THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

Here we are at year end, ready to celebrate Christmas, a New Year and the Epiphany Season.  A glorious and busy time.  A time of celebration!  It is also the time to begin looking ahead, preparing to organize our personal affairs for the income tax season.  This is the time of year when non-profit, tax-exempt groups like Orthodox Christian Laity ask their supporters to consider a year-end gift to help us plan for 2018.  Next year will be our 31st year advocating for a strong voice of the laity in the administrative and spiritual life of the Church. 2017 has…

Source: The National Herald NEW YORK – Mr. Michael Psaros, a prominent businessman and treasurer of the Archdiocesan Council of the Creek Orthodox Archdiocese of America delivered a speech on Friday October 20, 2017, at the meeting of the Archdiocesan Council in New York regarding the finances. In his remarkable speech he presented concrete and decisive proposals designed to turn the finances of the Archdiocese around as stressed the need for total transparency. The National Herald was able to obtain a copy of the speech which we publish in its entirety: Your Eminences, Your Graces, most Reverend Clergy, brother Archons of…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity The Recognition Programs Coordinator of iUniverse has informed George E. Matsoukas that his book, A Church in Captivity: The Greek Orthodox Church of America, is now part of the Reader’s Choice Recognition Program.  Upon its publication in July 2008,  iUniverse honored the publication with its selection as an Editor’s Choice book.  The book is also included in the Spring Arbor database catalog of Christian Bookstore vendors. Reviews of “A Church in Captivity: The Greek Orthodox Church of America” “These personal essays … are recommended reading for any … Christian interested in the perspective of an objective protagonist of recent Orthodox Church history in America.  The author is to…

Source: OCA Diocese of the Midwest CHICAGO, IL [OCL] — His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest will be among the speakers at the 30th Annual Conference of Orthodox Christian Laity [OCL] on Saturday, October 28, 2017. Bishop Paul will update participants on the work of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. The conference will be held at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral Community Center, Chicago, Illinois. Other speakers include Father Frank Marangos, Former Dean of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of Holy Trinity, New York, NY; Former National Director of Religious Education…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity The Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) supports the decision of Archbishop Demetrios and the Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to elevate Bishop Sevastianos to lead the Metropolis of Chicago as its new Metropolitan.  As Elaine Jaharis pointed out in her recent Open Letter published in The National Herald, the stakes for the Metropolis of Chicago, the Archdiocese and the Ecumenical Patriarchate could not be higher. The Orthodox Christian Laity has supported the efforts of the Ecumenical Patriarchate where it believes that those efforts have merit: (a) The convening of pre-conciliar meetings over the years; (b) the…

Source:  The National Herald Theodore Kalmoukos BOSTON – The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America defied the Synodical decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to revise the List of Candidates for the elevation to Episcopacy. Instead in a unprecedented move they decided that the Archbishop with a representation of hierarchs travel to Constantinople to try to convince Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to reverse the initial Synodical decision that canceled the election of Bishop Sevastianos of Zela as Metropolitan of Chicago. The decision was taken on Thursday July 20 in a special session of the Eparchial Synod convened…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity June 28, 2017 His All Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, Members of the Holy Synod; His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and Chairman of the Holy Eparchial Synod; Members of the Holy Eparchial Synod; Members of the Archdiocesan Council of the Archdiocese of America,  Your All Holiness, Your Eminences and beloved sisters and brothers in Christ:  The recently “widowed” see of the Metropolis of Chicago requires those who are responsible for its future to come to grips with the reality that they are confronting a Church in…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru and other sources Post-Conciliar News – Metropolitan Kallistos Reflects on Orthodox Council – OSV Newsweekly – Athonite Fathers Call for Rejection of Cretan Council and Cessation of Commemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinope – Orthodox Ethos – Historic Orthodox Council Meets Despite Absence of Four Churches – AMERICA – The National Catholic Review -Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and Litoral did not sign controversial document at Crete -Interview with Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos on the Holy and Great Synod (video) -Metropolitan Jeremiah of Gortys: “When and where did the Holy Fathers call heresies and schisms ‘Churches?’” -Union of Orthodox Clergy…

Source: Pravoslavie MESSAGE OF THE HOLY AND GREAT COUNCIL OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH To the Orthodox people and to all people of good will To God, “the Father of mercies and all comfort,” we address a hymn of thanksgiving and praise for having enabled us to gather during the week of Pentecost (18-26 June 2016) on Crete, where the Apostle Paul and his disciple Titus preached the Gospel in the early years of the life of the Church. We give thanks to the Triune God who was well pleased that in one accord we should bring to a conclusion the…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity From the Editor – excerpt from complete, excellent essay which follows:   The Role of the Laity and women.  The final point I wish to touch upon is the issue of the Role of the Laity in the Church. I am fully aware of the distinction between the clergy and the laity (έχοντες ούν υμείς χαρίσματα κατά την χάριν την δοθείσαν υμίν διάφορα) but  Ι have not seen the role of the laity given approriate weight in the Orthodox Church (in fact, I have seen more involvement of lay persons in the liturgical life of the…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity Lent is coming to an end.  We are preparing for Holy Week and Pascha.  The liturgical cycle will turn toward Pentecost.    This Pentecost, June 19, will be different from other celebrations.  We are praying and looking forward to the opening sessions of the Holy and Great Council.  This meeting has been 1200 years in waiting, and its agenda has taken 80 years to prepare. This council is a turning point in world Orthodox Christianity and indeed the entire Christian world.  Bringing the bishops to Chania, Crete has not been an easy task.  The Patriarchs, autocephalous and…

Source: The Wall Street Journal By JAMES MARTIN When was the last time you felt stressed out by Easter? So much Easter shopping to do, so many Easter cards to write, so many Easter gatherings to attend. Not to mention the endless stream of Easter commercials on television and online, the nearly unavoidable Easter-themed movies and all those tacky Easter sweaters that you’re forced to wear every spring. And don’t forget the travails of setting up the annual Easter tree and stringing Easter lights on your house. Every year you lament how overly commercialized Easter has become. Can the holiday get…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity The year 2016 is a momentous, historic time for Orthodox Christianity throughout the world.  After 1,200 years, Orthodox Christianity is on the verge of a seminal event, a meeting of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, to be held in Crete, Greece, during the week of Pentecost this June. This event will provide a pivotal opportunity for hierarchs to officially recognize a unified American Orthodox Church which selects its own hierarchs. It is an idea whose time has come.  Moreover, it is properly based on the canonical precedents of the Church. Indeed, it…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity Originally posted by St. Andrew House on May 21, 2011 in Orthodox Unity Hierarchs. This is a place where we can really be transfigured…in this place, Your Eminence, your place.  We can be transfigured from parochial to truly Orthodox Christian people. We can be transfigured from separate jurisdictions to one jurisdiction.  We can be transfigured from many ethnic groups to one group headed and dominated by Christ, our Savior and our Lord.”      Archbishop Iakovos, Ligonier 1994  The First Ecumenical Conference of American Orthodox Bishops  November, 1994 STANDING CONFERENCE OF CANONICAL ORTHODOX BISHOPS IN THE AMERICAS…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity A PRAYER FOR ORTHODOX UNITY (OCL Pamphlet on Unity and Self Governance, 2000) O All Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we your faithful children beseech you to forgive us the sin of divisiveness, which is rooted in our hearts, our dioceses and land. Implant in our lives the holy vine of unity which only you can bestow on those who have come together in your name. Enlighten us with your grace, so that we may come to the knowledge of your truth and move our hearts to respond with trust and total obedience to…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity How will we move forward to renew the Orthodox Church in the USA? Now that the hierarchy has demonstrated that it cannot move ahead in consensus, it is time for the spiritually mature laity and clergy to cooperate together and see how we can be a critical mass to move ahead as the Apostolic missionary church that is the Orthodox way. Where do we begin to make our Church in the USA canonical? A good place to start is to reread or read for the first time the Project for Orthodox Renewal. You can read the chapters online…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity Countdown to the 6th Meeting of the Assembly of Bishops – Chicago Area High School and College Students will meet with Bishops We are called to move beyond what is “mine” and what is “yours” to what is “ours.” From now on, this is how we should conceive and conduct all of our ministries and resources, all of our departments and initiatives. Otherwise, we do not practice what we preach. It is really up to us to accept the challenge or to refuse the call.” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s Video Address at the Dallas Assembly 2014   During…

Editor’s note: The Orthodox Christian Church in the United States is in Crisis. What actions will the Assembly of Bishops take? Stonewalling and ignoring the facts only contributes to the decline of Orthodoxy in the USA.  By a Layperson in the New Jersey Metropolis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese An extensive, highly-cited study of religious trends and affiliation of Americans [America’s Changing Religious Landscape] published on May 12 by the well-regarded Pew Research Center found that the Christian share of the U.S. religious population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion…

Source: Fordham University Co-sponsored by the Orthodox Theological Society in America (OTSA) and the Orthodox Christian Studies Center Friday, June 26 – Saturday, June 27, 2015 Fordham School of Law | 150 W. 62nd St. (between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues)│ New York, N.Y. In 2016, the leaders of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches from around the world will gather at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople/Istanbul for a much discussed and anticipated Council. This conference is a series of papers, panel discussions, and a research poster competition addressing several themes from the Agenda for the Great and Holy Council: Autocephaly and Diaspora The Canonical…

Source: Greek Orthodox Christian Clergy and Laity We, Greek Orthodox Christians of the Metropolis of Chicago, will no longer accept what we believe is the continual financial and spiritual abuse of both clergy and laity, by the current Hierarchs of the Metropolis of Chicago. With this goal, a group of dedicated and committed individuals began a campaign to inform the church / laity of serious aberrations in our Greek Orthodox community, and to correct some of the financial and spiritual abuses rampant in the Chicago Metropolis, that is spreading to other jurisdictions. The success of this website to inform the…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA]  In a document dated March 15, 2015, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America offered a response to the Chairman and Secretary of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America with regard to the “Common Starting Point” for Canonical and Regional Planning. The text of the six-page document is available here. As noted in the document’s introduction, the response is “an expansion of the Preliminary Response which was offered by our Synod on September 17, 2014, during Assembly V in Dallas,”…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity A Great and Holy Council of all the Orthodox Churches is scheduled in 2016 to consider, among other issues, how to unite the Church in the United States of America.  Now is the time to prepare for this awesome event.  You can be a part of the process!  Local advocates are needed.  Are you interested in being the Orthodox Christian Unity advocate in your parish community? If you are committed to the canonical order of an autocephalous, unified Orthodox Church in the USA, you can help this become a reality by: Becoming the “go-to person” in…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) is hosting an Open Forum for interested clergy and laity in the Jacksonville/St Augustine, Florida area on the progress of the Assembly of Bishops as they finalize a blueprint for Orthodox Unity in the USA.  A plan will be discussed by the Assembly in March, 2015 in a special meeting.  The work toward unity is the responsibility of all – including clergy and laity.  At least we can be informed. Please see the event flier below: [subscribe2]

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA To All Clergy and Laity Interested in the Subject of “Orthodox Christians and Giving to the Church.” A national study “Exploring Orthodox Generosity: Giving in US Orthodox Parishes” has been launched by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. We need and invite as many participants as possible. Both Orthodox clergy and laity are invited to take part in this unique project. The following are examples of the questions that the study will explore: Why do people give or don’t give to their parishes? Are Church members satisfied with…

Source: The National Herald By Theodoros Kalmoukos BOSTON, MA – The Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology (HCHC) held its 76th commencement on May 17. Twenty-four students graduated from the College and 35 from the Theological School, of which 19 graduated with a master’s in divinity, the degree for those who wish to become priests. Of the remaining 35 School graduates, seven received a master’s in theology and nine a master’s in theological studies. Also, seven received a certificate in Byzantine music. The College’s and School’s valedictorians, respectively, were Theofanis Rauch and Jeremy Troy. John P. Calamos, Sr.,…

Source: The National Herald By TNH Staff In the small central Greek village where the father of Texas teen high shooter Dimitris Pagourtzis was born, and still visits annually, there was disbelief the youth had conducted a massacre of fellow students, killing nine and a teacher. The shooting at the Santa Fe high school was the fourth deadliest mass shooting at a public school in what has become so common that this year they are happening almost monthly, each time raising new fears and with a common denominator of someone seeking vengeance for a slight. The family were “quiet, peaceable…

Jordan Peterson shares his thoughts on Orthodox Christianity. Full Jordan Peterson Q&A at https://youtu.be/4GcU9LjuVOo. From Wikipedia: Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologist, public intellectual, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are in abnormal, social, and personality psychology,[1] with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief,[2] and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.[3] Peterson studied at the University of Alberta and McGill University. He remained at McGill as a post-doctoral fellow from 1991 to 1993 before moving to Harvard University, where he was assistant and then associate professor in the psychology department. In 1998 he moved back to Canada, to the University of Toronto, as…

Source: The New York Times ‘There’s power in love’: Read the words of the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, who spoke at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. By Margaret Lyons, Anna Schaverien and Jonah Engel Bromwich Keep your fascinators, tiaras, regalia and romance. What if the surprise biggest star — the Pippa Middleton, if you will — of this royal wedding was a sermon about love? Michael Bruce Curry, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, delivered a searing, soaring 13-minute speech, imploring Christians to put love at the center of their…

Source: The National Herald By Theodoros Kalmoukos BOSTON, MA – Leadership 100 will pay $200,000 to cover the expense of the banquet for the 44th Clergy-Laity Congress, which will be convened from July 1 to 5 at the Copley Marriot Hotel in Boston, where the same event was held in 1988 under Archbishop Iakovos. Leadership 100 has in its coffers about $100 million and gives annually approximately $2 to $2.5 million for the ministries of the Archdiocese. It is not clear if according to the rules the organization can provide funds to pay for the event, and Leadership has not…

Source: International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA) In This Issue: Conference Update | Registration Open | Travel Grants Available | Conference Exhibit CONFERENCE UPDATE. In anticipation of the Feast of the Ascension, we are overjoyed to report that 300+ speakers from over THIRTY COUNTRIES are being scheduled to present their papers at IOTA’s Inaugural Conference in Iasi, Romania on 9-12 January 2019. In terms of output and representation, the event is poised to become the largest gathering of Orthodox scholars, clergy, lay leaders, and professionals in modern history. REGISTRATION OPEN. All prospective attendees, including speakers, may now register for the Inaugural Conference by completing the…

Source: Ancient Faith Ministries May 15, 2018 Length: 1:38:37 Bill Marianes has an in depth conversation with the newly elected Metropolitan Nathanael Symeonides of the Chicago Metropolis of the GOA. Topics and calls range from Orthodox unity to strategic planning. Don’t miss this 90 minute intimate conversation with one of our newest and youngest hierarchs. Click here to listen.

Source: Estiator Magazine Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago, enthroned just last month, impressed us with his enthronement address and appears to be quite suited to shepherd a Metropolis that was led for decades by a questionable prelate and his auxiliary bishop over the last few years, who has now been cast aside. Based on other reports as well, Nathanael appears to be a serious individual, a good orator (who has an excellent command of both languages), exceptionally trained, and above all, down to earth. From his interviews, we gather that he has an understanding of today’s social reality, and at a time…

Source: The National Herald By TNH Staff Father Alexander and Presbytera Xanthi Karloutsos will be honored as the 2018 recipients of the Athenagoras Human Rights Award. The Award will be presented by the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at the organization’s annual banquet Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 at the New York Hilton Hotel, according to Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s announcement. “The Award, established in 1986, is presented annually to a person or organization that has consistently exemplified by action, purpose and dedication concern for the basic rights and religious freedom of all people. It is named in…

Source: Crux Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service ROME – Seeking Christian unity is more urgent than ever because of the ongoing persecution of Christians, Pope Francis told an Orthodox leader. Meeting with Metropolitan Rastislav, primate of the Orthodox Church in the Czech and Slovak Republics, the pope said the “suffering of many brothers and sisters persecuted because of the Gospel urgently calls us to act in seeking greater unity.” The primate met with the pope at the Vatican May 11 as part of a May 9-12 pilgrimage to Rome; during his visit he also met with Cardinal Kurt Koch, president…

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