St John of the Ladder Parish Church located in Greenville, SC celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony on the 4th Sunday of Great Lent in preparation for construction on a new Church temple which, God-willing, may begin this year. The service of blessing was celebrated in the early evening-time followed by a pleasant reception on the new property. In attendance were multiple clergy of the Carolina Deanery; in addition the service was concelebrated by Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel) of St Seraphim's Cathedral in Dallas, TX; and many faithful of the parish (as well as friends and neighbors) gathered in prayer for the mercies of God on this effort. Informaton on the Church's project can be found here. Below are some pictures from the event.
CONTACT: Deborah Belonick, Communications Director St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, svots.edu 914-961-8313 ext 363 firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 13 March 2014
8th Annual Diaconal Liturgical Practicum Set for June 22–25, 2014
[St. Vladimir’s Seminary / Yonkers, NY] The 8th Annual Diaconal Liturgical Practicum—a program held in conjunction with the Orthodox Church in America's (OCA) Diaconal Vocations Program (DVP) and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary—will be held from Sunday, June 22–Wednesday, June 25, 2014 on the seminary campus in Yonkers, NY. The 4–day program will focus once again on intense practical liturgical training for deacons and lay diaconal candidates.
During the program, practical liturgical training will be supported by celebration of the Divine Liturgy and other services, and intensive workshops will provide participants with the skills needed to serve effectively in the Orthodox Church as an attentive server, deacon, or priest. In addition, focused presentations will augment the deacon's understanding of his place in the liturgical life of the Church and the deacon's broader vocation as a symbol to the faithful of the diakonia of Jesus Christ.
“This practicum is highly recommended by the Holy Synod for participants in the Church's Diaconal Vocations Program,” said Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov, director of the DVP for the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and leader of the liturgical workshops for the practicum. The Very Rev. Dr. Sergius Halvorsen, assistant professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at St. Vladimir's Seminary, will lead sessions on public speaking, teaching, and preaching, as well as chanting and vocal technique.
Participants are asked to arrive after 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 22; the last day of the practicum, June 25, includes morning Divine Liturgy, a closing discussion, and brunch. Participants may leave campus at noon for 3:00 p.m. and later flights from area airports.
St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary 575 Scarsdale Rd Yonkers NY 10707 (914) 961 8313 www.svots.edu
March 16, 2014
(New York, NY)
The Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Seminary presents two concerts from May 31 to June 2 devoted to the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, an Orthodox Christian. The concerts will take place in New York City at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall (May 31) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (June 2), and will feature performers closely associated with Mr. Pärt’s music. Traveling from Estonia for these events are the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, with their conductor Tõnu Kaljuste.
During this tour the ensembles will perform repertoire specially selected by Mr. Pärt and the seminary to evoke the spirituality of Mr. Pärt’s music. The all-Pärt program at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street and Seventh Ave., New York, 8 p.m., Saturday, May 31, includes the works Fratres, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Adam’s Lament, Salve Regina, and Te Deum. The Met Museum Presents program features the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir performing Kanon Pokajanen in The Temple of Dendur. This latter performance will be live streamed beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, June 2, by Q2 Music at q2music.org.
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra have been recording Mr. Pärt’s music for ECM for more than two decades, and the recent ECM recording Arvo Pärt:Adam’s Lament won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. In the same year, the orchestra was awarded the Estonian Music Council Prize. Mr. Kaljuste, who is a long-time associate of Mr. Pärt and noted interpreter of his work, has conducted the choir for twenty years and the orchestra for seven seasons and now works with the ensemble on tours and recordings.
As part of the new SPARK conversation series, Met Museum Presents will also host a lecture titled Spirit in Sound and Space: A Conversation Inspired by Arvo Pärt, with Robert Zatorre, a neuroscientist at the Montreal Neurological Institute, architect Steven Holl, and Dr. Peter Bouteneff, a musician and professor of theology at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium on Wednesday, June 11 at 6 p.m. The conversation, led by Julie Burstein, author and Peabody Award–winning creator of Public Radio’s Studio 360, will explore the spiritual content of Mr. Pärt’s music as well as how different spaces can impact how his music is perceived.
Mr. Pärt, whose work ranges from choral to orchestral to solo instrumental compositions, has for the past three years been the most performed of any living composer. Born in 1935 in Paide, Estonia, Mr. Pärt first began composing using a variety of neo-classical styles as part of the “Soviet Avant-garde” movement. He worked as director and composer in residence for Estonian Radio from 1958–1967, produced nearly 50 film scores, and wrote Estonia’s very first 12-tone composition, Nekrolog, in 1960. But in the late 1960s, following the ban of his work Credo by Soviet officials, the search for his own voice drove Mr. Pärt into near-withdrawal for eight years during which he studied Gregorian chant. In this time he created a new compositional principle he called “tintinnabuli” (Latin for “little bells”), a method that keeps sound structure to its bare essentials. It is a musical style that first emerged in 1976, and has defined Mr. Part’s music to this day.
The power and purity of Mr. Pärt’s music was introduced to the Western world 30 years ago in 1984 when Manfred Eicher launched ECM’s New Series with recording Tabula Rasa. ECM has since released more than 40 of Mr. Pärt’s compositions on 14 recordings. Between 1989 and 2011 Mr. Pärt was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, most of which were for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. In 1996 he was awarded honorary membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named Musical America’s Composer of the Year in 2005. Mr. Pärt is also currently a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture at the Vatican. The International Arvo Pärt Centre, built close to Mr. Pärt’s hometown, was founded in 2010 and is slated to include a research institute, a museum, a publishing house, and an archive of Mr. Pärt's works.
Developed by St. Vladimir’s Seminary faculty members Dr. Nicholas Reeves and Dr. Peter Bouteneff, The Arvo Pärt Project was inaugurated in 2011 to explore the spiritual roots of Mr. Pärt’s music. Collaborative efforts with Mr. Pärt being explored include these concerts and lectures, planned publications devoted to Mr. Pärt’s personal spiritual narrative, and a long-term academic partnership between the Arvo Pärt Centre in Estonia and St. Vladimir’s Seminary.
“Mr. Pärt’s music is universally accessible, and revered for its ‘spiritual’ quality by people of all faiths and of none,” said Project co-director Dr. Bouteneff. “But the composer has a particular spiritual home in the Orthodox Christian tradition. As an institution that researches and explicates that tradition, we may be of help in shedding new light on what gives his music its transcendent character.”
Tickets to the Saturday, May 31, 8 p.m. performance at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, NYC, may be purchased at http://www.arvopartproject.com. Tickets to the Monday, June 2, 7 p.m. performance at Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing of The Metropolitan Museum of Art have sold out. Tickets to the Wednesday, June 11, 6 p.m. SPARK discussion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Spirit in Sound and Space: A Conversation Inspired by Arvo Pärt with Robert Zatorre, Steven Holl, and Peter Bouteneff, are available by calling (212) 570–3949, or online at www.metmuseum.org/tickets.
March 4, 2014
The 2013 Year-End Financial Reports have been posted. Mr. Milos Konjevich, Treasurer for the DOS, invites your questions and comments at email@example.com or 214-522-4149. The reports can be found on this website on the DOS Financial Reports page.
March 1, 2014
A Desert Rose
St. Jonah Orthodox Mission
Fr. Basil Zebrun
Far Southwest Texas has a unique beauty reflected in colorful sand, impressive rock formations, prickly desert vegetation, flat plains and high jagged mountains, as well as a sometimes dangerous but intriguing wildlife population: bears, coyotes, deer, elk, eagles, javelinas, mountain lions, and of course, rattle snakes. For good measure we might mention the occasional lizard, Gila monster, scorpion and tarantula. This is Texas as most people envision the Lone Star State. It is the land of John Wayne and cattle rustlin', still rough and untamed.
In the midst of such formidable beauty, like an oasis, is the town of Alpine, population 6000 people. Alpine's elevation sits at 4,475 feet, but overlooks peaks that reach as high as 6,875 feet. Just a mere hour and a half away is the popular Big Bend National Park, whose natural splendor is difficult to describe.
Residing in Alpine is the Orthodox mission of Our Father Among the Saints, Jonah, Metropolitan of Moscow. The community has the distinction of being the last Orthodox mission whose initial formation was blessed by His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri prior to his retirement. Its founding core came from faithful Orthodox Christians already living in Alpine. One couple, in fact, had their roots in the Dallas Cathedral; they were introduced to other Orthodox in the area, and the rest is history.
The Church community is relatively small, but its members and the citizens of Alpine are as hardy as the territory they inhabit. Boots, jeans, heavy duty pickups, guns, as well as horses, are essential, every day tools for many who live in this part of the country. One member of St. Jonah's owns the local Big Bend Saddlery Company, which features various items for the working cowboy, including custom made saddles. His store carries everything from belts, buckles and books, to vests, wallets and whips (see bigbendsaddlery.com). In addition, the owner and his wife were instrumental in the formation of the annual Alpine Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, a popular event which attracts artists, musicians and fans from across the United States, adding to the rich culture of the area (see texascowboypoetry.com).
The architecture of Alpine is as distinct as the landscape. The community of St. Jonah's, for example, occupies a renovated structure that was formerly a Methodist Church. The building is reminiscent of an adobe mission, but enjoys the protection and colorful adornment of a bright red metal roof. Traditional icon prints, as well as a hard wood floor and peaked ceiling offer an inviting interior to all who worship there. The building itself has enough interior space for 100 or more people, and sits on approximately two acres of land.
In Alpine a person becomes acquainted with his neighbors quite readily. Such a personable town affords Orthodox Christians unique opportunities to share their Faith, not only with friends, family and work associates, but with the faculty and students of nearby Sul Ross University, just a quarter of a mile from the Church. The University is at the heart of the local community. With an enrollment of approximately 1,700, the student body is made up of many locals, but has students from across the United States and from other countries as well. The campus is large and quite appealing, reflective of the hilly terrain that surrounds Alpine.
A number of Alpine residents are retirees who desire a quiet, scenic location, with a rich Texas culture, arid climate, and small town feel for their twilight years. Members of St. Jonah's invite those visiting Southwest Texas to join them for worship and Church activities. They also encourage Orthodox Christians to consider Alpine as a viable and desirable place for retirement, offering an established Orthodox Church that recognizes the missionary imperative of sharing the Faith with others.
Our Lord said that the fields are ripe, ready for harvest. In Alpine the actual fields happen to include a desert oasis with mountain views and sunsets that will take one's breath away. Figuratively, the human fields are the same as anywhere else; hardworking, personable people who desire to learn the meaning of life, and who seek -- consciously or unconsciously -- the love of the true and living God. The members of St. Jonah's invite interested people desiring a challenge and unique, peaceful surroundings to join them in their mission to far Southwest Texas. (For more information please see: bigbendorthodox.org or alpinetexas.com).
St. Cyril's Orthodox Church in The Woodlands, TX is hosting a lenten retreat centered around an exposition of the book of Job.
February 22, 2014
Please see here for information on the St. Peter the Aleut Summer Camp which is accepting registration now!
February 3, 2014
St. Vladimir’s Seminary Offers Talks by Archimandrite Zacharias and Dr. Tristam Engelhardt
[St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY] In the month of February, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY, is offering two talks for the general public. Both will be held in the John G. Rangos Family Building on the seminary campus.
Here is an article from OCA.org about Scout Sunday.
January 21, 2014
A film about Orthodox monks providing shelter for disabled and orphaned kids amid poverty and indifference. With English subtitles.
January 21, 2014
(Diocese of the South)
January 21, 2014
In 2010, Fr. Joseph Ciarciaglino, pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church in Tampa, Florida, traveled to northern Uganda with a medical team from OCMC. Shocked by the total lack of medical care in the villages of this war devastated area, he and Fr. George, a Ugandan Orthodox priest, discussed building a medical clinic to serve the area. Fr. Joseph would head up fundraising and Fr. George would oversee construction. With Fr. Joseph once again in Uganda, ground was broken in December of 2012. Monies continued to be raised from St. Philip parishioners, other Orthodox churches, as well as friends and legal associates of Fr. Joseph. On January 12, 2014 a 2,200 square foot medical center was dedicated and three days later began to treat patients. St. Philip parish has committed to pay the Ugandan nurse's salary for two years. St. Justin Martyr parish in Jackson will pay the lab technician for the same period. The Health Center website is www.ugandaclinic.org.
January 13, 2014
Islandpacket.com featured some pics of St. James Orthodox Mission at the Great Blessing of Water on the Beaufort River. And another on-line news article about St. Athanasius in Nicholasville.
January 8, 2014
This year, Ancient Faith Publications (formerly Conciliar Press) has chosen to highlight the iconography of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Miami in the 2014 calendar. Every year, a different group of icons is selected for the calendar. This is the first year in which an American parish has been chosen for this honor.
The icons, written by Dimitri Shkolnik and his team, depict the miracles and parables of Jesus Christ. They were completed in February 2013.
Here is an article from The Leaf Chronicle.com about the Protection of the Theotokos Church located in Clarksville.
December 21, 2013
Here is an article from the Tyler Morning Telegraph. This news service speaks with St. John of Damascus Mission (a parish of the DOS) and gives it an opportunity to talk about the real St. Nicholas.
December 07, 2013
2013-14 Winter Service Retreat
PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION! 9th Annual Winter Service Retreat for Older Teens & Young Adults
This Year's Retreat Master/Speaker: Archimandrite Gerasim (Elil) - St. Seraphim's Cathedral in Dallas.
2013 Winter Service Retreat Arrival Time: Travel Day/Arrival: Sunday Evening, December 29th. If one is coming from North Texas, you could leave after Divine Liturgy and arrive here late Sunday night. If anyone wishes to on Saturday before Great Vespers (6 PM), we will be happy to accommodate you and can enjoy the weekend together. END TIME: Friday morning, January 3th, 2014, after Divine Liturgy, Photos and Brunch. Our new Tentative Schedule will be:
Entire Retreat Film-Making Project: This year, we will be creating a FILM during the course of the retreat. This will be used to document our activities and to share and use to encourage other participants and parishes to provide similar youth activities as well! Come and be a part of this documentary and history!
Monday, December 30th: Pick up food from Food Bank of RGV and sort clothing. Retreat Speaker in Evening.
Tuesday, December 31st: Distribution of Food, Blankets, Toys, etc. to St. George Food Pantry Recipients. New Year's Eve Party, Caroling & Talent Show in the Evening.
Wednesday, January 1st: Service Project & Talks by Retreat Master
Thursday, January 2nd: South Padre Island Beach Day; Vespers after Return
Friday, January 3rd: Divine Liturgy, Group Photos, Brunch & Head Back Home REGISTRATION FEE: This year's retreat registration cost will be $200.00 per person.
Registration: I appologize for the delay in getting this information updated. We have been planning, but this year, my schedule has been overwhelmingly busy. My fault entirely. Please do the following: 1) Let me know if you plan to attend by sending me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. As long as I have a count, we are good. 2) Bring your registration papers and fee with you to the retreat. Looking forward to seeing you on December 29th. If you will be arriving in time for supper (or an evening snack), please let us know that as well so we can have something ready for you to munch on! Please register NOW if you plan to attend! Registration forms and more information are found at: http://www.stgeorgepantry.org/winteryouthretreat.html
Some retreat highlights include:* A Speaker/Retreat Master Sharing Talks on Topics the Participants Themselves Have Requested
* Hands-On Orthodox Service Projects, including Preparing For and Staffing a special Nativity Season Distribution at our St. George Food Pantry - which has fed over 60,000 people in the last few years. * Working as Teams to Actively Help with Retreat Functions
* Praying Together: Actively Participating in Reading, Singing, Praying & Participating in Liturgical Services * Time for Fun, Christian Fellowship, including a South Padre Island Beach Trip and Talent Show Who: Geared for Older Teens, College Students & Post-College Young Adults plus Adult Chaperones & Orthodox Clergy. Orthodox Christians, Catechumins, Inquirers and their Friends from All Jurisdictions are WELCOME
November 20, 2013
(New Port Richey, FL)
Two years ago, St. Andrew Orthodox Church did not have any children in its membership. By the grace of God, that is certainly not the case now; in fact, many families with children have made a home at St. Andrew in the last two years. In light of this, the parish recently put up a playground for the young ones. A few words from the pastor of St. Andrew, Fr. Patrick Smith, about this: "On November 17th, following Divine Liturgy, St. Andrew Orthodox Church in New Port Richey, FL celebrated the completion of a new playground area for the parish children. Our parish has been immensely blessed by the numbers of families with small children that have made St. Andrew's their Church home in the last 2 years. We pray these blessing continue! Please keep us in your prayers!"
November 18, 2013
(Mt. Pleasant, SC)
November 15, 2013
November 9, 2013
November 8, 2013
Here is an article written by Archbishop DMITRI of blessed memory; it is worthy of reading as the Church prepares to enter in to the Nativity fast.
October 24, 2013
October 21, 2013
(St Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral, Dallas, TX)
Meeting and Special Presentations
The clergy of the Southcentral (Dallas) Deanery of the Diocese of the South will conduct its fall meeting at St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, Texas, Wednesday and Thursday, October 30 and 31, 2013.
In conjunction with the gathering will be two public presentations by Archpriest John Erickson, former Dean of St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary, in Crestwood, New York.
On Wednesday evening, October 30, at 7 pm Fr. John will speak on, "Christian Tradition in a Post Modern World." His 12 noon presentation that same day carries a provocative title: "Does Christian Marriage Have a Future?" Here Fr. John will explore aspects of marriage that challenge Orthodox Christians each day. Members of the Church are certainly invited to this mid-day gathering, but will be asked to leave after the noon lecture for an informal Q & A between Fr. John and clergy. This talk will be held at the Cathedral as well.
About The Presenter:
Fr. John H. Erickson is thePeter N. Gramowich Professor of Church History, Emeritus, and former Dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood NY, where he taught from 1973 until his retirement to Tucson, Arizona, in 2009.
His publications include The Challenge of Our Past: Essays in Orthodox Church History and Canon Law; The Quest for Unity: Orthodox and Catholics in Dialogue; Orthodox Christians in America: A Brief History; as well as over sixty published articles and book chapters.
Since retiring, Fr. John has kept busy with speaking engagements and with serving assignments throughout the Southwest. As needed, he also gives a 14-unit online course in church history as part of the Diaconal Vocations Program of the Orthodox Church in America.
A Brief Summary of the 7 pm, October 30th Presentation:
Cultural historians, social theorists, philosophers, literary critics and many others refer to our world today as “postmodern.” They do so to call attention to a cultural shift that is as far-reaching as it is profound. Much of what the “modern world” took for granted is now being called into question. Suspect, among other things, is the metanarrative, the big story, the “totalizing narrative schema” that claims to present transcendent and universal truth. In this new cultural context, what place is there for the “big story” offered by historic Christianity? What word of hope does Christian Tradition have to offer men and women today, who are skeptical about the claims and promises of the past and at the same time anxious about the future?
For more information please contact St. Seraphim Cathedral and Fr. Gerasim (Eliel) at (530 ) 921 1567, or Fr. Basil Zebrun at (817) 294-0325. You may also visit the Cathedral website at: stseraphim.org.
October 21, 2013
(The Woodlands, TX)
October 21, 2013
St. Raphael Church held its first Slavic Festival on October 12th. From all reports, it was very well received! A few words on the event from Fr. David Balmer, Rector at St Raphael:
St.Raphael Church in Inverness, Fl. celebrated its first Slavic Festival on Saturday, October 12th. Featured were prepared ethnic foods, baked goods, crafts plus Orthodox books and items from the bookstore. The church grounds and hall were packed with people and cars from 10am until mid afternoon. Tours of the church were also very popular. The overall feeling in the parish is that the value of this type of person-to-person engagement with the community is much more important than the items sold.
Here are a few pictures from the event!
October 15, 2013
In Memoriam: Sister Elizabeth MacLaughlin
Kemp, TX (OCA)
Sister Elizabeth MacLaughlin of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Monastery fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, October 14, 2013. She had waged a valiant battle with cancer. Sister Elizabeth was tonsured as a monastic at the Monastery on July 27, 2010, on the feast day of the Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon. The Divine Liturgy and Funeral are scheduled to be celebrated at the Saint Nicholas Chapel at the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Monastery, Kemp, TX on Wednesday, October 16 beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The Sisters of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Monastery request your prayers for Sister Elizabeth as she stands before the dread judgment seat of Christ. May Sister Elizabeth’s memory be eternal!
OCMC’s 2014 Short-Term Mission Team opportunities are now available! All Orthodox Christians seeking to share in a journey of faith and fulfill the mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ are invited to participate on OCMC Orthodox Mission Teams. The upcoming year's teams are:
Alaska – Youth ministry (Ouzinkie) July 18 – July 27Albania – Mission Institute (Tirana) (TBD) Albania – Youth ministry (Shen Vlash) March 10 – March 17Albania – Children’s Home of Hope youth ministry (Shen Vlash) June 16 – July 1Albania – Womens’ retreats (Tirana) August 11 – August 24Ghana – Teaching; celebrate the 25-year anniversary (Accra and Peki) August 2 – August 16Guatemala – Hogar Rafael Ayau youth ministry (San Miguel del Lago) July 10 –July 21, Kenya – Evangelism (Turkana) March 8 – March 16Kenya – Teaching (Nairobi) June 4 – June 14Kenya – Church construction, catechism, & health care (Turkana/Lokichaar) June 17 – July 1 and June 24 – July 11Moldova – Womens’ retreats (Orhei) April 28 – May 6Moldova – Youth camp (Orhei) July 12 – July 23Tanzania – Health care outreach (Bukoba) February 3 – February 14 and May 12 – May 23Tanzania – Clergy retreats (Bukoba) October 27 – November 8Uganda – Stewardship training (Kampala) October 27 – November 8Uganda – Health care and education (Gulu) August 18 – August 30 and August 26 – September 8
Teaching Offer a living witness of Orthodoxy through evangelism, religious education, seminars, Bible studies, and retreats. Share the Orthodox Faith with youth, adults, catechumens, clergy, ministry leaders, and the faithful. Clergy, students, teachers, seminarians, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, and Bible study leaders are urged to apply.
Evangelism Preach the Gospel of Christ through evangelism in cross-cultural environments,offering the opportunity to hear and embrace the Good News. Live as Orthodox witnesses so others may come to know the saving love of Christ.
Construction Provide labor and service on a building project while working with members of a local Orthodox community to help construct churches in growing Orthodox communities. Construction experience is welcomed, but not necessary.
Youth Camp Serve as an example of God’s love by engaging youth around the world through offering religious education, Bible studies, sports, arts and crafts, teaching activities, camps, and fellowship. Those willing to work with youth and young adults are encouraged to apply - camp counselors, teachers, youth ministry directors, and students.
Health Care Provide a holistic witness to the Gospel by ministering to physical needs and offering health education in regions where medical services are scarce. Health personnel - doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, counselors, HIV/AIDS specialists, therapists - are especially needed.
This is your opportunity for early registration! Participation costs and full team descriptions will be coming soon. Apply online at http://www.ocmc.org. Contact Andrew Lekos by phone at 1-877-GO FORTH (463-6784), or by e-mail at email@example.com, for more information.
The annual “You-Tube Challenge” issued by the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry exists to help you find your voice, and give you a place to share it. The world today, and even our Church has so much to say to our youth and young adults. However, as we all become more mature in our faith we find our own voice, our own ways of articulating what we know and believe. Additionally, we will provide you with helpful feedback and guidance so that your skills can be sharpened and honed to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in your own life. Welcome to the 2013 OCA YouTube Challenge!
Youth and Young Adult (Ages 14-28) will respond with a video by midnight on November 15, 2013 to the following question: “What is the Gospel?” Participants may wish to reflect on:
The essential message of Jesus Christ
What his actions and words tell us about humanity and divinity
How the Gospel message can be preached in your particular environment (school, work, family, etc..)
Participants may wish to use their video to deliver a traditional speech, or find ways of more creatively answering the challenge through visual imagery and poetic license.
For more information, follow the link to the page on the OCA website. Roll cameras!
Holy Apostles Orthodox Church has received a grant of $35,000 to enable its minister, Fr. Thomas Moore, to participate in the 2013 National Clergy Renewal Program funded by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. and administered by Christian Theological Seminary. Holy Apostles is one of 87 congregations across the country selected to participate in this competitive grant program. Established by the Endowment in 2000, the program’s grants allow Christian congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.
Ministers whose congregations are awarded the grants use their time away from the demands of daily ministry to engage in a period of reflection and renewal. The approach respects the “Sabbath time” concept, offering ministers a carefully considered respite that may include travel, study, rest, immersive arts and cultural experiences, and prayer.
Through the National Clergy Renewal Program, congregations apply for grants of up to $50,000 to support a renewal program for their pastors. Collaborative in nature and implementation, the program allows congregations to partner with their ministers in developing an experience that addresses their unique renewal needs and aspirations. Recognizing that ministers’ families are subject to the stress and demands placed on pastoral leaders, the program encourages pastors to involve their families in renewal activities. Congregational needs during the minister’s renewal experience also are considered. Up to $15,000 of the grant may be used to fund interim pastoral leadership during the pastor’s retreat, as well as for renewal activities within the congregation. Since the National Clergy Renewal Program’s inception, more than 1,800 congregations have participated in the program, including the 87 congregations receiving grants in 2013.
There three parts of the grant requested by Holy Apostles. The first is to address one of the challenges facing Orthodox Churches as they grow. Priests often serve in the same parish for many years. After many years of close relationships, when the priest moves or retires, it is often difficult for the faithful to embrace a new pastor. As Fr. Thomas is getting close to retirement age, he plans to spend some of his time visiting monasteries and parishes that have recently changed leadership to discuss what worked and what didn’t. Secondly, he will spend some quiet time gardening and bookbinding which his current responsibilities hinder. Finally, one of the questions asked in the Grant packet is “What would make your heart sing?”. Fr. Thomas has always wanted to learn to fly, but couldn’t justify the money or time. The Grant will provide funds for a substitute priest at Holy Apostles for four months, travel expenses, and for flying lessons to obtain his pilot’s license.
“Lilly Endowment intends for this program to enable pastors to live for a while at a different pace and in a new environment, in Sabbath time and space,” said Dr. Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion at the Endowment. “We can think of no better way to honor these hardworking, faithful men and women than to help them experience personal growth and spiritual renewal in ways that they themselves design and find meaningful. We regularly hear that these renewal experiences are transformative for pastors, their families and their congregations.”
Dr. Rev. Robert Saler, research fellow and director of the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs, part of the Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, noted that the National Clergy Renewal Program integrates key attributes of healthy congregations, including a mutual respect for the renewal needs of both ministers and the congregations they serve.
“The program provides an opportunity for congregations to express appreciation for their ministers’ service and leadership,” Saler said. “At a time when leaders are often praised for their pace of innovation and productivity, the National Clergy Renewal Program pays homage to the timeless wisdom embedded in the practice of reflection and renewal.”
September 21, 2013
Please see this article from the News-Record about the land blessing and Cross blessing for Holy Cross Church in Greensboro, NC.
September 11, 2013
Reflection on 9/11
(The following talk was given by Fr. Anthony Hughes at the Islamic Center just outside of Boston, in Wayland, Massachusetts on September 11, 2003. Fr. Anthony was one of many invited clergy speakers who offered thoughts on the horrific events of 9/11/01. He is the priest at St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Boston, Massachusetts. As they remind us of God's humility and boundless love, we present Fr. Anthony's words on this solemn day for our country.)
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.
Please allow me to reflect theologically for just a moment on the events of September 11, 2001 from the perspective of the Eastern Orthodox Faith.
We do not for a moment believe that the terrorists enacted the will of God on that terrible day. It was not God’s will these men performed, but their own. God’s will is not the same thing as His foreknowledge say the Orthodox fathers. Simply because God knows something is going to happen does not mean that He has willed it to happen! Then, as fundamentalists in every religion do, they attempted to put their own face on the face of God and we all know what the end result is: they make gods of themselves and idols in their own image.
Above all things God is limitless, incomprehensible, unconditional and inexhaustible love. As paradoxical as it may seem, God, the All-Powerful, the All-knowing has revealed Himself to be also the Humblest of All, the Most Merciful, the Most-Compassionate.
We speak lightly of justice in this world as the ultimate value. But this is not so. It is not justice that heals the world, but mercy. St. Isaac of Syria, the great ascetical spiritual father has written these words:
"Do not say that God is just…God’s own Son has revealed to us that he is before all things good and kind. He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Where is the hell that could afflict us or the damnation that could make us afraid to the extent of overwhelming the joy of God’s love? In the place of what sinners justly deserve, he gives them resurrection. In place of the bodies that have profaned his law, he clothes them anew in glory…See, Lord, I can no longer keep silent before the ocean of thy Grace!"
What remains for us then, as people of faith, is to live lives full of mercy, peace, light, and beauty in this world, lives resembling God. Living such a life is risky. It demands that we give our all to values many do not share. A wise rabbi once said, “The messiah will come when one person in the world says yes to God.” For Christians that person is the Virgin Mary who risked everything for the healing of the world by saying "yes" to God and giving birth to His Son. We too must say yes, my friends, so that light may shine more brightly in this present darkness.
August 29, 2013
[SVOTS Communications / Yonkers, NY] “More than a third of our alumni are in jurisdictions that use Byzantine music,” noted The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, chancellor/CEO at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. “In order to serve the Church and our students preparing for service in these ecclesial settings, we are fortifying our Byzantine music course offerings and chapel music repertoire for the 2013–2014 Academic Year.
“We are particularly blessed that Mr. Rassem El Massih has joined our faculty as Lecturer in Liturgical Music,” continued Fr. Chad. “Instructor El Massih is a renowned church musician who will be teaching ‘Introduction to Byzantine Chant.’
The Seminary is also offering a 10-week Byzantine music course to the general public on Wednesday evenings, in collaboration with The Axion Estin Foundation of New Rochelle, NY. Eleftherios Eleftheriadis, the highly regarded Protopsaltis of St. Nicholas Shrine Church in Flushing, NY, who previously served on the faculty of the Music School of Thessaloniki, Greece, will introduce students to original texts in Byzantine music notation. (To register, call 914–961–8313 x317, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Bringing two world-renowned Byzantine music instructors to St. Vladimir’s supports the Seminary’s “Bishop Basil Program in Byzantine Liturgical Music,” begun in 2010, when the seminary Board of Trustees presented The Right Rev. Basil (Essey) (alumnus '73) with an honorary doctorate and announced the creation of a program in his name “to ensure the heritage of teaching Byzantine music not only continues at St. Vladimir’s but also evolves.” Appropriately, His Grace Basil, bishop of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, will be a featured speaker at the Seminary’s 75th Anniversary Gala Benefit Banquet, Thursday, November 7, 2013.
August 28, 2013
Call for Presentation Proposals
The 2014 Pan-Orthodox Liturgical Music Symposium
"Orthodox Liturgical Music Composition: Fostering a Living Creative Tradition in the English-Speaking World"
June 12-15, 2014
The 2014 Pan-Orthodox Liturgical Music Symposium, in conjunction with the Department of Music at Northern Kentucky University, invites proposals for symposium presentations in the area of Orthodox music composition and liturgical music, especially those related to the 2014 theme: "Orthodox Liturgical Music Composition: Fostering a Living Creative Tradition in the English-Speaking World"
Possible topics might include, but are not limited to, the following: • The role of the Orthodox composer in the 21st century • Creativity as a living Orthodox tradition • Survey of the work of a 20th/21st century Orthodox composer • Orthodox aesthetics and contemporary culture • The current state of Orthodox music in a particular country, region, or ethnic tradition (does not necessarily need to be English-speaking)
The 2014 Pan-Orthodox Liturgical Music Symposium is a four-day event specifically dedicated to singers, conductors, and composers of all Orthodox traditions. The symposium will encourage and explore the current state of Orthodox choral composition in the English-speaking world today. The event will include opportunities for participants to sing newly written choral works, to participate in discussions, to hear presentations, and to attend a very special concert featuring the East/West Festival Choir.
The event will take place on the campus of Northern Kentucky University in the Metropolitan Cincinnati region.
A limited number of proposals will be considered for inclusion on the symposium program. The selection committee will contact those who submitted proposals regarding their status in late January 2014.
• Proposals should include the presentation title, presenter’s name, address, email, affiliation, and abstract of no more than 300 words. • Proposals should be designed for a 45-minute presentation. • If accepted, the conference fee for the presenter will be waived. • Travel to and accommodations during the conference are the responsibility of the presenter.
SEND TO: Dr. Kurt Sander, Symposium Director Department of Music – Fine Arts 253 Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY 41099
or submit electronically to email@example.com with “Liturgical Music Symposium” in the subject heading
SUBMISSION DEADLINE is February 3, 2014 (postmark)
August 23, 3013
Christ the Savior Cathedral in Miami, FL, recently hosted Dr Christopher Veniamim. Dr Veniamin is a Professor of Patristics at St Tikhon's Seminary. You can listen to his talks on the Incarnation of Christ and Salvation on Ancient Faith Radio.
Photos from the 2013 Assembly
Here are the photos, presentations, and information from the 2013 Diocesan Assembly, which was held in Jacksonville/Jacksonville Beach July 29-Aug 1.
Archbishop Nikon's address to the assemblycan be viewed here, and the newly approved Diocesan By-Laws are available here.
Steven Pereny was tonsured a Reader at the Wednesday Liturgy, Fr Antonio Perdomo was made an Archpriest, Fr Leo Poore recieved the Palitza, and Fr John Maxwell was awarded the Jeweled Cross. May God grant them many years!
Beginning August 3rd, Fr Stephen Lourie, will serve at Holy Spirit Church in Venice, FL. Fr Stephen is "on loan" from the Antiochian Archdiocese and will be serving the community for the forseeable future. For more information on the work being done in Venice, please visit www.hsoc-venice.com.
August 13, 2013
St Justin Martyr Orthodox Church in Jacksonville, FL, is seeking a new Youth Director. Please see this job description for more information.
Groungbreaking Photos - 08/13/13
Nicholasville, KY [St. Athanasius Orthodox Church]-- Over 150 people gathered on Saturday, August 10th, for the groundbreaking ceremony at St. Athanasius Orthodox Church's new property in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
“This event has been a long time in coming,” said Fr. Justin Patterson, pastor of St. Athanasius.
For the past 11 years, since its founding as an OCA mission, St. Athanasius has met in a storefront shopping center in Nicholasville.
"Our location has been effective in helping us grow from those early days," Fr. Justin said. "However, the parish always understood, that at some point we would need to develop our own facility to continue and expand the work we are already doing and hope to do in the future. Part of the Orthodox Christian faith is developing a physical space that tells everybody, 'Here we are. This is the Church.'"
His Grace, Bishop Mark (Maymon) of Baltimore presided at the invitation of the locum tenens of the Diocese of the South of the Orthodox Church in America. During Bishop Mark's remarks, he challenged the faithful of St. Athanasius not to be too enamored with the work of their hands.
"Never forget," His Grace said,"that the church is not stones and mortar. The church is made up of the people of God.” He encouraged everyone to be “living stones” of the church in Nicholasville.
Local Orthodox Christians from St. Athanasius' sister communities in the Lexington area also attended. Fr George Wilson of Panagia Pantovasilissa Greek Orthodox Church, Fr. Thomas Gallaway of St. Andrew Antiochian Orthodox Church, and Deacon Jeremiah Davis, attached to Holy Cross Monastery (ROCOR) in West Virginia, served the groundbreaking ceremony with His Grace and the community of St. Athanasius. State and local officials were also present to congratulate the parish on the groundbreaking.
The service ended with the burning of the mortgage on the property, which is now paid off in full. "Our people worked hard to pay off that debt, to save for building the church, and to engage a good architect," Fr. Justin said. The building committee and parish council worked with Lexington architect Tom Smith, a parishioner at the local Greek Orthodox church, to develop cost-effective plans that could be implemented in phases to meet the church's growth needs for the next 25 years.
The first phase of construction will be an 8,000sf building with a walk-out basement. Final general contractor selection will take place in September. Second phase will include the final temple and renovating of first phase construction to serve as a parish hall and education facility. Construction on the first phase is expected to begin in early October. Updates on the building project can be found on the parish website at www.athanasiusoca.org