As the faithful celebrate the high point of the Church year—Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha—the Department of Internet Ministry has launched a rebuilt section of resources and reading for the season. Great Lent Resources & Readings is a topical library of links and reflections that presents the meaning and practice of the forty days of prayer and worship in an engaging and accessible format. The goal is that this will be a useful tool for teaching about Lent, for both newcomers to the Orthodox Christian Faith as well as for those who are rediscovering the spiritual benefits of the Lenten journey.
Visitors to Great Lent Resources & Readings will find three distinct subsections, each with its own theme:
- All Revered Days: the Lenten Calendar is a library of information broken into the weeks of Lent from the Pre-Lenten Sundays through Holy Week,
- Bright Sadness: Entering into the Lenten Spring contains wise counsel about making the most of the forty days, and
- Holy Week: Journey to the Empty Tomb offers an overview of Holy Week as well as reflections on some of its specific days, such as Holy Friday.
Though they are too many to name, we'd like to extend thanks to all the various sources who have allowed us to repurpose their material, and we encourage those maintaining Orthodox websites of their own to link to this section.
The Assembly of Bishops convened a meeting to share ideas and discuss collaboration between the Assembly’s communications team and the internet staff of member jurisdictions. The meeting was held on the campus of St Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, NY on March 6 and brought together representatives from the Assembly’s Secretariat, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, the Orthodox Church in America, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese. All of the Assembly’s member jurisdictions were invited to attend.
A main topic of discussion was how the Assembly’s website can be enhanced to include Orthodox news and resources on the Orthodox faith. The group agreed that the Assembly’s website and the jurisdictions’ websites can support each other in reaching the Orthodox faithful.
The group touched on other relevant topics including sharing parish information so that the Assembly's parish directory remains up-to-date; the creation of a clergy directory; the importance of providing the faithful with resources on internet safety for youth and adults; and mechanisms by which Orthodox news and information can be disseminated directly to parishes.
The group will meet periodically by phone to continue vital conversations related to information, technology, and faith.
Visit the Antiochian Archdiocese memorial section dedicated to Patriarch Ignatius IV. View video of His Beatitude's funeral service, photo galleries, an excerpt from his writings, and more. Resources will continue to be added to this section as they become available.
The Antiochian House of Studies School of Orthodox Theology, home of the St. Stephen's Program, has launched a new website section. The project centered on the work of two House of Studies graduate students, Keith Buhler and Emmanuel Gergis, who worked with the staff of the House of Studies and the Dept. of Internet Ministry to update the web presence of this special Archdiocese ministry.
The new House of Studies section offers an introduction to the distance-learning school, a list of its academic programs, information for prospective and current students, and links for faculty, news and contact information. With affordable tuition and flexible scheduling, the House of Studies offers students, parents, or full-time professionals the ability to pursue an Orthodox theological education.
Douglas Cramer, the Antiochian Archdiocese Chairman of the Department of Internet Ministry, has released his Convention report for 2011.
Douglas writes, "Increasing the reach of an organization’s online presence depends on the good will of those parties who are also online, and support the vision of the organization. As Archdiocese online resources continue to mature, it will be essential to cultivate awareness and support from Orthodox Christian ministries, parishes, pastors, and other online content creators across jurisdictions, in order to leverage the social capabilities of the Internet, and the social command of the Gospel."