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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: Fordham University Though Syriac Christianity is one of the oldest Christian cultures, many people in the West are unaware of its existence and unfamiliar with its traditions. If we recognize, however, that some of Syriac Christianity’s most important ancient centers—Nineveh, Babylon, and Beroea—are today’s Mosul, Baghdad, and Aleppo, we get a better understanding of how it is imperiled by today’s violent conflicts. Now, some of the most beautiful and sophisticated Syriac manuscripts of the ancient world are at risk of being lost forever, said one of the world’s leading experts on Syriac texts. Columba Stewart, O.S.B., professor of theology…

Source: St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary Since July 2016, thirteen seminarians and alumni from St. Vladimir’s Seminary have been ordained to Holy Orders, among them seven priests, five deacons, and one subdeacon. Six of those ordained are in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), five are in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA), one is in the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church (MOSC), and one is in the Syriac Orthodox Church in North America (SOC). “In keeping with our Mission Statement,” noted Archpriest Chad Hatfield, president of the Seminary, “we continue to prepare candidates for ministry as bishops,…

Source: The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting Boston, MA November 18-21, 2017 Eastern Orthodox Studies Unit This Unit focuses on the critical study of the theology, culture, history, and practices of the Eastern Christian churches, including their mutual interaction and engagement with Western Christian and non-Christian groups. Call for Papers To submit a proposal, visit https://papers.aarweb.org/content/welcome View call details on the AAR website:  https://www.aarweb.org/annual-meeting/call-for-papers#CallText Deadline: March 1 •  Evangelicals, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and “Traditional Values”: A Global Alliance? The past several years have seen an intensifying discourse regarding “traditional values” among groups of…

Source: The Christian Science Monitor In a fundamental shift in American Protestantism, hundreds of churches across the country are allowing people in the pews to deliver sermons and handle pastoral duties. G. Jeffrey MacDonald FEBRUARY 6, 2017 BETHEL, VT.—After a week of painting art by day and playing saxophone in a funk band by night, Katie Runde still manages to roust herself for church. One big reason: On any given Sunday, she’s either giving the sermon at Christ Episcopal Church in this central Vermont town, or she’s listening as a friend takes a turn from the pulpit. As two dozen…

Source: The Christian Century Being religious is not about following rules. It’s more like dancing. by Aristotle Papanikolaou When I was hired at Fordham University in 2000, I was told that I was to teach the core freshman theology course, Faith and Critical Reason. I guessed that many students in the class would resent being forced to take a theology course as a core requirement, for two reasons: (1) many students would be burned out on the theology courses they might have taken in a private Catholic high school; and (2) some students would question how theology could be taught…

Source: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America The Archdiocese Department of Sacred Music’s Composer-in-Residence nazo zakkak has released his premiere CD of liturgical music, titled LUXARI. A collection of original hymns for the Orthodox Church, LUXARI draws on the influences of traditional Byzantine, Russian, and Romanian music, and lovingly crafts them into a new and enticing American sound. The CD also features works commissioned by churches and monasteries across the US. As a composer, nazo zakkak is one of Orthodox America’s next generation of liturgical musicians seeking to develop an authentic musical expression of the Church’s prayer in this time and place.…

Source: News Chief Christians who fled their homeland to find safety back President Donald Trump’s travel ban. By Lane DeGregory Tampa Bay Times TARPON SPRINGS – The special service wouldn’t start for an hour. But by 5 p.m. Thursday, people were pouring into the church. Men in dark suits, hoisting toddlers on their hips. Women in high heels, pulling lace veils over their dark hair. They came from Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville, to Florida’s largest Syrian Orthodox church. They came to see the church patriarch, to take communion with him, to get his blessing and hear his news. The worshipers…

Source: Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University Monday, February 6, 2017  6 p.m., Lincoln Center Campus South Lounge Lowenstein Building Plaza Level 113 West 60th Street, New YorkLecture by Columba Stewart, O.S.B., professor of theology and executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s University, Collegeville, MinnesotaIntroduction by Gerald Blaszczak, S.J. Register Now Syriac Christians have a manuscript heritage that is among the richest in the Christian world. But they are also one of the most vulnerable minorities in the Middle East. This lecture will cover the significance of Syriac Christianity as a counterpoint to…

Source: OINOS Consulting / Frankly Speaking by Dr Frank Marangos “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”  John 17:17 Words mean things. At least they did prior to the advent of the current “post-truth” era wherein sophisticated tactics of deception have become a fashionable way of life. The degree to which political, business, and, yes, even contemporary religious leaders have manipulated words to shape public opinion and influence constituents is, indeed, alarming.  But what exactly is “post-truth,” and how can leaders avoid the hazards of its persuasive lure? “Post-truth” was selected by Oxford University Press (OUP) as the…

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