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.
Chesterton, IN — Ancient Faith Radio is pleased to announce a new Illumined Heart interview with Metropolitan Philip Saliba:
The past few years have seen their controversies within the Self Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. On September 30, 2010, Kevin Allen, host of The Illumined Heart, and John Maddex, co-founder and president of Ancient Faith Radio, traveled to Englewood, New Jersey to visit the headquarters of the Antiochian Archdiocese and the home of its Archbishop, Metropolitan Philip Saliba. Their purpose was to seek clarification on several key areas that have become a concern to many and fodder for the blogosphere. His Eminence warmly welcomed them and gave Kevin the freedom to ask any question he thought would be helpful to the AFR audience in understanding several critical issues.
Four specific topics addressed include:
- The meaning and future of self rule in the Antiochian Archdiocese.
- The status of the Bishops in North America and the meaning as well as the ramifications of the title “Auxiliary Bishop.”
- The finances of the Antiochian Archdiocese and in particular the status of an audit.
- The view point of His Eminence on the Episcopal Assembly, SCOBA, and the future of administrative unity in North America.
AFR has left the Metropolitan’s remarks intact and unedited to make them available to the audience for their own evaluation and conclusions.
Santa Barbara, CA — The Department of Missions and Evangelism announces that the Orthodox Conference on Missions and Evangelism, scheduled for October 15-17 at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is being offered free to all!
Conference presentations and workshops are designed to help participants better understand and articulate the Christian Gospel as understood by the Orthodox Church, and learn how to share the gospel of the Kingdom of God with others.
“Due to the generosity and vision of a few sponsors, we now are able to open the Conference to everyone at no cost,” said Howard Lange, conference coordinator.
The final report of the 46th Regular Session of the Holy Synod of Antioch, which took place in the Monastery of St. Christopher between the 17th and the 20th of August 2010 under the leadership of His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV, has been released in The Word magazine. For the Arabic version of the report, go to page 8 in the October issue of The Word.
On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, the regular session of the Holy Synod of Antioch was held, lasting until Friday, August 20, 2010, under the leadership of His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV (Hazim) and in the presence of the Fathers of the Synod of Antioch, the metropolitans of the nation and the emigration. They studied an agenda related to pastoral and ecclesial matters and adopted appropriate decisions related to them.
Thou wast a disciple of Christ and one of the Twelve, and by thy unbelief didst proclaim Christ's Resurrection. By touch thou wast assured of His holy Passion, O glorious Apostle Thomas. Pray to Him to grant us peace and mercy.
+ Troparion of St. Thomas the Apostle, Tone 2
The Synaxarion: On October 6 in the Holy Orthodox Church we commemorate the holy Apostle Thomas.
Thomas, who sought to thrust his hand in Thy side,
Is now pierced in his side for Thy sake, O Word.
On the sixth with long spears they undid Didymus.
The October 2010 issue contains the following articles:
Metropolitan Philip's Trip to the Middle East, pg. 6
The Risen Christ at Camp, pg. 9
by Fr. Philip Rogers
Praying to the Saints, pg. 13
by Fr. Andrew Harmon
Sacred Music Institute, pg. 16
by Chris Farha
...plus reports from the Dept. of Youth Ministries, Antiochian Women, Conciliar Media Ministries, and more!
The Department of Internet Ministry is responsible for maintaining and improving the official Antiochian Archdiocese website at www.antiochian.org. In order to help us better understand the community of visitors to this site, we'd like you to take a couple of minutes to complete our survey. Thank you for your assistance!
Ascending the Mountain: It’s a Family Road Trip
The annual St. Thekla Pilgrimage was held on September 24-26 at the Antiochian Village. Bishop Thomas was the presiding hierarch, and Mother Alexandra of the Convent of St. Thekla was the main speaker of the weekend. Both of them talked on the theme of “Ascending the Mountain: It’s a Family Road Trip."
The main emphasis of the pilgrimage’s theme was in learning how to live an average, workaday life in a holy, Orthodox manner. Along with the talks by His Grace and Mother Alexandra, four small group discussions were led by clergy from the area. The topics included “Confession: Setting and Resetting the Course," “The Eucharist: What’s In Your Lunchbox?," “Holy Unction: First Aid and Urgent Care” and “The Walk: A discussion of the New York Times Best-Seller by Richard Paul Evans."
On Tuesday, September 21st His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received the Officers of the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. His All Holiness had invited the Officers through the cooperation of Archbishop Demetrios of America, the Chairman of the Assembly, who also led the delegation to the Phanar for the substantive and detailed meeting. The other Officers included Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk (Moscow Patriarchate, Vice-Chairman), Archbishop Antony of Hierapolis, (Ecumenical Patriarchate-UOCUSA, Treasurer) and Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America (Patriarchate of Antioch–Antiochian Archdiocese, Secretary). Also in attendance at the meeting were Archimandrite Bartholomew Samaras, Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archpriest Igor Vyzhanov of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Frs. Mark Arey and John Chryssavgis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
The Children's Relief Fund, a ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese, has launched a website enabling online donations via PayPal, and allowing potential sponsors to apply directly for sponsorship online. Since 1983, the Fund has served as a non-profit charitable and humanitarian organization dedicated to providing education scholarships to needy children in Lebanon and Palestine. Fr. George M. Rados, National Director, reports that currently CRF is sponsoring 341 children in Lebanon and 34 in Palestine. A helpful FAQ section of the website explains all aspects of sponsorship, including how to communicate with the child, and how the funds from sponsors are distributed.
Heartwarming testimonials on the new site tell the Fund's story:
“We thank God that there are people like you who believe in helping others. God bless you.”
“I highly appreciate your financial aid to my daughter. In fact, without your financial support to my daughter, my daughter will not be able to proceed with her studies.”
“Your sponsorship and donation of $300 made me work harder to achieve my goals. Thank you.”
“I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for the schooling of my son. Your help gives us hope that someone like you is feeling for you. So my family and I pray for your well being, may God bless you.”
On August 18, 2010, 43 pilgrims including His Grace Bishop Basil, joined pilgrimage organizer Fr. Joseph Abud (St. George Church, Flint, Michigan) for a journey which would later be described as "life changing" by Kh. Cindy Baize (Holy Transfiguration Mission, Hillsboro, Kansas). At one of the holiest seasons of the year which included the Feasts of the Transfiguration and the Dormition on the Old Calendar, the American faithful joined pilgrims from all over the world as they venerated the relics of saints and visited sites that even Orthodox tours pass over. "Our guide said he had never seen a group received as well as our group and he heard and saw things which he never had access to before." enthuses Bishop Basil. The packed schedule included a nightly Bible study and debriefing session, and some of the travelers even attended the midnight liturgies served daily at the tomb of Christ. Readers can browse the gallery of photos taken by Fr. David Moretti of St. George, Terre Haute, Indiana.
"I prayed for you all facing the sunrise over the Sea of Galilee," writes Bishop Basil on August 21. Read on for the rest of his pilgrimage diary.
Wednesday, 18 Aug. 2010
Visited St Peter Church (Orth) over house of St Tabitha house of Simon the Tanner, St Michael Monastery (Orth) with its church of St Tabitha. On to Lydda.
Pilgrim groups are here from Greece, Romania, Russia, and us (and probably others we haven't seen yet).
Some of the busiest people in Antiochian parishes currently, are teachers and church school directors preparing to kick off the 2010/2011 Sunday School year. Supporting all of this activity is the Department of Christian Education, headed by experienced educator Carole Buleza. Antiochian.org was able to catch up with Carole and find out about how her department is making a difference in the lives of teachers and children in parishes all across the country. Last summer in a groundbreaking presentation at the Clergy Symposium at Antiochian Village, Carole outlined "a new way thinking about Orthodox catechesis."
1. Can you articulate for us your philosophy of Orthodox Christian Education, as it has developed over your years of experience?
My philosophy of successful Orthodox Christian Education developed first of all from my childhood. I was raised in a home where Sunday was for church and visiting, the holy days meant going to church, and the very special holy days involved special meals. I saw my mother pray the Divine Liturgy when she could not make it to church, and my dad read the Bible.
Ancient Faith Radio has released the completed "Foundations" series recorded by Antiochian priest Fr. Andrew Damick for his podcast, "Roads From Emmaus." "This series represents an attempt at a sort of catechism—approaching the faith from four foundational angles: the revelation of God to man, authority in the spiritual life, worship, and morality," explains Fr. Andrew. "As with most of my work, I attempted to keep these talks fairly free of religious jargon, approaching the subjects with only a minimum of assumptions shared with the listeners. My hope is that these will be digestible not only to Orthodox Christians, but to other Christians, members of other religions, those who are 'spiritual but not religious,' and even unbelievers."
Fr. Damick begins the series with a conversation about the person of Christ, then builds on that with subsequent talks about Scripture and Tradition, and Worship. He concludes the four part discussion with a two part presentation, "Christian Life in the World."
The September 2010 issue contains the following articles:
Metropolitan Philip Addresses historic Episcopal Assembly, pg. 5
Message from the Episcopal Assembly, pg. 8
Completed Meetings: Working Committees, Archdiocesan Synod, and Board of Trustees, pg. 11
His Grace, Bishop Joseph Addresses Graduates at St. Tikhon's, pg. 15
CD Review: "Thy Resurrection, pg. 28
by Fr. Nicholas M. Kastanas
Vision for Life, pg. 30
by Chris Humphrey
...plus reports from the Dept. of Christian Education, the Antiochian Village Bookstore, Communities in Action and more!