“Back to Basics” theme of St. Tikhon’s Seminary’s Fall Lecture Series

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Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary recently announced the speakers and topics for its 2017 Lecture Series, titled “Back to Basics.”  The series, which will be held on the seminary campus at 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday in October beginning October 10, is open to the public.

On Tuesday, October 10, Marshall Goodge, who upon graduating from Saint Tikhon’s was named Assistant to the Dean, will speak on “The Panagia: Our Mother and Our Model.”  He received honors in Theology for his thesis, “O Virgin Pure: The Roman Catholic Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, East and West.”

His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey and Rector of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, will speak on Tuesday, October 17.  His topic will be “What is the Bible?  An Orthodox Understanding.”  Archbishop Michael, who holds a Ph. D. from Duquesne University, also is the seminary’s Professor of New Testament and Pastoral Theology and Department Chair of Scripture.

“Perfecting the Shepherd” will be the topic of the October 24 lecture by Protopresbyter George Alexson.  A 1969 STOTS graduate, Father George has been a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for 48 years.  Upon his retirement from Annunciation Cathedral, Atlanta, GA, in 2010, he returned to northern Virginia, where he accepted the invitation to assist in developing Holy Apostles Church in Loudon County.

On Tuesday, October 31, Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, Ph. D., will speak on the “Basics of Liturgical Music.”  Currently on sabbatical from the Crane School of Music, Potsdam University, Pottsdam, NY, she in addition to her work in the field of liturgical music is an accomplished harpist.

For further information or to RSVP, please contact the seminary at info@stots.edu.  A downloadable flyer in PDF format is available on the seminary web site.

Exaltation of the Holy and Life-giving Cross

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This Feast is a day of Strict Fast, similar to other commemorations of the Holy Cross during the year, such as the Third Sunday of Great Lent and the first day of the Dormition Fast. The Gospel reading for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is very similar to the Gospel reading during Vespers on Great Friday of Holy Week, commemorating the Crucifixion of Christ.

Fishers of Men

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Today the Church begins the cycle of Gospel Readings from St. Luke. Now, St. Luke was a Gentile, and not a Jew, and, by profession he was a physician, so it’s not surprising that we see a great number of healing accounts in St. Luke’s Gospel, as well as an emphasis on mission and evangelism, his obvious desire in writing this account of the Gospel being to present it in a way so as to be more effective in the evangelization of the Gentile people- most all of us.

St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Parish of Bayonne, NJ Marks 80th Anniversary

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80 years later, on September 23rd 2017, two hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, Metropolitan Antony and Archbishop Daniel crossed the sacred threshold of the parish’s temple in order to once again mark an anniversary of faithful service. Children and members of the parish’s board of administration as well as the pastor of St. Sophia parish, Very Rev. Fr. Myroslav Schirta welcomed the hierarchs to the temple for a formal liturgical consecration of the new altar and renewed icons.

Metropolitan Council unanimously recommends AAC agenda, 2018 budget

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Metropolitan Council

Members of the Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America unanimously recommended the agenda for the 19th All-American Council [AAC] and passed the 2018 budget before concluding their Fall Session on Friday, September 22, 2017.  The agenda and budget will be presented to the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops at their upcoming session November 13-17.

The gathering, which opened at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, NY on September 19, was chaired by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon.  Also in attendance were His Eminence, Archbishop Michael and His Grace, Bishop Paul of the Standing Synod of Bishops.  His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin was not present due to illness.

Sessions opened with a one-day retreat, during which Archivist Alexis Liberovsky reflected on the history of the OCA within the context of the 50th Anniversary of the granting of autocephaly, slated to be celebrated in 2020.  Also addressing the Council were the members of the original delegation who traveled to Moscow in 1970 to receive the Tomos of Autocephaly — Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, Archpriest John Nehrebecki and Dr. Constantine Kalluar — who shared their experiences and insights.  Metropolitan Council members spent the remainder of the retreat discussing possible activities and celebrations marking the anniversary, as well as the 50th Anniversary of the glorification of Saint Herman of Alaska, also to be observed in 2020.

In his opening remarks, Metropolitan Tikhon further developed his vision of the Church for the future, including specific issues to be addressed by the Metropolitan Council.  Specifically, he presented a draft document on his “Four Pillars” for Council members to review.  Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor, reviewed the work of the Department of Pastoral Life, as presented by Priest Nathan Preston, Department Administrator.  Father John was joined via video conference by Cindy Heise and Bernard Wilson in reporting on the work of the Office of Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations [ORSMA] and the Sexual Misconduct Policy Advisory Committee [SMPAC].  Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, Secretary, offered an update on the Archives Renovation Project, reviewed ongoing work on the upgrading of the OCA web site, and reported on a number of issues involving the Chancery building and grounds. He also reviewed the work of the Preconciliar Commission and Local Committee planning the 19th All-American Council. Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs, reported on a number of recent developments in world Orthodoxy.  Melanie Ringa, Treasurer, and the Finance Committee reviewed the current budget and presented the draft of the 2018 budget, which passed unanimously.  She noted that five Church Planting Grants were included in the 2018 budget.  Council members also heard the positive reports of the Internal and External Auditors, which will be released in the near future.  [See related story.]  The Legal Committee reported on current legal and related issues.

Updating Council members on the work of the Department of Evangelization was Priest John Parker, while Archpriest Ian Pac-Urar, who was unable to attend, offered a written report highlighting ongoing efforts on the part of the Department of Continuing Education.  Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak reported on the work of the Stewards of the Orthodox Church in America [SOCA] and projected upcoming appeals.

Metropolitan Council committee reports also were offered.  The Human Resource Committee reported that new job descriptions for the Chancery staff had been drafted, while work on a revised employee handbook continues.  In response to a recommendation by the Charity Committee, the Metropolitan Council approved funds to assist the Diocese of Mexico in recovery efforts in the wake of the September 19 earthquake.

Complete minutes and reports will be posted as they become available.

President of Cyprus Nicos Anastsiades Visits Archbishop Demetrios of America

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September 22, 2017

NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America welcomed yesterday evening, September 21, at the Archdiocese Headquarters, the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, who is visiting New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

President Anastasiades was accompanied by his wife, the First Lady of Cyprus Andri Anastasiades, the Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States Leonidas Pantelides, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations Ambassador Kornelios Korneliou, the Consul General of Cyprus in New York Ambassador Vassilis Philippou and Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis, negotiator for the Republic of Cyprus.

President Anastasiades talked about the last negotiations for a solution in Cyprus and the impasse created by the Turkish side, as well the steps being taken to restart negotiations and reach a just and fair solution to the problem of Cyprus.

Following their meeting in the Archbishop’s office, the two leaders attended the 2017 Testimonial Dinner of the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations at terrace on the Park, in Flushing Meadows Park. This year’s event honored with the Freedom Award the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, His Excellency Nikos Kotzias. Foreign Minister Kotzias was recognized for his support of the national effort for a just and viablesolution to the Cyprus national problem, as well as his significant contribution during the crucial moments of the reunification talks. The award recognizes individuals who have made a meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of Cyprus, and world peace.

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Calling All Parishes: Archdiocese Rewards Program Benefits Retired Clergy and Your Community!

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The Antiochian Archdiocese Rewards Program team is encouraging all parishes to commit to this Archdiocese-wide initiative that supports the Clergy Retirement Fund as well as each local parish. Endorsed by Metropolitan Joseph and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, this program generates income “painlessly,” as parishioners register and make online purchases at participating retailers. A percentage of each online purchase is allotted to the Clergy Retirement Fund with the remaining percentage being allotted to the parish of each consumer’s choice.

Over 4,000 retailers now participate in the awards program, including hotels, Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Neiman Marcus, gas stations, The Gap, grocery stores, and many, many more. To register, log on to the web site, indicate your Diocese and parish, and insert your email and a password. It’s that easy!

Additionally, the simple instructive video enables individuals and parish webmasters to install the “Support” button via one of three browsers: Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Attachment Size
Archdiocese Rewards Program Flyer (PDF) 244.52 KB

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias visits Archbishop Demetrios

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America

September 21, 2017

NEW YORK – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Kotzias visited today September 21, 2017 His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Mr. Kotzias has been in New York this past week attending the General Assembly of the United Nations.

The meeting conducted in a very cordial atmosphere, focused on issues of common interest in relation to Greece, the Orthodox Church and the Greek American community in the United States.

Accompanying Mr. Kotzias were Dimitris Paraskevopoulos, Secretary General of the Ministry; Ambassador Tassia Athanasiou, Director of the diplomatic office of the Minister; Alexandros Yennimatas, Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; George Mitrakos, Special Advisor; Ambassador of Greece ot the United States Theoharis Lalakos; Ambassador Maria Theofili, Permanent Representative of Greece to the U.N.; Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece in New York; Consul Manos Koumbarakis; Katerina Tzima, diplomat of the Permanent Mission of Greece in the U.N.; and Christos Avraam, Advisor on issues relating to Cyprus. 

Following the meeting Foreign Minister Kotzias speaking to the Press said: “I had the honor and pleasure of a long discussion with His Eminence. We talked about the state of Hellenism in the United States, about issues of civic participation and about education. We have also talked about the Greek-American Schools and the need to increase our presence in large American universities. Of course, I have expressed my respect to a person of great spirituality and intellect, His Eminence, the Archbishop.”

In his reply statement, Archbishop Demetrios used the phase of Saint Paul “speaking the truth in love” (Eph.4:15) to describe the meeting with Mr. Kotzias, adding: “We speak the truth with love and we also love with truth, the phase in Greek is inclusive of all this; we are true and truthful, we speak the truth and we love the truth.”

“I knew Minister Kotzias from other occasions but today I was impressed by his special interest in paideia and education and his intense relation with books. We presented him with our books (he refers to the new series of Greek Language books published by the Archdiocese) and the Minister examined them intently and that to me was very important. I shall remember this moment because it shows his relation and interest for education,” said the Archbishop.

Praising the interest of the Minister and the Greek State for all educational issues and the Greek-American community, His Eminence concluded: “We also proclaim this urbi et orbi, that Hellenism, if it has lived for six millenia, has lived because it serves humanity – not itself. We are to serve mankind and the Minister has stressed this today and I thank him for everything he does about the Omogeneia.

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In Trust Magazine Features SVS Press

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Summer 2017 • Off-campus 

In Trust, the quarterly magazine published by the Association of Boards in Theological Education, has featured St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press (SVS Press) in its Summer 2017 issue. The article, titled, “St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press: a case study in mission-driven publishing,” by Matt Forster, occupies a 2-page, full-color spread in the magazine’s print edition.

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OCA Diocese of Mexico assessing earthquake damage in parishes, missions

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As central Mexico slowly embarks on the long road to recovery in the aftermath of the massive 7.1 earthquake that struck the region on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, early reports from the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of Mexico indicate that, while no major damage has been experienced at Mexico City’s Ascension Cathedral or other parish properties, many faithful have suffered damage to—or the complete loss of—their homes.

While communications have been understandably slower than usual due to power outages and infrastructure damage, His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo reported that Ascension Cathedral had suffered a number of cracks.  Whether they are structural or not has yet to be determined.  The cathedral is located near the Mexico City airport, which was closed for several hours after the earthquake struck.  Archbishop Alejo added that a mission chapel had suffered significant damage, the extent of which had yet to be fully assessed as of Wednesday, September 20.

The parish in Cuernavaca, the earthquake’s epicenter, also did not suffer major damage, although the homes of some parishioners were damaged or destroyed.  Details are still being gathered.

“We thank God for all His blessings, but we also pray for those who suffered greatly and for the lives that were lost,” Archbishop Alejo said.  It will take time to fully assess how the earthquake has affected the faithful in each parish and mission throughout the expansive diocese.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and members of the OCA Chancery staff will be working in conjunction with Archbishop Alejo to determine and assess the needs of Mexican faithful most impacted by the earthquake.  Further information will be made available as it is received.

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