News and Articles
Ascending the Mountain: It’s a Family Road Trip
The annual St. Thekla Pilgrimage was held on September 24-26 at the Antiochian Village. Bishop Thomas was the presiding hierarch, and Mother Alexandra of the Convent of St. Thekla was the main speaker of the weekend. Both of them talked on the theme of “Ascending the Mountain: It’s a Family Road Trip."
The main emphasis of the pilgrimage’s theme was in learning how to live an average, workaday life in a holy, Orthodox manner. Along with the talks by His Grace and Mother Alexandra, four small group discussions were led by clergy from the area. The topics included “Confession: Setting and Resetting the Course," “The Eucharist: What’s In Your Lunchbox?," “Holy Unction: First Aid and Urgent Care” and “The Walk: A discussion of the New York Times Best-Seller by Richard Paul Evans."
The priests of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic and the Diocese of New York and Washington gathered together for their annual clergy retreat at the Antiochian Village from September 19 to 24, 2010. The special guest speaker was His Grace Bishop Michael, the bishop of New York and New Jersey of the Orthodox Church in America. He spoke about evangelism in America. Evangelism, he said, involves three fronts: evangelism to ourselves and our community, evangelism to inactive members, and evangelism to the unchurched. Bishop Michael's lectures gave the priests in attendance excellent guidance on ways to minister in all three of those aspects with a view toward building a healthy and vital parish community.
In addition to the presentations by Bishop Michael, Fr. John Nosal and Fr. Joseph Butts led a discussion of the short story, “The Death of Ivan Ilych” by Leo Tolstoy. The priests also gathered for a service of supplication to St. Raphael of Brooklyn at his grave site. They also had a question and answer session with Bishop Michael and Bishop Thomas, and had a discussion based on a movie. The retreat culminated with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Friday morning.
Have you made your “Bucket List”? Join us at Antiochian Village, Sunday, October 24th through Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 as we look at what God desires for us and from us as we journey into our later years in life. This retreat is geared for our faithful with more life experience (a.k.a. seniors) to join together in discussion about living a vibrant spiritual life in our twilight years, to worship in faith, and to enjoy each other’s fellowship.
A pan-Orthodox gathering of spiritual refreshment and fellowship in memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah
Kh. Joanne Abdalah served as an inspiration in her life as the wife of a priest and as a counselor to many. She understood the joys and trials of this life, and the need for finding strength in Christ and each other. She believed that every clergy wife needs to discover and develop her own Christian vocation. In her memory, her family and several clergy wife friends planned the first Clergy Wives Weekend in 2009 as a fitting tribute and way to carry on her work and commitment to clergy wives.
Last November more than 70 Orthodox clergy wives from jurisdictions across the United States enjoyed the inaugural Clergy Wives Weekend at the Antiochian Village. The schedule reflected Joanne’s holy and holistic approach to life – we need to pray; we need to play. We need to enjoy the fellowship for this short time without parish responsibilities, family responsibilities or other cares of this world. The Weekend was a tremendous success, and so we announce the 2010 Clergy Wives Weekend!
- Date: October 29-31
- Theme: Everywhere present and filling all things: The Holy Spirit or the Clergy Wife?
The Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of Truth, is everywhere filling all things. But do clergy wives with the best of intentions get caught trying to do that, too, juggling marriage, family, parish, education and job beyond realistic expectations? How do we listen to hear what the Spirit is leading us to do in life? How can we nurture our relationship with God? What do the gifts and fruit of the Spirit look like in our lives and situations? How do we discern? And what do we do with all our life includes?
Bishops, priests and deacons from across North America, led by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, are gathering the week of July 19 at Antiochian Village for the Sixteenth Biennial Clergy Symposium. The time of communal worship, fellowship and education brings great renewal to our clergy. Fr. Joseph Allen, Symposium Chairman, opened the gathering with an introduction to the meeting's theme: "The Priesthood: Diakonos, Presbyteros, Episcopos."
In addition to a range of electives, the clergy will hear from three featured speakers over the course of the week: Fr. Dn. John Chryssavgis, on the Diaconate; Fr. Nicholas Apostola, on the Presbyter; and His Grace Bishop Michael Dahulich, on the Bishop. Also giving a special presentation is His Eminence Metropolitan Ephraim Kyriakos, on The Mission of the Church Today: The Priest and His Service.
On Thursday evening, September 2, the Antiochian House of Studies will be kicking off their First Inaugural Alumni Reunion with a banquet and keynote address by His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip. The educational program in applied theology is gratefully celebrating thirty years of offering a unique long-distance forum for all the theological and pastoral education activities of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.
Reunion attendees will also be able to participate in a variety of events over the course of the weekend of September 3-5, including liturgical worship, tours, golfing, and fellowship. The weekend keynote speaker will be the renowned sociologist and author Kyriacos C. Markides, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at the University of Maine, and author of many books including The Mountain of Silence and Gifts of the Desert.
The Antiochian Village, site of the ongoing House of Studies classes, will host the reunion, and will announce further details on their site soon. For more information or to make reservations, contact them at 724-238-3677, or email the village at: events@AntiochianVillage.org.
We are pleased to announce that on June 19th the Antiochian Village Bookstore and Gift Shop went “live” with its new online store. Our ability to offer this has been made possible in large part by the efforts of Mother Alexandra of the Convent of St. Thekla, and fulfills a vision for our store which has been discussed for the past few years. Through her efforts, and with the help of Adam Henderson (a parishioner at St. Mary Church in Johnstown, PA), our store has entered the 21st century. Applying their computer expertise and hard work, all the product in the “brick and mortar” store at the Heritage and Learning Center is being managed and maintained by a retail management software program thus making the launch of the online component possible. Many hours went in to writing descriptions, photographing and weighing product for display on the store website.
Certified counselor, businessman, active layman and father of three Paul Karos, was the featured speaker at this year's Antiochian Village Men's Retreat, themed "Exploring the Passions that Drive us and the Virtues that can Save us." Mr. Karos drew from both his professional life as a financial analyst and investment banker, as well as his life as an active Orthodox Christian at St. Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, to lead discussions about the role and impact of the passions, and the meaning of spiritual discipline and repentance. Attendees participated in a liturgical cycle of services, enjoyed a barbecue cookout at the Pavilion, and enjoyed three separate sessions presented by Paul Karos.
Exploring the Passions that Drive Us and the Virtues that Can Save Us
With Guest Speaker Paul Karos
June 11-13, 2010 + Antiochian Village
All men, single, married, and of all ages are welcome to attend this Pan-Orthodox Retreat. Group discount available for groups of 10 or more. Bring your parish men’s group!
Questions? Call 724.238.3677 x425 Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, schedule or to register, please download the event brochure (PDF).
Guest speaker Paul Karos led a wonderful Men’s Retreat for us in 2009, “Man of the House”, and is returning again by popular demand! Paul is an Orthodox Christian husband and father of three children residing with his family in the Minneapolis area.
Niko Chocheli, a native of the Republic of Georgia, is so highly regarded as an artist that, in 1997, he was granted permanent resident status by the U.S. government because of his "extraordinary ability in the arts." It's a recognition shared by the likes of cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
The exhibition "Spirit and Whimsy," at the Antiochian Heritage Museum, Ligonier, focuses on his illustrations for children's books. The 75 paintings exhibited were selected from those made for seven books and are being shown together for the first time.
For more information on the exhibit, please contact Antiochian Village.
Visit Niko Chocheli's web site to learn about the artist and see more of his work.
Give your child a memorable experience this summer at Antiochian Village Camp under the leadership of our Head Counselors - Chris Shadid and Johanna Said! Register your children for camp for the summer of 2010 and let them build life-long friendships that are rooted in the Orthodox Faith and Jesus Christ. The summer of 2010 promises to be an unforgettable one at the Antiochian Village.
For more information on camping opportunities across the Archdiocese, visit the Department of Camping.
Antiochian Village is seeking a full time Camp Program Director, who will report to the Village Director. He or she will be responsible for a year round program which includes the development and oversight of the summer camp program staff (i.e. morning program, evening program, arts and crafts, etc).
The essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following (in no particular order) listed below. Other duties may be assigned as well:
o Planning, execution and development of VillEdge Adventures (Road Trip and Extreme VillEdge) and Sacred Arts (Iconography and Byzantine Chanting) programs.
o Training, mentoring and supervision of summer program staff
o Database entry, basic bookkeeping, general correspondence
o Facilitate program registration
o Development and Marketing of new Village-sponsored programs: Specialized Family Camps (Daddy/Daughter, Single Parent, Home School Families, etc.), Adventure Weekends (Whitewater rafting, caving, backpacking, skiing), Youth Leadership Retreats, Altar Boy Retreat, etc.
o Customized programs for Parishes, Youth Groups, Clergy Brotherhoods, Seminarians, etc.
o Marketing of the Antiochian Village Camp for rental to youth groups, sports groups and family programs.
o Forming alliances with school districts and youth programs for grant-funded Adventure programs and Environmental Education.
o Marketing and programming of Challenge Course
o Attending regional and/or national conferences (2-3 times/year)
o Promotional visitations to parishes (4-10 times/year)
For more information, or to send a résumé, please contact:
V. Rev. Anthony G. Yazge
Antiochian Village Camp
201 St. Ignatius Trail
Bolivar, PA 15923
"Have you ever met a stichera you didn’t like?" reads the brochure. "Do you know your eison from your apichema?" In conjunction with the St. Romanos Chanting Course, Antiochian Village is sponsoring a beginner's chant class from April 21-24. Taught by noted liturgical expert V. Fr. David Barr, Pastor of St. Elias Antiochian Church in Austin, Texas, the class promises to give new learners a foundation that will enable them to chant hymns in tones by the second day of the course. No prior knowledge of chant or of reading a musical score is required since the course emphasizes singing from text. Registration begins on Wednesday afternoon and classes wrap up by midday Saturday. Click here for registration information.
The icon illustrates an ancient understanding of Jesus' resurrection as the gift he offers to all humanity on a renewed Earth. While all Orthodox churches are filled with icons, the Resurrection icon in the camp chapel at Antiochian Village retreat and conference center is one of the largest in Pennsylvania and possibly the United States.
"An icon is theology in color," said Mother Alexandra, founder of the Convent of St. Thekla, which also is on the grounds of Antiochian Village in Bolivar, Westmoreland County. The center, which also houses a museum and bookstore, is a ministry of the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
On Pascha Sunday the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published Orthodox Icons Are Seen As "Theology in Color", with extensive comments from Antiochian monastic Mother Alexandra. Click here to enjoy the article in full.
The past several weekends, Antiochian Village has been a beehive of activity. From March 11-14, over 160 participants from several states traveled to the Village for the Homeschooling Conference. Attendees enjoyed workshops, crafts and creative activities for the kids, corporate worship, and visits by His Grace Bishop Thomas with both the youth and adults. Thanks to the hard work of the Teen SOYO Chapters of St. Mary Orthodox Church in Johnstown, PA, and St. Michael Orthodox Church in Greensburg, PA, children attending the conference participated in a lively carnival complete with activities such as a hula hoop contest, a butterfly hunt, and most memorable of all, visits with "The Bible Guy."
The following weekend, March 19-21, four Christian groups used the conference center; one of these groups was the Antiochian Women of the East, who came for their annual Lenten retreat and Spring delegates meeting.
On March 3, 2010, an unexpected and out of the ordinary visitor arrived at the edge of the Antiochian Village property. A small black bear was sighted in a tree. A Game Comissioner was called in. He sedated the bear and gave it a mask to protect its eyes and mouth while being moved.
The Game Comissioner confirmed that this is out of the ordinary. After examination, it is clear that this young bear is ill and thin. He came out of hibernation early, and finding no food, he tried to locate some in the neighbor's garbage.
The Game Commission assured Mother Alexandra that sleeping beauty will be medicated, fed, and released somewhere good for bears.
On March 15, the Antiochian Heritage Museum at Antiochian Village is opening a one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring the art of Niko Chocheli. "Spirit and Whimsy" marks the first time that a comprehensive exhibit of Chocheli's work, with examples from each of the books that he has illustrated, has ever been presented.
Niko Chocheli is one of the foremost artists to emerge from the Republic of Georgia, a nation rich in early Christian history. An acclaimed iconographer, illustrator, and award-winning artist, Chocheli draws upon the artistic traditions of both East and West, as well as his Orthodox Christian heritage, creating colorful and expressive paintings which have been shown throughout the world and which are held in many prestigious collections.
March 11-14, 2010
Make plans now to bring your family and join us for 3 days and nights of:
- Inspiring Speakers
- Enlightening Workshops
- Lenten Liturgical Services
- Curriculum Vendors
- Comfortable Lodging
- Delicious Lenten Meals
- Family Fun and Fellowship
with other Orthodox Homeschoolers.
Check our website www.antiochianvillage.org for the conference schedule and registration information available 1/11/10.
Sacred Image, Sacred Marriage
The guest speaker will be Presvytera Kerry Pappas, MA , MA, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist who works primarily with Orthodox couples. She and her husband, Fr. Harry Pappas have been married for 28 years and have three grown children. Presvytera Kerry will be speaking on the topic of incarnating the images of marriage that are given to us in the church.
Weekend Package is $274/couple if postmarked by 2/1/10, $299 per couple after 2/1/10
*additional Sunday night lodging available*
For more information or to register, please visit www.antiochianvillage.org.
Beautiful fall weather greeted approximately 70 wives of clergy from many jurisdictions on the weekend of November 5-7 at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania for what was hopefully the 1st Annual Clergy Wives Weekend. Wives of priests, deacons and seminarians from 17 states and one Canadian province gathered to hear speakers and to share prayer and fellowship at a weekend event arranged in memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah, who during her lifetime was an inspirational counselor and friend to many clergy, clergy wives, and countless other people. The idea for the Weekend grew from the desire of Kh. Joanne’s son Joe wanting to find a way to honor his mother’s memory, and a similar idea from clergy wives who knew and loved her, too. It proved a most fitting and successful tribute!
Friday night was a relaxed time to be together in the Lodge building at the Village camp, with dinner, snacks, and a log fire. On Saturday morning everyone gathered in the camp church for a Divine Liturgy on the feast of St. Raphael of Brooklyn, whose shrine could be seen out the church window.
The days are becoming chilly at the Village and the nights are downright cold. That can only mean one thing - Winter Camp must be around the corner. We have two sessions of Winter Camp planned for young people in grades 7 through 12 on the observances of Martin Luther King Jr. weekend (Jan. 15-18) and Presidents weekend (Feb. 12-15). There are two ways to register: online or mail-in paper forms. If you register online, you will need to download and mail the Medical and Snow-tubing forms. We are also accepting Winter Camp Staff applications. Our tentative theme for both sessions of Winter Camp is "The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make." Don't wait another day, register today! Check back soon for more details and visit our Winter Camp page for additional information.
On September 24, 2009, His Grace Bishop THOMAS, led the Convent and many clergy, present at the Village for a clergy retreat, in celebration of Festal Vespers the evening prior, and Orthos and Divine Liturgy on the Feast at the Saint Peter and Paul Chapel. His Grace was also able to be with us for the beginning of Pilgrimage. We thank him for presiding at the Liturgy and for being with us. Many years, Master!
During the September 25-27 weekend, the Convent celebrated the Saint Thekla Pilgrimage. His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH, arrived on Friday for the Pilgrimage celebration which included daily Vespers, Orthros, and Divine Liturgy. We thank all of the clergy and chanters who served. After the Liturgy on Saturday morning, all processed to the Shrine of Saint Thekla where His Grace led us in a Supplication Service to Saint Thekla. Later in the day, His Grace presided at an Unction Service. Over the course of the Pilgrimage, His Grace presented three spiritually uplifting homilies on our theme, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” and led an “Ask Sayedna” panel.
Listen to an interview with OCL director George Matsoukas on Ancient Faith Radio.
Amidst an unprecedented focus of attention and activity on Orthodox Unity, Orthodox Christian Laity invites all Orthodox and interested observers to attend its 22nd Annual conference to be held at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, October 29-31, 2009.
“At no time in recent history has there been such attention focused on the quest for Orthodox unity both in America and world-wide,” declared Peter Petkas, OCL president.
“These developments provide OCL, a long-time advocate of Orthodox unity, and all concerned Orthodox with a historical opportunity to help chart the way toward this vital goal. Our annual meeting is a timely vehicle for both dialogue and action leading to Orthodox unity.”
Petkas explained that the program includes seven panels comprised of devout and informed Orthodox who will discuss a range of topics connected to the realization of Orthodox unity in America. He said these discussions will include (a) the process for achieving Orthodox unity in North America and other non-traditional Orthodox areas that was adopted at the recent Pan-Orthodox meeting held in Chambesy, Switzerland and (b) the impact that the exclusion of representation by the Church in North America in that meeting, and in future pre-conciliar meetings, will have on the relevance of those decisions to the Orthodox faithful in North America. His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, newly installed primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will deliver the keynote address. His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel and His Grace Bishop Thomas will also participate in the meeting.
Fishers, IN – September 16, 2009
Registration for 2009 College Conference opens Sunday, September 20th and runs through December 1st. “Building Community” (II Corinthians 13:14) is the chosen theme for this year’s conference. Identical conferences will run simultaneously from December 27-31 in two locations: the Antiochian Village in Bolivar, Pennsylvania and the Diakonia Center in Salem, South Carolina.
OCF is honored this year to announce that His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah will be the keynote speaker at the Antiochian Village. Additionally, The Very Reverend Father Jon Braun will be delivering the keynote addresses at the Diakonia Center.
Registration is $325 for students and $375 for alumni. Included in the registration fee are transformative keynote addresses and inspiring workshops, social events, a dinner/dance, memories and friendships that will last a lifetime as well as lodging and meals.
Space is limited so register early. Some scholarships are available. Please visit www.ocf.net or call 1-800-919-1623 for more information.
For additional information contact:
Orthodox Christian Fellowship