The recently released issue of the DIAKONIA, the quarterly newsletter of the Antiochian Christian Women of North America, features profiles of all of the women serving as officers on the North American Board, as well as their Hierarchical Overseer, the Most Reverend Archbishop Joseph, and their Advisor, the Right Reverend Bishop John.
Violet Robbat - President
"I was born in Boston, MA and am a former member of St. John of Damascus Church, Dedham, MA, where I was active as a Sunday School teacher, Teen SOYO Advisor and President of Senior SOYO (known today as St. John the Divine). I graduated from Northeastern University with a Degree in Cytology, and became a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Cytology is the study of cells, and my job at Massachusetts General Hospital entailed diagnosing Cancer. In 1973, I married my husband Richard (38 years) and we are members of St. Mary Orthodox Church, Cambridge, MA."
The Committee for Youth of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America held its semi-annual meeting on January 24th and 25th, 2012. The meeting convened at the Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center, Bolivar, PA, in conjunction with the Committee for Youth’s Consultants Meeting and was followed by the annual Camp and Youth Worker Conference (January 25-28, 2012).
On February 24 and 25, St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky will host the 2012 Climacus Conference, titled "Byzantium, You Are Not Forgotten." Authors, academics and broadcasters will speak to the enduring legacy of Byzantium and its continuing impact on the Church today.
The conference is billed as "a pan-Orthodox event featuring scholars and voices across the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Patristics, Classical Education, Literature, and History/Politics." The flyer explains, "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 achieves such by placing the mind in the noetic heart, where freedom, knowledge, and vision exist, enabling our ascension 'of the ladder'."
The retreat is billed as a way for couples to attend to their marriages through small group discussions, marital assessment instruments, and inspiring lectures all set within the context of the liturgical life of the Church. In addition to participating in these more serious activities, couples will also enjoy a wine and cheese night, a candlelight dinner and dance, and a movie night.
This year’s speakers are: Drs. David and Mary Ford, Associate Professors at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and co-authors of the book, Marriage as a Path to Holiness: Lives of Married Saints; Fr. John Mefridge, a marriage and family therapist and founding priest of St. Ephraim the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Church in San Antonio, TX; and Dr. David Weaver-Zercher, professor at Messiah College in Grantham, PA.
On Sunday, February 5, 2012, Scouts all over the United States will celebrate Scout Sunday, and as such, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops has simultaneously designated the day as Orthodox Scout Sunday. Scouts will wear their uniforms to their local parishes, as a visible sign of their membership both to the Scouting program and to the Orthodox Church.
Through the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting, the Assembly and its predecessor, SCOBA, have actively supported Boy and Girl Scouts of the USA since the 1960's.
Orthodox Scouts can earn one of three age-appropriate awards: St. George for the youngest children, Chi-Rho for the middle years, and Alpha Omega for the oldest Scouts.
How do we communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to those around us? On January 20-22, 2012, the Dallas/Fort Worth area hosted a Missions and Evangelism Conference that examined how the historical Church approached evangelism, and discussed how to put ancient proven methods into modern practice locally.
The lineup of speakers included author and missions expert Fr. Peter Gillquist, Antiochian author and speaker Fr. Joseph Huneycutt, and Fr. Evan Armatas, a Greek Orthodox mission priest from northern Colorado.
The West Coast Sacred Music Institute will be held from January 19-22, 2012 at the La Casa de Maria Conference and Retreat Center in Santa Barbara. The theme "The Theotokos and Mother of Light, Let Us Magnify in Song!" will be carried out over the course of the full weekend of workshops. Topics include the role of the Theotokos, hymns to the Theotokos, beginner’s theory and sight-reading courses, Byzantine chant, conducting, choral rehearsal techniques and vocal techniques.
The lovely grounds of the Catholic retreat center, the La Casa de Maria in Santa Barbara, California, boast fountains and rare shrubs, organic vegetable gardens and woodland paths. For more information, contact MaryFaith Woods at email@example.com, or (831)331-8323.
On Sunday, December 11, 2011, three new auxiliary bishops were consecrated for the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, in Balamand, Lebanon. Their Graces John (Abdalah), Anthony (Michaels) and Nicholas (Ozone) were consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop for Worcester and New England, Auxiliary Bishop for Toledo and the Midwest, and Auxiliary Bishop for Brooklyn and Assistant to the Metropolitan in Englewood, New Jersey, respectively.
The January 2012 issue contains the following articles:
Metropolitan Philip Hosts the Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, pg. 10
Translation as a Means of Grace, pg. 14
by Professor Anthony Gythiel
Spiritual Struggle and the Christian, pg. 18
by Fr. Daniel Morton
Postmodern Young People and the Liturgy, pg. 22
by V. Rev. Fr. David J. Randolph
John Maddex, CEO of Conciliar Media Ministries, recently visited the home of Fr. Peter and Kh. Marilyn Gillquist to talk about the announcement by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of Fr. Peter's retirement as Chairman of the Department of Missions and Evangelism for the Antiochian Archdiocese. In a roundtable discussion, John Maddex reminisced with Fr. Peter, Kh. Marilyn, and their son and Antiochian priest, Fr. Peter Jon Gillquist, about past years of ministry. Fr. Peter also shared his vision and hopes for the next generation of evangelists.
Fr. Peter Gillquist to Retire as Head of Department of Missions and Evangelism, Fr. Michael Keiser Appointed as New Head
Effective December 31, 2011, Fr. Peter Gillquist will retire as the Head of the Archdiocese Department of Missions and Evangelism, and Fr. Michael Keiser is appointed as the new Head of this Department.
We extend our most heartfelt thanks to Fr. Peter Gillquist for the exemplary service which he has given to this effort for more than 23 years. It is safe to say that the entire missions program of this Archdiocese has been founded by his efforts, and his work leaves a strong base upon which we can build. We also acknowledge Khourieh Marilyn Gillquist for the support which she has given over these many years.
My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.
Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side, the Sun of justice. And ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed; He had the power; He descended; He redeemed; all things yielded in obedience to God.
Today is born of the Virgin Him Who holdest all creation in the hollow of His hand.
He Whose essence is untouchable is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a babe.
The God Who from of old established the heavens lieth in a manger.
He Who showered the people with manna in the wilderness feedeth on milk from the breasts.
And the bridegroom of the Church calleth the Magi, and the Son of the Virgin accepteth gifts from them.
We worship Thy Nativity, O Christ.
Show us also Thy divine Theophany!
Fr. Thomas Zain writes:
On Sunday, December 11, 2011, three new auxiliary bishops were consecrated for the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, Balamand, Lebanon. Their Graces, JOHN, ANTHONY and NICHOLAS were consecrated as bishops of Worcester, Toledo, and Brooklyn and will serve as auxiliaries to His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP.
Editor's Update, December 9, 2011:
We ask that our faithful pray for the delegation currently travelling to Lebanon for the consecrations of our new bishops. May God grant them many, many years!
The Middle Eastern media resource Noursat will be broadcasting online the consecration services with His Beatitude Ignatius IV. See this link for additional information. More details will be added as they are made available.
Original Post, October 11, 2011:
His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East has confirmed the date and location for the consecration of our three newly-elected Auxiliary Bishops, namely:
Bishop-Elect John (Abdalah) – Auxiliary Bishop for Worcester and New England
Bishop-Elect Anthony (Michaels) – Auxiliary Bishop for Toledo and the Midwest
Bishop-Elect Nicholas (Ozone) – Auxiliary Bishop for Brooklyn and assisting the Metropolitan in Englewood, NJ
Fr. Joseph Purpura, Chair of the Department of Youth Ministry, reports that through the diligent efforts of SOYO members, nearly $33,000.00 has been collected since October for the Special Olympics Sports Camp at Antiochian Village. Every summer, hundreds of Special Olympic campers and SOYO counselors convene for a unique week of activity and growth.
Fr. Joseph notes, "We are very grateful to the many parishes that have contributed to the NAC SOYO / PASO Special Olympics. Browse the list of contributions here.
St. Vladimir's Press is now taking orders for a new biography about Metropolitan Antony Bashir, the visionary Orthodox leader who was Metropolitan Philip's predecessor. Authored by Fr. Constantine Nasr, the book is the third volume in the Press' Orthodox Profiles series. Fr. Constantine explains that "the election of Metropolitan Antony Bashir in 1936 gave birth to the Antiochian Archdiocese....The turbulent years of the splintering of immigrant orthodoxy into multiple ethnic jurisdictions are all but forgotten today. This is a behind the scenes look at a metropolitan who brought order out of chaos, as he fought for a single archdiocese for Arabic-speaking Christians in America, and laid a foundation upon which others would achieve the unity he so desperately sought."
The 2011 Orthodox Institute, held at Antiochian Village, near Ligonier, PA, over the weekend of November 3 – 6, was advertised as “an event like no other” and it proved to live up to its claim in more than one way. The theme was “Scripture through the Lens of the Holy Land” and this was the first time that the Orthodox Institute was a multi-jurisdictional collaboration between the host of the event, the Antiochian Department of Christian Education, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Orthodox Church in America Department of Christian Education, and the Orthodox Christian Education Commission.
A historic January 2012 Orthodox Christian Youth Worker Conference, endorsed by the Committee for Youth of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, is planned for all Youth Workers, Camp Directors and Staff, and OCF Chaplains. The conference runs from Wednesday January 25 to Saturday January 28, 2012 at the Antiochian Village Conference Center and will be hosted by the Departments of Youth Ministry and of Camping of the Antiochian Archdiocese.