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From the Department of Youth: Bible Bowl and Oratorical Website Launched

Attention, youth leaders, parents, and Sunday School teachers: a new Bible Bowl and Oratorical website is up and running, at orthodoxyouth.org!

The following resources are available now:
+Team Registration for Bible Bowl Teams
+Registration for Oratorical Contestants
+Bible Bowl Practice Questions
+Rules and Manuals for both the Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals

St. George Church in Cleveland Hosts 2017 Spring Gathering

The Diocese of Toledo is pleased to announce our Spring Gathering, which will be hosted this year by St. George Church in Cleveland, Ohio, March 17–19, 2017. Bishop Anthony will be our keynote speaker.

Please see the attached flier, registration form, parental consent form, and schedule.

Memory Eternal! + John Roman

John Roman (3rd from left) at the 2015 Archdiocesan ConventionJohn Roman (3rd from left) at the 2015 Archdiocesan ConventionMemory Eternal! John Roman, son of the late Daniel and Olympia Roman of Tucson, AZ, reposed yesterday, February 15, 2017, after a valiant battle with cancer. John, a member of Holy Resurrection parish in Tucson AZ, was a past president of NAC Senior SOYO during the year 1978-1979. 

Memory Eternal! +Kevin Speier

Memory Eternal! Kevin Speier, youngest child of Fr. Nicholas and Kh. Jan Speier of St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara, CA, reposed this morning, February 15, 2015, after a valiant battle with cancer. In addition to his parents, brothers and sister and their families, Kevin is survived by his wife Angel and their two young children. Condolences may be sent to the family at frnicholas@stathanasius.org.

Winter 2017 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Winter 2017 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. The issue contains:

  • Using our Prayer Books by His Grace Bishop Anthony
  • Information about the 2017 NAB Common Act of Mercy
  • A message from the Diocesan President Cynthia Beckes O'Connor
  • Profiles of diocesan officers
  • Chapter reports, photos and happenings

...and more! Download (PDF) here.

Milestones and Memories: Fr. George Shalhoub Reflects on a Lifetime of Service

In 2017, Fr. George Shalhoub, pastor of The Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan, will be celebrating his 45th anniversary of the ordination to the holy priesthood, as well as his 45th wedding anniversary. Throughout these years, he and Khouria Nouhad have served this community, tirelessly and faithfully. His parish recently released this interview with Fr. George.


Q: What are your thoughts as you celebrate your 45th anniversary in our community?

A: We thank God for His guidance that made us grow older, wiser and more patient. Forty five years is almost half a century. Did we know where we were going to be 45 years ago? No, and even though we started out homeless with no church, no family and no community, we never felt hopeless.

Antiochian Village Bookstore Offers St. Raphael's Theological Thesis in English

The theological thesis of St. Raphael of Brooklyn is available for the first time in English. Translated from the Greek by Fr. Patrick Viscuso, The True Significance of Sacred Tradition and Its Great Worth was written by the beloved saint when he was a student at the Theological School of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Halki. In the thesis, St. Raphael presents an Orthodox response to Roman Catholic and Protestant proselytization efforts aimed at converting Orthodox Christians.

As Fr. Patrick explains in his introduction, complex historical and theological forces were at work in St. Raphael's world. Beginning in the sixteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church—supported by Western powers—began to proselytize the Orthodox Christians of the Ottoman Empire. By the late nineteenth century, Protestant missionaries from the United States also joined in this effort. Saint Raphael's thesis and his refutation of Catholic and Protestant positions present an interesting and active dialogue with Western Christianity.

Now Available! 2017 Christian Education Materials and Order Form, and 2017 Liturgical Books Order Form

The 2017 Christian Education Materials and Order Form (PDF) is now available! Download and use this new form to order materials for your parish programs. Shipping options are available. Call for more information.
 
Also, the 2017 Liturgical Books Order Form is now available! The Antiochian Village Bookstore now carries all of the titles formerly stocked at the Archdiocese. Here is the 2016 Order Form, including special Services and English/Arabic Service books.  Fax or email the form to the AV Bookstore, or call with your order! Note that Shipping options are now available. Credit cards are also accepted!
 
Visit the Antiochian Village Bookstore and Gift Shop for gift ideas for Church School and home.
Phone: 724-238-3677 x406
Fax: 724-238-2102
bookstore2@antiochianvillage.org

Metropolitan Joseph Hosts Luncheon for Local Law Enforcement Officials

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph welcomed law enforcement officials from the New York City and New Jersey area for a luncheon, to thank them for their help and support throughout the years. The officials who attended were especially helpful during the recent visits of our Patriarch and during the funeral of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory.

After lunch, His Eminence presented each of them with an icon of the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of law enforcement. In thanking them for their efforts and praying for their safety, Metropolitan Joseph also relayed to them that he hoped to make this luncheon an annual event. Those in attendance included the following: Charbel Atie, Chief of Police for Prospect Park, NJ, Sheriff Michael Saudino of Bergen County, Deputy Inspector Amin Kosseim of the NYPD, Commander Nart Hapatsha, Intelligence Division, Wayne, NJ, Mr. Joseph Hakim, and Mr. Johnny Abuissa. Present from the archdiocese were Metropolitan Joseph, His Grace Bishop Nicholas, and Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General.

Department of Missions and Evangelism Launches New Podcast on AFR

The Department of Missions and Evangelism of the Antiochian Archdiocese has launched a new podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, titled "The 153: In the Boat and on the Shore with the Antiochian Department of Missions and Evangelism." In the podcast, Fathers John Finley and Joseph Huneycutt, the chairman and vice-chairman of the Department, offer audio glimpses of Antiochian parish life and the American mission field. "We want to shed some light on the often unseen world of American Orthodox evangelism," notes Fr. Joseph.

Listen to the podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

Memory Eternal! + Matushka Juliana Schmemann

Memory eternal! + Matushka Juliana Schmemann, 93, wife of the late Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, reposed in the Lord at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, New York, on Sunday evening, January 29, 2017. Alongside her husband Fr. Alexander—eminent theologian, author, and Dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary—Matushka Juliana played a key role in the founding of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). She and Fr. Alexander, who fell asleep in the Lord in 1983, ministered to numerous Antiochian seminarians throughout the years they were associated with St. Vladimir's.

Matushka enjoyed a distinguished career as a teacher and headmistress. In later years she traveled widely to speak to women's groups and authored two books:  My Journey With Father Alexander and The Joy to Serve.

Antiochian Clergy and Faithful Participate in 2017 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Antiochian seminarians join Bishop John at the 2017 March for Life (photo: The V. Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield)Antiochian seminarians join Bishop John at the 2017 March for Life (photo: The V. Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield)His Grace Bishop John, Diocese of Worcester and New England, reports:

The Orthodox Church was well represented at the 44th annual March for Life in the nation's capital on Friday, January 27, 2017. The theme of this year's March was "The Power of One." Included in the March were Orthodox Christian hierarchs and a large number of clergy, seminarians, and faithful at the annual gathering, during which they witnessed to God's gift of life and the need to speak out on behalf of the unborn.

On Thursday evening, January 26, His Grace, Bishop John of Worcester for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America assisted by Fr. Nicholas Alford, OCA Metropolitan Tikhon, His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek; His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel; His Grace, Bishop Dimitrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago; and Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Church, attended the Vigil celebrated at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which was filled to capacity. Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Church also were present.

Feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs + January 30

Let all who love their words come together and honor with hymns the three luminaries of the light-creating Trinity: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and renowned John of golden speech, who have enlightened the world with the rays of their divine doctrines, and are mellifluous rivers of wisdom who have watered all creation with streams of divine knowledge; they ever intercede with the Trinity for us.

+Troparion, Tone 1

Thou hast taken the sacred and divinely inspired heralds, the crown of Thy teachers, O Lord, for the enjoyment of Thy blessings and for repose. For Thou hast accepted their sufferings and labors above every burnt offering, O Thou Who alone dost glorify Thy Saints.

+Kontakion, Tone 2

Recording of Original Orthodox Liturgical Hymns Released by Archdiocese Composer-in-Residence

The Archdiocese Department of Sacred Music's Composer-in-Residence nazo zakkak has released his premiere CD of liturgical music, titled LUXARI. A collection of original hymns for the Orthodox Church, LUXARI draws on the influences of traditional Byzantine, Russian, and Romanian music, and lovingly crafts them into a new and enticing American sound. The CD also features works commissioned by churches and monasteries across the US.

As a composer, nazo zakkak is one of Orthodox America’s next generation of liturgical musicians seeking to develop an authentic musical expression of the Church’s prayer in this time and place. The fruit of his labor can be heard on this, his first liturgical music CD. All the hymns on this album are appropriate for liturgical use within the Orthodox faith, yet shine in a concert setting. The Adelfos Ensemble from Santa Barbara, CA performs the works.

2017 Antiochian Women Grant Letter and Scholarship Application is Available

January 27, 2017

Dear Reverend Fathers,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The Antiochian Women of North American Board are asking for your help in finding women in your parish who could benefit from the Antiochian Women's Educational Grant. Each year, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America are able to award grants, in the amount of $500 each, to help women return to education or training in order to improve their circumstances and those of their families.

We will be awarding these scholarships in July at the NAB Summer Meeting. You can help by passing along the enclosed application to the women in your parish you feel are eligible and would benefit from our scholarship. Please feel free to duplicate the application form if more than one woman in your parish wishes to apply. Also, please publicize the grant in your parish newsletter or Sunday Bulletin.

2021 Convention Deadline Approaching

The Department of Conventions and Conference Planning (DCCP) would like to inform parishes that the deadline for submitting bids to host the 2021 Archdiocese Convention is February 1, 2017. Parishes interested in bidding or obtaining information about the bidding process can contact the DCCP Co-Chairs, Carol Jazzar or Raed O. Sweiss. The DCCP email is DCCP@Antiochian.org. Please visit The Department of Conventions and Conference Planning for contact and bid information.

It is recommended that no contact be made with the hotels until you contact the DCCP Co-Chairs. No contract or any form of commitment should be made without the approval of the DCCP.

South Florida Clergy Celebrate Namesday and Birthday of Bishop Antoun

Fr. Elia Shalhoub writes:

For the 2017 Feast of St. Anthony, the patron saint of our beloved Bishop Antoun, a few of the clergy of the South Florida Deanery gathered at St. Mary Church in West Palm Beach to celebrate His Grace's namesday and birthday. May God Grant him many years!

 

Blessed Namesdays to Bishops Antoun and Anthony!

January 17th is the celebration of St. Anthony the Great and the namesdays of His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and of His Grace Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo. May God grant them many years!

Apolytikion of St. Anthony the Great, Tone 4 

Thou didst become like the zealous Elijah in his condition, and followed John the Baptist in his upright ways, becoming a dweller in the wilderness and an establisher of the universe by thy prayer, O Father Anthony. Wherefore, intercede thou with Christ God to save our souls.

January-February 2017 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The January-February 2017 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Responding to God with Those Who Are Joining Us
by His Grace Bishop John

From Darkness to Light in the Church
by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt

Who Is My Neighbor (And Who Did They Vote For?)
by Gregory Abdalah, M.Div.

Who Is Worthy of God's Love?
by Fr. George H. Shalhoub

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph's Address at the Funeral of Protosyngellos Paul Doyle

My Discovery of Bishop Constantine at Holy Trinity Monastery
by David Beason

...and more!

January Sale at Antiochian Village Bookstore

The Antiochian Village Bookstore has a January Sale to take the chill off the winter days! Icons is a new publication that not only presents 60 elegant images, but pairs each one with texts from scripture and other writers for thoughtful reading and reflection.  A new recording of Rachmaninoff’s “All-Night Vigil,” sung by a 77 voice Choir (centered around the world renown Gloriae Dei Cantores, and including Orthodox singers) and conducted by equally renown conductor Peter Jermihov, gloriously brings to us the beauty of prayer in song.  Coloring isn’t just for kids! It offers grownups a spiritually refreshing way to bring some stillness, and bit of time to listen to God. And  Celtic Blessings (A Coloring Book to bless and de-stress!) is a 64 page book, with a blessing and design to color paired on each set of pages. All of these items are 20% off!

January also features several Liturgical books on sale. The Liturgikon (3rd ed., 2010) and the Book of Epistles are also discounted up to 50%!  

Prices for the January Sale are good through February 10.  (Yes, that is a little longer than January 31! But it’s a long winter! So it’s the least we can do!)  Shop online at http://store.antiochianvillage.org/January-SALE/.  Or call 724-238-3677, ext 406.

2017 Special Olympics Volunteer and Coaching Applications Available

Special Olympics campers and staff at the VillageSpecial Olympics campers and staff at the VillageThe 2017 Special Olympics Sports Camp is scheduled to be held at the Antiochian Village August 11–20, 2017. This ministry is sponsored by the North American Council of Teen SOYO, and is the second longest running program of Special Olympics Pennsylvania, serving over 340 Special Olympics athletes, coaches, and staff each season. It is the premier SOYO outreach program, now in its 36th year of service. Each year SOYO teens raise the funds on Special Olympics Awareness Day.

In addition to the funds raised, SOYO teens provide at least half the coaching staff, and many adult volunteers participate as well. The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, chair of the Department of Youth Ministry, has announced that the 2017 Special Olympic Coaches Application is now available for those youth who are interested in working at the Sports Camp. Additionally, for adults over twenty years of age, the Special Olympics Volunteer application is posted as well.

Bishop Nicholas Leads Full and Festive Weekend at St. Ignatius in Twin Falls, ID

Christmas came about a week early for St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Twin Falls, Idaho as it celebrated four historic events in less than 48 hours: the opening of the new church temple, the baptism of the baby daughter of the pastor and his wife, the celebration of the patron saint, and the ordination of a deacon. The weekend of December 16-18, 2016 will surely not be forgotten. (View the Facebook album: "Festive Weekend with His Grace Bishop Nicholas")

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph had asked His Grace Bishop Nicholas to fly from the Archdiocesan Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey to preside over the festivities. He landed in the bitter cold (20°F) of the Gem State, and it was outside where everything began on Friday night. Sayidna Nicholas, along with Fr. Michael Habib, pastor of St. Ignatius Church, Fr. John Mahfouz and Dn. Christopher Payne of Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Salt Lake City, Utah and the dozens of faithful stood in the snow for the “Service of the Opening of the Doors.” Incense filled the air, as did the frozen breaths of everyone participating in the service.

Memory Eternal! + Martha Bethancourt

Martha Bethancourt, the mother of Fr. John Bethancourt of Holy Trinity in Santa Fe, NM and the paternal grandmother of Fr. Daniel Bethancourt of St. Nicholas in Shreveport, LA reposed on December 31, 2016. Father James Coles of St. Ignatius in Mesa, AZ was with her, saying prayers. She lived with strength and died at peace with all at the age of 97. For this, and every aspect of her life, the family gives thanks to God. May her memory be eternal!

The Climacus Conference 2017: Encountering God

The sixth biennial Climacus Conference, a pan-Orthodox spiritual/academic event, is scheduled for February 24–25, 2017 and will be hosted by an Antiochian parish, St. Michael Orthodox Church, in Louisville, KY. The 2017 theme has been chosen to remind us that our reason for existence and our purpose as human beings is to encounter (and experience) God. The conference will give primacy to Theology; moreover, it will explore ways to encounter God through patristics, philosophy, beauty, liturgical arts, saints and miracles, poetry, et al. The conference will feature more priests speaking, along with more spiritually-focused speakers. After all, the website says, we are all going to die soon, and there we will encounter God. Imagine such an encounter after having actively sought Him in this life. Perhaps such encounters here are already encounters there? Perhaps these encounters prepare us for that encounter? Perhaps they influence or shape the Great Encounter? With this desire and purpose in mind, attendees will convene from near and far for another weekend of enrichment and fellowship, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

View the Climacus Conference website.
Visit the Conference Facebook page.
Contact David Wright, Conference Founder and Director at climacusconference@gmail.com or call (502) 296-2095.

Youth Music Ministry Teen Scholarships Available

Great Opportunity for Teens who love Music!

The Department of Sacred Music is thrilled to announce the upcoming Youth Music Ministry, in conjunction with the 2017 Winter Sacred Music Institute, to be held from February 17, 2017 at 7 p.m. until February 19, 5 p.m. Hosted by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Houston, this weekend promises to be informative, inspirational and a lot of fun, Texas style! REGISTER HERE!!

This is the first time a Youth Music Ministry, or YMM, has been organized outside of the Summer Sacred Music Institute at the Antiochian Village. We invite all teens, especially those from the host parish Diocese of Wichita and Mid America, to participate.

Come learn more about Lenten services, their history, theology and of course their music. Think of it as kind of a tune-up before Great Lent begins!