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Source: Catholic News Agency Damascus, Syria, Jun 10, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The five Christian patriarchs of Antioch met in Syria on Monday, calling for peace in the Syrian civil war while reaffirming that Christians have a place in the Middle East. The Christian leaders described themselves as an authentic people of the land, who are “deeply rooted in its earth that was watered by the sweat of our fathers and grandfathers, and we confirm more than ever that we are staying.” “We do not condemn those that choose to leave, but we remind Christians that steadfastness in…

Source: Seeds of Hope – Orthodox Christian Healing and Counseling Clergy and Laity healing the soul and renewing the Spirit of the Church  Mark 4:8  And other fell on ground and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased, and brought forth, some thirty, sixty, and some a hundred.  Seeds of Hope, OCHC, www.orthodoxchristianhealing.com is celebrating their 1st year anniversary as a 501c3 national foundation. Our ministry serves those who have left the Church and their Faith. This includes being subjected to spiritual misconduct, financial misappropriations, or exploitation of authority.  Seeds of Hope offers Orthodox licensed counseling, healing, and reconciliation…

Source: Newsweek By Jack Moore Isis has announced that it is to convert one of Mosul’s largest churches into a mosque for the group’s “mujahideen” in notices posted in the streets exactly a year after the group launched a successful offensive on Iraq’s second city. The radical Islamists distributed the notices around the city, which has been under the group’s control for a year to the day, announcing the conversion of the Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Ephraim, according to Fides, the Vatican’s news agency. In the weeks before Isis advanced in June last year, the number of Christians in Mosul reportedly dwindled…

Source: Christianity Today The American church has a key role in rescuing, restoring, and returning Christians and other religious minorities who have fled ISIS. by Chris Seiple ‘Tell them that we Christians exist. We are the bridge between East and West,” said Felomain Nassar-Batshone, program manager, at International Orthodox Christian Charities, Amman, Jordan. The story never changes. Whenever ISIS terrorists approach an Iraqi or Syrian village, Christians are given a fateful choice: They can stay and pay a tax to ISIS. They can convert to Islam. They can be martyred as Christians. Or, they flee. We Americans would do well to…

Source: Orthodox Church in America WEIRTON, WV [OCA]  Speakers for the second Small Parish Forum, which is being cosponsored by the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania and the Diocese of the Midwest at Saint Nicholas Church here June 18-20, 2015, were recently announced. “The Forum is unique in that it focuses on the needs of numerous small parishes throughout the Orthodox Church in America and other Orthodox jurisdictions, and we are pleased to offer a strong array of Forum contributors that will explore the theme, ‘Becoming Stewards of Our Parish Future,’” said Joseph Kormos, Forum co-chairperson and Parish Development Leader for…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS Communications]  Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary here recently initiated a search for a full-time Director for its Office of Student Life, which directly provides for the overall welfare and practical needs of seminarians in formation, with special attention given to their spiritual lives. The Director of Student Life will be responsible for supervising the overall discipline of the seminary student body, coordinating with all seminary constituencies in matters related to community events, serving in counseling, advocacy, and advisory roles to students in general academic, spiritual, and personal matters. A detailed job…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA YOUTH]  The Youth Department of the Orthodox Church in America, in partnership with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. is launching a new on-line program—“Praxis: Christian Life Realized”—for high schoolers, college students, and young adults.  The sessions will consist of monthly Google hangouts giving participants an opportunity to engage in a variety of practical topics. The first session, to be held on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, will feature Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki, Rector of Holy Apostles Church, Mechanicsburg, PA, who will lead a brief presentation and discussion titled “How…

Source: Pravmir Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and All Moldova encouraged Christians to give birth to as many children as possible, promising personally to baptize every fourth child in a family. According to the RIA News agency, Metropolitan Vladimir spoke about this during a major campaign for family values. The campaign was designed to demonstrate “the defense of holy values,” and its participants responded negatively to a LGBT parade that had taken place the week before. “I encourage Christians to give birth to as many children as possible. I will personally baptize the fourth and following children in a family at…

Source: AsiaNews by Marta Allevato Metropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People’s Republic recognizing the latter’s ‘political’ role in Russia. Moscow (AsiaNews) – In order to compensate for its isolation from the West over the Ukrainian crisis, Moscow has revived its strategic alliance with Beijing, a step that…

Source: Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain by Ilias Levy People who are interested in knowing more about the Orthodox Church frequently ask about the practice of closed communion – that is, allowing only Orthodox Christians to receive Holy Communion in our churches. To some Orthodox it may seem that this is a somewhat bizarre issue to think worthy of an article. Indeed, perhaps it ought to be. Unfortunately, however, it is something about which there appears to be a certain amount of ignorance and confusion – to the extent where there have been very troubling instances of non-Orthodox being given…

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