St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Orlando, Florida was founded in 1968. During the V. Rev. Fr. John Hamatie's thirty-seven year tenure the parish purchased and remodeled their church building, and also bought the office building and parking lot behind the Church. The parish has been a presence downtown since 1974, when the community established the annual tradition of Diving for the Cross in Lake Eola Park. Then in 1976 the parish celebrated their first liturgy in the church downtown, on the Fourth of July.
In 2009 in conjunction with the Ephraim Project, Fr. John began to put St. George's parking lot to good use during the week, when he established a weekly feeding for those he calls "our homeless brothers and sisters." Volunteers arrive earlier in the day to prepare food for between 150 and 200 people every Friday; meals are served in the outdoors in the same place that parishioners park on Sundays. "The Blessings deriving to us for over the last year of feeding 200 homeless men, women and children every Friday behind the Church is perhaps one of our greatest spiritual 'highs.' To be actually fulfilling a command of the Lord to love those closest in proximity is a wonderful thing."
Metropolitan Philip Grants A Canonical Release For His Grace Bishop Mark To Be Received Into The Orthodox Church In America
December 13, 2010
On December 8th, 2010, in a letter to His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church In America (OCA), His Eminence Metropolitan Philip granted a canonical release for Bishop Mark (Maymon) in order that he be received into the OCA. This letter was a reply to a formal request from Metropolitan Jonah, on behalf of the Holy Synod of the OCA, that Bishop Mark be released from the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America so that he might be received into the OCA.
In his letter to Metropolitan Jonah, Metropolitan Philip wrote “Bishop Mark is a very good bishop and I am sure that he will contribute his talents for the edification of the faithful of the Orthodox Church In America.”
Our prayers are with Bishop Mark that his new episcopal ministry will be greatly blessed.
Additional information may be found on the website of The Orthodox Church In America at www.oca.org.
In an obscure corner of what is now Alaska, on an Aleutian island called Spruce, a monk labored from the late 1700’s until his repose in 1837. Braving subzero temperatures, plagues and storms, ill treatment from fellow Russians who resented and misunderstood him, St. Herman lived a life marked by astonishing ascetic labor that gave birth to a deep love and concern for all with whom he came in contact. Strangely, despite the miracles associated with him not only throughout his life but also, after his death, he was all but forgotten after he reposed.
"Thirty years will pass after my death, all those who live now on Spruce Island will be dead, you alone will remain alive, and you will be old and poor; then they will remember me," Father Herman said to his Aleut follower, Ignatius Aliaga. As with other prophecies of the saint, this one too was fulfilled, as in 1867, Bishop Peter of Alaska began a formal investigation into his life. It wasn’t until 1894 that his story became known to the outside world, and then his glorification waited another 76 years, until August 9, 1970.
A word from Metropolitan Philip:
“I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say 'Amen' at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.” ( l Corinthians I4: I5-I 7).
Beloved In Christ,
As we gather together each day and each week to participate in the liturgical life of our Church, and celebrate the mysteries of our Faith, we realize that none of this would be possible if it were not for the presence of our faithful chanters, choir directors and choir members. They are there not simply to sing the hymns and responses for us, as if we were coming to listen to a concert of Orthodox music each week. Rather, they are there to help guide and lead us all in our worship of God, as we give thanks to Him who given us this life through our own perfect offering and sacrifice of praise.
-Troparion, Tone 8
Singing the praises of the Trinity, you followed God by enduring suffering; you renounced the multitude of idols, O holy martyr Barbara. In your struggles, you were not frightened by the threats of your torturers, but cried out in a loud voice: “I worship the Trinity in one God-head.”
-Kontakion, Tone 4
The December 2010 issue contains the following articles:
Taking Water to the Jordan, pg. 4
Fr. Joseph Allen Visits Balamand, pg. 6
by Fr. Bassam Nassif
Eating in an Anciently Refreshing Way, pg. 9
by Rita Madden, MPH, RD
An Unimaginable Experience, pg. 21
by Mary Salim
Ascending the Mountain, pg. 22
by Fr. Kevin Gregory
Once again during the Nativity season, Antiochian.org brings our readers a collection of excerpts from The Winter Pascha by Fr. Thomas Hopko.
"When the winter begins to make way into the Northern World, the Church of Christ begins to celebrate a 'splendid three-day Pascha'." Thus Father Thomas Hopko begins the first of forty meditations for the season of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, ending with the feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple on the fortieth day after Christ's birth. A protopresbyter in the Orthodox Church and Dean Emeritus at St. Vladimir's Seminary, Fr. Hopko is a popular speaker and podcaster, and the author of numerous articles and books. In this book, Fr. Thomas draws upon the rich liturgical life of the Church as well as contemporary writers, to present thoughtful meditations focused on the preparation and celebration of Christ's birth.
Many thanks to the SVS Press staff for their kind permission and assistance. Go here to order a copy of The Winter Pascha.
Archpriest Gregory Hallam, Dean of the Antiochian Orthodox Deanery of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and blogger at Antioch Abouna, recently launched a podcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Titled A Voice From the Isles, the podcast features Fr. Gregory's sermons and lectures, delivered to Orthodox Christians and inquirers in the United Kingdom. Recently, antiochian.org caught up with him in cyberspace, where he graciously answered our questions.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Father. How does a Christian clergyman in the United Kingdom end up as a priest and Dean in the Antiochian Archdiocese?
I wasn't raised in the Anglican Church but I served it for 12 years as a priest after coming to faith in my early 20s. My journey to Orthodoxy is a long story so I will just give you a reasonably detailed but short summary.
My first encounter with the Orthodox Church was at Anglican seminary 30 years ago when I attended a liturgy in English at a parish in the Greek Archdiocese in Southampton. This was in the context of an ecumenical visit from our college to the church there. I was blown away by the worship much in the same way that the emissaries of Kiev reacted after experiencing the Liturgy at the Great Church in Constantinople. I then began a theological exploration of Orthodoxy while still at Anglican seminary and found that it rang true in every aspect of Christian life.
The Book of the Epistles
An Orthodox Lectionary
Download Order Form (PDF)
Endorsed by His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP as the Official Lectionary of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, the Book of the Epistles makes its debut in 2010. Compiled by Fr. Charles Baz, and reviewers include Fr. Paul Tarazi, Fr. David Hester, Dn. Ezra Ham. Thoroughly prepared and well-produced.
This book is a “must have” for every Orthodox Church! GET YOUR COPY TODAY!
PRICE: $60.00 per copy (Plus 12% Shipping and Handling)
- 510 Pages Total
- Length 9.25” x Width 6.25” x 1.5”
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- Two Ribbon Markers
- Hardbound—Red Leather
- Lightweight (29.4 OZ)
- Smyth Sewn* Casebound Binding
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Priest and clinical psychologist Fr. George Morelli has published a treasure trove of informative, insightful articles readily available on this website. In his Chaplain's Corner, Father addresses pastoral concerns with a frank and practical approach. His "Good Marriage" articles blend the best of current psychological insight with the writings of the Fathers, and in-depth reflections such as "Beauty-the Divine Connection," draw extensively from both his clinical experience and his knowledge of Scripture and Holy Tradition. In his recent treatise, The Ethos of Orthodox Catechesis (published in six parts), Fr. George examines in depth the singular Orthodox approach to catechism, and how parents, teachers and pastors can integrate a truly Orthodox ethos in their teaching ministries.
As Orthodox Christians finish up the first week of the Nativity Fast and prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) will be observing IOCC Sunday on November 21. Themed "A Day of Sharing," the event will be spotlighting the ministry of IOCC at parishes all across the United States. Orthodox Christians are being encouraged to:
- Make a generous donation to support the humanitarian work of the IOCC
- Become a volunteer for the organization
- Become a Parish Representative (information available here)
- Participate in a local IOCC Event and
- Pray for all those in need.
For more information, or to download Sunday bulletin inserts, go the IOCC website's special section devoted to IOCC Sunday.
Thirty four years ago, a group of evangelical Christians on the road to Orthodoxy founded St. Athanasius Academy with the vision of serving the Church through long distance study programs, theological studies, and research. From the start, they strategically focused on publishing materials for the laity, as well as producing audio and video tapes, and ultimately, the Orthodox Study Bible. Fifteen years ago, the Academy began to minister to prisoners who were discovering the Orthodox faith through their Prisoner Education Program, which provides study scholarships to qualifying students. Current Academy Director Paul Goetz says, "We have a steady prisoner-student list of 100 active prisoners. And we mean active. We grade and respond to nearly 120 lessons per month. Their enthusiasm is marvelous."
Adds Goetz, "Along with our Correspondence Division (its primary focus being the laity), and our Prisoner Education Project, we continue publishing our research. We are providing live classes – even webcam studies – on the Orthodox philosophy of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, Orthodox theology, studies the Book of Romans and the Gospel of John, and monastic principles for non-monastics. Even here, we provide detailed study notes based on the renowned Fathers of the Church."
Recently, antiochian.org interviewed Paul Goetz about the ongoing work of St. Athanasius Academy. Read the interview in full here.
By Valerie Zahirsky
“Everywhere Present and Filling All Things”: The Holy Spirit or the Clergy Wife? was the theme of the second annual Clergy Wives Weekend, held at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA from October 29-31. Over 70 wives of priests, deacons, and wives of seminarians headed for ordination from all across the country – including Alaska! - came together for this pan-Orthodox weekend of prayer, reflection and informal, enjoyable fellowship.
The program included a welcome on Friday night by Maria Abdalah, daughter of Kh. Joanne Abdalah – in whose memory the Weekend is dedicated. Presenting a short overview of the Weekend’s focus, and how we have experienced the Holy Spirit since the dawn of creation, Kh. Stefanie Yazge set the stage for the Weekend’s speakers. The evening concluded with Little Compline. (Click HERE to view a photo gallery of the weekend.)
By the grace of God, a pilgrimage led by His Grace Bishop Joseph, has arrived safely in Damascus, Syria, where it will begin a journey spanning three countries over the next two weeks. Upon arriving in Damascus, the delegation was received in the VIP reception room at the airport and then proceeded to St. Christophoros Monastery in Saydnaya. The group had dinner and celebrated Sayidna's 60th Birthday.
The sixteen delegates will first visit Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East and the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition (“al-Mariamiyeh”) and Headquarters in the “old city.” Over the course of the trip, the group will travel throughout Syria, Lebanon and southern Turkey. The delegates will visit various monasteries, churches, and historic sites in these countries, including Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Antioch (present-day Antakya in Turkey), where “the Disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11:26). This pilgrimage will be documented daily with text and photos, HERE.
The November 2010 issue contains the following articles:
Al-Kafaat, pg. 4
Purity, Virginity and Chastity, pg. 6
by Samantha Michael
Gay and Lesbian Ordination: An Eastern Orthodox View, pg. 14
by Archpriest John W. Morris, Ph.D.
Old Testament Women at the Annunciation: Gleanings from the Western Rite Lectionary, pg. 18
by Lynette Smith
Book Review: Land and Covenant, pg. 24
by Fr. Aaron Warwick
Archpastoral Directive Concerning the Implementation of the Resolution of The Holy Synod of Antioch Dated August 19, 2010
To our Venerable Hierarchs and beloved clergy of The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:
Greetings and Blessings to all of you in the Name of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ!
Please find attached to this letter an opinion from the Department of Legal Affairs, and a document entitled “Implementation of The Synodal Resolution of August 19, 2010”.
Effective immediately, all points that are specified in the document entitled “Implementation of The Synodal Resolution of August 19, 2010” are to be implemented across the entire Archdiocese, and are considered the policy of this Archdiocese. It is expected that all of our clergy will become familiar with these points and follow them as they are documented. This implementation is entirely consistent with the resolution of the Holy Synod of Antioch dated August 19, 2010 and will insure the good order and strong unity of this Archdiocese.
Wishing you a peaceful remainder of the Fall season, I remain,
Your Father in Christ,
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America
The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Urgent Communication from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Regarding the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT AND PUBLISHED IN THE CHURCH BULLETIN
October 27, 2010
To: The Clergy of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
From: His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP
Re: Appointment of His Grace, Bishop THOMAS as Locum-Tenens of the Diocese
Beloved in the Lord:
Greetings in the name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you are in good health. As you are no doubt aware, our Local Synod of the Archdiocese met on Friday, October 22, 2010 in Jacksonville, FL. Among the things we discussed was the deteriorating situation in the diocese. As such, it was determined that the best thing was to transfer His Grace, Bishop MARK to the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest. A majority of the bishops of the synod agreed with the decision that this was in the best interest of the Archdiocese so that both the Diocese of Toledo and His Grace, Bishop MARK could have a fresh start. Citing health reasons, Bishop MARK said he could not live in that part of the country and subsequently requested to be released to the Orthodox Church in America. The synod agreed to his request and, at present, he is working out the details of his release with His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH. During this interim period, Bishop MARK asked to remain in the Toledo chancery until the end of the year. I agreed to this request and we will continue to pay Bishop MARK his stipend until the end of December.
Fr. Elia Shalhoub writes:
Beloved in Christ:
Greetings and best wishes to you in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
With the Grace of God and the blessings of our beloved Father in Christ His Eminence Metropolitan Philip I have prepared the 2011 Liturgical Guide which I have been preparing every year for the last Thirteen years.
For the Last 4 years, with Sayadna Philip’s blessings I took the chance to print and distribute the Guide on my own, I would like to thank every parish and every individual who supported the use of the hard copy of the Guide by purchasing one or more.
This weekend, the regular Fall meetings of the Archdiocesan Synod of Bishops and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees will be held in Jacksonville, Florida. The Archdiocesan Synod will meet during the morning of Friday October 22, 2010. The Archdiocesan Board of Trustees will meet in their first session during the evening of Friday October 22, and will reconvene during the morning of Saturday October 23.
We ask all of the faithful for your fervent prayers for our hierarchs and the members of the Board of Trustees that their meetings will be greatly blessed.
Orthodox Christians living in what was known then as the Western Region of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America witnessed a new dawn in 1995. For the first time in its existence, the Western Region had a permanent auxiliary bishop to pastor the immediate needs of the clergy and laity in a closer, more personal proximity. This bishop took up residence in the Los Angeles Chancery to make regular visits to then 40-some (now nearly 60) parishes and missions in eight American states and three Canadian provinces, covering the largest geographic and diverse territory of the Archdiocese. When he was asked to come to North America, and eventually the West Coast, His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH (Al-Zehlaoui) did not question it for two reasons: his obedience to the Holy Orthodox Church; and because, he says, his new assignment came about so quickly there was no time for inquiry.
Click here to read more, and to visit the Diocese's extensive photo galleries of His Grace.