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Becoming Truly Human

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The "Becoming Truly Human" program offers those outside the Church a comfortable, inviting and gentle introduction to the fullness of our human lives, as offered within Orthodox Christianity. The goal of the program is to help fulll the Great Commission according to the two Great Commandments of Christ: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.

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Becoming Truly Human Program News 

St. Philip's Prayer Discipline

St. Philip's Prayer Discipline exists to provide a daily balance rule of prayer for those who wish to deepen their spiritual life and to learn to pray as the faithful have done for generations and generations. His Eminence Metropolitan Philip gave his blessing years ago for this Discipline to be created. Over the years, a large number of faithful have joined. They come from many jurisdictions and from far-flung places. Many of those who have become members have preserved and still continue to participate.

Prayer is a human need and all need to seek out the Creator and develop a regular "dialogue" with Him. And, as both, it needs to be developed and honed. The Fathers were well aware of this and that is why they created the role of the spiritual Father, who would train and guide his spiritual children. The goal of this is simple: to teach us to pray diligently and effectively so as to enhance our spiritual lives and to fortify us, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to persevere unto our life's end.

Becoming a member of the Prayer Discipline is very simple. After your own serious reflection and prayer; and, if you are already under the guidance of a spiritual Father, with his blessing, contact the Director, Subdeacon Adam Roberts, at the address provided below.

Florida Priest Sees Outreach Program Grow in Depth and Numbers

By Fr. Michael Byars, Holy Cross Orthodox Church, Ormond Beach, FL

For many years I have felt that in my parish, and in Orthodox Christian parishes in general, there is a need for an evangelism program that is more than simply posting the time of our services and asking parishioners to invite friends to the liturgy. The Divine Liturgy is definitely very powerful and full of the Grace of God. However, I think that most of our parishioners hesitate to invite others to come to an Orthodox Liturgy without laying some ground work that they often do not feel equipped to do. I also suspect that the liturgical services of our church would be even more effective if there were some way to give solid introduction ahead of time.

My experience with evangelism programs, however, has not been positive. I think this is because the focus or the motives of these programs have been wrong. The focus most often seems to be on numbers and the motive often is church growth for the sake of filling the church pews, or even worse, increasing church revenues. I believe true Christian evangelism should be motivated out of love and the desire to share the true life giving Christian faith. We have this treasure in the Orthodox Church. I have thought that it would be great to have a structured evangelism program with this approach. When I was introduced to The Becoming Truly Human Program it immediately attracted my enthusiasm first of all because this program is exactly that.

"We Have Become Friends": A Layperson's Experience in the "Becoming Truly Human" Program

By James Blackstock

Love for others is the engine that drives evangelism.

For many years as a Protestant, I witnessed to others because I thought it was my duty. After all, we had been scripturally mandated by the Great Commission to do so, hadn't we? Unfortunately, try though I might, I can't remember many of the names or personal circumstances of those with whom I shared the Gospel. I mostly thought that my work was finished and the rest was up to God. I wished them well and went on to the next one. After they said the "Sinners Prayer" they were on their own and I rarely even prayed for them, except in a very general sense. As I look back, I realize that this was a very impersonal way to share the Good News.

Over several years, I served on the ministry staffs of several large international ministries who were only interested in how many professions of faith had been made at any given event. The goal in those days was clear, the essence of evangelism was winning converts, someone else would take up the work of discipleship. This approach seemed to work! But, we filled the pews with people who were nominal Christians at best and devoid of any unity in doctrine which led many to the practice of church-hopping in the hopes of finding a deeper meaning to it all.

It goes without saying that Orthodoxy changed my life and my view towards others. I am so grateful to my Archdiocese for making the Truly Human program available to us. The Antiochians have demonstrated an unfaltering and sincere love for others that I can't help but to be inspired by. Our Archdiocese stands out from the others in their evangelistic work. My own priest and spiritual father was received into the Orthodox under the blessing of the late Metropolitan Phillip Saliba when seventeen parishes with 2,000 members were received into the Antiochian Archdiocese in 1987.

Becoming Truly Human Program News Archive