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Christian Education in the Small Membership Church

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

Introduction

Creativity, innovation, inclusivity, improvisation, passion, dedication. These are all building blocks of Christian education within a small membership church. Making up for limited resources such as budget, space, staffing, not to mention only a handful of students on any given Sunday, may seem like an insurmountable challenge, especially if we compare ourselves to larger parishes with full wings dedicated to Christian education, annual Vacation Church Schools, weekly SOYO events, etc. In a book designed for those of us working and serving in the context of a small membership church entitled Christian Education in the Small Membership Church, author and Emeritus Professor of Christian Education at Eden Theological Seminary Karen B. Tye presents her insight on “the creative possibilities that reside in the small membership church for doing the vital work of education and formation, of equipping the saints for ministry.” (p. ix, Introduction)

Diocesan Deacons' Retreat Held at St. George Cathedral in Charleston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



On Saturday, October 21, 2017, a group of deacons gathered for the Deacons' Retreat for the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston, and the Mid-Atlantic. The event was held at the St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Charleston, WV.

Liturgical Schedule of Livestreamed Services with Patriarch John X: October 21-22, 2017

His Beatitude Patriarch John X will be presiding over Great Vespers and the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy this weekend in the greater Washington, D.C. area, at Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac, Maryland. Services will be livestreamed here at Antiochian.org on Saturday, October 21, beginning at approximately 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, and Sunday, October 22, beginning at approximately 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. Join us here to enter into the live services!

The schedule is as follows:

AVAILABLE SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, PATRIARCHAL DIVINE LITURGY | POTOMAC, MD | 9:30 A.M. EST

Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 10620 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854; (301) 765-3400 
Sunday Orthros is at 9:30 a.m. and Patriarchal Divine Liturgy is at 10:30 a.m., celebrated by His Beatitude Patriarch John X.
Luncheon to follow, in honor of His Beatitude Patriarch John X.

Patriarch John and Metropolitan Joseph to Speak at D.C. Event: "The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America"

The Orthodox Convent of Our Lady, Seydnaya, Syria (photo: De Agostini/C. Sappa)The Orthodox Convent of Our Lady, Seydnaya, Syria (photo: De Agostini/C. Sappa)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register for the Event

What place do Christians and the Antiochian Church have in the future of Syria? What role has the Church played in humanitarian assistance to the millions in need? Why is Orthodoxy finding renewed appeal in Western countries? For answers to these and many other questions regarding the future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America, Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom will host a conversation with His Beatitude, John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan of All North America and Archbishop of New York. Hudson Senior Fellow Samuel Tadros will moderate the conversation.

​On Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing: Principle #1: Always Parent with the End in Mind

Note: This series of blog posts will focus on principles important to Orthodox Christians who are raising children. The series will feature a closer look at Dr. Philip Mamalakis’ book, Parenting Toward the Kingdom: Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing. Each week we will take a closer look at one section of the book, which is divided into 6 basic principles of child rearing. Find an overview blog post about the book here. We thank Dr. Mamalakis and Ancient Faith Publishing for giving us permission to share his wisdom with you in this way. Purchase your own copy of his book at Ancient Faith.

Principle #1: Always parent with the end in mind.

Dr. Mamalakis encourages us to “Think Long Term” and to consider “How Children Learn” in the first two chapters of “Parenting Toward the Kingdom,” which address the first principle of parenting: “Always parent with the end in mind.” Parenting with the end in mind requires that we think beyond the moment and our short-term goals (ie: for peace and quiet at the dinner table) to what our long-term goals for our children may be (ie: for them to learn to work out their disagreements in a godly manner) and act towards that end. To be able to do so, we need to think first of what type of adults we wish our children to be when they are grown. Dr. Mamalakis suggests that, as Orthodox Christian parents, we think far beyond earthly “success” as a goal for our children, and look instead to what will make our children successful followers of Christ.

New from OCABS Press: The Rise of Scripture, by Fr. Paul Tarazi

The print edition of Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi's The Rise of Scripture is now available: Order Now.

Those who experience the Bible as a living text, understand that Scripture possesses a life and power all its own. Written by human hands, texts become sacred when they resonate with ultimate truths encountered in the direst of human circumstances. Paul Nadim Tarazi's The Rise of Scripture offers a cogent argument for the particulars of how it is the Bible as we have it became Scripture. Avoiding futile speculation over Israelite textual and ethnic origins, Tarazi lays bare the Bible's strategic defense against Hellenistic urban hegemony over the fertile clay and desert environs of western Asia. With the help of biblical Hebrew—a "concocted language," according to Tarazi—scribes wrote and shaped oral and textual materials into a manifesto of cultural resistance in response to the ethnocentric arrogance of the alien occupation. The successful accomplishment of such a defense relied upon a kind of leveling of the playing field, in which the writers of the Bible came to throw all their own false idols into the fire, resulting in the production of the most scathing collective self-examination in human history.

Antiochian Women 2018 Project: "Strengthening the Ministries of our Church--VOCATIONS"

"Vocation" is defined as "a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation; a calling, mission, or purpose." At our 53rd Biennial Convention in Miami, His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH told us that "we are here for a purpose, and that purpose is to bring people together to praise God."

As we think of the definition of “vocation” in relation to the Church, we realize that it does not refer just to ordained or monastic vocations, but that there are many people who are doing holy work by dedicating their lives to ministries of various kinds. These ministries are inspired by the Holy Spirit and instituted by our Lord for the well-being of the Church and the salvation of souls. “And Christ, Himself, gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Our Project this year will focus on these ministries and on supporting those who undertake them as a Godly VOCATION -- Our goal is to inspire and support vocations as well as to raise money to fund and encourage all of the excellent work that is being done throughout our Archdiocese by dedicated and self-sacrificing men and women.

Bishop Thomas Visits St. Andrew the Apostle in Lewes, DE

On the weekend of October 14 and 15, 2017, His Grace Bishop Thomas visited the community of St. Andrew the Apostle Mission in Lewes, Delaware. Bishop Thomas presided at Vespers and Divine Liturgy, then dedicated a new addition to the parish building and the Great Hall.

Diocesan Clergy Brotherhood Meets in Fall Synaxis at Antiochian Village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The Clergy Brotherhood of the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic met in Synaxis under the Patronage and prayers of St. Joseph of Damascus, October 16-19, 2017 at Antiochian Village.  We experienced once again the warm hospitality and service of the Village under the excellent direction of Amy Stiffler and her staff, and the exquisite cuisine at the hand of Tim Johnston and his crew.

Two Antiochian Scholars to Participate in Public Forum on Religious Freedom

Livestream Link: tune in Friday night, 7:30 Central Standard Time

Leading religious scholars will explore how Christian identity is shaped by the current culture in a free and public forum, "Religious Freedom in the Culture War," on Friday, October 20, 2017. The event is sponsored by North Park University in Chicago, IL, and is the second such forum in the University’s "Engaging Orthodoxy" Series, being made possible by the John C. Kulis Foundation.

Offering the main address is Princeton’s Dr. Robert P. George; Dr. George holds the Princeton McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is former Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Prominent Antiochian Orthodox New Testament scholar Dr. Edith M. Humphrey of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will offer the reply.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Bradley Nassif, an Antiochian Orthodox theologian and professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at North Park University.

His Beatitude Patriarch John to Visit the United States in October, 2017

Patriarch John X (left) and Metropolitan JosephPatriarch John X (left) and Metropolitan JosephEnglewood, NJ   His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, is pleased to announce the visit of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, to the United States on October 21–31, 2017.

(View the full schedule)

The purpose of the visit is to meet with the leadership of the United Nations as well as members of the current administration of the United States to: 1) promote a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, 2) highlight the current humanitarian crisis, and 3) discuss the future of Christians in Syria and the Middle East. His Beatitude will also be an honored guest at the “In Defense of Christians” Summit in Washington, D.C., from October 24–26. The Summit is titled "American Leadership and Securing the Future of Christians in the Middle East."

On the Liturgical Year for Teachers: The Time of Advent

This series of blog posts will offer basic information and resources regarding the liturgical year. It is our hope that Sunday Church School teachers will find this series helpful as they live the liturgical year with their students. The series will follow the church year in sections, as divided in the book “The Year of Grace of the Lord: A Scriptural and Liturgical Commentary on the Calendar of the Orthodox Church” by a monk of the Eastern Church. May God bless His Church throughout this year!

Beginning on November 15 (or 28), Orthodox Christians around the world begin to prepare their hearts for the coming of Christ at Christmas. This time of preparation and fasting is 40 days long and leads right to the Feast of the Nativity. (It is the same length as Great Lent, which leads to Holy Week and Pascha; but there are different restrictions in each fast.) The Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple takes place during the Nativity Fast.

Official Schedule for the Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X to the United States

Englewood, NJ — The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America's Office of Planning, Policy and Public Affairs has released the schedule for the visit of his Beatitude Patriarch John X to the United States, October 21–31, 2017. (Subject to change.)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, WASHINGTON, D.C. | POTOMAC, MD

Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 10620 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 765-3400 | www.peterpaulpotomac.org
Great Vespers at 5:30 p.m., followed by:
A concert by The Nativity of the Theotokos Choir, St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Hunt Valley, MD
A reception follows the concert

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, WASHINGTON, D.C. | POTOMAC, MD

Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 10620 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 765-3400 | www.peterpaulpotomac.org
Sunday Orthros at 9:30 a.m.
Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at 10:30 a.m., celebrated by His Beatitude Patriarch John X

Luncheon to follow, in honor of His Beatitude Patriarch John X
Fundraiser Event for the Patriarchal Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (DERD)
Livestreamed services

Becoming Truly Human: Feature Film in Select Theaters on Nov 8 and 9

The distribution of Becoming Truly Human has begun! Becoming Truly Human is the first Orthodox feature film in North America, and was created with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and the support of the Antiochian Archdiocese. We are pleased to announce that the film will be doing a one-night theatrical release in select cities on November 8 and 9, 2017. Please help us promote these showings: invite your local parish and community. Showings require a sufficient number of advance ticket sales by early November, so get your tickets today!** (View the list of cities and purchase your tickets and watch the trailer.)

** Charges for tickets are pending until the showing is confirmed. If you don't see your city listed, and want to request that the film come to your city, contact Janeal Bernhart at janeal@aspiration.is.

Nativity Fast Retreat to Feature Noted Author and Vestment Tailor, Kh. Krista West

DOWNLOAD FLYER

Nativity Fast Retreat
November 17–19, 2017
"The Birth of Beauty in the Universe: Reflections on the Incarnation of Christ"
Speaker: Khouria Krista West
Saint Ignatius Orthodox Christian Church
Madison, Wisconsin

There is no charge for the Retreat. Freewill donations will be accepted. Please register by emailing the church at goodnews@saintignatiuschurch.org or 608-273-0133 We are located at 2124 Shafer Dr. Fitchburg, WI.

Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black Holds 24th Annual Ancient Christianity Conference

Fr. Alexii Altschul moderates the Young Orthodox Preachers Panel at the St. Moses Conference.Fr. Alexii Altschul moderates the Young Orthodox Preachers Panel at the St. Moses Conference.Watch video of the Conference on Facebook

On October 6–8, 2017, the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black held its 24th annual Ancient Christianity Conference at the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church in Princeton, New Jersey. The Brotherhood is a pan-Orthodox organization which has desired through its efforts to make the Orthodox faith available to the African American community, and help the Church itself in realizing this goal. Over 100 people attended, including His Grace Bishop Thomas and His Eminence Archbishop Michael of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). The theme, "Growing Closer to Christ, Growing Closer Together," featured the scripture: "...speaking the truth in love" (Eph 4:15).

Metropolitan JOSEPH Requests Prayers for Those Impacted by California Fires

Englewood, NJ — His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, along with all of the clergy and faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese, is praying fervently for those being impacted by the wildfires raging in northern California. His Eminence has been in constant communication with Father George Baalbaki, the pastor of our parish of Saint Nicholas in San Francisco, who has been in contact with his own parishoners as well as the other parishes in the area. Father George was able to report that the faithful in the area are safe, but many have indeed been forced to evacuate and some have suffered property damage.

Sayidna JOSEPH notes: “We know that our Lord commanded a pillar of fire to protect his people and spoke to Moses from a bush that was burning but not consumed. I ask all of our faithful people to fervently beseech the very same Lord to extend his right hand from His holy dwelling place on high and speedily quench these fires through His divine might. On behalf of all of my brother hierarchs, our clergy, and laity, I offer our prayers and support to those who are being impacted. We will be with you.”

Please continue to monitor Antiochian.org for updates as to how we can help those are suffering from these devastating wildfires.

His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH's Address at the Funeral of His Grace Bishop ANTOUN

Archieratical Address of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH
Delivered at the Funeral of His Grace Bishop ANTOUN

Beloved Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and Christ-loving Faithful:

I embrace all of you with paternal love, as we come together this evening to pray for our beloved Bishop ANTOUN and for his eternal rest.

I return to you from the meetings of the Holy Synod of Antioch, and I bear with me the fervent prayers and heartfelt condolences of our Father-in-Christ, His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X, as well as my brothers, the venerable Metropolitans of our Holy Patriarchate. We belong to one Antiochian family, and I can relay to you that the loss of our beloved Bishop ANTOUN is profoundly felt by all. 

I stand before you this evening with great reverence and immeasurable affection for my dear brother and concelebrant, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the years I was blessed to call him a friend and a mentor.

125 Years of Orthodox Christianity in Chicago: A Jubilee Celebration

Seven Orthodox hierarchs and clergy led by church school children wearing national costumes of many Orthodox jurisdictions, processed into Lane Tech Auditorium in Chicago, on Saturday, September 30, 2017, to celebrate a pan-Orthodox Hierarchical Divine Liturgy commemorating 125 years of the Orthodox Christian presence in Metropolitan Chicago. Sponsored by Greater Chicago’s Orthodox Christian Clergy Association [OCCA], who represent nearly eighty parishes across the metropolitan area, this anniversary honored the pioneers of Orthodoxy in Chicago and remembered in prayer the founders who built our communities with great faith and personal sacrifice.

Funeral Arrangements for Bishop ANTOUN of Thrice-Blessed Memory

NOTE: The Facebook livestream of Tuesday's services will begin at approximately 7:00 p.m. Eastern time, on the Archdiocese Facebook page. The page is public; users do NOT need a Facebook account to watch the livestream.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Visitation/Viewing at Saint George Cathedral, 320 Palermo Avenue, Coral Gables, Florida
7:00 p.m. - Funeral Service (Order for a Bishop) at Cathedral
Mercy Meal in Cathedral Hall after Funeral Service

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
8:30 a.m. Final Visitation at Cathedral
9:00 a.m. - Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Cathedral
Funeral Service (Order for a Layman) immediately after Liturgy
Mercy Meal in Cathedral Hall after Funeral Service
Afternoon Departure of casket to Pennsylvania via Miami International Airport

Axios! Axios! Holy Synod of Antioch Elects Two New Metropolitans

His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan)His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan)The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Basilios (Kodseie)The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Basilios (Kodseie)By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Synod of Antioch, under the presidency of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, elected two new metropolitan archbishops in its current session at St. Elias Patriarchal Monastery in Shwayya, Lebanon. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, participated in the elections.

His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan) is the new metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Mexico, Central America, Venezuela and the Caribbean. He succeeds His Eminence Metropolitan Antonio (Chedraoui) who reposed in the Lord this past June, after leading his archdiocese for 51 years. Sayidna Ignacio served as an auxiliary bishop in Mexico for the past six years and as patriarchal vicar of the widowed archdiocese.

Holy Nativity Orthodox Church Hosting Fall Conference October 27-28

Holy Nativity Orthodox Church in Langley, BC is hosting their annual fall conference from October 27–28, 2017. We are excited to welcome Dr. Timothy Patitsas, from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, as our speaker for this event. Dr. Patitsas will be speaking on his recent writing on ethical living in the Orthodox tradition, titled "A Feeling for Beauty." Three sessions will be interspersed with vespers and matins services at Holy Nativity. Conference cost is $50/person or $75/couple.

Sessions:
First Session: A Feeling for Beauty: The Aesthetic Ground of Orthodox Ethics
Second Session: Eros, Agape, and the Mystery of the Twofold Anointing
Third Session: Shame and Sacrifice: The Practical Goals of Orthodox Soul Therapy

Schedule:
October 27, Friday
Vespers: 6:00 pm
First Session: 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Coffee & Dessert: 8:30 pm

Metropolitan Joseph Requests Prayers for Las Vegas Victims and Families

Englewood, NJ — His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH sends heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families and loved ones of the victims of the horrific violence that took place in Las Vegas. His Eminence, while overseas for a meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch, reached out to Fr. John Nicholas Ozone, pastor of Saint Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Las Vegas, to offer love and support. Thanks to God, Fr. John was able to report to His Eminence that none of the flock were victims of the atrocity, and that he and his parish were in constant communication with local authorities to offer their assistance if need be.

His Eminence notes: “On behalf of my brother hierarchs, our reverend clergy, and Christ-loving faithful, I ask our Lord to grant rest to the souls of those who lost their lives, healing to those who were wounded, and comfort to those who are grieving. Our hearts break at seeing such acts of evil, and we can never allow ourselves to grow accustomed to their images. We must work more and more fervently in our own lives to model Christ’s love, forgiveness, and compassion and, as St. Seraphim of Sarov taught, acquire the Holy Spirit that thousands around us will be saved – thus to do our own small part to heal the wounds of the society in which we live.”

IV. My Days at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary; His Grace Bishop ANTOUN

Reflections Homepage

As I look back on those days at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, my mind frequently flows back to His Grace Bishop ANTOUN. Newly arrived from Brazil and accepted by Metropolitan ANTONY to study at the Seminary, we all became fast friends because living in New York was a new adventure for all of us, and all we had was one another to hold onto.

The Slavic students were so much different in mentality. Many of them came from small Pennsylvania towns and were reared according to Russian traditions, while we Antiochians had very different upbringing with all of our Arabic traditions. But for then-Deacon Antoun, America was altogether an alien territory. He wore a top hat, a very long black jacket, sunglasses and a beard that made him look like a Hasidic Jew. My friend Basil Dallack and our small group took him to Greenwich Village for an Italian supper. We were walking and he held my hand as they do in Syria. I abruptly put it down and told him, "Not here!" When we arrived at the restaurant and we ordered spaghetti, he yelled, “Macaroni? That is all I ate for one week in Rome!” And we thought this was going to be a treat!

After a short while, we shared an apartment together and I tried to teach Bishop ANTOUN English. He tried to teach me Arabic. He taught us Arabic in a class and I never got past “It is Truly Meet” in Arabic. One icy day, Bishop ANTOUN fell and broke his leg. We all took turns in taking care of him. But he arrived to the U.S. with some money that he generously shared with us, treating us to meals. We all felt like he was our brother and we did whatever we could to make him comfortable. 

October 2017 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

St. Athanasius Academy Septuagint Old Testament: Why It Is Highly Recommended for All Orthodox Christians

In these troubling times of violence, division, and threatening weather, it is reassuring to have the SAAOT-OSB in hand. It speaks to the hope, encouragement, and comfort of Jesus Christ. It is here, our faith in our Father and maturing trust in His love, is reinvigorated. For only through His Grace, Truth, and Voice of Wisdom, can His Light shine on the darkness of our ignorance, thereby washing away our fears, angers, and doubts. It is why the SAAOT–OSB, blessed by Metropolitan PHILIP, remains key to evangelism. It is why we need to grasp the differences between the Old Testaments of the Orthodox Church, and the Bibles of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

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