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You may be interested in this ruling from the Tucson Court…. a case where a US Court upholds the well settled doctrine: “So long as a court does not cross into ecclesiastical matters, it is appropriate to apply neutral legal principles, including those based in contract, in resolving a dispute involving a religious organization.” If the New York courts had followed this doctrine in the Declaratory Judgment action filed challenging the imposition of the 2003 Charter by the EP without the approval of the Clergy-Laity Congress in accordance with the revision provisions of the previous Charter the GOA would not…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity The Orthodox Christian Laity calls upon the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople [EP] to ratify the selection of His Grace Bishop. Sevastianos  of Zela as the Metropolitan of Chicago. The process by which the Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America [GOA] under Archbishop Demetrios selected him to lead the recently widowed see of Chicago was agreed upon by all parties before the repose of Metropolitan Iakovos, of blessed memory. The Eparchial Synod followed all the procedures approved by the EP including receiving input from the clergy and laity of the Church in America. It…

Source: The Baltimore Sun By Jonathan M. Pitts, Contact Reporter The Baltimore Sun Growing up a Southern Baptist in eastern Tennessee, Brent Gilbert says, he never realized there were other ways to worship. He figured everyone knew the best church music was contemporary. He was sure there was a 45-minute pastor’s sermon at the heart of every Sunday service. And didn’t all Christians agree that religious art, symbols and rituals were relics of a less desirable past? Then he encountered the ancient faith that would change his life. In the formal liturgy, rituals and language of the Greek Orthodox Church, he…

Source: The National Herald by Theodoros Kalmoukos MILWAUKEE, WI – Rev. John Ketchum, priest of the Annunciation Church in Milwaukee, WI, excommunicated Parish Council Treasurer Patricia Galanis at the beginning of Holy Week, on April 8, the Saturday of Lazarus, for reasons, he said, of “disobedience to the Ecclesiastical Authority, the priest of the parish.” Galanis is the wife of former AHEPA Supreme President John Galanis. The parish is upset and nine of the fifteen members of the parish council including the president, Dr. Clemens Stoeckl, have resigned collectively. The situation was more painful for the entire parish because the excommunication…

Source: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago Chicago, IL: The Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, together with an anonymous donor from California and the Greek America Foundation’s Project Hope for Greece, recently helped repair two commercial fishing boats, restoring the livelihoods of their owners on the Greek island of Lesvos. The boats were severely damaged in winter storms this January following their use throughout much of 2015-2016 to rescue refugees whose own boats stranded or were sinking in the Aegean Sea. “When I learned of this story, I immediately desired to do all I could to help these…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity I have the sad responsibility to inform you that our beloved board member, Dr. Peter Haikalis, fell asleep in the Lord suddenly on March 20, 2017.  He and Susan were out shopping. Susan went into the pharmacy to pick up an item and returned to the car, and Peter was experiencing a heart attack.  With state of the art, immediate emergency care, he could not be revived. The sudden death of Peter is a shock for his family and friends, his Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) extended family and his parish community of Ascension Cathedral, Oakland, CA. …

Source: The Chicago Tribune by Tony Briscoe and Kate ThayerContact ReportersChicago Tribune A Greek Orthodox priest from Chicago who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $100,000 from his church had his felony theft conviction reduced to a misdemeanor Wednesday. A judge in Milwaukee agreed to instate the lesser conviction after the Rev. James Dokos satisfied the terms of his yearlong probation, including 40 hours of community service, which he fulfilled by volunteering in a Chicago church. Dokos, 64, will continue to avoid jail time if he pays a $5,000 fine within the next year, officials said. While leading Annunciation Church in…

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: ABC 57 News By Jess Arnold SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Greek Orthodox Church in South Bend is working to convince Indiana to pass a Religious Freedom Resolution. The legislation mainly concerns the religion’s Ecumenical Patriarch. Ecumenical means ‘first among equals,’ so their leader is one of the people. The resolution has broader, more global implications, however, related to the persecution Christians are currently facing overseas. Bishop Demetrios of the Metropolis of Chicago visited St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in South Bend Sunday to address these issues. “If any other major Christian faith community was suffering the same persecutions in…

Source: WorldWatch Monitor Life hasn’t been easy for 28-year-old Syrian mother Kristina, a Christian of Armenian descent, who lived with her husband in Aleppo long before the civil war started in 2011. It was in that besieged city that Kristina gave birth to her firstborn daughter, 18 months ago. She’s brought the little girl to the house where a World Watch Monitor contact meets her. While her mother talks, the toddler explores the room. “Please close the door, I’d like to keep an eye on her,” Kristina asks, not letting her child out of her sight. With the pain still…

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