The priests of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic gathered together for their ninth annual Brotherhood Synaxis, held at the Antiochian Village from October 1-4, 2013. Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest was the guest speaker. His excellent talks addressed the need for parish priests to be aware of the challenge that the secular worldview presents in ministering to their flocks. In addition to Bishop Anthony’s lectures, the clergy had a supplication service for St. Raphael, whose tireless efforts brought about many of the churches of the diocese, and who is buried on the grounds of the Village Camp.
Additionally, His Grace Bishop Thomas inspired his priests on several occasions with discussions on activities in the Orthodox world, the archdiocese, and the diocese; he also counseled them to be diligent and prayerful in all of their efforts.The priests from the Diocese's Western Rite parishes served a Divine Liturgy on Wednesday morning. Father Andrew Damick gave an excellent talk and sermonette on the life of St. Joseph of Damascus, the patron saint of the clergy brotherhood. Fathers James Hamrick, Noah Bushelli and Demetrios Makoul also delivered sermons that provided much food for thought. A movie night was held which was followed by a discussion. The Synaxis concluded with a hierarchical divine liturgy concelebrated by Bishops Thomas and Anthony,  with Sayidna Anthony providing a sermon that reflected on the Gospel of the morning, to send the clergy on their way. God willing, the Brotherhood will gather again in 2014 from September 30 to October 3.
The clergy would like to express their gratitude to the administration and the staff of the Antiochian Village for their most gracious hospitality and for the outstanding amenities, and especially to Tim and his crew for their excellent meals. Thank you to Bishop Anthony for his words and his kindness and prayers. Thank you to Bishop Thomas for his care and his vision that the brotherhood gather and strengthen the bonds of brotherly love that help to make better priests. Finally, thank you to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip for his love and his vision in caring for his priests.