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Metropolitan Philip Presents Ecumenical Patriarch with Engolpion of Ss. Peter and Paul

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip joined other American Orthodox Primates in an audience with His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Most of the Primates had also attended the Ninth Annual Orthodox Prayer Service for the United Nations Community the previous evening. Present at the audience were Archbishop Demetrios of America (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Philip (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Christopher (Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Nicholas (Carpatho- Russian Diocese); Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America), Metropolitan Constantine (Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA); Bishop Ilia (Albanian Orthodox Diocese) and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA). Archbishop Demetrios welcomed His All Holiness on behalf of the Primates.

The remarks of His All Holiness follow:

Ancient Faith Radio Launches Improved Web Site

Ancient Faith Radio is proud to announce the launch of its new web site. The improved site features better organized content with a new top navigation, better search capability and a simplified site design. AFR hopes that users will find the new site easier to use and a daily resource for the very best in Orthodox Christian music, talk readings and teaching.

Additional new features include:

  • Convenient updates showing recent podcasts and daily resources
  • Podcasts and Specials displayed side by side, with convenient sliders for navigation

Click here and enjoy the new Ancient Faith Radio!

Summary of Decisions Taken by the Archdiocesan Synod and Board of Trustees

November 2, 2009 Update: Order of St. Ignatius photographer Judy Braun has made available online photo galleries from the Houston meetings. Click here for the gallery from the Board Luncheon and here for the gallery from the Board meetings.

October 21, 2009

Summary of the Decisions taken by the Archdiocesan Synod and Board of Trustees as a result of their meetings in Houston, TX – October 16-17, 2009

On October 16th and 17th, 2009, the regular Fall meetings of the Archdiocesan Synod and Board of Trustees were convened in Houston, Texas.

At their meeting on October 16th, the Bishops of the Archdiocesan Synod approved the following:

1.  The appointment of a committee to review the current in-force Manual of Hierarchical Duties and Responsibilities and to recommend changes that will increase the effectiveness of the Manual as a tool for clearly delineating the responsibilities of the Bishops and the Metropolitan.  The goal will be to present the final draft of the Manual to the Archdiocesan Synod for approval at their regular meeting in the Fall of 2010.  The members of the committee are as follows:

Announcing Land and Covenant from OCABS Press

The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies is pleased to announce the publication of "Land and Covenant," the latest in a series of books to be released this year by Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi. Personally commissioned by +Archbishop Philip Saliba, "Land and Covenant" addresses the root cause of Palestinian suffering—and Middle Eastern strife generally—through a stunningly comprehensive analysis of the Biblical story.

In his preface to Fr. Tarazi’s book, +Metropolitan Philip writes: "If you have lived in the Middle East since the inception of the state of Israel, or if you are a student of twentieth century Middle East history, you cannot help but take part in the debate which has produced many books on the ongoing conflict between Jews and Arabs, especially Palestinians...[Tarazi addresses this conflict] not from an historical point of view, but strictly biblical...Land and Covenant is a very scholarly and interesting biblical study, and I recommend it to all who seek the truth, objectively and without any prejudice."

October Meetings of the Archdiocesan Synod and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees

During this coming weekend, the regular Fall meetings of the Archdiocesan Synod of Bishops and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees will be convened in Houston, Texas.  The Archdiocesan Synod will meet during the morning of Friday October 16th, 2009. The Board of Trustees will convene for its first session during the evening of Friday October 16th, and its second session during the morning of Saturday October 17th.

In anticipation of these most important meetings, we ask all of the faithful to pray that the participants will travel safely and will participate in fruitful deliberations.

Jason Barker Launches is not only the online home for the Orthodox Life Tips podcast, but it is also the central gathering place for all the podcasts, studies and other resources created by Jason for different Orthodox groups, including Antiochian Archdiocese youth programs, Ancient Faith Radio, and Orthodox Christian Network, as well as articles he writes specially for

Holy Synod Meets in Damascus

His Grace Bishop BASIL passes along the news that THE HOLY SYNOD of our Patriarchate of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East convened today, Tuesday - October 6th, at the Patriarchal Residence in Damascus, Syria for its fall meeting. 

In attendance were His Beatitude PATRIARCH IGANTIUS IV (Hazim), the president of the Synod, and the following seventeen Metropolitans: GEORGE (Khodre) of Mount Lebanon, CONSTANTINE (Papastephanou) of Baghdad of Kuwait, ELIAS (Audi) of Beirut, JOHN (Mansour) of Latakiya, ELIAS (Kafoury) of Tyre and Sidon, ANTONIO (Chedraoui) of Mexico, Venezuela and Central America, DAMASKINOS (Mansour) of Brazil, SERGIOS (Abad) of Chile, SABA (Esber) of Hauran and Jabal al-Arab, GEORGE (Abu Zakham) of Homs, PAUL (Yaziji) of Aleppo, PAUL (Saliba) of Australia and New Zealand, SILOUAN (Moosy) of Argentina, JOHN (Yaziji) of Western and Central Europe, and BASIL (Mansour) of Akkar, ELIA (Saliba) of Hama, and SPYRIDON (Khoury) of Zahleh.

AXIOS!  During its first session the Holy Synod elected the renowned and highly respected spiritual elder ARCHIMANDRITE EPHREM (Kyriakos), abbot of the Holy Monastery of the Archangel Michael in Biq'aata, Lebanon, for the archepiscopal throne of the recently widowed Archdiocese of Tripoli, al-Koura and Dependencies. Click here for a brief biography.

A First: The Convent of Saint Thekla Celebrates the Feast of Saint Thekla

After Sunday Liturgy, His Grace Bishop JOSEPH with Father Anthony Yazge, Mother Alexandra, Mother Miriamne and Father George AlbertsAfter Sunday Liturgy, His Grace Bishop JOSEPH with Father Anthony Yazge, Mother Alexandra, Mother Miriamne and Father George AlbertsOn September 24, 2009, His Grace Bishop THOMAS, led the Convent and many clergy, present at the Village for a clergy retreat, in celebration of Festal Vespers the evening prior, and Orthos and Divine Liturgy on the Feast at the Saint Peter and Paul Chapel.  His Grace was also able to be with us for the beginning of Pilgrimage.  We thank him for presiding at the Liturgy and for being with us.  Many years, Master!

During the September 25-27 weekend, the Convent celebrated the Saint Thekla Pilgrimage.  His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH, arrived on Friday for the Pilgrimage celebration which included daily Vespers, Orthros, and Divine Liturgy.  We thank all of the clergy and chanters who served.  After the Liturgy on Saturday morning, all processed to the Shrine of Saint Thekla where His Grace led us in a Supplication Service to Saint Thekla.  Later in the day, His Grace presided at an Unction Service.  Over the course of the Pilgrimage, His Grace presented three spiritually uplifting homilies on our theme, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” and led an “Ask Sayedna” panel.

Memory Eternal! His Grace, Bishop ELIAS (Najm)

Memory Eternal! His Grace Bishop ELIAS (Najm), Bishop of Apamea and Abbot of the Patriarchal Monastery of the Holy Prophet Elias in Dhour Shweir, Lebanon

It was with much sadness that we received the news of the falling asleep in Christ of our beloved brother, His Grace ELIAS (Najm), Bishop of Apamea, and Abbot of St. Elias Monastery in Dhour Shweir, Lebanon.  His Grace was born in the village of Agmeed Shouf, Lebanon.  He came from a priestly family.  His father was a priest in the town of Bhamdoun, Lebanon.  At the age of 14, he enrolled at the Balamand Seminary.  After 5 years at the Balamand, he was sent by the late Patriarch ALEXANDER III (Tahan) to the school of Halki, Turkey, where he studied theology.  After graduation he returned to the Patriarchate of Antioch, and was appointed Abbot of St. Elias Monastery where he served until his repose.  He was very friendly, humble and loved by all people.  We ask our brother hierarchs and beloved clergy and all faithful of this Archdiocese to remember him in their fervent prayers.  We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and relatives.  May his memory be eternal, and may his soul rest in peace.

October 2009 Issue of The Word Magazine Now Available Online

Click cover to download: 

The October 2009 issue contains the following articles:

Willingness to Change, pg. 5
by Alberto Adan Macapili

Perseverance and Godly Independence, pg. 6
by Very Rev. Joseph Allen

The Ladder of Divine Ascent for Marriage, pg. 8
by Very Rev. Fr. George Morelli, Ph.D.

Can Light Sound Melodious?, pg. 14
by Yacoub Riad Al Sarraf

Doctors and Faith Help Sub-Deacon Overcome Life-Threatening Injuries, Pg. 21
by George J. Tanber

...and more!

Ancient Faith Radio Special: Unraveling Chambesy - Administrative Unity In Our Time

From Ancient Faith Radio: Our canons call for there to be one bishop in one place but here in America as well as other countries of the so called “diaspora” immigration and pastoral concerns have served to violate those canons.  To address this issue, the leaders and representatives of all of the autocephalous Mother Churches were convened by HIs All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew first in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) and later in Chambesy, Geneva, Switzerland to commission certain Episcopal Assemblies who will in turn develop regional plans to correct this anomaly. 

IOCC Releases 2009-2010 Prayer Journal

IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) is pleased to offer a new journal for the 2009-2010 school year. Please click here to order!

To order more than one copy, please contact the Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which is partnering with IOCC in the distribution of the journal to parishes of all jurisdictions. You may reach the Department of Religious Education toll-free at 1-800-566-1088. The prayer journal is free, but shipping charges may apply.

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."

Orthodox Institute 2009

November 5-8, 2009
Antiochian Village

This year’s theme:
Beyond the Classroom

We are pleased to present two keynote speakers: His Grace, Bishop THOMAS of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic; and Paul Finley, Executive Director of Antiochian Village.

Audio from 2009 Conference on Missions and Evangelism

Ancient Faith Radio has provided a page containing audio from the 2009 conference on Missions and Evangelism, sponsored by the Missions and Evangelism Department of the Antiochian Archdiocese. It took place on Labor Day weekend 2009 at Antiochian Village.  The theme was Sharing Our Faith Building Our Church.

Click here to listen!

Bishop THOMAS Discusses Education on OCN

On this week's Come Receive The Light podcast: His Grace, the Right Reverend THOMAS (Joseph), a bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, serving in the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, leads a discussion to the topic - Where We Send Our Children to School.

Uganda's Civil War Orphans Receive Help from IOCC

Recovering from Civil War, Uganda’s Orphans Receive Help from IOCC
September 8, 2009

By Zachary O’Dell/IOCC Ethiopia

PatriciaPatricia lost both parents to northern Uganda's long running civil war. Her uncle took her and eight brothers and sisters in but there is not enough money for school fees. IOCC is building a school in the northern Gulu area that will allow teenagers like Patricia to get an education. The project is a partnership between IOCC and the Ugandan Orthodox Church. (photo credit: Zachary O'Dell/IOCC Ethiopia)Lapainat, Uganda – In the small village in northern Uganda, children play among hundreds of scattered huts with thatched roofs, many of which are now abandoned and deteriorating. Lapainat is the site of a large camp for displaced persons who fled fighting in the region of Gulu between the Ugandan military and a guerilla group. Until recently the area surrounding Gulu was inaccessible and extremely dangerous due to the violence, with most roads, hospitals and schools either damaged or completely destroyed and millions of people displaced from their villages.

“Both my parents were killed during the violence,” explains 16-year-old Patricia, who is the fourth of nine children. “My brothers and sisters and I were taken in by our uncle, but without much salary he cannot afford school fees.” Without the money to purchase basic supplies such as books, uniforms, and food, Patricia’s dream of studying to become an accountant seemed like it would never come true. Of the estimated 1.6 million left displaced or homeless by the fighting, nearly 80% are women and children, and 80% of the population aged 7-18 has never attended school – a majority of them girls like Patricia.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is creating opportunities for children throughout Uganda just like Patricia. In partnership with the Ugandan Orthodox Church and with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan JONAH and financial support from the St. Nektarios Fund, IOCC is building a secondary school in Lapainat for about 300 students. The Orthodox Church, which will run the school, has been active in northern Uganda since the late 1990s, and has established a Deanery overseeing multiple parishes in areas that were hit hard by the conflict.

Dr. Bradley Nassif on Ancient Faith Radio

In the opening program of a new series of interviews, Dr. Bradley Nassif, theologian, author and life-long member of the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America, speaks with The Illumined Heart host Kevin Allen about the “The Nature and Mission of the Bishop in the Orthodox Church.” You can also read Dr. Nassif’s one-page piece on the topic referred to in the interview.

Click here to listen.

September 2009 Issue of The Word Magazine Now Available Online

Click cover to download: 

The September 2009 issue contains the following articles:

Metropolitan PHILIP Addresses the Archdiocese Convention, pg. 4

The Founding of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village, pg. 12

The St. Thekla Pilgrimage, pg. 15
by H. Paul Finley

Homeschooling: The Encouragement and Challenge of St. Emmelia, pg. 20
by Fr. Noah Bushelli

Wrecking a Marriage, Pg. 21
by Fr. George Morelli

...and more!

Prayers for the Faithful of Los Angeles

From the Diocese of Los Angeles web site:

Update Sep. 7: Containment efforts are moving slowly at the Station fire in the Angeles National Forest, due to unfavorable weather conditions over Labor Day weekend. A scheduled controlled burn to build more fire lines on Monday was scrapped. The blaze is almost two weeks old and has scorched 157,200 acres (246 square miles) and approximately 75 homes, but it is 56% contained. Full containment is still expected on September 15. No further deaths or injuries have been reported. Not all evacuations have been lifted, though some members of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles who live near the fire have been able to return home. Fire officials are continuing their arson investigation.

Please continue to pray to the Lord God for the souls of the firefighters who lost their lives last week, for all those who have been harmed or impacted by the Station fire and for the inferno’s speedy extinguishment.  For the latest fire information, log onto the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection website.