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Source: St. Catherine’s Vision “A Call for the Rejuvenation of the Ministry of the Ordained Deaconess” has been published by St. Catherine’s Vision, an international, Pan-Orthodox fellowship of Orthodox women theologians and other lay servant-leaders. The document is addressed to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Secretariat of the Great and Holy Council. It is being widely distributed for prayerful reflection by hierarchs, clergy and laity. “A Call for the Rejuvenation of the Ministry of the Ordained Deaconess” affirms that the ministry of ordained deaconesses is part of the Church’s tradition. The rejuvenation of the order can be of great benefit in many places within the Church…

Source: The Algemeiner JNS.org – Israeli Arab Christians in Jaffa marked the beginning of the Christmas season in the Holy Land with an annual Christmas tree lighting celebration earlier this week. At the gathering in the ancient port city adjacent to Tel Aviv, men dressed up as Santa Claus met children, sang Christmas carols and lit fireworks. Orthodox Christian leaders also addressed the crowd of Jewish, Muslim and Christian onlookers, using the occasion to promote unity between the three faiths. “This is the best example for all the citizens of Israel to see how people can do things that we can…

Source: The St. Augustine Record The second annual Blessing of the Animals will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine, 41 St. George St. It is the conviction of the Orthodox Christian faith that all creation is holy. His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, said, “Everything that lives and breathes is sacred and beautiful in the eyes of God.” The Greek Orthodox Church believes it is the responsibility of human beings to love, honor and care for God’s earth, that he created and blessed every creature that swims in its oceans,…

Source: IOCC Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — From comforting survivors of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, to helping Midwest families clean out their homes after last summer’s devastating floods, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has been responding to the needs of disaster victims across the US for more than a decade through the IOCC Emergency Response Network, or Frontline, as well as the support of local Orthodox Christian parishes in outreach to disaster-affected communities. IOCC’s track record of readiness in times of disasters and emergencies has earned it a position as the newest member of the nation’s largest network of disaster…

Source: The National by Alan Philps When Pope Francis gave his first speech to the European Parliament on Tuesday, the members were aware that he was not going to restrict himself to praise in the manner of John Paul II, who had called the European Union a “beacon of civilisation”. But still many were surprised at his harsh tone. The EU had lost its way and replaced its ideals with “bureaucratic technicalities”. Europe was a haggard old grandmother, no longer “fertile and vibrant”, and had allowed a generation of young people to fester in unemployment. Returning to a favourite theme, he…

Source: NBC News An Orthodox priest rings a set of bells after baptizing a baby on board a train carriage that operates as a mobile church, bringing religion to remote parts of Russia. The Doctor Voino-Yasenetsky Saint Luka train travels annually to distant settlements in the Krasnoyarsk and Khakassia regions of Siberia. Alongside the mobile church, the train also transports medical personnel and equipment, offering free consultations to about 200 patients a day in places where hospitals and clinics are scarce. First published May 28, 2014.

Source: St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, you can help us launch a new tradition by joining the national movement that celebrates generosity called #GivingTuesday. We’re excited to participate in #GivingTuesday. After all, giving is at the very foundation of St. Vladimir’s mission. Our professors give their hearts to teach the Gospel of Christ. Our students give their time to prepare for service in the Church. Our graduates give their lives to minister to Christ’s flock. Our goal this year is to raise $5,000 in 24 hours. And, thanks to 4 generous supporters pledging matching gifts totaling $20,000,…

OCL advisory board member assists in establishing a new ministry within the life of the Orthodox Church orthodoxchristianhealing.com What We Do Seeds of Hope – Orthodox Christian Healing and Counseling – hopes to change how things were done in the past. All too often the ecclesiastical harm inflicted by clergy to their fellow Orthodox sisters, and brothers (and children), was proverbially “swept under the rug.” This led to a massive erosion of trust, to widespread cynicism, to jurisdictional divisions and to court battles that are costing multi-millions of dollars. It no longer needs to happen that way. Helping Orthodox Christians…

Source: Christian Science Monitor Interfaith marriages that remain with mixed-faith partners has shot up to 40 percent, from 20 percent in the 1960s. And raising interfaith families is increasingly common and supported by a growing number of grass-roots organizations. By Stephanie Hanes, Correspondent KENSINGTON, MD. — Jean Tutt was a freshman at Harper College in Palatine, Ill., when she met Brian Saucier. He was not at all her type, she recalls – but not because of their different religions. He had long hair and wore a denim jacket with skulls on it; she had more the button-down cardigan style. He…

Source: The Catholic Register BY  FRANCIS X. ROCCA VATICAN CITY – Almost every papal trip abroad is a complex mix of the religious and political, and that will be especially true of Pope Francis’ Nov. 28-30 visit to Turkey. Given the country’s crucial geographic position straddling Europe and Asia, its historic importance for both Christianity and Islam and the wars now raging in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, Pope Francis will have to address a variety of urgent topics during his three-day visit. Here are five of the biggest issues that await him: — ECUMENISM. Like his predecessors Blessed Paul VI, St.…

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