Welcome to the Diocese of the South!
Our Diocese spans 14 states and has over 100 faithful clergy and monastics serving in 78 parishes and missions and three monastic communities. We invite you to come worship with us from Albequerque, New Mexico to Wilmington, North Carolina! Please see our Parish Listings for more details and to find a parish near you, or scroll down to see the latest news from the Diocese!
A Joint Ministry from North Carolina to Wisconsin!
July 31, 2014
[Kenosha, WI - OCA Communications]
Recently, a team of parishioners from the Nativity of the Theotokos Church, Charlotte, NC, made the 825-mile trek to Kenosha, WI, where they helped build an entrance ramp at Saint Nicholas Church.
“At the invitation of Charlotte’s Father Bill Mills, Sam Salloum and I started a conversation in March 2014 about a project that would make Saint Nicholas Church handicapped accessible,” said Kenosha’s Father Stephen Hrycyniak. “A team of five agreed to come to Kenosha and offer a week of their time to build a 100 foot ramp if our parishioners could come up with the cost of materials. I approached our council and parishioners; everyone was largely supportive and generously donated toward the project.”
The “Charlotte Five” arrived in Kenosha on Sunday, June 29, and within a week, the parish boasted a beautifully constructed ramp.
“Our parish in Charlotte is blessed with a young group of parishioners who are knowledgeable and handy when it comes to construction and property maintenance,” said Sam. “After taking care of our property for years, it was time to share our talents and skills to serve those who are in need of them, so decided to offer our labor as a gift to Saint Nicholas parish in Kenosha.
“None of us knew where Kenosha was,” Sam added. “On the Sunday we left, Father Bill told us not to worry—faith was our strength. Father Stephen and his parishioners took us in and loved us as their own. We pray that the handicap ramp is not only the physical means to enter the nave, but also to be the narrow road that leads to our Father’s Kingdom.”
“The ramp will meet the needs of our less mobile and differently-abled members and guests for years to come,” said Father Stephen. “It stands as an ‘icon’ of sorts that speaks powerfully that all are welcome at Saint Nicholas—and to the love and exemplary stewardship of the ‘Charlotte Five’ who made it possible!”
For more information on Nativity of the Theotokos Church, please visit their webpage.
St. Athanasius Opens First OCA Church Building in Kentucky
July 28, 2014
[St. Athanasius OCA--Nicholasville, KY]
On Sunday, July 27th, St. Athanasius Orthodox Church took possession of its new church building. Over 120 people were present at the final Liturgy in the parish's storefront, for the Procession (by car) to the new church after Liturgy, and the opening of the doors of the church with a Service of Thanksgiving, celebrating the long journey leading to this day. The move into the new church is but the most recent step in the 12-year history of this community.
St. Athanasius was founded in 2002 as a mission of the OCA Diocese of the South. On the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, about 25 souls were received into the canonical Church from the Evangelical Orthodox Church. With the granting of both the national and diocesan church planting grants, our first pastor, Fr. David Rucker, was able to devote himself full-time to parish ministry and the parish grew rapidly. St. Athanasius graduated from the church planting grants in 2006, the same year Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory appointed a new rector, Fr. Justin Patterson, to serve at St. Athanasius.
In 2012, the parish purchased the current property, using the sale of another property to quickly pay down the mortgage and launch a capital campaign. The parish family of St. Athanasius, comprising about 60 families, has been able to raise over $400,000 in the past 3 years. In the fall of 2013, the parish body approved plans and received the blessing of Archbishop Nikon to break ground on the new $974,000 phase 1 project. Space has been set aside on our parish campus for future phases of construction: a large traditional Orthodox temple, as well as for additional office and educational space.
The building committee has worked diligently to stay within budget for this project and, as of this publication, is on track to meet that budget, as the project wraps up. St. Athanasius will host a fall Open House for local community friends. Archbishop Nikon has offered to preside at St. Athanasius' formal Dedication, coinciding with the parish's 13th Anniversary, in early February.
The parish expresses its gratitude Archbishop Nikon for his support during this project, as well as to the OCA and the Diocese of the South for the church support St. Athanasius received particularly in its formative years. The St. Athanasius family looks forward to supporting the institutions that have made Orthodox growth in Kentucky possible!
2015 Pastoral Conference to be Held at Christ the Saviour Cathedral
July 27, 2014
[Miami, FL - Christ the Saviour Cathedral]
As announced at the 2014 Diocesan Assembly last week, the 2015 Pastoral Conference will be held here at Christ the Saviour Cathedral from February 16 - 20, under the gracious hospitality of Archpriest Philip Reese and Priest Joseph Lucas. In addition to the usual pastoral program, the Conference will host the Special Episcopal Nomination Assembly on Monday, February 16, as called by His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon.
We are extremely grateful to Christ the Saviour for agreeing to provide an Atlantic refuge in the midst of our Southern "winter," especially so soon after having hosted a Diocesan Assembly.
For those who have not yet been able to visit the Cathedral, please view this video tour of one of the most beautiful temples in our Diocese.
More details will be posted as available.
2014 Assembly Comes to an End
July 25, 2014
[St Seraphim Cathedral - Dallas, TX]
After an intense week of both business and fellowship, the 2014 Diocese of the South Assembly drew to a close this morning. Thursday began with the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy by our beloved Locum Tenens, Archbishop Nikon. Vladyka spoke of the need for all of us to avoid gossip and slander, and to trust that Christ can turn all thing to be used for good. Following the Liturgy, the parishioners of St Seraphim's once again treated everyone to a delicious brunch before the Delegates split into two groups to listen to presentations by Mr Milos Konjevich on parish finance and building programs, and Archpriest Dimitri Cozby on some of the proposed statute revisions that will be presented at the 18th All-American Council next summer. Priest Justin Frederick of St Maximus the Confessor in Denton, TX then gave an inspiring overview of his recent pilgrimage to Serbia, Bulgaria, and Mount Athos, during which he was able to participate in the uncovering of the relics of St Justin Popovich.
At 2:30pm, Ms Cindy Davis, Coordinator of the OCA's Office for the Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations (ORSMA), gave a long presentation on the process for dealing with sexual misconduct in parish settings. Her informative talk included a lengthy session during which participants were able to ask a multitude of questions, as well as give suggestions for further refining the current Policies, Standards, and Procedures. This important meeting helped further the critical work of keeping Christ's flock safe and secure within our church walls.
Priest Ambrose Arrington of Holy Apostles in Bixby, OK celebrated Vespers at the Cathedral, and spoke about how our beloved Archpastor of blessed memory, Archbishop Dmitri, influenced him in his priestly ministry. Afterwards, everyone returned to the Doubletree Hotel for the culminating reception and banquet, during which Archpriest John Maxwell of St John Mission in Ft Smith, AR gave a talk, "Priest, Parish, and Pastoral Care." Fr John's talk gave everyone insight into his decades of experience as a hospital chaplain. Afterwards, Vladyka Nikon delivered his closing remarks, noting that Diocese is uniquely poised to meet the challenges of the future.
On Friday morning, Priest Joseph Lucas of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Miami, FL celebrated Matins, followed by the celebration of a Molieben for travelers by Archimandrite Gerasim. After a relaxed breakfast, Ms Cindy Davis once again made herself available to answer questions about ORSMA and the PSPs, while a practicum for readers, subdeacons, and acolytes was conducted in the Cathedral itself. Many of the participants in the Assembly lingered in the parish hall to enjoy a few last moments of fellowship before heading back home.
Those remaining in the Dallas area over the weekend are invited to join the Cathedral community this evening at 5:00pm for the celebration of Vespers in Spanish, and again tomorrow morning for the Hours and Divine Liturgy at 9:00am, also in Spanish.
Please visit the Assembly page for the full listing of reports and minutes, as well as photo galleries!
May God bless all those who participated in the Assembly, especially the clergy and faithful of St Seraphim of Sarov Cathedral for all their hard work, and may He protect and guide everyone as they travel back home. Glory be to God!
2014 Diocesan Assembly: Plenary Sessions Conclude
July 23, 2014
[St Seraphim Cathedral - Dallas, TX]
The second full day of the 2014 Diocesan Assembly began at 8:00am with the celebration of Matins by Priest Benedict Crawford from Christ the Savior Church in McComb, MS, who afterwards shared the recently discovered news that the local Orthodox community had once been served by Saint Raphael Hawaweeny. Following a relaxed breakfast, Archpriest Jacob Kulp gave a talk, "The Gurus, the Old Man, and the Elder Paisios," highlighting the modern phenomena of seeking spiritual entertainment and reading uncritically, while the Matushki headed off for a day at Nativity of Our Lord Monastery in Kemp, TX. After the talk, updates from various missions around the Diocese were presented before breaking for lunch.
In the afternoon, business continued with the Second Plenary Session of the Assembly, starting with a presentation by Archpriest Eric G Tosi, OCA Secretary, on the 18th All-American Council, which will be held next year in Atlanta from July 20 - 25. Fr Eric pointed out that this is a great opportunity for us to highlight the great work going on in our Diocese, especially given the AAC's theme, "How to Expand the Mission." Fr Eric then also mentioned some of the other work of the central administration of particular interest in the Diocese, including a recent bequest to begin a Missions School, and his ongoing work with the Seminarians at St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and its Parish Mentorship Program that is conducted through the OCA.
At the conclusion of his program, the Assembly took a moment to do some caucusing, and then elected new members for the Diocesan Council. Returning to the Council this year are Mr Bert Walther (Appalachian Deanery), Mr Noel Busch (Central Florida Deanery), Mat Elizabeth Perdomo (Southcentral Deanery), Dr Barbara Massoudi (Southeastern Deanery), and Mr Gary Popovich (South Florida Deanery). Joining the Council for the first time is Rdr Gregory Hayda (Carolinas Deanery), who was also present at the Assembly as the Lay Delegate for Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Columbia, SC.
Reports from each Deanery and Monastic Community followed the elections, and after a few housekeeping issues, the Assembly adjourned for the celebration of Vespers by Priest Adam Sexton of St Andrew the First-Called Orthodox Church in Ashland, VA. After a delicious dinner, once again provided by the parishioners of St Seraphim of Sarov Cathedral, Dr Kenneth Alonso gave a presentation entitled “The U.S. Healthcare Crisis and the Prohibition of Traditional Christian Caregiving" to conclude the day's activities.
For more information on the 18th All-American Council, please visit http://18aac.oca.org.
For more information on St Vladimir's Parish Mentorship Program, please visit http://oca.org/news/headline-news/interview-oca-parish-mentorship-program-for-seminarians-strengthened.
2014 Diocesan Assembly Continues
Special Episcopal Nomination Assembly Announced
July 22, 2014
[St Seraphim Cathedral - Dallas, TX]
Over 100 Clergy and Lay Delegates and Observers gathered in St Seraphim of Sarov Cathedral for the First Plenary Session on the first full day of the 2014 Diocese of the South Assembly. The day began at 8:00am with Matins served by Priest John Mikita, then continued with a relaxed breakfast in the Cathedral's parish hall. At 10:00am, His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon addressed the Clergy Delegates on matters of mutual interest, while Archpriest Eric G Tosi, Secretary of the OCA, gave a talk on evangelism - the lifeblood of the Diocese of the South - to the Lay Delegates and Observers. At noon, Vladyka Nikon treated the Matushki to an Italian meal, while the clergy met with their respective Deaneries for lunch at area restaurants.
After lunch, the business began in earnest with the First Plenary Session beginning at 2:00pm with a Molieben to St Seraphim, then continued with the Report of our Locum Tenens, with the long-awaited news that a Special Episcopal Nomination Assembly will be called in conjunction with 2015 Pastoral Conference in February 2015. After the opening remarks from His Eminence, the minutes of the 2013 Diocesan Assembly were approved unanimously with two friendly amendments. Archpriest Marcus C Burch, Chancellor of the Diocese of the South, presented his report, and was followed by Mr Milos Konjevich, Treasurer of the Diocese of the South. By all accounts, the financial status of the Diocese was inspiring, and the Assembly unanimously passed a bold budget for 2015 that will continue to strengthen our ability to grow the Diocese through our missionary outreach, particularly on the local level. After Mr Rudy Reudelhuber presented the Audit Committee Report, the Assembly adjourned until tomorrow morning.
At 5:00pm, Priest Mark Christian celebrated Vespers, which was followed by a delicious barbeque meal hosted by the parish. Following this time of food and fellowship, Dr Mark Cherry, Professor of Philosophy at St Edward's University in Austin, TX, presented an engaging talk, "Sustaining the Christian Family in a Post-Christian World: The Challenges and Temptations of Secular Morality." After a long question and answer session, everyone retired to their hotels for the evening.
18th All-American Website Goes Live
July 22, 2014
[Syosset, NY - OCA]
A special site dedicated to the 18th All-American Council [AAC] of the Orthodox Church in America went “live” on the OCA web site at http://18aac.oca.org on Tuesday, July 22, 2014.
“In the coming months, the OCA web site will announce new updates, resources and information posted on the AAC site as they become available,” Father Eric added. “In the meantime, we hope that all of the Church’s faithful will rely on the AAC web site for the latest with regard to the 18th AAC in a Church-wide effort to put the Council’s theme—‘How to Expand the Mission’—into action.”
2014 Diocesan Assembly Begins!
July 21, 2014
(Doubletree Hotel - Dallas, TX)
The 2014 Diocesan Assembly began this morning at the Doubletree Hotel in Downtown Dallas with the first session of the Diocesan Council. After singing 'O Heavenly King,' introductory remarks were offered by His Eminence, Archbishop NIKON and Archpriest Marcus Burch, Chancellor of the Diocese.
Many important items were discussed, including implementation of the OCA-wide PSPs to prevent sexual misconduct and ensure the protection of our churches, Seminarian Summer Intern programs, the need to add further staff on the Diocesan level, and possible locations for next year's conferences. Additionally, His Eminence provided an update on our search to find a new Pastor for the Diocese before Mr Rudy Reudelhuber presented the results of last year's Audit Committee work.
The Diocesan Council continues its work this afternoon with the Treasurer's Reports and consideration of a number of policies, procedures, and guidelines.
This evening, conference registration will begin at 7:00pm, followed by a Reception at 8:00. Tomorrow morning the Assembly will begin at St Seraphim Cathedral with the celebration of Matins at 8:00am. Continue to check back here for updates.
Update: The Audit Committee Report is now available here!
St Athanasius Orthodox Church Pulling Up Stakes
July 18, 2014
[St Athanasius, Nicholasville, KY]
The Book of Genesis records a variety of events in Hebrew history. While the Hebrew scriptures naturally celebrated the glorious acts of God and the righteousness of God's people, the narrative also forced the Hebrews to recall the challenging aspects of their history. Among the more troubling stories can be found the tale of their 40-year wandering in the wilderness before their entry into the Promised Land. The 70 households comprising the parish family of St. Athanasius Orthodox Church can relate to the challenges of "wandering." For the past 13 years, the parishioners of St. Athanasius have met in storefronts and temporary places, most recently at 926 S. Main Street in Lily Springs Center.
On Sunday, July 27th, however, all of this changes. At 9am Sunday morning, the parish community will offer its final Liturgy at 926 S. Main and immediately will do something that has never before been done in Nicholasville: they will make a full, traditional Eastern Orthodox Christian "Cross Procession" through the City of Nicholasville, from their old meeting space to the their new church building, 2-miles north. An Orthodox Cross Procession includes the entire parish walking together on foot, carrying Byzantine-style icons, singing Orthodox chant a capella, as the clergy and servers wear their traditional vestments. Weather-permitting, the Procession route will take parishioners up Main Street, into downtown. At Lake Street, the Procession will head east. The Procession will then move north through Lake Mingo Park and the Orchard, and up Peachtree Drive to the new church. St. Athanasius' new church building, begun last fall, is located at the corners of Village Parkway, Lime Lane, and Peachtree Drive in the north of town near Wal-Mart.
After the Procession to the new church, Fr. Justin Patterson, Priest-in-Charge, will lead the congregation in a short Service of Thanksgiving and challenge the parishioners to find their ultimate home in God, after which all of our visitors and guests are invited to share a meal and refreshments together in the new parish hall.
At 12:30pm this Sunday (the 27th), St. Athanasius' Bread Ministry officially inaugurates the distribution of Panera Bread at the new church location. All parish-related activities, as of July 27th, are consolidated at 100 Lime Lane.
Schedule for Weekend of July 26 and 27:
2pm Saturday: Great Vespers at old church
St Justin Martyr Orthodox Church Opens Search for Choir Director
July 14, 2014
St. Justin Martyr, Jacksonville, FL is looking for a choir director. The position pays $11,000/yr. Responsibilities include directing 50 Sundays, all the Lenten services, Holy Week, Feast Days, Wednesday and Saturday Vespers and all necessary rehearsals.
The right candidate will be experienced in Orthodox Liturgical music and have good interpersonal skills. There is a preference for someone with a degree in music, especially from an Orthodox Institution.
For the right candidate the position can be expanded to include Pastoral Assistant.
For more information about St Justin Martyr Orthodox Church, please visit their website.
Help OCF Connect with Incoming College Students!
July 14, 2014
Through its “First Forty Days” program, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is soliciting input from parishes in order to reach out to incoming first-year Orthodox Christian college students on campuses throughout the United States. Now in its third year, the intent of this program is to foster a personal connection with students so that young college students will stay connected to Christ and His Church during their years in post-secondary education.
DOS Clergy Commemoration List Update
In Memoriam: Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv and All Ukraine
July 5, 2014
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv and All Ukraine, 78, fell asleep in the Lord on Saturday morning, July 5, 2014 after a lengthy illness.
Archbishop Joseph Elected Metropolitan by Holy Synod of Antioch
July 3, 2014
His Eminence Archbishop Joseph has been elected Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America by the Holy Synod of Antioch, led by His Beatitude Patriarch John X, meeting in Balamand, Lebanon on Thursday, July 3, 2014. Axios!
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on June 30, 1991 at the St. Mary Cathedral in Damascus, after many years of serving as a deacon and a priest. His Eminence was born in Damascus, Syria, in 1950. He was consecrated with the title, Bishop of Katana in Syria, and served as Patriarchal Assistant and Secretary of the Holy Synod of Antioch. In 1995, he was sent by Patriarch Ignatius IV of blessed memory to America. Here in our Archdiocese, Bishop Joseph was assigned to the West Coast Chancery by Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory. After self-rule status was awarded to our Archdiocese, Bishop Joseph was enthroned at St. Nicholas Cathedral by Metropolitan Philip as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West on September 12, 2004. On December 11, 2011, at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand in Lebanon, Patriarch Ignatius elevated Bishop Joseph to the rank of Archbishop, in honor of his many years of service as a bishop both in our Archdiocese and in the Patriarchate of Antioch.
Additional updates and information may be found on the web site of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America at www.antiochian.org.