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Metropolitan Joseph Condemns Charleston Slayings, Calls for Prayer

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America issued a statement yesterday condemning the racially-motivated shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, in historic Charleston, South Carolina. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph expressed his great sorrow and offered his prayers for the nine victims, their families, and the entire community.

"I learned of this tragedy from across the ocean in Lebanon, and am deeply saddened that, in this land of freedom and opportunity for all people, we still find such hatred and racism," noted His Eminence. "May the sacrifice of the nine victims who gathered to do nothing more than pray to the almighty God and study the scripture, inspire all of us to work to eradicate racism from our great nation."

July Liturgical Texts Available for Download

The Liturgical Texts for July, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for clergy and laity to download from the Online Liturgical Guide.

This year, the commemorations of two important saints fall on Sundays in July: St. Athanasius of Athos (July 5), one of the founders of monasticism on Holy Mount Athos more than a thousand years ago; and St. Paraskeva (July 26), a second-century martyr who endured many tortures going “from city to city to bring the pagans to the true Faith” (Synaxarion at Orthros).

Every year on the Sunday that falls in between July 13-19, the Orthodox Church commemorates the 630 Holy Fathers who also defended the true Faith at the Fourth Ecumenical Council, convened in Chalcedon in 451.

An Invitation to Become Truly Human

“Becoming Truly Human” is an eight week course offered by the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America to increase effective and relational evangelism.

The program was created to help Eastern Orthodox churches grow both spiritually and physically. The idea behind the course was to give local churches a tangible program which would have a positive impact on the local community. The techniques in the small group discussions help guests to feel loved, listened to, and welcomed. They come for many reasons, but they return because they are being treated as "truly human."

An Introduction to Becoming Truly Human by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph
How Do We Define Success?, Editorial by His Grace Bishop John

Our lives in this modern world become so busy that we are constantly distracted from asking ourselves the fundamental questions and reflecting on the importance of their meaning in our lives.

2015 Department and Organization Convention Reports

Reports from the Departments and Organizations of the Antiochian Archdiocese prepared for the 2015 Archdiocese Convention are now available online in PDF format.

Click on each link to access a PDF file that may be viewed online, downloaded or printed.  Adobe Reader is required to view PDFs, and may be downloaded for free at get.adobe.com/reader.

June 2015 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

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

How Do We Define Success?
by His Grace Bishop John

Antimins or Antimension
by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

Becoming Truly Human
by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

An Invitation to Become Truly Human

The Beauty of the Church: Its Place and Purpose
by His Grace Bishop Anthony

Annual Spring Meetings at Antiochian Village

This past weekend, May 29-31, 2015, the hierarchs and leaders of the Antiochian Archdiocese met at the Antiochian Village for their annual spring meetings. Our bishops met on Friday morning and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees met on Friday evening and Saturday morning. In addition, several other meetings took place including the Village Council and the newly formed cemetery committee.

During the bishops' meeting, our hierarchs discussed various issues relating to their respective dioceses, upcoming clergy transfers and other issues. They also heard a report from Fr. Thomas Zain and Mr. Khalil Samara, the NAC Fellowship of St. John the Divine Spiritual Advisor and President, about the proposed changes to the Fellowship and the newly formed Young Adult Ministry. The hierarchs wholeheartedly endorsed the new concept and one of the NAC officers will attend each of the Parish Life Conferences this year to explain the restructuring of the organization to the faithful of each diocese.

June Liturgical Texts Available for Download

Inside Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of Potomac, MDInside Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of Potomac, MDThe Liturgical Texts for June, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for clergy and laity to download from the Online Liturgical Guide.

The season of the Pentecostarion that began with Great and All-Holy Pascha concludes this year on June 7 with the Sunday of All Saints, who “shone forth throughout all the world, North and South, East and West” (Synaxarion of Orthros). In imitation of the Apostles who received “tongues of fire” on Pentecost to preach the Gospel in all corners of the globe, Orthodox Christians realize their calling on this day to do the same and become the holy ones of Jesus Christ. That is why, on the following day (June 8), they undertake the Apostles Fast, in order to spiritually prepare themselves for this witness.

The Legacy of Saint Raphael

Procession with the relics of St. RaphaelProcession with the relics of St. RaphaelOn May 29, 2015, the Antiochian Archdiocese marks the fifteenth anniversary of the glorification of our beloved St. Raphael of Brooklyn. This article by Rosemary Shumski of the Department of Christian Education, was first published in the September 2000 issue of The Word magazine.

View photos of the glorification day

On Sunday, May 29, 2000, my family and I had the privilege of attending the glorification of Bishop Raphael at St. Tikhon's Monastery. Although we have lived in another part of the state for many years, my husband and I were born and raised in northeastern Pennsylvania. In the past, we had driven by St. Tikhon's many times, but had never actually visited.

Sign up Today: Camp Season is Just Around the Corner!

One of the best opportunities for children to grow spiritually and in friendship, is through summer camp. In addition to Antiochian Village, there are seven outstanding regional camps in the Antiochian Archdiocese across the United States and Canada, serving hundreds of children throughout the summer. The Department of Camping explains that each program is overseen, "to insure that the highest safety guidelines are followed, a consistent program is presented at all of our camps, accreditation is maintained, and oversees the distribution of the Order of St. Ignatius Scholarships to each camp." (Find the list and more information here.)

Contact the The Order of Ignatius, your parish priest, or your diocese camp, to learn about scholarships.

30th Anniversary of the Sacred Music Institute

The Department of Sacred Music is thrilled to announce the Thirtieth Anniversary Sacred Music Institute (SMI), which will be held at the Antiochian Village from July 8-12, 2015. This year is promising to be the best ever! Whether you love Byzantine or 4-part choral music, there is something for everyone, from theoretical classes to private lessons in voice, chanting, conducting and vocal technique; instruction in Byzantine chant and choral conducting; special presentations and concerts from the Sacred Music Chamber Choir and the Sacred Music Byzantine Chamber Choir; and even our 30th Anniversary Musical Review!

The Sacred Music Institute has it all. This very special and memorable weekend will be attended by our Keynote Speaker His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.

Sunday of the Blind Man

Who shall declare Thy might, O Christ? And who shall number the multitude of Thy wonders? For as Thou wast doubly seen in Thy goodness on earth, so didst Thou doubly grant healing to the sick; for not only didst Thou heal the bodily eyes of the man born blind from the womb, but the eyes of his soul also. Wherefore, he confessed that Thou art a hidden God, granting all the Great Mercy.

--Doxasticon of the Feast, Tone 8

Metropolitan Joseph's Call to the Convention

Letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph regarding the 2015 Archdiocesan Convention to be published in the church bulletin and distributed to all parishioners:

May 14, 2015

To: Our Beloved Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Archdiocesan Trustees, Department Heads, Organization Presidents, Parish Councils and Faithful of this God-protected Archdiocese:

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

It is with this joyful proclamation of the Risen Lord that we send to you this official Call to the 52nd biennial Archdiocesan Convention. We direct your attention to the following matters:

Metropolitan Joseph Participates in Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide

Metropolitan Joseph, seated in the first row, listens as the President of Armenia delivers his speech.Metropolitan Joseph, seated in the first row, listens as the President of Armenia delivers his speech.Press release: By the Very Rev. Joseph Rahal, Washington, DC
Friday, May 8, 2015

On Thursday, May 7, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph was a participant in the ecumenical commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The service was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. as a part of the National Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial coordinated by the Diocese and Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Churches of America, East and West.

Accompanying His Eminence were the Very Rev. Joseph Rahal, Pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of Washington, DC; the Very Rev. Isaac Crow, Pastor of Ss. Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, Potomac, MD; and Subdeacon Rassem El Massih. The delegation was seated on the first row facing the altar.

In the Armenian Genocide, over 1.5 million Armenians, Antiochians, Syrians and Assyrians perished at the hands of Ottoman Turks from 1915-1923.

Register Today! Archdiocese Convention in July Will be Historic

 

 

 

 

 

St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts is proud to host this year's biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention from July 19 through July 26, 2015, in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. This historic city's significance in American history is a fitting backdrop as we celebrate our own history of Orthodoxy in America, the 100th anniversary of the falling asleep of St. Raphael of Brooklyn. Making this event even more historic will be the presence of his Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, presiding, and the first North American Archdiocese Convention under his Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.

Sunday of the Paralytic

O Thou Who holdest the ends of the earth in the palm of Thy hand, O Jesus our God, Who art co-beginningless with the Father, and Who, together with the Holy Spirit dost rule over all things: Thou didst appear in the flesh, healing infirmities, driving away passions, and giving sight to the blind. And, by a divine word, Thou didst raise up the paralytic, commanding him to walk straightway and to take up upon his shoulders his bed, which had carried him. Wherefore, together with him we all praise Thee and cry: O Compassionate Christ, glory to Thy dominion and might.

--Oikos of the Feast

On this, the fourth Sunday of Pascha, we make commemoration of the Paralytic and, as is meet, we celebrate the miracle wrought for him.

The word of Christ was strength for the paralytic;
And thus this word alone was his healing.

Interview with Kh. Gigi Shadid: Teaching Service Through HUGS

Khouria Gigi Shadid, wife of Fr. James Shadid of St. George Orthodox Church in Houston, TX, is a mother of three, a school teacher, and former youth director. Her passion is teaching with music, and she has produced five educational music CDs to date. Several years ago, she developed the Matthew 25 HUGS program, or Hands Used for God's Service, in cooperation with the Archdiocese's Department of Christian Education. The goal of the program is to nurture generous spirits in the children of our church schools, with targeted activities and lessons at every grade level until children graduate from high school. Antiochian.org asked her to explain further.

Where did the idea for the HUGS program come from, and what do you hope to accomplish with it?

My cousin, Georgina, is known for giving great hugs. One day, we were talking and she began telling me about how much she wishes she could go to the NICU at a hospital and just hug on the little babies there. I told her that her loving hugs are one of the gifts that God has given her and that she should share those hugs with as many people as she can. As we talked, Georgina expressed a desire to do more with that gift... but what?

Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women

Hear the voice of gladness, O women; for I have trodden down rebellious Hades, and raised the world from corruption. Wherefore, hasten ye and proclaim the glad tidings to My beloved; for I desire that joy shall break forth thence upon My creation, whence first came forth sorrow.

—Orthros of the Feast, Tone 2

On this day, the third Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the feast of the holy Myrrh-bearing women. And we also make commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea, who was a secret disciple, and Nicodemus, who was a disciple by night.

The women disciples bring myrrh unto Christ;
And I bring a hymn as it were myrrh unto them.

Joint Statement on the Second Anniversary of the Kidnapping of Archbishops Paul and John

Damascus - April 22, 2015

A JOINT STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE TWO PATRIARCHATES OF ANTIOCHAND ALL THE EAST: THE ANTIOCHIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND THE SYRIAC ORTHODOX CHURCH
On the Second Anniversary of the Kidnapping of the Two Metropolitans of Aleppo: His Eminence Paul (Yazigi) and His Eminence John (Abraham) on April 22, 2013

The Declaration of the Truth in the Iniquitous Trial

“It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial”
(Acts 23:6)

Our bishops, Paul and John, are on trial; they were once put on trial at the beginning of the Christian kerygma, and now they are put on trial once again, in the same geographical spot, although bearing different names. It is a unique trial, not only in the East, but also in our contemporary world. The convoluted nature of their trial does not strike the terrestrials only, but the celestials also, since it is a struggle, where the Great Judge will prevail, for He has the final ruling in this case, the case of the True Man and of the True God.

Maybe this trial is unequal; most probably, the detainees are not able to plead their case. However, here is their statement, written by their own spirits, by their lives, by their constant witness, that rebounds in the wilderness of this world:

Photos Capture the Beauty of Holy Week and Pascha, 2015

St. Michael Orthodox Church, Louisville, KYSt. Michael Orthodox Church, Louisville, KYChrist is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! ~Paschal Troparion

As the Antiochian Archdiocese's first Great Lent under the leadership of Metropolitan Joseph concluded, parishes around the United States and Canada commenced the services for Holy Week and Pascha. Throughout the solemn week, the faithful gathered frequently in worship and prayer, finishing the week with the joyous celebration of Pascha on April 12, 2015. Our photo gallery presents a colorful summary of this apex of the Church year.

If your parish isn't represented yet, it's not too late! Send your photos to editor@antiochian.org, and we'll include your community in the gallery.

View the photo gallery of images from parishes across the Archdiocese
See the photo gallery of Metropolitan Joseph's first Pascha at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for Great and Holy Pascha

Pastoral Message for Great and Holy Pascha
April 12, 2015

Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad, as is meet; and let the whole world, visible and invisible, feast; for Christ hath risen to everlasting joy.
(from the 1st Ode of the Paschal Canon)

Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen!

We greet you with great joy and love as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. We are reminded by the hymn quoted above that the entire universe rejoices in this singular event which brings new life to all creation. Even the current state of violence and hatred which plagues this world is shattered to pieces by the Lord's descent into Hades and his resurrection from the dead. We ask all of the faithful to continue to pray for the two abducted bishops, Metropolitan Paul, and Archbishop Youhanna, and the victims of violence around the world, especially in Syria and in the entire region. The victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over the powers of death, and the hope of new life are indeed our only consolation during these troubled times. The triumph of this Paschal season strengthens our faith and renews our hope. Let us therefore rejoice with the heavens and celebrate with the entire universe on this, the Feast of Feasts!