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Daily Readings and Saints - 36 min 25 sec ago
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Acts of the Apostles 4:13-22

Daily Readings and Saints - 8 hours 36 min ago
Epistle Reading
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John 5:17-24

Daily Readings and Saints - 8 hours 36 min ago
Gospel Reading
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Understanding and Living Our Faith: Knowing Joy

OCN Now - Tue, 2017/04/25 - 10:52pm
God is everywhere, present in every place, and therefore that He is ever with me and within me, my heart expands; it is free, light, alive, and my mind is clear – I am in a joyful state.” (St. John of Krondstadt) As I write this blog, it is bright week, one of the most […]

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Assembly Releases National Study on Evangelization and Outreach in U.S. Orthodox Parishes

Antiochian Archdiocese - Tue, 2017/04/25 - 4:31pm

Map of participating parishes in 2017 Assembly of Bishops study on evangelization (click on image for larger view)The first national study on evangelization and outreach in Orthodox parishes in the United States has been released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. The report can be downloaded in various formats, as an executive summary, or as a full report.

The report, "Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in U.S. Orthodox Parishes," explores the practices and strategies developed by some Orthodox parishes that can be viewed as "exemplary" in their missionary and outreach efforts. Examples of what the readers will find in the report include:

  • The "secrets" of being a parish that attracts and welcomes new members;
  • Eight good practices of welcoming first-time visitors and inquirers about the Faith;
  • How do "exemplary" parishes achieve a high degree of involvement of their members in parish life;
  • Four distinct features of religious education in the "exemplary" parishes;
  • Six "lessons" that Church leadership (bishops) can learn from the "exemplary" parishes.

The study was sponsored by the Assembly's Committee for Agencies and Endorsed Organizations, and included parishes from seven Orthodox jurisdictions. Ten of the parishes studied were from the Antiochian Archdiocese. The report was prepared by Alexei Krindatch, the Assembly's Research Coordinator, in cooperation with Sdn. Adam Lowell Roberts of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and Fr. Eric Tosi and Fr. John Parker of the OCA.

Subdeacon Adam is the full-time administrator of Becoming Truly Human, a new Antiochian outreach ministry. He authored a helpful resource at the end of the Assembly's evangelization report, titled "10 Steps to a Great Parish Website: What Every Orthodox Church Needs To Know."

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Metropolitan Joseph Leads Prayer Service for Kidnapped Metropolitans

Antiochian Archdiocese - Tue, 2017/04/25 - 12:17pm

On Bright Thursday, April 20, 2017, the Antochian Archdiocese was joined by co-hosts—the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese and the St. John of Damascus Fellowship of New Jersey—in sponsoring a timely prayer service at St. George Antochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls, for the abducted Archbishops of Aleppo, Metropolitan Paul and Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim. Metropolitan Paul and Metropolitan Yohanna vanished without a trace on April 22, 2013, after they drove together in hopes of negotiating the release of hostages in captivity. Metropolitan Yohanna’s deacon escaped, but his driver was killed. (Read the Paschal Message of His Beatitude John X, in which he issues a call for the liberation of Metropolitans Paul and Yohanna.)

Metropolitan Joseph was joined by His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak of the Syriac Archdiocese of the Eastern United States. In the service, Sayidna Joseph implored our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, for the freedom of the two beloved bishops and an end to the Syrian war. He also encouraged the attendees to urge their representatives and senators to continue their efforts to free the captive bishops, and called on the governments involved in the Syrian conflict to do the same in order to secure political and humane solutions towards peace in the region.

As well, the other speakers expressed their deep concern for the two bishops, and described the emptiness that has been left in the hearts of the clergy and faithful who are hoping and praying for their release. All present prayed to God for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and in all countries affected and besieged by wars and tribulations.

Archbishops of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Metropolitan PaulAlso present at the prayer service were: His Excellency Bishop Yousif Habash of the Syriac Catholic Church; His Grace Bishop Gregory Mansour of the Maronite Church; hierarchs and representatives of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Coptic and Armenian Orthodox Churches, and the Maronite, Roman, and Syriac Catholic Churches; representatives from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York; elected officials and leaders from Passaic County, New Jersey; and the clergy and faithful of St. George. 

(Photos courtesy of the St. John of Damascus Fellowship of New Jersey. The Fellowship is a humanitarian and charitable group that serves the needs of Syrian Christian communities in both North America and overseas.)

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Recrucifying the Risen Christ

OCN Now - Tue, 2017/04/25 - 9:00am
Protopresbyter Christos Aiyidis   Once again, the divine drama has come to an end and the Lord’s Resurrection has become the start of a new life, the unending and eternal life in Paradise, the life for which we were created. The Lord ascended the Cross and spread His arms to embrace the whole of humanity, […]

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Disbelieving with Joy

OCN Now - Tue, 2017/04/25 - 7:35am
We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team. The Resurrection of Christ As they were saying this, Jesus Himself stood among them. But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings […]

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Remembering the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 1915

OCN Now - Mon, 2017/04/24 - 6:33pm
Remembering the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 1915 On this day, April 24, in 1915, the Armenian Genocide transpired. This was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, mostly Ottoman citizens within the Ottoman Empire and its successor state, the Republic of Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of people were forcibly converted to Islam to […]


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Modern Trials to Our Ancient Faith: The Challenges to Living Orthodoxy in America

OCN Now - Mon, 2017/04/24 - 1:30pm
“Rules, Rituals and Story – How We Experience and Share our Faith” If you had a choice between memorizing and learning a bunch of rules to follow, or reading or watching an exciting story, which activity would you pick? Most would choose the latter. Despite our universal love of story, we do not often share […]

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It was Heaven on Earth

OCN Now - Mon, 2017/04/24 - 12:23pm
Professors of the Moscow Theological Academy Archpriest Maxim Kozlov and Alexei Nikolaevich Svetozarsky shared their stories, remembrances and understandings of Paschal nights and services 35 years ago in the Soviet Union, with Tatiana’s Day.  The OCN is pleased to share these moving remembrances and understandings of what it means to be a Christian from  […]

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Metropolis of Chicago Archons Hold 2nd Annual Business Retreat

OCN Now - Mon, 2017/04/24 - 11:22am
METROPOLIS OF CHICAGO ARCHONS HOLD 2ND ANNUAL BUSINESS RETREAT GUEST SPEAKER PROFESSOR JAMES SKEDROS DISCUSSED HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF AND FUTURE OF THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE OF CONSTANTINOPLE KANSASVILLE, WI: The Metropolis of Chicago’s Archons held their 2nd Annual Archon Business Retreat on Saturday, April 22, at the at St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, Wisconsin. During the retreat, Metropolis […]

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Georgetown University’s Orthodox Christian Fellowship Chapter Hosts an Interfaith Ministry for Refugees

OCN Now - Mon, 2017/04/24 - 10:48am
On Wednesday, April 19th, Georgetown University’s Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) chapter hosted an Interfaith Ministry for Refugees, where students learned more about the humanitarian relief work of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and other charities in Greece.  The event provided students with a chance to get involved and support the work of IOCC as they […]

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Made Known in the Breaking of the Bread

OCN Now - Mon, 2017/04/24 - 9:29am
We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team. The Resurrection of Christ When Jesus was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished out of their […]

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‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23, 24)

OCN Now - Mon, 2017/04/24 - 9:23am
Archimandrite Theofilos Lemontzis, D. Th.   Jesus again sets the Law of the Old Testament in its true interpretational framework and at the same time urges us to emerge from the shadow of the Law into the Light of the Grace of God, which is love. By transcending the law of retaliation, Christianity promotes the […]

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Memory Eternal! + Nabiha (Iqal) Rayan

Antiochian Archdiocese - Sun, 2017/04/23 - 10:21pm

Father Nicholas Dahdal writes:

Memory Eternal! Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cicero, IL, offers her sincerest condolences to the Rayan Family on the loss of the handmaid of God Nabiha (Iqal) Rayan, who passed into eternal life on Bright Monday April 17, 2017. Condolences are extended to her children Yacoub (Baha), Rayan (Fayrouz), Saliba (Janan), Archdiocese Board Member Mansour (Wafa), Jad (Pam), Ida (†Jiries) Mufarreh, Ghada Rayan, and their families.

Likewise, we extend condolences to her siblings Issa, Boutros, Nasr, Kamel, Widad, Huda, Julia, Offa, and Suad.

Nabiha now joins in eternal life her beloved husband †Oudeh Rayan, and her siblings †Daoud and †Saeed. The Paschal Funeral Service and Burial was held on Bright Thursday, April 20.

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The Dept. of Homeschooling Announces 2017 St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference

Antiochian Archdiocese - Sun, 2017/04/23 - 4:22pm

With us everything should be secondary compared to our concern with children, 
and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord.  
- St. John Chrysostom

Did you know that homeschooling is becoming more and more popular? It might be the best educational option for your family, or a family you know.

If so, we encourage you to look into the annual St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference, scheduled for April 27-30, 2017 at the Antiochian Village Conference and Retreat Center outside Ligonier, PA. The conference offers workshops for both experienced and beginning homeschoolers alike, with simultaneous activity sessions for children ages three and up.

Our weekend is both educational and retreat-like, with many opportunities for worship and fellowship with other Orthodox homeschooling families. Workshops cover topics of interest to inquiring, beginning, and veteran homeschoolers, as well as to supporting spouses. If your entire family cannot attend, we welcome solo attendees as well!  It will be a blessing and we hope that you will join us.

In our most humble and loving Lord, the Trampler of death, Jesus Christ,

Archpriest Noah Bushelli, Director
Department of Homeschooling

About the Department: Created in 2015, our department is staffed by volunteers who are grateful for the Metropolitan's support for this growing educational option. The primary goal of the Department of Homeschooling is to promote and support and unite homeschooling throughout the Archdiocese. Secondarily, we seek to remind all parents that their children's education is their responsibility, whether or not they outsource this task.

For more information see:

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An Emmaus Experience

OCN Now - Sun, 2017/04/23 - 8:48am
We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team. The Resurrection of Christ Thomas Sunday That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking […]

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The Doubt of St. Thomas

OCN Now - Sun, 2017/04/23 - 8:30am
Saint John Chrysostom   John 20:24-25 But Thomas, (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the […]

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