitan Philip re-appointed as trustee
Exemplifying the pan-Orthodox vision of its founders, the seminary Board of Trustees is comprised of episcopal appointments and elected trustees from the wide spectrum of students who historically have graced the classrooms at St. Vladimir's Seminary. His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah has re-appointed to the seminary's Board of Trustees His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, whose presence on the board since 1967 continues fifty-one years of tradition of having the metropolitan archbishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese counted among the seminary's trustees, beginning with the appointment of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony (Bashir) in 1958. The longest serving trustee of the seminary, His Eminence was re-elected by the Board of Trustees to the office of Vice Chairman of the Board, an office His Eminence has held since 1981, and an expression of his commitment to the vision of pan-Orthodox unity for North America and the role of St. Vladimir's Seminary in fostering cooperation among Orthodox Churches in North America and beyond.
Archbishop Hilarion and Thomas Zedlovich join board
The Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Stewardship has just released online two very important documents for your parish to download, review, field test and comment on prior to official publication. (Some referenced articles and appendices are still to be published online.) These pilot projects should prove vital to your local Stewardship efforts. Click here for more information.
On Saturday, October 17, 2009, St George Orthodox Church in Houston, Texas presented a Special Banquet honoring His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees to benefit the Convent of St Thekla. His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN, His Grace, Bishop ALEXANDER, and members of the Board of Trustees were among the honored guests. The Banquet was hosted at the Hilton Houston Post Oak where over 400 faithful enjoyed an evening of fellowship, fine food, and excellent music provided by the Lex Valk Trio. Thank you to our beloved Hierarchs, Board Members, clergy and faithful for their continued support of the Convent. Pictures taken by Judy Braun can be found at http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/AOCAphotos by clicking on St George Houston Banquet.
Heartfelt gratitude is extended to Fr. John Salem and St. George in Houston; Nijad and Zeina Fares, who were the Banquet Chairpersons and Sponsors; Mr. Ralph Albercia and Mr. Elias Shaheen, who were the Honorary Chairpersons; and the following:
The Orthodox InterSeminary Movement will meet on the campus of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology this weekend, November 6 and 7. Seminarians from Holy Trinity Seminary, Christ the Savior Seminary and St. Vladimir's Seminary in New York, St. Tikhon's Seminary in Pennsylvania, and a seminarian from St. Herman's in Alaska, approximately 25 in all from outside Holy Cross, will attend.
The keynote address will be given on Saturday morning at 11:30 in the Booras Room by the Very Rev. Archimandrite Joachim Cotsonis, PhD, Director of the Archbishop Iakovos Library and Learning Resource Center at Holy Cross. The talk is entitled "The History of the Image of and devotion to St. Nicholas".
YONKERS, NY—St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary welcomed two prestigious guests from Russia to its campus this fall: the Minister for Justice of the Russian Federation and the President of The International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations (IFUOCN). Both Russian visitors were drawn to campus because of the seminary’s global influence in theological circles, including the 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide that share its creed.
In November 2009, the seminary administration welcomed The Honorable Alexander V. Konovalov, the minister for justice, and his wife, Maria Suslina, to chapel services and gave them a campus tour. Mr. Konovalov—whose U.S. counterpart would be the Attorney General—is a devout Orthodox Christian, with a long-standing interest in the works of the former dean of St. Vladimir’s, Father Alexander Schmemann, particularly his views on the challenge of secularism. Father Schmemann, who died in 1983, had enormous religious influence on Russian society during the Soviet Era, through Radio Liberty Broadcasts and samizdat writings—including capturing the notice and admiration of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The seminary has the distinction of the being the first place Solzhenitsyn visited after his 1974 expulsion from the Soviet Union.
The days are becoming chilly at the Village and the nights are downright cold. That can only mean one thing - Winter Camp must be around the corner. We have two sessions of Winter Camp planned for young people in grades 7 through 12 on the observances of Martin Luther King Jr. weekend (Jan. 15-18) and Presidents weekend (Feb. 12-15). There are two ways to register: online or mail-in paper forms. If you register online, you will need to download and mail the Medical and Snow-tubing forms. We are also accepting Winter Camp Staff applications. Our tentative theme for both sessions of Winter Camp is "The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make." Don't wait another day, register today! Check back soon for more details and visit our Winter Camp page for additional information.
Titled “Road to Unity,” a conference at Antiochian Village during the last weekend in October brought together Orthodox Christians of all jurisdictions. Sponsored by Orthodox Christian Laity, a group devoted to the cause of Orthodox outreach and unity, the sessions covered subjects such as the legacy of Ligonier, Orthodoxy and American culture, and the need to keep young people in the Church. His Grace Bishop THOMAS of the Antiochian Archdiocese participated, as did John Maddex of Ancient Faith Radio and Fr. Hans Jacobse, an Antiochian priest and author. Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA presented the keynote address, “Unity in Our Time.” Audio for all segments is available from Ancient Faith Radio.
His Eminence Metropolitan Philip joined other American Orthodox Primates in an audience with His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Most of the Primates had also attended the Ninth Annual Orthodox Prayer Service for the United Nations Community the previous evening. Present at the audience were Archbishop Demetrios of America (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Philip (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Christopher (Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Nicholas (Carpatho- Russian Diocese); Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America), Metropolitan Constantine (Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA); Bishop Ilia (Albanian Orthodox Diocese) and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA). Archbishop Demetrios welcomed His All Holiness on behalf of the Primates.
The remarks of His All Holiness follow:
The Antiochian Archdiocese has launched the new Department of Planning and Development. To learn more about this effort, and read Metropolitan PHILIP's letter of appointment, click here to visit their new web page.
The Order of St. Ignatius and the Dept. of Internet Ministry have worked together to improve the content and presentation of the web section dedicated to the Order, the philanthropic organization of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Click here to visit, and learn more about the Order!
NAC SOYO Special Olympics Awareness Day was this past Sunday (October 18)
This is the day that teens raise awareness of SOYO's ministry to the Special Olympics Athletes. Please remind your parish teen SOYO and or Church treasurer to send in all of the money collected this past Sunday as soon as possible to:
NAC SOYO Special Olympics
Department Of Youth Ministry
PO Box 389
Westwood, MA 02090
Checks should be made payable to "NAC SOYO Special Olympics."
The Department of Youth Ministry will record the donation into the Archdiocese Database and deposit the money into the SOYO Special Olympics Bank Account from which the SOYO Treasurer will pay the bills incurred at the Antiochian Village for the SOYO Special Olympics Program. Please note this is a SOYO program not an Antiochian Village program – which means that SOYO rents the camp from the Village and SOYO pays the bills for this program, so please be sure the funds are sent to the Youth Department and not the camp.
All donations from Special Olympics Awareness Day, as has been done in the past, will be published in a future issue of the WORD Magazine, so parishes can verify their donations.
Orthodox Christians in America are anticipating an historic visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch, who will be traveling throughout the United States in late October and early November. Called "The Green Patriarch," His All Holiness Bartholomew has convened several symposia of scientists, religious and humanitarian leaders, to discuss critical worldwide environmental issues. In New Orleans, the Patriarch will draw attention to the importance of the Mississippi's ecosystem, and in New York he'll gather the SCOBA bishops, and will meet with other national leaders such as former president Bill Clinton, and His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.
A website dedicated to the Patriarch and his visit will include photos and updates of his meetings and travels, and can be found at:
“I am surrounded by love. It's not the kind of love you see on TV or in the movies, but love in its most true and simple form. It is the love that can only come from God ... I have already found that love in abundance everywhere I look.” - A 2009 Team member
Now is the time for you to have a Mission Teams experience! In 2010, Teams will be offered during more times of the year and for varying amounts of time (as few as 9 days and as long as 3 weeks) and there will be opportunities for families as well! Be a living witness of your Faith on a Teaching team; provide labor on a Construction team; engage the future of our Church on a Youth team; or take part in the holistic mission of the Church on a Health Care team. Develop deep relationships with others, have a cultural learning experience, and live in response to the Lord’s command to “make disciples of all nations”.
For over 20 years, Team members have proudly served through OCMC to participate in the Holy Orthodox Church’s unending mission effort to bring the saving message of salvation to the ends of the earth. Join the thousands of Orthodox Christians from North America who have been witnessing to the hope and good news of the risen Christ with the world. There will be at least 14 opportunities to participate on a Team in 2010: Alaska – Teaching and Outreach; Albania – Youth camp; Guatemala – Youth camp; India – Teaching; Kenya – Teaching; Korea – Youth camp (ESL); Madagascar – Teaching; Romania – Youth camp; South Africa – Teaching; Tanzania – Construction and Teaching; Uganda – Health Care and Zimbabwe – Teaching.
Team applications and more detailed information are available online at http://teams.ocmc.org or you can call the OCMC at 1.877.463.6787 (ext 142) for more information.
Ft.Lauderdale, Fl.- The Orthodox Christian Network (The OCN) is pleased to announce a new service to Orthodox parishes and ministries world wide—Customized Online Radio Stations! As the over the air radio market begins to shrink and the online radio market grows, OCN has strategically positioned itself to take advantage of the growing audience accessing online radio programming while maintaining a strong land base presence as well. Since recently acquiring new online radio server software, we can now offer completely customized 24/7 online radio stations in a cost effective and efficient way allowing parishes to stay connected to their parishioners more so than ever before.
With offerings ranging from personalized radio players to managed custom radio stations, OCN's online radio stations allow parishes of all sizes to provide Orthodox Christian programming aimed to their parish. The Branded National Radio Solution creates a custom radio station on OCN and the parish website utilizing the already existing content of the Ark or Rudder channels. Self managed and OCN managed stations are completely customizable. With the self managed option, parishes and ministries can upload their own sermons, liners, announcements and pod casts to their customized radio station. With an OCN managed station, we provide weekly updates to your station and provide the recording equipment so that your sermons, commercials, announcements and other programs can be seamlessly integrated with the OCN music of your choice.
On Friday, October 2nd, New York Times reporter Samuel G. Freedman published an article in the Religion section about converts who have discovered the Orthodox faith via the Antiochian Church. "More Protestants Find a Home in the Orthodox Antioch Church" tells the story of one such convert, Cal Oren, a parishioner at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Linthicum, Maryland, and mentions his priest and khouria, Fr. Gregory and Frederica Mathewes-Green.
"Over the last 20 years," reports Freedman, "the Antiochian Orthodox Church — with its roots in Syria and Lebanon and its longtime membership in the United States made up almost entirely of Middle Eastern immigrants and their descendants — has become the destination of choice for thousands of Protestants of Northern European ancestry." The NY Times reporter quotes Antiochian theology professor Bradley Nassif as explaining that about 70 percent of Antiochian priests in the U.S. are now converts.
Read the article in its entirety here.
Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) – International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is responding to a string of disasters that are affecting millions of people in the Asia Pacific region and have already taken hundreds of lives.
Damaging floods and mudslides caused by Typhoon Ketsana struck the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, causing hundreds of deaths and displacing thousands of families on September 26. Meanwhile, whole villages in Samoa have been devastated by a tsunami that was triggered by a massive 8.0 earthquake on September 29. A second earthquake measuring a magnitude 7.6 on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has killed hundreds and injured thousands, and caused significant damage.
Two other typhoons appear to be moving towards the Philippines later this week and significant aftershocks are being experienced in Indonesia.
IOCC has mobilized its disaster response team and is coordinating with our Orthodox and Ecumenical partners to monitor and respond to the emerging needs.
“We pray for those who have perished, their families and those who have been affected by these disasters,” says IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou. “We are working with our partners to provide emergency relief and the long-term care that will be necessary to restore the many countries and communities that have been affected.”
You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the Asia Pacific Disasters, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift please visit www.iocc.org, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, Md. 21263-0225.
September 29th, 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This past weekend, a team of 20 youth participated in FOCUS North America’s YES Program (formerly known as OYO), serving our most needy neighbors in Kansas City.
They arrived from parishes in Wichita, KS, Oklahoma City, OK, and Kansas City, eager to be used by God to meet the fundamental needs of His people. They did not expect, however, that they would receive much more from the experience than they would give. After three intense days, the youth gained a new perspective on the poor and homeless: they came expecting to serve them, but, instead, found their own lives forever changed by the encounter.
“They are just like us,” one participant said. Another said, “I don’t know how anyone can come on a FOCUS North America YES trip and not be changed.”
Living out Matthew 25, the youth engaged in several social action projects throughout the weekend. They served and ate dinner with many homeless and working poor in the city, listening to their stories and enjoying fellowship with them. They distributed clothing to mothers who had no means to clothe their children. They walked around the famous outdoor Country Club Plaza in Kansas City with newly opened eyes, looking beyond the glamour to perceive and meet the needs of the homeless on the streets. But, as the youth realized, they themselves were fed and clothed by the face-to-face encounter with real living icons of Christ, with the poor of the city. As one participant said, “They really open themselves to you; they’ll sit and talk to you forever, when most people in school will never give their time to you like that.”
With the Pennsylvania forests’ magnificent change of colors well under way, proclaiming the glory of creation, the clergy of the Diocese of New York and Washington DC, and the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid Atlantic gathered at the Village in late September with Bishop THOMAS for their fifth annual clergy retreat. In attendance with Sayedna were twenty-seven priests and deacons of the Brotherhood, and Mother Alexandra, abbess of St. Thekla Convent and her guest Mother Mariamne.
The retreat was led by one of the Brotherhood’s own – Archimandrite John Abdalah, pastor of St. George Cathedral, Pittsburgh. Bishop Thomas asked Fr. John to discuss the theme “Being a Priest with a Positive Attitude.” During the retreat sessions, Fr. John challenged the Brotherhood to consider three questions about their ministries. The first was what metaphor best reflects their ministry. The second was to ask what person had a significant influence on their ministry. And last was what do we want to be remembered for. As we discovered through the individual and collective answers to these questions, the images of how we see our ministries - now and in the future - profoundly affect the attitudes we portray to others through our day-to-day work in our parishes.
Summary of the Special Meeting of the Leadership Team of St. Vladimir Seminary and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
September 15th, 2009
Englewood, New Jersey
On Tuesday September 15th, 2009, a meeting was held in Englewood, New Jersey between the leadership team of St. Vladimir Seminary and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The purpose of the meeting was to review the recent events that have transpired, especially with regard to the redirection of two seminarians (one from St. Tikhon and one from St. Vladimir) to Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, MA
The meeting was attended by the following:
His Eminence Metropolitan Philip
His Grace Bishop Antoun
Very Rev. Joseph Allen
Very Rev. Paul Tarazi
Very Rev. Elias Bitar
Very Rev. Thomas Zain
Very Rev. John Behr
Very Rev. Chad Hatfield
Mrs. Anne Glynn Mackoul
Rev. George Kevorkian – Secretary
His Eminence Metropolitan Philip led the participants in opening prayers.
His Eminence welcomed everyone to the meeting and made introductions. He reviewed the history of the relationship between St. Vladimir Seminary and the Antiochian Archdiocese, with a focus on the very close and positive working relationship that has been built.
His Eminence reviewed the sequence of events surrounding the recent redirection of two students (one from St. Vladimir, and one St. Tikhon) to Holy Cross.
September 25, 2009
SCOBA Hierarchs Convene For Special Session
New York, NY— A Special Session of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) met on September 25, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., hosted by the Chairman of SCOBA, Archbishop Demetrios of America, at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in Manhattan. The session was attended by the following Members of SCOBA: Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Philip, Vice-Chairman (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Christopher, Secretary (Serbian Orthodox Church), Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Joseph (Bulgarian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America), Archbishop Antony (proxy, Ukrainian Orthodox Church), and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA).
Also present were the General Secretary and members of the SCOBA Study and Planning Commission representing the SCOBA member Churches.
The entire discussion was focused on the documents related to the “Organization of Episcopal Assemblies” in the regions of the world that are outside the borders of the Autocephalous Churches. These Episcopal Assemblies have been authorized by the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference which met at the Orthodox Center of Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland from 6 – 13, June 2009. It was decided unanimously by the Hierarchs that the first such Episcopal Assembly shall be convened during Post-Pentecost Week of 2010, which will fall in the last week of May. The likely days of the Assembly will be May 26-27, 2010. There was also discussion as to the location of the Assembly, with a specific venue to be decided after investigation of locales and resources.
The third Sunday of October, October 18, 2009 is Special Olympics Awareness Day (SOAD) across our Archdiocese. On Sunday, October 18th, your teen group, or if you have none, your designated representatives, are asked to seek the financial help of your parishioners in funding the 2010 Special Olympics Sports Camp to be held at the Antiochian Village August 13-22, 2010. Next summer we will be celebrating our 30th Annual Special Olympics Sports Camp. This ministry is sponsored by the North American Council of Teen SOYO. Our teens work very hard for this ministry and rely on the generosity and support of the faithful of our Archdiocese and the Order of St. Ignatius.
Please use the following downloads to promote Special Olympics Awareness Day:
2009 Clergy Letter (Word format)
POSITION: Major Gift Officer
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Open until filled
SALARY RANGE: $60,000.00 - Negotiable
The Orthodox Christian Mission Center is now accepting applications for the position of Major Gift Officer. The Major Gift Officer is responsible for all facets of fundraising for the Mission Center. The successful candidate will identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major donors. He/she will nurture long-term relationships with contributors including individuals, corporations, and foundations.
The Major Gift Officer will report to the Associate Director and work closely with the Executive Director providing support for identification of potential donors, cultivation and solicitation.
Minimum qualifications for the position include experience in major gift fundraising. Managerial, organization, interpersonal, and communication skills are required. Knowledge of fundraising and ability to prepare proposals from start to finish are essential.
TO APPLY: Submit your resume and cover letter, including a brief statement of fundraising qualifications with emphasis on past experience to: Fr. Martin Ritsi, Executive Director, Orthodox Christian Mission Center, 220 Mason Manatee Way, St. Augustine, FL 32086 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information please contact Fr. David Rucker, Associate Director, by phone at (904) 829-5123 ext. 102 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Listen to an interview with OCL director George Matsoukas on Ancient Faith Radio.
Amidst an unprecedented focus of attention and activity on Orthodox Unity, Orthodox Christian Laity invites all Orthodox and interested observers to attend its 22nd Annual conference to be held at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, October 29-31, 2009.
“At no time in recent history has there been such attention focused on the quest for Orthodox unity both in America and world-wide,” declared Peter Petkas, OCL president.
“These developments provide OCL, a long-time advocate of Orthodox unity, and all concerned Orthodox with a historical opportunity to help chart the way toward this vital goal. Our annual meeting is a timely vehicle for both dialogue and action leading to Orthodox unity.”
Petkas explained that the program includes seven panels comprised of devout and informed Orthodox who will discuss a range of topics connected to the realization of Orthodox unity in America. He said these discussions will include (a) the process for achieving Orthodox unity in North America and other non-traditional Orthodox areas that was adopted at the recent Pan-Orthodox meeting held in Chambesy, Switzerland and (b) the impact that the exclusion of representation by the Church in North America in that meeting, and in future pre-conciliar meetings, will have on the relevance of those decisions to the Orthodox faithful in North America. His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, newly installed primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will deliver the keynote address. His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel and His Grace Bishop Thomas will also participate in the meeting.
This summer, the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies has launched The Chrysostom Bible, a new biblical commentary series for preaching and teaching. "The Chrysostom Bible," writes series editor, Fr. Paul Tarazi, "is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation."
The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch will meet in Houston, TX on Friday, October 16 in conjunction with the Archdiocese Board of Trustees meetings. Our host parish, St. George Church, Houston, has made hotel arrangements with Hilton Post Oak Houston, 2001 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, TX 77056. Please make your room reservations directly with the hotel. The phone number is 713-961-9300.