Welcome to the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, part of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The Diocese of Charleston is led by His Grace Bishop Thomas and includes more than 30 churches and missions in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
His Grace Bishop Thomas writes:
GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA 2014
Beloved in Christ,
Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!
I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
The Apostle Paul reminds us of what is central to our Faith: the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, along with his appearances. We are fast approaching the greatest celebration in our Orthodox Christian calendar; let us open our hearts to celebrate this Good News with eagerness and embrace it fully.
The death of Christ is not only for our sins, but serves as our example of how to live for others a life of sacrificial love. The resurrection is the evidence that Christ was blessed by the Father, though on the cross he was cursed for our sake. The resurrection appearances of Christ to the Apostles were the call to them to proclaim what he had done through his cross. The apostolic witness to us is a call for us to do the same.
Let us not keep this resurrection joy to ourselves. Let us be like the myrrh-bearing women who left the empty tomb with great joy, and proclaimed the good news: He is risen!
Yours in Christ,
Rt. Rev. Bishop Thomas (Joseph)
Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic
His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan, who is serving as our Patriarchal Vicar, has expressed a desire to meet with as many of our Antiochian clergy and laity as possible. This weekend there will be two opportunities to do so in the Western Pennsylvania area.
Friday – Akathist: On Friday evening, April 4, His Eminence will be with us for the Akathist Service at Ss. Peter and Paul Chapel at the Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center. The service begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a gathering to meet with His Eminence.
Saturday – Vespers and IOCC Syrian Relief Dinner: On Saturday April 5, His Eminence will be presiding over Vespers at 4 p.m. at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh followed by attendance at the IOCC Syrian Relief Dinner. More information and registration for the IOCC dinner can be found at the IOCC's Website, or you may call Zelfa Khalil at 412-417-4706.
Overnight accommodations can be secured at the Antiochian Village Center by calling 724-238-3677.
On March 1st and 2nd, 2014, Holy Ascension Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania was blessed by the presence of His Grace Bishop Thomas to celebrate the beginning of Great Lent. Bishop Thomas celebrated several services at the parish, including Sunday liturgy.
During the Sunday service His Grace gave a very personal homily where he confessed his own sins to the congregation and spoke of the importance of Great lent as a time of spiritual self-reflection. At the end of the service, Bishop Thomas inducted two parish members into the Order of St. Ignatius. After lunch His Grace meet with the children of the parish and spent time with them. The day concluded with the service of Forgiveness Vespers.