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Blessed Fast and Blessed Feast! Bishop THOMAS 2018 Nativity Greeting

The Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2018The Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Beloved in Christ,

I greet you in this season of the Nativity Fast, in anticipation of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord.

As the Lord Christ assumes our human nature in order to redeem it, we rejoice in His divine condescension and His munificent love. Saint Gregory Palamas notes, "Without being separated from the Father's bosom He who is in the world and by whom the world was made (John 1:10), came out and entered the world. He who fills heaven and earth came down from heaven to earth. Consequently, the coming forth of the only-begotten son of God, and His descent from heaven, represent nothing other than His manifestation in the flesh and His self-emptying, from the unutterable exaltation of divinity down to human nature at the other extreme" (Homily 47 On the Parable of the Sower).

Midwest Clergy Gather in Toledo

VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

St. George Cathedral in Toledo recently had the pleasure to host Bishop Anthony and the Diocese of Toledo's annual fall gathering. A highlight of the event was the blessing of Bishop Anthony's new residence. Enjoy the pictures!

November 2018 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Prayer life with He Who holds us precious—the Divine One—Supreme in His Being—Jesus our Christ

Any ideology or thought or ambition of man, about power and might, will fail again and again, if one turns away from our Father, Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word.

Seeing Jesus only as God and not our Christ, is a first turning from Him. Not knowing Him to be: I Am the I Am, friend of Moses, is another. Knowing Him not as the Word from in the beginning, Who became Incarnate and then named Jesus – the Deliverer - is often key to why people turn away from Him, in blind ignorance and not knowing Him. (Read more in our November 2018 newsletter.)

November 2018 Newsletter (PDF)

November 2018 Coupon (PDF)

 

Bishop Thomas 2018 Greeting for the Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos

November 21, 2018

Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple

Beloved brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, God-fearing Monastics,

         and all my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ our True God:

The feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple is a spiritual foreshadowing of our entrance into the heavenly kingdom. This foreshadowing provides us with our own preparation for entrance into the heavenly realm.

We must be adorned properly with a spirit cleansed by a life of repentance and asceticism. We must be willing to struggle just as the 3-year-old infant had to make an effort to ascend 15 high steps in order to enter the temple. So should we, in order to enter the Heavenly Realm, make the effort to ascend the ladder of virtues, to labor at fasting and prayer. The Holy Virgin went up the steps by herself, without any help from others, but with the miraculous help of God. So should we, in our attempt to attain the Heavenly Realm, make the effort ourselves, but constantly asking God for help along the way.

Teacher Training Opportunities for the Diocese of Charleston and NY

Holy Cross Orthodox Church, Linthicum, MD

Holy Cross Orthodox Church will host “Educating Ourselves & Our Children in Godliness” on Saturday, November 17, 2018. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. In this advanced training, participants will gain confidence and knowledge, with courses for both elementary and middle school/high school teachers. Courses will address learning styles, teaching strategies, adolescent needs, and moral issues.

Register online here! Cost for the day is $10 and includes the training and materials, plus breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Please email Deborah at kdakthomas@verizon.net or call 410-694-0542 with questions.

New and experienced teachers are welcome! There is something for everyone.

Holy Cross training flyer
Course descriptions
Schedule

Register Now! 21st Annual Midwest Diocese Basketball Tournament

The 20th Annual Midwest Diocese Basketball Tournament will be held in Canton, Ohio, on January 18–20, 2019. This year, His Grace Bishop Anthony and the faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest joyfully welcome participation from churches of the Mid-Atlantic Diocese, led by His Grace Bishop Thomas.

The host is St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, and accommodations are available via the Courtyard by Marriott in Canton at a group rate of $89.00 per night. 

DOWNLOAD 2019 Basketball Tournament Forms

DOWNLOAD Flyer

How the Department of Sacred Music Choir Workshop Revitalized Our Music Ministry

By Jen Hartmann, Assistant Choir Director

Interested in hosting a choir workshop at your parish?
Contact Paul Jabara, Chairman of the Department of Sacred Music, at sacredmusic@antiochian.org.

On September 30, 2018, while directing the choir in the Trisagion Hymn during Divine Liturgy, I experienced something profound. The familiar people standing in front of me weren't just twenty-five dedicated and faithful individuals who just happen to come upstairs and sing for Divine Liturgy on Sundays, but they were a choir. A cohesive unit. Twenty-five pairs of eyes looking intently at me. Breathing together. Blending together. Singing in tune, in tempo, and in faith. Their eyes, ears, and hearts were wide open, and the joy was palpable. Something big had changed between the previous week and this moment.

The difference? We invited Paul Jabara to lead a workshop with our choir that weekend (September 28-30, 2018).

October 2018 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Prayer life with He Who holds us precious—the Divine One—Supreme in His Being—Jesus our Christ

One hope is for each person to gain an even deeper awareness of the intimacy of one's relationship with Jesus. For not only is He the promised Christ, He is the Word Who became Incarnate and our Father. And with the help of prayer, we have an opportunity to better remember Him in constant remembrance and in every aspect of our daily life. It is not always easy, with many challenges, but the rewards is to know our Father to be first in our life and His One Way, our first priority. (Read more in our October 2018 newsletter.)

October 2018 Newsletter (PDF)

October 2018 Coupon (PDF)

 

Diocese of Miami Hosts Successful First Annual SOYO Fall Retreat

The pink team during Glow in the Dark Capture the FlagThe pink team during Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag

As a teen of this current generation, it’s hard for me to find other people my age that I can connect to and understand on a spiritual level. There are very few places where I feel completely accepted and where I am surrounded by friends who I know will always understand me. These places are at camp, and at conventions and retreats. With these events, I am only able to see my friends who come from all over the southeastern region twice a year, which I think everyone would agree, is not enough.

This is why when Bishop Nicholas proposed the idea of an annual fall retreat to the SOYO board, our immediate response was "Yes!" Anyone who has talked to Bishop Nicholas knows that he loves Teen SOYO. Many would describe him as a teen himself, from the way he uses our slang and taps people on the opposite shoulder, to joking around with all of us. Bishop Nicholas, including many others, know that we teens are the future of the Church.

2018 Creative Festivals Media Winner from the Diocese of Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic

Nathan Klopcic, 12, from St. John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in York, PA entered the winning video in the Media category from the 2018 Diocese of Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic Creative Arts Festivals.

Diocese of Toledo Announces Clergy Retreat and Fall Gathering

St. George Cathedral in Toledo is pleased to host this year's Clergy Retreat and Fall Gathering, October 18–22, 2018. Bishop Anthony will preside and has requested the presence of all clergy, along with organizational leaders and representatives from each parish. 

Download the flyer

Download the schedule

Hotel Registration Opens for the 54th Biennial Archdiocese Convention

Book your hotel now to attend the Antiochian Archdiocese's biennial family reunion hosted by St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in beautiful Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 21-28, 2019! Discounted hotel prices at Amway Grand Plaza are as low as $149 per night and JW Marriott are at $184 per night, so book now!

Watch the introductory video
Visit the website​

Come for a glorious reunion at "The Unconventional Convention" that will feature:

the musical production "From Broadway to Grand Rapids"
a celebration of 50 Years of NAC Teen SOYO, and 40 Years of Antiochian Village, and
nightly "Chats with Sayidna."
AC2019 will be family-friendly, affordable, walkable, and fun.

2019 Archdiocese Convention registration opens in November. ​

Holy Nativity Orthodox Church Hosting Fall Conference October 26-27

Our Church | Our Family: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Family Life

Download the flyer

On October 26–27, 2018, Holy Nativity Orthodox Church is excited to host its annual fall mini-conference featuring Dr. Philip Mamalakis, professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, marriage and family therapist, and author of Parenting Toward the Kingdom. The two-day conference, which will intersperse four sessions with vespers, matins and meals, will be hosted in Langley, BC. Tickets for the conference cost $75/one or $100/pair.

Sessions:

1. Marriage and Christ in our Relationships

2. Parenting from the Inside Out

3. Parenting from the Outside In

4. Orthodoxy and Contemporary Mental Health

Teacher Training Opportunities – Diocese of Charleston/NY

The Department of Christian Education announces two confirmed trainings this fall for the Diocese of Charleston/NY. Please contact the host parish to take advantage of these opportunities to provide support and training for your teachers! New and experienced teachers are welcome! There is something for everyone.

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Bridgeport, CT

St. Nicholas will host “Educating Ourselves & Our Children in Godliness” on Saturday, September 29, 2018. The event will run from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. with courses for both elementary and middle school/high school teachers. Trainers Fr. George Alberts and Mat. Anna Timko-Hughes will teach courses that address learning styles, teaching strategies, adolescent needs and moral issues. Contact Fr. Romanos Malouf for further information at frromanos@gmail.com or call 203-209-6725.

Bridgeport Training Flyer (PDF)
Bridgeport Training Registration (PDF)

St. George Orthodox Church, Little Falls, NJ

St. George is planning a customized training entitled “Enhancing Learning Outcomes” for Saturday, October 6, 2018.

Fr. Noah Bushelli in Tripoli, Lebanon

Fr. Noah Bushelli visits the Archdiocese of Tripoli, LebanonFr. Noah Bushelli visits the Archdiocese of Tripoli, Lebanon

Festal Greetings from His Grace Bishop Thomas + Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 2018

September 14, 2018

Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Download His Grace's greeting

Beloved brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, God-fearing Monastics,
and all my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ our True God:

I greet each of you on this great feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross. On this day, we rejoice in the instrument of our salvation—a sign of contradiction and suffering to the world but to us a sign of reconciliation with God.

Saint John Chrysostom remarked:

For the Cross is the salvation of the Church; the Cross is the boast of those who hope in it; the Cross is reconciliation of enemies to God and conversion of sinners to Christ. For through the Cross we have been delivered from enmity, and through the Cross we have been joined in friendship to God. Through the Cross we have been freed from the tyranny of the devil, and through the Cross we have been delivered from death and destruction. When the Cross was not proclaimed, we were held fast by death; now the, Cross is proclaimed, and we have. come to despise death, as though it did not exist, while we have come to long for everlasting life. When the Cross was not proclaimed, we were strangers to paradise; but when the Cross appeared, at once a thief was found worthy of paradise. From such darkness the human race has crossed over to infinite light; from death it has been called to everlasting life, from corruption it has been renewed for incorruption.

Resolve for the New Church School Year

As we draw nearer to the start of another Church (and for many of us, another Church School) year, we should prepare accordingly. This new year offers us the opportunity to begin afresh and look for ways to improve ourselves. With this in mind, let us approach this new year(s) with resolve.

Resolve is an appropriate word for the beginning of a year. Two of its definitions are especially appropriate. One way that Google defines resolve as a verb is, to “decide firmly on a course of action”. The start of a new Church/school year is a great time to do that! What action should we firmly decide to take?

We do well to consider that question, perhaps in the context of a few others! Let us take this chance to sit quietly alone, or with a spouse/family member/friend, and ponder the following:

  1. Evaluate. Think back over this season we’ve just come through. How did we do in that season? How have we changed for the good?
  2. Prioritize. Sort our habits, identifying the good “keepers” and bad “time to change this” habits. Also, make a list of what lies ahead in our schedule. Of everything on that list, what is most important?

Once we’ve looked at where we’ve been, how we’ve grown, and where we’re headed, we are ready for the noun form of resolve. One of Google’s definitions of resolve as a noun defines it as the “firm determination to do something”. There are many things we should firmly resolve to do. We will look specifically at these two:

Second Annual Diocese Family Camp and SOYO Fall Camp

With the blessing of His Grace Bishop JOHN, the Diocese of Worcester & New England is pleased to announce our 2nd annual Diocese Family Camp and Diocese SOYO Fall Camp to be held the weekend of October 5–7, 2018 at the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, New Hampshire.

Family Camp is an opportunity for your family to get away from everyday life and take a weekend as a family to grow closer to Christ. At Family Camp, eating a meal together as a family is the norm, not the exception. Not your typical vacation, Family Camp offers a mini-vacation without maps, lines for popcorn, or decisions over where to eat. Our flexible schedule gives you the choice of "doing it all" from canoeing to volleyball, or just taking it easy and savoring a good view from the waterfront.

Bishop Thomas 2018 Nativity of the Theotokos Greeting

September 8, 2018

Nativity of the Theotokos
Download His Grace's Greeting (PDF)

Beloved brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, God-fearing Monastics, and all my Brothers and
Sisters in Jesus Christ our True God:

I greet each of you on this most joyous feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. On this feast we reflect upon the wonders of the thrice-holy God who provides a child to the barren couple and the foretaste of our salvation.

St. Andrew of Crete writes:

The present feastday is for us the beginning of feastdays. Serving as boundary limit to the law and to foretypes, it at the same time serves as a doorway to grace and truth. "For Christ is the end of the law" (Rom 10:4), Who, having freed us from the writing, doth raise us to spirit. 

Bishop Thomas at the Antiochian House of Studies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



During the week of August 27, 2018, His Grace Bishop THOMAS was at Antiochian Village during the First Week of Residency for the Antiochian House of Studies. This photo includes all the clergy present for the Divine Liturgy. 

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