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OCABS Releases New Audio Publication, "The Rise of Scripture"

"The Rise of Scripture" is a new audio publication recently released by the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS). In this seminal work on the formation of the Bible, Fr. Paul Tarazi examines "the who, when, where, and why of Scripture and its purpose." Tarazi's presentation offers listeners a rare glimpse into the painstaking work of biblical scholarship. At each turn, he bolsters his groundbreaking thesis with meticulous detail, drawing upon decades of research in his field. "The Rise of Scripture" audio teaching is a total of 14 hours, 25 minutes.

Order now

2016 Special Olympics Volunteer and Coaching Applications Available

Special Olympics campers and staff at the VillageSpecial Olympics campers and staff at the VillageThe 2016 Special Olympics Sports Camp is scheduled to be held at the Antiochian Village August 12-21, 2016. This ministry is sponsored by the North American Council of Teen SOYO, and is the second longest running program of Special Olympics Pennsylvania, serving approximately 175 campers each season. It is the premier SOYO outreach program, now in its 35th year of service. Each year SOYO teens raise the funds on Special Olympics Awareness Day.

In addition to the funds raised, SOYO teens provide at least half the coaching staff, and many adult volunteers participate as well. The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, chair of the Department of Youth Ministry, has announced that the 2016 Special Olympic Coaches Application is now available for those youth who are interested in working at the Sports Camp. Additionally, for adults over twenty years of age, the Special Olympics Volunteer application is posted as well.

Memory Eternal! + Father Richard Peters

Memory Eternal! Father Richard Peters of Williamston, MI, died at home on December 23, 2015. He was 78.

He was also born at home—the second of three sons born to Bertha and Dietrich Peters—on April 3, 1937, in Lansing. He graduated from Eaton Rapids high school, where he excelled in baseball, football, and basketball. He matriculated at Central Michigan University, where he met Janet Briggs of Scottville, Michigan. They were married in 1957.

A history major and ROTC cadet at Central, he was elected Student Body President his senior year, 1958, and was a Distinguished Military Graduate. He was a commissioned officer and an Airborne Ranger in the United States Army.

Nativity Letter from the Department of Sacred Music

Nativity Message from Paul Jabara, Chairman, Department of Sacred Music

December 23, 2015

Your Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, beloved Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ Is in Our Midst!

I pray that everyone is well and is as excited as I am to celebrate the blessed nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

As we approach one of the most glorious feast days of our liturgical year, we reflect on the magnitude of this day and how it has changed our lives forever. Without birth there is no death, and without death there is no resurrection. This is the time of year when we are reminded of all the beauty and wonder in this world, and that every gift we have comes from above.

Pan-Orthodox Music Symposium Announced for June 2016

Registration now open for Minneapolis event

Minneapolis, MN – The International Society for Orthodox Church Music (www.isocm.com) will host a pan-Orthodox music symposium at St Mary's Orthodox Cathedral from Wednesday, June 22 through Sunday, June 26, 2016. The event will include presentations and workshops, music reading sessions, rehearsals, and will culminate in a festive hierarchical All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy. The event will also feature a special concert by the critically-acclaimed vocal ensemble Cappella Romana.

According to Archpriest Ivan Moody, ISOCM's board chairman, the aim of this symposium is to bring together people involved in all aspects of music-making in the Orthodox Church - chanters, choir singers, composers, conductors and musicologists. Father Ivan said, "An event like this reinforces the idea that we can all learn from each other and together enrich the worship of the Church."

Memory Eternal! + Archdeacon Russell George Hodge

Memory eternal! Archdeacon Russell George Hodge, 89, of St. George Church in West St. Paul, Minnesota, peacefully feel asleep in Christ last evening at his home in South St. Paul. He is survived by his wife Shamassy Phyllis and their son Father Paul Hodge and his family.

 

Youth Update: CrossRoad 2016 Applications Available Now

The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura, chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministry for the Archdiocese, alerts all high school juniors & seniors who may be interested in applying to a 10-day summer program at Hellenic College Holy Cross, that CrossRoad 2016 Applications are available now! CrossRoad is a ten-day academic summer institute that prepares high school juniors and seniors to make big life decisions and connect with the Orthodox Christian theological and spiritual tradition. Hosted on the scenic Hellenic College Holy Cross campus, overlooking the beautiful Boston skyline, participants experience daily worship, visit local parishes, tour Boston, and spend a day at the beach.

Priority application deadline is February 1, 2016. Visit the website to learn more: http://www.crossroadinstitute.org/.

Antiochian Village Music Project Features Archival CD Recordings

HEAR HIS VOICE AGAIN!

Available for the First Time ever!
Father John Namie of Blessed Memory
The Divine Liturgy Audio CD
Antiochian Village 1981
Order Today
www.wenorthodox.com/shop
$20.00 ea.
Free Shipping

ALSO AVAILABLE

A Village Musical Collection
Featuring "Rick & Alan" (now Bishop Anthony and Fr. Michael Shanbour)
Includes 19 Songs:
+Original recording from 1984
+Live "Welcome Night" 1984
+Bonus Songs
(See song list at www.wenorthodox.com/shop)

Get Both CD’s for $35.00 (free shipping)

All proceeds to benefit the building fund of Three Hierarchs Mission, Wenatchee, WA, Fr. Michael Shanbour, Pastor
Questions?: ThreeHierarchsOrders@gmail.com

SOYO Metropolitan Philip Youth Worker Scholarships Awarded to Six People

Our youth are our future: the Metropolitan Philip Youth Worker ScholarshipsOur youth are our future: the Metropolitan Philip Youth Worker ScholarshipsWith the blessing of Metropolitan Joseph, the first six SOYO Metropolitan Philip Youth Worker Scholarships have been awarded to the following six people, each in the amount of $800, for the 2015-2016 Academic year. Five of the six recipients are studying in the St. Stephens Youth Ministry Concentration working towards a Master Degree in Applied Orthodox Theology with a concentration in Youth Ministry (more information available here) and oneGregory Abdalahis working on his Doctor of Ministry Degree at St. Vladimir’s Seminary.

All six of these recipients are members of a parish in the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America and all of them are currently doing youth ministry work on the parish and or diocesan level.

December 2015 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The December 2015 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Models of Parenting for Clergy and Parents
by His Grace Bishop John

The Joy and Challenge of Evangelization
by Fr. Anthony Roeber

Chief among Sinners
by John R. Gresham, Jr.

Fr. John Namie: Hear the Voice Again

Prepared Hands, Prepared Hearts, Prepared People
by Edith Humphrey, Ph.D.

What Does FOCUS Mean to You?

...and more!

Cyber Monday Sale Prices from Antiochian Village Bookstore

Christmas gifts for children and adults alike are available at discounted prices from the Archdiocese's Publications Center and Bookstore at Antiochian Village.

A few of the unique and spiritually nourishing gift items are:

  • A CD of the Choir of St. Romanos from Beirut in concert at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn, singing a variety of hymns of the Church in Arabic
  • The Bible for Today’s Family - New Testament, written in clear, easily grasped English that a child can understand—yet appreciated by parents, teens, and grandparents, too
  • The children's book, Pictures of God, which brings God and His saints vividly into children's lives through icons. The colorful pages are perfect for little hands in church, for explaining the world of icons in the first years of Sunday school, and for read-aloud time with little ones at home

Major credit cards are accepted at the online store, so place your order today!

Visit The Nativity of our Lord page at the Antiochian Village Bookstore and Giftshop

New Inspirational Resources Available from the Diocese of Charleston

Thanks to His Grace Bishop Thomas and the clergy of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, a new collection of inspirational readings is now available at www.antiochian.org/charleston/readings. The series "Spiritual Notes from the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic" (formerly "Notes from Bishop Thomas"), complied by Fr. Daniel Meyer, offers teachings selected from Sayedna Thomas' treasured collection of essays, articles, homilies and more, including many rare pieces from earlier decades of The Word. "Diocese of Charleston Bible Study" is a study of scripture from Fr. Stephen DeYoung and includes weekly scripture texts, reflections on the readings, and questions for further contemplation. In "Spiritual Nuggets from the Diocese of Charleston," Fr. Noah Bushelli provides brief reflections and quotations from Church fathers as a source of concise spiritual edification.

All three series are updated weekly, and Spiritual Notes and Bible Study pieces are also available in PDF format for easy download and printing. May God reward the efforts of Bishop Thomas and his dedicated priests in providing spiritual nourishment to the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese and all those who seek to hear the Word of God!

Who Is Our Peace? + A Reflection on the State of the World Now

by Fr. George Shalhoub of the Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan
A sermon delivered Sunday, November 15, 2015, in the wake of the terror attacks in Beirut and Paris

Beloved,

In the light of the constant atrocities, murder, suicide bombings, the war ravaging the world today, I wish to share with you the following:

As we enter the Holy Advent Season, we shall also gather, as families, to celebrate Thanksgiving in the midst of a world gone mad. We need to keep our eyes open through prayer to Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, for the salvation of the world.

Metropolitan Joseph Appoints Bishop Anthony as Sacred Music Dept. Overseer

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has appointed His Grace Bishop Anthony (Michaels) as the new hierarchical overseer of the Department of Sacred Music. Paul Jabara and the entire Department of Sacred Music welcome His Grace with open arms and look forward to many years under his tutelage. 

Watch Bishop Anthony's lectures on Pascha, presented at the 2014 Sacred Music Institute (SMI) 
Part I
Part II

Photo gallery of 2014 SMI with Bishop Anthony as Keynote Speaker, by Paul Jabara

Fall 2015 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2015 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the newly-elected North American Board Officers and Coordinators! The issue contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph
  • A profile of Antiochian Women spiritual advisor, His Grace Bishop John
  • Biographies of the officers of the 2015-2017 Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America North American Board

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

Young Orthodox Professionals Gather in Santa Fe, NM

Valerie Blomberg writes:

"As Orthodox young people gather, personal isolation ceases to influence the development of their Orthodox identity."

These are the words Archimandrite Gerasim, dean of St. Seraphim's Cathedral in Dallas and our keynote speaker, gave us before the start of the Orthodox Young Professionals Retreat held in Santa Fe, New Mexico from October 16-18, 2015. We felt his words to be true as a community of Orthodox young adults formed over the course of the three day retreat. Most of us were strangers to one another at the start, but soon became fast friends. Personal isolation fell away as we discovered a community of like-minded young adults who would support us in answering the call to "sanctify time and space" and to bring Christ into the midst of our everyday lives.

Liturgical Instructions for 2016 Now Available

So that parishes can properly schedule divine services in the coming months, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has approved the Instructions for Christmas (Nativity) 2015, Epiphany (Theophany) 2016, and Great Lent 2016. Also released is the Sunday Liturgical Readings Calendar for 2016. If you have any questions, please write to Fr. Thomas Zain, Chairman of the Department of Liturgics.

2016 Ancient Faith Icon Calendar Features American Saints

One of the most popular Ancient Faith offerings each year during the Advent season is the Icon Calendar. Now again available for purchase, the 2016 version features the saints of America rendered by six notable iconographers. The 11" x 12" full-color calendar displays large calendar boxes for recording important reminders. 

The feast days shown on this calendar in bold, blue type are the twelve great feast days of the Orthodox Church. Other feast days of some of the most popularly venerated saints of the Orthodox Churches around the world are listed in black, regular type. Dates are listed according to the Gregorian or "new" calendar. (Note: A different version of this calendar is available which makes use of the Julian or "old" calendar dates.)

Memory Eternal! + Nicholas Ramacciato

Nicholas Ramacciato reposed in the Lord on November 4, 2015. Nick and his beloved wife Francis had been married for over 52 years. They have a son, Nicholas Jr., a very successful businessman in Central Florida.

Originally from the Bronx in New York City, Nick and Francis had made Orlando home for the last thirty-five years. They had been in the restaurant business for many years, having owned and operated various Italian restaurants, before retiring to Orlando. 

Nick was one of the kindest, most gentle gentleman you could ever meet; at the same time he spoke his mind without any limits. That's how he came to become a part of the St. George family. Almost 25 years ago on a summer afternoon, Nick sparked up a conversation with St. George's pastor, the Very Reverend Fr. John Hamatie. Father John and Nick became friends and some years later Nick and Francis converted to the Holy Orthodox Christian faith.

Announcing the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Institute

Download the Institute Prospectus

Download the Institute Application

The Antiochian House of Studies, a department of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Ph.D. program in Orthodox StudiesHis Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Joseph, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, heartily approves and blesses this pioneering initiative.

As the first such Antiochian Orthodox program set within the English-speaking framework in North America, the Ph.D. program is intended to train specialists in Biblical and Patristic Theology, with the specific aim of transmitting the wisdom and ethos of the Orthodox tradition to our theologians, educators and pastors.

In its mission to fulfill the ancient apostolic calling to build up Christian theological education, the Antiochian House of Studies is led by a team of renowned scholars who offer students of all backgrounds the opportunity to engage in scholarship at the highest level. Our Ph.D. scholars will specialize in research topics of their own choosing.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph Hosts the First Metropolitan New York Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat

On Monday November 2, 2015, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph hosted the first pan-Orthodox clergy retreat for the clergy of metropolitan New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls, New Jersey. Other hierarchs in attendance were His Eminence Archbishop Michael (Dahulich) of the OCA diocese of New York and New Jersey and His Grace Bishop Nicholas of the Antiochian Archdiocese. The retreat was attended by more than 30 members of clergy and was led by Metropolitan Joseph. The theme for the retreat was "Holy Nation, Holy Diaconate, Holy Priesthood and Holy Episcopate."

His Eminence focused on the key attributes that must be present in every Orthodox Christian across the categories of layman, deacon, priest and bishop, emphasizing the need for holiness and decorum.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph Consecrates St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church of Florida, New York

On Saturday October 31, 2015, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, assisted by His Grace Bishop Nicholas, consecrated the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch located in Florida, New York, pastored by Very Rev. George Kevorkian.  Also celebrating were 14 members of clergy from the New York Metropolitan Deanery.  There were 200 of the faithful in attendance and the day was made more beautiful by a combined choir from the area churches. 

In his homily, Metropolitan Joseph stressed the importance of a church consecration as the setting aside of the church as a sacred place.  The altar was washed with soap and water, sprinkled with rosewater, and anointed with Holy Chrism.

We Need Your Input! Take the Sacred Music Library Survey

Are you a choir director or member? Have you thought about joining the choir? Do you enjoy listening to Orthodox Christian music, and would you be willing to share your opinion?

Richard Barrett, the St. John of Damascus Society's Artistic Director, has designed a 2-5 minute survey to gather data about how the music library on Antiochian.org is currently being used, and to ascertain what resources and functionality would be helpful that currently don't exist. Whether you have a degree from a music conservatory, or are strictly an amateur, we are interested in hearing from you!

As one of the most popular destinations on Antiochian.org, the Department of Sacred Music's online library of PDFs includes liturgical music for every month of the year, and is a frequent destination for choir directors, chanters, and church musicians. Plans are underway to refresh and expand the online resources available to musicians in the Antiochian Archdiocese. In May, 2015, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph appointed Paul Jabara of Montreal, Quebec to be the new Chairman of the Archdiocese's Department of Sacred Music, and he is working closely with the Department of Internet Ministry to improve the music library. With your assistance, we will be able to improve this valuable archive in the coming months. Thanks for your help!

Take the survey!

November Liturgical Texts Available for Download

Altar servers process in front of an icon of the Archangel Michael at St. Michael Church in Van Nuys, CA.Altar servers process in front of an icon of the Archangel Michael at St. Michael Church in Van Nuys, CA.Saints who healed and refused payment, the first bishop of the missionary church that would become the Antiochian Archdiocese, the bodiless hosts that protect us, a Great Feast of the Theotokos, and a major American holiday fill the celebrations of the Orthodox Church in the month of November. The Liturgical Texts to guide us through services on these holy days, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for download from the Online Liturgical Guide.

On the first day of the month, we commemorate Ss. Cosmas and Damian of Mesopotamia in Asia Minor. These "unmercenary" saints received no money for the medicine they practiced and the healings they performed. They are not to be confused with Ss. Cosmas and Damian of Rome (July 1) who were also unmercenaries.

Each year on the first Saturday of November we commemorate St. Raphael Hawaweeny. He said of himself: "I am an Arab by birth, a Greek by primary education, an American by residence, a Russian at heart, and a Slav in soul." His multicultural influences and love of Jesus Christ helped him become the "Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America." The Archdiocese celebrates St. Raphael close to the date of his birth, November 8.

And that day happens to be the feast of the Archangels. The Orthodox Church celebrates Raphael – the namesake of the first bishop of Brooklyn – Michael, Gabriel and all the bodiless powers of heaven that minister directly to God the Father and protect us on earth who are called to be heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14).

November 2015 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The November 2015 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Have the Antiochians Changed Their Minds?
by His Grace Bishop John

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph Addresses St. Vladimir's Seminary

Minutes of the General Assembly of the 52nd Antiochian Arthodox Archdiocese Convention

Liturgical Discipleship: A Framework for Youth Ministry
by Gregory Abdalah

Youth Music Ministry
by Chris Farha

The Gift of Life
by Alexis Bethoney Gerena

...and more!