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IOCC's Frontline Clergy on the Ground in Iowa

imageResidents of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, spend their days piling debris outside their ruined homes. One woman who lost everything only cared about not finding her favorite picture of her daughter. “This is a vibrant community, which has been changed forever. People try to go about their daily lives and they can’t deal with a lot of what’s hitting them emotionally right now,” says Father Chris Flesoras, a member of International Orthodox Christian Charities’ (IOCC) Emergency Response Network, known as the “Orthodox Frontline,” which is providing trauma counseling and coordinating resources with other charities on the scene.

Also, learn about the first response team from IOCC to the flood ravaged areas via this Ancient Faith Radio podcast with Fr. Haralambos (Bob) Fox, who is on assignment in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East Elects New Metropolitans in Balamand

image The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East met in mid-June at the Balamand under the presidency of His Beatitude, The Most Blessed Patriarch IGNATIUS IV.

Among the agenda items were elections for the widowed Metropolitical Sees of Western Europe, which is headquartered in Paris, France and formerly headed by the late Metropolitan GABRIEL (Saleeby), and of Akkar, which is headquartered in Halba, north Lebanon and formerly headed by the late Metropolitan PAUL (Bandaly).  The secretary of the Holy Synod, The Very Reverend Economos George Dimas, announced the following:

1 - Elected Metropolitan of Akkar on June 17th is His Eminence BASIL (Mansour), 46, former Titular Bishop of Tartous.  His enthronement will take place on July 5th.

2 - Elected Metropolitan of Western Europe on June 17th is His Eminence JOHN (Yaziji), 53, former Titular Bishop of al-Hosn.  His enthronement in Paris will take place on September 21st.

Many years to Metropolitan BASIL and Metropolitan JOHN!

Metropolitan PHILIP Receives Metropolitan HILARION of ROCOR at Englewood Headquarters

image On Wednesday, June 11, 2008, His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP received the newly elected and enthroned Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence, HILARION. His Eminence was elected and enthroned in May as the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York City following the death of His Eminence, Metropolitan LAURUS of thrice-blessed memory.  Accompanying His Eminence was Protopresbyter Alexander Lebedeff, the Secretary of Inter-Orthodox Relations. Also present from the Antiochian Archdiocese were His Grace, ANTOUN, Bishop of Miami and the Southeast, Archpriest Thomas Zain, Dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY and Mr. Charles Ajalat, the Archdiocesan Chancellor. Pictures from this historic meeting follow below.

Metropolitan Philip St. Vladimir's Seminary Lecture Available Online

image His Eminence Metropolitan Philip joined a gathering of other notable Christian leaders and theologians, including Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev and Catholic author Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, speaking at St. Vladimir's Seminary June 4-8. The event was organized by The Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius, and was titled "Rome, Constantinople and Canterbury. Mother Churches?" Ancient Faith Radio has posted audio of all the lectures. Metropolitan Philip lectured on Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council.

The Great Feast of Pentecost

imageJune 15 is the Great Feast of Pentecost. "Lo, we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, the presence of the Spirit, the fulfillment of the promise and the completion of the hope. How wonderful is this mystery. ... Thou hast renewed for thy Disciples, O Christ, a different kind of tongues, that they might therewith proclaim that thou art the immortal Word and God who granteth our souls the Great Mercy. The Holy Spirit provideth all; overfloweth with prophecy; fulfilleth the Priesthood; and hath taught wisdom to the illiterate. He hath revealed the fishermen as theologians. He bringeth together all the laws of the Church." (The Pentecostarion)


Click here to listen to Fr. Patrick Reardon's homily on Pentecost at Ancient Faith Radio. Children will enjoy listening to Archdiocese Featured Author Chrissi Hart read from a Conciliar children's book about the Feast. The audio can be found here.  Finally, here's a good introduction to Pentecost prepared by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

Changes at

image We're rolling out some changes to that have been in the works for awhile. We apologize in advance for any problems as we iron out the remaining wrinkles in the new design. Now that we've completed our basic reorganization of the website's homepage and menus, we'll be turning our attention to the pages for each diocese, department and organization in the Archdiocese.

We've started redesigning the page for the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. Please take a look, and learn more about the flock of Bishop MARK. And as always, drop us an email at any time you have a comment or question.

We've also added our new Featured Authors of the Archdiocese section at the bottom of our homepage, where we'll be continuing to bring you the latest from Fr. Patrick Reardon, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Fr. George Morelli and more. Within the next couple of weeks we'll be offering daily Scripture readings and Saints, with more features coming over the course of the summer. Thanks again for your patience. If you'd like to read more about our vision for, check out this article, or this article, by our editor, Douglas Cramer.

Blessed Feast Day! The Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

imageOn the fortieth day after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He was taken up into the heavens in a cloud.

Read The Ascension: An Excerpt from The Year of the Grace of the Lord

Read From the Heart: Resting in the Ascension

Listen to the children's Under the Grapevine podcast about the Ascension 

Listen to Fr. Pat Reardon's All Saints homily podcast on the Ascension

Read a reflection for teens about the Ascension

The Archdiocese Synod of Bishops Meets


The Synod of Bishops of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America met at Antiochian Village on May 30, 2008.

The hierarchs discussed many items that are of paramount importance to this God-protected Archdiocese.

June 2008 Issue of The Word Magazine Now Available Online

Click cover to download: 

Why A Fast for Dormition, page 8

Antiochian House of Studies, page 29

Communities in Action, page 32

Update from Fr. Michael Nasser at Project Mexico, page 40

Orthodox Tanzania, page 43


The Story of Creation: How the Fathers Understood Genesis

image This week on OCN's Come Receive the Light national Orthodox radio program, Dr. Peter Bouteneff, a professor at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, speaks about the intersection of scripture, science, creation, the ancient Christian faith, and how it all applies to today's debates.

Click here to listen.

AGAIN Interviews Fr. Peter Gillquist for 30th Anniversary Issue

image AGAIN Magazine, published by the Antiochian Archdiocese's Conciliar Media Ministries, has released its 30th anniversary issue. The issue includes a special interview with the magazine's publisher, and the Chair of the Archdiocese Department of Missions and Evangelism, Fr. Peter Gillquist, reflecting on his years of service to the Church and what the future may hold.

"Looking back, I would say the thing we need to stress today with the converts is the need to learn how the Orthodox Church works—the fancy name for that is ecclesiology. As evangelical Protestants, we were so used to doing our own thing, exercising our independence—a favorite slogan was, 'Nobody’s going to tell me what to do or what to believe.' You just can’t live that way as an Orthodox Christian. Because number one, we’re all under the lordship of Christ, and secondly, within the Church, as scriptures teach, He has established apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers." Click here to read the rest! Also, listen to an interview with Fr. Peter on Ancient Faith Radio.

SCOBA Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday June 1

image The Hierarchs of SCOBA, including His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, have designated Sunday June 1 as Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday. 

SCOBA Encyclical

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry

"Remember the prisoners as if chained with them." + Hebrews 13:3

*Ncense Releases CD To Benefit OCF


*Ncense: Every Good and Perfect Gift. Pan-Orthodox Sacred Music.

In their first critically-acclaimed recording, *Ncense, a young men's a capella singing group, gives you 18 beautifully sung church hymns from a variety of Orthodox traditions. Funded by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, all proceeds from this  CD go to the Orthodox Christian Fellowship to support Orthodox college students around the country.

More information, including ordering details

IOCC Distributes Food and Supplies in Iraq

image Most Iraqis are dependent on the government’s food rationing program, but supplies are often unreliable. IOCC recently delivered food and hygiene parcels to 3,000 vulnerable families in Baghdad and Mosul. The woman pictured left had her home ransacked by insurgents and must depend on such aid to support herself and her disabled brother. Daily violence and massive shortages in food, electricity, and water continue to define life inside Iraq. (photo credit: IOCC Iraq)

Christ Is Risen! Fourth Sunday of Pascha is the Sunday of the Paralytic

image The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America prays with all the Orthodox Christians of this land, and all of our brothers and sisters in faith across the world, that God's greatest blessings, mercy and peace are showered over all mankind during this Feast of Feasts.

His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP presided over the Paschal Liturgy on April 27 at the Archdiocese Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn, New York. Click here to listen to a recording of the service. Click here for more pictures of the Metropolitan serving at St. Nicholas on Holy Pascha. Learn more about Metropolitan PHILIP here.

Christ is Risen! Click here for more on Pascha. Also visit our Great Lent 2008 Resource Center.

Frederica Mathewes-Green Reviews Prince Caspian

imageFrederica Mathewes-Green, one of the featured authors of the Archdiocese, has published a general audience review of the new Hollywood blockbuster movie Prince Caspian, opening this weekend, based on the famous Narnia stories from the Christian apologist C.S. Lewis.

"If in The Lord of the Rings someone is always swinging an axe at the head of a monster, in The Chronicles of Narnia he is getting out of the rain, warming up by the fire, and having some tea and biscuits. . . . But as charming as the Narnia stories are, the movies give them more body, more strength. That’s especially true with this latest, Prince Caspian." Read the rest.

Conciliar Press also has online a piece by editor Doug Cramer titled Longing for Other Worlds: Faith, Fantasy and Orthodox Christians Today, originally published at the release of the first Chronicles of Narnia movie. Click here to read other reviews from of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

A Primer on

A Primer on from the Department of Internet Ministry

By Douglas George Cramer, Chair

This article about is intended for our many department chairs, ministry leaders, and active members across the country who want to use the Internet to communicate about their work. It is being published in the June issue of The Word.

Our team working on the Archdiocese website,, launched a new design early this year, and introduced our vision for the ministry of the Church on the Internet in the March 2008 issue of The Word. We’re continuing to work on many projects and changes that we pray will be of great benefit to our collective witness for our Lord in this land. My goal here is to give all of you in the Archdiocese with an active role in our communications with each other, with the Church as a whole, and with the world beyond, the information you need about our department and our approach in order to work with us to strengthen our online voice.

Metropolitan PHILIP Discusses American Orthodoxy with SCOBA Hierarchs

image On Wednesday May 7, 2008, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP hosted a meeting of five of the SCOBA hierarchs at the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey.  The meeting was held to allow these hierarchs to discuss pertinent issues related to the Orthodox situation in North America. 

Myanmar Cyclone Emergency Appeal from IOCC


Fierce winds, rain and storm surge have devastated much of the Irrawaddy Delta and Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. International Orthodox Christian Charities will provide cash support to its ecumenical partners toward emergency relief supplies for the survivors in Myanmar.

Visit IOCC for information about this emergency and how you can contribute.

Reflection on God and Natural Disaster by Orthodox Theologian David Hart Posted in Response to Myanmar Disaster

A Paschal Greeting from OCMC


This hand painted Ascension from Cameroon reminds us that Christ’s death and Resurrection was for the whole world. Thank you for answering the call to share the Gospel of Christ!

We pray that you had a beautiful Holy Week and a glorious Pascha. May God continue to bless you and your family during this Paschal season.