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Antiochian Women’s Project, 2013: Tornado Relief Fund

For 2013, the Antiochian Women have been tasked by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip to continue the ongoing Project: “The Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund.”

On June 1, 2012, a tornado traveled eight miles down Highway 711 through the townships of Ligonier and Bolivar in Western Pennsylvania. At 5:20 p.m., the tornado stuck the Antiochian Village with winds of 110 miles per hour. In a matter of seconds, the tornado damaged or destroyed 50 acres at the Village, including 22 buildings and hundreds of trees. Of these buildings, six were girls’ cabins which were completely destroyed. The remaining buildings have required varying degrees of repair – from new roofs to collapsed walls.

The appraisers have determined the monetary cost of the damage to the Antiochian Village at well over one million dollars. While insurance paid for a portion, the Archdiocese has been required to cover the remainder. There were also many areas that were not covered by insurance, including the removal of downed trees and replacement of these trees for privacy purposes that surround the girls’ cabins.

Winter 2012-13 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Winter 2012-13 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and contains:

  • The Orthodox Advent Tradition by His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • News from St. George Church of Indianapolis

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Antiochian Women's New Project is Village Tornado Relief

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip has tasked the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America (AOWNA) with a new fundraising project for 2012-2013, “The Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund.”  Between 2010 and 2012, the AOWNA women in chapters across the U.S. and Canada raised over $315,000 for the Convent of St. Thekla at the Village, and will now turn their attention towards another project to benefit the Archdiocese's "Holy Mountain."

In the late afternoon of June 1, 2012,  a tornado with winds of 110 mph cut a wide swath through the Village grounds in Bolivar, PA, damaging over fifty acres. Thankfully, no camp counselors or staff received injuries, and no outside groups were using the Village at the time. However, the tornado damaged 600 trees and twenty-two buildings; four of the buildings were completely new cabins set to house sixteen girls each.

Fall 2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York, and contains:

  • The Cross in Our Lives by His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • News from St. George Church of Montreal

...and more! Click here to download (PDF).

Summer 2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Summer 2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • A message from His Grace Bishop Antoun
  • The Living Waters of Mid-Pentecost by Diocesan Spiritual Advisor Fr. Stephen Rogers
  • A message from Diocese of Miami Antiochian Women President Dorothy Tampary

...and more! Click here to download (PDF)

Spring 2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Spring 2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West and the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph
  • An Orthodox University: Higher Education for Orthodox Christians by His Grace Bishop Thomas
  • A message from Diocese of L.A. Antiochian Women President Melinda Bentz

...and more! Click here to download (PDF)

Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall/Winter 2011-2012 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the North American Board. And The Diocese of New York and the Archdiocesan District, And the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, and contains:

  • A message from His Eminence Archbishop Joseph, Antiochian Women Hierarchical Overseer
  • A message from His Grace Bishop John, North American Board Spiritual Advisor
  • A message from His Grace Bishop Nicholas, Bishop of Brooklyn and Assistant to the Metropolitan

Click here to download (PDF)

Antiochian Women of the East Announce 2012 Lenten Retreat

The Antiochian Women of the East

Announce the

2012 Lenten Retreat

March 30-April 1, 2012

Speaker: Father Paul Tarazi

Theme: The Prototypes of Christ in the Old Testament

Location: Antiochian Village

Download forms and registration here.

"Yes We Do" Video Tells Antiochian Women Story

The North American Board of the Antiochian Women and videographer Joseph Wihbey have produced a promotional DVD, "Yes We Do."  Former president Laila Ferris explains that the leadership wanted to "communicate to all parishes of the Archdiocese, about who the Antiochian Women are, their role in the Archdiocese as well as their parishes, their mission as an organization, and the many ways through which they have served their Faith, this Archdiocese, those in need, and our Lord."

Noting that the the video also aims to reach out to a new audience, Laila continues, "The second purpose is to use the DVD for increasing membership within the Antiochian Women, especially among the younger women so that they will come to know that this is an organization for all women of all ages and not just for our mothers and grandmothers. It is also key for our younger women to understand how much their talents are needed in the organization, especially as we continue to evolve to meet the needs of whom we serve in today's and tomorrow's global community."

Memory Eternal! + Esther Samara

September 8, 1921 - September 5, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Esther Massad Samara fell asleep in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on September 5, 2011. She was born on September 8, 1921 in Drumright, Oklahoma to the Very Reverend George R. Massad and Khouria Bediyah (Hamra) Massad. The family then moved to Oklahoma City in 1937. She attended Classen High School and graduated in 1939. From 1939 to 1941 she attended Hills Business College, earning an Associate's Degree. Concurrently with school, she worked at the "Indian Post," a local mercantile store. On July 29, 1951 she married George R. Samara and together raised 3 children.

Updated and Improved Taste & See Cookbook Released

The authors of the Taste & See Cookbook, parishioners at St. Elizabeth Orthodox Christian Church, have announced that the newly improved version is complete and ready for purchase and shipment.

This cookbook contains 500 all new recipes and is 66% larger than the original Taste & See Cookbook. 85% of the recipes conform to traditional Orthodox fasting guidelines.

The Taste and See website explains that  "a minimum of 10% of the funds raised will be donated to the Antiochian Women and their various charity efforts."

For more information about the project including ordering information, visit the Taste & See website.

Village's Clergy Couples Retreat Featured on AFR

Ancient Faith Radio's newly released podcast in their series "Ancient Faith Presents" features Bobby Maddex interviewing Fr. Charles Joanides and Pres. Kerry Pappas about the upcoming Orthodox Clergy Couples Retreat. Hosted by Antiochian Village, the retreat will take place May 22-24 in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

In the interview, Fr. Charles and Pres. Kerry provide a brief overview of the retreat, titled "Protecting and Growing Our Marriages," with a  description of the sessions and how clergy couples can benefit from the workshops. Couples may still register here.

Mother Alexandra Teaches Children about St. Thekla on AFR

"Let the Children Come Unto Me," a regular podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, is featuring guest homilist Mother Alexandra, the Abbess of the St. Thekla Convent at Antiochian Village. In the podcast, Mother Alexandra speaks to a group of young children about the life and icon of Saint Thekla. Listen to the talk here.

Midwest Antiochian Women's Retreat + May 13-15, 2011

The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest invite women to their sixth annual retreat Friday-Sunday, May 13-15, 2011 at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery, located at 3389 Rives Eaton Road in Rives Junction, Michigan.  On Saturday, Kh. Maggie Hock will present the retreat program on the Holy Myrrhbearing Women.  She will talk about who the Myrrhbearing Women are, what they did in the early Church and how we can be “Myrrhbearing Women” today.  Kh. Maggie is North American Director of the Antiochian Department of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries.

For more information, including schedule and registration form, please download the retreat flyer (PDF).

Interviewing Antiochian Women President Cindy Nimey

Cindy NimeyCindy NimeyThe editors at antiochian.org recently interviewed Antiochian Women President Cindy Nimey about the active archdiocesan organization and the critical role they play in carrying out the Church's gospel mission. His Eminence Metropolitan Philip has designated every March as Antiochian Women's Month, saying of the charitable group, "Through their hard work, dedication and commitment, they have continued to find many ways to strengthen their ministry." Or as President Nimey expresses it, "Alone we can only do so much, but as a group much work can be done."

1. Cindy, what does your role entail?

As the current president of the NAB (North American Board) Antiochian Women, finishing my second two year term, my role entails many tasks over the course of the year. The president presides over the two annual meetings held each year. Our mid winter meeting is usually held the first weekend of February at the Antiochian Village, our summer meeting is held mid July during the Archdiocese Convention and on the off year at the Antiochian Village. Our meetings are held coinciding with the St. John the Divine and Teen SOYO meetings.

During the year there are numerous tasks to perform, such as writing letters to the married seminarians at Christmas time-this includes a monetary gift of $500 which is gifted from a special account which was set up from funds raised through one of our many Antiochian Women projects.

2011 Antiochian Women's Scholarship

The North American Board of The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America is offering its annual scholarships, usually in the amount of $500 each, to help women continue their education in order to improve their circumstances and those of their families. Applications, which must be submitted by May 27, 2011, are available from your parish priest.

The qualifications for the scholarship are as follows:

  1. The applicant must be a female over 25 years of age;
  2. The applicant must be a member in good standing of a parish of the Antiochian Archdiocese;
  3. The applicant must be actively involved in her parish;
  4. The applicant must be applying for or registered in an academic or trade program of study; and
  5. The applicant must demonstrate financial need.

The names of scholarship recipients will be announced in July by the North American Board at the Summer Meeting during the Archdiocese Convention in Chicago.

For more information, please call Khouria Helene Hajal at (613) 738-0476 (Canada) or Cindy Nimey at (315) 796- 7910 (USA).

Winter 2010-2011 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Winter 2010-2011 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue features the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and contains:

  • A Message from Fr. Daniel Daly, Spiritual Advisor for Midwest Antiochian Women
  • Midwest women sell baby bibs to raise funds for Convent of St. Thekla
  • Mother Abbess Alexandra spoke at Midwest Antiochian Women’s annual retreat
  • Rejoice in Theophany from Orthodox Way of Life blog

Click here to download (PDF)!

The Mission of the Church

by Fr. Daniel Daly, Spiritual Advisor for Midwest Antiochian Women

(Editor’s note: Fr. Daniel took excerpts from the following sermon in a talk he gave to Midwest women in fall 2010. Published in DIAKONIA Winter 2010-2011)

"Going therefore teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you...”

The Church is in the world to carry out the mission given to it by the Lord Himself. The church must carry out the ministries of : 1. evangelization and witness, 2. the sacramental mission of worship and sacrament, 3. the ministry of fellowship, 4. the ministry of charity.

Our ministry of evangelization is carried out in various ways in the church. In addition to the Sunday sermon we have our church school programs and our adult education series. We have bookstores, which can be very popular with our visitors. We are very blessed in Orthodoxy that our building and our icons proclaim the message of the Gospel. In addition to all these things we have the individual witness of each of you. We have a duty to witness both to the people within this faith community and to those outside. In all that we do here in our church we do so with the realization that our church does not only exist for those within this parish, but it also has a mission to those outside it as well.

Antiochian Women Project 2011-2012: The Convent of St. Thekla

NAB 2011-2012 Project Poster: Click to download PDFNAB 2011-2012 Project Poster: Click to download PDFYour Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy and Dear Sisters in Christ:

Christ is in our midst!

I am honored and humbled to introduce myself as the newly-elected Vice-President & Project Coordinator of the North American Board of the Antiochian Women. It is with a great deal of excitement that we journey together over the next two years, and I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.

Having served as the Recording Secretary and Religious Coordinator for the North American Board, many of you already know me. However, for those that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, a brief introduction is in order. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, part of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and am a member of St. Michael the Archangel Church. I am a convert to the faith, having been raised as a Roman Catholic, and came to Orthodoxy over 16 years ago.

Those who were able to attend the Antiochian Women’s luncheon at the Archdiocese Convention in Chicago last July were able to witness the presentation of a check in the amount of $104,830.79 from the Antiochian Women to His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP towards the 2010-2011 NAB Project of “The Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village.” The women of our beloved Archdiocese – through their hard work and abundant blessings – have raised $217,659.33 since 2009 when Metropolitan PHILIP first asked us to raise funds to assist with the building of a monastic community.

On Knowing God

His Grace Bishop Alexander recently addressed the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York. His remarks were published in the journal, "Diakonia," and are reprinted here for our edification.

In the Gospel we read on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council (John17:1-13), Jesus says in what is commonly known as His High Priestly prayer: And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. The letters of St. Paul are replete with references to knowing God. For example in his letter to the Ephesians 1:17, St. Paul says: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. In Philippians 3:8 he says: Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…and in verse 10, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.

When we think "knowing," we think about head knowledge and data. People of old conceived of "knowing" as an experience or an encounter. Many years ago I was on a bus tour in France and happened to sit next to an evangelical lady from the US. We started talking about Christ and after a long discussion the lady declared to me, "You have met Him (Christ)."

Fall 2010 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Fall 2010 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue features the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate NY, and contains:

  • A Message from His Grace Bishop Alexander
  • Messages from Susanne Zeidan and Janice Saba, President and Immediate Past President of Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate NY
  • A letter from NAB President Cindy Nimey
  • The Spirit of Thankfulness, reprinted from Life Transfigured: A Journal of Orthodox Nuns

Click here to download (PDF)!

Antiochian Women Membership Handbook Available Online

The Antiochian Women Membership Handbook is now available online!

NAB President Cindy Nimey writes:

"This publication, produced by Khourieh Suzanne Murphy and her husband, Fr. Gregory Murphy, is a wonderful booklet that consists of many works from past membership coordinators, with some new additions that they felt would be helpful to our Antiochian Women groups. It is attractive, easy to read, and has valuable information that will surely aid our chapters in the growth of their ministry as Antiochian Women. Our hope is that you will use it and pass it along to your successors over the next years, remembering that we are always here for one another."

NAB Membership Coordinator Kh. Suzanne Murphy writes:

"My goal in undertaking this project was to make the information contained in the Handbook available to every woman in our Archdiocese. Some of the information may seem quite basic, but part of the purpose of this Handbook is to help those women who may be new to our Archdiocese -- and to our Antiochian Women organization -- to gain a basic understanding of who we are and what we do. This basic introduction is a way of assisting them to build a level of familiarity and comfort with us. There are also some sections like the Constitution, By-laws, and reimbursement policy that are more technical and intended for use by our chapter officers. In short, we want this Handbook to have a little something for everyone, to be interesting and appealing, and to help us in our goal of building a faithful, active, and caring sisterhood-in-Christ."

Click here to download the Handbook

Summer 2010 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Summer 2010 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue features the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, and contains:

A Message from His Grace Bishop Antoun
A Message from Lisa Phillips, President of Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast
A Report from the July NAB Meeting
Did Someone Send a Card? by Khouria Dannie Moore

Click here to download (PDF)!

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.