This is a book for those of us who are struggling to establish an effective prayer life. Written neither for monastics or scholars, A Beginner’s Guide to Prayer speaks to the average man or woman on the street who desires a deeper relationship with God but is unsure how or where to begin. Drawing from nearly 2000 years of Orthodox spiritual wisdom, the author offers warm, practical, pastoral advice whose genius is to be found in its homespun simplicity and straightforward style.
The Department of Youth Ministry of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America has joined with the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) to offer a new podcast for Orthodox Christian teens and their peers.
The show, called Orthodox Teen Talk Online (OTTO), features a pan-Orthodox group of teens from around the country, who discuss real-life issues in an open and honest manner with at least one Orthodox priest. One of the unique characteristics of the show is that the teens themselves develop the topics for discussion, contribute their own opinions and share their own life experiences related to the discussion. This allows Orthodox young people to find their own voice and develop their own Orthodox Christian response to some of the most pressing issues of the day.
"The young people of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America are deeply committed to living the Orthodox Faith in Christ daily," V. Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, Chairman of Department of Youth Ministry, said. "It is with joy that our young people join with OCN and other Orthodox teens in expressing their Orthodox Christian Faith and its profound effect on their daily choices."
OTTO is a collaborative effort of the Antiochian Youth Department, NAC Teen SOYO, OCN and the Youth Department of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Several episodes of OTTO have already been recorded.
In the first episode, Fr. Christopher Metropulos, Executive Director of the Orthodox Christian Network, guided Orthodox teens from four Churches in South Florida through a candid discussion on drugs and drinking.
"O Christ God, Thou has sanctified the virgin's womb by Thy birth, and as was meet, hast blessed the hands of Simeon. Thou hast also come to us to save us. Do Thou, when wars prevail, give peace to Thy people, and make mighty those whom Thou hast loved, for Thou alone art the Lover of mankind." - Kontakion of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple
"Today let the gate of heaven be opened; for the Word of the Father who is without beginning, having taken a beginning in time, not separating from his Godhead, is offered by his own will, by a virgin Mother, as a child forty days old in the Mosaic Temple; and the priest, his servant, receiveth him in his arms, crying with joy, Now lettest thou me depart, for mine eyes have beheld thy salvation. Wherefore, O thou who didst come into the world to save mankind, O Lord, glory to thee." - St. John of Damascus
A Dedicated Educator And New Equipment From IOCC Make the Difference for A Lebanon Public School
Dedicated educators like Principal Marie Chahine (left) use creative, and often surprising, strategies to improve the quality of education offered by Lebanon's crumbling public schools. Through a $4.7 million grant, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is providing 206 public schools throughout Lebanon with computer labs and new furniture and laboratory supplies for science instruction.
In the Beirut suburb of Ain al Remaneh, teenagers Farah and Luna (right) dream of becoming journalists and educators. Their new computer lab provided by IOCC through a $4.7 million grant by USAID will give them some of the tools needed to realize that dream. IOCC has been repairing and developing hundreds of public schools throughout Lebanon since 2001.
January 22 marked another year of legalized abortion in the United States despite all of the facts demonstrating the presence of life at conception. You don't want to miss Frederica Mathewes-Green's most recent podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.
AFR founder John Maddex announced this week, "It is a joy to introduce our second streaming station at Ancient Faith Radio called Ancient Faith Talk. Our survey results this past fall revealed a common thread of thought from our listeners, 'Please give us a second station to house all of the wonderful podcasts and keep your first station primarily music.' So starting on Saturday, January 19, you will have Ancient Faith Music, Ancient Faith Talk, and Ancient Faith Podcasts (for download)."
On Ancient Faith Talk, each hour of the day will feature several of our podcasts, interviews and lectures. Since the lengths of our features vary, some hours will have less talk than others but each hour will have ample and substantive programming with the hour filled out with English language music and readings.
Ancient Faith Music will then be preserved to showcase the wonderful music of the Church interspersed with short inspirational quotes from the Fathers, the Psalms and liturgical verses. The collection of podcasts for free download at your convenience also continues to grow. Our 18 unique features will be joined by at least a half dozen more in the next couple of months. Be looking for new and regular podcasts from people like Father Thomas Hopko, Father Michael Oleksa, Father John Hainsworth, Father Hans Jacobse, and more.
Visit www.ancientfaithradio.com to discover Ancient Faith Music and Ancient Faith Talk!
Join Teen SOYO in this quest to provide scholarships to your parish youth workers to participate in the Antiochian House of Studies Youth Ministry Education Program, so that they may better serve the youth of your parish. NAC Teen SOYO is working towards raising $250,000 for a scholarship fund to benefit local parish youth workers to continue their education in Youth Ministry through the St. Stephens Youth Ministry Concentration. Our teens have already raised $134,000 towards this goal through the efforts of you and your faithful. Your help and that of your teens towards this worthy goal are greatly appreciated.
Visit the Teen SOYO page to learn more!
Deepen your understanding of the ancient Christian faith with the help of powerful voices from the Antiochian Archdiocese and beyond, including Frederica Mathewes-Green, Fr. Jack Sparks, Fr. John Reeves, and others. Click here.
This series of articles on some of the basic doctrines of the Orthodox Christian Faith is brought to you by Conciliar Media Ministries, a department of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and Antiochian.org. These teachings present the timeless wisdom of our Holy Tradition, made accessible and interesting by some of the best Orthodox Christian writers of today. These articles are available from Conciliar as a series of attractive and informative booklets and brochures about the basic teachings of the ancient Orthodox Christian faith.
The Order of St. Ignatius is the philanthropic organization of 4,000 members of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America.
Download and read these Fall Newsletter articles:
- New Chair, Dan Abraham’s First Address to The Order,
- Apart From Him We Have No True Life, by the V. Rev. Joseph Antypas
- Faces of The Order
- Advice from a Martyr
- Beneficiaries Give Thanks in Worcester
- Norma’s Inspiration … In Loving Memory
- Joanne's JOTS, by Joanne Hakim
Visit the website of The Order of St. Ignatius.
Chancellor Charles Ajalat Speaks About Orthodox Administrative Unity in America: Audio Available Saturday, January 19
"I would love to see 45 or more dioceses of a united North American Church, with each bishop having the title of each major U.S. or Canadian city, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, and more importantly for the salvation of all on this continent. I would love to see our Church, through Christ, transforming our culture, while it's transforming our own lives." - Charles Ajalat
This week Ancient Faith Radio will be broadcasting a special edition of Kevin Allen's podcast, The Illumined Heart, on the future of the American Orthodox Church. Will there ever be one American Orthodox Church? What are the reasons for the continuing divisions among ethnic and historic jurisdictions? Who and what stands in the way of administrative unity? In this historic and hard-hitting interview, Kevin Allen speaks with Chancellor of the Antiochian Archdiocese Charles Ajalat. Charles was the behind-the-scenes architect of the historic Ligonier meeting of hierarchs in 1994.
This special edition of The Illumined Heart will be available via Ancient Faith Radio on January 19.
Click here for a PDF version of AGAIN's Winter 2003 issue on Antiochian Self Rule, including an interview with Metropolitan PHILIP and an article by Charles Ajalat, "A Vision for North American Orthodoxy."
Click here to read Metropolitan PHILIP's visionary call for unity from 1984.
The Exaposteilarion of today's Feast declares: "Verily, the Creator of ages Who fulfilled the law is circumcised in the flesh as an eight-day old child, is wrapped in swaddling clothes like a man and is fed with milk, He Who is the All-Controller through His boundless might, since He is God, and the Maker of the law in flesh."
Observe the wording of declaration: "the Creator of the ages...fulfilled the law." The statements that follow concerning His circumcision, clothing as a man, and being fed milk, appear to specify ways in which He fulfills the law in concrete terms. How are we to understand these actions as fulfillment? What is filled full, put into effect, brought to an end, satisfied, converted into reality or brought to its potential?
The "laws" of the created order require infants to be fed and clothed for survival, yet the Lord Who is unbounded and is eternally free from any need for protection has chosen to take our flesh upon Himself, for He is God the Word assuming the limitations and demands of the natural law. Therefore, He was diapered and nursed. Observe that His satisfaction of the natural law is expressed in many of the icons of the Nativity for they regularly show Him being washed and cared for as well as being "wrapped...in swaddling cloths" (Lk. 2:7).
These most mundane, human actions direct us to the Apostle Paul's point: when the Lord was "found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself," lowered Himself in every respect (Phil. 2:7). In other words, He came into the world and joined Himself to us an actual man in order to address the terrible side of being human: separation from God and our wedding to death.
To St. Basil the Great of Caesarea, by St. John Damascene:
Magnify, O my soul, Basil, the Great amongst Bishops.
O Father Basil, thou didst follow in the life-bearing steps, the steps of Christ, faithful Head of shepherds for thou didst go forth and offer thyself to the usurper, valiantly endangering thyself for the Church, O most-beatified.
Magnify, O my soul, Basil the Great of Caesarea.
Verily, the usurper, having seen the all-sanctified assembly, the assembly of the Church of Christ, adorned by the presidency of thy Priesthood, O wise one, was confounded and fell down, utterly perishing, not being able to bear the radiance of the spirit that was in thee, O Basil.