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Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America To the Most Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics and Devout Faithful of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the Americas: Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, During this holiday season, many of us are turning our thoughts to welcoming beloved family and friends into our homes, to share with them the best that we have to offer, and to share our gratitude for the many blessings our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us. As we prepare to open our homes to guests who are dear to us, please consider welcoming one more guest into…

Source: Orthodox Church in America YONKERS, NY [SVOTS Communications]  On November 8, 2014, at a special academic convocation, the Board of Trustees and faculty of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary here awarded His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion [Alfeyev] of Volokolamsk, Chair of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Metropolitan Hilarion was on campus to present a public lecture, “Primacy and Conciliarity from an Orthodox Perspective” — a topic of critical importance to the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches, of which he is a key participant.  [The complete…

Source: Terry Mattingly’s On Religion If the goal is to map the evolving landscape of American religion, the late George Gallup, Jr., once told me, it was crucial to keep asking two kinds of questions. The kind attempted to document things that never seemed to change or that were changing very, very slowly. Thus, Gallup urged his team to keep using old questions his father and others in the family business began asking in the 1940s and ’50s, such as how often people attended worship services, how often they prayed and whether they believed in God. The second kind of…

Source: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America On October 27, 2014, His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, delivered the following speech on Mount Athos during extended travels in Greece. (Arabic original here.) “At night when human voices, movements and tumult are clothed in stillness, enlighten every movement of my soul with Yourself, O Jesus, Light of the Righteous. At the hour when you give rest to the weary, O my Lord, let our thoughts of you be intoxicated with the sweetest dream, O sweetness of the saints. At the time of going to sleep,…

Source: Orthodox Church in America LIGONIER, PA [AOCA] – The 2015 Orthodox Christian Camp and Youth Worker Conference will be held at Antiochian Village here January 22-24, 2015.  The theme will be “Walking Alongside our Youth.” The conference, now in its 13th year, exists to bring together all Orthodox Christians engaged in youth ministry at any level and in any form for several days to further their education, foster brotherhood, and provide fellowship.  Each year a different jurisdiction of the Orthodox Churches in the United States hosts the conference, with the input and direction provided by the Orthodox Christian Camp…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA]  Adult volunteers are now being sought to assist with the youth program during the 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, slated to convene in Atlanta, GA July 20-24, 2015. All volunteers must register here. All volunteers will be expected to complete a three-stage review process before their participation can be confirmed.  The first step is to apply at the above link.  Youth Program Coordinators will examine applications.  All references will be checked and, upon acceptance, applicants will complete the second stage, which will entail completing an OCA-funded training program…

Source: The National Herald BY CONSTANTINOS E. SCAROS PALM HARBOR, FL – Greek singing superstar Giannis Ploutarchos took time out of his U.S. tour to help some fellow Greeks in need: the community of Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene in Palm Harbor, FL whose church was severely damaged by a fire in late September. As TNH reported (“Fire Damages Palm Harbor Church, but Remains of 3 Saints are Saved,” Oct. 4), a fire in the early morning hours of September 23 – an investigation of which concluded it was electrical in nature – would have caused the entire church to…

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune Frank Papatheofanis founded Saint Katherine College in San Marcos By Nina Garin Saint Katherine College is a new liberal arts school that was founded in 2010 by physician and scientist, Frank Papatheofanis. The San Marcos-based school is a four-year, nonprofit Christian college with a curriculum that blends arts and science. For example, students learn about 19th century British literature at the same time they’re being taught about European monetary policy. Papatheofanis, 55, was raised in Chicago and moved to San Diego in 1995 after accepting a faculty position at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine.…

Source: The Economist BY B.C As A colleague has written in this week’s print edition, Christianity in China is experiencing spectacular, but turbulent, growth; by one estimate, the number of Chinese Christians could by 2030 have reached 250m—the largest Christian population of any country in the world. Unless something extra-ordinary happens, only a tiny fraction (less than 0.1%) of those Christians will be of followers the eastern Orthodox church, which you might have expected, on geographical grounds, to be the faith’s prevailing form. Why is it so relatively weak? In part, perhaps, because Chinese Orthodoxy’s position has been affected by…

Source: Orthodox Church in America BROOKLINE, MA [OCA]  The Orthodox Christian Fellowship[OCF] recently announced that it will be sponsoring 11 “Real Break” opportunities in the spring of 2015. Built on a foundation of fellowship, education, worship and service, “Real Break” provides an alternative to “Spring Break” for Orthodox Christian college students.  It offers the possibility to travel to all parts of the world while deepening their faith, serving those in need, and cultivating relationships with like-minded peers. “Real Break” 2015 destinations abroad include Thessalonika, Greece; Slovakia; Romania; Constantinople; Honduras; Guatemala; and Jerusalem.  North American destinations include Cleveland, OH; Alaska; Toronto,…

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