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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.

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. ​

TAKE NOTE!

Calling all aspiring performers: we are hosting open auditions for the musical production "From Broadway to Grand Rapids" that will be held on Friday night, July 26, 2019 before the Hafli. Online video auditions are being accepted for all talented Antiochian Orthodox performers, but act now, since the deadline is September 30, 2018. Send in your audition file to literacyonstage@gmail.com. Showtime will be a night to remember! ​

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

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. 

September 2018 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Prayer life with He Who holds us precious—the Divine One—He Who is supreme in His Being

 As we enter September, we are reminded of the important role the Academy plays in teaching, educating, and answering questions for our prisoner-students. The shared goal is to better know Jesus, as both the Creator of all and our Father, by generation. For in this, is the opportunity to growing in knowing Him, as we mature in our faith in His profound love for us. And being safe and secure in our relationship with Jesus – the Anointed Son of His Unbegotten Father – we can begin to prune away the foolish wisdom and ways of cultural customs and traditions of man. Such is key to a favorite courses of our prisoner-students: PRAYER LIFE, discussed both relationally, as well as theologically.

September 2018 Newsletter (PDF)

September 2018 Coupon (PDF)

 

Creative Festivals Posters 2019

Download these to a flash drive and take to an office store to print. Each one comes in 8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 14 and 11 x 17 sizes. Change these up every few months to remind the children of the theme.

  • 2019 Posters Available (PDF)

Logo (Color)

Mountain View

Chapel Gathering

Collage

Using the Theme Throughout the Year 2019

Theme: Antiochian Village: Past, Present, and Future
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Logo:            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Symbol:
Arch at Antiochian Village Camp with the theme

 

 

 

 



Icon: St. Paul

Prayer: “A Prayer Before Commencing Any Task” found in A Pocket Prayer Book for Orthodox Christians

Theme Song: “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me” on our Creative Festivals website

Lesson Plans: Original lesson plans are provided for age levels ranging from preschool to high school on our Creative Festivals website

Throughout the Church School Year: Use the logo and/or symbol on name tags, room signs, letterhead, bulletin boards, posters, and crafts

Here are some other ideas:

1. Have a “Camp Day” at your church. Have students pray together or attend a church service, then teach a lesson and do activities based on the theme. Make S’Mores, do a craft, and decorate the space with camp related accessories. You can make your own decorations or buy them from Oriental Trading. They have numerous camp items available to purchase.

2. Hold a fundraiser to help send kids from your church to camp. Ideas could include a hot dog sale, bake sale, ice cream social, etc.

Theme Song for Creative Festivals 2019

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me
By Rosemary Shumski
DOWNLOAD the sheet music
DOWNLOAD the audio file

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I can do all things through Christ who holds the key.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me hope.
I can do all things through Christ who helps me cope.

I can do all things, whatever life brings,
As long as I trust in the Lord.
I can do all things, whatever life brings,
As long as I trust in the Lord.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I can do all things through Christ who holds the key.
I can do all things through Christ who hears my prayers.
I can do all things through Christ who always cares.

I can do all things, whatever life brings,
As long as I trust in the Lord.
I can do all things, whatever life brings,
As long as I trust in the Lord.
As long as I trust in the Lord.
As long as I trust in the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

Theme Song for Creative Festivals 2019

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me

By Rosemary Shumski

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I can do all things through Christ who holds the key.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me hope.

I can do all things through Christ who helps me cope.

 

I can do all things, whatever life brings,

As long as I trust in the Lord.

I can do all things, whatever life brings,

As long as I trust in the Lord.

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I can do all things through Christ who holds the key.

I can do all things through Christ who hears my prayers.

I can do all things through Christ who always cares.

 

I can do all things, whatever life brings,

As long as I trust in the Lord.

I can do all things, whatever life brings,

As long as I trust in the Lord.

As long as I trust in the Lord.

As long as I trust in the Lord.

 

 

 

 

2019 Creative Arts Festival Lesson Cross-Reference

Antiochian Village: Past, Present, & Future
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Kindergarten- Together with God

Lesson 7 “We Pray to God” The teacher can emphasize that we can pray to Jesus and ask Him to help us.

Lesson 10 “Mary Receives Good News” Mary prayed to God each day. She followed God’s will for her and God gave her strength to become the mother of Jesus.

Lesson 30 “Pentecost” God gave the Apostles strength to go out around the world and tell people about Jesus.


Grade 1- God Loves Us

Lesson 13 “Mary Says ‘Yes!’ to God’s Gift” Because Mary was willing to cooperate with God’s divine plan for herself and the world, God gave Mary strength to become the mother of God.

Lesson 19 “Growing in God’s Care” Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves us and cares for us. We can always pray to Jesus and ask for His help.

Lesson 20 “Jesus Loves Me” Because Jesus loves all children, He is a special friend we can talk to at any time and ask Him to give us strength to do whatever we need to do.

Lesson 23 “Trusting in God’s Love” Trusting God means that with our cooperation, God will provide for our needs, because He has a divine plan for us.

 

Grade 2- New Life in Jesus

Lesson 6 “Saying ‘Yes!’ to God. At baptism, we say “Yes!” to God. God gives us strength to follow Jesus’ teachings and make the right choices.

Lesson 7 “Jesus Sends His Holy Spirit” Jesus sends His Holy Spirit to help us be strong and follow his teachings.

Lesson 8 “We Receive the Holy Spirit” The Holy Spirit helps us and gives us strength to do what Jesus wants us to do.

 

Grade 3- We Worship God in Church

Interpretations of the 2019 Creative Festivals Theme

Antiochian Village: Past, Present, and Future
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Possible interpretations of the theme may include but are not limited to some of the following ideas:

Depictions of Antiochian Village and/or Antiochian Village Camp
How Antiochian Village and the Camp have changed people’s lives
Depictions of ways we receive strength from God
St. Paul and other saints who derived strength from God
Prayer/asking for God’s help
Following God’s will for us
Learning to be content in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves
How God can help us overcome challenges

 

Explanation of the 2019 Creative Festivals Theme

Antiochian Village: Past, Present, & Future
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

 This year’s theme was selected by Metropolitan JOSEPH in order to focus on that great treasure our Archdiocese is blessed to possess: Antiochian Village. His Eminence wrote the following: “There, ‘He was transfigured before them.’ (Mark 9:2) Since 1978, the Antiochian Village has been the Mount Tabor for our Archdiocese. It has been our home to gather to encounter our transfigured Lord; to be ourselves transfigured. As much as we can bear our Lord’s glory, we can bring His glory to the world. The Antiochian Village is where our bishops, clergy, adults and children gather to study, worship, fellowship and rejuvenate our faith. We have invested much of ourselves in this place where we meet and are fed by God.”

Philippians 4:13 was selected because this verse appears on the arch to Antiochian Village Camp. Countless children and adults have passed under that arch, but how many have contemplated what this quotation really means? Philippians 4:13 is one of the most popular, yet perhaps one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Does it mean that if I pray hard enough I can do (or have) whatever I want? Oftentimes what’s missing in our understanding of this verse is the acknowledgement of God’s will for us. In order to truly understand this quote, we must examine it in context. If we look at verse 11, St. Paul says, “…I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.” Things may not always go according to our plan, but as long as we trust in God’s plan for us we can overcome any obstacles we may encounter.

Summer 2018 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The "Reflection of Summer 2018" issue of DIAKONIA, the newsletter of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America, is now available online. This issue highlights the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, and includes a special message from Bishop NICHOLAS. His Grace writes:

As we start a new chapter in the life of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, we have been working diligently on many fronts to build all aspects of the diocese according to a new vision of rejuvenation and growth. The main theme is that we, the faithful, need to increase our knowledge noeticly and spiritually with regard to God in accordance with Jesus' prayer to His Father: "this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3). As I have been emphasizing during my weekly pastoral visits to the DOMSE parishes, we need to "up our spiritual game" a notch or two on a continuous basis and while remaining humans work conscientiously on acquiring the attributes of God.

In this issue, Diocesan President Dawn Evancho also reflects:

As life goes, it has been a year of "ups and downs" for our Diocese. Last summer we celebrated our beloved Bishop ANTOUN's lifetime of service at the Archdiocese Convention in his hometown of Miami. A few months later, we laid him to rest at the Antiochian Village. We welcomed our new Bishop NICHOLAS and had our first Winter Retreat with him in Atlanta in January. We said a reluctant goodbye to our Spiritual Advisor, Fr. Stephen Rogers, as he started his retirement and welcomed him as our first Mid-Winter retreat speaker!

Annual Diocese of Charleston Clergy Synaxis is November 6-9, 2018

The office staff of the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston, and the Mid-Atlantic writes:

The Village sponsors our Clergy Synaxis annually. This year it falls November 6–9. Although this is sponsored jointly by the Village and the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston, and the Mid-Atlantic, it is open to all clergy. Very kindly, we ask that our diocesan clergy make arrangements to stay for the entire Synaxis. Once again, you can make arrangements for your accommodations with the Antiochian Village. We will be asking Fr. Anthony Yazge to send out a schedule for the Synaxis at a later time.

 

Diocese of Oakland, Charleston, and the Mid-Atlantic Annual Deacons Retreat

From the diocesan office staff:

We want to take this opportunity to invite all deacons to our annual Deacons' Retreat, which will be the weekend of Sept 7–9, 2018. This will be held at the Antiochian Village and at St. Mary Church in Johnstown. The speaker will be Fr. David Hester. For more information, please be in touch with Dn. Peter Maris at peter@pgmaris.com as well as the Antiochian Village Conference Center for accommodations.
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