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Bishop NICHOLAS Visits Archangel Gabriel Parish in Lafayette, LA












His Grace Bishop Nicholas visited Archangel Gabriel Parish in Lafayette, Louisiana from November 30 through December 2, 2018. This was the the first visit by a bishop to this parish in six years. In a busy schedule, the bishop met with the parish council, the children, the women and the men of the parish, led vespers on Saturday night and Orthros and Liturgy on Sunday.

Gleanings from a Book: "Parent Points" by Fr. Chris Kerhulas

Father Chris Kerhulas’ book Parent Points is small but mighty. In its 107 pages, he blends his 40+ years of ministry experience with personal experience from parenting and grandparenting. Each chapter offers stories, wisdom, and insights into life as a young person, explained in a way which their significant adults can understand. Each chapter ends with “points,” takeaways for the reader to both meditate on and work on in their relationship with their children/youth.

Parent Points was an enjoyable, but meaty read. It made me both laugh and cry. It allowed me to reflect/reminisce while also planning ahead for future interactions. Best of all, the book made me THINK. How do I interact with the young people in my life? How can I improve those interactions? How can I help them to grow towards Christ, conveying His great love for them through the way that I treat them?

Department of Christian Education Provides Training Across the U.S.

The Antiochian Department of Christian Education coordinates with local parishes throughout the United States and Canada who wish to host training events for their teachers. The following is a recap of those held in the Fall of 2018. If you would like to host a training in your parish for teachers or Church School Directors, please contact Leslie at the Department of Christian Education 717-747-5221, or

St. Elijah Orthodox Church, Oklahoma City, OK hosted a training for 17 teachers on Saturday, August 18. Diocese of Wichita and Middle America Coordinator Vasiliki Oldziey presented "Using the Classical Trivium to Engage Students" and "The Theotokos: Your Elevator Apologia for our Veneration of the Theotokos." Holy Ascension, Norman, OK teachers also participated.

Nativity 2018 Issue of DIAKONIA Available Online

The Nativity issue of DIAKONIA, the newsletter of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America, is now available online. This issue features the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York, and includes an Advent Message from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. His Eminence writes: "...let us spend these days tilling the soil of our hearts through fasting and repentance, watering our souls with works of mercy and reconciliation, and placing ourselves in the Light through prayer and attendance at divine services. By these, we shall partake of the Holy Mysteries unto life everlasting."

In this issue, Diocesan President Susanne Zeidan also reflects:

My grandparents and my parents were involved in our local church, and we grew up knowing it was our responsibility to continue their legacy. Through the Church, we have been blessed with many friends and a large Orthodox family." 

The issue also contains introductions to the diocesan officers and coordinators, and is filled with numerous reports and photographs from the Diocese's parish chapters of Antiochian Women.

Download the PDF​

December 2018 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Nativity—Fulfillment of Prophecy

In the Beginning was the Word, the Son of His Eternal Father and One True Man. In His Wisdom, the Wisdom of His eternal, Unbegotten Father, He became Incarnate through the ever-faithful Mary. She named Her Son—our Father—Jesus. For He the Deliverer Who shall deliver as He promises. For He is the fulfillment of the promised Christ of the Pentateuch, the One God of Moses: I AM, the I AM. As the One Anointed Son of His eternal Father, He came for our salvation not only as our Father, but also High Priest of the Temple only the Son of Man could resurrect. Thus relationally, we are living stones of He Who is the Temple and we are His children. (Read more in our December 2018 newsletter.)

December 2018 Newsletter (PDF)

December 2018 Coupon (PDF)

Gleanings from a Book: Songs of Praise: A Psalter Devotional for Orthodox Women by Sylvia Leontaritis

Reading through the Psalter is a beautiful discipline at any time, but especially during a Lenten period. Sharing this experience with friends is even more lovely. Over the years, I’ve been part of several Lenten Psalter groups. Alongside my sisters (and some brothers) in Christ in these groups, I have both struggled and enjoyed the process of reading twice through the Psalms during a particular Lenten period. When I heard about Sylvia Leontaritis’ new book Songs of Praise: A Psalter Devotional for Orthodox Women, I was excited to have this pretty-covered version of the Psalter to be my companion book as I pray.

What I did not expect was the chance to pray the Psalter while feeling that I was sharing the experience with a wise best friend. Both Sylvia’s heart for God and her desire to live a truly Orthodox life pour out through her words, simultaneously challenging and encouraging her readers in a way that is usually reserved for dear friends. The tone in which she writes welcomes the reader to embrace her observations, ponder them, and then consider how to implement the ideas for their own growth.

On the Liturgical Year for Teachers: Christmas and Epiphany

This series of blog posts will offer basic information and resources regarding the liturgical year. It is our hope that Sunday Church School teachers will find this series helpful as they live the liturgical year with their students. The series will follow the church year in sections, as divided in the book “The Year of Grace of the Lord: A Scriptural and Liturgical Commentary on the Calendar of the Orthodox Church” by a monk of the Eastern Church. May God bless His Church throughout this year!

The feasts of the Nativity (simply called "Christmas" in The Year of Grace of the Lord: a Scriptural and Liturgical Commentary on the Calendar of the Orthodox Church) and Theophany (referred to as "Epiphany’"in that same book) fall within days of each other, regardless of the calendar being followed. Christmas falls on Dec. 25 (or January 7), and Theophany follows on its heels, on January 6 (or 19). For many of us, local culture offers multiple traditions related to Christmas, but few (or even none) related to Theophany. The monk who wrote the book encourages his readers to think beyond our culture’s interpretations (or perhaps misinterpretations?) of these feasts, and embrace them in a truly Orthodox manner.

Interview with Sammye Fuller: Supporting Sunday School as a Teacher, Then as Director

Sammye Fuller is in her seventh year as Sunday School Director at Holy Trinity Antiochian Orthodox Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. The parish has 25 students enrolled for the 2018-2019 school year.

Please share with us a little about yourself.

Technically, I have been the Sunday School Director for about seven years. However, since we did not have a Director before that, and I was the only Sunday School teacher in the beginning, perhaps it has been longer.

We have four classes. The preschool class is for 2-ish to 5 years old, with one teacher and one or more helpers when available. Parents often stay if needed. The elementary class is 6-9 years old.

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


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 or call 410-694-0542 with questions.

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

Holy Cross training flyer
Course descriptions

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


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

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.


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 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

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