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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…

Source: The National Herald by Amb. Patrick N. Theros, Special to The National Herald In recent weeks Russian and European websites have posted a scurrilous fabrication linking the Ecumenical Patriarchate to Fethullah Gulen, the exiled Turkish cleric and educator, accused by Turkish President Erdogan of orchestrating the failed coup. The article in question was falsely attributed to retired American Ambassador Arthur Hughes. The fabricators hacked Amb. Hughes’ email and to lend credibility created a false Facebook account in his name carrying the same story. Hughes, who is an old colleague and good personal friend, has repeatedly denied he wrote the article and…

Source: Christian Daily by Lorraine Caballero While Christian leaders hold an important role in protecting Christian presence in the Middle East, Orthodox Church Patriarch Theophilos III said Muslims also hold this moral obligation. In an exclusive interview with The Jordan Times, Patriarch Theophilos said it is high time for Christian leaders in the Middle East to realize their responsibility and obligation to encourage Christian presence in the region. He urged the spiritual heads to unite in encouraging the remaining Christians to stay in their homelands, especially at a time when migration and forced displacement are threatening to erase Christianity in the…

Source: The National Herald Originally published on May 14, 2016, page 14. By Chris Chiames I have worked for over 30 years in the field of public relations, including high profile assignments in government and industry. Effective communication is a two-way model. It often starts with listening before speaking in order to assess, understand, and connect with your audience. Not simply to say what someone wants to hear, but to be able to engage and create a conversation and build the relationship. When church leaders look out over empty pews and come up short on fundraising goals, they might want…

Source: The National Herald BANGOR, ME – Adam Metropoulos, a 53-year-old former Greek Orthodox Priest, who in March was convicted on four felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor, and in April was sentenced to 12 years in prison, is now being sued by the victim, the Bangor Daily News reported. The name of the plaintiff, now 24, is not being released publicly because he was the victim of sexual abuse, the News reported. The lawsuit also names as co-defendants Metropoulos’ supervisors and the Greek-American community in Bangor, although it does not specifically name St. George Greek Orthodox Church,…

Source: OrthodoxOutpost.com by ANDREW ESTOCIN Imagine that you have been invited to class with an amazing teacher only to find that the teacher chooses to instruct students in a language that none of them understand. This is the experience of many people in the Orthodox Church. Every Sunday people encounter the Divine Liturgy but far too many fail to understand it, because the Church chooses to worship in a language that is not spoken by its members. This is true of many Churches today including The Greek Orthodox Church and The Russian Orthodox Church. How many people enter the front…

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