News


OCN Introduces Customized Online Radio Stations for Parishes

Ft.Lauderdale, Fl.- The Orthodox Christian Network (The OCN) is pleased to announce a new service to Orthodox parishes and ministries world wide—Customized Online Radio Stations! As the over the air radio market begins to shrink and the online radio market grows, OCN has strategically positioned itself to take advantage of the growing audience accessing online radio programming while maintaining a strong land base presence as well. Since recently acquiring new online radio server software, we can now offer completely customized 24/7 online radio stations in a cost effective and efficient way allowing parishes to stay connected to their parishioners more so than ever before.


With offerings ranging from personalized radio players to managed custom radio stations, OCN's online radio stations allow parishes of all sizes to provide Orthodox Christian programming aimed to their parish. The Branded National Radio Solution creates a custom radio station on OCN and the parish website utilizing the already existing content of the Ark or Rudder channels. Self managed and OCN managed stations are completely customizable. With the self managed option, parishes and ministries can upload their own sermons, liners, announcements and pod casts to their customized radio station. With an OCN managed station, we provide weekly updates to your station and provide the recording equipment so that your sermons, commercials, announcements and other programs can be seamlessly integrated with the OCN music of your choice.

New York Times Reports on Converts Finding Antiochian Orthodoxy

On Friday, October 2nd, New York Times reporter Samuel G. Freedman published an article in the Religion section about converts who have discovered the Orthodox faith via the Antiochian Church. "More Protestants Find a Home in the Orthodox Antioch Church" tells the story of one such convert, Cal Oren, a parishioner at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Linthicum, Maryland, and mentions his priest and khouria, Fr. Gregory and Frederica Mathewes-Green.

"Over the last 20 years," reports Freedman, "the Antiochian Orthodox Church — with its roots in Syria and Lebanon and its longtime membership in the United States made up almost entirely of Middle Eastern immigrants and their descendants — has become the destination of choice for thousands of Protestants of Northern European ancestry." The NY Times reporter quotes Antiochian theology professor Bradley Nassif as explaining that about 70 percent of Antiochian priests in the U.S. are now converts.

Read the article in its entirety here.

IOCC Responds to String of Disasters in Asia Pacific Region

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) – International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is responding to a string of disasters that are affecting millions of people in the Asia Pacific region and have already taken hundreds of lives.


Damaging floods and mudslides caused by Typhoon Ketsana struck the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, causing hundreds of deaths and displacing thousands of families on September 26. Meanwhile, whole villages in Samoa have been devastated by a tsunami that was triggered by a massive 8.0 earthquake on September 29. A second earthquake measuring a magnitude 7.6 on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has killed hundreds and injured thousands, and caused significant damage.


Two other typhoons appear to be moving towards the Philippines later this week and significant aftershocks are being experienced in Indonesia.


IOCC has mobilized its disaster response team and is coordinating with our Orthodox and Ecumenical partners to monitor and respond to the emerging needs.


“We pray for those who have perished, their families and those who have been affected by these disasters,” says IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou. “We are working with our partners to provide emergency relief and the long-term care that will be necessary to restore the many countries and communities that have been affected.”


You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the Asia Pacific Disasters, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift please visit www.iocc.org, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, Md. 21263-0225.

FOCUS sponsors Youth Equipped to Serve (YES) Weekend in Kansas City

September 29th, 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


This past weekend, a team of 20 youth participated in FOCUS North America’s YES Program (formerly known as OYO), serving our most needy neighbors in Kansas City.


They arrived from parishes in Wichita, KS, Oklahoma City, OK, and Kansas City, eager to be used by God to meet the fundamental needs of His people. They did not expect, however, that they would receive much more from the experience than they would give. After three intense days, the youth gained a new perspective on the poor and homeless: they came expecting to serve them, but, instead, found their own lives forever changed by the encounter.


“They are just like us,” one participant said. Another said, “I don’t know how anyone can come on a FOCUS North America YES trip and not be changed.”


Living out Matthew 25, the youth engaged in several social action projects throughout the weekend. They served and ate dinner with many homeless and working poor in the city, listening to their stories and enjoying fellowship with them. They distributed clothing to mothers who had no means to clothe their children. They walked around the famous outdoor Country Club Plaza in Kansas City with newly opened eyes, looking beyond the glamour to perceive and meet the needs of the homeless on the streets. But, as the youth realized, they themselves were fed and clothed by the face-to-face encounter with real living icons of Christ, with the poor of the city. As one participant said, “They really open themselves to you; they’ll sit and talk to you forever, when most people in school will never give their time to you like that.”

Brotherhood of St. Joseph of Damascus Clergy Retreat 2009 Report

September 23-25:

Click here for a collection of images from the retreat.

With the Pennsylvania forests’ magnificent change of colors well under way, proclaiming the glory of creation, the clergy of the Diocese of New York and Washington DC, and the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid Atlantic gathered at the Village in late September with Bishop THOMAS for their fifth annual clergy retreat.  In attendance with Sayedna were twenty-seven priests and deacons of the Brotherhood, and Mother Alexandra, abbess of St. Thekla Convent and her guest Mother Mariamne.

The retreat was led by one of the Brotherhood’s own – Archimandrite John Abdalah, pastor of St. George Cathedral, Pittsburgh.  Bishop Thomas asked Fr. John to discuss the theme “Being a Priest with a Positive Attitude.”  During the retreat sessions, Fr. John challenged the Brotherhood to consider three questions about their ministries.  The first was what metaphor best reflects their ministry.  The second was to ask what person had a significant influence on their ministry.  And last was what do we want to be remembered for.  As we discovered through the individual and collective answers to these questions, the images of how we see our ministries - now and in the future - profoundly affect the attitudes we portray to others through our day-to-day work in our parishes.

Meeting Summary: His Eminence Metropolitan Philip and St. Vladimir Seminary Leadership

Summary of the Special Meeting of the Leadership Team of St. Vladimir Seminary and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America


September 15th, 2009


Englewood, New Jersey


On Tuesday September 15th, 2009, a meeting was held in Englewood, New Jersey between the leadership team of St. Vladimir Seminary and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The purpose of the meeting was to review the recent events that have transpired, especially with regard to the redirection of two seminarians (one from St. Tikhon and one from St. Vladimir) to Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, MA


The meeting was attended by the following:


His Eminence Metropolitan Philip


His Grace Bishop Antoun


Very Rev. Joseph Allen


Very Rev. Paul Tarazi


Very Rev. Elias Bitar


Very Rev. Thomas Zain


Very Rev. John Behr


Very Rev. Chad Hatfield


Mrs. Anne Glynn Mackoul


Rev. George Kevorkian – Secretary


His Eminence Metropolitan Philip led the participants in opening prayers.


His Eminence welcomed everyone to the meeting and made introductions. He reviewed the history of the relationship between St. Vladimir Seminary and the Antiochian Archdiocese, with a focus on the very close and positive working relationship that has been built.


His Eminence reviewed the sequence of events surrounding the recent redirection of two students (one from St. Vladimir, and one St. Tikhon) to Holy Cross.

SCOBA Hierarchs Convene For Special Session

Press Release


September 25, 2009


SCOBA Hierarchs Convene For Special Session


New York, NY— A Special Session of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) met on September 25, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., hosted by the Chairman of SCOBA, Archbishop Demetrios of America, at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in Manhattan. The session was attended by the following Members of SCOBA: Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Philip, Vice-Chairman (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Christopher, Secretary (Serbian Orthodox Church), Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Joseph (Bulgarian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America), Archbishop Antony (proxy, Ukrainian Orthodox Church), and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA).


Also present were the General Secretary and members of the SCOBA Study and Planning Commission representing the SCOBA member Churches.


The entire discussion was focused on the documents related to the “Organization of Episcopal Assemblies” in the regions of the world that are outside the borders of the Autocephalous Churches. These Episcopal Assemblies have been authorized by the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference which met at the Orthodox Center of Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland from 6 – 13, June 2009. It was decided unanimously by the Hierarchs that the first such Episcopal Assembly shall be convened during Post-Pentecost Week of 2010, which will fall in the last week of May. The likely days of the Assembly will be May 26-27, 2010. There was also discussion as to the location of the Assembly, with a specific venue to be decided after investigation of locales and resources.

Special Olympics Awareness Day + October 18, 2009

The third Sunday of October, October 18, 2009 is Special Olympics Awareness Day (SOAD) across our Archdiocese.  On Sunday, October 18th, your teen group, or if you have none, your designated representatives, are asked to seek the financial help of your parishioners in funding the 2010 Special Olympics Sports Camp to be held at the Antiochian Village August 13-22, 2010.  Next summer we will be celebrating our 30th Annual Special Olympics Sports Camp.  This ministry is sponsored by the North American Council of Teen SOYO.  Our teens work very hard for this ministry and rely on the generosity and support of the faithful of our Archdiocese and the Order of St. Ignatius.

Please use the following downloads to promote Special Olympics Awareness Day:

2009 Clergy Letter (Word format)

Bulletin Insert for October 11, 2009 (PDF)

Bulletin Insert for October 18, 2009 (PDF)

2010 Special Olympics Application (PDF)

 

OCMC Now Hiring for a Major Gift Officer

POSITION: Major Gift Officer

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Open until filled

SALARY RANGE: $60,000.00 - Negotiable

QUALIFICATIONS:

The Orthodox Christian Mission Center is now accepting applications for the position of Major Gift Officer. The Major Gift Officer is responsible for all facets of fundraising for the Mission Center.  The successful candidate will identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major donors. He/she will nurture long-term relationships with contributors including individuals, corporations, and foundations.

The Major Gift Officer will report to the Associate Director and work closely with the Executive Director providing support for identification of potential donors, cultivation and solicitation.

Minimum qualifications for the position include experience in major gift fundraising. Managerial, organization, interpersonal, and communication skills are required. Knowledge of fundraising and ability to prepare proposals from start to finish are essential.

TO APPLY: Submit your resume and cover letter, including a brief statement of fundraising qualifications  with emphasis on past experience  to: Fr. Martin Ritsi, Executive Director, Orthodox Christian Mission Center, 220 Mason Manatee Way, St. Augustine, FL 32086 or by email to missions@ocmc.org. For additional information please contact Fr. David Rucker, Associate Director, by phone at (904) 829-5123 ext. 102 or by e-mail at assocdirector@ocmc.org.

Orthodox Christian Laity Annual Meeting at Antiochian Village

Listen to an interview with OCL director George Matsoukas on Ancient Faith Radio.

Amidst an unprecedented focus of attention and activity on Orthodox Unity, Orthodox Christian Laity invites all Orthodox and interested observers to attend its 22nd Annual conference to be held at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, October 29-31, 2009.

“At no time in recent history has there been such attention focused on the quest for Orthodox unity both in America and world-wide,” declared Peter Petkas, OCL president.

“These developments provide OCL, a long-time advocate of Orthodox unity, and all concerned Orthodox with a historical opportunity to help chart the way toward this vital goal. Our annual meeting is a timely vehicle for both dialogue and action leading to Orthodox unity.”

Petkas explained that the program includes seven panels comprised of devout and informed Orthodox who will discuss a range of topics connected to the realization of Orthodox unity in America. He said these discussions will include (a) the process for achieving Orthodox unity in North America and other non-traditional Orthodox areas that was adopted at the recent Pan-Orthodox meeting held in Chambesy, Switzerland and (b) the impact that the exclusion of representation by the Church in North America in that meeting, and in future pre-conciliar meetings, will have on the relevance of those decisions to the Orthodox faithful in North America. His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, newly installed primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will deliver the keynote address. His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel and His Grace Bishop Thomas will also participate in the meeting.

Announcing The Chrysostom Bible from OCABS Press

This summer, the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies has launched The Chrysostom Bible, a new biblical commentary series for preaching and teaching. "The Chrysostom Bible," writes series editor, Fr. Paul Tarazi, "is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation."

Order of St. Ignatius Governing Council Meeting on October 16

The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch will meet in Houston, TX on Friday, October 16 in conjunction with the Archdiocese Board of Trustees meetings. Our host parish, St. George Church, Houston, has made hotel arrangements with Hilton Post Oak Houston, 2001 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, TX 77056.  Please make your room reservations directly with the hotel.  The phone number is 713-961-9300.

Reflection on the 2009 Archdiocese Convention

by Fr. William Olnhausen, pastor of St. Nicholas Church in Cedarburg, WI – the article was published in the Church’s Sept. 2009 newsletter:

FATHER BILL'S ARCHDIOCESE CONVENTION REPORT

It was 114 in Palm Desert California the day I arrived & well over 100 every day. Lord have mercy. But our delegate Mike Hubergot off the plane, breathed it in & said "I love it!"

Cheryl Haska also represented St. Nicholas. Our teens Nicole Haska, Abe Newhouse, Lydia Newhouse & Ana Treptow & coach Mary Beth Newhouse, our Midwest Bible winners, represented our Diocese at the national Bible Bowl - which didn't go as well as at the Midwest, but they are still one of the top teams in the Archdiocese. Be very proud of them! It was fun to have so many St. Nicholas people there.

Our Antiochian Archdiocese is doing well financially & spiritually: united, growing, enthusiastic, dynamic. Since 1988 this little Archdiocese has established over 125 new missions, most of which are now self-supporting churches. His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP at age 78 is in fine form & delivered a brilliant keynote address. The worship services, more than 2 hours daily, were well attended and beautifully celebrated. (I am now accustomed to services with 3 metropolitans, 7 bishops, a congregation of 1,000 & a choir of 50!) The many departments of the Archdiocese are doing really good things. Our clergy are high quality.

A Letter from the Mathewes-Greens on Seminarian Placement

An email that was sent to the Archdiocese office in late August from Fr. Gregory Matthewes-Green and Khourieh Frederica regarding their son Stephen:

We wanted to communicate to His Eminence and everyone there that the negative comments and speculations appearing on the internet do not represent our thoughts and feelings. Personal attacks on His Eminence are especially dismaying to us. While the instruction to our son to move to Holy Cross initially came as a shock, we fully accept it and believe that God will work through it for the best. In fact, we are already seeing many good things come out of it.

Please convey to everyone there our greetings in Christ, as we ask for your continued prayers. The midwife says the baby should be born in the next couple of days.

In Christ,

Fr. Gregory and Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green

 

Registration Begins for OCF College Conference 2009 on September 20th

Fishers, IN – September 16, 2009

Registration for 2009 College Conference opens Sunday, September 20th and runs through December 1st. “Building Community” (II Corinthians 13:14) is the chosen theme for this year’s conference. Identical conferences will run simultaneously from December 27-31 in two locations: the Antiochian Village in Bolivar, Pennsylvania and the Diakonia Center in Salem, South Carolina. 

OCF is honored this year to announce that His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah will be the keynote speaker at the Antiochian Village. Additionally, The Very Reverend Father Jon Braun will be delivering the keynote addresses at the Diakonia Center.

Registration is $325 for students and $375 for alumni. Included in the registration fee are transformative keynote addresses and inspiring workshops, social events, a dinner/dance, memories and friendships that will last a lifetime as well as lodging and meals.  

Space is limited so register early. Some scholarships are available.  Please visit www.ocf.net or call 1-800-919-1623 for more information. 

For additional information contact:

Kelli Phillips

Program Director,
Orthodox Christian Fellowship
kelli@ocf.net
www.ocf.net

Memory Eternal! + Archimandrite Gabriel Cooke

Archimandrite Gabriel Cooke, former pastor at St. Michael/Seattle, WA and St. George/Portland, OR, died in medical retirement this past Thursday, September 10th, 2009, at his home in Prescott, AZ after suffering a second massive stroke. Prior to his release to the OCA in 1997 and his monastic tonsure he was known by his worldly name of "Jeffrey" when a seminarian at St. Vladimir's Seminary in the mid-1980s and as "Father Gregory" when a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese (1987-1996). Archimandrite Gabriel will be buried this Thursday, September 17th, at St. Spyridon Cathedral in Seattle, WA; presiding will be His Grace BISHOP BENJAMIN of the OCA Diocese of San Francisco and the West.

May his memory be eternal!

College Student Sunday + September 20, 2009

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
“Keeping our College Students Connected to the Church”
OCF COLLEGE STUDENT SUNDAY 2009

 

A discussion of College Student Sunday on the OCN Now podcast

Fishers, IN – September 16, 2009

Since 2003, the Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) have designated the Sunday following the Elevation of the Holy Cross as OCF College Student Sunday. They ask all faithful Orthodox Christians in North America to call to mind and prayer our college students. We invite you to read the 2009 SCOBA College Student Sunday Encyclical at www.ocf.net/css.

OCF’s mission is to help Our Youth discover that it is communion with God, through life in the Church, which gives real meaning and significance to life.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship is Our Campus Ministry. It exists to come alongside families and parishes to provide solutions. OCF provides curricula, educational DVDs, service learning encounters and an interactive website that help our students apply their faith in their daily lives. On a program level, OCF offers large-scale, transformative opportunities annually, such as College Conference and Real Break.

Currently, we have 270 local college/university chapters in the United States and Canada. Together these individual chapters represent the backbone of the OCF ministry and Our Future of the Orthodox Church in North America.

FOCUS North America Serving the Poor of Philadelphia

16 Teens and Youth Leaders Served the Poor of Philadelphia and Initiated FOCUS North America's Newest Program

September 4, 2009– Kansas City, MO This past weekend, August 28-30, 2009, the Orthodox Youth Outreach Program (OYO), now called the YES Program of FOCUS North America (Youth Equipped to Serve), took its first trip as a ministry of FOCUS North America. A group of 16 eager teens and leaders said yes to the “cry of the poor” (Proverbs 21:13) and gave their time in service to the people of Philadelphia, PA.

The weekend began with orientation, led by Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director. The rest of Friday evening was spent in prayer, the team’s first ministry to Philadelphia. The group traveled around the city and prayed for it and its people. This prayer tour kicks off all YES trips, orienting the team to the past and present of the community they will serve and opening their eyes to the real struggles of its people.

St. Vladimir's Seminary Plans Ecological Education Day 2009

[Yonkers, NY] On Saturday, October 3, 2009, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY, invites the faithful to its annual Orthodox Education Day, this year titled "God's Green Earth: Ecology and Theology." The day's program will feature outstanding speakers, exhibits, and workshops regarding the intersection of faith and practice, as related to the environment.

"This Education Day, we want to wed theological vision with practical ways to care for our world," said The Very Rev. Chad Hatfield, chancellor and CEO of the seminary. "So, the day will feature everything from ecological perspectives of ancient church writers, to how to create an 'earth-friendly' garden."

Keynote speaker Dr. Vigen Guroian, an Armenian theologian and professor or religious studies at the University of Virginia, will address the topic "Ecological Musings from the Garden," and an array of other experts will present workshops. In particular, Mr. Chris Nolan, Chief Landscape Architect of Central Park Conservatory, New York City, will discuss the eco-friendly use of land; and Dr. Emily Markides, adjunct faculty at the Peace and Reconciliation Studies Program, University of Maine, and co-pioneer of the Permaculture Garden at Agia Skepi Detoxification Center, Filani, Cyprus, will share her experience with building sustainable communities. For animal lovers, a monk from New Skete Monastery in Cambridge, NY, Father Christopher, will speak about deepening spiritual consciousness through kinship with animals. The monastery is known globally for its dog training methods and breeding of German shepherds.

Charity Run to Benefit Theophany School in Needham, MA

Charity Road Race to Continue Local Woman’s Dream

August 25, 2009 West Roxbury, MA—In the mid-1990s, 18-year old Sonia Belcher (then, Sonia Daly) was intent on creating a school where Orthodox Christian children in the Boston area would benefit from a strong academic and spiritual education founded in the teachings of the Orthodox Christian Church.  In 1997, with the support of the local Orthodox Christian community, Sonia founded what is believed to be the first pan-Orthodox School in the country: the Theophany School in Needham, MA.  That fall, 17 children were enrolled for the 1997-1998 school year.  Today, Theophany School is thriving, with some 35 students enrolled in the School’s Pre-School and Kindergarten classes.  With three full-time teachers and one director on staff, students are provided with the individualized care and attention that is vital to a young child’s learning.  Theophany School continues to grow, thanks to the generous support of the community.

Sadly, in February, 2008 Sonia Belcher passed away suddenly on her 32nd birthday. She was survived by her husband, Deacon Nicholas Belcher and their three-month old son, Andrew.  In addition to her beloved family, Sonia left behind a legacy of tenacity and determination.  Her final wish was for Theophany School to function as a full elementary school.  Shortly after her untimely death, the School launched its “Building on a Dream” campaign, an initiative to continue Sonia’s mission, while keeping her memory alive.  Thanks to the campaign, the School has received overwhelming support over the last year. 

OCAMPR Offers Pan-Orthodox Conference on Care for Severely Challenged Patients

Brookline, Mass. -  The 2009 Annual Conference of Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion (OCAMPR) will focus on Care for the Severely Challenged Patient. Presentations at the conference will review the needs of patients with chronic illnesses and severe and persisting trauma from a pastoral, medical, and psychotherapeutic perspective. Speakers will include Deacon Nathanael Symeonides, Dr. Aaron Haney, Dr. Michael Christakis, and Presbytera Maryann Tonias. The conference will meet at the Holy Cross Seminary campus in Brookline, Mass., November 6-7, 2009, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday evening. 

OCAMPR is an inter-jurisdictional network of Orthodox persons in helping and healing professions, endorsed by the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).  The conference will be prefaced by an open General Board Meeting on Friday November 6, at 1:30 pm at Holy Cross.

Over the two day conference, speakers focusing on medicine, psychology, and theology will offer talks on various dimensions of Care for the Severely Challenged Patient and discuss a sample case.  Group discussions will invite reflections, questions, and comments from conferees.  Resources on caregivers’ practical concerns from medicine, nursing, hospice, ethics, theology, law, counseling, chaplaincy, and clinical pastoral education will be available at the conference, and the Holy Cross bookstore will also offer resources.

Fr. James Hamrick Ordained to Priesthood

Maryland’s First Western Rite Orthodox Church Emerges

Click here for more photos.

On Sunday, August 23, 2009, Bishop THOMAS (Joseph) ordained James K. Hamrick to the Holy Priesthood in the Orthodox Church, Antiochian Christian Archdiocese.  The ordination ceremony was conducted during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint Basil the Great Orthodox Church in Poquoson, Virginia (near Newport News).  The host priest and pastor of the church, Father Gregory MacGregor, was one of Hamrick’s three priest sponsors.  Father MacGregor had introduced Hamrick to Holy Orthodoxy three years earlier during a family vacation to Williamsburg, VA.  At that time Hamrick was a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church and had just planted a new mission in Lewistown, Maryland named Lamb of God Church—all of this after having previously served as a United Methodist pastor for six years in the Harpers Ferry, WV area.

Hamrick’s other two priest sponsors for his ordination were present and included Father Patrick Cardine, pastor of St. Patrick Orthodox Church in Warrenton, VA; and Father Nicholas Alford, pastor of St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church in Washington, DC, both of whom were also the catechists for Hamrick’s congregation when they made a decision to become Orthodox last year.  

Statement Issued by Metropolitan's Office Regarding Placement of Antiochian Seminarians

From the Office of Metropolitan PHILIP:

Unfortunately, there has been much speculation and incorrect information on the Internet and elsewhere regarding our recent decision to send our incoming seminarians to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. This decision effected two students. The third new student was already planning to attend Holy Cross. Over the years we have tried to keep a balance between the distribution of our seminarians to various Orthodox seminaries here and abroad, especially St. Vladimir’s, St. Tikhon’s and Holy Cross. In fact, this year, we will have 10 students at St. Vladimir’s, 9 students at St. Tikhon’s and 6 students at Holy Cross.

It has been our primary concern over the years to insure a strong priestly formation for our future priests. While all three schools have helped us in accomplishing this task for generations of clergymen, we feel Holy Cross most closely mirrors the practices and customs of the Patriarchate of  Antioch in general and the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America in particular. This is true for a variety of reasons, first and foremost being the common Syro-Byzantine liturgical and musical tradition that we share. Given the changing demographics of the majority of our seminarians and the reality that many of them are not rooted in this Syro-Byzantine expression of our one Orthodox faith from birth, we feel it is vital to immerse them in this tradition in a more complete way. It is our hope to have our own seminary in the future. In fact, much of the foundational work has already been done. Nevertheless, since we do not have our own seminary at this point in time, we feel Holy Cross is best suited to accomplish the task at hand.

At the same time, however, we will and have always assessed the common needs and concerns of both the seminarians and the Archdiocese and therefore leave all doors open for the future with regard to their placement.

International Orthodox Psychotherapy Conference in Chicago, June 2010

Dear Clergy, Students and Psychotherapists,

Plans are underway for the 2010 International Orthodox Psychotherapy Conference slated for June 21 - 25, 2010 at the Cenacle Retreat House in Chicago, Illinois. The conference center has only 50 rooms available on campus. Please book your reservation sooner rather than later.

For more information, to register or to submit a presentation proposal, please visit the conference web page or contact Fr. Stephen Plumlee.

Memory Eternal! + Fr. James Kenna

Archpriest James Kenna, 74, of St. Sophia in Dripping Springs, TX, was fatally injured in an automobile accident on Sunday, July 26th 2009. Services for Fr. James will be held at St. Sophia on Tuesday July 28 and Wednesday July 29th; see below for further details, or visit St. Sophia's web site.

Condolences may be sent to Khouriya Anne and the Kenna family c/o the Dean of Central Texas, Fr. David Barr of St. Elias Church in Austin, TX, at stelias_austin@sbcglobal.net.

From the Austin American Statesman:

 

The Rev. James Kenna was an energetic Dripping Springs pastor who founded several Orthodox Christian parishes in Central Texas and, even in retirement, was looking to establish more.

"He never wanted to quit," said the Rev. David Barr, the pastor of St. Elias Orthodox Church in Austin. Kenna, 74, died Sunday afternoon in a car wreck on his way home from lunch with a parishioner after attending church in Dripping Springs. Austin police officials said Kenna's PT Cruiser left Texas 45 for an unknown reason, crashed into a fence and flipped over into a retention pond.