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Register Today for the Mid-Winter Meetings

Holiday Inn Express, Scottsdale, AZHoliday Inn Express, Scottsdale, AZWith the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, the 2014 Mid-Winter Meetings will be hosted by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, and will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona on February 7-9, 2014. The Archdiocese and Diocese officers of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America, the Fellowship of St. John Divine, and Teen SOYO will gather to conduct the business of our Archdiocese organizations. Please contact each individual organization's president for specific questions.

Travel, lodging, and registration information:

Hotel Reservations

  • Group rate of $129.00/night at the Holiday Inn Express Scottsdale North
  • Conveniently located just 4 miles (10 minute drive) from the church

Village Hosts Retreat: "The Marital Safe Haven"

Orthodox Marriage Enrichment Retreat at Antiochian Village

February 14-17, 2014

"The Marital Safe Haven: Making Marriage a Thriving Place of Spiritual Growth Insight & Healing"

With Fr. Demetrios Makoul, dean of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Cathedral of St. George in Pittsburgh and licensed professional counselor

  • Enjoy time with each other during this special weekend designed to give healthy married couples assistance in becoming "one"
  • Attend to your marriage away from the distractions and "busy-ness" of daily life

January 2014 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

Desire, Scripture, and Change: Reading the Bible in the Orthodox Tradition, pg. 4
by Fr. John Oliver

Love Your Enemies, pg. 10
by Fr. Andrew Harmon

World Council of Churches Statement, pg. 14

Reflecting on Reflections, pg. 19
by Fr. Joseph Allen, Th.D.

Help the Orphans of War in Syria, pg. 24
by Dianne O'Regan

On Faith, pg. 34
by G. Philip Sayegh

...and more!

Registration Opens for West Coast Sacred Music Institute

From Thursday evening, February 20 through Sunday February 23, St. Luke Orthodox Church in Garden Grove, CA will host the 2014 West Coast Sacred Music Institute. Twice each year, the Department of Sacred Music offers the Institute for church musicians to learn new pieces, and to sharpen their skills. The theme of the 2014 Institute is "The Passion of Christ: A Journey Through Holy Week."

The Institute is for all Church Singers, adults & teens, choir and chanters! What can be gained?
• An greater understanding of the theology and hymnography of Great Lent
• Learn new music, sharpen technique & vocal quality
• Enjoy worship and fellowship with Orthodox church musicians from across North America, all sharing the most important common thread
• Attend spellbinding presentations and sessions
• Participate in a concert showcasing the music learned for Holy Week during the Institute
View the schedule or download the registration form. For more information, contact Chris Farha at (316) 807-3286.

Memory Eternal! + Dr. George J. Farha

Memory Eternal! Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of the newly-departed servant of God Dr. George J. Farha of St. George Cathedral in Wichita, KS, immediate past Vice Chairman of the Antiochian Archdiocese Board of Trustees and the Antiochian Heritage Foundation's "Man of the Year" for 2013. Dr. Farha quietly fell asleep in Christ surrounded by his family at his home, shortly before nine o'clock on January 7, 2013.

Condolences may be sent to his wife Brenda and their daughters Gayle (Mrs. Douglas) Malone, Joan (Mrs. David) Farha, Laura Farha, and Julie Farha and their families at:

1517 North Foliage Court
Wichita, KS 67206

The schedule of divine services, all to be served at St. George Cathedral, is as follows:

  • Friday, January 10th Trisagion Prayers of Mercy at 7:00PM
  • Saturday, January 11th Trisagion Prayers of Mercy and Funeral at 10:00AM followed by Interment and Meal of Mercy

Interview with Dr. James Taylor of St. Raphael Orthodox Online School

A seasoned teacher and scholar, Dr. James Taylor is a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Topeka, Kansas. As founder of the St. Raphael Orthodox Online School, he has created a program of classical studies for elementary, middle, and high school students. In his career Dr. Taylor has taught in a variety of parochial schools and preparatory academies, including St. Marys Academy in Kansas, Wichita Collegiate School, and Topeka Collegiate School. For five years he was assistant then associate professor of the Education Department at Hillsdale College, Michigan, and later he served at the University of Tulsa, also in the department of education where his specialties were philosophy of education in the graduate school, and Children's Literature classes for elementary and middle school future teachers. Antiochian.org asked Dr. Taylor about his new enterprise and his thoughts on education in the context of his Orthodox faith.

Tell us a bit about your background and how you came to start this school.

While still in high school, I was drawn to the poetry of the past and the culture that informed the art, philosophy, religion and music of these eras, including the modern era. Once out of high school, I realized quite soon that to maintain these interests there was hardly any other place for me to fit in than as a high school or college teacher.

Nativity Greetings from Patriarch John X

With the mercy of God Almighty

John X

Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

To

My brothers, pastors of the Holy Antiochian Church

And my sons and daughters wherever they are in the parts of this Apostolic See

 

“As Thou art God of peace and Father of mercies, Thou hast sent unto us Thine Angel of great counsel, granting us peace. So are we guided towards the light of the knowledge of God, and watching by night we glorify Thee, O Lover of mankind”

With these words, beloved, the hymnographer described the great event of Nativity. With these words, Kosmas the Melodist, son of this east, surpassed ages and times to tell about what he might chant and ask concerning the Nativity of the Lord Christ, messenger of love and spring of peace.

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Today is born of the Virgin Him Who holdest all creation in the hollow of His hand.
He Whose essence is untouchable is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a babe.
The God Who from of old established the heavens lieth in a manger.
He Who showered the people with manna in the wilderness feedeth on milk from the breasts.
And the bridegroom of the Church calleth the Magi, and the Son of the Virgin accepteth gifts from them.
We worship Thy Nativity, O Christ.
Show us also Thy divine Theophany!

The Antiochian Archdiocese wishes a holy and blessed Great Feast of the Nativity to all! 

Read more about the Feast, and listen to the beautiful Byzantine Hymn of the Nativity. 

Updated Online Liturgics Guide for Parish Use

Archpriest Thomas Zain writes on December 23, 2013:

Beloved in Christ: It is with great joy that we present to you our updated online liturgics guide containing the Service Texts of the weekend services for parish use. The new order for publishing Great Vespers, Litia-Artoklasia, Orthros and Divine Liturgy Variables commences January 5, 2014. Like before, the Antiochian Archdiocese will offer word-for-word compilations of these services, as well as "abbreviated rubrics." The Service Texts will be posted in Rich Text Format (RTF) that can be used in any word-processing software for making booklets, as well as the traditional Portable Document Format (PDF).

Last spring, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip appointed me to chair a new Committee on Liturgics to bring together the various people in the archdiocese who were doing this work in their respective dioceses so that we might pool our talents in order to present a unified set of liturgical notes for our one archdiocese.

Antiochian Women Celebrate 40th Anniversary

In 1972, at the Archdiocese Convention in Los Angeles, California, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip stated, "We must realize once and for all that women have a definite ministry in the life of the Church. Very often we have the tendency to confine women's role to the kitchen. Both the Old and New Testaments testify beyond doubt to the important role which women played in the history of salvation. Time does not permit me to speak in detail about Ruth, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachael, the Virgin Mary, the Ointment-Bearers, the Deaconesses and many others who ministered to the church and Christ. I propose, therefore, that a NATIONAL SISTERHOOD OF CHARITY be organized in the Archdiocese."

St. Herman of Alaska + December 13

St. Herman of AlaskaIn an obscure corner of what is now Alaska, on an Aleutian island called Spruce, a monk labored from the late 1700’s until his repose in 1837. Braving subzero temperatures, plagues and storms, ill treatment from fellow Russians who resented and misunderstood him, St. Herman lived a life marked by astonishing ascetic labor that gave birth to a deep love and concern for all with whom he came in contact. Strangely, despite the miracles associated with him not only throughout his life but also, after his death, he was all but forgotten after he reposed.

"Thirty years will pass after my death, all those who live now on Spruce Island will be dead, you alone will remain alive, and you will be old and poor; then they will remember me," Father Herman said to his Aleut follower, Ignatius Aliaga. As with other prophecies of the saint, this one too was fulfilled, as in 1867, Bishop Peter of Alaska began a formal investigation into his life. It wasn’t until 1894 that his story became known to the outside world, and then his glorification waited another 76 years, until August 9, 1970.

Metropolitan Philip's Letter to President Obama

December 7, 2013

The President and Mrs. Obama; The White House; 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; Washington D.C.  20500  

Dear Mr. President and Mrs. Obama,

Greetings and best wishes to you and to your two precious daughters in the spirit of this Holy Christmas season. I was honored to receive your invitation to attend a White House holiday reception on Friday, December 6th, 2013.

I remember fondly my attendance at the White House reception two years ago. The photograph which we took together on that auspicious occasion continues to adorn my office. Unfortunately Mr. President, I did not attend your holiday reception this year because while I do have the joy of Christmas, I do not have the peace of Christmas. This is the peace which the angels proclaimed on that Holy Night "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men" (Luke 2:14). Although I am Lebanese by birth and a proud American citizen for the past fifty-seven years, I received my secondary education in the cities of Homs and Damascus, Syria.

December 2013 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The December 2013 issue includes the following articles:

St. Stephen's Course for the Residency Program, pg. 4
by Archdeacon Peter N. Boulukos

Antiochian Women Celebrate 40th Anniversary, pg. 8
by Violet K. Robbat, President

Bishop Anthony Addresses Priests at 9th Annual Synaxis, pg. 10

Metropolitan Philip Welcomes Seminarians to Dinner, pg. 12

The Missionary Character of Preaching in American Orthodoxy Today: An Interview with the Late Fr. Peter Gillquist, pg. 16
by Daniel Miles, Ph.D.

Special Olympics - Different Abilities, pg. 34
by Leilah A. Rodriguez-Anter

...and more!

Patriarch John X Speaks on the Abducted Nuns of Maaloula, Syria

His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, issued the following remarks on December 5, 2013 at a press conference in Balamand, Lebanon:

Amidst the calamities besetting Syria and the bloodshed afflicting our people and amidst the uncertainty that still surrounds the fate of our metropolitans Boulos and Youhanna in Aleppo, it is with deep pain that the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East has received news of the abduction of her daughters, nuns and orphans of the Monastery of Saint Thekla in Maaloula on December 2, 2013 and their being transported to Yabroud. Because our initial attempts to obtain the release our abducted daughters did not achieve the desired outcome, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East calls upon the international community and all governments to intervene and make efforts to release them safely. She likewise calls upon the conscience of all humanity and upon the spark of living conscience that the Creator, may He be exalted, sowed in the souls of all those who worship God, including the kidnappers, to release our sisters the nuns and the girls of the orphanage.

Choir/Chanter Appreciation Sunday is Dec. 8

By Christopher Holwey, Department of Sacred Music Chairman

Read Metropolitan Philip's letter of support for Choir/Chanter Appreciation Sunday

On December 8th, the second Sunday of the month, our Antiochian Archdiocese will be celebrating Choir/Chanter Appreciation Sunday. While we appreciate our choir and chanters many other times throughout the year, for all the liturgical services they beautify and make possible with their singing and chanting, this is one Sunday that we especially acknowledge them particularly throughout the Archdiocese, and thank them for their ministry in the parish.

AFR Addresses Addiction and Recovery on Call-in Show

Ancient Faith Radio's live call-in show Ancient Faith Today with Kevin Allen covered the critical subject of "Addiction, Recovery, and Orthodox Christianity" on Sunday, November 24 at 8 PM Eastern/5 PM Pacific.

Addictions and struggles with the passions are rampant in our culture. In this two-hour special, Kevin and his guests discussed addiction and ways to overcome it. Joining Kevin were Fr. George Aquaro, priest at St. Matthew Antiochian Orthodox Church, Torrance, CA, an international speaker on the topic of addictions, and the author of the blog Orthodoxy and Recovery, and Dr. Albert Rossi, a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of New York, a teacher in pastoral theology at St. Vladimir's Seminary, an author, and the host of "Becoming a Healing Presence" on Ancient Faith Radio.

The program streamed live on Ancient Faith Radio's talk station on November 24, and can be heard via AFR's Website.

Antiochian Participation in the 10th WCC Assembly

Antiochian delegation, L to R: Engineer Samer Laham, Archimandrite Jack Khalil, Khouryee Maha Milke Whebe, Professor Georges Tamer, Ms Laney Wagoner, Mrs. Anne Glynn Mackoul, Ms. Maha Fares, V. Rev. George Dimas, V. Rev. Dimitrios AttarianAntiochian delegation, L to R: Engineer Samer Laham, Archimandrite Jack Khalil, Khouryee Maha Milke Whebe, Professor Georges Tamer, Ms Laney Wagoner, Mrs. Anne Glynn Mackoul, Ms. Maha Fares, V. Rev. George Dimas, V. Rev. Dimitrios AttarianThe 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) recently met in Busan, Korea, from October 30-November 8, 2013. The Assembly is the highest governing body of the WCC, convening every seven years to review the WCC’s ongoing agenda, formulate public statements of concern and action, and endorse activities and outreach being undertaken by Christian ecclesial bodies around the world.

In addition to conducting its annual business meetings, which included the election of officers and Central Committee members, the Assembly issued a statement concerning the situation of Christians in Syria, Egypt, and the Middle East.

"Christ in Prison": Interview with OCPM Board Chair Kory Warr

In his professional life, Kory Warr is a commercial real estate developer. As an Antiochian Orthodox Christian, he has served terms as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and as a Board member for St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He is a member of St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City, OK, and is currently the chairman of the Board of Trustees for Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry. Antiochian.org recently had the opportunity to ask him about his outreach to prisoners, and what motivates him to minister to the incarcerated.

Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you first become interested in prison ministry?

I got involved in prison ministry in 2005. Prior to that, if I had made a list of things I might have wanted to do as a layman in the Church, prison ministry would have been at the very bottom—prison ministry was literally the last thing I wanted to do. However, my bishop, Bishop Basil of Wichita, asked me to participate in a working group whose task it was to begin to shape the prison ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America into the official prison ministry of SCOBA (now the Assembly of Bishops).

Archdiocese Makes Substantial Donation to Aid Russian Orthodox Cathedral

On Tuesday, November 12, His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn, and Antiochian Archdiocese Vicar-General Archpriest Thomas Zain, visited His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian, Archbishop of Naro-Forminsk and Administrator of the Patriarchal parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA. The purpose of the visit was to present Archbishop Justinian with a letter and substantial monetary donation from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip on behalf of the clergy and laity of the Antiochian Archdiocese for St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which had been damaged by fire the evening of October 4, 2013. While the church proper was not damaged, the electrical fire caused severe damage and destruction to the basement area that houses the refectory and offices.  Archpriest Georgy Roschin was also present at the meeting and served as the translator.

The two bishops discussed many topics of interest in the Orthodox world and especially regarding the situation of Christians in the Middle East and the ongoing war in Syria.

November 2013 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The November 2013 issue highlights the 51st Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, held with great joy in July 2013 in Houston, Texas.

See this link to re-visit the Convention with Antiochian.org's commemorative photo gallery.

Included in the issue are texts of the reports given by Archdiocesan organizations and departments to the General Assembly;

Texts of the resolutions of the General Assembly;

The proposed budget for the fiscal year ending January 31st, 2015;

A speech given by Oratorical Contest finalist Daniella Batarseh; and more!