Jesus Loves His Church, So You Should Too [An Important Reminder at Christmas]

Source: Crossway This is an excerpt adapted from The Unfinished Church: God's Broken and Redeemed Work-in-Progress by Rob Bentz (May 2014). A Troubling Narrative The “I love Jesus, but I hate the church” narrative has become commonplace within the Christian culture today. Library shelves of books and articles have been written about the issue. Facebook posts and tweets touting this antichurch brand of Christianity are rampant. And for the most part, it has become increasingly accepted as a … [Read more...]

Why Was Jesus Born In Bethlehem?

Source: MYSTAGOGY By John Sanidopoulos Five or six miles southwest of Jerusalem lay the tiny town of Bethlehem in the Judean hills. It was here that man’s eyes first saw God in the flesh. Why this place and not another of so many other possibilities? Bethlehem was the perfect place for Christ to have been born. Of course it was the home of Joseph and Mary’s ancestors - the city of David. But it was more. Bethlehem was "the house of bread". This is what the word Bethlehem means. To have … [Read more...]

Ukrainian Orthodox Church Canonizes Bartholomew (Bondarenko) the Fool for Christ (+ 1931)

Source: MYSTAGOGY On Sunday, 7 December 2014, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine glorified Bartholomew Bondarenko, a Staretz and Fool-for-Christ's Sake of the Cherkassy Eparchy of the UOC-MP. His was chosen to be numbered among the saints by the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on 16 September 2014, due to his popular veneration. Saint Bartholomew was born in 1870 near the Holy Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Chyhyryn. As a youth he spent his life in prayer … [Read more...]

Communique of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand Regarding the Desecration of Graves in Sydney

Source: Serbian Orthodox Church On the desecration of Russian and Serbian graves at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney An unknown vandal or vandals during the night between Tuesday (09/12/2014) and Wednesday (10/12/2014) desecrated seventy six (76) graves in the Russian and Serbian Section No. 1 at Sydney's Rookwood Cemetery. We are amazed and saddened by this act of vandalism witnessed in the desecration of graves. Graves and cemeteries have always been, in all cultures and cultured … [Read more...]

Orthodox Theologian Sees “Big Step Forward” with Francis Visit to Istanbul

Source: Alteteia "Now we see it is not in any way true" that the Pope wants to subjugate the Orthodox Churches. by JOHN BURGER A leading Orthodox theologian has said that Pope Francis’s words while visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul “represent a big step forward.” While speaking at the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul’s Phanar district Nov. 30, Pope Francis said that in the context of the efforts being made to achieve full communion with the Orthodox … [Read more...]

Russian group abandons ‘evil’ Eye of Sauron installation after Orthodox Church warning

Source: Toronto Star A church spokesman told Moscow radio a project to place the Lord of the Rings’ flaming eye atop a skyscraper would symbolize the “triumph of evil … rising up over the city.” By: Dan Peleschuk Globalpost MOSCOW— Russian fans of the writer J. R. R. Tolkien were disappointed Wednesday after a local art group abandoned plans to install a flaming eye from his The Lord of the Rings series atop a Moscow skyscraper. The group, Svechenie, said it would not re-create … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios Speaks Out and Touches Hearts

Source: Greek Reporter by Catherine Tsounis “The Power of the Saints and Martyrs have saved Christianity,” said His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America, in his historic speech before more than five hundred people on Friday evening, December 5, 2014, at the Feast Day Vespers of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Flushing, New York. “During the WWII Occupation of Greece, people believed in the Virgin Mary and the saints. Cyprus is living a … [Read more...]

‘Ecumenical Patriarchate title would elevate Turkey’s reputation’

Source: The Hurriyet Daily News by Cansu Çamlıbel ISTANBUL The Turkish government can ‘only benefit from recognizing the ecumenical status of the Patriarchate’ a senior official from the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate says in an exclusive interview Stopping resistance to the title “Ecumenical Patriarchate” and reopening the Halki Seminary can only elevate the reputation of Turkey as a democratic nation, according to a senior official from the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate. “The ‘ecumenical’ … [Read more...]

Remembering We’re Not in Charge – On Surrender

Source: Commonweal by John Garvey I have served as a priest in the Orthodox Church in America for twenty-two years. The parishes where I’ve served have been varied. For ten years I was the pastor of an Albanian Orthodox church in Queens, during the period when Communism fell in Albania. The parish population doubled, with an influx of immigrants who were eager to be part of the church after having been denied any opportunity to worship by the world’s most fiercely atheistic regime. My … [Read more...]

An Advent Message: Invite Someone New to Church

Invite a friend to attend Church with you in this Season of Preparation for Christmas and the Epiphany.  Source: Episcopalian Diocese of New Jersey  Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall name him Emmanuel which means "God with us." (Matthew 1:23) Advent is upon us. What does this mean to you? In a wonderful volume of seasonal reflections titled Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas (Farmington, PA: The Plough Publishing House of the Bruderhof … [Read more...]