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!
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.
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.
You may find the approved 2013 minutes here, and the approved 2015 budget here.
“The web site features a plethora of information designed to assist in preparing the faithful, and especially AAC delegates and observers, for the gathering, slated to convene in Atlanta, GA July 20-24, 2015,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary. “Among the various resources found on the site is avideo message and introductory message by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. AAC-related documents, resources, and study materials will be added regularly, while a special section offering information on Atlanta’s attractions also will be made available.
“And for the first time, registration for the AAC, as well as the hotel, will be handled through a secure, dedicated section of the web site, beginning January 1, 2015,” he added. “In the fall, a section dedicated to the AAC youth component, detailing its program, costs and related information, will be featured.”
Among the site’s current and future features are
reports and resources concerning Statute Revisions and the Finance Revision Plan, which will be released in the fall for review and commentary by the Church.
a dedicated blog for members of the Church to offer comments and ask questions on these plans. These will be integrated into the discussions by the various committees desiring feedback on these and related issues.
a section in which resolutions for consideration by the AAC’s delegates may be offered. This feature is slated to appear in January 2015.
“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 2:45pm Saturday: Heavy Moving begins (with moving van present) 9am Sunday: Divine Liturgy at old church 10:35am Sunday: Water and extra-Blessed Bread offered as post-Communion prayers are read 10:45am Sunday: 2-mile Cross-Procession to new church (~45 min.) 11:30am Sunday: Service of Thanksgiving (Moleben) in new church 11:50am Sunday: Blessing of Pizza and Refreshments; Fellowship 12:30-1:15pm: Inaugural "Bread Ministry" at the new church
Dear Friends and Faithful of the Diocese of the South,
The 2014 DOS Assembly at St Seraphim of Sarov Cathedral in Dallas, TX is just around the corner! Please remember that Delegates are responsible for providing reports for themselves, whether digitally or hard copy, so please review the documentation on the 2014 Assembly webpage before the Assembly begins.
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
BROOKLINE, MA [OCF]
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.
As its name implies, during the first 40 days of the 2014 fall semester, local OCF student leaders and chaplains will attempt to make personal contact with all new incoming students. Students will be given information regarding the OCF chapter on their respective campuses and the locations of nearby Orthodox parishes.
To accomplish this, OCF needs the help of all Orthodox Christian parishes in the U.S. Using the form found on the OCF web site, parishes are asked to provide the National OCF Office with basic contact information concerning their high school graduates who are entering college. Each student contact received by OCF will remain confidential and will be released only to the endorsed OCF chaplain assigned to his or her particular college. Submissions are due by July 30, 2014.
Archbishop Joseph Elected Metropolitan by Holy Synod of Antioch
July 3, 2014
BALAMAND, LEBANON [Antiochian Archdiocese]
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.
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Welcomes New Director
June 26, 2014
FLEETWOOD, PA [OCPM]
The Board of Directors of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry announced during the last week of June 2014 that Priest Stephen Powley has been named OCPM’s Executive Director.
OCPM is an agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
Chaplain Patrick Tutella, who had served as Executive Director since 2009, will be stepping down at the end of June to begin new ventures in prison ministry.
“We are very thankful to Chaplain Patrick for his dedicated leadership these past five years. He has been a great asset to OCPM,” said Eric Grant, OCPM board chairman. “At the same time, we welcome Father Stephen into his new role and look forward to continued growth under his leadership.”
Father Stephen began working with OCPM in 2005, first as a board member and later as Assistant Director. He served as a prison chaplain for almost 26 years in state and federal prisons. During that time, he ministered to people in prisons at every security level, including maximum security prisons. He has lectured widely to audiences about prison ministry and has been active in training clergy and lay people for prison ministry.
In related news, OCPM’s 2014 Convocation, slated to be held in Houston, TX July 24-26, 2014, has been cancelled.
St Tikhon's Seminary Seeking Director of Development
June 20, 2014
[STOTS] [SOUTH CANAAN, PA]
St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, PA is now interviewing qualified people for the position of Director of Development. Those interested may send resume information to 178 St. Tikhon’s Rd. Waymart, PA 18472.
St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
Director of Development
Position: Reporting to and in partnership with the Dean and Rector, the Development Director (Director) will spearhead development efforts as St. Tikhon’s continues to evolve and grow. Depending on experience and availability, the position can be part time leading to full time. Director will have the opportunity to build development functionality in the institution.
1) Develop and execute St. Tikhon’s Seminary’s annual fundraising plan. 2) Develop and execute St. Tikhon’s Seminary’s periodic capital fundraising campaigns. 3) Secure financial support from individuals, parishes, foundations and corporations, and others. 4) Manage the implementation of fundraising software and oversee staff responsible for data entry and gift processing.
5) Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with major donors.
6) Create and execute a strategy for a large sustained base of annual individual, parish, foundation, and corporate donors.
7) Oversee organization of special events. 8) Develop and track proposals and reports for all foundation and corporate fundraising. 9) Work with Board Members for board development.
1) Bachelors’ Degree (required), Master’s Degree in area related to development (a plus). 2) Demonstrated excellence in organizational, managerial, and communication skills. 3) Knowledge of computers and development-related software. 4) Ability to travel (especially weekends). 5) Certified Fundraising Executive (e.g. Association of Fundraising Professionals) (preferred).
Salary commensurate with experience.
St Vladimir's Seminary Announces Orthodox Education Day 2014
June 13, 2014
“Do Books Still Matter?
A Celebration of Orthodox Christian Publications”
October 4, 2014
SVS Press and Bookstore's first full printed catalogue, 1972
St. Vladimir’s Seminary has chosen as its theme for Orthodox Education Day 2014, "Do Books Still Matter? A Celebration of Orthodox Christian Publications." This year’s traditional open house will be held Saturday, October 4, and will pay tribute to the importance of Orthodox Christian authors, illustrators, and publishing houses throughout the world.
The dean of the seminary, The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, author of academic, popular, and spiritual works, will be the keynote speaker. The seminary’s own publishing house, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press (SVS Press), will receive special recognition on reaching its 50th Anniversary and will invite many other Orthodox Christian publishers onto campus to help mark the occasion. The celebration of Divine Liturgy in Three Hierarchs Chapel will begin the day, with antiphonal choirs under the direction of Dr. David Drillock, the seminary’s emeritus Professor of Liturgical Music and author of several SVS Press music books, and Hdn. Herman (Majkrzak), current lecturer in Liturgical Music and director of Chapel Music.
Invitations to Orthodox Christian presses and authors and illustrators, and a schedule of the day will be forthcoming.