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Diocese of Toledo News

Bishop MARK's Reflection on the Episcopal Assembly

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dear to God,

Christ is in our midst! By the grace of God we have completed our First Episcopal Assembly, chaired by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America and attended by 57 of the 65 Hierarchs of North and Central America. He is truly a gracious, loving and patient man and certainly a gift to our Church in North America. May God grant him good health and many years!

Recommendations were made to separate Mexico and Central America from our Episcopal Assembly as their needs linguistically and culturally are quite different. Hopefully, Mexico and Central America will be absorbed into the Episcopal Assembly of South America. Likewise the Bishops of Canada asked to form their own Episcopal Assembly and both requests will be forwarded to the Ecumenical Patriarch per the procedures out-lined in the Chambésy Documents.

The agencies of SCOBA were received by the new assembly which considers itself the successor of SCOBA. Monthly updates to a data base will assist in identifying Canonical Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Parishes. Joint Committees have been identified to ad-dress the common needs of the Orthodox Church here in the United States which will assist us in uniform articulation, discipline and expression of the One Orthodox Faith.

Bishop MARK Provides Pictures from Episcopal Assembly

His Grace Bishop MARK, of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, has provided a selection of photos from the North and Central American Episcopal Assembly.

Click here to view the gallery.

His Grace also encourages all to read the Assembly addresses of Archbishop DEMETRIOS, Metropolitan PHILIP, Archbishop NICOLAE, and Archbishop JUSTINIAN.

Also, click here for a selection of articles on this historic gathering.

Pentecost Mission Fund Offering 2010

Dear to God,

Christ is in our midst! I trust you had a blessed Pascha. Now that we have enjoyed the blessings of the Great Fast and the Feast of Feasts, let us begin to look towards the next Great Feast, Pentecost. Traditionally in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest we take an offering to support our Diocesan Missions. Given the reversals in the economy and the various missions we are supporting we need your help even more so that the message of the Holy Gospel may continue to spread in our Diocese. Sadly, our missions may end up choosing between paying their rent/mortgage and being able to support a priest. Our mission priests make great sacrifices and we will need to revisit the current level of support offered at the Parish Life Conference due to our adverse economy. We do not want one mission to fail, especially in our college towns.

By the grace of God some parishes have added a line item to their parish budget and already sent a check. For this we are most grateful. Other parishes have sponsored fund raisers to support our mission fund as well as a local mission they adopted. Most importantly, we are incredibly blessed and we have a responsibility to support the work our Lord.

On the Great and Holy Feast of Pentecost please take a special offering to support our missions. Every parish can do something. You may send your checks to the “Midwest Mission Fund”, c/o Keith Haddad, St Elias Orthodox Church, 4940 Harroun Rd. Sylvania, OH 43560. Have a blessed Feast and may the Lord bless you as you remain faithful to him.

Sincerely in Christ,



Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest

Diocese of the Midwest Antiochian Women's Retreat + May 14-16, 2010

The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest invite women to the fifth annual retreat Friday-Sunday, May 14-16, 2010 at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery located at 3389 Rives Eaton Road in Rives Junction, Michigan. 

Download retreat flyer (PDF)

Mother Abbess Alexandra of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village will present the retreat, “Create in Me a New Heart,” focusing on the Holy Spirit in our lives.  She will bring together reflections on the actions of the Holy Spirit through salvation history from the Scriptures and the Fathers with emphasis on our practical, daily synergy with the Holy Spirit.

Blessed Name's Day to Bishop MARK!

Many years to His Grace Bishop MARK!

We extend our prayers and love to His Grace, Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest on the occasion of his Name's Day on April 25 (Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark). May God grant him many years!

Let Mark, that most excellent of men, be extolled by us with songs and with divine hymns as Egypt’s fair and brightly shining light, as the all-wise preacher of the Father’s Son and Word, and also the divine author of the Holy Gospel of the Lord; for he intercedeth with Christ God that He grant peace and Great Mercy to our souls.

--Orthros of the Feast, Tone 1

Paschal Greetings from His Grace Bishop MARK

Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.
We celebrate the abolition of death, the destruction of Hades and the first fruit of everlasting life.
And as we leap with joy, we praise the Cause of these good gifts, the God of our fathers who alone is blessed and most glorified.

Beloved of God,

Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! El Messieh kahm! Hakken kahm! Khristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese! Let God, arise and let His enemies be scattered! As smoke vanishes so let them vanish! So the sinner will perish before the face of God, but let the righteous be glad! This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us embrace one another and forgive all things for the sake of Christ’s Holy Resurrection. Christos anesti! Alithos anesti! Cristos vaskres! Vaistinu vaskres! Cristos a inviat! Adevarat a inviat!

Yours in Christ,




Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest

Jail and Prison Ministry 101 Training + Indianapolis, IN

April 10, 2010

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Presents

Jail & Prison Ministry 101 Training
Training for any Orthodox Christians who are Interested in Jail and Prison Ministry

When:    Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time:     9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Where:   St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
              4020 N. Sherman Dr.
              Indianapolis, IN 46226-4464

Special Guests include:

His Grace, the Right Reverend Bishop MARK of Toledo and the Mid-West, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Stephen Hall, D.MIN, Director of Religious Services, Indiana Department of Corrections.

More information will be forthcoming. Please check the OCPM web site for future updates.

Benefit Dinner and Concert for Monastery of the Dormition

The Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of Greater Toledo and the Orthodox Christian Council of Greater Toledo invite you to join them for a very special evening event:

Benefit Dinner and Concert
Saturday, 5 pm, May 1st, 2010
St. Elias Church, Sylvania, OH

Concert performance of musical compositions influenced by the Orthodox Christian Church's spirituality and traditions
Featuring Dr. Gregory Kostraba, Iona Galu, M.M., Jessica Precop and Corey Pappas

The evening begins with Vespers at 5pm (combined clergy with His Grace Bishop MARK of Toledo), followed by a sumptuous meal of appetizers, entrees and desserts representing our diverse cultural cuisines.

$40.00 per person: All proceeds to benefit Orthodox Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God, Rives Junction, MI building project for their new church.

See your local parish priest or council member for tickets. For more information, please contact St. Elias Church.

Download event flyer (PDF)

Second Annual Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy Conference at Hope College, Holland, MI

April 12-13, 2010 + Hope College + Holland, Michigan

The 2nd Annual Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy Conference presents…

Let God Arise (and let His enemies be scattered):

The RESURRECTION of CHRIST in Eastern Orthodox Theology & Worship
with Deacon Nicholas V. Belcher, M.Div., Dean of Students, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology - Boston, MA, and guests, including His Grace Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest

+For complete description & campus map, please visit

Click here to download flyer (PDF)

Register for Spring Session of St. John Chrysostom Academy in Cicero, IL

St. John Chrysostom Academy
Reverend Father Fouad Saba, Director

The St. John Chrysostom Academy is an Adult Lay Educational Ministry of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine at St. George Church, Cicero, IL

The Book of Genesis
April 16-June 4, 2010

This course will explore The Book of Genesis within the overall structure of the Pentateuch (Torah) and the Bible as a whole. The Book of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, in which the story of the relationship of God and man begins, defines the rest of scripture through vocabulary, narrative and structure.

Faculty: Fr. Fouad Saba

Tuition is $30.00 per semester course.

Spring 2010 Registration Form (PDF)

Please complete form and submit with payment to Registrar at St. George Church.

Featured Parish: St. George Church + Indianapolis, IN

St. George Orthodox Church of Indianapolis was established and a church building erected and consecrated in 1926.

As a charter member, St. George Progressives contributed greatly to the SOYO movement. St. George parishioners Nick Coba and John Daniluck, who had been founders of the Federation of Russian Orthodox Clubs (FROC), were instrumental in guiding the SOYO movement of their adopted parish and Archdiocese. In the fall of 1947, the newly organized group met in Indianapolis to complete a draft of the constitution and by-laws.

Bishop MARK Sunday of Orthodoxy Audio Available Online

His Grace Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo visited Houston for the first weekend of Great Lent. Fr. Joseph Huneycutt posts here about the visit, and includes links to the following audio:

Bishop MARK's Sunday of Orthodoxy Sermon at St. George Antiochian Church of Houston

Bishop MARK's Pan-Orthodox Vespers Remarks

St. George Church in Indianapolis to Host Lenten Retreat + March 20, 2010

Dr. Maria KhouryDr. Maria KhouryFor Men and Women of the Central Indiana Orthodox Churches:

Love Thy Neighbor: Reflections from the Holy Land
With Special Guest Speaker Dr. Maria Khoury

On Saturday, March 20, 2010, St. George Church in Indianapolis, Indiana will host a Lenten retreat from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A panel discussion will apply principles of the struggle in the Holy Land to our spiritual struggles in Indiana. The retreat will include breakfast and a Lenten lunch.

Please RSVP at 317-547-9356. For more information, please contact St. George Church.

Download retreat flyer (PDF)

Opening Weekend at St. John Chrysostom Church + Fort Wayne, IN

The faithful of St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana invite all to attend their opening weekend celebration as they move into a new facility. The opening weekend will take place March 13-14, 2010. His Grace Bishop MARK will attend and celebrate Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. For more information, please contact St. John Chrysostom Church.

Download event flyer (PDF)

St. George of Indianapolis Parishioners Assemble 1000 IOCC Kits

In a project initiated by the Charity Ministry Team, the parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, gathered materials together for the IOCC health kits for the suffering people of Haiti. Each health kit contains soap, towels, a comb and nail tool, and band aids, and parish members managed to assemble around 1000 kits that will be delivered directly via the IOCC, to Haitians in need. "We can never have too many of these," noted an IOCC representative. 

St. George blogger Sarah Childs described the experience on her blog, Place of Verdure.

"I was really looking forward to doing a lot of knitting, watching the Colts on Saturday evening, and doing a little house cleaning. Then about 4 pm, James called me to say that we had been asked to help at church with an effort to put together health/hygiene kits for Haiti, and my plans immediately seemed pretty trivial. I felt really blessed to have this opportunity to do something with my own hands, beyond praying and writing a check, to help those affected by this terrible earthquake. And I have to add that with many hands working together, we got it done so quickly that it didn't encroach on my own selfish plans at all."

"It was really heartwarming for me to see all our parishioners getting into this," adds the Very Rev. Fr. Nabil Hanna, priest at St. George.


Climacus Conference + February 5-6, 2010

The Climacus Conference of Thoughtful Ascent

A Contemplation of Noble Ideas

Friday and Saturday:
February 5-6, 2010
Saint Michael Orthodox Church, Louisville, Kentucky


Classical Education • Poetry • Orthodoxy and Postmodernism • Patristic Thought • Logic and Rhetoric • Motherhood • Health and Medicine • St. John Climacus • The Great Books • Theology and Spirituality

$15 per day/$20 for both days.
Discount available for students and families.
Includes coffee and bagels (AM) and lunch on Saturday.

Speakers include Antiochian author Molly Sabourin and Ancient Faith Radio operations manager and podcaster Bobby Maddex, as well as many others. For more information, detailed schedule, or to register, please visit

IOCC Responds to Haiti Earthquake

An appeal from Metropolitan PHILIP

January 14, 2010

IOCC URGENT ACTION APPEAL: Relief for the Beleaguered People of Haiti

For the people of Haiti, the hemisphere’s poorest country, life was difficult enough before the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated the capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.

Since news of the earthquake came to light, IOCC staff have been contacting partners active in Haiti and attempting to reach Orthodox parishes on the island to coordinate our response to the growing need.  Like many Haitians who have been struggling to reach their loved ones, IOCC is finding direct communication difficult – symptomatic of the widespread destruction and ruined infrastructure that is now beginning to be revealed.

Given the magnitude of the quake and the poverty that already existed before the disaster, IOCC has mobilized its disaster response team and is preparing to respond to the tremendous needs in close coordination with our Orthodox and ecumenical partners. Listen to Ancient Faith Radio's interview with IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou here.

Please help the people of Haiti!

  • Make an online gift to assist the victims of disasters around the world, like the Haiti Earthquake, by giving to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund, at
  • Assemble hygiene kits and emergency clean-up buckets to be shipped to places like Haiti – or wherever disasters strike. For information on hygiene kits, go to
  • Pray for the people of Haiti and those who have lost loved ones in this disaster and for the safety of those who are working to assist them.  See:

Featured Parish: St. Mary Church + Iron Mountain, MI

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)


St. Mary’s Church was founded in Iron Mountain, Michigan in the mid 1930’s by immigrants of many nationalities.  It is a jewel of the north, in what the Archdiocese could call “America’s Midwest Alaska.”  It was visited by St. Raphael himself on regular occasions.  It has deep snowy winters, scenic wilderness, unlimited wildlife and short picturesque summers.  Our church serves people of all backgrounds and nationalities in a 48,000-square-mile area.  Michigan's Upper Peninsula contains almost one-third of the state's land area, but just three percent of its total population. Parishioners travel as far as 100 miles on any given Sunday (even in deep snow) to attend Liturgy.

Diocese of Toledo Adds Mission

The Diocese of Toledo is in the process of starting a new mission in Evansville, Indiana. Fr. Daniel Hackney and his family have moved to the area, and a regular schedule of services is beginning. For information, go to:

Fr. Daniel Hackney writes:

My wife Carole, our three boys, and I are privileged to come to Evansville in order to share in the founding of a Mission in the largest city in the United States without an Orthodox Church. This effort is actually a fruit of the many years that Fr. Nabil Hanna and others labored for in the late nineties and early years of this decade, as they did Liturgies when they could for those in this area. Many seeds were planted during that era.

2009 Nativity Greetings from Bishop MARK

Feast of the Nativity 2009

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Rev. Fathers, esteemed members of the parish council and faithful of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest,

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord, proclaiming the present mystery; for He hath broken the middle wall of partition, and the flaming spear shall turn about, and the cherubim shall admit all to the tree of life. As for me, I shall return to enjoy the bliss of paradise from which I was driven away before, by reason of iniquity; for the likeness of the Father, and the Person of His eternity, which it is impossible to change hath taken the likeness of a Servant, coming from a Mother who has not known wedlock; free from transubstantiation, since He remained as He was, true God, and took what had not been, having become Man for His love of mankind. Wherefore, let us lift our voices unto Him crying, O Thou Who wast born of the Virgin, O God, have mercy upon us.

Have a blessed Feast of the Nativity and a joyous New Year! May our Lord bless you with good health, length of days! I ask your God-pleasing prayers that we continue to grow closer to Christ Jesus, our Incarnate God and to one another.

Yours in Christ,




+ Mark, Bishop of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest

Resources for Parish Councils Available Online

His Grace Bishop MARK has recently provided a collection of articles and resources pertaining to proper governance and financial procedures in Orthodox parishes. These PDF, Word and Excel files are available for download at

2010 Midwest Diocese Spring Gathering and Basketball Tournament

Special Guest Speaker Fr. Moses BerrySpecial Guest Speaker Fr. Moses Berry

Early Registration: $40 by January 20 Registration: $45
(Includes all meals and events)


Please earmark checks ‘Spring Gathering’ and send to:

St. George Orthodox Church
1118 Cherry Ave. NE
Canton, OH 44704


Call or e-mail with any questions…



Download event flyer (PDF) (Updated 1.07.10)

Fr. Peter Gillquist to Speak in Davenport, IA + November 9, 2009

Discovering Early Christianity

Father Peter Gillquist

author of The Physical Side of Being Spiritual, Designed for Holiness, and Becoming Orthodox

November 9 + 7:00 P.M.
Bettendorf Public Library
2950 Learning Campus Drive
at 18th Street, Bettendorf, Iowa

Hear Fr. Peter recount how he and 2,000 evangelical Protestant Christians discovered early Christianity in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Fr. Peter is an internationally sought after speaker on the Orthodox Christian Faith. Engagements have included an address before the World Council of Churches in Ethiopia and an evangelistic tour of Romania, during which Fr. Peter spoke to crowds numbering in the tens of thousands.

For more information, call 563-514-1931 or e-mail

Download a poster for this event (PDF)

PLC Registration Forms

2010 Diocese of Toledo Parish Life Conference web page


Please click the links below to download registration material for the 2010 Diocese of Toledo Parish Life Conference.

Adobe Reader is required to view these PDFs. Download Adobe Reader here.

Living the Christian Faith in the Orthodox Western Tradition

Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 & Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009
All Saints of North America Orthodox Church
2550 Schuetz Road
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
(314) 994-0220 •

Using an informal and informative format, Fr. John Winfrey and Fr. John Fenton will lead four structured discussions on how the Christian Faith is lived in the Orthodox Western Tradition.