The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN), emphasizing the theme of Prayer in their flagship program "Come Receive the Light," featured two distinguished Antiochian authors in their February line–up. Khouria Frederica Matthewes-Green, a frequent speaker as well as author, shared her thoughts about keeping a personal prayer rule with OCN Executive Director Fr. Christopher Metropulos. The writer of The Illumined Heart, a book about Orthodox spirituality, Kh. Frederica offered helpful tips on starting and maintaining a personal prayer rule, and outlined advice on how to build up the prayer life of the entire family. "When you stop and actually face the Lord, and remember that everything begins and ends in Him," noted Kh. Frederica in the OCN podcast, "I've found that it was the most transformative thing I ever did, to change my prayer life."
A second podcast on "Come Receive the Light" hosted guest Antiochian theologian Dr. Bradley Nassif, professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at North Park University. He and Fr. Chris discussed the importance of not just reading scripture, but memorizing it. "It was important for the Son of God to know Scripture when He was on earth...you can review verses and chose topics that will help you live the Christian life," noted Dr. Nassif.
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Lorraine K. (Deban) Laham, a life-long parishioner of St. George in Boston, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family on February 8, 2013. She was 84 years old.
Lorraine was born in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston as the youngest of nine siblings. She is preceded in death by all of her siblings; the late Freda Hanna, Helen Zahlaway, Mathilda Teebagy, Nellie Laham, Frederick Deban, Margaret Resha, Elizabeth Weinstein and Edith Eouse. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Herbert Laham. Lorraine and Herbie had two loving sons, Antiochian Archdiocese Board of Trustees member Gregory Laham and the late Jeffery Laham. When Jeff passed away in 1995 it was an especially difficult time for the family. Fortunately, Lorraine was comforted by her family and by the monks at Holy Transfiguration Monastery and the nuns Holy Nativity Convent in nearby Brookline, MA. They became lifelong friends and were always there for her.
She remained a homemaker for most of her adult life, until the family purchased Sullivan's Pharmacy in 1976. She worked at Sullivan's Pharmacy for the next 25 years. She helped Sullivan's grow into a thriving business until she finally retired in 1998. However, her whole life centered around her family. Greg and his wife Debbie have two grown sons, Keith and James. But few things brought more joy to Lorraine than spending time with her great-grandsons, Junior and Jordan.
The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS) recently released a new title in The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series. Joshua: A Commentary is authored by The Very Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi, professor of Biblical Studies and Languages at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. Books in the Chrysostom Series are not so much written in honor of John Chrysostom as they are published to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation.
In this newest volume, Fr. Paul explains that Joshua, like most of Scripture, has been "plagued by the proof texting approach of classical theology....Instead of asking the simple question, 'What is the book saying?'" most of us, Tarazi contends, "have been programmed to ask, 'What is the book saying concerning a certain topic?'...the 'topic' we are interested in is already defined in our minds...by merely asking the question, we are already straightjacketing Scripture."
Father Paul is also the author of a three volume Introduction to the Old Testament, a four volume Introduction to the New Testament, and the Chrysostom Bible Series. His Audio Bible Commentaries on the books of the Old and New Testament are available on the OCABS website.
On February 8 and 9, 2013, Fr. Constantine Nasr, pastor emeritus of St. Elijah Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the author of Mastering the Art of Marriage published by Conciliar Press, conducted a marriage preparation seminar at the Antiochian Orthodox Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, MI. The event was sponsored by the Mariam Center of Marriage and Youth Development, and the audio of all three sessions has been posted to Ancient Faith Radio (AFR).
The Assembly of Bishops has released minutes from its most recent meeting (Assembly III), held in Chicago from September 10-12, 2012. Though the final minutes will not be approved until the next meeting of the Assembly, scheduled for the Fall of 2013, the Assembly presents these as summary minutes.
Some of the chief concerns of the last meeting, as reflected in the minutes, were: the creation of a budget, the completion of the By-Laws, a review of the work of the Committee for Canonical Regional Planning, and the drafting of a statement.
Posted with these minutes are Articles of Incorporation, filed by the Assembly with the federal government in October of 2011. This was a first step towards the Assembly's legal incorporation. Since incorporation requires the creation of By-Laws, these were, as mentioned above, a chief agenda item at Assembly III. Having been completed there, they are now awaiting final approval. Once approved, the Assembly will post them here on the website.
Also included in this posting is the proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year, approved at the last meeting.
Antiochian priest The Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Atty, former rector of St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church in Louisville, KY, has announced his immediate retirement as Dean and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS) in South Canaan, PA. Father Alexander, who has served the past three years in that position while giving particular attention to the renovation needs of the STOTS campus, cited health reasons in a statement posted on February 6, 2013.
“I feel at this time that my physical struggles make it impossible for me to devote the time and energy necessary to the Seminary and, most importantly, to the student body,” Fr. Alexander wrote in his statement. He continued his remarks with a description of the great blessings he had received in serving the students of the Seminary, and asked for the community’s prayers for both him and his family.
Father Alexander holds a B.S. in engineering from Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. After earning his M.Div. at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 1979, he was ordained a priest on December 9, 1979 at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY. Fr. Alexander was elevated to the rank of archpriest in 1988, and later went on to study at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, earning his D.Min. in 2008.
On a sunny February afternoon in the Gerritson Beach section of Brooklyn, NY, the Vicar–General of the Antiochian Archdiocese The Very Rev. Thomas Zain and Mrs. Aida Nicolaou, a parish council member of St. Nicholas Cathedral, joined State Senator Martin Golden in one of the neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Sandy. There, on behalf of His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip, Fr. Thomas distributed $5000.00 worth of Home Depot gift cards to several families who sustained major damage to their homes and are trying to rebuild.
"Many people are still facing difficulties as they try to rebuild their homes and lives after the devastation wrought by Sandy last October, 2012," noted Fr. Tom. In addition to the financial distress and cold weather, many are facing bureaucracy from insurance companies, the government and private institutions. People in the community eventually requested help directly from Senator Golden, who has been working tirelessly as an advocate for his constituents, including the Gerritson Beach neighborhood.
Dear Young Adults,
With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Anthony, we are very excited to announce the 2nd Annual Midwest Young Adult Retreat to be held April 5-7, 2013 at the Maranatha Retreat Center in Muskegon, MI, on beautiful Lake Michigan. This year, we welcome Fr. Michael Nasser, the Pastor of Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, KY, as our guest speaker for the weekend. Many of our young people remember him for his many years of service as the former Camp Director at the Antiochian Village and his mission work at Project Mexico. Fr. Michael is a dynamic speaker, whose talks will surely challenge and inspire us in the faith.
The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve (FOCUS) has announced that St. Herman's Orthodox House of Hospitality, a shelter for homeless men in Cleveland, OH managed by newly appointed Director Paul Finley, is now part of FOCUS North America. In addition to providing housing, jobs and support services to homeless men, St. Herman's House offers three free meals a day, year-round.
Accommodations for up to 25 men to stay overnight are available; guests are accepted after completing an intake process and agreeing to abide by the Rules of Conduct. While staying at St. Herman's, guests are assigned responsibilities in the house to aid the house in running smoothly. These include cleaning the house, preparing, serving and cleaning up after meals, maintaining the flower garden and completing projects within the Ohio City community.
The Board of Directors of the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) met in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at the network’s headquarters in St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on January 26, 2013. His Grace Bishop Peter, the official episcopal liaison of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and South America, attended the meeting and opened the proceedings with prayer.
Executive Director Fr. Christopher Metropulos noted that OCN and affiliated radio stations are now heard by over 2.6 million listeners in over 200 countries. He also cited the working relationships established between OCN and all of the Orthodox Christian jurisdictions of the Assembly of Bishops, which enables news and edifying podcasts, videos, and blogs to be shared with the faithful through multiple OCN delivery platforms.
After the meeting, the Board of Directors announced the following initiatives:
- Starting in February, listeners will be able to hear broadcasts of "Come Receive the Light" in Greek, Spanish, and Russian. In addition, launch of OCN’s iPhone app is now complete and a new Android app is now available.
- OCN has launched the OCN Webstore; purchases will benefit OCN’s worldwide ministry at no additional cost to the shopper.
- A new podcast, “Our Life in Christ and in America,” will be hosted by Antiochian Orthodox Christian Bill Hinkle, former Minority Whip in the Washington state legislature, and Fr. Constantine Papademos, pastor of Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Elk Grove, CA and the longest serving chaplain of the California State Assembly in its history.
By Cindy George
When I was asked to say something about our work in the St. Stephen’s Program of the Antiochian House of Studies, words from St. Paul’s Letter to Romans came to mind. In Chapter 12, Verse 2, St. Paul encourages us and the Romans to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This describes what the St. Stephen’s journey has been for me.
After spending my life worshipping in Protestant churches, running in Protestant circles, participating in the mission field with my Protestant friends here and abroad, and educating my mind with Protestant doctrine in Protestant universities, you can imagine my astonishment when God called me completely out of my comfort zone to enter the Orthodox Church. I did not come gracefully.
My story is not one told by many who have been blessed to walk through the doors of an Orthodox Church to the sound of chanting, to the smell of incense, the beauty of the icons, the reverence and holiness of the Liturgy, ones who knew immediately that they were in the presence of the True God. I came kicking, screaming, crying and protesting; questioning every little thing. I asked: Why does everything have to be sung? Why does the priest dress like that? Who are those people lighting candles and kissing paintings? Why do they kiss a cross? Why is the priest lifting up the bread? Why do you have bread in Church anyway? How can you honestly believe that the bread and wine magically turn into the Christ’s body and blood?
Since 1998, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has offered an internship program to undergraduates and recent college graduates interested in careers in international relief and development. The IOCC Internship Program provides a unique opportunity to gain firsthand exposure to the operations of an Orthodox Christian international humanitarian aid and development organization.
The deadline for the 2013 Internship Program applications is February 28, 2013.
IOCC internships typically require a 10 to 12 week full-time commitment during the months of May – September. In 2013 IOCC is currently offering 2-3 opportunities for US-based interns, but there is a possibility for an overseas internship that would be posted by the end of February. Current US Internship possibilities are:
- Finance intern at our Baltimore headquarters;
- Communications intern at our Baltimore headquarters;
- US Program intern at our Minneapolis field office with travel to home build sites in New Orleans, Houston, Minot, ND, and NY/NJ area.
- US-based interns in 2013 will receive a stipend, BUT will need to find their own housing in the Baltimore area or Minneapolis area.
"Glory be to Thee Who hast shown us the light!" On Wednesday, January 30, 2013, the booming voice of His Grace The Right Rev. John Abdalah, bishop for the Antiochian Archdiocese's Diocese of Worcester and New England and the longtime editor of The Word magazine, announced the Feast of the Three Great Hierarchs. Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom are the patrons of the St. Vladmir's Seminary (SVOTS) Three Hierarchs Chapel in Yonkers, New York.
The three hierarchs presiding over the Divine Liturgy included Bishop John (SVOTS Class of '84), His Grace The Right Rev. Bishop Nicholas, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn for the Archdiocese, and His Grace The Right Rev. Maxim, bishop of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America.
On Tuesday January 22 and Wednesday January 23, the Secretariat of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America convened for its annual face-to-face meeting. This year's meeting was hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America (ROCOR) at his Holy Virgin Cathedral - Joy of All Who Sorrow in San Francisco, CA, home to the relics of St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco.
Attendees at the meeting included: Assembly Secretary Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America (AOCA), Bishop Maxim of the Diocese of Western America (SOC), Bishop Andonios of Phasiane (GOA), Fr. Mark Arey, Fr. Nicholas Ceko, Fr. Josiah Trenham, Hdn. Benedict (Armitage), Pdn. Peter Danilichick, Mr. Alexei Krindatch, Mr. Alex Machaskee and Mr. Eric Namee. Also attending was Ms. Chrysanthe Loizos, the newly-appointed communications officer for the Assembly, and Archimandrite Irenei (Steenberg), director and dean of students of the Sts. Cyril and Athanasius Institute for Orthodox Studies. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Institute coordinated all aspects of the two-day event.
On Sunday, January 27, 2013, His Beatitude the Most Blessed Tikhon, archbishop of Washington and metropolitan of All America and Canada, was enthroned at St. Nicholas Cathedral, the primatial cathedral for the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), in Washington, D.C. His Beatitude was elected at the OCA's 17th All-American Council held in Parma, OH on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.
The members of the OCA’s Holy Synod of Bishops and hierarchs from other Orthodox communions in North America and overseas participated in the events of the Enthronement, which included Vespers the evening before and a banquet which followed Sunday's Divine Liturgy and Enthronement. His Grace The Right Rev. Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn represented His Eminence The Most Rev. Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, at the weekend's events.
The 2013 Climacus Conference is scheduled for February 22-23 at St. Michael Church in Louisville, KY. In its fourth year, the conference is a pan-Orthodox intellectual and spiritual event featuring scholars and voices across the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Patristics, Classical Education, Literature, History and Politics. It is unique in that it provides an opportunity for people to be enriched by thinking well across disciplines. It furthers the life of the mind through scholarly engagement with the classic liberal arts, but approaches such an endeavor through the spiritual nous, the mind of the heart, enabling our ascension "of the ladder" (κλίμακος), as inspired by St. John Climacus and his Ladder of Divine Ascent.
For more information, contact:
David Wright, Climacus Conference Founder and Director
Najebie Assad Aymie of West Roxbury, MA passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at her son George C. Aymie's home in Osterville, MA.
She was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1914 and came to Boston, MA in 1932. Since 1936, Najebie was an active member of St. George Orthodox Church in West Roxbury, MA. She was so dearly loved by her family, her friends, and her Church family and was an inspiration to all who knew her. Najebie would have been 99 years of age on July 25, 2013.
Her husband, Charles S. Aymie, her son, Thomas C. Aymie, and her brother, Joseph Assad preceded her in death. She leaves her daughter, Roberta M. and husband, Louis J. Ennis of Bedford, MA; her son, George C. and wife, Pat (Mahan) Aymie of Osterville, MA; and her daughter, Brenda A. and husband, Terry Wiechmann of Bolton, MA and Yarmouth Port, MA. Najebie leaves 11 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; one great-great granddaughter, and a nephew, James M. Assad.
Her Funeral Service was held January 23, 2013 at St. George Orthodox Church 55 Emmonsdale Road, West Roxbury, MA 02132.
Contributions in Najebie's name may be made to St. George Orthodox Church.
Najebie was laid to rest with her beloved Charles and Thomas at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Boston, MA.
V. Rev. Anthony G. Yazge, Camp Director at Antiochian Village Camp & Conference Center, writes:
The 2013 Order of St. Ignatius Scholarship letters and forms have been mailed to each parish to the attention of the pastor. These forms must be completed and signed by the pastor and submitted to the office of the Department of Camping by March 1st. We ask that you assign the $700 of scholarship funding on a need basis to the campers of your parish. The scholarship may be used at any of the Antiochian Archdiocesan camps but may not exceed the amount of the camp tuition. Any unused funds as of March 1st will be available for the various camp directors to use for need-base scholarship.
Attention Camper Families!
Each parish of the Antiochian Archdiocese has been granted $700 in camp scholarship funds by the Order of St. Ignatius. These funds are for need-base scholarships. If you are in need of a scholarship, please speak to your parish priest to inquire about the scholarship. In addition to these funds, each camp has a limited amount of additional scholarship funding. You may request an Additional Scholarship Request Form from the appropriate camp director or download one from the camp website. These scholarships are based on need and typically are assigned on a first-come first-serve basis as long as funds remain. For more information, please contact the appropriate camp director through the information available on the Department of Camping website.
There is an urgent need to find a bone marrow donor for Karen Takla, who was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and must have a bone marrow transplant within the next 50 days. Karen is the great-granddaughter of Fr. Farid Farkouh and the granddaughter of Sally Farkouh Takla who, for many years, was a very active member of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY and, more recently, a parishioner of St. Mary's Orthodox Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Karen's mother and father are Kathy and Ronald Takla of Closter, New Jersey.
It has been strongly recommended that the Takla family reach out to the members of the Syrian/Lebanese community to be tested because a person's ethnicity is an important consideration when selecting a donor's bone marrow for transplantation. For those living in New Jersey, the Takla family has planned a bone marrow drive on Sunday, January 27 at the Westwood Community Center, 55 Jefferson Avenue, Westwood, NJ 07675 from 1 to 5 p.m. At the Center, donors will be swabbed and later tested to see whether their bone marrow is a match for Karen.
Additionally, for those unable to participate in the drive, they will still have the opportunity of being tested by following the instructions on the attached flyer. This allows for a national appeal to those living outside the immediate area of metropolitan New York. His Eminence Metropolitan Philip supports a wide-sweeping effort to aid Karen at this most critical time in her life.
Erwin Christopher Yarnell gently reposed in the Lord on January 17, 2013 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Erwin was born September 19, 1924, in Saticoy, Cailfornia, to Harold and Mabel (Adams) Yarnell. After returning from WWII military service, he and Cherry (Frances) Glaeser enjoyed 40+ years of marriage. They raised two sons, Christopher and Kenneth. After Cherry's death, Erwin married Dorothy Vyse.
Erwin loved God and people. He was quick to give smiles, compliments, words of encouragement, and blessings to those he encountered. He had awe and love for creation, which found expression in care for animals, gardening through his 88th year of life, and countless mountain and backcountry adventures. Forever a student, Erwin loved learning and reading. Although a very learned man with a fascinating variety of life experiences, he lived a simple life with a humble demeanor. Among his experiences were serving in WWII, winning military wrestling championships, and working for the National Park Service as ranger, guide, and lecturer. He taught in California and on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in Arizona. He and Cherry were made honorable members of the Coyote Clan. They both were good friends with White Bear, a Hopi with considerable influence within his clan as well as the tribe. Erwin was given the name White Bull. He also worked as a horticulturist, and as a greeter at the Santa Fe Walmart.
Erwin was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Mabel, brother Harold, wife Cherry, and wife Dorothy. He is survived by sons Christopher and Kenneth, nephew Richard Douse and great-nieces, Jenny Hall and Shannon Carnegie. He will be lovingly remembered by many.
Established in 1980, the Antiochian House of Studies offers four distinct programs of theological study, attracting students from all over the world, Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. Using a unique distance-learning structure, which also includes two residency periods at the Antiochian Village Conference Center in Pennsylvania, the program has developed into a world-class international institution of higher learning for theological education.
Visit the House of Studies web section on Antiochian.org.
Memory Eternal! Linda Simon was the longtime secretary for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and was also involved in numerous other ministries throughout the Diocese and in her church of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, Cleveland, Ohio.
Linda was the wife of Richard (deceased); loving mother of Ruth Lynch, Shirley Dheel (Michael), Richard, Jr. (Kathleen) and George (Christine); beloved grandmother of Jason, Nicole, Joseph, Stephanie, Jaclyn, Jenna, Justin, Sara, Michael, Jeremy and Matthew; cherished sister of Joan DuPuis and Sandra Morgan, and Aunt Linda to all. Interment was at St. Theodosius Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Linda's family suggests memorial tributes to St. George's Sunday School.
The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch
is pleased to invite you to the enthronement ceremony of
His Beatitude JOHN X
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East
The enthronement ceremony will take place in Damascus at the church of the Holy Cross, at 9:30 am, on Sunday, February 10th, 2013.
In this occasion, His Beatitude will preside over the Divine Liturgy in Beirut at Saint Nicolas Cathedral, at 9.30 am, on Sunday, February 17th, 2013.
Please confirm either participation or absence using one of these contacts:
Fax: 00961 6 930 304
Mobile: 00961 3 552 451
His Grace Bishop Thomas, Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, recently spoke with Fr. Chris Metropulos, executive director of Orthodox Christian Network (OCN). The interview is featured on OCN's flagship show, "Come Receive the Light," within the episode titled "Making Choices Concerning Your Children."
In the interview, Bishop Thomas described his experiences as a teacher in public, private, and homeschool settings, and offered his advice to parents on making educational choices for children. He noted that "we shop for everything—things that are of little consequence. This (choosing a school) is extremely important, so I would suggest that in any particiular educational situation parents do some investigation; talk to people who have participated, both parents and teachers to see what the philosophy and theology of the school is." His Grace also discussed the pros and cons of homeschooling, and encouraged parents to avoid "the temptation of isolation."
Sunday, January 13, marks the 40th day of the repose of His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch.
The Word magazine has made available a special issue dedicated to remembrances of His Beatitude.