From the March 2012 edition of The Word:
St. Andrew – Intercessor for the Orthodox in America
St. Andrew the First-called Apostle began work as a fisherman and, as proclaimed by our Lord Jesus Christ, he became a fisher of men particularly through his missionary journeys along the Black Sea. Not only did he work during his life here on earth, but he continued to pray and nurture the seeds he had planted in small villages such as Byzantium and Kiev to such a degree that these areas flourished over the centuries and became glorious and mighty centers of the Orthodox Faith. Thus St. Andrew is recognized as the patron saint of Constantinople, Ukraine, Russia, and Romania, as well as several other places. But to what degree does St. Andrew care for the Orthodox Faith here in America?
God revealed St. Andrew as a powerful intercessor for the Orthodox Church in America on the weekend of December 3–4, 2011, when two church temples dedicated to St. Andrew were consecrated in our Archdiocese – one in Riverside, California, and one in Pensacola, Florida. Both of these consecrations share in the blessings of God’s grace through St. Andrew, overcoming earthly hardships with a heavenly respite; temporary sickness with an eternal hospital; demonic despair with divine glory; and murky sin with the light of salvation. Having an incarnate location in these communities in which to bring such cares to God mercifully provides the spiritual nourishment the body requires.
On Sunday, March 4, 2012, St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York hosted the annual Pan-Orthodox Vespers service celebrating the Triumph of Orthodoxy. His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn presided at the service and was guest speaker. Over 20 priests and deacons from the greater New York area were present. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a Lenten meal and fellowship in the Cathedral hall.
His Eminence Archbishop Joseph recently inducted seven new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at St. John the Evangelist Church in Orinda, California. Pictured above (L to R): Fadwa Samara (sponsor), Hanada Fashieh, Howard Ashcraft, Reene Carr (sponsor), James Potts (Life Member), Najat Nicola (sponsor), His Eminence Archbishop Joseph, Tiffany Kirby Gantus, Brandon Gantus, Khalil Mounzer, Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Nick Nicola, Jr. (Sponsor), Kristin Nicola (Order of St. Ignatius, Diocese Vice Chair).
Theme: Reflections on the Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian
The Fellowship of St. John the Divine invites you to a Lenten Retreat at St. Mary’s Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Featuring keynote speakers Dr. Anthony Bashir, St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Boston MA, Co-Chair, Department of Lay Ministry; and Dr. John Dalack, clinical psychologist and Co-Chair, Department of Lay Ministry.
Retreat begins at 10am with Morning Prayers followed by a Continental Breakfast. Session I with Drs. Bashir & Dalack followed by Lunch Session II followed by Dessert Q&A and ending with Closing Prayers around 4pm.
To register or for more information call the church at 718-238-8008 or email Jenna Zraick at: firstname.lastname@example.org For directions to St. Mary's, visit www.smaoc.org. There is no registration fee but donations are greatly appreciated.
St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles, California continued its tradition this past year of honoring several of its parishioners during its Annual Feast day luncheon. This year's honorees were 2 couples: Ronald and Rose Samore and Edward and Georgette Malouf. These couples were honored for their lifelong service to God's church and specifically for their tireless efforts in serving St. Nicholas Cathedral for the past 30 plus years. They have served the church in such events as community outreach, Sweetheart Ball committees, Creative Festivals committee at Parish Life Conferences, organizing and cooking countless meals, serving the Antiochian Women organizations, serving Camp St. Nicholas, and in many other capacities in their church, as well as on a Diocesan and Archdiocesan level. May the Lord grant you many, many more years!
In the last two years St. John the Evangelist Antiochian Orthodox Church in Orinda, CA has engaged in several new forms of outreach to needy people. In each case we have learned that when we respond to God’s love shed abroad in our hearts by Christ (Rom. 5:5), we receive back both anticipated and unanticipated dividends from the Lord Himself… and those we serve!
1. Project Mexico: For two summers in a row teams of adults and kids from our parish have spent a week at St. Innocent Orphanage and built a simple new home for a poor family.
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'."
On Share the Light Sunday, January 15, 2012, the Orthodox Christian Network is encouraging parishes to announce that in 2012, OCN will be honoring its first ever hero. This person must be nominated by someone other than a family member and must have distinguished him or herself in Christian love and service to others. Any of our listeners around the world will be able to nominate candidates online during the year of 2012. The Board of Directors and staff of OCN will review and select 10 candidates to be put before our international listening audience, who will then choose the winner. The winner will be a special guest on Come Receive the Light and will receive a free cruise.
Recently, the St. Romanos Chorale gave a concert at St. Joseph Orthodox Church in Houston, Texas. Titled "God With Us," the concert was recorded and is now featured on AFR as a Christmas special.
The St. Romanos Chorale takes its name from the Syrian religious poet and hymnographer of the Orthodox Church, St. Romanos, who is considered to be the greatest of the Byzantine melodist-poets. The Chorale is composed of singers from Orthodox Christian churches in the greater Houston area, including many Antiochian Christians. The music is sung a capella in both Byzantine and Slavonic styles, predominantly in English, but also in Greek, Arabic, and Slavonic. The Chorale has presented beautiful Orthodox Christian music to audiences throughout Texas and neighboring states at venues including major colleges and universities.
The pan-Orthodox chorale is directed by Dr. William Attra, who directed the choir of St. George in Houston for many years.
St. John Chrysostom Church in York, Pennsylvania welcomed His Grace Bishop Thomas on the occasion of its annual patronal feast day celebration over the weekend of November 11-13, 2011. Sayidna Thomas began the weekend festivities by attending a dinner with the parish council members and their spouses on Friday evening.
On Saturday morning, His Grace blessed the icons in the dome which were written this past Spring. He was accompanied by the Reverend Fr. Peter Pier, pastor of St. John Chrysostom, and Dn. Jerome Atherholt. Following the blessing, the children learned about the Prophets in the dome from Kh. Pam. Great Vespers was then concelebrated by Fr. Peter, Fr. Joseph Butts and Fr. Theodoros Daoud of St. Mary’s in Hunt Valley, Maryland, with Bishop Thomas presiding. Following Great Vespers, a gala banquet was held at the Golden Stories Restaurant in Columbia, Pennsylvania.