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5th Sunday of Matthew; Athanasius of Mount Athos; Righteous Father Lampadus the Wonderworker; Kyprianos the New Martyr of Koutloumousiou Monastery; Uncovering of the Holy Relics of Our Righteous Father Sergius of Radonezh; Holy New Martyrs Elizabeth the G
Saints Feasts and Readings for 7/5/2015
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America strongly disagrees with the United States Supreme Court decision of June 26, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court invents a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry, and imposes upon all States the responsibility to license and recognize […]
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Summer is the height of tourist season in the Greek isles, but Amina, 35, isn't on the island of Chios with her husband and three young sons for a vacation. The Syrian refugee family is in flight from Damascus. Their long and arduous trek took them through Lebanon and into Turkey, where they hiked a grueling 200 miles across the country to reach a boat that would carry them to safety in Greece.
Also part of their group were several Syrian youth under 18 traveling alone or with distant relatives, like Sahir, 17, a member of Amina's extended family. They travel at great risk with the hope to reach Western Europe and register as underage refugees, which would allow their parents to join them.
The eastern Aegean isles have been inundated by the flow of Syrian refugees arriving by sea. The island of Chios, which lies just four miles from Turkey, has received more than 7,000 newcomers since last March.
The influx of refugees has overwhelmed local authorities on this small island of only 32,000 inhabitants as they struggle to register refugees and provide basic shelter and food to the men, women, and children who arrive daily at Chios' small and outdated immigrant reception center.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) with its local partner, Apostoli, the humanitarian arm of the Church of Greece, is responding to the dire needs of the refugees by improving poor hygiene and health conditions in the crowded reception centers. Newly installed portable showers along with renovated plumbing and sewage systems provide the travel weary refugees with a place to take care of their personal hygiene in privacy and with dignity. IOCC is also providing 1,700 personal hygiene kits customized to meet the needs of men, women, or infants, and reinforcing good hygiene practices through bilingual posters in English and Arabic and one-on-one awareness talks with refugees of all ages.
In addition, school kits filled with writing and coloring supplies, will be distributed to 200 school-aged children including Amina's three boys, Bayas, 11; Abdurrahmal, 6; and Aymullah, 4. "I just want my children to be safe and happy," said the tearful and exhausted mother. "There was nothing we could do in Syria, with our lives in danger all the time." In spite of her tired state, Amina and her husband were already eager to move their family on to the next step of the journey – to a new country where their children can receive a good education and grow up far from the memories of war.
IOCC, an ACT Alliance member, is providing immediate and ongoing humanitarian assistance to families in need who have endured four years of Syria's brutal civil war. Since 2012, IOCC has provided relief to 3 million people displaced inside Syria, or living as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Armenia, and Greece.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help the victims of poverty and conflicts around the world by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund which will provide immediate relief, as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit iocc.org or call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297.
By Dr. Timothy Patitsas Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics and coordinator of St. Helen’s Pilgrimage The 2015 St. Helen’s Pilgrimage is on its 45th Day of an intense spiritual journey that has so far included frequent educational tours, stays on Mount Athos or Ormylia, a formal audience with His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch, liturgy […]
In today’s Throwback Thursday, we go back to 2012 and listen to Fr. Chris speak with Fr. Stephen Powley regarding prison ministry. Fr. Stephen went to those incarcerated and brought the light of Christ to some of the most violent inmates. What an inspirational story! For more information on prison ministry, go to www.theOCPM.org/ But first, […]
July 2nd, 2015
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America strongly disagrees with the United States Supreme Court decision of June 26, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court invents a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry, and imposes upon all States the responsibility to license and recognize such "marriages."
The Supreme Court, in the narrowest majority possible, has overstepped its purview by essentially re-defining marriage itself. It has attempted to settle a polarizing social and moral question through legislative fiat. It is immoral and unjust for our government to establish in law a "right" for two members of the same sex to wed. Such legislation harms society and especially threatens children who, where possible, deserve the loving care of both a father and a mother.
As Orthodox Christian bishops, charged by our Savior Jesus Christ to shepherd His flock, we will continue to uphold and proclaim the teaching of our Lord that marriage, from its inception, is the lifelong sacramental union of a man and a woman. We call upon all Orthodox Christians in our nation to remain firm in their Orthodox faith, and to renew their deep reverence for and commitment to marriage as taught by the Church. We also call upon our nation's civic leaders to respect the law of Almighty God and uphold the deeply-rooted beliefs of millions of Americans.AttachmentSize Assembly Response to Obergefell v. Hodges (PDF)129.65 KB
Fr. Patrick Reardon, priest at All Saints Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, reminds us that part of our communion with God is our connection to the saints—and chief among them after the Theotokos are Peter and Paul.
BROOKLINE, MA – The Rev. Dr. Christopher T. Metropulos begins today his tenure as the 21st President of Hellenic College Holy Cross. His appointment signals HCHC’s commitment to continue its advancement as the intellectual, educational, and spiritual center of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, stimulating, developing and sustaining ordained and lay vocations for service to […]
In the opening verses of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, we find the following words: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord has spoken: ‘Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against Me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s manger, but Israel does not know; […]
On a new Ancient Faith Today, Kevin Allen speaks with his guest Fr, Michael Varlamos about the historic march of His Eminence IAKOVOS of the Greek Orthodox Church on March 15,1965, with Dr Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama, and the Orthodox Christian teachings on racism, ethnic separatism, and racial profiling.
On April 25, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington D.C., people journeyed from around the U.S. for the March for Marriage. This year's March included an Orthodox gathering, sponsored by the group Crown Them With Glory. Prior to the March, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph released a letter encouraging the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese to participate. Given its timeliness, we are reposting that message below.
To our Beloved Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy and all of the Faithful of this God- Protected Archdiocese:
Blessings to you during this Holy Season of the Great Fast! On January 16th of this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex "marriage," and "rule on the power of the states to ban same-sex "marriages" and to refuse to recognize such "marriages" performed in another state." More details on the announcement can be found at the Supreme Court's website.
We are writing to communicate the newly established date for the third annual March for Marriage in Washington D.C. on Saturday, April 25, 2015. The march is a peaceful rally and quite comparable to the March for Life. We ask that you would make every effort to attend the rally, and encourage others to do likewise.
A strong, vibrant, and clear message is needed from our Church on the matter of the Mystery of Holy Matrimony, as well as an enumeration upon God blessed sexuality and gender roles, toward the strengthening of family life. This action is necessary in order to dispel confusion which has been stirred up by our secular culture. Such an effort would be blessed by God to the building up of our faith in the hearts of our Orthodox people. This is what our nation's people need to see.
Unfortunately, we are very short on time to get organized.
April 25th is an important date for the March for Marriage because it will fall within days of when the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the cases before them that will decide the national legal status of civil same-sex "marriage." We are clearly on the cusp of a historic Supreme Court decision that could mark a powerful affirmation of marriage between one man and one woman, upon which all major civilizations have flourished – or, it can initiate a direction which the Holy Orthodox Church can never embrace.
Throughout the history of our faith our Holy Fathers have led the Orthodox laity to gather in unison to preserve the faith against heresy from within, and against major threats upon societies from without. We are in a unique position as Orthodox Christians in a nation governed as a democratic republic. We still benefit from religious freedoms that would allow us to voice with clarity the gospel message of Christ's love, and the path to salvation.
A growing group of Orthodox clergy and laity have begun to prepare for this event and to assemble resources, and they have established the website www.crownthem.org . We encourage you to visit this website for additional information.
If we have several thousand attendees from the ranks of clergy, monastics, and laity at this peaceful rally, it would immediately be clear that the Orthodox Church is a leading voice for marriage in this nation, sending a clear message to the Orthodox faithful, who being strengthened in the understanding of this mystery, can be prepared to more completely manifest the Gospel message to our nation.
We ask for your prayers and attentiveness to the progress of this effort. May we act now with great labor, asking that the Lord have mercy on us.
May the remainder of your Lenten journey be greatly blessed.
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America
On January 16th, 2015 of this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex "marriage," and "rule on the power of the states to ban same-sex [so-called] marriages and to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in another state" (details here).
The March for Marriage is supported by the National Organization for Marriage who is working diligently to communicate the necessity for the defense of marriage between one man and one woman. April 25 represents the third March for Marriage in Washington D.C., and is set to take place within days of when the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the cases before them that will decide the national legal status of civil gay "marriage." It is projected that this ruling will seriously impact religious freedom in the USA.
The March is a peaceful rally, comparable to the March for Life. We invite you to make every effort to attend the rally, and encourage your priests, brothers and sisters in Christ, and leaders and members of religious communities in your area to do likewise. Come out in support of marriage between one man and one woman, modeled from our Lord's love for His Bride: the Church. With a blessing to pursue this work from a number of our bishops, many priests believe it is time we had a national pan-Orthodox Christian movement. A strong, vibrant, and clear message is needed from our Church on the matter of the Mystery of Holy Matrimony, as well as an enumeration upon God-blessed sexuality and gender roles, toward the strengthening of family life. This action is necessary in order to dispel confusion which has been stirred up by our secular culture, and most egregiously, even by some of our own clergymen.
Such an effort would be blessed by God to the building up of our faith in the hearts of our Orthodox people. This is what our nation's people need to see: that the Orthodox Church has preserved its timeless teachings on the sacrament of marriage, and, as a place of refuge, the Church offers healing through Christ for us all, boldly proclaiming a blessed path toward salvation.
Can you afford the price of freedom? Listen as Fr. Chris speaks with John Katsaros who was 18 when he and his friends signed up to fight in World War II. Now 91 years old, he recounts his experience of being captured by the Gestapo and eventually rescued by the French underground. His book Code Burgundy- The […]
Our 2015 Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference took place June 24 to 28, at the Beautiful Amway Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thank you to Fr. Daniel Daly and the people of St. Nicholas Church in Grand Rapids for hosting us!
On June 7th, 2015, an OCMC Mission Team helping to construct a school in the village of Loupwala, in northern Kenya, was blessed with the opportunity to also participate in the consecration of the...
Welcome to The Children’s Word, a weekly ministry of the Orthodox Christian Network brought to you by Presvytera Alexandra Houck! This week, Presvytera Alexandra asks if you have ever carried something heavy for someone else. Saint Paul tells us to “bear one another’s burdens.” Bear a burden. What does that mean? Find out! You can also read […]
Many years and most sincere thanks to Fr. George and Khouriya Raghad Shawareb and the congregation of St. Elias Church in Arvada, Colorado for hosting the most enjoyable 2015 DOWAMA Parish Life Conference on June 10-14, 2015.
The Diocese of Wichita's auxiliary organizations will be headed by the following persons for the 2015-2016 year:
- Fr. Richard Petranek, proestos of the Council of Deans
- Mr. A.B. Bayouth, president of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine
- Mr. Munir Pavez, president of SOYO
- Mrs. Deanna Bottei, president of the Antiochian Women
- Mr. Barry Busada, chair of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch
Next year's PLC will be hosted by St. Antony Church Tulsa, Oklahoma.