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Source: Congressman Frank Wolf UPDATED MEDIA ADVISORY  AMERICAN CHRISTIAN LEADERS “PLEDGE” TO STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH IMPERILED CHRISTIAN AND OTHER RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES IN EGYPT, SYRIA AND IRAQ  Press Conference 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 7, 2014 234 Cannon House Office Building  Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), co-chairs of the bipartisan Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, will host a press conference at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7 on Capitol Hill featuring several prominent American Christian leaders who will be releasing a Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action on behalf of Christians and other religious…

Source: Uexpress.com Originally published on April 9, 2014 by Terry Mattingly Father Seraphim Aldea is so committed to building the first Orthodox monastery in the Scottish isles in more than a millennium that he did something no monk searching for solitude would ever, ever do. “I learned how to use that dreadful Facebook thing,” he said. The Romanian monk has already been handed an abandoned Church of Scotland sanctuary on Mull Island. While Kilninian was built in 1755, it appears in 1561 records as a site associated with the great Monastery of St. Columba on Iona. Thus, this property may…

Source: CatholicPhilly.com BY FRANCIS X. ROCCA Catholic News Service ROME (CNS) — The Orthodox bishop who is coordinating the upcoming pilgrimage to Jerusalem by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said he hopes the patriarch’s May 25 meeting with Pope Francis will give new impetus to efforts for Christian unity. But he also said the two leaders are likely to discuss a range of common concerns, including the predicament of Christians in the Middle East, conservation of the natural environment, and defense of the traditional family. “We hope that this will not just be a meeting like others, but we hope…

Source: St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary In fall 2012 St. Vladimir’s Seminary began requiring all incoming Master of Divinity students to complete one full unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), as a means to strengthen their pastoral abilities. Now seminary Trustee Emeritus Brian Gerich, Hon. D.H.L., is further supporting seminarians in their pastoral training, by paying for hospital fees related to their CPE programs. Dr. Gerich recently pledged $20,000. Dr. Al Rossi directs Field Education a year for the next few years to underwrite the fees, which can exceed $1,000 per student. Students who have successfully completed their CPE training from the spring…

Source: The Christian Science Monitor By the Monitor’s Editorial Board  As violence escalates in Ukraine, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church appears to distance himself from President Putin, calling for healing and reconciliation. Churches that align with the state often learn the hard way that Caesar has his own kingdom. The struggle over Ukraine’s future took a worrisome turn Friday when more than 40 people died in political unrest between demonstrators in the port city of Odessa. The tragedy is seen by some as the start of further large-scale violence. But there is an alternative path that can reconcile the…

Source: The Bristol Bay Times & The Dutch Harbor Fisherman by Jim Paulin A man went on a rampage last weekend in Unalaska, allegedly vandalizing a church and biting a police officer after stealing a truck. Frustrated at being stuck at the Unalaska airport for days trying to fly out standby, a man stole a pickup truck parked in the unloading zone, drove across town and broke into and vandalized the historic Russian Orthodox Church, according to local police. Ishmael Guerrero, 33, of Fresno, California, was arrested Sunday at the Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church, and arraigned in court the next day…

Source: Acton Institute by Andrew P. Morriss by Fr. Michael Butler It is important to clarify the Church’s teaching on asceticism because many voices in the environmental movement encourage a kind of ascetical lifestyle in the name of “ethical consumption.” Orthodox writers on the environment are not immune to the temptation of putting the ascetical tradition of the Church in the service of another agenda. For example, the conclusion of the Inter-Orthodox Conference on Environmental Protection, held in Crete in 1991, states: “Humanity needs a simpler way of life, a renewed asceticism, for the sake of creation.” Many Orthodox writers call on…

The OCL Board will meet at:   Hilton Akron Fairlawn, 3180 West Market St., Akron, Ohio 44333, Phone: 330-867-5000. Akron is our host city, because the Pan Orthodox Young Adult Festival will take place there, and our board wants to support this important young adult initiative. This business meeting will discuss various topics including: board development, finance, mission of OCL, what we know about preparations for the Great and Holy Council and other topics.  

Source: The National Herald BY CONSTANTINE S. SIRIGOS NEW YORK – The World Trade Center site will remain a hive of construction activity for years to come, but visitors on Saturday, April 26 saw that much of the master plan for Ground Zero is complete. The iconic Freedom Tower – officially known as One World Trade Center – looks finished from many angles and tourists and New Yorkers alike cannot wait for its grand opening, if not this year, then in 2015. A number of office towers are open and the 9/11 memorial and museum receive thousands of guests daily.…

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