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St. Demetrios the Myrrhbearer + October 26

Verily, the inhabited world found thee a great succor in tribulations and a vanquisher of nations, O fight-bearing one. Wherefore, as thou didst demolish the arrogance of Lahosh, and on the battle-field didst hearten Nestor, beseech, O Saint, Christ God to grant us the Great Mercy.

+Troparion, Tone 3

Verily, God, O Demetrius, who granted thee invincible power hath touched the Church with the live coal of thy blood streams, preserving the city unbreached; for it is established by thee.

+Kontakion, Tone 2

Read about the life of St. Demetrios.

Metropolitan Joseph Offers Encouragement, Solutions for Christians Struggling in Holy Land

Although a shadow of death constantly hovers over them as a religious minority in the Holy Land and the Middle East, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph shared a saying of Christians living there: "We live in a land that has already experienced resurrection, so we always have hope." During his recent visit to Washington, D.C., Sayidna Joseph accepted an award for the Antiochian Archdiocese and gave the keynote address to the 18th International Conference of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF).

On Friday night, October 14, 2016, His Eminence gratefully received the "Living Stones Solidarity Award" as HCEF honored the Archdiocese's long history of caring for Palestinian Christians seeking spiritual support in North America. "This award is not bestowed only upon me as a Metropolitan," Sayidna said, "but upon our Archdiocese, which encompasses faithful believers from all cultures, nationalities, and races."

Special Olympics Sunday 2016

On October 16th, 2016, the North American Council of Teen SOYO sponsors the 36th Annual Special Olympics Awareness Day. Every August, Teen SOYO hosts and funds an annual week‐long camp for Special Olympics Athletes at the Antiochian Village. Over the past 35 years, Teen SOYO has fostered a camping experience like no other. Our camp demonstrates a unified environment where teen SOYO members from across the Archdiocese come together with coaches from Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) and enthusiastic athletes for an intense week of sports training and witness to Christ.

Through your generous donations, SOYO Special Olympics Sports Camp has grown immensely through the years. This year, we experienced a record number of athletes in attendance, and have accomplished an astounding 35 years of SOYO Special Olympics Camp. Over these 35 years, we have hosted more than 7,700 athletes and coaches, and over 1,050 of our teens have been blessed by working as SOYO Coaches or Volunteers. It is our pleasure to have the opportunity to serve, pray, and play with these Special Olympics Athletes, and we look forward, with your help, to continuing this important ministry.

Metropolitan Joseph to Receive Award for Archdiocese, Present Keynote Address in D.C.

Being hailed as “an ardent advocate for human rights, social justice, and peace throughout the Middle East,” His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph will serve as the keynote speaker this weekend for the 18th International Conference of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) in Washington, D.C. He will also accept an award in behalf of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

On Friday night, October 14, 2016, His Eminence will receive the “Living Stones Solidarity Award” for the Antiochian Archdiocese, which HCEF has deemed a prime example of giving “its full support to Christians throughout the Middle East” and serving “as a home to many Palestinian Christians in North America seeking spiritual support and a place to belong.”

October 2016: Archdiocese Youth Month

October is the month when the Archdiocese introduces teens to the many opportunities to minister in the Church. The youth "are encouraged to read the Epistle, chant and sing in the choir, assist in church school, and give sermons approved by the priest," explains Department of Youth Chairman The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura. 

Another way teens can get involved in their parishes is to participate in the Creative Arts, Bible Bowl, and Oratorical Festivals. This year’s theme, selected by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, is "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Mark 11:17)

Metropolitan Joseph Hosted by Metropolitan Tikhon at OCA Chancery

SYOSSET, NY [OCA/AOCA] — On Thursday, September 29, 2016, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America welcomed His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America on his first official visit to the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America. (View the photo gallery)

Accompanying Metropolitan Joseph was His Grace, Bishop John of the Antiochian Diocese of Worcester and New England and Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General of the Archdiocese. In attendance from the Orthodox Church in America were His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey and Secretary of the Holy Synod of Bishops; Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of the Office of External Affairs and Inter-Church Relations; Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor; Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary; and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to Metropolitan Tikhon.

Holy Apostle and Evangelist St. John the Theologian + September 26

Troparion to St. John the Evangelist, Tone 2

O Apostle John, speaker of divinity, the beloved of Christ God, hasten and deliver thy people powerless in argument; for He on Whose bosom thou didst lean accepteth thee as an intercessor. Beseech Him, therefore, to disperse the cloud of the stubborn nations, asking for us safety and the Great Mercy.

Kontakion to St. John the Evangelist, Tone 2

Who can tell of thy mighty works, O virgin Saint John? For thou pourest forth miracles, and art a source of healings, and thou dost intercede for our souls, as the Theologian and the friend of Christ.

Feast of the Elevation of the Cross + September 14

Let all the trees of the wood, planted from the beginning of time, rejoice; for their nature hath been sanctified by the stretching of Christ on the Tree. Wherefore, now, we worship Him, lifted up, and magnify Him.

+ Orthros of the Feast, Tone 8

By the mere planting of thy Cross, O Christ, the foundation of death did shake; for him whom Hades did swallow eagerly, it delivered up with trembling; for verily, thou didst reveal to us thy salvation, O holy One. Wherefore, do we glorify thee, O Son of God. Have mercy upon us.

+ Orthros of the Feast, Tone 6

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross. Two events connected to the Honorable Cross of our Lord are commemorated this day: first, the finding of the Cross by the Empress Helena in the Holy Land; and second, the return of the Cross from Persia to Jerusalem in the year 628.

Historical background of the Feast

A Prayer for September 11

September 11, 2016 is the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks upon our nation in New York, NY, Washington, DC and Shanksville, PA.

A service appropriate to the day is the Akathist to the Mother of God 'Softener of Evil Hearts'
We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick

A Prayer for September 11

O Lord our God, Who art Thyself, the Hope of the hopeless, the Help of the helpless, the Savior of the storm-tossed, the Haven of the voyager, the Physician of the sick; be all things to our land which fifteen years ago on this date was devastated by the cowardly and hateful acts of false martyrs; who imitated wicked Herod in his slaughter of the 14,000 innocents. To those who lost loved ones, grant the comfort thou didst impart to Mary and Martha before Thou didst raise their brother Lazarus from the dead, and care for them as Thou didst care for Thy Mother from the Cross, putting her in the care of the Apostle John. To the survivors, grant healing in every sense, as thou didst strengthen and heal the confessors.

2017 Creative Festivals Material Now Available

The Department of Christian Education has published resources for the 2017 Creative Festivals. Creative Festival categories include Art, Creative Writing, Poetry, Photography and Media.

Several items are available for download to assist you as you introduce the theme, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Mark 11:17)

Lesson Plans: The plans are designed for one (or two) 40-minute classes, and written at four levels: Preschool and Kindergarten, Grades 1-3, 4-6, Middle School and High School. More than enough material is offered, choose what will work for your class.

Antiochian Women Announce 2017 Project Theme

The Antiochian Women are excited to announce the theme of our 2017 Project:
“Strengthening the Ministries of our Church." 
This theme is a distillation of the sweeping vision which Metropolitan Joseph readily shared with us at the summer meetings in July, 2016. His Eminence spoke with farsighted boldness and passion about the many challenges and opportunities which lay before our God-protected Archdiocese. His vision is of a vigorous Church actively proclaiming our faith in Jesus Christ and lovingly ministering to the broken world around us. This is already a description of the ministries in many of our parishes, but to keep moving forward while broadening our active ministries, we must reinforce and strengthen our foundations.

(Note to all parishes: Please send the money you collect for the 2017 Project to your Antiochian Women diocesan treasurer by June 1, 2017. See “Additional Directions” file for your diocesan treasurer’s contact information. Thank you.)

Antiochian Archdiocese Mourns Mr. Khalid Jabara

The Antiochian Archdiocese continues to mourn the murder of Mr. Khalid Jabara, a faithful parishioner of St. Antony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church of Tulsa, Oklahoma. News coverage of his passing has been extensive. In his letter to the Jabara family, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph said: “We live in a material world that is encouraged to commit evil all the time. ‘Sin no more!’ are the words of Christ’s warning that should be the principle, founding motto, of our human existence.”

Sayidna Joseph has asked the clergy and laity to remember Mr. Jabara in their prayers for the departed for his eternal life, and to remember his loved ones in their prayers for the living, especially within the first 40 days of his falling asleep in the Lord. May God receive Mr. Jabara in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.

Department of Christian Education to Host Fall Conferences

Where might you find teacher training, support for your church school director, and continuing education on topics of Orthodox interest? At the Regional Pan-Orthodox Education Conferences! Beginning in September, 2016, the Department of Christian Education will host several pan-Orthodox conferences. Each conference will feature a guest presenter, in addition to church school training, all in an enjoyable atmosphere of fellowship and sharing.

The schedule is as follows:

  1. Ottawa, ON, Friday & Saturday, September 23 & 24 – Matushka Jennifer Mosher's topic will be "Christian Education: Forming the Whole Person." Contact: Leslie Atherholt,
  2. Brier, WA, Saturday, October 8 – Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick will discuss "Orthodoxy & Heterodoxy." Contact: Anne Beach,
  3. York, PA, Friday & Saturday, October 14 & 15 – Melissa Tsongranis will speak on "Living the Faith in an Orthodox Home." Contact: Rebekah Yergo, orthodoxyorkedu@outlookcom.

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist + August 29

The memory of the righteous is celebrated with songs of praise, but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for thee, O Forerunner. Thou wast shown indeed to be the most honorable of the prophets, for in the waters thou didst baptize Him Who had been proclaimed. After suffering with joy in behalf of the truth, thou didst proclaim even to those in Hades the God Who appeared in the flesh, Who takest away the sin of the world, and granteth us the Great Mercy.

—Troparion of the Feast, Tone 2

Listen as Fr. Thomas Hopko discusses the Prophet, Forerunner and Baptizer, John on Ancient Faith Radio: Part 1, Part 2

Read the Patriarchate of Antioch's reflection, Beheading of the Holy and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

Orthodox Young Professionals Hold Successful Conference with Metropolitan Joseph in New Orleans

View the photos on Facebook

The challenges and the stresses of the workplace seem nonstop, but three inspiring speakers reminded the 188 participants in the Orthodox Young Professionals Conference that God does not abandon them there. Rather, He seeks to use them for His glory, to let their light “shine before men” (Matt. 5:16).

Fulfilling a promise he made two years ago at the last OYPC in San Diego, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph presided over and interacted with the young adults at the conference sponsored by the Antiochian Archdiocese’s Young Adult Ministry from August 18-21, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He congratulated them for “dwelling in unity” (Psalm 133:1) to meet the challenges of managing their lives, caring for their families and succeeding in their jobs. But Sayidna Joseph stressed that they will be empty and unfulfilled without Jesus Christ and His holy Church at the center of all aspects of their lives.

"A Flood of Musical Splendor": 2016 Sacred Music Institute

By Paul Jabara, Chairman of the Department of Sacred Music, and Emily Lowe, Coordinator of SMI

View the photo gallery

Last year, the Sacred Music Institute celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, and it was truly a banner year. For three decades, the Department of Sacred Music has offered this annual retreat, giving singers, conductors and chanters the opportunity to develop their God-given gifts. Sessions included several informative and entertaining retrospectives; we introduced the brilliant Nazo Zakkak as our new composer in residence, and we held a chanted monastic-style vigil that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. We offered courses on choral conducting and vocal techniques, on Byzantine chant and notation in addition to our numerous rehearsals and presentations. The crowning glory of the weekend was a visit and address by our Father and Metropolitan Joseph, who expressed the utmost encouragement for the work of our department.

Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos + August 15

Shudder, O ye heavens! and, O earth, give ear unto these words: God descended once before for our sake; He descends again today for His Mother.
--from The Lamentations at the Bier of the Mother of God, Tone 5

O thou most Holy Virgin, who knew not wedlock, the heavens rejoice in thy glorious falling asleep, the hosts of angels are glad, and the whole earth crieth out in joy, singing to thee the funeral song, O Mother of the Lord of all, thou who hast delivered human kind from its ancestral condemnation.
--Orthros of the Feast, Tone 4

The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos: an introduction by Archpriest Ayman Kfouf
Teachings and traditions for the Feast of the Dormition
St. John of Damascus on the Dormition
A Description of the Theotokos by St. Maximus the Confessor
Tender Love and the Dormition: Frederica Mathewes-Green on Ancient Faith Radio
Mary, Our Cause of Rejoicing, by His Grace Bishop Basil

New Leadership Appointed for Department of Missions and Evangelism

V. Rev. John D. FinleyV. Rev. John D. FinleyV. Rev. Joseph HuneycuttV. Rev. Joseph HuneycuttAugust 9, 2016 — Englewood, NJ

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has appointed V. Rev. John D. Finley as the new chairman of the Department of Missions and Evangelism, as well as V. Rev. Joseph Huneycutt as the department’s new vice chairman. Both of these appointments take effect September 1 upon the retirement of the current chairman, V. Rev. Michael Keiser.

Father John is attached to the altar of St. Athanasius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara, California. Ordained to the priesthood in 1997, and elevated to the dignity of archpriest in 2004, he has been an active field staff member of the Department for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America since 1996, establishing and serving many missions and parishes across the United States and Canada.

The Great Feast of the Transfiguration + August 6

"Thou hast been transfigured, O Saviour, on Mount Tabor, indicating the transformation of mankind which shall take place at thy dreadful Second Coming. Moses and Elijah did converse with thee. But thy Disciples, whom thou didst call, when they beheld thy glory, O Master, were dazzled by thy brightness. Wherefore, O thou who didst at that time cause thy light to shine on them, lighten our souls."

+ First Kathisma of the Feast

"O thou holy One who hast sanctified the whole universe by thy light, thou hast been transfigured on a high mountain, and hast shown thy Disciples thy might and that thou shalt deliver the world from transgression. Wherefore, do we cry out to thee, O compassionate Lord, save our souls."

+ Idiomelon of the Feast

Hotel Registration Opens for the 2017 Archdiocese Convention in Miami

Christ in our midst! He is and ever shall be!
The buzz continues with great excitement as the 2017 Archdiocese Convention is less than a year away!

Hotel Registration opens today, July 28, 2016: visit the Convention website.

Pre-registration began in Boston last summer. Space is filling up fast!

Get connected and "Be an Insider!"
"Like" the Convention Facebook page: Visit Now!
"Subscribe" to the Convention YouTube channel: Visit Now!

Convention Facts: