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Blessed Name's Day to Metropolitan Joseph!

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We extend our prayers and love to His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph on the occasion of his Name’s Day on April 30, 2017 (St. Joseph of Arimathea, Second Sunday after Pascha). May God grant him many years!

Learn more about Joseph of Arimathea
Read about Metropolitan Joseph

Metropolitan Joseph Presides at Parish Anniversary of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Canton, Ohio

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The community of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Canton, Ohio welcomed His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to preside over the 95th Anniversary of the parish from April 21-23, 2017. On Friday, April 21, a benefactors reception was held in honor of Sayedna Joseph at the residence of Dr. Kaleel and Rhonia Shaheen, who also faithfully and elegantly served as the 95th Anniversary Chairs. The reception recognized the fundraising efforts of the benefactors who sponsored the weekend festivities and after Sayedna gathered and thanked them all for their ministry to the church, everyone listened to beautiful paschal hymns chanted by the Metropolitan’s newly ordained Deacon John Al-Massih. On Saturday morning, Sayedna was greeted by over 50 beautiful children and teenagers of the church to the sounds of church bells and the chanting of the Paschal troparion. After delivering his message to the youth and answering their questions, all were invited to a special breakfast chaired by Nina Shaheen, Malakh Bechara, Laura Kibler and Nahi Kaed. (View the photo gallery)

Saturday evening began with Great Vespers and Artoklasia for the Feast of St. George, and we were blessed to be joined by His Grace Bishop Anthony and other local clergy. The Grand Banquet and Hafli followed at Brookside Country Club with over 250 in attendance from near and far. Dr. K.J. Shaheen II served as Master of Ceremonies and Sarah Joseph delivered a heartfelt rendition of “America the Beautiful.” His Eminence and His Grace were both presented with a crystal plaque dedication by Parish Council Chair Andria Michael, who also was the Chair of the 95th Anniversary Souvenir Journal. Following a poem dedication from Mr. Louis Karoue, speeches were delivered by sons of the parish: Fr. Basil Shaheen and Fr. Michael Massouh. After remarks from Fr. Michael Corbin, His Grace Bishop Anthony introduced His Eminence Metropoltian Joseph to deliver the keynote address. Sayedna Joseph remembered all those who labored to build up our Archdiocese, including the late Archbishop Michael, a cherished son of the community. At the conclusion of the banquet, His Eminence left all in suspense by declaring that there would be a big surprise at the Divine Liturgy in the morning.

On Sunday, the Feast of St. George, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy began following Orthros and then came “the big surprise” with the elevation of Fr. Michael Corbin to Archpriest after the reading of the Holy Gospel. All of the parishioners were moved by this special blessing as both Sayedna Joseph and Sayedna Anthony laid their hands on the head of their priest as he kneeled before the two Hierarchs. Soon, chants of “Axios!, Mustahiq!, He is worthy!” filled the church and you could feel the great love and unity of this beloved community. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, three parishioners were inducted into the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch: Paul and Claudia Shaheen, along with Leila Andrews. Claudia is the Ladies Society President who helped a great deal with the weekend, and Leila also assisted faithfully with the Grand Banquet.

Finally, the St. George Day Luncheon chaired by Karen Davis, capped off a beautiful and historic weekend. As parishioners entered the hall, they were greeted with a special video presentation with 95 years of memories organized by Liz Macris. Ladies were also greeted with a pink carnation donated by longtime parishioner Bea McPhearson, who brags about being older than the church! After being introduced by Teen SOYO President Musa Michael, the teen and children’s dabke troupes performed and brought joy to all. Then, we all listened to a special performance from the St. George Choir, directed by Jim Shaheen, who recognized the longtime service of Rosemary Shaheen.

Sunshine filled the skies outside, but warmth and love were felt inside as all flocked to greet and receive the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, whose first visit to Canton was incredibly well received. It was a great weekend that will not be forgotten, and the celebration of a church community ever growing in the love of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ!

Camp for youth with disabilities to begin second year

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UOC

All Saints Camp here will be the site of the second annual camping experience—the Saint Nicholas Program—for Orthodox Christian youth, ages nine through 19, with disabilities and their families June 19-22, 2017.

Sponsored by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA [UOCUSA], the camp program is designed for parents and their children with disabilities to spend time together in an Orthodox family environment.

“Campers are introduced to camp life at while parents are given the opportunity to meet fellow Orthodox parents who are tackling the same challenges in today’s world,” explained Natalie Kapeluck Nixon, UOCUSA Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.  “All aspects of the program are designed to give youth with disabilities an optimal experience through sensory friendly daily prayer services, modified learning Church school lessons, parent workshops and discussions, parent/child sports, crafts, singing, dancing, bonfires, quiet activity time, scavenger hunts, and swimming, just to mention a few of the activities.

“We are thrilled to be once again offering this mini-camp to serve our youth with disabilities and their families,” Natalie continued.  “Our hope is to provide the campers with a positive camping experience, deepening their faith and a place for the parents and family to find rest and community.”

Among the parent speakers will be Presvytera Melanie DiStefano.  A graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA and a member of the faculty of Holy Trinity Orthodox Christian Academy, Warren, OH, she is a frequent speaker and author on the topic of family, disability and the Church.  Her workshop topic will be “The Image of Christ in Your Child.”

A new feature for this year’s program enables families to have the option to participate in the full four-day program or to attend for a single day.

“We are also looking for individuals interested being on staff for this program,” Natalie added.  “Paid and volunteer positions are available and pre-camp training will be required.  Please encourage your faithful to participate in this program as campers and staff.”

Further information and registration is available on-line or by contacting .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 412-977-2010.  An informational brochure is also available.

Countdown to Miami: 2017 Antiochian Archdiocese Convention FAQ

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This hardworking team is planning the 2017 Miami Convention.This hardworking team is planning the 2017 Miami Convention. 

 

 

 

 


Summer draws near, and so does the 53rd biennial convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese, July 23-30, 2017 in Miami. The Very Rev. Fouad Saba and the host parish of St. George Cathedral of Coral Gables, Florida took time from their busy schedules to talk about the features of what looks to be a historic gathering of the Archdiocesan clergy and faithful.

Who are the featured and keynote speakers this year?

The Grand Banquet will honor His Grace Bishop Antoun on Saturday night, July 29, where we anticipate our beloved diocesan hierarch will reflect upon his lifetime ministry and experiences in his service to Christ’s Holy Church. Fr. Antoine Melki, professor of computer science and technology at Balamand University in Lebanon, will be the keynote speaker during the General Assembly on Thursday and Friday, July 28 and 29, and in other scheduled workshops and events. The host committee is excited to welcome Fr. Melki, who will present interesting insights on the effects of technology in the modern world on the Orthodox Christian family.

We have learned the convention will honor Metropolitan Joseph, Bishop Antoun, and Bishop Basil. Please tell us about that.

Planning a Convention takes a lot of work!Planning a Convention takes a lot of work!The 2017 Convention will celebrate the 25th anniversaries of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and His Grace Bishop Basil in the Holy Episcopacy. We will honor them in the History Journal and during the Grand Banquet. With Sayidna Joseph’s blessing, we are dedicating the Grand Banquet and History Journal to commemorate the retirement of Sayidna Antoun and “His Lifetime of Service and Eight Decades of Love, Humility and Sunshine.” (His favorite song is “You are My Sunshine.”) Bishop Antoun has selflessly served this Archdiocese in many capacities since he arrived in the U.S. in 1959. He has been our beloved bishop in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast since 2003. The 2017 Archdiocesan Convention Committee is honored to have the opportunity to host all of our brothers and sisters in Christ at the festivities for Sayidna Antoun.

Who is the convention for? What age groups? What key events will the convention offer them? 

The Convention is centered around family with something fun-filled, educational and exciting for every age group. The week will begin with “The Welcome to Miami – Antiochian Game Show,” which promises to be so much fun. There are humanitarian and social events for teens (SOYO) as well as Young Adult Ministry (YAM) which offer great opportunities for interaction and bonding with one another, as well as spiritual development in the Orthodox Christian Faith. The Bible Bowl always bring tremendous excitement for the teen participants and everyone watching and cheering on their Diocesan teams. The Convention will also feature “Club Saint George” for our younger children to come throughout the day and participate in arts and crafts, spiritual lessons, group activities, and more. The 53rd Biennial Convention in Miami will also feature a new and enthusiastic event on Thursday evening, July 27 – The Dinner and National Debke Competition. These are just some of the many exhilarating events awaiting everyone.

How will the convention emphasize spiritual connectivity with Christ?

Meeting with the hotel management is a key part of the planning process.Meeting with the hotel management is a key part of the planning process.The 2017 Convention Committee will prepare a large, beautiful chapel to serve as the spiritual center for the entire week. The Convention theme this year is “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Mark 11:17) All of the sermons from our gifted clergy will concentrate on understanding this theme. The various spiritual and educational events scheduled promise to help uplift all those present. We will have Bible studies and “Ask Abouna” sessions to revitalize the spirituality of our youth and adults.

Tell us more about “Ask Abouna!” 

“Ask Abouna” is an educational and spiritual event where teens and adults come together to ask the priests any questions they might have on various topics of the Orthodox Christian Faith. Bring lots of questions!

What unique attractions does Miami have to offer?

Miami is home to miles of famous white sandy coastlines. The diverse array of influences from Latin America is evident in the architecture, delicious food, music, and hospitality. All of these amazing and exciting factors can be found at the 2017 Convention venue – the Diplomat Beach Resort and Spa. Need we say more?

Join us from July 23-30! For more information, visit the Convention website.Welcome to Miami!Welcome to Miami!

Get To Know Our Students: Vasiliki Motsios

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Hellenic College freshman Vasiliki Motsios says that “this was the only out-of-state school I applied to.” Being from Florida, she understandably wanted to stay closer to home—and to better weather than Boston can offer. But Hellenic offered something more important. “I came up for the open house weekend and really liked the whole vibe of the place. Everyone was so welcoming. That really drew me in. And I’d never been to Boston but loved the proximity to a city where there’s lots to do.”

Vasiliki is majoring in Human Development. “I always knew I wanted to help people and the Human Development courses here are so interesting.” Over spring break, she gained hands-on experience helping the less fortunate as part of a team of HCHC student volunteers building houses for the poor with Project Mexico. Back home, she has helped others as a lifeguard for the past four summers and will do so again this year. “It’s something I’m really passionate about,” she says.

Certified not only to teach swimming to the public but also to train future lifeguards, Vasiliki was the first responder to a potential drowning and saved the swimmer’s life. That would have been satisfaction enough for her, but not for her peers, who nominated her for a county-level “You Rock” award—which she won. Here is just part of what the head of aquatics for Pasco County Parks and Recreation had to say: “I have never seen a teenager go after both certifications so closely together…Vasi does an absolutely outstanding job…She really proved herself recently when she led the response to a medical emergency…resulting in a successful and incredible rescue…”

Asked what she would say to someone thinking about applying to Hellenic College, Vasiliki says she would describe the school as “somewhere you’ll make close friends and know everyone on campus. There are so many things the school offers us, academically and spiritually. You should do what I did and come see for yourself.”

Get To Know Our Students: Vasiliki Motsios

This post was originally published on this site

Hellenic College freshman Vasiliki Motsios says that “this was the only out-of-state school I applied to.” Being from Florida, she understandably wanted to stay closer to home—and to better weather than Boston can offer. But Hellenic offered something more important. “I came up for the open house weekend and really liked the whole vibe of the place. Everyone was so welcoming. That really drew me in. And I’d never been to Boston but loved the proximity to a city where there’s lots to do.”

Vasiliki is majoring in Human Development. “I always knew I wanted to help people and the Human Development courses here are so interesting.” Over spring break, she gained hands-on experience helping the less fortunate as part of a team of HCHC student volunteers building houses for the poor with Project Mexico. Back home, she has helped others as a lifeguard for the past four summers and will do so again this year. “It’s something I’m really passionate about,” she says.

Certified not only to teach swimming to the public but also to train future lifeguards, Vasiliki was the first responder to a potential drowning and saved the swimmer’s life. That would have been satisfaction enough for her, but not for her peers, who nominated her for a county-level “You Rock” award—which she won. Here is just part of what the head of aquatics for Pasco County Parks and Recreation had to say: “I have never seen a teenager go after both certifications so closely together…Vasi does an absolutely outstanding job…She really proved herself recently when she led the response to a medical emergency…resulting in a successful and incredible rescue…”

Asked what she would say to someone thinking about applying to Hellenic College, Vasiliki says she would describe the school as “somewhere you’ll make close friends and know everyone on campus. There are so many things the school offers us, academically and spiritually. You should do what I did and come see for yourself.”

Assembly of Bishops releases study on evangelization, outreach in US parishes

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The first-ever national study on evangelization and outreach in Orthodox Christian parishes in the US was released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA during the last week of April 2017.

The Executive Summary and Full Report are available in PDF format.

Titled “Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in US Orthodox Parishes,” the study explores the practices and strategies developed by some Orthodox parishes that can be viewed as “exemplary” in their missionary and outreach efforts.  Examples of what the readers will find in the report include

  • the “secrets” of being a parish that attracts and welcomes new members;
  • eight good practices of welcoming first-time visitors and inquirers about the Faith;
  • how do “exemplary” parishes achieve a high degree of involvement of their members in parish life;
  • four distinct features of religious education in the “exemplary” parishes; and
  • six “lessons” that Church leadership (bishops) can learn from the “exemplary” parishes.

Parishes of seven Orthodox jurisdictions participated in this study, which was prepared by Alexei Krindatch, the Assembly’s Research Coordinator, in cooperation with Archpriest Eric Tosi, Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America; Priest John Parker, Chair of the OCA Department of Evangelization; and Adam Roberts of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.  The study was initiated and sponsored by the Assembly’s Committee for Agencies and Endorsed Organizations, chaired by His Grace, Bishop Gregory of Nyssa of the Johnstown, PA-based American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.

Seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary Mark the 31st Anniversary of Chornobyl Nuclear Explosion at the Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA

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Remembering Chornobyl: 1986-2017

Seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary Mark the 31st Anniversary of Chornobyl Nuclear Explosion at the Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA

Visitors of the Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA often notice a dead tree in front of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ, which for years has been informally referred to as a symbolic monument to the tragic events of April 26, 1986 – the day of Chornobyl Nuclear explosion. 

For quite some there has been a desire to replace a dying tree with a young one that will symbolize the call to Life. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the student body of St. Sophia Seminary participated in the planting and dedication of a new Maple tree as the world-wide community marks the 31st Anniversary of Chornobyl Nuclear Disaster.

Archbishop Daniel, assisted by Very Rev. Fr. Stephen Hutnick and Deacon Ivan Tchopko led a Memorial Panakhyda at the planting site of the tree, calling to remembrance countless victims of Chronobyl.

Following the service, the Archbsihop spoke of the importance of remembering not only the victims of the disaster who perished, but also those who survived and continue to this day to suffer the consequences of the radioactive cloud, which spread not only throughout Ukraine but all around the world.  He reminded the faithful that the truth about the accident at Chornobyl only became known because of that cloud being detected and analyzed over other nations, forcing the Soviet regime to admit the truth of the disaster.  It is still doubtful, even some 30 years later that the entire truth about the accident was ever told.

Later in the day, Metropolitan Antony shared with the Seminarians of the Church that this is already a seventeenth tree planted on the grounds of the Spiritual Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA that is dedicated to the tragedy of Chornobyl.  The first was planted on St. Thomas Sunday at the 15th anniversary of the tragedy in front of the Ukrainian Cultural Center by the students and teachers of St. Andrew Ukrainian Studies School, which holds its classes in the Cultural Center classroom wing.  The second tree was planted on the circle before St. Andrew Memorial Church at the 20th anniversary of Chornobyl by the youth of our church from around the country.  The third and fourth trees were donated by Metropolitan Antony (then Archbishop) on the 25th anniversary of the disaster on the Memorial Church grounds adjacent to the statue of Metropolitan Vasyl Lypkivskyj – two maple trees, one to commemorate the survivors and the other to commemorate the victims of the nuclear explosion. On the 30th anniversary of Chornobyl in 2016, Pokrova Sisterhood of the Memorial Church sponsored the planting of two rows of 12 flowering pear trees along the sides of the driveway before the Memorial Church.  The trees on the left, when facing the Church, commemorate the survivors of the nuclear disaster – especially the children – and the trees on the right commemorate those who perished in the disaster.

The Metropolitan has always expressed his belief that the planting of trees to commemorate the survivors and the deceased is the most appropriate manner to remind visitors to our Metropolia Canter about the Chornobyl nuclear explosion. Life – as seen in the trees, which will grow for generations to come – continues on after suffering and death.  A cold stone monument is beautiful, as the Metropolitan stresses, but a living memorial creates a more positive contemplation of how good always prevails over evil – how life prevails over death – thanks to our Risen Lord!

Remembering Chornobyl: 1986-2017

Remembering Chornobyl: 1986-2017 – 04/26/17

Photos by Deacon Ivan Tchopko, Subdeacon Mykola Zomchak, Volodymyr Morozovsky

(19 images)

Assembly Releases National Study on Evangelization and Outreach in U.S. Orthodox Parishes

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Map of participating parishes in 2017 Assembly of Bishops study on evangelization (click on image for larger view)Map of participating parishes in 2017 Assembly of Bishops study on evangelization (click on image for larger view)The first national study on evangelization and outreach in Orthodox parishes in the United States has been released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. The report can be downloaded in various formats, as an executive summary, or as a full report.

The report, “Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in U.S. Orthodox Parishes,” explores the practices and strategies developed by some Orthodox parishes that can be viewed as “exemplary” in their missionary and outreach efforts. Examples of what the readers will find in the report include:

  • The “secrets” of being a parish that attracts and welcomes new members;
  • Eight good practices of welcoming first-time visitors and inquirers about the Faith;
  • How do “exemplary” parishes achieve a high degree of involvement of their members in parish life;
  • Four distinct features of religious education in the “exemplary” parishes;
  • Six “lessons” that Church leadership (bishops) can learn from the “exemplary” parishes.

The study was sponsored by the Assembly’s Committee for Agencies and Endorsed Organizations, and included parishes from seven Orthodox jurisdictions. Ten of the parishes studied were from the Antiochian Archdiocese. The report was prepared by Alexei Krindatch, the Assembly’s Research Coordinator, in cooperation with Sdn. Adam Lowell Roberts of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and Fr. Eric Tosi and Fr. John Parker of the OCA.

Subdeacon Adam is the full-time administrator of Becoming Truly Human, a new Antiochian outreach ministry. He authored a helpful resource at the end of the Assembly’s evangelization report, titled “10 Steps to a Great Parish Website: What Every Orthodox Church Needs To Know.”

Archdiocesan Presbyters Council Meets at HCHC

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Hellenic College Holy Cross welcomed the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council (APC) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America onto its campus April 24-25.

Led by Rev. Fr. John Touloumes, President, the APC serves Archdiocesan clergy through spiritual growth, educational development, and personal wellness.

Hellenic College Holy Cross is honored to be a proud partner with the APC and share in its ministry. 

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