September 8, 1921 - September 5, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Esther Massad Samara fell asleep in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on September 5, 2011. She was born on September 8, 1921 in Drumright, Oklahoma to the Very Reverend George R. Massad and Khouria Bediyah (Hamra) Massad. The family then moved to Oklahoma City in 1937. She attended Classen High School and graduated in 1939. From 1939 to 1941 she attended Hills Business College, earning an Associate's Degree. Concurrently with school, she worked at the "Indian Post," a local mercantile store. On July 29, 1951 she married George R. Samara and together raised 3 children.
Antiochian members of The Orthodox Theological Society in America, will join other Society members for the annual meeting at the Maliotis Cultural Center on the grounds of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology from Thursday, September 15 to Saturday September 17. The Society is meeting jointly this year with the Orthodox Scholars Initiative (OSI), the LOGOS Orthodox Scholars group and the group Science and the Orthodox Church in North America (SOCNA). The program of sessions can be viewed at the Society’s website. The annual Georges Florovsky Memorial Lecture this year will be delivered by the Very Reverend Dr. John A. McGuckin, Nielsen Professor of Late Antiquity and Byzantine Christian History at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies at Columbia University. The lecture, “Fr. Georges Florovsky and Sergey Bulgakov: A Conflict of Typologies Concerning the Dialogue of Orthodoxy and Contemporary Society” will be delivered Friday, September 16 in the main auditorium of the Maliotis Center at 7:30 P.M. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.
A new brochure and updated registration form are now available for the 2011 Orthodox Institute: "Scripture through the Lens of the Holy Land." For further information and to download brochures and forms, please visit www.antiochian.org/christianeducation/oi2011.
At the 69th annual commencement of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on Saturday, May 28, 2011, six Antiochian Orthodox seminarians graduated with their Masters of Divinity degrees. The six students pictured at right are Deacon Matthew Snowden, Father Methodios Ingalls, Subdeacon Joseph Hazar, Nicholas Buck, Deacon Daniel Meyer and Subdeacon Matthew Howell.
Of these six, Father Methodios Ingalls graduated with Distinction for his Thesis in Theology and Spirituality, Subdeacon Matthew Howell with Distinction for his Thesis in Theology and Spirituality, and Deacon Daniel Meyer with Distinction for his Thesis in Scripture. The Reverend Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou of St. John the Baptist Monastery, Essex, England, gave the Commencement Address on the topic of Prophecy in the Priesthood, and he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Two Antiochian Orthodox priests were present as relatives of the Graduates: the Very Rev. Fr. John Troy Mashburn of St. John in Memphis, the father-in-law of Deacon Matthew Snowden, and the Rev. Fr. Stephen Howell of St. Athanasius in Sacramento, the father of Subdeacon Matthew Howell. The new Dean of St. Tikhon’s, the Antiochian Orthodox priest, the Very Rev. Fr. Alexander Atty, spoke during the ceremony, and the Very Rev. Fr. David Hester, pastor of St. Mary Wilkes-Barre, and adjunct Associate Professor of Patristics and Church History at St. Tikhon’s, was among faculty present. Over the past years, St. Mary Wilkes-Barre hosted two of the graduates who were assigned to the parish: Deacon Matthew Snowden and Subdeacon Joseph Hazar.
Recently, the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black concluded their 18th Annual Conference. The mission of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black is to minister to Americans the gift of Orthodoxy. In an effort to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God (I Peter 4:10), the organization presents an annual conference that explores the African roots of Orthodoxy. Its vision is to bring Americans closer to Jesus Christ. The title of this particular conference is “The Ancient Faith for Modern Problems.” Ancient Faith Radio and the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black are happy to provide these lectures for free download and distribution. Please share the talks with friends and family.
Camp St. Laurence near Canon City, CO
September 30-October 2, 2011
Download Flyer and Registration Form (PDF)
A Women’s Retreat with Lynette Smith and her book Voyage will be offered at Camp St. Laurence near Canon City, Colorado from Friday afternoon, 30 September, and concluding with Sunday Liturgy and brunch, followed by quiet time and departures for home.
Camp St. Laurence is an entire mountain valley surrounding Tallahassee Creek about twenty miles west of Canon City off Hwy 50. The valley is surrounded by National Forests and very quiet while revealing much of what makes Colorado such a beautiful and appealing place with great forests on the hillsides and cottonwoods and aspens along the creek. Lodging and meals are included in the modest tuition of $ 75 for a shared room. Private rooms are $95 and available on a first come basis.
Lynette Smith is a recognized Bible scholar and author and very committed to the Orthodox Christian Faith. She is a member of the choir at St. Columba’s Church in Lafayette, Colorado and has taught at other Orthodox parishes in the Diocese of Wichita.
For more information and a registration form, please download the event flyer (PDF).
His Grace Bishop Basil writes:
Please join me in praying a rope for the repose of the soul of Adeeb Sadd, honorary member of the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees and past North American Chair of The Order of St. Ignatius (1987-1991) from Encino, California, who fell asleep in Christ at 11:57PM on August 31st, 2011. Adeeb is survived by his wife Carolyn, their three daughters Chrisa, Carrie and Leilah and their families.
May God grant Adeeb Paradise, and may He grant you long life!
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."
Orthodox Christians looking for a parish home will first encounter your parish on the web through your website. Inquirers looking to experience Orthodoxy may use your website to decide whether to come "taste and see". Parishioners looking for schedule and other information want to go to a website that is easy to navigate and consistently up to date. An ineffective web site can limit how your parish project's itself to the world. An inaccurate website can set inaccurate expectations for visitors.
On September 15, 2011 at 7PM CDT/8PM EDT Joe Kormos, Parish Development Ministry leader for the OCA's Diocese of the Midwest, will host a webinar titled "Improving Your Parish Website." Mr. Kormos will offer opinions about how to strengthen parish websites to help communicate with parishioners, neighbors and potential new members.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
This session will be useful for Clergy, Parish Webmasters, Parish Council and Ministry Leaders -- and even parish bulletin contributors. Anyone interested in helping their parish positively present its life in Christ to others will find value here.
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.