In the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010, His Grace, Bishop THOMAS, celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy service with His Grace, Bishop TIKHON of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania (OCA) at the Church of St. Nicholas (OCA) in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Numerous area clergy and laity celebrated this service together, including a proclamation of the common faith of the Orthodox Church, as well as the traditional anathemas which Orthodoxy levels against dangerous, heretical doctrines. Five different SCOBA jurisdictions were represented among the clergy, including (besides the two bishops) eighteen priests and five deacons.
Sayidna THOMAS presented a homily before the service in which he stressed that Orthodox Christians are icons of Christ, that each of us is an ambassador of the Kingdom of God in this world, no matter our circumstances. After the liturgical service, the clergy and faithful heard a short presentation on the work of the Lehigh Valley Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood which sponsored the event and then together shared a Lenten meal.
St. George Orthodox Church of Indianapolis was established and a church building erected and consecrated in 1926.
As a charter member, St. George Progressives contributed greatly to the SOYO movement. St. George parishioners Nick Coba and John Daniluck, who had been founders of the Federation of Russian Orthodox Clubs (FROC), were instrumental in guiding the SOYO movement of their adopted parish and Archdiocese. In the fall of 1947, the newly organized group met in Indianapolis to complete a draft of the constitution and by-laws.
The weekend of February 19-21, 2010, Mother Alexandra visited St. Nicholas Church in St. Petersburg, Florida. She presented two talks, “Monasticism and St. Thekla Convent,” explaining the history of monasticism, the monastic presence, and the monastic life, ministry and plans for construction of the Convent of St. Thekla at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania; and “Great Lent: Renewing Our Hearts and Minds,” discussing our journey as Orthodox Christians as a whole throughout our lives and also on a daily basis, highlighting Lenten themes, the sacramental life, personal prayer, and communion with God and each other.
During her visit, she was able to reconnect with some Antiochian Village campers and looks forward to seeing them this summer. She attended the services at St. Nicholas Church and also traveled with parishioners to Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers in Tarpon Springs. Mother Alexandra thanks Fr. Michael and Kh. Virginia Massouh and the faithful of St. Nicholas for their friendship and hospitality.
Coming this Friday and/or Saturday to hear Frederica? Bring a spare small mounted icon for a soldier in Afghanistan!
We will be collecting small icons that can be carried by Orthodox Christian Service men and women who are deployed presently in Afghanistan.
If you do not have an icon to donate, we will also be taking donations to provide prayer books, bottles for carrying holy water and Slavic and Greek Pascha breads for the service people to share as they celebrate the Resurrection.
On Friday and Saturday March 12-13, 2010, well-known Antiochian author Frederica Mathewes-Green will speak at St. Anthony Orthodox Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey. On Friday night, the topic of discussion will be The Lost Gospel of Mary: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts. Saturday's presentation topic will be The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer That Tunes the Heart to God.
The faithful of St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana invite all to attend their opening weekend celebration as they move into a new facility. The opening weekend will take place March 13-14, 2010. His Grace Bishop MARK will attend and celebrate Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. For more information, please contact St. John Chrysostom Church.
On Saturday, January 30, 2010, over 70 faithful gathered at St. George in Norwood, Massachusetts for a day of retreat, “Back to the Future with St. Ignatius of Antioch” sponsored by the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England. Attendees included not just the women of AOCWNA, but even some of the teens who met Mother Alexandra at camp at the Village this past summer. The day began with Divine Liturgy followed by refreshments and included a fine Middle Eastern luncheon prepared by the women of St. George. Mother Alexandra presented two talks, drawing from the life and experiences of St. Ignatius of Antioch to provide reflections for daily Orthodox Christian living. The wisdom of the Saint provides real and practical direction for us today, if we take the time to read and hear his words.
On Sunday, January 31, Mother Alexandra attended the post holiday gathering of the Order of St. Ignatius at the Sheraton Four Points. As the afternoon’s speaker, she gave an overview of the plans for the Convent of St. Thekla, which have been fermenting over many years as a part of the growth of the Antiochian Village. Numerous women have contacted her since last summer, and some have come to visit, both encouraging signs for the blossoming of a monastic community. Presently, the site survey has been completed and now the work with architects can begin, so that by God’s grace the convent might begin construction of its new home.
In a project initiated by the Charity Ministry Team, the parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, gathered materials together for the IOCC health kits for the suffering people of Haiti. Each health kit contains soap, towels, a comb and nail tool, and band aids, and parish members managed to assemble around 1000 kits that will be delivered directly via the IOCC, to Haitians in need. "We can never have too many of these," noted an IOCC representative.
St. George blogger Sarah Childs described the experience on her blog, Place of Verdure.
"I was really looking forward to doing a lot of knitting, watching the Colts on Saturday evening, and doing a little house cleaning. Then about 4 pm, James called me to say that we had been asked to help at church with an effort to put together health/hygiene kits for Haiti, and my plans immediately seemed pretty trivial. I felt really blessed to have this opportunity to do something with my own hands, beyond praying and writing a check, to help those affected by this terrible earthquake. And I have to add that with many hands working together, we got it done so quickly that it didn't encroach on my own selfish plans at all."
"It was really heartwarming for me to see all our parishioners getting into this," adds the Very Rev. Fr. Nabil Hanna, priest at St. George.
A cold November rain could dampen the ground, but it could not dampen the mood. On Sunday, November 1st, 2009, the families and children of All Saints Orthodox Church in Raleigh, NC, joined His Grace, Bishop +ANTOUN, in breaking ground on a new temple and education building.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, groundbreaking, and reception capped off a weekend full of events.
After arriving in Raleigh Friday night, His Grace enjoyed dinner with the members of the Parish Council and their spouses. After dinner, Sayedna related a recent parish visit in which he burned that parish’s mortgage papers. He encouraged the Council to work diligently and faithfully toward the day when he could do the same for All Saints’ new building.
Saturday brought brilliant sunshine and mild temperatures, a perfect day for the parish’s children to gather and meet with His Grace. The day’s events began with a children’s luncheon with Sayedna. After lunch, the children got the chance to ask him questions about their faith and his role as their bishop. Sayedna also shared his excitement for the building project, telling them he hoped that many of them would eventually get married in the new temple. He also invited the children to bring their shovels to help break ground for the building. Later that evening, Sayedna presided over Great Vespers, followed by a dinner in the parish hall.
Unfortunately, the weather turned on Sunday, bringing clouds and a cold, steady rain. However, the dramatic change in the weather did not stop the morning’s special activities.
St. George Orthodox Church of Terre Haute, Indiana, was founded by a few immigrants from Syria, more especially from Ein el Charra, a small village which nestles at the foot of Mount Hermon, southwest of Damascus. A constitution was drawn up and notarized on May 6, 1927 under the guidance of our first pastor, Metropolitan ANTONY (Bashir) of Thrice-Blessed Memory. Located seventy miles from any other Orthodox community, the years have allowed for the diversification of our Church. We are a warm and welcoming community made up of many of the original ancestors from Ein el Charra as well as others from Romanian, Greek, Russian ancestry as well as a formidable representation of those who have converted to the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Our Church family is loved and recognized throughout our community as being a place where people are welcomed and treated as family. Striving as we are commanded by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'...and to 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Should you ever find yourself visiting the "High Ground" (Terre Haute) come and worship with us!