THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

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:

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: Pravoslavie.ru Moscow, January 17, 2017 The St. Petersburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church is calling upon all faithful to sensibly approach Theophany “bathing” in fonts, pools, creeks, and ponds, neither for sport nor for forgiveness of sins. “There is a belief that if you immerse yourself in a font, you will wash away all your sins. I hasten to disappoint you,” says Fr. Bogdan Polevoi of the Joy of All Who Sorrow podvoriye of the Holy Trinity-Zelenesk Monastery, “but this is absolutely not true. If you led an indecent life for a whole year, allowing yourself anything, and…

Source: St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary On Friday, January 13, 2017, Archpriest John Behr, dean and professor of Patristics at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, presented his inaugural lecture as holder of the Metropolitan Kallistos Chair in Orthodox Theology and assumed his position as full professor at the Amsterdam Centre for Orthodox Theology (ACOT) in the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Father John’s lecture, titled, “The Paschal Gospel: Reading John in Early and Eastern Christianity,” may be read here. Father John was appointed to the newly created Chair by the Executive Board of VU on September 1, 2016. He retains his position as Dean of St. Vladimir’s, but will visit ACOT a…

Source: Religioscope BY RICHARD CIMINO, 24 NOVEMBER 2011 A popular monk has become the center of growing controversy in the Greek Orthodox Church over his charismatic leadership and strict ascetic teachings. Known as Elder Ephraim, the Greek monk has spearheaded a monastic movement in the U.S. Since 1989, Elder Ephraim and his followers have established 18 monasteries in North America, attracting both cradle and convert Orthodox Christians to its strict ascetic practices. The “Ephraimite” monasteries stress reclusive living, fasting, bodily mortification, vigils, and constant recitation of the Jesus Prayer, according to sociologist Frances Kostarelos of Governors State University. In a…

Source: The Greek Reporter By Anastasios Papapostolou Iakovos is known in the U.S. as the committed and caring pastor who put the Greek Orthodox Faith on the map for Americans and beyond. He is also known as the first Greek Archbishop in 350 years to officially confer with a pope, leaving behind a tremendous body of work as the primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in North and South America for 37 years. However, Iakovos was also a champion of civil and human rights who showed his support to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. not only with his words, but also with his…

Source: LaCroix International The US Congress is examining a proposed law that would assign supervision of the construction of Christian churches in Egypt to the American Secretariat of State, despite opposition from Egyptian Christians. Jenna Le Bras, Cairo Egypt In the street that opens on to Bab El Louk Place in central Cairo, a dozen armed police stand outside the Church of St Mary and St John the Baptist. The building, which has still not been completed although construction began in 2008, shines like a beacon in the Cairo sky on the Coptic Church’s Christmas eve, January 6. Although it is still…

Source: St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS Communications / Yonkers, NY] On Monday, January 23, 2017, at 7 p.m., St. Vladimir’s Seminary will co-sponsor an “Orthodox-Catholic Prayer for Unity and Life” event at the Parish of St. John Nepomucene and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, 411 East 66th Street, New York, NY. Other sponsors include the host parish and the Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Sienna. An Orthodox Christian service, the “Akathist for the Unborn,” and a Roman Catholic service, the “Divine Mercy Chaplet,” will be held during the evening. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA),…

Source: Orthodox Youth and Camp Workers Conference January 26-28th, 2017 + Austin, Texas We frequently divide ministry efforts into small, discrete boxes. Rather than work towards a unified model of ministry grounded in Christ, we tend to cultivate an ice cube tray model of ministries and programs that work in parallel rather than cooperatively, in a spirit of true unity. Every year, one of the canonical Orthodox jurisdictions hosts a Orthodox Youth and Camp Workers Conference. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Y2AM will host the 2017 conference. Our objective is to offer an enriching and uplifting experience that…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity A ministry advocating Orthodox Unity in the United States with transparency and accountability in Church governance Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year.  One way to mark the beginning of OCL is by noting the date that a group of men and women who became its “founders” met in the living room of James and Mary Koulogeorge in Northbrook, Illinois. If anyone recorded the date, I’m not aware of it. Or, we can look at the date that the not-for-profit corporation was granted its Charter by the Secretary of State of Illinois.  The…

Source: Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University Monday, February 6, 2017  6 p.m., Lincoln Center Campus South Lounge Lowenstein Building Plaza Level 113 West 60th Street, New YorkLecture by Columba Stewart, O.S.B., professor of theology and executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota Introduction by Gerald Blaszczak, S.J. Register Now Syriac Christians have a manuscript heritage that is among the richest in the Christian world. But they are also one of the most vulnerable minorities in the Middle East. This lecture will cover the significance of Syriac Christianity as a counterpoint…

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