Skip to Navigation

vnieuwsma's blog

New Resource for Small Church Schools: The Mustard Seed @ Blogspot

 

 

 

 

 

 


Small church schools have unique needs. The Mustard Seed website was created several years ago as a way for the Antiochian Orthodox Department of Christian Education (AODCE) to support these needs. Through the vision and dedication of Catherine Sullivan, an Associate of the Department, materials and curriculum suitable for small church schools were selected and organized on The Mustard Seed website, with regular additions and updates.

Recent Ordinations and Elevations + September-October, 2017

From the November 2017 issue of The Word:

Ordained

REALE, Jeffrey (James), to the holy diaconate by Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop ANTHONY on September 10, 2015, at St. George Church, Akron, Ohio. He is assigned to the parish.

SHUMACK, Sub-deacon John, to the holy diaconate by Bishop BASIL on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at Holy Trinity Church, Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is assigned to the parish.

SOLOF, Archdeacon Seraphim, to the holy priesthood by Bishop JOHN on October 22, 2017 at St. George Cathedral, Worcester, Massachusetts. He is assigned as assistant pastor of the Cathedral.

Elevated

AL-ASSAF, Father Youhanna, was elevated to the rank and dignity of Archpriest by Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop ANTHONY on September 10, 2017, at St. George Church, Akron, Ohio.

LeMASTERS, Priest Philip, was elevated to the rank and dignity of Archpriest by Bishop BASIL on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at St. Luke Church, Abilene, Texas.

Ordo 2018, Western Rite Liturgical Guide, Available for Purchase

Ordo 2018 (the liturgical guide for Western Rite parishes) is now available for purchase through Lulu. There is a 40% discount on all Lulu products (except eBooks) which expires at 11:59 p.m. EST on November 30, 2017.

The Ordo contains the rubrics for praying the Benedictine office, the Mass (Divine Liturgy), and the daily lectionary for the English Office according to the use and calendar of the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate.

Use this code when ordering to get the discount: CYBER40.

Order now

On Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing: Principle 5: Teach the Joy of Obedience

Note: This series of blog posts will focus on principles important to Orthodox Christians who are raising children. The series will feature a closer look at Dr. Philip Mamalakis’ book, Parenting Toward the Kingdom: Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing. Each week we will take a closer look at one section of the book, which is divided into 6 basic principles of child rearing. Find an overview blog post about the book here. We thank Dr. Mamalakis and Ancient Faith Publishing for giving us permission to share his wisdom with you in this way. Purchase your own copy of his book here.

Principle 5: Teach the Joy of Obedience

Dr. Mamalakis encourages his readers to teach their children the joy of obedience in chapters 14 and 15 of his book Parenting Toward the Kingdom. Chapter 14 focuses on the joy of obedience, and ch. 15 encourages parents to nurture a culture of listening. Parents need to be attuned to both to successfully teach their children the joy of obedience.

He begins the chapter about the joy of obedience by acknowledging that it is difficult to get our children to listen to us and to obey. He states that while obedience is important, it is not the end goal.

Concluding a Busy Training Season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Department of Christian Education has had a busy 2017 training season. Eight churches hosted training sessions throughout the United States and Canada and included other area parishes.

St. Paul Orthodox Church, Brier, Washington hosted a Teacher Training II workshop on September 9 with Departmental Associates Sandy Mitchell and Anne Beach. Twelve elementary teachers and eight middle school/high school teachers profited from the one-day workshop.

St. Elias Cathedral, Ottawa, Ontario also hosted a Teacher Training II workshop on Saturday, September 23. Diocesan Coordinators Fr. Christopher Rigden-Briscall and Robert Snyder had 16 elementary teachers and 12 middle school/high school teachers in attendance. Fr. Christopher, the Diocesan Coordinator for Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York, also hosted a training at his home parish, Christ the Saviour in Waterloo, Ontario for five of his new teachers.

2017 Nativity Letter From Bishop Basil

The interior of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (built in AD 327 by St Helen)The interior of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (built in AD 327 by St Helen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


To the Christ-loving Priests, Deacons, Monastics and Lay Folk
of this God-protected Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America:

I embrace and greet you with a holy kiss and the joyous festal proclamation:
          Christ is born – ولد ألمسيـح
          Χριστὸς Γεννᾶται – Христос рождается
          Hristos se rodi – Hristos se naşte

May God the All-holy Trinity grant you and your households the happiest of Feasts and a New Year filled with His abundant and rich blessings. With assurance of my continued love, prayers and blessings, I remain

In Christ the Incarnate Word of God,
+Bishop Basil

Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop NICHOLAS Preside at St. John's 30th Anniversary Weekend

View the photo gallery by Trent Terry

On the weekend of November 17–19, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH and His Grace Bishop NICHOLAS made their first visits to St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis, Tennessee. The occasion was the celebration of the parish's 30th anniversary as well as the blessing of the new St. Raphael Hall which was completed in November.

The joyous weekend included a visit to St. Jude Children's Hospital, a wonderful presentation explaining the vestments of the bishop to the children of the Church, and a banquet on Saturday evening in the brand new parish hall.

2017 Nativity Message from Bishop Thomas

NATIVITY OF CHRIST 2017

Thus all magic was dissolved and every bond of wickedness vanished; ignorance was abolished and the old kingdom was destroyed, since God was becoming manifest in human form for the newness of eternal life; what had been prepared by God had its beginning. Hence everything was shaken together, for the abolition of death was being planned.

– St. Ignatius of Antioch, To the Ephesians, 19:3

At this great feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ, these words from St. Ignatius the God-bearer of Antioch focus us powerfully on the purpose of the advent of the Savior Jesus. As we read in the Scripture, there was a proclamation to God's glory of "peace on earth, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). But why? Why would the coming of Jesus mean peace and good will toward men? There does not seem to have been peace in the centuries that have passed since, and in our own time we certainly see no lack of ill will toward mankind from his fellow men.

Nativity Fast, 2017: Pastoral Letter of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH

I behold a strange and wonderful mystery: the cave a heaven, the Virgin a cherubic throne, and the manger a noble place in which hath laid Christ the uncontained God. Let us, therefore, praise and magnify Him. †Hiermos of the 9th Ode of the First Canon of Christ's Nativity

Beloved Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and Christ-loving Faithful of our God-protected Archdiocese,

I greet you with love and joy as we begin this season of preparation for the Nativity in the Flesh of Our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Today, the Holy Church calls us to prepare for the feast by fasting, prayer, and repentance. The surrounding culture calls us to prepare as well – but by decorating, shopping, and hosting parties. One of the most common questions our clergy receive during this time of year is: Why are we in a period of repentance when the rest of the world is celebrating?

Memory Eternal! + Ghassan O. Sayegh

It is with profound sadness tempered only by the certainty of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we announce the falling asleep in the Lord of the servant of God, Ghassan O. Sayegh, on Thursday, November 23, 2017. Ghassan was the loving father of Archdeacon Emile P. Sayegh, Esq., the Chancellor of the Archdiocese.

Ghassan, 86, of Scottsdale Arizona and Congers, New York, passed into life eternal while surrounded by many of his family members.

He was born in Jordan to Otallah and Martha Khalil Sayegh, and immigrated to the United States (New York) in July, 1953, where he was one of the founding members of the parish of the Virgin Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Yonkers, New York, under the guidance of their first pastor then Fr. Philip (Metropolitan PHILIP Saliba), of thrice-blessed memory.

The Sheep Honor the Shepherd: A Night in Honor of Bishop NICHOLAS

By Fr. John Valadez

On the night of September 9, 2017, clergy and faithful from the parishes within the diocese of New York and Washington, D.C. gathered at St. George in Little Falls, NJ, to honor their pastor and shepherd, Bishop NICHOLAS. On August 3, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph appointed Bishop NICHOLAS to the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, knowing “his dedication to and focus on spreading the word of God,” and his effectiveness as a “shepherd and father to all clergy and laity, especially to the teens and young adults.” In love for their hierarch and in a thankful spirit, people gathered from around the Diocese to both rejoice in the news and offer something back to Bishop NICHOLAS.

Memory Eternal! + Olivia A. Waishek

Olivia A. Waishek, 72, of West Roxbury, formerly of Hudson St. in Boston's South Cove, passed away on Sunday, November 19, 2017. Her commitment to her community was second only to her love of family and friends.

A devoted, life-long parishioner of the Church of St. John of Damascus as a member and past President of the Church Committee, Olivia played a significant role in working to provide the nine beautiful crystal chandeliers that hang in the church today. Olivia was also a member of the Order of St. Ignatius.

Olivia was an incredible asset to the City of Boston and her neighborhood of West Roxbury. She spent many years serving the community as part of various organizations. Extremely proud of her Syrian roots, Olivia worked tirelessly for AABA and was instrumental in the construction and development of Cherition Heights in West Roxbury.

A Reflection On Our 45th Thanksgiving in America November 2017: What Are You Grateful For?

Father George and Nouhad Shalhoub of the Basilica of St. Mary in Livonia, Michigan, offer this 2017 Thanksgiving reflection.

Beloved,

This Thanksgiving season marks our 45th anniversary of being part of the most wonderful community and family in a church that houses us all. Over these last 45 years, we have done what our faith calls us to do—have a conversation about Thanksgiving, not just the holiday, but truly giving thanks. Those many years ago, we drove from Toledo to Detroit, one week married and one day a priest on February 6, 1972? For what? To be a parish priest. But how? I didn’t know. Was there a community? I wasn’t sure. Was there a building? No. Was there a place for us to sleep or hold church services? No. How many people were there? About a dozen families all with the same desire—to do what God wants us to do— build a church. For 45 years, we expressed loyalty, for it is the core of love, to be lived in season and out of season. Loyalty stands by prayer and prayer strengthens and invites us to live and trust in God, unconditionally.

Recent Ordinations and Elevations + September 2017

From the October 2017 issue of The Word:

Ordained

REALE, Jeffrey (James), to the holy diaconate by Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop ANTHONY on September 10, 2017, at St. George Church in Akron, Ohio. He is assigned to that parish.

Elevated

AL-ASSAF, Father Youhanna was elevated to the rank and dignity of Archpriest by Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop ANTHONY on September 10, 2017. at St. George Church in Akron, Ohio.

Recent Ordinations and Elevations + June 2017

From the September 2017 issue of The Word:

Ordained

DANEVICIUS, Deacon Isaac, to the holy priesthood by Bishop BASIL on June 28, 2017, at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Topeka, Kansas. He will complete his final year of theological studies at St. Vladimir's Seminary during the 2017–2018 academic year.

DEHAVEN, Dr. Michael, to the holy diaconate by Bishop BASIL on June 28, 2017, at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Topeka, Kansas. He is assigned to that parish.

HONORE, Deacon Andrew, to the holy priesthood by Bishop NICHOLAS on June 25, 2017, at St. Barnabas Church in Costa Mesa, California. He is a third-year seminarian at St. Vladimir's Seminary.

OLAS, Joseph, to the holy diaconate by Bishop BASIL on June 3, 2017, at St. George Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Deacon Joseph is assigned and working full-time at St. George.

SIMON, Marek (Mark), to the holy diaconate by Bishop JOHN on June 4, 2017, at St. Ignatius Chapel, Antiochian Village, Pennsylvania. Deacon Marek is Assistant Camp Director of the Antiochian Village Camp.

VALADEZ, Deacon John, to the holy priesthood by Bishop NICHOLAS on June 24, 2017, at St. Barnabas Church in Costa Mesa, California. He is a third-year seminarian at St. Vladimir's Seminary

Fire Tears Through St. Matthew Church in Ohio

Just days before the celebration of its patron, a fire tore through the nave and vestry of St. Matthew Church of North Royalton, Ohio. Damage was so extensive that the pastor, Fr. Andrew Harmon, said repairs could take one year. As a result, the community held divine services for the feast of St. Matthew at a nearby funeral home.

In a letter to the community, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph wrote: "I learned with shock and sadness of the fire that broke out in your sanctuary this past weekend. My shock and sadness were followed by my paternal pride in learning of the faith and resilience shown by all of you in the wake of this tragedy. Befitting your calling as Orthodox Christians, you have not ceased your rich liturgical life and have made plans to celebrate your patronal feast this evening with joy and hope in Our Lord. May the Grace of God received through your commitment to life of the Church bring your sacred community together to meet the challenges that have been set forth for you!"

Bishop Thomas 2017 Entry of the Theotokos Greeting

November 21, 2017
Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple

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

May God be with you all!

I greet you on this most joyous occasion, one of the twelve major church feasts numbered among those that affect our salvation. The Most Holy Theotokos' entry into the temple mirrors our own entrance into the heavenly kingdom. As the holy and righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna, prepared the holy Virgin, so too we must prepare for our entrance into the Kingdom of God.

Pleading for the Lives of the People of the Middle East: The U.S. Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X


 

 

 

 


By Subdeacon Peter Samore and Sonia Chala Tower

“The world would assist both Christians and Moslems much better if it spreads the culture of dialogue in our East and wipes away the culture of the sword…” Patriarch John X

Although he brought the love of the Orthodox Church of Antioch from the Middle East to the United States, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East said that he also brought the pain and suffering of the brethren in his native land. From October 21–31, 2017, His Beatitude made several key visits with elected officials and world leaders in Washington, D.C. and New York City to continue pleading for peaceful, diplomatic solutions to end the fruitless, 6.5-year-old war in Syria, the land of the Apostles Paul, Barnabas and Ananias, that has negatively impacted the entire region.

St. Andrew Orthodox Church – Five Years of Growth

On the weekend of October 15–16, 2017, St. Andrew Church in Lewes, Delaware, welcomed Bishop Thomas for his annual visit.

In addition to inducting six new members into the Order of St Ignatius, His Grace blessed and dedicated the newly-expanded church facility in the name of our beloved Archpriest Boniface Black, founding pastor of St. Andrew’s, who reposed in the Lord in August 2016.

After meeting for five years in rented space, St. Andrew’s moved to its new facility in September, 2012, and immediately began to experience a growth in membership--seniors and young families seeking to strengthen their Orthodox faith through the Church. It soon became clear that the new space would need to be expanded. 

On Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing: Principle #4: Separate Feelings from Behaviors

Note: This series of blog posts will focus on principles important to Orthodox Christians who are raising children. The series will feature a closer look at Dr. Philip Mamalakis’ book, Parenting Toward the Kingdom: Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing. Each week we will take a closer look at one section of the book, which is divided into 6 basic principles of child rearing. Find an overview blog post about the book here. We thank Dr. Mamalakis and Ancient Faith Publishing for giving us permission to share his wisdom with you in this way. Purchase your own copy of his book here.

Principle #4: Separate Feelings from Behaviors

Dr. Mamalakis encourages parents to separate feelings from behaviors in principle 4 of Principle #4: Separate Feelings from Behaviors. This is a very important principle, as demonstrated by the fact that it takes almost one-third of the book to speak to it. He addresses this principle across seven chapters: Take the Side of Feelings, Set Limits to Behaviors, Strategies for Setting Limits, Setting Limits With Your Child, Responding to Pushback, Understanding Consequences, and Giving Consequences.

“I Would Fly Away and Be at Rest:" The Last Public Appearance and Funeral of Bishop Antoun

By Subdeacon Peter Samore

On Friday, November 10, the fortieth day of His Grace Bishop Antoun's repose is commemorated, and on Sunday, November 12, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph asks all parishes to hold Trisagion Services.

“Oh that I had the wings of a dove. I would fly away and be at rest.” (Psalm 54:6)

Although the context of the Psalm is tribulation, it holds a different context for His Grace Bishop Antoun, the longest-serving auxiliary bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese who left this world on the morning of Monday, October 2, 2017. For, as Metropolitan Joseph remarked in funeral address, Sayidna Antoun did not fly away to leave the rest of us behind, because he never betrayed us. Rather, His Grace took up his new abode at the throne of Almighty God to intercede with Him for us, and reunite the clergy and laity he loved so dearly on the Last Day.

Every bishop of the Archdiocese, along with dozens of clergy and hundreds of faithful, gathered at St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida – Sayidna Antoun’s cathedral in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast – to mourn the loss of a man who served them in so many ways since his arrival to the United States in 1959. (View the memorial page for His Grace Bishop Antoun, and view the photo album of the funeral.)

Becoming Truly Human Endorsements

To help communicate the value of and need for the Becoming Truly Human ministry, we have recorded several endorsements from parishes throughout our Archdiocese who are implementing these tools and resources. Below is an endorsement from Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Emmaus, PA, and also an endorsement from Fr. Matthew Howell, pastor of St. Herman's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Wasilla, AK.

November 2017 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

The Ever-Virgin Mary and Our Relational Renewal

With the Nativity Fast approaching, we offer our latest booklet: The Ever-Virgin Mary and Our Relational Renewal. It is our meager attempt to bring high honor to Mary – the Mother of Jesus – who chose to participate in His glory and profound love for His children.

With Julianna Schmemann's blessing, this booklet is modeled on articles written by Fr. Alexander Schmemann, with special attention on Mary, the Birth-giver of her Son. We have added insight from our work on the Old Testament translation of the Septuagint.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

On Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing: Principle #3: Understand Struggles in Terms of Kingdom Values and Virtues

Note: This series of blog posts will focus on principles important to Orthodox Christians who are raising children. The series will feature a closer look at Dr. Philip Mamalakis’ book, Parenting Toward the Kingdom: Orthodox Christian Principles of Child Rearing. Each week we will take a closer look at one section of the book, which is divided into 6 basic principles of child rearing. Read an overview blog post about the book here. We thank Dr. Mamalakis and Ancient Faith Publishing for giving us permission to share his wisdom with you in this way. Purchase your own copy of his book here.

Principle #3: Understand Struggles in Terms of the Values and Virtues of the Kingdom

Dr. Mamalakis' third principle of parenting encourages parents to understand struggles in terms of the values and the virtues of the Kingdom of God. This principle is covered by two chapters in his book Parenting Toward the Kingdom. The chapters encourage parents to name their child's struggle and to separate their own struggle from their child's.

Dr. Mamalakis begins addressing this third principle by reminding the reader that if we are truly parenting toward the kingdom, we need to name our children’s struggles and frame every struggle that they encounter in the context of the kingdom. That is, we must look at each struggle in terms of the values and virtues of the Kingdom of God. Every struggle our children experience is an opportunity to help them learn those values and virtues. God has placed each of us into our family to struggle and learn together about His kingdom: that is what family life is all about.

Syndicate content