News


IOCC Aid Reaches Russians Affected by Fires

August 25, 2010

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) began providing emergency supplies this week to people affected by fires in the Ryazan region of Central Russia. The response was made possible through a $5,000 gift from the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and a $25,000 matching grant from the John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation.

Aid to the region southeast of Moscow will reach 640 people and includes personal hygiene kits, blankets, towels and bed linens. The relief is being provided in cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Round Table, an ecumenical forum for social service in Russia.

The grant from the John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation will support IOCC's aid projects in Russia by creating a matching gift program. The Foundation will match every dollar contributed to IOCC for relief projects in Russia up to $25,000. Rangos, a founder of IOCC, was instrumental in one of IOCC's first humanitarian missions – an airlift of relief supplies and medicines to Russia in 1992.

In addition to the gift from the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah called upon parishes to provide support for the relief efforts. "I am also asking that members of the Orthodox Church in America offer financial assistance through IOCC, which will convey our donations to the appropriate Church partners and Church programs in Russia."

"We are grateful for the generous response of the Orthodox Church in America and John Rangos in response to the current urgent needs in Russia," said Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director. "Their steadfast support for our work with the Russian Orthodox Church since the earliest days of IOCC continues to make a difference for those who are suffering."

OCF to Honor His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos

His Grace Bishop DemetriosHis Grace Bishop DemetriosFISHERS, IN. - August 18, 2010

The OCF Board of Directors will be honoring His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos for his tremendous contributions in establishing Orthodox Christian Fellowship with a celebratory dinner in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 17, 2010.

Beginning in 1960 as a recent seminary graduate, Bishop Dimitrios (James Couchell) was the driving force in establishing what has become the all-important campus ministry arm of the Orthodox Church. Inspired by his dedication and devotion to college students, OCF has been able to build upon the foundation he laid 50 years ago.

In the year 2000, OCF experienced a renewal, which included the strong and continuing support of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in North America. Recognizing these two milestones, this fall marks the 50th anniversary of OCF's creation and the 10th anniversary of its current efforts.

In addition to the dinner, OCF will be holding its annual Board of Directors, Chaplain's Network and Student Advisory Board meetings throughout the weekend. These planning meetings will lead into OCF's annual College Student Sunday on September 19.

Memory Eternal! + Metropolitan Christopher

Metropolitan Christopher of Libertyville-ChicagoMetropolitan Christopher of Libertyville-Chicago

Chicago, IL - On Wednesday, August 18, 2010, on the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Old Calendar), His Eminence +Christopher, Metropolitan of Libertyville-Chicago, fell asleep in the Lord. 

Funeral arrangements are forthcoming. Updates may be obtained from the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America website here.

May his memory be eternal! Вечнаја памјат!

From the Holy Resurrection Cathedral web site:

Born in Galveston, Texas, and baptized Velimir Kovacevich, the future Metropolitan Christopher was the ninth of twelve children of Serbian immigrant parents. After graduation from high school, he attended Nashotah House and graduated from St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Seminary in Libertyville, Illinois. After marriage, he was ordained to the Diaconate and Priesthood. Continuing his education, he earned a B.A. (Philosophy), Master of Letters (History) at the University of Pittsburgh; the Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, and completed courses and examinations for the doctorate at the Chicago Theological Seminary.

Bishop Thomas Planning Pilgrimage to Holy Land

The Administrative Office of the Diocese of Charleston writes:

Beloved in Christ,

May God be with you always.

The diocesan office of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic is announcing that Bishop THOMAS has been invited as a guest of a group that will be making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP has kindly given his blessing for Bishop THOMAS to make this pilgrimage. The tentative dates for this trip are the first twelve days of June in 2011. Final dates have not been set yet and may vary by a few days earlier or later. The dates will be finalized after the Antiochian Archdiocese announces its dates for the Spring Local Synod Meeting and Board of Trustees Meeting.

This trip is being led by Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky of the Orthodox Church in America in Binghamton, NY. It's our understanding that some people have been approaching Bishop THOMAS about the possibility of joining him on a trip to the Holy Land. This trip is open to you if you choose to accept the invitation. All information regarding location, visitation, fares, etc. are available through Fr. Ilya, whose contact information follows. Please only contact Fr. Ilya. Neither Bishop THOMAS nor the diocesan office will be accepting inquiries about the trip.

IOCC Mobilizes Food Aid to Flood Victims in Pakistan

IOCC has mobilized food assistance to assist flood victims in Pakistan as more and more areas are being inundated by flood waters. (photo: Abdul Majeed Goraya/IRIN)IOCC has mobilized food assistance to assist flood victims in Pakistan as more and more areas are being inundated by flood waters. (photo: Abdul Majeed Goraya/IRIN)August 12, 2010 Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Torrential rains and flooding over the course of July and early August have now affected an estimated 14 million people in Pakistan according to reports from the Government of Pakistan. Widespread flooding has devastated large parts of the country destroying homes, leaving people without food, clean water and shelter and exposing millions to the threat of disease.

In response to the emergency, IOCC has mobilized food assistance to vulnerable people in the flood affected communities of Wazirabad, Gujranwala and Faisalabad, Pakistan. The IOCC response is being coordinated with the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Nektarios of Hong Kong and South East Asia.

"We pray for those who have perished and for the millions of people whose lives are threatened by this ongoing disaster," says IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou. "With rain continuing to fall, the magnitude of this disaster continues to grow and much more aid will be needed."

IOCC Responds to Historic Russian Heat Wave & Wildfires

August 12, 2010 Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Experiencing the worst heat wave in Russia since record-keeping began more than 130 years ago, the Russian people have been suffering from uninterrupted high temperatures for the past 50 days and deteriorating air quality as a result of more than 500 active fires burning nationwide. News agencies have reported that more than 50 people have died so far from the fires and an estimated 5,000 others have died as a result of the heat and poor air quality in Western Russia.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in consultation with the Orthodox Church in America, is working with its partners in the Russian Orthodox Church to formulate an appropriate IOCC response to this latest humanitarian crisis.

Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director, expressed his concern at the situation, stating, "We pray for those who have died. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those mourning the loss of loved ones. We are also steadfast in our prayers for all who have been affected by the wildfires."

In addition to the immediate concern for the loss of life, it is estimated that approximately one third of Russia's wheat crop has burned. One of the world's largest exporters of wheat, Russia has suspended its wheat exports.

St. Vladimir's Seminary Launches New Website

On August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, St. Vladimir's Seminary launched a new website.

The Seminary’s Chancellor, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, says of the new site, which took nearly six months to develop, “With so much good happening at SVOTS we wanted to offer you a Website that was easy to navigate, informative, and a pleasure to view, and I believe we have met those goals.” The new site has more audio and video content, and will eventually be hosting some space for interactive exchange.

Site browsers can read reflections from Chancellor Hatfield as well as the Dean, Fr. John Behr, in the "Voices" section: other features are Seminarians Speak, Alumni in Action (currently featuring Antiochian Bishop Basil), and Faculty Footnotes. A new history of the seminary can be found in the About Us section, and a new welcome video is accessible via a homepage button. 

Memory Eternal! + Salem Ghareeb

Prayers are requested for Salem Ghareeb, who recently reposed at age 90. He is survived by his wife Nabiha Ghareeb and children, Issam (Carol), Michel (Gail), Nouhad (Fr. George) Shalhoub, George (Nabelah) and Elias, ten grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Salem’s greatest virtue was his strong faith in Christ and His Holy Church. He was a great father and a wonderful and loving grandfather. He was the living patriarch of the Ghareeb family. A life time member of St. George Cathedral, Salem was a great painter, enjoyed gardening, reading and woodworking.

He will be greatly missed.

Salem will lie-in-state at St. George Cathedral, 3754 Woodley Rd. in Toledo on Thursday, August 12th from 5-8pm. The Trisaigion Prayer Service will begin at 8pm. On Friday, August 13th, Salem will lie-in-state at St. George Cathedral from 10-11am. The Funeral Liturgy will begin at 11am.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to:

St. George Cathedral
3754 Woodley Rd.
Toledo, OH 43606

The Basilica of St. Mary
18100 Merriman Rd.
Livonia, MI 48152

Hospice of Northwest Ohio
800 S. Detroit Ave.
Toledo, OH 43609

Condolences may be sent to:

May his memory be eternal!

Orthodox Women in the Healing Ministries Annual Conference + October 1-3, 2010

Ss. Hermione, Philonella and Zenaida, the Mothers of Modern MedicineSs. Hermione, Philonella and Zenaida, the Mothers of Modern Medicine18th Annual Conference
October 1,2, & 3, 2010
Holy Dormition Monastery
Rives Junction, Michigan

Maria T. Molett, M.A.
"Women the Master Jugglers"
"The Power of Forgiveness in Healing"

OWHM hosts a yearly retreat for Orthodox women who are in the medical and other healing professions. in addition, we recognize that most women minister to others and welcome them to our conference as well. Our fall retreat provides time for prayer, rest, reflection, opportunities for networking, and lectures given by outstanding speakers. Friday's lecture is for women only and Saturday lectures are open to both men and women from all walks of life.

Please visit us at www.owhm.org or call (517) 414-3829.

For more information about registration please click on this link: Registration Instructions.
If you have any questions please click on this link: Contact Information.

A New Initiative for the Study of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

by Dr. Sebastian Brock
(Oxford University, UK)

In 2006 a new charity, named ‘Antioch’, was set up and registered with the aim of promoting research on the cultural heritage of the Rum Orthodox (Chalcedonian) Patriarchate of Antioch. Although the early period, up to the time of the Arab conquests, is comparatively well known, the subsequent centuries have been very little studied, despite their importance, both for the history of the Orthodox Church as a whole, and for that of the Middle East in general. Discoveries in recent years of medieval wall paintings in Syria and Lebanon, as well as of hitherto unknown manuscripts, forgotten saints, and the identification of new Christian archaeological sites, are just one indication of some of the new and unexpected aspects that are coming to light. At present, however, ‘Antioch’ is concentrating its attention on the very large number of manuscripts of Antiochian Orthodox provenance, written in four different languages, Greek, Syriac, Christian Palestinian Aramaic and Arabic. At the end of many of these, the copyist has provided a colophon with notes stating where, when and for whom the manuscript was written; quite often, further information of a historical or topographical nature is also given. Work on these manuscripts has already brought to light a forgotten saint, besides providing a lot of new and valuable historical information. Once all this information has been collected together, it will make it possible to write a much more authoritative and reliable history of the Rum Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch than is at present available.

Clergy Wives Weekend 2010 + October 29-31 at Antiochian Village

A pan-Orthodox gathering of spiritual refreshment and fellowship in memory of Kh. Joanne Abdalah

Kh. Joanne Abdalah served as an inspiration in her life as the wife of a priest and as a counselor to many. She understood the joys and trials of this life, and the need for finding strength in Christ and each other. She believed that every clergy wife needs to discover and develop her own Christian vocation. In her memory, her family and several clergy wife friends planned the first Clergy Wives Weekend in 2009 as a fitting tribute and way to carry on her work and commitment to clergy wives.

Last November more than 70 Orthodox clergy wives from jurisdictions across the United States enjoyed the inaugural Clergy Wives Weekend at the Antiochian Village. The schedule reflected Joanne’s holy and holistic approach to life – we need to pray; we need to play. We need to enjoy the fellowship for this short time without parish responsibilities, family responsibilities or other cares of this world. The Weekend was a tremendous success, and so we announce the 2010 Clergy Wives Weekend!

  • Date: October 29-31
  • Theme: Everywhere present and filling all things: The Holy Spirit or the Clergy Wife?

The Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of Truth, is everywhere filling all things. But do clergy wives with the best of intentions get caught trying to do that, too, juggling marriage, family, parish, education and job beyond realistic expectations? How do we listen to hear what the Spirit is leading us to do in life? How can we nurture our relationship with God? What do the gifts and fruit of the Spirit look like in our lives and situations? How do we discern? And what do we do with all our life includes?

Fr. Aidan Wilcoxson Interviewed by Austin Statesman

Fr. Aidan Wilcoxson of St. John the Forerunner Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cedar Park, TX, was interviewed recently by the Austin Statesman newspaper. The occasion was the publication of his reflection on Orthodox parish life, Aidan's Song: A Year in the Life of a Parish Priest, available from Conciliar Press.

What gave you the idea to write this book?

While there are a lot of spiritual memoirs being written these days, most of them are by people who are either dissatisfied with their particular spiritual tradition and on their way out the door, or they are sampling a number of different spiritual traditions to try and find out what’s right for them, or they are just maintaining an ironic distance from any and all spiritual traditions. I thought that a memoir written by someone who has fully embraced a particular tradition and is finding joy in it would be unique.

Click here for the full interview.

2010 Diocese of Los Angeles and the West Clergy Seminar Audio CD's Available

His Grace, the Right Reverend ILIAHis Grace, the Right Reverend ILIAThe Diocese of Los Angeles and the West has made a set of audio CD's featuring the sessions from the 2010 Clergy Seminar available here. Web browsers may download the CD's for free of charge using the links provided, or the series is available for purchase here. The series features the special guest speaker, His Grace, the Right Reverend Ilia, the Titular Bishop of Philomelion, of the Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America. The theme, "'...but make us worthy to approach Thee by mouth and heart…':The Priest, Pastor and Spiritual Father" emphasized the high calling of the priesthood; one CD also features a talk on Albania's Church, titled "From Oppression to Renewal The Orthodox Church in Albania."

New Site For Metropolitan Anthony Bloom Archives Launches

Metropolitan Anthony BloomMetropolitan Anthony BloomA beautiful new website hosting a great majority of the archived works of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, recently launched at masarchive.org. Compiled as a labor of love over twelve years, by Boris K. Khazanov, the archive consists of over 2,000 text files, 800 photographs, 1,600 audio files, and 200 videos in Russian, English, French, and eight other languages. As the website "About" section explains,  "For several decades a number of parishioners and disciples of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh (1914-2003) recorded his talks, interviews and sermons on audio tapes, video recordings and photographs. Some of the audio tapes were transcribed. All of these documents, stored on fragile media, were widely spread among many people across the globe – in the UK, France, Russia, USA, Switzerland, etc. Metropolitan Anthony did not prepare an official will, with regard to his works or wordly possessions, however in 1987 he gave his blessing to his spiritual son and friend Boris Khazanov to collect all his works and in 1998, memorialized that blessing in a written statement."

Browsers can spend hours in the Photographs, Texts, Audio, and Video menus. In "Photographs," for instance, galleries display images from the years 1912 all the way up to the year of his repose, 2003.

OCABS Press Releases Commentary on Colossians and Philemon

New from OCABS Press:The Chrysostom Bible - Colossians & Philemon: A Commentary                                      Paul Nadim Tarazi (Paperback: 130 pages, Publisher: OCABS Press, July 2, 2010)

The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series 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. In this volume, the author, Paul Nadim Tarazi, explains how both Colossians and Philemon are woven together to "'fetter' a free Roman patrician of the 'mighty' city of Colossae to the gospel whose main injunction is the love for the needy neighbor...both Colossians and Philemon," Tarazi writes, "when understood against their original background are lessons for the ages."

The V. Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi is Professor of Biblical Studies and Languages at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He is the author of a three volume Introduction to the Old Testament, a four volume Introduction to the New Testament, Galatians: A Commentary, I Thessalonians: A Commentary, Land and Covenant, and the Chrysostom Bible, Genesis: A Commentary, Philippians: A Commentary and Romans: A Commentary. His Audio Bible Commentaries on the books of the New Testament are available online through the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS).

Visit the OCABS Press website for more information.

Project Mexico Volunteers Complete 10 Homes in June and July

Project Mexico VolunteersProject Mexico VolunteersProject Mexico, the pan-Orthodox organization that has been ministering to the poor of Tijuana since 1988, reports, "After the past three weeks of hard work, both sessions of OBT (Orthodox Basic Training) have ended and 10 new homes are built in Mexico! Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage hosted roughly 150 people for OBT's 1st session June 22-28, and 110 for the 2nd session July 6-12. Volunteers came from a variety of places including New York, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Canada and more! Each Orthodox Basic Training session gave participants a unique experience to build a home in an impoverished area of Mexico, and unite with other Orthodox Christians from across the country while doing so."

Read the rest of the report here.

Musicians Helping Musicians--Sacred Music Institute, July 28-Aug. 1

2009 Sacred Music Institute2009 Sacred Music InstitutePaul Jabara, Chairman of the Sacred Music Institute, writes, 

"Dear Church Musicians,

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Sacred Music Institute. When I think back on the early years, I remember a group of music lovers who “boldly went where no one had gone before”. We didn’t know what to expect, but quickly learned that the Sacred Music Institute was not only a place of learning, but also a place of love. Musicians helping musicians…Christians helping Christians. Friendships were formed and these bonds are thriving to this day. Personally, my earliest memory of the SMI was as a young seventeen-year-old being coached by Maestro James Meena, and directing my first Cherubic Hymn. How the years have passed…Twenty-four years later, I found myself organizing the Sacred Music Institute and here we are at year twenty-five.

The curriculum has expanded over the years. Here are some of the highlights being planned:

• We welcome back our beloved Bishop Basil, the music department’s overseer, and look forward to hearing his words of inspiration and musical brilliance.

• An expanded Byzantine Music Program will be led by Charlie Marge of the Boston Byzantine Chorale, and Dr. Sam Cohlmia, Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America and St. George Cathedral, Wichita, Kansas. Additional faculty are Dr. Stephen Esper of St. George Cathedral, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, a specialist in the history, theory and practice of Byzantine music and Protopsaltis of the Greek Archdiocese.

• Classes on Theory, Vocal Techniques, Choral Conducting and Music for Mission Parishes will also be offered, just to name a few.

Metropolitan Jonah Discusses Episcopal Assembly

His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah recently addressed an assembly of the Canadian Archdiocese of the OCA with his perspective on the Episcopal Assembly process currently underway in North America.

Click here to listen to his speech on Ancient Faith Radio!

Click here to listen to the Question and Answer Session following His Beatitude's address.

July 28, Russia's Baptism Into Orthodoxy, Declared a National Holiday

Kiev BaptismKiev BaptismReuters Moscow Bureau reports, "Russia officially celebrated a new holiday on Wednesday marking its conversion to Christianity in 988, the latest Kremlin boost to an Orthodox Church that has grown increasingly powerful since the fall of Communism.

Marking the anniversary, Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, told state-run television: 'Abandoning the historical significance of the baptism of Rus means discarding the supporting pillar of our entire civilization.'

Kirill held a liturgy in Kiev, the capital of modern Ukraine and mediaeval Kievan Rus, whose leader Prince Vladimir converted to Christianity over a millennia ago and adopted it for his state. Kievan Rus is seen as the precursor to modern-day Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Clad in a flowing gold cloak in Kiev's historic Pecherska Lavra monastery, Kirill told thousands of followers: 'Facing aggressive atheism and resurgent paganism we remain firm in our belief in God.'

The Orthodox Church is undergoing a revival in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union almost 20 years ago and Russia's leaders have endorsed it as the country's main faith.

Medvedev on June 1 signed a law making July 28 a National Day, a state holiday that is also a working day.

Across Russia, churches prepared to hold ceremonies and mass river baptisms in honor of the conversion."

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov in Kiev and Amie Ferris-Rotman in Moscow; Editing by Peter Graff)

AFR Releases Documentary on Hogar Rafael, "Miracle In Zone One"

Chesterton, IN — “The Miracle in Zone One” is the name of a new Ancient Faith Radio audio documentary, in which Bobby Maddex reports on his recent trip to Hogar Raphael Ayau Orthodox Orphanage in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

From its founding more than 150 years ago, through its seizure by the government of Guatemala and its return to a descendant of the founder, Orthodox Christian nun Madre Inés Ayau García, in the 1990s, the story of “The Hogar” and its impact on the life of children and adults involves one miracle after another.

The miraculous happens frequently at Hogar Rafael Ayau (HRA). But, like so many miracles in Scripture, humans sometimes play a role. So when Catherine Fuller was looking for a way to record the wonderful singing of the children at Hogar Rafael Ayau and needed equipment, she contacted Ancient Faith Radio. She’d already tried recording the children herself, but the equipment available just wasn’t up to the job. She was hoping AFR would have better equipment.

Memory Eternal! + Michel Baik

Update: His Grace Bishop ANTOUN attended the firefighters' memorial on Friday, July 30. An estimated 8,000 firefighters attended the service.

Update, from the Connecticut Post:

As many as 10,000 firefighters from across the nation and Canada are expected to attend funeral services for Lt. Steven Velasquez, 40, and firefighter Michel Baik, 49, who died while battling a house fire on Saturday.

Click here to read the complete article.

Firefighter Michel Baik was a lifelong member of St. Nicholas Church in Bridgeport, CT.  He lost his life fighting a house fire on Saturday, July 24. 

The arrangements for Michel are as follows:

The wake will be Thursday, July 29, at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Rd., Trumbull CT, from 4-8 PM.

The funeral service will take place at St. Nicholas Church on Friday, July 30, beginning at 2 PM, followed by the internment.  The mercy meal will follow within the facilities of St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 220 Shelton Rd., Trumbull CT.

Because a very large turnout is expected, there will be additional seating in the church hall with an audio/video feed of the funeral service for those who cannot get a seat in the church. 

IOCC Launches "Kits for Kids" Campaign

July 16, 2010

Baltimore, MD — Looking for a great back-to-school service project that will provide kids around the world with supplies that they desperately need? International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is challenging its supporters to assemble 10,000 school kits by September 2010 as part of its "Kits for Kids" campaign.

Parish youth leaders and Sunday School teachers can use "Kits for Kids" as a powerful way for children to learn how to serve others while providing supplies for some of the millions of children who lack items as basic as pencils and paper. 

"The kits are so valuable, especially from the simple perspective of the kids getting something new and clean and useful that they could call their own," said an Orthodox priest in Haiti who works at a school that is supported by IOCC and who recently received a shipment of school kits.

IOCC, which has sent tens of thousands of school kits to children in need throughout Eastern Europe and the Middle East, through a partnership with Church World Service (CWS), is reporting very low supplies of school kits at the warehouse in Maryland where they are stored.

Become part of the "Kits for Kids" campaign today! Help IOCC get 10,000 school kits to 10,000 children who need them desperately all over the world! Click here for complete instructions.

 

OCMC Uganda Team Sees Record Number of Patients

From ocmc.org:

Northern Uganda had been decimated by war and insurrection for many of the years since its independence from Britain in 1961. Now relatively secure, former residents are beginning to return and their medical needs are tremendous. This June, an Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) Health Care Team was sent to Uganda to address the persistent needs that exist there.

Malaria is a scourge in East Africa and intestinal worms are pandemic. Arriving in Kampala and first working out of Gulu and then moving to Lira, the team treated over 3,800 patients in nine rural clinics. The first day saw a new record for a one day patient count when over 700 people were examined and treated. The Team pharmacy worked until 8:30 pm filling prescriptions by the light of a kerosene lantern.

The team, led by Fr. Joseph Ciarciaglino, utilized two doctors, one nurse practitioner, three RNs, one physical therapist and one health care student to bring medical services to many who had not had any care since last year's OCMC Team treated them. These dedicated Orthodox medical professionals are a credit to themselves and to the Orthodox Church. The love and care with which they served God's children was a visible sign of the Gospel message of love of neighbor.

In addition to over $9,200 worth of medical supplies, the Team brought liturgical books and two sets of vestments for the priests. A set of icons, an icon cross for St. Basil Orthodox Church in Gulu, over 3,000 paper icons and a set of church banners were also gifted by the Team. Financial contributions were made toward a day school and for other needs as they arose.

Greek Orthodox 40th Clergy Laity Congress Adopts Resolutions

Archbishop Demetrios at 2010 Clergy Laity ConferenceArchbishop Demetrios at 2010 Clergy Laity ConferenceThe Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, at their 40th Clergy Laity Conference, adopted six General Resolutions which they have released to the general public here.

The resolutions: call for religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, request the faithful and the government to do all possible to help the people impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf, issue a call to prayer for peace in the world and especially in the regions of Iraq and Afghanistan, request that all Orthodox support the efforts of the Episcopal Assembly, express appreciation for the ministry of Orthodox chaplains, and offer thanks to those who planned and executed the Congress in Atlanta.

Patriarch Kirill Urges Clergy to Spread Orthodox Influence by Blogging

from The Voice of Russia:

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill has urged the clergy to use Internet blogs for missionary work. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church warned against idle talk or passing one’s own thoughts for the postulates of the church. The Patriarch  was speaking ahead of his second pastoral visit to Ukraine....

Patriarch Kirill sees social networking as an opportunity for dialogue and revival of the epistolary genre. IT expert Alexander Kuzin says the patriarch wants to establish a dialogue with the Internet community in a user-friendly language.

"The Church wants to make itself understood to most readers," he says. "This does not mean that church bloggers should use a primitive or false language. Unlike former Internet resources, social networks and blogs make it possible to talk and listen. Communication is crucial. A contemporary user wants two-way communication, so that they could ask questions and receive the answers, and could enter discussions with the others."

Click here to read the complete story.