Diocese of Eagle River News
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is working to promote literacy and learning for underserved youth in America. More than $773,000 in new books and reading materials were distributed by IOCC recently to children participating in tutoring, after school and early childhood education programs in four of the six states with the highest poverty rates in the United States – states that also rank near the bottom in educational outcomes for their children.
IOCC's U.S. Program provided brand new books and educational materials to Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and New Mexico – states where nearly one in five families fall below the poverty level of $23,834 for a family of four. Books have also been provided for Detroit area children through the Council of Orthodox Churches of Detroit and for Alaska's underserved children through the Orthodox Church in America's Diocese of Sitka and Alaska. In Detroit, more than one in four families and a staggering 39% of children live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey.
During the last week of August, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Camp St. Innocent (CSI) took place, the first ever Antiochian camp in Western Canada. The camp took place at the Gull Lake Centre, an excellent facility located about eighty-five miles south of Edmonton, Alberta.
The camp was sponsored by St. Philip Church in Edmonton and Annunciation Church of Calgary, but campers also came from Saskatoon, and Vancouver. There were 23 campers in total, which for a first camp seems to be a pretty good turnout. This is especially true if you consider the long distances some of the campers had to travel to come to camp. The campers from Saskatoon drove for over seven hours and the campers from Vancouver about twelve hours.
The 14th Annual Orthodox Women's Retreat in Canada will be held at the Entheos Retreat Centre just outside of Calgary, Alberta, on September 19-21, 2014.
"We are thankful to once again be able to offer this weekend filled with spiritual nourishment, and to provide an opportunity for the women in our Church community to worship, learn and to share in each other's lives," notes the brochure, which also includes a registration form and the schedule for the weekend.
Retreat Speaker The Very Rev. David Hovik, pastor of St. Andrew (Antiochian) Orthodox Church in Arlington, Washington, will be addressing the theme, "The Bible: Our Book."
His Eminence Archbishop Joseph has been elected Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America by the Holy Synod of Antioch, led by His Beatitude Patriarch John X, meeting in Balamand, Lebanon on Thursday, July 3, 2014. Axios!
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on June 30, 1991 at the St. Mary Cathedral in Damascus, after many years of serving as a deacon and a priest. His Eminence was born in Damascus, Syria, in 1950. He was consecrated with the title, Bishop of Katana in Syria, and served as Patriarchal Assistant and Secretary of the Holy Synod of Antioch. In 1995, he was sent by Patriarch Ignatius IV of blessed memory to America. Here in our Archdiocese, Bishop Joseph was assigned to the West Coast Chancery by Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory. After self-rule status was awarded to our Archdiocese, Bishop Joseph was enthroned at St. Nicholas Cathedral by Metropolitan Philip as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West on September 12, 2004. On December 11, 2011, at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand in Lebanon, Patriarch Ignatius elevated Bishop Joseph to the rank of Archbishop, in honor of his many years of service as a bishop both in our Archdiocese and in the Patriarchate of Antioch.
View photo galleries of Metropolitan Joseph from the Diocese of the West, including the ongoing 2014 Parish Life Conference.
From June 25–28, 2014, the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East His Beatitude John X joined with the Fathers of the Holy Synod to call the faithful from around the world to the Hill of Balamand for a conference on Antiochian unity. Appropriately, the Conference concluded with the joyous celebration of the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, patron saints of the Antiochian Church. (Read the text of Patriarch John's homily.)
Antiochian.org has assembled a collection of photographs highlighting the Unity Conference. Additionally, the Patriarchate of Antioch's website has published photo galleries and written reports of the historic events in both Arabic and English, and galleries are also available on the Patriarchate's Facebook page. The sizable North American delegation, pictured here with Patriarch John X, was composed of bishops, priests, key department heads, and organization leaders. Members of the group will begin returning home on Monday, June 30.
The first two Parish Life Conferences (or PLCs) for the Antiochian Archdiocese have kicked off the summer PLC season with a splash! From June 11-14 in San Antonio, Texas, host parish St. Ephraim the Syrian Antiochian Church is overseeing a lineup of events for attendees from the Diocese of Wichita, including talks by Keynote Speaker Sister Vassa Larin, as well as excursions to local attractions such as the River Walk and Sea World San Antonio. Also enjoying water access are the faithful of the Diocese of Miami, who are being hosted on June 11-15 by the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Orlando at the Crown Plaza Hotel, with its proximity to lakes and the Atlantic coast.
This year's conferences are spread out across five weekends in June and July. On June 11-15, the Diocese of Wichita and the Diocese of Miami will kick off the PLC season in San Antonio, TX and Orlando, FL. Shortly thereafter on June 19-22, the Diocese of Worcester will convene in Boston, MA. Fort Wayne, IN, will be the site for the final June conference with the Diocese of Toledo's PLC on June 25-29. Finally, the Dioceses of Los Angeles and Eagle River, Charleston and New York, and Ottawa, will all meet from July 2-6, combining Fourth of July celebrations with Parish Life Conferences.
As always, this year's theme, love for God and neighbor, will be the focus of the Creative Festivals, a highlight of the conferences. Youth and organizational meetings, spiritually edifying speakers and services, and social events for kids and adults alike, all make the PLCs one of the Archdiocese's most established and popular traditions.
To facilitate your parish participation in the Creative Arts, Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals, all resources are available in the Festivals 2014 section of Antiochian.org. Additionally, ads for the souvenir journals can be purchased and registrations can be submitted through the Department of Conventions and Conference Planning's Antiochian Events pages.
The Very Rev. Michael Gillis, rector at Holy Nativity Orthodox Church in Langley, British Columbia, will be offering regular spiritual reflections in his new podcast on Ancient Faith Radio (AFR), “Praying in the Rain.” Drawing on the wisdom of both ancient and contemporary Church Fathers, Fr. Michael will ponder "the struggles, the ironies, and the disciplines of the spiritual life," notes AFR. Written versions of many of Fr. Michael’s musings can be found at his blog site as well.
His Grace The Right Rev. Basil, Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, writes:
Memory Eternal! Erick Kinnick, son of Fr. Bernard and Kh. Karen Kinnick of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church of Spokane, WA, reposed in the early morning of Christmas Day at the age of fifty-one. Please join me in praying a rope for the repose of Erick's soul, saying, "O Lord Jesus Christ, grant rest to the soul of Thy departed servant." May he be granted Paradise, and may you be granted long life.
By Times-News Reporter
"The rich smell of incense greeted me when I walked into the St. Ignatius of Antioch Orthodox Christian Church in Twin Falls. There were about three rows of chairs in front of an elaborately decorated wall.
The Rev. Michael Habib said this wall is called an iconostasis, which is a wall of icons and religious paintings that separates the nave from the sanctuary in a church.
The smell of incense, he said, was used during worship to help raise their prayers to God."
Read the rest of the story about Fr. Michael Habib, published in the Idaho media outlet MagicValley.com.
From the Antiochian Diocese of Los Angeles and the West Website:
Memory Eternal! The Very Reverend Father Demetri Moamar
It is with extreme sadness that we inform you that Fr. Demetri Moamar, who was attached to St. Joseph the Damascene Church in New Westminster, BC, Canada, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, August 22, 2013. His Eminence Archbishop Joseph has requested the parishes to remember him in the prayers for the departed for the next 40 days and to hold a special Trisagion for his eternal life.
May God receive him in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal. The funeral arrangements will be posted when they become available.
There is still time for you to register for your diocese's "family reunion" this summer, your regional Parish Life Conference (PLC)! The theme for this year, "The End of History...The Last Judgment," will be the focus of the Creative Festivals, a highlight of the conferences. Youth and organizational meetings, spiritually edifying speakers and services, and social events for kids and adults alike, all make the PLCs one of the Archdiocese's most established and popular traditions. Visit the Conventions and Conference Planning page for full information.
First up is the Diocese of Wichita PLC, kicking off on June 5 in Kansas City. St. Basil Orthodox Church hosts the PLC at the Westin Kansas City Hotel in downtown Kansas City, "one of America's Best downtowns" according to Forbes magazine.
On April 7, 2013, His Eminence Archbishop Joseph inducted several new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Yakima, Washington.
Contemplating the blessings of the Advent season, at times we ponder whether we have lost our blessings to the material world in which we live. Surrounded by ostentatious displays of wealth and unhealthy indulgences, we realize that they are slowly taking the place of more appropriate preparations for the celebration of Christmas. The very foundation of the Christmas Feast is the birth of an unassuming Child born quietly, humbly. The King of Glory was born of a mother who was turned away from every house, in a cave among the animals who could not speak.
Advent is the time of our preparation to meet the Lord of Lords. Certainly, we desire to offer our best gifts to the Christ Child, but they must be gifts of substance - the gifts of prayer, repentance, forgiveness and love.
His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos, His Eminence, Archbishop Joseph, His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill, His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin and His Grace, Bishop Maxim, invite all clergy in the West to the Fourth Annual Pan-Orthodox Clergy Advent Retreat
- Topic: “The Sacrament of Confession: Contemporary Pastoral Challenges and Questions”
- Retreat Master: Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis
- Location: Sacred Heart Retreat House and St. Joseph Campus, 920 East Alhambra Road, Alhambra
- Phone: 626.289.1353
"A fire was set in our Cathedral at about 12:40 a.m. Thursday, August 23. It appears it was deliberately set by someone who poured gasoline around the altar and lit it on fire. By the mercy of God the Cathedral was not totally destroyed. A parishioner was passing by the Cathedral just as the flame was lit. He saw the fire through the windows, called 911, and then ran into the Church. Several Cathedral members used fire extinguishers and put out the fire in the altar. Kh. Betsy and Fr. Marc ran to the Cathedral a couple minutes later. Dense smoke filled the darkened Nave as the police and firemen arrived. Everyone was evacuated from the building as the firemen entered to assess the situation. They did not ever have to use their hoses. The fire damage is mostly limited to the area immediately around the altar, but soot and fire extinguisher powder are everywhere on the main floor. We can be thankful to God that people saw the fire when they did. Another few minutes and the building would have been totally engulfed."
“And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He is risen, He is not here; see the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His Disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him, as He told you’” (Mark 16:4-7)
Christ is risen!
لمسيح ارتفع! حقا انه زاد!
Хрңстос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе!
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Άληθώς Άνέστη!
Beloved in Christ:
Words of joy are brought to us by this Great and Holy Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we take the time to ponder the depth of the meaning of this wondrous feast, the salvation brought to us through His death and resurrection, let us come together to truly celebrate this day the Lord has made to redeem us. May we experience a deeper renewal of our own faith and may those who need the hope of salvation be brought to say, “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death.”
Glory to Thy Holy Resurrection, O Lord!
Yours in the Risen Lord,
The Sanctum Retreat Centre of Caroline, Alberta, will host the ninth annual Orthodox Men's Retreat of St. John the Baptist, on April 20-22, 2012.
Guest speaker, Conciliar Press author and priest Fr. Lawrence Farley, will speak on the Divine Liturgy. Indicating the pan-Orthodox character of the event, the announcement reads, "With the Blessings and support of our Bishops, and the support of our parishes and parish clergy, Very Reverend Father Taras Krochak, and Reverend Father Timothy Charpko – St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Congregation, Reverend Father Ibrahim Chahoud - Antiochian Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Reverend Father Obrad Filipovic – Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Simeon, Reverend Father Demetrios Rougas – St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Congregation, Reverend Father Phillip Erikson – St. Peter the Aleut OCA Congregation, and Very Reverend Father Michael Lupu - St. Mary’s Romanian Orthodox Congregation, the Orthodox retreat committee invite you to the ninth annual Orthodox Men’s Retreat of St. John the Baptist – 2012."
In addition to the liturgical worship and retreat lecture sessions, the retreat committee notes, there will be ample time for quite time meditation and prayer. The retreat property is set in serene surroundings, and hot tubs are available so retreat attendees are encouraged pack swimming trunks.
You are Invited to the Eighth Annual
Orthodox Men's Retreat of St. John the Baptist
Theme: “How do Orthodox Christians Evangelize?"
Guest Speaker: Rev. Fr. Joseph Huneycutt
April 8-10, 2011
Sanctum Retreat Centre
Caroline, Alberta, Canada
All men of good faith are invited to the annual Orthodox Men’s Retreat of St. John the Baptist, which will be held from April 9-11, 2011 at the Sanctum Retreat Centre, Caroline, Alberta, Canada. The fee for this years retreat is $200.00 to $300.00 per individual, depending on the room (see attached).
The theme of this years retreat will be “How do Orthodox Christians Evangelize?” The quest speaker for this years retreat will be Reverend Father Joseph Huneycutt.
Further to the Retreat schedule, we would like to emphasize that there will be ample time for quite time meditation and prayer, and to take full advantage of the retreat venue, while taking in the serene surroundings. There are hot tubs available, bring along your swimming trunks. Website http://www.sanctumretreat.ca/home.htm.
For more information, please see the attached documents.
Below are the deadlines and contact information for the 2011 Creative Arts Festivals, Oratorical Festival and Bible Bowl for the Dioceses of Los Angeles and Eagle River. For more information and resources pertaining to the Creative Festivals, please visit www.antiochian.org/festivals.
For the Dioceses of Toledo, Ottawa, Charleston and New York, and Los Angeles and Eagle River, the Fourth of July holiday weekend ushered in the long-planned for Parish Life Conferences. With the Creative Festivals, liturgical worship, fellowship, and special speakers as the reward, the faithful of each diocese traveled long distances to convene over the holiday weekend. In Tucson, Arizona, the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West met at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa, thanks to the hard working parishioners of Fr. Philip Nixon's parish, Holy Resurrection. Attendees were also able to sign up for day tours to two sacred Arizona sites, St. Anthony's and St. Paisius' Monasteries.
Recently, Bishop Basil spoke with AFR correspondent Matthew Namee about the historic assembly of bishops which took place in the week following Pentecost. His Grace was elected Secretary of the Assembly. Below are excerpts from the interview, which can be found here in full:
"The bishops delighted in being together and doing the work of the Church."
"The ultimate task was to prepare the Orthodox (Church) of this region...to constitute itself as a canonical, single Church.…It is a huge task, one that a vast majority of Orthodox Christians in America have been praying for, hoping for, talking about, for a long, long time."
"It’s as if the Mother Churches have said to us, ‘Look, you have been asking for this. Before we give it to you, we would like to know, what is your plan?’"
"We were blessed by the work of SCOBA….the work of the Episcopal Assembly was made quite easy by the 50 years of preparation."
"The Episcopal Assembly is comprised of every Orthodox bishop, not just the primates. We had 55 in attendance, (in New York) where the maximum of SCOBA members would have been 8."
Ancient Faith Radio has also posted an extensive interview with Fr. Mark Arey, General Secretary of SCOBA, titled Unraveling the Episcopal Assembly. Additionally, Antiochian.org has compiled a summary of online Assembly articles.