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His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph Consecrates St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church of Florida, New York

On Saturday October 31, 2015, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, assisted by His Grace Bishop Nicholas, consecrated the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch located in Florida, New York, pastored by Very Rev. George Kevorkian.  Also celebrating were 14 members of clergy from the New York Metropolitan Deanery.  There were 200 of the faithful in attendance and the day was made more beautiful by a combined choir from the area churches. 

In his homily, Metropolitan Joseph stressed the importance of a church consecration as the setting aside of the church as a sacred place.  The altar was washed with soap and water, sprinkled with rosewater, and anointed with Holy Chrism.

We Need Your Input! Take the Sacred Music Library Survey

Are you a choir director or member? Have you thought about joining the choir? Do you enjoy listening to Orthodox Christian music, and would you be willing to share your opinion?

Richard Barrett, the St. John of Damascus Society's Artistic Director, has designed a 2-5 minute survey to gather data about how the music library on Antiochian.org is currently being used, and to ascertain what resources and functionality would be helpful that currently don't exist. Whether you have a degree from a music conservatory, or are strictly an amateur, we are interested in hearing from you!

As one of the most popular destinations on Antiochian.org, the Department of Sacred Music's online library of PDFs includes liturgical music for every month of the year, and is a frequent destination for choir directors, chanters, and church musicians. Plans are underway to refresh and expand the online resources available to musicians in the Antiochian Archdiocese. In May, 2015, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph appointed Paul Jabara of Montreal, Quebec to be the new Chairman of the Archdiocese's Department of Sacred Music, and he is working closely with the Department of Internet Ministry to improve the music library. With your assistance, we will be able to improve this valuable archive in the coming months. Thanks for your help!

Take the survey!

November Liturgical Texts Available for Download

Altar servers process in front of an icon of the Archangel Michael at St. Michael Church in Van Nuys, CA.Altar servers process in front of an icon of the Archangel Michael at St. Michael Church in Van Nuys, CA.Saints who healed and refused payment, the first bishop of the missionary church that would become the Antiochian Archdiocese, the bodiless hosts that protect us, a Great Feast of the Theotokos, and a major American holiday fill the celebrations of the Orthodox Church in the month of November. The Liturgical Texts to guide us through services on these holy days, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for download from the Online Liturgical Guide.

On the first day of the month, we commemorate Ss. Cosmas and Damian of Mesopotamia in Asia Minor. These "unmercenary" saints received no money for the medicine they practiced and the healings they performed. They are not to be confused with Ss. Cosmas and Damian of Rome (July 1) who were also unmercenaries.

Each year on the first Saturday of November we commemorate St. Raphael Hawaweeny. He said of himself: "I am an Arab by birth, a Greek by primary education, an American by residence, a Russian at heart, and a Slav in soul." His multicultural influences and love of Jesus Christ helped him become the "Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America." The Archdiocese celebrates St. Raphael close to the date of his birth, November 8.

And that day happens to be the feast of the Archangels. The Orthodox Church celebrates Raphael – the namesake of the first bishop of Brooklyn – Michael, Gabriel and all the bodiless powers of heaven that minister directly to God the Father and protect us on earth who are called to be heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14).

November 2015 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The November 2015 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Have the Antiochians Changed Their Minds?
by His Grace Bishop John

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph Addresses St. Vladimir's Seminary

Minutes of the General Assembly of the 52nd Antiochian Arthodox Archdiocese Convention

Liturgical Discipleship: A Framework for Youth Ministry
by Gregory Abdalah

Youth Music Ministry
by Chris Farha

The Gift of Life
by Alexis Bethoney Gerena

...and more!

From the Publications Center and AV Bookstore: Nativity Resources for Families, at Sale Prices

Nativity resources at discounted prices are now available for families from the Archdiocese's Publications Center and Bookstore at Antiochian Village. (Download the flyer and order form.)

Some of them include:

  • The Biggest Birthday Party, an Advent Calendar for kids age 3-6:  This activity book includes 4"x4" pieces of a Nativity icon, to be colored and assembled on a provided master sheet during the twelve days leading up Christmas. An introduction and suggestions for using the Calendar open the book. References to the appropriate Bible verses for each piece and a narrative related to each section of the icon are included.
  • Praise the Lord Christmas Workbook, for grades 3-6 and families:  Games, puzzles, activities, explaining the themes, events and people, and the ways all creation will welcome Jesus.

His Beatitude Patriarch John X in Good Condition after Fall

As you may know, our Father in Christ, His Beatitude Patriarch John X suffered a fall and some injuries to his eye and shoulder. The official statement of the Patriarchate has been published in Arabic and can be read here.

The statement reports that His Beatitude is in good condition and that he will need a period of hospitalization and convalescence.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph asks all of the faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America to join him in prayer for our Father in Christ Patriarch John X and to ask our Lord and God Jesus Christ, the only Physician of our souls and bodies, to bring healing to His Beatitude.

 

Orthodox Institute 2015

Educate the adults and you won't need church schools!"

In Christian education circles, we have spoken of the need to educate adults for years with phrases like, "Christian education doesn't end with church school," "Total Parish Education," and most notably the name of our yearly event, "The Orthodox Institute for Continuing Education in the Faith." Converts from fundamental churches are pleased to find that Orthodoxy offers a treasure chest of resources for growth in the faith, from the church mothers and fathers, to icons, to hymnography. Yet, in many churches the focus is on educating the children with perhaps only one class, taught by the priest, for adults.

Study Scripture Within Tradition: New Orthodox Digital Resources Available from Logos Bible Software

More than two years in the making, an exciting new lineup of Orthodox digital libraries is now available from Faithlife, the makers of Logos Bible Software.

Based in the coastal town of Bellingham, Washington, Faithlife has been making digital tools to help people study the Scriptures for over twenty years.

Around two and a half years ago, Faithlife hired an Orthodox Christian named Gabe Martini, known for his blog On Behalf of All and his close work with Ancient Faith Ministries. Gabe was brought to Faithlife in part to help develop a new lineup of what they call “base packages,” focused entirely on Orthodox Christians.

Gabe and his family converted to the Orthodox faith several years ago under the mentorship of the newly reposed Fr. Alexander Atty, then head priest of St. Michael the Archangel Antiochian Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Gabe was originally in Louisville to attend a Baptist seminary, but was drawn to Orthodoxy by his studies in Church history and through a simple visit to St. Michael’s one Sunday.

“I had never experienced anything so beautiful and real in my entire life,” Gabe said. “I knew from our very first visit, that was where we needed to be. I knew it was the apostolic Church.”

What excites Gabe most about these new Orthodox libraries from Logos is that they can be used to reach thousands, even millions for the Gospel.

Fall Meeting of Archdiocese Board of Trustees and Order of St. Ignatius Governing Council

Prayers are requested for the 2015 fall meeting of Archdiocese Board of Trustees and Order of St. Ignatius Governing Council, to be held from October 22-25 at host parish St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Van Nuys, CA, in conjunction with St. Nicholas Cathedral. This is an historic event, in that it is the first time that the Trustees are meeting in the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.

On Sunday morning, October 25, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph will celebrate a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with the Antiochian Hierarchs at St. Nicholas Cathedral. A special Luncheon will follow in the Heritage Ballroom.

For more information, including registration, sponsorship forms and lodging, please visit the Fall Meeting webpage.

Diocese of Toledo: St. George Church in Indy Hosts Successful Fall Gathering

This year's Clergy and Laity Fall Gathering, our diocese's annual Delegates' Meeting, was hosted by St. George Church of Indianapolis/Fishers, IN, under the leadership of Fr. Nabil Hanna and with the assistance of Dn. Joseph Hazar. The Fall Gathering (formerly Midwest Delegates Meeting) is an opportunity for our diocese's clergy, lay leaders, teens, and others to meet for spiritual fellowship and to work toward a common vision for the year. This was the best attended Delegates' Meeting in many years, with a total of 203 participants made up of 32 Clergy, 70 youth, 41 Ladies, 32 Young Adults, and 28 Men.

The aim of this gathering was to offer something to every group so that the members of this diocese could come together as a family. The meetings began on Thursday, October 15 and 16 for the Clergy. Sessions were offered on the subject of youth ministry by the Director of the Antiochian Village, Fr. Anthony Yazge, as well as a session by His Grace Bishop Anthony.

The theme for the weekend was "Village at Home," where the staff of the Antiochian Village brought aspects of summer camp to the parish.

Metropolitan Joseph Appoints Two New Financial Officers for the Archdiocese Board of Trustees

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph recently appointed two new financial officers to assist the Board of Trustees of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. As of August 4, 2015, Mr. Salim Abboud of Little Falls, NJ, is appointed to serve as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Board, and Archpriest Michael Tassos of St. Luke Orthodox Church in Garden Grove, CA, is appointed to serve as Assistant Treasurer. Both men hold extensive backgrounds in accounting and finance.

Bishop Anthony is Keynote Speaker at Orthodox Family Camp in Minnesota

Photography by Nick Barakos

Where on earth would you find Bishop Anthony worshipping with Greek, Antiochian, Romanian, Serbian, Russian, and Chinese families in one place? At Family Camp, October 2-4, 2015, north of Minneapolis, Minnesota! For over a decade, members of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in West St. Paul, MN, have helped organize a pan-Orthodox Family Camp that includes parishioners of over a dozen Orthodox churches in the Minnesota area.

This year, we were blessed to have Bishop Anthony of Toledo as our main speaker. Over 160 people spent the weekend in a beautiful retreat setting with our Orthodox friends from all different churches learning about how to live as Orthodox Christians in a secular world. Captivating, inspiring, and entertaining, Bishop Anthony recapped the change in American culture over the decades and spoke with passion about the world we live in. Not to leave us depressed, he offered solid instruction for survival in such a changing world.

Liturgical Texts Posted for Canadian Thanksgiving, October 12

The Divine Liturgy at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.The Divine Liturgy at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.Each year, on the second Monday of October, Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving holiday as “a day of general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” Its origin dates to 1578.

The Antiochian Archdiocese has 18 Canadian parishes. For the holiday, they are encouraged to open and offer worship and thanksgiving to God for all of His gifts. To that end, the Online Liturgical Guide has provided Liturgical Texts of Great Vespers with special hymnography for the holiday, as well as Glory to God for All Things: An Akathist of Thanksgiving, composed in Russia under Communistic oppression as a reminder to the suffering clergy and faithful of God’s blessings in this life and the life to come. Parishes can offer one or the other service on Sunday night, October 11. 

Sale on Nativity Plays from Antiochian Village Bookstore

In anticipation of the 2015 Nativity Season, the Antiochian Village Bookstore is offering a sale on Playing It Up for Christmas: Christmas Plays for Children.

Price: $9.00
Now $ 8.00
SPECIAL: 5 copies only $25 now through Nov. 1
Download order form (PDF)

The book includes five plays for the Christmas season, and is written for maximum participation of students, complete with staging notes, props suggestions, costuming ideas, scripts, playbill covers and activities and discussion questions for after the show!

Sale prices are valid through November 1st, 2015. Download an order form (PDF) and order your copies from Antiochian Village Bookstore today!

 

New Order Form for Liturgical Publications

The Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Publications has provided a new order form for all liturgical books (PDF), including special Services and English/Arabic Service books. The Department of Publications is now housed at Antiochian Village, and orders made via the new form will be filled by the Antiochian Village Bookstore.

New Metropolitan Elected for the Archdiocese of Zahle, Baalbek and Dependencies, Lebanon

On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, His Beatitude Patriarch John X and the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, during their meeting at the historic Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery in northern Lebanon, elected Archimandrite Jonah Suri, head of Bkeftine Monastery of Our Lady in the Archdiocese of Tripoli, Lebanon, as Metropolitan of Zahle, Baalbek and Dependencies, Lebanon. He succeeds His Eminence, Metropolitan Spyridon, who retired with honor this year after leading his archdiocese since 1966.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, on behalf of the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, expresses his heartfelt prayers and best wishes to Metropolitan-elect Jonah, and asks our Lord to bless his episcopacy.

Blessed Namesday to Bishop Thomas!

His Grace Bishop Thomas' namesday is October 6, Thomas the Apostle of the Twelve. Many years, Master!

Read Notes from Bishop Thomas

Read about St. Thomas the Apostle

Thomas, the faithful servant and disciple of Christ, filled with divine grace, cried out from the depth of his love: "You are my Lord and my God!"
Kontakion — Tone 4

Save the Date: Annual Orthodox Christian Camping and Youth Worker Conference is January 21-23, 2016

The Very Reverend Dr. Joseph Purpura, chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries, has announced that the January 2016 Annual Orthodox Christian Camping and Youth Worker Conference for parish youth workers, SOYO Advisors, and Teen Advisors, is set for January 21-23, 2016.  The Conference will be held at St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, TX, and the theme is "Feed My Sheep: Crisis, Trauma, and Everyday Life."

Parishes are encouraged to send their Parish Youth Workers, Youth Director and Teen SOYO Advisors. More information will appear on the Orthodox Christian Camp Association website's conference page, once additional details are confirmed.

BuzzFeed Features St. Nicholas Cathedral in Story About Syrian Christians

St. Nicholas CathedralSt. Nicholas CathedralOn September 28, 2015, the popular website BuzzFeed featured a story by reporter Leticia Miranda, "Christian Syrians in the U.S. Fear for their Families Back Home." Miranda described the situation for many families who are in anguish over the situation of their loved ones living in war-torn Syria. The plight of Christians "has been an ongoing concern for human rights advocates since the beginning of the war in 2011," noted the article. "Since then, more than 700,000 Christian Syrians have left the country, according to Open Doors International, a U.K.-based organization tracking the persecution of Christians."

Read the full post on BuzzFeed

Youth Department Chairman Fr. Joseph Purpura Requests Prayers for Oregon Victims and Families

October 1, 2015

A message from the Very Reverend Dr. Joseph F. Purpura, chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministry for the Antiochian Archdiocese:

On behalf of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Department of Youth and Parish Ministry and SOYO, the youth movement of the Antiochian Archdiocese, we offer up our prayers to those victims who were injured or killed in the shooting today at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.
 
We fervently ask all of the young people of the Antiochian Archdiocese to keep all of the college students at UCC Oregon, those killed, injured, and all the rest of the students and faculty, as well as all of their loved ones and families, in your daily prayers.
 
Our Prayers are with the victims of the shooting at UCC Oregon,  as well as with their families.  Please pray for them!

Registration Opens for OCF Real Break College Ministry Trips

Each year hundreds of thousands of college students in North America travel during their spring break for oftentimes, empty experiences.  Since 2001, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) has offered their annual Real Break trips as spring break alternatives, providing life-transforming and spiritually uplifting opportunities to do "something real" during this time.  Since its inception, over one thousand college students have had the opportunity to spend their time away from school helping others and growing in their Orthodox Christian faith.

Registration and information is available on Real Break's web page.

Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat with Metropolitan Joseph + Nov. 2, 2015

Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat for New York Metropolitan Area
November 2, 2015

Hosted by His Eminence Metropolitan JosephArchbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America

His Eminence Archbishop Michael, OCA Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
235 Long Hill Rd.
Little Falls, NJ 07424-2005

Speaker: His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

FOCUS NA Provides Meals, Supplies, and Medical Care in Back to School Outreach

FOCUS North America recently celebrated the end of a successful summer feeding program, providing nutritious meals to 200 children a day in Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona ranks third in the country in food insecurity, with more than 450,000 children facing hunger on a daily basis.

In partnership with The Sodexo Foundation’s Feeding our Future Program, Sodexo USA and the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the program provided more than 16,000 meals to children at two Phoenix YMCAs.

The program required volunteer manpower and FOCUS volunteers turned out in force! Some 50 Orthodox volunteers from seven parishes in the Phoenix area contributed to the program’s success, with some volunteers helping out more than ten times.

“Our Orthodox volunteers rearranged their schedules to be able to serve. Some took time off from work, others came and volunteered with their children. We had volunteers of all ages. That was one of the highlights—seeing how many Orthodox volunteers enthusiastically turned out to help their neighbors in need ,” said FOCUS North America’s Executive Director Nicholas Chakos. “We’re so thankful for their support.” 

Across the US, more than 21 million children receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year. During the summer, children are at greater risk of hunger as their families struggle to provide meals that are typically provided by schools. Lack of nutrition during the summer months sets a cycle for poor performance once school begins and makes children more prone to illness and other health issues. FOCUS’ summer feeding program was designed to fill that nutrition gap. The program also alleviated the strain on parents, who could rest assured knowing that a nutritious breakfast and lunch were being provided for their children.

Memory Eternal! + Edward S. Khouri

Fr. John Ojaimi writes:

EDWARD S. KHOURI, age 83, passed away peacefully and has returned to his heavenly home on September 18, 2015 at home in Parma, Ohio surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Aramoun, Lebanon, and immigrated to the United States in the year 1955. In 1962, shortly after his arrival to Cleveland, Edward founded the iconic Middle East Restaurant in Cleveland, which he owned for over four decades. His warmth, generosity and love for all will be greatly missed.

Edward became a close friend to our beloved Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory, since he was the priest at St. George of Cleveland. Their friendship continued and strengthened until the day when His Eminence joined the community of the saints.

Registration is Open for OCF Winter College Conferences

The Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) College Conferences 2015 will be held from December 28-31st at both the Antiochian Village in PA, and St. Nicholas Ranch in CA. The Keynote Speakers are Rev. Fr. Apostolos Hill (West) and Sr. Vassa Larin (East). Registration is now open for the conferences. In 2015, $100.00 scholarships are being offered to those students in need.


LINKS
College Conference
College Conference East 2015
College Conference West 2015
Scholarship Application