News


International Holy Week Photo Galleries from OBL News

Palestinian Orthodox Christian children hold palm fronds on Orthodox Palm Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday March 28, 2010.Palestinian Orthodox Christian children hold palm fronds on Orthodox Palm Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday March 28, 2010.Recommended by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt on his Orthodixie blog, the OBL News website has assembled several galleries of powerful images of Holy Week from around the Orthodox world.

Click here for Palm Sunday photos.

Click here for Holy Thursday photos.

Click here for Holy Friday photos.

Click here for photos of the Holy Fire Pascha services of Jersusalem.

Click here for photos of Pascha celebrations around the world.

Metropolitan PHILIP Writes His Holiness KIRILL, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, with Prayers in Wake of Moscow Terrorism

March 30, 2010
His Holiness, KIRILL
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia

Your Holiness:

Greetings to you during these all holy days as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God give you strength!

We were horrified to learn of the barbaric attack yesterday on the beloved citizens of Moscow by a group of terrorists. This was especially disturbing as it took place during the Great and Holy Week of the Church. On behalf of all the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, please accept our sincere and deep sympathies to Your Holiness, the Russian government and the Russian people. May the innocent blood which was shed on Calvary wash away our sins and the sins of the entire world.

Very Rev. Alexander Atty to Serve as Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary

The Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Atty has received the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP to accept, and has accepted, an appointment as Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, PA. The appointment will be effective on July 1, 2010. Fr. Atty is currently a member of the seminary's Board of Trustees. He is a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese who has served as pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church of Louisville, KY, since 1980.

Fr. Alexander was born August 7, 1951 in Johnstown, PA, and holds a BS in engineering. After earning his MDiv at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, he earned his DMin from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Ordained a priest on December 9,1979 at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn NY, he was elevated to the rank of archpriest in 1988. Fr. Atty is married to Khourieh Olga, whose father is the retired OCA priest, Fr. John Nehrebecki.
 
We pray that our Lord will bless this appointment, and that St. Tikhon's Seminary will continue to make great forward strides under the leadership of Fr. Alexander.

Click here for the announcement from the Orthodox Church in America.

OCN Posts Colorful OCMC Mission Team Kenya Blog

Fr. Martin Ritsi, Executive Director of OCMC, recently led a mission team to Kenya, and readers can follow their adventures and see the colorful photos of the trip, at www.myocn.net.

A typical blog entry reads:

Day 3

IOCC Joins in Launch of ACT Alliance

Homeless families in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince who survived Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake enjoy safe water provided through a water system installed by Norwegian Church Aid with the support of IOCC.Homeless families in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince who survived Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake enjoy safe water provided through a water system installed by Norwegian Church Aid with the support of IOCC.March 24, 2010

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has joined the ACT Alliance, one of the world's largest humanitarian bodies, which officially launches March 24.

With more than 100 members globally, the ACT Alliance works in 125 countries with a combined operating budget of approximately $1.5 billion. The new alliance of churches and church-based humanitarian groups combines and builds on the former ACT International and its longtime disaster relief and rehabilitation focus, and the former ACT Development and its sustainable development focus. In addition, the ACT Alliance will also be involved in advocacy work.

Land and Covenant in the Bible Seminar, April 9-10, 2010 + Chicago, IL

Two-Day Scriptural Seminar with V. Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi
Professor of Scripture at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

Friday, April 9 at 7:30PM
Anderson Chapel Auditorium
North Park University
3225 W. Foster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
Saturday, April 10 from 10:00AM — 1:00PM
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
1220 South 60th Court
Cicero, IL 60804
Refreshments will be served

Fr. Paul will also celebrate the Divine Liturgy at St. George’s on Sunday, April 11, at 10:30 AM. For more information, please contact St. George Church at 708-656-2927.

Anthony Baba Ordained to Priesthood

Bishop BASIL writes:

HE IS WORTHY! Fr. Anthony Baba of St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas and DOWAMA Youth Director was ordained to the holy priesthood at his home parish of St. George in Houston, Texas on the Fifth Sunday of the Fast, March 21st, 2010. He will be assigned to the pastorate at St. Anthony Church in Spring, TX effective Monday, April 12th. He will begin his "Week of Liturgies" at St. George in Houston and will conclude it at St. George Cathedral in Wichita.

Jail and Prison Ministry 101 Training + Indianapolis, IN

April 10, 2010

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Presents

Jail & Prison Ministry 101 Training
Training for any Orthodox Christians who are Interested in Jail and Prison Ministry

When:    Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time:     9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Where:   St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
              4020 N. Sherman Dr.
              Indianapolis, IN 46226-4464

Special Guests include:

His Grace, the Right Reverend Bishop MARK of Toledo and the Mid-West, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Stephen Hall, D.MIN, Director of Religious Services, Indiana Department of Corrections.

More information will be forthcoming. Please check the OCPM web site for future updates.

Diocese of Wichita to Organize Consortium of Professional Counselors

His Grace Bishop BASIL has appointed Fr. John Mefrige of St. Ephraim the Syrian Church in San Antonio, Texas to begin the process of organizing a "DOWAMA Consortium of Professional Counselors" to be a resource for clergy in the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. Professional counselors in the Diocese are encouraged to download and submit a registration (PDF). For more information, please contact Fr. John Mefrige at FrJohnMefrige@aol.com.

Blackout at Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood (Update: Power Restored)

Due to the severe storm that hit the Northeast on Saturday, March 13, there has been no power or telephone service at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey since Saturday. At this point, there is no reliable estimate as to the restoral time. We apologize to all those who have been unable to contact the office since Saturday.

Update Thursday, March 18: Electricity and phone service have been restored, and communications can return to normal. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage.

An Unusual Visitor to Antiochian Village

On March 3, 2010, an unexpected and out of the ordinary visitor arrived at the edge of the Antiochian Village property. A small black bear was sighted in a tree. A Game Comissioner was called in. He sedated the bear and gave it a mask to protect its eyes and mouth while being moved.

The Game Comissioner confirmed that this is out of the ordinary. After examination, it is clear that this young bear is ill and thin. He came out of hibernation early, and finding no food, he tried to locate some in the neighbor's garbage.

The Game Commission assured Mother Alexandra that sleeping beauty will be medicated, fed, and released somewhere good for bears.

Second Annual Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy Conference at Hope College, Holland, MI

April 12-13, 2010 + Hope College + Holland, Michigan

The 2nd Annual Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy Conference presents…

Let God Arise (and let His enemies be scattered):

The RESURRECTION of CHRIST in Eastern Orthodox Theology & Worship
with Deacon Nicholas V. Belcher, M.Div., Dean of Students, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology - Boston, MA, and guests, including His Grace Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest

+For complete description & campus map, please visit www.hope.edu.

Click here to download flyer (PDF)

NBC Network To Air "Pascha: The Resurrection Of Christ"

NEW YORK – The video presentation of “Pascha: The Resurrection of Christ,” a program highlighting Orthodox Christian Pascha, or Easter, will broadcast on NBC affiliates nationwide this April. The program, produced by Greek Orthodox Telecommunications and sponsored by FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism, highlights Holy and Great Week, focusing on the deeply moving and ancient services that recount the Gospel narrative leading to the Death and Resurrection of Christ. Archbishop Demetrios of America leads a procession of the faithful around the church and outside where, following the reading of the Gospel of the Resurrection, they proclaim the joyous hymn “Christ is Risen!”

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is working with affiliates nationwide, urging them to broadcast the program within their local area. Broadcast information will be posted as soon as it becomes available from affiliates. 

For more information on coverage please log on to www.goarch.org/special/paschatv.

DVD copies of the program available for pre-sale ($25, plus $6 shipping). To pre-purchase please contact the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Communications at 212.774.0244 or email gotel@goarch.org.

Announcing "Romans: A Commentary" from OCABS Press

The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies is pleased to announce publication of the latest addition to the Chrysostom Bible Series, Romans: A Commentary.  In this volume, the author, Paul Nadim Tarazi, explains that Romans, "the one gospel meant for all the nations living in the Roman empire East and West," was addressed to the capital city and positioned at the beginning of the Pauline corpus to emphasize the universality of St. Paul's teaching. Not only Romans, he argues, but all of Paul's epistles were meant to be read at church gatherings everywhere, "together with the Old Testament." The book is available in both e-book and paperback versions.

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, I Thessalonians: A Commentary, Land and Covenant, and the Chrysostom Bible, Genesis: A Commentary and Philippians: 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! + Jean Miriam Card Walker

Mrs. Jean Miriam Card Walker, 100, died on March 1, 2010, at the Little Flower Assisted Living Community in Charlotte, NC.  Mrs. Walker was born in Dora, AL, on April 15, 1909, and lived in Palmerdale, Alabama, for 50 years before moving to Charlotte in 1986.  She is survived by two sons, Fr. Gordon Thomas Walker, Sr. (Mary Sue) founding priest and pastor emeritus of St. Ignatius Church in Franklin, TN; and Phillip Jackson Walker of Charlotte; a daughter, Mary Exa Walker Crew (Steve) of Charlotte; and numerous grand-,great-, and great-great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Mrs. Walker was preceded in death by her loving husband of 50 years, G. T. Walker, Jr.; a daughter, Alice Jean Walker; and a son, David Richard Walker, Sr. (Carol).  Jean personally cared for Alice, a loving special needs child, for over 60 years.  Jean and G. T. were charter members of First Baptist Church of Palmerdale, where Jean sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, and served in many other capacities.  She later taught the Sonshine special needs Sunday school class at Briar Creek Road Baptist Church in Charlotte.  Jean’s life was marked by service and quiet giving to those in need. 

A service of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, March 6, at 10 AM at Roebuck Chapel, 9012 Parkway East, Birmingham, AL, 35206, the Rev. B. J. Strickland of Huntsville officiating.  The family will receive friends from 4:30-8 PM on Friday, March 5, at Roebuck Chapel.  Younger family members will serve as pall bearers.  Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Palmerdale, AL, 35123. 

Metropolitan PHILIP Presides Over Groundbreaking and Surprise Elevation in Florida

Groundbreaking Ceremony:  from left to right The Very Reverend Fr. Joseph Rahal, The Right Reverend Fr. Nicholas Ozone, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, The Very Reverend Fr. Elia Shalhoub, and Mayor of the Town of Davie, Judy Paul.Groundbreaking Ceremony: from left to right The Very Reverend Fr. Joseph Rahal, The Right Reverend Fr. Nicholas Ozone, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, The Very Reverend Fr. Elia Shalhoub, and Mayor of the Town of Davie, Judy Paul.By Charles Weber

Valentine’s weekend is usually a time for sweethearts to get together and celebrate their love for each other. Here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during this time, parishioners of St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church and members of the Archdiocese were celebrating love as well, but love for the Church in the form of stewardship. The ground breaking ceremonies for the new John and Hooda Germack Hall took place over this wonderful weekend with lots of events and fun.

The events started Friday night with a dinner welcoming His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP where the plans and the model for the new hall were presented by Architect Alex Khoury to the Metropolitan, Parish Council, and a few Archdiocese Board of Trustees members. This event was hosted by Salim and Deborah Khoury at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club. There was a short question and answer session about the new hall which was very informative. At the same time, the weekend chairman, Richard Zakka, Spoke about the new St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church Home for Children Program, which will “serve a greater cause than ourselves”, to help orphaned children in need. He stated that “There are over 1 million homeless children in the United States and someone has to take the initiative of changing that number”. Mr. Zakka, who is spearheading this effort, asked “If we don’t do it, who will? If not now, then when?”

St Vladimir’s Seminary Offers Summer Academic Course, June 2010

Fr. John BehrFr. John BehrIn a new summertime venture, St Vladimir’s Seminary will be offering an intensive weeklong academic course for the public, June 13–19, 2010, with an option for academic credit.

Archpriest John Behr, renowned professor of Patristics and dean of St Vladimir’s, will lead a rigorous and rewarding academic class titled “From Gospel to Creed.” The course will examine key Christian figures and explore the historical and thematic paths that led to the formulation and promulgation of the Creed of Nicaea.

“I’m thrilled to offer a course to the general public this summer,” said Fr John. “And, I’m always eager to share what so energizes me—learning about Christ and the origins of my church, and all the providential quirks of history that make that study so fascinating, enduring, and decidedly life-changing.”

Read more about the academic program on the seminary’s Website.

 

Antiochian House of Studies Announces Certificate Program for Pastoral Marriage and Family Counseling

  • For men and women serving in parish ministry with at least three years of experience as clergy, chaplains, Christian Education Staff  who have completed a M.Div. or diploma though the St. Stephen’s or like program.
  • For Orthodox and non-Orthodox Clergy and staff who desire to be more competent in counseling individuals, couples and families.
  • Program will take 2 years and the first session is projected to begin in August of 2010 Classes will meet for two weeks in August, (September) and May at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Class size limited to 15 students.

Year one - Fall Session
The Foundations of Marriage and Family Ministry
Christian Anthropology and Human Development in the Family Life Cycle

Spring Session
Pastoral Care and Professional Ethics
Pastoral Counseling: Skills and Models

Year two - Fall Session
Pastoral Marital Counseling: Skills and Models
Pastoral Family Counseling

Spring Session
Psychopathology
Marriage and Family Counseling Practicum

Two Presentations by Frederica Mathewes-Green in Bergenfield, NJ

Frederica Mathewes-GreenFrederica Mathewes-GreenComing this Friday and/or Saturday to hear Frederica? Bring a spare small mounted icon for a soldier in Afghanistan!

We will be collecting small icons that can be carried by Orthodox Christian Service men and women who are deployed presently in Afghanistan.

If you do not have an icon to donate, we will also be taking donations to provide prayer books, bottles for carrying holy water and Slavic and Greek Pascha breads for the service people to share as they celebrate the Resurrection.

On Friday and Saturday March 12-13, 2010, well-known Antiochian author Frederica Mathewes-Green will speak at St. Anthony Orthodox Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey. On Friday night, the topic of discussion will be The Lost Gospel of Mary: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts. Saturday's presentation topic will be The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer That Tunes the Heart to God.

Bishop MARK Sunday of Orthodoxy Audio Available Online

His Grace Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo visited Houston for the first weekend of Great Lent. Fr. Joseph Huneycutt posts here about the visit, and includes links to the following audio:

Bishop MARK's Sunday of Orthodoxy Sermon at St. George Antiochian Church of Houston

Bishop MARK's Pan-Orthodox Vespers Remarks

Archpastoral Directive Regarding Typikon of the Great Feast of the Annunciation

February 24th, 2010

Archpastoral Directive

To our Venerable Hierarchs and beloved clergy of our God Protected Archdiocese:

Greetings and blessings to all of you in the Spirit of this Great and Holy Lent.

It has come to my attention that there is some confusion concerning the Typikon of the Great Feast of the Annunciation. We have discovered that different Typikons deal with this issue in different ways.

Therefore we ask you to abide by the following directions:

1)            You may celebrate the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesday morning, March 24th.

2)            Celebrate Matins and Divine Liturgy for the Annunciation on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, March 25th.

Wishing you a blessed journey to the Empty Tomb, I remain,

Your father in Christ,

 

 

 

Metropolitan PHILIP

Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America

Dept. of Conventions and Conference Planning Launches AntiochianEvents.org

The Department of Convention and Conference Planning announces the launching of a new website dedicated to assisting parishes in planning and executing Parish Life Conferences and Archdiocese Conventions:  Antiochian Events (www.antiochianevents.org).  The Antiochian Archdiocese funded this project, and NAC Fellowship of St. John the Divine will cover its annual operating expenses.

The new website includes a comprehensive system for online registration and payment functions.  Conference and convention participants will be able to register for events, to submit Souvenir Journal sponsorships, to upload journal messages and art work, to register for vendor or display booths, to make general donations, and to make individual or corporate sponsorship donations.

Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico Comforts the Orthodox Faithful of Haiti

Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico visited Haiti this past week bringing comfort to the clergy and Orthodox faithful of the earthquake stricken Island. His Eminence arrived from Greece where he was visiting for official Church business, aboard a Greek Government plane, with the Assistant Foreign Minister of Greece and the Executive Director of the NGO “Solidarity” of the Church of Greece. The plane was carrying 50 tons of food, medicine and other aid, a gift from the Greek Government and the Church of Greece, for the people of Haiti.

His Eminence immediately visited the homes and schools of the Greek Orthodox ministry in Haiti to assess the damage done by the earthquake. He was deeply moved by what he saw; “This is a disaster of immense proportions” he noted. All of the buildings where the Greek Orthodox Church and schools are presently housed were seriously damaged and will need major repairs, or even worse, will need to be demolished and rebuilt. His Eminence further visited the property owned by the Holy Metropolis where the Metropolis has plans to build a complete complex, comprised of a Church, a school, a clinic and housing for clergy.

Since the property is presently vacant, families whose homes were destroyed and who had no place to live, are presently using the property for temporary living quarters. About 3000 people live on the Church property, 1000 of whom are children. Initially they lived out in the open until last week when the Metropolis received a donation of 500 tents, which were given to these families for more humane living conditions.

SCOBA Address for 2010 Sunday of Orthodoxy

Friday, February 12, 2010

 

Now to Him Who by the power at work within us is able
to do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or think,
to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Eph. 3:20-21).

February 21, 2010
The Feast of the Sunday of Orthodoxy


The Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas

To all the Clergy and the Laity of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the Americas

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We, the Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, greet you on the Feast of the Sunday of Orthodoxy with words of the Holy Apostle Paul that were selected by the Primates of the worldwide Orthodox Church to close their Message proclaimed on October 12, 2008. Indeed, we glory in our God whose love for us exceeds every thought or imagining that could enter our minds or hearts. As the Apostle Paul says in another place: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him (I Cor. 2:9).

In the historic Synaxis and in the Message that was declared by it, the Primates of worldwide Orthodox Christianity proclaimed the following with one voice and one heart: