The Diocese of the South
Orthodox Church in America
CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!

December 29

(Dallas) 
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah celebrated the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord here with Great Compline, Festal Matins and the Festal Divine Liturgy at midnight.  At the service, His Beatitude tonsured Iosif Wynn as a reader and subdeacon. Celebrating with the Metropolitan was Archpriest Joseph Fester, Dean of St Seraphim Cathedral and Chancellor of the Diocese of the South, Archpriest John Anderson, Associate Pastor at St. Seraphim, Deacons Gregory Norris, Steven Kroll, Gregory Conley and Photius Avant.

Prior to the start of the Festal services, two catechumens, Seraphim and Mary Long were received into the Orthodox Church and three new catechumens were enrolled, Tikhon and Helen Tadlock and James McCormick.
Nativity Feast at St Seraphim Cathedral

Feast of the Nativity of Christ 2010

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Bossier City, LA Newest DOS Mission

December 20

(Bossier City, LA)  The greater Shreveport, LA area will have a new Orthodox presence starting with the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord. Priest Jason Foster is the pastor of the new mission-station here and looks forward to the start of the newest community in the DOS. “I have received calls from many Protestant friends of mine who live in the area and they are anxious to come to the mission for Christmas” says Fr. Jason. “This is a very exciting time.”

Father Foster was working full-time in the Advancement office of St. Vladimir’s Seminary where he was a special student.  He will continue to work for SVS on a part-time basis while he starts his new assignment in the DOS.

For more information on the Bossier City Mission Outreach, visit their website.
YouTube Videos With DOS Connections

December 18

(Dallas, TX)  Three  videos with DOS connections are now available for viewing on YouTube.  One is a PSA (Public Service Announcement) produced by St. Dimitri of Rostov in Los Alamos, NM and is now being shown in their local movie theatre.  Interesting idea for outreach!!!!

St. Dimtri PSA Video

The other is a video produced by the OCA Diocese of Mexico with many photos of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, Archbishop Dmitri and DOS clergy Archpriest Ernesto Rios and Priest Antonio Perdomo.

Diocese of Mexico Video

The last is a presentation of Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev's) St. Matthew's Passion composition which will be presented in New York and Dallas in February 2011.

St. Matthew Passion Video

Holy Spirit Church in Venice Hosts Advent Retreat

December 15

(Venice, FL) On Saturday, December 12th over 60 parishioners and friends from Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Venice gathered to participate in the inaugural Kathy Lazor Memorial Retreat led by Fr Thomas Soroka of Pittsburgh, PA on the topic, "The God Who Loves."  Kathy Lazor recently lost her long and courageous battle with cancer. She was the wife of Dr. James Lazor former Board Member of St. Tikhon’s Seminary and member of St. John the Baptist Church in Campbell, OH.  Kathy and Dr. Jim were frequent visitors to Holy Spirit Church and the west coast of Florida. Dr Lazor was present for all the weekend's events.
 
The day began with a coffee fellowship followed by the opening of the retreat with a prayer service. Fr Thomas delivered the first presentation enumerating the various ways in which God demonstrates His love for us. Citing various scriptural passages from the Gospel of St John and St John's first Epistle, he recounted the love of God shown in the incarnation of Christ, in adopting us as His Children, in dying on the cross, in uniting to us as His Bride, and in pouring out His forgiveness and restoration. Numerous questions were asked both on the topic and on various other scriptural and doctrinal questions. A short presentation was also given by Fr Thomas about Ancient Faith Radio where he is heard on "The Path" and "Sermons at St Nicholas."
 
After a delicious lunch prepared by the Ladies Guild and lively fellowship among the participants, the group gathered again to hear the final presentation given by Fr Thomas on the implications of loving God and our neighbor. Practical insights from the scriptures in various epistles of St Paul and St John were shared regarding the obedience to God's command as a sign of our Love for God, as well as specific actions of love toward those in the Church and our larger community of neighbors. Following the talk, questions about loving our neighbor, the relationship between the soul and the body, the Allah of Islam, as well as Eucharistic participation, were asked. The enthusiastic participants were engaged and enriched to continue their growth in loving God and neighbor.
 
The retreat was followed by Great Vespers served by Fr Thomas, and the choir was led by Dr Nicola Nicoloff of Campbell, OH. Following Vespers, numerous individuals remained to participate in the sacrament of Confession.

On Sunday morning, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Fr Thomas, Fr Stephen Plumlee and Fr Dean Mendrinos. Fr Thomas gave the homily. The choir was led by Dr. Nicoloff and the epistle was read by John Mindala, who is also the webmaster of the parish's website. Following the Divine Liturgy, a Ninth-day Memorial was served for Kathy Lazor.

We are grateful to all those who made this spiritually uplifting gathering about "The God Who Loves" possible and look forward to making the Kathy Lazor Memorial Retreat an annual event for our spiritual growth and another opportunity for loving fellowship in our parish.

To view video highlights of the weekend, click here.
DOS News and Notes - Bishop Mark Named DOS Administrator

December 13

(Dallas, TX)   Today, it was announced by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, that His Grace, Bishop Mark (Maymon) was officially received into the Orthodox Church in America. His title will be Bishop of Baltimore, Auxiliary to the Metropolitan and Administrator of the Diocese of the South. Bishop Mark is the former Bishop of Toledo of the Antiochian Archdiocese. In a letter from Metropolitan Philip to His Beatitude, His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip wrote that "Bishop Mark is a very good bishop and I am sure he will contribute his talents for the edification of the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America."

His Grace will reside in Dallas and take up temporary residence at the Dallas home of Metropolitan Jonah. His Beatitude purchased the home here when he was Chancellor of the Diocese of the South and then for 10 days Bishop of Fort Worth, Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Dmitri. Since then, the Dallas residence has been used only when His Beatitude traveled to Dallas.

Yesterday it was announced that Archpriest Joseph Fester, Chancellor of the Diocese of the South and Dean of St Seraphim Cathedral will be transferred to the Diocese of Washington and be assigned as Dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral.  At the time the announcement was made in Dallas, His Beatitude announced in Washington, DC, that upon the request of Archpriest Constantine White, Dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral, Fr. White will be transferred to St. Matthew Church in Columbia, MD. The transfers will take effect in February 2011. Father Fester will work with Bishop Mark during this transition period to acclimate him to DOS and Cathedral life. Bishop Mark will meet with the DOS Diocesan Council in February.

In other news, His Beatitude will be in the DOS starting this weekend when he visits St Cyril of Jerusalem Mission in The Woodlands, TX.  The Woodlands is a fast-growing northern suburb of  greater Houston. Metropolitan Jonah will serve Great Vespers on Saturday and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. He will then fly to Dallas on Sunday evening and spend Christmas Week visiting parishes and mission in North Texas.  His Beatitude will also bless the ground for the new monastery chapel of The Nativity of our Lord Monastery in Kemp, TX on Thursday, December 23.

The Metropolitan will lead the Nativity of our Lord services at St Seraphim Cathedral on Friday, December 24 and Saturday, December 25 with a midnight Liturgy for the Feast.

The DOS Pastoral Conference will be held this year in Clinton, MS hosted by Holy Resurrection Church.  Bishop Mark will be a participant at the annual event.  For more information and to reserve a hotel room, click here.

St Jonah the Wonderworker Mission in Alpine, TX purchased their new church building and held their first service in it last week. They will be doing some needed renovations, including a new red metal roof (all the rage in Texas these days) plus expanding fellowship space.  The interior of the church has beautiful exposed wood beams and with a temporary iconostases in place, already looks like an Orthodox Church!

Speaking of new iconostases, St. Tikhon Mission in Chattanooga, TN has erected a beautiful new iconostases, reports Priest Daniel Talley.  More beautification projects are in store for the mission as they transform their current location into a more beautiful temple to worship God.

Priest Thomas Soroka, rector of St Nicholas Church in McKees Rocks, PA lead a two-day retreat at Holy Spirit Church in Venice, FL this past weekend.  Over 60 retreat guests participated.  A complete story on the retreat with pictures will be posted on the DOS website.

Congratulations to Priest Robert Royer and the faithful of Holy Resurrection Mission in Augusta, GA who were awarded a 2011 OCA Church Planting Grant. Another DOS Mission, Holy Cross Mission in Greensboro/High Point, NC completed their three-year grant this year. Congratulations to Priest Christopher Foley and his flock in North Carolina who during their three-year grant saw significant growth, moved to a new facility to accommodate their growth expanded their community life.

More News and Notes will be posted soon. Stay tuned.

St Nicholas Day 2010 Across the DOS

St Nicholas Day 2010 Across the DOS - New Images Added

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Inter-Orthodox Youth Conference - January 27-29, 2010

December 8

(Dallas, TX)  The 2011 Orthodox Camp and Youth Worker Conference will be held here on January 27-29 at St. Seraphim Cathedral.  The Conference Theme will be “Equipping the Saints” and will be led by Archimandrite Meletios (Webber).

The annual event is held in an effort to provide Orthodox clergy and laity desiring to provide the best possible camping and youth ministry experience for their parish, deanery or diocese.

The conference will be a multi-faceted gathering including worship, education and fellowship.  Archimandrite Meletios, the Abbot of St. John the Wonderworker Monastery in Manton, CA. will present on the topics: “Our Own Thoughts - Does Self Get in The Way?”, “Holy Thoughts to Replace Unholy Thoughts”, “Remove Self - Replace with Christ”,

In additional to the presentations by Archimandrite Meletios breakout groups will work on ways to overcome challenges and best practices to keep improving youth ministries.

For more information and to register, click here.