On the weekend of September 17-19th, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip consecrated St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. St. John Chrysostom was founded by His Eminence in 1978 as a Pan-Orthodox Mission in northeast Indiana. After over 30 years of growth in the Fort Wayne community, the parish erected a new church complex with a grand worship space, classroom education facilities and a large family room area for fellowship of the Orthodox Community. The new church's altar was consecrated on September 19th by Metropolitan Philip, with Archdeacon Hans Elhayek; parish priest Fr. Anthony Michaels; Fr. Nabil Hanna, dean of the Indiana deanery; Fr. George Smith, priest in residence; Fr. Joseph Rahall, founding priest of the mission; and clergy friends from around the Midwest.
Local Orthodox clergy, and parishioners and friends of St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma gathered on Sunday evening, September 19, 2010, to offer thanks to God and to celebrate a milestone in the life of our parish. For ninety years the vine that was transplanted from Lebanon by immigration and then firmly established by the coming of Fr. Shukrallah Shadid as founding pastor in 1920 has grown and flourished. Today St. Elijah continues to offer the ancient worship, now in a large and modern temple; and she continues to proclaim the Word of God to a world in need of salvation.
A pre-banquet social hour began at 6pm, with attendees renewing acquaintances and reminiscing about old times. At 7pm all were invited to take their seats and hear St. Elijah’s choir perform three beautiful hymns under the direction of longtime choir director Alexander Mamary. They sang “I Leave You My Peace,” “Rejoice, O Virgin,” and “From the Rising of the Sun.”
Fr. Constantine Nasr offered the invocation, then James Farha (Chair of the Ninetieth Anniversary Committee, and Banquet Master of Ceremonies) introduced the evening’s program. While a delicious meal catered by Ned and Stacy Shadid was served, a slide show was screened entitled “Coming to America,” which had been prepared for the parish’s 75th Anniversary by Harvey Homsey and Karla Cohlmia. The historic photos stirred memories and were met with applause, and at times tears.
Bishop Basil writes:
May it be blessed! This past Saturday, October 2nd, 2010, the holy table at the new church temple of St. Basil the Great Church in Kansas City, Kansas was consecrated during divine services celebrated by myself, and assisted by the proistamenos Fr. Elias Issa and sixteen other priests and deacons. The relics of the Holy Hieromartyr Blaise the Bishop of Sebaste were sealed in the cavity in the holy table.
Over the course of several days in September 2010, the clergy and faithful of Holy Cross Church in Linthicum, MD, were blessed by a visit from His Grace, Bishop Thomas. Several events, liturgical and otherwise, were held during this period, giving the faithful multiple opportunities to greet, speak with, and be blessed by Sayedna.
Early in the week, the clergy and many of the faithful journeyed with His Grace to St. Mary Church in Hunt Valley, MD to join that congregation in the celebration of their Patronal Feast (Nativity of the Theotokos). Father Theodoros Daoud and the congregation welcomed us and provided a wonderful reception after the Liturgy.
On Wednesday, September 8, Holy Cross members and others met in the Parish Hall to hear an address by Bishop Thomas' spiritual son Dr. Tristram Engelhardt, entitled "After Christendom: Living in an Aggressively Post-Christian World." The address was well-received and discussion was vigorous and thoughtful.
St. Nicholas Church traces its history back to the early 1900’s, when Orthodox immigrants from the part of the Ottoman Empire then known as “Syria” began to come to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many of these immigrants made their living initially as “peddlers,” selling their wares door-to-door as the city grew into a center of commerce and industry. As they became more prosperous, they opened stores of their own. Others found employment in the city’s well-known furniture industry.
As early as 1906, the community was visited by traveling priests who served the recently arrived Orthodox immigrants scattered around the Midwest and concentrated in growing cities like Toledo and Fort Wayne. At least twice, Grand Rapids was visited by St. Raphael Hawaweeny, who encouraged the faithful to establish a church and who ordained and trained St. Nicholas’s first pastor, Father Philipous Abu-Assaley. Father Philipous was ordained in 1908. His youngest daughter, Rosemary Sears, still faithfully attends St. Nicholas.
Bishop Mark writes:
Dear to God, Christ is in our midst! As our faithful continue to raise money to support the Missions of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, I want to forward you these notes of thanks and gratitude for the strong support our diocesan faithful have shown for missions. Our giving to missions has increased from a few thousand in 2004 to $40,000 for this year alone. Well done good and faithful servants. Well done!
Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky:
Greetings from Bowling Green, KY! As the southern-most community in the Diocese, autumn has not arrived here yet, but we hope you are all enjoying this beautiful time of year in good health.
We have just received the funds offered to our community by the Mission Endowment Fund, and words cannot express the appreciation our Mission family has for your love and support.
All Saints Orthodox Church, with the co-sponsorship of the Early Music Institute of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Department of Sacred Music of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, is presenting “The Musical Heritage of the Orthodox Church: Music, Liturgy, and Beauty in Orthodox Christianity” on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus on Saturday, 16 October 2010 from 8:30am until 2:30pm. This first-ever symposium on Orthodox sacred music at Indiana University will feature lecture recitals from the following:
-John Michael Boyer, protopsaltis of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, artistic director of the Koukouzelis Institute for Liturgical Arts, and principal singer for Cappella Romana
-Alexander Khalil, PhD, psaltis of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego, CA, postdoctoral fellow at University of California at Riverside, author of the dissertation “Echoes of Constantinople: Oral and Written Tradition of the Psaltes of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople”, singer for Cappella Romana and the Mt. Lebanon Choir
-Kurt Sander, DM, psalomchik and choir director at St. George Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, OH, Professor of Music and Department Chair at Northern Kentucky University, composer of many liturgical works in the Slavic style, author of the dissertation “The Musical Icon”
-Richard Toensing, DM, Professor Emeritus of Music at University of Colorado at Boulder, choir director emeritus of St. Luke’s Orthodox Church in Lafayette, CO, composer of Kontakion for the Nativity of Christ and other Orthodox liturgical works in English
His Grace Bishop Basil will be celebrating the dedication of Holy Ascension Church in Norman, Oklahoma on October 23rd, 2010. The Service of the Opening of the Doors of a Chuirch Temple will be held at 5:00pm, followed by Great Vespers. Afterwards, there will be a Dedication Banquet at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 7:00pm. Banquet tickets are $50.00 for adults and $25.00 for children under 12.
For more information or to RSVP, please download the following forms (PDF format):
Come join us for a Retreat with Fr. Meletios Webber on the themes of Orthodox Spirituality and Prayer
“Stop listening to your thoughts – not the thoughts you have, but the thoughts that have you. They have nothing beneficial to offer you, and besides you have heard them all before. Brush them aside, and gently continue to brush them aside. Beyond their clamor and din there is available to you a level of greater awareness – a place of love, joy, peace and compassion. At first, it is difficult to “hear” it (since it is expressed in silence) but with practice you will start to recognize its voice, and a deeper state of presence will be yours.” ‐ Fr. Meletios