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Bishop Thomas and Fr. Michael Nasser Assist with OCF Expansion into Kansas City

Brookline, MA -- September 19, 2011

In keeping with its renewed focus of developing and sustaining local campus-based fellowships, the leadership of Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is excited to announce its latest ministry expansion, this time to the Kansas City metropolitan area.

From September 25-30, Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Archdiocese and Fr. Michael Nasser, OCF's North American Chaplain, will visit with the clergy, students and Orthodox faithful in the Kansas City area. The goal of their trip is to assist the local clergy and laity in organizing an effective ministry to students studying at local colleges and universities.

"Living an Orthodox Christian life is not easy for anyone, but it's uniquely challenging these days for our Orthodox college students," stated Bishop Thomas. "I hope we can find ways to bring the Church's support and strength to them where and when they need it most."

Fr. Michael added his own interest in this expanded effort in the Kansas City area:

"One of things I enjoy most about my work is coming into an area where we've had little or no Orthodox presence on the local campuses and seeing the Orthodox churches in the area unite and mobilize to minister to both their own young people as well as the entire campus population."

Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies Enrolling Students For October

Would you like to study Orthodox Theology and the history of the Orthodox Church from the comfort of your own home?

Are you in full time employment or live in remote areas and you cannot afford the time and money to travel to Orthodox Theological Schools, but you wish to receive a high quality university education in Orthodox Theology?

Then the IOCS Distance Learning Program is for you. We are the Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies, specializing in high quality and advanced Orthodox Studies for 10 years now, being situated in Cambridge, UK.

All our Distance Learning study material (in English) is provided at the start of the study and is for a low all-inclusive fee, payable at the start of each module.

Here is what one of our distance learners has to say about our program:

 "Here is an opportunity to take classes offered by one of the world's finest and most respected universities and to enjoy them in the comfort  of your own home and at a time that fits your schedule. You will actually see and hear world class theologians and biblical scholars lecturing in a classroom setting. You will experience, through chat rooms or Skype, lively interactions with intelligent, well-informed tutors who will guide you through the materials presented in the lectures. Most importantly, you will experience all of this in a supportive and caring environment that encourages questions and thoughtful discussion."

Learn more through our main website and access our Distance Learning Portal (with free access to many of our On Line Library Videos).

AFR Interviews Matthew Namee About SOCHA Projects

Matthew Namee, Associate Director of SOCHAMatthew Namee, Associate Director of SOCHARecently, Bobby Maddex interviewed Antiochian Archdiocese member Matthew Namee, Associate Director of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas and host of the AFR podcast American Orthodox History. They discussed the organization's new academic journal and upcoming symposium. Listen to the podcast here.

The Society's website explains, "The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA) exists to promote the study of the history of the Orthodox Christian Church in the New World; to collect source materials and make them available to researchers and scholars; to disseminate historical information to the public; and to encourage networking among those engaged in the study of American Orthodox history. SOCHA is particularly dedicated to this study based on the examination of primary sources with integrity and clarity."

Memory Eternal! + Esther Samara

September 8, 1921 - September 5, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Esther Massad Samara fell asleep in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on September 5, 2011. She was born on September 8, 1921 in Drumright, Oklahoma to the Very Reverend George R. Massad and Khouria Bediyah (Hamra) Massad. The family then moved to Oklahoma City in 1937. She attended Classen High School and graduated in 1939. From 1939 to 1941 she attended Hills Business College, earning an Associate's Degree. Concurrently with school, she worked at the "Indian Post," a local mercantile store. On July 29, 1951 she married George R. Samara and together raised 3 children.

Orthodox Theological Society Meets Sept. 15-17

Antiochian members of The Orthodox Theological Society in America, will join other Society members for the annual meeting at the Maliotis Cultural Center on the grounds of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology from Thursday, September 15 to Saturday September 17. The Society is meeting jointly this year with the Orthodox Scholars Initiative (OSI), the LOGOS Orthodox Scholars group and the group Science and the Orthodox Church in North America (SOCNA). The program of sessions can be viewed at the Society’s website. The annual Georges Florovsky Memorial Lecture this year will be delivered by the Very Reverend Dr. John A. McGuckin, Nielsen Professor of Late Antiquity and Byzantine Christian History at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies at Columbia University. The lecture, “Fr. Georges Florovsky and Sergey Bulgakov: A Conflict of Typologies Concerning the Dialogue of Orthodoxy and Contemporary Society” will be delivered Friday, September 16 in the main auditorium of the Maliotis Center at 7:30 P.M. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Registration Open for Orthodox Institute 2011: "Scripture through the Lens of the Holy Land"

A new brochure and updated registration form are now available for the 2011 Orthodox Institute: "Scripture through the Lens of the Holy Land." For further information and to download brochures and forms, please visit

Antiochian Students Graduate from St. Tikhon's Seminary

Very Rev. Troy Mashburn, Deacon Matthew Snowden, Very Rev. David Hester, Rev. Methodios Ingalls, Nicholas Buck, Subdeacon Matthew Howell, Very Rev. Alexander Atty, Deacon Daniel Meyer, Rev. Stephen Howell, and Subdeacon Joseph Hazar.Very Rev. Troy Mashburn, Deacon Matthew Snowden, Very Rev. David Hester, Rev. Methodios Ingalls, Nicholas Buck, Subdeacon Matthew Howell, Very Rev. Alexander Atty, Deacon Daniel Meyer, Rev. Stephen Howell, and Subdeacon Joseph Hazar.At the 69th annual commencement of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on Saturday, May 28, 2011, six Antiochian Orthodox seminarians graduated with their Masters of Divinity degrees. The six students pictured at right are Deacon Matthew Snowden, Father Methodios Ingalls, Subdeacon Joseph Hazar, Nicholas Buck, Deacon Daniel Meyer and Subdeacon Matthew Howell.

Of these six, Father Methodios Ingalls graduated with Distinction for his Thesis in Theology and Spirituality, Subdeacon Matthew Howell with Distinction for his Thesis in Theology and Spirituality, and Deacon Daniel Meyer with Distinction for his Thesis in Scripture. The Reverend Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou of St. John the Baptist Monastery, Essex, England, gave the Commencement Address on the topic of Prophecy in the Priesthood, and he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Two Antiochian Orthodox priests were present as relatives of the Graduates: the Very Rev. Fr. John Troy Mashburn of St. John in Memphis, the father-in-law of Deacon Matthew Snowden, and the Rev. Fr. Stephen Howell of St. Athanasius in Sacramento, the father of Subdeacon Matthew Howell. The new Dean of St. Tikhon’s, the Antiochian Orthodox priest, the Very Rev. Fr. Alexander Atty, spoke during the ceremony, and the Very Rev. Fr. David Hester, pastor of St. Mary Wilkes-Barre, and adjunct Associate Professor of Patristics and Church History at St. Tikhon’s, was among faculty present. Over the past years, St. Mary Wilkes-Barre hosted two of the graduates who were assigned to the parish: Deacon Matthew Snowden and Subdeacon Joseph Hazar.

AFR Posts Audio from 18th Annual Ancient Christianity and African-American Conference

Recently, the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black concluded their 18th Annual Conference. The mission of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black is to minister to Americans the gift of Orthodoxy. In an effort to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God (I Peter 4:10), the organization presents an annual conference that explores the African roots of Orthodoxy. Its vision is to bring Americans closer to Jesus Christ. The title of this particular conference is “The Ancient Faith for Modern Problems.” Ancient Faith Radio and the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black are happy to provide these lectures for free download and distribution. Please share the talks with friends and family.

Colorado Women's Retreat with Author Lynette Smith

Camp St. Laurence near Canon City, CO
September 30-October 2, 2011
Download Flyer and Registration Form (PDF)

A Women’s Retreat with Lynette Smith and her book Voyage will be offered at Camp St. Laurence near Canon City, Colorado from Friday afternoon, 30 September, and concluding with Sunday Liturgy and brunch, followed by quiet time and departures for home.

Camp St. Laurence is an entire mountain valley surrounding Tallahassee Creek about twenty miles west of Canon City off Hwy 50. The valley is surrounded by National Forests and very quiet while revealing much of what makes Colorado such a beautiful and appealing place with great forests on the hillsides and cottonwoods and aspens along the creek. Lodging and meals are included in the modest tuition of $ 75 for a shared room. Private rooms are $95 and available on a first come basis.

Lynette Smith is a recognized Bible scholar and author and very committed to the Orthodox Christian Faith. She is a member of the choir at St. Columba’s Church in Lafayette, Colorado and has taught at other Orthodox parishes in the Diocese of Wichita.

For more information and a registration form, please download the event flyer (PDF).

Memory Eternal! + Adeeb Sadd

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

Please join me in praying a rope for the repose of the soul of Adeeb Sadd, honorary member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees and past North American Chair of The Order of St. Ignatius (1987-1991) from Encino, California, who fell asleep in Christ at 11:57PM on August 31st, 2011. Adeeb is survived by his wife Carolyn, their three daughters Chrisa, Carrie and Leilah and their families.

May God grant Adeeb Paradise, and may He grant you long life!

Synergy Symposium Features Fr. Thomas Hopko Speaking on "Orthodoxy and Homosexuality"

CICERO, IL [Synergy] — Orthodox Christian Synergy, the Chicago-area Pan-Orthodox association, will host its 17th annual Symposium at Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cicero, IL, on Saturday, October 15, 2011. Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko will address the symposium theme, “Orthodoxy and Homosexuality.”

According to Michele Hagerman, Synergy President and member of the Diocese of the Midwest’s Holy Resurrection Church, Palatine, IL, “the scope of this symposium is a frank presentation about homosexuality as an issue of Orthodox faith and life facing the faithful. The intention is to focus on how Orthodoxy understands the phenomena of homosexuality, how Orthodox Christians with same-sex attractions are to deal with their condition, and how Orthodox Christians, especially clergymen and family members, are to relate to Orthodox Christians and all people who are same-sex attracted, rather than focusing on related cultural, social, or legal issues.”

Father Thomas will offer two presentations: “Theological Vision: Orthodox Christian Faith and Human Sexuality” and “Spiritual Practice: Orthodox Christian Life and Homosexual Attraction and Behavior.”

Hellenic College and Holy Cross Celebrate 75 Years

Wednesday, August 24, 2011, Brookline, MAHellenic College Holy Cross, the oldest and largest Christian Orthodox institution for higher learning in North America, will begin celebrating its 75 years of service to the Church and society. Activities will begin on October 16; with an inaugural dinner cruise on the Boston Harbor. Several additional events are being planned to mark the 75th over the next two years, recognizing the hierarchs, theologians, professors, students, administrators, alumni, donors and all those who have contributed to what is the most important academic institution for the Greek Orthodox Church in America. The anniversary celebration will culminate at Commencement, May 2013.

Over the years, Hellenic College Holy Cross has grown into one academic community comprised of two distinct schools that have evolved together. Hellenic College is the only accredited four-year undergraduate program in the United States that is based on Orthodox Christian principles. Holy Cross, the theological school of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and member of the prestigious Boston Theological Institute, is the oldest and largest Orthodox Christian school of theology in America, offering three higher education degrees; Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Theological Studies (MTS) and Master of Theology (ThM). Over 80% of the priests currently serving in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America are graduates of Holy Cross and Hellenic College Holy Cross has alumni in over 20 countries around the world.

Memory Eternal! + Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas

Archbishop Dmitri preaching at St George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, 2009.Archbishop Dmitri preaching at St George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, 2009.from


The Repose of His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri Metropolitan Jonah with Archbishop Dmitri in late August.

His Eminence, the Most Reverend Dmitri, 87, retired Archbishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South, fell asleep in the Lord at his home here at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, August 28, 2011.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, and many priests and faithful had kept vigil in Dallas during Archbishop Dmitri’s final days. The Metropolitan was to have traveled to the Czech Republic with a delegation from the Orthodox Church in America, but remained in Dallas to be with the Archbishop.

Funeral services will be celebrated at Dallas’ Saint Seraphim Cathedral — the parish Archbishop Dmitri founded as a mission shortly after his ordination in 1954. Days and times will be posted at as they are received.


Listen to Fr. Stephen Freeman and John Maddex discuss the life of Archbishop Dmitri on Ancient Faith Rado

New Web Series Aims to Connect with Orthodox Writers and Readers

The Saint Lydia's Book Club website is honored to announce the launch of Orthodox Writers and Readers, a year-long series featuring Orthodox writers from around the United States, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and Palestine. These featured guests will be blogging about their personal experiences of living the Orthodox writing life. They will talk about what motivates them, how they write, what they're currently working on, and any special experiences they have had as Orthodox writers. Orthodox readers will also be featured, offering perspectives from the other side of the equation. Our first guest is well-known Conciliar Press author, blogger, and Ancient Faith Radio podcaster Molly Sabourin, who will appear on September 1st, 2011.

New Chrysostom Bible Release + Corinthians 1: A Commentary

Order now at!

1 Corinthians: A Commentary
by Very Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi

The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series 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. In this volume , the author, Paul Nadim Tarazi, argues that the "truth of the gospel, whose sole champion was Paul, did not entail something new to be added to the Old Testament Law, which is the expression of God's will for all ages...The Pauline letters," he explains, "were conceived to spread this message as scripture...among all those letters, 1 Corinthians holds the place of honor."

The V. Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi is Professor of Biblical Studies and Languages at St. Vladimir's Orthodox theological Seminary. He is the author of a three volume Introduction to the Old Testament, a four volume Introduction to the New Testament, Galatians: A Commentary, 1 Thessalonians: A Commentary, Land and Covenant, and the Chrysostom Bible, Genesis: A Commentary, Philippians: A Commentary, Romans: A Commentary and Colossians & Philemon: A Commentary. His Audio Bible Commentaries on the books of the New Testament are available online through the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS).

Memory Eternal! + Fr. James Deep

His Grace Bishop Thomas writes:

Beloved in Christ,

Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of the servant of God the Archpriest James Deep. Fr. James is retired and the former pastor of St. Anthony Church in Butler, Pennsylvania. Funeral arrangements are pending. Upgrades Website – new and improved website for the job seeker and employer

Boston, MA – August 8, 2011 - The Department of Internet Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Office of Vocation & Ministry of Hellenic College are pleased to announce the launch of the redesigned and updated web site Developed to serve Christian and service-oriented industries, especially Orthodox agencies, schools, and ministries, the improved site is now enhanced with resume and job search features. All job posting services for employers and job searching services for job seekers are free.

With this major update, employers can create instant online applications and pre-screening questionnaires, manage potential applicants and job posting statistics, and utilize other enhanced tools. Job seekers can post resumes, which are fully searchable by employers, and can be instantly updated online.  

A new classifieds feature of the site provides networking capabilities with business to business directory-style advertising of products and services.  For just $99 per year, independent contractors to general businesses can advertise their specific products and services on the site. provides any business—photographer, iconographer, graphic designer, chanter, etc.—with a searchable and targeted advertising opportunity on a local, regional, and national level.

FOCUS Partners with Men's Wearhouse in National Suit Drive

The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve (FOCUS) has partnered with The Men's Wearhouse during the clothing chain's fourth annual National Suit Drive. The Drive collects gently used business attire to help disadvantaged job seekers in need of a wardrobe upgrade, and the theme this year is, "help others find their strong suit."

Items collected in the drive include both men and women’s suits, shirts, jackets, ties, belts, and shoes.

FOCUS ReEngage Director Rodney Knott, who leads a twelve week course for men, said. “Working with the men who participate in our Man Class has helped me understand the struggles they encounter as they try to reestablish their lives in this slow economy. The great thing about this opportunity is that it shows these men that there are people who still believe in them and are willing to give them a hand up when they are down.”

Knott says the suits will help the men in his classes "...with a fresh start and the ability to go into an interview feeling confident and well equipped to put into practice their new skills."

Read the full story here.

IOCC Works To Curb Spread Of Disease Among Famine Refugees In Ethiopia

Eighty year old Ethiopian woman cradles her grandson (photo: IRIN/George Mulala)Eighty year old Ethiopian woman cradles her grandson (photo: IRIN/George Mulala)Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — As more than 120,000 people fleeing famine in Somalia crowd into the Dollo Ado refugee camps in Ethiopia, the lack of adequate sanitation is creating a breeding ground for measles, cholera, and other diseases. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in cooperation with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter Church Aid Commission (EOC-DICAC) is taking action to improve sanitation conditions and help avert the spread of disease among the refugees.

Working with local healthcare agencies, IOCC is providing the materials needed to build some 50 latrines in the refugee camps and is on site overseeing this vital preventive health activity. IOCC Ethiopia Country Representative, Sigurd Hanson, says that the current camp conditions are ripe for an epidemic. "The high number of malnourished children due to the ongoing famine makes them more vulnerable to contagious diseases like measles and cholera," says Hanson. "Add to that overcrowded settlements with poor sanitation and limited access to safe water. Basic sanitation facilities can make a world of difference in protecting these already fragile lives."

Daily Readings App Offered by GOA Internet Ministries announces: "The Daily Readings App on your mobile device is the easiest way to access the day's Bible readings prescribed by the Lectionary of the Greek Orthodox Church. The Daily Readings App also lets you read the lives of the saints or look up fasting guidelines for each day right on your device.

Developed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Internet Ministries, there is no better way to carry the Church's prescribed Scripture and devotional reading with you at all times. The Daily Readings App follows the typicon and lectionary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Available Devices include the iPhone and iPod Touch, Android and Nokia, and more devices are coming soon!"

New Orthodox Publishing Efforts Focus on History

The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA) is pleased to announce a new, affiliated academic publication, the Journal of American Orthodox Church History (JAOCH). JAOCH consists of articles, book reviews, and translations of historically significant texts, is peer reviewed by established scholars within the field, and published electronically annually. The first edition is available through Prairie Parish Press and the cost is $10 per issue. Forthcoming articles for volume 2 in 2012 will include essays developed from the papers at this year’s symposium at Princeton Theological Seminary. More information, including the table of contents and an introduction to the first issue, may be found on the website of Prairie Parish Press.

Another historical resource was recently released by Fr. John Morris, Pastor of St. George’s Church in Vicksburg, who has written a new book titled The Historic Church: An Orthodox View of Christian HIstory. 

Memory Eternal! + Fr. Michael Lewis


From the Diocese of Los Angeles:

Very Reverend Father Michael Lewis

It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, Father Michael Lewis, Pastor of St. Luke Church in Garden Grove, California, fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, August 15, 2011. His Grace, Bishop Joseph has asked the parishes to remember him in your prayers for the departed for the next 40 days and to hold a special Trisagion for his eternal life. May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.

The funeral service will be on Thursday, August 18 at 7:00 PM at St. Luke Church in Garden Grove.


Tomorrow's Leaders, Prepared Today at Hellenic College’s CrossRoad Summer Institute

CrossRoad, 2011--June SessionCrossRoad, 2011--June SessionBrookline, MA ––August 9, 2011— While many college campuses experience a calm and quiet summer, Hellenic College once again bustled with activity as the Office of Vocation & Ministry (OVM) welcomed high school juniors and seniors to its CrossRoad summer institute, now in its eighth year. The OVM greeted 60 high school juniors and seniors from 29 states as well as Canada and the Bahamas. Due to overwhelming interest from Orthodox youth and the generosity of several benefactors, this summer the program continued to offer two sessions. Beginning in 2004, CrossRoad has inspired hundreds of Orthodox youth to grow in their faith, explore their strengths, engage in serving others, and discover how their gifts and talents can serve the needs of Church and society.

The 2011 CrossRoad Summer Institute, directed by Mary Long, combined the greatest offerings of Hellenic College and Holy Cross: faculty instruction, an enthusiastic staff of graduate students, a beautiful campus overlooking Boston, and the exciting city of Boston itself. Students visited historic Faneuil Hall, the New England shore at Manchester-by-the-Sea, and cruised Boston harbor on a Duck Tour. The high school students enjoyed these fun and cultural activities, but found the unique elements of the program the most valuable: the daily classes with theological faculty, evening visits to attend vespers at neighboring Orthodox parishes in the Boston area, and putting their learning into practice by participating in two service activities during the last stage of the program.

New IOCC Program To Improve Food Access For Isolated Families In The Gaza Strip

Bilal, 7-year old Gaza boy (photo: Paul Jeffrey / ACT Alliance)Bilal, 7-year old Gaza boy (photo: Paul Jeffrey / ACT Alliance)August 8, 2011

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — More than 10,000 children and their parents in the Gaza Strip will soon have better access to reliable food sources through a new program launched by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). IOCC was awarded $3.75 million to assist 1,400 selected households start and maintain family gardens, or to raise fish or small livestock such as chickens and rabbits. The award was made by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Mercy Corps as part of a larger initiative in the Gaza Strip.

Sam Dunlap, country representative for IOCC Jerusalem, says these activities build on IOCC's current activities in the Gaza Strip, in which IOCC is rehabilitating greenhouses, digging water catchments and providing water irrigation systems. "Ideally, this chain of activities will produce a surplus of food for the families' needs, and ultimately develop into extra sources of income that will allow them to flourish."

On the Eve of his Retirement, Fr. Constantine Nasr Profiled in

Fr. Constantine Nasr with his Church history timelineFr. Constantine Nasr with his Church history timelineThe August 6, 2011 Religion section of NewsOK published a profile of retiring priest Fr. Constantine Nasr written by reporter Carla Hinton. Hinton explains in the feature post that Fr. Constantine and Kh. Sharon have served the community of St. Elijah for 29 years, and Father will preach his last homily on August 14.

Assistant Priest Fr. Jeremy Davis is quoted as saying, “In terms of his legacy, he is the longest-serving priest at St. Elijah in its history....When he came here 29 years ago, the parish was divided, there were financial problems, lots of angst and turmoil. Now he leaves the parish in place of peace and harmony, in good standing.” 

The article explains that Fr. Constantine has been noted for his ministry of developing young men for the ministry. Hinton writes, "...he saw St. Elijah's as a sort of training center because so many students and seminarians made their way there over the years in search of guidance and fellowship." Considered a hub for evangelism and outreach, the parish-under Fr. Constantine's leadership-spearheaded a 2009 pan-Orthodox evangelistic effort in the Oklahoma City area, "Discover Original Christianity."

The article concludes, "Nasr said he is excited about discovering the new ways the Lord will use him after he leaves the pastoral ministry. He said his excitement stems from his observation that numerous people are being drawn to the Orthodox Christian Church these days."

Read the full text of the NewsOK article.