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.”
Wednesday, August 24, 2011, Brookline, MA—Hellenic 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.
DALLAS, TX [OCA]
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 oca.org as they are received.
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.
Order now at OCABSPress.com!
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).
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.
OrthodoxJobs.com – 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 www.OrthodoxJobs.com. 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. OrthodoxJobs.com provides any business—photographer, iconographer, graphic designer, chanter, etc.—with a searchable and targeted advertising opportunity on a local, regional, and national level.
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."
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."
Goarch.org 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!"
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.
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.
Brookline, 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.
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."
The 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."
August 5, 2011
In the Horn of Africa, the situation is getting worse each day for families who are suffering through the region's worst drought in 60 years. In Somalia, the United Nations has declared a famine – the first time it has made such a declaration in nearly 30 years. Tens of thousands have already died and many more are at risk.
IOCC staff are on the ground in Ethiopia to assist families in immediate need of food assistance and are working to expand critical relief efforts to address the food crisis. Working with Orthodox Christian and ecumenical partners, IOCC is addressing the needs of people in remote areas of Southern Ethiopia, including Somali refugees who are arriving daily.
We need your help to provide life-saving support for these families.
Please keep the people in the Horn of Africa in your prayers and respond by clicking here to make a donation to help the victims of disasters around the world, like those in Horn of Africa, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund. Or, 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 and designate International Emergency Response Fund.
Anne Van Fossen, M.A. of Classical Learning Resource Center, reminds distance learners that another season at the Center is just around the corner.
Writes Van Fossen, "Just 25 more days until CLRC classes begin!
It’s not too late to sign up for Classical Greek and Latin classes at the Classical Learning Resource Center. Several classes only have one or two spots left but as of today all of our classes remain open for registration. If you’ve been thinking about learning, or providing the opportunity for your children to learn, Classical Greek or Latin you can still begin this fall. Take a look at the CLRC website and let us know how we can help.
Additional Greek 1 Class Open:
We’re very please to announce that, due to increased interest in our Classical Greek classes, we’ve opened a new section of our introductory Greek class. There are now two Greek 1 classes to choose from – one on Mondays from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. (Pacific) and the second on Thursdays from 5:00 – 700 p.m. (Pacific).
Latin for Elementary School Children:
And don’t forget that, in addition to our popular classes for middle school and high school students and adults, CLRC teaches Latin classes to elementary aged children as well. We strongly encourage parents to begin Latin instruction in the elementary school years. Young children have a tremendous capacity for language learning and the introduction to Classical Latin at a young age establishes an ideal foundation for later language learning, comprehension of English grammar, and expansion of vocabulary.
The Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology and Religion has announced the theme of their annual conference, "The Science of Theology and Conception." A distinguished panel of speakers including Orthodox scientists and theologians, will be examining the modern science of conception and its implications for Orthodox Christians in light of the teachings of the historic Church.
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology will host the conference at the Maliotis Center on campus, over the weekend of November 4-5, 2011. The brochure, which provides conference details and information about registration, explains that this year's attendees will also be able to venerate a relic and a miracle working icon of St. Anna during the conference.
OCAMPR President, Dr. Michael Christakis, explained in a letter to priests and mental health professionals, "We have, for the past three years, been revamping and reviving the Association after a period of relative inactivity. We are redefining our mission and will be amending our Charter to reflect that at this year’s annual conference." Among other things, OCAMPR has recruited an advisory board of notable Orthodox leaders: Bishop Michael of the OCA, Mother Gabriella (of the Holy Dormition Monastery in MI), Fr. John Breck, Fr. John Abdallah, Dr. Stephen Muse, Fr. Alexander Veronis, Dr. Julianna Orr-Weaver and Fr. Peter Gillquist.
Interested participants are encouraged to contact OCAMPR for more information.
The annual conference of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship is being held in Madison, WI, September 16-18. The theme is "Forgiveness-Finding Wholeness Again," and one of the speakers is Fr. George Morelli, PhD, the Chairman of the Department of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese.
The conference planners would like the general public to know that if a difficult economic situation is preventing anyone from attending, the hosts may be able to defray the costs for those who are out of work or have experienced a decline in income. As always, non-members and non-Orthodox are invited to attend.
From the Diocese of Los Angeles:
It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that our beloved brother in Christ, Father Basil Steiger from Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Ben Lomond, California, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, July 24, 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.
Conciliar Press has released a book on evangelism by Antiochian mission priest Fr. Michael Keiser, called Spread the Word. Subtitled Reclaiming the Apostolic Tradition of Evangelism, the book explains how Orthodox evangelism differs from the Protestant approach, and traces the Church's unbroken evangelistic tradition back to the time of the Apostles. Fr. Michael has also authored two other popular Conciliar titles, A Beginner's Guide to Spirituality, and A Beginner's Guide to Prayer.
"With his characteristic straight forward and humorous style, Fr. Michael Keiser covers the history of Orthodox evangelism, the rationale and the methods for continuing this tradition in our contemporary Western post-Christian society," says Conciliar's website. Listen to an interview with the author here, and go here to order a copy.
The authors of the Taste & See Cookbook, parishioners at St. Elizabeth Orthodox Christian Church, have announced that the newly improved version is complete and ready for purchase and shipment.
This cookbook contains 500 all new recipes and is 66% larger than the original Taste & See Cookbook. 85% of the recipes conform to traditional Orthodox fasting guidelines.
The Taste and See website explains that "a minimum of 10% of the funds raised will be donated to the Antiochian Women and their various charity efforts."
For more information about the project including ordering information, visit the Taste & See website.
Santa Barbara, CA — Last month the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Department of Missions and Evangelism announced a contest to write the best 30-second or less explanation of what the Orthodox Church is, essentially an Orthodox “elevator speech. Response to the contest was superb, a panel of judges have selected the top ten finalists, and the Orthodox Christian public is asked to choose the winner by Internet poll.
To view the ten finalists and caste your vote for the “Best Orthodox Christian Elevator Speech” visit this Survey Monkey link before 7:00pm EDT on next Tuesday, July 26. The winner will be announced at the 50th Biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention in Chicago next week, and he or she will receive $100 worth of Conciliar Press publications as a prize.
DETROIT - The Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black (BSMB), a national organization of African-American Orthodox Christians, will conduct its 18th annual Ancient Christianity and African-American Conference Aug. 26-28 at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, 36075 W. Seven Mile Road, Livonia.
The conference will be hosted by the Detroit Metro Chapter of the BSMB. The theme of the conference is "The Ancient Faith for Modern Problems." The Rt. Rev. Matthias (Moriak), Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest of the Orthodox Church in America, will be the keynote speaker. Other speakers are:
The Very Rev. Moses Berry, pastor of Theotokos "Unexpected Joy" Orthodox Church in Ash Grove, Ark., and founder and president of the BSMB;
The Very Rev. John Finley, a mission priest of the Department of Missions and Evangelism of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America;
The Rev. Paisius Altschul, pastor of St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church in Kansas City, Mo., co-founder and executive director of Reconciliation Services there, and a developer of FOCUS (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve);
Patrick Tutella, executive director of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry;
Dr. Carla Newbern Thomas, vice president of BSMB, founder of St. Luke's Orthodox Church in Anniston, Ala., a physician with a medical practice there, and a native Detroiter;
Mother Catherine (Weston), an Orthodox nun, a member of the St. Xenia Monastic Community in Indianapolis, Ind., and an iconographer, musician and lecturer;
During the upcoming Archdiocese Convention in Chicago, the Department of Western Rite (Western Rite Vicariate) will offer a special presentation for all by the V. Rev. Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon on Wednesday, July 27.
Under the theme “What Benefits Does Western Orthodoxy Offer Eastern Orthodoxy,” Father Patrick will talk about “Christ as Mediator.” Following his presentation, there will be opportunity to ask questions related to his presentation.
Father Patrick’s presentation will begin at 10:45 a.m. and conclude by 12:30 p.m.
Parish priests attending the convention, along with lay delegates and guests, are invited to attend this session.
Following Fr Patrick’s presentation, the priests serving Western Rite parishes will gather for a closed session for a discussion with the Vicar General.
May God bless you and grant you safe travels to Chicago.
By V. Rev. Edward Hughes
Vicar General of the Western Rite